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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. M J Akbar, editor-in-chief, The Asian Age, and one of India's finest reporters in the late 1970s, won the Lok Sabha election in 1989 from which Bihar constituency?
a. Kishanganj.
b. Gopalganj.
c. Bikramganj.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is A
Barring 1967, the MP from Kishanganj has invariably been a Muslim. In 1989, in the wake of the Shah Bano controversy, Akbar dared the orthodox face of his community represented by Syed Shahabuddin, who compelled the Rajiv Gandhi government to introduce a law nullifying the Supreme Court verdict on alimony for a Muslim divorcee. Despite the gauntlet not being picked up, despite the anti-Rajiv wave, Akbar won on a Congress ticket. Shahabuddin returned in 1991 -- Akbar did not contest -- and won the seat on a Janata Dal ticket. In 1996, Shahabuddin contested on a Janata Party, but the winner was the controversial Mohammad Taslimuddin of the Janata Dal. Taslimuddin was appointed minister of state for home in the H D Deve Gowda ministry, before it was discovered he had several criminal cases filed against him, and forced to resign. He won Kishanganj again in 1998, by 6,488 votes. In 1999, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain created history by winning the seat for for the BJP, defeating Taslimuddin by 8,648 votes.

Correct!
Barring 1967, the MP from Kishanganj has invariably been a Muslim. In 1989, in the wake of the Shah Bano controversy, Akbar dared the orthodox face of his community represented by Syed Shahabuddin, who compelled the Rajiv Gandhi government to introduce a law nullifying the Supreme Court verdict on alimony for a Muslim divorcee. Despite the gauntlet not being picked up, despite the anti-Rajiv wave, Akbar won on a Congress ticket. Shahabuddin returned in 1991 -- Akbar did not contest -- and won the seat on a Janata Dal ticket. In 1996, Shahabuddin contested on a Janata Party, but the winner was the controversial Mohammad Taslimuddin of the Janata Dal. Taslimuddin was appointed minister of state for home in the H D Deve Gowda ministry, before it was discovered he had several criminal cases filed against him, and forced to resign. He won Kishanganj again in 1998, by 6,488 votes. In 1999, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain created history by winning the seat for for the BJP, defeating Taslimuddin by 8,648 votes.

2. What was unusual about the September 22, 1975 by-election from Sikkim, which S K Rai won?
a. It was the only Lok Sabha by-election held during the 19-month Emergency.
b. Rai won the seat, uncontested.
c. It was the first-ever Lok Sabha election in Sikkim.

Correct! Try again..
Correct!
The correct answer is A, B and C.
Even Shane Warne couldn't bowl such a googly eh? It was the first Lok Sabha election after Sikkim became India's 22nd state on May 16, 1975. Indira Gandhi did not bother holding any other election during those dark months when democracy was a pathetic caricature in a country that boasted of being a democracy like none other. Rai was the only nominee. The March 1977 Lok Sabha election for Sikkim's solitary seat was uncontested too; Congressman Chatra B Chetri was the only candidate in the fray.
Correct!
Even Shane Warne couldn't bowl such a googly eh? It was the first Lok Sabha election after Sikkim became India's 22nd state on May 16, 1975. Indira Gandhi did not bother holding any other election during those dark months when democracy was a pathetic caricature in a country that boasted of being a democracy like none other. Rai was the only nominee. The March 1977 Lok Sabha election for Sikkim's solitary seat was uncontested too; Congressman Chatra B Chetri was the only candidate in the fray.

3. In 1991, he defeated Rajesh Khanna. Two years earlier, he beat Mohini Giri. Who are we talking about??
a. Jagmohan.
b. Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
c. L K Advani.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
What a difference an election makes! In 1989, when he defeated India's fourth President V V Giri's daughter-in-law, L K Advani was certainly not the powerful leader he is today. Sure, he was president of the Bharatiya Janata Party -- an entity that won just two seats in the 1984 Lok Sabha election under Atal Bihari Vajpayee's stewardship -- but that didn't really count for much then. When Advani took charge, he quicky forged a pre-election alliance with Vishwanath Pratap Singh, then the Great Beacon of Integrity in a nation revulsed by the Bofors scandal. Riding the anti-Rajiv wave, the BJP won 86 seats in the Lok Sabha, its finest display since winning 35 seats in 1967 as its parent the Jan Sangh. The Jan Sangh contested the 1977 and 1980 elections as part of the Janata Party.

In October 1990, Advani embarked on his first rath yatra, in urgent response to V P Singh's decision to implement the Mandal Commission's recommendations on reservations for so-called Other Backward Castes. And though the Bihar chief minister (one Laloo Prasad Yadav) arrested Advani at Samastipur, the BJP president had by then overtaken Vajpayee as the party's Leader No 1. In 1991, the BJP became the nation's main Opposition party, winning 120 seats against the Congress' 232. Five years later, it became the largest party in the Lok Sabha with 186 seats. One man deserves credit more than anyone else for taking the BJP to where it is today -- L K Advani.

In November 1995, Advani realised that his image as a Hindu hawk made him unacceptable among many Hindus, let alone the minorities. So, he decided that the party needed to project Vajpayee -- who was semi-retired -- as its prime ministerial nominee. His hunch that the avuncular Atal, with his moderate image, would be easily accepted has proved correct. The irony is that Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- once mocked in the Sangh Parivar for taking the BJP to the lower depths of electoral achievement -- is today possibly the single biggest reason why many Indians will vote for his party this election.

