All 518 seats in the Lok Sabha
260 seats were needed for a majority
General elections were held in India to constitute the 5th Lok Sabha on March 1971. This was the fifth election since independence in 1947. The 27 Indian states and union territories were represented by 518 constituencies, each with a single seat. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, the Indian National Congress (R) led a campaign which focused on reducing poverty and won a landslide victory, overcoming a split in the party and regaining many of the seats lost in the previous election.
Congress party split
During her previous term, there had been internal divisions in the Indian National Congress between Indira Gandhi and the party establishment, especially Morarji Desai. In 1969, she was expelled from the party, causing a split. Most of the Congress MPs and grassroots support joined Gandhi's INC(R) faction, which was recognised by the Election Commission as being the successor to the previous party. 31 MPs who opposed Gandhi formed Indian National Congress (Organization) party.
Despite the split, the Ruling faction gained votes and seats to win a strong majority, while the Grand Alliance was badly trounced and lost more than half of their seats.
Results by Party
|Lok Sabha elections 1971
Electoral participation: 55,27%
|Bharatiya Jana Sangh||BJS||7.35||22|
|Communist Party of India||CPI||4.37||23|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist)||CPI(M)||5.12||25|
|Indian National Congress (R)||INC(R)||43.68||352|
|Indian National Congress (Organization)||INC(O)||10.43||16|
|Praja Socialist Party||PSP||1.04||2|
|Samyukta Socialist Party||SSP||2.43||3|
|All Party Hill Leaders Conference||APHLC||0.06||1|
|All India Forward Bloc||AIFB||0.66||2|
|Bharatiya Kranti Dal||BKD||2.18||1|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||DMK||3.84||23|
|Indian Union Muslim League||IUML||0.28||2|
|Revolutionary Socialist Party||RSP||0.49||3|
|Shiromani Akali Dal||SAD||0.87||1|
|United Front of Nagaland||UFN||0.06||1|
|United Goans (Sequiera Group)||UG(S)||0.04||1|
|Republican Party of India||RPI||0.1||1|
|Telangana Praja Samithi||TPS||1.28||10|
On 12 June 1975, the Allahabad High Court invalidated the result in Gandhi's constituency on the grounds of electoral malpractices. Instead of resigning, Indira Gandhi called a state of emergency, suspending democracy and outlawed political opposition. After democracy was restored in 1977, the opposition Congress faction formed a coalition of parties called the Janata Party, which inflicted the Congress' first electoral defeat.
- State Assembly elections in India, 1971
- Election Commission of India
- 1969 Indian presidential election
- "General Election of India 1971, 5th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "INKredible India: The story of 1971 Lok Sabha election - All you need to know". Zee News. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2020.