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Death toll rises to eight in east India poll attack

The death toll from an ambush by Maoist rebels rose to eight in an insurgency-hit region of eastern India, police said Friday after the latest deadly attack targeting ongoing elections. Maoist rebels killed five police officers and three polling officials Thursday as they were returning from duty in Jharkhand, one of 12 states where voters went to the polls in India's multi-phased general elections . "Eight people, including five security force personnel, were killed when Maoists attacked their minibus," head of Jharkhand police Rajeev Kumar told AFP.

Pakistan envoy 'encouraged' by Modi's remarks on India relations

Pakistan said Wednesday it was "encouraged" by comments from arch rival India's election frontrunner Narendra Modi who stressed cooperation with foreign governments if he was elected prime minister. Hindu nationalist hardliner Modi and his opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party are expected to vault to power at mammoth elections underway in India after a decade of centre-left Congress party rule. Critics fear Modi will adopt a tough foreign policy that could see relations deteriorate with traditional rival Pakistan and neighbouring emerging market giant China.

Mumbai slum-dwellers wary of India election promises

After four decades in the same Mumbai slum, Vimal Gaikwad is well used to politicians' tall promises at election time, when the city's millions of shanty dwellers become sought-after voters. "The candidates just promise and say they will help, and then they do nothing," said the 60-year-old grandmother, perched on the steps of her green-painted, tin-roofed home in the northeastern Bhim Nagar neighbourhood.

India's Modi slams anti-Muslim remarks, ally remains defiant

By Rajesh Kumar Singh NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi sought to calm fears for religious minorities under his rule on Tuesday, saying he would represent all Indians if they voted for him or not in the current general election. Modi, prime ministerial candidate for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and favorite to become India's next leader, is running on a platform of reviving an economy going through its worst slowdown since the 1980s.

India's Modi condemns anti-Muslim remarks; colleague remains defiant

By Rajesh Kumar Singh NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought to calm fears about the future of religious minorities under his rule, saying his government would represent all Indians whether they voted for him or not in an ongoing general election. Modi, prime ministerial candidate for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and favorite to become India's next leader, is running on a platform of reviving an economy going through its worst slowdown since the 1980s.

In Indian mining town, nexus between politics and crime plays out

By Frank Jack Daniel BELLARY, India (Reuters) - Stooping to feed grain to a black cow as a religious offering at his unfinished mansion, Indian politician and rags-to-riches millionaire B. Sreeramulu may need help from the gods if he is to win a hard-fought race for the parliamentary seat of Bellary. He faces criminal charges, including attempted murder in a case dating back to 2007, and has close links with a jailed mining tycoon from the southern Indian town where the scandal has put thousands of miners out of work.

India's Modi condemns anti-Muslim remarks; colleagues remain defiant

By Rajesh Kumar Singh NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi on Tuesday distanced himself from colleagues on the Hindu far right, saying they must focus on development issues in the election campaign, rather than rail against minority Muslims and liberals. Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is running on a platform to revive an economy going through the worst slowdown since 1980s.

India's Modi condemns 'evict Muslims' statement

Indian election frontrunner Narendra Modi on Tuesday condemned virulent anti-Muslim remarks by a one-time associate as he sought to keep attention on his core message of development and corruption-free administration. Praveen Togadia, head of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), faces a police investigation after a video appeared to show him urging Hindus to evict Muslims from their neighbourhoods in western Gujarat state.

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.
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