Indian state elections

Results have come in from several Indian states to have held state legislative assembly elections over recent weeks. The main Communist parties have done well in West Bengal and Kerala. In the case of West Bengal, the alliance of two major Communist parties has been reelected to a seventh straight term, confirming its status as the longest ruling democratically elected Communist government in the world. In Kerala, the Communists return to power, ousting an incumbent government of the Indian National Congress.

What is particularly interesting about these outcomes is that the Left parties are part of a formalized coalition with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), centered around the Congress party (and also containing numerous state-specific parties), at the federal level. Yet Congress and the Left parties compete against each other for control of state governments, including Kerala and West Bengal.

The Left parties have just over 7% of the seats in the federal lower house (on a similar vote share, given that they obtain most of their votes in India’s FPTP system in just a few states), and without these legislators’ support, the UPA would not have a majority in the federal parliament and could be vulnerable to no-confidence motions submitted by the other main pan-India party, the BJP, and various state-specific parties.

0 thoughts on “Indian state elections

  1. Tamil Nadu has had a “wrong winner” election.

    The DMK with 26.4% of the vote won 96 seats, ousting the ADMK which dropped to only 61 seats despite winning 32.52 percent of the vote. The new government has a minority of the 234 seats, but will govern with the external support of either (or both) of the Left parties with 33 seats or Congress with 34 seats.

    Sri Lanka next door has proportional representation. Already the comment has been made that it is clear that a party with lesser number of votes got more MLAs. So, it does not represent the people’s choice. The system should be changed suitably like Sri Lanka (proportional representation).

  2. Pingback: Fruits and Votes

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