General Elections 2014 – Day 53

General Elections 2014

Halfway into the elections, Congress seems to have gone into plan B. Virtually conceding that UPA alone can’t come to power post elections, senior Congress leaders are hinting that the party could support a third front government.

After Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan first mulled this possibility publicly, today Union Minister Salman Khurshid considered close to Rahul Gandhi also spoke about this alternative. Speaking in his hometown, suave speaker Salman said that if necessary they can take support of third front or give support to such an alliance. He hinted that NDA will not able to cobble up 272 due to credibility crisis of Narendra Modi. Alluding to the Ram Mandir movement, Khurshid said that “Bhagwan ki leher could not stop Congress,then how can Modi wave stop it”.

Another very obvious shift in Congress strategy has been the increasing focus on Priyanka Gandhi. She campaigned for her brother Rahul in Amethi today. In an apparent reference to Rahul’s opponent TV actor Smriti Irani, Priyanka said that she is sure people will distinguish between “drama and reality” during the elections. To counter allegations that Rahul hasn’t done much for the family pocket borough, Priyanka brought a list with her!!

She also tried to invoke the family legacy calling Amethi as the holy land of Gandhis. Priyanka said that the same people who attack their brother also attacked her father, Rajiv Gandhi. Smriti Irani though later accused the Gandhi scion of only playing poll gimmicks without going into specifics of what Rahul has done.

Interestingly, while campaigning in Amethi today, Priyanka ran into a group of AAP supporters who were very excited to meet her. This news is potentially embarrassing for AAP candidate Kumar Vishwas who has camped for months in Amethi to get public support. The AAP supporters jostled with each other to take pictures with Priyanka Gandhi, who happily obliged.

The charismatic leader though rejected the possibility of campaigning in Varanasi. There have been reports that since she is constantly attacking Narendra Modi, she might also go to Varanasi. But seems Priyanka is sticking to her words by limiting her activities to Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Today Sonia Gandhi launched a vicious attack on BJP. She branded the opposition party’s ideology as vile (zalil vichar). Congress President said that BJP has group of power hungry people and alleged them to be neck deep in corruption. She asked the people to choose between a party which works for the poor and a party which benefits a select few.

Rahul Gandhi today said that Narendra Modi does not get sleep at night before uttering some lies. This was countered by angry retort from Gujarat CM. He advised Rahul Gandhi of staying within limits. Modi accused the Gandhis of protecting Hassan Ali, a Pune based businessman. He sought to link the Congress high command with a prominent meat exporter whose premises have been raided by tax authorities. He hinted of possible collusion between them.

Prime Minister has finally broken his silence about reports of his half-brother joining the rival camp. He said that he is very sad about his brother joining BJP but clarified that he has no control over his siblings. Manmohan Singh was busy today in attending the Padma awards. He also said that “UPA3 is not impossible”.

Prime Minister’s family though has strongly condemned Daljit Singh Kohli’s decision to join BJP. PM’s nephew Mandeep Kohli said that pitting brothers against brothers won’t help BJP. He divulged the fact that he also got an offer from the saffron outfit but refused. He said that BJP is losing in Amritsar and hence trying to divert attention from Amarinder Singh wave. In total the PM has 6 brothers and 4 sisters. The family claims except Daljit all show their faith in hand, pun intended.

To counter the embarrassment, Congress today roped in the step-brother of Prime Minister, Surjit Singh Kohli to their fold. He joined the party in presence of Ex Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

Congress leader Madhushudan Mistry has been served a notice by Gujarat Election Commission for alleged derogatory comments against senior BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj. Mistry, who is contesting from Vadodra against Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi had asked Sushma to get a medical check-up done. He made those comments on the context of Sushma saying that good days are not far away. Mistry has been asked to reply within 24 hours.

From one asinine comment to another, Baba Ramdev has apologised for his barb against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. He said that his words were misconstrued and sought apology from dalits if he had inadvertently hurt sentiments. The yoga guru raked up a controversy by saying that Rahul Gandhi goes to dalits’ houses for honeymoon and picnic. He further said that had Rahul married a dalit girl, future of Congress Vice President would have revived. These comments created outrage among political class with Congress deeming it anti dalit. Ramdev was also booked by UP police for these controversial comments.

BJP though sought to support Ramdev saying that he is a saint, hence the use of the word honeymoon should not be seen in a literal sense. Prominent dalit leader of BJP Udit Raj also put his weight behind the yoga guru. But sensing the entire matter may snowball into a major controversy, Ramdev backtracked.

In Uttar Pradesh, BJP is projected to win more than 50 seats by some surveys. But anecdotal evidence suggests party president Rajnath Singh is locked in a very tough battle in Lucknow. In what can be seen as a sign of desperation, Rajnath today publicised the endorsement of disgraced Congress leader N.D.Tiwari. Tiwari is an ex CM of the state who hit headlines for paternity suit filed against him. Tiwari, shunned from his party tried to grab the limelight by endorsing Rajnath Singh. BJP President needed this support to secure the all-important Brahmin votes of Lucknow.

Candid talk from politicians especially in election season is an aberration rather than norm. Goa CM Manohar Parrikar though was quite frank in saying that he doesn’t think BJP-TDP alliance will do very well in Telengana. Parrikar though expressed hope that this newly forged alliance will do very well in Seemandhra. Overall this IIM grad is hopeful that NDA will form the government comfortably.

Manmohan Singh addressed his maiden rally in Telengana today. There in his unique understated style he took on TRS for trying to usurp all credit for formation of Telegana. Prime Minister said that the 29th state of India wouldn’t have been a reality without the support of Congress. Reaching out to people in Seemandhra region he said that the party has extended an elaborate compensation package. He hoped that both states progress rapidly once Andhra Pradesh is formally bifurcated.

Finally, Finance Minister Chidambaram has rubbished Bengal CM’s accusation of his family’s involvement in Saradha scam. He asked why Mamata Banerjee was trying to shield the accused.

These were the major election news story from today. Enjoy your Sunday. We will be back soon with all the dope from election battlegrounds….

Related Information:

Amethi Election Result
Varanasi Election Result
Rae Bareli Election Results
Amritsar Election Results
Vadodara Election Result
Lucknow Election Results
Maharashtra Election 2014 Results
Punjab Election Result
Gujarat Election Result
Uttar Pradesh Election Result
West Bengal Election Results
Andhra Pradesh Election Results
Result of Election 2014