BY Devjyot Ghoshal, Manoj Kumar
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Hindu nationalist ruling party vowed on Monday to strip decades-old special rights from the people of Jammu and Kashmir, making an election promise that provoked warnings of a backlash in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)is widely expected to retain power after a general election that starts on Thursday, though with a much smaller mandate, hit by concerns over a shortage of jobs and weak farm prices.
It pledged to spend 100 trillion rupees ($1.44 trillion) on infrastructure in the next five years, to help create jobs for the millions entering the workforce each year.
Pollsters say the BJP’s re-election bid got a boost from recent hostilities with arch-rival Pakistan, after a militant group based there claimed a February suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian security forces in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
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