Economics India

Friday, March 24, 2006

By Leaving Parliament Mrs. Gandhi Might Gain, So Also The Congress Party

Commenting on Mrs. Gandhi's resignation as a Member of Parliament, the International Herald Tribune’s correspondent Amelia Gentleman says. “In real terms, little has changed. Despite Mrs. Gandhi’s public renunciation of her seat in Parliament, taken to deflate a brewing political dispute over an esoteric bit of parliamentary law, Gandhi remains at the head of the governing Congress party, wielding significant political influence”.

Amelia says the style of Mrs. Gandhi's announcement was strongly reminiscent of her "decision to turn down the position of prime minister in 2004 after rightist opposition politicians said her Italian origins made her ineligible for the post. Then her supporters hailed her "high political morality" and "sacrifice," and supportive newspapers dubbed her Saint Sonia”.

In this context, Mrs. Gandhi said that she is not in politics for a “personal gain” – meaning she is there only to serve India’s vast population. Also, for the Congress party characterized by its infamous greed for power and internal bickering, it is convenient have Mrs. Gandhi as a unifying force.

As the story goes, “Earlier this week no one could have anticipated that a simmering conflict between the head of India's governing political dynasty and the grande dame of the country's leading Bollywood acting clan would result in Gandhi's resignation from Parliament”!

Meanwhile, Mrs. Gandhi is planning to visit her constituency this weekend to begin campaigning for a special election that all observers believe she will certainly win. "India likes people who renounce things. This is something that Sonia has played on before," said one political commentator, Kalyani Shankar. "They like the image of politicians to be people who make sacrifices - like Gandhi, who gave up his clothes, food, his house" she said.

BJP and the leftist parties are on the defensive --- looks like, the country is going back to be ruled by Congress on its own once again. What do you think?


  • The stock market in India will display the reaction of people. Communists must be worried and will react differently while BJP must be confused without any agenda. Rahstravadi Congress will merge with the Main Congress.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:51 PM  

  • I thought this blog is about Economics - India.

    Why blend in politics?

    Let us go back to real issues,real solutions, real analysis and real debate.

    Let us move to a higher level -

    As another maharathi said - how about analysis of "how do we reach the poor?".

    Also see the article in USNEWS.COM on "World Bank Corruption".


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 AM  

  • Thanks to the commentators above. Looks like seeds of the merger of two Congress parties are already sown at the natioal level -- but there are still problems to be resolved in Maharashtra. BJP needs to rearticulate its agenda and emerge as a strong second party that can provide alternatives to Congress in terms of providing pragmatic, honest and people-oriented governance. hanakya's thoughtful and wise comments are indeed to the point but we cannot totally separate economics from politics -- though we need to focus more on more urgent ecoomic issues. The next few posts will be on India's poverty issues since some 25% of the populaiton is still below the poverty line (BPL) and the government-sponsored poverty alleviation programs are not reaching the poor effectively!.

    By Blogger Ramesh G. Deshpande, at 6:15 PM  

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