2019, May, Newsletter

India Newsletter May 24, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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ELECTIONS 2019: MODI LED BJP GETS A MANDATE BIGGER THAN IN 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party
towards a super-sized victory for a second term in office, as his message of
nationalism, security, Hindu pride and a New India was wholeheartedly
embraced by voters across large swathes of the country.

With the elections establishing the 68-year-old Modi as the most popular
leader in decades, the vote count released by the Election Commission showed
that BJP won a huge 303 seats on its own.

In the end, BJP’s prediction in the final stages of campaigning of “ab ki
baar 300 paar” came true, as Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign
slogan of “chowkidar chor hai” found no resonance among voters. In almost
all the states where BJP won, its vote share was more than 50 per cent.

The Modi wave not only swept through the Hindi heartland and Gujarat, as was
expected, but also rippled through West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and
Karnataka.

Only Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh appeared untouched. Even in
Telangana, where it was expected to fare poorly, the BJP won four seats.

After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modi is the third prime
minister of the country-and the first non-Congress one-who has been able to
retain power for a second term with full majority in Lok Sabha.

The results were staggering for BJP in the Hindi-speaking states, including
those where Congress had won in the recent Assembly elections. In Bihar too,
BJP-JD(U) combine brushed aside the challenge mounted by Congress-RJD
alliance.

In Odisha and West Bengal, the BJP made huge gains.

LOK SABHA ELECTION RESULTS IN NUMBERS

Results from All 542 of the 543 seats where polling took place. In the
numbers below, only in 2 seats the result is yet to be officially declared.
Of the 2 leads (as against the 540 declared results), one is in Indian
National Congress count of 52 and the other one in YSRCP count of 22)

ALLIANCE / PARTY

NDA 353

BJP 303

SS 18

JDU 16

LJP 6

SAD 2

AD(S) 2

NPP 1

RLTP 1

AIADMK 1

NDPP 1

MNF 1

AJSU 1

UPA 92

INC 52

DMK 23

NCP 5

IUML 3

JKNC 3

JMM 1

KCM 1

VCK 1

RSP 1

JDS 1

IND 1

OTHERS 97

YSRCP 22

TMC 22

BJD 12

BSP 10

TRS 9

SP 5

TDP 3

IND 3

CPM 3

CPI 2

AIMIM 2

AAP 1

NPF 1

SKM 1

AIUDF 1

———

State-wise – Party-wise Seats

Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1) — Cong / 1

Andhra Pradesh (25) — YSRC / 22 TDP / 3

Arunachal Pradesh (2) — BJP / 2

Assam (14) — BJP / 9 Cong / 3 AIUDF / 1 Ind/1

Bihar (40) — BJP / 17 JD(U) / 16 LJP / 6
Cong /1

Chandigarh (1) — BJP / 1

Chhattisgarh (11) — BJP / 9 Cong / 2

Dadra and Nagar Haveli (1) — IND /1

Daman and Diu (1) — Cong / 1

Delhi (7) — BJP / 7

Goa (2) — BJP / 1 Cong / 1

Gujarat (26) — BJP / 26

Haryana (10) — BJP / 10

Himachal Pradesh (4) — BJP / 4

Jammu and Kashmir (6) — BJP / 3 JK NC / 3

Jharkhand (14) — BJP / 11 Cong / 1 AJSU / 1
JMM / 1

Karnataka (28) — BJP / 25 Cong / 1 JD(S) / 1
Independent / 1

Kerala (20) — Cong / 15 CPM / 1 RSP / 1 KCM /1 IUML /
2

Lakshadweep (1) — NCP / 1

Madhya Pradesh (29) — BJP / 28 Cong / 1

Maharashtra (48) — BJP / 23 SS / 18 NCP / 4 Cong /1 Ind/1
AIMIM / 1

Manipur (2) — BJP / 1 NPF/1

Meghalaya (2) — NPP / 1 Cong / 1

Mizoram (1) — MNF / 1

Nagaland (1) — NDPP / 1

Odisha (21) — BJP /8 BJD / 12 Cong/1

Puducherry (1) — Cong / 1

Punjab (13) — BJP / 2 Cong / 8 AAP / 1 SAD / 2

Rajasthan (25) — BJP / 24 RLTP / 1

Sikkim (1) — SKM / 1

Tamil Nadu (38, Vellore Polls Postponed) — Cong / 8 DMK / 23
AIADMK / 1 CPI / 2 CPM / 2 IUML / 1 VCK /1

