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Can any Bollywood drama ever compare with the awesome spectacle of an Indian election?

Let us check out how much you know about the Great Election Tamasha.

A quiz we will publish every working day till May 13, the day we know who we have elected to the 14th Lok Sabha.

1. Chikmagalur in Karnataka was the constituency that elected Indira Gandhi in a by-election in 1978 after she lost the 1977 election in Rae Bareli, thereby paving the way for her eventual return to power in 1980. Who was the Opposition candidate in that famous by-election?
a. Ramakrishna Hegde.
b. H D Deve Gowda.
c. Veerendra Patil.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is C
George Fernandes, a hero in his native Karnataka after the Emergency, was Veerendra Patil's campaign manager, but he could not halt Indira Gandhi's march. As soon as she was arrested by Morarji Desai's government -- a ham-handed operation if there was one! -- and by a series of well crafted public gestures (including traveling on an elephant and trekking for miles on foot to visit the scene of a caste massacre in Bihar) she won back public sympathy. And once that happened, no one -- then or now -- could manipulate the public mood the way she could. She won 55.7% of the vote and returned to the Lok Sabha in her imperial style. And guess what? Just 11 years later, Veerendra Patil was sworn in as Karnataka's Congress chief minister, winning Rajiv Gandhi's favour, over the likes of S Bangarappa and M Veerappa Moily.

Correct!
George Fernandes, a hero in his native Karnataka after the Emergency, was Veerendra Patil's campaign manager, but he could not halt Indira Gandhi's march. As soon as she was arrested by Morarji Desai's government -- a ham-handed operation if there was one! -- and by a series of well crafted public gestures (including traveling on an elephant and trekking for miles on foot to visit the scene of a caste massacre in Bihar) she won back public sympathy. And once that happened, no one -- then or now -- could manipulate the public mood the way she could. She won 55.7% of the vote and returned to the Lok Sabha in her imperial style. And guess what? Just 11 years later, Veerendra Patil was sworn in as Karnataka's Congress chief minister, winning Rajiv Gandhi's favour, over the likes of S Bangarappa and M Veerappa Moily.

2. Who defeated Indira Gandhi in the 1977 Lok Sabha election in Rae Bareli?
a. Chandra Shekhar.
b. Raj Narain.
c. Madhu Limaye.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is B.
Raj Narain influenced politics in the 1970s, and yet how many of you know him? Younger readers who think Laloo Prasad Yadav is the perennial jester of Indian politics will never know the 'mystique' of Raj Narain. Always looking as if he had just woken up from bed after a bad nightmare, always seen with a lime green bandana, always ready with a devastating quip, always prepared to destroy and self destruct.

Morarji Desai's health minister, he aligned with then home minister Charan Singh and brought down the Janata Party government by hammering former Jan Sangh ministers like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani over their membership of the RSS. Most pundits dismissed him as a buffoon, but, like Laloo, he was a canny political operator. Indira Gandhi had enough reason to loath him. After losing to her in the 1971 election from Rae Bareli, Raj Narain mounted a ferocious legal campaign to unseat her for violation of electoral practices.

On June 12, 1975, Justice Sinha of the Allahabad high court ruled that Raj Narain was right and disqualified Indira Gandhi as an MP, provoking the prime minister to declare a state of Emergency, throw all her political adversaries in prison and suspend our democracy. Tragically, after vehemently opposing the Congress and the Nehru dynasty all his life, Raj Narain ended up on the same side of the fence as Indira and Sanjay Gandhi in 1980.

Correct!
Raj Narain influenced politics in the 1970s, and yet how many of you know him? Younger readers who think Laloo Prasad Yadav is the perennial jester of Indian politics will never know the 'mystique' of Raj Narain. Always looking as if he had just woken up from bed after a bad nightmare, always seen with a lime green bandana, always ready with a devastating quip, always prepared to destroy and self destruct.

Morarji Desai's health minister, he aligned with then home minister Charan Singh and brought down the Janata Party government by hammering former Jan Sangh ministers like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani over their membership of the RSS. Most pundits dismissed him as a buffoon, but, like Laloo, he was a canny political operator. Indira Gandhi had enough reason to loath him. After losing to her in the 1971 election from Rae Bareli, Raj Narain mounted a ferocious legal campaign to unseat her for violation of electoral practices.

On June 12, 1975, Justice Sinha of the Allahabad high court ruled that Raj Narain was right and disqualified Indira Gandhi as an MP, provoking the prime minister to declare a state of Emergency, throw all her political adversaries in prison and suspend our democracy. Tragically, after vehemently opposing the Congress and the Nehru dynasty all his life, Raj Narain ended up on the same side of the fence as Indira and Sanjay Gandhi in 1980.

3. In 1980, when Indira Gandhi returned to Rae Bareli, the Opposition put up a candidate it thought would give the Congress president a run for her money. Name this leader.
a. L K Advani.
b. Vijaya Raje Scindia.
c. Charan Singh.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
Vijaya Raje Scindia lost only two Lok Sabha elections in her life, back to back. After losing to Indira Gandhi in Rae Bareli in 1980 (she won just 13.1% of the vote), the Rajmata of Gwalior was defeated in Bhind, which must have been a particular tough defeat to take since Bhind is part of a province her family once ruled. Her willingness to contest Rae Bareli in 1980 could have been partly inspired by the fact that she was one of the two royals Indira Gandhi threw into Tihar during the Emergency -- Gayatri Devi, the Rajmata of Jaipur, being the other. Vijaya Raje Scindia, legend has it, was undaunted by prison. She quickly won over her co-prisoners and had the unseemly bunch join her in singing bhajans.

