Monday, May 18, 2009

Indian Election Brings Changes

Indian voters back Congress to push through reforms

Guardian UK — The National Congress party will form a new, stronger government this week, better able to push through its reforms, after voters gave it an unexpectedly decisive show of support in the month-long general elections.
Senior figures within the party met today to choose which regional parties to invite into government and make up the relatively small number of seats the left-leaning Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) needs for a majority in the 543-member parliament.
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Vote in India Reshapes Landscape

N.Y. Times — Eleven years ago, when she took over as president of India’s oldest political party, Sonia Gandhi was seen as India’s most improbable politician: a foreigner with a shaky command of Hindi, reclusive to the point of seeming aloof, a wife who had fought to keep her husband from joining politics and who lost him to an assassination.
Today, Mrs. Gandhi, 62, is credited with having scored a stunning political coup. Her Indian National Congress party made its best performance in 25 years in the parliamentary elections completed last week, picking up 205 of 543 seats on its own, and with its coalition partners coming only 12 seats shy of an outright majority. All it needs to do now to form a government is stitch up alliances with a handful of independents and small parties.
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Singh’s ‘Game Changer’ Win May Unlock Indian Economy

Bloomberg — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s electoral victory, the biggest any Indian politician has scored in two decades, may loosen political shackles that have restrained the country’s economic growth as it struggles to free half a billion people from poverty.
India’s benchmark stock index soared more than 17 percent, breaching the daily limit and triggering a second trading halt. The rupee surged as much as 3.3 percent, the most in more than two decades, to 47.78 a dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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