There are still several weeks before India goes to the polls to elect a new government, but already there've been charges of election rigging.
There are still several weeks before India goes to the polls to elect a new government, but already there've been charges of election rigging. The Chief Minister of the north-eastern state of Assam wants the election postponed in his district until the electoral rolls can be checked. It's been claimed that up to 200-thousand illegal aliens, mainly from neighbouring West Bengal and Bangladesh, have been registered as voters. There have been violent clashes between rival groups in Assam and at least one town has been placed under curfew.
SYNOPSIS: Elsewhere in the country all parties have been campaigning heavily for the election. President of the Janata Party Chandra Sekhar kicked off his bid for re-election with a traditional campaign tactic..the whistle stop tour. Bid farewell by hundreds of supporters he left to rally support in the northern heartland where Janata inflicted the 1977 defeat on Mrs Indira Ghandi.
For Mr Sekhar it's a case of regaining the party's lost ground. Janata ruled for more than two years until it split last July amid a bitter internal power struggle which saw former Prime Minister Moraji Desai ousted.
The party's new manifesto promises a more united and prosperous future and that was the message Mr Sekhar delivered in his home town of Ballia. His reception was likened to a heroes welcome.
The Janata President had come to file his election nomination, but so many people came to see him that the short journey from the railway station to the enrolment office took more than an hour. Mr Sekhar says he's confident next month's election will end in a victory for Janata
To win, Janata will have to defeat its two main rivals, the Congress Party under Mrs Ghandi, and Lok Dal, led by caretaker Prime Minister Charan Singh.