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Modi government proving to be ‘just as terrible’ as UPA: AAP

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has proved “just as terrible” as the UPA regime, it replaced Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on Monday.

A resolution passed at its National Council meeting also dubbed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) strategy of “manufactured intolerance … a grave threat to the Idea of India”.

In its strongest ever attack on the Modi government, the AAP said people replaced in 2014 “the most corrupt government in Indian history with an alternative that promised development and good governance.

In the past 18 months, that alternative, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance), has proved just as terrible.

The resolution said corruption pervaded all levels of the central government, economic growth was lackluster, employment generation was negligible, social-sector spending had fallen, and the agrarian economy had been left to fend for itself.

Politically, the BJP has stayed true to its past and gone on to try and tear the social fabric that delicately binds Indian society, added AAP.

The real agenda of the BJP is intolerance and the purpose is dividing society for political gains.

The AAP said this “manufactured intolerance” had been rejected by people, first in Delhi and then in Bihar.

But BJP’s continued attempts to make it the center-piece of its political strategy is a grave threat to the Idea of India.

The AAP, which swept to power in Delhi in February after crushing the BJP, vowed to “politically oppose all corrupt and communal forces, which in our view, are the primary danger to Indian society”.

On a proposal moved by Sarita Singh, one of its 67 legislators, and seconded by Delhi unit leader Dilip Pandey, the National Council adopted three resolutions.

It said the years since an anti-corruption movement evolved into the AAP “have been a great learning experience”.

Insisting people believe that only the AAP could provide corruption-free governance and adhere to its basic tenets of Swaraj, secularism and social harmony, the AAP pledged to spread and deepen its party organization.

The AAP also accused the Modi government of diluting the country’s federal structure.

India can only prosper as a collective if democratically-elected individual state governments are allowed to function.

“Since the advent of the present NDA government, state governments are being undermined at the behest of the central government. ”

Instead of cooperative federalism, the country is witnessing selective
targeting of non-NDA state governments through the offices of Governors and Lt. Governors.

The AAP said it will build public opinion and oppose the Modi government’s
“totalitarian attitude towards non-NDA state governments”.

(Inputs from 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)