India’s Financial Capital Suffers Political Apathy: India Votes

(Bloomberg) -- Each day, Bloomberg journalists take you across a selection of towns and cities as they gear up for the big vote.

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Hello, this is Anirban Nag, and I head Bloomberg’s Mumbai Bureau. India’s financial capital where some of the country’s richest, including Mukesh Ambani, are registered voters is infamous for low turnout numbers. Crumbling infrastructure, inadequate public transport and insufferable civic services that result in deadly disasters have long ailed the country’s richest municipal body, which is home to some of the nation’s biggest companies. Oft repeated political promises of transforming it into a world class metropolis have never been kept. This week, 16 people died and scores of others were injured as a massive billboard collapsed in a freak storm that shut Mumbai airport for more than an hour. Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance partner have won all six parliament seats in the city in last two elections. A split in its former partner and right-wing Hindutva party Shiv Sena, has made the contest interesting this time as one faction has sided with the opposition alliance. BJP’s Piyush Goyal, federal trade and food minister, is a first-time contestant from one of the constituencies. So is, Ujjawal Nikam, a former public prosecutor known for fighting cases related to terrorist attacks in the city.

Top Stories

About 451 million people have voted so far in the first four phases of elections, according to a statement from the Election Commission of India.

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A lot of people want a piece of Narendra Modi, but it wasn’t always this way. Listen to our two-part podcast here.

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Campaign Trail

Rahul Gandhi reiterated that prime minister Modi is working to protect the interests of a handful of corporate houses. He is safeguarding the interests of 22 rich corporates, the Congress leader said at a rally in Odisha.

Modi accused the opposition, including the Congress and and its alliance partner Samajwadi Party, of spreading lies about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and said that the law is here to stay.

Global Media

The BBC reported about extensive use of AI-generated content being created — from campaign videos to personalized audio messages in a range of Indian languages — during the ongoing elections.

The Guardian wrote about Home Minister Amit Shah — Modi’s confidant, consigliere and enforcer for four decades.

Who Votes This Week?

India’s mammoth election runs through June 1, with counting scheduled for June 4. This map from the Election Commission of India shows which constituencies vote when.

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Indians are voting in the world’s biggest election. Understand how money and business intersect with politics and power by following Bloomberg India’s channel on WhatsApp, and sign up for the weekly India Edition newsletter by Menaka Doshi.

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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