Telangana (17) — BJP / 4 TRS / 9 Cong / 3 AIMIM / 1

Tripura (2) — BJP / 2

Uttar Pradesh (80) — BJP / 62 Cong / 1 SP / 5 BSP
/ 10 AD(S) / 2

Uttarakhand (5) — BJP / 5

West Bengal (42) — BJP / 18 Cong / 2 TMC / 22

——

ASSEMBLY POLLS RESULTS

ANDHRA PRADESH (175/175 Seats)

PARTY WINS/LEADS

YSRCP 151

TDP 23

INC 0

BJP 0

OTH 1

ARUNACHAL PRADESH (51/60 Seats)

PARTY WINS/LEADS

BJP 33

NPP 4

INC 3

OTH 11

ODISHA (146/147 Seats)

PARTY WIN/LEADS

BJD 112

BJP 23

INC 9

OTH 2

SIKKIM (32/32 Seats)

PARTY WINS/LEADS

SKM 17

SDF 15

THIS IS A MANDATE FOR NEW INDIA, SAYS PM MODI AFTER MASSIVE WIN

In his victory speech in front of a huge crowd outside BJP headquarters,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday highlighted three points in the
election’s campaign and outcome. The first was secularism, which he called
“dramebaazi”.

“You must have seen that for 30 years, although this dramebaazi has been
going on for a long time, this tag was in fashion which when used was akin
to taking a dip in holy Ganges,” he said in his first speech after the BJP’s
spectacular victory. “That tag, that too a fake one, was called secularism,”
he said. BJP workers, gathered outside the party headquarters and chanting
“Modi Modi” while it drizzled, erupted.

The reaction of the crowd indicated that the sweeping mandate had the power
to brush aside grave questions that had challenged the idea of India in this
election and remain valid.

Modi told the crowd that there were slogans telling people to become
secularists. “You must have seen, that from 2014 to 2019, that entire
community (of secular people) has stopped saying anything,” the
soon-to-return Prime Minister said. Not a single political party could
muster the courage to mislead the country by wearing this “veil of
secularism”, he remarked.

Modi also highlighted how, according to him, this election had been
different. “Every election was coloured by corruption. Elections were fought
on the issue of corruption. This was the first election, where any political
party couldn’t accuse the five years of rule with a single charge of
corruption,” Modi said.

The Congress had brought the charge of financial mishandling in the Rafale
fighter jet deal, but on the ground the campaign seemed to have found little
appeal among voters. Or voters chose to believe in the BJP’s campaign line
that Modi is “incorruptible”.

Modi also tried to recast the link between poverty and caste. “There are
just two castes that remain in this country,” he said. “Just two will remain
and the country will be centred on it. In this 21st century, India will have
one caste of gareeb (poor) and the other of those who contribute to free
this country of poverty. There is one that wants to get out of poverty and
the other that wants to rescue the country from poverty. And we need to
empower the two. These two powers can help get rid of this stain of
poverty.”

He promised to devote “every moment” of his time and “every fibre” of his
being for the people of India. This is the victory of toiling farmers who
struggle to feed the nation, this is the victory of those who now live in
proper houses, this is the victory of the middle class which follows the
rules, pays taxes, but wondered if his taxes were being used for the benefit
of the country, he said.

You didn’t know me in 2014, but you trusted me. In 2019, you know me well,
and put your faith in me. You’ve given me a bigger mandate than 2014, which
shows how much you trust me. With such trust comes a great deal of
responsibilities. I promise I won’t do anything with bad intentions. Second,
I promise the countrymen that I will do nothing for myself. And thirdly, I
dedicate myself, body and time, to my countrymen.

Removing the prefix ‘Chowkidar’ from his Twitter handle, PM Modi said “the
word goes from my Twitter name but it remains an integral part of me”.

RAHUL CONGRATULATES MODI

Congress president Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat to Prime Minister Narendra
Modi nationally and to minister Smriti Irani in his family backyard of
Amethi congratulating both and saying he hoped both will “lovingly care” for
their respective constituencies-PM for the country and Irani for Amethi.

Asked if he would resign taking moral responsibility for his party’s defeat
and his personal loss from Amethi, Gandhi said the Congress Working
Committee will soon meet and decide that. “The CWC will decide on that. We
will meet shortly,” said Gandhi at a press briefing he addressed at the
party headquarters, as his sister, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi
Vadra, looked on.

