Now that elections are over and speculation about who will get which ministry is going around, there’s one question that still remains – What will the seating arrangement for the 17th Lok Sabha look like? Which party will get the front seats and who will come to occupy them?The answer to these questions lies in detailed procedures , which lay down rules for assigning seats in the lower house.The present strength of the Lok Sabha stands at 543, and the entire country is divided into the same number of constituencies.During general elections, voters from each of these constituencies elect one person who represents that seat in the Lok Sabha. However, the ‘house of the people’ can accommodate upto 550 people.These 550 seats in the Lok Sabha are spread across six blocs, each having 11 rows. The seats are arranged in such a fashion that they all face the Chair – an official term for the Speaker.But who gets to sit in the front rows of each of these six blocs? How is this seating arrangement decided, and by whom?17th Lok Sabha will miss prominent faces, strong voicesThe Lok Sabha has 22 front seats, spread across six blocs. While the opposition sits to the right of the Speaker, the Prime Minister, his colleagues in the government and other party or coalition MPs occupy seats located to the left of the Speaker’s chair.Traditionally, the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha is seated in the first row, to the left of the Speaker. Usually, the Deputy Speaker shares the front row with the Leader of the Opposition.Seated in the front row of the bloc right opposite that of the Leader of Opposition, is the Prime Minister and his senior cabinet colleagues.Under rule 4 of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of business, “members shall sit in such order as the Speaker may determine.” In exercising his powers over seat allocation, the Speaker is guided by direction 22 (a), which states that “allotment of bloc of seats in the house in proportion to the strength of the party and the total number of seats available in the chamber.” 131 of BJP's 303 Lok Sabha members are first timersAccordingly to Factly, Direction 22 (a) is applied by multiplying the strength of a party in the Lok Sabha by the total number of seats in that row. The result is then divided by the total number of seats in that Chamber.Let’s look at the following example to understand how many front seats the BJP will get in the 17th Lok Sabha. We know that there are 20 front seats and that the BJP has 303 MPs. We also know that the total capacity of the Lok Sabha is 550.Hence, the BJP is entitled to 11 front seats in the Lok Sabha. (303*20/550 =11.01). Since the NDA in total has won 352 seats, it is entitled to 13 seats in the front rows (352*20/550 = 12.8).Seating in the subsequent rows is decided in a similar manner. The exact number of seats available for a single party in subsequent rows is conveyed, following which the party is expected to send in a seating arrangement with names of its elected membersHowever, in practice, blocs are generally allotted to parties, who then decide on the occupants of the front seats, said a source in the Parliament.Bengal sends 31 crorepatis to Lok Sabha, 5 more thatn 2014In the 16th Lok Sabha, PM Modi was seated in the first row, to the left of the Speaker. He shared his seat with the then-home minister Rajnath Singh. Seated behind the PM in subsequent rows were his colleagues in the Cabinet, like Vijay Goel, Jitendra Singh and Smriti Irani among others.In 2014, the BJP had won 282 seats on its own, while NDA had won won 343 seats. This meant that NDA MPs had occupied four out of the six blocs – an arrangement that will largely remain the same as the NDA’s 2019 tally stands at 353.The Congress had, in 2014, won 44 seats and together with the UPA, had 59 MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha. This time around, the grand old party has won 52 seats and the UPA tally now stands at 91. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.