What Is India News Service
Thursday, November 08, 2007


Legislative elections were held in India, the world's largest democracy, in four phases between April 20 and May 10, 2004.  Over 670 million people were eligible to vote, electing 543 members of the 14th Lok Sabha (the House of the People, the lower house of the Indian legislature).  The Congress and allies won 219 seats in the Lok Sabha as against 188 for the BJP & allies.  

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On May 13, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party conceded defeat after a unexpectedly strong showing by the Indian National Congress, which while not winning a majority outright was able to put together a majority under the direction of Gandhi family matriarch, Sonia Gandhi. (Ms. Gandhi is the Italian-born widow of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.)  However, Gandhi surprised almost all observers by declining to become the new prime minister, citing the division that her rule would bring.  Instead, she asked former Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, a Western-educated and well-respected economist, to lead the new government.  Dr. Singh had previously served under Congress Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in the early-1990s, where he was seen as the architect of India's first economic liberalization plan that staved off an impending national monetary crisis. 

Seven states also held assembly elections to elect state governments along with the parliamentary elections.  The Election Commission of India is responsible for deciding the dates and conducting elections according to constitutional provisions. The Election Commission employed more than a million electronic voting machines for these elections.


Many, in the United States and abroad, have been dismayed by the intolerance and downright ugliness that has crept into American politics since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Yet, for all the unseemliness in the American political firmament. . . (That Man From Louisiana, Indian Express, A N Sudarsan Rao , Oct 27, 2007)

Caste-based politics has only perpetuated casteism in the country, says CP Bhambhri. (Politics Of Regression, Pioneer, CP Bhambhri, Jul 02, 2007)

The recent Uttar Pradesh election has provided a stark message to the Congress, particularly to those in the party who were expecting Rahul Gandhi to stir up magic with his family name. (No Maya Magic, Just Message , Indian Express, Ajay K. Mehra, May 28, 2007)

India is attempting a transformation few nations in modern history have successfully managed: liberalizing the economy within an established democratic order. (India's Democratic Challenge, New York Times, Correspondent or Reporter, May 03, 2007)

Talking of the pre-1977 period, Karat writes: “The Communist Party’s first government in Kerala, headed by E M S Namboodiripad, was ousted in 21 months. Article 356 of the constitution was used for the first time by the then Nehru government . . . (Some Cong-Bashing For The Record, Indian Express, Editorial, Indian Express, Jun 28, 2006)

The dust has settled, and so too, I hope, the doubts. Doubts over the exit polls jointly sponsored and published by The Hindu and CNN-IBN. (How Csds Fine-Tunes Polling Exercise, Hindu, Editorial, The Hindu, May 22, 2006)

"Above all, a new and genuinely democratic and inconclusive Constitution will allow Nepal to transcend the violence and bloodshed that has marred the better part of the past decade," does not make sense, says a reader (Op-Ed, "In Nepal, the beginning . . (Corrections And Clarifications, Hindu, Editorial, The Hindu, Apr 25, 2006)

Needed a law varsity in the North The Punjab Government’s proposal to set up a law university near Chandigarh is most welcome. (Grooming Lawyers, Tribune, Editorial, The Tribune, Dec 21, 2005)

The successful conduct of the Bihar assembly polls has brought to the fore an unlikely hero — The Election Commission. (Election Commission In Command, Daily Excelsior, M V Meenakshisundaram, Dec 14, 2005)

With Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon maintaining his no-nonsense tone, the CPM-led Left Front in Bengal has toned down his anti-Election Commission rhetoric. (Left Goes Soft On Poll Panel, Deccan Herald, Correspondent or Reporter, Dec 05, 2005)

,213 will fight it out for 1,728 taluk panchayat seats (2,365 In Fray For First Phase Of Zilla Panchayat Elections, Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Dec 05, 2005)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has a history of making proposals under the name of electoral reform that collectively resemble the proverbial curate’s egg: good in parts. (Curate’S Egg, The Financial Express, Correspondent or Reporter, Dec 03, 2005)

That democracy has prevailed in Bihar at the end of a bitter year of discord is more important than who won or lost after two rounds of elections and an interregnum marked by anarchy. The Election Commission deserves to be commended for preserving . . . (Ec's Next Battle, Pioneer, Editorial, The Pioneer, Nov 29, 2005)

The ruling Left Front has reservations against the Election Commission order to delete from the electoral rolls the names of those against whom non-bailable warrants were pending for over six months. (Left Front Objects To Order Of Election Commission, Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Nov 29, 2005)

The Janata Dal (United)-led NDA combine appeared set to cruise to victory winning two seats and establishing leads in 103 seats, while its main rival the RJD-led Secular Democratic Front led in 56 of the 187 constituencies in Bihar as counting of votes fo (Nda Storms Ahead In Bihar, Lalu's 15-Year-Rule To End, The Economic Times, Correspondent or Reporter, Nov 28, 2005)

Buoyed by the kudos over conduct of assembly polls in Bihar, the Election Commission has again proposed a series of measures, including curbing criminalisation of politics and favouring restrictions on opinion and exit polls during the election process. (Election Commission Proposes A Series Of Measures, Press Trust of India, Correspondent or Reporter, Nov 27, 2005)

If the Bihar assembly election results confirmed the shift of politics that was taking place under the surface in the state, the results of the by-elections held in Maharashtra and Kerala provided further confirmation of the political moods... (Political Pointers, Deccan Herald, Editorial, The Deccan Herald, Nov 24, 2005)

The results of the two by-elections held in Maharashtra further reinforce the view that the Shiv Sena is fast losing political space which could prove to be irretrievable in the long run. (Sena In Retreat, Pioneer, Editorial, The Pioneer, Nov 24, 2005)

STOCK prices fell for the second day in a row taking the BSE Sensex down by 75 points on Tuesday on political concerns following the defeat of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), an ally of United Progressive Alliance (Sensex Slumps 75 Pts On Bihar Poll Results, Business Line, Our Bureau, Business line, Nov 23, 2005)

Bringing an end to 15-year-long uninterrupted rule of Lalu Prasad’s RJD, the alliance of JD(U)-BJP Tuesday wrested the power by roping in 140 seats in the 243-member Assembly. (Bjp, Allies End 15 Years Rule Of Lalu Prasad In Bihar, Pakistan Observer, Editorial, Pakistan Observer, Nov 23, 2005)


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