The budget shows democracy is deeply rooted in India

If you wanted an example of the strength of Indian democracy, then today’s interim budget provides that opportunity, as it demonstrated that despite the incumbent government being on its last legs, and faces the very real prospect of being voted out of office, they’ve resisted the urge to announce concessions that may have increased their chances at the ballot box. The Foreign Minister – Pranab Mukherjee went as far as acknowledging that they “didn’t have a mandate to do more”.

Media reports suggest that over a trillion rupees were wiped off the stock market today as investors were hoping that various sops would be provided for key industry sectors to stimulate growth. Given this loss of confidence, I’m surprised that no concrete proposals have been floated to outline what each party would do to revive the economy.

In Britain, I believe that the economy will be the only story at election time, for this reason, I’m intrigued as to why this isn’t the case in India. With the elections so close, doesn’t it make sense to set your stall out on this issue?

With respects to the strength and maturity of Indian democratic values, I hope our politicans show the same depth when it’s our turn to go to the polls.

Elections in New Delhi

Why is everyone saying that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is going to lose Delhi’s election? 

I was in Delhi since last week and just can believe how political chit chat dominated a reception hosted by Sir Dickie Stagg, British High Commissioner, at his residence on Tuesday evening. I’m not referring to British politics and the fortunes of Gordon Brown, but firstly of Obama (who’s since won the contest) and secondly of Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi.

 

As per my knowledge and experience of Delhi, she’s done very well in her tenure of ten years. I can’t believe the change in climate – less smog and pollution, a brand spanking new metro network, the commonwealth games etc. For this reason, I just can’t understand why everyone is saying that she’s toast. Not one person has said that she’s going to win.

 

The challenger, Dr Malhotra of the BJP, has a good reputation and from what I’m told,  heralded some positive changes when he ran Delhi as a civil servant in the 50’s. Since then, he’s climbed up the political greasy pole and is the Deputy Leader of the BJP in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. He’d make a good Chief Minister. His credentials are good. But, we also know that no matter how good a challenger is, the burden lies with the incumbent, it’s Sheila Dikshit’s election to lose. At least, that’s what political wisdom would suggest.

 

I can understand the reasons why Obama ran a campaign promising change, but I really can’t understand the basis of Delhiites demanding political change in their city.

                    

Any ideas?