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Assembly polls 2021 wrap: Mamata counters ‘outsider’ barb; DMDK walks out of NDA; and more

Here are all the updates that you need to know from the poll-bound states today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 9, 2021 10:38:15 pm
Mamata BanerjeeMamata Banerjee in Nandigram (Express photo by Partha Paul)

There was high drama in all the poll-bound states on Tuesday, with the Election Commission replacing West Bengal DGP Virendra, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee trying to counter Suvendu Adhikari’s “outsider” barb in Nandigram, and DMDK walking out of the NDA in Tamil Nadu.

Here are all the updates you need to know from the poll-bound states today:

EC replaces Bengal DGP; Mamata counters Suvendu’s “outsider” barb

The Election Commission has removed West Bengal DGP Virendra and posted IPS officer P. Nirajnayan in his place. The EC has stated that the decision was taken after review the poll preparedness in the state. It added that Virendra should not be given any post related to the conduct of polls in the state. The EC said the order needs to be complied with immediately.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on those calling her an “outsider” in Nandigram and said for them people “coming from Gujarat” are insiders.

The Chief Minister’s counter came days after BJP’s Nandigram candidate Suvendu Adhikari said he is the “real bhumiputra” of Nandigram and that the CM is an “outsider” there.

“I have heard some people are calling me an outsider in Nandigram. I am amazed. I was born and brought up in the neighbouring Birbhum district, and the person who is calling me an outsider was also not born here. Today I have become an outsider, and those coming from Gujarat have become insiders in Bengal,” CM Banerjee said while addressing booth-level TMC workers in Nandigram, a day ahead of filing her nomination for the seat.

After seat-sharing agreements fail, DMDK walks out of NDA in Tamil Nadu

After its seat-sharing talks with the AIADMK failed, Captain Vijayakanth’s DMDK announced it would not fight the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections as part of the NDA.

The decision was made at a party meeting called by Vijayakanth. An official statement later said, “The DMDK quits the AIADMK-BJP alliance based on the unanimous decision at the district secretaries’ meeting.”

Soon after, DMDK leaders, including Vijayakanth’s brother-in-law L K Sudheesh and son Vijaya Prabhakaran, attacked the AIADMK, saying its candidates, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, would lose their deposits in the upcoming polls.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan-led Makkal Needhi Maiam finalised a seat-sharing pact with two of its allies for the April 6 Assembly polls and is set to contest from 154 segments out of the 234 constituencies.

MNM inked an agreement with actor-politician Sarathkumar’s All India Samathuva Makhal Katchi and Indiya Jananayaka Katchi to jointly fight the polls. According to the understanding reached here late last night, AISMK and IJK would contest from 40 seats each.

RJD throws hat into Assam ring, to be a part of Cong-led ‘Grand Alliance’

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said that it has joined the opposition Congress-led ‘Grand Alliance’ in Assam and will contest one seat during the first phase of the assembly election. With this, the number of constituents in the Grand Alliance has gone up to eight.

RJD Assam president Shonarul Shah Mustafa said that the party has formally joined the opposition grouping and it will contest the Tinsukia constituency which will go to polls during the first phase on March 27.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal filed his nomination for the Majuli seat. The BJP had earlier said that it would not project a CM face before the polls.

Assam will see a slew of ‘friendly’ contests among allies in the Assembly elections. The new alliance between two new regional allies — the Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and the Raijor Dal (RD) — are until now contesting against each other in nine constituencies.

AGP — BJP’s ally in the state government and in this election — will have a ‘friendly’ contest in four seats with the BJP. The Congress will be in ‘friendly’ contest against the AIUDF, the second-largest party in the ‘grand alliance’, in five minority-dominated seats.

CPI in Kerala announces list of candidates for April 6 assembly polls

The CPI, a major part of the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala, announced its list of candidates for the April 6 Assembly elections.

CPI will be contesting in 25 of the 140 seats in the state, party state chief Kanam Rajendran told the media, while announcing candidates for 21 seats.

Rajendran said candidates for the constituencies of Chadayamangalam, Haripad, Paravur and Nattika will be announced in the coming days.

GR Anil will contest in Nedumangad, V Sashi from Chiryankeezhu, P S Supal in Punalur, C K Asha in Vaikom, K Rajan in Ollur, E Chandrasekharan in Kanhangad, Eldho Abraham in Moovattupuzha, Chittayam Gopakumar in Adoor and Muhammed Muhsin in Pattambi.

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