A Powerful Satrap Stands in the Way of Modi’s Victory in India’s East

(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, this is Devidutta Tripathy. I run Bloomberg’s South Asia breaking news team from New Delhi and hail from the coastal state of Odisha, which sends 21 lawmakers to India’s parliament. Odisha is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s best bet to boost his party’s tally on the eastern flank of the country, where he’ll face the hardened forces of former ally Naveen Patnaik. Speaking at a rally in the “silk city” Berhampur, which goes to polls on May 13, Modi highlighted Odisha’s high poverty rate despite its mineral resources, pristine beaches and tourism prospects. Patnaik has governed Odisha directly as the chief minister since 2000 and will seek a record sixth term in simultaneous state elections, while his Biju Janata Dal will hope to also sweep most federal seats.

Top Stories

A gauge of volatility in Indian stocks has risen in its longest streak ever, underscoring growing uncertainty over the outcome of the nation’s general elections. The so-called fear gauge has jumped as much as 88% from a low in April amid speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party may win fewer seats than initially expected.

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Campaign Trail

A senior police officer’s order seeking the rescheduling of political activities in north Kashmir’s Sopore has sparked a controversy with the regional National Conference accusing the administration of bias and obstructing a fair electoral process.

Global Media

Reuters reported about Narendra Modi’s party not contesting elections in Kashmir, for the first time since 1996, even as he is criss-crossing the country to campaign.

The AFP reported that the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday deleted a cartoon video posted on social media platform X that was criticized for targeting minority Muslims during an ongoing national election.

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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