Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party is lagging behind in key state elections, which are seen as a test of his popularity and an indication of whether a reaction to his government’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 emergency will hurt his ballot box.
In West Bengal, the All India Trinamool Congress of incumbent Prime Minister Mama Banerjee was ahead with 203 seats, while Modi Bharatiya Janata’s party was leading in 81, according to initial trends published on the website of Election Commission of India. The BJP led in the northeastern state of Assam. In the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Modi’s opponents were ahead, while in the federally controlled territory Puducherry there was still no clear trend.
The coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed the five assembly elections, and Modi has faced growing criticism for his decision to continue campaigning in front of huge crowds on the West Bengal battlefield as infections increase.
“As three strong anti-BJP regional leaders have emerged victorious, they are likely to be at the heart of Modi’s opposition challenge in the coming months as he struggles to respond to his poor management of the Kovid crisis,” said Arati Jarat, the new Baziran. in Delhi author and political analyst. The results weaken the government and show that “Modi faces huge political and constitutional challenges.”
India’s fierce second wave has engulfed the country’s underfunded health care system, with infections reaching 400,000 in another world record on Saturday, leaving hospitals without beds, oxygen and medical supplies. The death toll continues to rise and images of crematoria working non-stop, flooding newspapers, television and social media.
Raise the alarm
Sunday’s vote count comes a day after 12 patients, including a senior doctor, died when a hospital in the New Delhi capital ran out of oxygen – the third such incident in 10 days – after desperate calls for help were sent hours earlier.
“We have raised this kind of alarm of the government, as this is a continuous situation that is getting worse every day,” Sudhanshu Bank, the executive director of Batra Hospital, said by telephone.
Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Keirival, said on Saturday that his administration had told both the courts and the federal government that the state needed 976 metric tons of oxygen a day, but had been given only 490 metric tons.
“Then how should things turn out?” Kerival said in a statement Saturday. Delhi needs oxygen.
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The BJP is using these elections to try to expand its footprint in the east and south of the country. The lone victory for his party in Assam, where it is based on religion Citizenship law is a key issue that could further encourage the government to implement the controversial law throughout the country.
In West Bengal, he was at war to try to remove Modi Banerjee’s main contender, who was open to the prime minister’s Hindu program.
The main opposition party in Congress – which has ruled India for decades – has failed to win over either Assam or Kerala, posing a major challenge to its operations, said Sandyp Shastri, a political analyst and vice-chancellor at Jagran Lakesity University in Bhopal. “The party will gradually lose its position as the core of the political force against the BJP and the role of Rahul Gandhi will certainly be set on fire,” he said, referring to the party’s former president and the son of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
(Updates with new survey numbers in the second paragraph, analysts’ comment in the fourth paragraph)