The Great Debate (India)
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.
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.
Critics say the political freshman is too young to deal with complex problems like Pakistan, and that as a member of an elite family he was disconnected from much of India.
But local reports suggest the 38-year-old bachelor may be offered the plum position of Information and Broadcasting Minister.
from India Insight:
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.
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.