It seems as though the ruling Congress Party has made major gains in the general election and the BJP has conceded defeat. The result was unexpectedly good for Congress, which seems to have been because the large youth vote – a rather apolitical group more interested in commerce – swung behind Congress at the last minute.
This is good for a number of reasons:
1. The BJP is a Hindu supremacist party – something which is obviously unsustainable in a country with substantial Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Christian minorities.
2. L K Advani, the BJP leader, who is particularly awful even by the BJP’s standards, has probably missed his last chance to become Prime Minister. A younger generation of BJP leaders is now likely to emerge.
3. With substantial gains by Congress and its core allies the coalition is likely to be much less dependent on the left to maintain power. The reforms which Congress introduced in the 1990s can now be resumed.
4. Manmohan Singh, the PM is 76 and unlikely to stay PM throughout the Parliament. One of the rising stars of the Party is the Chief Minister of the Dehli region, and her name is likely to be in the western media more often. This is good news because her name is Sheila Dikshit (tee hee!).
It is worth mentioning that one other rising star is likely to be Rahul Gandhi – son of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and current Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi. His grandmother and great grandfather were also Prime Ministers and his great great grandfather was President of the Party in the 1910s and 1920s. Rahul was educated at Rollins College, Florida and Trinity College, Cambridge.