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: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid