Modi fights to protect home base in Gujarat polls -

Modi fights to protect home base in Gujarat polls

Credit: straitstimes.com

  • Dec 07 2017 21:45About: 6 days ago
  • 6 views

NEW DELHI • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the final phase of campaigning to retain power in his home state and stave off the most serious challenge yet from a combined opposition.

The election for a new legislature in the western state of Gujarat this weekend is turning out to be a greater challenge for Mr Modi than anticipated, the polls show, as rival parties seize on discontent caused by a slowing economy.

Gujarat is where Mr Modi earned his spurs as a business-friendly chief minister who cut red tape and graft and turned it into an economic powerhouse.

But an unpopular national tax and a shock move last year to withdraw most currency in a fight against graft has hurt Gujarat, like the rest of the country, and its businessmen are making loud complaints.

Three big polls carried out in the run-up to the vote tomorrow and next week have predicted a victory for Mr Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but with a greatly reduced majority.

An ABP-CDS poll this week gave the BJP 91-99 seats in the 182-member state House and opposition Congress 78-86, suggesting a close fight. A party needs 92 seats to win.

The surveys have often gone wrong, though, and Mr Modi himself remains far more popular across the country than his rivals, including Mr Rahul Gandhi who is leading the Congress charge to weaken Mr Modi in his home base.

Mr Modi has thrown himself into the campaign, addressing dozens of rallies over the past month, saying he alone could deliver on development. Yesterday, he was due to address party colleagues on their mobile phones to ensure a strong voter turnout.

Mr Amit Shah, the president of the BJP, said the party had full confidence in Mr Modi's ability to deliver an emphatic victory.

"He knows that only an absolute majority in Gujarat polls will legitimise his reforms and silence critics," Mr Shah said.

Votes from the election will be counted on Dec 18 and the results announced the same day.

Gujarati businesses - which form the core of Mr Modi's support base - have complained about the new goods and services tax as aggravating tough economic conditions.

Mr Jagdip Desai, a sanitaryware manufacturer, said the complex tax procedures had come on top of slowing demand and he had to fire 3,000 workers.

REUTERS



Follow Us on Twitter

December 2017 5:00 AMNEW DELHI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi final phase campaigning retain power home state stave most serious challenge from combined opposition.

Related stories with Modi fights to protect home base in Gujarat polls

Origin of Sars traced to bats in Yunnan cave -World News
Origin of Sars traced to bats in Yunnan cave 6 days ago
December 08, 2017 5:00 AMBEIJING • Chinese scientists believe they may have found the origin of the deadly Sars virus in a remote cave in Yunnan province, where they identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbour virus strains with all th
Manila plans to sue Sanofi over dengue vaccine -World News
Manila plans to sue Sanofi over dengue vaccine 6 days ago
December 08, 2017 5:00 AMMANILA • The Philippines intends to sue French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur after the authorities suspended its anti-dengue vaccine in response to the company's warning that the drug could lead to severe infections in som
Rohingya crisis 'enters dangerous phase' -World News
Rohingya crisis 'enters dangerous phase' 6 days ago
December 08, 2017 5:00 AMRohingya Muslim insurgents who have fled Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladeshi camps may stage cross-border attacks, targeting security facilities and non-Muslims in Myanmar, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned in a ne
Synergy is the genuine way of Interaction to add zest into our life -World News
Synergy is the genuine way of Interaction to add zest into our life 6 days ago
  Synergy is the genuine way of Interaction to add zest into our life   There's not get any easier way to u
Mallya will have good times in jail: Official -World News
Mallya will have good times in jail: Official 6 days ago
An official said that the problem with getting Indians extradited from the UK to India was the “overseas perception about prison conditions in India”. He said the government was confident of winning the case against Mallya in London as it has establis
The Weeknd Unveils Final XO Merch Drop for 2017 -World News
The Weeknd Unveils Final XO Merch Drop for 2017 6 days ago
Rounding out a year that saw him touring the world performing his stellar Starboy LP, releasing a signature sneaker with PUMA, partnering with H&M as well as Marvel, and many more accolades, The Weeknd looks to conclude an eventful 2017 with a final X
Boldness surpasses the obstacles with courage in life -World News
Boldness surpasses the obstacles with courage in life 6 days ago
  Boldness surpasses the obstacles with courage in life   Without zeal, perseverance, strength exertion and restraint be
CJI forms panel to probe judge who defied SC on medical seats -World News
CJI forms panel to probe judge who defied SC on medical seats 6 days ago
The HC judge’s defiance led to a CBI probe into the medical seats scam and arrest of an ex-judge of the Orissa high court. A bench headed by CJI Misra had earlier, on Medical Council of India’s appeal, reversed one such order by a two-bench of the All
A First Look at the adidas UltraBOOST 4.0 in
A First Look at the adidas UltraBOOST 4.0 in "Multi-Color" 6 days ago
A few colorways of the new adidas UltraBOOST 4.0 have already hit select stores and today we get a first look at the "Multi-Color" rendition. Featuring a Primeknit upper covered in rainbow hues, the sneaker is paired with a white cage overlay and heel cou
Justin Bieber & Alpha Industries Actually Have an Outerwear Capsule Release -World News
Justin Bieber & Alpha Industries Actually Have an Outerwear Capsule Release 6 days ago
As of late, Alpha Industries has been focusing heavily on collaborations: Paradise Youth Club, Cords and Co. and EPPMON and RIME have all worked with the iconic brand in the past month. Continuing to use some of the most recognizable Alpha Industries piec
SC warns lawyers against 'raising voice' in courts -World News
SC warns lawyers against 'raising voice' in courts 6 days ago
SC on Thursday warned a small band of senior advocates and lawyers to forthwith rein in their tendency to raise their voice during arguments when they find the court disagreeing with them. "Raising the voice means either the lawyer is incompetent to pres
12 Under-the-Radar Signs That You And Your S.O. Are Drifting Apart  -World News
12 Under-the-Radar Signs That You And Your S.O. Are Drifting Apart  6 days ago
Watch for these red flags if you want to stay together.