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Congress party faces 'record low' in India election: Press

Published on Mar 6, 2014 2:12 PM
India's Chief Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath () listens to a reporter's question during a news conference to announce election dates, in New Delhi March 5, 2014. India's mammoth parliamentary election will start on April 7, authorities announced on Wednesday, kicking off a race that will pit charismatic Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi against the unpopular Nehru-Gandhi family's ruling Congress party. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Anger at corruption and despondency over the economy could see support for India's ruling Congress party hit an all-time low at next month's general elections, newspapers said on Thursday.

The day after the election commission announced the world's largest democracy would go to the polls from April 7, there was a consensus that the centre-left Congress's 10-year rule was drawing to a close.

While no one party is expected to win an outright majority in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is widely forecast to unseat the country's traditional governing party after the results are announced on May 16.

Dubbing the election "The Greatest Show On Earth", the Times of India said anger over the Congress-led coalition's "scandal-ridden, paralytic second term" of government would see it shed votes to the BJP, regional rivals, and an upstart anti-corruption party. "There is a danger that Congress may lose to both BJP and regional rivals and end up with a record low total," said the paper.

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