Democratic process of any country is based on the participation of the public to form the government through their elected representatives, and the nation having an electoral system in place to choose their representatives can be termed as a nation living true to its democratic essence, while as, the nation elusive of ground level public participation in forming governments can never be termed as living true to democratic colour. The present study is an attempt to understand the electoral process of India, the public participation in the democratic process of the country, which is already fifteen general elections old, lasted over the period 1951 to 2014. Attempt has been made to understand the areas like, growth of parties over the period of time, seat distribution, reservation of seats, electoral participation, polling stations, performance of major national political parties along with electoral turnout both collectively and on gender basis etc. Existence of the multi party system in India and the growth in parties over a period of time gets equally reflected by the fact that in 1951, 54 parties participated in the electoral process and the number grew up to 466 in 2014, reflecting a growth of over 792%. During all the general elections contested by candidates 77.43% contestants forfeited their deposits with an average of 135 political parties contested each general election. Over 80.45% elected candidates to the parliament during all the general elections held so far, represent national parties.
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 64)
R. Pandita "Public Participation in the General Elections of India: An Overview since 1951", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 64, pp. 17-34, 2015