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Rahul Gandhi’s Congress Party Wins Big in Karnataka


Nearly all the votes are in from the southern Indian state Karnataka’s legislative assembly election over the weekend, and it looks like the Congress Party won big. Congress, the national ruling party, of Jawaharlal Nehru, of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, and now of Rajiv’s son Rahul, took 121 seats, over the BJP’s 40, out of a total of 224 constituencies. The BJP, the party of Narendra Modi, ruled Karnataka for the past five years, having won 110 seats in the 2008 elections; today, Congress came roaring back.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Congress leaders were quick to attribute the big win to Rahul, who led Congress’s campaign in the state, and to voters’ widespread disillusionment with the BJP leadership, which was blamed for corruption and failing to maintain basic services like garbage cleanup in Bangalore, one of India’s younger and more forward-looking cities. Congress swept the urban seats, IBN News reports.

Is Congress’s big win a preview of the national elections that are supposed to take place in 2014? It’s impossible to say. Certainly it was a sneak peak of the two men who are likely to be competing for the Prime Minister’s office: Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, both of whom campaigned hard in Karnataka. And certainly Congress can be proud that it snatched back an important southern state from its arch-rival, the BJP. But disillusionment with Congress’s national rule is still widespread across India, and the triumph in Karnataka is only a baby step in the direction of convincing voters everywhere that the old Nehru-Gandhi dynasty still has all the answers.

[Rahul Gandhi image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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  • Corlyss Drinkard

    OT but where’s the comment section for the Iranian Arsonists article?

    • Andy Iacobucci

      Sorry about that, it should be there now!

  • Stacy Garvey

    Okay, I know this means I’m a degenerate racist, but why is Rahul Gandhi so very white? He doesn’t look like any Indian I’ve ever met.

    • Akshay Kanoria

      His mother is Italian, and his father was half Parsi (zoroastrian immigrants from Persia in the middle ages), and half Kashmiri upper class, so I guess that explains his appearance.

  • Akshay Kanoria

    Dear Prof. Mead, your recent comments are simply incorrect, and the spin you cast on events is very very poor analysis, and shows a complete lack of understanding of Indian politics on your part. Narendra Modi addressed less than 5 campaign rallies, as he knew the party was going to lose big and didn’t want it staining his reputation. So to say that he campaigned hard is plain lies. The triumph in Karnataka had absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Gandhi or Mr. Modi. (In fact, Mr. Gandhi’s main plank has been youth involvement, and the Karnataka Youth Congress leader in Karnataka was actually denied a nomination in these elections, prompting his resignation!). I don’t know if you’re misinformed or you’re just trying to promote some sort of Gandhi-Modi face off for your readers’ entertainment, but you need to take another look at your sources of information.

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