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Thread: India stands at electoral crossroads

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    Senior Member ManojKumar's Avatar
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    India stands at electoral crossroads

    India starts voting today, and if one were to believe the hype surrounding the electoral bid by Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then the polls are a mere formality.

    The widely held expectation in India, propagated by a credibility-challenged media, is that Modi is a shoo-in for the post of prime minister. But opinion pollsters and media pundits have not always shown accuracy in understanding subtler realities of the world's largest democracy. They could have goofed up again.

    This Monday marked the start of an unprecedented exercise in democracy - the biggest general election in history. The first of 814.5 million registered voters cast their choice that morning in
    the north-eastern state of Assam. Polling continues in 543 parliamentary constituencies stretching across nine polling days scheduled up to May 12, with results expected four days later.

    According to the Election Commission of India, tasked with organizing this electoral epic, 100 million more voters are registered than in the previous general election in 2009. The increase in new voters is one-third the size of the population of the United States.

    India has six recognized by the Election Commission. A total of 1,593 parties are registered with the commission across the nation's 23 states, though not all are recognized by it.

    Young voters will have a larger say in this year's vote. "There has been a remarkable increase in the enrollment of electors in the age group of 18 to 19 years," says the Election Commission from its offices in Asoka Road, New Delhi. "The more than 23 million electors in this age group now constitute 2.88% of total electors, against 0.75% in 2009."

    Leading political parties have targeted this youthful segment in urban India through a massive campaign launched through social media and the Internet, yet the heart of India still throbs in its 600,000 villages. How the young rural heart beats during the next 30 days will determine who leads India for the next five years.

    This, the country's 16th general election, could bring an end to the long-running rule of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, which has dominated India since independence in 1947. Modi's chief opponent, Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi, has consistently failed to impress since making his political debut a decade ago.

    The 43-year-old Gandhi has exhibited more good intentions than ability to turn intent to reality. His first elaborate media interview this January [1] was proclaimed an embarrassing disaster. It strengthened opinion that Gandhi - son, grandson and great-grandson of three prime ministers of India - might perhaps be better off seeking an alternative career.

    According to an NDTV opinion poll published on April 2, the BJP and allies will win 259 seats, with Congress to take just 123. However, other media have been accused in the past of selling editorial space to the highest bidder.

    After the last general elections in 2009, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said in parliament that "a leading media house" had demanded US$166,640 to publish fake news favorable to her party.

    Suspicions persist over the objectivity of media houses owned by businessmen to whom Narendra Modi is a messiah. Like all short-sighted wealth-hunters seeing only riches and not what lurks in dark shadows, they see Modi leading them to a promised land of freedom away from bureaucratic red tape and delayed decision-making. Senior editors of leading publications have complained privately about increasing "pressure" they face from their businessmen bosses against carrying content critical of Modi.

    This intolerance for dissent or disagreement feeds fears of Modi turning India into a quasi-dictatorship. [2] The 63-year-old has not lost an election since he became chief minister of Gujarat in 2001. It's a moot point whether he owes this uninterrupted success to abilities as an administrator or to suppressing opposition with a hidden iron fist. Political opponents in Gujarat have mysteriously died - some have been murdered.

    "Modi either buys his opponents or gets them killed," alleged Arvind Kejriwal, the anti-corruption crusading prime ministerial candidate and leader of the Aam Aadmi (Common Man's) Party. True or not, Modi has shown he has the makings of being India's version of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

    Modi is officially barred from entering the US, over his failure as chief minister to prevent the Gujarat religious riots that killed over 2,000 people in 2002. This could become a peculiar problem for a prime ministerial candidate and the world's two largest democracies. India's Supreme Court has not declared Modi guilty of anything in the pogrom against Muslims. The election results could determine whether the people's court deems him innocent.

