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13 Oct, 2015

RSS and BJP: Battling for India’s ‘soul’, state by state – Reuters

KOLKATA, Reuters – An ascendant Hindu nationalist group wants minority Muslims and Christians to accept that India is a nation of Hindus, and is pushing some of them to convert.

An election in the volatile state of West Bengal has become a prime target in its game plan. The group’s strategy: To spread its Hindu-first ideology to all corners of India by propelling the ruling party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power in as many states as possible.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) provided the foot soldiers in last year’s landslide general election victory by Modi, who joined the movement in his youth. Winning states like West Bengal, outside the ruling party’s traditional strongholds, would give Modi greater control over the upper house of parliament, which would put him in a better position to push through key policies.

The game plan of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in the minority in the upper house, is to govern 20 of India’s 31 regional legislative assemblies over the next four years, top party sources said. It currently controls or shares power in 11.

Read the rest: RSS and BJP: Battling for India’s ‘soul’, state by state – World – DAWN.COM