Elections

Elections 2024: Voters Want Jobs And Lower Prices, Survey Shows

Elections 2024, April 12: As the Lok Sabha polls' first phase approaches on April 19, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is rallying nationwide under the slogan 'Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar'. To counter the ruling party's ambitious claim, the Opposition INDIA bloc organized a massive rally today in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Here are the day's updates.

BJP supporters during a public meeting to be addressed by Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha election, in Moradabad district, Friday, April 12, 2024. PTI

Lok Sabha Polls 2024 At A Glance

With a week left for the first phase of polling, poll preparations across the country have reached a crescendo. On March 16, the Election Commission of India announced the detailed schedule of the seven-phase long Lok Sabha polls.

As per the schedule announced by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, the first phase of polling will go live on April 19 while June 1 has been declared as the date for the seventh and last phase. The counting of votes across the 543 Lok Sabha seats and result announcement will take place on June 4.

To ensure inclusive and participative Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission this year promised to provide home voting facilities for voters above the age of 85 and the ones with physical disabilities.

Furthermore, the apex poll body this time has also leveraged the power of social media to engage with more people, particularly the youth and the first time voters.

J&K: PM Modi's Poll Rally In Udhampur Today 

Commenting on preparations ahead of PM Modi's visit in Jamu and Kashmir, Udhampur BJP President Arun Gupta said, "PM Modi will address a public rally in Udhampur on April 12. The rally will be organised at the Modi ground. Around 2 lakh people are expected to attend it... The party has made all types of preparations. Complete arrangements of food and water, and medical facilities will be made for the people coming for the rally... We will make sure that no one has to face any inconvenience..."

INDIA Bloc: Rahul Gandhi, CM MK Stalin To Lead Rally In Coimbatore

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chhief Minister MK Stalin are all set to frontline a mega rally of the Opposition INDIA bloc in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore today.

Kerala: BJP State Executive Member Francis Albert Joins Congress

BJP district committee member and a prominent leader in fisheries sector in Thiruvananthapuram Francis Albert, along with several other activists, have resigned from BJP and joined Congress on Thursday.

MVA Is Like An 'Auto-Rickshaw With Mismatching Spare Parts': Amit Shah

Speaking at a campaign rally for BJP candidate and sitting local MP Pratap Patil Chikhalikar at Naigaon in the Nanded district of central Maharashtra, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition of the Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) and Congress in Maharashtra was like an "auto-rickshaw with mismatching spare parts", and it will fail to perform.

Lok Sabha Polls: Phase 3 Nomination Process Begins 

The nomination process for the third phase of Lok Sabha polls has began on Friday. As per the schedule announced by the Election Commmmission of India (ECI), for the third phase of voting, the last date to submit nominations is April 19 while the polling date is May 7.

Employment, Education, Food, Health: Key Issues Of Pilibhit 

With just a week left for the Lok Sabha polls to begin, here's what locals say about the key issues in the Pilibhit constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

"Here a candidate of bicycle (Samajwadi Party symbol) is canvassing, Modi (BJP candidate) is also in the field. We have many problems. I have my own personal problem and when I try to put the subject to the officials or ministers, no one listens,” says a shopkeeper Chandrapal.

“One vote can change anything. We need employment for youths, better education, and health facilities. Now the situation has been changing here (under the current BJP government),” says a student Vikas Kumar.

For the first time in more than three decades the mother-son duo of Maneka and Varun Gandhi will not be in the fray from UP's Pilibhit constituency for which the BJP is going full throttle.

The BJP has fielded Uttar Pradesh minister Jitin Prasada from Pilibhit seat this time.

J&K: Udhampur Gears Up For PM Modi's Poll Rally

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mega election rally in Udhampur, people have started gathering at Modi Maidan. The rally is scheduled to be held later today.

Even Opposition Believes NDA Will Return To power: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the BJP used its majority in Lok Sabha for two consecutive terms to strengthen the country while the Congress used its decades-long majority to strengthen its "family", asserting that even the opposition believes that his government will retain power for a third term.

