What Happens After A Party Wins Elections? How A Government Is Formed? Know the complete process

Indian democratic governance follows a federal structure. The country’s governance happens at two levels in the state and the union level. An area-based representation system is at the root of governance in India. People get to elect their representatives at the state level for the assemblies (MLAs) and at the union level for the parliament (MPs). The assembly and parliamentary elections help elect the people’s representatives for the state government and union government respectively.

Elections for the Lok Sabha

The term of an elected government at the center is five years. Hence India conducts the Lok Sabha elections once in five years. During the polling that happens across the 543 parliamentary constituencies, MPs are elected one for every Lok Sabha constituency. These MPs represent their constituencies in the lower house of the parliament namely the Lok Sabha. This is also called the house of people. The Lok Sabha is the more powerful of the two houses of the parliament with the other one being the Rajya Sabha.

What happens after the elections?

The total number of elected seats in the Lok Sabha is 543. The party that gets an absolute majority of 276 seats will be the winner in the elections. If no single party wins with an absolute majority, the leading parties will give a try to form a coalition with smaller parties. While some alliances are established before the elections. If necessary, some are negotiated after the elections. Some can even shift during the term of a given government.

After the election results are out, the President of India will ask the leading party to form the government.

The winning party or the coalition (the coming together of different parties when there is a shortage of majority for a single party) will nominate one of its members to be the Prime Minister. In turn the Prime Minister will select the Ministers to assume the responsibilities of the different departments in the cabinet.

Different scenarios in the formation of the government

If a single party or an alliance of parties created before the general elections get the majority of seats in the Lok Sabha, the party or coalition can claim to form the government. In this case, the president will invite the leader representing the party or coalition to form the government.

When no party has an absolute majority, political parties come together to push the total number of seats beyond 272. This happens during post-poll alliances.

When no party or alliance reaches an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, a hung parliament results. During such circumstances, the party trying to form the government will have to take support from other political parties. The president invites the single largest party to form the government and if the party is able to prove a clear majority within 10 days, it will be asked to form the government.

The other two scenarios in case of lack of absolute majority to a single party are as follows. In the first of this kind, a party can form the government with external support by another party. In the second of this kind, it can form a minority government, but cannot pass laws without the votes of the other parties. Such minority governments cannot usually complete their full term.
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