The big day is here. And, as like the entire election duration, we'll be here with you, serving you updated results from all across India:
Countdown to The Great Indian Elections 2009 - The 15th Lok Sabha Election has now begun. The Election Commission has formally confirmed the dates for the Parliamentary elections. The Lok Sabha elections of 2009 will take place on 5 days, spread between April 16th and May 13th, and the counting of the voting ballots will take place on May 16th. June 2nd has been set as a deadline for the start of the 15th Lok Sabha.
A total of 71.4 crore voters are set to exercise their voting rights through 11 lakh electronic voting machines. In the last Lok Sabha elections of 2004, the number of voters was 67.1 crores. Of the total 543 constituencies, 499 will have new boundaries as a result of the new delimitation rules. Due to delimitation rules, the number of scheduled caste constituencies will go up to 84 from 79 and scheduled tribe seats will move to 47 from 41. This will mark the first elections in which photo electoral rolls will be used in 522 constituencies. Politicians who have been convicted in criminal cases and sentenced to more than two years in prison, have been disqualified from contesting in these elections.
The total budget for the Parliamentary elections in India has been set to a whopping Rs. 10,000 crore, or $ 2 billion, which would all be spend in a matter of few months. Compare this with Barrack Obama and other candidates collectively spending close to US $ 1.8 billion (nearly Rs 8,000 crore) in the year long presidential elections in USA, and you'll get to see the huge magnitude of the Indian general elections of 2009. The cost of general elections in India is going to be more than double this year as compared to about Rs 4,500 crore spent in last Lok Sabha polls of 2004.
The Contenders for India Elections 2009:
The Congress led United Progressive Alliance and the BJP led National Democratic Alliance form the primary contenders for the Lok Sabha polls of 2009, but the Third Front can easily emerge as the crucial factor. If both BJP and Congress led coalitions do not achieve the majority, it'd be Third Front's support which will decide who forms the next Government.
The Prime Ministerial Candidates:
1. UPA: Dr. Manmohan Singh
2. NDA: MR. L. K. Advani
3. Third Front: Depends on which party wins the most seats