Modi’s fate hangs in balance as India’s marathon election ends

Andrew Cummings
May 20, 2019

He posted a Twitter picture of himself in a Hindu saffron robe looking out over the mountains.

Over the last five years, the Modi government instituted a handful of economic reforms, rolled out schemes to assist poor Indians and launched a nationwide cleanliness drive.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to return to power with an even bigger majority in parliament after a mammoth general election that ended on Sunday, exit polls showed, a far better showing than expected in recent weeks. "This is a slap for the abusive opposition that made baseless charges and spoke lies", he added.

Prodeep Chakrabarty, a retired school teacher in Kolkata, said Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party was desperate to win some seats against Banerjee's influential regional party.

Pre-election poll surveys by the media indicate that no party is likely to win anything close to a majority in parliament with 543 seats.

The India Today-Axis My India poll gave a broad range for the BJP (21 to 25 seats) and between three and six seats for Congress, and one for others. The party pointed to the unreliability of polls in previous elections.

Modi visited West Bengal 17 times in an effort to make inroads with his Hindu nationalist agenda, which provoked sporadic violence and prompted the Election Commission to bring campaigning to an early end.

Mr Modi had to request special permission from the national poll watchdog for the trip as election rules prohibit any campaigning 48 hours before voting, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said.

But the opposition, led by the Congress party and its leader Rahul Gandhi, have accused him of pursuing divisive policies and neglecting the economy. We have to wait for a final outcome to see who people are voting for.

An improvised bomb was thrown at one Kolkata polling station and security forces intervened to stop BJP, communist and other groups blocking different booths across the state capital that was hit by two days of street battles last week.

The two parties have thrown nearly daily jibes at each other, accusing one another of corruption, nepotism and fake nationalism.

The talks will be on Tuesday afternoon at the BJP's headquarters in New Delhi and will be led by the party president, Amit Shah, one of the party sources said. "The BJP dominated the campaign but analysts warn that exit polls have often been wrong in the past", the BBC stated.

An Indian election officer (R) marks the toe of a physically challenged voter at a polling centre in Indore on May 19, 2019, during the 7th and final phase of India's general election.

Much of the cash was spent on social media, where the parties used armies of "cyber warriors" to bombard India's Facebook and WhatsApp users with messages.

Fake news and doctored images have abounded, including of Gandhi and Modi having lunch with Imran Khan, prime minister of arch rival Pakistan, or of a drunk Priyanka Gandhi, a politician and the sister of Rahul.

Other reports by iNewsToday