News

    Election Loss Will Not Damage Government, Says India Congress Party Leader

    Sonia Gandhi, chief of India's ruling Congress party, addresses the media after attending a party meeting in New Delhi, March 7, 2012.
    Sonia Gandhi, chief of India's ruling Congress party, addresses the media after attending a party meeting in New Delhi, March 7, 2012.
    Anjana Pasricha

    The powerful head of India's ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, said Wednesday a major defeat in regional elections will not damage the federal government and   promised changed as the party looks ahead to general elections in 2014.

    A day after the Congress Party was trounced in the country’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, and scored few successes in other states, its leader said there were lessons to be learned from the dismal performance.

    “We will have to sit down and look at the situation, at the result in every single state and then together work out a plan to correct the mistakes which we have made,” said Gandhi.

    Sonia Gandhi, who rarely speaks to the media, says the Congress Party may have been hurt by wrong choices of candidates and by spiraling prices. She says her party’s organization in Uttar Pradesh, is weak.

    But she denies voters were also angered by corruption scandals that have hit the Congress-led coalition government, saying her party had worked with sincerity to end graft.
    Amid speculation a weakened federal government may have to call early polls, Gandhi says it is premature to talk about general elections that are due in 2014.

    “I do not think the situation, the result, will damage the UPA government,” she said.

    But political analysts say the coalition government is more vulnerable after the elections.
    In particular, there are concerns the party’s poor showing will reduce the government’s leverage with regional parties. This will make it more difficult to persuade already rebellious allies to back its reform agenda, which it says is crucial for reviving a slowing economy.
    In recent months, these allies have blocked efforts to open the retail and pension industries, and to establish a national counterterrorism center.

    Gandhi admits lack of support from allies had been a problem.

    “We have seen in the past that their position has been in some ways a little unhelpful.  But, my view is that if we continuously and regularly keep in touch," she said. "I have every hope that on issues which are beneficial to the people of the country, they will understand and they will support.”

    There were other losers in the regional polls. The powerful low-caste leader who ruled Uttar Pradesh for five years, Mayawati, resigned after her Bahujan Samaj Party was defeated by the rival Samajwadi Party.

    The flamboyant leader, has been criticized for setting up sprawling public parks with huge statues of herself and not focusing sufficiently on development during her five year rule in the country’s poorest state.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora