April 17, 2021

Sambaad Patra

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Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates: DMK manifesto promises Rs 1000 per month to every homemaker with ration card – The Indian Express

13 min read
assembly election 2021 datesAssembly Elections 2021 Live Updates:
Polls 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.

Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates: M K Stalin-led DMK Monday signed the seat-sharing agreement with CPI(M) and allotted them six seats for the upcoming polls in Tamil Nadu. The deal was signed by DMK president MK Stalin and CPI(M) state secretary K Balakrishnan at the DMK headquarters in Chennai. Capping of the seat sharing, DMK has allotted 54 seats to its allies. Congress has received 25 seats, other allies VCK, CPI, CPI(M), MDMK have received 6 each.

Meanwhile, DMK on Sunday released its manifesto on Sunday for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, promising to revive the economy, improve agriculture and farming productivity, focus on health and education, urban and rural development and, abolition of manual scavenging. Stalin also promised a Rs 1000 monthly allowance to homemakers with ration cards.

Addressing a poll rally in Thiruvananthapuram in poll-bound Kerala, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress-led UDF factions have a healthy competition between them but for doing scams, not for taking Kerala forward. “When UDF comes to power, it commits solar scam and when LDF comes to power, it does Dollar, gold scams,” ANI quoted Shah as saying.

In West Bengal,  Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday led a ‘padayatra’ in Siliguri to protest against the huge hike in the prices of LPG cylinders. Countering BJP’s rhetoric of bringing “asol poriborton” (real change) in West Bengal, Banerjee said the change will happen but in Delhi, not in Bengal. She further said the people of Bengal would be under grave threat if a “divisive force” like BJP seizes power in the state.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a grand rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground and accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of indulging in “tolabaazi, syndicate, and commission cut”. He promised to bring ‘asol poriborton’ in the state if the BJP government comes to power. At the event, actor Mithun Chakraborty officially joined the BJP in the presence of several BJP leaders, including Dilip Ghosh and Kailash Vijayvargiya.

the ruling AIADMK party which struck the deal with Pattali Makkal Katchi(PMK) in the last week of February, is yet to arrive at an agreement with their ally Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) led by Captain Vijayakant. The talks between the two parties are struggling to make a progress as DMDK had been demanding a higher number of seats than what was offered by the ruling party.

In AIADMK’s alliance, 23 seats have been allocated to PMK, and 20 have been provided to BJP. The ruling party is yet to finalise the seat-sharing talks with other allies such as GK Vaasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress, Krishnaswamy’s Puthiya Tamilagam, etc. (With Janardhan Kaushik)

After several rounds of talks, the DMK  on Monday signed the seat-sharing agreement with CPI(M), allotting them six seats for the assembly election. The deal was signed by DMK president MK Stalin and CPI(M) state secretary K Balakrishnan at the DMK headquarters ‘Anna Arivalayam’ in Chennai.

Addressing the reporters, Balakrishnan said since they have a political responsibility to make AIADMK suffer a crushing defeat and also to stop BJP from gaining a foothold in Tamil Nadu, they have settled for six seats. The party leader added they will be contesting in their own symbol. (With Janardhan Kaushik)

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari who defected from TMC, will file nomination papers from Nandigram Assembly seat on March 12. In what will be a heated battleground, Suvendu will face CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in the election.

Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday named AP Abdullakutty as its candidate to Malappuram Lok Sabha seat for the upcoming assmebly elections in Kerala, ANI reported.

The TMC on Monday decided to replace Sarala Murmu, its candidate for Malda district’s Habibpur assembly constituency, with Pradeep Baskey, amid speculation that she might join the BJP after allegedly being denied a seat that she desired. A senior TMC leader said the party nominates a candidate for a particular constituency “based on his or her winning possibility and not personal desires”.(PTI)

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Mamata Banerjee and her government at his first campaign rally in West Bengal, the Chief Minister countered him with her own huge rally in Siliguri, calling him a “liar” and demanding an explanation for the high prices of auto fuels and cooking gas.“Prime Minister will have to answer why the prices of LPG, petrol and diesel are being increased. Otherwise, you have to leave,” she said.

