News / Asia

India’s Latest Electoral Battle Features High Profile Candidates

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi displays the victory symbol to supporters after casting his vote in Ahmadabad, India, April 30, 2014.
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi displays the victory symbol to supporters after casting his vote in Ahmadabad, India, April 30, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha
In India, opposition prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and ruling Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi were among the contestants in polling Wednesday in India's national election. As the electoral battle for a new government enters its final stages, the contestants are pushing hard to gather votes.
 
Despite soaring summer temperatures, enthusiastic crowds turned out to vote in the western state of Gujarat, the home state of Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
 
After casting his vote in a school in Ahmedabad city early Wednesday, Modi flashed victory signs to cheering supporters. The man who polls said could be India’s next prime minister exuded confidence, saying the elections will end the rule of Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul Gandhi.
 
Modi told reporters he has gauged voters’ mood with his own eyes.
 
The opposition leader said nothing can save the mother-son government. He said polls held so far have set the foundation of a new, strong government.  
 
However, the BJP leader sparked controversy, flashing his party symbol, lotus, and giving a speech after voting. Following complaints from his opponents, the Election Commission ordered action against Modi for violating the code of conduct, which does not allow canvassing outside places where polling is taking place.   
 
The Hindu nationalist leader is contesting from two seats - Vadodara in Gujarat and the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.  
 
Gujarat was among nine states and territories in which 89 constituencies went to the polls Wednesday.  
 
These included the Rae Bareli constituency in Uttar Pradesh, from where the top Congress Party leader, Sonia Gandhi is contesting.
 
With the Congress Party’s fortunes appearing to wane, Sonia Gandhi’s daughter, Priyanka Vadra, has joined the poll campaign in recent days to revive the party’s fortunes.


 
Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi (C), surrounded by her security personnel, waves to her supporters after addressing an election campaign rally at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Apr. 26, 2014.Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi (C), surrounded by her security personnel, waves to her supporters after addressing an election campaign rally at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Apr. 26, 2014.
x
Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi (C), surrounded by her security personnel, waves to her supporters after addressing an election campaign rally at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Apr. 26, 2014.
Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi (C), surrounded by her security personnel, waves to her supporters after addressing an election campaign rally at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Apr. 26, 2014.
The Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty has dominated Indian politics since independence from Britain in 1947. But political  analysts say Rahul Gandhi, who was catapulted to prominence in this election, is a lackluster campaigner and has failed to halt Modi's momentum. On the other hand, observers say his sister is more charismatic, and connects much better with voters.       
 
Priyanka Vadra campaigned on Wednesday in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh state, from where her brother, Rahul Gandhi, is contesting.
 
She told voters Rahul Gandhi has a forward-looking vision that will bring development to the area such as roads to boost business and new train connections.  
 
The Gandhi family’s newest campaigner has been countering Modi by calling the election a fight to protect India’s secular identity. It is a reference to concerns that the Hindu nationalist leader is divisive, an allegation he has faced since 2002, when his state was wracked by sectarian rioting.  
 
The BJP, in turn, has pointed to Vadra’s husband, who is alleged to have amassed a fortune in property transactions in recent years due to his political connections. The Congress Party’s waning support is partly due to allegations that corruption flourished under its rule.    
 
Political analysts said the campaign is becoming increasingly shrill as both sides pull out all stops for the two remaining stages of the mammoth, nine-stage poll, which ends on May 12.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Guru from: New Jersey
April 30, 2014 10:11 AM
Sonia has no business to participate in India's in anyway, on account of the sole reason that she was not so prepared when she married Rajiv, have moved to India to permanently and living in India had a family fight with the second Bhau. She became citizen only after her political position almost certain of a top slot & for sure the Indian folks are stupid to accept another white with actually no intellectual or other unique quality especially the corrupt congress (I) followers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs