1999 Indian general election

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1999 Indian general election
Flag of India.svg
  1998 5 September–3 October 1999 2004  

543 of the 545 seats in the Lok Sabha
272 seats needed for a majority
Turnout59.99% (Decrease2.svg 1.98%) [1]
 First partySecond party
  Atal Bihari Vajpayee.jpg Sonia Gandhi (cropped).jpg
Leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sonia Gandhi
Alliance NDA INC+
Leader since16 May 199619 March 1998
Leader's seat Lucknow Amethi
Seats won182114
Seat changeSteady2.svgDecrease2.svg 27
Popular vote86,562,209103,120,330
SwingDecrease2.svg 1.84ppIncrease2.svg 2.48pp

Wahlergebnisse Indien 1999.svg

Prime Minister before election

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Subsequent Prime Minister

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

General elections were held in India between 5 September and 3 October 1999, a few months after the Kargil War.


The elections saw the National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party win a majority in the Lok Sabha, the first time since 1984 that a party or alliance had won an outright majority and the second since the 1977 elections that a non-Congress coalition had done so. The elections gave Atal Bihari Vajpayee the record of being the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a full five-year term. The decisive result also ended the political instability the country had seen since 1996. The Indian National Congress' 114 seat tally was its worst-ever performance in a general election until it surpassed by the 2014 results.


1999 Lok Sabha vote of confidence

On 17 April 1999, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government led by prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee failed to win a confidence vote in the Lok Sabha (India's lower house) by a single vote due to the withdrawal of one of the government's coalition partners – the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). The leader of the AIADMK, J. Jayalalithaa, had consistently threatened to withdraw support from the ruling coalition if certain demands were not met, in particular the sacking of the Tamil Nadu government, control of which she had lost three years prior. The BJP accused Jayalalithaa of making the demands in order to avoid standing trial for a series of corruption charges, and no agreement between the parties could be reached leading to the government's defeat. [2]

Sonia Gandhi, as leader of the opposition and largest opposition party (Indian National Congress) was unable to form a coalition of parties large enough to secure a working majority in the Lok Sabha. Thus shortly after the no confidence motion, President K. R. Narayanan dissolved the Parliament and called fresh elections. Atal Bihari Vajpayee remained caretaker prime minister till the elections were held later that year. [3]


The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) went into the election as the head of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a coalition of over 20 parties. Several other parties in the election not part of the NDA also committed themselves to supporting a BJP led government on matters of confidence. The main opposition league was led by Sonia Gandhi's Indian National Congress, the long-traditional center-left dominant party in India. The opposition coalition comprised far fewer parties, and its alliances were generally weaker than those of the NDA. A so-called "third front" of left-wing, socialist and communist parties was also present, although this was not a strong electoral alliance so much as a loose grouping of parties that shared similar ideological viewpoints and had some inter-party co-operation. There were also nearly one thousand candidates of unaffiliated parties, independent candidates and parties who were unwilling to take part in coalitions that stood in the election. [4]

The campaign coalesced around a few key issues. Sonia Gandhi was a relative newcomer to the INC (having been elected to the presidency in 1998) and her leadership had recently been challenged by Maharastrian INC leader Sharad Pawar, on the grounds of her Italian birth. This led to an underlying crisis within the INC that persisted during the election and was capitalised upon by the BJP, which contrasted the "videsi" (foreign) Gandhi versus the "swadesi" (home-grown) Vajpayee. Another issue running in the BJP's favour was the generally positive view of Vajpayee's handling of the Kargil War, which had ended a few months earlier and had affirmed and strengthened the Indian position in Kashmir. During the past two years India had posted strong economic growth on the back of economic liberalisation and financial reforms, as well as a low rate of inflation and higher rate of industrial expansion. The BJP campaigned strongly on the back of these achievements, as well as cultivating some sympathy for the predicament which had led to the government's downfall. [5] [6]

Perhaps most decisive though in the BJP's campaign was the solid alliance it had cultivated and the relatively strong performance it was able to deliver on regional and local issues. The 1991, 1996, and 1998 elections saw a period of consistent growth for the BJP and its allies, based primarily on political expansions in terms of cultivating stronger and broader alliances with other previously unaffiliated parties; and regional expansion which had seen the NDA become competitive and even the largest vote takers in previously Congress dominated areas such as Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. These final factors were to prove decisive in the election outcome of 1999. [7] [8]

