Elections to the 13th Legislative Assembly of Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases on the 13th and 17th of December. The BJP has been the dominant majority party in the Assembly since 1995. The 2002 elections saw the largest victory for the party, winning 127 seats. The Congress last held power in Gujarat in 1985. In the Assembly elections held for the the seventh Assembly, the Congress had a clear majority of 149 seats. In 1990, the Janata Dal emerged as the largest party with 70 seats. The BJP registered major gains in 1990, improving their tally of 11 seats in 1985 to 67 seats. The Congress came third with 33 seats. The electoral trends over the last 22 years may be viewed here. In the current Assembly, 117 of the 182 seats are held by the BJP. It is useful to look at the work done by the 12th Gujarat Assembly during its term from 2008 to 2012. Here we look at key metrics like the number of days the assembly was in session, members’ attendance, and legislative business. Performance of the Assembly During its five year term, the assembly sat for a total of 157 days – an average of 31 days each year. In comparison, the Lok Sabha sat for an average of 66 days each year during the period 2008 to 2011. In the same period the Kerala Assembly sat for an average of 50 days – highest among states - followed by Maharashtra (44). However, the Gujarat Assembly sat for more number of days than the Haryana Assembly which sat for an average of 13 days and Rajasthan (24). The average attendance among Gujarat MLAs stood at 83% for the whole term, with two members registering 100% attendance. 87 Bills were passed by the Assembly since the beginning of its term in 2008 till September 2011. Of these, 80 Bills i.e. over 90% of all Bills were passed on the same day as they were introduced. None of the Bills were referred to any Committee. In the Budget Session of 2011, 31 Bills were passed of which 21 were introduced and passed within three sitting days Amendments sought by the President and the Governor One of the significant laws passed by the 12th Assembly was the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill, 2003 which was introduced and passed in July 2009. However the Bill did not receive the Presidents Assent and was sent back to the Gujarat Assembly for amendments. In December 2009, the assembly passed the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2009 which sought to make voting compulsory in elections to local self-government bodies like municipal corporations and Panchayats. The Gujarat governor returned the Bill for reconsideration in 2010. It was re-introduced in the house in September 2010 without changes. Another Bill that was returned by the Governor was the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Bill which sought to regularise unauthorised construction on payment of an Impact Fee. The Bill was passed by the Assembly in March 2011. The Governor returned the Bill with a suggestion to include a provision to bar the regularisation of unauthorised construction beyond a specified date. The Bill was re-introduced and passed with amendments by the Assembly in September 2011.
Over the next few weeks, Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in five States – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. As parties prepare for the upcoming elections, we take a look at the electoral trends in these states over the past 25 years. We see that electoral fortunes in some states have fluctuated widely. The electoral mandate in UP has varied over the last 25 years. Five different parties -- Congress, Janata Dal, BJP, SP and BSP have been the single largest party in the Assembly at some point in time. In Punjab, the Akalis and the Congress have alternately controlled the government. In Uttarakhand, the 2007 elections saw the BJP take over control from the Congress. In Manipur and Goa, Congress has been dominant player in elections. In both states, it emerged as the single largest party in all but one election since 1984. In Manipur, the Congress lost this status to the Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP), a splinter group of the Congress in 2000. In Goa, it lost this status to BJP in 2002. The results of Uttar Pradesh elections will have the highest impact on national politics. The state has 80 out of 543 elected seats in Lok Sabha and 31 out of 231 elected seats in Rajya Sabha. The results could give an indication of the prospects for these parties in the next general elections, and may also change the composition of Rajya Sabha over the next few years. Given that there are five parties (BSP, SP, BJP, Congress and RLD) with a significant base in the state, the possibilities of post poll arrangements are also wide open. For more details, see our Vital Stats.