On 23, India will decide, five years term who will ride.
The political war that continued for more than a month has finally come to an end. The political fate
of thousands of the candidates belonging to various political parties have been sealed in the
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Though multiple exit polls have given a fair indication of the final
picture, for the genuine result, all eyes will be on the counting that begins in the morning of 23rd
May. The results will indicate the people’s mandate, deciding who will be at the helm at Indian
affairs for the next five years. In order to understand the results of general elections properly, let’s
get familiar with the political terms that will be often repeated on the day of counting.
Magic Figure of 272
For holding general elections, India has been divided into 543 constituencies. Every constituency
elects one leader, who represents his people in the Lok Sabha that is also called the lower house of
the parliament. For instance, Delhi has seven constituencies, so it will have seven Members of
Parliament (MPs) representing its people in Lok Sabha. Now, out of 543, the half way mark is around
272. This is what constitutes the magic number that will decide which political party or alliance will
form the government for the next five years. Considering the two major alliances at the national
level and many alliances at the state level, no single party is expected to stake the claim to power.
But whichever alliance intends to form the government, it has to have the support of at least 272
Who will take the call to form the government?
Officially, it is the President, the head of the Executive in India, who will take the final call depending
on the numbers that the counting on 23rd May will generate. He may face a dilemma in the case of
fractured mandate, which means no alliance enjoys the magic numbers in its favour. In that case, the
President will see which alliance is likely to muster the strength of the adequate number of MPs.
Consequently, that alliance will be invited by the President to form the next government at the
centre. But this will be subject to proving its majority on the floor of the Lok Sabha within a
Who will become the Prime Minister?
This is a tricky question. Normally, the leader of the party or the alliance that gets the majority is
sworn-in as the prime minister. But, here again, the possibility of a hung parliament will come again
as a roadblock in deciding the name of the Prime Minister. However, going by the trend so far, it
should be the repeat of 2014 elections. In fact, the political temperature in the national capital is
higher than the atmospheric one. Hectic meetings of the political leaders are underway to think of
all permutations and combinations and be ready to cobble up the magic numbers.
What do these elections mean for Indian democracy?
The successful completion of the general elections in the world’s largest democracy is not an easy
task. Thousands of Election Commission Officials, lakhs of political workers and crores of Indian
people have made this possible. Moreover, the just concluded elections can certainly be called
marathon elections as they were spread over a long period of time. What made these elections
physically painful to the people was the summer’s scorching heat. Yet, the total percentage of voting
stood at more than 66%. This means that every second out of three Indians came out of his or her
house in the blistering heat of April and May to exercise his or her franchise. This is what we call the
“will of the people” that has helped democracy to take deep roots in India. Bravo, Indian citizens!