Early elections not always a good idea

23 10 2009

Did Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda make a tactical mistake by going in for the assembly elections a few months before they were due? His inability to win a simple majority in the 90-member House has raised questions about the wisdom of advancing polls which would have been due in February 2010.

The most celebrated instance of an incumbent regime’s gamble with the poll date going awfully wrong was the Vajpayee government’s decision in 2004 to hold early parliamentary elections, enticed by the BJP’s spectacular wins in three states in end-2003. The summer outing, gone down in history as the ‘India Shining’ elections, saw the NDA’s exit from power. A supremely confident Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, who as an NDA ally, had floated the early-polls idea, too, met with his Waterloo at the same time.

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