ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Perils, Real and Fanciful

THE outcome of the elections to the 12th Lok Sabha has been inconclusive, as had been widely expected, Neither the BJP nor the Congress, even with their so-called alliance partners, has managed to secure a clear majority in the new house, though the BJP has emerged as both the largest single party and as the leader of the largest alliance of parties. The performance of the BJP marks, once again, an advance for the party in terms of the number of seats won, the proportion of votes polled and the evidence of expansion of support for it to new parts of the country. The party has also won back Gujarat where elections to the state assembly were held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. In the case of the Congress, without the disadvantage of incumbency this time unlike in 1996, the election results have been clearly much below the party's calculations, especially after the hoopla about the impact that Sonia Gandhi's high-profile campaign was supposed to have had on the electorate. While the party has failed to add to its tally of scats in the Lok Sabha, its share of votes is actually smaller this time than in 1996.

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