Search:



The Web

Rediff








Home > News > Elections 2004 > Quiz

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. What was unusual about Indira Gandhi becoming India's first woman prime minister in January 1966?
a. She was elected with the support of the entire Opposition.
b. Her aunt Vijayalaxmi Pandit opposed her election.
c. It was the only recorded contest for the prime minister's office.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is C.
No one challenged Jawaharlal Nehru in his lifetime. Nehru made his choice of immediate successor fairly apparent when Lal Bahadur Shastri -- who was among the many ministers who resigned under the Kamaraj Plan -- returned to the Cabinet as a minister without portfolio. There were murmurs of dissent -- mainly from Morarji Desai -- when Shastri succeeded Nehru as prime minister. But after Shastri died Morarji, a month short of turning 70, decided that time was running out for him and jumped into the contest against Indira Gandhi, who, from all indications was her father's choice to eventually inherit the prime ministerial gaddi. No one took the almost painfully shy Indira Gandhi seriously. True, she had been Congress president (and imperiously supervised the dismissal of E M S Namboodiripad's Communist government in Kerala) and been a rather unimpressive information and broadcasting minister in the Shastri Cabinet, but that was about all. The Congress bosses -- Atulya Ghosh, party president K Kamaraj and S K Patil -- thought Indira Gandhi was someone they could manipulate in comparison to the highly opinionated Morarji Desai. The result was inevitable -- Morarji lost the contest and Indira Gandhi became India's third prime minister. Even though she led her party to a reduced majority in the 1967 general election, within a couple of years, she split the party, ousted Desai, Ghosh, Kamaraj and Patil (who formed the Congress-Organisation) and began imposing her will on the Congress in an authoritarian fashion that no one has done since.

Correct!
No one challenged Jawaharlal Nehru in his lifetime. Nehru made his choice of immediate successor fairly apparent when Lal Bahadur Shastri -- who was among the many ministers who resigned under the Kamaraj Plan -- returned to the Cabinet as a minister without portfolio. There were murmurs of dissent -- mainly from Morarji Desai -- when Shastri succeeded Nehru as prime minister. But after Shastri died Morarji, a month short of turning 70, decided that time was running out for him and jumped into the contest against Indira Gandhi, who, from all indications was her father's choice to eventually inherit the prime ministerial gaddi. No one took the almost painfully shy Indira Gandhi seriously. True, she had been Congress president (and imperiously supervised the dismissal of E M S Namboodiripad's Communist government in Kerala) and been a rather unimpressive information and broadcasting minister in the Shastri Cabinet, but that was about all. The Congress bosses -- Atulya Ghosh, party president K Kamaraj and S K Patil -- thought Indira Gandhi was someone they could manipulate in comparison to the highly opinionated Morarji Desai. The result was inevitable -- Morarji lost the contest and Indira Gandhi became India's third prime minister. Even though she led her party to a reduced majority in the 1967 general election, within a couple of years, she split the party, ousted Desai, Ghosh, Kamaraj and Patil (who formed the Congress-Organisation) and began imposing her will on the Congress in an authoritarian fashion that no one has done since.

2. Which leader walked out of Parliament in a huff during the election of the leader of the Janata Dal Parliamentary Party in December 1989?
a. Chandra Shekhar.
b. Arun Nehru.
c. Devi Lal..

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is A.
Chandra Shekhar felt he had greater legitimacy to head the Janata Dal Parliamentary Party than V P Singh. Not only was he the senior politician -- someone who had been an MP long before V P Singh entered Uttar Pradesh politics -- he was also a card-carrying member of the Janata ethos, having been president of the Janata Party when it was founded in 1977. He may also have believed he had the support of the majority in the Janata Dal Parliamentary Party. But Arun Nehru, who had left the Congress party along with V P Singh in 1988, ganged up with Devi Lal and ensured that when the time came to nominate a leader, they would quickly endorse V P Singh, giving Chandra Shekhar no opportunity to manoeuvre things his way. Angered by the way he had been shunted out of the prime ministerial race, Chandra Shekhar stormed out of the meeting. To our mind that -- rather than the subsequent Mandal movement and L K Advani's rath yatra -- was the beginning of the end for the V P Singh government.
Correct!
Chandra Shekhar felt he had greater legitimacy to head the Janata Dal Parliamentary Party than V P Singh. Not only was he the senior politician -- someone who had been an MP long before V P Singh entered Uttar Pradesh politics -- he was also a card-carrying member of the Janata ethos, having been president of the Janata Party when it was founded in 1977. He may also have believed he had the support of the majority in the Janata Dal Parliamentary Party. But Arun Nehru, who had left the Congress party along with V P Singh in 1988, ganged up with Devi Lal and ensured that when the time came to nominate a leader, they would quickly endorse V P Singh, giving Chandra Shekhar no opportunity to manoeuvre things his way. Angered by the way he had been shunted out of the prime ministerial race, Chandra Shekhar stormed out of the meeting. To our mind that -- rather than the subsequent Mandal movement and L K Advani's rath yatra -- was the beginning of the end for the V P Singh government.

