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Delhi shows the way for India

By Arun Kumar Das in New Delhi
May 16, 2009 13:16 IST
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As capital cities go, Delhi doesn't just lead the way in social and economic development, it also mirrors who is worthy of ruling the country.

Since the first elections in 1952, the party that won Delhi's heart has invariably ruled the country.

In 1952, Delhi had only four Lok Sabha constituencies and the Congress bagged all of them and also formed the government at the Centre that year.

This sweep continued in 1957 and 1962, too, when the seats were increased to five.

In 1967, Delhi had seven Lok Sabha seats of which the Congress retained only one. Although the Congress formed the government at the Centre, it was the first time that it faced significant opposition in Parliament.

In 1971, Congress again bagged all seven seats in Delhi and retained power at the Centre.

Six years later, Congress lost all seven seats to the then Janata Party due to the anti-Emergency wave and for the first time a non-Congress government headed by Morarji Desai was formed at the Centre in 1977.

However, in 1980 the Congress snatched back six seats and also managed to secure a term in office at the Centre.

In 1984, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Congress again swept all the seven seats and Rajiv Gandhi became the prime minister.

Five years later, Bofors scam dominated the political scene and Congress could win only two seats and lost five to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1989. A non-Congress government headed by V P Singh came to power at Delhi.

Again in 1991, Congress managed to get only two seats -- Sadar and Outer Delhi. But this time, however, Congress's Narasimha Rao formed a minority government.

In 1996, Congress failed to improve its position and got only two seats, losing five to the BJP and the power to rule.

In 1998, Congress fared even worse. Meira Kumar was the sole Congress winner from Karol Bagh and the six other seats were captured by the BJP, whose leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the government and the Congress warmed the opposition benches in the Lower House of Parliament.

In 1999, the BJP swept all seven seats in Delhi and remained in power at the Centre.

The Congress, under Sonia Gandhi, bagged six seats in the capital in the 14th Lok Sabha elections in 2004, ending an eight-year drought of power.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance is all set to form the government this year, but there are no marks for guessing why.

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Arun Kumar Das in New Delhi
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