Modi opponent calls for voting “against dictatorship” in general elections

Narendra Modi is unanimously against him among his opponents. The two great rivals of the Indian Prime Minister, who accuse his government of having used justice to neutralize them, voted on Saturday in New Delhi during the sixth and penultimate phase of the Indian general elections, calling to beat him. Modi, 73, is still very popular after two terms, during which India increased its diplomatic influence and economic weight.

The leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is seeking a third term, was declared the winner by political analysts well before the start of the elections on April 19. This perspective has been reinforced by several criminal investigations targeting his main opponents.

“Vote against dictatorship”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, 55, was jailed for several weeks after his party was accused of taking bribes in exchange for liquor licenses granted to private companies. The day after his release on bail by the Supreme Court, Arvind Kejriwal called on voters to “save (the) country from this dictatorship”, accusing the government of using the justice system to eliminate the opposition.

On Saturday, he renewed his appeal. When casting his ballot in the ballot box in New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal invited his compatriots to “vote against dictatorship”. “Please vote, use your right to vote and vote against the dictatorship,” he said. Arvind Kejriwal is one of the leaders of the opposition INDIA alliance, with Rahul Gandhi at the head of the Congress party, formed to compete with Modi in these elections.

Press freedom greatly reduced

Under scorching heat, Rahul Gandhi also voted in a polling station in New Delhi on Saturday. After placing his ballot in the box, he took a photo with his mother Sonia, but did not address the journalists. Rahul Gandhi, 53, whose father, grandmother and great-grandfather all served as prime minister, was briefly removed from Parliament last year after being convicted of defamation.

His party’s bank accounts have been frozen since February by the Indian tax authorities, following a dispute over income tax returns dating back five years. “We have no money to campaign, we cannot support our candidates,” warned Rahul Gandhi in March. “Our ability to fight the electoral battle has been damaged. »

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, reacted with concern about these elections, believing that they were biased. Since Modi came to power, India has fallen to 159th place out of 180 countries in the world press freedom rankings established by Reporters Without Borders, which deemed this “a place unworthy of a democracy”.

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