Indian minister projects ruling party win as polls near end

India's defense minister says she's confident her Bharatiya Janata Party will remain in power when general elections conclude this month, and that minorities in Hindu-majority India have nothing to fear.

Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to reporters in New Delhi on Friday ahead of Sunday's sixth phase of polling in the 6-week-long election.

While the Hindu-nationalist BJP in 2014 campaigned on promises to super-charge the economy, its reelection bid has focused on national security.

Reports of hate speech and violence against Muslims have risen after a February suicide bombing killed 40 Indian soldiers in Kashmir. And Human Rights Watch has documented an increase in attacks on Muslims and lower-caste Hindus by so-called cow vigilantes since the BJP came to power.

According to Sitharaman, saying that minorities are in trouble "is absolutely baseless."