In an interview to Hindi daily Hindustan, PM Modi underlined his commitment to taking strict action against the corrupt amid criticism by opposition parties that probe agencies were used by his government to target their leaders.

To a question that it is being said that there is not much enthusiasm among voters and no wave for the Lok Sabha polls starting from April 19, PM Modi said it is not the elections but the opposition camp that is dull because of their certain defeat.

"Even the opposition believes that the NDA government will return to power, which is why several opposition leaders are shying away from poll campaign. Many people have started blaming EVMs (electronic voting machines) even before the polls have begun," he said.

(via PTI)

'Modi Ki Guarantee Yani....': PM Addresses Udhampur Rally

Addressing a public rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Modi ki guarantee yani guarantee pura hone ki guarantee. You remember how the weak governments of Congress kept the Shahpurkandi Dam stalled for decades. The fields of the farmers of Jammu were dry and the villages were in darkness, but our water of Ravi was going to Pakistan. Modi had given a guarantee to the farmers and has fulfilled it also."

“In 1992, I remember I received a grand welcome here during ‘Ekta Yatra’. Our mission, at that time, was to hoist 'Tiranga' at Kashmir’s Lal Chowk. In 2014, I gave you all a guarantee to provide relief to everyone from what you have faced. Modi fulfilled that guarantee. This is the first time when terrorism, separatism, stone pelting, cross-border firing are not the issues of elections”, the prime minister further added.

'Time Is Not Far...': PM Modi On Statehood Restoration, Assembly Polls In J&K

While addressing the public rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur, PM Modi today said, "Time is not far when Assembly polls will be held in J&K and statehood will be restored."

"I challenge any political party, especially Congress, to get back Article 370. They cannot do it", Modi further added.

Madhya Pradesh: Congress Leaders Join BJP

Former Congress MLA Parul Sahu and Chhindwara district panchayat vice president Amit Saxena, along with other leaders join BJP in the presence of Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav, former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and former Home Minister Narottam Mishra.

Left Divide Non-BJP Votes, Their Campaign Attacks Me: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

Accusing the Left of dividing anti-BJP votes in Thiruvananthapuram, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said the Left claims to be very concerned about opposition unity, but fails to address why it is devoting most of its energies in the constituency to undermining him instead of focusing on the "BJP's misrule".

Tharoor, who is locked in a three-way contest with BJP leader and Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and CPI's Pannyan Raveendran in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram, said it is ironical that the Left seeks to divide the anti-BJP vote in the parliamentary seat, and preach alliance dharma in Wayanad, from where Rahul Gandhi is contesting.

(PTI Inputs)

'INDIA Partners Are Joined By Glue Of Corruption': BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia 

Launching a scathing attack on the Opposition INDIA bloc, BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia said, "The INDI alliance partners are all joined together by the glue of corruption. They believe that this glue of corruption will keep them together, and they will be able to put pressure on an honest government and dutiful PM."

'In 2013, It Was Fear, Riots, Cow Smuggling...': Amit Shah In Moradabad

While speaking at a public meeting in Moradabad, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, "When I came to western Uttar Pradesh in 2013, it was fear, riots, cow smuggling and the rule of goons was at the place. You removed the Samajwadi Party from power, the 'one district one product' scheme started and development has taken a step forward. Hindus were migrating from the western UP's Kairana, you removed the Samajwadi party from power and now the goons are migrating instead of Hindus. Yogi Adityanath has strengthened the law & order in the state."

Nitish Kumar Addresses Election Rally In Nawada 

Slamming the earlier rule of 'Pati-Patni' in Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar on Friday said, "You know that since the time we got an opportunity since November 2005, we started working together with the BJP."

'Beech mein do jagah hum idhar udhar ho gaye they lekin fir wapas ho gaye hain, ab idhar udhar hum honewale nahi hain. We have been working together since the beginning", he further added.

Reacalling Bihar's past socio-poitical scenario, Ksaid "What was there in Bihar earlier? For 15 years, there was a rule of 'pati-patni'. Do you recall the days when no one was able to go out of their house in the evening. We were MP and minister at the Centre even then we had to walk to visit our constituency because there were no roads."

