Posts tagged ‘India’s election’

19/05/2014

Modi’s Next Move – India Real Time – WSJ

The simplest way to understand the enormity of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory Friday in India’s election is to place it in historical context.

For the first time since 1984, India’s voters have given a single party rather than a ragtag coalition a majority in Parliament. The BJP won 282 seats, 10 more than the 272 needed to reach the halfway mark in the 543-seat lower house of Parliament. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance coalition snagged 336 seats.

For the first time ever, India’s traditionally left-leaning politics has moved decisively to the right. Even when it won more seats than the left-of-center Congress Party in three elections in the late 1990s, the BJP always lagged its rival in share of the popular vote. This time the BJP snagged nearly one third of the national vote, while Congress claimed less than a fifth. The BJP also made inroads into southern and eastern India, outside its traditional strongholds in the north and west.

The rightward swing is all the more notable because incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs to the conservative wing of India’s conservative party. Unlike the last BJP prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998-2004), Mr. Modi cut his teeth in politics battling Congress when it briefly suspended democracy in the mid-1970s, not admiring Jawaharlal Nehru’s parliamentary eloquence in defense of socialist policies in the 1950s.

Congress itself has been reduced to a rump. The 44 seats it won is less than half of its previous low of 114 seats in 1999. Congress has proved naysayers wrong before by bouncing back. Still, for the first time talk of the possible extinction of a party that has ruled India for all but 13 years since independence in 1947 seems plausible. And the two main communist parties, which have traditionally wielded influence both inside and outside Parliament and helped set the tone for much anti-capitalist and anti-Western discourse, have been reduced to a footnote. Together they hold a meager 10 seats.

via Modi’s Next Move – India Real Time – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements
Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India