A quick wrap of the poll scene from across states.
Notification for the first phase of the Lok Sabha election was issued on March 18 according to which polling would be held in 91 parliamentary constituencies, across 20 states on April 11. The nomination process, which will continue till March 25, has now begun. The last date for withdrawing nominations is March 28.
In Karnataka, actor Sumalatha, wife of late actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh officially announced that she would contest as an independent candidate from Mandya constituency in Karnataka. She will take on Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son, Nikhil Gowda, who’s the JD(S) contestant.
Rahul Gandhi, at a public rally in north Karnataka mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Main Bhi Chowkidar” campaign, saying he was turning the whole country into “chowkidars”.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao accused the BJP and the Congress of failing to meet the aspirations of the people and said that he would start a national party “if necessary” to herald reforms and unite the country. Kicking off his election campaign, KCR stressed on the need for alternative federal politics.
Meanwhile, the process of filing nominations for the Lok Sabha election has begun in the state. Telangana will go to the polls in the first phase on April 11.
In Tamil Nadu, Vijayakant’s DMDK, which is part of the AIADMK-led alliance, announced its candidates for the Lok Sabha election. The party is contesting Kallakurichi (L K Sudhish), Virudhunagar (R Alagarsamy) , North Chennai (Alagaapuram R. Mohanraj) and Trichy (Dr V Elangovan). Tamil Mannila Congress (TMC) which has been given one seat – Thanjavur in the AIADMK-led alliance declared NR Natarajan as its candidate.
Amid the controversy surrounding Rahul Gandhi’s college event in Chennai during March third week, Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo clarified that there was no violation of the model code of conduct. He also said that polling time for Madurai would be extended up to 8 pm, on April 18, following demands that elections be postponed due to the Chitirai festival-an annual event in the town.
Meanwhile, former AIADMK minister Raja Kannappan extended his support to the DMK.
The DMK, on March 18, rejected allegations that dynasty played a role in the awarding of poll tickets and asserted that only loyal party workers have been rewarded with a ticket. “Those who have been working for the party for long alone have been given seats. Nobody has been brought from outside,” said Kanimozhi. She will be contesting the Tuticorin seat.
The AIADMK and the DMK will have a face off in eight seats during the Lok Sabha polls. Both the parties will be in a straight contest in south Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, Tirunelveli, Mayiladuthurai, Salem, Nilgiris and Pollachi. Both parties would be contesting 20 seats each in the state, while the remaining 19 have been allotted their respective allies.
The Janata Dal (United) has announced the names of 11 candidates for the Assembly election and one for the Lok Sabha polls in Arunachal Pradesh. The JD(U) is entering the poll fray in the north eastern state for the first time ever.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said on Monday (March 18) that her party will not enter into any alliance with the Congress. She asked the Congress to refrain from spreading confusion by leaving seven Lok Sabha seats for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh. She said the Congress is free to field its candidates in all the 80 parliamentary constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, adding that the SP-BSP-RLD alliance is capable enough of defeating the BJP on its own.
CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said the Left Front cannot accept the Congress’ “unjustified” demand for seats in West Bengal and termed the West Bengal unit of the Congress calling off seat-sharing talks as “unexpected”. Going by the stand-off, it looks like the two parties would fight the general elections in the state separately. West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats.