• Friday, August 12, 2022

Results for "BJP"

Modi’s party loses power in Bihar after alliance setback

A COALITION, comprising prime minister Narendra Modi's party has lost power in Bihar, the third most populous state in India after its partner pulled out on Tuesday (9). Bihar sends the fourth most number of elected lawmakers to parliament and is considered politically very important in the Hindi-speaking belt of…

No showering of petals on Muslims, they bulldoze our houses:…

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi hit out at the BJP on Wednesday over the showering of flower petals on Kanwariyas in Uttar Pradesh, saying this warmth is not for Muslims, whose houses are bulldozed. Talking to reporters in the Parliament complex, the Hyderabad MP said all communities should be treated equally.…

Prophet row: India’s SC grants protection to Nupur Sharma, issues…

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday (19) granted protection to suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma from arrest in multiple FIRs. The SC was hearing a plea moved by her seeking a stay on her possible arrest and clubbing nine cases filed against her across India in alleged hate…

Sonia Gandhi acted through Patel to target Modi: BJP on…

The BJP on Saturday alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the "driving force" behind the "conspiracy" to implicate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots case in the state. In a press conference, party spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that the late Ahmed Patel, who was Gandhi's…

‘Was only answering to Nupur Sharma’s questions’, Ajmer Dargah cleric’s…

After his derogatory remarks on Hindu gods and beliefs, the son of Ajmer Sharif Dargah Khadim Sayed Sarwar Chishti's son, Syed Aadil Chishti, issued an apology stating that he didn't intend to hurt anyone's religious belief or sentiments. In a video, Syed Aadil Chishti is seen apologising for his remarks…

‘First hijab wearing woman elected to US Congress meets first…

BRITISH Sikh MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, best known as Tan Dhesi, has met US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in London. Last week, Tan Dhesi shared a picture of their meeting on Twitter. "When first hijab wearing woman elected to US Congress @IlhanMN meets first ever turbaned Sikh elected to any European…

Opposition slams PM Modi over unveiling of national emblem atop…

Opposition parties slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday over the unveiling of a cast of the national emblem atop the new Parliament building, hurling a slew of accusations ranging from the absence of opposition leaders, conducting a religious ceremony on Parliament premises and "subverting" the principle of constitutional separation…

Leena Manimekalai: Kaali is queer, a free spirit that spits…

Amid the ongoing Kaali poster row in the country, filmmaker Leena Manimekalai struck another stir as she referred to Goddess Kali as 'queer' and called her a free spirit who spits on patriarchy. Taking on a micro-blogging site she wrote that Kali dismantles Hindutva. "My Kaali is queer. She is…

Religious conversion of Hindus stopped within 100 days of govt…

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday announced that the religious conversion of Hindus in the state stopped within 100 days of his government assuming office. A program was held today at Panaji in Goa on 100 Days of Action wherein Sawant released a booklet on the works done by…

For the first time in India’s history, no Muslim MP…

India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been left with no Muslim parliamentarians following the exit of union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. His resignation followed the expiry of his term as a member of the Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of Parliament. Naqvi, who headed…

Kali is meat-eating, alcohol-accepting goddess: TMC’s Mahua Moitra; views personal,…

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Tuesday stirred a controversy by saying that she has every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess, as every person has the right to worship God and goddess in his or her own way. While the BJP…

UK Parliament Honours Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Maharashtra deputy CM

The British Parliament has awarded the ‘Indian of the World’ award to Amruta Fadnavis, the wife of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Amruta’s visit to the UK coincided with the culmination of the political upheaval in Maharashtra – with Eknath Shinde becoming the chief minister and her husband  Devendra…

Udaipur Beheading: From Kangana Ranaut to Richa Chadha, Bollywood celebs…

The gruesome murder of a Hindu shopkeeper, Kanhaiya Lal, by two men in Rajasthan’s Udaipur district on Tuesday sent a shockwave across India. If reports are to be believed, the shopkeeper was beheaded over a social media post that he had shared in support of BJP leader Nupur Sharma, who…

IAF receives over 94,000 applications under Agnipath scheme in four…

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received 94,281 applications under the Agnipath recruitment scheme within four days of the registration process getting underway on Friday. After the scheme was unveiled on June 14, violent protests against it rocked several states for nearly a week and several opposition parties have been…

Gujarat government did not delay calling the Army to quell…

There was no delay on part of the Gujarat government in requisitioning the Army to deal with post-Godhra 2002 Gujarat riots, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said and noted that former Punjab DGP KPS Gill had termed the state government's action as "prompt and neutral". He also attacked Congress over…

BJP’s Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu sweeps temple floor

NDA's Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu was seen sweeping the floor at Shiv temple in Rairangpur, Odisha before offering prayers on Wednesday (22) morning. After NDA announced Murmu as their Presidential candidate, the Centre provided a round-the-clock Z+ category security cover for her. If elected, the 64-year-old leader from Odisha will…

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Muslim countries are the biggest hypocrites, they have the…

CONTROVERSIES are not new to him but he remains unfazed even when they tend to take the most sinister form. Geert Wilders is never known for mincing words and often they are hard-hitting, so much so that he often ends up receiving life threats. But the Party for Freedom leader…

No one is Queen Victoria or Prince: BJP ammid Congress’…

"No one is Queen Victoria or Prince in this country that they won't be probed, law is equal for all. Everyone is probed for corruption...The public knows about the involvement of a family and Rahul Gandhi's role in misusing the country's money through the National Herald scam. It is natural…

PM Modi does not understand what the people of the…

FORMER Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday (17) alleged that prime minister Narendra Modi does not understand what the people of the country want as he cannot hear anything except the voice of his "friends". He said this a day after the government raised the upper age limit to 23…

PM Modi to meet mother as she turns 100 on…

The Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) in Gujarat on Thursday withdrew its announcement about naming a road in the state capital for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mother, Hiraba Modi Hiraba, who lives with the prime minister's younger brother Pankaj Modi at Raysan village on the outskirts of Gandhinagar, is set to…

China wades into furore over controversial remarks against Prophet; hopes…

China on Monday waded into the furore over the controversial remarks by two now-suspended BJP functionaries against Prophet Mohammad, expressing the hope that the incident can be properly managed. China, which faces serious allegations of a mass crackdown on Uygur Muslims in the volatile Xinjiang province, said it believes that…

Hate and unrest not our way: Rahul Gandhi on Prophet…

INDIA has always set an example of truth, non-violence and brotherhood before the world and hate and unrest "is not our way", former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said amid reports of violence during protests at various places against controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad. Protests erupted in several parts of the…

‘If Prophet Muhammad was alive today…’: Author Taslima Nasreen amid…

Several incidents of violence were reported from different parts of the country over the controversial remarks of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Wading into the ongoing controversy, renowned Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen tweeted if "Prophet Muhammad was alive today, he would have been shocked to see the…

Remarks on Prophet: Protests erupt across India after Friday prayers;…

Protests broke out in some states on Friday including outside Delhi's Jama Masjid over the controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad by two now-suspended BJP functionaries with demonstrators in Jharkhand injuring a few policemen while authorities in Jammu imposed a curfew in a few areas and parts of Kashmir observed a…

If telling the truth is rebellion…’: Sadhvi Pragya comes out…

Bhartiya Janata Party MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur on Friday came out in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma saying "if telling the truth is rebellion, then I am also a rebel". Thakur took to Twitter to extend her support to Sharma. He wrote, "If telling the truth is rebellion,…

Don’t know how they explain it to their conscience: Naseeruddin…

Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has spoken about the film industry’s silence on the BJP leader’s remarks about Prophet Mohammed. With particular emphasis on the three Khans of Bollywood – Salman, Shah Rukh, and Aamir, Shah said in an interview that the biggest stars in the country have too much…

Iran satisfied with India’s stance over Prophet remark row

Iran is satisfied with the efforts made by the Indian government in dealing with those responsible for comments on Prophet Muhammed, the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.Abdollahian, who is on his first visit to India since he assumed office last year, raised the issue of the controversial…

Prophet remark row: Indian Central agencies ‘seriously’ looking into Al-Qaeda…

Central agencies are "seriously" looking into the threat letter sent by terror outfit Al-Qaeda regarding suicide attacks in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to "fight for the honour of the Prophet", said top agency sources.Alerts have been issued across Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat through law enforcement agencies…

Remarks against Prophet: Good relations will continue with Gulf countries,…

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad made by ousted BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, has not made any impact on the ruling NDA at the Centre as she was not a government functionary and asserted good relations will continue with the Gulf countries that…

Here’s why #BoycottQatarAirways trended on Twitter over India’s Prophet controversy

AMID the growing backlash that India faced from the Gulf countries over the controversial remarks that a leader of its ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allegedly made on Prophet Muhammad, #BoycottQatarAirways started trending on Twitter on Monday (6) with many people targeting the Gulf country's carrier. There were also people…

BJP ousted Nupur Sharma, Naveen Kumar from party to please…

THE All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that the ouster of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal from the party's primary membership was done to please the leaders of foreign countries. Speaking at the press conference in Hyderabad in Telangana, Owaisi said,…

Prophet remark row: BJP’s bigotry damaged India’s global standing, says…

"Divided internally, India becomes weak externally. BJP's shameful bigotry has not only isolated us, but also damaged India's standing globally," Gandhi wrote on Twitter. His remarks came in the wake of international outrage over controversial remarks made by two BJP functionaries against Prophet Mohammad, after which they were suspended and…

Pakistan summons Indian charge d’affaires over controversial remarks by BJP…

Pakistan said on Monday that it has summoned the Indian charge d'affaires to convey its categorical rejection and condemnation of the controversial remarks by two BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammed.The Indian diplomat was told that these remarks are totally unacceptable and have not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the…

Prophet Muhammad remarks row: Islamic nations at odds with India

India on Monday hit out at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its criticism of the country in the wake of the alleged derogatory remarks made against Prophet Mohammed by two BJP functionaries.External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India categorically rejects the OIC Secretariat's "unwarranted and narrow-minded comments"…

Kashmiri Pandits forced to leave their homes, BJP can’t handle…

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday claimed that Kashmiri Pandits were being forced to leave the Valley due to the targeted killings and demanded the Centre put forth an action plan to stop such incidents.Addressing the Aam Aadmi Party's 'Jan Aakrosh Rally at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, he also…

Kanpur violence: 3 FIRs registered, 500 booked over violence after…

The Uttar Pradesh Police Saturday booked 500 people for rioting and violence in Kanpur that left 40 injured, official said, as an uneasy calm prevailed in the affected areas this morning. Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and order) Anand Prakash Tiwari said 18 people have been arrested so far over…

Journey of India’s cultural revival will take it back to…

ASSERTING that an era of cultural revival began in India in 2014, when prime minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to power, home minister Amit Shah has said this journey will take the country to heights of glory it enjoyed earlier. In a brief speech after watching Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Samrat…

Kashmiri Pandits protesting but BJP busy celebrating its eight years:…

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the government over the killing of a Hindu woman teacher in Kulgam, saying Kashmiri Pandits are protesting but the BJP is busy celebrating eight years of the Modi government. "In Kashmir, 15 security personnel have been martyred and 18 civilians have been killed…

Hardik Patel to join BJP on June 2: Party spokesperson

Former Congress leader Hardik Patel will join the BJP on June 2 in the presence of Gujarat party president C R Paatil, a state party spokesperson said on Tuesday. After Patidar quota agitation leader Patel recently resigned from the Congress, there were speculations that he may join the ruling BJP.…

‘India is neither Thackeray’s nor Modi-Shah’s, it belongs to…’: Asaduddin…

THE All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi has said that "India belongs to Dravidians and Adivasis", and not to him, or Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP head Sharad Pawar and prime minister Narendra Modi. Addressing a rally in Bhiwandi town here in Maharashtra on Saturday (28) evening, the…

Congress-BJP spar over Modi, Rahul pics with controversial Labour MP…

INDIA's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday (24) questioned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's meeting with former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.  BJP’s Kapil Mishra slammed Gandhi and raised questions over the meaning of the meeting. Earlier, Corbyn was criticised for his ‘anti-semantic’ views and he has been a vocal…

Rahul Gandhi: Democracy in India is a central anchor for…

INDIA's Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi has said that democracy in India is a global public good and a central anchor for the planet.  "If that cracks, it is going to cause a problem for the planet," Gandhi said at the 'Ideas for India' conference in London on Friday (20).…

Supreme Court revokes ban on large prayer gatherings at Gyanvapi…

INDIA's Supreme Court overturned a local order to ban large Muslim prayer gatherings in a high-profile mosque in north India after a survey team said it found relics of the Hindu god Shiva and other Hindu symbols there. The top court on Tuesday (17) in an interim order stated Muslims'…

Supreme Court suspends India’s British-era sedition law

INDIA's Supreme Court on Wednesday (11) suspended a colonial-era sedition law that activists say is often used by prime minister Narendra Modi's government to target free speech and dissent. Modi's critics say that the law, which was once used by Britain to target independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, has been abused…

Modi to attend first Kashmir public event since clampdown on…

INDIA's prime minister will on Sunday (24) hold his first public event in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir since New Delhi imposed a sweeping security clampdown there more than two years ago. Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government has sought to quell a long-running insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir and…

If harmed, India will not spare anyone: Rajnath Singh

IN A strong message to China, Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh has said that if harmed, his country “will not spare anyone”.He asserted that India under prime minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a powerful country and is headed to be among the top three economies of the world.Singh, in…

Hardline Hindu groups demand wider India ban on hijab

HARDLINE Hindu groups are demanding restrictions on wearing the hijab in classrooms in more Indian states after a court upheld a ban on the traditional Islamic head-scarf in Karnataka state, worrying Muslim students who had protested against the ban. The Karnataka High Court decision on Tuesday (15), backing the southern…

Narendra Modi praises Anupam Kher’s The Kashmir Files

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday praised filmmaker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files, a film based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s. He said the film is "bringing the truth in its correct form" and history has to be presented in…

Indian court upholds ban on hijab in classes

AN INDIAN court upheld on Tuesday (15) a ban on wearing the hijab in classrooms in the southern state of Karnataka, a ruling that could set a precedent for the rest of the country which has a big Muslim minority.The ban last month by the state sparked protests by some…

India’s ruling party leads in disinformation race, say experts

TOP officials of India's ruling Hindu nationalist party and an army of its supporters bombarded voters with disinformation as key states went to the polls, specialists say. The five state votes held over several weeks starting February 10 set the stage for the next general election in 2024, and the…

India’s Aam Aadmi Party gets election boost to take on…

AN upstart political party that rules India's capital has swept an election in Punjab state, a Thursday (10) vote-count showed, bolstering its hopes of becoming the main challenger to prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, was…

Modi’s party retains Indian mega-state; AAP sweeps Punjab

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi's party won India's most populous state with a big majority, according to the count on Thursday (10) of a state assembly vote that could offer clues to the national mood before a 2024 general election. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won or was…

Modi’s party predicted to win key Indian state

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party was set for a resounding victory but a reduced majority at elections in the country's most populous state Uttar Pradesh, exit polls forecast Monday. Exit polls are not always reliable in India, but an average of four indicated that the Bharatiya Janata…

Akhilesh Yadav claims his party will beat BJP in Uttar…

A regional Indian party has claimed it will unseat Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in provincial elections in Uttar Pradesh state, the most crucial test for Modi before a general election in two years. The Hindu nationalist BJP has maintained it will retain power in the bellwether…

Modi says evacuating Indian students from Ukraine top priority

Prime minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday (27) and asserted that ensuring the safety of Indian students and evacuating them is the government's top priority, official sources said. It was also decided at the meeting to further enhance cooperation with the neighbouring countries…

Outcry over £117m redevelopment plan of Gandhi ashram in Ahmedabad

INDIA's Modi government's plan to redevelop the Gandhi ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, at a cost of £117 million has attracted criticism, according to a media report.  Descendants of Gandhi, historians, scholars, Gandhian institutions and lifelong ashram residents have accused the government of attempting to co-opt and politicise Gandhi’s legacy, the…

UN experts slam online attacks on Indian journalist

UN rights experts have called for an end to "misogynistic and sectarian" online attacks against a female Muslim Indian journalist, asking the authorities to investigate the harassment. Rana Ayyub, a fierce critic of prime minister Narendra Modi and the Hindu nationalist government of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been…

Indian delegation led by Lok Sabha speaker visits BAPS in…

AN INDIAN delegation of 17 people led by Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla visited the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (23). The delegation was accompanied by UAE Federal National Council Member Ayesha Mohammed Al Mulla. “The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is an ideal example of…

Ahmedabad blasts: Indian court sentences 38 to death

AN Indian court sentenced 38 people to death on Friday (18) over a string of bomb blasts in 2008 that killed dozens in the city of Ahmedabad, in one of the country's biggest mass death sentences. Coordinated attacks in western Gujarat state's commercial hub in 2008 killed 56, launching shrapnel…

Bappi Lahiri: Disco King who embodied his own brand of…

If ever there was a persona perfectly in tune with his songs, it must be Bappi Lahiri, the man who introduced disco to Hindi films, his young-at-heart, popular music as unmindful of disapproving purists as he may have been of those who raised eyebrows at his gold chains and dark…

Indian state re-opens some schools in wake of hijab row

A state in southern India re-opened some schools on Monday (14) that had been closed following protests last week over female students not being allowed to wear hijabs, or head-to-toe burqas, in class. The issue, widely seen by India's Muslim minority community as a bid to sideline it by authorities…

School hijab row highlights India’s religious divide

Facing a choice between her schooling and her religious beliefs, A.H. Almas says she had no choice at all. The 18-year-old Muslim pupil at the Women's Pre-University College in Udupi in majority-Hindu India has been wearing the Islamic headscarf since she was a child. But in December, authorities banned her…

