Notes on the Atrocities
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Friday, May 14, 2004  

Sonia Gandhi Update

After a gasp at the prospect that an Italian may inherit the reigns of the old country, it appears that people are falling in line behind Sonia.

The day after a stunning upset of the NDA, senior Congress leaders dismissed the idea of any other leader, from within Congress or outside, heading the new government. "She will be elected leader by the Congress Parliamentary Party on Saturday and should take oath by Monday," a close aide of Sonia told

Congressmen now trash any talk of a compromise candidate like Manmohan Singh or Pranab Mukherjee. In this hour of glory, leaders like Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshed, Mohsina Kidwai are clear -- it’s only Sonia Gandhi. As Soni said: "This is a clear mandate for Sonia. She herself had said that the next Prime Minister would be picked by the people of the country."

(I had forgotten the punchy language newspapers used. It's fairly bloggish.)

Something else about Congress's stunning upset occurred to me yesterday. Although I don't think it was a primary reason, this result is yet another example of a country rejecting leadership allied with the US. Congress won largely because it courted the bottom third of wage-earners who had been left behind in the BJP's "India Shining" economy. Nevertheless, the Bushies can't be pleased.

posted by Jeff | 9:46 AM |
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