See More on Facebook


Citizenship Act key issue for voters in Delhi state polls

The fight in the election in the capital is between the BJP and the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which remains the front runner.

Written by

Updated: February 7, 2020

At Shaheen Bagh, an unremarkable locality in Delhi, the top issue in the state election tomorrow is a repeal of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Local issues like water supply are usually key in state elections and this is likely to be the case in many other parts of Delhi.

But not in Shaheen Bagh, which was thrust into the national limelight after women spontaneously took to the streets to protest against the CAA that allows for the fast-tracking of Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“I won’t get up from this protest site till the CAA is repealed. That is the main issue for me,” said Ms Noor-un-Nisa, 70, one of over 200 women protesters involved in a public sit-in for over 21/2 months.

The CAA is a core issue for Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power at the federal level and is behind the citizenship law.

The BJP has denounced the CAA protests, particularly in Shaheen Bagh, as “anti-national”.

“There is a design of politics behind it, which is going to ruin the harmony of the nation,” Mr Modi told a rally in Delhi on Monday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, an anti-corruption crusader turned politician, has managed to improve infrastructure in critical areas like education and health. Sops in the form of free electricity and water have also earned him plaudits among residents.

In 2015, AAP won 67 seats in the Delhi poll while the BJP, which had swept into power through a landslide in a general election a year earlier, managed to secure only three seats.

A poll released by Times Now news channel and conducted by Ipsos, a global market research and consulting firm, predicted AAP would win between 54 and 60 seats on Saturday and the BJP between 10 and 14 seats. Even some BJP supporters in Delhi are tilted in favour of AAP.

“What I like about Kejriwal is that he has improved government schools and has introduced clinics where I can get free treatment,” said Mr Surender Mahto, 28, an auto-rickshaw driver who has three school-going children.

“The Prime Minister can take care of security and other national issues. But for Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party should be fine,” he added.

The Delhi election has also turned nasty, with two men arrested for shooting incidents.

In one incident, the gunman opened fire on anti-CAA protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia University, injuring a protester.

The other gunman fired into the air at Shaheen Bagh.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


EDITORIAL: Mr Trump in India

US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. The diplomatic irony has been rather exceptionally bitter. Donald Trump’s 36-hour visit to India was somewhat pushed out of focus by the communal flare-up that has overwhelmed parts of Delhi, with the death toll rising to 27 till Thursday afternoon. And yet the US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. And unlike some previous US Presidents, Mr Trump chose not to follow up his visit to India with another to Pakistan… as often as not to sing a different piece. No, he hasn

By The Statesman
February 28, 2020


As Covid-19 spreads, public health officials consider plans for a worst-case scenario

 Department of Health Services has a Plan B for a few infections but its Plan C envisions shutting down all schools, public transport and gatherings in case of a mass outbreak. While Covid-19 coronavirus infections have significantly slowed in China, they are rapidly spreading around the globe, prompting countries to step up measures to control the spread and the UN 

By The Kathmandu Post
February 28, 2020


Vietnam reaffirms support for nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, has reaffirmed Vietnam’s strong support for the realisation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on three pillars. During a session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NPT, Ambassador Quy affirmed that Vietnam has joined all international efforts regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, including regional and global conventions; complied with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest safety standards; and strictly followed the UNSC’s resolutions. He said any intentional, unintentional or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons seriously threatened global peace and

By Viet Nam News
February 28, 2020


Budget debate: Coronavirus concerns present long-term opportunities, say MPs

Many have little savings to see them though a work drought, she said, noting that a number of events and work assignments have been cancelled or deferred as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. While the coronavirus outbreak has battered businesses, it has also created opportunities to better prepare Singapore for future challenges, MPs said on Thursday (Feb 27). Speaking on Day 2 of the debate on the Budget statement, they said these include getting more firms to adopt e-commerce, diversifying supply sources and making flexible work arrangements permanent for working parents and caregivers. A total of 54 MPs, including political office holders, spoke over two days on various aspects of the Budget. USING TODAY’S CRISIS TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTU

By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020


Coronavirus: 2 new cases confirmed; 4 more, including private hospital doctor, discharged

 Two patients from the Grace Assembly of God cluster, cases 49 and 73, were also discharged.  Two new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Feb 26) and four others have recovered and were discharged. This brings the total number of cases here to 93, of which 62 have fully recovered. Case 59, the private hospital doctor, was among the four discharged. The 61-year-old Singaporean was confirmed to have the virus on Feb 13 and had been warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. He is not linked to any of the five known clusters but is a non-medical contact of case 72, a 40-year-old man from China who holds a Singapore work pass. Case 56, a Banglad

By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020


Japan provides protective gear for use in battling coronavirus

 The government of Japan has given personal protective supplies to the Ministry of Health to help medical staff if they are required to care for people infected with the coronavirus. The items were handed over at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday by the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr Takewaka Keizo, to Minister of Health Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong. The supplies comprised 4,680 isolation gowns, 6,100 gloves, 6,000 N95 masks, 13,200 surgical masks, 27 goggles, and 240 bottles of alcohol hand rub. Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong thanked the government of Japan for its assistance, saying “On behalf of Laos, we would like to express our appreciation to the government of Japan for its continuing support to our country.” The ministry has been st

By Vientiane Times
February 27, 2020