Swapan Dasgupta in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“In an election year—although, strictly speaking, the Lok Sabha election is likely to be in early 2009—every government is under pressure from the political class to shower the electorate with sops and freebies. The underlying belief, which has never been empirically verified, is that a show of generosity will automatically translate into votes.
“In recent times, only the Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, has had the gumption to defy political wisdom and refuse a blanket amnesty to many thousands of farmers who were charged with power theft. Most incumbent governments have followed the line of least resistance and made extravagant populist gestures that have cost the exchequer dearly and yet not guaranteed re-election.”
Read the full article: India remains incredible