(NEW DELHI, India.) Election Report: PM Narendra Modi’s party has failed to win a key state in elections held amid record #COVID19 deaths and cases #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May,04: Her win came as a surprise to political observers, who noted how much time and money the BJP invested in the state: Mr Modi was even accused of focusing on polls rather than the #pandemic:

WEST BENGAL: India Elections: Modi party defeated in West Bengal battleground: The BJP targeted West Bengal heavily during campaigning but the state was comfortably held by the incumbent, Mamata Banerjee, a fierce Modi critic the daughter of Bengal’ taking on India’s PM

58 minutes ago

TMC supporters celebrate their party's win in West Bengal
TMC supporters have been celebrating after being returned to power in West Bengal

Despite the defeat, the BJP won nearly 80 seats to become the main opposition party. In the 2016 vote, Narendra Modi’s party won just three seats there.

Elections also went ahead in Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states as well as the territory of Pondicherry (Puducherry).

The BJP held power in the north-eastern state of Assam but failed to make major gains elsewhere. 

For 10 straight days, daily cases in India have topped 300,000. It recorded more than 360,000 new cases and 3,417 deaths on Monday. On Sunday, the country set a new record for daily deaths, with 3,689 recorded. Hospitals are facing dire shortages of beds and medical oxygen, with many Indians resorting to desperate pleas on social media to secure help.

Campaign rallies and voting have been blamed for the surge in cases. 

Mr Modi and his home minister made dozens of speeches in West Bengal and were accused of focusing on the polls rather than the pandemic. 

What happened in West Bengal? 

With almost all the results counted, the Trinamool Congress party (TMC) led by the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has won more than 200 seats in the 294-seat assembly.

The results are set to make Ms Banerjee the leader of West Bengal for a third time. She is also India’s only female chief minister.

Celebrating the win, she said West Bengal had “saved” India with the result and tackling Covid-19 would be her first priority.

Getty ImagesMamata Banerjee has been a fierce critic of Prime Minister Modi

Victory was soured by the loss of her seat in Nandigram to a former aide turned defector to the BJP. She has said she will challenge the result in court but may have to run again to remain chief minister. 

West Bengal, home to 90 million people and the city of Kolkata, is of particular interest to election watchers. It is one of the few states that have never been governed by Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP.

Although assembly elections were held in five Indian states, the real battle was over West Bengal. 

The BJP had pulled out all the stops for electioneering, with PM Narendra Modi leading its campaign from the front.

To enhance his appeal further to the Bengali voter, he had grown his beard long, with his supporters drawing comparisons with the state’s much loved icon – Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore. 

But in the end, it all came to nothing.

At a time when a deadly second wave of coronavirus swept India and led thousands of Indians across the country to beg for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, Mr Modi’s frequent visits to the state to address huge rallies were called out as a major failure of his prime ministerial duties.

So Mamata Banerjee fought back anti-incumbency, the BJP’s mammoth election machinery, last-minute desertions from within her own party, and a largely unfriendly media to return for a third term.

Congratulating Ms Banerjee in a tweet, Mr Modi also noted: “From a negligible presence earlier [in West Bengal], BJP’s presence has significantly increased.”

Leader of the opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi congratulated Ms Banerjee for “soundly defeating the BJP” even though his party lost a significant number of seats in the state.

He was among a number of regional opposition leaders to revel in Ms Banerjee’s win.

Social media was flooded with memes and posts about the success of “Didi” – a nickname for Ms Banerjee, meaning older sister.

Voting in the state was held in eight phases over a month. The Election Commission is facing a great deal of criticism for refusing to reduce the number of phases and make campaigning virtual. Critics have accused the commission of being controlled by the BJP.

A number of congratulatory tweets noted that the TMC had won “despite” the commission. 

As well as the north-eastern states of West Bengal and Assam, there was voting in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the South Indian union territory of Pondicherry, and local council elections in some parts of Uttar Pradesh in the north and Telangana in the south.

In Tamil Nadu, the main regional opposition party, the DMK, took power. A left-wing coalition retained power in Kerala, while a BJP-led alliance won no seats there.

On top of the coronavirus pandemic, some analysts saw the results as showing the limits of the BJP’s rhetoric in states with sizeable Muslim populations. 

What are India’s latest Covid figures? 

India has recorded more than 19 million cases of coronavirus – second only to the US. It has also confirmed more than 218,000 deaths, though the real toll is thought to be far higher. 

Experts have cited low testing rates and the number of people dying at home, especially in rural areas, as contributing factors to under-reported figures.

The country’s previous highest daily death toll, also reported this week, was 3,645. 

The head of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine, has blamed India’s government for the shortage of Covid jabs. 

Adar Poonawalla told the Financial Times that initially Narendra Modi’s government only ordered 21 million doses, and a larger order was not placed until March, when the second wave of the pandemic had already hit India. The country has a population of 1.3 billion people.

In a separate statement, Mr Poonawalla said the Serum Institute of India has now received a total order of more than 260 million doses.

Brazil and the US have both registered daily tolls of more than 4,000 during the course of the pandemic.

In India, distressing images of families begging for hospital beds and life-saving supplies have been emerging for more than 10 days, while morgues and crematoriums remain overwhelmed.The BBC’s Yogita Limaye reports from a hospital in Delhi, which is running low on beds and oxygen

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#bengal, #bjp, #india, #modi, #new-delhi


#AceBreakingNews – INDIA – October 19 – Bolstered by wins in Maharashtra and Haryana, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah came in triumphant to a press meet on Sunday, driving home his party’s goal of “Congress-mukt Bharat”.

BJP can approach us for support: Uddhav Thackeray

BJP can approach us for support: Uddhav Thackeray

“We’ve taken a few more steps towards a Congress-mukt India (Congress-free India),” he said as voters showed the door to the incumbent Congress in both states.

The BJP was poised to go past majority mark of 46 in the 90-member Haryana assembly on its own, while it was evident the party would fall marginally short of the majority mark of 145 in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.  



#bjp, #india


Regional elections held Wednesday in two states will test the popularity of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a good performance could strengthen his government and give him more elbow room to initiate tough economic reforms.

Two State Elections Test Modi's Sticking Power   Screenshot from 2014-10-16 17:22:32

Modi wants to unseat Congress Party-led governments in Maharashtra and Haryana states and repeat the impressive performance that catapulted his Bharatiya Janata Party to power in national elections in May.

Both states are politically crucial. Maharashtra is a large state that is home to India’s financial hub, Mumbai. Haryana is relatively small but one of the country’s fastest-developing states adjoining the capital. But the BJP has never been a major force in either. 

Modi personally led his party’s campaign in both states. At dozens of rallies, he appealed to voters on the same plank that won him national support — development and good governance.

Hoping to win on the backs of young voters, his strongest constituency, Modi tweeted as polls opened, “Youngsters must show the way and ensure record turnout.”

Political analyst Satish Misra at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi said a good showing by the BJP would be a vote of confidence in the prime minister. He pointed out that these will be the first state elections held since the national polls last May.

“If the BJP under Modi has to establish to people at large that it is the most popular party, then the BJP must emerge the winner of these two elections, if not with clear majority, then at least with credible enough numbers to be single largest party,” Misra said. “For the first time, Modi’s credibility and popularity and credibility is at stake. Modi is the BJP’s face.

Modi is the BJP’s vote-catcher.”

Opinion polls show that BJP could win in both states, although it might fall short of a majority.

Confidence is still high in Modi, but several analysts said some of the magic that helped him romp to power has begun to wane as people impatiently wait for him to fulfill his promise that “better days are here.”

For that promise to be bear fruit, Modi must implement tough reforms needed to rev up India’s slowing economy.

Analysts said victories in the state elections could embolden the prime minister to take some of those difficult steps, such as labour reforms.



#bjp, #india, #new-delhi

#AceWorldNews – INDIA (Mumbai) – September 25 – After being checkmated by the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance in the Bihar bypoll, BJP ally Shiv Sena on Tuesday said that the ‘Mahayuti’ needs pull up its socks and refrain from gloating over the “Modi wave” to fight the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections.

The up-coming elections in India see local politicians battling to regain power and maintain status-quo whereas poor populations continue to stay deprived of rights and basic necessities of life.



#ans2014, #bihar, #bjp, #india, #mahayuti, #mumbai

‘ BJP Leader Dadri Panchayat Shot Dead by Four Assailants ‘

#AceWorldNews – INDIA (Greater Noida) BJP leader and Dadri Nagar Panchayat Chairman Geeta Pandit’s husband Vijay Pandit(37) was shot dead allegedly by four unidentified persons in Dadri area on Saturday night, after which a mob set ablaze 16 vehicles near a police station in protest.

The assailants came on two motorcycles and held the pistol at Pandit’s temple and mouth and shot him dead when he was returning home from his brother’s shop at Bramhpuri at around 8.30pm, police sources said.

(Thereafter, they fired several rounds and one bullet hit the victim’s chest too)

Vijay Pandit, a former district BJP Vice President, fell down bleeding.

The assailants then fired in the air to scare away the people in the area and fled abandoning one motorcycle which went out of control and skidded sideways.

The villagers and BJP workers, on hearing about the incident, reached the site and a mob set ablaze around sixteen vehicles near Dadri Kotwali on G T Road.

(NDTV) They also stoned buses and other passing vehicles and police fired in air to control the mob which fired at the police team, the sources said.

District Magistrate A.V.Rajamouli deployed additional forces drawn from neighbouring districts and PAC and Rapid Action too were pressed into service. An injured Vijay Pandit was taken to Dadri’s Mohan Swarup Hospital from where he was shifted to Ghaziabad Yashoda Hospital where doctors declared him dead.

One bullet hit Vijay Pandit in the mouth, another in chest and one behind the ear, police sources said. “The situation is now under control. PAC has been deployed”, said Brijesh Kumar Singh, SP(Rural), late tonight.

Two policemen were injured in skirmishes with the mob, police sources said.

Deccan Herald – NDTV

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  2. NDTV – 07/06/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/npubaql


#bjp, #india

` Narendra Modi gives Thanks to Shiva at the Holiest of Temples ‘

#AceWorldNews – MUMBAI – May 18 – Indian Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) visited the holy city of Varanasi on Saturday, along with BJP president Rajnath Singh and the party’s general secretary, Amit Sahah.

He thanked voters for their support and offered prayers at the city’s Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is considered to be the holiest of Shiva temples.



#bjp, #mumbai, #shiva

` India’s Narendra Modi Son of a Poor Tea-Seller Becomes Next Prime Minister Amid Controversy ‘

#AceWorldNews – NEW DELHI – May 16 – India’s next prime minister, Narendra Modi, is the son of a poor tea seller who has long set his sights on the highest elected office in the world’s largest democracy.

The top official in Gujarat state for over a decade, Modi often contrasted his humble roots with the posh background of his main rival, 43-year-old Rahul Gandhi, heir to India’s most powerful political dynasty.

As the career politician led his Bharatiya Janata Party through a dazzling, high-tech election campaign, Modi called voters’ attention to his mother riding a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw to cast her ballot earlier this month.

“I am the chief minister of a prosperous state … And my 90-year-old mother goes to vote in an auto-rickshaw,” the white-bearded Modi boasted, punching a fist through the air as he claimed his place by India’s poor masses.

But despite playing up his folksy, common-man credentials, the 63-year-old Modi is widely seen as the darling of India’s corporate world and a decisive, 21st-century administrator expected to revive job creation and economic growth.

Born in 1950, Modi will be India’s first prime minister born after the country’s violent 1947 partition and independence from imperial Britain.

Modi grew up in a poor village family, and at 18 was married to a girl his parents had chosen five years earlier. The union never stuck, and Modi soon left to travel for several years before returning and joining the RSS as a propagandist in his early 20’s. He and his wife never had children.

Having studied political science in Indian universities, Modi formally entered politics in 1985 with the BJP, regarded as the political arm of the RSS.

He quickly gained a reputation as a talented orator and a workaholic, campaigning for the BJP in several elections before being chosen as Gujarat’s highest elected official in 2001.

Modi and the BJP have been strategising this campaign for years, launching Twitter accounts and promoting Gujarat’s economy as one to emulate for development and modernity, though several Indian states topped Gujarat’s average annual growth of 8.68 percent from 2001 to 2010.

Backed by enormous corporate wealth, Modi and the BJP ran an aggressive, tech-savvy campaign, sending out dozens of daily messages on social media sites and even having Modi appear virtually as a hologram at campaign events. Indian media quickly gave him the celebrity-like nickname of “NaMo.”

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  1. Fox News – 16/05/14 – http://tinyurl.com/nvd7qn7


#bjp, #britain, #india, #narendra-modi

` Indian Elections Starts off its Biggest Day Today with 815 Million Voters heading to the Polls ‘

#AceWorldNews – MUMBAI – April 17 – India kicked off the biggest day of its marathon general election on Thursday, with a quarter of its 815 million voters set to head to the polls, Reuters reported. Narendra Modi, the prime-ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has promised voters to rescue India from its slowest economic growth in a decade and create new jobs.

The latest opinion poll shows that the BJP and its allies were forecast to win a narrow majority in the 543-seat lower house of parliament. Previous surveys predicted they would fall short.


#bjp, #india, #mumbai

` Modism or Thatcherism that will be the Question when the Indian Electorate decide by their Vote ‘

#AceNewsServices – INDIA – April 06 – With the elections in India about to commence on Monday, the man tipped to become the electorates favourite is Narendra Modi, who some have called a `Thatcherite ‘ as his economic policies border on the same ideals (ANS).

New Delhi (CNN) — National elections in the world’s largest democracy are always a mind-boggling spectacle. The Election Commission of India estimates some 788 million people are eligible to vote in 2014 — an electorate that’s more than double the population of the United States. How the country conducts this mammoth exercise every five years never ceases to amaze observers.

(Reuters) stated that when Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi gave a speech on the virtues of smaller government and privatization on April 8 last year, supporters called him an ideological heir to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died that day.

These supporters dismiss criticism of Modi for religious riots that killed some 1,000 people in his home state of Gujarat 12 years ago. For them, Modi stands for economic freedom (Reuters)

“If you define Thatcherism as less government, free enterprise, then there is no difference between Modi-nomics and Thatcherism,” said Deepak Kanth, a London-based banker now collecting funds as a volunteer for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Either way he has his worked cut-out to bring such a idealistic country into the twenty first century.

Reuters – CNN – ANS2014


#aceworldnews, #bjp, #gujarat, #india, #indian, #narendra-modi, #united-states

` India’s Election will start on April 7 with the race between BJP Leader and Nehru-Gandhi Families Congress Party ‘

#AceWorldNews says that India’s parliamentary election will start on April 7, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.

The race will pit BJP leader Narendra Modi against the unpopular Nehru-Gandhi family’s ruling Congress party, Reuters reported.

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath said 814 million people will be eligible to vote, a number larger than the population of Europe.

This makes the voting the biggest election the world has ever seen.

Results are due to be announced on May 16.


#bjp, #congress-party, #europe, #india, #narendra-modi, #nehru-gandhi, #reuters