The Great Indian General Election 2014

The Great Indian General Election 2014 has already commenced. Touted as the longest and the costliest elections in the history of independent India, the 1.2 Billion populace will decide their destiny for the next 5 years.

The number of eligible voters, the cost of the elections, and the money planned to be expended by various political parties is simply mind numbing.

India General Elections 2014 Statistics
India General Elections 2014 Statistics
The elections are planned to be held in 9 phases, between 7 Apr 2014 and 12 May 2014. The results will be declared on 15 May 2014. The election will be held across 543 Lok Sabha Constituencies across India.

Election Dates India 2014
Election Dates India 2014

You can check the dates of your Lok Sabha Constituency right below (Courtesy Wiki)
India General Elections 2014 - Election Dates
India General Elections 2014 - Election Dates
With 28 states and 7 Union Territories, the spread of the Lok Sabha seats across the nation, depending on the population, is quite whopping. Have a quick look at the chart below, and you will understand which of the populous states will hold the keys to the capital Delhi.

State and Union Territory Lok Sabha Seat Distribution 2014
State and Union Territory Lok Sabha Seat Distribution 2014
The run up to the elections has been quite electrifying. The Indian National Congress, led by economist Dr. Manmohan Singh has been in power for the last 10 years, since 2004. 

Dr. Singh has been widely criticized of being a weak Prime Minister. Although he had been responsible for opening up the Indian Economy in 1991, as the Finance Minister of India, he hasn't received as much appreciation in his current role. 

His perceived silence on many important topics gathered a lot of flak. Some huge scams came to light in the past 10 years, bringing the issue of corruption to the forefront. Crimes against women snowballed into severe agitations across the nation, bringing the Government to its knees.

The Indian Rupee stood at 44 INR for a USD in 2004. Now it hovers around 60 INR for a USD. The Indian Stock Market has gained tremendously in the past one month, with the perceived success of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming elections.

But are things so bad as they are being projected?

Well, back in 2004, I was just graduating from college. Back then, I did not have a mobile phone. Today, when I travel to work, I see young college and school kids with the jazzy BlackBerry's and modern Galaxy's and iPhone's.

In 2004, the number of mobile phone subscribers in India were 56.8 Million. Today, the number stands at 915 Million . Improved connectivity has put India on the world map, and has exposed all of us to world cultures, world businesses et al.

India's foreign exchange reserves , by God's grace, have improved from 4000+ Billion INR to 16000+ Billion INR in the past 10 years.

This progress would not have been possible without hard work put in by you and me, and the Government of India. Yes, there have been blemishes, and care should be taken to erase those blemishes and prevent them from occurring in the future.

There are 2 main contesting parties in these elections - The Indian National Congress and The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

The media has been tom toming about the business friendliness of the BJP and it's leader Narendra Modi. Supposedly, a Modi wave has engulfed the country. 

Well, I am a bit pessimistic of its perceived strengths.

The BJP is known for it's hardline position on certain religious matters. This is unwarranted in the 21st century. It has expressed it's strong opposition to FDI in Retail, thereby preventing access to improved shopping (from stuff as basic as Groceries and Vegetables to Furniture and Clothes) millions of Indian.

As for the Modi wave, it is as invisible as air. Go to Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Srinagar, Dispur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Patna and tell a few people that Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister of India. I am sure your words will be met with scorn. 

Beware, some of them may ask - "Modi, Who Modi??"

State Governments in India 2014
State Governments in India 2014

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Arvind Kejriwal, is contesting elections in 432 constituencies. Kejriwal was at the fore front of the anti-corruption agitation for the last couple of years. 

The AAP came to power in Delhi just 4 months back, with Kejriwal being crowned the Chief Minister. However, when one legislative bill could not be passed in the House due to a lack of majority, Kejriwal resigned from his post. Now Delhi continues to be in a state of limbo, with an absent leadership, under President's rule.

India does not need people like Kejriwal, who do not have a bit of patience to succeed. Yes, he may have some good qualities. But he will have to improve on his overall skills, attitude towards democracy and "a less agitative, more collaborative" approach in politics.

There are a host of local parties in fray in their respective states. These parties have been focusing on their own regions, and are expected to get good results in their own backyards. Their alignment with the national players may decide the next Government of India.

All said and done, my blog post cannot be a reflection of the minds of a Billion plus people. The Indian Janata out there is much more smart, and will decide the fate of India for the coming five years.

All that I can hope and pray is that we choose a Government which powers us to the road of better economic freedom, better lifestyle, healthcare, transport, water, electricity, education et al. All these things hold much more importance to the modern young India, rather than caste, creed and religion.

Fingers crossed till 15th May 2014.

The Great Indian General Election 2014 The Great Indian General Election 2014 Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Tuesday, April 08, 2014 Rating: 5

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