Indian general election, 1951

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Indian general election, 1951
India
1945 ←
25 October 1951 to 21 February 1952
→ 1957

All 489 seats in the Lok Sabha
245 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Jawaharlal Nehru.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-57000-0274, Berlin, V. SED-Parteitag, 3.Tag.jpg
Leader Jawaharlal Nehru Shripad Amrit Dange
Party INC CPI
Leader's seat Phulpur Bombay City North
Seats won 364 16
Popular vote 47,665,875 3,484,401
Percentage 44.99 3.29

Prime Minister before election

Jawaharlal Nehru
INC

Elected Prime Minister

Jawaharlal Nehru
INC

The Indian general election of 1951–52 elected the first Lok Sabha since India became independent in August 1947. Until this point, the Indian Constituent Assembly had served as an interim legislature. Polling was held between 25 October 1951 and 21 February 1952. The very first votes of the election were cast in the tehsil (district) of Chini in Himachal Pradesh.[1]

The Indian National Congress (INC) won a landslide victory, winning 364 of the 489 seats and 45% of the total votes polled. This was over four times as many votes as the second-largest party. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the country. Voter turnout was 45.7%.[2]

Parties[edit]

Before Independent India went to the polls, two former cabinet colleagues of Nehru established separate political parties to challenge the INC's supremacy. While Shyama Prasad Mookerjee went on to found the Jana Sangh in October 1951, Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar revived the Scheduled Castes Federation (which was later named the Republican Party). Other parties which started coming to the forefront included the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Parishad, whose prime mover was Acharya Kripalani; the Socialist Party which had Ram Manohar Lohia and Jay Prakash Narayan's leadership to boast of and the Communist Party of India. However, these smaller parties could not stand against Congress.

Constituencies[edit]

The first general elections, which were conducted for 489 seats in 401 constituencies, represented 26 Indian states. At that time, there were 314 constituencies with one seat, 86 with two seats and one with three seats.[3] The multi-seat constituencies were abolished in the 1960s. There were also 2 nominated Anglo-Indian members.

Results[edit]

Party Abbr. Votes  % Seats
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha ABHM 0.95 0
Ram Rajya Parishad RRP 1.97 0
Bharatiya Jana Sangh BJS 3,246,288 3.06 0
Bolshevik Party of India BPI 0.02 0
Communist Party of India CPI 3,484,401 3.29 1
Forward Bloc (Marxist) FB(M) 0.91 0
Forward Bloc (Ruiker) FB(R) 0.13 0
Indian National Congress INC 97,665,875 44.99 488
Krishikar Lok Party KLP 1.41 0
Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party KMPP 6,156,558 5.79 0
Revolutionary Communist Party of India RCPI 0.06 0
Revolutionary Socialist Party RSP 0.44 0
Scheduled Caste Federation SCF 2.38 0
Socialist Party SP 11,266,779 10.59 0
All India Republican Party REP 0.04 0
All India Republican Party RPP 0.05 0
All India United Kisan Sabha UKS 0.06 0
All Manipur National Union AMNU 0.02 0
All People's Party APP 0.03 0
Chota Nagpur Santhal Parganas Janata Party CNSPJP 0.22 0
Cochin Party CP 0.01 0
Commonweal Party CWP 0.31 0
Ganatantra Parishad GP 0.91 0
Gandhi Sebak Seva GSS 0.01 0
Hill Peoples Party HPP 0.02 0
Historical Research HR 0.00 0
Hyderabad State Praja Party HSPP 0.01 0
Jharkhand Party JKP 0.71 0
Justice Party JP 0.06 0
Kamgar Kisan Paksha KKP 0.13 0
Kerala Socialist Party KSP 0.1 0
Khasi-Jaintia Durbar KJD 0.03 0
Kisan Janata Sanyukta Party KJSP 0.01 0
Kisan Mazdoor Mandal KMM 0.01 0
Kuki National Association KNA 0.01 0
Lok Sevak Sangh LSS 0.29 0
Madras State Muslim League Party MSMLP 0.08 0
National Party of India NPI 0.00 0
Peasants and Workers Party of India PWPI 0.94 2
Peoples Democratic Front PDF 1.29 7
Praja Party PP 0.02 0
Punjab Depressed Class League PDCL 0.01 0
Pursharathi Panchayat PURP 0.01 0
Revolutionary Socialist Party (Uttar Pradesh) RSP(UP) 0.02 0
Shiromani Akali Dal SAD 0.99 0
S.K. Paksha SKP 0.13 0
Saurashtra Khedut Sangh SKS 0.03 0
Tamil Nadu Toilers Party TNTP 0.84 0
Tamil Nadu Congress Party TNCP 0.03 0
Tribal Sangha TS 0.11 0
Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress Party TTNC 0.11 0
Uttar Pradesh Praja Party UPP 0.2 0
Zamindar Party ZP 0.27 0
Independents 16,817,910 15.9 0
Nominated Anglo-Indians - - 0
Total 205,944,495 100 489

Notable losses[edit]

Scheduled Caste leader and the creator of the constitution B. R. Ambedkar was defeated in the Bombay (North Central) constituency by a little-known Narayan Sadoba Kajrolkar, who polled 138137 votes compared to Ambedkar's 123576 votes.[4][5]

Government formation[edit]

The Speaker of the first Lok Sabha was Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar. The first Lok Sabha also witnessed 677 sittings (3,784 hours), the highest recorded count of the number of sittings. The Lok Sabha lasted its full term from 17 April 1952 until 4 April 1957.

Duration[edit]

Although the majority of votes were cast in February 1952, voters in the state of Himachal Pradesh were given the chance to vote in October 1951 because the heavy snowfall, primitive roads, and mountainous terrain of that state made it likely that polling stations would be largely unreachable during a February election.[6]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Guha, Ramachandra. "Democracy's Biggest Gamble," World Policy Journal, (Spring 2002) 19#1 pp95–103

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ramachandra Guha (2008). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9. 
  2. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p572 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  3. ^ "General Election of India 1951, List of Successful Candidate". Election Commission of India. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  4. ^ Ramachandra Guha (2008). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9. 
  5. ^ "Statistical Report On General Elections, 1951 to The First Lok Sabha: List of Successful Candidates". Election Commission of India. p. 83, 12. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  6. ^ India's first voter in Himachal Pradesh, by Gautam Dhmeer, in the Deccan Herald; published October 30, 2012; retrieved April 7, 2014