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By Robert Benjamin and Robert Benjamin,Sun Staff Correspondent | May 23, 1991
NEW DELHI, India -- The long-entrenched elders of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's political party moved quickly yesterday to continue his family's political dynasty by nominating his Italian-born wife as its new leader.Sonia Gandhi's appointment capped an emotional day in India'scapital, one in which her husband's body was brought back to receive full state funeral honors.The choice of Mrs. Gandhi, 45, as her assassinated husband's successor was immediately criticized by political analysts as the latest example of senior leaders' inability to reform the Congress Party, a once-dominant but now deeply troubled organization.
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By Janet Hook and Janet Hook,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 16, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Now comes the hard part. Congressional Democrats quickly and easily unified behind passing a nonbinding resolution denouncing President Bush's plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq. But after the measure's expected approval in the House today, party leaders will confront more divisive questions -- how to force a determined president to back down and whether to push even harder for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Senior House Democrats are crafting a strategy designed to block U.S. escalation in Iraq without exposing their party to charges that it is undermining the military.
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By Robert Benjamin and Robert Benjamin,Sun Staff Correspondent | June 18, 1991
NEW DELHI -- The vote counting in India's national election was headed toward completion late last night, but the serious politicking was just beginning.With the Congress Party projected to fall about 25 to 30 seats short of a majority in India's Parliament, potential allies from among its left-wing opponents were sending strong signals that Congress will have to offer concessions in exchange for their support in forming a new government.While those compromises were not spelled out yesterday, it appeared clear that Congress will not have a free hand in running the new government when it takes power.
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By Thomas L. Friedman | June 8, 2004
THE WALL Street Journal had a front-page story Wednesday that caught my eye. It was about how the antiglobalization movement seemed to be losing steam, with police not expecting the sort of violent protesters of the late 1990s to show up at the Group of Eight summit in Sea Island, Ga., this week. If you want to understand why the antiglobalization movement - which was always a mishmash of groups and ideologies - has lost its edge, you should study the recent Indian elections. And if the antiglobalizers want to understand how they could again become relevant, they should study those elections as well.
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By Robert Benjamin and Robert Benjamin,Sun Staff Correspondent | June 17, 1991
NEW DELHI -- Initial results yesterday in India's national elections showed the long-dominant Congress Party well ahead but not with enough strength to form a new government by itself."
NEWS
May 14, 1996
INDIAN VOTERS deserted the ruling Congress Party by the hundreds of millions in the largest free election ever held. Out of the chaos will come a coalition government. It will be led either by leftists representing low-caste Hindus, Muslims and Marxists; or by high-caste Hindu extremists who would abolish the secular laws and protections for minorities and launch a nuclear arms race.The Congress Party, in power most of the time since 1947, rolled back British imperialism. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
NEWS
June 2, 1996
THE CONFUSED MANDATE of the world's largest democratic election may bring the obscure H. D. Deve Gowda of the left-wing United Front to power in India. This group came in second in the April-May election to the Hindu extremist party, which was given first try but soon fell. The United Front can govern, but only with support of the Congress Party, which was thrown from office.So, although many members were running to roll back the free market reforms of the Congress Party government of P. V. Narasimha Rao, the new coalition will keep them.
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By New York Times News Service | December 11, 1994
NEW DELHI, India -- India's national government was in turmoil yesterday after crushing defeats for the governing Congress Party in three state elections.The losses, and an uncertain outcome in a fourth state, raised doubts about Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao's ability to lead the party to victory in the next general election.The setbacks, particularly the loss of a Congress government in the prime minister's home state, Andhra Pradesh, in southern India, have encouraged opponents of the market economic reforms introduced by Mr. Rao after he became prime minister in 1991.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 5, 1996
RAE BARELI, India -- Like many Indian politicians, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the man opinion polls say is favored for prime minister by more Indians than any other contender, runs chronically late for election rallies. So when he greeted a crowd that had waited three hours in 105-degree heat, Vajpayee had a practiced excuse."If I were prime minister I would have a proper jet, not a turboprop," he said. The remark set off chants from loyalists of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu nationalist group that opinion polls have predicted will take the largest number of seats in the general election that ends with a third round of voting on Tuesday.
