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Elections 2021 Highlights: Congress kept Assam divided in every way, BJP tried to connect it, says PM Modi

West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu Election 2021 Highlights: With the first phase of Assembly elections commencing in 10 days, campaigning in four states and one Union Territory is heating up.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata |
Updated: March 19, 2021 10:08:55 am
Assembly Elections 2021PM Modi addresses public meeting in Purulia, West Bengal (Photo: YouTube/Narendra Modi)

Assembly Elections 2021 Highlights: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress of creating divide in Assam and said the party neither has a leader nor policy or any ideology. “Congress kept Assam divided in every way, BJP tried to connect Assam in every way. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Biswas’ — is the BJP’s development mantra,” PM Modi said. Speaking in Assam’s Karimganj, he added, “On one side, BJP has a policy, leadership and good intentions. While on the other side, Congress neither has a leader nor policy or ideology.”

Earlier in the day, he attacked the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal’s Purulia, saying the TMC has made the lives of the people difficult. He said the people of Purulia have been given a life riddled with water crisis, adding that the Left and TMC governments neglected industrial development of Purulia. Meanwhile, at 3 pm, PM Modi will visit poll-bound Assam and hold a rally. Ahead of his rallies, Modi on Wednesday said that there is a desire for a change in Bengal with the BJP’s agenda of good governance striking a chord among the people.

While the BJP is running a campaign to end the running Trinamool Congress’ 10-year rule in Bengal, it is working to retain power in Assam. With the first phase of Assembly elections commencing in 10 days, campaigning in four states and one Union Territory is heating up. The first phase of polls to West Bengal and Assam will be held on March 27; Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will vote subsequently.

While the TMC released its manifesto Wednesday, from Puducherry, it was confirmed that V Narayanasamy, the outgoing CM, would not be contesting. In another development, the Kerala Congress faction headed by P C Thomas quit the NDA on Wednesday, and is expected to merge with the faction headed by P J Joseph, which is part of the Congress-led UDF. Thomas alleged his party was neglected in the NDA alliance when seats were allocated for the upcoming polls.

Live Blog

Elections 2021 Highlights: Follow the latest news and updates from West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Assam ahead of the Assembly polls.

20:25 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Not to contest against Kerala CM, says K Sudhakaran

In a setback to the Congress in Kerala, senior party leader K Sudhakaran on Thursday said he would not contest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom constituency in northern Kannur district. He said he did not get enough time to make any fundamental preparation at the constituency, which was inevitable ahead of contesting and so he did not want to be a contender at the segment during the April 6 Assembly polls. --PTI

19:04 (IST)18 Mar 2021
BJP names 148 candidates for last four phases in Bengal, Mukul Roy back in fray after 20 years

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday named candidates for 148 of 159 West Bengal Assembly seats which will poll in the last four phases. The list includes heavyweights such as national vice-president Mukul Roy, senior leader Rahul Sinha, sitting MP Jagannath Sarkar, former BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya as well as Trinamool turncoats Sabyasachi Dutta, Shilbhadra Dutta, Jitendra Tiwari, Sunil Singh and Subhrangshu Roy (Mukul’s son), among others.

Actor Rundranil Ghosh, who recently joined the saffron brigade, has been fielded from the high-profile Bhabanipur constituency in Kolkata, which is currently held by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Trinamool supremo decided to contest from Nandigram this time, leaving her home constituency to senior leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay. Read more

17:28 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Actor Arun Govil joins BJP

Actor Arun Govil, best kniwn for playing 'Lord Rama' in Ramanand Sagar's popular television series Ramayana, joined BJP on Thursday. Sharing a photo of the moment on Twitter, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya welcomed him into the party.

16:45 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Cong kept Assam divided in every way, BJP tried to connect it in every way: PM Modi

"Congress kept Assam divided in every way, BJP tried to connect Assam in every way. 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Biswas' — is the BJP's development mantra," PM Modi said.

