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Friday, April 16, 2021

Election Highlights: Amma washing machine, travel concession for women in AIADMK manifesto

Earlier today, in her first public appearance after she was injured while campaigning in Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a roadshow on a wheelchair from Mayo Road to Hazra in Kolkata.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, New Delhi |
Updated: March 15, 2021 9:51:37 am
AIADMKAIADMK releases its election manifesto in Chennai (ANI photo)

Assembly Elections Highlights: Ruling AIADMK has released its election manifesto in Chennai. Among its promises are Amma washing machines, travel concessions for women, implementation of the Amma banking card scheme and dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils. At least one person from each family will be provided a government job, the party has said.

Reacting to the injury sustained by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram, the Election Commission, acting on recommendation of its observes, has removed the DM and SP of East Midnapore and the senior police officer in charge of Mamata Banerjee’s security. EC has also said that Banerjee was not attacked in Nandigram.

BJP has announced names of 63 candidates for polls in West Bengal. Union minister Babul Supriyo will contest from Tollygunge in Bengal while MP Swapan Dasgupta will contest from Tarakeshwar. BJP also announced names of candidates for Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu polls while Congress announced 86 names for Kerala Assembly polls and 34 candidates for Bengal.

Meanwhile, addressing a public meeting at Margherita in Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said Congress practises divisive politics and only NDA can deal with the issue of infiltration. He says, “Can Rahul, who has taken Badruddin Ajmal’s support, protect Assam from infiltration? Can Assam be safe with Badruddin? Give us another five years, infiltration will be a thing of past in the state,” he said.

Live Blog

Assembly Election Live Updates: AIADMK releases its election manifesto in Chennai; EC removes DM and SP of East Midnapore and the senior police officer in charge of Mamata Banerjee’s security; BJP announces names of candidates for Bengal, Assam, TN and Kerala Assembly polls; Congress list out for Kerala and Bengal; Track latest updates here

23:27 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Asset watch: Debabrata Saikia, MLA, Nazira in Assam

Movable  assets — Rs 1,35,49,452.97 (1.35 crore)

Cash in hand: Rs 28,135.69

Deposits in Bank accounts : Rs 1,99,789.68

Investment in Bonds/Mutual funds: Rs. 60,42,577.60

Insurance, etc: Rs. 13,50,017

Personal loans/advance given: Rs 6,89,000 

Motor vehicles: Rs 41,51,040

Jewellery: 20gm Rs. 4,30,000

House Hold goods: 1,37,628

Immovable assets — Rs 30,30,000 (30 L)

Agri land: NIL

Non Agri land:  Rs 30,30,000

Residential building: NIL

Liabilities: Rs 75,57,186.31

2015

Movable  assets — Rs 1,05,83,586.85 (1.05 crore)

Cash in hand: Rs 13,194.60

Deposits in Bank accounts : Rs 6,71,647.82

Investment in Bonds/Mutual funds: 16,09,742.43

Insurance, etc: Rs. 2,40,000

Personal loans/advance given: Rs 45,11,662 

Motor vehicles: 30,60,000

Jewellery: 20gm Rs 4,30,000

House Hold goods: 47, 340

Immovable assets — Rs 30,30,000 (30 L)

Agri land: Nil

Non Agri land:  Rs 30,30,000

Residential building: NIL

Liabilities: Rs 42,27,808

Criminal cases

One FIR, Section 13(1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, Section 420 of IPC

22:50 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Denied tickets, Bengal BJP leaders Sovan Chatterjee and Baishakhi Banerjee quit party

Hours after the BJP released its list of candidates for the West Bengal Assembly polls, many leaders expressed their disappointment over the selection of candidates, while in some places, party workers also staged protests.

Former TMC minister, who later joined the BJP, Sovan Chatterjee and his close associate Baishakhi Banerjee decided to quit the party after the former Kolkata Mayor was denied a ticket from Behala East constituency which he represented as a TMC MLA. It was learnt that Chatterjee has written a letter to West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh saying that they no longer wish to remain in the party. Chatterjee also wrote that he was disappointed after his close associate was not considered as a party candidate as well. (Read Santanu Chowdhury's report here)

21:43 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Raijor Dal releases 4th list of candidates for Assam polls

The Raijor Dal led by jailed anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi on Sunday released its fourth list of candidates containing four names for the third phase of polling in Assam on April 6.

The list contains the names of Nilimoy Pradhani (Golakganj), Ali Akbar Miya (Bilasipara West), Anil Boro (Palasbari) and Dhananjoy Kalita (Guwahati West).

The party also replaced the Dalgaon constituency candidate Omar Ali and instead gave ticket to Arab Ali to contest the polls from the same seat. (PTI)

21:38 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Kerala Congress (M) returns Kuttiady seat to CPI(M)

Kerala Congress (M) returns Kuttiady seat to CPI(M) amid protests by the Left party workers against decision to offer the seat to the LDF ally. (PTI)

21:21 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Congress releases names of 34 candidates for West Bengal Assembly polls

Congress has released a list of 34 candidates for West Bengal Assembly elections. The party is a part of an alliance with the Left and ISF in the state.

