June 19, 2019
Latest News

India awaits election results with the odds in favor of Modi, BJP

By Noemi Jabois.

New Delhi, May 22 (efe-epa).- Opposition parties have gathered outside Indian Election Commission centers around the country to guard ballot machines ahead of vote counting scheduled for Thursday, after which the results of the 2019 general election will be declared.

In several Indian states, opposition leaders and their followers have kept watch overnight at the entrances to the EC centers and have denounced "suspicious movements" since the last phase of the month-long elections concluded on Sunday.

Exit polls indicate the re-election of incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Exit polls in the past have failed in their forecasts and the opposition has rejected the numbers, while many experts consider only two scenarios: one where the ruling BJP achieves a majority 272 seats out of a total of 543, and another where it needs its allies to form the government.

Before the exit poll results were published at the end of the last phase on Sunday, everything pointed towards the minority parties being key, with neither the BJP nor the main opposition Indian National Congress party of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty looking to win enough support to govern alone.

It was believed that the demonetization of 2016 and rising unemployment would cost Modi, while the Indian National Congress would recover from the defeat in the 2014 elections thanks to the reinforced leadership of Rahul Gandhi, but not enough to return to its earlier glory.

In this context, the possibility of a "third front" coalition of regional parties was also considered to be emerging in a diverse country with 29 states where the presence of national parties is negligible.

In India, the parties tend to change side depending on the circumstances, and while some align themselves in pre-election pacts, others seek a place at national level, waiting for someone to fall short of a majority at the last minute.

In recent months, the BJP lost due to disagreements with its main ally, the Telugu Desam Party of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and its unlikely coalition partner in Indian Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party.

However, it has achieved important agreements with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) of Tamil Nadu in the south, where the BJP is virtually non-existent, and the Shiv Sena, a traditional ally in the western state of Maharashtra, with whom it has had several recent fallouts.

For the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies analyst, Praveen Rai, the state of Uttar Pradesh – the most populated with more than 200 million people and just 80 seats - is one of the major challenges for Modi's BJP.

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, the two main regional forces, have formed a large coalition in the state with Rashtriya Lok Dal, which neither the Indian National Congress nor the BJP have formed any ties with.

According to Rai, West Bengal is also a problem for the BJP, which is in opposition to the All India Trinamool Congress of the State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose followers have been involved in numerous confrontations with BJP supporters.

The analyst believes that southern India remains off the board because Modi does not aspire to win more than 15 seats and said that Odisha could be another big challenge for the prime minister, unless his luck changes due to corruption allegations against the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

"The main challenges for the BJP lie in the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha ... However, a surprise may help the saffron establishment to win 60-plus seats in Uttar Pradesh, 20-odd seats in West Bengal and around 15 seats in Odisha,” Rai added.

While last-minute surprises are not rare in India, a coalition government led by the Indian National Congress and the possibility of a "third front" have lost steam in the last few days in favor of a new leader from the BJP.

"The exit polls are divided in their predictions as a few suggest that the BJP alliance (will) cross the finishing line with a tally between 280-300 seats. The BJP will fall short of the majority mark (272 out of 543 seats) and will have to rely on its allies (around 40 seats) in forming the government," Rai said.

Another possibility reflected in two surveys indicate the party and its allies winning more than 350 seats, with more than 300 of them being exclusively from Modi's BJP, the analyst said.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition are diligently keeping an eye on the EC centers that have ballot machines, nervous about possible manipulation that could affect their political future.

njd/sk/tw

News history
Former Trump adviser dodges lawmakers' questions on obstruction

Washington, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump's former communications director, on Wednesday avoided answering questions put to her by...

Opponents say Nicaraguan gov't reneged on pledge to free prisoners

Managua, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Members of the Nicaraguan opposition protested Wednesday outside a prison in Managua to demand that President Daniel Ortega's...

Panama's San Blas archipelago being swallowed by the sea

Maria M. Mur

Four candidates left in race for next UK leader

London, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Four candidates are left in the race to become the United Kingdom's next prime minister after Rory Stewart was eliminated from...

3 guilty over deadly attack on university in Kenya

Nairobi, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Three people suspected of being involved in a deadly attack on a university in Kenya in 2015 were found guilty on Wednesday.

4 charged with murder for Buk downing of MH17, to be tried in the Netherlands

Nieuwegein, Netherlands, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Three Russian nationals and one Ukrainian allegedly involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17...

Hong Kong police violence against extradition bill protesters denounced

Hong Kong, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- A civil rights organization coordinating demonstrations against a contentious extradition bill in Hong Kong said Wednesday...

Thousands protest in Nepal against controversial bill

Kathmandu, June 19 (efe-epa).- Thousands of protesters gathered in the Nepal capital on Wednesday demanding the government to scrap a controversial bill to...

Egypt accuses UN of politicizing Morsi's death

Cairo, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The Egyptian government accused the United Nations high commissioner for human rights of politicizing the death of Egypt's former...

More than 70 million people displaced worldwide, UN report says

Geneva (Switzerland), Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Almost 71 million people, the largest number ever quantified in the United Nations' refugee agency's history and...

UN experts call on Cambodian gov't to end oppression of political opponents

Bangkok Desk, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- United Nations special rapporteurs called on the Cambodian government Wednesday to end moves to intimidate or silence...

What to know about Libra cryptocurrency

New York (USA), Jun 19 (efe-epa).-Facebook just disclosed the first details of its long-anticipated cryptocurrency, called Libra, according to a Dow Jones...

10 years after Spanish missionary's death, his legacy in India lives on

By Noemí Jabois

Human rights groups demand ASEAN states protect Rohingya refugees

Bangkok, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Human rights groups on Wednesday demanded Southeast Asian governments protect the rights of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim community...

Xi, Kim to meet, chalk up strategies against US

Jesus Centeno

China-North Korea bonhomie may be among key upshots of Xi's Pyongyang visit

Seoul, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Talks on international sanctions, resumption of nuclear dialog, delivering humanitarian aid and displaying China-North Korea...

Xi, Trump hold telephone conversation ahead of G20 Summit

Beijing, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The presidents of China and the United States held a telephone conversation about the ongoing tariff dispute between the two...

Trump launches his re-election campaign at Orlando rally

Washington DC, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Tuesday called on his supporters to deliver a metaphorical "earthquake" at the...

At least 21 people injured after earthquake hits northwestern Japan

(Update 1: updates number of injured, adds details)

Kate del Castillo gives voice to Ciudad Juarez victims in New York theater

By Nora Quintanilla

Pence thanks Latin America for generosity in supporting Venezuela's freedom

Miami, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday renewed the "firm" commitment of the Donald Trump administration to Venezuela's "legitimate"...

Trump: Shanahan withdraws as defense secretary nominee

Washington, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan decided to withdraw from the process to...

OAS rejects claims of election fraud in Guatemala

Guatemala City, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The head of the electoral mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) for Guatemala rejected Tuesday the...

HRW: Dominican women being denied sexual, reproductive rights

Santo Domingo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Teenage girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.