'People With Danga Policy...': Adityanath's Jibe At Oppn

Addressing a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took a swipe at the Opposition and said the people with 'danga [riots] policy' are inciting casteism.

"Our government has ensured that no more riots and hence no curfews are there in the state. 'Curfew lagaane waalon ki garmi shaant krke aapko shaant vaatawaran diya hai [by dousing the heat of those who incide riots, we have given you a peaceful environment]', don't give them an opportunity to grow. This politics of caste is an invitation to riots and curfews, a barrier to development...," Yogi Adityanath said.

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'Mutton In Sawan': PM Modi's Swipe At Opposition

Addressing a rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at the Congress and Opposition bloc 'INDIA', saying their members "do not care about the sentiments of the majority of the people of the country."

"They enjoy playing with the sentiments of the people. A person who has been sentenced by the court and who is on bail, they visit the house of such a criminal and enjoys cooking mutton in the month of Sawan and they make a video of it to tease the people of the country," PM Modi said.

PM Modi was referring to a viral video -- released in September last year -- in which RJD leader Lalu Yadav and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were seen cooking mutton together.

"The law does not stop anyone from eating anything but the intentions of these people are something else. When the Mughals attacked here, they were not satisfied until they demolished the temples. So just like Mughals, they want to tease the people of the country by showing the video in the month of Sawan...," PM Modi added. READ MORE

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BSP Releases Fresh List Of Candidates

The Bahujan Samaj Party on Friday released its fourth list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, fielding former state president of the party Bhim Rajbhar from Azamgarh and ex-MP Balkrishna Chauhan from Ghosi. Mohammad Irfan has been fielded from Etah, while Shyam Kishor Awasthi is the BSP candidate from Dhaurahra Lok Sabha seat, the party said in a statement.

Sachidanand Pandey and Dayashankar Mishra have been fielded from Faizabad and Basti Lok Sabha constituencies respectively. From Gorakhpur, the BSP has given party ticket to Javed Simnani.

Satyendra Kumar Maurya is the BSP candidate from Chandauli and from Roberstganj (SC) constituency, the BSP has fielded Dhaneshwar Gautam, it said.

Congress To Become Extinct Like Dinosaur In Few Years, Says Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed on Friday that the Congress will become extinct like the dinosaur in a few years. The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader compared the infighting within the Congress to the house of television reality show “Bigg Boss”, saying the leaders of the party are tearing each other’s clothes on a daily basis.

“The exodus of leaders from the Congress continues. They are quitting the party one after another and joining the BJP. I am afraid that in a few years from now, the Congress will become extinct like the dinosaur. In a few years after 2024, if we take the name of the Congress, children will ask, who?” Singh said, addressing a rally in Uttarakhand’s Gauchar.

“They (Congress leaders) are fighting with each other on a daily basis. The party has become somewhat like the house of Bigg Boss on television. They are tearing each other’s clothes on a daily basis,” he said.

Congress Stands With Anti-national Forces, INDIA Bloc Trying To Weaken Country, Says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajasthan |
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajasthan | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the Congress of standing with anti-national forces while claiming that the opposition INDIA bloc was trying to weaken the country. Addressing an election rally in Barmer, Modi said the Congress’ thinking was anti-development and the country’s border districts were deliberately deprived of development by former Congress governments.

“Congress stands with every anti-national force. It ruled for decades but there is not a single major problem of the country for which it gave a complete solution,” Modi said. “Congress’ thinking is anti-development. The country’s border districts were deliberately deprived of development by former Congress governments,” he said.

Video: Asaduddin Owaisi Begins Lok Sabha Campaign With Door-To-Door Canvassing

Voters Want Jobs And Lower Prices, Survey Shows

Voters wait in a queue at a polling station to cast their votes in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
Voters wait in a queue at a polling station to cast their votes in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

According to a survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS across 19 states in India, unemployment and inflation are the top concerns for voters ahead of the general elections. The survey of 10,000 voters revealed that 27% of respondents cited unemployment as their primary concern, while 23% expressed worries about rising prices.

