A blow to India's ambitions

The defeat of Chandrababu Naidu in the Indian elections in the state of Andhra Pradesh could spell disaster for the plans for an Indian GP in 2007. Naidu was defeated by a Congress Party-led alliance which won 226 seats in the state assembly. Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which had ruled the state since 1995, won only 49. The result was a big surprise as Naidu had played a key role in the development of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh as a high technology haven, attracting names such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to the state. Rajasekhara Reddy was sworn in Friday as the new chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and it is up to him now to decide whether the Grand Prix project will go ahead. There is asome hope, however, as Suresh Kalmadi, the head of the Indian Olympic Association, which supported the race, has won a seat in the state assembly as a member of the Congress Party. Kalmadi was one of the delegation who attended the Italian GP last year with Naidu.

If the Hyderabad bid fails, it will be a big boost for the rival bid from the state of Maharashtra in Mumbai.

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