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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. The NDTV-Indian Express exit poll gives the BJP 20 out of Rajasthan's 25 Lok Sabha seats. How many seats did the party win in the 1999 election in the state?
a. 12.
b. 13.
c. 16.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is C.
The 1999 election was the best the BJP has done in Rajasthan. By winning 16 seats -- the Congress won the other 9 -- the BJP improved hugely on its 1998 performance, when it only won 5 seats. In 1991 and 1996, the party won 12 seats. In 1989, the BJP opened its account in Rajasthan nine years after it was founded, winning 13 seats. In comparison, the Congress did not win a single seat in 1989, as an earlier quiz told you, 13 seats in 1991, 12 seats in 1996 and 18 seats in 1998.

Correct!
The 1999 election was the best the BJP has done in Rajasthan. By winning 16 seats -- the Congress won the other 9 -- the BJP improved hugely on its 1998 performance, when it only won 5 seats. In 1991 and 1996, the party won 12 seats. In 1989, the BJP opened its account in Rajasthan nine years after it was founded, winning 13 seats. In comparison, the Congress did not win a single seat in 1989, as an earlier quiz told you, 13 seats in 1991, 12 seats in 1996 and 18 seats in 1998.

2. In which election did the BJP produce its best performance in UP, winning 57 of the state's 82 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls?
a. 1998.
b. 1996.
c. 1991.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is A.
In 1991, the BJP, which had won just 8 seats in the 1989 election, stunned the nation by winning 52 of the state's 85 seats. Five years later, it maintained that tally. In 1998, it did five better, winning an amazing 57 seats. However, its tally went down in 1999 to just 29 seats.
Correct!
In 1991, the BJP, which had won just 8 seats in the 1989 election, stunned the nation by winning 52 of the state's 85 seats. Five years later, it maintained that tally. In 1998, it did five better, winning an amazing 57 seats. However, its tally went down in 1999 to just 29 seats.

3. The Congress won 83 of UP's 85 Lok Sabha seats in 1984. The Lok Dal prevented a clean sweep by winning two seats. Which ones?
a. Baghpat and Etah.
b. Kairana and Mainpuri.
c. Robertsganj and Salempur..

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A.
When Chaudhury Charan Singh was in the fray, no sympathy wave could cast him aside. In an election where titans like Chandra Shekhar and Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna bit the dust, Charan Singh won Baghpat easily in what was to be his last election. Keeping him company was his Lok Dal comrade Mohammad M Khan who defeated sitting Congress MP Malik M M A Khan in Etah.
Correct!
When Chaudhury Charan Singh was in the fray, no sympathy wave could cast him aside. In an election where titans like Chandra Shekhar and Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna bit the dust, Charan Singh won Baghpat easily in what was to be his last election. Keeping him company was his Lok Dal comrade Mohammad M Khan who defeated sitting Congress MP Malik M M A Khan in Etah.

