Modi’s Maharani fights key Indian state election

Results from Rajasthan, as well as for Telangana, also voting on Friday, plus Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram — which have already cast ballots — will be published on Dec. 12. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2018
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Modi’s Maharani fights key Indian state election

  • Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan’s chief minister and a charismatic “Maharani” or female Maharaja representing Modi’s BJP, swept to power in a landslide in 2013
  • The election is seen as something of a dry run for 2019, with Modi and his likely rival, Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party, both campaigning actively in the state

JOGHPUR, India: The Indian state of Rajasthan voted Friday in an election that is a key test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a local princess representing his party facing a tough fight to stay in power.
The vote in the western state famous for its palaces and forts, home to 47 million people, is one of five state elections before Modi runs for a second term in national polls in 2019.
Results from Rajasthan, as well as for Telangana, also voting on Friday, plus Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram — which have already cast ballots — will be published on December 12.
Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan’s chief minister and a charismatic “Maharani” or female Maharaja representing Modi’s BJP, swept to power in a landslide in 2013.
But her personal popularity has waned, with critics calling her as autocratic and out of touch of the interests of ordinary people.
Her government has also been criticized for her handling of caste protests and for failing to boost investment and create jobs.
The election is seen as something of a dry run for 2019, with Modi and his likely rival, Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party, both campaigning actively in the state.


Strong police presence in Paris before planned protests

Updated 3 min 38 sec ago
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Strong police presence in Paris before planned protests

  • There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags for helmets and other potential signs of trouble
  • Security forces in riot gear were positioned Saturday morning around central train stations and along the famed Champs-Elysees boulevard

PARIS: A strong police presence has deployed in Paris before planned demonstrations by the "yellow vest" protesters, with authorities repeating calls for calm after previous violent protests and rioting.
Security forces in riot gear were positioned Saturday morning around central train stations and along the famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, where shops were closed and boarded up in anticipation of the protests. Last weekend, groups of demonstrators smashed and looted stores and set up burning barricades in the streets.
There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags for helmets and other potential signs of trouble. More than 20 police vans and a water cannon truck idled nearby.
President Emanuel Macron on Friday called for calm during the demonstrations.