“Narendra Modi is drinking water now……the Prime Ministerial candidate has finally taken a pen to sign the papers”. These are just a couple of examples of intense second by second updates given by overzealous TV channel anchors which the viewers had to endure all through Thursday morning till afternoon as Narendra Modi filed his nomination from Varanasi. Thursday was the 6th phase of polling in India, the second biggest round of polling in terms of constituencies. But the high decibel Modi road show, the sea of saffron sweeping the oldest city of our civilisation became the dominant picture of the day.
Narendra Modi did a nearly 6 km road show before filing his papers. The whole journey took about 3 hours. It looked like the entire city has turned into a collective mass of saffron with senior journalists calling reactions of the people as hysterical. The city offered a rousing welcome to the BJP prime ministerial candidate almost similar to a victory parade. Congress rejected it as a well-choreographed show and later even complained to the E.C about overt projection of a particular community in the road show.
Modi though tried to appeal to all the communities in his brief statement. He invoked the Ganga-Yamuna tehzeeb (etiquette) saying that, “After coming here, I felt neither BJP has sent me nor I have come here on my own. I am here because Ganga Mata (mother) has called for me. I feel like a small boy coming to my mother’s lap.” Gujarat CM later invoked Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, Kabir and also reached out to the region’s substantial weaver community, which is predominantly Muslim. There were couple of Muslims among those who proposed his name.
Interestingly, Modi’s wealth has increased by 14 lakhs in a few days!! Narendra Modi on Thursday disclosed total assets worth Rs 1.65 crore -a rise of Rs 14.34 lakh from his declaration for Vadodara Lok Sabha seat about a fortnight back.
While Modi was busy winning the hearts of people in Varanasi, Sonia Gandhi was in Gujarat. There she took on the much touted Gujarat model of development and urged the voters to not support those who rely on hatred. She used the definition of poverty line used by Gujarat government to say that people who earn more than Rs 11 a day are not considered poor in the state.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has finally broken his silence on the “Modi wave”. In Assam to cast his vote (P.M is a RajyaSabha MP from Assam) he completely rejected the effect of Narendra Modi, branding it as media creation. He said the reports that Congress is losing ground in the elections are completely untrue.
While the results will be out only on the 16th, the sixth phase showed massive surge in polling in virtually all the 11 states which went to polls. On an average, there was 10% increase in voting. All eyes were on the financial capital of the country, Mumbai. While the initial figures were abysmally low, Mumbaikars did some rear end voting to get the final percentage up at a respectable 53, which is nearly 10% more than 2009.
Ironically most of the Bollywood celebrities who participated in voter awareness campaigns were busy attending IIFA. Eminent persons like Sachin Tendulkar, Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachan, Prasun Joshi, Vidya Balan though voted and urged fellow citizens to exercise their democratic rights.
In other parts of the country, Chhattisgarh recorded 62.5% turnout, Bihar 60% for 7 seats each, and Assam 77.05% for 6 seats. Madhya Pradesh from where Sushma Swaraj is fighting recorded 64.4% turnout for 10 seats. Crucial battleground state of Tamil Nadu had a massive 73% for 39 seats with Chennai showing far more enthusiasm than Mumbai. West Bengal recorded 82% votes in the 6 seats which went to polls today.
According to Election Commission’s reports, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh both had close to 59% votes casted in this phase. Pollsters predict BJP to do exceptionally well in some of the states which went to polls today. So, the surge in votes certainly encouraged the ranks and files of the party. BJP even termed it “Modi Tsunami”.
The polls were largely peaceful barring tragic news from Jammu &Kashmir where an election official was killed and 5 injured after militants tried to disrupt the poll process.
In a late evening development, 4 policeman and 2 polling officers died in a Maoist attack in Dumka, Jharkhand. The officials were returning by bus after conducting poll duties when a landmine blast caused these casualties. Incidentally today was the third phase of polling in Jharkhand.
In another tragic news, YSR Congress candidate Shobha Nagireddy died after an accident happened Wednesday night. She was critically injured in a car accident which took place while returning from campaign. Nagireddy, 45 who is mother of three children was earlier in TDP and later switched to Prajarajyam Party before joining YSRC.
Not only Narendra Modi, even Rahul Gandhi was in Uttar Pradesh today campaigning for his party candidates. Taking clue from sister Priyanka, Rahul attacked Modi on the issue of “snoopgate”. He said that leaders who indulge in wrong acts against woman should be thrown out. Rahul said that farmers in Gujarat would have died had not been for MGNREGA scheme started by UPA government.
He attacked Mayawati for amassing huge wealth and the state government run by Samajwadi Party for lack of creating employment opportunity for the youth of Uttar Pradesh.
Election Commission seems to be determined to ensure maximum voting in the election. In Chennai, it shut down the offices of four IT companies which continued to work even after the day was declared a general holiday.
More than 30,000 workers in those 4 companies came for work even in polling day due to dictate of their bosses. But EC came as a saviour for them. The IT companies though argue that since round the clock operations happen in their premises; work can’t be completely stopped for one day.
Baba Ramdev may be stopped in his track by EC though. According to reports, bank accounts of three trusts run by Ramdev are under the scanner of the Commission. It has asked the Income Tax department to look into the tax dealings. EC ordered this probe after complaints that Trust money was being used to fund campaigns of some political parties.
These were the major news points from today. More than half of India has voted after the latest round of polling. We will be closely tracking the rest of election news for you. Watch this space………
Varanasi Election Result
Vadodara Election Results
Tamil Nadu Election Results
Uttar Pradesh Election Result
Gujarat Election Result
Chhattisgarh Election Result
Madhya Pradesh Election Result
Bihar Election Results
West Bengal Election Results
Rajasthan Election Results
Result of Election 2014