India’s biggest state holds election in key test of Modi’s…

INDIA's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh began voting on Thursday (10) in the first of a series of local elections that will be a key test of the popularity of prime minister Narendra Modi and his ruling party. With a population almost as big as that of Brazil, keeping…

Yogi Adityanath seeking re-election touts record on jobs, crime

HINDU hardliner Yogi Adityanath, who is seeking re-election as chief minister of India's most populous state, touted his record on fighting crime and putting law and order above religion and caste in a rare interview with Western media. The 49-year-old monk from prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party…

Arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari fighting for ‘unpaid cut from defence…

AN arms dealer wanted in India on money laundering and tax evasion charges is pursuing a separate legal battle of his own in France over an alleged unpaid cut from a large Indian defence contract dating back more than 10 years, according to a report.Sanjay Bhandari, 59, has filed a…

Elections in India’s five states from Feb 10-Mar 7

UTTAR PRADESH, India's most populous state and a key battleground for prime minister Narendra Modi and opposition groups, will hold elections in seven phases starting from Feb. 10, chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra said on Saturday (8). The outcome of the election in the northern state, currently ruled by Modi's…

Omicron surge: India cancels election rallies

ELECTION rallies were cancelled in India's heartland Thursday (6) as authorities fret over a sudden Covid surge, driven by the Omicron variant, which has seen confirmed infections nearly triple in two days. Teeming crowds have thronged campaign events for next month's poll in Uttar Pradesh -- the country's most populous…

Indian tax officials seize £26m in cash from perfume tycoon

INDIAN tax officials have seized nearly £26 million in banknotes stashed in buildings belonging to a perfume tycoon in Uttar Pradesh, The Times reported.  The haul recovered from the businessman also included 23kg of gold, 250kg of silver and drums of sandalwood oil worth £750,000. The businessman was identified as…

India restricts foreign funding for Mother Teresa charity

INDIA has moved to cut off foreign funding to a charity founded by Mother Teresa. The Missionaries of Charity was founded in 1950 by the late Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted most of her life to helping the poor in Kolkata. She won the Nobel Peace Prize and…

Hindu vigilante groups disrupt Christmas celebrations on Modi territory

HARDLINE Hindu vigilante groups disrupted Christmas mass in parts of India, including in prime minister Narendra Modi's core territory ahead of local elections in the coming months, media reported on Monday (27). The disruption of Christmas celebrations at the weekend and last week included the vandalising of a life-size statue…

UNESCO adds India’s Durga Puja to ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ list

THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has added Durga Puja, one of India’s major festivals, to its ‘Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ in a first of its kind move in Asia. In a tweet, the world body wrote, “Celebrations of city of joy -…

Facing backlash, Indian education board drops sexist exam passage

INDIA'S Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday (13) removed a controversial comprehension passage and the accompanying quotations from the English examination paper of Standard 10 and decided to award full marks for it to the students. The board took the decision following an outrage over it allegedly promoting…

Indian farmers end year-long mass protests against Modi reforms

Indian farmers formally ended year-long mass protests on Thursday (9) after prime minister Narendra Modi abandoned his push for agricultural reforms, defusing one of the biggest challenges faced by his government. Thousands of people have been camped on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi since last year to campaign…

Vodafone offers to settle multi-billion-dollar India tax row

British telecommunications giant Vodafone said Friday it had offered to settle a multi-billion-dollar tax dispute with India, after the government scrapped a law that saw it claim huge sums from multinational firms. The legislation, introduced in 2012, allowed New Delhi to claim back taxes from foreign companies that had bought…

Survey: British Indians are defecting in sizeable numbers from Labour…

NEW research has revealed that British Indians, who, along with most other ethnic minorities, have long been core Labour party voters, are defecting in sizeable numbers, reported The Guardian. The report, based on a recent survey, added that a shift in the diaspora’s voting patterns would be significant in UK.…

India parliament votes to scrap farm reform laws

INDIA'S parliament voted on Monday (29) to scrap agricultural reform laws that sparked a year of huge protests by farmers, after a surprise U-turn by prime minister Narendra Modi. Thousands of farmers have been camped out on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi since last year - one of…

Dozens of Indian Sikhs offer payers at Kartarpur gurdwara in…

DOZENS of Sikh devotees from India offered prayers at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan on Thursday (18) after the visa-free Kartarpur corridor reopened for pilgrims after a gap of 20 months. The more than four-km long Kartarpur corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur, the final resting place…

Indian Hindu hardliners attack Muslim ex-minister’s home

HINDU hardliners attacked and set fire to the house of a former Indian overseas minister, police mentioned, within the newest incident of spiritual violence that critics say has been infected beneath prime minister Narendra Modi. Salman Khurshid, a Muslim from the primary opposition Congress party, has written a book in…

Kangana Ranaut says India attained freedom in 2014 and 1947…

Four-time National Film Award-winning actor Kangana Ranaut triggered a firestorm on Thursday for declaring that India attained freedom in 2014, when the Modi-led government came to power, and describing the country's Independence in 1947 as alms. The Panga (2020) actor, known for her provocative and often inflammatory statements, was once…

India’s Samajwadi Party launches a perfume to woo voters

A left-wing Indian opposition party has launched a perfume with what it calls the "fragrance of brotherhood, love and socialism" that will "end hatred". The product was unveiled by the Samajwadi Party in the hopes of wooing voters in elections in early 2022 in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.…

Fresh row over French portal’s revelations on Rafale deal

A day after French journal Mediapart made fresh claims that the Rafale manufacturer paid £6.4 million to a middleman between 2007 to 2012, a slugfest broke about between Congress and BJP. Referring to the claims, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday (9) asked his party colleagues not to be afraid…

Dozens detained in India for disrupting Muslim prayers

Dozens of people, many from Hindu right-wing groups, were arrested Friday in India for disrupting Muslim prayer gatherings, local media reported, in the latest sign of growing sectarian tensions in the country. Hindu groups have been pressuring authorities for weeks in the northern city of Gurgaon on the outskirts of…

Modi to meet Pope Francis for first time

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will meet Pope Francis in Rome for the first time this weekend when he visits for the G20 summit, officials said Thursday, in what could be a thorny encounter. Activists say that religious minorities in Hindu-majority India have faced increased levels of discrimination and violence…

India’s central bank chief Shaktikanta Das gets 3-year extension

THE government has extended the term of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das by three years till December 2024. Das was appointed the RBI's 25th governor on December 11, 2018, for three years after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Urjit Patel. An official order said the government…

Javed Akhtar talks about FabIndia’s Jashn-e-Riwaaz controversy

Veteran screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar on Thursday said that he fails to understand how a section of people took offence over the name of clothing brand FabIndia’s latest collection 'Jashn-e-Riwaaz' as the Urdu phrase simply meant “a celebration of tradition”. The brand was accused of “defacing” the Hindu festival…

Sets of Prakash Jha’s streaming show Ashram 3 vandalised by…

Bajrang Dal activists went on a rampage on the sets of award-winning filmmaker Prakash Jha’s streaming show Ashram 3, in Bhopal on Sunday. They threw ink on Jha and vandalised the sets of his upcoming series, police said. Reportedly, the members of the right-wing group stated that Ashram, starring Bobby…

Modi mourns demise of Ramayan actor Arvind Trivedi

VETERAN actor Arvind Trivedi, known for his performance as Raavan in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan, passed away on Tuesday (5) due to a heart attack. Kaustubh Trivedi, the actor’s nephew, said, "He had a lot of age-related health issues and was not keeping well. He was in the hospital earlier and…

Indian farmers step up protests after eight killed in clashes

FARMERS in India have vowed to intensify their months-long protest against laws aimed at liberalising agriculture as tension flared a day after eight people were killed in clashes between growers and ruling party supporters. Four of the eight were killed when a car linked to a senior ruling party official…

BJP wins majority in Gujarat civic polls

RULING BJP on Tuesday (5) registered a landslide victory in Gujarat's Gandhinagar municipal corporation (GMC) elections by winning 41 seats out of 44. Following the victory of the party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed gratitude towards the people saying that it has reaffirmed the deep-rooted bond between the people of Gujarat…

Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, and other Bollywood celebs wish Prime…

Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates his 71st birthday on Friday (17). Many Bollywood celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Abhishek Bachchan, and others took social media to wish the Prime Minister of India. Akshay Kumar tweeted, “आप ने मुझे हमेशा बहुत अपनेपन से हौसला और आशीर्वाद दिया है। मैं आप…

What led to Vijay Rupani’s exit as Gujarat chief minister?

AS Bhupendra Patel took charge as the chief minister of Gujarat from Vijay Rupani, there was speculation as to what led to the change of guard in the western Indian state. The perceived “mismanagement” of Covid-19 by the Rupani government and his differences with other leaders of the ruling Bharatiya…

Who is Bhupendra Patel? Gujarat’s new chief minister

THE BJP legislature party meeting in Gandhinagar on Sunday (12) elected Bhupendra Patel,59, as the new chief minister of India's Gujarat. Here are the details about the senior leader who became the chief minister in one of the key states in India A first-time MLA and member of the Patidar…

Bhupendra Patel is the new chief minister of Gujarat

SENIOR BJP leader Bhupendra Patel will become the next chief minister of Gujarat. He will succeed Vijay Rupani who resigned on Saturday (11) in a surprise move. Patel along with Rupani and state BJP president CR Paatil handed over the government formation claim to governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday evening.…

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani resigns

VIJAY Rupani resigned as the chief minister of India’s state of Gujarat on Saturday (11), more than a year before the state goes to the polls. Elections are due in December 2022 to elect 182 members of the Gujarat assembly where prime minister Narendra Modi’s party BJP has been in…

New Modi book defines India’s ‘ethnic democracy’

THE author of a new book on Narendra Modi has warned that India's transformation to an “ethnic democracy”, in which religious minorities are relegated to second class citizenship, may reach the “point of no return”. Christophe Jaffrelot, a Frenchman who is professor of politics and sociology at King’s college London, has…

‘History being erased’: Jallianwala Bagh memorial revamp prompts outrage

A BRITISH Sikh MP is among those who have criticised the revamp of the Jallianwala Bagh memorial in India. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as it is known in India, saw British troops fire on thousands of unarmed men, women and children in the northern city of Amritsar on the afternoon…

Kerala’s Covid-19 lessons for India and Modi’s government

Vilified by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's party for its high COVID-19 cases, Kerala's apparent poor record may actually hold crucial lessons for the country in containing the outbreak as authorities brace for a possible third wave of infections. The opposition-ruled, densely populated southern state is currently reporting the most…

Indian defence minister worried over rising national security challenges

INDIA'S national security challenges are increasing and becoming “complex” in view of the changing geopolitical situation across the globe, the country's defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday (19) said and pitched for a strong, capable and completely “self-reliant” domestic defence industry. Singh said this amid growing concerns in India and…

Influential British-Indian leader Lalubhai Parekh passes away

ONE of the founders of the UK-based Overseas Friends of the BJP, Lalubhai (Dhirubhai) Parekh, passed away on Monday (26).   Parekh was also a leader of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and a former president of the National Congress of Gujarati Organizations and a trustee. A native of Rajkot, Gujarat,…

Modi, ministers condole the death of Swami Prakashananda

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi, Indian home minister Amit Shah, minority minister  Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan were among those who condoled the demise of former head of Sivagiri Mutt, Swami Prakashananda. One of the oldest spiritual leaders of the southern state of…

Narendra Modi faces backlash over income tax raids against India…

THE Narendra Modi government came under fierce criticism on Thursday (22) after India’s tax authorities conducted raids against a popular newspaper and television channel that have been critical of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. While there was no official remark on…

Clash in parliament over Johnson-Modi handshake picture used in leaflet

UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer clashed in the House of Commons over a controversial by-election leaflet, which had been branded “divisive” and “anti-India” by Indian diaspora groups in Britain. During a heated debate over the issue of racism at the prime minister’s Questions (PMQs) session…

Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit revisit Devdas as the…

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas is undoubtedly one of the best films made in Bollywood. The movie starred Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles. On Monday, Devdas completed 19 years of its release. So, Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit revisited the film by…

Is New York Times anti-Modi?

Recruitment ad for India-based journalist sparks anger and support in equal measure THE New York Times, one of the world’s most influential newspapers whose motto since 1896 has been to publish “all the news that’s fit to print”, itself made headlines last week when it was accused of being biased…

India prime minister Narendra Modi expands cabinet: 43 ministers take…

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi effected a major cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday (7) whereby some prominent names were brought into the government at the expense of some big names. Former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane and heavyweight leader from the central Indian state of…

Narendra Modi cabinet expansion today, to have more youth, women

ALL eyes were set on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (7) over an impending cabinet reshuffle in his government. This will be the first reshuffle since Modi took oath as the prime minister for the second time in 2019 and the final decision was expected to come around…

Narendra Modi cabinet reshuffle soon? All eyes on new faces

PRIME minister Narendra Modi is likely to make the first cabinet reshuffle in his second term in office soon and the exercise could see the induction of more ministers, sources said on Monday (5). According to the sources, the central cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place keeping in mind…

Pew survey says most Indians oppose interfaith marriage

MOST Indians consider themselves and the country to be religiously tolerant but are against interfaith marriage, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center revealed. The survey report is based on a face-to-face survey of 29,999 Indian adults fielded between late 2019 and early 2020. It covered nearly all Indian states…

India’s Covid crisis reveals signs of internal dissent against Modi

MORE THAN a dozen ground and mid-level members of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have said that they are disillusioned with the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated the country.  Besides, six state lawmakers in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, have written letters criticising the…

Uttarakhand orders probe into ‘fake Covid tests’ at April Kumbh…

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand following media reports that private labs faked Covid-19 tests. Private labs were hired by the Uttarakhand government to screen visitors for the virus ahead of the Kumbh mela Hindu festival. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Uttarakhand…

Modi, Amit Shah have run out of agenda, Aam Aadmi…

THE Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has always been an ambitious outfit. After having done well in its first-ever election in Delhi in 2013, the party of Arvind Kejriwal came to power but thereafter, it failed to keep up the momentum. The party could not stay in power in Delhi for…

Farmer protest will hurt BJP in UP polls, love jihad…

RASHTRIYA Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary on Sunday (13) said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) alleged “apathy” towards protesting farmers will make it pay in next year’s key Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. He said "artificial" issues like love jihad and cow terror will not save the saffron…

Exclusive: Our alliance with BSP is more a social coalition…

THE Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has recently joined hands with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections and both parties described the move as “historic”. This is not the first time that the two outfits have come together to fight an election. In the 1996 Lok…

Congress needs big organisational reforms to show it’s still a…

WITH problems multiplying for India’s century-old Congress party, senior leader and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal has said that the party must bring widespread reforms across all levels of its organisation to prove that it is still a viable political alternative to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sibal has…

Exclusive: China underestimated India’s strong response that triggered Galwan clash,…

THEY both are promising economies and with mammoth populations on either side of the border, these two neighbours can aspire to be world beaters in decades to come. But in reality, India and China have been more at odds than in unity. From border to political to geostrategic, the two…

Indian-Americans regularly encounter discrimination in US, says survey

Indian-Americans, who constitute the second-largest immigrant group in the US, regularly encounter discrimination and polarisation, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The report, Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results from the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey draws on the Indian-American Attitudes Survey (IAAS) - a collaboration between the Carnegie…

Kirron Kher makes an appearance in son Sikander Kher’s Insta…

Veteran actress and BJP MP, Kirron Kher, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. In April, her husband Anupam Kher had informed everyone about her illness. Recently, Kirron Kher’s son, Sikander Kher, was doing an Insta live, and the former made an appearance to say thank you to her fans for…

Midnight’s Borders: Author reveals tales from India’s disputed lands

by LAUREN CODLING AN AUTHOR has reflected upon her eight-year journey across India’s disputed land borders, meeting individuals affected by the divisions. Described as the “first true people’s history of modern India”, Midnight’s Borders explores the untold stories of those affected by the country’s many contested borders. From Pakistan to…

India’s new coronavirus infections lowest in nearly six weeks

INDIA's official tally of daily infections of coronavirus fell to the lowest in nearly six weeks in the past 24 hours, offering hope that a devastating second wave is ebbing, but government leaders said shortages of vaccines were a big concern. Barely three per cent of the country's 1.3 billion…

Indian police visit Twitter office to serve notice about inquiry

Indian police said on Monday they visited a Twitter office to serve notice to its country managing director about an investigation into the social media giant's tagging of a post by a ruling party spokesman as "manipulated media". Leaders of prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party last week shared…

Indians shun Covid-19 vaccine over ‘infertility and heart attack’ fears

INDIAN villagers are rejecting Covid-19 vaccine amid rumours of infertility and heart attacks. They are shunning the coronavirus vaccine because of the growing belief that it is deadly or will prevent them from having children, reported The Times. These fears reflect the slow pace of the country's vaccination campaign as…

Covid-19: Obituary columns of local newspapers in Gujarat becoming longer

As the deadly second wave of Covid-19 grips the western state of Gujarat, the obituary columns of local newspapers in the state are becoming longer with each passing day. The Saurashtra Bhaskars daily's Bhavnagar edition on Thursday (6) set aside eight of its 16 pages for obituary notices. The burgeoning…

Lessons from Bengal polls battle

By Amit Roy INDIA has just held assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and the union territory of Pondicherry. But the key battleground was West Bengal, where the prime minister Nar­endra Modi and his home minister, Amit Shah, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were determined to topple…

India braces for more Covid deaths

By Rithika Siddhartha INDIA’S coronavirus caseload topped 20 million on Tuesday (4) with some cities expected to reach the peak of the second wave in the next few days. More than 350,000 new cases were reported in India on Tuesday, a fall from the high of 402,000 last week as…

Setback for Modi after loss in key India state poll

India prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a setback on Sunday (2) when it lost a fiercely contested state poll. Over the past month India held its biggest democratic exercise in two years, with 175 million people eligible to vote in five regional elections. But the marathon polls…

Prince Charles urges to help India as Modi faces criticism…

THE Prince of Wales has urged people to back his charity drive to help India as the country’s health system buckles with record Covid-19 infections. The British Asian Trust, which Prince Charles founded in 2007, has launched an Oxygen for India emergency appeal to raise funds for oxygen concentrators. Together…

Indian High Commission in UK appeals for oxygen, medical supplies

The Indian High Commission in London on Saturday (24) issued an open appeal through social media for help to meet the rising demand for oxygen and medical supplies in India's devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It listed the required items as refillable oxygen cylinders, concentrators and the drug…

India posts global record of 315,000 daily Covid cases; oxygen…

INDIA recorded the world's highest daily tally of 314,835 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday (22) as a second wave of the pandemic raised new fears about the ability of crumbling health services to cope. The health ministry data on Thursday is the most of any country since the pandemic began,…

What Are the Best File Formats for Online Documents?