Gandhi refused to comment on what went wrong, saying only: “Today is not the
day to get into the details of the mandate. Even if I speak it won’t matter
because the people have spoken and they have voted to make Modi the PM.
Today is a day to congratulate the PM and hope he will look after the
interests of the country”.

Gandhi said there’s a lot of time to introspect on what went wrong and
reiterated that he will continue to reciprocate any bitterness with love and
noting that love is never defeated.

He also said the election was a battle between two visions of India and the
people had voted for the BJP’s vision.

I respect that, he said, making a quick exit from AICC office that wore a
deserted look as Congress faced electoral decimation for the second term in
a row and Gandhi lost his family’s seat Amethi to Smriti Irani.

He however won the Wayanad seat in Kerala by a huge margin, defeating CPI
candidate PP Suneer by 4.31 Lakh votes.

The defeat was so comprehensive that the Congress drew a blank in as many as
19 states and UTs, including Odisha, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh
and Uttarakhand, and picked up one or two seats in the other states barring
Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab.

WORLD LEADERS CONGRATULATE MODI

US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi
Jinping, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
the convincing victory of his BJP in the parliamentary elections.

Trump congratulated PM Modi and his party on their “big” election victory.
Great things are in store for US-India partnership with return of PM Modi at
the helm, Trump said on Twitter.

The Russian leader expressed his readiness to continue fruitful personal
contacts with Prime Minister Modi and to work together to build up the full
range of bilateral relations and constructive interaction in international
affairs, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also congratulated PM Modi and expressed
his desire to work with him for peace and prosperity in South Asia.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping
congratulated him on the electoral victory of the NDA under his leadership.

In the letter, President Xi noted the great importance he attached to the
development of India-China relations and his desire to work with Prime
Minister Modi to take the closer development partnership between the two
countries to a new height.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe and main Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Modi and vowed to
strengthen their “great friendship” as well as bilateral ties.

BJP BRUSHES AWAY SP-BSP GATHBANDHAN IN UTTAR PRADESH

The BJP has won 62 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh mid-evening, tallying
only 9 fewer than its 2014 score despite coming up against the formidable
alliance of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party this time.

BJP ally Apna Dal contested two seats – Mirzapur (Anupriya Patel) and
Robertsganj (Pakauri Lal Kol) – and won both.

Thursday’s results mark a huge triumph for the BJP after a series of
by-election defeats in the state last year at the hands of a united
Opposition, buttressed by its combination of Muslim, Dalit, OBC and Jat
votes.

Congress won just one seat in the state – with Sonia Gandhi defeating BJP’s
Dinesh Pratap Singh in Rae Bareli).

Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost his seat in Amethi to BJP’s Smriti
Irani. He, however, scored a big win in Wayanad, Kerala.

The results would be a stinging disappointment for BSP leader Mayawati, 63,
who had been hoping to become Prime Minister in a hung Parliament. “The
Samajwadis and the BSP failed to transfer their votes to each other,” a BSP
leader said on the condition of anonymity before rushing off to an emergency
meeting Mayawati had convened. “We got the Muslim votes but the Yadavs, who
are the Samajwadis’ core voters, didn’t support us.”

While Rahul suffered an upset defeat, by about 55.,000 votes, to Smriti
Irani in his family pocket borough Amethi, Modi won by more than 4.7 lakh
votes from Varanasi, trouncing Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.

Former army chief and Union minister V.K. Singh won by more than 5 lakh
votes against Samajwadi candidate Suresh Bansal from Ghaziabad.

Akhilesh won from Azamgarh, defeating BJP candidate and Bhojpuri actor
Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua by more than 2 lakh votes.

His father Mulayam Singh Yadav won from Mainpuri, defeating the BJP’s Prem
Singh Shakya by over 70,000 votes.

Akhilesh’s wife Dimple Yadav, however, lost to BJP’s Subrat Pathak by about
13,000 votes in Kannauj.

ANDHRA PRADESH, KERALA, PUNJAB AND TAMIL NADU SAY ‘NO’ TO MODI

Kerala held on to its record of never having sent a BJP MP to the Lok Sabha
while Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu joined the club this time round and
Punjab, too, managed to contain the saffron camp to two seats out of 13
despite the Modi wave.

Ironically, in Kerala, it was an expectation of the Congress being able to
put up an alternative nationally that appeared to have helped the Grand Old
Party make a near-clean sweep of the state, losing only one of the 20 seats
to the CPM-led LDF. Congress and its alliance partners won 19 seats.