    If the Modi wave turns out to be a mirage, India could see a hung parliament - since the 1984 national elections, no party has won a clear majority in the lower house. If this happens, India could have a surprise alternative to Modi as Congress and the BJP race to secure the loyalties of enough regional parties to create a majority alliance.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_A...02-080414.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member Red Crow's Avatar
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    Re: India stands at electoral crossroads

    Hi , BJP will win this election... They need 272 seats for majority, they will easily get 250 seats while this election is disaster for Congress... They will only get around 70 seat. BJP will face Main hurdles in pollakad, Asam, West Bengal. Imaho, around 2800 villages in Asam, 60% will in Go in congress pockets. Pollakad is always strong for Marxists, and BJP has weak candidate... Look Voter turn out in triputi is 84 %, Around 75% in order other areas. This is definitely change.. .While popularity of AAm aadami party is decreased... BJP has to kill AAP IN delhi if they want to get majority in Parliment...While AAP is almost finished... If they get 4 seats from delhi then this is miracle. In jharkand, BJP will dominate there..Overall this is easy win for BJP in this election, only Question is that Can they get majority? Yes this is Possible with this high voter turnnout... Tomorrow is also Big day in India... Huge percentage casting vote there.
    The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Red Crow For This Useful Post: Agnostic_Indian,Wajid47

    Simply Stated.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wajid47's Avatar
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    Re: India stands at electoral crossroads

    Lets be frank the management of 1.2 billion people is a monumental one and any political party will be swimming against the tide. Like Pakistan, India has incredible corruption and it is being crippled by it. Who ever wins this wont change the realities of it.

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    Senior Member ManojKumar's Avatar
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    make Muslims and Hindus hate each other for votes

    One election strategy in India’s most populous state



    Muslim voters, while it should be just Indian voters. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

    Muzaffarnagar, a western district in the massive Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that went to the polls on Apr. 10, is an excellent example of one of the ugliest truths of the world’s largest democracy—politicians regularly exploit religion to divide the electorate and win votes.
    +
    In Sep. 2013, religion-based violence, allegedly encouraged by local politicians, erupted in the villages of Muzaffarnagar and its neighboring district of Shamli between Jats, a Hindu caste that includes many owners of large sugarcane fields, and Muslims, who are predominantly laborers, carpenters and traders. More than 60 people were killed and tens of thousands of Muslims were displaced.
    +
    Since then, politicians have relied on the communal riot to worsen the divide and gain votes. India’s population is 80% Hindu, but the country was founded on the principal of secularism, and the constitution guarantees all the freedom to practice the religion of their choice. Still, clashes between religious groups, particularly Hindus and Muslims, spring up with alarming frequency, despite the fact that individuals from these communities often live side-by-side for generations.
    +
    Here’s how politicians continue to stoke the fires of dissent in Uttar Pradesh:
    +
    A week before voting day in western UP, Amit Shah, the top political aide to Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate and likely next prime minister of India, delivered an incendiary speech to 400 to 500 Jat men.
    +
    Unlike Modi, who has been very careful not to recall any religious-based incident during his campaign, tainted as his career has been by Gujarat’s 2002 riots, Shah said that especially in western UP, the election was going to be for “honor and to take revenge against insult and it’s an election to teach a lesson to those who have done injustice.”


    It’s not just the BJP, though. A few days later, Azam Khan, the Samajwadi Party (SP) urban development minister in the UP state government, said during an April 7 rally that it was Muslim soldiers, not Hindus, who won the 1999 Kargil war against Pakistan. “There was no Hindu who conquered the peaks of Kargil, but the peaks of Kargil were conquered by the Muslim soldiers, who said ‘Allah ho Akbar.’”


    Two days later, Khan said at another rally that Muslims must vote to “show the fascists their worth and status and today you have to take revenge on the murders of Muzaffarnagar, and today you have to press the button and take revenge against the atrocities of 2002 in Gujarat.” Over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the Gujarat riots.