One of the things you can do as a professional web designer is to learn about different file formats for documents so you can easily create documents on the web that are search engine friendly. Search engines work very well with PDF documents because this is one of the most…

EXCLUSIVE: ‘RACIST JUDICIARY’ CULTURE OF DENIAL

After last year’s exposé, we challenge the judiciary to prove it is not institutionally racist By Barnie Choudhury The judiciary is 20 years behind the Met Police in accepting it is institutionally racist. That is the damning accusation from named and anonymous south Asian, black and white judges. In a…

Two dead as fresh wave of violence hits crucial West…

Two people died as the second phase of voting in a violence-marred Indian state election kicked off on Thursday, officials said, with crowds of opponents clashing on the streets despite a ban on large gatherings. Prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party and the firebrand leader of West…

Mukesh Ambani case: Senior police officer approaches India’s top court

A senior Mumbai police officer filed a complaint in the Supreme Court on Monday (22) accusing a state government minister of corruption, the latest development in a bizarre case that has transfixed the media for weeks. Param Bir Singh, the former head of police in Mumbai, filed a petition seeking…

BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma found dead at Delhi residence

RAM Swaroop Sharma, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, was found dead in his official residence in New Delhi on Wednesday (17), police said. His body was found hanging from his room's ceiling fan after the police broke open the door after getting a call from…

Sourav Ganguly interested in a future in politics

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly kept his cards close to his chest amid mounting speculation that he might take the political plunge ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections, saying he will see "where it goes" amid the "opportunities" coming his way. Ganguly, who is still resting at his Kolkata residence…

Huge crowd fetes Narendra Modi at rally for key state…

A crowd of up to 800,000 turned out for a state election rally by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (8), as he sought to unseat one of his fiercest critics in a campaign hit by violence. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been seeking to expand its power…

Row escalates between Twitter and India over blocking accounts

Twitter said on Wednesday (10) it had blocked some accounts in India over comments on mass farmers' protests in New Delhi, but the social media giant refused to shut down others despite the threat of criminal action by the government. Indian officials last week demanded that Twitter block hundreds of…

Indian court grants bail to comedian accused of insulting Hinduism

India's top court on Friday granted interim bail to a stand-up comedian who was jailed for more than a month over allegations of insulting Hindu deities during a show, court officials said. The comedian, Munawar Faruqui, 30, was arrested early last month following a complaint by the son of a…

Tandav cast apologise after being accused of “mocking Hindu gods”

The cast and crew of a popular streaming series starring Bollywood megastar Saif Ali Khan have apologised after ruling politicians called the show insensitive to Hindus. The Amazon Prime drama Tandav -- loosely compared to the US series House of Cards -- drew criticism from members of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya…

Trump could learn how to accept defeat from Vajpayee

By Amit Roy INDIAN democracy, for all its faults, seems much more mature than America’s, where it is work in progress. A true test of a democracy is whether the loser is willing to step down without claiming, “I waz robbed.” The world was impressed with the gracious manner in…

Indian farmers burn legislation in show of defiance

INDIAN farmers burnt copies of the government's new agricultural laws on Wednesday(13), pressing on with their protest against the reforms despite a decision by the Supreme Court to postpone implementation while their grievances are heard. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of the capital, New…

India’s ruling party pushes budget relief for middle class, business…

INDIA's ruling party has urged the government to put more money in the pockets of middle-income families in the next budget and cut the costs of raw material for small and medium-sized businesses, a party spokesman said on Thursday(31). After the coronavirus impact shrank the economy in the last two…

Indian state bans Islamic schools, drawing criticism

An Indian state ruled by prime minister Narendra Modi's BJP party on Wednesday (30) passed a law abolishing all Islamic schools, saying they provided sub-standard education. Opposition politicians criticised the move and said it reflected the government's anti-Muslim attitude in the Hindu-majority country. More than 700 of the schools, known as…

The BJP’s next mission: eradicating ‘love jihad’ in India

In India's most populous state, the Hindu nationalist BJP government is on a mission against "love jihad", the conspiracy theory that Muslims are luring Hindu brides with the aim of conversion and eventually national domination. While interfaith marriage remains rare in the Hindu-majority nation, this zealous drive in Uttar Pradesh…

Indian state makes ‘forced’ religious conversions by marriage a criminal…

An Indian state has criminalised 'forced' religious conversions by marriage, a first of its kind move in the country. India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh this week has approved a decree  laying out prison terms for anyone compelling others to convert their faith or luring them into these conversions through marriage.…

India’s ruling party protests over ‘temple kissing scenes’ in a…

AN Indian state has asked police to investigate after a member of the country's ruling party objected to scenes in the Netflix series A Suitable Boy, in which a Hindu girl kisses a Muslim boy against the backdrop of a Hindu temple. The series is based on an English novel…

‘Biden’s challenge will be to unite a bitterly divided nation’

By Dinesh Sharma LAST weekend, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr was declared the 46th president-elect of the United States. The third time may have been the ‘luck of the Irish’ for Biden, whose ancestors hailed from County Louth. His great, great, great grandfather moved to America during the Irish famine almost…

Modi’s coalition retains power in key state election

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's coalition retained power in Bihar state, results showed on Wednesday(11), in what was a referendum on Modi's handling of Covid-19 and which may boost his chances in three more state elections next year. Modi's coalition won a fourth straight term in Bihar, the third-most populous…

Modi’s BJP likely to emerge as the winner in Bihar…

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) is likely to make gains in Bihar assembly elections. The fight in Bihar is down to two coalitions led by regional rivals - one of them is the incumbent Janata Dal (United) or JD-U, the BJP's partner. The alliance, led by Chief…

Indian news anchor Arnab Goswami arrested for alleged abetment of…

ONE of India's top TV news anchors, Arnab Goswami, was arrested by police in Mumbai on Wednesday(4) for alleged abetment of suicide in a case registered in 2018, his channel said in a statement. According to local media, the case related to the suicide of an interior designer who said…

Indian troops kill top Kashmiri militant commander

Indian security forces killed the chief of the largest militant group in Kashmir in a gun battle on Sunday (1), as the disputed region is riven by violence more than a year after New Delhi withdrew its semi-autonomy. The killing takes the number of militants killed in the Muslim-majority region…

Veteran Gujarati singer Mahesh Kanodia passes away

Famous Gujarati film musician, singer and former parliamentarian Mahesh Kanodia died at his residence in Gandhinagar on Sunday following a prolonged illness, his family said. He was 83. “The ace singer, who enthralled the audience through his performances together with his younger brother and Gujarati film superstar Naresh Kanodia, died…

Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who built BJP in…

FORMER Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, 92, who recovered from Covid-19 infection recently, died in Ahmedabad on Thursday(29) after prolonged illness, family sources said. Hospital authorities said Patel died due to cardiac arrest. He was rushed to the hospital after his pulse and oxygen level dropped on Thursday morning, his…

Millions queue to vote as India state election gets under…

Millions of Indians turned out to cast ballots in a state election on Wednesday in the world's biggest vote since the coronavirus emerged, with booths packed out and many ignoring government advice on wearing masks and social distancing. Some 70 million people are eligible to vote in Bihar, an impoverished…

India conducts world’s biggest election since the emergence of Covid-19…

MILLIONS of Indians turned out to cast ballots in a state election Wednesday(28) in the world's biggest vote since the coronavirus emerged, with booths packed out and many ignoring government advice on wearing masks and social distancing. Some 70 million people are eligible to vote in Bihar, an impoverished eastern…

Tata jewellery ad featuring Hindu-Muslim family withdrawn after outrage

By Pramod Thomas A subsidiary of India's Tata Group pulled a jewellery advertisement of a Hindu-Muslim family celebrating a baby shower after social media criticism, with some posting "Love Jihad". Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad is an conspiracy theory alleging that Muslim men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities for…

‘Food war’ on Twitter after UK-based academic calls South Indian…

UK-based academic Dr Edward Anderson has sparked a 'food war' on Twitter by calling South Indian staple food 'Idli' boring. On Tuesday(6) while responding to a tweet by food delivery app Zomato India which asked about 'one dish you could never understand why people like soo much' Dr Anderson said:…

Jaswant Singh and his Jinnah argument

By Amit Roy JASWANT SINGH, who died on September 27, aged 82, was a founder of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and served variously as In­dia’s finance, external affairs and defence minister. But most obituaries recalled he was expelled from the BJP for writ­ing a book that was sympathetic to…

Indian organisations urge Tory leadership to disband ‘nefarious’ Kashmir group

OVER 80 Indian diaspora organisations in the UK have called for disbanding a new "fringe" Conservative group on Kashmir. The protest followed the revival of a so-called "Conservative Friends of Kashmir" group, announced on social media last week by seven Tory MPs representing constituencies with a significant Pakistani diaspora population.…

Indian court acquits all 32 accused in Babri Masjid demolition…

AN Indian court on Wednesday(30) acquitted all the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case, including ruling party veterans L K Advani and MM Joshi, 28 years ago. A special CBI court in Lucknow passed the verdict citing a lack of evidence. The demolition of the disputed structure in…

Eight Indian MPs suspended after chaotic parliament protests over farming…

Eight Indian lawmakers were suspended from parliament on Monday (21) for "unruly behaviour" after opposition to contentious new farming legislation sparked some of the most chaotic scenes in recent years. MPs in the upper house had on Sunday torn up copies of the legislation, broke microphones, hurled copies of the…

Trump lauds Modi as ‘great leader loyal friend’ on his…

US president Donald Trump greeted prime minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday, praising him as a "great leader and loyal friend". Prime minister Modi, born on September 17 in 1950, turned 70 on Thursday. "I would like to extend best wishes and a very happy 70th birthday to the…

Indian cabinet minister quits over farm legislation

India's minister for food processing resigned on Thursday (17) over her opposition to planned laws to allow farmers to sell produce directly to bulk buyers and make contract farming easier, saying the legislation will hurt millions of the country's farmers. "Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister,"…

Facebook does not profit from hate speech, says India chief

Facebook does not profit from hate speech, the tech giant's India chief said on Wednesday (16), rejecting allegations the Silicon Valley firm failed to act on the issue over business concerns. India is the biggest market for the US-based company and its messaging service WhatsApp in terms of users, and…

At least 17 Indian MPs infected with coronavirus as cases…

At least 17 members of the Indian parliament have tested positive for the coronavirus, government officials said on Tuesday, underlining the widening spread of infections set to cross five million cases soon. The lawmakers were screened ahead of the re-opening of parliament on Monday after six months. MPs cleared by…

Delhi summons top Indian Facebook official over hateful content

Delhi summoned Facebook's India chief on Saturday to answer allegations that the social media giant failed to remove dangerous content in its biggest market globally. India is the US-based firm and its messaging service WhatsApp's biggest market in terms of users, and the company is under pressure worldwide over the…

Rights groups say Facebook bias spurs violence in India

CIVIL RIGHTS groups in India have said that Facebook has failed to address dangerous content in the country and demanded that the head of public policy there be removed. A letter addressed to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and his second-in-command Sheryl Sandberg wanted the social network's India policy chief Ankhi…

Modi’s party tells supporters in US to not use its…

INDIA's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has asked supporters in the US to not use its name in the presidential polls, stressing that the India-US ties enjoy bipartisan support America. The unambiguous directive to the Overseas Friends of BJP-USA from the party's foreign affairs department head Vijay Chauthaiwale was apparently aimed…

Indian IT minister accuses Facebook of bias amid row over…

India's information technology minister accused Facebook on Tuesday (1) of censoring content from people supportive of right-wing ideology in the latest salvo at the social media giant over content regulation in its biggest user market. In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reviewed by Reuters, IT Minister Ravi Shankar…

Bollywood star Aamir Khan under fire over China, Turkey links

Muslim Bollywood star Aamir Khan has long been a hate figure for India's Hindu far-right, but now they have a new line of attack - his massive popularity in China. Khan, 55, is a brand ambassador for Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, and is also major draw on the mainland with…

BJP’s Varun Gandhi says Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders are his…

INDIAN politician and BJP MP Varun Gandhi described himself as a 'centre-left thinking person' in his new book and claimed that his writings prove the 'consistently progressive liberal record' of himself. In his recently launched book- India, Tomorrow: Conversations with the Next Generation of Political Leaders-Gandhi reveals that he is…

Facebook says more work needed on hate speech as India…

Social media giant Facebook admitted it has to do better to curb hate speech as it battled a storm over how it handled comments by a member of India's ruling party who called Muslims traitors. "We've made progress on tackling hate speech on our platform, but we need to do…

Facebook in India storm after hate speech claims

Facebook is in the eye of a political storm in India after claims it failed to take action against hate speech posts by a Hindu nationalist lawmaker out of fear for its business interests. India is US-based Facebook and its messaging service WhatsApp's biggest market in terms of users, and…

Covid damage among tests facing India at 74

  By Lord Meghnad Desai ON SATURDAY (15), India’s prime minister Nar­endra Modi will unfurl the tricolour at the Red Fort in New Delhi to celebrate the country’s 74th Independence Day. It will be a great contrast to last year when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – under Modi’s…

19 years of Dil Chahta Hai: Lesser known facts about…

In 2001, Farhan Akhtar made his directorial debut with the film Dil Chahta Hai. The movie starred Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Dimple Kapadia, and Sonali Kulkarni. Today, Dil Chahta Hai completes 19 years of its release and Farhan took to Twitter to thank the audience…

Eight Covid-19 patients die in ICU fire at private hospital…

EIGHT Covid-19 patients died in a fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in India's western city of Ahmedabad early on Thursday (, officials said as they launched a probe into the incident. Police stopped angry relatives from entering the Shrey Hospital in Gujarat state's…

Wait of centuries is over, says Modi, as Hindu temple…

Modi calls launch a historic moment Muslim group says land wrongly taken for temple INDIAN prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (5) said that the wait of centuries is over as he kick-started the construction of the Hindu temple in Ayodhya. "The whole country is thrilled, the wait of centuries…

Ayodhya, India’s flashpoint holy site

THE holy site Ayodhya in Northern India has been the spark for some of India's worst sectarian violence. Here is a look at the history of the three-acre patch of land in the holy northern town of Ayodhya and why it has long been an explosive source of contention between…

India’s long Ayodhya dispute as temple construction starts

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (5) started the construction for a Hindu temple on a site in northern India where a 16th century mosque was demolished by supporters of his Hindu nationalist party in 1992. The events in Ayodhya sparked communal riots in several parts of India. About…

Modi fulfils long-standing promise, launches construction of Ayodhya Ram temple

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kicked off the construction of a Lord Ram temple in the north Indian city of Ayodhya on a spot where a mosque was demolished nearly three decades ago. The event fulfils a long-standing promise by Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, and marks the…

Modi enjoys twin triumphs for India’s Hindu nationalists

NARENDRA MODI will on Wednesday (5) lay the foundation for a temple at a flashpoint holy site exactly a year after imposing direct rule on Muslim-majority Kashmir -- twin triumphs for his Hindu nationalist government. The site of Ayodhya and divided Kashmir have been two of the most divisive communal…

Indian politician Amar Singh, who died on Saturday, cremated in…

INDIAN politician and former Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh was cremated at the Chhatarpur crematorium in New Delhi in the presence of family members and relatives on Monday (3). The 64-year-old 'kingmaker' politician died in a Singapore hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for kidney-related ailments, on Saturday (1). Daughters…

Sushant suicide: Bihar court dismisses plea to register cases against…

A Bihar court on Wednesday (8) dismissed a petition seeking registration of cases against Bollywood bigwigs like Salman Khan, Ekta Kapoor, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Karan Johar for allegedly abetting actor Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide, citing jurisdictional limitations. Chief judicial magistrate of Muzaffarpur Mukesh Kumar dismissed the petition filed by…

Air India starts ‘Vande Bharat’ repatriation flights from London

THE first Air India flight from the UK, scheduled as part of the "Vande Bharat Mission" to repatriate Indians stranded overseas due to the coronavirus lockdown, took off from London's Heathrow Airport on Saturday (9). About 250 Indian students and tourists were seen queuing with their luggage at the airport…

Digital debut on the cards for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan?

OTT platforms are attracting established actors like never before. Over the past couple of years, we have seen several big names from Bollywood taking a plunge into the digital world. After Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Karisma Kapoor, among others, it seems the next star to make a transition…

Sadiq Khan leads call urging Muslims to stay home during…

Leading Muslim figures have united in a video urging all Muslims to stay at home this Ramadan. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has already infected 129,044 people in the UK and claimed 17, 337 lives. Muslims have been urged to protect the NHS by adhering to the lockdown rules which have…

Kanika Kapoor tests positive for coronavirus; Indian politicians ‘in trouble’

WHEN Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor was tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday (20), it sent panic waves among Indian parliamentarians. At the latest count, four Indian politicians are already under self-isolation. Reports state that the number may go up and even the president of India likely to be quarantined. The…

Birmingham pharmacy charges £19.99 for bottle of Calpol, sparks outrage…

A West Midlands-based pharmacy chain has been lambasted on social media for allegedly charging three times more than the normal price for a bottle of Calpol. Councillor for Bromford and Hodge Hill in Birmingham Majid Mahmood on Wednesday night posted on Twitter a photo that showed bottles of the liquid paracetamol…

India political activist arrested for selling cow urine to combat…

An activist with India's ruling party has been arrested after a volunteer fell ill from drinking cow urine at a party to combat the novel coronavirus, police said on Wednesday (18), as interest grows in home remedies amid the pandemic. Narayan Chatterjee, a Bharatiya Janata Party activist, was arrested by…

Coronavirus makes ‘namaste’ go viral

WITH the coronavirus outbreak spiralling into a pandemic, the humble ‘namaste’ is trending as a respectful and safe greeting option. Prince Charles was recently spotted offering namaste during the Prince’s Trust Awards event at the London Palladium, and through the Commonwealth Day service in Buckingham Palace. A video of the Prince…

Scindia would not get respect in BJP: Rahul Gandhi

INDIAN National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday (12) said Jyotiraditya Scindia forgot his ideology as he was apprehensive about his political future. He added that Scindia would not get respect in the BJP. Talking about Scindia's move to the BJP ending his long association with the Congress, Gandhi said there is…

Jyotiraditya Scindia joins India’s ruling BJP; gets Rajya Sabha ticket

A day after announcing his resignation from the Congress party, Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the ruling BJP on Wednesday (11) in presence of party president JP Nadda. The BJP on Wednesday named Jyotiraditya Scindia as its Rajya Sabha, upper house of Indian parliament, candidate from Madhya Pradesh soon after he joined the party. He criticised…

With Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit, political drama unfolds in India’s Madhya…

LONG-TERM Congress leader and former minister Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the party's primary membership on Tuesday (10), moments after meeting prime minister Narendra Modi. He shared the resignation letter dated March 9, 2020, on social media. pic.twitter.com/DWSKdYO0jG — Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) March 10, 2020 Soon after his resignation, 22…

India’s Covid-19 cases rise to 28; 27,000 under community surveillance

INDIAN health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday (4) said that 28 positive cases of coronavirus have been detected so far in India. Out of the total 28 COVID-19 cases in India, one person was from Delhi, six of his relatives in Agra, 16 Italians and their Indian driver, one in…

Police arrest over 500 for Delhi sectarian violence

INDIAN police have arrested over 514 people for deadly Hindu-Muslim violence that broke out in the capital, the government said. Police said the toll from days of blood-letting stood at 47, but local media, citing unnamed sources, said it was likely to be more than 47 as the full extent…

Modi living proof that Indians can achieve anything: Trump

The US president Donald Trump, who is on a two-day visit to India, has said on Monday (24) that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is a living proof that Indians can achieve anything they want. He was speaking to a gathering of over 100,000 people at the Motera Stadium in…

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays antagonist in Ponniyin Selvan

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can breathe life into any character which she portrays on screen. She is able to essay sharp and shrewd antagonists just as convincingly as highly righteous characters. The actress, who has played villainous characters in a couple of movies before, returns to play a negative character again.…

Remove ‘Bangladesh’ from pro-CAA ad films, says Indian Censor Board

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in India has asked to omit the word "Bangladesh" from pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) ad films produced and directed by Sanghamitra Choudhury. In a letter earlier this week, the Board asked Choudhury to either ‘cut’ or ‘replace’ Bangladesh from the films. The filmmaker…

India renames two institutes after former minister Sushma Swaraj

INDIA on Thursday (13) renamed two important institutions in honour of the late external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, a cultural centre reflecting India's connect with its diaspora, was renamed Sushma Swaraj Bhavan and the Foreign Service Institute, where diplomats are trained, was renamed the Sushma Swaraj…

Court told Kashmir leader held for being ‘Daddy’s girl’

The family of a former Kashmir chief minister went to India's Supreme Court on Monday (10) in a bid to overturn his detention under a law allowing incarceration for up to two years without charge. The case was launched as it was revealed that the police case against Omar Abdullah…

Former Indian chief minister’s son found dead in UK

The body of Shubanso Pul, son of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul, was recently found in a one-bedroom apartment in Brighton. Investigators are probing if the 20-year-old law student at University of Sussex had committed suicide. Officers had to break open his room, which was locked from inside.…

India’s oldest party suffers worst set back in Delhi

Indian National Congress, the oldest political party in India, has lost its 'face' in the national capital following its poor performance in Delhi elections on Tuesday (11). The grand-old party failed to get a single representative to Delhi assembly. Congress repeated its 2015 performance and was reduced to zero seats.…

Mallya case has ‘number of rabbit holes’ to go down,…

LIQUOR baron Vijay Mallya on Tuesday (11) appeared before the Royal Courts of Justice in London for his appeal against extradition to India, where his lawyer claimed “multiple errors” in a magistrates’ court order favouring the Indian government. The former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who remains on bail since his arrest…

Kejriwal thanks Lord Hanuman; says ‘Politics of Work’ wins in…

Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has retained India's national capital for the third term. As per the latest trends, AAP is all set to sweep the 70-seat Delhi assembly. Five years ago AAP had won 67 seats in Delhi. Retaining a majority since the beginning of the counting, AAP…

‘Confident’ Kejriwal asks supporters not to burst crackers post victory

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged party workers not to burst crackers after victory to prevent air pollution. The counting of votes in Delhi will take place on Tuesday (11). Exit polls have predicted a huge majority for the ruling AAP. Some exit…

UK High Court to hear Mallya’s appeal against extradition on…

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya is expected to return to court on Tuesday as the UK High Court begins hearing his appeal against being extradited to India to face fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores (£1 billion). The Royal Courts of Justice in London will hear the…

On Delhi poll day ‘#AntiWomenKejriwal’ trended on Twitter

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal landed in trouble over a 'sexist' tweet on the election day in Delhi on Saturday (8). On Twitter, he said women should heed their male counterparts' advice while casting their votes. "You must go to vote. Special appeal to all women - Just like you…

Modi’s party seeks to unseat ‘common man’ in Delhi election

A diminutive former tax inspector is in the cross-hairs of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party as it battles to take back power in Delhi state elections on Saturday (8). Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of the sprawling capital of 20 million since 2015, is standing for re-election -- much…

‘Kashmir film won’t spark India-Pakistan tensions’

  By Nadeem Badshah BRITISH Pakistanis have dismissed fears that a new film highlighting “disappearances” in Kashmir will spark tensions in the UK and have praised the director for highlighting human rights. No Fathers in Kashmir, directed by Ashwin Kumar, was released in cinemas in January and is about a…

Man fires at anti-CAA protesters in New Delhi

The protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) near Jamia Millia University in New Delhi turned violent on Thursday (January 30) when a man, identified as Rambhakt Gopal, opened fire at protesters. A student at the University was injured following gunshots. The shooter was later detained. The injured student has…

Citizenship Act will correct historical injustice: Modi

India prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (28) said the government has brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to correct "historical injustice" and to fulfil the BJP's "old promise" to religious minorities living in neighbouring countries. Speaking at the Annual prime minister's National Cadet Corps (NCC) Rally 2020 in New Delhi,…

MPs Bob Blackman and Barry Gardiner awarded Padma Shri

British politicians Bob Blackman and Barry Gardiner have been awarded the Padma Shri – India's fourth highest civilian award. Blackman, the Conservative Party MP Harrow East, is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Hindus and long-time supporter of India and prime minister Narendra Modi. He said…

Confirmed: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to star in Binodini Dasi biopic

A couple of days ago, we had informed our readers that acclaimed filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar, known for helming women-oriented films Parineeta (2005) and Mardaani (2014), was in talks with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for his next directorial outing. Sarkar has now confirmed that the Devdas (2002) actress has been finalized to…

‘Not ready for peace with India without resolving Kashmir issue,’…

Pakistan is not prepared to pay any price for peace with India and certainly not without resolving the Kashmir issue in a just manner, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said. Addressing the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think-tank, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan's demand that US President Donald Trump…

After India’s Amazon snub, Modi’s party slams Bezos-owned Washington Post

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party on Friday (17) slammed editorial policies of billionaire Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, even as his e-commerce firm Amazon announced plans to create a million jobs in the country by 2025. Vijay Chauthaiwale, the chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) foreign affairs department,…

Amazon not doing favour to India by investing a billion…

A DAY after the world's richest person Jeff Bezos announced fresh $1 billion investment in India, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday (15) said his firm Amazon was not doing a favour to the country by the investments and questioned how the online retailing major could incur…

Friction on social media ‘could affect mental health’

by LAUREN CODLING A LEADING psychiatrist has warned that political disagreements between families on social media could have a detrimental effect on their mental health. The trend of users taking to social media to express thoughts on a “number of sensitive issues” has increased, Dr Vidya Narayanan, a researcher at…

Hardline Hindus protest huge Indian Jesus statue

Hundreds of Hindu activists affiliated to India's ruling party rallied on Monday (13) to protest a planned Jesus statue that will rival Rio de Janeiro's Christ The Redeemer for size. Prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has long been accused of intolerance towards other religions and of wanting…

Indian police battle anti-Modi protesters over disputed law

Indian police baton-charged protesters on Sunday (12) to stop them reaching prime minister Narendra Modi's cavalcade as nationwide protests against a bitterly disputed citizenship law entered a second month. Tens of thousands staged protests through the night in the eastern city of Kolkata to denounce Modi's weekend visit to the…

Deepika Padukone prays for new film after protest backlash

Bollywood's top actress was snapped praying in a temple on Friday (10) ahead of the release of her new film as a storm continued to rage over her attendance at a recent student protest. The presence of Deepika Padukone, 34, at the demonstration in New Delhi on Tuesday broke with…

One woman reports a rape every 15 minutes in India

One woman reported a rape every 15 minutes on average in India in 2018, according to government data released on Thursday (9), underlining its dismal reputation as one of the worst places in the world to be female. The highly publicised gang rape and murder of a woman in a…

Deepika Padukone joins protest at JNU, trolls trend #BoycottChhapaak, B-Town…

Deepika Padukone is currently busy with the promotions of her upcoming film Chhapaak. The film is slated to release on 10th January 2020, and recently when Deepika was in Delhi for the promotions, she visited JNU to join the protest against the attack at the university. Well, Deepika’s presence at…

Attack at elite India university injures at least 23

At least 23 people were hurt at a prestigious Indian university on Sunday (5) in what police said were clashes between rival student groups but which an opposition politician blamed on a student organisation linked to prime minister Narendra Modi. Unverified videos on social media appeared to show a group…

Local community pledges savings to build first transgender school in…

After dropping out of school aged 12, transgender woman Guddi Kinnar resorted to dancing at weddings and other religious ceremonies to earn money, acutely aware that her lack of education was a major obstacle to obtaining a regular job. To ensure other youngsters don't end up in the same predicament,…

Blindspot to backlash: India’s Modi and party misread the mood

Huge protests in India against a citizenship law seen by many as anti-Muslim have wrong-footed prime minister Narendra Modi and sent his Hindu nationalist party scrambling to douse the anger. In Modi's biggest challenge since taking office in 2014, hundreds of thousands have rallied against the law offering citizenship to…

Modi’s party loses Indian state election amid protests over citizenship…

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party lost control of another state on Monday, adding to a string of electoral losses since last December amid protests that mark the biggest challenge to the Hindu-nationalist leader. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conceded defeat in the eastern state of Jharkhand, with an alliance…

India death toll rises in clashes over citizenship law

Six more protesters died in India Friday in fresh clashes between police and demonstrators, taking the death toll to 15 in more than a week of unrest triggered by a citizenship law seen as anti-Muslim. The law -- which makes it easier for persecuted minorities from three neighbouring countries to…

Indian court hands life term to ex-lawmaker for rape

A COURT sentenced a former lawmaker from India's ruling party to life imprisonment for raping a teenager, his lawyer said on Friday (20), the highest-ranking Indian politician to get such a significant jail term in recent years. Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator in the northern state…

Barnie Choudhury: ‘We must stop the politics of religion division…

by BARNIE CHOUDHURY Former BBC journalist I LOVE general election night, and to be more precise, I love being in the thick of it. So, I was super-excited to be at an election count for the first time in 15 years last Thursday (12). It was Leicester, my home city,…

India court convicts former ruling lawmaker of teen rape

A former ruling party lawmaker was convicted on Monday (16) of raping a teenager in a high-profile case that underscored India's rampant sexual violence and the impunity enjoyed by the elite. Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a powerful four-time state legislator for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was found guilty of raping…

Asian diaspora hails Johnson’s resounding victory

BRITAIN'S Asian diaspora on Friday (13) hailed the impressive victory of prime minister Boris Johnson in the historic General Election, which saw unprecedented activism by the community members against the Opposition Labour Party's perceived anti-India stance. Britain’s first December election in nearly a century was called by prime minister Johnson…

Two dead in India as police fire at demo against…

Two people were killed and several wounded Thursday (12) when police in northeast India opened fire on a large crowd demonstrating against the country's new citizenship bill. Federal authorities deployed thousands of paramilitaries and blocked mobile internet access in the region, while local police who joined them in opposing protesters…

Modi cleared of complicity in deadly communal riots

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi was not complicit in deadly religious riots that broke out in 2002 in one of the bloodiest episodes in independent India, according to a judge-led commission report released Wednesday (11). Modi was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat when nearly 1,000 people…

Shami Chakrabarti: ‘People must reject the politics of hate in…

by BARONESS SHAMI CHAKRABARTI HARROW is my home and where I was raised. It felt special going back there during a general election campaign over the weekend. I was lucky enough to visit the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple, one of the religious hubs at the heart of the Harrow…

Protests rage in northeast India over citizenship bill

Protestors in northeast India clashed with police, set fire to tyres and cut down trees to block roads on Tuesday in a shutdown across the region hours after lawmakers approved the government's new citizenship bill. The legislation, set to go before the upper house on Wednesday, will fast-track citizenship claims…

India’s lower house passes contentious nationality bill

India's lower house passed controversial legislation early Tuesday (9) that will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims, amid raucous scenes in parliament and protests in the country's northeast. The Citizenship Amendment Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority…

British Asian candidates set to have another good outing in…

With just days to go before the UK General Election on Thursday (12), the new Parliament set to be voted in is expected to be the most diverse in Britain's history based on projections and what experts believe has been a late surge in diversity from the country's main political…

As outrage mounts over rape in India, victim set ablaze…

A 23-year-old rape victim was set ablaze by a gang of men, including the alleged rapist, as she made her way to court in the northern India on Thursday, police said, stirring public outrage and shame over the scourge of crimes against women. During the past week, thousands of Indians…

Indian cabinet approves religion-based citizenship bill  

INDIA'S cabinet approved a bill on Wednesday (4) to give citizenship to religious minorities persecuted in neighbouring Muslim countries, the first time that the country is seeking to grant nationality on the basis of religion. Last month, Amit Shah, India's federal home (interior) minister, told parliament that non-Muslim minorities -…

India Top Court to hear pleas on polygamy, nikah halala among…

INDIA’S top court Supreme Court on Monday (2) said it will hear after the winter break the pleas challenging practices of polygamy and 'nikah halala' among Muslims. The issue was mentioned before a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant which said…

Modi’s party makes surprise comeback in India’s richest state

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's party made an unexpected comeback to power on Saturday (23) in wealthy Maharashtra state, home to the country's financial capital, after prolonged backroom negotiations saw presidential rule lifted after days of uncertainty. President Ram Nath Kovind imposed direct rule on India's richest state last week…

India’s ruling party makes surprise comeback in Maharashtra state

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's party made an unexpected comeback to power Saturday (23) in wealthy Maharashtra state, home to the country's financial capital, after prolonged backroom negotiations saw presidential rule lifted after days of uncertainty. President Ram Nath Kovind imposed direct rule on India's richest state last week after…

Economic insecurity of youths to shape India’s politics: Report

AMID a growth slowdown and unemployment issues, India's politics will be increasingly shaped by the economic insecurity of its vast youth population, the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a research note on Friday (22). The issue of unemployment and underemployment has been an unavoidable topic in India's politics and slower…

Maharashtra placed under federal rule

  MUMBAI was plunged into political uncertainty on Tuesday (12) after India's president imposed direct rule on Maharashtra state after weeks of deadlock over who would form its government following fiercely fought elections. India has been battling an economic slowdown and the political stalemate is a setback for Mumbai, which…

Triumph for Modi’s party as holy site awarded to Hindus

INDIA'S top court handed a huge victory to prime minister Narendra Modi's party on Saturday (9) by awarding Hindus control of a bitterly disputed holy site that has sparked deadly sectarian violence in the past. Authorities stepped up security nationwide ahead of the decision and Modi called for calm, fearing…

Ayodhya: Court clears way for Hindu temple at disputed site

INDIA'S top court cleared the way on Saturday (9) for a Hindu temple to be constructed at a hotly disputed holy site, in a huge victory for Hindu nationalists under prime minister Narendra Modi. The Supreme Court ruled that the site in Ayodhya in northern India, where Hindu mobs destroyed…

Delhi trying to help Kashmir, says MEP who visited valley

by AMIT ROY A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MEP (Member of the European Par­liament), who has just returned from a trip to Kashmir, appears to have rejected negative portra­yal of the policies of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi. Bill Newton Dunn, who repre­sents the East Midlands, told the BBC’s Today programme that…

Indian Muslims anxious as court prepares to rule on destroyed…

In the Indian town of Ayodhya, minority Muslims are feeling under siege as they await a Supreme Court ruling on a centuries-old religious dispute that has cast a shadow over their relations with the majority Hindu community. After a tangle of legal cases, the Supreme Court in August decided to…

