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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. How many of North India's 126 seats did the Congress win in 1999?
a. 54.
b. 6.
c. 19.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is C
The party won 6 Lok Sabha seats in 1998, its worst-ever performance in North India (Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh) after the 1977 debacle when it only won 2 seats. Nineteen seats in 1999 equalled the Congress' 1996 score in North India, but still short of the 31 seats it won from the region in 1991. The 19 seats in 1999 came from UP (10), Punjab (8) and Chandigarh (1).

Correct!
The party won 6 Lok Sabha seats in 1998, its worst-ever performance in North India (Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh) after the 1977 debacle when it only won 2 seats. Nineteen seats in 1999 equalled the Congress' 1996 score in North India, but still short of the 31 seats it won from the region in 1991. The 19 seats in 1999 came from UP (10), Punjab (8) and Chandigarh (1).

2. In 1999, nearly half of the BJP's 182 seats came from one region. Which one?
a. West India.
b. North India.
c. South India.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is A.
If you thought North India provided the fuel for the BJP rath, think again! In 1996 and 1999, West India (Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan) gave the party the boost it needed, 72 and 80 Lok Sabha seats, in comparision with North India's 63 and 47 seats respectively. In 1991, West India gave the BJP 50 seats against North India's 58; in 1998, the tally was 72 (North India): 60 (West India). What is interesting is that East India (Bihar, Orissa, the Northeastern states and West Bengal) has increased its contribution to the BJP kitty gradually from 7 in 1991 to 19 in 1996 to 29 in 1998 to 36 in 1999.
Correct!
If you thought North India provided the fuel for the BJP rath, think again! In 1996 and 1999, West India (Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan) gave the party the boost it needed, 72 and 80 Lok Sabha seats, in comparision with North India's 63 and 47 seats respectively. In 1991, West India gave the BJP 50 seats against North India's 58; in 1998, the tally was 72 (North India): 60 (West India). What is interesting is that East India (Bihar, Orissa, the Northeastern states and West Bengal) has increased its contribution to the BJP kitty gradually from 7 in 1991 to 19 in 1996 to 29 in 1998 to 36 in 1999.

3. What links the winners of the 1971 Lok Sabha election in Barmer, Rajasthan, and Raipur, Madhya Pradesh?
a. The winners exchanged seats in 1977.
b. Both MPs were imprisoned during the Emergency.
c. Kissa Kursi Ka.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
Amrit Nahata, a two-term Congress MP from Barmer, made a film called Kissa Kursi Ka, a satire on power politics in India starring Shabana Azmi. Unfortunately, the timing was all wrong. Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency and suspended all civil rights. Her son Sanjay Gandhi took umbrage to Nahata's film, and ordered its negatives to be destroyed in 1977. The man who allegedly carried out Sanjay's mandate was the then minister of state for information and broadcasting, Vidya Charan Shukla, the Congress MP from Raipur. In January 1979, Shukla was sentenced to two years imprisonment in the Kissa Kursi Ka case, but that verdict was later overturned. As Nahata's nephew, the respected trade pundit Komal Nahata wrote on rediff.com: 'Amrit Nahata made the entire film over again with new stars. And the new version was released with publicity worth several crores (in the form of headline news for days and weeks together). Neither the hype nor the controversy helped and Kissa Kursi Ka remained a box-office mishap -- one of the biggest disasters of cinema history!' Amrit Nahata died on April 26, 2001, aged 74. He never stood for Parliament or made a film again.
Correct!
Amrit Nahata, a two-term Congress MP from Barmer, made a film called Kissa Kursi Ka, a satire on power politics in India starring Shabana Azmi. Unfortunately, the timing was all wrong. Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency and suspended all civil rights. Her son Sanjay Gandhi took umbrage to Nahata's film, and ordered its negatives to be destroyed in 1977. The man who allegedly carried out Sanjay's mandate was the then minister of state for information and broadcasting, Vidya Charan Shukla, the Congress MP from Raipur. In January 1979, Shukla was sentenced to two years imprisonment in the Kissa Kursi Ka case, but that verdict was later overturned. As Nahata's nephew, the respected trade pundit Komal Nahata wrote on rediff.com: 'Amrit Nahata made the entire film over again with new stars. And the new version was released with publicity worth several crores (in the form of headline news for days and weeks together). Neither the hype nor the controversy helped and Kissa Kursi Ka remained a box-office mishap -- one of the biggest disasters of cinema history!' Amrit Nahata died on April 26, 2001, aged 74. He never stood for Parliament or made a film again.

4. 1989. Phillaur in Punjab, Azamgarh and Bijnor in UP. What links the winners in these three constituencies?
a. Five-time winners.
b. All BSP candidates.
c. All members of the 1st Lok Sabha.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
Harbhajan Lakha from Phillaur, Ram Krishna from Azamgarh and Mayawati from Bijnor were the first Bahujan Samaj Party candidates to win Lok Sabha seats. Until 1986, few Indians knew of Kanshi Ram or the many organisations he had created to provide the so-called scheduled castes political prominence. No one expected the BSP to win two seats in UP in 1989, especially since Kanshi Ram had been defeated in the Allahabad by-election in 1988, which V P Singh won. The BSP didn't do well in 1991, only winning Rewa in MP and Etawah (Kanshi Ram) in UP. After winning 6 seats in UP and 3 in Punjab in 1996 and 4 in 1998, it won 14 seats in UP in 1999, its best-ever show.
Correct!
Harbhajan Lakha from Phillaur, Ram Krishna from Azamgarh and Mayawati from Bijnor were the first Bahujan Samaj Party candidates to win Lok Sabha seats. Until 1986, few Indians knew of Kanshi Ram or the many organisations he had created to provide the so-called scheduled castes political prominence. No one expected the BSP to win two seats in UP in 1989, especially since Kanshi Ram had been defeated in the Allahabad by-election in 1988, which V P Singh won. The BSP didn't do well in 1991, only winning Rewa in MP and Etawah (Kanshi Ram) in UP. After winning 6 seats in UP and 3 in Punjab in 1996 and 4 in 1998, it won 14 seats in UP in 1999, its best-ever show.

5. 1999. L K Advani defeated T N Seshan in Gandhinagar by 188,927 votes. But that was not the highest victory margin in Gujarat. That honour goes to whom?
a. Kashiram Rana.
b. Shankarsinh Vaghela.
c. Gordhanbhai Javiya.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A.
Kashiram Rana has won Surat for the BJP five times. The Union textile minister's victory margin in 1999 -- 249,197 votes -- was a little less than his 1998 tally (304,022 votes), but higher than 1996 (175,261). Vaghela, contesting on a Congress ticket, came in third after Advani with a 165,381 margin from Kapadvanj. Gordhanbhai Javiya has been an impressive three-time winner for the BJP, winning Porbandar in 1996 by 75,000 votes, 127,288 in 1998 and 101,360 votes in 1999.
Correct!
Kashiram Rana has won Surat for the BJP five times. The Union textile minister's victory margin in 1999 -- 249,197 votes -- was a little less than his 1998 tally (304,022 votes), but higher than 1996 (175,261). Vaghela, contesting on a Congress ticket, came in third after Advani with a 165,381 margin from Kapadvanj. Gordhanbhai Javiya has been an impressive three-time winner for the BJP, winning Porbandar in 1996 by 75,000 votes, 127,288 in 1998 and 101,360 votes in 1999.

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

Quiz 1
Quiz 2
Quiz 3
Quiz 4
Quiz 5
Quiz 6
Quiz 7
Quiz 8
Quiz 9

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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