Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2019

Defense Minister projects ruling party win as polls near end

New Delhi: Defense Minister says she’s confident her Bharatiya Janata Party will remain in power when general elections conclude this month, and that minorities in Hindu-majority India have nothing to fear.

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to reporters in New Delhi on Friday ahead of Sunday’s sixth phase of polling in the 6-week-long election.

While the Hindu-nationalist BJP in 2014 campaigned on promises to super-charge the economy, its reelection bid has focused on national security.

Reports of hate speech and violence against Muslims have risen after a February suicide bombing killed 40 Indian soldiers in Kashmir. And Human Rights Watch has documented an increase in attacks on Muslims and lower-caste Hindus by so-called cow vigilantes since the BJP came to power.

According to Sitharaman, saying that minorities are in trouble “is absolutely baseless.”

AP

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