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The elections for the 15th Lok Sabha has been recently declared and all the Political parties in India are busy in facing the election. While the ruling party/ies/front are preparing themselves to retain the power, the opposition parties are planning to snatch the power. Also some parties are trying to form a third front instead of the old two fronts.
We may refresh our minds on some details of the Indian Parliament and Lok Sabha.
The Parliament in India consists of two bodies:-
1. Lok Sabha
2. Rajya Sabha
Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of the adult suffrage. The minimum age for voting was 21 years upto 1988 and with effect from 28th March 1989 the minimum age for voting has been reduced to 18 years.
The maximum strength of the House envisaged by the Indian Constitution is 552, which is made up by election of:-
- upto 530 members to represent the States,
- upto 20 members to represent the Union Territories
- not more than 2 members of the Anglo-Indian Community to be nominated by the President of India.
- a citizen of India
- not less than 25 years of age
- possessing such other qualifications as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament.
The total elective membership is distributed among the States in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted to each State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States.
The Lok Sabha/ the House of the People was constituted for the first time on 17 April 1952 after the first general elections were held from 25 October 1951 to 21 February 1952. The first session of the first Lok Sabha commenced on 13 May 1952.
The normal term of the Lok Sabha is five years, but it may be :-
- dissolved earlier by the President.
- extended by an act passed by Parliament itself during the period when a proclamation of emergency under article 352 of the Constitution remains in operation. This period may be extended by Parliament for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not exceeding in any case beyond a period of six months after the proclamation has ceased to operate.
So far fourteen general elections to the Lok Sabha have been held.
- first general elections were held from 25 October 1951 to 21 February 1952,
- second from 24 February to 14 March, 1957,
- third from 19-25 February 1962,
- fourth from 17 to 21 February 1967,
- fifth from 1 to 10 March 1971,
- sixth from 16 to 20 March 1977,
- seventh from 3 to 6 January 1980, the eighth from 24-28 December 1984,
- ninth from 22 to 26 November 1989,
- tenth from 20 May to 15 June1991,
- eleventh from 27 April to 30 May 1996,
- twelfth from 16 February to 23 February 1998
- thirteenth from 5 September to 6 October 1999
- fourteenth from 20 April to 10 May 2004.