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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. Who won by the biggest margin in Uttar Pradesh in the 1999 Lok Sabha election?
a. Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
b. Maneka Gandhi.
c. Sonia Gandhi.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is C
The prime minister, who won Lucknow by 219,222 votes in 1998, saw his margin cut to 123,624 votes in 1999. Maneka's margin was impressive -- 239,855 in 1999, against 211,876 votes in 1998, in her traditional constituency Pilibhit. Mulayam Singh -- whose Samajwadi Party came in second place to the BJP in the 1999 Lok Sabha election -- won by 115,834 votes in Sambhal and 79,139 votes in Kannauj. Sonia Gandhi's 300,012 margin was the biggest victory in UP in 1999. In Bellary in Karnataka, the other seat she contested in 1999, her margin was not as impressive -- she defeated Sushma Swaraj by 56,100 votes.

Correct!
The prime minister, who won Lucknow by 219,222 votes in 1998, saw his margin cut to 123,624 votes in 1999. Maneka's margin was impressive -- 239,855 in 1999, against 211,876 votes in 1998, in her traditional constituency Pilibhit. Mulayam Singh -- whose Samajwadi Party came in second place to the BJP in the 1999 Lok Sabha election -- won by 115,834 votes in Sambhal and 79,139 votes in Kannauj. Sonia Gandhi's 300,012 margin was the biggest victory in UP in 1999. In Bellary in Karnataka, the other seat she contested in 1999, her margin was not as impressive -- she defeated Sushma Swaraj by 56,100 votes.

2. Ram Jethmalani is the Congress-backed candidate against Prime Minister Vajpayee in Lucknow this election. Who was the Congress candidate against Vajpayee in 1999?
a. Buta Singh .
b. Dr Karan Singh.
c. Captain Satish Sharma.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is B.
Dr Karan Singh, the maharaja of Kashmir, education minister in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet and former ambassador to the United States, returned to the Congress party after 18 years, and was promptly deployed in Lucknow. His presence -- assisted by a weak Samajwadi nominee -- added suitable weight to the Congress presence in the constituency. In 1998, the Congress was severely embarrassed; its candidate Ranjit Singh won just 5.17% (38,636 votes) of the votes cast and lost his deposit. Vajpayee, in contrast, won 58.17% of all votes cast. Dr Karan Singh won 239,085 votes against Vajpayee's 362,709 votes; it was the first time since 1991 that the Congress finished in second place in Lucknow.
Correct!
Dr Karan Singh, the maharaja of Kashmir, education minister in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet and former ambassador to the United States, returned to the Congress party after 18 years, and was promptly deployed in Lucknow. His presence -- assisted by a weak Samajwadi nominee -- added suitable weight to the Congress presence in the constituency. In 1998, the Congress was severely embarrassed; its candidate Ranjit Singh won just 5.17% (38,636 votes) of the votes cast and lost his deposit. Vajpayee, in contrast, won 58.17% of all votes cast. Dr Karan Singh won 239,085 votes against Vajpayee's 362,709 votes; it was the first time since 1991 that the Congress finished in second place in Lucknow.

3. The Samajwadi Party came in second place against Prime Minister Vajpayee in Lucknow in 1996 and 1998. Who were its celebrity candidates?
a. Amar Singh in 1996, Jayapradha in 1998.
b. Akbar Ahmed in 1996, Arif Mohammad Khan in 1998.
c. Raj Babbar in 1996, Muzaffar Ali in 1999.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
In 1996, Raj Babbar -- until then seen as a political lightweight -- revealed why the Samajwadi Party can worry any candidate, no matter how famous, in UP. Vajpayee won 394,865 votes against Babbar's 276,194. His victory margin: 118,671 votes. In 1998 too, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh played the star card. Deploying an aristocrat from an area near Lucknow, Muzaffar Ali, the man who made Gaman and Umrao Jaan. Vajpayee increased his tally to 431,738 votes against Ali's 215,475 votes. Margin of victory: 216,263 votes.
Correct!
In 1996, Raj Babbar -- until then seen as a political lightweight -- revealed why the Samajwadi Party can worry any candidate, no matter how famous, in UP. Vajpayee won 394,865 votes against Babbar's 276,194. His victory margin: 118,671 votes. In 1998 too, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh played the star card. Deploying an aristocrat from an area near Lucknow, Muzaffar Ali, the man who made Gaman and Umrao Jaan. Vajpayee increased his tally to 431,738 votes against Ali's 215,475 votes. Margin of victory: 216,263 votes.

