Modi’s BJP Has Edge in Bihar Battling Labor Migration, Unemployment

(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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Hello, this is Santosh Kumar and I write about India’s telecom sector. I hail from the Mithila region in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, considered the birth place of Sita, wife of the Hindu god-king Ram. Expectedly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is using the recently inaugurated Ram temple to drive votes and retain all five parliamentary seats in the region. Mithila, renowned for popular health-food fox nuts, visibly lacks development and labor migration is a major issue as few jobs are available locally. The BJP seems to be the front-runner but caste equations will also buoy the united opposition alliance.

India’s Election Commission flagged a video on social media regarding voting machine manipulation as fake:

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India’s key southern state of Karnataka has been rocked by allegations that Prajwal Revanna — a lawmaker from a regional party allied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda — sexually abused several women and left the country to avoid facing charges.

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Campaign Trail

The BJP’s claim of winning in more than 400 constituencies in the ongoing elections is a joke, and getting even 200 seats may be a challenge, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said in an interview with news agency PTI.

Narendra Modi, while speaking at an election rally in Gujarat, said that some powers in the world want a weak government in India, the news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the Congress party promised a progressive overhaul of India’s tax system.

Global Media

The Associated Press reported that misinformation is surging on social media amid the ongoing national elections in India. Researchers who track misinformation and hate speech in India say tech companies’ poor enforcement of their own policies has created perfect conditions for harmful content.

Al Jazeera reported that Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, two key players in India’s most populous and electorally crucial state, Uttar Pradesh, appear to be missing in action. The near-absence of any visible publicity by the two parties reflects a larger challenge they together face – a significant erosion from the state in the face of the spectacular rise of the BJP.

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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--With assistance from Supriya Batra.

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