Modi Urges Strong Government Amid Global Unrest: India Votes

(Bloomberg) -- Each day, Bloomberg journalists take you across a selection of towns and cities as they gear up for the big vote.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Hi, I’m Sudhi Ranjan Sen and I write on defense and foreign policy. India’s elections started today and, among the regions that voted, the Andaman and Nicobar islands send just one lawmaker to the 543-strong parliament, making it a negligible political contest. But the remote island chain — once a British penal colony reserved for the most difficult Indian revolutionaries and still home to several tribes who maintain zero contact with the outside world — is gaining strategic importance. As tensions across the Taiwan Strait and in the South China Sea increase, the Andamans are seen as an ideal forward base for warships, troops and stores. India and friendly countries have been carrying out more military exercises around this outpost and two years ago a Chinese spy balloon was spotted over the enclave. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is looking to oust the incumbent Congress candidate here.

Top Stories

India terms its elections a festival of democracy, and the first day of voting was predictably colorful. Read the transcript of Bloomberg’s blog to mark the occasion.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private banking unit says buy the dip if the weeks long election triggers volatility in Indian equities. The nation’s stocks became the first major market in Asia to recover from a sell-off caused by rising tensions in the Middle East, and the rupee remained among the best-performing EM currencies this week after Israel launched a retaliatory strike on Iran — offering a regional haven as the election rolls on.

Modi’s BJP and main rival Congress party present manifestos that articulate starkly different visions for India’s future, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Economics.

Read more:

  • India’s Six-Week Election Is a Test of Modi’s Power: QuickTake

  • There’s One Thing Biden Could Learn From Modi: Mihir Sharma

Campaign Trail

About 40% of registered voters had cast their ballot around 1 p.m. in the constituencies voting today, amid sweltering heat; the overall average national turnout had been a record of about 67% in the previous elections in 2019. Meanwhile at a rally, Modi referenced the escalating Middle East tensions to say that India needs a strong and stable government given the prevailing situation in the world. And his main rival Rahul Gandhi told his party workers in a video message that the BJP is a “threat” to democracy.

Global Media

  • Hindu nationalism, once a fringe ideology in India, is now mainstream, the Associated Press reports.

  • Al Jazeera profiles the in-house election mastermind of the Congress Party, who was once a member of Modi’s prime ministerial campaign.

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.

Related News

TOP ELECIN for top India election stories; readers on the app click BTDY ELECIN

NI BGOVBANDB The Ballots & Boundaries newsletter

NI BTDC Podcast on Money, Power, and Politics

As India heads into an election, understand how money and business intersect with politics and power. Follow 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.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.