By Matthew McKenzie
NEW DEHLI, INDIA- Starting on April 11, over 900 million potential voters in 29 states and in 7 smaller territories will be heading to the polls for the general elections of the world’s biggest democracy: India.
This will be another instance of record breaking voter eligibility for the nation, after they set the record with 800 million eligible voters in 2014. For comparison, the population of the entire United States is 327 million people with estimates putting the population of eligible voters somewhere around, 235 million.
This massive vote will be for the formation of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament. For the sake of simplicity, the election for the Lok Sabha occurs every 5 year where the 543 members of India’s parliamentary lower house are all up for replacement. These house seats directly decide which party or parties are able to make the selection of the prime minister of the country. A party requires 272 Members of Parliament (MP), the people who will ascend to the lower house seats and claim the control to form the government for those 5 years. If a party does not have the 272 MPs needed, they can form a coalition, an alliance of two different parties, whose MPs are put together. If this coalition has 272 or more MPs, the leader of this coalition then is sworn in as Prime minister.
These elections will directly decide the lawmakers for the entire nation. This year will have the incumbent Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), up for reelection. Their likely largest challenger, the Indian National Congress, will have Rahul Gandhi – a member of the family that helped establish the nation as it is – as their leader.
Featured image by Nimrod Bar. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).