The bugle has been blown on the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. All parties in the state have entered into the fray with a renewed vigour. A review of the state shows us that the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are the four largest groups. However, no party despite seems to be at the cusp of attaining an absolute majority.
The state is the largest in India in terms of population and has a 403 strong legislative assembly. The state is the world's most populous sub-national entity; one of every six Indians is located in UP. The state sends 80 out of the 543 members of the lower house of the Indian Parliament. It boasts 30 of the Rajya Sabha's maximum membership of 250. Nine out of India's 15 prime ministers have been from Uttar Pradesh
The UP polls are not only important from the state's own perspective but are also its impact on India's political future. Let us look at the state's political fabric.
2012 assembly election results
The election saw 59.5 per cent of the voters exercise their right to the ballot. The SP had won overwhelmingly and Akhilesh Yadav became the chief minister.
SP - 232 seats (up by 135 seats)
BSP - 80 seats (lost 126 seats)
BJP - 47 seats (lost 4 seats)
Congress/RLD/NCP - 38 seats (up by 5 seats)
Independents - 14 seats
2014 general election results
Winning 71 seats in the state's 80 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP dominated the 2014 General Elections. The party's massive success left the a mere five seats in SP's account, two in the Congress' and Apna Dal came out with two seats. The BJP procured 42.30 per cent of the total votes, while the SP took 22.20 per cent of the voters with the BSP and Congress getting 19.60 per cent and 7.50 per cent votes respectively.
In all, 14.05 crore people will be eligible to exercise their vote in this year's state assembly elections. Of these, 7.7 crore are men and 6.3 crore are women. Out of the 403 seats up for grabs, any party or combine needs 202 seats to be declared the winner. In the 2012 polls, the Samajwadi Party won 224 seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party won 80 and the BJP 47.
A brief history of seats
Uttar Pradesh boasts of a total of 404 seats in the state assembly, including one nominated Anglo-Indian member who is elected by the Governor. In 1967 the total number of seats in the state assembly was an even higher 431. But the number was reduced to 426 after a recommendation of the delimitation commission. In 2000, after the creation of Uttarakhand the number of seats was brought down to the present 404.
First legislative assembly
On May 19, 1952, Uttar Pradesh elected its first legislative assembly. On May 20, Atma Ram Govind Kher was chosen as the speaker of the assembly. The first election saw the Congress came out with 388 seats followed by the Socialist Party coming in at 20 seats and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh at two. The Hind Mazdoor Sangh managed to win one seat as did the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, the Akhil Bharatiya Ram Rajya Parishad, Uttar Pradesh Praja Party and the Uttar Pradesh Revolutionary Socialist Party. Congress veteran Govind Vallabh Pant was chosen as the state's chief minister following the party's thumping victory.