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Monday, April 19, 2021

Assembly Election 2021 Highlights: BJP releases its manifesto for Tamil Nadu polls, promises 50 lakh jobs

Polls are to be held for 294 seats in West Bengal, 234 seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 seats in Kerala, 126 seats in Assam and 30 seats in Puducherry. After the Bihar assembly elections, which were held in November 2020, elections to these states will also be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

By: Express Web Desk | Kolkata, New Delhi |
Updated: March 23, 2021 9:07:19 am
election 2021, state assembly election 2021, election 2021 live, west bengal election 2021, assam election 2021, west bengal election 2021 dates, mamata banerjee, mamata banerjee election 2021Elections 2021 Live Updates: The results of the Assembly polls to West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry will be declared on May 2.

The Bharatiya Janata Party Monday released its manifesto for the upcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections. The manifesto was officially unveiled by Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and VK Singh, with Gadkari saying it gives the “highest priority to farmers”. The saffron party promised to create 50 lakh new jobs in the state and make it number one in ease of doing business. It also promised to set up multi-speciality government hospitals in every district. For women drivers, BJP promised a free driver’s license to girls between 18 and 23.

The Election Commission on Monday banned ‘bike rallies’ 72 hours before the date of polling and on the polling day in all election bound states for the upcoming assembly polls. This announcement comes amid reports that “anti-social elements” use motor bikes to intimidate voters.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday addressed rallies in Dhemaji and Maujli in Assam and said that BJP’s priority of development and security has changed the state in the last 5 years. If Congress comes to power, Shah said, infiltration and terrorism would increase. “Congress party’s policy is to “quarrel, break and rule” whereas BJP believes in “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” Shah said in Dhemaji. 

Meanwhile, addressing more rallies in Dibrugarh and Jorhat, BJP President JP Nadda said that since NDA came to power, “it changed the face of Assam” and that BJP has been at the forefront of contributing to the state’s progress. This, he said, was prevented during Congress’s regime who “neglected the region, preventing the wheel of development here.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is on a two-day visit to Kerala, where he will be addressing poll rallies in Ernakulam district on Monday.

BJP’s manifesto for the Assembly polls in West Bengal was released on Sunday. The manifesto, called ‘Sankalp Patra’, promised to implement CAA and stated that refugees, who have been staying in Bengal for 70 years, will be given citizenship.

Live Blog

Rahul Gandhi on a two-day visit to Kerala; Nitin Gadkari to release TN BJP manifesto; Amit Shah and JP Nadda to hold public meetings in Assam on Monday.

00:41 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Congress releases Bengal manifesto for with focus on long-term development

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday released the party’s election manifesto titled ‘Banglar Disha’ for the upcoming Assembly polls in West Bengal.

The manifesto has eight distinct promises for the people of the state and focuses on long-term development.

Chowdhury said this manifesto has been made in line with the vision of late Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second chief minister of West Bengal, who played an important role in the state’s development. Read more

22:21 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Rahul slams Modi, Vijayan govts; Asserts UDF will come to power in Kerala

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked the Narendra Modi government over the fuel price hike and its economic policies, accusing it of taking money from the pockets of people instead of putting it in their hand, as launched his second leg of campaign for the April 6 assembly elections in Kerala. He also slammed the LDF government in the state over its alleged bid to strike a deal with a US-based company on "deep sea fishing", saying "it shows the intention" of the CPI(M)- led dispensation. --PTI

21:38 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Double-engine govts in Assam, Centre useless, corrupt: RJD's Tejashwi Yadav

Senior RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Monday alleged that the 'double- engine' governments run by the BJP at the Centre and in Assam are 'useless' as they indulged in corruption spread hatred among people. Addressing his first election rally in Assam at Tinsukia, the former deputy chief minister of Bihar claimed that the saffron party practises the politics of hate. "Inflation is at its peak. BJP governments are there in Assam and at the Centre. That means it is a double-engine government. But it is useless. Everywhere corruption is taking place and they are creating enmity between brothers. Politics of hate is happening," he said. --PTI

20:21 (IST)22 Mar 2021

For Assembly by-elections in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has chosen the Ajay Tondon for Damoh constituency(MP) and PC Laltlansanga(Mizoram) for Serchhip-ST constituency.

18:52 (IST)22 Mar 2021
50 lakh new jobs, govt hospitals in every district: BJP manifesto for TN

Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday released its manifesto for the upcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections. In its manifesto, the saffron party promised to create 50 lakh new jobs in the state and make it number one in ease of doing business. It also promised to set up multi-speciality government hospitals in every district.

