Elections were held in 1991 sixteen months after last elections in 1989. This small period of 21 months saw 2 prime ministers. VP Singh and Chandrasekhar. Chandrasekhar split Janata Dal with 61 MPs out of 143 and formed govt with outside support of Congress. He resigned after rumours that his govt was spying on Rajiv Gandhi.

After 1st phase of elections, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE in a suicide bomb attack. Congress emerged as the largest party with 244 seats, largely due to sympathy wave. It was able to form govt. under PV Narasimha Rao with the support of smaller parties and Communists. Janata Dal suffered heavily due to split and was down to 60 seats (53 seats in UP and Bihar). BJP increased it’s tally to 120 largely due to Ram Madir movement. It got 51 seats in UP and 20 seats in Gujarat. Mandal (reservations) and Kamandal (building of Ram Temple) were the biggest issues.

9 national parties and 136 state parties contested for 524 seats. Congress did well in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, MP, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 232 35 36%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 120 35 20%
JANTA DAL (JD) 59 (84) 12%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES PARTIES & INDEPENDENTS 43 (10) 13%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 35 2 6%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 14 2 2%
TELGU DESAM PARTY(TDP) 13 11 3%
ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(AIADMK) 11 0 2%
JHARKHAND MUKTI MORCHA (JMM) 6 3 1%
JANTA PARTY (JNP) 5 5 3%
REVOLUTIONIST SOCIALIST PARTY (RSP) 5 1 1%
Total 543   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1991

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 49.8 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 54.3% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 8,668 candidates participated, 16.64 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 86.3% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)