Even as statisticians and mathematicians were trying to figure out the viability of the government being able to afford Rahul’s minimum income poll sop, the Supreme Court had a busy day tackling poll related FIRs. Here’s a look at the top election stories of March 26:
The Supreme Court (SC) rejected the allocation of the ‘cooker symbol’ to the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). Stating that it was given to TTV Dinakaran during the RK Nagar bye-elections, where he contested as an independent candidate, the SC said the party needs to register to use it as its symbol in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls. The SC also added that even if it were get registered immediately, a symbol cannot be allocated forthwith.
The Supreme Court, on March 25, directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that public places, including hilly areas, are not defaced by slogans and advertisements by political parties in the run up to the polls.
The Kerala High Court directed action against political parties and candidates violating its order prohibiting use of flex and other non-biodegradable materials for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections. A division bench of the high court had on March 11 prohibited the use of flex and other non-biodegradable materials for campaigning throughout the state.
For Bengalore South, the BJP named 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya, an advocate and general secretary of the party’s state youth wing, as its candidate rejecting the reported claims of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, wife of late union minister Ananth Kumar.
The Congress picked state minister Krishna Byre Gowda as its candidate for Bangalore North-a decision that would pit him against BJP’s DV Sadananda Gowda.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told women belonging to self-help groups that he would be giving 33% of his Biju Janatal Dal’s tickets to females. The move is only the latest in Patnaik’s long-standing strategy of wooing women voters. It is a game-plan handed down by his father, Biju Patnaik, who reserved 33% of seats for women in Panchayati Raj of the state.
The Statesman reported that Haji Haroon Rasheed, whose family has been supporting the Gandhis, in Amethi, for the past four decades, has decided to quit the party and contest independently. Rasheed, who claims the support of about 6.5 lakh Muslim voters in the constituency, is confident of securing all their votes against Rahul. Amethi goes to polls on May 6. Amidst confusion over fielding Rahul in a second seat from either Kerala or Karnataka, the Congress has to add this revolt to their list of woes.
Actor Sanjay Dutt denied rumours, through Twitter, of him contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from Ghaziabad.
Actor Jaya Prada joined the BJP. She is all set to take on Azam Khan in Rampur, a seat from where she got elected twice on an SP ticket. Jaya Prada is a close aide of former Samajwadi party leader Amar Singh.
Quoting reports the Samajwadi Party said that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi may contest from another seat besides Amethi, reflecting the “real picture” of the outfit’s strength in the state.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath began campaigning in Azamgarh and Gorakhpur. He addressed a public meeting in Gorakhpur, while one of his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya spoke at a rally in Azamgarh. Gorakhpur goes to polls on May 19, in the last of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections in the state.
With speculations rife of an alliance between the Congress and the AAP, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit said, “When a decision will be taken then we will inform the media. Ultimately the decision is to be taken by Rahul Gandhi as he is the party president. Everyone will abide by what he decides.”
Former JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar made an appeal to his supporters for votes as well as “notes”. According to an NDTV report, the student leader is crowd sourcing his election campaign in Begusarai, where the CPI has fielded him. The fiery former JNU student, fighting his first ever election, faces a formidable opponent in Union Minister Giriraj Singh of the BJP.