India's BJP inks alliance with southern party

Main opposition party seals alliance with regional Telugu Desam Party in southern states of Seemandhra and Telangana.

    India's BJP inks alliance with southern party
    The general elections will be held in nine stages staggered between April 7 and May 12 [EPA]

    India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday sealed alliance with regional Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in southern states of Seemandhra and Telangana for parliamentary polls.

    Both the states will officially come into existence on June 2 after division of southern province of Andhra Pradesh.

    TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said his party had allotted five parliament and 15 assembly seats to BJP in Seemandhra while eight parliament and 47 assembly seats in Telangana.

    "We have to solve all the problems. For all these things, we have to root out the Congress party,” he said in southern city of Hyderabad.

    BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the alliance was in nation's interest.

    "At every level, we follow democratic process and then take decision. As Chandrababu said, it is in the national interest and the BJP is committed to this alliance," said Javadekar.

    Telangana goes to polls on April 30 to elect 119 assembly and 17 parliament seats while Seemandhra will go to the hustings on May 7 to elect 25 parliament seats and 175 assembly seats.

    Mammoth exercise

    India is set to hold the world's biggest elections with majority of voters, experts, and key players citing economic growth, clean governance and women's safety as key issues in a vote that would decide the fate of over 1.2 billion people.

    The general elections will be held in nine stages staggered between April 7 and May 12.

    The Indian election this time is seen as a US-styled presidential race with Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi pitted against the scion of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Rahul Gandhi.

    Since the last national election in 2009, about 100 million voters have joined the electoral rolls, in part reflecting India's growing population, half of which is under 25 years old.

    Already, 814 million people have registered to vote - a number exceeding the population of Europe and a world record.

    Results of the mammoth exercise are due on May 16.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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