Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Elections Bring Uncertainty For India's Tech Sector

BANGALORE, India -- The electoral sea change in India last week not only brought down the ruling government but also two of the country's tech-savvy ministers from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Each had cultivated close ties to the IT community here.

The largest democratic elections on earth, involving about 370 million voters, brought down the national government headed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It also resulted in the ouster of Andhra Pradesh's Chandrababu Naidu and S.M. Krishna of Karnataka. Bangalore is its capital.

Recent regional elections in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh also resulted in the ouster of another chief minister with a tech-savvy image.
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states have been in the forefront of attracting overseas investments for the global high-tech industry. Microsoft and Oracle, among others have development centers in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, while Intel, IBM and Texas Instruments all have development centers here.

(The 2004 elections were conducted entirely with electronic ballots using millions of electronic voting machines made here. Exports of the machines is likely.)

Chandrababu Naidu was widely seen as one high-tech's biggest backers in India. He was often referred to as the "laptop chief minister," given his penchant for carrying one everywhere he traveled. However, that imaged rubbed rural voters the wtong way. Given that Indian villages account for most of the votes, Naidu's image ultimately sealed his political demise, observers said.

  • 1