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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. Morarji Desai was the oldest man to be prime minister. Who was the second oldest?
a. Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
b. Inder Kumar Gujral.
c. Chaudhury Charan Singh.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is B.
Chaudhury Charan Singh, born December 23, 1902, was 76 years, 7 months and 5 days old when he was sworn in as prime minister of India on July 28, 1979. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, born December 25, 1924, was 71 years, four months and 18 days old when he was sworn in as prime minister for the first time on May 13, 1996. He was 73 years, four months and 22 days old when he became prime minister a second time on March 19, 1998 and 74 years, 9 months and 18 days old when he was sworn in a third time on October 13, 1999. I K Gujral, born December 4, 1919, was 78 years, 4 months and 17 days old when he unexpectedly became prime minister on April 21, 1997. The other 70 year old who became prime minister -- Jawaharlal Nehru, born November 14, 1889, in his final term (he was 72 in 1962). P V Narasimha Rao was seven days short of the 70 mark when he became prime minister on June 21, 1991.

Correct!
Chaudhury Charan Singh, born December 23, 1902, was 76 years, 7 months and 5 days old when he was sworn in as prime minister of India on July 28, 1979. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, born December 25, 1924, was 71 years, four months and 18 days old when he was sworn in as prime minister for the first time on May 13, 1996. He was 73 years, four months and 22 days old when he became prime minister a second time on March 19, 1998 and 74 years, 9 months and 18 days old when he was sworn in a third time on October 13, 1999. I K Gujral, born December 4, 1919, was 78 years, 4 months and 17 days old when he unexpectedly became prime minister on April 21, 1997. The other 70 year old who became prime minister -- Jawaharlal Nehru, born November 14, 1889, in his final term (he was 72 in 1962). P V Narasimha Rao was seven days short of the 70 mark when he became prime minister on June 21, 1991.

2. Rajiv Gandhi was India's youngest prime minister. Who was India's second youngest prime minister?
a. Indira Gandhi.
b. V P Singh.
c. Jawaharlal Nehru.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is A.
Rajiv was 40 years, two months and 11 days old when he was sworn in as prime minister on October 31, 1984, the day his mother was assassinated. Two months later he won a rousing victory in the general election, winning more Lok Sabha seats than anyone before him or after him has done. His mother was 48 years, 2 months and seven days old when she succeeded Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister. Her father was 57 years, 9 months and 1 day old when India made its tryst with destiny on August 15, 1947 and Nehru was sworn in as the nation's first prime minister. V P Singh was 58 years, 5 months and 7 days when he became prime minister on December 2, 1989.
Correct!
Rajiv was 40 years, two months and 11 days old when he was sworn in as prime minister on October 31, 1984, the day his mother was assassinated. Two months later he won a rousing victory in the general election, winning more Lok Sabha seats than anyone before him or after him has done. His mother was 48 years, 2 months and seven days old when she succeeded Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister. Her father was 57 years, 9 months and 1 day old when India made its tryst with destiny on August 15, 1947 and Nehru was sworn in as the nation's first prime minister. V P Singh was 58 years, 5 months and 7 days when he became prime minister on December 2, 1989.

3. Who are the only prime ministers apart from Jawaharlal Nehru to be appointed to that post without ever serving in any central government?
a. Charan Singh and Morarji Desai.
b. Chandra Shekhar and H D Deve Gowda.
c. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and I K Gujral.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
Chandra Shekhar stayed away from Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai's governments. In the first case, probably because he felt as a Young Turk -- the group of outspoken younger Congressmen who operated in Indira Gandhi's time -- that he had greater moral authority than most ministers in her regime. In the second case, probably because he felt as president of the Janata Party he was on equal terms with the prime minister. He would wait for his day in the sun, and that came on November 10, 1990. Deve Gowda's ascension to the office was without parallel in independent India's history. Unable to find consensus among the many claimants for the post at the Centre, the kingmakers in the United Front looked beyond New Delhi and zoomed in on the only Janata Dal chief minister in a major state -- Hardhanalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda, who had served in Karnataka governments, but never at the Centre. A brief note for those who may have forgotten -- Morarji Desai was a member of the Nehru, Shastri and Indira Gandhi Cabinets; Charan Singh served two years as home minister in Morarji Desai's Cabinet before becoming premier; Atal Bihari Vajpayee was external affairs minister in the Morarji Cabinet; I K Gujral was information and broadcasting minister in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet before he ran afoul of her son Sanjay.
Correct!
Chandra Shekhar stayed away from Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai's governments. In the first case, probably because he felt as a Young Turk -- the group of outspoken younger Congressmen who operated in Indira Gandhi's time -- that he had greater moral authority than most ministers in her regime. In the second case, probably because he felt as president of the Janata Party he was on equal terms with the prime minister. He would wait for his day in the sun, and that came on November 10, 1990. Deve Gowda's ascension to the office was without parallel in independent India's history. Unable to find consensus among the many claimants for the post at the Centre, the kingmakers in the United Front looked beyond New Delhi and zoomed in on the only Janata Dal chief minister in a major state -- Hardhanalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda, who had served in Karnataka governments, but never at the Centre. A brief note for those who may have forgotten -- Morarji Desai was a member of the Nehru, Shastri and Indira Gandhi Cabinets; Charan Singh served two years as home minister in Morarji Desai's Cabinet before becoming premier; Atal Bihari Vajpayee was external affairs minister in the Morarji Cabinet; I K Gujral was information and broadcasting minister in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet before he ran afoul of her son Sanjay.

