Sunday, May 17, 2009

Indian Election Devastates The GOP-Like Right Wing Loon Party


A couple days ago pundits and pandits were all predicting very close election results for India, resulting in another weak central government cobbled together from competing interests and unable to accomplish anything-- sort of like the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate. But they were all wrong. The centrist Congress Party rolled over the far right BJP (the Indian version of the Republicans) and tore into the Communist Party's base in West Bengal and will wind up with a very functional governing coalition. Congress' decline has been reversed.
As results were counted on Saturday May 16th it looked likely to win around 200 of 543 available seats, which would represent the biggest win by any party for 18 years.

Under the prime ministership of Manmohan Singh, Congress will return to power at the helm of a simpler and, it is expected, more stable coalition than it has presided over for the past five years. Its United Progressive Alliance was projected to win around 260 seats. For additional support, Congress will be able to choose from an eager host of independents and small regional parties, including several recently jettisoned allies.

India’s Communist parties, which provided support and endless headaches to the outgoing government for most of its tenure, will not be among them. The leftists were projected to do unprecedentedly badly, winning around 24 seats—down from their 2004 tally of 62. A new Congress ally in West Bengal, the Trinamul Congress, is the main beneficiary. It was set to win 20 of 42 seats in West Bengal, a state the Communists have ruled for three decades.

The "free market" and racist BJP looks to wind up with 116 seats and got destroyed in one of its main bases, Rajasthan, where Congress took 21 of the 24 available seats. Last time I was in India (2007) I wrote about the Narendra Modi phenomena; he won that election for the BJP in Gujarat. Today BJP leaders sifting thru the ashes are pointing to Modi as part of the reason for their electoral collapse. The BJP leader, Chandan Mitra, said that "Bringing up Narendra Modi's name in the middle of the campaign was a serious error of judgement."

The big winner, besides Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is the first full-term PM since Jawaharlal Nehru to be re-elected, is Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, great-great grandson of Nehru. He is credited with Congress' big comeback in Uttar Pradesh, India's biggest electoral prize. He's being touted as a future prime minister.

According to The Times of India, the Obama Administration is happy about the results, which are viewed as a clear win for regional stability. Hillary Clinton and Obama are extremely well-regarded in India and they depend on India for cooperation in dealing with sometimes out of control trouble spots in India's neighborhood-- Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Nepal.



At 11:47 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Manmohan Singh is not the first PM to be re-elected in India. He is the first to do so after completing a full 5 year term.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Yeah... that's what the post says.

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Howie,
I respectfully disagree with you.
BJP, of which I am a supporter, is not a rabid right-wing party like Republicans here. On the contrary, Congress party is a party that sucks to a minority muslim vote (they form a formidable 15% voting block). I don't want to get into an argument here, but just wanted to point out the facts.


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