General Elections 2019 – Day 63
Bengal govt denies permission for Amit Shah rally
The bitter battle for the ballot between the TMC and BJP in West Bengal took another downturn when the West Bengal government cancelled BJP president Amit Shah’s rally in Jadavpur constituency in Kolkata slated for Monday. Furthermore, the state government denied permission for Shah’s helicopter to land.
Rajya Sabha MP and BJP Media head Anil Baluni said the party would hold protests in the state and approach the EC against the state government’s actions.
In the last round of voting West Bengal will hold polls for 9 Lok Sabha seats – Jadavpur, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Mathurapur, Joynagar, Diamond Harbour, Kolkata Dakshin, Kolkata Uttar.
Amit Shah’s Jadavpur rally was planned in support of BJP candidate Anupam Hazra who faces popular Bengali actress Mimi Chakraborty (TMC) and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya (CPI-M).
The EC has already moved additional paramilitary forces to West Bengal. However, the ground situation in constituencies going to poll on 19 May remains tense.
Crucial meeting for today between KCR and MK Stalin in Chennai
After being rebuffed earlier, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao (TRS) finally met with DMK leader MK Stalin in Chennai on Monday. KCR has been pushing for a non-BJP non-Congress opposition to unite and form a federal government in the centre for quite some time. Based on the feedback of a better performance by the Congress, he is now open to bringing the entire non-BJP opposition together in a post-poll scenario if the NDA fails to get a majority.
Stalin, who has already made a public endorsement of Rahul Gandhi as PM, was hesitant in meeting KCR, citing preoccupation with campaign commitments. His meeting KCR on Monday opens up several possibilities.
If Congress comes close or crosses the 100 seat mark, it will play a significant role in bringing the opposition together and will be able to push for Rahul Gandhi as PM. If the numbers are lower and the collective opposition is in a position to form the government, then it may accept a PM as per consensus. In such case, the Congress strategy is likely to bid for time till 2022 when the U.P assembly elections are held and then work towards a pan-India performance in the 2024 general elections.
If the Congress numbers are lower, the choice for PM will be between KCR, Mamata Banerjee, and Mayawati. If KCR delivers the numbers he is expecting then Chandrababu Naidu will miss the chance to throw in his hat for PM.
Same for Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. If the BJP comes close to or crosses the targeted 23 seats in West Bengal, her leverage as a contender for PM will be considerably weakened. In this scenario, Mayawati’s chances as PM will become stronger if the SP-BSP-RLD alliance delivers the requisite numbers in U.P.
Representatives of 18 Countries witnessed the conduct of polls in the world’s largest democracy
The world looks towards India for taking lessons in conducting national polls successfully. For a country that’s the size of a continent with diverse religions, cultures, languages, all coming together to choose leaders of their choice, in a largely free and fair manner, it’s an event which remains the subject of discussion and study across the globe.
Representatives for 18 countries arrived in India to get a firsthand glimpse of how India manages this massive challenge so efficiently, election after election.
BJP and Congress accuse AAP of spreading fake survey results; FIR filed
According to the BJP and the Congress, voters in Delhi have been receiving pre-recorded phone calls announcing fake survey results to influence voters, in clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Romila Dhawan, the Delhi North East polling agent for the Congress candidate and ex-CM Sheila Dikshit, filed a written complaint with the EC and the Chief Electoral Officer for Delhi a day before the 12 May voting. The complaint did not name AAP, but the inference was obvious.
BJP also filed a written complaint with the EC. Delhi Police has taken cognizance and filed two FIRs in the case. Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia (AAP) denied any knowledge of this.