The voting was conducted over five days. Elections were conducted in 146 seats on the Eastern coast of the country on 5 September, in 123 Central and Southern seats on 11 September, in 76 Northern and Upper-Central seats on 18 September, in 74 North Western seats on 25 September and in the 121 Western seats on 3 October. Despite some fears of voter fatigue, electoral turnout was comparable with previous elections at 59.99%. Over 5 million election officials conducted the election over 800,000 polling stations, with vote counting commencing on 6 October. [9] [10]


The results were decisively in favour of the BJP and the NDA, with the formal NDA picking up 269 seats, and a further 29 seats taken by the Telugu Desam Party, which gave support to the BJP-led government but was not strictly part of its alliance. The Congress party lost 23 seats, and its two key regional allies performed worse than expected, however it did regain ground in some states such as Uttar Pradesh (where it had been wiped out in 1998, not winning a single seat in the state). The leftist parties' fortunes continued to decline, with the Communist Party of India dropping to just four seats and losing its official status as a "national party". [5]

The result for the Indian National Congress was the worst in nearly half a century, with party leader Sonia Gandhi calling upon the party to take a frank assessment of itself – "the result calls for introspection, frank assessment and determined action. We will attend to this in the coming days. In the meantime, we accept unhesitatingly the verdict of the people". For the BJP, this marked the first occasion where a non-INC party had secured a stable government coalition. Previous non-INC governing coalitions had been formed in 1977, 1989 and 1996; however none of these administrations had been able to maintain a stable coagulation for more than a couple of years. One Senior BJP figure commented in the aftermath "It will certainly be a government of stability...I expect that Mr Vajpayee, with all his experience, will be able to handle our coalition partners." [11]

