Monday, December 24, 2007

wsj/AP report on gujarat: reasonably even-handed

dec 24th, 2007

even though it is not altogether free of bias. they don't want to say *how* the train was set on fire and by *whom*

don't know if this is premium material

India Nationalists Hope Win
At State Level Carries Wider

December 24, 2007; Page A6

AHMADABAD, India -- Hindu nationalists won a test of political support with a victory in a state election, after a bitter campaign fought in the shadow of 2002 anti-Muslim riots that left more than 1,000 people dead.

In the poll, in the western state of Gujarat, that many view as a test of party strength ahead of national elections, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won 117 seats in the 182-seat state assembly, according to the election commission. The Congress party, which heads India's federal government, won 62 seats, while independents took three, it said.

The vote was a personal victory for divisive politician Narendra Modi, who was re-elected to the state's top job. Mr. Modi, speaking to thousands of supporters at BJP headquarters, said the win was vindication for his policies and a reaction of voters to the campaign rhetoric against him. Throughout the campaign, Mr. Modi cast the election as a referendum on his rule -- a tenure best known for the riots, which began after a train fire killed 59 Hindu pilgrims.

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