Where: New Delhi, India
May 16, 2009 : The results of India’s general elections, the largest democratic elections in the world, were announced on May 16, 2009.The Indian National Congress party won 205 of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha (the House of the People, or the lower house of the Indian Parliament). This was its best performance in the last 25 years. The party and its coalition partners, who make up the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won a total of 261 seats, only 12 short of an absolute majority. The Trinamool Congress with 19 seats has the maximum number of seats among the allies. The chief opposition party, the Bhartiya Janata Party, and the Congress’ former allies, the Left Front, were defeated and had to give up the idea of trying to form governments.
Poll analysts had predicted that another coalition government would be formed. The last government was an alliance between the Congress and the Left (communist) parties. They parted ways as the Left parties opposed most of the Congress party’s economic and foreign policies. The challenges in front of the country at the time of voting were the world financial crisis, the powerful Taliban presence in neighbouring Pakistan and India’s ever present inter-religious and inter-community tensions.
Eventually, the election has led to a stable government. The country’s stock market boomed as stocks rose in value by over 17 per cent on the Monday after the results were announced. Dr. Manmohan Singh, an economist, introduced economic reforms in India in 1991 when he was Finance Minister. He is the first Indian Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term.