Lok Sabha Zusammensetzung 1999.svg
Indian National Congress 103,120,33028.30114
Bharatiya Janata Party 86,562,20923.75182
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 19,695,7675.4033
Bahujan Samaj Party 15,175,8454.1614
Samajwadi Party 13,717,0213.7626
Telugu Desam Party 13,297,3703.6529
Janata Dal (United) 11,282,0843.1021
Rashtriya Janata Dal 10,150,4922.797
All India Trinamool Congress 9,363,7852.578
Nationalist Congress Party 8,260,3112.278
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 7,046,9531.9310
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 6,298,8321.7312
Shiv Sena 5,672,4121.5615
Communist Party of India 5,395,1191.484
Biju Janata Dal 4,378,5361.2010
Janata Dal (Secular) 3,332,7020.911
Pattali Makkal Katchi 2,377,7410.655
Shiromani Akali Dal 2,502,9490.692
Tamil Maanila Congress 2,058,6360.560
Indian National Lok Dal 2,002,7000.555
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1,620,5270.444
Revolutionary Socialist Party 1,500,8170.413
Rashtriya Lok Dal 1,364,0300.372
All India Forward Bloc 1,288,0600.352
Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation 1,220,6980.331
Asom Gana Parishad 1,182,0610.320
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 974,6090.270
Muslim League Kerala State Committee 833,5620.232
Akhil Bharatiya Loktantrik Congress 818,7130.222
Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh 692,5590.191
Apna Dal 848,6620.230
Bihar People's Party 607,8100.170
Puthiya Tamilagam 568,1960.160
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference 454,4810.124
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen 448,1650.121
MGR Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 396,2160.111
Kerala Congress 365,3130.101
Kerala Congress (M) 357,4020.101
Shiromani Akali Dal (Simranjit Singh Mann) 298,8460.081
Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) 297,3370.081
Peasants and Workers Party of India 282,5830.081
Himachal Vikas Congress 264,0020.071
Manipur State Congress Party 222,4170.061
Republican Party of India 505,6640.140
Ajeya Bharat Party 430,2750.120
Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal 406,4210.110
Marxist Co-ordination Committee 351,8390.100
Tamizhaga Rajiv Congress 338,2780.090
United Reservation Movement Council of Assam246,9420.070
Anna Telugu Desam Party 244,0450.070
Democratic Bahujan Samaj Morcha 236,9620.070
Haryana Vikas Party 188,7310.050
Sikkim Democratic Front 107,8280.031
Gondwana Ganatantra Party 180,8040.050
People's Democratic Front172,4340.050
Janata Party 167,6490.050
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Ulgulan)154,4330.040
Mahabharat People's Party145,1920.040
National Loktantrik Party 136,3850.040
Marxist Communist Party of India (S.S. Srivastava) 120,2200.030
United Democratic Party 107,1970.030
Jharkhand Party (Naren)101,4410.030
Sikkim Sangram Parishad 86,4660.020
Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha 73,0120.020
Sadbhavana Party 71,2790.020
Arunachal Congress 70,7600.020
NTR Telugu Desam Party (Lakshmi Parvathi) 61,6350.020
Jharkhand Party 57,6760.020
Champaran Vikas Party56,5610.020
Akhil Bharatiya Sena 56,2490.020
United Minorities Front, Assam 53,6610.010
Lok Shakti 40,9970.010
Bharatiya Republican Paksha40,6360.010
Hill State People's Democratic Party 40,3010.010
Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar) 39,4940.010
Pragatisheel Manav Samaj Party 36,9200.010
Bharatiya Jan Congress 34,5520.010
People's Democratic Movement 33,1640.010
Bhartiya Jana Congress (Rashtriya)32,8710.010
Pyramid Party of India 31,6990.010
Socialist Republican Party 30,7790.010
Federal Party of Manipur 30,0390.010
Jammu and Kashmir Awami League 28,8890.010
Amra Bangali 25,4080.010
Tamil Desiyak Katchi25,2090.010
Loktantrik Samajwadi Party 23,6300.010
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML)20,5230.010
Bharatiya Jana Sangh 19,5960.010
National Minorities Party 19,3440.010
Shoshit Samaj Dal19,3300.010
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party 15,8880.000
Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha 15,5260.000
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal 14,3020.000
Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha 14,1570.000
Republican Party of India (Athawale) 14,0980.000
Majlis Bachao Tahreek 13,4610.000
Sirpanch Samaj Party13,4370.000
Chhattisgarhi Samaj Party13,0970.000
Parivartan Samaj Party12,8200.000
United Goans Democratic Party 11,1530.000
Jan Satta Party11,0240.000
Savarn Samaj Party10,9060.000
All India Muslim Forum 10,0100.000
Maraland Democratic Front 8,4440.000
United Tribal Nationalists Liberation Front8,4290.000
United Bodo Nationalist Liberation Front7,6110.000
Bharatiya Samaj Dal7,6070.000
Ambedkar Samaj Party 7,2600.000
Akhil Bharatiya Berozgaar Party7,1340.000
Akhil Bartiya Manav Seva Dal6,7610.000
Rajasthan Vikash Party6,2580.000
Awami Party5,0500.000
All India Gareeb Congress4,8610.000
Gareebjan Samaj Party4,7250.000
Garo National Council 4,5610.000
Humanist Party of India4,1920.000
Rashtriya Unnatsheel Das4,1040.000
Shoshit Samaj Party4,0800.000
Bharatiya Naujawan Dal3,8950.000
Dhiravida Thelgar Munnetra Kalagam3,7480.000
Maharashtra Rashtravadi Congress 3,5790.000
Maharashtra Pradesh Krantikari Party3,5710.000
Bira Oriya Party3,1200.000
Bahujan Kranti Dal (JAI)3,0900.000
All India Rajiv Krantikari Congress2,9930.000
Sanatan Samaj Party2,9320.000
Bhartiya Lok Kalyan Dal2,8960.000
Bharatiya Berozgar Mazdoor Kisan Dal2,7060.000
Tharasu Makkal Mandram2,6750.000
Gujarat Yuva Vikas Party2,2170.000
Bharatiya Minorities Suraksha Mahasangh 2,1510.000
Akhil Bhartiya Janata Vikas Party1,9810.000
Bharat Dal1,8320.000
Hind Vikas Party1,6410.000
Tamil Nadu Peasants and Workers Party 1,6310.000
Ephraim Union 1,5780.000
National Organisation Congress1,5660.000
Manav Kalyan Sangh Dal1,5170.000
Revolutionary Communist Party of India (Rasik Bhatt) 1,5160.000
All J & K Peoples Patriotic Front1,5000.000
Kamjor Varg Sangh,bihar1,4810.000
United Citizens Party1,4140.000
Rashtriya Sawarn Dal1,4070.000
Goa Vikas Party 1,4070.000
Akhil Bharatiya Manav Adhikar Dal1,3330.000
Akhil Bhartiya Loktantra Party1,2650.000
Labour and Job Seeker's Party of India1,2270.000
Bahujan Kranti Dal1,2180.000
Secular Party of India1,1800.000
Rashtriya Aikta Manch1,1690.000
Gandhiwadi Rashtriya Congress1,1630.000
Pragati Sheel Party8580.000
Bharat Nav Jyoti Sangh8060.000
All India Minorities Front 8050.000
Bahujan Ekta Party (R)7830.000
Bharatiya Momin Front7370.000
Indian National Green Party5940.000
Bharatiya Jan Vikas Party5710.000
Ambedkarbadi Party5430.000
Bharatiya Parivartan Morcha5080.000
Rashtriya Mazdoor Ekta Party4370.000
Christian Mannetra Kazhagam3850.000
Bharatha Makkal Congress3840.000
Rashtriya Dharmanirpeksha Nava Bharat Party3840.000
Kranti Dal3440.000
Bharatiya Muhabbat Party (All India)3380.000
Akhil Bharatiya Shivsena Rashtrawadi2440.000
National Congress Of Youth1790.000
Desh Bhakt Party1730.000
Nominated Anglo-Indians 2
Valid votes364,437,29498.05
Invalid/blank votes7,231,8101.95
Total votes371,669,104100.00
Registered voters/turnout619,536,84759.99
Source: ECI

