As the counting for the General Elections 2019 comes to a close, here are some of the highlights of this round of elections:

1. This general election was held to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha of independent India. It was held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 April. Around 900 million Indian citizens were eligible to vote in this election which saw a turnout of over 67 per cent, which was the highest ever turnout in the history of the Indian general elections.

2. History was also made by the participation of women, this election recorded the highest ever recorded participation by women in the election process. 67% of women voted as compared with men, which was also enlightening, given the percentage of women and men voting is now equal. In a few states and Union Territories, female voters even overtook male voters.

3. Of the total number of seats contested, we had 715 women candidates out of a total of  8049 candidates, which is an abysmally low ratio of male versus female candidates. Of these, the more visible candidates included women celebrities and actors.

4. The two main parties in contention were the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party or the BJP, and its primary rival, the Indian National Congress or the INC. Regional parties like the Shiv Sena, the TMC, AIDMK, SP, BSP, Akali Dal, BJD also participated in the elections.

Also Read: BJP vs Congress Manifestos on Women

5. The BJP fought these elections on the plank of nationalism, projecting the present PM Narendra Modi as their leader. The opposition put forth Rahul Gandhi as their projected PM, fighting on the planks of economic and agrarian crisis as well as corruption allegations. Regional parties also banded together to create the Mahagathbandan, and Mayawati of the BSP projected herself as Prime Ministerial candidate.

6. The BJP fought these elections on the plank of nationalism, projecting the present PM Narendra Modi as their leader. The opposition put forth Rahul Gandhi as their projected PM, fighting on the planks of economic and agrarian crisis as well as corruption allegations. The political manifestos of the major parties barely focused on issues like pollution, climate change, educational reforms, etc, to appeal to the young first-time voters. Regional parties also banded together to create the Mahagathbandan, and Mayawati of the BSP projected herself as Prime Ministerial candidate. Mamata Banerjee of the TMC fought a pitched battle with the BJP in West Bengal, a face-off that turned violent in parts.

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