Gandhi stakes claim to India builds power base
Tuesday 20 April 1999
The former actress-turned-politician Jayaram Jayalalitha revealed that progress had been made in the search for a replacement administration after the fall of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition. But while Mrs Gandhi, widow of the former prime minister Rajiv, conceded that Congress would stake a claim to govern, she refused to disclose details.
If Mrs Gandhi succeeds in winning the support of as many as 26 parties from the regions and the left, she will form India's sixth government in little more than three years. But there were signs yesterday that Congress, with only 139 MPs, well short of the 271 needed for a majority in parliament, was struggling to win over several crucial small parties to make the numbers tally.
Key among them were two left-wing parties, the Revolutionary Socialists and Forward Block, who object to the previous Congress government's economic reform policies, and the regional Tamil Maanila Congress, which refuses to be part of any coalition containing its arch-rival Ms Jayalalitha. Together they command a vital eight votes which would make a Congress coalition viable.
A day of deal-making in Delhi saw frantic efforts to persuade the parties to come on board.
But Ms Jayalalitha was adamant that there was no pressure on her All- India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham party to remain outside the government in order to win over the waverers.
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...