    On Apr. 11, the Election Commission banned both Khan and Shah from holding public rallies, and called for criminal complaints to be registered against them. The commission said that their statements were made with “deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings and religious beliefs,” and also criticized the state government of not even issuing complaints against the men.
    +
    Khan has been charged with “promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion” and “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.” Shah has been charged with “promoting enmity between classes in connection with the elections” and “disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.”
    +
    But it gets worse.
    +
    Political parties in Muzaffarnagar don’t kick out people accused of inciting violence, they put them on the ticket. Two candidates who ran from Muzaffarnagar on April 10 face charges linked to the religious violence in September—Sanjeev Baliyan, the BJP candidate, Kadir Rana, the candidate from the Bahujan Samaj Party.
    +
    Seven months after the riots, villages that have been mixed for generations no longer have Muslims, who fled and have settled closer to other Muslim villages. The air is toxic with anger and sadness on both sides.
    +
    When I was there on polling day, instead of talking about western UP’s issues, such as bad roads (some of the worst in the country), criminality or corruption, Jat-Hindus and Muslims alike spoke of voting for the party that would protect them—the same parties that encouraged their divide in the first place.
    +

    Mehndi Hassan, after voting. Betwa Sharma
    “We don’t care about the roads. Lets talk about protecting people first and the SP has always protected us,” said Mehndi Hassan, 60, whose family is building a new house close to a Muslim village with the money he has received as compensation after the riots.
    +
    Follow Betwa on Twitter @betwasharma. We welcome your comments at [email protected].

    http://qz.com/198062/the-election-st...her-for-votes/

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Re: make Muslims and Hindus hate each other for votes

    India will always struggle to show secularism for all. There are umpteen examples of biased, hypocrisy and racism towards minorities. A nation of 1.2 billion where the majority are Hindu will always bully the minorities. This is the sad fact.
    The Following User Says Thank You to Hope For This Useful Post: tamz_thunder


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    Elite Member Agnostic_Indian's Avatar
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    Re: make Muslims and Hindus hate each other for votes

    self delete.
    *Be able to defend your arguments in a rational way. Otherwise, all you have is an opinion.
    Marilyn vos Savant

  7. #7
    Senior Member ManojKumar's Avatar
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    Re: make Muslims and Hindus hate each other for votes

    The point of me putting this OP up was to show that both Muslim and Hindu politicians are using religion to appeal to the baser instincts and I think this is not good for India. They should put India first

  8. #8
    Media Editor Khanda's Avatar
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    Re: make Muslims and Hindus hate each other for votes

    Quote Originally Posted by ManojKumar View Post
    The point of me putting this OP up was to show that both Muslim and Hindu politicians are using religion to appeal to the baser instincts and I think this is not good for India. They should put India first
    Sadly politicians will use ANYTHING to gain votes including the religion card.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hariz's Avatar
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    Biggest chunk: Turnout remains low in Muslim majority areas

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A polling official checks the identity of a voter inside a polling station in Ajmer district in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan. PHOTO: REUTERS
    NEW DELHI: An average 65-70 per cent turnout, despite the searing heat, marked the end of polling in 121 constituencies out of 543 going to the polls in the general elections—the largest chunk to vote on one day.

    Turnout in constituencies with a higher Muslim population, like Rampur in Uttar Pradesh with 48% Muslims, was generally low.

    Earlier this week, the All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Muslims across India passed a resolution urging all secular voters to use their voting right wisely, with a resolve to defeat fascist and communalist candidates by resorting to tactical voting, making sure not to allow votes to be wasted by division.

    This stance was reiterated by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday who asked voters not to waste votes by dividing them between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party because this would ensure BJP’s win.

    In first overt pro-Muslim pitch, Mayawati warned that if Modi were to become prime minister, “the country would stand ruined with communal riots” akin to the one in Gujarat in 2002.

