India set to be ruled by coalition
Wednesday 08 May 1996
No clear front-runner has emerged in these fiercely-contested parliamentary and state assembly elections. But early exit polls give the ruling Congress party a slight edge over the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and, in third place, the National Front-Left Front (NF-LF). It is doubtful that the Congress party of the Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, will secure a majority of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament.
Election officials said voting in the third and last phase of the Indian elections passed smoothly in many states. But in Bihar, 15 people were killed and another 50 were injured in bomb blasts and shoot-outs between rival party supporters. So far, 39 people have died in Bihar during electioneering.
For the first time in seven years, Indians in the troubled Himalayan state of Jammu-Kashmir were allowed to vote in parliamentary and state assembly elections. But sabotage threats by Muslim separatists frightened off many voters, even in the predominately Hindu area of Jammu and in Leh, a mountainous region near Tibet whose inhabitants are mainly Buddhists. Polling in the turbulent Kashmir valley, where over 20,000 people have died in a six-year revolt against the Indian security forces, has been delayed until later this month.
Indian authorities claimed that Pakistani forces fired artillery shells into Kashmir yesterday to disrupt polling along their disputed border. Islamabad gives support to the Kashmiri insurgents.
In the north-eastern state of Manipur, where Indian security forces are fighting separatists, over a dozen bombs were set off to scare away voters. In communist-run West Bengal, where voter turnout at 75 per cent was the nation's highest, both the BJP and the Congress complained of "massive" vote-rigging.
With many political experts predicting that India will face a hung parliament, some parties are already putting out feelers to possible coalition partners. The National Front-Left Front is reported to have made moves towards the Congress party but is said to be demanding that Mr Rao is ditched as leader - a condition that a senior Congress official said it had no intention of meeting.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...