By state

StatesPartySeats won% of VotesAlliance
Andhra Pradesh Telugu Desam 2939.85 BJP affiliated parties
Bharatiya Janata Party 79.90 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 542.79 Indian National Congress
Independent 01.41None
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen 16.05None
Arunachal Pradesh Indian National Congress 256.92 Indian National Congress
Arunachal Congress 016.62 National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 016.30 National Democratic Alliance
Nationalist Congress Party 07.77None
Assam Indian National Congress 1038.42 Indian National Congress
Bharatiya Janata Party 229.84 National Democratic Alliance
Asom Gana Parishad 011.92 National Democratic Alliance
Independent 19.36None
Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party 2323.01 National Democratic Alliance
Janata Dal (United) 1820.77 National Democratic Alliance
Rashtriya Janata Dal 728.29None
Indian National Congress 48.81None
Goa Bharatiya Janata Party 251.49 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 039.01None
Nationalist Congress Party 03.79None
Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party 2052.48 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 645.44None
Independent 00.67None
Nationalist Congress Party 00.52None
Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party 529.21 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Lok Dal 528.72 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 034.93None
Haryana Vikas Party 02.71None
Himachal Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party 346.27 National Democratic Alliance
Himachal Vikas Party 112.37None
Indian National Congress 039.52None
Independent 00.48None
Jammu & Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir National Conference 428.94 National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 231.56 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 017.83None
Independent 09.63None
Karnataka Indian National Congress 1845.41 Indian National Congress
Bharatiya Janata Party 727.19 National Democratic Alliance
Janata Dal (United) 313.28 National Democratic Alliance
Janata Dal (Secular) 010.85None
Kerala Indian National Congress 839.25 Indian National Congress
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 827.90None
Communist Party of India 07.57None
Bharatiya Janata Party 06.56None
Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party 2946.58 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 1143.91None
Bahujan Samaj Party 05.23None
Samajwadi Party 01.37None
Maharashtra Shiv Sena 1516.86 National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 1321.18 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 1029.71None
Nationalist Congress Party 621.58None
Manipur Manipur State Congress Party 124.89 National Democratic Alliance
Nationalist Congress Party 113.49
Manipur Peoples Party 016.25
Orissa Biju Janata Dal 1033.00 National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 924.63 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 236.94None
Shiromani Akali Dal 225.58 National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 1n/a National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 823.13None
Rajasthan Bharatiya Janata Party 1623.01 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 917.83None
Tamil Nadu
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1223.1 National Democratic Alliance
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1025.7 INC affiliated parties
Pattali Makkal Katchi 58.2 National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 47.1 National Democratic Alliance
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 46.0 National Democratic Alliance
Indian National Congress 211.1 Indian National Congress
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 12.4None
MGR Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 11.5 National Democratic Alliance
Uttar Pradesh
Bharatiya Janata Party 2927.64 National Democratic Alliance
Bahujan Samaj Party 1422.08None
Samajwadi Party 2624.06None
Indian National Congress 1014.72 Indian National Congress
Akhil Bharatiya Lok Tantrik Congress21.51None
Rashtriya Lok Dal 22.49None
Independent 13.62None
Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) 10.46None
West Bengal
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 2135.57None
Nationalist Trinamool Congress 826.04 National Democratic Alliance
Communist Party of India 33.47None
Indian National Congress 313.29 Indian National Congress
Revolutionary Socialist Party (India) 34.25None
All India Forward Bloc 23.45None
Bharatiya Janata Party 211.13 National Democratic Alliance

Support for the New Government

Political PartySeatsAlliance
Bharatiya Janata Party 182 National Democratic Alliance
Janata Dal (United) 21
Shiv Sena 15
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 12
Biju Janata Dal 10
All India Trinamool Congress 8
Pattali Makkal Katchi 5
Indian National Lok Dal 5
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 4
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference 4
Shiromani Akali Dal 2
Rashtriya Lok Dal 2
Telugu Desam Party (Outside Support)29

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