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NEWS FROM INDIA - APRIL 2023

Domestic Affairs in India April 2023 (Central Government)

  • On the 3rd, Prime Minister Modi participated in the 60th-anniversary event of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Delhi and stated that "corruption is the biggest obstacle to democracy and justice, and the important duty of the CBI is to liberate India from corruption. The wish of the Indian people is that no one involved in corruption should be spared."


  • On the 18th, Home Minister Shah held a high-level meeting on the security situation in the Jammu and Kashmir (JK) region, along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. They discussed the preparations for the G20-related meeting scheduled to be held in Srinagar in May.


  • From the 20th to the 21st, the Global Buddhist Summit (GBS) took place in Delhi, with representatives of monks, scholars, and Buddhist organizations from around 30 countries participating. Prime Minister Modi attended the opening ceremony on the 20th and mentioned that "the world is facing challenges such as war, economic instability, terrorism, religious extremism, and climate change, but the teachings of Buddha from centuries ago offer solutions to these problems."


  • From the 24th to the 25th, Prime Minister Modi visited the states of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, and the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. In Kerala, he interacted with leaders and youth from the Christian community and inaugurated the semi-high-speed railway, the Vande Bharat Express, connecting Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram within the state.


  • On the 30th, Prime Minister Modi marked the 100th episode of his monthly radio broadcast, "Mann Ki Baat" (Voice of the Heart).


(BJP - Bhartiya Janata Party):

- On the 6th, local media reported that the BJP celebrated its 44th founding anniversary. During the commemorative speech, Prime Minister Modi urged party members not to become overconfident despite BJP's predicted victory in the 2024 parliamentary elections. He called for working diligently to gain more victories by earning the support of the people.


- On the 10th, local media reported that Prime Minister Modi visited a Catholic church in Delhi on Easter Sunday (9th). He interacted with priests and worshippers and posted on his Twitter account expressing gratitude for the opportunity to visit the cathedral on this special day. In recent speeches, Prime Minister Modi mentioned the continuation of the BJP's governance in states like Goa, Nagaland, and Meghalaya, where there is a significant Christian population, highlighting the deepening connection between the minority communities and the BJP.


(Election Commission and others)

- On the 11th, according to local media, the Election Commission recognized the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a national party. On the other hand, they mentioned various regional parties such as the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Communist Party of India (CPI). Based on the results of the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections and the 21 state legislative assembly elections held since 2014, a reassessment was conducted, leading to some parties losing their status as national parties. Currently, six political parties are holding the status of national parties: BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), National People's Party (NPP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).


(Bihar State - BR)

-On the 2nd, Home Minister Shah visited the state of Bihar and attended a public meeting in the city of Nawada. Initially, he was scheduled to visit the city of Sasaram, but due to communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims related to the festival of Lord Rama's birth, Section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits gatherings of more than four people, was imposed in the Sasaram area. As a result, his visit to Sasaram was cancelled. During the public meeting in Nawada, Home Minister Shah strongly criticized the weak law and order situation in the Bihar state government, controlled by the opposition parties, and emphasized that the BJP would not cooperate with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) in the future.


(Madhya Pradesh State - MP)

-On the 1st, Prime Minister Modi visited Bhopal and attended the 2023 Combined Commander's Conference held by the Indian Armed Forces. He then participated in the inauguration ceremony of the Bhopal-New Delhi section of the semi-high-speed train Vande Bharat Express.


(Assam State - AS)

-On the 14th, Prime Minister Modi visited the state of Assam and participated in the formalization of development plans worth around 140 billion rupees, including a medical university.


(Karnataka State - KA)

-On the 15th, Jagadish Shettar, former Chief Minister of Karnataka (BJP), announced his resignation from the BJP.


-On the 17th, Shettar, the former Chief Minister, joined the Congress party and announced his candidacy for the upcoming May Karnataka state legislative assembly elections.

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On the 17th, during his visit to Karnataka, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi participated in an election rally and strongly emphasized the need to win at least 150 out of the total 224 seats in the state assembly.