After riding an electric scooter in Kolkata on February 25 – a protest that Modi mocked in his speech at Brigade Parade Ground – Mamata walked with a cardboard cutout of a cooking gas cylinder on Sunday.

The AICC on Sunday issued the second list of three candidates for the prestigious Titabor, Dhakuakhana and Naoboicha assembly constituencies of Assam, which goes to polls in the first phase on March 27. The party had announced on Saturday a list of 40 out of the 47 constituencies going to polls in phase one. Congress’ candidate for Titabor, earlier represented by former three-time chief minister Tarun Gogoi who died on November 23, is Bhaskarjyoti Barua.

The candidate for Naoboicha is former minister Bharat Chandra Narah and for Dhakuakhana, the nominee is Padma Lochan Doley. The party has left Bokakhat, Dhing, Tinsukia and Behali seats for its allies. (PTI)

The newly-formed Assam Jatiya Parishad on Sunday announced the second list of 50 candidates for the three-phased assembly polls, with its president Lurinjyoti Gogoi contesting from one more constituency, Naharkatia. Both the constituencies of the former AASU general secretary are in upper Assam and are going to polls in the first phase.

AJP vice president Adeep Kumar Phukan said the party announced names of 68 candidates for all three phases and is in talks with its alliance partner for selecting nominees in some more seats.

The AJP has forged the alliance with the Raijor Dal of jailed anti-citizenship law activist Akhil Gogoi for the assembly elections intending to oust the BJP-led ruling coalition from power.

“We are united to defeat the BJP though there may be friendly contests in a few seats,” Phukan said.

AJP working president Pabindra Deka, who had quit the Asom Gana Parishad and resigned from the assembly, to join the party, will contest from Pathacharkuchi and is pitted against BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass. (PTI)

The newly-floated Raijor Dal on Sunday announced the names of two more candidates, following All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) leader Azizur Rahman and former BJP leader Madhab Mushahary joining the party ahead of the assembly polls.

Rahman will contest from Naoboicha and Mushahary from Jonai constituencies, both of which are in Upper Assam and go to polls in the first phase on March 27.

RD working president Bhasco De Saikia said the party has decided to contest from a minimum number of seats to ensure votes are not divided and the BJP is defeated.

“We are not fighting the elections for the lust of power but with the sole objective of defeating the BJP to save Assam and its identity. If the BJP-RSS is allowed to rule the state, the people of Assam will be doomed,” he said. (PTI)

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an alliance partner of the ruling BJP-led combine in Assam, on Sunday declared its first list of eight candidates for the approaching assembly polls in the state. Announcing the candidates for the first phase of polling on March 27, AGP general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita told a press conference that newcomer Prithviraj Rabha would contest from the prestigious Tezpur seat.

Veteran AGP leader and five-time MLA Brindaban Goswami was denied ticket and replaced by Rabha, who was inducted into the party fold during the day.

AGP president and state minister Atul Bora will contest from Bokakhat, while his cabinet colleague and working president of the party Keshab Mahanta will be in the fray from Kaliabor constituency.

Names of sitting MLAs Renupoma Rajkhowa (Teok), Bhabendra Nath Bharali (Dergaon) and Prodip Hazarika (Amguri) feature in the list. The party has fielded Ponakan Barua from Chabua and Jayanta Khaund from Naoboicha constituency respectively, Kalita told reporters.

The party currently has 13 MLAs in the 126-member Assam Assembly, which is going to polls in three phases. (PTI)

‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan on Sunday said he was ready to take up any responsibility given to him by the BJP, which he had recently joined.

Speaking at a rally attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, at nearby Shangumugham, Sreedharan said he wanted to utilise his energy for the state of Kerala.

“For the last 67 years I was a government servant. Many people have asked me why I ventured into politics after these many years. For 67 years, I worked as part of many projects for this country.”

