News / Asia

    India’s Senior Party Member to Lead Poll Campaign

    Chief Minister of India’s western state of Gujarat Narendra Modi, right, stands with Bihar state Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, June 9, 2013.
    Chief Minister of India’s western state of Gujarat Narendra Modi, right, stands with Bihar state Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, June 9, 2013.
    Anjana Pasricha
    India’s main opposition party has chosen one of the country’s most controversial politicians, Narendra Modi, to lead it in national elections next year. This boosts his chances of becoming prime minister, if the party wins. But the choice of the Hindu nationalist leader has exposed deep rifts within his party.

    Speaking to party members after his election as head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) poll campaign committee, Narendra Modi vowed to defeat the ruling Congress Party, which has headed a coalition government since 2004.

    Modi said the party's aim should be to free India of Congress Party rule. He said, if this can happen all problems will be solved.   

    India is to hold elections by next spring. And, as the race between the country’s two main parties - the Hindu nationalist BJP and the Congress Party starts taking shape - Modi has become one of India’s most closely-watched politicians.

    Modi rules the western Gujarat state. His appointment Sunday to the national campaign committee has put the regional leader within reach of the prime minister’s job, if he can secure a victory for his party.

    But that has exposed deep rifts within the BJP.  A day after Modi was elected, a top BJP leader, Lal Krishna Advani, quit several key party posts, raising fears of turmoil within the party.

    Independent political analyst Ajoy Bose in New Delhi said, although Modi is seen as a man who will revitalize the party, many top leaders fear being sidelined.   

    “They expect him to energize the party and carry it forward and give it a new direction. The party has been flagging a bit over the past several years.  But, on the other hand, the senior leadership are a little uneasy because Modi is the kind of domineering leader who has very little time for other senior leaders," Bose said. "Modi would definitely take BJP toward a personality-oriented party.”    

    Modi has received praise for expediting development in his Gujarat state and turning it into an economic powerhouse.

    However, his rule has been blotted by his failure to stop deadly anti-Muslim riots that killed more than 1,000 people in 2002. This has raised concerns that Modi may find it difficult to win the support of voters and regional parties in key political states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where Muslims make up a sizeable part of the population.

    In the past year, the fiery Hindu nationalist leader has tried to project the image of a no-nonsense man who can deliver good governance and rescue India’s faltering economy.

    Recent polls indicate Modi’s strongest supporters are India’s urban, middle classes, who are looking for an alternative to the scandal-ridden Congress Party and calling for cleaner governance. But political analyst Bose said this message may not resonate in the heartland of India.

    “He has tried, in the recent past, to plug the development mantra and showcase the kind of high growth rates in Gujarat. But the BJP is consistently non-existent in many parts of India. So Modi maybe doing a great job among the social media audience across India, but the electorate is a much bigger constituency. And, these are areas where Modi does not really strike anywhere,” stated Bose.

    However, as Modi becomes the front runner in the BJP, worries are rising in the Congress party, whose image has been badly tarnished by a series of corruption scandals during its second term in office. It has also received flak for a policy paralysis that has led India’s economy to slump to its slowest in a decade.

    Political analysts said support for the Congress party is slipping, but it remains to be seen if Modi can convert public disillusionment with the ruling party into gains for his party.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mehtasaab from: Washington, DC
    June 10, 2013 3:29 PM

    I have been requested to White house to reconsider Mr. Narendra Modi. He will be a next Prime Minister of India. Europe did reconsidered his status. UK/France and Germany is trying to establish relation with Mr. Modi. Also they granted VISA.

    Mr. Modi is not only a politician, but also a business man. He put state of Gujarat on a high growth state. If US does not want to miss a boat, reconsider his status. He is not a terrorist. Rulling Congress party created all this drama to defeat him.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora