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India lifts campaign ban on scandal-hit Modi aide

Authorities have lifted a campaigning ban imposed on a key aide to India's likely next prime minister Narendra Modi after he allegedly told Hindu community leaders to seek "revenge" in the country's elections. Amit Shah, who has been running the campaign for Modi's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the pivotal Uttar Pradesh state, has been in the eye of a public storm after allegedly making the comments in an area where Hindu-Muslim clashes left some 50 people dead in September.

India passes halfway mark in election with Hindu nationalists gaining strength

By Ashutosh Pandey and Swetha Gopinath BANGALORE (Reuters) - India called a quarter of its 815 million voters to polls on Thursday, the biggest day of its staggered election, in areas ranging from Himalayan passes to a southern IT hub and western sugarcane farms. The country is now over halfway through its nine days of voting for a new parliament in the world's biggest ever election, with the ruling Congress party struggling to hold ground against the Hindu nationalist opposition.

India goes to polls in biggest voting day

India hosted its biggest day of voting on Thursday with the ruling Congress party battling to stem a further slide in the polls against the opposition Hindu nationalists after another week of damaging headlines. Voters lined up at 7:00 am (0130 GMT) in 121 constituencies across a dozen states on the sixth day of staggered voting in the election extravaganza which ends with results on May 16.

India's Modi says committed to no first use of nuclear weapons

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India prime ministerial frontrunner Narendra Modi said he was committed to a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, seeking to assuage concern after his Hindu nationalist BJP party vowed to revise the nuclear doctrine if elected to power. India declared itself a nuclear weapons state after carrying out tests in the summer of 1998, which were followed by tests by Pakistan. Since then both have been developing nuclear weapons and testing longer range missiles.

India's Modi: No change to 'no first use' nuclear weapons doctrine

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Opposition leader Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that he would stick to India's doctrine of not being the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict if he wins power in the country's election. "It is necessary to be powerful - not to suppress anyone, but for our own protection," Modi said in an interview with the ANI television service.

War of words in India's first family as poll points to defeat

A war of words erupted among the "first family" of Indian politics on Tuesday as a new poll pointed to a sweeping election win for the Hindu nationalist opposition. Priyanka Gandhi, sister of Rahul Gandhi who is leading the ruling Congress party's campaign, called the bitterly fought election contest an "ideological war" against the hardline Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Priyanka was targeting her estranged cousin Varun Gandhi who is running for re-election as a member of parliament for the BJP, accusing him of "betraying the (ideals of the) family."

War of words in India's first family as poll points to defeat

A war of words erupted among the "first family" of Indian politics on Tuesday as a new poll pointed to a sweeping election win for the Hindu nationalist opposition. Priyanka Gandhi, sister of Rahul Gandhi who is leading the ruling Congress party's campaign, called the bitterly fought election contest an "ideological war" against the hardline Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Priyanka was targeting her estranged cousin Varun Gandhi who is running for re-election as a member of parliament for the BJP, accusing him of "betraying the (ideals of the) family."

Modi's double in demand in Indian election

A Mumbai steel manufacturer is finding himself much in demand during India's election season thanks to his uncanny resemblance to prime ministerial frontrunner Narendra Modi. Sporting a grey-white beard, glasses and the politician's trademark shirt and waistcoat, Vikas Mahante is now a regular sight on the campaign trail with right-wing candidates in the financial capital who are keen to cash in on Modi's popularity.

Majority forecast boosts India's Modi as rivals flounder

Hardline nationalist opposition leader Narendra Modi and his allies were forecast to win an overall majority in India's elections in a poll Tuesday, dealing another blow to the beleaguered ruling Congress party. Eight days on from the start of the world's biggest election, the survey for the NDTV network predicted for the first time that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would not have to seek new partners in order to govern, giving it more freedom to implement its Hindu nationalist agenda.

Indian opposition alliance to win majority

India's Hindu nationalist opposition party and its allies are on course to win an overall parliamentary majority in the world's biggest election currently underway, according to a new poll. The survey by the NDTV network forecast that the opposition alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win 275 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, 16 more than predicted in the last survey a month ago.
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