rediff.com's expert panel and its battery of reporters across the country answer readers' poll queries:
Naveen Jain, CARDIFF, UK
What is the scene in DAUSA (RAJASTHAN). Who 2 you think has main contest?
Answer: The main contestant in Dausa is Sachin Pilot. His mother had won the seat in a by-election caused by the tragic death of his father, Rajesh Pilot. Sachin seems to be cruising here. Apart from his father's years of work in this constituency, his own image and educational background is helping.
Otherwise, the field is quite crowded. There are eight other parties in the fray, including BJP, SP and BSP. If there is an element of uncertainty here over how easy or difficult this election is going to be for Pilot, it's because it is a multi-cornered contest.
Gopikumar K, Coimbatore
I am anticipating that AIADMK & BJP alliance won't get more than 10 Lok Saba seats in this forth coming Election.Am I predicting right??????!!!!
Answer: We will know that on May 13. Various opinion polls and exit polls have indicated that the AIADMK-BJP alliance is going to suffer a drubbing.
M Parekh, Mumbai
Don't you think that there should be a test that all politicians need to clear before they can stand for elections? We cannot let any tom dick and harry represent us may be there should be IQ, language, maths etc tests to set a benchmark
Answer: Hahahahah well, I think a minimum educational qualification would be an easier way of doing this.
Punditji, there was a question which was talking about the second line Leaders in BJP and INC. Where is INC. Is it still alive. There is no INC alive now may be one or two MPs. Whatever remains now is the Congress (I) which was formed by Indira Gandhi, by breaking up the INC. Please check your facts before you answer.
Answer: Thank You, Sir. I check my facts and, additionally, check the Election Commission's Web site too. The Election Commission says the party which has it offices at 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi 110011 and which is headed by Smt Sonia Gandhi is -- the Indian National Congress. Please take a look: http://www.eci.gov.in/GE2004/index_ge.htm
Ashwin C Vora, Mumbai
I have been voting since last 10 yrs, this year my name has been deleted from voters' list, pls advise what should I do???
Answer: The next time the rolls are revised, ensure that your name appears in the list and check with the concerned officials some days before the polling day. The EC will make announcements in newspapers when the rolls are revised. Here is a related news item - http://www.rediff.com/election/2004/apr/30naik.htm.
Check this link for more information -- http://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/showpoll2.php?Pc_no=9.
Nagaraja Gupta, Bangalore
Hello Pundit Bhai, The Election Commission Web site has stopped taking any suggestions and feedbacks from the common public. I tried to place my views and suggestion to them but when clicked it chucked me out! Like the way we were chucked out of our voting rights just because the name was not on that piece of paper they used for verification inspite of solid proof of my identifaction.
Answer: I hope somebody in Election Commission is reading this.
Rajendra Bongale, Belgaum
Will you ask Kapil Sibbal or Jaipal Reddy to explain to the people of the country as to why Sonia Gandhi, who wants to become PM of this country, took 16 years to accept the citizenship of this country after marriage to Late Rajivaji? What was the real reason?
Answer: I will, Rajendra, if they take my call.
With the large drift in film actors and actress in the elections - where is india heading to? mega film industry ? :-)
Answer: There is a theory, Mohan, which says that New Delhi is jealous of Mumbai's status as the country's entertainment capital. So, they are trying to take entertainment out of Mumbai by recruiting actors in political parties. They, in fact, have even thought of a name for Delhi once the entertainment industry moves there -- DOLLYWOOD J
Alok Madhani, Mumbai
I have just started taking intrest in politis. Punditji, can you throw some light on the fundamentals of election process? To be more precise, I would like to know:1)Are no. of total number seats same as total constituencies? If so, what are Total no. of seats/constituencies these parties are contesting for?2) how are they divided? 3)how many constituencies are there in mumbai? 4)I voted in veera desai road, Andheri. So, is this one of the constituencies?.... if so....how big it is? (give the total area it covers) 5) Does each state have equal seats or constituencies. If not....is this democracy? Kindly answer to all my questions patiently.
Answer: Here we go, Alok. Seat and constituency is one and the same thing. There are 543 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs across the country. No one party is contesting all seats. They are all contesting varying numbers of seats -- basically the ones they think they have a good chance of winning.
How are constituencies divided? -- boundaries of parliamentary or assembly constituencies are drawn to make sure that there are, as near as practicable, the same number of people in each constituency. In India boundaries are meant to be examined after the ten-yearly census to reflect changes in population.
Mumbai has six Lok Sabha constituencies. Andheri is not a Lok Sabha constituency.
Number of constituencies in states varies depending on their population and geographical area.
If you have a query, ask the Pundit