While Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram have cast votes for their respective states assembly elections, all eyes are now on Telangana and Rajasthan where the BRS, BJP and Congress are announcing a slew of welfare measures and holding election rallies in the last few days leading up to the date of voting.
Author Mahua Sen writes about her hometown of Forbesganj in Bihar.
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While Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram have cast their votes for their respective assembly elections, the campaigning trail has now reached Rajasthan and Telangana that are going to polls on November 25 and 30 respectively. The assembly elections in these five states are being seen as a litmus test for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be eyeing for a third term with strong opposition from the newly formed INDIA alliance.
In Telangana, the contest is primarily between the incumbent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) that is banking on the sentiment of Telangana statehood and KCR's flagship welfare programmes, the Congress that has announced a slew of welfare measures to counter BRS and the BJP that is hoping to make some in roads into the region by promising to implement the Uniform Civil Code and scrap reservations for Muslims if it came to power.
In Rajasthan, which is witnessing a close contest between the BJP and the Congress, PM Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Baran, throwing fresh salvos at the Congress government and accusing the party of causing inflation and unemployment in the state. Modi will hold a roadshow in Jaipur on Tuesday evening.
The results for elections in all the five states will be declared on December 3.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday sent a show-cause notice to Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Delhi President Virendra Sachdeva over a post made on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The EC's notice is based on a complaint by AAP against Sachdeva, which alleged that the post by him contained morphed visuals with "malafide" intentions to "ruin" Kejriwal's image. The post in question, according to a copy of the EC's notice on its website, appears to be a video featuring Kejriwal in which he is mocked in Haryanvi accent. As per the transcript of the post, the BJP mocked Kejriwal by listing his daily schedule in a manner fitness influender Ankit Baiyanpuria narrates his daily schedule. While Baiyanpuria lists his meals and exercises in his Haryanvi accent, the video shows Kejriwal narrating his schedule of abusing Modi, lashing out at ED, and mentioning the liquor scam, etc.
The EC has given Sachdeva time till November 23 to file a response.
राम राम भाई सारा नै pic.twitter.com/RCEtUCGTfx— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) November 5, 2023
Leading the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) campaign in poll-bound Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a roadshow in Jaipur.
Modi's roadshow began from the Sanganeri Gate in the walled city of Jaipur and passed through Bapu Bazaar, Kisahapole Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupad, Tripolia Bazaar, Badi Chaupad and Johari Bazaar localities of the city, according to PTI.
Earlier in the day, Modi held election rallies in Baran, Kota, and Karauli districts and targeted the Ashokt Gehlot-led Congress government in the state over the issues of law-and-order situation and corruption. He also raised the issue of crimes against women.
"Rajasthan is the land of those who would die for the dignity of women. But when there is no fear of law, our mothers, sisters and daughters suffer the most. This has happened in every corner of Rajasthan...These attacks do not stop because the accused hold feasts at the chief minister's residence. The Congress holds feasts for criminals. Can that protect you," said Modi at a rally in Karauli, as per PTI.
Targeting the Congress government over law and order, Modi alleged that the Congress has turned Rajasthan, a land of warriors, into an open field for rioters, reported PTI, adding that Modi further said that every section of the society, be it women, farmers, traders and youths, wants to get rid of the Congress.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday accused the Congress party and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for being "anti-backward class" and also for purported appeasement under their government.
Speaking at a public meeting in election-bound Rajasthan's Khairthal in Alwar, Shah said the Congress for years opposed the Mandal Commission report. The comment comes at a time when Congress is seeking to make inroads among the other backward classes (OBCs) with the promise of caste census and calling for quota for jobs as per a community's share in the population.
"Congress party and Gehlot government are anti-backward class. For many years, the Congress party opposed the report of the Mandal Commission and the Congress party did not give constitutional recognition to the Backward Classes Commission," said Shah, as per PTI, adding that it was the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre that gave constitutional recognition to the Backward Classes Commission.
Shah said the Modi government has given 27 per cent reservation to the backward classes in all education systems of the Centre.
Rausing the issue of the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal, Shah said the Gehlot government is indulging in appeasement politics and working for its vote bank.
