Elections in India, the World’s Largest Democracy
In spring 2014, India will go to the polls to elect its next central government. These elections for the 16th Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, will be the largest ever conducted in the world. To give a sense of the scale of such elections in India, the last general election in 2009 was held in five phases over one month. It involved 543 constituencies, 8070 candidates, over 830,000 polling stations, more than 350 political parties, 716 million eligible voters and close to 60 percent voter turnout. The agency responsible for overseeing the conduct of this vast exercise in democracy is the Election Commission of India. In addition to the national elections, the commission also administers state elections, as it just did over November and December in five Indian states.
On December 13, The India Project at the Brookings Institution, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the U.S.-India Business Council will a host a discussion with V.S. Sampath, India’s chief election commissioner, on the conduct of the 2013 state and the 2014 general elections, as well as the role of the Election Commission of India.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott will provide introductory remarks. Following Mr. Sampath’s remarks, Ron Somers, president of the U.S.-India Business Council, will offer comments and moderate the question and answers’ session. Sandhya Satwadi, director of the North America division of the Confederation of Indian Industry, will provide closing comments.