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South Asian Update
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India’s opposition unites against alleged election interference by Modi government

 Published: 13:20, 1 April 2024

India’s opposition unites against alleged election interference by Modi government

Indian opposition parties came together to denounce what they perceive as election manipulation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration, just weeks before the national polls. Accusing Modi and his party of orchestrating electoral fraud and employing intimidation tactics through large tax demands, opposition leaders gathered to voice their concerns.

Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress party, addressed a rally in New Delhi, rallying the crowd against what he described as Modi's attempt at 'match-fixing' in the upcoming election. Chants of "shame" reverberated through the gathering as Gandhi lambasted the ruling party.
The arrest of Delhi's chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, on corruption charges added fuel to the opposition's fire. Kejriwal, known for his anti-corruption stance and leadership within the opposition alliance, was apprehended less than a month before the commencement of the general election. His Aam Aadmi Party vehemently refutes the allegations, labeling them as politically motivated and fabricated. Despite assertions of impartiality from Modi's government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), opposition figures remain skeptical, citing a pattern of perceived persecution.
Gandhi emphasized the gravity of the situation, characterizing the election as a pivotal moment in India's democratic history. He warned against the potential consequences of a BJP victory, cautioning that it could lead to constitutional amendments and ignite widespread unrest. For Gandhi and his Congress party, this election represents a critical opportunity to safeguard democratic principles and uphold the integrity of the constitution.
The rally at New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan witnessed a rare display of unity among leaders from various opposition factions. Despite past differences and competition over electoral constituencies, regional party heads stood shoulder to shoulder, united in their mission to challenge what they perceive as an erosion of democratic norms under Modi's leadership.
Critics have long accused Modi and the BJP of weaponizing state institutions such as investigative agencies and tax authorities to target political adversaries. This alleged abuse of power, they argue, undermines the democratic process and stifles dissent. However, the BJP vehemently denies these allegations, asserting that law enforcement agencies are merely carrying out their duties impartially.

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