• politicalbaaba@gmail.com
  • March 29, 2014

The 5th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1971, 1 year before schedule. Post Congress win in 1967, internal politics increaed within the party between Indira and Morarji Desai camps. Morarji split the party with 31 MPs out of 283 and govt. led by Congress faction of Indira  was reduced to a minority. CPI supported Indira’s govt. So Communists have had a history of bailing out Congress. Indira advanced the elections by one year and called for fresh elections in 1971. 8 national parties and 45 state parties along with independents fought for 518 seats.

Indira came back to power with a thumping majority with 352 (69) seats winning back most of the seats it lost in 1967 elections. Morrji’s party INCO was reduced to half (16 seats). Almost all opposition parties barring Communists like Jan Sangh, Swatantra Party, Socialist Party, Samyukta Socialist Party lost heavily.  CPM which was an offshoot of CPI was 2nd largest party and CPI 3rd largest party.

Congress gained seats in UP (+26 seats) and Delhi (+7 seats). BJS lost in UP and Delhi.

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes %
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS(INC) 352 69 44%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 23 0 5%
PRAJA SOCIALIST PARTY (PSP) 2 (11) 1%
BHARTIYA JAN SANGH(BJS) 22 (13) 7%
SAMYUKTA SOCIALIST PARTY(SSP) 3 (20) 2%
SWATANTRA(SWA) 8 (36) 3%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 25 6 5%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS ORGANISATION (I NCO) 16 16 10%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 40 (3) 10%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 13 11 4%
IDEPENDENT(IND)N 14 (21) 8%
Total 518   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1971

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 27.4 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 52.01% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 2,784 candidates participated, 5.37 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 61.3% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

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