Election campaign brings Modi, Uddhav together after 3 years


Hours after the BJP released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party were quick to spot an error in its promises for women.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will share a stage on Tuesday while campaigning for their alliance in the 17th Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP, in its 48-page manifesto, has made a new pledge to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A that gives special privileges to residents of India in the Kashmir region, such as laws preventing outsiders from buying property.

"The BJP's campaign is largely around nationalism, national security and this is what is getting echoed in their manifesto", said Sanjay Kumar, director of thinktank the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

He said Kashmir was a political struggle and there was no military solution, adding that Kashmiris suffered if armed militants from Pakistan came across the border, leading to Indian army crackdowns.

Modi also launched stinging attacks on the country's main opposition Congress Party, claiming they are responsible for the creation of Pakistan.

However, the soft copy of the manifesto available on the party website did not contain these mistakes.

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Khan did appear to offer India an olive branch, saying that Islamabad was determined to dismantle all Pakistan-based militias in the country, and that the government had full support from Pakistan's powerful army for the programme.

Modi's party also said it was committed to building a grand Hindu temple in place of a Muslim mosque demolished by Hindu mobs in the city of Ayodhya in 1992.

"One camp is of patriots of BJP led by Narendra Modi and NDA allies and the other camp is led by Rahul Baba and gathbandhan", he said.

A state BJP leader, requesting anonymity said Tuesday's public rally would go a long way in not only reviving the "warmth in the relationship but also build harmony and confidence among the BJP-Sena cadres".

Voting in the general election reut.rs/2KhaQlG begins on Thursday, but with about 900 million eligible voters, will be spread across several weeks, with ballots counted on May 23.

Voters will elect 543 of 545 MPs to India's lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha.