India election 2019 latest: Modi launches campaign with promise to return to GLORIOUS PAST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday his ruling coalition would increase its majority in India’s upcoming election, despite some independent analysts suggesting it could vanish owing to discontent over lack of jobs and declining farm incomes. However, the recent conflict with Pakistan has boosted Mr Modi’s popularity in the public’s eye. The current PM was met by roars of approval as he officially launched his party’s general election campaign, with crowds waving BJP flags and chanting for another term for Modi.

At the rally in the city of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh state, which has the most members of parliament of all states, Modi repeatedly spoke about the Indian bombing of the suspected militant camp in Pakistan. 

He also referred to a test on Wednesday in which India shot down one of its own satellites in space, which he said made India a space power.

But Modi also promised economic growth and a prosperous society for all, in a rallying cry to his voters.

“This country has seen governments that only made slogans, but for the first time, they are seeing a decisive government that knows how to demonstrate its resolve,” Modi told the rally.

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“Our vision is of a new India that will be in tune with its glorious past,” he said to roars of approval from the crowd who waved BJP flags and chanted for another term for Modi.

About 900 million voters will take to the polls in India’s general election which will be the world’s largest democratic exercise.

The vote will take place in seven phases between April 11 and May 19.

Results will be announced on May 23 and, in an interview with Republic Bharat television channel, Mr Modi predicted an easy victory.

Mr Modi said: ”The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance partners will get more seats than the previous election.“ 

In 2014, Mr Modi led his Hindu nationalist BJP and its allies to the biggest majority scored by any political group in nearly 30 years.

In his campaign to remain as Prime Minister, Mr Modi said at one event in Meerut City, Uttar Pradesh state: “This country has seen governments that only made slogans, but for the first time, they are seeing a decisive government that knows how to demonstrate its resolve.

“Our vision is of a new India that will be in tune with its glorious past … India’s 1.3 billion people have already made up their minds. 

“Once again, a Modi government is going to be formed in this country.”

Though his approval ratings are still well behind Mr Modi’s, rival Rahul Gandhi has worked hard to revive Congress and forge partnerships with regional parties.

Up until a few weeks ago, most opinion polls were anticipating a close run race, but over the past month, Mr Modi’s BJP has profited from nationalist frenzy unleashed by a flare-up in tensions with neighbouring Pakistan.

The Indian opposition accuses Mr Modi of using national security to secure political points, particularly after he spoke to the nation on Wednesday to announce that India made a space breakthrough by shooting down one of its satellites in space using an anti-satellite missile.

During the interview, Mr Modi again swiped Pakistan over a militant attack in February that killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in the disputed Kashmir region.

The Indian prime minister said he would not begin talks with Islamabad until “the world sees that Pakistan has taken action against terrorism.”

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