Sat, May 14, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Indian PM set for boost from state polls

A NEEDED LIFT:Anger over farmland seizures by the Left Front led to an anti-incumbent landslide in West Bengal, but the telecoms scandal hurt Congress in Tamil Nadu

AFP, NEW DELHI

It has been embroiled in one of India’s biggest ever corruption scandals, in which former Indian minister for communication and information technology A. Raja, a DMK member, is accused of selling off telecoms licences at cut-price values.

He is in jail in New Delhi awaiting trial, while the daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has also been named in other charges.

“We expected to do much, much better in Tamil Nadu,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said. “I totally agree that corruption is an issue.”

With no party holding an overall majority in India’s federal parliament, state elections play a crucial role in shifting the national power balance, with Congress obliged to forge alliances with regional parties to govern.

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