The best journalists get front-row seats to the most tumultuous years of a nation. Rajdeep Sardesai, one of India’s best-known journalists, was in such a position for this year’s general election in India, in which 815 million people voted. Their decisions brought the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leader Narendra Modi into power, ending 67 years of near-uninterrupted control of Indian politics by the Congress Party and the Nehru-Gandhi clan.
The Congress party-led government that drafted the Right To Information (RTI) Act in 2005 touted the law as one of its success stories for the average Indian in the last election. Whether it played any role in the election’s outcome is difficult to say, but activists who specialize in RTI requests throughout India say that government workers have found many ways to frustrate their attempts to get responses to their questions.
Indian stock markets rallied to record highs in May with the benchmark BSE Sensex breaching the 25,000 mark for the first time after Narendra Modi won a clear mandate to govern Asia’s third-largest economy.
By Sankalp Phartiyal and Ankush Arora
The BSE Sensex and the Nifty rose more than 2 percent in a week that was largely lacklustre until the main stock indexes hit fresh life highs on Friday, buoyed by optimism that India’s principal opposition party would get a majority in the ongoing election.
Voting in the 2014 election begins on April 7. More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — will be eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.
Many people see Anurag Thakur, 39, as the youthful face of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition to the Congress party-led government and the party of prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi. He is the son of the former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, and was named one of the World Economic Forum’s global young leaders this year.
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The Aam Aadmi Party has up-ended the calculations of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the race for control of New Delhi in one of five state assembly elections later this year.
By Ross Colvin and Sruthi Gottipati
Narendra Modi is a polarising figure, evoking visceral reactions across the political spectrum. Critics call him a dictator while supporters believe he could make India an Asian superpower. (Read a special report on Modi here)
Rumblings within the ruling Congress party that suggested the “jettison” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the party’s electoral failures in state elections in 2007, cited in a secret diplomatic cable published on Monday, are a timely reminder of the dangerous implications of failure for Congress in elections this month.