Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Going going Gandhi

After all the rubbish about the Sonia Gandhi victory on Fox News yesterday, it seems she has declined to accept the spoils. Gandhi said she would not accept the post of Prime Minister, which means the most likely candidate to be the PM is Mahmotan Singh -- the man who helped restructure and modernize the Indian economy.

Why did she decline? First, the Hindu nationalists are up in arms about the possibility of a foreign-born India PM. Second, her kids reportedly asked her not to be PM because they feared for her life -- and this has some history because Gandhi's husband Rajiv was the PM in 1991 and was killed by a suicide bomber who stood near him while he gave a speech and his mother (Sonia's mother in law) PM Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her bodyguards in 1984.

Here's another reason: she would not have been able to govern. Sonia Gandhi is foreign born and dependent upon the Communists for support in India's Parliament but the emerging commercial interests in India had already signalled that she is unacceptable because the India stock market nosedived in the wake of her victory. All these factors = unstable leader ripe for an overthrow. In India, that could be violent just as easily as it could be electoral.

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