KOLKATA, India (AP) — India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken his ruling party's fight to the state of West Bengal, where it hopes to retain a majority in staggered general elections concluding this week.
The battle pits Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party's divisive Hindu nationalism against the Trinamool Congress Party, headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the top elected official in West Bengal.
West Bengal shares a language and border with Muslim-majority Bangladesh, making it a key battleground.
BJP has backed a bill that would make it easier to deport millions of Bangladeshis who migrated to India while easing a path to citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsees and Jains — notable non-Muslim — migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Banerjee has called the bill a "conspiracy" to make more people stateless refugees.