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PM Modi’s silence on food prices has shocked people: Rahul Gandhi

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Araria (Bihar): Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for rising food prices and questioned his silence on the issue.

“Modi is responsible for the soaring prices of pulses and other essential commodities. But his silence has shocked the people,” Gandhi told an election rally in Araria district.

“The Modi government has deprived the poor of dal, roti and ‘bhat’ (rice), not to talk about imposing other problems,” Gandhi said. “The poor curse this government.”

He said Modi talked about the poor but had made life difficult for them.

The Congress leader said the references to Pakistan during the ongoing assembly election in Bihar showed the desperation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Modi had failed to fulfil any of the promises he made during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, Gandhi went on.

“He failed to bring back black money (from abroad) and provide Rs.15 lakh to every Indian. He failed to provide 2 crore jobs for youths annually. And he failed to check the prices of pulses and other food items.

“All this has caused a lot of anger. But Modi is still talking big and doing nothing.”

Gandhi expressed confidence that the Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress would win two thirds majority in the 243-seat Bihar assembly.

He also accused the ideology of the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent, and the BJP of dividing the nation.

“The philosophy of the BJP and the RSS is that Indian citizens should fight among themselves. That is their USP. There is no vision, no thought,” he told India Today TV.

(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)