The Great Debate (India)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday expelled former finance minister Jaswant Singh from its primary membership for praising Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a book.
As a visibly upset Singh, a founding member of the party, questioned the decision, the latest controversy to hit the BJP seems to have brought its internal conflicts out in the open.
Many pressing issues haunt the party as it begins its ‘Chintan Baithak’ – an annual brainstorming session.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani’s prime ministerial ambitions were crushed when the ruling Congress-led coalition defied predictions to sweep the 2009 general election.
With just hours to go before the counting of votes, several exit polls have shown that India’s ruling Congress-led coalition is slightly ahead of the BJP-led alliance.
The probable lack of a clear winner has stoked concerns that the coalition that emerges after a month of elections may be unstable.
(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own.)
If elections are the single most visible element of the democratic experience, the biggest show on earth is all set to unfold on Thursday when a large percentage of more than 700 million voters will participate in the first phase of the 15th Indian general elections to the Lok Sabha – the lower house of the Indian parliament.