For women drivers, BJP promised a free driver's license to girls between 18 and 23. Under the Jal Jeevan mission, pure drinking water through pipelines will also be provided free of cost, the manifesto read. (With Janardhan Koushik )

18:29 (IST)22 Mar 2021
BJP releases its manifesto for Tamil Nadu polls

Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday released its manifesto for the upcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections. The manifesto was officially unveiled by Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and VK Singh. The manifesto gives “highest priority to farmers” Gadkari said after releasing the document.

17:53 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Photos| CPI(M) campaigning door-to-door in Tamil Nadu
17:50 (IST)22 Mar 2021
DMK President MK Stalin campaign in Ramanathapuram assembly constituency

DMK President MK Stalin on Monday campaigned in Ramanathapuram assembly constituency. For the upcoming assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Stalin will contest from  Kolathur constituency. This will be the third time the DMK leader will be contesting from the constituency after winning the previous two elections.

16:47 (IST)22 Mar 2021
BJP promises Rs 1500cr sops for jute to retain vote bank

BJP's election manifesto for West Bengal has promised a Rs 1500 crore package for the ailing jute sector whose workers and farmers are seen as a vote bank for the party. Some 3 lakh workers mostly Hindi speaking, toil in Bengal's jute mills and are seen as a potential vote bank by the saffron party. The Jute sector also supports some 35 lakh farmers spread over 18 out of 23 major districts. "We will revamp the jute industry with a SPV (special purpose vehicle) having a corpus of Rs 1500 crore.

The amount will be used for financial restructuring of jute mills, modernizing infrastructure of mills, production linked incentives and marketing centers," the manifesto said. The manifesto also promises to continue with rules on compulsorily using jute packaging for foodgrains and sugar. The TMC manifesto on the other hand offers sops for all farmers and not specifically for the jute sector. (PTI)

16:29 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to address public meeting in Puthupally

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is set to address a public meeting in Puthupally shortly. Puthupally is the pocket borough of former Congress CM Oommen Chand.

15:37 (IST)22 Mar 2021
No stability, unity in BJP: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Assam

Addressing a rally in Assam, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday slammed BJP for not being able to announce a chief ministerial candidate till now.  "BJP has not been able to decide who will be their chief ministerial candidate. They are not able to respect their own chief minister and spell out the name. If there is no stability and unity in the party, then how will it bring stability to Assam and assure the people to give a stable government? (With PTI)

15:35 (IST)22 Mar 2021
BJP functioning like mafia, running syndicates in Assam: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday alleged the ruling BJP in Assam was functioning like a mafia and running syndicates. Addressing a rally here, the Congress general secretary said, the saffron party in the state has two "factions", both of which have betrayed people.

The Congress leader compared Assam's BJP leadership with 'Dritarashtra' and 'Shakuni', characters in the epic Mahabharata, without naming whom she meant. Dhritarashtra was known to be a blind ruler while Shakuni was a political manipulator. " the Assam government, there is a Shakuni Mama- like leader and a Dritarashtra. Both of them and the BJP have betrayed the people of Assam." "The 'Dritarashtra' who was at one time called 'Jatiya Nayak' (people's leader) betrayed the six ethnic communities whom he had promised to get included in the Scheduled Tribes list. But did not do so," she said. (PTI)

15:13 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Election Commission bans bike rallies in poll-going seats 72 hours before voting day

The Election Commission on Monday banned ‘bike rallies’ 72 hours before the date of polling and on the polling day in all election bound states for the upcoming assembly polls. This announcement comes amid reports that “anti-social elements” use motor bikes to intimidate voters.

In a directive issued to chief electoral officers of poll-bound West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry, the poll body pointed out that it has been brought to its notice that "in some places bikes are used by anti-social elements to intimidate the voters before the poll day and/or on poll day."After considering the reports, the Commission has decided that "bike rallies shall not be allowed at any place 72 hours before date of poll or on the poll day in all poll-going constituencies," the directive said. (With PTI)

15:09 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Only BJP can free Assam of terrorism: Amit Shah in Majuli

Addressing a rally in Majuli, Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that in 15 years that Congress ruled Assam “many terror outfits killed people and security personnel in that state and that there was no probe done on such incidents. Under the BJP rule,however, Shah says, that “terrorists surrendered, left terrorism and  entered mainstream.”

'BJP can do the work of preventing infiltration under the leadership of PM Modi.Only Modi ji can do the work of keeping Assam free from terrorism, ' Shah added. 