Official data also shows a rise in the unemployment rate, which increased from 4.9% in 2013/14 to 5.4% in 2022/23. Particularly concerning is the nearly 16% unemployment rate among urban youth aged 15-29, attributed to inadequate skills and a lack of quality job opportunities.

The survey also highlighted sentiments regarding the construction of a temple, with 48% of respondents believing it would solidify a Hindu identity. However, a significant majority (79%) expressed the belief that India belongs equally to citizens of all religions, not just Hindus.

Trinamool Congress Takes Jibe At BJP On X; BJP Reacts

How Pre-Poll Video Campaigns Of Parties Affect The 2024 Electoral Narrative

An election campaign billboard on a rickshaw in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022
An election campaign billboard on a rickshaw in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 Getty Images

The election seasons have always been a breeding ground for a potpourri of advertisement campaigns that employ satire by using caricature, animation, or hyperbole to take a dig at the other camps.

Following the boom of new media, the contours have been redefined and, it has become a level playing field for a smorgasbord of national and regional parties, each trying to one-up the other with creative mudslinging.

However, over the stretch of the last year and in the prelude to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the space shared by the ruling BJP and the opposition INDIA bloc have seen a cruder transaction taking place with a growing trend of throwing caustic shade at individuals more than the associated concepts. 

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Dances During Election Campaign In Lakhimpur | Video

Rahul Gandhi Addresses Rally In Tamil Nadu, Says There's Ideological Battle In India

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed a public rally in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli and said, “Today, there is an ideological battle taking place in India. On one side, there are the ideas of Periyar, social justice, freedom and equality. On the other side, are the ideas of Narendra Modi and his govt. Narendra Modi says – one nation, one leader, one language. The Tamil language is no less than any other Indian language. There are many different languages and cultures in this country and all are equally important to us.”

Tamil Nadu Minister And DMK Leader Udhayanidhi Stalin Holds Roadshow In Sankarankovil

Samajwadi Party Announces Candidates For Kaushambi, Kushinagar Lok Sabha Seats

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav with party leaders |
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav with party leaders | (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)

Samajwadi Party has announced the names of two more candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. 

Pushpendra Saroj has been given ticket from Kaushambi and Ajay Pratap Singh from Kushinagar.

Kaushambi will go to polls in the fifth phase on May 20, and polling in Kushinagar will be held in the seventh phase on June 1.

Babasaheb Ambedkar Himself Can't Abolish Constitution Now: PM Slams Opposition

Amid opposition charges that the BJP was out to destroy the Constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his government revered it and even Babasaheb Ambedkar would not be able to abolish it now.

“The Constitution of the country is everything for the (BJP) government and even if Babasaheb Ambedkar himself comes, he cannot abolish the Constitution,” Modi said.

“The Congress tried to destroy the Constitution by imposing emergency in the country and now it is taking cover in the name of the Constitution to abuse Modi,” the prime minister said.

BRS Names Sudhir Kumar Its Candidate From Warangal Constituency

The opposition BRS in Telangana on Friday named Marepalli Sudhir Kumar its candidate from the Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha constituency. Sudhir Kumar, presently the Chairman of Hanumakonda Zilla Parishad, has been a BRS member since its inception in 2001, BRS said.

Earlier, the BRS had announced Kadiam Kavya, daughter of former deputy chief minister and senior BRS MLA Kadiam Srihari, as its candidate. However, both Srihari and Kavya quit the BRS and joined the ruling Congress recently.

BJP Rebel Eshwarappa To Fight As Independent

Former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and rebel BJP leader K S Eshwarappa said that he would file his nomination for Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat tomorrow.

"Tomorrow, a large number of people from across the constituency will come as I will be filing my nomination papers. I was not sure that I will get such an overwhelming response during my election campaign," the veteran leader said.

Hitting out at those spreading rumours that he would back off, the former DCM said, 'I am seeing that false information is being spread out of fear of defeat. I don't know why they are indulging in such activities. I have said in all the languages I know that I am not going to withdraw. My well-wishers have also said I should not give up.'

-PTI

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