Voting for the 2014 general election will begin on April 7, the Election Commission said on Wednesday.
(For facts and figures on the 2014 election, click here)
Here is a timeline of key dates in India’s election history:
1947 – Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the founding fathers of independent India, becomes the country’s first prime minister. His appointment starts a long period of political dominance of the Congress party and the country’s most powerful dynasty, the Gandhi-Nehru family.
1952 – Nehru leads Congress to a clear victory in the country’s first ever general election and retains the prime ministership, which he held until his death in 1964.
1967 – Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi leads Congress to another victory and becomes the country’s only female prime minister. She wins another election in 1971 — the year India trounced Pakistan in the third war between the two countries since 1947.
1975-1977 – Indira Gandhi imposes a State of Emergency, which critics say gave her near dictatorial powers.