News / Asia

India’s Ruling Party Beaten in Key State Elections

India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP) supporters celebrate the party’s victory in the Delhi state Assembly elections in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP) supporters celebrate the party’s victory in the Delhi state Assembly elections in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
In India, the ruling Congress party is headed for a crushing defeat in elections in four key states, signaling a difficult road ahead for the party as it prepares for national elections next year.  The Bharatiya Janata Party has emerged the frontrunner in these states, but it is the impressive showing in the Indian capital by a new party born on an anti-corruption plank that has captured attention.

Results released Sunday had the Congress party facing a humiliating rout in two states where it was in power, Delhi and Rajasthan.

On the other hand, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party was headed for victory in the two states it is currently ruling - Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The results are a huge blow for the Congress party, but they came as no surprise. Tarnished by corruption scandals in recent years and hurt by deep anger over spiraling prices, the party has steadily lost ground during its second term in office.

The dismal showing does not augur well for the Congress party as it gets ready for the 2014 national elections.

India's ruling Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, right addresses the media as Vice President Rahul Gandhi smiles in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.India's ruling Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, right addresses the media as Vice President Rahul Gandhi smiles in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
x
India's ruling Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, right addresses the media as Vice President Rahul Gandhi smiles in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
India's ruling Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, right addresses the media as Vice President Rahul Gandhi smiles in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
The head of the party, Sonia Gandhi, said the results called for deep introspection.

“We have to look into the way we took or did not take our message to the people… people are obviously unhappy, otherwise they would not have given such results,” she said.

The results also reflect poorly on Rahul Gandhi, heir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, who led the party’s election campaign and is widely projected as a future prime minister if the Congress party retains power.

Rahu Gandhi said he had heard the message of the people.

“The Congress party has the ability to transform itself, the Congress party has the ability to stand up to the expectations of people of this country and the Congress party is going to do that,” he said.

For the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, a good showing in all four states came as a strong boost ahead of the 2014 elections.

Its president, Rajnath Singh, said the people had rejected the Congress party.

India’s Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, supporters with brooms, the party symbol, celebrate the party’s performance in Delhi state Assembly elections, in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.India’s Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, supporters with brooms, the party symbol, celebrate the party’s performance in Delhi state Assembly elections, in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
x
India’s Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, supporters with brooms, the party symbol, celebrate the party’s performance in Delhi state Assembly elections, in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
India’s Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, supporters with brooms, the party symbol, celebrate the party’s performance in Delhi state Assembly elections, in New Delhi, Dec. 8, 2013.
But as India’s two main parties counted their gains and losses, it was the impressive showing by a new party called the Aam Aadmi or Common Man’s Party, which made waves across the country.

The year-old party, formed by activists who led an anti-corruption civil society campaign two years ago, contested only in the capital Delhi. It did not win a majority. But it stunned both main parties by taking nearly 40 percent of the seats in the national capital.  Voters were attracted by its promise to overhaul a political system which many believe is steeped in corruption.

Supporters celebrated in the streets, especially after the Aam Aadmi leader, Arvind Kejriwal, defeated Sheila Dikshit, a powerful Congress party politician who has been Delhi’s chief minister for 15 years.

Kejriwal said finally the country would win, democracy would win and India would win.

Political analysts said the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party reflected popular disillusionment with both the country’s main political parties and people’s desire for cleaner and more transparent governance.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Shiv from: chennai
December 08, 2013 11:18 AM
Voa needs to interview Arvind Kejriwal. He is the hope for our nation. Truth will prevail...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid