Home News India’s election ends as Modi awaits verdict on his decade in power

India’s election ends as Modi awaits verdict on his decade in power

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Voting in India’s general election ended on Saturday in a six-week referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decade in power as much of the country’s densely populated north was reeling from a deadly heatwave.

The results will be tallied and announced on Tuesday.

Modi is so entrenched in power that he is seen as likely to become prime minister for a third consecutive term, which would make him only the second leader to achieve that feat in India’s nearly 75 years of independence.

But the newly united opposition Joined the battleIndia will now wait and see whether the opposition can achieve its goal of significantly weakening the majority of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in parliament.

The election, held in phases over a month and a half, is the world’s largest democratic exercise with more than 950 million eligible voters. The final stages of the campaign attracted huge rallies despite a scorching summer heat in northern India. Intense heat wavetemperatures frequently exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or over 43 degrees Celsius.

At least 19 poll workers have died in recent days from heat stroke or other health complications caused by the heat.

India’s parliamentary elections are usually held seat by seat, with candidates’ fortunes determined by local economic and social factors. But the BJP has turned the campaign for 543 parliamentary seats into a presidential referendum, focusing almost entirely on Modi and his leadership. The party hopes Modi’s deep popularity will help it overcome growing anti-incumbent sentiment during the BJP’s decade in power.

Modi held about 200 rallies across the country during his more than two-month campaign, hoping to boost the morale of his party’s embattled candidates. He also conducted a media campaign to About 80 interviews Almost everyone on TV and in newspapers was friendly to him.

As campaigning winds down and a mandatory two-day election pause is about to begin, Mr Modi retreats south to India The most famous monk Two days of meditation followed. The country’s media followed closely. A series of videos and photos released by his office, taken from multiple angles in places where photography is not usually allowed, attracted evening news and television debates.

Modi’s opponents protested loudly, saying the move amounted to banned electioneering and that it reflected the uneven playing field created by Modi.

“The weather is great. The prime minister is meditating there and he has made the sun goddess soft,” actor and BJP candidate Ravi Kishan told local media. “It is historic – in the scorching heat, the wind started blowing today.”

The opposition has faced arrests and other punitive actions in the crackdown, but has still put together its most united front in years. Opposition leaders have portrayed Modi as a friend of billionaires who has been working to create jobs for India’s huge youth population. They have called Modi’s party elitist and accused it of failing to lift up the welfare of those lower down in India’s caste system.

The opposition has raised concerns that if the BJP remains in power it could amend India’s constitution to eliminate affirmative action for lower and middle castes, a system created decades ago to address centuries of oppression in India’s rigidly hierarchical society.

Modi has strongly denied the allegations as baseless; his Bharatiya Janata Party has stepped up its support among lower castes and, in an effort to keep his Hindu supporters united, he has taken to anti-Muslim rhetoric, launching attacks that have been unusually direct for him in recent years.

The opposition also tried to win over voters by promising a slew of welfare measures, including loan waivers for farmers, cash handouts for women and paid apprenticeships for young people. Modi, on the other hand, stuck to his image of fiscal prudence and only highlighted his existing welfare measures. His party members said this was because he was confident of winning a third term and he did not want to make too many promises.

But while the opposition appears to be gaining some traction, they still face a tough task in unseating the government of Modi, who has built a huge electoral advantage with a powerful and well-funded political machine. In the last election, Modi’s party won 303 seats, nearly six times as many as its nearest national rival, the Indian National Congress.

Bhagatti KB Reporting from Kanyakumari, India, also contributed.

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