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Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is being held in seven phases across the 543 constituencies in India's 36 states and Union Territories. While the first phase of Lok Sabha polls phase took place on April 11, the second on April 18, and the third -- the biggest with 118 seats -- on April 23, voting in the last four phases will take place on April 29, May 5, May 12 and May 19, respectively. The results for all the 543 constituencies, as well as the Assembly seats in Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh -- where state polls are being held sumultaneously with the national elections -- will be declared on May 23, 2019.

After a landmark victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the biggest seat tally of 282 in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha. Although the party had contested the 2014 elections in alliance with a number of parties, the final outcome was the the BJP, riding especially on a so-called 'Narendra Modi wave' secured more than the required number of seats on its own. The second-biggest single party in the 16th Lok Sabha is the Congress, whose tally was significantly diminished in the 2014 elections to 44 from 206 in 2009.

The Indian National Congress tally of 44 was a pale shadow of its past glory -- this was its lowest number of seats since Independent India's first Lok Sabha elections in 1951. The previous smallest was 114 in 1999, when the BJP had secured 182 seats and formed a government with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister for a third time. This would go on to become the first non-Congress government in history to last a full term.

In contrast, the BJP's tally of 282 was its biggest since it enetered electoral politics in 1984. Before this, the BJP's best show had been in 1998 and 1999 -- on both occasions it had bagged 182 seats. In the previous Lok Sabha elections, in 2009, the party had won 116 seats.

Not only was the 2014 national election historic for the BJP and the Congress -- for different reasons -- it also marked several other upsets. For instance, the Communist Party of India (CPI), which had won 16 seats in Independent India's first Lok Sabha elections and had been winning seats in every election since 1951, was reduced to just one seat in 2014. Similarly, its younger brother CPI(Marxist), which had started its electoral journey in 1967 and had had double-digit tallies in all elections since, was reduced to just nine.

Here's a look at the most important players in terms of Lok Sabha seat tally since the first polls in 1951:



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