India's opposition parties unite in protest over arrest of Modi critic Kejriwal

Indian opposition parties united on Sunday to protest against the arrest of a prominent leader weeks before a national election, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party of rigging the vote and harassing them with large tax demands.

"Narendra Modi is trying match-fixing in this election," Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi told a New Delhi rally as the crowd chanted "Shame!"

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a staunch Modi critic, anti-corruption crusader and a high-profile leader of the 27-member "INDIA" opposition bloc, was arrested on March 21 for alleged graft over granting liquor licenses, less than a month before voting starts in a general election widely expected to solidify Modi's mandate with a rare third term.

Read moreSupporters of Modi opponent Kejriwal protest his arrest ahead of Indian election

Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party says the case is fabricated and politically motivated. Modi's government and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deny political interference and say law enforcement agencies are doing their job.

"If the BJP wins this match-fixing election and changes the constitution, it will light the country on fire," said Gandhi, whose party ruled India for more than two-thirds of the time since independence in 1947 but has struggled since Modi swept to power a decade ago.

(Reuters)


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