“I am still energetic and want to utilise my energy for the state of Kerala. Whatever responsibility is given to me I will take it up with all courage and energy,” he said at the rally marking the culmination of the Vijay Yatra taken out by BJP state president K Surendran from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, ahead of the April 6 assembly polls.

‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan on Sunday said he was ready to take up any responsibility given to him by the BJP, which he had recently joined.

Speaking at a rally attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, at nearby Shangumugham, Sreedharan said he wanted to utilise his energy for the state of Kerala.

“For the last 67 years I was a government servant. Many people have asked me why I ventured into politics after these many years. For 67 years, I worked as part of many projects for this country.”

“I am still energetic and want to utilise my energy for the state of Kerala. Whatever responsibility is given to me I will take it up with all courage and energy,” he said at the rally marking the culmination of the Vijay Yatra taken out by BJP state president K Surendran from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, ahead of the April 6 assembly polls. (PTI)

Sunday was an eventful day in all the poll-bound states, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata attacking TMC for letting “corruption flourish”; an Assam BJP minister resigning to join the Congress; and in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Union Home Minister Amit Shah raising the poll pitch.

Here are all the important assembly elections-related updates you need to know today.

DMK leader M K Stalin releases 10-year vision document. He promises to revive economy, improve farming productivity, Agriculture, Health and Education, Urban and rural development. Rs 1000 monthly allowance to homemakers, abolition of manual scavenging are part of the reform plans.

M K Stalin-led DMK released its manifesto on Sunday for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, promising to give Rs 1000 per month to every homemaker with ration card.

Addressing a poll rally in Thiruvananthapuram in poll-bound Kerala, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress-led UDF factions have a healthy competition between them but for doing scams, not for taking Kerala forward. “When UDF comes to power, it commits solar scam and when LDF comes to power, it does Dollar, gold scams,” ANI quoted Shah as saying. 

“I heard Kerala CM saying that Central agencies are working under political pressure. I want to ask him if the main accused in Dollar & gold smuggling cases were working in his office or not? You should tell people if your govt gave them Rs 3 lakhs per month salary or not,” he added.

He further said, “You (Kerala CM) should tell if the CM office put pressure when illegal gold was recovered by the Customs at the airport or not. ED and Customs officers were attacked. Has he conducted a detailed investigation in this case?”

Ten smaller outfits, including the former Member of Parliament, A C Shanmugam-led Puthiya Needhi Katchi, on Sunday extended their support to the AIADMK for the April 6 Tamil Nadu assembly elections, the ruling party said.

Perunthalaivar Makkal Katchi’s N R Dhanapalan, Akila Indiya Moovendar Munnani Kazhagam founder leader N Sethuraman, Pasumpon Desiya Kazhagam leader N Jothi Muthuramalinga Thevar, were among those who promised support to the AIADMK.

Bharatiya Forward Block’s Muruganji, Indiya Uzhavar Uzhaipalar party leader Vettavalam K Manigandan, Tamil Maanila Muslim League president S Sheikh Dawood, Inidya Desiya Kudiyarasu Katchi’s founder chief C Ambedkar Priyan, Veera Mutharaiyar Munnetra Sangam’s KK Selvakumar and Tamil Telugu Desiya Katchi’s EVS Ramkumar Naidu were the others who pledged the backing of their respective outfits to the AIADMK. (PTI)

The Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM), a constituent of the opposition ‘Grand Alliance’ in Assam, on Sunday expressed unhappiness over the “slow pace” at which the Congress is moving on several issues of the combine.

The AGM also announced the names of two candidates for constituencies going to polls in the first phase on March 27.

Rajya Sabha MP and AGM president Ajit Bhuyan made public the names of Lachit Bordoloi from Batadroba and Pranab Doley from Bokakhat at a press conference here.

Bhuyan said though there are certain issues within the alliance, but “we are going to work towards strengthening it and there is no question of leaving” as our sole objective is to prevent the BJP from forming government in the state.

