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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Assembly Elections 2021 Highlights: ‘Didi’ has conceded defeat, planning to contest from Varanasi after losing Bengal, says PM Modi

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday accused the BJP of engineering communal strife in the state to win the assembly elections and urged the minority community to not "fall in the trap of a BJP".

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 4, 2021 9:25:38 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a polls rally in Sonarpur, South 24 Parganas in West Bengal on Saturday. (Source: Twitter/@BJP4India)

Addressing a rally in South 24 Parganas in poll-bound West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has conceded defeat as she is already planning to contest from Varanasi in next Lok Sabha polls in 2024. He also addressed a rally in Assam earlier in the day where he expressed his confidence over NDA’s victory in the upcoming elections.

The Election Commission Saturday relaxed its 48-hour campaigning ban on BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 hours. Sarma can start campaigning for the Assam elections this evening.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday accused the BJP of engineering communal strife in the state to win the assembly elections and urged the minority community to not “fall in the trap of a BJP-aided party from Hyderabad and its Bengal ally that are out to polarise votes”. Her jibe was apparently aimed at Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and Abbas Siddiqui’s ISF.

In another development, DMK leader and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi said on Saturday she had tested Covid-19 positive, and canceled all her scheduled events ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Kanimozi has isolated herself at home, and is likely to undergo treatment at a private hospital in Chennai.

Earlier today, launching an attack on the Congress party for its stance on not implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act in Assam, BJP chief JP Nadda on Saturday said that they cannot overrule a law passed by Parliament and were misleading the people. Speaking to ANI, Nadda said, “I can’t understand who are the people who make these guarantees and how limited is their knowledge. Can a state law overrule a law passed by Parliament? They’re misleading people. It’s a display of mental bankruptcy.”

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Assembly Elections 2021: EC relaxes campaigning ban on Himanta Biswa Sarma; PM Modi, Mamata Banerjee address poll rallies in West Bengal; DMK's Kanimozhi tests positive for Covid-19; and more. Follow this space for latest updates.

21:04 (IST)03 Apr 2021
BJP chief Nadda targets DMK for 'foul' language against Dalits

BJP chief J P Nadda on Saturday targeted DMK leaders for allegedly using what he called 'foul language' against Dalits and dubbed the DMK and Congress as being 'synonymous' with corruption.

Accusing DMK leaders of using 'foul' language recently against Dalits, late AIADMK matriarch 'Amma' and women, he said it was very unfortunate.

One could understand what respect they have for Dalits and women, he said here, addressing a poll rally canvassing support for BJP's H Raja, who is contesting the April 6 Assembly polls from Karaikudi Assembly segment.

Such foul language was used while they were out of power and the way they would treat Dalits and women in the event of winning the polls is a 'million dollar question,' he said. (PTI)

20:46 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Assam polls: Congress holds protest over EVM row

Following a controversy over a polling team in Assam carrying an EVM in the vehicle belonging to the wife of a BJP candidate, the Congress on Saturday held a protest against the incident and alleged that the ruling party in the state is indulging in electoral manipulation.

Amid slogan-shouting by the party workers, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora urged the Election Commission to take strict action against the BJP leaders who carry out illegal activities that hamper the polling process.

The protest rally was not allowed to move forward on the busy arterial G S Road and stopped at the gate of the state Congress headquarters 'Rajiv Bhawan'.

Bora submitted a memorandum to Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime and Law and Order) Debaraj Upadhaya to send it to the Office of Chief Electoral Officer of the state. (PTI)

20:28 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Adityanath calls for Mamata's ouster, says BJP to ensure women's safety in Bengal

Calling upon people to oust the Mamata Banerjee government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Saturday that the BJP, if voted to power in Bengal, will ensure security for all women and create job opportunities for the youth.

Adityanath, who addressed two rallies during the day, also said that those who had tried to stop Durga puja and Saraswati puja will be put behind bars, if the saffron party forms government in Bengal.

"You had given 50 years to the Congress, 30 years to the communists and 10 years to the Trinamool Congress, I urge you to give five years to the BJP... We will change the face of West Bengal.

"The BJP will stop all tortures perpetrated on the women of West Bengal. It will ensure that youths get employment opportunities," the Uttar Pradesh CM said at a public meeting in Falta area of South-24 Parganas district. (PTI)

20:15 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Tamil Nadu polls: People don't favour AIADMK-BJP alliance, says Congress' Dinesh Gundu Rao

People of Tamil Nadu do not accept the AIADMK-BJP alliance, and the DMK-led front would emerged victorious in April 6 Assembly elections, said Dinesh Gundu Rao, AICC in-charge of the state, on Saturday.