20:48 (IST)14 Mar 2021
TMC disagrees with EC's observation that there was no pre-meditated attack on Mamata

The TMC said on Sunday it disagrees with the Election Commission's observation that there was no pre-meditated attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram and demanded a high-level probe into the incident, insisting the inquiry by election observers lacks credibility.

However, party spokesperson Sougata Roy expressed satisfaction that the EC agreed that there were security lapses and took action against some officials. (PTI)

20:44 (IST)14 Mar 2021
BJP to end TMC's 'syndicate raaj' in Bengal: Swapan Dasgupta

Minutes after he was nominated as BJP candidate from Tarakeswar assembly seat in Hooghly district, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said his party wants to put an end to TMCs 'syndicate raj' in West Bengal.

He also asked people who hail from the state but live outside to "chip in" and help the BJP build 'Sonar Bangla' (golden Bengal).

"We all are aware about the situation prevailing in state. This atmosphere of violence, extortion.... we want to end that. The BJP will ensure that people in Bengal get to live in peace," he said. (PTI)

20:42 (IST)14 Mar 2021
TMC will not bow down before "outsiders": Abhishek Banerjee

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday said his party will not bow down before "outsiders", and asserted that his aunt and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will win the election battle, no matter what challenges are thrown before her. (PTI)

20:15 (IST)14 Mar 2021
AGP releases third list of 13 candidates for Assam polls

The AGP, an alliance partner of the ruling BJP-led combine in Assam, on Sunday released its third list of candidates containing 13 names, including minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury and Bhojpuri singer Kalpana Patowary, for the assembly polls in the state.

Names of three sitting MLAs also feature in the list declared by the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita for the third and last phase of polling on April 6.

Apart from Phani Bhushan Choudhury who will contest from Bongaigaon, the other sitting MLAs are Kalita himself who will be in the fray from Guwahati West and Gunindra Nath Das from Barpeta constituency. (PTI)

20:09 (IST)14 Mar 2021
DMDK signs poll pact with AMMK

DMDK has signed a poll pact with AMMK. Captain Vijaykanth's party to contest in 60 constituencies in the AMMK-led alliance.

19:53 (IST)14 Mar 2021
With over 200 seats, BJP to form government in Bengal: Amit Shah

With over 200 seats, BJP is going to form government in West Bengal under PM Modi's leadership, says Amit Shah in Kharagpur. He adds, “Indeed, people of West Bengal want a change.” (ANI)

19:28 (IST)14 Mar 2021
AIADMK releases its election manifesto in Chennai

Ruling AIADMK has released its election manifesto in Chennai. "Six free LPG cylinders will be provided to every family every year. At least one person from each family will be provided govt job," party leader C Ponnaiyan read from the manifesto. CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami promises to implement the Amma housing scheme, provide government job for one person in a family, extend maternity leave for 12 months, provide free cable connection and free 2G data for college students for the whole year.

19:01 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Amit Shah holding a roadshow at Kharagpur in West Bengal

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is holding a roadshow at Kharagpur in West Bengal. Earlier in the day, Shah attended two events in Assam.

18:58 (IST)14 Mar 2021
BJP wants to polarise Hindus by showing my face: AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal

BJP wants to polarise Hindus by showing my face, portraying Muslims as enemies and making communal comments, but unlike last time, they won't succeed, says AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal. He adds, “AIUDF is secular and will always remain so. But since BJP is itself communal and plays communal politics, it looks at others through that lens.” (PTI)

18:37 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Morigaon DC, ADC replaced in Assam following EC orders

The Assam government has replaced Morigaon deputy commissioner Leena Das and additional deputy commissioner Debajani Choudhury with immediate effect on the recommendations of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

According to an order by the Personnel Department on Saturday, Home Secretary Seema Rekha Bhuyan has been appointed as the new Morigaon deputy commissioner.

Skill Employment and Entrepreneurship department secretary Hanif Noorani has been transferred as the additional deputy commissioner of Morigaon.

The order did not mention the reason for the sudden transfer of the two senior bureaucrats by the ECI. (PTI)

18:35 (IST)14 Mar 2021
All candidates must follow safety protocols while using vehicles: Election Commission

The Election Commission has stated that all candidates, including star campaigners, must follow safety instructions during the use of any vehicle, including helicopters, as prescribed under relevant laws to avoid any mishap or accident, which may endanger the life and property of individuals and/or public at large. (PTI)

18:30 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Received 17 lakh petitions, will solve all issues after we come to power: DMK chief MK Stalin

I promised to resolve petitions given by people on basic issues within 100 days, says DMK president MK Stalin. “I've received around 17 lakh petitions both online and offline. We'll surely come to power on May 2 and will solve all petitions received within 100 days,” he adds. (ANI)

18:26 (IST)14 Mar 2021
Kerala Mahila Congress chief Lathika Subhash gets her head tonsured in protest after being denied a ticket

Kerala Mahila Congress chief Lathika Subhash gets her head tonsured in front of the party office in Thiruvananthapuram in protest after being denied the party ticket for Assembly elections. "I am not joining any party but I'll resign from my post," she says. (ANI)

18:04 (IST)14 Mar 2021
EC posts IAS officer Smita Pandey as DM and DEO of East Midnapur

EC posts IAS officer Smita Pandey as DM and DEO of East Midnapur in place of Vibhu Goel who has been transferred to a non-election post. (ANI)

17:57 (IST)14 Mar 2021
EC removes SP and DM of East Midnapore as well as cop in charge of Mamata Banerjee' security

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not attacked in Nandigram.