“The AGM had asked for four to five seats in the first phase but due to various reasons, the Congress said it had problems, and finally we asked for the Batadroba and Bokakhat constituencies,” he said. (PTI)

Addressing the crowd at the BJP’s Kerala Vijay Yatra in Shangumugham, Kerala BJP leader E Sreedharan said, “Many people ask me why I entered politics at this age. My answer is — I worked on many projects for the country. At this age too, I have enough energy to work and I want to use it for the development of Kerala. That’s why I joined BJP.”

Sharing dais with Sreedharan and Home Minister Amit Shah, state BJP chief K Surendran said, “Only BJP can save Kerala. People here are seeking a change from the corrupt fronts of LDF and Congress. The reformers have dreamed of a Kerala which is not this Kerala.”

The party also inducted actors Devan and Radha at the rally. Former bureaucrat K V Balakrishnan also joined the BJP.

(inputs from ANI)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah met representatives of 27 religious mutts across the state at Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama in Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram. 

He also attended the valedictory function for BJP’s Kerala Vijay Yatra being held in Shangumugham area of Thiruvananthapuram. ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan was also present at the event.

Launching a fresh tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said he was “peddling lies to mislead the voters” in the poll-bound state.

Banerjee, addressing a rally in Siliguri following her protest march over LPG price hike, said the prime minister made many “empty” promises over the years, and people no longer trust him. She sought to know “why the PM has not yet deposited Rs 15 lakh in the bank accounts of every citizen, as promised by him before 2014 Lok Sabha polls”.

“You have made many empty promises. People will not accept your falsehood every day. We demand you make LPG cylinder affordable to every citizen of the country. You have made LPG cylinders inaccessible for the common man,” Banerjee said in her address.

The CM also said that Modi should be “ashamed of his habit of telling lies”. “He gives speech in Bangla, but the script in always written in Gujarati, and kept under a transparent sheet of glass before him. He just pretends that he knows Bangla well,” she said.

“Your party had vandalised Vidyasagar’s bust. Your party dishonoured Birsa Munda. Your party wrongly said Rabindranath Tagore was born in Santiniketan. This shows your depth of knowledge about Bengal and its culture,” she said. (PTI)

West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021

West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and former state minister-turned-BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. (File Photo)

In Assam, Congress was the latest to release its list of 40 candidates for the upcoming polls. BJP released a list of 70 candidates on Friday with its allies AGP and  UPPL given 26 and eight seats, respectively. Activist Akhil Gogoi, who is in jail since December 2019 under the UAPA, will contest from his newly-floated political party Raijor Dal.

The BJP and Congress released their first list of candidates, 57 and 13 respectively, on Saturday for the West Bengal polls. The saffron party announced that Suvendu Adhikari, who defected from the Trinamool Congress, will be pitted against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram.

Over the years, West Bengal and the country have learned not to underestimate Mamata Banerjee. A fiery leader in disarming sari and chappals, she took lathis and more to do the impossible and topple the Left Front in the state. A decade hence, Mamata finds herself in the same spot, and the country is again watching. Does the two-time Chief Minister still have the fight in her to stop another opponent, far mightier, over the course of an election spread out longer than a month, aiming for what no longer seems impossible?

If the Trinamool supremo retains power, she would join the handful of political leaders in the country to have defeated the Narendra Modi-led BJP, cementing her place as one of the tallest Opposition leaders at a time that the Congress is doddering. If the BJP wins, West Bengal would join the list of states the party sees as crucial to its ideological framework to go its way.

At a time when the Congress is locked in a bitter tussle with the DMK over seat-sharing in Tamil Nadu, there is tension in the party in Assam over allocation of seats to partner AIUDF.

There were tense scenes and slogan-shouting by a section of the party workers at the Congress office, in the presence of party chief Ripun Bora and Mahila Congress national president Sushmita Dev, in Guwahati on Saturday. Sources said Dev is upset over the allocation of some seats to the AIUDF in her stronghold of Barak Valley.

Of the 15 Assembly seats in Barak Valley, comprising the Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts, the Congress had won three last time while the AIUDF had won four. All the three seats in Hailakandi district were won by AIUDF and the party is claiming these as part of the seat-sharing deal.

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