Sonia Gandhi's Bid for Political Security

Politicians in India usually give away bangles, saris, electrical goods and even laptops at election time in order to woo voters. Sonia Gandhi has raised the bar this week with a US$20 billion-plus handout that has taken several percentage points off the value of the rupee and the stock market and demolished successful efforts last Friday by Palaniappan Chidambaram, the finance minister, to halt the slide in the country's economy.

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