4. Indira Gandhi struck a deal with the DMK just before the 1971 election to humiliate the Congress-O and its leader K Kamaraj in Tamil Nadu. She succeeded. The Congress-O lost all but one of the 29 seats it contested. Not surprisingly, Kamaraj won. From which constituency?
a. Tiruchendur.
b. Nagercoil.
c. Tenkasi.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
Possibly the southernmost constituency on the mainland returned Kamaraj with a thumping (he won 58.4% of the votes) majority over his DMK rival. Chief minister for nine years, from April 1954 to October 1963, Kamaraj laid the foundation for industrial development in Tamil Nadu. This, from a leader who spoke no English and was a metaphor for austerity. He moved to Delhi in October 1963 as president of the Congress party. Soon enough he suggested that senior ministers resign and move to roles in the party. The Kamaraj Plan, as it was called, was implemented with gusto initially, but waned soon enough. He persuaded the rest of the Congress leadership to fall in line to elect first Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister in June 1964 and Indira Gandhi 18 months later in January 1966. If he thought Indira Gandhi would be grateful he was mistaken. She quickly eased him out of the party presidency, and later struck at Kamaraj and his associates in the old guard in 1969, splitting the Congress party. When he died on October 2, 1975, this ultimate kingmaker -- after all, which Indian leader can credit for orchestrating the election of two premiers? -- left behind no worldy possessions except the clothes he wore and the towel he used.
Correct!
Possibly the southernmost constituency on the mainland returned Kamaraj with a thumping (he won 58.4% of the votes) majority over his DMK rival. Chief minister for nine years, from April 1954 to October 1963, Kamaraj laid the foundation for industrial development in Tamil Nadu. This, from a leader who spoke no English and was a metaphor for austerity. He moved to Delhi in October 1963 as president of the Congress party. Soon enough he suggested that senior ministers resign and move to roles in the party. The Kamaraj Plan, as it was called, was implemented with gusto initially, but waned soon enough. He persuaded the rest of the Congress leadership to fall in line to elect first Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister in June 1964 and Indira Gandhi 18 months later in January 1966. If he thought Indira Gandhi would be grateful he was mistaken. She quickly eased him out of the party presidency, and later struck at Kamaraj and his associates in the old guard in 1969, splitting the Congress party. When he died on October 2, 1975, this ultimate kingmaker -- after all, which Indian leader can credit for orchestrating the election of two premiers? -- left behind no worldy possessions except the clothes he wore and the towel he used.

5. Which member of the Nehru dynasty won Rae Bareili in 1952 and 1957, the seat that Sonia Gandhi is contesting in 2004?
a. Vijayalakshmi Pandit.
b. Indira Gandhi.
c. Feroze Gandhi.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
Feroze Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru's son-in-law and Indira Gandhi's husband, won the 1952 and 1957 elections on a Congress ticket easily. His opponent Baij Nath Kureel also contested on a Congress ticket in 1952; Kureel stood as an Independent in 1957. Feroze Gandhi was one of India's finest MPs, a thorn in his father-in-law's government's flesh. After Feroze Gandhi's sudden death, Kureel, back to the Congress, won the seat in 1962. Indira Gandhi contested and won the seat for the first time in 1967. In 1971 it returned her to Parliament, and threw her out in 1977, opting for Raj Narain. The constituency made amends in 1980, the runner-up being Vijayaraje Scindia. Indira Gandhi also contested the 1980 election from Medak, perhaps distrusting the Rae Bareli electorate. She won from that Andhra Pradesh constituency as well, and retained Medak. Her nephew Arun Nehru -- freshly retired as president of Jenson & Nicholson -- won the ensuing 1981 by-election. In the 1984 election, fought two months after Indira Gandhi's assassination, Arun Nehru was elected again. In 1989 and 1991, it stayed with the family, electing Sheila Kaul on the Congress ticket. Ashok Singh of the BJP won it in 1996 and 1998. Captain Satish Sharma won it back for the Congress in 1999.
Correct!
Feroze Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru's son-in-law and Indira Gandhi's husband, won the 1952 and 1957 elections on a Congress ticket easily. His opponent Baij Nath Kureel also contested on a Congress ticket in 1952; Kureel stood as an Independent in 1957. Feroze Gandhi was one of India's finest MPs, a thorn in his father-in-law's government's flesh. After Feroze Gandhi's sudden death, Kureel, back to the Congress, won the seat in 1962. Indira Gandhi contested and won the seat for the first time in 1967. In 1971 it returned her to Parliament, and threw her out in 1977, opting for Raj Narain. The constituency made amends in 1980, the runner-up being Vijayaraje Scindia. Indira Gandhi also contested the 1980 election from Medak, perhaps distrusting the Rae Bareli electorate. She won from that Andhra Pradesh constituency as well, and retained Medak. Her nephew Arun Nehru -- freshly retired as president of Jenson & Nicholson -- won the ensuing 1981 by-election. In the 1984 election, fought two months after Indira Gandhi's assassination, Arun Nehru was elected again. In 1989 and 1991, it stayed with the family, electing Sheila Kaul on the Congress ticket. Ashok Singh of the BJP won it in 1996 and 1998. Captain Satish Sharma won it back for the Congress in 1999.

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

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Quiz 23

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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