India’s 2009 Elections: A Vote to Stay the Course

Issue Date October 2009
Volume 20
Issue 4
Page Numbers 79-88
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The results of the fifteenth Indian General Election defied the predictions of most political analysts who had feared a fractured verdict from the electorate. Instead the Indian National Congress emerged with a plurality of seats (winning 206 out of a possible 543). With the support of a small handful of parties it has thereby been able to form a stable government. A postelection analysis suggests that the Congress’s emphasis on rural development and the personal stature of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh contributed significantly toward its victory. Also, the charge from the Bharatiya Janata Party, principal opposition party, that the Congress had not shown sufficient resolve on questions of national security, did not seem to move the electorate.