Tribal women in line to vote.
Today concluded the first of five phases of the Indian election, where 60% of voters turned out to the polls. (Refer to my earlier post for the basics of the Indian political system.) The states where voting began were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Lakshwadeep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Â Thousands of troops have been deployed to the states to
With month-long elections in the world’s biggest democracy, it can’t be expected for the process to without a few kinks — or violence. Maoist insurgents in central and eastern India, with landmines and rocket bombs, killed 17 people in 14 attacks at poll stations across India. The Naxalites, the Maoist insurgents, have been battling with the Indian government forever and a day.Â One would think with so many troops deployed, even localized events like this could be avoided.
Currently, it seems as though the current Congress (I) Party and the Bharataya Janata Party will get the majority of votes, while some smaller ethnic and minority parties will take a smaller piece of the pie. Regardless, after the election, new coalitions will have to be stitched together to keep the Indian government in functioning order. The Congress Party, as a reminder, is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s party and India’s explosive economic growth is attributed to them. On another note, the Congress Party has often been criticized for its handling of the 11/26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year. BJP, on the other hand, tends to take hardline stances on terrorism, while inciting friction between Indian Muslims and Christians.
With this only being the beginning, it will be interesting to see the elections pan out. (A whole month of election day coverage? Yes! I know you’re pumped!) Have any questions? Field them here! I’ll definitely do some research and incorporate it into any future blog posts.