Elections 2021 Live Updates: TMC delegation to meet EC today to discuss ‘free, fair polling in Bengal’

West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu Election 2021 Live Updates: With less than 10 days left for the first phase of Assembly elections to commence, campaigning in four states and one Union Territory is heating up.

A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed the “BJP will try to rig EVMs” in the state assembly polls, a delegation of Trinamool Congress leaders comprising Saugata Roy, Mahua Moitra and Yashwant Sinha will meet Election Commission officials in New Delhi to discuss issues related to “free and fair polling in West Bengal”, news agency ANI reported.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  mounted a scathing attack on Banerjee, accusing her of “appeasement and vote-bank” politics for infiltration into the state, and of institutionalising corruption with “TMC or Transfer My Commission” policy. This, he claimed, was in sharp contrast to his government’s policy of Direct Benefit Transfer to beneficiaries of government schemes.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Kerala Chief Minister said the the anti-Kerala stand of the Congress and BJP and their communal overtures are the main challenge for his party in this state elections. “The anti-Kerala stand of the Congress and BJP and the communal overtures by these two forces — this is now felt in the elections as an unholy political nexus between the Congress and BJP. We all know what happened in Nemom last time (the BJP won its first ever Assembly seat there). Now, there is much hype around Nemom but many other constituencies are being overlooked,” he said.

With less than 10 days left for the first phase of polling, campaigning in four states and one Union Territory is heating up. The first phase of polls to West Bengal and Assam will be held on March 27; Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will vote subsequently, on April 6.

Elections 2021 Live News Updates: Follow the latest news and updates from West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Assam ahead of the Assembly polls.

Malayalam actor Krishna Kumar, who is contesting from Trivandrum Central constituency on BJP ticket, campaigns door to door “We need a lot of changes in Trivandrum, like bus stops with toilet & baby feeding facilities, also need to solve drainage & garbage issues,” he says.

As campaigning for the Kerala Assembly elections picks up, the issue of women’s entry at Sabarimala temple has come back to trouble the ruling CPI (M).

In the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, the entry of women of menstruating age at the shrine following a Supreme Court verdict had contributed to the defeat of the LDF in 19 out of 20 seats. Now, with state and central leaders of CPI (M) taking contradictory stands on the issue, the Opposition has another opportunity to attack them.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday told the media in Malappuram that certain persons develop “a keen interest in Sabarimala” whenever elections approach. “The issue is before the Supreme Court. When the final verdict comes, if there is an issue connected with the faithful, it will be discussed with all. It is appropriate to wait until the final verdict,’’ he said. Read more

Slamming the BJP as a “party of Duryodhana and Dushasana”, TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Thursday that the BJP’s ‘poriborton’ (change) slogan was “my slogan” and that it was simply trying to “copy” her.

Campaigning for her party in Garbeta, Keshiary and Kharagpur, Banerjee exuded confidence that the TMC would return to power and “after winning Bengal, we will jump to Delhi and shake the BJP”. Read more

Welcome to The Indian Express LIVE blog. Stay tuned for latest election updates from West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry. 


In Bengal BJP list of 148 names, Mukul, Rahul Sinha

Senior BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Rahul Sinha were among the 148 candidates named by the party on Thursday for the last four phases of West Bengal Assembly elections. With over a dozen TMC turncoats getting tickets, the release of the candidates’ list triggered a fresh round of protests by BJP workers in several districts. Some party office bearers also resigned in protest.

BJP workers vandalised party offices in Malda, Jalpaiguri, North 24-Parganas and Paschim Bardhaman districts over the selection of candidates. Party workers also demanded change in the candidate at Pandabeshwar, Jagaddal, Durgapur Purba, Jalpaiguri and Harishchandrapur Assembly constituencies.

Congress has no ideology, can join hands with anyone: PM Modi in Assam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday attacked the Congress over its tie-ups with Left parties and the AIUDF for the Assam polls, saying it lacked leadership, policy and ideology. Addressing a rally in Assam’s Barak Valley, he said the BJP governments at the Centre and state, in contrast, have worked continuously for development.

“On the one side, there are policies of the BJP, leadership of the BJP, and good intentions of the BJP. On the other hand, Congress has no leadership, no policy and no ideology. The Congress is so weak today that they can go to any extent, they can join hands with anyone,” said the Prime Minister the rally in Karimganj district, his first in the state after the announcement of poll dates.

Tamil Nadu elections: Last-minute loan waivers may help ADMK, stall Opposition

In other news, two announcements in the last leg by the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu seemed to be paying off for it: a decision to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh taken by women’s self-help groups from cooperative banks, unions; and loans taken against jewels up to six sovereigns from agriculture cooperative institutions by farmers.

The waivers have been welcomed by farmers in the Cauvery delta region, hit hard by storms, and the Covid lockdown that derailed food supply chains and markets. The state government claims Rs 12,110 crore worth of loans have already been waived, with around 16 lakh farmers benefiting.

Source: Read Full Article