Elections: The latest election for the Lok Sabha (the lower house of parliament) was held in April-May 2014. The National Democratic Alliance won a com-fortable majority, garnering 336 out of the 543 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which dominates the ruling coalition, won an outright majority with 282 seats. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the Indian National Congress party, suffered a humiliating defeat-its tally in the general election fell to 59 seats. The next election is due to take place by May 2019.
Government: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, is the head of the executive branch of government. He heads the Council of Ministers, who are chosen from elected members of the country's bicameral parliament. The president, who is indirectly elected for a five-year term by the national and state legislatures, is head of state. Ram Nath Kovind was elected president in July 2017.
Major political parties: BJP; Indian National Congress; All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK); Trinamool Congress (TMC); Biju Janata Dal (BJD); Shiv Sena (SHS); Telugu Desam Party (TDP); Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS); Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M); YSR Congress Party (YSRCP); Nationalist Congress Party (NCP); Lok Janshakti Party (LJP); Samajwadi Party (SP); Aam Aadmi Party (AAP); Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD); Janata Dal (United); Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP); Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
Fiscal year: April-March