    At least one Muslim candidate — Mukhtar Ansari of the Qaumi Ekta Dal in UP — has withdrawn from the polls as to not create the divide amongst Muslim voters. Ansari was to contest against Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

    BJP’s stance

    The BJP, highly criticised for its anti-Muslim stance, too tried to clear its name.
    One of the few Muslims representing the party, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi argued that BJP’s poor reputation among Muslims was ‘undeserved’.

    “The BJP’s image has been tarnished by its political opponents through malicious conspiracy,” he said. From his perspective there has been a positive shift in the mindsets of many Muslims over the past two decades.

    Recent events, however, have been in stark contrast to the BJP’s stance.

    During the communal violence that took place in Muzaffarnagar last year, claiming 65 lives and displacing over 50,000 people, mostly Muslims, BJP refused to condemn the incident, and avoided references to religiously motivated rioting in its campaign speeches.

    With most Muslims reluctant to vote for the BJP, the question still stands to who the community will vote for.

    Amitabh Kundu, a professor at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University and chairman of a government committee which has evaluated the situation of Muslims in India is of the opinion that if “Given the very limited performance of the present government, I feel there will be some level of dissatisfaction because the Muslims certainly expected a lot from Congress.”

    “It is impossible to even think that 180 million people make a unanimous decision and vote along the same lines?” questioned Hilal Ahmad, who researches voting trends among Muslims in India for the Center for Developing Societies of New Delhi.

    Supporting Ahmad’s stance, analyst Yashwant Deshmukh said there are about 35 constituencies where Muslims make up approximately 30 per cent of the electorate.

    “Then there are another 150 constituencies where Muslim population is close to 10 per cent of the total voters,” said Deshmukh, the founder of a company called CVoter. “Which means, in the House of 543 seats, there are about 200 seats where Muslim vote can somewhat affect the outcome.”

    Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2014.

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    Member RajPatel's Avatar
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    Over 800 kg of explosives, 100 IEDs recovered during election season

    Ever since the Election Commission sounded the poll bugle on March 5, over 800 kg of explosives and 127 improvised bombs have been recovered by security forces from across Naxal violence-hit areas.

    The maximum of these killing traps and deadly ammunition, aimed at security forces and poll officials, have been recovered by the Central Reserve Police Force from Left-wing extremism affected areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha.

    According to an official report, a maximum of 61 Improvised Explosive Devices were recovered from Bihar, 33 from Jharkhand, 24 from Chhattisgarh and 9 from Odisha.

    Apart from these, 750 kg of explosives was seized from Bihar, 53 kg from Jharkhand, .5 kg from Chhattisgarh and 3.8 kg from Odisha, taking the total to 807.3 kg during the period between March 5 and April 20. During the same period, 10 IED explosions took place in Bihar, 6 in Jharkhand and 13 in Chhattisgarh.

    The maximum casualty for the CRPF took place in Bastar in Chattisgarh where 20 personnel were killed and 15 others were injured. Five CRPF men were also killed in Bihar during poll duties in the Maoist grid.

    A total of 52 arms were also recovered during the same period with 10 weapons found in Bihar, 21 in Jharkhand, 15 in Chhattisgarh, 5 in Odisha and 1 in Maharashtra. Similarly, a total of 452 rounds of ammunition were recovered by the paramilitary force from these states with 355 rounds in Jharkhand, 47 in Bihar, 37 in Chhattisgarh and 13 rounds in Odisha.

    Apart from these, 52 encounters have taken place between the CRPF and insurgents, with Chhattisgarh recording the highest with 33 encounters. Jharkhand followed suit with 11 such operations whereas Bihar recorded four incidents.

    A pooled contingent of close to 1.3-lakh paramilitary and state police personnel have been deployed to exclusively cater to election-related duties. In addition to them, another 1.2 lakh personnel and special units are already present in the Naxal-affected areas to undertake operations and facilitate smooth movements of these forces across various states.

    http://www.rediff.com/news/report/ls...n/20140421.htm

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    Member Ravi01's Avatar
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    Advani: Modi scored triple century on debut, made my dream come true

    Senior BJP leader L K Advani Sunday heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “triple-century” debut — leading the NDA to 300-plus seats — in national politics as he exhorted his party’s first-time MPs to ensure the BJP’s return to power in 2019.