Correct!
What a difference an election makes! In 1989, when he defeated India's fourth President V V Giri's daughter-in-law, L K Advani was certainly not the powerful leader he is today. Sure, he was president of the Bharatiya Janata Party -- an entity that won just two seats in the 1984 Lok Sabha election under Atal Bihari Vajpayee's stewardship -- but that didn't really count for much then. When Advani took charge, he quicky forged a pre-election alliance with Vishwanath Pratap Singh, then the Great Beacon of Integrity in a nation revulsed by the Bofors scandal. Riding the anti-Rajiv wave, the BJP won 86 seats in the Lok Sabha, its finest display since winning 35 seats in 1967 as its parent the Jan Sangh. The Jan Sangh contested the 1977 and 1980 elections as part of the Janata Party.

In October 1990, Advani embarked on his first rath yatra, in urgent response to V P Singh's decision to implement the Mandal Commission's recommendations on reservations for so-called Other Backward Castes. And though the Bihar chief minister (one Laloo Prasad Yadav) arrested Advani at Samastipur, the BJP president had by then overtaken Vajpayee as the party's Leader No 1. In 1991, the BJP became the nation's main Opposition party, winning 120 seats against the Congress' 232. Five years later, it became the largest party in the Lok Sabha with 186 seats. One man deserves credit more than anyone else for taking the BJP to where it is today -- L K Advani.

In November 1995, Advani realised that his image as a Hindu hawk made him unacceptable among many Hindus, let alone the minorities. So, he decided that the party needed to project Vajpayee -- who was semi-retired -- as its prime ministerial nominee. His hunch that the avuncular Atal, with his moderate image, would be easily accepted has proved correct. The irony is that Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- once mocked in the Sangh Parivar for taking the BJP to the lower depths of electoral achievement -- is today possibly the single biggest reason why many Indians will vote for his party this election.

4. He won a silver medal in the 1974 Asian Games at Tehran. He also won five consecutive Lok Sabha elections. He was the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent at the 1982 Asian Games. His name, please.
a. Bhawani Singh.
b. Arvind Singh Mewar.
c. Dr Karni Singh.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
The amazing Dr -- he was awarded a PhD by Bombay University for his thesis 'Relationship of Bikaner Royal Family with Central Authority (1465-1949)' -- Karni Singh was the Independent MP from Bikaner, winning five elections on a trot, from 1952 to 1971. Did we mention that he was also the Maharaja of Bikaner? Dr Singh was a world class marksman who represented India in the Rome, Tokyo, Mexico, Munich and Moscow Olympics and countless other international competitions. He won several prizes, including gold at the Asian Shooting Championships in Seoul and silver in the Tehran Asiad. Awarded the Arjuna Award in 1962, he died just eight years after the Moscow Games, in September 1988.
Correct!
The amazing Dr -- he was awarded a PhD by Bombay University for his thesis 'Relationship of Bikaner Royal Family with Central Authority (1465-1949)' -- Karni Singh was the Independent MP from Bikaner, winning five elections on a trot, from 1952 to 1971. Did we mention that he was also the Maharaja of Bikaner? Dr Singh was a world class marksman who represented India in the Rome, Tokyo, Mexico, Munich and Moscow Olympics and countless other international competitions. He won several prizes, including gold at the Asian Shooting Championships in Seoul and silver in the Tehran Asiad. Awarded the Arjuna Award in 1962, he died just eight years after the Moscow Games, in September 1988.

5. His father Joginder Singh Mann was a speaker of the Punjab assembly in 1967. Simranjit Singh Mann was an Indian Police Service officer once charged for conspiracy to assassinate Indira Gandhi and held in solitary confinement. In 1989, he won the Lok Sabha election from Tarn Tarn, even though he was imprisoned in Bhagalpur jail and did not campaign. Which seat sent him to Parliament in 1999?
a. Tarn Taran.
b. Sangrur.
c. Amritsar.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
In a surprise result, Mann defeated former Punjab chief minister Surjit Singh Barnala by 86, 317 votes. The only Lok Sabha seat that Mann's Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann), which was aligned with Gurcharan Singh Tohra's breakway Akali Dal, won in Punjab. The split in the Akali Dal cost Parkash Singh Badal's party dear last election. It won just two seats (Ferozepur and Tarn Taran); its ally, the BJP won Gurdaspur (Vinod Khanna). The Congress won 8 seats, the CPI one. In 1998, Barnala defeated Mann by 82,165 votes; in 1996, by 75,652 votes. The first time he was elected to Parliament in 1989, Mann missed almost the sessions because of his insistence that he be allowed to carry his kirpan inside the Lok Sabha. Since security regulations did not permit arms inside the House, Mann preferred to stay out.
Correct!
In a surprise result, Mann defeated former Punjab chief minister Surjit Singh Barnala by 86, 317 votes. The only Lok Sabha seat that Mann's Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann), which was aligned with Gurcharan Singh Tohra's breakway Akali Dal, won in Punjab. The split in the Akali Dal cost Parkash Singh Badal's party dear last election. It won just two seats (Ferozepur and Tarn Taran); its ally, the BJP won Gurdaspur (Vinod Khanna). The Congress won 8 seats, the CPI one. In 1998, Barnala defeated Mann by 82,165 votes; in 1996, by 75,652 votes. The first time he was elected to Parliament in 1989, Mann missed almost the sessions because of his insistence that he be allowed to carry his kirpan inside the Lok Sabha. Since security regulations did not permit arms inside the House, Mann preferred to stay out.

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

Quiz 1
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Quiz 6
Quiz 7

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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Number of User Comments: 2




Sub: Political quiz

sir This is an excellent page alagarsamy from Chennai.It helps me to refrsh my political memories.


Posted by S.A.Alagarsamy





Sub: Excellent Quizzing!!!

It is nice to have such Quizzes based on Indian Elections. It makes Indian citizens aware of their political history, past and present, in more ...


Posted by G.N Vincent




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