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'Love vs. hate' in penultimate Indian election round

Jul 5th 2020, 2:04 pm
Posted by marcelacan
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Fifty-nine seats were up for grabs across India on Sunday on the sixth voting day in the country's marathon elections

Fifty-nine seats were up for grabs across India on Sunday on the sixth voting day in the country's marathon elections

Tens of millions voted Sunday in the penultimate round of India's increasingly bad-tempered election, with all eyes on the coveted capital New Delhi after an ugly campaign of slaps and savage pamphlets.

India's almost-seven week election, the biggest on Earth with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a new term from the 900 million voters, wraps up next Sunday with results due on May 23.

Notoriously unreliable opinion polls put Modi, 68, as favourite but likely with a reduced majority, with the vote seen as a referendum on the Hindu nationalist's five years in power in the world's biggest democracy.

Modi has sought to deflect opposition attacks on his economic record by striking a fiercely patriotic tone following February's bust-up with Pakistan, portraying himself as India's "chowkidar" or "watchman".

He has also sought to turn the tables on corruption allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi of the opposition Congress party with claims Rahul's assassinated father Rajiv used a Navy ship for a family holiday in 1988.

"Narendra Modi used hate and we used love and I think love is about to win (this election). We will respect whatever people decide," Gandhi, 48, told reporters as he voted in Delhi on Sunday.

- Common man -

Fifty-nine seats were up for grabs across the country of 1.3 billion people on Sunday on the sixth voting day, with just over 100 million Indians eligible to cast ballots.

Opinion polls put Prime Minister Narendra Modi as favourite to win but likely with a reduced majority

Opinion polls put Prime Minister Narendra Modi as favourite to win but likely with a reduced majority

The tussle for Delhi is front and centre, with all eyes on chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) -- or Common Man party -- was formed seven years ago on an anti-corruption platform.

It has since taken control of Delhi's regional government and is fighting to add to its four seats in India's lower house of parliament.

"More schools need to be built," said Delhi voter Purvek Shah.

"And my other big concern is air pollution in Delhi. We see that Delhi has one of the worst pollution levels."

Kejriwal, a tax commissioner turned campaigner, http://ads.jallohenterprise.com/user/profile/14194 has suffered more than most in India's notoriously rough-and-tumble political bullring.

Since 2013 and his first term as Delhi chief minister, the 50-year-old has been the target of at least seven attacks, including when his car was set upon by a mob with iron rods.

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