The Indian opposition is making its election argument, describing Modi as an autocrat and promising to provide aid to the poor – Global News (Trending Perfect)

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New Delhi (AFP) – India's main opposition party pledged to boost social spending and reverse what it sees as a slide into authoritarianism, while announcing its campaign promises on Friday, two weeks before the start of the presidential election. Multi-stage general elections last for weeks.

Most opinion polls predicted a victory Prime Minister Narendra Modi And his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party for a third consecutive five-year term. But the Congress party claims that it undermined democracy in India and favored the interests of the rich in its election manifesto.

India holds elections on different days in different parts of the country. It extends over weeks. Voting to elect the country's parliament this year is scheduled to begin on April 19 and continue until June 1, with the results to be announced on June 4.

Modi enjoys wide popularity in India, where he is considered a champion of the country's Hindu majority and has overseen rapid economic growth. But critics say another BJP term could undermine India's status as a secular and democratic nation, saying its 10 years in power brought attacks by Hindu nationalists against minorities in the country. Especially MuslimsThe space for opposition and free media is shrinking.

Rahul Gandhi, former president of the Congress Party, said, “This election is fundamentally a different election. I don’t think democracy was in great danger, rather the Constitution was in great danger as it is today.”

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge accused the government of paralyzing his party Her bank accounts were frozen in a tax dispute Before the national elections. Tax authorities have demanded nearly 35 billion rupees ($426 million) from the Congress party.

The BJP said the Congress party's bank accounts were partly frozen because it failed to file an income tax return for cash donations it received from 2017-18 onwards, thereby losing the tax exemption available to political parties.

The Modi government has opened tax investigations against a number of critical voices in recent years, citing tax issues to deregister several foreign-funded NGOs.

In February last year, the tax authorities implemented Inspections of BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai Saying that it did not fully declare its income and profits from its operations in the country. The searches came after the BBC aired a documentary in the UK criticizing Modi.

Congress also attacked Modi's economic record, saying that despite strong growth, he has overseen a widening gap between rich and poor, and that his economy has seen strong growth. Failure to provide job opportunities For many Indians.

The official unemployment rate was 4% in 2023, but Congress wrote that the government had undercounted unemployment, citing its own surveys.

According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, CMIE, a leading private business intelligence company, India's unemployment rate stood at 8.3% in December, up from 6.5% in January 2022.

Congress developed economic plans that it said could lift 230 million people out of poverty within 10 years, targeting poverty, unemployment, and low prices for agricultural products.

It promises to give every woman in a poor family 100,000 rupees ($1,200) a year, spend a similar amount on vocational training for people under 25, fill nearly 3 million vacancies in the federal government, and boost the cap on public health insurance. Payments range from Rs 500,000 per accident to Rs 2.5 million.

The BJP has implemented social programs that improve access to clean toilets, health care, and cooking gas, and has also introduced programs that provide free grain to the poor and pay 6,000 rupees ($73) annually to poor farmers.

Congress also promised to raise farmers' incomes through policies including broader use of minimum crop price policies. Tens of thousands of Indian farmers protested in India in 2021 for Demand for guaranteed crop pricesIn March of this year, thousands went to… New Delhi With renewed demands.

The BJP is expected to release its election manifesto next week.

Prime Minister Modi has campaigned extensively across the country, promising to expand the country's economy to $5 trillion by 2027 from about $3.7 trillion. It also promises to put India on track to become a developed nation by 2047, when the country celebrates 100 years of independence from British colonialists.

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