Pawan Kalyan files nomination; Maya calls ‘riot-free UP’ remark farce

Pawan Kalyan, Jan Sena party
Actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan surprised his fans by announcing that he would take to journalism and launch a party magazine.

With the general elections fast approaching, here is a look at the main poll activities from various states across the country:

Arunachal Pradesh

The BJP on Thursday released a list of 18 candidates for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim assembly elections, ANI reported. The party announced six names for Arunachal Pradesh and 12 for Sikkim.

Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) will contest the April 11 assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh for the first time, PTI reported. The party released its first list of candidates for the polls on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the National People’s Party has released its first list of candidates for 29 assembly constituencies out of 60 in Arunachal Pradesh. The Lok Sabha and the assembly polls in the state will be held simultaneously on April 11. The party, led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, is contesting the elections in Arunachal Pradesh for the first time.

Uttar Pradesh

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said the BJP’s claim that Uttar Pradesh has been riot-free in the past two years is a farce. Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani accused Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of insulting Lal Bahadur Shastri by garlanding a bust of the former prime minister with a used garland during the last day of her tour in Uttar Pradesh.

According to an ANI report, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said paramilitary forces are unhappy with the BJP government and soldiers were killed for votes. Speaking on the Pulwama attack, Yadav said Central Reserve Police Force jawans were being transported in “simple buses”.

Jammu & Kashmir

The National Conference and the Congress have announced an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir. They said it was a step “in national interest” which will “help strengthen secular forces”.

West Bengal

While talks between the Congress and the Left front in West Bengal failed, the Congress shifted the blame to the Left for the latter’s reluctance to forge a formal alliance. The CPI(M)-led Left front has already announced candidates for 38 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission in West Bengal has issued show-cause notices to two Trinamool Congress leaders — Jitendra Kumar Tiwari and Anubrata Mondal — for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, TMC General Secretary Partha Chatterjee, MP Derek O’Brien and actor Mimi Chakraborty are among the 40 “star campaigners” named by the Trinamool Congress in a list released today.

Odisha

Three more Biju Janata Dal MLAs joined the BJP on Wednesday after they were denied party tickets for the upcoming Odisha assembly elections. So far, four MLAs have quit the BJD and joined the BJP.

Delhi

The BJP’s central election committee (CEC) met at the party headquarters in the capital on Wednesday evening for the third time to finalise candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. However, it has not released a list yet.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party issued a media advisory asking journalists to speak only to authorised spokespersons to get quotes for news reports. The AAP warned journalists that it will contradict and send rejoinders to “anonymous quotes” attributed to sources in news reports. Both the BJP and the Congress have criticised the advisory, calling it an attempt to intimidate the media.

Telangana

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) continues to be the favoured destination for political migrations ahead of the April 11 Lok Sabha elections. A senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and former MP from Khammam, Nama Nageswara Rao, on Thursday joined the TRS.

A prominent industrialist and promoter of the infrastructure company Madhucon Projects Limited, Rao was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Khammam but was defeated in the 2014 polls. He is one of the richest politicians, having declared assets worth Rs 113 crore in the recent affidavit submitted to the Election Commission.

Rao, who had earlier served as the TDP Parliamentary Party leader, joined the TRS in Hyderabad, in the presence of the party’s working president KT Rama Rao.

Earlier, he resigned from the primary membership of the TDP. “I tried my best to bring back the glory of the party (TDP). There is a big question on the future of the party in Telangana. In keeping with the aspirations of the people, I am resigning from the party’s primary and politburo membership,” Rao said in his resignation letter.

Andhra Pradesh

The president of Jana Sena Party Pawan Kalyan filed his nomination papers on Thursday for Gajuwaka assembly constituency, a suburb of Visakhapatnam. The actor-turned-politician will also contest from Bhimavaram in West Godavari district.

Two former chairmen of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam will face off in the coming assembly election in the Tirupati constituency. Chadalavada Krishnamurthy, who is contesting on behalf of the Jana Sena Party, will face Karunakara Reddy.

Kerala

Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) announced the candidates on Thursday for all the 20 constituencies. The Congress is to contest from 16 constituencies and its allies, Indian Union Muslim League from two, Kerala Congress (M) and RSP, one constituency each. The sitting MP Shashi Tharoor will contest from Thiruvananthapuram for the third time in the row.