14:54 (IST)22 Mar 2021
On ground in Kerala: Postar wars in campaigning 

In campaigning for the upcoming assembly polls in Kerala, parties have been consistent with their poster wars. While, UDF and NDA avoid the portrayal of their national leaders on the posters, LDF posters are dominated by Pinarayi Vijayan. (With Liz Mathew)

14:41 (IST)22 Mar 2021
BJP making false poll promise of free ration, will not fulfil it, says Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused the BJP of making a false promise to supply free ration ahead of the assembly elections in the state and said the saffron party will "never fulfil this".

Addressing a rally here in Bankura district, she described the BJP as a "party of outsiders", and alleged that it is bringing "goondas to create terror" in the state. "The BJP has made a false promise of free supply of ration. It will never fulfil this. (PTI)

14:30 (IST)22 Mar 2021
BJP increased border security in Assam: JP Nadda in Jorhat

Addressing a rally in Jorhat, Assam, BJP President JP Nadda on Monday said that BJP increased border security in the state by “satellite surveillance and smart fencing.”

14:05 (IST)22 Mar 2021
CPI(M) goons unleashed terror in parts of Bengal: Mamata Banerjee in Kotulpur

Speaking at Kotulpur poll rally, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that goons from CPI(M) have unleashed terror in parts of the state and attacked her when she was in opposition.

13:52 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Another senior woman leader resigns from Congress in Kerala

In a setback to the Congress in poll-bound Kerala, KPCC Vice-President and veteran AICC member K C Rosakutty on Monday announced her resignation from the primary membership of the party.

"I have taken this decision after long deliberations. I am fed up with the faction wars in the party and hence decided to resign", Rosakutty told reporters.Former Chairperson of the Kerala Women's Commission, Rosakutty had represented Wayanad's Sulthan Bathery in the Assembly from 1991-96. (PTI)

13:26 (IST)22 Mar 2021
Infiltration would surge in Assam if Congress comes to power: Amit Shah in Dhemaji

Addressing a rally in Dhemaji, Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that if Congress comes to power, “infiltration in the state would surge” as Congress’s rule brings “instability and violence.” BJP on the other hand, he said, brings prosperity and development. 

Shah also slammed Congress for forging an alliance with Badruddin Ajmal. “We worked for the development whereas Congress is forging an alliance with Badruddin Ajmal. If they come to power infiltration in the state will surge. Do you want to stop infiltration? Congress party should be ashamed for coming together with Ajmal,” Nadda said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign rally, ahead of West Bengal assembly polls, in Purulia district. (PTI)

The Congress has released another list of 39 candidates for the West Bengal Assembly election. It has fielded Md Shadab Khan in Bhowanipore, Md Mukhtar in Kolkata Port and Asutosh Chatterjee in Rashbehari seat. Santosh Kumar Pathak will be contesting from Chowringhee, while Janab Ajmal Khan is the party's candidate from Jorasanko in Kolkata. In Krisnanagar Uttar, the Congress has declared Silvi Saha as its candidate, while Dharmendra Shaw will fight from Bhatpara.

On campaign, Stalin reminds NDA: Do not forget this is land of Periyar, Anna, Kamaraj, Kalaignar

It’s 10.30 am, and M K Stalin, DMK supremo and the party-led alliance’s Chief Ministerial candidate, has already arrived for his campaign rally for the first Assembly poll without the two Dravidian stalwarts – M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.

However, as was seen during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the two leaders still figure prominently in the campaign, which, at the same time, has turned into a Stalin versus Edappadi K Palaniswami contest.

In BJP Bengal list, 36 joined the party over last six months

OF THE 282 candidates announced by the BJP so far for Assembly polls in West Bengal, 46 are those who joined the saffron party less than two years ago after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. A bulk of them — 34 candidates — are from the Trinamool Congress, six from the CPM, four from Congress and one each from Forward Bloc and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

The selection of candidates has led to large-scale protests across the state in almost every district, and the anger that has manifested itself in the streets is not just for having given tickets to those who joined the BJP recently. Infighting within the BJP has also sparked protests after the release of the list.

Kerala polls: UDF manifesto promises Rs 6,000 a month for the poor, Rs 2,000 for homemakers 

In thrust on social security and welfare schemes, the Opposition Congress-led UDF Saturday unveiled its manifesto for the April 6 assembly elections, promising a monthly income of Rs 6,000 for the destitute families, an increase of monthly welfare pensions to Rs 3,000, legislation for protecting the interest of the faithful at Sabarimala temple and five kg of free rice to all non-priority ration card holders.

Congress MP and chairman of UDF manifesto committee Benny Behnan, who released the manifesto, said the poll document is aimed at building a prosperous Kerala.

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