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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
India elections: Good day - bad day
Congress supporters in Delhi
It was a good day to be a Congress supporter
BBC News Online assesses the winners and losers on a dramatic day in India's electoral history:

Good Day
Sonia Gandhi

The Italian-born widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has been the butt of continuing derision from her opponents because of her foreign origins.

But her Congress party-led alliance inflicted a shock defeat on the Hindu nationalist BJP and its allies. She then surprised everyone by renouncing the post of prime minister, and nominated a close party ally, Manmohan Singh, instead.

Bad Day
Atal Behari Vajpayee

Mr Vajpayee called India's elections six months early, but the bold move boomeranged.

The general election defeat may have put the lights out on the twilight of his political career - Mr Vajpayee has now made way for his hardline deputy, LK Advani, to be leader of the opposition.

Indian electronic voting machine
Voting machines were not the disaster that some feared

Good Day
Electronic voting machines

India's first all-electronic general election has been a triumph, with results in within hours, instead of days thanks to a computerised army of one million voting machines.

There were some minor glitches during voting days. But technicians worked overtime to make the poll go smoothly in the world's largest democracy where most of the 668 million eligible voters in 543 constituencies are still poor, rural workers.

Bad Day
'India Shining'

Mr Vajpayee's party spin doctors coined the phrase "India Shining" as a reference to what they said was a feel-good factor sweeping the country.

But it turned out that voters in a country where a third live on less than $1 a day were less than impressed, giving the BJP a metaphorical 'shiner' at the ballot boxes.

Good Day
Rahul Gandhi

The entry of Sonia Gandhi's son energised the Congress campaign - he won by over 100,000 votes in the constituency of Amethi in north India, a seat once held by his father.

Tricky Day
APJ Abdul Kalam

After accepting the resignation of his prime minister, India's president faced a difficult legal decision over who should be asked to form the next administration following a hung parliament. But Congress was able to provide evidence of the necessary support from allies and leads the government which was sworn in.

Bollywood actor and Congress Party candidate Govinda
Govinda was won of several Bollywood stars to triumph

Good day
Bollywood stars

One of the most prominent Bollywood stars to triumph was a stand-up comedian Govinda of the Congress party, who defeated India's Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, a BJP heavyweight, in a Bombay constituency.

Bad Day
Yashwant Sinha

The foreign minister and NDA heavyweight lost his home seat of Hazaribagh in Jharkhand.

Good Day
Ramachandra Veerappa
Age did not weary Mr Veerappa
Ramachandra Veerappa

India's oldest candidate, 94 years old, won the reserved Bidar constituency for a successive fifth term to parliament. The veteran of the BJP won by a margin of 23,000 votes over his Congress rival. Mr Veerappa campaigned vigorously in the elections despite his age and is now recuperating at a hospital.

Bad day

The Tamil Nadu chief minister appeared to have alienated herself from her people. The strong electoral alliance cobbled by the DMK president, Mr Karunanidhi, and the anti-incumbency all worked against her AIADMK party.


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