Locking down the truth

In his 14 April 2020 announcement of the extension of India’s lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that his government had been proactive in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. https://youtu.be/F07fXd4vVlg?t=317 He made four claims (listen from 5:19): “When we didn’t have even one case of coronavirus, India had started airport screening of passengers arriving …

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How the Election Commission aided the BJP in its phasing of the 2019 election

As soon as voting closed on 19 May, Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused the Election Commission of India (ECI) of capitulating to pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a number of fronts: https://twitter.com/RahulGandhi/status/1130088269243330561 This is a serious set of allegations. Is there any truth to the claim that the ECI designed an election schedule …

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The “Modi tujhse bair nahi” fallacy

Stunned by the 0-3 verdict in the Hindi heartland, many BJP supporters are hoping that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma will counter the anti-incumbency that led to the party's defeat in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Some point to the slogan “Modi tujhse bair nahi, Vasundhara teri khair nahi” as a sign that voters were …

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BJP won’t win a Rajya Sabha majority until at least 2024

The year 2022 appears to have acquired mythical status among some Modi supporters. It’s when “New India” arrives in the form of a majority in the Rajya Sabha. Unfortunately that’s as likely to happen as the bullet train. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) currently has 90 seats in the Rajya Sabha, …

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Watch out BJP, you’re trailing behind the UPA in your bypoll performance

How can Modi be beaten in 2019? Following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s byelection reverses last week, the consensus in the commentariat clearly leans towards a grand alliance (or mahagathbandhan) of opposition parties of the sort that humbled BJP in Bihar in 2015 and in three recent Uttar Pradesh parliamentary byelections. The subtext is that an …

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When Harry met Modi

In a Forbes magazine article that caused a happy stir in right-wing social media, Harry G. Broadman argued that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “governing prowess” had “boosted India’s GDP growth” and “produced sizeable increases of inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI)”. He stated that the reforms implemented by Modi in his first three years were …

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Spinning an electricity turnaround in Uttar Pradesh

An Economic Times (ET) report on 26 Apr credited the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) for a dramatic turnaround in the state’s electricity situation. The news report claimed that UP had “shed blackouts within a month of the BJP taking over the reins, moving from perennially running short of electricity …

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Why you shouldn’t be bedazzled by Modi’s LED claims

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is proud of the government’s scheme to distribute millions of low-cost, energy efficient LED bulbs. And why not: Modi told the Lok Sabha on 7 Feb that the distribution of 21 crore LED bulbs had helped households save ₹11,000 crore in electricity bills. Even the name bears his unmistakable imprint: “Unnat …

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