General Elections 2019 – Day 34
PM Modi confident of outperforming 2014
Speaking at a rally in Kathua, J&K, the Prime Minister exuded the confidence of the BJP wave being stronger now than in 2014, reports Hindustan Times. He spoke of how the confidence of the people in BJP had increased since 2014 and his party’s performance since then would ensure a bigger wave this time.
PM Modi attacked the two political families – Abdullah and the Mufti, saying three generations had done little to develop the state and continued to prevent others from emerging to control state politics. He came down hard on former CM Omar Abdullah’s demand for a separate PM for the state and said the BJP would never allow division of the country. He took a dig at the opposition alliance asking them to clarify their position on Omar Abdullah’s demand for a separate PM for J&K.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won three of the 6 Lok Sabha seats in the state, PDP and NC won one seat each with one seat remaining vacant. BJP won the Ladakh, Jammu and Udhampur seats. The PDP ran the state government in J&K in alliance with the BJP before being dissolved on 27 November 2018. The state is presently under Governor’s rule.
Opposition to approach SC demanding 50% VVPAT paper verification with EVMs
The controversy around the EVMs is escalating. As per the Times of India, the 21 parties opposition parties led by Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu met on Sunday to discuss the issue and impact of EVM malfunctioning. With another six phases of elections to go, the opposition parties have decided to approach the Supreme Court with a demand for ensuring verification of at least 50 percent EVMs with VVPAT paper trail.
Speaking to the press, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the EC was not taking the EVM malfunctioning issue seriously, and they would request the apex court to instruct the EC to meet their demands and act immediately.
Has the BJP succeeded in winning over an upset trader community?
Nationwide, the trader community has been upset with the consequences and impact of demonetization and blamed the BJP for the losses and hardship incurred by small traders and businessmen. This crucial segment of voters further bore the brunt of the nationwide implementation of GST.
In 2014, the trader community largely supported the BJP, but after demonetization and GST, the trader community has become divided on their support. The traders of Delhi are no different, with many upset with BJP’s choice of candidates in the forthcoming polls. The local traders are also demanding an immediate suspension of the sealing drive undertaken against commercial establishments in Delhi.
According to Hindustan Times, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has requested the BJP’s leadership to nominate its general secretary Praveen Khandelwal from the Chandni Chowk seat. Presently, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan represents the Chandni Chowk seat and lawyer Meenakshi Lekhi the New Delhi seat.
Can the DMK crack AIADMK’s bastion Salem in TN?
The region comprising Salem, Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur, Namakkal, and Karur districts is an AIADMK stronghold with the party holding 41 of the 47 assembly seats in the region.
Salem happens to be CM E Palaniswami’s hometown, and the sitting Lok Sabha MP is AIADMK leader V Paneerselvam, who defeated the DMK candidate S Umarani by over 2.6 lakh votes. This year, DMK is hoping to dislodge AIADMK’s hold in the region and is pitting SR Parthiban to take on AIADMK’s KRS Saravanan. A breakthrough here will help weaken AIADMK’s traditional stronghold over a region dominated by the Grounders, a backward community of landowners and entrepreneurs who comprise 40 percent of the voters here.