3. In November 1995, what important decision was taken by the BJP leadership at its Mumbai convention?
a. That it was not averse to being part of a coalition at the Centre.
b. That it would not contest seats in South India in the 1996 general election.
c. That Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be its candidate for prime minister.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
In November 1995 at the BJP convention in Mumbai, L K Advani proposed that Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be the party's prime ministerial nominee. No one really knows if Advani stepped aside because he did not want the BJP to contest the 1996 Lok Sabha election under a leader (Advani), accused of involvement in what was then known as the hawala scam (Advani had already declared he would not contest any election until he was absolved of any wrongdoing). Or because Advani cleverly felt that his old friend Vajpayee would be more acceptable to the Indian people than his hawkish self. Advani once told our colleagues: "Vajpayeeji protested that I had not even consulted him before I announced his name as our party's prime ministerial candidate. I asked him, 'would you have agreed had I asked you?'" Whatever the reason, it must count as a brilliant choice. Without the avuncular Vajpayee at its helm, the BJP may not have made the gains it did in the 1996 general election and thereafter.
Correct!
In November 1995 at the BJP convention in Mumbai, L K Advani proposed that Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be the party's prime ministerial nominee. No one really knows if Advani stepped aside because he did not want the BJP to contest the 1996 Lok Sabha election under a leader (Advani), accused of involvement in what was then known as the hawala scam (Advani had already declared he would not contest any election until he was absolved of any wrongdoing). Or because Advani cleverly felt that his old friend Vajpayee would be more acceptable to the Indian people than his hawkish self. Advani once told our colleagues: "Vajpayeeji protested that I had not even consulted him before I announced his name as our party's prime ministerial candidate. I asked him, 'would you have agreed had I asked you?'" Whatever the reason, it must count as a brilliant choice. Without the avuncular Vajpayee at its helm, the BJP may not have made the gains it did in the 1996 general election and thereafter.

4. What links Prime Ministers V P Singh, H D Deve Gowda and Atal Bihari Vajpayee?
a. They all lost a vote of confidence in Parliament.
b. They all lasted less than a year in their first term.
c. They were all non-Congress prime ministers.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is A, B and C.
This is the third googly I've bowled this election season! Makes me feel like Warnie:-) V P Singh, H D Deve Gowda and Atal Bihari Vajpayee were all non-Congress prime ministers who did not last a year in their first term in office. They are also the only three prime ministers to lose a vote of confidence in Parliament. V P Singh lasted about 10 months in office; Deve Gowda's term lasted about nine months; and Vajpayee's first government survived a mere 13 days. His second term in office was cut short in April 1998 by just one vote, the smallest margin in Indian parliamentary history.
Correct!
This is the third googly I've bowled this election season! Makes me feel like Warnie:-) V P Singh, H D Deve Gowda and Atal Bihari Vajpayee were all non-Congress prime ministers who did not last a year in their first term in office. They are also the only three prime ministers to lose a vote of confidence in Parliament. V P Singh lasted about 10 months in office; Deve Gowda's term lasted about nine months; and Vajpayee's first government survived a mere 13 days. His second term in office was cut short in April 1998 by just one vote, the smallest margin in Indian parliamentary history.

5. Who served as home and defence ministers in the first Vajpayee government in May 1996?
a. L K Advani and George Fernandes.
b. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Jaswant Singh.
c. Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Pramod Mahajan.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong! The correct answer is C.
Neither current Home Minister L K Advani nor present Defence Minister George Fernandes were in the Vajpayee government -- Advani, because he did not contest the 1996 election; Fernandes, because he was not an ally of the BJP in 1996. So Vajpayee chose his old associate Dr Murli Manohar Joshi as home minister. Mahajan -- who had moved to Vajpayee's camp after being an Advani disciple for many years -- got the prestigious defence portfolio. Alas, it didn't last. The government fell in 13 days, and when Vajpayee became prime minister again in March 1998, Advani was India's home minister. Dr Joshi moved to human resources development -- would India's academic institutions have preferred him at the home ministry? Poor Mahajan had to wait eight months after Vajpayee was sworn in -- apparently, because the RSS reportedly stonewalled his return to the Cabinet -- to get a ministership again.
Correct!
Neither current Home Minister L K Advani nor present Defence Minister George Fernandes were in the Vajpayee government -- Advani, because he did not contest the 1996 election; Fernandes, because he was not an ally of the BJP in 1996. So Vajpayee chose his old associate Dr Murli Manohar Joshi as home minister. Mahajan -- who had moved to Vajpayee's camp after being an Advani disciple for many years -- got the prestigious defence portfolio. Alas, it didn't last. The government fell in 13 days, and when Vajpayee became prime minister again in March 1998, Advani was India's home minister. Dr Joshi moved to human resources development -- would India's academic institutions have preferred him at the home ministry? Poor Mahajan had to wait eight months after Vajpayee was sworn in -- apparently, because the RSS reportedly stonewalled his return to the Cabinet -- to get a ministership again.

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
Quiz 15
Quiz 16
Quiz 17
Quiz 18
Quiz 19
Quiz 20
Quiz 21
Quiz 22
Quiz 23
Quiz 24
Quiz 25
Quiz 26

Compiled by G K Gokhale
Image: Uttam Ghosh



Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article


Related Stories


The Atal Advantage

Gujarat: Bumpy ride for BJP

The Master of Coalitions



People Who Read This Also Read


Only PM to lose an election?

Naidu: NDA's conscience keeper

Rajiv's unlikely rival in 1984







India Votes 2004




Share your comments


 What do you think about the story?




Read what others have to say:


Number of User Comments: 1




Sub: Politicians

All politicians are corrupt


Posted by jay




Disclaimer







Copyright © 2004 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.