16:42 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Congress neither has leader, nor policy or ideology: PM Modi

"On one side, BJP has a policy, leadership and good intentions. While on the other side, Congress neither has a leader nor policy or ideology," PM Modi said in Karimganj.

15:32 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Don't bow your heads before money offered by BJP, Mamata requests to public

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee requested people to not bow their heads in front of the money offered by the BJP during electiomns. "I have one request, during election if BJP distributes money don't bow your head in front of that money. Remember, this is public's money," she said in a public meeting.

15:02 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Kerala polls: Suresh Gopi files nomination as BJP candidate from Thrissur

Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi filed his nomination as BJP candidate from Kerala's Thrissur on Thursday. 

14:57 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Will bow my head only before public: Mamata

Mamata Banerjee on Thursday reiterated that she is a like a tiger and would bow her head only before the public. She asserted that she would not support a party like the BJP which "tortures women and Dalits". She was speaking at a public meeting in West Bengal's Amlasuli. (ANI)

14:52 (IST)18 Mar 2021
SC to hear plea against opening of window for sale of electoral bonds on March 24

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on March 24 a fresh plea seeking a direction to the Centre and others to not open any further window for sale of electoral bonds during pendency of a PIL pertaining to funding of political parties and alleged lack of transparency in their accounts.
      
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian took note of the submission of an NGO that its plea be heard urgently.
    
The hearing assume significance as it would take place ahead of assembly polls in several states including West Bengal. (PTI)

14:50 (IST)18 Mar 2021
AIADMK MLA Chandra Sekaran expelled from party for 'anti-party activities'

AIADMK MLA from Sendamangalam, Chandra Sekaran, expelled from the party for "anti party activities", reported news agency ANI. He has filed his nomination as an independent candidate after he was not given AIADMK ticket to contest in the upcoming assembly election.

14:49 (IST)18 Mar 2021
TN polls: CM Palaniswami campaigns in Vedaranyam

Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday held an election campaign in Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district, ahead of the assembly elections.

14:45 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Bengal polls: ISF fields candidates from across religions, castes

The ISF, led by Furfura Sharif's influential cleric Abbas Siddiqui, has fielded candidates cutting across religions and castes for the West Bengal assembly elections, in a bid to prove its secular credentials.
     
The BJP and the Trinamool Congress have accused the newly floated political outfit of being a party playing the minority card.
    
Of the 21 candidates the Indian Secular Front has so far announced as part of its share of seats in the alliance with the Left Front and the Congress, 10 are either Hindu or belong to Adivasi communities, while the rest are Muslims. (PTI)

14:34 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Centre will omit names of voters in the name of NPR but we won't allow it in Bengal: Mamata

Accusing the BJP of distributing money to woo voters ahead of polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Amlasuli said, "During polls, BJP leaders come with bagful of cash and offer money to voters, but they are nowhere to be seen when there is a crisis".

"We gave thousands of crores after Amphan. BJP, where were you at that time? They only distribute money for horsetrading," she alleged.

The CM further said that the BJP government at the Centre will omit names of voters in the garb of implementing NPR but asserted that it will not be allowed in Bengal.

13:22 (IST)18 Mar 2021
BJP releases list of campaigners for assembly polls and by-election to Kanyakumari constituency

The BJP on Tuesday released their list of leaders who will campaign for the upcoming assembly election and by-election to Kanyakumari parlimentary constituency in Tamil Nadu.

12:52 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Modi jibes at Mamata's 'Khela Hobe' slogan

Taking a swipe at Mamata's famous slogan "Khela Hobe", PM Modi said "Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole chaakri hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole vikas hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole shiksha hobe....Khela shesh hobe, vikas aarambh hobe."

Stating that West Bengal had made up its mind long back to remove TMC from power, he said "It's being said 'Lok Sabha mein TMC half aur iss baar poori saaf'. Seeing this determination, didi is taking out her frustration on me. But for us, she is a daughter like crores of daughters of India. Respect for them is part of our culture". 

