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May 13, 2004

Indian Poor Reject Pro-Market Party

There's been a vibrant debate in comments in whether recent neoliberal policies in Indian have been a success, but poor Indian voters seem to have registered their own opinions in voting out the incumbent party.

The results reflected the feeling by millions of India's rural poor that they had been left out of the economic boom promoted by Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata Party-led government...

Congress focused its campaign on the country's 300 million people who still live on less than a dollar a day. It hammered away at the lack of even basic infrastructure, electricity and potable water for millions of rural poor...

Leftist parties, which have promised to support a Congress-led government, also appeared to be doing well and they could give the opposition the edge it would need to take power.

This is the reality of the global economy-- a small group are getting very rich, a larger group or doing pretty well, but large swathes of the population are suffering under neoliberal policies that undermine incomes for the poor and leave education and social services underfunded.

Hopefully, the vote in India, in combination with the rejection of neoliberalism throughout much of Latin America, will reshape the global debate on trade and development towards demands for a more humane global economic system.

Posted by Nathan at May 13, 2004 07:45 AM