The Great Debate (India)

Will the Congress bow to Mamata’s demand and roll back economic reforms?


Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the biggest ally in Manmohan Singh’s UPA government, pulled out of the ruling coalition on Tuesday, escalating a political firestorm over big-ticket reform measures launched last week.

Will the Congress roll back reforms?

Who will win in Uttar Pradesh elections?


Exit polls show the Samajwadi Party winning by far the largest number of seats in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. This would almost certainly mean a return to power for Mulayam Singh Yadav and the ouster of Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati as the chief minister.

Rahul Gandhi had staked his political future on reviving the Congress party in a state where it has not held power for 22 years. But elections have proven notoriously hard to predict in the past, and Congress officials are defiantly upbeat about the party’s chances despite the surveys.

Rahul Gandhi next Congress chief?


Rahul Gandhi is set to become the next Congress party chief within a few weeks, The Economic Times reported on Saturday. The report said several party leaders, including a cabinet minister, had confirmed the handover is likely in “four to eight weeks”.

After Rahul takes over, Sonia Gandhi will restrict her role to giving broad directions to the party and government, the report added.

Is the cabinet reshuffle merely cosmetic?


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh retained key allies in a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday in a bid to help him fight accusations of corruption and policy paralysis, choosing instead to focus on gaining support ahead of state elections next year.

Key ministers were retained while Jairam Ramesh was moved to the rural development ministry from environment.

Can Congress survive without DMK?

Can the Congress survive without the DMK?

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) put off its plan to resign ministerial posts until Tuesday, offering respite to the Congress-led government fighting to win back public trust after a raft of corruption scandals.

The DMK, which gives Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition vital support in parliament, had said its six ministers would quit the coalition on Monday because of a row over seats to be contested in the Tamil Nadu election next month.

Has the dignity of the CVC been restored?


A view of the Supreme Court building is seen in New Delhi December 7, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the appointment of the central vigilance commissioner (CVC) for involvement in a palmolein import case, in another rebuke for the Congress-led coalition government.

The rejection of P.J. Thomas’s appointment as CVC comes as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government is trying to defend itself against a series of graft scandals including a $39 billion telecoms licensing scam.

What would you do if you were the FM?

The task before the finance minister is tricky as the Congress-led government gears up to present the annual budget for 2009-10 on July 6.

Reuters India asks its readers to don the FM’s cap and tell us what shape they would give to the budget to keep a country of over 1 billion people happy.

Should Rahul Gandhi join the cabinet?


Prime Minister-elect Manmohan Singh has said he will try and persuade Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to the Congress party, to take on a cabinet position in the new government. Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi, whose father, grandmother and great grandfather were all prime ministers, had become the most visible campaigner of Congress in the month-long election to win over Indian youth as well as millions of poor villagers.

from India Insight:

Women wield power in election wrangling

With the wrangling for allies in earnest ahead of election results due Saturday, women leaders hold an inordinate amount of power in deciding who will form the new Indian government.

Women leaders have always had a role in the rough and tumble of Indian politics, from Sarojini Naidu and Annie Besant in the independence struggle to Indira Gandhi, the second woman in the world to become prime minister.

Congress or BJP – who will win?

Poll symbols of the BJP (L) and the Congress

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.