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It’s personal defeat of Modi: Asaduddin Owaisi on Bihar verdict

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Hyderabad: MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday said the Bihar assembly elections result is a personal defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It’s a personal defeat of Modi as never before a prime minister campaigned so much in an election,” said the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief, whose party contested six of the 243 constituencies but drew a blank.

“Never before in the history of independent India, we had seen a sitting prime minister getting so involved and addressing more than 35 public meetings,” the Hyderabad MP told reporters at Darussalam, the MIM headquarters.

Stating that people of Bihar have given decisive mandate against communalism and fascism, he congratulated Nitish Kumar and other partners of Grand Alliance.

“The atmosphere in Bihar was that Modi should be defeated. Muslims and other communities had decided to defeat Modi,” he said.

Owaisi hoped that Nitish and the alliance would live up to people’s expectations and work for the development of Bihar, especially the backward region of Seemanchal.

Owaisi, whose party contested six seats in Seemanchal, said it would continue to fight for the development of the region and to get justice for the people.

While admitting that the MIM could not win the confidence of people, he said perhaps their hard work and the time was not sufficient.

“Many people told me that we should have started (the campaign) early. Others wanted us to continue our work to fight the long battle of Seemanchal,” said Owaisi.

The MP said the biggest takeaway for MIM from Bihar elections is that it made a beginning in that state and introduced itself to the people.

“The biggest takeaway is that we went there (and) established our organization. We will continue to go there, overcome our shortcomings and strengthen the party,” he said.

He was confident of a better performance in the next assembly elections.

(IANS)

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)