Friday, May 16, 2014

India election

Teddy here with a quick update on results of the Indian election; the largest free elections in the world.

As I've been mentioning for a while now, the election takes weeks, but results are released today. Narendra Modi has been elected as India's next Prime Minister.

The right-wing BJP has won the election, knocking the left-leaning INC (Congress) from government.

The BJP itself has 31.8% of the vote and 283 of the 543 seats, winning a majority. Along with Allies, the BJP has 339 seats.

The INC has 19.8% of the vote and 45 seats; for a total of 58 seats with allies.

Trailing the INC is the AITC with 37 seats; this party was once affiliated with the BJP lead alliance. The 4th largest AIADMK party, once an INC affiliate in West Bengal, sits on 34 seats.

This is, by far, the worst result ever for the Congress. Their previous lows, 114 seats and 26.7%, have been bested... or worsted?

The BJP meanwhile has had their best election by far, beating their previous best results of 182 seats and 25.6% of the vote.

This success is thanks, in part, to Modi who seems like a traditional right-wing politician. To quote Wikipedia at this time.

Modi is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and is described as a Hindu nationalist by media, scholars and himself.[4][5][6][7] He is a controversial figure both within India and internationally[8][9][10][11] as his administration has been criticised for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat riots.[11][12] He has been praised for his economic policies, which are credited with creating an environment for a high rate of economic growth in Gujarat.[13]However, his administration has also been criticised for failing to make a significant positive impact upon the human development of the state.

To me this is very stereotypical and chiche of right-wing politicians the world over. True or not, it does indicate a possible new rightward direction for India.


  1. My take of the election. It was well known for a while the INC after a decade of power will be heading for a defeat because of corruption, scandals and the sluggish economy. The new INC leader is Rahul Gandhi, whose father, grandmother and great grandfather were all prime ministers. There was a notion that he felt entitled to becoming the next PM, plus he ran a very poor and unfocused campaign.

    Narendra Modi focused on the economy, which related to people of all classes. He touted his experience when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat (similar to a premier or governor). Apparently the state had strong economic growth under his leadership. There was some Modi-mania as Modi was able to pull in large crowds and give people hope. This is despite all the controversies surrounding him about how he politicized religious riots in the past. He was also denied visa entry to the United States in the past, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

    It is impressive that the BJP was able to win an outright majority without the support of smaller regional parties. This gives them the ability to govern without the support of unstable "allies", who are known to pull out of coalitions at any time.

  2. I've been reading up.

    It seems there was an election in the 70's where a predecessor party took power under similar circumstances and thus this is not the biggest win ever; but it is the worst INC result ever.

    Also, the type of "nationalism" that is used by the "Hindu" community in India seems somewhat analogous to "Catholic Nationalism" in post independence Ireland - at least, that's as close as I can get for a more familiar comparison. In short, they view the Islamic Empires of old as oppressors of India and it's Hindu residents.