Taj Mahal gets air purifier as Indian capital chokes

New Delhi banned half the Indian capital's private cars from its roads on Monday as the megacity's 20 million people spluttered with stinging eyes in the worst pollution in three years. As smog levels exceeded those of Beijing by more than three times, authorities also parked a van with an…

Special status only bred terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir: Modi

PAYING glowing tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on National Unity Day, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (31) defended the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the special status provision only bred terrorism in the erstwhile state. He also hailed India’s unity in diversity, calling it…

Jammu and Kashmir will cease to be a state from…

HISTORY will be created on Thursday (31) when Jammu and Kashmir, which has been part of the Union of India since 1947, will cease to be a state and will be bifurcated into two union territories. Indian administrative service (IAS) officers Girish Chandra Murmu and R K Mathur, who have…

Mixed fate for Modi’s party in India state polls as…

Prime minister Narendra Modi's party faced mixed fortunes in two Indian state elections, with his party on course to see reduced majorities as a grinding economic slowdown weighed on voters. An official count of tens of millions of ballots was underway Thursday in western Maharashtra state, which is home to…

Ganguly’s rise: today cricket, tomorrow India

Sourav Ganguly was one of the most astute captains ever and his move to take over the world's richest cricket body could be just another step to becoming one of India's future leaders. The 47-year-old took over Wednesday as head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI),…

After parliamentary win, India’s BJP set to sweep state elections

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to sweep two state polls next week, the first since prime minister Narendra Modi's landslide win in a parliamentary election in May, a leading pollster said. The BJP is set to comfortably win elections in the western state of Maharashtra and the…

India’s epic legal battle over religious site in Ayodhya

The end, perhaps, is now nigh in the epic legal dispute over a religious site that has sparked thousands of deaths, with India's top court wrapping up hearings on Wednesday. Judges are now expected to rule on the ownership of the area claimed by both Hindus and Muslims in Ayodhya…

India tightens security clampdown ahead of divisive temple ruling

Authorities have tightened security restrictions in the northern Indian flashpoint city of Ayodhya ahead of a crucial Supreme Court ruling over the disputed site fiercely contested between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus and Muslims have for decades been bitterly divided over the 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya, a city in Uttar…

Modi’s party, opposition in war of words over Corbyn’s Kashmir…

BRITISH opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has sparked a war of words in India between the prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress after he claimed that human rights situation in Kashmir was discussed during a meeting with "UK representatives from the Indian Congress…

Two Indian states to hold elections next month

TWO Indian states will go to the polls in October, the election commissioner said on Saturday (21), in a test of prime minister Narendra Modi's popularity after he won a clear mandate in a general election in May. The state assembly elections come after economic growth slipped to a six-year…

India police arrest former BJP minister after rape claim

Indian police on Friday (20) arrested a former minister from prime minister Narendra Modi's party after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman. Swami Chinmayanand, 73, a former internal affairs minister, is the second senior member of the Bharatiya Janata Party to face sex charges in recent months.…

Pakistan should leave Pakistan-occupied Kashmir: Bob Blackman

ONE of Britain's most outspoken MPs on the Kashmir issue Bob Blackman has called on Pakistan to leave Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, asserting that India has a sovereign right over the entire region. Addressing a UK-based Kashmiri Pandit gathering organised here on Saturday (14), the Conservative Party MP countered the Pakistani government's…

Malala urges UN to help Kashmiri children go back to…

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani education rights activist Malala Yousafzai has urged the UN to work towards peace in Kashmir and help children in the Valley to go back to school. Taking to Twitter, Malala, 22, said she was deeply concerned about reports that Kashmiri students "have not been…

‘No illegal immigrants allowed to stay’ in India, says government

India's home affairs minister on Sunday (8) said his government "will not allow a single illegal immigrant to stay", as he visited Assam state where a controversial citizenship register sparked uproar from the almost two million people excluded. The register, feared to be a cover for the ruling Bharatiya Janata…

Backlash grows over contentious India citizenship list

A controversial citizenship list in northeast India that has left almost two million people facing statelessness has been slammed by its political backers as those excluded from it face an uncertain future. Prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, which runs Assam state where the National Register of Citizens (NRC)…

Two million face statelessness as India publishes citizenship list

ALMOST two million people in northeast India were left facing statelessness on Saturday (31) after the state of Assam published a citizenship list aimed at weeding out "foreign infiltrators", in a process the central government wants to replicate nationwide. A total of 31.1 million people were included in a National…

Not in politics to get clicked or blow my own…

Actor and BJP MP Sunny Deol says he doesn't pay attention to people's reaction about his fledgling political career because he believes in quietly doing his work. Deol, who was elected as MP from Gurdaspur after defeating Congress' Sunil Jakhar by 82,459 votes in the Lok Sabha polls this year,…

Security tightened in Indian state ahead of release of ‘citizens…

SECURITY was tightened in the Indian state of Assam on Friday (30) before the release of a ‘citizens register’ expected to leave millions deemed "foreign infiltrators" facing detention camps and even deportation. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the state is due out on Saturday (31), in a move…

‘Isolation’ of Jammu and Kashmir allowed youths to be misguided:…

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi has said Jammu and Kashmir's special status was revoked to end its "isolation" which allowed some of the youth to be "misguided, get radicalised and take to violence and terrorism". Defending his government's moves, Modi said it was India's "internal steps" which was taken in…

Former Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley dies aged 66

Arun Jaitley, the former Indian finance minister and one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s closest associates, died in hospital on Saturday (24), nearly two weeks after he was admitted following breathing difficulties, officials said. Jaitley, 66, a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stepped down as finance minister in…

Princess Diana wanted to help AIDS patients in Kolkata

Princess Diana was in awe of Mother Teresa and wanted to accommodate a small number of AIDS patients in Kolkata after the legendary nun talked about it. A new book, The Journey of a Wise Man: LM Singhvi, a pictorial biography of the statesman by his son, Abhishek Singhvi, brings…

Crew aboard Iranian oil tanker set to return India

INDIA on Thursday (15) confirmed the release of 24 Indian crew members aboard an Iranian oil tanker. The crew members are set to return India, the country’s external affairs ministry said. The officials in Gibraltar have finally dropped all charges against the Indian crew members. V Muraleedharan, India’s minister of…

Bob Blackman: Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of…

By Bob Blackman MP I first became aware of the challenge of the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s after the Kashmiri Pandits were ethnically cleansed from their ancestral home in the valley after threats from extremist Islamist terrorists. I eventually had the opportunity to visit…

Protests in UK over Kashmir as British MPs urge Boris…

British Kashmiri groups staged protests in the UK against the Indian government's decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, even as UK MPs launched tit-for-tat letters to prime minister Boris Johnson over the issue. The “Stop Killing in Kashmir" protest saw a group of anti-India banner-wielding protesters…

Sonia Gandhi named as interim head of India’s opposition Congress

India's Sonia Gandhi on Saturday once again took the reins of the main opposition Congress party, replacing her son Rahul, who stepped down after a second straight election drubbing by prime minister Narendra Modi. The 49-year-old Rahul Gandhi, who was seeking to become the fourth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty…

India to keep Kashmir lockdown for Eid on protest fears

Indian authorities are expected to extend a military clampdown of Kashmir ahead of Monday's start of the Eid al-Adha festival on fears protests could break out over its stripping of the Muslim-majority region's autonomy. Indian-administered Kashmir has been in a security lockdown since last Monday when India's Hindu-majority government rescinded…

Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and others mourn Sushma Swaraj’s demise

Last night, we got a sad news that former Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj passed away. The 67-year-old BJP leader suffered a cardiac arrest. She was admitted to AIIMS, Delhi in a critical condition. The news surely shocked one and all, and soon people on social media…

Pakistan military ‘firmly stands’ by Kashmiris, says army chief

Pakistan's military "firmly stands" by Kashmiris, the powerful army chief said on Tuesday (6), a day after India stripped the disputed region of its special autonomy in a move set to deepen animosity between the nuclear arch-rivals. The army's top commanders met in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to discuss…

UK calls for calm as British MPs divided over Article…

The UK government on Tuesday (6) said that it was monitoring the situation in Kashmir closely and called for calm as the country's parliamentarians echoed some of the wider divisions over the India's decision to revoke Article 370 and bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian government on…

Indian-Americans urge US to ‘fully support’ India on Kashmir

THE Indian-American community in the US has urged the Trump administration to “fully support” India’s decision to revoke the constitutional provision that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and to continue to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support to cross-border terrorism. The Indian government abolished Article 370…

Modi’s bold Kashmir move draws praise, criticism in India

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's decision to revoke special status for the Kashmir region is a bold gamble to end a three-decades-old armed revolt and draw the territory closer to the rest of India, the country's media said on Tuesday (6). The Indian government on Monday (5) scrapped a constitutional…

Five things to know about Indian Kashmir’s changed status

The Indian government on Monday (5) issued a presidential order to scrap the constitutionally mandated special status of Kashmir, the country's only Muslim-majority region. Here are five things to know about the unprecedented move: - What is Article 370? - Article 370 gave Jammu and Kashmir state a special position…

Kangana Ranaut: Scrapping of Article 370 was long due, it…

Today, the government of India scrapped the Article 370 of the Indian constitution that gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision created a lot of ruckus in the parliament and even on social media, it has received a mixed response. However, actress Kangana Ranaut feels…

India scraps special status for Kashmir

INDIA'S government on Monday (5) revoked the special status of Kashmir in a bid to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country, the most far-reaching move on the Himalayan territory in nearly seven decades. Interior minister Amit Shah told parliament the federal government would scrap…

India’s top court moves politician’s rape trial over intimidation fears

India's Supreme Court on Thursday (1) moved the rape trial of a powerful regional politician to the capital, New Delhi, to allay fears he could influence the outcome, a further embarrassment for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The case against Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a BJP legislator from northern Uttar…

Indian Muslim ‘instant divorce’ ban faces legal challenge

THE Indian government and women's groups hailed "historic" legislation Wednesday (31) that criminalised "instant divorce" for Muslims, but an influential Islamic group said it would launch a legal challenge. India's upper house passed a bill Tuesday (30) banning the centuries-old practice that allowed men to separate from their wives by…

India outlaws controversial Muslim ‘instant divorce’

India's parliament passed on Tuesday (3) a law against the controversial Muslim practice of "instant divorce", making it a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison. Prime minister Narendra Modi's government pushed through the bill despite stiff resistance from several opposition parties and a previous failed attempt…

Outrage mounts in India over rape case teen’s suspicious car…

Fresh protests erupted in India on Tuesday (30) amid growing public fury over a car crash that critically injured a teenager who accused a lawmaker from the ruling party of rape and harassment. Two of the 19-year-old's aunts were killed and her lawyer was badly injured when a truck collided…

Suspicions over car crash that hospitalised Indian teenager who accused…

An Indian teenager who accused a senior politician of rape is fighting for her life after being critically injured in a car crash that killed two relatives, raising suspicions of foul play. Her lawyer was also badly injured in the accident, which occurred in northern Uttar Pradesh state Sunday when…

Deployment of 10,000 fresh troops sparks fear in Indian Kashmir

Tensions in Indian-administered Kashmir rose on Sunday (28) over the weekend deployment of at least 10,000 paramilitary troops to the troubled region despite authorities' assertions the move was routine. India maintains a deployment of 500,000 soldiers in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region, which has been divided between the South Asian nation…

Modi pays tributes to soldiers on 20th anniversary of Kargil…

PRIME minister Narendra Modi on Friday (26) paid tributes to soldiers who fought in the 1999 Kargil war, as the nation observed 20th anniversary of the conflict. “I pray from my heart for all the heroic sons of Mother India [Maa Bharati] on Kargil Vijay Divas. This day reminds us…

Dikshit: The affable politician who gave Delhi its modern look

SHEILA Dikshit was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress who had the distinction of being Delhi's longest serving chief minister and giving the national capital Delhi its modern look. A warm and affable politician, she was a loyalist of the Gandhi family. She was handpicked by Rajiv Gandhi…

India queries Chinese app TikTok  

INDIA'S IT ministry has asked Chinese video app TikTok, one of the world's most popular, to explain how it collects user data and creates awareness for safe use of its platform, according to government officials and a document. TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects.…

Branded as ‘infiltrators’, Muslims in India’s Assam fear for future

Born in India 71 years ago, Mohammed Rehat Ali is still traumatised a month after his release from a detention camp, struggling to shake off a fear for the future shared by millions -- many of them Muslims -- under prime minister Narendra Modi. The push to render stateless people…

India unveils budget for financial year 2019-20

INDIA on Friday (5) unveiled a budget aimed at boosting infrastructure and foreign investment, the first since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by prime minister Narendra Modi returned for a second term in power. Here are the highlights of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year…

Rahul, the Gandhi dynasty’s first failure

Being born a Gandhi is traditionally a guaranteed ticket to the Indian prime minister's office, but the magic ran out for Rahul, the latest scion of the country's most famous and powerful family. The 49-year-old son, grandson and great-grandson of Indian prime ministers, resigned as head of Congress, the main…

Rahul Gandhi resigns as leader of India’s Congress party

INDIA'S Rahul Gandhi today (3) resigned as president of the main opposition Congress, taking responsibility for the party's second-straight landslide defeat to prime minister Narendra Modi in national elections. "As president of the Congress party, I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 election," he said in a statement…

Protests in Indian cities after Muslim man is lynched, Modi…

Protests were held in several Indian cities on Wednesday (26) following the lynching of a Muslim man last week by a Hindu mob that suspected he was a thief. Increasing anger about the killing in the eastern state of Jharkhand prompted prime minister Narendra Modi to make his first comments…

Indian police arrest 11 for torturing Muslim man to death

Indian police arrested 11 people on Tuesday (25) over the killing of a Muslim man who was tortured and forced to chant Hindu slogans in the latest mob violence to shock the nation. Two police officers have also been suspended over the handling of the lynching of Tabrez Ansari, captured…

Ahead of India visit, Mike Pompeo’s spin on BJP’s election…

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, scheduled to visit India later this month, has put his own spin on the popular BJP election slogan - "Modi hai toh mumkin hai." "As prime minister (Narendra) Modi said in his latest campaign, 'Modi hai to mumkin hai,' or 'Modi makes it possible',…

ICICI Bank, SBI and HDFC among top victims of fraud

Of over 50,000 frauds that hit banks in India in the last 11 fiscal years, the ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank reported highest number of cases, according to an RBI data. Of the total 53,334 cases of frauds reported during 2008-09 and 2018-19 fiscal years,…

India court orders release of jailed journalist

A journalist jailed for making derogatory comments on social media against a chief minister with the ruling-right wing party was ordered released by India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday (11). Prashant Kanojia, a freelance journalist, was arrested Saturday after he uploaded and commented on a video of a woman claiming to…

Noted playwright and actor Girish Karnad passes away

ACCLAIMED Indian actor Girish Karnad, who died on Monday (10) at his Bengaluru residence at the age of 81, wore many hats throughout his career spanning five decades. But it wasn't his role as a scholar or a director he is was most associated with. Karnad was best known for his…

Four shot dead down in India political gun battle

A gun battle between supporters of India's ruling right-wing party and a regional rival has killed four people in West Bengal, police said on Sunday (9), as violence raged in the tinderbox state. At least 18 others were injured in the clashes that broke out Saturday in the eastern state…

Indian MP accused of mosque bombing appears in court

A firebrand Hindu nationalist nun accused of participating in the deadly bombing of a mosque appeared in court on Friday (7), two weeks after she won a parliamentary seat in India's election. Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is being tried on terrorism and criminal conspiracy charges over the 2008 attack in western…

India’s RBI cuts interest rates to nine-year low

HOME, auto and other loans may cost less as the Reserve Bank on Thursday (6) cut interest rates for the third time this year to their lowest level in nine years and signalled more easing in a bid to support an economy growing at the slowest pace since the BJP…

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai fame Mohena Kumari Singh set…

There are millions of people out there who dream about being a part of the glamour world and are ready to do anything to enter the show business. And whenever someone gets a break after struggling for months or even years, he ensures that he gives his hundred percent to…

India to witness ‘big-bang’ reforms in Modi’s second term: Government…

IN the first 100 days of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's second term, 'big-bang' economic reforms that should please foreign investors are likely to be pursued, according to a top official at the government's main think tank. The reforms will include changes in labour laws, privatisation moves, and creation of…

Modi names Sitharaman as India’s finance minister, BJP head Shah…

INDIA'S prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday (31) named Nirmala Sitharaman, formerly the country's defence minister, as the next finance minister, and chose ruling party president Amit Shah to become home affairs minister. Having masterminded the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party's landslide victory in the April-May general election, Shah had…

A tale of two prime ministers: All change in politics…

by AMIT ROY THE contrast between what was happening in London and Delhi last week could not be sharper or more dramatic. While British prime minister Theresa May’s three years in office ended in tears outside 10 Downing Street on a beautifully sunny morning, India's Narendra Modi was being showered…

How invincible Modi won over Indian voters

  by RUPA JHA BBC World Service THE landslide victory last week of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) seems to be proof of Modi’s invincibility, at least for now. It also signals an endorsement of an increasingly nationalist stance at the seat of government.…

Modi sworn in ahead of unveiling revamped government

INDIA'S prime minister Narendra Modi was sworn in Thursday (30) in front of cheering supporters ahead of unveiling a drastically revamped government for his historic second term. Modi was the first of more than 50 cabinet ministers and deputy ministers to take the oath of office at the presidential palace…

Economy in focus as Indian prime minister starts second term

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi will take his oath of office on Thursday (30) along with his ministers, though he suffered a setback at the start of his second term when key aide and finance minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the next government. The swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt…

