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.


Four in 10 Britons worried, angry about Brexit: survey

Updated 19 min 9 sec ago
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Four in 10 Britons worried, angry about Brexit: survey

  • In a 2016 referendum, 52 percent voted in favor of leaving  the European Union
  • People who voted to Remain were reporting three times the level of anxiety of Leave supporters

LONDON: Around four in 10 British adults have been left feeling powerless, angry or worried by Brexit in the last year, according to a poll out Friday.
The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) charity commissioned the survey to look at the impact of Britain’s impending departure from the European Union on how people feel, their sleep and their relationships.
The poll found that Brexit had made 43 percent feel powerless, 39 percent feel angry and 38 percent feel worried.
Some 26 percent said Brexit had not caused them to feel any particular emotions in the last 12 months.
But 17 percent said it had caused them “high levels of stress,” while 12 percent reported that it had caused them sleeping problems.
Some said Brexit had made them feel hopeful (nine percent), happy (three percent) or confident (two percent).
In the 2016 referendum on Britain’s EU membership, 52 percent voted in favor of leaving while 48 percent backed remaining in the bloc.
MHF chief executive Mark Rowland told AFP that people who voted Remain were reporting three times the level of anxiety of Leave supporters.
“But in relation to powerlessness, you actually see that the differences between Remain voters and Leave voters are very equal,” he said.
“So everyone across the political spectrum is feeling like their ability to control what happens is very small.”
Geographically, he added, “the closer you get to London, the more concerned people are. Despite the fact that probably the impact of Brexit is going to be less on metropolitan areas.”
The terms of Brexit are yet to be decided, with Britain due to leave the European Union in seven days’ time unless an extension is agreed between London and Brussels.
The MHF charity, founded in 1949, aims to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.
Rowland reflected on the small percentage saying they were losing sleep over Brexit.
“Most people are actually able to get on with their lives and separate their concern about Brexit from their own personal and emotional response,” he said.
Pollsters YouGov conducted the online survey of 1,823 British adults between March 12 and 13.