Acting on recommendation of its observes, the Election Commission has removed the DM and SP of East Midnapore and the senior police officer in charge of Mamata Banerjee’s security. Commenting on the SP, the EC says, 'Charges shall be framed against him for major failure of bandobast.”

EC has appointed former DGP Intelligence Punjab, Anil Kumar Sharma as Special Police Observer for West Bengal Assembly elections. AK Sharma will be second Special Police Observer in addition to Vivek Dube. (ANI)

Election LIVE updates: Statewise seats distribution.

Trinamool Congress has cancelled the release of its election Manifesto, scheduled to be announced on Sunday.  The manifesto release has been postponed twice now after it was canceled for the first time on March 11.

In Bengal, in her first public appearance after she was injured while campaigning in Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday led a roadshow on a wheelchair from Mayo Road to Hazra in Kolkata. Banerjee is expected to deliver a speech thereafter. The TMC supremo suffered injuries on her left leg, right shoulder, forearm and neck as she fell on Wednesday and was recently released from the SSKM hospital. 

Earlier today, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari took a jibe at his mentor-turned-advisory Mamata Banerjee on Sunday calling her an opportunist who had no right to seek votes from the locals of Nandigram. "Those who gave promotions to the officers behind the 2007 Nandigram police firing had no rights to seek votes," Adhikari said. This comes after the TMC supremo paid tribute to the agitators who were killed in the Nandigram firing, saying that she chose to fight against “anti-Bengal forces'' from the "historic" constituency as a mark of respect for the victims.

Yesterday, BJP's central election committee held its meeting to finalise its remaining candidates for the Assam and West Bengal assembly polls, with top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attending it. This is the second CEC meeting over the assembly polls in four states, that also include Tamil Nadu and Kerala, besides the Union Territory of Puducherry.

Meanwhile, terming the report submitted by the West Bengal government on the alleged attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram on March 10 as "sketchy", the Election Commission on Saturday asked Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to elaborate it. The chief secretary has been asked to furnish details like how the incident took place and who could be behind it by Saturday, according to a poll official.

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday filed his nomination from the Nandigram Assembly constituency against his mentor-turned-opponent Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, and said he was "100 per cent" confident of his win. Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani also took part in the rally before Adhikari filed the nomination papers. "I am 100 per cent confident of my victory in Nandigram. The people of the area are with me. I am the son of the soil," he told reporters.

Two days after CM Mamata Banerjee suffered an injury in Nandigram, Trinamool Congress delegation of six MPs in a formal complaint to the Election Commission alleged a “deep rooted BJP conspiracy”  behind the attack and asked for an “immediate and unbiased” investigation of the same. The delegation includes TMC MPs Dereck O'Brien, Saugata Roy, Satabdi Roy, Kakoli G. Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and Santunu Sen.

The RSS men fostering BJP’s Bengal parivar

The BJP’s West Bengal campaign is composed of many parts. A crucial one is the little-known Shiv Prakash, an RSS pracharak deputed to the party in 2014 soon after he had overseen its sweep of Western Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With former ABVP leader Arvind Menon, Prakash has set the framework for the BJP in the state, working behind the scenes.

In December, Prakash, 53, was asked by BJP president J P Nadda to move his headquarters from Delhi, and give “special attention” to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, besides West Bengal. However, in the high-stakes battle for Bengal, he has been practically permanently stationed in Bengal. “After coming to the BJP I have spent more than 60% time in the state,” Prakash told The Indian Express.

First woman in 25 years in IUML list

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second largest party in the Congress-led UDF, on Friday announced candidates for 25 Assembly seats, fielding a woman after more than two decades.

The party’s tally in the alliance, meanwhile, is up to 27, from 24 in the last elections, after the exit of the Kerala Congress (M) and Loktantrik Janata Dal from the UDF. The candidates for two seats (Chadayamangalam and Punalur) would be announced later.

The Congress, which is contesting at least 90 seats, has not announced its list of candidates yet.

Sarbananda Sonowal Interview

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal goes into the Assembly elections at the head of a government that has held firm ground even as the state battled contentious issues like the preparation of the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. He spoke to The Indian Express on Thursday night at his official residence in Guwahati on a wide range of issues pertaining to his government and the elections. Excerpts:

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
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