Ahead of swearing in, Modi pays tributes to Gandhi, Vajpayee

AHEAD of being sworn in as the prime minister for a second consecutive term, Narendra Modi Thursday (30) morning paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and BJP veteran, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He also placed a wreath at the National War Memorial adjoining the India Gate in New Delhi. The…

India’s ailing finance minister Arun Jaitley quits government

INDIA'S influential but ailing finance minister Arun Jaitley announced today (29) that he would not serve in prime minister Narendra Modi's new government because of his poor health. Modi is set to be sworn in Thursday (30) after winning a second landslide election and should name his new cabinet shortly…

Modi’s party consolidates big Indian vote win with opposition defections

THREE Indian opposition state assembly members and over 50 municipal leaders from West Bengal joined prime minister Narendra Modi's party today (28), days after he was re-elected with big gains in places like the populous eastern state. The defections came as opposition parties in states such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,…

Modi’s re-election likely to improve flow of foreign capital for…

THE landslide victory for prime minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the general election is likely to improve the flow of foreign capital for corporates in India, international rating agency S&P Global Ratings said today (27). In the first back-to-back majority for a single party in over three…

Congress backs Gandhi after poll defeat

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, offered to resign on Saturday (25) after his Congress party was trounced in a second straight national election but the gesture was rejected, party officials said. While prime minister Narendra Modi triumphantly accepted pledges of allegiance from members of allied…

Modi kept his job, Indians worry about theirs

Asad Ahmed, one of about 1.2 million young Indians entering the cutthroat job market each month, diligently scribbles notes at a computer class in New Delhi. While nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi won a new five-year term promising to step up his campaign for a "new India", 18-year-old Ahmed is…

India, Pakistan prime ministers speak for first time since air…

The leaders of India and Pakistan spoke by phone on Sunday (26), their offices said, in their first conversation since before tit-for-tat air strikes in February, their worst bust-up in years. Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan congratulated his counterpart Narendra Modi on his recent election victory, the two nuclear-armed arch foes…

Modi meets mum, 95, after Indian election landslide

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (26) dropped in on his 95-year-old mother after his election landslide, a day ahead of a victory rally in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. Modi, 68, told his 47.6 million Twitter followers that he wanted to "seek blessings" from his mother Hiraba…

After landslide win, Modi to visit Gujarat to seek mother’s…

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi will be in Gujarat on Sunday () evening to seek the blessings of his mother after his BJP-led NDA returned to power with a massive majority in the Lok Sabha elections. On Monday, he will be in Varanasi, the LS seat he retained in the elections…

Record number of women set to enter India parliament

A record number of women are set to enter India's parliament after a marathon election that returned prime minister Narendra Modi to power, initial results showed on Friday (24). With most of the counting complete, 78 of the 542 seats in the lower house of parliament were on course to…

Modi’s government faces challenges of arresting slowdown, creating jobs: Economists

AFTER a landslide victory at the general election, prime minister Narendra Modi faces the immediate challenge of arresting a slowdown in the world's sixth largest economy, creating jobs, stimulating private investment and tackling bad loan woes of banks, economists have said. BJP has won more than 300 seats in the…

Indian businessmen in UAE rejoice Modi’s poll win

LEADING Indian businessmen in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed happiness over prime minister Narendra Modi's thumping win in the elections, saying it would encourage big international companies to invest in India due to a clear mandate and simplified tax structures, according to a media report. Prime minister Modi…

Foreign investors hope India dials back policy shocks after Modi…

FOREIGN companies in India have welcomed prime minister Narendra Modi's election victory for the political stability it brings, but now they need to see him soften a protectionist stance adopted in the past year. Modi's pro-business image and India's youthful population have lured foreign investors, with the US firms such…

Arun Jaitley unlikely to remain as Indian finance minister

INDIA'S finance minister Arun Jaitley is unlikely to continue in his current role due to poor health as prime minister Narendra Modi begins his second term, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter. The sources said that Jaitley, 66, is unlikely to take up any offer to continue…

Modi begins talks for new cabinet after big election win

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on Friday (24) to form a new cabinet to tackle a stuttering economy and other challenges facing his second term after winning a big majority. Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party had won 296 of the 542…

Gandhi-Nehru brand tainted by new election humiliation

A SECOND straight landslide election defeat for opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised serious questions Friday (24) about his leadership and cast a damaging shadow over one of the world's most prominent political dynasties. Gandhi, who even lost the family constituency seat to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of…

Britain welcomes Modi’s ‘inspiring’ re-election

The UK government on Thursday (23) welcomed India's election results and the re-election of Narendra Modi as prime minister. UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said he looked forward to visiting India soon as he congratulated Modi after an inspiring election campaign. "Congratulations to Narendra Modi on your re-election! The world's…

Victory of ‘people’s hope and aspirations’, Modi says thanking supporters

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (23) promised to devote "every moment" of his time and "every fibre" of his being for the people of India and said the country will now have only two castes- the poor and those who want to alleviate poverty. In a rousing speech…

Narendra Modi: India’s electoral Midas with golden touch of victory…

Narendra Damodardas Modi on Thursday emerged an electoral superman who stamped BJP's massive win with his very own imprint, quite like a picture taken in portrait mode - where all else, including the party and its many leaders, recedes into fuzzy background. Towering over India's political-scape, the RSS ‘pracharak' who…

Indian government needs to prioritise land, labour reforms: Analysts

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi should prioritise land and labour reforms in his second term, analysts said Thursday (23). The people's verdict - which has the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) cruising to power such that the BJP will itself have a comfortable majority - will ensure in policy continuity, they said.…

Stable government to boost India’s economic growth

INDIA Inc Thursday (23) expressed hope that a stable government at the centre will boost growth in the country and lead to higher foreign fund inflows as trends pointed to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies returning to power with a thumping majority. Veteran industrialist and Godrej Group chairman Adi…

Modi’s big win signals firm India’s GDP growth will continue

STELLER performance of prime minister Narendra Modi's BJP with another large parliamentary majority will see the continuity of macroeconomic policy in the next five years but the key economic challenge now is to continue reforms, brokerages and economists said Thursday (23). The BJP still does not have a majority in…

Vote share: BJP crosses half-way mark in several states; Congress…

In its landslide victory, the BJP has seen its vote share soar past 50 per cent in at least 13 states and Union territories, a feat which the rival Congress could manage only in Puducherry. Besides, the main opposition party's voting percentage has remained in single digits in politically important…

Modi becomes third Indian prime minister, after Nehru and Indira,…

After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modi is the third prime minister of the country who has been able to retain power for a second term with full majority in Lok Sabha. As counting goes on across the country on Thursday, trends show the Modi-led BJP would be easily…

In post-Jaya era, ruling AIADMK heading for rout in Tamil Nadu 

The absence of its charismatic leader late J Jayalalithaa appeared to have cost the ruling AIADMK dear as it is staring at a virtual rout with the DMK staging a spectacular electoral comeback in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. From being the third largest party in the outgoing…

US corporate sector welcomes re-election of India’s Modi

THE US corporate sector Thursday (23) congratulated Narendra Modi on his "commanding victory", saying the prime minister has the potential to transform India and forge opportunity for all Indians. "Congratulations to" Modi and the BJP "for a commanding victory," said Nisha Desai Biswal, president of US India Business Council (USIBC).…

Terror-accused Pragya Thakur wins seat in India election

A HINDU ascetic accused of plotting a bomb attack on Muslims in India defeated an opposition strongman by a big margin on Thursday (23) as her ruling party won a massive victory in the country's general election. Pragya Thakur, contesting from the central city of Bhopal for prime minister Narendra…

Rahul concedes defeat in family stronghold Amethi

CONGRESS chief Rahul Gandhi has conceded an embarrassing defeat in his family stronghold Amethi in the state of Uttar Pradesh to Union Minister and BJP candidate Smriti Irani. "Smriti Irani has won in Amethi and I congratulate her. The people of Amethi have given their mandate," Gandhi told a news…

‘India wins yet again,’ says Modi after poll victory

HINDU nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi claimed victory Thursday (23) in India's general election and vowed an "inclusive" future, with his party headed for a landslide win to crush the Gandhi dynasty's comeback hopes. With around half the 600 million votes cast counted, Election Commission data showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata…

BJP set for clean sweep in Himachal Pradesh again

THE ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to make a clean sweep in Himachal Pradesh, as its candidates are leading with over 323000 votes on each of the four Lok Sabha seats - Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur and Shimla, a state election officer said. In Kangra, BJP candidate Kishan Kapoor…

Imran Khan congratulates Modi on election victory, calls for peace

PAKISTANI prime minister Imran Khan congratulated India's Narendra Modi on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia," Khan tweeted. The…

BJP and Apna Dal maintain lead over rivals in Uttar…

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) are leading in 61 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, according to Election Commission trends at 03.30 pm Indian standard time. Prime minister Narendra Modi is leading by a huge margin of over 400000 votes in…

Modi set to retain his Rajasthan fort

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to repeat its 2014 stellar performance in Rajasthan as the latest trends show the party leading in 24 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state, with its ally the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party leading in the other seat. The…

BJP wins 7 Assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh

The ruling BJP in Arunachal Pradesh won seven Assembly seats and is leading in 11 constituencies, election officials said on Thursday. The Janata Dal United and an Independent candidate also won a seat each. Arunachal Pradesh Assembly has 60-seats, but elections were held for 57 seats as three BJP candidates…

Celebrations galore as Modi wins historic general election

THE mood was upbeat at BJP headquarters in New Delhi shortly after it became evident that prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party was headed for a historic win. Although counting of votes for 2019 Lok Sabha election is underway, trends so far show the BJP leading with more than…

Bollywood celebrities congratulate Modi and his alliance

BOLLYWOOD celebrities including Asha Bhosle, Rajinikanth, Dharmendra and Ekta Kapoor have congratulated the ruling Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Lok Sabha Polls result after current trends indicate a clean sweep for the party for a second consecutive term. This year, actors like Sunny Deol, Urmila Matondkar, Shatrughan Sinha…

Congress set for landslide win in Kerala as Sabarimala undercurrent…

Congress led-UDF in Kerala appears to be heading for a landslide in the state by continuing its lead in 19 of the total 20 Lok Sabha seats with AICC President Rahul Gandhi leading by over 380,000 votes in Wayanad. With more than 90 percent votes counted in 17 constituencies, and…

Rahul Gandhi faces backlash over election drubbing

Honest, intelligent and open to new ideas is how officials of India's main opposition Congress describe their leader, Rahul Gandhi, but the party's election performance has been so poor he now risks losing even his family's traditional seat. As vote-counting trends on Thursday (23) showed prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party…

Modi’s party leads on all seven seats in Delhi

THE BJP continued to lead in all the seven seats in the national capital with three of its candidates taking the lead by a margin of over 2.4 lakh votes (240,000) while the Congress and AAP trailed at the second spot in five and two constituencies respectively. Celebrations began at…

Modi’s close ally, Amit Shah, helped craft winning election strategy

WITH India's ruling Hindu nationalists headed for a stunning election victory on Thursday (23), prime minister Narendra Modi's powerful right hand man, Amit Shah, could reap his reward as a potential home minister, an analyst and a party official said. Shah, who has long been Modi's backroom strategist, helped run…

‘The real Game of Thrones!’: Social media abuzz with analogies…

WATCHING the Modi wave sweep most of India in Lok Sabha election on Thursday (23), social media users were convinced counting day is the real season finale of Game of Thrones. As the ruling party, led by current prime minister Narendra Modi, is on its way to a landslide victory…

Pakistan media closely observes India election result

INDIA'S election results made headlines in Pakistan today (23), with the media keeping a close watch on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP's) electoral fortunes by providing comprehensive coverage of the initial trends and reactions. The results of India's general elections are very significant for Pakistan as the formation of…

World leaders congratulate Modi

ISRAELI prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena are among the first few leaders to congratulate India's Narendra Modi for scripting an "impressive victory" in the general elections. Taking to Twitter, Netanyahu vowed to strengthen their "great friendship" as well as bilateral ties. "Sincerely greetings to you,…

BJP workers celebrate as trends favour party in Bengal

With trends favouring BJP at the Centre and the party making deep inroads in West Bengal, the saffron party workers and supporters burst into celebrations outside its headquarters here and elsewhere. BJP workers were seen distributing sweets, shouting slogans "phir ek bar Modi sarkar" and dancing to the beat of…

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister congratulates Modi’s alliance

NATIONAL Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Thursday (23)congratulated the BJP and the NDA for its "stellar performance" in the Lok Sabha polls. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister credited prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for putting together a winning alliance and a professional campaign. "So…

Congress feeling dejected as trends not in line with expectations

THE Congress on Thursday (23) said it was feeling dejected as trends are not in line with the expectation of the party. "Congress party is feeling dejected and the trends are not in line with the expectations of the party. I would not jump to the results till complete counting…

Rahul Gandhi leading with 1,09,612 votes in Southern Indian constituency

CONGRESS PARTY led state-level alliance- United Democratic Front (UDF) is leading in 18 out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the southern Indian state of Kerala with the Congress president Rahul Gandhi leading in Wayanad constituency with 1,09,612 votes. As per the trends released by the Election Commission at…

Sushma Swaraj congratulates Modi for big win

INDIA'S external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday (23) congratulated prime minister Narendra Modi and thanked the people on the BJP's "big victory" in the Lok Sabha polls. Riding on a massive Modi wave sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP was set to return to power as it…

BJP parliamentary board to meet, Modi’s speech likely

WITH the BJP set to return to power, its parliamentary board is expected to meet Thursday (23) evening at the party headquarters where prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to make a speech. Top party leaders, including BJP president Amit Shah and some senior ministers besides Modi, are members of…

Mamata Banerjee’s TMC ahead in 25 seats, BJP in 16…

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be making deep inroads into West Bengal by leading in 16 seats, while Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is currently ahead in 25 seats in the state. The Congress is leading in one constituency, while the Left is yet to take a lead in…

Modi leads in Varanasi, BJP ahead in 57 seats in…

The BJP and its ally Apna Dal (S) surged ahead of their rivals in 58 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading in Varanasi by a margin of 1.22 lakh votes, according to Election Commission trends. The BJP was ahead in 57…

India Inc already has a wishlist for Narendra Modi’s second…

India Inc Thursday expressed hope that a stable government at the centre will boost growth in the country and lead to higher foreign fund inflows as trends pointed to BJP and allies returning to power with a thumping majority. Veteran industrialist and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej said the new government is expected to…

Modi set to sweep to general election victory

Prime minister Narendra Modi's party is set for a historic victory as India began counting on Thursday (23) hundreds of millions of votes from its general election, according to data from the Election Commission. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead…

It’s vote for courageous steps taken by Modi, Jugal Kishore…

AS the initial EC trends Thursday (23) indicated another term for the NDA government at the Centre, sitting MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is leading from the Jammu parliamentary seat, said people voted for the "courageous and bold steps" taken by prime minister Narendra Modi. Sharma is leading against his…

Gujarat: BJP ahead in all 26 seats, Shah leads by…

THE BJP is leading on all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, home state of prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, as per trends available so far. Shah is leading by over 50,000 votes in Gandhinagar at the end of second round of counting. His party's candidate…

BJP surges ahead with 269 of 495 seats in early…

THE BJP appeared set for a resounding comeback on Thursday (23) with leads in 269 seats while the Congress trailed far behind with 51, according to trends available with the Election Commission for 495 of 542 Lok Sabha seats. As votes for the seven-phase parliamentary polls were counted on Thursday,…

Early trends: Pragya Thakur ahead of Digvijay Singh in Bhopal…

BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur is leading against Congress' Digvijay Singh by a margin of 3,105 votes in Bhopal Lok Sabha seat of Madhya Pradesh, as per initial trends. BJP's Krishna Pal Singh Yadav is leading by a margin of 1165 votes against Congress' Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna. Congress candidate Nakul Nath, son…

Jharkhand: Early trends show Jayant Sinha of BJP leading in…

Union Minister and sitting BJP MP Jayant Sinha is leading by 6,486 votes against his nearest Congress rival Gopal Prasad Sahu from Hazaribagh Lok Sabha seat as per initial trends, officials said. BJP's sitting MP Vishnu Dayal Ram is leading by 9,450 votes against his nearest RJD rival Ghuran Ram…

Counting begins, early trends show NDA leading

Counting of votes for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections began Thursday (23) morning across the country. The counting exercise is on in over 4,000 counting centres amid concerns raised by opposition parties over alleged tampering of EVMs. They have asked the Election Commission to ensure transparency in counting. Election Commission officials said…

India awaits results from world’s biggest election

India began Thursday (23) the mammoth process of counting the roughly 600 million votes cast in the world's biggest election, with results due later in the day. Exit polls had pointed to a victory for prime minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist government, but the opposition are clinging to…

Indian bourses step up surveillance for markets on election results…

THE regulator for the securities market in India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and stock exchanges have enhanced their surveillance measures to curb possible manipulative practices as well as excessive volatility in the market on Thursday (23) when the general election results will be announced. Markets are…

Rahul Gandhi warns Congress workers against ‘propaganda of fake exit…

SEEKING to bolster the morale of his party's workers, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (22) asked them to not be disheartened by fake exit poll results and urged them to stay alert and vigilant. His appeal to workers came a day after opposition parties raised concerns over reports of…

Worst of mudslinging during six weeks of India poll campaign

INDIA'S mammoth election, the biggest in the world, was a frequently bad-tempered affair and awash with insults. Ahead of the vote counting and results due on Thursday (23), here is a look back at the worst of the mudslinging during almost six weeks of campaigning. Thief Versus Prince Prime minister…

Shiv Sena praises Rahul, Priyanka for their hard work

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday expressed confidence that prime minister Narendra Modi would be elected for a second term and praised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for their "hard work." An editorial in Shiv Sena party mouthpiece Saamana said the Congress will get enough…

