By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) In Delhi, which goes to the polls on Sunday, voters have given mandate to one party in all seven seats, eight out of 16 times.
Barring the 1967 and 1991 Lok Sabha polls, the party that bagged the maximum seats in Delhi also formed the government at the Centre.
Since 1952, the city has witnessed 16 Lok Sabha polls and on Sunday will cast votes for the 17th Lok Sabha.
In the first general elections in 1951, the Congress won two of the three Lok Sabha seats — Delhi city, New Delhi and Outer Delhi — and formed the government at the Centre as well.
In the second Lok Sabha elections in 1957, the Congress won all the four seats — Chandni Chowk, Delhi Sadar, New Delhi and Outer Delhi — and came to power at the Centre as well. However, it lost the New Delhi seat in the by-election held in 1961 to the Jan Sangh.
In the third Lok Sabha polls in 1962, the Congress won all the five seats — Chandni Chowk, Delhi Sadar, Karol Bagh, New Delhi and Outer Delhi — and was in power at the Centre.
The trend changed in the fourth Lok Sabha in 1967 when East Delhi and South Delhi also became constituencies — taking the total number of Lok Sabha seats to seven.
Barring Outer Delhi, the Jan Sangh took all the seats, while the Congress was at the power at the Centre. It was repeated in 1991, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won four of the seven seats, but the Congress ruled the country.
The trend of Congress bagging all seats and forming government at the Centre was repeated in 1971, 1984 and in 2009.
In 1977 Lok Sabha elections, all the seven seats were bagged by the Janata Party, which also came to power at the Centre.
In 1980 — the seventh Lok Sabha polls, the Congress bagged six of the seven seats and came back to power at the Centre. BJP’s senior leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee won the New Delhi seat.
In 1996, 1998 and 1999, the voters favoured the BJP in Delhi as well as at the Centre. In 1996, the BJP won five of the seven seats, while it bagged six in 1998 and all the seven in 1999.
In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP shrank to one seat, while the Congress regained control of six seats and came back to power at the Centre.
In 2014, BJP snatched both Delhi seats and the power at the Centre from the Congress, as it took all the seven seats in Delhi.
The city elected MPs from three parties only in 1989 — Tarif Singh of the Janata Dal won the Outer Delhi seat, while the Congress was elected in Chandni Chowk and East Delhi. Delhi Sadar, Karol Bagh, New Delhi and South Delhi elected the BJP. The BJP, with maximum seats in Delhi, was part of the National Front that formed the government headed by V.P. Singh in 1989.
In the 2019 general elections, it’s a triangular contest between Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the BJP in power at the Centre and the Congress.
The results on May 23 will tell if the city still shows the way to the country for forming the government at Centre or if it changes the trend.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])