Indian Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda after voted out of office. - Gulf News Archives

Indian Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s 10-month-old coalition government fell after being routed in a vote of confidence, raising the prospect of the second general elections within a year. Gowda, 64, immediately left the house for the presidential palace and handed in his resignation, but was asked by President Shankar Dayal Sharma to carry on until new arrangements could be made. Sharma is expected to call other parties from the hung house to form a new government or order fresh polls in the world’s largest democracy. The margin of defeat — 292 votes to 158, with six absentees — was a blow to the United Front coalition, which commanded 180 members in the outgoing house. Gowda, who solemnly shook hands with opposition leaders after the humiliating defeat, bowed out of office after his coalition failed to reach a last-ditch deal with the Congress (I) party.Gowda’s exit marked the end of a 12-day drama that began when the Congress, which had propped up the government since June 1996, unexpectedly withdrew its crucial parliamentary support.

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