“They (BJP) have a lot of money so they are trying to purchase people. Modi is taking land. He will snatch away everything as Adani is his friend. Chase away outsiders and BJP like you chased away CPM,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying in a poll rally on Sunday.
“Home Minister said they will win 26 out of 30 seats where voting took place in the first phase. Have you (HM Amit Shah) entered the EVM? Why didn’t you say BJP will win all 30 seats. Let’s wait for 2 May. TMC will win. Outsiders can’t rule Bengal,” said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in response to the Union Home Minister’s assertion that the BJP will win big in the seats that voted on Saturday.
“No Tamil person wants to touch Amit Shah or Mohan Bhagwat’s feet, so the question is why has the chief minister submitted to RSS and Amit Shah. The chief minister doesn’t want to bow in front of Modi but he has to as Narendra Modi controls ED, CBI and the chief minister is corrupt,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said at a rally in Tamil Nadu’s Salem.
“I can guarantee that Stalin will be the chief minister. Decision has been made, now elections will formalize it. But the fight doesn’t stop here as RSS and BJP have unlimited money. To stop them, we’ve to first oust them in Tamil Nadu &then remove them from Delhi,” he added.
The Trinamool Congress has written to the Election Commission urging it to withdraw a recent order that relaxed a rule on the appointment of polling agents, and alleged that the EC had taken the step to help the BJP. According to a March 2009 rule by the EC, polling agents who are appointed by the contesting candidates shall have to be electors in the same polling stations or from neighbouring polling stations falling in the same constituency.
However, the provision was amended recently to allow an elector from any part of an Assembly constituency to be appointed as a polling agent.
The Trinamool Congress has written to the Election Commission urging it to withdraw a recent order that relaxed a rule on the appointment of polling agents, and alleged that the EC had taken the step to help the BJP.
According to a March 2009 rule by the EC, polling agents who are appointed by the contesting candidates shall have to be electors in the same polling stations or from neighbouring polling stations falling in the same constituency.
However, the provision was amended recently to allow an elector from any part of an assembly constituency to be appointed as a polling agent.
The reason for the same has been stated to be based on inputs and for the convenience of the candidates.
Such reasoning is not only ambiguous in nature but also leads us to a conclusion that it has been implemented to help certain political parties, namely the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), due to them not possessing the strength to muster enough polling agents, the Trinamool Congress alleged in a letter to the EC dated 26 March. The party released the letter on Sunday.
It claimed that the new instructions were made with a mala fide intention to benefit the candidates of Bharatiya Janata Party.
Such instruction passed by the Election Commission of India just before the scheduled date of election to take place in West Bengal is arbitrary, motivated and biased, it alleged and urged the EC to withdraw the direction and restore the earlier rule.
While the first of the eight phases of assembly polls in West Bengal was conducted on March 26, the second phase is on April 1.
A TMC delegation led by MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay had on Saturday raised the issue at a meeting with Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab
Free COVID-19 vaccination for all; scrapping of NEET and the new education policy; Rs 1,000 as assistance for homemakers; re-opening of mills; and enhanced pension for martyrs’ kin are some of the promises made by the Congress party in its poll manifesto for Puducherry.
Addressing a press briefing, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that voting in the first phase of elections for West Bengal and Assam Assembly elections was carried out peacefully and not even a single lie was lost. He expressed confidence that the BJP will win over 26 seats of 30 in West Bengal. The party’s seats in the state will increase and so will the margin by which it wins the seats, he said. Shah said there are clear indications that the BJP will win over 37 seats of the 47 which went to polls in Assam on Saturday.
The Congress manifesto for the Puducherry polls was released by Congress leaders Nitin Raut and Veerappa Moily and others and the first copy was received by former chief minister of the UT V Narayansamy.
Addressing a rally, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and said he wants Tamil Nadu to be run from the state, and not from Delhi. The Congress leader alleged there was a full scale assault on the idea of Tamil Nadu.
BJP leader Rajnath Singh held a roadshow in Thriuvananthapuram. The Union minister is also scheduled to to hold roadshows in Puthupally and Ernakulam constituencies and address a public meeting in Irinjalakuda.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday hit out at the ruling CPM-led LDF and the Opposition Congress headed UDF saying they were playing a “friendly match” in poll-bound Kerala.
While the Congress and Left are opposing each other tooth and nail in Kerala, 2,000 km away in West Bengal, they are allies, Rajnath, who is in Kerala for campaigning for the 6 April Assembly polls told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to campaign in Tamil Nadu today, with two public meetings scheduled in Chennai’s Shastri Nagar (11.15 am) and Seelanaickenpatti, Salem ( 3.45 pm), said the party in a Twitter post.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Matua temple at Orakandi in Bangladesh was with an eye on elections in West Bengal.
The TMC supremo also alleged that Modi violated the Model Code of Conduct through his speech at the temple, holy to the Matua community spread over India and Bangladesh.
However, Modi in his speech at the temple had not made any election promises.
Banerjee said at a public meeting in Kharagpur, “Modi is delivering a speech at a temple in Bangladesh with an eye on elections in West Bengal.” The first phase of voting of an eight-phase poll was completed today.”This is total violaton of election code of conduct, we are taking up the issue with Election Commission,” she said.
The Matua community in West Bengal is estimated to be 30-million strong.
Modi during his two day trip to Bangladesh to attend Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of Independence, had visited the temple at Oranakandi, birthplace to the Matau community’s spiritual guru Harichand Thakur as well as the temple of Jessoreshwari at Ishwaripur in Satkhira.
The chief minister said “our prime minister goes to a foreign country and speaks with an eye on a section of voters, what about that?”
She alleged that Modi had earlier canvassed for Donald Trump’s bid for re-election to the President’s post in the US. Modi had at a rally in Texas in 2019, come up with the slogan “Ab ki baar , Trump Sarkar” (This time, Trump Government).
“And now during Assembly polls in Bengal you are going to Bangladesh to peddle lies before a section of people, to mislead a section of voters here,” she said rhetorically addressing the Prime Minister.
Banerjee recalled the scrapping Bangladeshi actor Firdaus’s visa during 2019 Lok Sabha elections “as he took part in a rally here” and wondered why Modi’s visa should not be dealt with in a similar manner.
“Firdaus had just attended one rally and said few lines before a crowd being a popular star in both countries and someone from BJP complained against him to the Union home ministry and his visa was cancelled,” Banerjee pointed out.
Pointing out that the BJP often accused her of bringing in Bangladeshi “infiltrators”, she wondered why Modi “now goes to Bangladesh to do marketing (sic)” for votes.