Ironically, as her star temporarily waned then in electoral politics, her only son's rose. Madhavrao won the election from Guna (1980) and Gwalior (1984) easily. In 1984, he won 66.7% of the vote against the BJP candidate's 28.6%. You know the BJP nominee, don't you? Atal Bihari Vajpayee!

Correct!
Vijaya Raje Scindia lost only two Lok Sabha elections in her life, back to back. After losing to Indira Gandhi in Rae Bareli in 1980 (she won just 13.1% of the vote), the Rajmata of Gwalior was defeated in Bhind, which must have been a particular tough defeat to take since Bhind is part of a province her family once ruled. Her willingness to contest Rae Bareli in 1980 could have been partly inspired by the fact that she was one of the two royals Indira Gandhi threw into Tihar during the Emergency -- Gayatri Devi, the Rajmata of Jaipur, being the other. Vijaya Raje Scindia, legend has it, was undaunted by prison. She quickly won over her co-prisoners and had the unseemly bunch join her in singing bhajans.

Ironically, as her star temporarily waned then in electoral politics, her only son's rose. Madhavrao won the election from Guna (1980) and Gwalior (1984) easily. In 1984, he won 66.7% of the vote against the BJP candidate's 28.6%. You know the BJP nominee, don't you? Atal Bihari Vajpayee!

4. Indira Gandhi also won election from Medak in Andhra Pradesh in 1980. The only time she contested a Lok Sabha election from two constituencies. Who was her Janata Party rival?
a. N Chandrababu Naidu.
b. S Jaipal Reddy.
c. Yeerannaidu.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
Yes, the current Congress spokesman, who misses no opportunity to tear into his former mates in the Janata Party stood against Indira Gandhi. Reddy just won 18.6% of the vote against Indira Gandhi's 67.9%. The articulate Reddy -- who has never allowed his physical handicap to curb his ascent in national politics; a victim of polio, he walks on crutches and, if we recall right, has diabetes -- soon made his way to the Rajya Sabha. In the 1999 election Reddy (did you know the S stands for Sudini) won a berth in the Lok Sabha from Miryalguda, as a Congress candidate of course. He defeated the TDP candidate by 57,477 votes.
Correct!
Yes, the current Congress spokesman, who misses no opportunity to tear into his former mates in the Janata Party stood against Indira Gandhi. Reddy just won 18.6% of the vote against Indira Gandhi's 67.9%. The articulate Reddy -- who has never allowed his physical handicap to curb his ascent in national politics; a victim of polio, he walks on crutches and, if we recall right, has diabetes -- soon made his way to the Rajya Sabha. In the 1999 election Reddy (did you know the S stands for Sudini) won a berth in the Lok Sabha from Miryalguda, as a Congress candidate of course. He defeated the TDP candidate by 57,477 votes.

5. P V Narasimha Rao created a niche in the record books when he won 89.5% of the vote in the by-election from Nandyal on November 17, 1991. Another Congress leader was close behind, in another by-election on the same day, winning 88.6% of the vote in his constituency. Name him please.
a. Sharad Pawar.
b. Arjun Singh.
c. S M Krishna.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A.
Sharad Pawar, Rao's defence minister, contested his traditional Baramati seat, which his nephew Ajit Pawar won earlier that year. The uncle did not contest the the Lok Sabha election because he was then chief minister of Maharashtra. No one had any doubt about the outcome of the by-election. Even in 1984, when a sympathy wave swept the nation, Sharad Pawar, then head of his Congress-S party, retained the seat, winning 60.6% of the vote. As a Congress MP, he retained the seat in 1996 and 1998, by 160,501 and 268,184 votes respectively. In 1999, as president of the Nationalist Congress Party, he had to battle both BJP and Congress nominees, yet increased his winning margin to 298, 903 votes.
Correct!
Sharad Pawar, Rao's defence minister, contested his traditional Baramati seat, which his nephew Ajit Pawar won earlier that year. The uncle did not contest the the Lok Sabha election because he was then chief minister of Maharashtra. No one had any doubt about the outcome of the by-election. Even in 1984, when a sympathy wave swept the nation, Sharad Pawar, then head of his Congress-S party, retained the seat, winning 60.6% of the vote. As a Congress MP, he retained the seat in 1996 and 1998, by 160,501 and 268,184 votes respectively. In 1999, as president of the Nationalist Congress Party, he had to battle both BJP and Congress nominees, yet increased his winning margin to 298, 903 votes.

Election Quiz is best viewed in Internet Explorer and Netscape above version 6.0.

Quiz 1
Quiz 2
Quiz 3
Quiz 4
Quiz 5

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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Number of User Comments: 2




Sub: quiz answers

I amn't able to find quiz answers, is it broswer problem? manis


Posted by manish kumar





Sub: election

It was a tough fight during 1977 between Mrs. Gandhi and Raj Narain. Raj Narain defeated Gandhi because there were certain mishaps in congress and ...


Posted by madan m. puljal




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