Ram Temple to Take Centre Stage in North India Despite Farm Distress

(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 Preeti Singh. I track the banking and finance sectors from Mumbai and Jhansi in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is where my grandparents come from. The state is ground zero for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s temple-driven politics and his Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to pull-off a third straight win in this constituency. The erstwhile princely-state, made famous by the legendary queen Lakshmibai Newalkar who was among the leaders of India’s first uprising for independence against the British, is part of Bundelkhand region that suffers from a severe water shortage and farm distress. Besides these two key issues, the opposition is also battling the BJP in Bundelkhand on the issue of rising unemployment.

Severe Heat Wave Conditions Continue in Eastern, Southern India:

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India recorded voter turnout of more than 66% in the first two phases of elections in which 190 parliamentary constituencies went to the polls, according to a statement from the nation’s Election Commission. The country is conducting its elections in seven phases. Voting in the first two phases of the 2019 elections was about 69%.

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Campaign Trail

The Bharatiya Janata Party does not plan to discard the reservation provided for the under-privileged classes in education and jobs, party leader and home minister Amit Shah said while campaigning for elections in central India. Congress leader and chief minister of Karnataka state, Siddaramaiah, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is misleading voters with “terrible lies” and avoiding discussion on price hikes and unemployment.

Sitaram Yechury, a leader of opposition party CPI (M), raised concerns over the delay in sharing voter turnout figures for the first two phases by the Election Commission of India.

Global Media

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that Australia has expelled a number of Indian officials who were caught trying to access information on sensitive defense projects, airport security and trade. The so-called “nest of spies” was uncovered by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in 2020.

The BBC reported that the Australian government has talked up its close ties with Delhi despite reports that two Indian spies were expelled from the country in 2020.

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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