As voting ends in India, Modi awaits a verdict on his 10 years in power

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Once the campaign ended and a mandatory two-day break began, Modi retreated south to the memorial of one of India’s most famous monks for two days of meditation. The country’s media followed. The stream of videos and photos released from his office, taken from multiple angles in a place where photography is not usually permitted, drove the evening news and television debates.

Modi’s opponents cried foul, saying the operation amounted to a prohibited campaign – and that it exemplified the uneven playing field it had created.

“The weather is magnificent. The prime minister is sitting there in meditation and has sweetened the sun goddess,” Ravi Kishan, an actor and BJP candidate, told local media. “This is historic: amidst the intense heat, the wind It started blowing today.”

The opposition, hampered by arrests and other punitive actions as part of a crackdown, nevertheless assembled its most united front in years. Opposition leaders have painted Modi as a friend of billionaires who have struggled to create jobs for the country’s large youth population. They called his party elitist, accusing it of not uplifting those in the middle and lower reaches of India’s caste system.

The opposition has stoked fears that, if the BJP remains in power, it could amend the country’s Constitution to eliminate affirmative action for middle and lower castes, a system put in place many decades ago to address centuries of oppression in society rigidly hierarchical Indian.

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