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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Election 2021 Highlights: EC issues notice to Suvendu Adhikari over ‘communal’ speech

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 Highlights: Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed that West Bengal is not a safe place for women under the TMC government and if the BJP comes to power, anti-romeo squads would be formed in the state just like UP.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 10, 2021 8:48:44 am
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari (file photo)

Election 2021 Highlights: The Election Commission Thursday issued a notice to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari for ‘communal overtones’ of his speech made on March 29 aimed at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Addressing a poll rally in West Bengal’s Damjur, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said the Election Commission could serve her ten notices but she would only urge people to vote unitedly without any division. “How many complaints have been filed against Narendra Modi? He does Hindu-Muslim every day,” ANI quoted her as saying.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed that West Bengal is not a safe place for women under the TMC government and if the BJP comes to power, anti-romeo squads would be formed in the state just like UP.

BJP President JP Nadda held three roadshows in Alipurduar, Dinhata, and Mekliganj ahead of the fourth and final phase of the Assembly elections in the state.

Live Blog

Assembly Elections 2021 Highlights: BJP President Nadda to held 3 roadshows in West Bengal.

21:35 (IST)08 Apr 2021
EC issues notice to Suvendu Adhikari over ‘communal’ speech

The Election Commission Thursday issued a notice to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari for 'communal overtones' of his speech on March 29 aimed at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

19:27 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Take money offered by BJP, vote for TMC: Abhishek Banerjee

Alleging that the BJP was distributing cash to purchase votes, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday asked people to exercise their franchise in favour of his party, after having taken the money being offered by the saffron camp.

Insisting that people should bargain for more, he urged voters to ask for Rs 5,000 if offered Rs 500.

"Take money from lotus (BJP symbol) and vote for the twin flowers (TMC symbol). If they can do cheat you, why won't you do the same?" Banerjee stated at a public meeting at Kumargram in Alipurduar district

Speaking at another rally at Cooch Behar's Tufanganj, he said that people have to decide whether they want leaders from outside or their "daughter Mamata Banerjee".

Taking a jibe at the BJP's "acche din" promise, the TMC MP said that the saffron party has failed to live up to the expectations of people. (PTI)

18:54 (IST)08 Apr 2021
J P Nadda says 'insider-outsider' debate reflects Mamata's frustration

Claiming that a wave was blowing in favour of the BJP, the party's national president, J P Nadda, on Thursday criticised Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for raking up the "insider-outsider" debate every now and then, saying that it reflects her "frustration", having sensed imminent defeat.

Exuding confidence that his party would win the assembly polls with over 200 seats in its kitty, Nadda said this election was all about putting an end to TMC's "cut-money (bribery) culture".

"We are confident of bagging more than 200 seats (in the 294-member Assembly). A wave is blowing in favour of the BJP, and it is so strong that the TMC will get washed away.

We condemn the insider-outsider debate by Mamata Banerjee. This is a sign of her desperation sensing imminent defeat," he told reporters at Dinhata during a roadshow.

Later, while addressing the crowd, Nadda said this election is not about just changing the government; it is also about bringing an end to the cut money culture and corruption". (PTI)

18:37 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan tests Covid positive

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tests positive for Covid-19. (PTI)

17:46 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Telling everyone to vote unitedly, not seeking religious division, says Mamata Banerjee

Addressing a poll rally in West Bengal’s Damjur, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said the Election Commission could serve her ten notices but she would only urge people to vote unitedly without any division. “How many complaints have been filed against Narendra Modi? He does Hindu-Muslim every day,” ANI quoted her as saying.

"How many complaints have been registered against those people who called Nandigram's Muslims Pakistanis? Aren't they ashamed? They can't do anything against me. I am with Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians as well as tribals," she said.

17:10 (IST)08 Apr 2021
EC should stop Mamata from campaigning for vitriolic and communal speeches: Supriyo

Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who is trying his luck from the Tollygunge assembly seat, feels Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should be barred from campaigning for making "vitriolic and communal" speeches and taking Bengal's political discourse to an "all-time low".

