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As India celebrates 65th year apart from Colonialism, much political uncertainty remains

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 24th, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As the nation of India celebrates its 65th anniversary of severance from British colonialism this weekend, much political uncertainty remains. Elections in April or May this year are bringing forth much electoral invective, posturing and theatrical street confrontations. There are concerns that this may in turn into a potential constitutional crisis.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Three separate incidents revolving around the three main political rivals seen as the main contenders in this year's polls are casting a pall over India's Republic Day.

The first was a meeting of the Congress Party's leadership in which its vice president Rahul Gandhi was chosen to lead the election campaign -- but not named the party's candidate for prime minister. In spite of his speaking out on the rights of women, children and religious minorities, as well as the problems of the poor, Rahul lacked any concrete solutions for same. Adding insult to injury was that his own mother, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had the final say in not naming Rahul as the Congress prime ministerial hopeful.

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Sonia Gandhi guessed correctly that Rahul would be an easy target if the campaign became a confrontation between him and Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) candidate.

Secondly, the BJP's own national conclave and the core group meeting of its council were disappointed at being denied an easy target in Rahul Gandhi. Modi had longed for a direct fight with Gandhi, similar to that of an American presidential campaign where Republican and Democrat nominees slug it out across the nation.

Modi in articulating his vision for India and the party's policies for the future, disappointed on both counts, pandering to industry and commerce in his focus on good governance and prosperity. His vision for a united India excluded religious minorities, the Dalits, the Tribals and people on the margins.

A bizarre third event was a confrontation between the Aam Admi Party (AAP) leadership and the federal government. The irony that the AAP rules with the "outside" support of the Congress was not lost on observers.

AAP founder and Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal led a sit-in near the federal Home Ministry after the federally controlled Delhi police stopped him marching to the offices of the Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde. 

Kejriwal said he wanted to protest against police who refused to carry out orders from his ministers. Kejriwal accused Shinde of being at the top of a chain of corruption beginning with police constables and involving senior officers including the police commissioner.

This divided the people of Delhi. His supporters applauded his stand against the government while his opponents said it exposed his lust for power.

This has not been welcome news for the world's largest democracy as it celebrates Republic Day.

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