NDA unity on display as PM files nomination from Varanasi
If yesterday was a 7-km Rockstar spectacle welcoming the prime minister in Varanasi, today was markedly sober with a strong display of opposition unity and commitment to forming a stable government by the NDA. The occasion was PM Modi filing his nomination papers from the Varanasi parliamentary constituency and every leader forming part of the NDA alliance was in attendance. No exceptions. Most of the party high command was in attendance too extending full support for their charismatic leader. He remains their party mascot and shoulders the responsibility of leading the party into its second consecutive term.
He stands challenged by Ajay Rai of the Congress and Shalini Yadav SP. But there is more in store for the PM.
Around 50 plus turmeric farmers from Telangana are arriving in Varanasi to file nominations as independent candidates. Many are farmers who contested the Nizamabad Lok Sabha in the earlier phase. They wish to highlight the plight of turmeric farmers and are demanding a Turmeric Board to address their grievances.
Curbing insurgency my biggest achievement claims Rajnath Singh
In an interview to PTI, Home Minister Rajnath Singh listed a peaceful northeast among his biggest achievements. In 2014, the insurgency was high in certain parts of the northeast, and his government’s focus on curbing insurgency have been fruitful, and the region is largely peaceful now.
He spoke of good governance under the leadership of PM Modi as the reason for his confidence that the NDA would win a three-fourths majority in these elections.
Rajnath Singh praised the prime minister’s leadership in international affairs and his ability to cultivate personal relationships with global leaders saying it was his initiatives that raised India’s stature in the international community.
On Naxal militancy, he compared the militancy from 1971 onwards and how over 129 districts in the country were reeling under Naxal activities and violence. Since his government took over in 2014, leftist militancy and activities were restricted to just six to seven districts.
On J&K, he spoke of his several visits to the state and interactions with state leaders and other stakeholders in the hope of resolving the vexed problem but failed to come to an understanding. He said the time had come to review Article 370 and Article 35 (A) with an open mind and study how they have come in the way of the state’s development. BJP has maintained the view that both the contentious Articles must go.
Singer Daler Mehndi latest celebrity to join the BJP
Popular Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi joined the long list of celebrities entering politics when he signed up with the BJP today. He was welcomed into the party in the presence of Union Minister Vijay Goel, Delhi BJP chief and actor Manoj Tiwari, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, and cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Also present was another Punjabi and Sufi singer Han Raj Hans who recently joined the party and is contesting the Delhi North West seat.
Daler Mehndi’s daughter is married to one of Hans Raj’s sons. With so many stars and celebrities in the fray, expect the polling in the capital to be a colourful one.
In a rare gesture, LDF candidate from Ernakulam launches “Let Us Clean Ernakulam” initiative post-polls
This will please the common man for sure. In a unique initiative that could serve as a template to future political leaders, LDF candidate from Ernakulam P Rajeev launched “Let Us Clean Ernakulam” initiative on WhatsApp, a call people and political leaders of Ernakulam responded positively. Soon, leaders like Union Minister and BJP candidate KJ Alphons were seen cleaning walls of political graffiti in the streets of Ernakulam.
In another initiative worth mentioning, the ex-Mizoram Governor and BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram Kummanam Rajasekharan plans to recycle cloth-based gifts like shawls, stoles, etc. into utility products like bags, towels and pillow covers.
Every year, elections in various parts of the country leave behind a trail of waste and defacing of walls with no political party taking up the responsibility to clean-up post-elections. Initiatives like those mentioned above will go a long way if these could be taken up in a bigger way with active local participation.