Supriyo, one of most suave faces of the BJP in Bengal and the Lok Sabha MP from Asansol, rejected opposition claim of having been "demoted" after being fielded for the assembly election, and said he himself wanted to contest the poll against a "formidable opposition and not a weak one".

"Despite being a chief minister, the kind of comments that Mamata Banerjee is making is shameful. Through her vitriolic speeches and the communal campaign, she has taken the political discourse to an all-time low. The EC should ban her from campaigning for the entire election," Supriyo told PTI in an interview. (PTI)

15:45 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Mithun Chakraborty's roadshow disallowed in Kolkata's Behala, workers hold protest

The BJP was denied permission to hold a roadshow of Bollywood superstar Mithun Chakraborty, who had recently joined the saffron camp, in Behala area of the city on Thursday, following which a group of party activists held a demonstration in front of a police station.

The agitation was led by actor-turned-politician Srabanti Chatterjee, who is contesting from the Behala Paschim assembly constituency on a BJP ticket, party sources said.

"The Kolkata Police did not allow our leader Mithun Chakraborty to campaign for me in the constituency without citing any reason.

"The Trinamool Congress cannot avert its imminent loss by such an undemocratic act of preventing us from campaigning. Is the state government scared of losing power?," the popular Bengali actor said. (PTI)

14:25 (IST)08 Apr 2021
BJP workers stage protest outside police station after attack on state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh's convoy

BJP workers staged a protest outside Jadavpur Police Station in Kolkata following the attack on state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh's convoy in Cooch Behar yesterday.

14:07 (IST)08 Apr 2021
'BJP will create anti-Romeo squad in Bengal and put all TMC Romeo's behind bars,' says Adityanath

"To safeguard the interests of sisters & daughters, BJP will create Uttar Pradesh-like anti-Romeo squads in Bengal and put all TMC Romeos behind bars. After 2 May,Didi will start saying 'Jai Shree Ram'," Yogi Adityanath said at a campaign rally in Hooghly.

12:57 (IST)08 Apr 2021
During anti-CAA protest, TMC supported those who were instigating violence: Yogi Adityanath

During the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress was supporting people who were instigating violence, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath alleged at a campaign event in Hooghly today. "In UP, we put up hoardings of rioters and confiscated their properties. Mamata Didi can’t do this as she sees them as TMC vote bank," he said, according to ANI. 


12:53 (IST)08 Apr 2021
BJP President JP Nadda holds roadshow in Alipurduar

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda held a roadshow in Alipurdua, West Bengal today. 

10:16 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Ground Report: In potato belt, farmers struggle as prices plummet due to supply glut

With West Bengal in the midst of a polarising election season, farmers in the state’s potato belt of Hooghly and parts of Purba Bardhaman say their cries for help are getting drowned out in the din of a high-decibel poll campaign.

Potato is cultivated on almost four lakh acres of land in West Bengal between December and March, with about 10 lakh farmers growing the crop. The farmers say they are staring at huge losses this year after failing to recoup the cost of production, and blame middlemen for exacerbating their woes. They want the government to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) to help them recover their losses.

Sanatan Malik is a farmer from Kamarkundu in Hooghly district’s Singur area. He participated in the Singur anti-land acquisition movement of 2006 that laid the foundation of the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) rise to power and was even jailed during the demonstrations. But now he wants industries in the area, unable to keep pace with the rising cost of producing potatoes. Read the report here. 

10:11 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Kerala HC asks Election Commission to file statement on why it delayed polls to 3 Rajya Sabha seats

THE KERALA High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission (EC) to furnish a statement on why it kept in abeyance an earlier notification to conduct elections to three Rajya Sabha seats in the state, which fall vacant on April 21. The court was hearing the petition of CPI (M) legislator S Sharma, who has challenged the EC’s decision.

The EC told the court that the notification for the election process would be issued before April 21. However, the bench of Justice P V Asha sought an explanation on why it decided to keep in abeyance the earlier notification to conduct the elections. The EC has to furnish its statement on April 9, when the matter comes up next before the court.

