India - US: Outcome in Midterm Polls Unlikely to Impact Relations


India - US: Outcome in Midterm Polls Unlikely to Impact Relations

The US on November 8, conducted midterm elections to both Houses of the US Congress and for the governorships of several states. Although referred to as the US Congress, America’s legislature is in fact bicameral -- it comprises the House of Representatives, consisting of 435 members, who go to election every two years, while the second chamber is the Senate, with 100 members, of whom only one-third come up for election every two years. The last system is also followed by India’s Rajya Sabha.

Traditionally, the party of serving US Presidents faces setbacks in the midterms as people tend to use the ballot to indicate their angst over economic or other issues. However, results so far indicate that Biden is not doing too badly.

For India, writes K.C. Singh (former secretary, MEA) “the change of balance in the US Congress, total or partial, is unlikely to impact relations with the United States. If anything, the BJP is even more comfortable with the Republicans due to their less nosy approach to Indian domestic politics, which with less than 18 months to go till the next Lok Sabha election, is likely to get more majoritarian.”

Globally however, for democracies, “the message from the US is important. Will the strongest democracy show its people reject bigotry, xenophobia and autocratic Christian nationalism. Only then will President Joe Biden’s advocacy of democracy globally be able to gain strength.”

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