September 6, 1999 |
Battles with rocks, swords and bombs left six party activists dead Sunday in the first phase of India's parliamentary election, a contest pitting the ruling Hindu nationalist coalition against opposition leader Sonia Gandhi. Election Commissioner Manohar Singh Gill said, however, that the violence so far has been less severe than during previous elections. He announced a fairly low 55% turnout Sunday in the first round of a five-part election for 543 seats in India's lower house of Parliament.
April 26, 1999 |
India appeared likely to call new elections after Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi gave up Sunday on trying to form a new government. Ousted Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee met with President Kocheril Raman Narayanan, but it did not appear that the ceremonial chief of state had given Vajpayee the nod to try again at forming a government. If so, that would force India to call its third election in as many years.
November 19, 1988 |
Raisa Gorbachev, delighted by a remark Friday that she is the main reason for her husband's rise to the top of the Soviet hierarchy, asked her admirer to put the comment in writing. The Soviet First Lady displayed her charm and assertiveness during a meeting with prominent Indian women shortly after arriving in New Delhi with her husband, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, on a three-day official visit.
April 18, 1999 |
India's Hindu nationalist government resigned Saturday after losing a confidence vote by a single ballot, a margin that signaled continued political turmoil as Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi prepared to try to form the next government. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee gave his resignation to President Kocheril Raman Narayanan but agreed to stay on as caretaker until a new government is formed. "I accept the house verdict with all humility," Vajpayee said.
May 20, 2002 |
Fierce gunfire across the India-Pakistan border and attacks by militants killed at least 15 people in Kashmir over the weekend, as India considered Sunday whether to take further military action against its rival. The most intense cross-border firing this year came after India expelled Pakistan's ambassador on Saturday amid high tensions. India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring the militants, who are battling its forces in Kashmir, which is divided between the two nations.
March 27, 2002 |
Lawmakers in India approved an anti-terrorism bill Tuesday after a day of heated debate in a highly unusual joint session of Parliament, only the third since the country's independence. The government said the legislation is crucial after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States and a Dec. 13 attack on the Indian Parliament. "We cannot score a decisive victory against terrorism unless a special law of this kind is enacted," Home Affairs Minister Lal Krishna Advani said as he presented the bill.
January 13, 2004 |
Hoping to benefit from an economic boom and an improving image abroad, India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party decided Monday to seek early elections. The BJP's national executive ended a two-day meeting with a unanimous resolution calling for the move. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, 79, signaled that the voting could take place by April.
November 29, 1998 |
India's right-wing ruling party was routed in elections in three states, according to early results Saturday, suffering a major setback in its first political test since forming a coalition government eight months ago. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee acknowledged the defeat for his Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, but he insisted the results would have no bearing on the stability of his 19-party coalition. The election was held Wednesday, but final results were not expected until today.
September 4, 1999 |
Indians will begin casting ballots Sunday in a vote for a new Parliament, after a campaign almost bereft of debate that focused on the ancestry of a candidate for prime minister, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi. At least 605 million Indians are eligible to vote in the staggered poll, which will take a month to complete. On Sunday, the first of five voting days, 140 million voters may cast ballots for 146 parliamentary seats, beginning the third election in three years in the world's largest democracy.
May 19, 2004
India keeps piling up surprises, from last week's upset victory of the Congress Party to Tuesday's dramatic declaration by the party's leader, Sonia Gandhi, that she would not become prime minister. If she sticks to her decision, she deserves credit for putting the interests of her party and country ahead of her own. National elections in the world's most populous democracy combine spectacle, drama and, often, surprises.