    Advani was delivering the valedictory address on the second and concluding day of an orientation workshop organised by his party for the first-time MPs in Surajkund.

    Likening Modi to a cricketer, Advani said: “In test cricket we have heard of players who score a century or a double century on their debut. But I do not know of any batsman who becomes a captain in the very first test he plays and scores a triple century.”

    “Ever since we lost the election in 2004, my dream was to see that the BJP comes to power again. Narendra Modi has made this dream come true. I congratulate him for this.”

    In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, NDA bagged 336 seats while BJP on its own won a record 283 seats.

    The veteran leader also credited RSS workers for the party’s triumph. “A huge army of hundreds of thousands of dedicated karyakartas, both of BJP and RSS, strived with single-minded determination for this victory.”

    Advani advised the party MPs that “you should work towards becoming second-time MPs in order to bring BJP to power again in 2019”. “From day one, the entire party should recognise that the BJP should be in office at least for the next ten years.”

    He also cautioned the MPs against Congress-bashing. “There is no need to talk much about the Congress party’s or UPA government’s failures. People are convinced about it, which is why they have given us absolute majority.”

    All of us should rather talk about our government’s vision, its policies, plans and decisions, he said.

    Underlining that the central government will be required to take certain hard decisions, especially on the economic front, he said they need to explain to the people as to why such decisions were necessary and how they will help the nation and the common people in the long run.

    The BJP stalwart welcomed senior Congress leader A K Antony’s criticism of Congress’ policy on secularism.

    “A K Antony’s plainspeak on Congress’s secularism has vindicated the BJP’s stand that secularism should mean ‘Justice for All, Appeasement of None, Discrimination against None’.”

    At a recent conference in Kerala, Antony had said that Congress’s apparent proximity to minority communities had led people to doubt its secularism.

    Advani also reminded the MPs that the minority community has voted for the BJP in some constituencies and urged them to “consolidate this positive change”.

    The BJP veteran told MPs to individually realise Modi’s dream of making development a people’s movement.

    “In the traditional way of governance, there has been a disconnect between the government machinery and
    the people in addressing all such development challenges. Which is why we are not getting the desired results even though the government spends considerable resources on each of these various issues. Therefore, Narendraji is right in insisting that development should become a people’s Movement,” Advani said.

    Advani suggested that the Prime Minister should appeal to the people to strive to improve India’s ranking on the Human Development Index from the current 134 to 50 by the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence in 2022.

    May 16 felt like Aug 16. 1947: Suresh Soni
    RSS joint general secretary Suresh Soni, at the BJP’s orientation workshop for first-time party MPs in Surajkund Sunday, underlined the ideological commitments of the saffron parivar and compared May 16 — the day the Lok Sabha election results were declared — to August 16, 1947 when Britishers had left the country.

    “May 16 (2014), when Congress was ousted from power, felt like the day when the Britishers were ousted by August 16, 1947,” a source said quoting Soni.

    the people in addressing all such development challenges. Which is why we are not getting the desired results even though the government spends considerable resources on each of these various issues. Therefore, Narendraji is right in insisting that development should become a people’s Movement,” Advani said.

    Advani suggested that the Prime Minister should appeal to the people to strive to improve India’s ranking on the Human Development Index from the current 134 to 50 by the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence in 2022.

    May 16 felt like Aug 16. 1947: Suresh Soni
    RSS joint general secretary Suresh Soni, at the BJP’s orientation workshop for first-time party MPs in Surajkund Sunday, underlined the ideological commitments of the saffron parivar and compared May 16 — the day the Lok Sabha election results were declared — to August 16, 1947 when Britishers had left the country.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/ind...ys-l-k-advani/

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