Updated: March 19, 2021 9:22:13 pm
Continuing his party’s aggressive campaigning in Assam, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Friday said if his party is voted to power, it would ensure that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will not be implemented in the state.
Meanwhile, in Kerala, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) promised pension “for all housewives” in its poll manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Here are all the important poll-related updates that you need to know today.
Addressing the students of Lahowal College in Dibrugarh district, senior party leader Rahul Gandhi said if the Congress comes to power in the state, it would ensure that the CAA will not be implemented in Assam.
Gandhi was wearing a traditional Assamese ‘gamcha’ with letters ‘C A A’ crossed out on it, a marked protest against the central law that intends to make it easier for non-Muslim immigrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbours to become citizens of India.
“If our government is formed in Assam, we will stop CAA in Assam. We will be able to stop CAA in the entire country only when we come to the government at the national level,” he said.
अगर असम में हमारी सरकार बनती है तो हम असम में CAA को रोक देंगे। पूरे देश में हम CAA को तभी रोक पायेंगे, जब हम राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर सरकार में आयेंगे: श्री @RahulGandhi#AssamWelcomesRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/980iPMN4G8
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 19, 2021
Asked to comment on whether BJP is mixing religion and politics, he said that the saffron party is using hatred to create divisions among different sections of the society. “No religion has asked to use hatred. Where is it written in Hinduism that there should be ‘nafrat’ (hatred)? It is BJP that spreads hatred to divide society and wherever they do it Congress goes there to promote love, brotherhood and harmony,” he said.
In an alleged reference to the RSS, Gandhi said that there is a force in Nagpur that is trying to control the entire country. But the youth of today should resist it with love and confidence as they are the future of democracy, he said.
Meanwhile, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is contesting the assembly polls from Jalukbari seat, led a massive rally on route to filing his nomination today.
The CPI(M)-led LDF released its manifesto on Friday, promising to give pension “for all housewives” and to create 40 lakh new jobs for the youth. However, CPI (M) state secretary in charge A Vijayaraghavan, who was at the manifesto release, did not elaborate on what would be the criteria of pension given to housewives.
The alliance, which is seeking its second term, also promised a Rs 5,000 crore package for coastal area development to protect the shores from soil erosion, increasing the minimum support price for rubber to Rs 250 a kg, attaining self-sufficiency in production of eggs, milk and vegetables among other promises.
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Meanwhile, amid continued attacks by opposition parties on the Sabarimala issue, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan maintained that everything was going on smoothly at the shrine as of now and the matter would come up only when the Supreme Court delivers the final verdict on the review petition.
“Our stand is that when the final verdict comes out, and if any issue crops up at that time, we will discuss the matter with every section of the society. Why are we worried about it now?” he asked.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee Friday slammed her ex-party leaders who joined the rival BJP, calling them “traitors” like Mir Jafar.
Addressing a poll rally at Egra in Purba Medinipur district, Banerjee accused BJP of practising “politics of riot, loot and murder”, and urged everyone “to be on guard against outsiders appearing in their localities”.
“Gaddars (traitors), Mir Jafars have now become BJP candidates to the dismay of old-timers of the saffron party,” she said in an obvious reference to Rajib Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari, who had shifted allegiance to the BJP along with other leaders like Mukul Roy.
Meanwhile, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said it is CM Mamata who does not want democracy in the state. “They (TMC) didn’t let people file nomination for Panchayat elections or cast vote. Everybody is aware that who is rigging votes. Municipality elections are pending for 2 years. She (Mamata Banerjee) does not want democracy,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan released the manifesto of his party Makkal Needhi Maiam today, assuring income for homemakers by honing their skills — a promise he had made in December last year.
Haasan said by initiatives like skill development, women could earn as much as Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month and “that is what we call payment to housewives and not doles to them.”
The major parties of Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK and main opposition DMK, days ago promised Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,000 assistance to women family heads in their manifestos.
The ruling AIADMK is again facing allegations of distribution of cash ahead of the assembly elections, this time in the high-profile Chepauk-Triplicane constituency. A purported video of the act, allegedly shot by another party worker, has gone viral on social media.
In the two-minute video, a person said to be the secretary of the AIADMK’s minority wing is purportedly seen handing out currency notes of 500 denomination, to women gathered there. The women are seen showing their voter ID cards and receiving cash. Along with currency notes, the women are also seen receiving the party’s promotional material. A person is heard instructing the women not to queue up for cash more than once.