India’s ruling Congress-led alliance has begun choosing allies to support its coalition and focus on reviving the economy after its sweeping general election victory. The result means the left-of-centre Congress Party may find it easier to form a stable government and be less vulnerable to pressure over financial reforms.
Political analyst Kaleem Bahadur said: “Whatever policies are framed or implemented by the present government will be policies of the Congress party as compared to earlier (policies) which were framed under the influence of the Left and the Right and other groups.” As many as 714 million people were eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democracy. Polling was staggered over a month for security reasons. The Congress-led coalition defied predictions of a tight race and finished only just shy of an outright majority in the 543 seat parliament according to India’s electoral commission. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s clean image and tireless campaigning by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi are believed to have been crucial to the eventual outcome.