THE BLOG

India's Cabinet Members lose handily

India's Finance Minister, who is also a Harvard MBA, P. Chidambaram decided not to contest the just concluded parliamentary elections. His Bostonian insights served him well in avoiding the avalanche that destroyed the credibility of many of his peers in Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's cabinet.

The Minister of Home Affairs is one of the most powerful cabinet positions. Sushil Kumar Shinde, a longtime party stalwart who took over this key role in July 2012 lost his seat in parliament to Sharad Bansode of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
India's Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid, lost to Mukesh Rajput of the BJP in Farrukhabad constituency in India's largest state of Uttar Pradesh.

The outspoken Kapil Sibal, Minister of Law & Justice lost the Chandni Chowk seat in walled city of old Delhi to Harsh Vardhan of BJP. Sibal was previously in-charge of Human Resource Development (HRD) which includes Education.

Temple University graduate M.M. Pallam Raju who now ran the HRD ministry was vanquished by Thota Narasimham of the regional Telugu Desam Party in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

The list of losers from the Indian National Congress party includes Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Minister of Earth Sciences Jaipal Reddy, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Girija Vyas and Minister of Mines Dinsha Patel.

The man who would have been Prime Minister, had the Indian National Congress and its allies won, Rahul Gandhi, was sanguine. Son of Congress President, the Italian born Sonia Gandhi, Rahul declared " The Congress has done pretty badly. I take full responsibility. There is a lot for us to think about".

What these losses mean for America and American companies

Washington has been frustrated that landmark efforts such as the "123 Civil Nuclear Agreement" signed in 2008 have failed to produce increased American exports yet, stymied by indecision in New Delhi. The new government of Prime Minister apparent Narendra Modi is committed to moving fast and many of these logjams and uncertainties should start to fade. American companies have hesitated to prioritize investing in India initiative since 2009, worried by red-tape and corruption. The new government has promised to be more transparent and to streamline approvals. Modi has a track record of achieving rapid industrial and agricultural growth in his home state of Gujarat. Now he and his team will have the opportunity to apply their model on a national scale.

The President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce, Rana Kapoor said he has presented the new government with an agenda to achieve 10 percent annual economic growth. Hopes are running high in New Delhi this weekend.

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