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Assembly Elections wrap: PM Modi bats for ‘asol paribartan’ in Bengal; Amit Shah says confident of Tamil Nadu win; and more

Here are all the important assembly elections-related updates you need to know today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 7, 2021 10:37:59 pm
People attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Sunday was an eventful day in all the poll-bound states, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata attacking TMC for letting “corruption flourish”; an Assam BJP minister resigning to join the Congress; and in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Union Home Minister Amit Shah raising the poll pitch.

Here are all the important poll-related updates you need to know today.

PM Narendra Modi raises pitch for ‘asol paribartan’ in Bengal

PM Narendra Modi in Kolkata (Express photo by Partha Paul)

In his first political rally in Bengal since the election dates were announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the people of the state have been duped by the TMC and ‘asol paribartan’ (real change) is the need of the hour.

“The people of Bengal had once put faith in Didi to bring paribartan. But Didi and her cadre have destroyed the faith of the people and insulted Bengal. ‘Asol paribartan’ means peace and development, better education, more jobs and fulfilling everyone’s dreams. We will rebuild Bengal. I have come to give you hope,” said Modi.

He also said that TMC is blocking the path of development and only letting corruption and ‘syndicate raj’ flourish in the state. If given an opportunity, BJP will, with the blessings of Bharat Mata, build a ‘Sonar Bangla’, he said.

Actor Mithun Chakraborty, who formally joined BJP in the presence of Modi at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, said, “It is a dream that has come true for me today. Coming from a small locality in North Kolkata called Jorabagan, I did dream of becoming something big, but never did I imagine that I will get a chance to share a stage with the biggest political leaders of the country, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Referring to himself as a “cobra”, he said, “I am not ‘Jol Dhora’, I am not ‘Bele Bora’, I am a pure cobra. You will be finished in one bite. Now, remember the new slogan — Ek chhobole chhobi (One bite and you will become a photo).”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a rally in Siliguri to protest against the price hike of LPG cylinders.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressed a rally at Siligui on Sunday. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Speaking on the occasion, she said Modi was “peddling lies to mislead the voters” in the poll-bound state. “People of Bengal, who have been living in peace casting aside barriers of community and language, will come under grave threat if a divisive force such as the saffron party comes to power in the state…Poribortan (change) will happen in Delhi, not in Bengal,” she said.

Confident of NDA victory in Tamil Nadu Assembly polls: Amit Shah

Amit Shah Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Kanyakumari (Twitter: @AmitShah)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched BJP’s campaign for the April 6 Lok Sabha bypoll in Tamil Nadu and exuded confidence that the NDA would emerge victorious in the Assembly elections too next month.

The BJP is part of the AIADMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu and the party is contesting the April 6 bypoll to the Kanyakumari parliamentary segment as part of its seat-sharing agreement with the Dravidian party.

Launching his ‘Vetri Kodi Eandhi Tamizhagam Velvom’ (Will Win Tamil Nadu Carrying the flag of victory) campaign from Suseendiram in this district, Shah said he was confident that a coalition government of the NDA will come to power in the state after the April 6 assembly polls.

BJP has fielded former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan for the Lok Sabha bypoll, necessitated by the death of Congress MP H Vasantha Kumar last year due to COVID-19.

Kicking off his party’s campaign with Radhakrishnan, state BJP chief L Murugan and other senior state BJP leaders in tow, Shah said he visited 11 houses to “convey Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message.”

Shah also distributed pamphlets, interacted with local people and took pictures with some of them.

Later, he embarked on a roadshow in Nagercoil, travelling in an open van and canvassing, amidst cries of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vetrivel Veeravel”, the latter slogan being dedicated to the Tamil deity, Lord Muruga.

Meanwhile, ten smaller outfits, including former Member of Parliament AC Shanmugam-led Puthiya Needhi Katchi, on Sunday extended their support to the AIADMK for the April 6 Tamil Nadu assembly elections, the ruling party said.

Amit Shah attends BJP’s ‘Vijay Yatra’ in Kerala

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also attended BJP’s ‘Vijay Yatra’ held at Shangumugham in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on Sunday. ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan, who joined the BJP recently, also attended the event.

Home Minister Amit Shah at the BJP’s Vijay Yatra rally in Kerala on Sunday. (Express photo)

Addressing the rally, Shah said CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress-led UDF factions have a healthy competition between them. But their competition is for doing scams, not for taking Kerala forward, he added. “When UDF comes to power, it commits solar scam and when LDF comes to power, it does Dollar, gold scams,” ANI quoted Shah as saying.

Shah also met representatives of 27 religious mutts across the state at Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama in Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram.

Speaking on the occasion, E Sreedharan said, “Many people ask me why I entered politics at this age. My answer is, I worked on many projects for the country. At this age too, I have enough energy to work and I want to use it for the development of Kerala. That’s why I joined BJP.”

Sharing dais with Sreedharan and Shah, state BJP chief K Surendran said, “Only BJP can save Kerala. People here are seeking a change from the corrupt fronts of LDF and Congress. The reformers had dreamt of a Kerala which is not this Kerala.”

AGM unhappy with Congress’ ‘slow pace’ in Assam

The Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM), a constituent of the opposition ‘Grand Alliance’ in Assam, on Sunday expressed unhappiness over the “slow pace” at which the Congress is moving on several issues of the combine.

The AGM also announced the names of two candidates for constituencies going to polls in the first phase on March 27.

Rajya Sabha MP and AGM president Ajit Bhuyan made public the names of Lachit Bordoloi from Batadroba and Pranab Doley from Bokakhat at a press conference here.

Bhuyan said though there are certain issues within the alliance, but “we are going to work towards strengthening it and there is no question of leaving” as our sole objective is to prevent the BJP from forming government in the state.

Meanwhile, BJP minister Sum Ronghang on Sunday joined the opposition Congress, which is likely to field him from the Diphu constituency held by him. The hill areas development and mines and minerals minister joined the Congress in presence of AICC general secretary Jitendra Singh and the party’s state unit chief Ripun Bora. “I did not like the way I was denied the ticket. I performed my duties with full dedication. I did not get the ticket due to a conspiracy by certain individuals,” Ronghang told reporters. The minister alleged that the BJP functions in a “non-transparent manner”.

[With inputs from PTI]

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