Elections Highlights March 10: ECI seeks report on ‘attack’ on Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram
Elections 2021 Highlights: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who released the TMC manifesto on Tuesday, filed her nomination from the Nandigram assembly seat today.
By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, New Delhi |
Updated: March 11, 2021 8:49:39 am
Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates:
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.
Elections 2021 Highlights: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who filed her nomination from Nandigram today, has reportedly suffered a leg injury after she was allegedly pushed by 4-5 people after visiting a temple in the constituency. Claiming it to be a “conspiracy”, the CM said she was standing near her car after visiting a temple in Nandigram when the incident happened, adding that no police were present in the area. The Election Commission has sought a report on the incident.
Meanwhile, amid an exodus of Trinamool Congress leaders to the BJP, the party on Wednesday yet again a suffered a major setback ahead of the Assembly elections as State minister Bachchu Hansda and TMC MLA Gouri Sankar Dutta, who did not receive a ticket to contest in the upcoming Assembly polls, joined the BJP. In another poll-related news from the state, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who released the TMC manifesto on Tuesday, filed her nomination from the Nandigram assembly seat on Wednesday.
In Tamil Nadu, TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam released its first list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections on Wednesday. In Kerala, the CPM also released its list, which includes health minister K K Shailaja, former Rajya Sabha MP P Rajeev excise minister T P Ramakrishnan among others. The DMDK on Tuesday walked out of the NDA alliance for the upcoming Tamil Nadu polls as it failed to reach an agreement on seat sharing with the ruling AIADMK. Party leader Vijayakant said that despite several rounds of talks the ruling party didn’t agree to their seat-sharing demand. The two parties failed to make an agreement as the DMDK had been demanding a higher number of seats than what was offered by the ruling party.
Coming to Assam, the passing away of Gogoi Senior has left the Congress without a chief ministerial face, and the void is most apparent in this Upper Assam constituency, that votes on March 27, in the first phase of the elections.
Assembly Elections 2021 Highlights: Mamata Banerjee files nomination from Nandigram; TTV Dhinakaran's AMMK releases first list of candidates; Kerala CP (M) releases first list; EC replaces West Bengal DGP; Read latest news and updates on Bengal, TN, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry elections.
Monday morning finds Moushumi Gogoi, a resident of Gohaingaon village in Assam’s Jorhat district, chatting away at a tea stall. But ask her about the elections, and her smile falters. “We wanted Gaurav da,” says Moushumi, a booth-level Congress worker. “He’s the obvious choice, he’s Tarun Gogoi’s son, after all.”
The previous evening, the Congress announced its candidate for the Titabor constituency — represented for two decades by former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who died in November last year. The ticket went not to Gaurav but Bhaskar Jyoti Barua, a local businessman and first-time politician.
She identified herself as a “Hindu Brahmin” and chanted verses from the Chandi Path, said she need not be told about Bengal by “people coming from Rajasthan and Gujarat”, made tea at a roadside stall, cited the work done by her in her previous constituency Bhabanipur, and declared, “Bhulte pari nijer naam, bhulbo nako Nandigram (I can forget my name, but never forget Nandigram).”
With Nandigram set to be the most high-voltage contest of the coming Assembly election, between Mamata Banerjee and her former close aide Suvendu Adhikari, the Trinamool chief on Tuesday held her first meeting in the constituency after the declaration of the polls. Addressing booth-level workers, she said she would be filing her nomination from Nandigram on Wednesday.
State BJP secretary Sabyasachi Dutta is the party’s MLA from Rajarhat New Town Assembly constituency. He has also served as the first Mayor of Bidhannagar (2015-2019), till he resigned from the post to join the BJP in the presence of then BJP national president Amit Shah. He was appointed as secretary of the West Bengal unit of the BJP in June 2020.
Dutta started his political career as a member of the Congress party and went on to join the All India Trinamool Congress in the late 1990s. He was elected councillor in the Bidhannagar Municipality for the first time in the 2000 municipal elections, and then got re-elected in the 2005 and 2010 polls. In 2011, he was elected MLA from Rajarhat New Town constituency.
In a party with few stars beyond the Centre, he holds his own. In a government that he doesn’t lead, he is sometimes credited with commanding more power than the Chief Minister. In a region that Delhi only infrequently remembers, he is a name with the most recall.
And, Himanta Biswa Sarma is just starting. Having got a ticket from the BJP to contest from his constituency Jalukbari, despite protestations otherwise, the 52-year-old is back in the CM sweepstakes. Can the party that he almost single-handedly hauled to power in 2016 in Assam deny him the prize he has long sought, in case of a win?
The former No. 2 of Mamata Banerjee, 66-year-old Mukul Roy is among the chief architects of the BJP’s slow and steady build-up in West Bengal. This includes chipping away at the Trinamool’s edifice, by helping the BJP wean away leaders from the party.
The party’s national vice-president, Roy is now part of every frame in the BJP’s Bengal campaign. If there is resentment over not being counted as among the chief ministerial hopefuls, Roy hasn’t shown it, as he asserts the BJP’s target: “Iss bar 200 paar (This time, more than 200 seats).” The West Bengal Assembly has 294 MLAs.
Roy started his political career as a Youth Congress leader, around the same time as Mamata Banerjee was part of the outfit. He was among the founding members of the All India Trinamool Congress when Mamata floated it in January 1998 after splitting from the Congress. Soon Roy emerged as the party’s face in Delhi, and in 2006, was made its general secretary and earned a berth in the Rajya Sabha. In the UPA II government, he served initially as Minister of State, Shipping, before becoming Railways Minister — a portfolio Mamata held till she moved to Bengal as the CM.
Assembly elections will be held in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Assam at the end of this month and beginning of April. Results will be declared in May.
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