Seeking votes for Thirumagan Evera, the Congress candidate for Erode east constituency, he said Thirumagan is the great grandson of radical EVR Periyar and son of former TNCC president E V K S Elangovan, both noted for honesty and self-respect.

The Congress leader criticised the income-tax raid on the house of DMK president M K Stalin's daughter and said the BJP has destroyed democracy by using the government agency to arrange the raid just to defame the Secular Progressive Front consisting of the DMK-Congress and other parties. (PTI)

19:56 (IST)03 Apr 2021
PM Modi: TMC's 'outsider' theory insult to Netaji's ideology

PM Modi: TMC's "Bohirgato" (outsider) theory insult to Netaji's ideology, Indian Constitution.

18:41 (IST)03 Apr 2021
BJP, AIADMK workers held for distributing cash to voters

A total of 14 workers of two political parties were arrested for allegedly distributing cash to voters in two areas here on Saturday, police said.

Based on information, the police went to an area in Coimbatore south constituency where they caught 12 BJP workers distributing the money to residents.

A sum of Rs 46,000 was seized from them and six two-wheelers were impounded, the police said.

In another incident, two AIADMK workers were held for distributing money in an area coming under Coimbatore north constituency, they said. (PTI)

17:43 (IST)03 Apr 2021
'Didi has accepted defeat': PM Modi on Mamata's plan to fight from Varanasi

PM Narendra Modi in Sonarpur, South 24 Parganas: "Didi's party says that she will contest from Varanasi, which makes two things clear -- that she has accepted her defeat in Bengal and that Didi has started a search for her space outside Bengal."

"People of Varanasi are as kind-hearted as people of Bengal. But you (Mamata Banerjee) will meet so many people with vermillion and 'choti'. 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan irritates you, but you will have to hear 'Har Har Mahadev' every 2 minutes. What will you do then."

17:20 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Kerala polls: Rahul Gandhi attends election meeting in Peravoor
16:55 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Modi spearheads BJP's campaign, addresses 23 rallies so far

Spearheading his party's campaign in the ongoing polls to elect five assemblies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed 23 rallies so far, 10 of them across four states over the last three days, including Saturday.

With the BJP pulling out all the stops to oust Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from government in West Bengal and to retain power in Assam, these two states have been the focus of Modi's campaign. 

He has addressed rallies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry too.

The prime minister also travelled to Bangladesh recently for two days and attended a number of programmes, an exercise that was criticised by Banerjee alleging they were held with an eye on the polls in West Bengal, a charge rejected by the BJP. (PTI)

16:17 (IST)03 Apr 2021
EC relaxes campaigning ban on Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 hrs

The Election Commission Saturday relaxed its 48-hour campaigning ban on BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma to 24 hours. Sarma can start campaigning for Assam elections from this evening.

16:16 (IST)03 Apr 2021
PM Modi in Bengal: TMC's syndicate has ruined Hooghly river

Addressing a public meeting at Tarakeshwar in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "TMC's syndicate has ruined Hooghly river as well. They have no effective policies against illegal construction and industrial waste. This is because they run the syndicate themselves and several treatment plants don't function."

16:04 (IST)03 Apr 2021
'Don't insult the people of Bengal': PM Modi takes on Mamata Banerjee

Addressing a public meeting at Tarakeshwar in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Didi (Mamata Banerje) has said that the crowd that attends the BJP rally, they gather for money. Can a citizen of Bengal ever be sold? These are self-respecting people, even the entire British regime could not do anything for the people of Bengal. Don't insult the people of Bengal."

"If a player raises a question on the umpire time and again, we know there's some problem in his/her game. In politics, if someone questions the EVM or the EC time and again, we must understand the game's over."

15:10 (IST)03 Apr 2021
BJP engineering communal strife in Bengal to win polls: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the BJP of engineering communal strife in the state to win the assembly elections.

The TMC chief, while addressing an election rally in Raidighi in South 24 Parganas district, also called upon Muslims not to "fall in the trap of a BJP-aided party from Hyderabad and its Bengal ally that are out to polarise votes." Her jibe was apparently aimed at Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and Abbas Siddiqui's ISF. Both Owaisi and Siddiqui had earlier denied the TMC's insinuations. The ISF is fighting the elections in alliance with the CPI(M) and the Congress.

The TMC supremo also urged Hindus to be on the guard against the BJP's attempts to "instigate communal clashes" and called upon them to chase away outsiders sent to foment trouble in their respective localities.

Affirming her Hindu identity, in an apparent attempt to counter the minority appeasement charge against her, Banerjee said, "I am a devout Hindu who recites Chandi mantra every day before leaving home. But I believe in our tradition of giving respect to every religion." (PTI)

14:11 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Have not challenged EC's order before any Court, says Himanta Biswa Sarma

After he was debarred from campaigning by the Election Commission, BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma Saturday clarified that he has not challenged this order before any Court of Law. His comments come after Anurag Thakur said that BJP will take the issue to the court on legal and factual grounds. Sarma was banned from campaigning for 48 hours on Friday for his remark against Hagrama Mohilary.

13:53 (IST)03 Apr 2021
BJP will approach court against EC's ban on Himanta Biswa Sarma, says Anurag Thakur

BJP MP Anurag Thakur on Friday said that tBJP will approach the court against Election Commission's 48-hour ban of Himanta Biswa Sarma on legal and factual grounds. The EC on Friday debarred Assam Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for ongoing Assam elections for 48 hours with immediate effect for his remark against Hagrama Mohilary, Bodoland People’s Front Chairperson.

13:40 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Rahul Gandhi arrives in Kerala, set to address a crowd in Koyilandy

13:32 (IST)03 Apr 2021
BJP, TMC on 'joint mission' to ruin Bengal: Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill

Alleging that the TMC and the BJP  are on a "joint mission to ruin" West Bengal, senior Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill on Friday accused the two parties of using religion and indulging in violence to win the state elections and divert people's attention from the real issues that are impacting their daily lives.

The political battle between the state's ruling party and the saffron outfit has derailed the development of 'sonar Bangla' (golden Bengal), he said.

13:26 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Guwahati: Congress holds protests against EVM issue

Congress leaders and workers on Saturday held protests in Guwahati after an EVM machine was found in the car of a BJP leader Krishnendu Pal.

13:13 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Modi urges Assam militants to join mainstream

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a fervent appeal to militants in Assam who have not surrendered yet to return to the mainstream as they are needed to create an 'Atmanirbhar Assam'.

Addressing an election rally here in Baksa district, the prime minister said people of the state have rejected violence for development, peace, unity and stability. The NDA government, he asserted, formulated policies that are non-discriminatory and for all sections of society. (PTI)

12:30 (IST)03 Apr 2021
Poor of every class, tribe benefited under NDA rule in Assam: PM Modi in Tamulpur

Talking about the impact of NDA rule in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the poor of "every class, every tribe" got pucca houses, toilets, gas connections under him. It was due to the unbiased schemes, Modi says, that they were able to reach the historic Bodo Accord.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday attacked the ruling LDF and opposition UDF in Kerala, remarking the people of the state are fed up with the two fronts and want the development agenda of the BJP. "Enough is enough. The people are telling UDF and LDF. The people of Kerala are seeing the development agenda of the BJP, NDA. They relate with our programmes and policies," Modi said while speaking at a rally at Konni in Pathanamthitta district, where the famous Lord Ayyappa temple is located.

Ahead of the upcoming polls in Tamil Nadu, Income Tax raids are underway on Friday at DMK Chief M K Stalin Son-in-law's residence in Chennai. At least 4 premises are being searched. Sabareesan is a powerful face in Stalin's camp and is known for mobilising resources as well as holding talks and negotiations. The raid cames a day after Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the death of former ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.

As Bengal recorded over 80 per cent voter turnout in the second phase of voting, tensions ran high with incidents of violence and allegations of voter frauds, especially in Nandigram. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was stuck in a polling booth for over 2 hours as BJP and TMC supporters nearly came to blows. Banerjee also criticised the Election Commission for inaction and alleged that the BJP had terrorised voters.

Voting was peaceful in Assam where over 73 per cent polling was recorded.

In Kerala, where campaigning has entered its final phase, the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act took the centrestage with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacking the BJP over the controversial law.

Polls are being 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. Results of all the states will be declared on May 2.

Stalin’s son targets PM; Swaraj, Jaitley daughters protest

A poll campaign speech made by DMK chief M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked up a controversy on Thursday.

During his road show at Dharapuram on Wednesday, a day after Modi’s campaign there for BJP state president L Murugan, Udhayanidhi said: “Modi had come here yesterday and accused that I had taken a shortcut route… Who is saying that? Being the Chief Minister of Gujarat, we know that how Modi sidelined many… I have the list”.

He then went on to name party veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha (who recently joined Trinamool Congress); Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. He claimed Swaraj and Jaitley “died of troubles” for which he blamed the Prime Minister.

Nandigram boils over: Mamata Banerjee cries foul, BJP rival says she’s losing, EC seeks report

Tensions ran high and charges flew thick and fast in Nandigram, the constituency of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on polling day Thursday as more than 80 per cent of 76 lakh votes in 30 constituencies were cast by 5 pm in the second phase of Assembly elections in the state.

Banerjee was held up for more than two hours in a polling booth in Nandigram where supporters of the ruling TMC and BJP nearly came to blows. Her security guards formed a cordon as she waited in a wheelchair. She could move out only after a large contingent of central forces and police personnel reached the site.


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