-On the 18th, BJP President Nadda participated in a political rally held in Hubli, Karnataka, and strongly emphasized the importance of winning in the Karnataka state legislative assembly elections to party activists and supporters.


-On the 19th, BJP and Congress announced their candidate lists for the Karnataka state legislative assembly elections. The BJP list includes names such as Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Shah, Road Transport Minister Gadkari, former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, and Chief Minister Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh.


-On the 27th, Karnataka Congress President Karge, during an election speech in Karnataka, said, "Prime Minister Modi seems tired." He faced strong criticism from the BJP, and he clarified that his statement was not a personal attack on Prime Minister Modi but meant that the ideology of the BJP is toxic.


-On the 29th, Prime Minister Modi visited Karnataka and participated in an election rally for the Karnataka state legislative assembly elections.


(Delhi State - DL)

-On the 16th, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ordered the Chief Minister of Delhi, Kejriwal (AAP), to appear at the CBI headquarters in Delhi for questioning regarding allegations of his involvement in corruption related to the liquor tax policy promoted by the Delhi state government for fiscal improvement. The questioning lasted for about 9 hours.

On the 17th, the Delhi Legislative Assembly passed a resolution accusing Prime Minister Modi of misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to undermine AAP.


-On the 23rd, the CBI filed charges against former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Sisodia, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code (evidence destruction), and Section 420 (fraud).


-On the 26th, Sherry Oberoi of AAP was reelected as the Mayor of Delhi, and Arley Mohammad of AAP was reelected as the Deputy Mayor of Delhi.


(Uttar Pradesh State - UP)

- On the 15th, Atiq Ahmed, a former Member of Parliament who had transitioned from being a criminal to a politician, and his brother were shot and killed at close range by three men posing as journalists in the city of Allahabad.


- Opposition parties strongly condemned the deteriorating law and order situation in UP following the killing of Atiq Ahmed and demanded action from Chief Minister Adityanath.


(Kerala State - KL)

- On the 22nd, a man residing in KL state was arrested on suspicion of writing a letter threatening a suicide attack against Prime Minister Modi, who had planned to visit the state.


(West Bengal state - WB)

- On the 21st, Home Minister Shah visited West Bengal state and conducted an election campaign for the 2024 general elections. He emphasized the importance of giving the BJP more than 35 seats (out of the state's 42) to re-elect Prime Minister Modi and end Mamata Banerjee's alleged lawlessness.


Regarding the Khalistan movement

- On the 2nd, an individual claiming to be associated with the Khalistan movement organization "Sikhs for Justice" contacted multiple journalists in Assam state and issued a warning to Chief Minister Sarma, stating that involving oneself in the conflict between Khalistan movement supporters and the Indian government would lead to dire consequences. Some Khalistan movement activists are currently incarcerated in Assam state prisons.


- On the 23rd, Khalistan movement leader Amritpal Singh was arrested in Punjab state.


In terms of opposition movements:

- On the 3rd, the first national conference of the All India Socialist Federation, led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin (DMK), was held in Delhi. The federation aims to bring together leaders, political parties, social activists, organizations, and civil society to fight for social justice nationwide.


- On the 13th, a meeting took place in Delhi between a representative of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress President Kharge and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi to discuss cooperation among opposition parties for the 2024 general elections.


- On the 24th, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held discussions with West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee and Socialist Party leader Akhilesh Yadav regarding opposition cooperation for the 2024 general elections.


- On the 25th, Rahul Gandhi, former Congress President, filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court seeking a stay on the guilty verdict against him in a defamation case related to the Modi surname, passed by the Surat District Court in Gujarat.


In other news

- On the 19th, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released its latest world population estimates, indicating that India's population is expected to surpass China's and become the world's most populous around mid-2023.


(India-Japan Relations)

- From the 29th to the 30th, the G7 Digital and Technology Ministers' Meeting was held in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture. India's Minister of Electronics, Information Technology, Communications, and Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw, attended the meeting and had bilateral meetings with Minister for Digital Affairs Konno and Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Matsumoto.


Source: Monthly Journal of the Japan-Indian Association

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