NEWS
May 4, 1996
THE LOGISTICS of India's election defy the imagination. The electorate is some 590-million strong, nearly half illiterate. People vote on ballots with varied languages and picture symbols. Their voting is usually as informed and intelligent as anywhere. The turnout will exceed 60 percent and results are not due till May 10.Yes, there are arrests and sporadic violence. But by comparison with most countries, the election is remarkably fair and free. Voters are disillusioned with the Congress Party that always said it was for the poor and disgusted with its corruption.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 23, 2004
NEW DELHI, India - Manmohan Singh was sworn in as India's 13th prime minister yesterday, making history as the country's first Sikh to hold the position. Another kind of history was made as well: For the first time, the Indian National Congress, which led India on its own for 37 of the country's first 45 years, will lead a coalition government. Singh, an economist and former finance minister, will be the country's first prime minister to hold a doctorate. He is credited with saving India from a balance-of-payments crisis and potential economic collapse in 1991, and with beginning many of the economic changes that have helped transform India's quasi-socialist economy into a growing global force.
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By Paul Watson and Paul Watson,LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 19, 2004
NEW DELHI, India - Hounded by Hindu nationalists and apparently fearing for her safety, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi shocked her adopted nation yesterday by announcing she would not become India's next prime minister. Former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a key member of Gandhi's transition team, will be the Congress party's new candidate, Jairam Ramesh, a senior Congress official, told The Associated Press today. Once the allies have expressed their support for Singh - who would be the country's first Sikh prime minister - Singh must meet the president to stake his claim to form the next government.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 19, 1999
NEW DELHI, India -- Sonia Gandhi's leadership of the Congress Party -- which long ruled India but is now a shadow of its former self -- faced its most crucial test yesterday as voting in India's gargantuan monthlong national election moved to the Hindi heartland.The biggest prize is Uttar Pradesh, the north Indian state with a population of 160 million. Once a bastion of Congress power, it sent three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family to serve as members of Parliament and as prime ministers.
NEWS
April 20, 1999
THIRTEEN months of government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Jana Party (BJP) did not remake India. It did stir a nuclear arms race with Pakistan and religious-cultural bigotry directed mostly at Muslims. But the government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee also improved relations with Pakistan and the United States. And it initiated economic reforms that dismantled inefficient socialism, leading to hopes that India may help lead Asia back to economic health. Now that it has fallen for no good reason, the BJP government can be seen as the most productive of the five that India has had through two elections in three years.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 19, 1999
NEW DELHI, India -- A day after the fall of the Hindu nationalist-led government, leaders of the opposition Congress Party began trying to patch together a new coalition to govern this nation of 980 million people.But any new alliance drawn from the diverse and contentious collection of opposition parties is likely to be as rickety as the one that just lost power, political analysts and some Congress officials said.If the opposition is unable to cobble together a majority, President K.R. Narayanan is empowered to dissolve the Parliament and call new elections, the second round in two years.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 30, 1998
NEW DELHI, India -- As vote tallies piled up yesterday in a series of important state elections, the humiliating defeat of the Hindu nationalists and the stunning resurrection of India's once-dominant Congress Party became ever more starkly apparent.Voters outraged by the spiraling prices of onions, tomatoes and potatoes -- essentials of the Indian diet -- swept the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party from office by landslide margins where it had been deeply entrenched. The party lost in Delhi, the district that includes the nation's capital, and in the Hindi heartland state of Rajasthan.
NEWS
June 25, 1991
Durable, strong leadership is what India needs, but is not what India is getting. Circumstances and the Congress Party would not allow that.P. V. Narasimha Rao, who was named prime minister and given four weeks to form a government, is 69, recently had a heart bypass operation, did not seek re-election to Parliament and must do so soon, has been loyal the late Prime Ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, lacks a power base in the nation or Congress Party and...
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By Robert Benjamin and Robert Benjamin,Sun Staff Correspondent | June 21, 1991
NEW DELHI, India -- P. V. Narasimha Rao, an elder statesman who many think might not last a full term, will be India's next prime minister.Backed by the inner circle of the dominant Congress Party's leadership, Mr. Rao, 69, a former foreign minister and longtime member of the party, was chosen to lead the party in India's next Parliament by a show of hands at a meeting yesterday of the party's newly elected parliamentary delegation.He is expected to form a minority government in which the Congress Party is likely to get support from some of its former opponents among India's left-wing and Communist parties.
NEWS
April 10, 1998
THE CONGRESS Party created modern India. Founded 113 years ago, it opposed British imperialism and crusaded for India's independence as a democratic, secular state. The party survived the loss of Muslim Pakistan and made India an inclusive mosaic of peoples, languages and religions. For all but five of the 51 years of independence, Congress has ruled.There is no more eloquent statement of the party's sad decline than its clamor to be led by an Italian Catholic woman who speaks Hindi and English with a thick accent.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 12, 1998
SRIPERUMBUDUR, India -- In a move that her supporters hope will shape Indian politics for years to come, Sonia Gandhi, widow of one assassinated prime minister and daughter-in-law of another, made an emotional entry into public life yesterday."
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