By the time this paper is in your hands, Indians will voting for 16th Lok Sabha’s 542 members. The election will begin on April 7 and wind up on May 12. There will be nine phases.
The results will be declared on May 16 and there should be the new government in office May 21. The term of the 15th Lok Sabha ends on May 31.
India has 81 crore voters. All persons above 18 can vote. It is estimated that the election would cost the nation Rs. 3,500 crore.
There are nearly 50 political parties that are testing their luck in this election. There are two major blocks, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The first is headed by Congress which has been ruling the country for the last 10 years. The latter is headed by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which ruled from 1998 to 2004.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has been heading the Government since 2004, has emerged the second prime minister to have headed the country without a break for ten years. Earlier to this Jawaharlal Nehru headed the country for 17 continuous years.
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