4. What links Prime Ministers P V Narasimha Rao and H D Deve Gowda, apart from the fact that they were both South Indians?
a. They had both served on the Congress Working Committee at the same time.
b. They were not members of Parliament when they were chosen to be prime ministers.
c. They went to the same college in Bangalore.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is B.
Jawaharlal Nehru was a member of the Constituent Assembly when he became prime minister. But every prime minister since -- with the exception of Narasimha Rao and Deve Gowda -- have been members of either House when they were sworn in. Indira Gandhi and I K Gujral were members of the Rajya Sabha when they became premiers. It was only in the 1967 election that Indira Gandhi won election from Rae Bareilly and became a member of the Lok Sabha for the first time. Narasimha Rao had almost retired from politics -- he did not contest the 1991 election -- when the Congress Parliamentary Party chose him to be prime minister after Rajiv Gandhi's death. Deve Gowda was, of course, Karnataka chief minister when he was selected as prime minister. Narasimha Rao won election to the Lok Sabha in a November 17, 1991 by-election by a then world record margin. Deve Gowda preferred the Rajya Sabha route.
Correct!
Jawaharlal Nehru was a member of the Constituent Assembly when he became prime minister. But every prime minister since -- with the exception of Narasimha Rao and Deve Gowda -- have been members of either House when they were sworn in. Indira Gandhi and I K Gujral were members of the Rajya Sabha when they became premiers. It was only in the 1967 election that Indira Gandhi won election from Rae Bareilly and became a member of the Lok Sabha for the first time. Narasimha Rao had almost retired from politics -- he did not contest the 1991 election -- when the Congress Parliamentary Party chose him to be prime minister after Rajiv Gandhi's death. Deve Gowda was, of course, Karnataka chief minister when he was selected as prime minister. Narasimha Rao won election to the Lok Sabha in a November 17, 1991 by-election by a then world record margin. Deve Gowda preferred the Rajya Sabha route.

5. Gulzarilal Nanda was caretaker prime minister twice. What circumstances led him to hold the post?
a. Infighting in the Congress party.
b. He initially won the Congress Parliamentary Party's approval, which later changed its mind.
c. The death of the incumbent PMs.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
When Jawaharlal Nehru died on May 27, 1964, the Congress party asked Gulzarilal Nanda to hold charge till a new prime minister was chosen. Nanda -- the austere Gandhian MP from Sabarkantha in Gujarat -- held charge from May 27 to June 9, 1964 when Lal Bahadur Shastri became prime minister. On January 11, 1966, when Shastri died in Tashkent, Nanda was again asked to be caretaker prime minister, from January 11 to 24, 1964 when Indira Gandhi became prime minister.
Correct!
When Jawaharlal Nehru died on May 27, 1964, the Congress party asked Gulzarilal Nanda to hold charge till a new prime minister was chosen. Nanda -- the austere Gandhian MP from Sabarkantha in Gujarat -- held charge from May 27 to June 9, 1964 when Lal Bahadur Shastri became prime minister. On January 11, 1966, when Shastri died in Tashkent, Nanda was again asked to be caretaker prime minister, from January 11 to 24, 1964 when Indira Gandhi became prime minister.

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

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Quiz 9
Quiz 10
Quiz 11
Quiz 12
Quiz 13
Quiz 14
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Quiz 16
Quiz 17
Quiz 18
Quiz 19
Quiz 20
Quiz 21
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Quiz 24
Quiz 25

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



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