Modi seeks crowning victory in India election climax

VARANASI, May 12, 2014 (AFP) – Voters headed to the polls Monday in the climax of India’s marathon election, with frontrunner Narendra Modi seeking a crowning victory in the holy city of Varanasi for his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. “People are tired of false promises, corruption and the same old tape-recorded messages,” Modi said in a blog after campaigning officially ended on Saturday night.

Rahul Gandhi, who has headed a lacklustre Congress campaign, has denied that his party is staring at almost certain defeat.

Modi, the son of a tea-stall owner who rose through the BJP ranks, has derided his opponent, the scion of the Gandhi dynasty which has produced three prime ministers, as a reluctant “shehzada” (prince).

Beleaguered Gandhi and other Congress leaders have hit back, accusing Modi of being dangerously divisive and prejudiced against the country’s 150-million strong Muslim minority.

“I am confident that the voters will give a mandate to an inclusive, fair and unifying (Congress) government,” Gandhi said in an interview to the Hindi-language Hindustan newspaper.

There are 41 seats up for grabs on Monday in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, and the neighbouring states of Bihar and West Bengal.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments