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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. He won election to the Lok Sabha in 1962 and went on to win the Jnanpith Award, the only writer to do both. His name please.
a. Vaikom Mohammad Basheer.
b. S K Pottekkatt.
c. U R Anantha Murthy.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is B.
Eighteen years before he won India's highest literary award, the Bharatiya Jnanpith, for his Malayalam novel Oru Desattinte Katha (The Story of One Village), Shankaran Kutty Pottekkatt won the Cannanore seat in Kerala in 1962. He had contested the 1957 election from Cannanore as well, but lost to Congress nominee M J Jinachandran. Five years later, he easily defeated Congress candidate K T Sukumaran.

Correct!
Eighteen years before he won India's highest literary award, the Bharatiya Jnanpith, for his Malayalam novel Oru Desattinte Katha (The Story of One Village), Shankaran Kutty Pottekkatt won the Cannanore seat in Kerala in 1962. He had contested the 1957 election from Cannanore as well, but lost to Congress nominee M J Jinachandran. Five years later, he easily defeated Congress candidate K T Sukumaran.

2. India had 542 elected Lok Sabha seats till 1987, when it became 543. The extra seat came about because of which Union territory becoming a state?
a. Arunachal Pradesh.
b. Meghalaya.
c. Goa.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is C.
Earlier, Goa, Daman and Diu had three seats. When Goa became a state, it got two seats while Daman and Diu got one seat. It was the first time since 1977 that the number of seats in the Lok Sabha had gone up.
Correct!
Earlier, Goa, Daman and Diu had three seats. When Goa became a state, it got two seats while Daman and Diu got one seat. It was the first time since 1977 that the number of seats in the Lok Sabha had gone up.

3. The Congress tally fell below 300 Lok Sabha seats for the first time in which election?
a. 1962.
b. 1967.
c. 1971.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
1967! Those were heady times. It was the first election after Indira Gandhi became prime minister. The Samyukta Vidayak Dal had stunned the Congress by winning the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. Charan Singh was the state's first non-Congress chief minister. Five years earlier, Jawaharlal Nehru's last election had brought his party 361 Lok Sabha seats. His daughter's first election was a disaster -- the Congress won just 283 seats in the 520-member House. The biggest gainers -- the Swatantra Party 44 in 1967 (18 in 1962); the Jan Sangh 35 (14), the new Samyukta Socialist Party 23 (the old Socialists won 6 in 1962). The reduced majority set Indira Gandhi -- who party old-timers mocked as 'goongi gudiya' (dumb doll) -- on a collision course with the Syndicate as the Congress bosses (Morarji Desai, Atulya Ghosh, K Kamaraj, S Nijalingappa and S K Patil) were known, and eventually led to the 1969 split in the party.
Correct!
1967! Those were heady times. It was the first election after Indira Gandhi became prime minister. The Samyukta Vidayak Dal had stunned the Congress by winning the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. Charan Singh was the state's first non-Congress chief minister. Five years earlier, Jawaharlal Nehru's last election had brought his party 361 Lok Sabha seats. His daughter's first election was a disaster -- the Congress won just 283 seats in the 520-member House. The biggest gainers -- the Swatantra Party 44 in 1967 (18 in 1962); the Jan Sangh 35 (14), the new Samyukta Socialist Party 23 (the old Socialists won 6 in 1962). The reduced majority set Indira Gandhi -- who party old-timers mocked as 'goongi gudiya' (dumb doll) -- on a collision course with the Syndicate as the Congress bosses (Morarji Desai, Atulya Ghosh, K Kamaraj, S Nijalingappa and S K Patil) were known, and eventually led to the 1969 split in the party.

4. How many of Rajasthan's 25 Lok Sabha seats did the Congress win in 1989?
a. None.
b. One.
c. Two.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A.
Even in 1977 when the Congress was routed in the rest of the cow belt, the party still won one seat in Rajasthan. In 1989, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal came to an agreement that they would not split the Opposition vote among themselves as much as they could. The result -- a nightmarish debacle for the Congress, which did not open its account in the state for the first time. Just five years earlier, in 1984, the Congress had won all 25 seats in Rajasthan. Such a total swing in fortunes is unpredented in India's electoral history. In 1991, the Janata Dal and the BJP were no longer in electoral cahoots, and the Congress won 13 seats. The BJP won the other 12. The Janata Dal got none.
Correct!
Even in 1977 when the Congress was routed in the rest of the cow belt, the party still won one seat in Rajasthan. In 1989, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal came to an agreement that they would not split the Opposition vote among themselves as much as they could. The result -- a nightmarish debacle for the Congress, which did not open its account in the state for the first time. Just five years earlier, in 1984, the Congress had won all 25 seats in Rajasthan. Such a total swing in fortunes is unpredented in India's electoral history. In 1991, the Janata Dal and the BJP were no longer in electoral cahoots, and the Congress won 13 seats. The BJP won the other 12. The Janata Dal got none.

5. Connections! What links Kanpur in 1989, Netaji's Indian National Army, Umrao Jaan and Saathiya?
a. Subhasini Ali.
b. Arif Mohammad Khan.
c. N C Chaturvedi.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A.
CPI-M candidate Subhasini Ali won the Kanpur seat in 1999. She is the daughter of INA heroes Colonel Prem Sehgal and Colonel Laxmi Sehgal (also the CPI-M candidate against A P J Abdul Kalam for the Presidency). She was married to Umrao Jaan director Muzaffar Ali and is the mother of Saathiya director Shaad Ali. Subhasini Ali -- niece of dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and India's space visionary Dr Vikram Sarabhai, and Mallika Sarabhai's cousin -- is back in the fray in Kanpur this election as the CPI-M nominee.
Correct!
CPI-M candidate Subhasini Ali won the Kanpur seat in 1999. She is the daughter of INA heroes Colonel Prem Sehgal and Colonel Laxmi Sehgal (also the CPI-M candidate against A P J Abdul Kalam for the Presidency). She was married to Umrao Jaan director Muzaffar Ali and is the mother of Saathiya director Shaad Ali. Subhasini Ali -- niece of dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and India's space visionary Dr Vikram Sarabhai, and Mallika Sarabhai's cousin -- is back in the fray in Kanpur this election as the CPI-M nominee.

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

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Quiz 17
Quiz 18
Quiz 19

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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