India held general elections—the largest democratic election in the world—to the 15th Lok Sabha in five phases on 16 April, 22/23 April, 30 April, 7 May and 13 May 2009. The results of the election were announced on 16 May 2009.[1] According to the Indian Constitution, elections in India for the Lok Sabha (the lower house) must be held at least every five years under normal circumstances. With the last elections held in 2004, the term of the 14th Lok Sabha expires on 1 June 2009. The election was conducted by the Election Commission of India, which estimates an electorate of 714 million voters, an increase of 43 million over the 2004 election. During the budget presented in February 2009, Rs.1,120 Crores (€176 million) was budgeted for election expenses.[2] Three Indian states—Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim also conducted elections to their respective legislative assemblies. On 16 May 2009, after poor showing in early trends that showed the Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance, with 250+ seats, Bharatiya Janata Party conceded defeat, and acknowledged that they could not be the single largest party or a single largest alliance.[3] After a surprisingly strong showing in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, the UPA led by the Indian National Congress are set to form the government under the incumbent prime minister Manmohan Singh, who is the first Prime Minister of India since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to win re-election after completing a full five-year term.[4][5] The result not only meant defeat of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, but it also brought out one of the worst performances by the Left Front, who had been hoping to form a non-Congress, non-BJP government with the Third Front. This idea was put to rest due to the unexpected losses by the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the TDP and other allies in Andhra Pradesh, a Congress sweep in Kerala and a big victory for Congress and its ally Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. As the final seat counts came in, it was evident that the Left Front along with the rest of the Third Front did not prove to be a competitor in this election. The Indian National Congress was able to put together a comfortable majority of more than 315 members out of 543 with the help of its allies under the direction of Indian National Congress. This is well short of 335 from last election.