Here are the day’s election-related developments at a glance.
BJP manifesto is short sighted and arrogant, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday criticised the BJP’s election manifesto, that was released on Monday, as the voice of an isolated man, it is short sighted and arrogant.
In a tweet, Mr. Gandhi said, "The Congress manifesto was created through discussion. The voice of over a million Indian people it is wise and powerful. The BJP Manifesto was created in a closed room. The voice of an isolated man, it is short sighted and arrogant."
With the aim of achieving another stint in power, the BJP on Monday made a string of promises, including expeditious construction of a Ram temple, a firm hand in dealing with terrorism and doubling farmers income in the next three years. The party also promised to make India the third largest economy globally by 2030 and scrap Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir if it comes back to power.
The Congress had dubbed the BJP’s election manifesto a “Jhansa Patra” (deception document) and a “bubble of lies” on Monday and said it would have been better had the saffron party issued a “maafinama” instead.
Over 16.85 lakh voters to decide fate of 12 candidates in Udhampur
The fate of 12 candidates, including Union minister Jitendra Singh, will be decided by the over 16.85 lakh voters of Udhampur in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 18.
The Udhampur parliamentary constituency is spread over 17 Assembly segments in six districts — Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua.
According to the figures provided by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir, Shailendra Kumar, there are 16,85,779 registered voters in Udhampur, including 8,76,319 men, 7,89,105 women, 20,312 service voters (20,052 men and 260 women) and 43 transgender electors.
History shows vote transfer will be a tall order for alliance in Karnataka
If the “unprecedented” alliance between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) is to succeed in the Lok Sabha elections, voters need to buck the trend of voting differently in State and national elections.
On paper, the combined vote share of the alliance in the recent Assembly polls threatens the dominant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in most parliamentary seats. However, Assembly constituency-wise polling numbers from recent elections point to a significant chunk of voters shifting their allegiance in the year’s gap between State and parliamentary polls. These “lost votes” seem to be heading to the BJP, rather than the coalition partners.
This changing voter behaviour is clear in the tabulation of areas where parties lost votes (a loss of more than 2,000 votes is considered to be significant) between a parliamentary election (2009, 2014) and the preceding Assembly election (2008, 2013).
The saffron party has lost votes in just 60 Assembly constituencies — or 13% of the total segments — between national elections and State elections. Three-fourths of these constituencies were held by BJP MLAs. These “lost votes” were primarily in south Karnataka and the Hyderabad Karnataka region, where the Congress and JD(S) have the upper hand. In the other areas, the BJP managed to retain and build on its voter base even is if it lost the previous year’s Assembly election.
While the Congress improved its tally in the 2008 and 2013 Assembly elections, in the succeeding Lok Sabha elections, it lost votes in 189 Assembly constituencies (or 42% of the total segments that form parliamentary constituencies). Nearly six in 10 of these seats were held by Congress MLAs — which suggests that a large number of voters chose a non-INC candidate in the parliamentary polls.
It is a contest between chor and chowkidar: Manoj Tiwari
BJP supporters during the release of the party manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Monday.
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The upcoming Lok Sabha election will be a contest between ‘chor and chowkidar’, and the citizens of the Capital will decide which political party fits which role, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said here on Monday.
Speaking at a public meeting at north-west Delhi’s Wazirabad here, the North-East Delhi MP took the opportunity to reiterate the works undertaken by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. “People who level baseless charges will be taught a lesson. Delhiites will decide who is the chor and who is the chowkidar,” Mr. Tiwari said.
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