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India: One of the president's main opponents returns to prison after the elections

India: One of the president's main opponents returns to prison after the elections

A major opponent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his return to prison on Sunday, after a period of release on bail to allow him to campaign for national elections.

“I have been out on the campaign trail for 21 days […] Today I will be going to Tihar Jail in New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, the capital's chief minister and one of the key leaders of the opposition alliance, announced on social media.

He was arrested in March as part of a corruption investigation.

His supporters described his arrest, a month before the start of the general elections, as a “political conspiracy” hatched by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

India's highest court released him on bail last month, giving a boost to the opposition campaign seeking to oust Modi, but ordered him to return to custody once the six-week vote ended.

The official said that before returning to prison, he would first visit Mahatma Gandhi's memorial, pray at a Hindu temple and go to his party office.

The Kejriwal administration was accused of corruption after he implemented a policy of liberalizing the sale of alcohol in 2021, abandoning lucrative state involvement in the sector.

The policy was revised the following year, but a subsequent investigation into the alleged corrupt allocation of licenses led to the jailing of two key allies of Mr Kejriwal.

Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears well placed to win a third term after six weeks of voting ended on Saturday.

Opinion polls were in his favor and the leader said he was “confident” on Saturday of being re-elected.

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The election results are scheduled to be officially announced on Tuesday.