Skip to comments.Low castes lead in Uttar Pradesh (Indian state).
Posted on 05/11/2007 6:05:06 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu
Outgoing chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has admitted defeat to his rival, BSP leader Mayawati, and has said he will resign when results are confirmed.
Trends show his party trailing with a possible clear majority for the BSP.
Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state and has long been its most politically influential.
But with caste and religion becoming the dominant factors in state politics in the past two decades, Uttar Pradesh has been in a state of decline.
Jubilant, flag-waving BSP supporters have gathered outside the residence of the party leader Mayawati - a woman who belongs to the poor, deprived Dalit (formerly untouchable) caste - in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
Dancing party supporters set off fire crackers and celebrated with sweets.
Ms Mayawati has been the state chief minister three times in the past and this is expected to be her fourth term in office.
Her support base is mostly with the lower caste and poor communities who form a significant percentage of the Uttar Pradesh electorate.
India's two main political parties - Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - have been on the decline in Uttar Pradesh in recent years.
If Ms Mayawati fails to win an outright majority, reports say the Congress party would seek to form a coalition government with her party.
The election of 403 state legislature members was held in seven phases over a month for logistical reasons.
The month-long vote failed to bring people out in high numbers, polling officials said. None of the phases had a turnout higher than 50%.
But it will also be remembered for having seen no significant violence, unlike in the past.
As well as caste, crime was another major issue, many voters said.
Uttar Pradesh is plagued by corruption and lags behind other parts of India in areas like development and health.
Because of its sheer size and numbers, Uttar Pradesh, commonly called UP, holds an important place in the Indian political system.
The state has more than 175 million inhabitants. It sends 80 MPs - the highest number in India - to the federal parliament, more than any other state.
It has produced most of India's prime ministers, including the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
Observers say the Congress party, which leads the federal government, and the main opposition BJP both recognise the results could have a bearing on the national balance of power.
More than 49 million people were eligible to vote at nearly 50,000 polling stations in Uttar Pradesh, watched over by thousands of police and paramilitary troops.
The polling dates were 7 April, 13 April, 18 April, 23 April, 28 April, 3 May and 8 May.
Tolerance and equality. Everyone is equal as long as they stay within their caste. Must be a wonderful way to run a country.
I’ve got friends in low places............
If only India could get past the caste system, they might enjoy the success that every other English colony has had... and they need to do it soon, because China has decided to become Asia’s powerhouse. Only India has a chance of competing with them 40 years from now.
This has happened because she has co-opted Brahmins in her fold fielding Brahmin candidates on her party’s ticket at 86 out of 404 seats
Every other English colony successful?
Thats news to me. The only ex-colonies I see successful are the ones inhabited by Europeans. Among the native-dominant colonies, India qualifies as a rare success.
Yup, the caste thingy is a big issue in India. And the political system perpetuates it. A first-past-the-post system 9as in Westminister) means that you could win with 20% of the vote with 10 candidates in the fray. So, its muh easier to trade in caste coalitions than to do the hardwork of reform and development.
Just my $0.02.
Hong Kong and Singapore are both considered developed by many, and they obviously are not majority European descended. Malaysia and South Africa are part of a second tier, neither developed but still developing at a rapid clip. Third tier would be countries such as Uganda and Ghana, poor countries, but relatively stable ones. Also to be taken into consideration is how much of the success is directly traceable to British rule.
Singaporean politics have been dominated by the People's Action Party (PAP) since self-government was attained. Although Singapore's laws are inherited from British and British Indian laws, including many elements of English common law, the PAP has also consistently rejected liberal democratic values as "Western." Laws restricting freedom of speech, including criticising the government, are justified by claims that unrestricted speech may breed disharmony within Singapore's multi-racial, multi-religious society.
Worthington, Ross (2002). Governance in Singapore. Routledge/Curzon. ISBN 0-7007-1474-X.
Neither is Hong-Kong, after the British left. Besides, both are port-city-states, nowhere near comparable to complex nations. Malaysia was run by the Suharto regime, and has seen democracy in probably only the last decade or so, if at all.
“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that, too.”
W. Somerset Maugham
Do read up on the BSP won this election-if anything,it built up a rainbow coalition of diverse castes rather than divide them further.
Question is can Mayawati do a reformist act in the economic and administrative sphere in UP? Like, say, what Nitish is doing in Bihar? Or even Laloo is doing currently in the Railways ministry?
What most people expect mainly from here is to try & salvage the law & order situation,which is terrible in U.P.Development & reform can come only after that.I’d call her a rather uncouth equivalent of an Indira Gandhi or Jayalalitha-tough,imperious,arrogant(even corrupt),but forceful & effective.