12:36 (IST)18 Mar 2021
TMC will be punished for 10 years of misrule: PM

Appealing to the people of Bengal to vote for the BJP, Modi said the TMC will be punished for 10 years of misrule andpolitics of appeasement.

Attacking Mamata Banerjee, he said Bengal remembers who accused the Army of plotting coup and whose side the TMC took during the Pulwama attack. He added that appeasement and vote bank politics were the reasons behind infiltration in the state.

12:35 (IST)18 Mar 2021
TMC has created a new breed of Maoists in Bengal who loot public money: PM

PM Modi further targeted the Mamata Banerjee government in the state saying the Trinamool Congress has created a new breed of Maoists in Bengal who loot public money.

12:16 (IST)18 Mar 2021
TMC gave discriminatory governance to the poor of Purulia: PM

PM Modi said the people of Purulia have been given a life riddled with water crisis. "They have given Purulia migration. They have given the poor of Purulia discriminatory governance. They have given Purulia an identity of being one of the most backward areas of the country," he said.

12:09 (IST)18 Mar 2021
PM Modi attacks Mamata in Purulia

The previous governments in West Bengal have made life difficult for the people in Purulia, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Raising the issue of water crisis in Purulia, PM Modi questioned why the water supply project has not been completed yet and demanded an answer from CM Mamata Banerjee.

"This land is a witness to Lord Ram and Goddess Sita's exile. This land has Sitakund. It is also said that when goddess Sita was thirsty, Lord Ram got water from the ground by hitting it with an arrow...It is an irony that Purulia faces water crisis today," he said.

12:04 (IST)18 Mar 2021
PM Modi addresses public meeting in Purulia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing a public rally in West Bengal's Purulia ahead of the assembly elections.

Elections 2021: March 16 Highlights

The big news from Bengal on Tuesday included Swapan Dasgupta’s resignation from Rajya Sabha to contest from the Tarakeshwar constituency on a BJP ticket, and the Election Commission’s stern warning to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for trying to “belittle the institution with innuendos” that it was acting at the behest of one political party.

In Assam, the Congress on Tuesday declared candidates for 21 seats, taking the total number of candidates declared so far by the party to 90. Separately, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal clarified he was not in the race for the CM’s post, and that his party would always “stand for the state’s unity and development”.

In Kerala, former Congress leader PC Chacko joined Sharad Pawar’s NCP on Tuesday, and said he would visit all 14 districts over the next 18 days to campaign for the Left.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, 75, has started campaigning in his seat Dharmadam, where the polls slogan is "Surely, it is LDF". His task has been made easier by the fact that the Congress is yet to find a candidate to oppose him, and BJP's hasn't started canvassing.

Thol Thirumavalavan, president of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) which has allied with the DMK for the Tamil Nadu elections, told The Indian Express in an interview that BJP has no ground in the state “they have no stake in the lives of people” and “talking religion and God alone won’t help”.

Assembly Elections 2021 Schedule: West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

The election schedule for four states and one Union Territory has been announced with West Bengal voting in eight phases, Assam in three, and Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry together on the same day. Voting will be spread over a month between March 27 and April 29, and the results for all five Assemblies will be announced on May 2, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said.

The first phase of polling for 30 seats in West Bengal is scheduled on March 27. The second phase (30 seats) will be held on April 1, the third (31 seats) on April 6, fourth (44 seats) on April 10, fifth (45 seats) on April 17, sixth (43 seats) on April 22, seventh (36 seats) on April 26 and the final phase for remaining seats on April 29.

Voting in Assam will be spread over three phases, on March 27, April 1 and April 6, respectively. Polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on April 6.

The four states and the UT of Puducherry are the first set of Assemblies to poll amidst the pandemic after the Bihar elections in October last year.

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