General Elections 2014 – Day 17

Kalmadi - Kadam
I am upset, I am happy
Kalmadi - Kadam
I am upset, I am happy

Oh My God! Look who is hurt! Commonwealth Games scam accused Suresh Kalmadi! He is hurt because he has been denied a ticket this election. The Congress has instead fielded Vishwajeet Kadam from Pune, where Kalmadi is the sitting MP.

Kalmadi conveyed to the world that his supporters were very hurt by this development and went on to say that at least his wife could have been given the ticket. Which makes us think – if he gets convicted in the CWG scam, will his wife serve the sentence? The way politics operates in this country, anything is possible. Then it comes as no surprise that he is eyeing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). For a second, let us imagine that BJP offers him the ticket, will that then make him less corrupt?

The BJP seems to be in for some rumblings from the grumbling leaders. After L.K. Advani’s display of displeasure in accepting Gandhinagar constituency, now it is veteran leader Jaswant Singh’s turn. He had expressed a desire to contest from Barmer in Rajasthan but apparently BJP is in no mood to agree to his request. They, instead, are pondering on fielding Col Choudhary, a Congress leader who had joined BJP last week. Considering the fact that he has never fought from Barmer before, did Jaswant Singh choose this constituency as a deliberate attempt to put BJP in a tight spot? Well, whichever spot BJP finds itself in, of late, it surely has a way of standing strong on its stand – so, for all you know, threats of Jaswant Singh going independent this election may not act as a deterrent to their decision making.

The Shiv Sena today declared that it would fight 20 seats in Uttar Pradesh. This is in reply to BJP’s new found love for his estranged cousin, Raj Thackery, who heads Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS.) The BJP and Shiv Sena are very old allies and their alliance goes a very long way. However, the BJP was recently seen cosying up to Raj who has agreed to put up seven candidates – six against Shiv Sena and one against BJP. This is where the seeds of discontentment were planted.

Addressing a meeting in Andhra Pradesh, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said that his party is looking at winning 300 seats on its own. He also added that regional parties will have to support the national parties and alliances between BJP and regional parties are underway.

In another meeting, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi met Pawan Kalyan, the Telugu film actor and younger brother of actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi. Kalyan had recently founded Jana Sena party and has extended his full support to Modi. The way actors make a foray into politics, imagine if politicians made a foray into acting…Just a thought! Modi in the role of a father or a villainous father-in-law, Rahul as a hero dancing atop trains, Mamata as a viscious mother-in-law, Kejriwal as a munshi, or Mayawati as an envious bua!!! The list can continue.

Meanwhile Congress has released their fifth list. Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will be taking on BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Amritsar. Initially Amarinder had expressed his desire to continue in state politics only and had asked Sonia Gandhi to not consider him as an option. He also mentioned that he was keen to support his wife’s candidature from Patiala. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had her last word, Amarinder Singh couldn’t escape that.

However, Finance Minister P Chidambaram was not very forthcoming about accepting his candidature from Sivaganga and has, instead, nominated his son Karti. The son seemed very confident and rubbished allegations that “Chidambaram was scared of running the election.” He said that his father had contested nine times and won seven times, hence has seen both sides of the coin.

Going strong on its anti-corruption image, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has expelled two Uttar Pradesh leaders for demanding money in lieu of allotment of seats. Please make a note here – the leaders had just demanded money, the transaction was yet to take place. It seems news was doing rounds that seats were being sold, following which a sting operation was conducted. The footage was then presented before AAP leaders. No sooner were they convinced, the two leaders – Hardoi treasurer Ashok Kumar and Avadh zone convenor Aruna Singh– were sacked. Going a step ahead, Kejriwal has appealed to the media to conduct sting operation whenever they come across any instance of money being demanded.

Talking about money, Kejriwal and his wife are worth 2 crores while senior BJP leader and sitting MP from Aonla, Maneka Gandhi has declared assets running into several crores – 6.07 crore in bank, 4.52 crore worth bonds, about 23.97 lakh insurance and about 14.7 lakh jewellery…phew!

The Election Commission has taken seriously the complaint filed by Arvind Kejriwal that on a proposal by Reliance Industries, the Petroleum Ministry is going to hike prices from April 1. This, Kejriwal alleged was in violation with the Model Code of Conduct and was intended to majorly benefit Reliance Industries owned by Mukesh Ambani. The EC will now look into the matter.

There will be about 1.40 lakh polling booths in Uttar Pradesh and the EC has decided to deploy maximum number of paramilitary forces in the state.
While the EC takes control of the election duties, an interesting comment has trickled in from Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad. He said, “Modi sinned in Gujarat and now wants to wash away his sins in Varansi.” Wonder what he has got to say about his own sins!!!

This type of comments will only increase with the passing of each day. Stay tuned with us as we try to capture them for you.

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