BJP wants EC to declare Bengal ‘super-sensitive’ zone
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Health Minister JP Nadda and other party members approached the Election Commission with an appeal to declare West Bengal a ‘super-sensitive’ zone. They raised concerns regarding TMC allowing free and fair elections, given the history of political violence in the state. The party wants central forces to guard every booth, stating the local police and government officials were acting as extensions of the ruling party.
Rahul Gandhi reaches out to female students in Chennai
Rahul Gandhi met with around 3000 female students of Stella Maris College, Chennai, in outreach to woo the youth, and he seemed to have pulled it off. ANI reported Rahul Gandhi at his charming best when he challenged PM Modi to follow his cue to come up close and personal with students in an open session. He spoke of the differences in ideology between the Congress and the BJP while touching upon the problem of unemployment and investigations into his brother-in-law, Robert Vadra, by the Enforcement Directorate.
BJP stitches up alliances for its North-East strategy
Times of India quoted a confident Ram Madhav, BJP in-charge of North East, claiming the party had sealed alliances with regional parties under the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) umbrella. The alliance hopes to win 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats.
Tie-ups have been worked out with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SMM), Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), National Peoples Party (NPP), and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
BJP, however, faces pressure over contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (AGP) reportedly expressed disappointment over his party’s tie-up with the BJP. Speaking to News18, he feared the state would be filled with Bangladeshis if the Bill is passed. The proposed Bill is unpopular among locals across the North-Eastern states.
Kejriwal seeks a tie-up with Congress in Haryana
Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter calling out to the Congress and Jannayak Janta Party (JPP) to join hands with AAP in Haryana to defeat the BJP.
JPP, formed after a split with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), was supported by AAP in the fight for the recently held Jind by-election seat. Having failed to work out an alliance with the Congress in Delhi, Kejriwal is keen to work with the Congress to take on the BJP in Haryana, as AAP does not have a strong foothold in the state.
DMK leader Stalin shares stage with Rahul Gandhi with a ‘Rahul for PM’ call
DMK President MK Stalin repeated his earlier call for Rahul Gandhi as the opposition candidate for PM while speaking at a rally in Tamil Nadu today. UPA kicked off its south campaign with meetings in Chennai and Nagercoil.
Congress-DMK is confident of staving off a BJP-AIADMK-PMK alliance. Other parties supporting the Congress-DMK alliance include MDMK, VCK, IUML, CPI(M), and CPI. Congress is contesting 10 seats – nine in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry. The BJP is contesting 5 seats in the state.