Fate of 724 women candidates to be decided tomorrow

THE fate of 724 women candidates in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls will be decided on Thursday (23) when the results are announced. A total of 7,928 candidates were in the fray in the parliamentary polls. The Congress had fielded the maximum of 54 women candidates. The opposition party was…

Confident of poll win: Modi’s Alliance

INDIA'S ruling coalition has promised to rev up growth, double farmers' income and boost infrastructure spending in the next five years after exit polls showed it would retain power when general election votes are counted on Thursday (23). Exit polls have predicted an outright majority for prime minister Narendra Modi's…

Modi expresses concern over “needless controversy” on EVMs

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (21) expressed concern over the "needless controversy" created by the Opposition over Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs at a meeting of NDA leaders, even as the ruling alliance laid out its agenda for the next five years if it is elected to power again.…

India’s opposition parties allege vote machine fraud

INDIA'S main opposition parties Tuesday (21) alleged voting fraud in the country's general election, days after exit polls predicted a comfortable win for prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party. Members of as many as 22 parties called on the poll watchdog and demanded that electronic machines used to record votes…

India’s poll body rejects demand to record dissent note in…

INDIA’S poll body the Election Commission Tuesday (21) rejected with a majority vote election commissioner Ashok Lavasa's demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the poll body over the issue came out in the open. The 'full…

Aam Aadmi Party supremo dials Akhilesh to discuss post-results strategy

DELHI chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal talked to Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav over the phone on Tuesday (21) to discuss the strategy to be followed after the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll results on Thursday (23). Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh told…

Opposition political parties in India set to meet

TOP opposition leaders in India will meet in the national capital Tuesday (21) to discuss the possibility of a non-NDA alliance staking claim to government formation and also move the Election Commission to press for their demand of tallying paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with electronic voting machine (EVM) figures.…

After exit polls, opposition parties to meet to discuss a…

TOP opposition leaders will meet in the national capital Tuesday (21) to discuss the possibility of a non-NDA alliance staking claim to government formation and also move the Election Commission to press for their demand of tallying paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with electronic voting machine (EVM) figures. According to…

Hindu groups to double down on demands as Modi set…

A HINDU temple on a disputed site, life in jail for killing cows and ending the autonomy of India's only Muslim-majority state are some demands Hindu groups plan to push prime minister Narendra Modi on if he wins the general election as expected. The ruling coalition led by Modi's Hindu…

Modi’s party leaders predict over 74 seats from Uttar Pradesh…

A DAY after exit polls forecast a return of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, enthused state BJP leaders predicted Uttar Pradesh would give them more than 74 of its 80 seats to enter lower house of the Indian parliament, a claim dismissed by the…

Modi’s jobs deficit: Johnson&Johnson’s India plant idle for three years…

IT was supposed to be Johnson & Johnson's biggest manufacturing plant in India. It was to eventually employ at least 1,500 people and help bring development to a rural area near Hyderabad in southern India. Yet, three years after the US healthcare company completed construction of production facilities for cosmetics…

Indian election dust settles, jobs, trade, security high on government’s…

EXIT polls after the end of India's general election on Sunday (19) showed prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies retaining power with an overwhelming majority. The leader will need to tackle a host of issues ranging from unemployment to weak economic growth: Jobs Creating work…

If Modi wins election, finance minister Arun Jaitley may retain…

INDIA'S finance minister Arun Jaitley looks set to retain his post if prime minister Narendra Modi wins a second term as expected when results come on Thursday (23). But if his health worsens, Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal could take over. Whoever holds the job, Modi needs a finance…

Opposition takes swipes at Modi for not taking questions at…

OPPOSITION leaders took swipes at prime minister Narendra Modi for not taking any questions at a press conference and diverting them to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Friday (17). Former Uttar Pradesh (UP) chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a picture of three…

‘Bahujan Samaj Party- Samajwadi Party- Rashtriya Lok Dal’ alliance is…

BSP president Mayawati termed the Bahujan Samaj Party- Samajwadi Party- Rashtriya Lok Dal (BSP-SP-RLD) alliance as a combination of ideas and said it will not sit silent till the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh state and the Narendra Modi government in the Centre were uprooted. “Unlike the Bharatiya Janata…

Hindu not native description, but only foreign coinage: Kamal Haasan

FACING severe backlash over his recent Hindu extremist remarks, India’s regional political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan claimed that the very term ‘Hindu’ was not a native description, but only a foreign coinage. Neither the Alwars nor the Nayanmars, the famed Vaishnavite and Shaivite saints, had made…

Congress workers reject exit polls, say results will be different

EXIT polls painted a grim picture for the Congress but party workers remain unfazed, asserting that the results on May 23 would not be one-sided as shown projected, and their party would perform better. Most exit polls Sunday forecast another term for prime minister Narendra Modi, with some of them…

Rahul Gandhi: destiny’s child or an ’empty suit’?

Rahul Gandhi, vying to become the latest prime minister from India's most famous dynasty, has worked hard to shed his image as an entitled footloose princeling and political lightweight. But the great-grandson, grandson and son of three past premiers of the world's biggest democracy still faces a tough task beating…

Poor boy Modi becomes India’s nationalist powerhouse

Stern, sharp and shrewd, Narendra Modi fought his way off the streets to become one of India's most popular and polarising prime ministers. There is no middle ground between admirers and adversaries of the man -- now running for a second term -- who helped his father run a railway…

India’s marathon vote ends, Modi on tenterhooks over second term

Voting ended on Sunday (19) in India's most acrimonious election in decades that will decide whether prime minister Narendra Modi gets a second term in power. As the final polling booths closed, a huge security cordon was thrown around the voting machines and boxes of paper votes used in the…

Uttar Pradesh is the biggest prize in India’s election

IF Uttar Pradesh were a country, it would be one of the world's most populous. And this poverty-stricken northern melting pot of over 200 million people is the biggest prize in India's election ending on Sunday (19). Uttar Pradesh (UP) has 80 parliamentary seats, the most of any state, and…

Fabricated stories being created against Modi, Amit Shah: Minister

THOSE not aware of the struggles of prime minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah have tried to create "fabricated" stories that the cadre-based party has become an individual-centric organisation, union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. Denying claims that a sense of fear prevails in the…

Modi meditates as India mega polls near end

Prime minister Narendra Modi embarked on a spiritual break Saturday (18) as India's acrimonious marathon election wound to a close after almost seven weeks awash with insults, violence and fake news. On the eve of the seventh and final day of voting in the world's biggest democratic exercise, local media…

Anxious Indian Muslims fear Modi 2.0

At their usual evening gathering, six retired Muslim academics outdo each other with gloomy predictions if Narendra Modi is re-elected prime minister in India's polls ending Sunday. "We are one step away from being turned into second-class citizens," Mohiuddin Azad told AFP in Azamgarh, a northern city long associated with…

Modi slams Gandhi assassin comments ahead of India’s key final…

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday (17) condemned a firebrand Hindu election candidate from his ruling party who called the assassin of independence hero Mahatma Gandhi a "patriot". The conservative prime minister was forced to act as a backlash grew over comments by Pragya Singh Thakur, already dogged by…

Modi refuses to answer questions at first ‘press conference’

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi left journalists disappointed today (17) as he refused to answer questions at what Indian media had billed as his first-ever press conference as prime minister. At the event in New Delhi, two days before the end of India's mammoth election, Modi made a statement but…

‘Cyber Warriors’ sway Indian election

INDIA'S election watchdog says it has forced Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to take down hundreds of posts during the country's election but experts say it is just a drop in an ocean of misinformation that has engulfed voters. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress party have thrown armies…

Gandhi killer a ‘patriot’ comment sparks outrage in India

An Indian election candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi's party, already accused of involvement in a deadly bomb attack, sparked outrage on Thursday (16) by saying the killer of independence hero Mahatma Gandhi was a "patriot". The comments by firebrand monk Pragya Singh Thakur came as the country heads into…

BJP politician calls Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin a ‘patriot’

BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur on Thursday (16) kicked up a row as she called Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot”, but apologised for it hours later and withdrew the statement. The BJP distanced itself from her statement saying it did…

Message undelivered: Weak election campaign hurts India’s Congress

In January, India's main opposition Congress party seemed poised for a strong fight back against prime minister Narendra Modi after victories in three heartland states late last year. But just over four months later, even Congress officials admit the attempt to unseat Modi in the ongoing general election has suffered…

Soldiers patrol India’s Kolkata after election violence

SOLDIERS patrolled the centre of Kolkata, the capital of India's West Bengal state, on Wednesday (15) a day after rival political supporters clashed during campaigning for the country's general election. With the third highest number of parliamentary seats among Indian states, West Bengal has emerged as a battleground where prime…

Cheap software tools help Indian political activists to bypass WhatsApp…

WHATSAPP clones and software tools that cost as little as £11 (Rs 1,000) are helping Indian digital marketers and political activists bypass anti-spam restrictions set up by the world’s most popular messaging app. The activities highlight the challenges WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook Inc, faces in preventing abuse in…

Clashes in eastern Indian city ahead of vote climax

CLASHES between the followers of prime minister Narendra Modi and an opposition leader heightened tensions in the key Indian city of Kolkata today (15) ahead of the final round of the country’s hard-fought national election. Fifty-nine people were arrested in street battles late Tuesday (14) that forced Amit Shah, president…

Warships and wives: debate in Indian election turns increasingly ugly

From jibes over the prime minister's wife to criticism of the main opposition leader's family holiday three decades ago, one trend stands out in this year's general election campaign in India: this time, it's personal. The world's largest democracy, with around 900 million eligible voters, wraps up polling held over…

Clashes at Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata

Clashes broke out between BJP supporters and student activists and those of the Left and Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad (TMCP) during Amit Shah's roadshow in the city on Tuesday, officials said. Trouble began after stones were pelted at Amit Shah's convoy as it passed through College Street and the arterial…

India ruling party activist gets bail for meme of Modi’s…

INDIA'S top court today (14) granted bail to a ruling party activist who was arrested last week for sharing a meme of opposition leader Mamata Banerjee, one of prime minister Narendra Modi's challengers in the general election. Priyanka Sharma's arrest for sharing a meme on Facebook that superimposed Banerjee's head…

You should be ashamed, seek apology from country: Rahul Gandhi…

With prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP continuing their attack on the Congress over Sam Pitroda's remarks on the 1984 riots, party chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday (13) said the leader should be ashamed of himself and seek apology from the country. Rahul Gandhi was addressing a poll rally…

Kamal Haasan stirs row after saying India’s first ‘extremist was…

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has said independent India's first "extremist was a Hindu"—Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi, stoking a controversy with the BJP on Monday (13) asserting that an "assassin" is very different from a terrorist. The BJP also accused the Makkal Needhi Maiyam founder of indulging in "divisive politics"…

Sixth phase of India election ends

VOTERS in Delhi and elsewhere in India’s north lined up early on Sunday (12) to cast their ballots in the second-to-last round of a seven-phase general election, with the opposition seeking a united stand to deny prime minister Narendra Modi a second term. More than 100 million people across seven…

Indian political parties seek partners as election nears end

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling coalition is confident of a second term in office but opposition parties are talking to each other to seal an alliance, hoping to topple him after general election results are announced on May 23. The seven-phase election started on April 11 and ends on…

Modi has hatred for my family only love can defeat…

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday (11) alleged that the BJP, RSS and prime minister Narendra Modi had hatred towards his family, but he does not harbour the same feelings for the India's prime minister. He said that although Modi repeatedly attacked him, his father Rajiv Gandhi, grandmother Indira Gandhi…

Delhi leader Kejriwal defies slaps and shoes to step up…

He has been smeared with chilli powder and slapped, but Delhi's chief minister will still be leading the fight against prime minister Narendra Modi in Sunday's penultimate round of the Indian election. Fifty-nine seats are up for grabs across the country on the sixth voting day of the marathon ballot.…

‘Love vs. hate’ in penultimate Indian election round

Tens of millions voted on Sunday (12) in the penultimate round of India's increasingly bad-tempered election, with all eyes on the coveted capital New Delhi after an ugly campaign of slaps and savage pamphlets. India's almost-seven week election, the biggest on Earth with prime minister Narendra Modi seeking a new…

Modi’s party slams TIME magazine article

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday (11) slammed a Time magazine article, which called Modi "divider in chief", as an attempt to malign Modi's image, accusing its author of pursuing Pakistan's agenda. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told a press conference that article's author was a Pakistani and that…

Indian political parties court farmers with green promises

WHEN Ishwar Chand Sharma, a farmer in northern India, committed suicide just days before the start of the country's general elections, police found a note in his pocket with a plea: "Don't vote for the BJP." While police worked to authenticate the note, Sharma's son said his 65-year-old father blamed…

PepsiCo formally withdraws lawsuits against Indian farmers

AMERICAN multinational business giant, PepsiCo Inc has formally withdrawn lawsuits against Indian farmers that the snack food and drinks maker had accused of infringing its patent by cultivating a potato variety, the company and the growers said today (10). PepsiCo had sued nine farmers for cultivating the FC5 potato variety,…

Controversial Muslim cleric Zakir Naik ready to return to India

Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has said he is ready to return to India if the Supreme Court gives an assurance that he would not be arrested till his conviction. Naik is living in Malaysia after fleeing from India in 2016. He has been given permanent resident status by the Malaysian…

Delhi election candidate breaks down over vicious pamphlet

An Oxford-educated candidate contesting India's election broke down on Thursday (9) after a savage anonymous pamphlet accused her of being a prostitute and of having sex with a fellow teacher. An emotional Atishi Marlena, a candidate at national level in Sunday's vote, told a news conference that the accusations were…

Indian politicians don’t walk the talk on women

THE men contesting India's general election are vying for women voters but the paltry number of female candidates shows the battle women face in Indian politics - as in so much else in Indian life. When not trading barbs, India's prime minister Narendra Modi and his political rival Rahul Gandhi…

Modi rocks Delhi as India election moves to capital

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi fired up a big, raucous rally in a hot Delhi late Wednesday (8) as India’s almost seven-week election approaches its conclusion later this month. “When work is done with good intentions, it also yields results. Inflation used to be on a rise, it is now under…

Report casts fresh doubt on India’s economic growth figures

A GOVERNMENT agency report has cast fresh doubts on India's economic growth figures, in a blow to prime minister Narendra Modi as he seeks re-election in ongoing polls. Data compiled by India's National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) found that there were significant gaps in how the growth figures of Asia's…

Exit far left: India’s communists face election angst

INDIA'S once-vibrant communist parties are in danger of falling off the political map in this month's general elections as voters lose their revolutionary fervour. From 61 parliamentary seats and a key role in a coalition government formed in 2004, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its hard left allies…

India’s communists face election angst as voters lose revolutionary fervour

INDIA’S once-vibrant communist parties are in danger of falling off the political map in this month’s general elections as voters lose their revolutionary fervour. From 61 parliamentary seats and a key role in a coalition government formed in 2004, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its hard left allies…

Shashi Tharoor: South India got step-motherly treatment, will play key…

Alleging that south India received "step motherly" treatment under the Modi government, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said the south will play a key role in voting out the ruling dispensation and "overwhelmingly" side with the Congress. Emphasising that all sections of the country are equally important to the Congress…

Militants kill politician ahead of new round of India vote

Suspected militants shot dead a local leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party in disputed Kashmir ahead of the latest round of polling, highlighting bloodshed that has marred India's mega-election. The killing in Anantnag district of India's only Muslim-majority state is the latest in a string of attacks to…

Modi targets Rahul Gandhi over association with UK firm

India prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (5) attacked Rahul Gandhi over his alleged association with UK-based firm Backops, saying its name was akin to the Congress leader’s actions of indulging in “back office operations” and not from the front. Referring to the 10-year UPA rule under then prime minister…

Congress urges Election Commission to take safeguards regarding EVMs

With the counting day for the Lok Sabha polls less than three weeks away, the Congress on Friday urged the Election Commission (EC) to take various safeguards regarding electronic voting machines (EVMs). It also urged the EC to issue certain guidelines to ensure electoral integrity and free-and-fair polls in Amethi.…

Congress wants to separate Kashmir from India: Amit Shah

BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday (2) claimed the Congress and National Conference wanted Kashmir's separation from India, and vowed to scrap Article 370 if his party is voted back to power. Shah addressed three rallies in Madhya Pradesh, where three phases of Lok Sabha polls are yet to be…

Witness to Rahul’s birth, Kerala nurse trashes questions on his…

Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse and a voter in Wayanad, says forcefully that no one should contest Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's citizenship status—after all she was one of those on duty at Delhi's Holy Family Hospital on June 19, 1970 when he was born. The 72-year-old, who was still in…

Modi gets election boost with UN sanction against Masood Azhar

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's re-election bid received a big fillip on Wednesday (1) after a UN Security Council committee blacklisted Masood Azhar, the head of a Pakistan-based militant group, a decade after New Delhi first demanded such an action. Azhar's Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack…

Bomb attack by Maoists kills 16 in fresh election violence…

A BOMB attack by suspected Maoist rebels killed 15 Indian elite commandos and their driver on Wednesday (1), the police said, in the latest incident of election-time violence in a decades-long insurgency. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the 1960s in several areas of India in clashes…

Modi and Gandhi greet people of Gujarat on foundation day

INDIA prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were among prominent political leaders who on Wednesday (1) greeted the people of Gujarat on the occasion of the state's foundation day. President Ram Nath Kovind also extended his greetings on the occasion. Modi hailed Gujaratis for their courage, innovation…

Bharatiya Janata Party’s war chest leaves India election rivals in…

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is flush with cash, giving his bloc a massive advantage over the main opposition Congress party as he seeks to win a second term in India's general election. Opaque campaign financing in the world's largest democracy makes it tricky to get…

India election rules on campaign financing and spending

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is flush with cash in the current Indian general election, and is expected to easily outspend opposition parties, as he seeks a second term in office. This year's election is expected to cost almost $8.6 billion (£6.58bn), according to the Centre…

