Modi Faces Resurgent Opposition in Nehru’s City: 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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Hi, I’m Atul Prakash, Bloomberg’s Asia commodities editor in New Delhi. I spent most of my early years in Phulpur, a constituency in northern state of Uttar Pradesh that has given India two prime ministers, including the first — Jawaharlal Nehru. The other is Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who also got elected twice from neighboring Allahabad, home to one of the holiest sites in Hinduism. The city has also been represented in the past by India’s second prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. Despite the high profile representations, the region lags development with poor roads and health infrastructure, as well as water and electricity shortages. A united opposition is putting up a strong fight for these seats held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. A recent joint political rally by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and alliance partner Akhilesh Yadav saw a massive crowd resulting in a stampede-like situation. Allahabad, a historic city founded by Mughal emperor Akbar in 1575 AD, and Phulpur, will vote on May 25.

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Akhilesh Yadav, a top opposition leader in India’s electorally important state of Uttar Pradesh predicts a big win for his party, saying young and poor voters are turning against Modi’s ruling party.

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Campaign Trail

Congress party will scrap Modi government’s short-term army enlistment plan, called Agniveer, if the party’s alliance is voted to power, its leader Rahul Gandhi said at an election rally on Wednesday. He also promised to waive farmers’ debt.

BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Congress-led opposition alliance does not have any leader who can become the prime minister.

Global Media

CNN reported that opponents accuse Modi’s government of suppressing media pluralism and ratcheting up the use of anti-terror legislation against reporters.

Financial Times reported that opposition leaders and some independent commentators in India are citing initial figures from the six-week-long election claiming that the Modi wave has peaked.

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.

--With assistance from Supriya Batra.

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