News / Asia

    Disarray in India's Ruling Party After Poll Defeat

    Vice President of India’s ruling Congress party Rahul Gandhi, Nov. 6 2013 (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
    Vice President of India’s ruling Congress party Rahul Gandhi, Nov. 6 2013 (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
    Reuters
    Disarray within India's ruling Congress party burst into the  open on Tuesday after its stunning defeat in state elections, with a senior figure saying the party would lose a general election and needed time in opposition to reinvent itself.
     
    Mani Shankar Aiyar - a veteran of the party who is close to the Nehru-Gandhi family that has run the Congress for decades - predicted defeat in the national election due by next May.
     
    “Who can be even half-way realistic and expect the Congress to return to power?” Aiyar told Reuters.
     
    In a further signal of uneasiness about Congress' chances in the general election, the leader of a key party in the coalition government said on Monday the state polls amounted to a rejection of “weak rulers”.
     
    “People do not want weak rulers,” National Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar said, according to domestic media reports. “They want decisive and result-oriented leaders who will formulate policies for (the) poor and implement them.”
     
    Manmohan Singh, the taciturn 81-year-old prime minister, has been widely criticized for the government's policy drift and a sharp economic slowdown, and for allowing corruption to spin out of control since he was appointed to a second term in 2009.
     
    Adding to the Congress party's troubles, half a dozen of its own lawmakers called for a parliamentary motion of no-confidence over a decision to split the southern state of Andhra Pradesh into two.
     
    If at least 50 members of the lower house back their demand, the stage would be set for a trial of strength in which Congress would need the support of several parties to survive.
     
    Aiyar's remarks follow a disastrous showing for the Congress party in elections held over the last month in three big states and the capital, Delhi.
     
    “A break from governance would be a welcome break that could be used to refit the party as the nation's natural party of governance in the 21st century,” the upper house lawmaker wrote in a column for the Indian Express newspaper.
     
    “The current and prospective electoral reverses for the Congress are thus Rahul's golden opportunity,” he said, referring to the young scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and potential candidate for prime minister.
     
    Aiyar's opinion was personal and not the party's view, said Congress spokesman Bhakta Charan Das, but agreed there was a need to analyze what went wrong.
     
    “The party will definitely introspect and we must come out with a very good approach to revitalize ourselves.”
     
    The center-left Congress party's main opponent, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the clear winner in three states that held assembly elections and left its rival standing in the capital.
     
    The BJP has been boosted by the energetic campaigning of its charismatic candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, but also by voter fatigue with Congress after years of spectacular corruption scandals and stubborn inflation.
     
    Aiyar said the growing strength of regional parties would make it hard for the BJP to form a stable coalition and predicted there would be new general elections by 2016.
     
    “I am deeply convinced that, whoever forms the government in 2014, we will be faced with another general election by 2015 or 2016, at the latest,” he said.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora