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Union cabinet fares miserably in Lok Sabha elections

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-05-2014 A Staff Writer

New Delhi: The dismal performance of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the polls is best reflected in the performance of the outgoing Union cabinet.

Of the 28 members of the cabinet, 12 are either Rajya Sabha members or chose not to contest the elections.

These include such worthies as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, defence minister A.K. Antony, finance minister P. Chidambaram, rural affairs minister Jairam Ramesh, and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, who is the chief of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The others are all Congressmen.

Of the remaining 16, as many as 13 have lost (or are trailing). They include Salman Khurshid, the external affairs minister, Ajit Singh, the Rashtriya Lok Dal chief who is the aviation minister, and Kapil Sibal, the telecom and information technology minister.

The other three have won or are leading (some narrowly). This list features Kamal Nath, the parliamentary affairs minister, environment and oil minister Veerappa Moily, and rail minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

This may well be the first time in the history of India that 90% of the members of an outgoing cabinet either didn’t contest the elections, or lost.

In many ways, that tells the story of the Congress—leading (or having won) only 48 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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