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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs