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Assembly Elections 2021: Rallies, rebellions, resignations in full swing as parties look to capture power

West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are set to go to polls starting March 27 and the results will be announced on May 2. Here are all the election-related developments you need to know today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
March 15, 2021 10:31:52 pm
Assembly Elections 2021Polls 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.

Election campaigns, protests and resignations continued in the poll-bound states Monday as parties named candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are set to go to polls starting March 27 and the results will be announced on May 2.

West Bengal will vote in eight phases starting March 27 till April 29. The Assembly polls will be held in Assam in three phases — on March 27, April 4 and April 6. In Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, polling will be held in a single phase on April 6.

Amit Shah, Mamata hold rallies in West Bengal

Taking potshots at Mamata Banerjee even as he wished her a speedy recovery, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday asked if the CM, who is in pain because of the injury she received recently, could also feel the agony of families of BJP workers killed during the Trinamool Congress’s rule in West Bengal.

Addressing a rally at Ranibandh in Bankura district, Shah promised that if the BJP is voted to power in Bengal, it will implement the seventh pay commission for state government employees. He added that his party will ensure that the rights of tribals are secured.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressing a rally in poll-bound West Bengal. (Photo: Twitter/@BJP4Bengal)

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, who held two rallies in Purulia on a wheelchair, asserted that she would continue her fight against the BJP “as long as her heart beats and vocal cords function”. Banerjee, who is still recuperating from the injuries she sustained last week in Nandigram, said no conspiracy or injury can stop her from taking forward her battle against the saffron camp.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Photo: Twitter/@BanglarGorboMB)

The TMC chief also launched a scathing attack on the Centre over rising fuel prices and disinvestment of PSUs. She further mocked the ‘rath yatras’, asking, “Some BJP leaders are moving around in so-called ‘rath’, but we have always known that Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings travel in chariots. Are they (BJP leaders) bigger than God?”

Suvendu claims Mamata ‘suppressed’ details on criminal cases

Suvendu Adhikari, former protege of Mamata Banerjee, today sought rejection of the CM’s nomination, claiming she suppressed information about six criminal cases against her while filing her papers.

A high-stake battle will be witnessed in Nandigram as Mamata faces Suvendu in the constituency.

Two-time MLA Debasree Roy quits TMC

In yet another major setback for the ruling Trinamool Congress ahead of the Assembly elections, noted actor and two-time TMC MLA Debashree Roy resigned from the party after being denied a ticket. She has not revealed plans to join any other party as of now, but said is open to joining a party if there is a “concrete proposal”.

Roy was scheduled to join the BJP in 2019 but her plans got scuttled after TMC turncoat and former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee and his friend Baisakhi Bandopadhyay opposed her induction into the saffron camp.

BSP to contest assembly polls in three states, UT alone

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Monday said that her party will contest the assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry on its own, adding the BSP has had a bitter experience of aligning with other parties in the past.

Nadda, Shah attack Congress in Assam

BJP president J P Nadda on Monday said the Congress can provide only “corruption guarantee” wherever it comes to power though it has promised five-guarantees in the poll-bound state of Assam. It is the BJP which has a mission and the “Congress is only interested in commission”, he alleged.

He also accused the Congress of “latkana” (delaying), “atkana” (stalling) and “bhatkana” (misleading), while “Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in jodna (integrating)”. Nadda added that it was PM Modi who, through his initiatives, joined Assam and the Northeast with mainstream India.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah spoke at a town hall interaction with BJP workers in Guwahati on Monday evening. He said during the Congress rule, the Assam Movement went on for years, leading to the killings of hundreds of youths and stalling development in the state.

Twitter rolls out search prompt, other initiatives ahead of polls

Microblogging platform Twitter has launched a slew of initiatives in a bid to protect public conversation and tackle poll-related misinformation in the wake of the upcoming assembly elections.

The initiatives are focussed on encouraging informed and healthy conversations between candidates, political parties, citizens, media, and society.

The information search prompt launched with the Election Commission of India (@ECISVEEP) and State Election Commission handles will make it easier to find credible and authoritative information about candidate lists, voting dates, polling booths, and EVM voter registration, among other election-related topics.

Kerala: CPI(M) announces own candidate in Kuttiyadi

After hundreds of CPI(M) workers took to streets in Kozhikode’s Kuttiyadi on Wednesday in protest against the party leadership’s decision to offer the seat to its ally KC(M), the ruling party has decided to field its own candidate.

The CPI (M) state committee, in an official communication, said party Kozhikode district secretariat member K P Kunhammed Kutty Master would be the party candidate in Kuttiadi.

AIADMK says will urge Centre to withdraw CAA

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has promised that they will urge the Centre to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if they are elected back to power in the upcoming assembly elections.

The announcement was made by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami while releasing his party’s election manifesto, comprising 160 promises, which included providing free washing machine and solar gas stoves to ration card holds, conferring citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps, providing government jobs to one in each family with no one already in it, reducing the petrol and diesel price, etc.

However, AIADMK’s announcement over CAA has drawn sharp criticism from DMK, which has claimed that the party is trying to fool people with such double-standards.

Yashwant Sinha is new TMC vice-president

Two days after joining the Trinamool Congress, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha was on Monday appointed the party’s vice president. He has also been inducted into the national working committee of TMC.

With PTI inputs

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