4. Rajiv Gandhi won the 1981 by-election in Amethi caused by his brother Sanjay's death in June 1980. Who won the Amethi by-election caused by Rajiv's death in May 1991?
a. Narain Dutt Tiwari.
b. Mohsina Kidwai.
c. Captain Satish Sharma.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
Rajiv won the 1991 election posthumously, winning 53.2% of the vote. Satish Sharma won the by-election with 53.8% of the vote. He retained the seat in 1996 as well, defeating Raja Mohan Singh of the BJP by 40,143 votes. Sanjay Singh, from the royal family of Amethi, won the seat in 1998 as a BJP candidate (after losing to Sonia in 1999 he has since returned to the Congress), defeating Sharma by 23,270 votes. Sharma moved to Rae Bareli in 1999, making wave for Sonia, winning that seat by 73,549 votes. He has now vacated the Rae Bareli seat for Sonia, and moved to Sultanpur this election. He says he is keeping the seat warm for Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, whenever she takes the plunge.
Correct!
Rajiv won the 1991 election posthumously, winning 53.2% of the vote. Satish Sharma won the by-election with 53.8% of the vote. He retained the seat in 1996 as well, defeating Raja Mohan Singh of the BJP by 40,143 votes. Sanjay Singh, from the royal family of Amethi, won the seat in 1998 as a BJP candidate (after losing to Sonia in 1999 he has since returned to the Congress), defeating Sharma by 23,270 votes. Sharma moved to Rae Bareli in 1999, making wave for Sonia, winning that seat by 73,549 votes. He has now vacated the Rae Bareli seat for Sonia, and moved to Sultanpur this election. He says he is keeping the seat warm for Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, whenever she takes the plunge.

5. What links Amethi 2004 with Machhlishahr 1996 and 1999 and Pratapgarh 1998?
a. Ram Vilas Vedanti.
b. The Samajwadi Party did not field a candidate.
c. The BSP did not field a candidate.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A.
Ram Vilas Vedanti, Rahul Gandhi's BJP rival in Amethi this election, was the winner in Machhlishahr in 1996, defeating the Janata Dal's Lal Bahadur Yadav by 43,130 votes. In 1998, he moved to Pratapgarh, and defeated Rajkumari Ratna Singh -- whose father Raja Dinesh Singh was Indira Gandhi's external affairs minister -- by 68,460 votes. In 1999, he decided he wanted a change of scene again and returned to Machhlishahr. But he lost to the Samajwadi Party's Chandra Nath Singh by 21,124 votes.
Correct!
Ram Vilas Vedanti, Rahul Gandhi's BJP rival in Amethi this election, was the winner in Machhlishahr in 1996, defeating the Janata Dal's Lal Bahadur Yadav by 43,130 votes. In 1998, he moved to Pratapgarh, and defeated Rajkumari Ratna Singh -- whose father Raja Dinesh Singh was Indira Gandhi's external affairs minister -- by 68,460 votes. In 1999, he decided he wanted a change of scene again and returned to Machhlishahr. But he lost to the Samajwadi Party's Chandra Nath Singh by 21,124 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
Quiz 6
Quiz 7
Quiz 8
Quiz 9
Quiz 10
Quiz 11
Quiz 12
Quiz 13
Quiz 14

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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