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INDIA


MARKING THE SIXTEENTH LOK SABHA


General Elections were held in the months of April and May 2014 constituting for the 16th Lok Sabha. About 554 million people registered their votes at nearly one million polling stations, manned by nearly five million polling personnel. Polling was held on nine poll days and results were declared on 16 May 2014. Out of 834,101,479 registered electors, males constituted 52.4 per cent and females 47.6 per cent. The total voting percentage in the 2014 General Elections was 66.4 per cent, the highest so far in the history of Lok Sabha elections. Among the 28 States and seven Union Territories (UT), 21 States/UT had a higher percentage of female electors than that of the national average of 47.6 per cent. Kerala had the highest proportion of female electors, followed by Puducherry. The transgender persons were allowed in the electoral rolls for the first time with gender written as “Others”.


Pursuant to the direction issued by the Supreme Court of India on 27 September 2013, a provision was made for a “None of the Above” (NOTA) option on the Ballot Units, below the name of the last candidate. The percentage of NOTA votes in the 2014 General Elections was 1.08 per cent. The Bharatiya Janata Party


(BJP) won 282 out of 543 elective seats thus securing the absolute majority. The ruling Indian National Congress (INC) secured 44 seats. The State Parties won a total of 182 seats.


The BJP, for the first time, secured a majority of seats on its own and was only the second time that a non-Congress party succeeded in securing a majority by itself. A record number of 62 women were elected compared to 59 in the 2009 General Elections. This accounted for 11.42 per cent of the 543 elective seats. Four hundred and sixty- four parties participated in the


elections compared to 53 parties in the 1st General Elections. A total of 8251 candidates contested the elections, out of which 668 candidates were women and 7,578 were men. Five transgendered persons also contested the polls. The 16th Lok Sabha was constituted on 18 May, when the Election Commission of India called on the President of


India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and handed over a copy of the notification containing the names of 543 elected members to the Lok Sabha. The list given to the President enabled him to initiate the government formation process. Earlier in the day, the President dissolved the 15th Lok Sabha as recommended by the outgoing government on 17 May. The BJP Chief Minister of


THIRD READING: INDIA


The Andhra Pradesh Re-Organisation Act, 2014 The creation of a separate State of Telangana for the betterment of the social, economic, political and other aspirations of the people of that region had been a long standing demand. In pursuance thereof, the Government of India on 9 December 2009 announced that the process for formation of a separate State of Telangana would be initiated. After wide-ranging consultations on 3 October, 2013, the Government of India decided to bifurcate the existing State of Andhra Pradesh. Thereafter the government brought forward the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, 2014 seeking to give effect to the aforesaid decision. The measure aimed at reconstituting the existing State of Andhra Pradesh into two separate States, namely the State of Andhra Pradesh and the State of Telangana. The proposed reorganization sought to meet the democratic aspirations of the people of Telangana region and ensure peace, goodwill, progress and prosperity among all the sections of the people of both successor States. Highlights of the Bill include:


• Provision has been made for the territories of the two successor States of Andhra Pradesh and Telan- gana, and necessary provisions relating to representa- tion in Parliament and State Legislatures, distribution


of revenues, apportionment of assets and liabilities, mechanisms for the management and development of water resources, power and natural resources and other matters. • It has been provided for the maintenance of law and order to ensure peace and harmony in all regions and districts of the two successor States after the appointed day. • Provision has been made to the effect that Hy- derabad in the existing State of Andhra Pradesh shall be the common capital of both the successor States from the appointed day for a period not exceeding ten years, and puts in place legal and administrative measures to ensure that both the State Governments can function efficiently from the common capital which includes the area notified as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corpora- tion under the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, 1955.


The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 18 February 2014 and by Rajya Sabha on 20 February 2014. The Bill as passed by both Houses of Parliament was assented to by the President of India on 1 March 2014. The successor States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana came into being with effect from 2 June 2014 as per the appointed day stipulated in the said Act.


The Parliamentarian | 2014: Issue Three | 209


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