India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu
nationalist party BJP (Indian People's Party) won a
landslide victory in the federal parliamentary elections in
May. The BJP strengthened its majority in the lower house
compared to 2014 and defied the trend in several state
elections in 2018. The party gained 303 seats, an increase
During the election campaign, Modi played on the conflict
with Pakistan and presented himself as a guarantor of
national security. The elections were held in several rounds
between April 11 and May 19. Unrest occurred. Maoist rebels,
for example, were blamed for blast attacks and attacks in
the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
CountryAAH, the Congress party received 52 of the 542 seats in the
lower house. Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi lost in his old
constituency in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The party has
almost subscribed to the Amethival circuit since 1967.
However, he was elected in the southern state of Kerala.
Gandhi resigned as party chairman and was succeeded by the
mother, Sonia, who led the party in 1998-2017.
Modi began his second term on May 30. In his new
government, Modi appointed the diplomat Subrahmanyam
Jaishankar as foreign minister while the home minister went
to Amit Shah, a close associate and hardworking BJP
Nirmala Sitharaman became India's first female finance
minister. She announced on September 20 that the corporation
tax would be reduced from 30 to 25%, which temporarily
lifted the Mumbai stock exchange. But growth in the Indian
economy slowed down and in the third quarter it fell to
around 4.5%, compared to 7% in 2018. This was attributed to
weaker exports, consumption and investment.
Modi's first trip abroad after the re-election went to
the Maldives and Sri Lanka. It was seen as a way to try to
counter China's influence. In October, the Indian leader
received China's President Xi Jinping for informal talks.
The disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir was of great
concern. A suicide attack on February 14 near the city of
Srinagar claimed the lives of 41 Indian soldiers, the worst
in 30 years. Tensions with Pakistan increased. The Islamic
group Jaish-e-Mohammad took on the blame. India carried out
air strikes against targets in Pakistan, which Pakistan
answered. Fire fighting along the border between the
countries demanded deaths among civilians as well as in the
Indian and Pakistani troops. In July, Interior Minister Shah
stated that 93 separatists have been killed since the
The fashion government abolished Jammu and Kashmir's
autonomy on August 5, which the BJP has criticized for many
years. Provisions that only resident residents could own
property in the state, India's only Muslim majority, were
To quell protests, the government deployed thousands of
soldiers and shut down the Internet and telephony. Curfews
were introduced and about 300 Kashmiri politicians were
arrested, including three former chief ministers. Both
Pakistan and China were critical and prompted the UN
Security Council to discuss the issue at a closed meeting.
India considered the matter to be an internal matter. In
October, two governors were appointed to govern each: Jammu
and Kashmir and Ladakh respectively.
In the BJP-controlled state of Assam, 1.9 million people
were at risk of being declared stateless when they fell
outside the National Register of NRC. To join the NRC, proof
is required that they or their ancestors had lived in India
before 1971 when Bangladesh was formed. Many of those
involved were poor Muslims, which some critics considered
were signs of diminished tolerance in the BJP-ruled India.
In December, Parliament passed a law in which non-Muslim
paperless migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan
who arrived before 2015 could apply for Indian citizenship.
At least 25 people were killed in protests, including in the
state of Uttar Pradesh. The Supreme Court is expected to
review the law in 2020.
The Supreme Court unanimously decided in November that
Hindus have the right to build a temple in the north Indian
city of Ayodhya. Hindus and Muslims have long claimed that
they are entitled to a disputed temple area. More than 2,000
people were killed in crowds in 1992 after Hindu extremists
demolished a 16th century mosque. According to Hindu
tradition, the mosque stood at the place where the god Rama
was born. The verdict stated that the Muslims are given
Also in 2019, severe air pollution occurred in several
cities, including the capital New Delhi. It was noted, among
other things, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the
Swedish royal couple were on official visits. Schools and
construction sites were temporarily closed and vehicular
traffic was limited to try to reduce the consequences.
On October 2 - when it was 150 years since Mahatma Gandhi
was born - Modi announced that the goal of giving all
residents access to the toilet had been achieved. Some
organizations questioned the task.
Four men suspected of a conspicuous gang rape near the
city of Hyderabad were killed in December by police during a
reconstruction of the crime. The men had admitted to killing
and burning the woman after the rape. The case triggered