The NDA demonstrated alliance unity when BJP Party President Amit Shah arrived at the Election Commission office to file his nomination from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, reported PTI.
Mr Shah was accompanied today by a star-studded NDA team comprising Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Roads and Infrastructure Nitin Gadkari, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, Shiromani Akali Dal Patriarch, and LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan.
The NDA sent out a strong message of unity and followed it up with rallies in Gandhinagar. Amit Shah replaces BJP patriarch LK Advani, the 6-time sitting MP from Gandhinagar who held the prestigious seat since 1998. Mr Advani won the 2014 Lok Sabha seat with a 68% vote share. He was conspicuous by his absence today at the nomination and rallies.
Rahul Gandhi promises to replace NITI Aayog with a ‘lean’ Planning Commission
Congress President Rahul Gandhi promised to scrap NITI Aayog and replace it with a leaner Planning Commission comprising top economists if voted to power.
NITI Aayog was set up after the NDA came to power in 2014, replacing the Planning Commission set up by India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Planning Commission was criticized as being overstaffed and its five-year plans as not keeping pace with evolving changes in the country.
The present Chairman of NITI Aayog Rajeev Kumar was recently served notice for criticizing Rahul Gandhi’s recently announced minimum income guarantee scheme – NYAY.
Mr Gandhi has criticized NITI Aayog as serving no useful purpose other than propagating the Prime Minister’s political agenda.
Nishad Party dumps BSP-SP alliance in U.P
The BSP-SP alliance in U.P received a jolt with Dr Sanjay Nishad, President of Nishad Party announcing breaking the alliance with SP-BSP in U.P. Mr Nishad later met with UP CM Yogi Adiyanath and announced his party would contest independently.
In 2017, Sanjay Nishad left BSP to form Nishad Party to represent the Nishad, Bind, Kewats, and other minority communities. In 2018, his son Praveen Nishad contested the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat on an SP ticket and beat the sitting BJP candidate by 21,000 votes. The SP was quick to announce Rambhuyan Nishad as the party candidate from Gorakhpur.
The Nishad community represents the second largest demographic community in the Gorakhpur region, and so, the departure of Nishad Party is bound to hurt BSP-SP’s plans for the region.
Actress Urmila Matondkar gets trade union backing in Mumbai North
Actress Urmila Matondkar, who recently announced joining Congress party, is standing from Mumbai North. The Hindu today reported the Trade Union Joint Action Committee (Maharashtra) – TUJAC, has announced extending support to her in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Its a major boost to Ms. Matondar and the Congress party.
The Hindu quoted Vishwas Utagi, convenor TUJAC confirming support to Ms. Matondkar as her father, Shrikant Matondkar, had been an active member and supporter of All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and had supported various unions over time.
On 1 April, all trade unions in Maharashtra will be holding a joint press conference calling for members to vote against the BJP, as the party promoted anti-worker policies. The Congress-NCP alliance is expected to benefit from this voter base in Maharashtra.