OCTOBER 1, 2003
How strong is the opposition in India?
The opposition party in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh has come out against the idea of a Grand Prix in Hyderabad but although this has grabbed a few headlines, the fact remains that the state's chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has an impressive majority in the state parliament, his TDP party holding around 180 of the 294 seats. The Congress Party of India is the chief opposition but it can muster only 91 seats and the BJP has 12 seats but is in an alliance with Naidu. The Congress Party is arguing that Andhra Pradesh should be face up to the more pressing issues like drought and poverty but Naidu argues back that a Grand Prix is a long-term solution to short term problems. Naidu says that the Grand Prix would generate enormous economic activity, attracting investments in hotel, entertainment and tourism sectors and ultimately provide over 70,000 jobs.
The chief minister responded with accusations that the opposition is trying to obstruct his plans in order to help the Grand Prix bids from Maharashtra and Karnataka, nearby states which are run by the Congress Party.
It is worth noting that the political situation could change next year when new state elections are due.
During his term Naidu has overcome much resistance over projects to modernize Andhra Pradesh.
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