India: Rajiv's Stinging Setback

Rajiv's Stinging Setback

The elections in Tamil Nadu, one of India's most populous states, looked like a perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to reverse the failing fortunes of his ruling Congress (I) Party. The opposition was badly split, and a secret poll showed Congress vying for the lead. Smelling victory, Gandhi visited the state four times in three weeks.

But when the returns came in last week, the results were calamitous for Congress, which won only 26 of 232 seats in the state assembly. Moreover, the victor, Muthuvel Karunanidhi, was aligned with the National Front, a coalition of parties formed to defeat...

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