During public meetings and in her statements in the run-up to 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, BSP chief Mayawati called Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh as ‘Babua’ – in response to the then CM addressing her as “bua (aunt)”. There were regular, sarcasm-laden exchanges between “Bua” and “Babua” during the campaigning phase. Now that the two leaders are on the verge of announcing a tie-up for Lok Sabha polls, Mayawati, in her statement on Monday in support of Akhilesh, addressed him as “SP chief and former chief minister Shri Akhilesh Yadav”. The two-page statement mentions “Shri Akhilesh Yadav” on five occasions. Mayawati had called up Akhilesh on Sunday to boost his morale following CBI action in the illegal mining case.
One Bill, Two Issues
BJP’s Nishikant Dubey raised the issue of “political violence” in Kerala in Parliament on Monday and accused ruling CPI(M) in the state. Although CPI(M) members tried to speak on the issue, the Speaker did not give them chance – even P K Biju, the MP whose office was allegedly attacked, was not allowed. The party, however, found another opportunity to mention the issue. During the debate on personal laws amendment Bill, CPI(M) MP from West Bengal Badaruddoza Khan, got a chance to speak and brought up the Kerala violence issue in a roundabout manner. Khan said the legislation could remove one type of superstition but will not be able to eradicate “religious superstitions that are being spread by RSS and BJP” – like in the case of entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala shrine. “You are spreading religious superstition in such a way and damaging your social condition. How will it be cured,” he asked. He also mentioned about the alleged attack on Biju’s office.
Much Ado Over Little
Accuracy of EVMs was questioned again on social media on Monday, as one Twitter handled posted a list of purported discrepancies between provisional data on votes polled and the final EVM count in more than 200 seats in Madhya Pradesh in the recent Assembly polls. The tweet created some flutter in Nirvachan Sadan, as former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi tweeted that he had brought the issue to the EC’s notice. To this, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa replied from his personal Twitter handle that he has already sought a report from the state chief election officer (CEO). After much hullabaloo, it turned out that the difference between provisional data and the final EVM count was on account of the former only being an estimate figure to give an idea of voter turnout on polling day: November 28. The MP CEO’s office clarified this through its official Twitter handle in the afternoon.