India: A Great Deal of Heat, But Little Light

Omair Ahmad

The Indian states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram recently held their elections. With general elections for the country due in less than a year, the elections are being seen as referendum between the ruling United Progressive Alliance – with the Indian National Congress (INC) in the lead, and the Opposition coalition, the National Democratic Alliance – with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the lead. The BJP won three of the elections, two with a two-thirds majority, there is a hung Assembly in one state, and the INC had a comfortable win in the last (and smallest) of the states. These results, which have shown an overall increase in BJP vote share, are complicated by the presence of a rising alternative, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in Delhi, and offer few real clues about the elections to come.

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