If it was a cocktail of anti-BJP and anti-CPM politics that stopped the Modi
wave from entering Kerala, in Tamil Nadu it was a mix of Dravidian politics,
anti-Modi sentiment and skillful coalition management by DMK chief M.K.
Stalin that prevented the BJP from even retaining the one it had last time.

Andhra Pradesh joined Kerala and Tamil Nadu in making it a “BJP-mukt” troika
in the south.

Up north, it was only Punjab that held its own, even against the nationalism
narrative of the BJP despite being a state bordering Pakistan and having
lived through the partition.

Unlike in Rajasthan – another border state – the Balakot-related rhetoric
that was used by the BJP to good effect even in far-off Bihar, Punjab
remained immune to it with many people, in fact, preferring good relations
with Pakistan. Here, the Congress benefitted from the collapse of the Aam
Aadmi Party.

BJP MAKES SIGNIFICANT INROADS IN W BENGAL, ODISHA

BJP has made massive inroads into West Bengal after a bitterly fought
elections.

This election comes as a bad scare to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee,
whose party had won 34 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 while the
BJP could win only two constituencies. BJP had wanted to make inroads into
the state and has done that with aplomb, winning 18 of the 42 seats and
grabbing approximately 40% vote share.

The BJP had increased its focus on West Bengal in order to retain power in
New Delhi should it lose in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh again.
As it turns out, those fears proved unfounded with the BJP winning big in
all three states.

Incidentally, the BJP is also on its way to win four out of the eight
assembly bypolls held in the state. The writing on the wall is clear: The
BJP has completely replaced the CPI(M) as the main opposition in the state.

The BJP has also improved its Lok Sabha performance in the Biju Janata Dal
bastion of Odisha but couldn’t weaken the latter’s hold on the state
assembly.

NAVEEN PATNAIK RETURNS FOR FIFTH TERM

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday was set to form the government in
Odisha for the fifth time in a row with his party sweeping the Assembly
battle.

The BJP and BJD had together contested the Lok Sabha elections in 1998, 1999
and 2004 – winning most of the state’s seats – and two Assembly elections,
forming the state government together in 2000 and 2004. They have been
fighting separately since the tie-up came apart before the 2009 Assembly
elections.

The BJP had launched Mission 120-plus for the Assembly this time and BJP
president Amit Shah had described Naveen as a “burnt transformer”. Naveen,
who had maintained that his party would win comfortably, had said: “It will
be known on May 23 who is a burnt transformer.”

In 2014, the BJD had won 117 Assembly seats, which means its base is almost
intact, with 113 this time. But BJP has emerged as the principle opposition,
pushing Congress to third place.

TEJASVI SURYA’S WINS BIG, KANHAIYA KUMAR LOSES BY HUGE MARGIN

Two young men, not part of any political dynasty, contested the Lok Sabha
elections. Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNU Students’ Union president who shot to
‘fame’ following his arrest in February 2016 for allegedly raising
anti-national slogans at JNU campus was fielded by the CPI. At the other end
of the ideological and political spectrum is Tejasvi Surya, a young lawyer
from Bangalore South constituency fielded by the BJP.

Kumar quickly became the poster boy for a section of media and Left-liberal
intelligentsia. His contesting from Begusarai, his hometown in Bihar,
received nationwide attention including support from the Bollywood. Kumar
was projected as the David who could strike a symbolic blow to the Goliath
BJP government by defeating senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh.

From Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi to Swara Bhasker and Prakash Raj, youth
leaders from Gujarat Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani, not to forget JNUSU
vice president Shehla Rashid who led the protest movement after Kanhaiya’s
arrest in 2016, Kumar had no dearth of support.

Surya, 28, a young lawyer has oratorical skill but his campaign did not grab
eyeballs the way Kumar’s did. There existed a common thread between the two
young leaders though in the sense that both were ‘self-made’, did not belong
to political families and have risen in the political ladder through hard
work.

While Surya won Bangalore south seat by 3,29,097 votes becoming the youngest
parliamentarian, Kumar lost the elections by 3,94,000 votes. This won win
and one defeat highlights the total rejection of Left’s idea of India.

INDICATORS

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Pak Re 151.57 /US$, Phil Peso 52.45 /US$, Russian Rouble 64.62 /US$, NZ$
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/US$

Bitcoin – USD 7,697

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Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,284 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3204 / 3026,
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 39,300

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Luck’s a revolving door, you just need to know when it’s your time to walk
through. – Stan Lee

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