Urmila Matondkar joins Congress; BJP’s Hema Malini a billionaire

The actor with Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Facebook

From DMK cadres asking the returning officer of Thoothukudi to reject the nomination of BJP’s Tamilisai Soundararajan to actor Urmila Matondkar joining the Congress, it has been an eventful couple of days. Here are the latest election-related updates from various states across the country:


About 362 candidates have filed nominations for the first phase of polling for 14 Lok Sabha constituencies which go to polls in the first phase on April 18. Among these, 337 are male candidates and 25 are female contestants, Karnataka’s chief electoral officer said.


Amid resentment with the BJP’s selection of Tejasvi Surya for the Bangalore South constituency, state party chief BS Yeddyurappa assured to unite the party workers and work towards making the candidate win. Three MLAs from the constituency had backed Tejaswini Ananth Kumar’s candidature and they were upset with the ticket distribution to a new face.

Tamil Nadu

After filing of nominations was closed, scrutinising of the candidates started on March 27. While most of the famous candidates in the ruling and opposition parties were accepted, there was ruckus in the Thoothukudi constituency against BJP candidate Tamilisai Soundararajan. The DMK cadres asked the returning officer of the Thoothukudi constituency to reject the nomination of Tamilisai alleging that she furnished false information in the affidavit filed along with the nomination papers. However, the returning officer accepted Tamilisai’s nomination.

While the Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission to consider allocating a common symbol to the ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK party, the EC allegedly sent instructions to the returning officers not to allot any free symbol to AMMK candidates until further order.


Legislators Manohar Ajgaonkar and Dipak Pawaskar merged their party’s legislative wing with the BJP on March 27. This brings the BJP’s tally of legislators to 14 from 12. The BJP now has the same number of legislators as Congress in the 40-member Goa assembly. The midnight coup helped BJP avert a show of strength test. As two out of the three lawmakers have merged the legislative wing, they are saved from inviting the anti-defection law, which makes it mandatory that two-third of the strength should agree for merger.


On his first visit to the city after being named the BJP candidate from Patna Sahib, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was shown black flags by supporters of another party leader on March 26. Prasad, a resident of the Bihar capital and whose father was a state minister and leader of the Jan Sangh, was shown black flags by supporters of RK Sinha, a Rajya Sabha member, who was hopeful of a ticket for the seat which is currently held by the dissident party MP and actor Shatrughan Sinha.


Fighting for the Mathura Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket, the sitting MP and film actor Hema Malini is a billonaire with the value of her assets having increased by a whopping ₹34.46 crore in the past five years, discloses an affidavit filed by her with the poll panel. The affidavit shows Malini presently owns total wealth including bungalows, jewellery, cash, shares and term deposits worth over ₹101 crore, while five years ago, before the 2014 general elections, her total assets had been valued at nearly ₹66 crore.


Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress on March 27. She was welcomed to the party by president Rahul Gandhi. Speculations suggest that the Congress will nominate her as the candidate for Mumbai North constituency. If the Congress nominates her, she will contest against BJP incumbent MP Gopal Shetty.


Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party drew a comparison between the BJP’s ₹15 lakh promise ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls to Congress’ minimum income plan, asking voters to beware of such rhetoric. The AAP posted a picture on March 26 via Twitter showing a man getting kicked out of an ATM with BJP written on it and another ATM with Congress on it, with a caption of “beware of jumlas (rhetoric).”


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