As per the original schedule, the elections to the three seats should have been held on April 12. That would have ensured right to vote for the legislators of the present assembly. A new assembly will be formed after results to the state elections are announced on May 2. Read the report here. 

09:54 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Of states having polls, only Bengal reported violence: Adhir

Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday said that of the four states and one union territory where assembly elections were held, incidents of violence were reported only from West Bengal and the BJP and the TMC are responsible for it.

Chowdhury, the West Bengal Congress president, however, told reporters that such incidents were fewer in West Bengal this time in the concluded three phases, thanks to the efforts of the Election Commission (EC). "Apart from West Bengal, three other states and one union territory are going through the polling process but one can hear incidents like attempt to capture booths, bloodshed and attacks only from our state," he said.

Five candidates, including two women, were attacked allegedly by workers of rival parties in West Bengal during the third phase of polling on Tuesday, even as Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee alleged 'blatant misuse' of central forces to 'influence voters'. (PTI)

09:52 (IST)08 Apr 2021
BJP seeks to change history to suit its agenda: Mamata

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday attacked the BJP claiming that the party is out to change the history of several places to suit its agenda and will impose a totalitarian regime that will dictate what people should eat and how they should dress.

Without naming Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Banerjee said that a good-looking man from Gujarat has predicted that the BJP will win 68-70 of the 91 seats that went to polls in the first three phases in the state, but actually it will not get more than 25 seats.

"They (BJP) have renamed stations having great past. They have renamed a cricket stadium after the prime minister. The day is not far when they will change the name of you and me. They are out to change the history of places to suit their agenda," said Banerjee in the last of her election meetings of the day. The chief minister of West Bengal, however, did not mention any rail station or place. (PTI)

09:51 (IST)08 Apr 2021
Hello and welcome back to our LIVE blog!

Hello and welcome back to our LIVE blog! Follow this space for the latest on the Assembly Elections in West Bengal. 

20:49 (IST)07 Apr 2021
TMC complains to Chief Electoral Officer alleging mass distribution of cash coupons to BJP in Raidighi

TMC complains to the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal alleging mass distribution of cash coupons by BJP to “illegally gratify the electorate in Raidighi Assembly Constituency”. TMC demands initiating legal proceedings against BJP and its members responsible for the same. (ANI)

20:48 (IST)07 Apr 2021
BJP Bengal chief says TMC workers attacked his car in North Bengal

The BJP's West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh on Wednesday alleged that Trinamool Congress workers attacked his car with bombs and bricks in Cooch Behar district of North Bengal, a charge denied by the ruling party.

Ghosh said that the car's window glasses including the one on his side were smashed in the attack which took place at Sitalkuchi after a public meeting of his party. After breaking the glass, a brick also hit him, he said.

"If this is the situation, how can one expect free and fair polls in Cooch Behar, where people had voted for change in the 2019 Lok Sabha election," Ghosh said in a video message.

Cooch Behar district will go to polls in the fourth phase of assembly elections on April 10. (PTI)

19:47 (IST)07 Apr 2021
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh says his convoy was attacked in Cooch Behar

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh says that his convoy was attacked at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar. More details awaited. (ANI)

19:38 (IST)07 Apr 2021
EC issues notice to Mamata Banerjee over 'Muslim vote split' remark

The Election Commission Wednesday issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her 'Muslim vote split' remark. The West Bengal CM has 48 hrs to respond to the notice. Banerjee, on April 3, had appealed to Muslim votes to not let their votes get split between different political parties.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who held several roadshows across Bengal on Wednesday, once again repeated that BJP would win over 200 seats in the state. “I’m confident that Rajib Banerjee will win with majority. On 2nd May, BJP will form government with over 200 seats. Mamata Banerjee's frustration can be seen in her speeches and her behaviour,” he said.

In other news, in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has filed a complaint against DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin for allegedly wearing a shirt that featured the logo of his party while casting his ballot during the state Assembly elections. Tamil Nadu recorded a voter turnout of 65.11 per cent after polling across 234 Assembly constituencies in 38 districts.

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