Analysis

India: Polls in Key Indian State a Harbinger of Nation’s Political Pulse
Left: Rahul Gandhi, a member of India's parliament, addresses an Indian Congress Party meeting in 2006 in front of a huge portrait of his mother, Sonia Gandhi, Congress party president. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images) Right: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati waves to a rally in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh state on February 24. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
February 27, 2012
| Economics
| Asia and the Pacific
Summary
With balloting underway for the assembly of India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh – which has over 100 million voters – Indians are bracing themselves for results that will likely prove decisive in paving the way for the next prime minister.

As the fifth phase of polls culminate, a skirmish continues between Mayawati, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and head of the Bahujan Samaj Party, and Rahul Gandhi, Congress party leader, heir-apparent to the prime minister’s chair and scion of the Gandhi-Nehru family. Rahul is the son of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991, and Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress party. Mayawati and Gandhi are fighting for leadership of India’s most electorally lucrative state against a backdrop of graft that has rocked the foundations of the nation’s Congress party-led ruling coalition.

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