Indian PM Modi confident of bigger win in 2019 elections-Times of India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his party would gain more seats at the next election. (AFP/Prakash Singh)
Updated 12 August 2018
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Indian PM Modi confident of bigger win in 2019 elections-Times of India

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would be re-elected with an even bigger majority in parliament in 2019
  • But Modi said voters wanted a strong and decisive central government to deliver on India’s promise as a big economy

MUMBAI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would be re-elected with an even bigger majority in parliament in 2019, dismissing opposition attempts to rouse opinion against his government for failing to deliver on promises of swift economic development and more jobs for young people.
Modi told the Times of India in an interview published on Sunday that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government is committed to improving the lives of all citizens regardless of faith.
Concerns have grown that his administration has been unable to rein in right-wing fringe groups that are trying to undermine India’s secular constitution by targeting the nation’s large Muslim minority.
“We will definitely get more seats than we got the last time and I am confident that we will break all records of the seats won by NDA (National Democratic Alliance) in the past and achieve greater glory.
“The people are with us and we have nothing to fear,” Modi told the newspaper in an email interview.
Opinion polls show he remains the front runner to win another five-year term, but the party has suffered reverses in some local elections in the past few months that have energized the opposition.
The BJP failed to win power in southern Karnataka in May, the first big state to elect a new assembly this year in a contest widely seen as a test of its popularity after four years in office. It also lost a few races in the big heartland state of Uttar Pradesh in the north.
But Modi said voters wanted a strong and decisive central government to deliver on India’s promise as a big economy and one of the potential drivers of global growth.
“My platform will be development, fast development and development for all...We have worked very hard in the last four years and we will go to the people with our track record of development,” Modi said.
The opposition, led by the Congress party, is trying to pull together a grand alliance of regional parties and even communist groups to mount a joint campaign against Modi, who is seen as a divisive figure pushing a partisan, Hindu-first agenda.
Attacks on Muslims who are engaged in the cattle trade by Hindu vigilante groups who are opposed to the slaughter of cows have fueled fears that the government is either unable or unwilling to restrain them.
Modi’s party denies any bias against Muslims and he told the Times of India that his government believes in equality in the rule of law for all citizens.
The BJP won 282 seats in the 2014 general election, giving it a simple majority in the lower house of Parliament. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 336 seats out of 543.
The opposition last month moved a no-confidence vote against the government but Modi easily survived thanks to his parliamentary majority.


Migrant spouse of pregnant woman detained on way to hospital

In this file photo taken on August 5, 2010 a pregnant woman walks outside the State Department in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 46 min 44 sec ago
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Migrant spouse of pregnant woman detained on way to hospital

  • Agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement questioned the couple and asked for identification
  • They do not have legal authorization to live in the US, and all five of their children are US citizens

LOS ANGELES: A California woman said Saturday that she had to drive herself to the hospital and give birth without her husband after he was detained by immigration agents.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the man was detained because he was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant in a homicide case in Mexico.
Maria del Carmen Venegas said she and her husband, Joel Arrona Lara, were driving to the hospital Wednesday when they stopped for gas in San Bernardino, just east of Los Angeles.
Surveillance footage shows two vehicles immediately flank the couple’s van after they pulled into the gas station. Agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement questioned the couple and asked for identification, Venegas said.
Venegas, 32, said she provided hers but that Arrona had left his at home in their rush to the hospital. The surveillance footage shows the agents handcuffing the 35-year-old Arrona and taking him away, leaving a sobbing Venegas alone at the gas station.
Venegas said she drove herself to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section for the birth of her fifth child.
“I feel terrible,” Venegas said in a telephone interview from the hospital as her newborn son Damian cried in the background.
“We need him now more than ever,” she said.
Venegas said she and her husband came to the US 12 years ago from the city of Leon in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. They do not have legal authorization to live in the US, and all five of their children are US citizens, she said.
Venegas said her husband is a hard worker and the sole provider of the family.
In a statement issued Saturday afternoon, Immigration and Custom Enforcement said Arrona “was brought to ICE’s attention due to an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges,” spokeswoman Lori Haley said.
ICE said agents with the agency’s Fugitive Operations Team detained Arrona on Wednesday and said he remained in custody pending removal proceedings.
Though the team prioritizes arresting immigrants who are transnational gang members, child sex offenders and those who’ve had previous convictions for violent crimes, the agency’s statement said it “will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”
“All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States,” the statement said.
Emilio Amaya Garcia, director of the San Bernardino Community Service Center, said his nonprofit group is providing legal help to Venegas and Arrona, will file a motion on Monday for an immigration court to set a bail hearing for Arrona and will ask that his removal proceedings be canceled.
Garcia did not respond to messages and calls for comment about the arrest warrant in Mexico.