Doubts over Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship blasted as ‘rubbish’ by sister…

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday (30) termed as "rubbish" the MHA notice to her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the citizenship issue, saying all know that he was born and raised here. "I have never heard such rubbish. All know Rahul Gandhi was born, raised here,"…

India government asks Rahul Gandhi to respond to claims he…

INDIA'S government on Tuesday (30) asked opposition leader Rahul Gandhi to respond to claims that he is a British citizen as the country's fiercely contested election battle took a bizarre twist. The home ministry wrote to the Congress party leader and scion of the famed Nehru-Gandhi dynasty after a deputy…

Violence mars voting in India’s eastern battleground state

WEST BENGAL state, crucial for prime minister Narendra Modi's hopes of retaining power, took centre stage in India's staggered general election on Monday (29) after clashes broke out between supporters of his party and a regional bloc. Security forces chased away people wielding sticks after workers from Modi's Hindu nationalist…

PepsiCo accused of coercing farmers by group close to India’s…

AN influential group with close ties to prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused PepsiCo Inc of coercing four Indian farmers who have been sued by the US company for allegedly infringing a patent. After suing four farmers for cultivating the FC5 potato variety, grown exclusively…

India’s rich and famous vote in election

BILLIONAIRES and Bollywood stars took their turn with Mumbai's slum dwellers Monday (29) to vote in India's marathon election as prime minister Narendra Modi steps up his nationalist campaign to sway the 900 million electorate. India's film and finance capital took centre stage in the fourth of seven rounds of…

Modi following dictators in preaching nationalism, says Rajasthan chief minister…

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday (28) said the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are about saving democracy, as he accused prime minister Narendra Modi of following "dictators" in preaching nationalism. He said people will not be "lured and fooled" by BJP's talk of nationalism and will change the government…

Modi’s ‘free cooking gas’ leaves bitter taste for some Indians

Reena Devi says her life changed when she got a cooking gas connection under a billion-dollar programme championed by India's prime minister Narendra Modi, meaning she no longer has to cook with wood or coal and breathe in smelly, toxic fumes. But the programme to connect millions of homes to…

Opposition leaders in race to support Pakistan, says Modi

India prime minister Narendra Modi Friday (26) said opposition leaders are in a race to support Pakistan on the issue of military operations against terror camps in the neighbouring country. Addressing an election rally here, he said after completion of voting in more than 300 Lok Sabha seats, his opponents…

Modi: Law equal for all, raid my house if I…

Dispelling the impression that recent searches by the Income-Tax department were politically motivated, India prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday (26) said the law is equal for all and his residence should also be searched if he has done anything wrong. Addressing a public meeting at Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh,…

Rahul Gandhi will be solely responsible if the BJP comes…

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be the only person responsible if the BJP comes back to power, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said as he slammed the Gandhi scion days after both the parties failed to form an alliance in Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections. He was speaking…

Huge crowds greet India’s Modi in his sacred city seat

Prime minister Narendra Modi staged a show of strength on Thursday (25) in the city of Varanasi, one of the most sacred places for India's majority Hindu population, as the country's 39-day staggered general election neared its mid-point. Dotted with ancient temples and sitting on the banks of the Ganges…

Priyanka Gandhi tears into Modi, calls him chief publicity minister

CONGRESS leader Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday (24) termed prime minister Narendra Modi as "Pradhan Prachar Mantri" and accused the BJP of "wasting drinking water" to clean roads in Banda, an arid town in Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand region. Priyanka's comments drew a sharp reaction from chief minister Yogi Adityanath who said…

Modi scoffs at Rahul for “daydreaming” about becoming prime minister

India prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (24) took a veiled dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying people looking at a mirror ten times a day and aspiring to become prime minister cannot even win assembly constituencies in their Lok Sabha seat. He said the Congress-led opposition, which has…

Like BJP, Congress also believes in threatening political opponents: Akhilesh

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress over its "big ego" while continuing his attack on the BJP, suggesting that voters will walk away this time from the tea being offered by the 'chaiwala' prime minister Narendra Modi. Mocking Modi at a public meeting in Hardoi,…

India’s polarised politics: how two teenagers will vote after surviving…

On the night of February 28, 2002, two toddlers living in adjacent alleys were dragged out of a slum district in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat that had been set ablaze by a mob in one of India's worst ever Hindu-Muslim riots. The attack in the Naroda Patiya…

Vijender Singh: I am aspiring to be India’s Manny Pacquaio

A trailblazer inside the boxing ring, Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh says he will draw inspiration from Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao in his political innings which start with the Congress in the ongoing general elections. The 33-year-old from the cradle of Indian boxing -- Bhiwani in Haryana -- was on Monday…

Bollywood actor Sunny Deol joins BJP

BOLLYWOOD actor Sunny Deol today (23) joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, and praised prime minister Narendra Modi for being a leader capable of taking the country forward. Deol joined the BJP amid speculation that he may be fielded from a Lok Sabha seat in Punjab. “Like my father Dharmendra associated…

Prime minister Modi votes in third phase of India’s general…

VOTING began in the third and largest phase of India's staggered general election today (23), including in prime minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat and in opposition Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi's seat in southern Indian state of Kerala. In all, 188 million voters are eligible to cast ballots…

Stage set for largest phase of Lok Sabha polls; Amit…

Polling will be held on Tuesday (22) for the third and largest phase of Lok Sabha election in 116 seats, including all constituencies in Gujarat and Kerala, with BJP president Amit Shah, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and several Union ministers among prominent candidates in the fray. The stakes are high…

India’s Modi condemns Sri Lanka attacks, says he can defeat…

After condemning the series of deadly bomb attacks on Sri Lankan churches and luxury hotels on Sunday that killed more than 200 people, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi told voters that they needed to elect him to a second term as only he can beat the "terrorists" threatening India. "Should…

5 Top Bollywood actors who contested in general elections

 Amitabh Bachchan [caption id="attachment_65710" align="alignnone" width="530"] Amitabh Bachchan (Photo: NIKLAS HALLE'NAFPGetty Images).[/caption] INDIA'S one of the leading Bollywood actors, Amitabh Bachchan contested in 1984 parliamentary election as a Congress party candidate. The veteran actor contested from Allahabad constituency against former Uttar Pradesh chief minister HN Bahuguna. He defeated his rival…

Congress spokeswoman quits in middle of Indian election, joins BJP…

A spokeswoman for India's main opposition Congress party quit on Friday and joined a group allied with prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party, complaining that misbehaviour towards her by male Congress members was ignored. The resignation of Priyanka Chaturvedi, a regular on prime-time TV debates, is an embarrassing setback for…

India holds new vote amid violence and protests

Millions of voters across India cast ballots in the second round of the world's biggest election on Thursday (18) amid violence and protests that highlighted the intensity of animosity in the campaign. With more than a month to go before the marathon ends, prime minister Narendra Modi kept up a…

Bangladesh film actor apologises after India election expulsion

A BANGLADESH film star has apologised after he was expelled from India for taking part in election campaigning, but found support in his country's foreign minister who said the giant neighbour had overreacted. Ferdous Ahmad has starred in more than 200 films, and was kicked out of India on Tuesday…

Indians vote in second phase of mega election

VOTERS across India cast ballots today (18) in the second round of the country's mega elections amid more deadly violence including a poll worker gunned down by Maoist rebels. More than 155 million people are eligible to vote in the second phase, which covers 95 parliament constituencies in 12 states…

Furious prime minister hits back at Gandhi’s ‘why are all…

Putting a new spin on Rahul Gandhi's "why are all Modis thieves" remark, prime minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said the Congress president, by making the jibe, had maligned the backward community he hails from. Addressing a poll rally here, Modi also slammed the "dynastic politics" of Sharad Pawar and claimed…

Indians most worried about terrorism, jobs and corruption

TERRORISM, unemployment and financial and political corruption are what most Indians are worried about, according to a new survey. But at the same time, a majority of Indians are optimistic that the nation was headed in the right direction, revealed the Ipsos’ What Worries the World Global Survey. “Pulwama terror strike…

Rahul Gandhi: Kejriwal doing U-turn on alliance talks

CONGRESS president Rahul Gandhi on Monday (15) accused AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal of doing an "U-turn" on the alliance talks between the two parties and said the doors of the Congress are open, but time is running out. However, Kejriwal claimed that the talks are still on and accused Gandhi…

Economic growth to end poverty in India by 2031: Indian…

INDIA'S finance minister said today (15), fast economic growth and rapid urbanisation would slash the number of people in extreme poverty by 2021 and end it completely in the decade after that. More than 21 per cent of India's 1.3 billion people lived on less than $1.90 a day in…

Two politicians in India banned for firebrand election comments

INDIA'S election watchdog on today (15) banned two outspoken politicians from campaigning in the country's national vote for making provocative speeches which it said could stir communal unrest. The measures came after the Supreme Court called on the election commission to get tough on hate speech during the world's biggest…

Web series on Narendra Modi comes under fire

A WEB series on Narendra Modi has come under fire for streaming without proper certification. Modi: Journey of a Common Man is a 10-part web series directed by Umesh Shukla and it is available on Eros Now. The Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has written to the poll panel saying…

Priyanka Gandhi: Attempt being made to destroy the Constitution

Coming down heavily on the BJP, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday (14) said the Constitution is not respected and an attempt is being made to destroy it by the present dispensation. Holding a roadshow in Silchar in support of Congress candidate and sitting MP Sushmita Dev, she also…

Modi says India undermined Pakistan nuclear threat

PRIME minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday (14) that India had called Pakistan's nuclear bluff in recent cross-border air strikes that almost triggered a new war between the nuclear-armed rivals. Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have made national security the focus of their campaign for a national election now…

Funding clampdown hits Indian political parties

INDIA'S Supreme Court today (12) ordered parties to name anonymous donors behind tens of millions of pounds in funding as hostilities intensified in the country's mega-election. The order came ahead of the second round of voting and after the election watchdog called for a clampdown on prime minister Narendra Modi's personal…

Election officials order Modi TV channel clampdown

INDIAN election officials have ordered a clampdown on a television channel devoted to prime minister Narendra Modi which they say breaches campaign rules. As the country of 1.3 billion people embarks on its huge vote, the Election Commission said NaMo TV, which is sponsored by Modi's party, had to submit…

Big turnout for India’s giant election

INDIANS thronged to vote on Thursday (11) at the start of a mammoth general election, with prime minister Narendra Modi seeking a second term after campaigning on a plank of national security following hostilities with neighbouring Pakistan. People trekked, rode bicycles and drove tractors to polling stations in the world's…

Revered yet rejected, India’s trans women seek their place in…

When Sneha Kale filed her nomination as a candidate for India's general election this week, she was with a lone supporter - a stark contrast to the cheering crowds and camera crews that usually accompany politicians in the world's biggest democracy. The transgender 27-year-old knows she is outgunned in the…

5 Top Facts About India Election 2019

Number Of Voters This year, a total of 900 million people of the country’s 1.3 billion population have been listed as eligible voters. Less than half of the total eligible voters are women, whereas 300 million voters are illiterate. As many as 84 million first-time voters were added to the electoral…

India’s incredible election begins

THE scion of the Gandhi dynasty told Indians that the country's "soul" was at stake on Thursday (11), as millions braved the hot sun to vote on day one of the world's biggest election. Opinion polls put prime minister Narendra Modi as favourite to win, but he faces a possible…

India’s top court to hear Dassault jet deal

INDIA'S Supreme Court said today (10) that it will hear a request for an investigation into a £6.65 billion ($8.7bn) fighter jet deal with France's Dassault Aviation , in a setback for prime minister Narendra Modi's government. As India heads into a general election on Thursday (11), the court agreed…

Rahul Gandhi files nomination from Amethi

CONGRESS president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (10) filed his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. He was accompanied by mother Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka and brother-in-law Robert Vadra. The three-term MP will take on Union minister and BJP candidate Smriti Irani. Rahul Gandhi reached the…

Modi biopic banned until after elections

A BIOPIC about Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been barred from release until after the national elections. The film, PM Narendra Modi, was set to release on April 11. Opposition parties have described as propaganda, and India's election commission on Wednesday (10) said any biopic "which has the potential…

Narendra Modi: From humble roots to India’s nationalist powerhouse

Stern, sharp and shrewd, Narendra Modi fought his way off the streets to become one of India's most popular and polarising prime ministers. There is no middle ground between admirers and adversaries of the man -- now running for a second term as leader -- who helped his father run…

Bollywood plays starring role in Modi’s re-election bid

EARLY this year, a dozen of Bollywood's biggest names took a private jet from India's film capital of Mumbai to New Delhi for a private audience with prime minister Narendra Modi. Subsequently, actor Ranveer Singh, who has nearly 22 million followers on Instagram, posted a smiling picture of himself hugging…

India’s Modi rides nationalist fervour ahead of election

INDIA'S prime minister is rallying his nationalist base as the world's biggest democracy begins a general election on Thursday (11), but it has become tighter than anticipated, thanks to dwindling incomes for farmers and scarce jobs. Polls predict prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) alliance will just win…

Imran Khan sees better chance of peace talks with India…

PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan said he thinks there may be a better chance of peace talks with India if prime minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins the general election due to begin there on Thursday (11). Khan said that if the next Indian government were…

Seven dead after pre-poll violence in two Indian states

AT LEAST seven people including a state legislator for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were killed in two separate attacks on Tuesday (9), officials said, days before India begins a general election. Five people including BJP lawmaker Bheema Mandavi were killed in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh after Maoist…

Modi makes $1.4 trillion infrastructure boost promise for election

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Monday (8) vowed to spend more than $1.4 trillion on new infrastructure over five years to create much-needed jobs and to pursue his nationalist agenda if he wins an election that starts this week. Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also promised $300 billion for…

India’s Modi-led alliance closes in on majority, survey shows ahead…

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling alliance will be just a few seats short of a majority in parliament, bolstered by a rise in nationalist sentiment over hostilities with arch foe Pakistan, a survey showed on Monday (8), days before voting begins. About 900 million people are eligible to vote…

Modi unveils manifesto as BJP pledges Ram temple and no…

  INDIA’S prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (8) sought to woo Hindu voters and farmers with an election manifesto he hopes will help him seal a second term in office. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outlined its key policies in the document released with fanfare in New Delhi, balancing…

India’s ruling party promises 33 per cent reservation for women…

INDIA'S ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised on Monday (8) to reserve 33 per cent of seats in the Indian parliament and state assemblies for women if it returns to power in an election due to begin on Thursday (11). "Women's welfare and development will be accorded a high priority…

Stitching for success – the cheap labour fuelling India’s election…

For up to 14 hours a day, Nagaraj Nataraj and his wife and daughter hunch over sewing machines, churning out flags for the parties vying for votes in India's upcoming general election. They are among tens of thousands of home workers toiling to meet soaring demand for party merchandise -…

Gandhi sibling charms but may struggle to win votes

PRIYANKA Gandhi Vadra became the latest member of India's storied Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to enter politics in January, but the boost she brings the opposition campaign may not turn the tide against prime minister Narendra Modi, polls show. After years of speculation, the charismatic Vadra joined Congress to help its leader,…

US count shows no Pakistan F-16s shot down in conflict:…

ALL of Pakistan's F-16 combat jets are accounted for, the US based Foreign Policy magazine said, citing a count by the US officials, contradicting an Indian Air Force assessment that it had shot down one of the jets in February. India and Pakistan engaged in an aerial battle a day…

Film icons bring star power to India’s monumental election

ON a humid evening in India's south, drummers and dancers heave to Kamal Haasan's blockbuster hits, whipping a huge crowd into ecstasy just as the moustachioed megastar himself steps onto the stage. There is a red carpet, confetti and coloured lights rippling over the sea of jiving fans screaming Haasan's…

Modi TV, Modi app, Modi rallies amplify ‘Brand Modi’ ahead…

IF INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi wins this spring's general election, as is widely expected, it will also be another massive victory for the marketing machine created to amplify Brand Modi into every Indian living room. Opinion polls regularly show Modi is India's most popular politician, and to turn that…

Court in India asks government to ban Chinese video application…

A COURT in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu yesterday (3) asked the federal government to ban Chinese video app TikTok, saying it was "encouraging pornography". Created by Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects. It has become hugely popular…

Whatsapp targets fake messages ahead of election

WHATSAPP launched a hotline Tuesday (2) allowing Indians to flag rumours circulating ahead of the upcoming election, a major concern in a country where fake news has fuelled violence. It comes a day after WhatsApp's parent company Facebook removed hundreds of pages promoting India's ruling and opposition parties for violating rules…

India’s Congress promises jobs, end of sedition law to beat…

INDIA'S main opposition Congress party pledged today (2) to expand a rural employment guarantee programme, reward businesses for creating jobs and scrap an 1870 sedition law if it wins a general election that starts next week. Congress, founded in 1885, has consistently trailed prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata…

Boost to India’s ruling party from terror strike waning ahead…

THE potential benefits accruing to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling alliance from a spike in nationalist sentiment following recent clashes with Pakistan might be waning, results of a nationwide opinion poll suggested. Tensions with neighbouring Pakistan soared after a suicide bomb attack in Kashmir region that killed 40 Indian…

Facebook removes pages linked to Congress

FACEBOOK said today (1) that it was removing 687 pages and accounts linked to India's main opposition Congress party, just days before voting begins in a general election, because of "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" on the social media platform. The announcement marks a rare action from Facebook against a prominent political…

Boost to India’s ruling party from terror strike waning ahead…

The potential benefits accruing to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling alliance from a spike in nationalist sentiment following recent clashes with arch rival Pakistan might be waning, results of a nationwide opinion poll suggested. Tensions with neighbouring Pakistan soared after a suicide bomb attack in the Indian part of…