Modi’s Mining Stronghold Sees Veiled BJP Rebellion: India Votes

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(Bloomberg) -- Each day, Bloomberg journalists take you across a selection of towns and cities as they gear up for the big vote.

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Hello, this is Satviki Sanjay, a reporter covering the consumer and healthcare sectors from Mumbai. My family hails from Hazaribagh, which means thousand gardens, a mining district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand known for its dense forests and hills. Visiting the town during the holidays, I have witnessed a sustained depletion of natural resources including fires in underground mines, land subsidence, degradation of its lakes and parks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has won Hazaribagh in all but one parliament election here since 1996, and the constituency is considered a stronghold of the Sinha family, which counts former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and former junior FM Jayant Sinha as members. However, the seemingly one-sided battle has turned interesting after Jayant Sinha was denied a ticket to contest the election for the BJP and one of his sons subsequently joined the main opposition Congress party. Yashwant Sinha is a vocal critic of Modi.

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Campaign Trail

BJP leader and former minister Jayant Sinha’s son Aashir Sinha joined the Congress party on Tuesday.

Home Minister Amit Shah said at a rally in West Bengal that parts of the disputed Kashmir territory, which is now under Pakistan’s control, is part of India and the nation will take it. Another BJP leader and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also claimed that “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir” will be “merged with India” if his party gets more than 400 seats in the parliament elections.

Global Media

The Associated Press reported that ever since the BJP began its rise as a political force in the mid-1980s, the proportion of Muslim lawmakers in parliament has shrunk.

AFP reported about India’s Supreme Court releasing news website NewsClick’s editor Prabir Purkayastha on bail.

Who Votes This Week?

India’s mammoth election runs through June 1, with counting scheduled for June 4. This map from the Election Commission of India shows which constituencies vote when.

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Indians have started voting in the world’s biggest election. Understand how money and business intersect with politics and power by following Bloomberg India’s channel on WhatsApp, and sign up for the weekly India Edition newsletter by Menaka Doshi.

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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