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India’s virus surge damages Modi’s image of competence

NEW DELHI (AP) — Despite clear signs India was being swamped by another surge of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government refused to cancel a major Hindu festival and held election rallies with thousands of unmasked supporters. Even cricket matches with spectators went forward. The burgeoning crisis has badly dented Modi’s carefully cultivated image as an able technocrat with deep appeal to a middle class weary of corruption and government dysfunction. Deaths and infections are mounting as a vaccination rollout falters, with Modi pushing responsibility onto ill-supplied and unprepared state governments. His critics accuse Modi of stifling dissent and choosing politics over the public health of the world’s second most populous country.

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Associated Press

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