Samvaad: A Conversation
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
And there it is... the Andhra rout
I have detailed in previous entries my views on why this rout was in the making. The anti-incumbency characteristic of Indian politics too is a factor but such a decisive rout (only 49 seats out of 294!) is a resounding vote of no-confidence. Now the Congress and its allies MUST respond to the challenges that the hard-working people of Andhra Pradesh face. They need the government's help to help themselves. The free electricity campaign slogan for farmers may or may not pan out. The Congress will have to take steps that provide a more holistic response to the problems of development. It must prioritize employment generation in all areas of the state. It MUST also continue to support the IT sector to which Mr.Naidu devoted most of his time. A great opportunity has befallen the Congress.
For a while I was counting on Andhra Pradesh producing the most gains for the Congress on the national level (counting to begin on May 13). Tamil Nadu is another state where they can do well with their allies the DMK. Elsewhere they may not gain much.
In closing, this is a very rude awakening for the BJP led NDA coalition. This is bad news but since the parliamentary election these losses may not be that big. In any case the Congress could not have asked for a better start. 226 out of 294 isn't bad at all!
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