"Appeasement is at its peak in the state. Tailor Kanhaiya Lal was murdered in broad daylight, Section 144 was imposed during Hindu festivals, bulldozers ran on Ram Darbar and communal riots happened everywhere. The BJP governments do not let communal riots break out," said Shah, as per PTI, adding that the people of Rajasthan should vote for the BJP to make the state riot-free.
Shah also raised the issue of alleged corruption in the issue, raising the issue of the 'red diary'. He said the diary contains the misdeeds of the Gehlot government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed the ruling Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan over the paper leak issue.
While addressing a rally in Kota, Modi said that he guarantees actions against those involved in the paper leaks if the BJP forms a government in the state.
“Students from all across the country come to Kota for education purposes,” he said.
“Congress party has destroyed the dreams of the youth repeatedly in the last five years. Congress sold papers for all exams. I want to assure you the one involved in the paper leak, will be sent behind bars. This is the guarantee of Modi," he added.
He said the Congress would inflict more damage on the state if it remained in power.
He also alleged that rallies by the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) are being held openly with the state's sanction.
"PFI rally is being carried out in full police protection; the longer such a Congress government remains in power, the more damage it will inflict on Rajasthan," he said.
Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and termed BJP a ‘hit wicket’.
Pilot’s remarks came two days after Modi, at a rally in Rajasthan, said Congress leaders were trying to "run out" each other.
Replying to Modi’s “run out” jibe, Sachin Pilot said, “BJP itself is hit wicket,” India Today reported.
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Churu on Sunday, Modi had said that there was a lot of infighting within the Congress and the party leaders were trying to "run out each other instead of scoring runs".
He said this in reference to the power tussle between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Addressing an election rally in Madhira in Telangana, BRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao asserted that his party would come to power in the present assembly elections with a better majority than in the past and that Congress would get less than 20 out of the total 119 seats.
He also attacked the Congress, alleging that its history was one of deceiving people. "Congress which ruled undivided Andhra Pradesh before formation of Telangana in 2014 could not ensure adequate supply of drinking and irrigation water," he alleged.
Union Finance Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has turned the state from being revenue-surplus to being "debt-ridden".
"The investments are coming anyway into the state. The state which was revenue surplus (in 2014) is now transformed into a revenue deficit state. The credit goes to KCR. Today Telangana is debt ridden. In the next two to three generations, our children will have to repay those debts," said Sitharaman.
In Telangana, which goes to polls on November 30, the BJP has pitched itself against the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) of Rao, commonly called KCR. Both KCR and BJP leaders are targeting each other in addition to the Congress party in the state, giving an impression of a tripartite contest in the state.
Addressing a gathering organised for Malkajgiri BJP candidate N Ramchander Rao, Sitharaman said the next two to three generations of Telangana will end up repaying the debts the state took under KCR, according to PTI.
Sitharaman said that KCR's government was among those opposing bringing liquor, petrol, and diesel into the GST purview, which meant that prices of these commodities remained higher, as bringing these items under GST would make their rates reasonable.
Sitharaman also hit out at the Congress party and said that during the UPA government's time, Indian defence personnel were deprived of not only bullet-proof jackets, but also other safety equipment and no procurements were made during those 10 years, according to PTI. She also spoke of the Rafale deal and said that every aircraft had been delivered.
"So the decisions were taken in the national interest. There were no kickbacks or there were no companies with which we had any dealings done," said Sitharaman.
#WATCH | Maharashtra Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis says, "...People have made their hearts in Telangana... Telangana will go with PM Modi... The party that is in Telangana now was TRS, then became BRS. Now their name should be FRS-Family Raj Party... This has become a Family Raj… pic.twitter.com/acNOWXmMUK— ANI (@ANI) November 21, 2023
In Anta, Baran, PM Narendra Modi says, "In the last 5 years, incidents of rape have increased in Rajasthan. Here, ministers close to the CM stand in the Assembly House and protect to these criminals. When the daughters of Rajasthan were asking the state government for security, the state government was telling them to not level false allegations. Congress people don't have the time to look at the tears of the daughters..."
The BJP's priority is to ensure women's welfare and safety, Modi said.
VIDEO | " 'Rajasthan ki yahi pukaar, aa rhi hai BJP sarkar' (Rajasthan is calling for BJP government). BJP has had a special relationship with the people of this region," says PM @narendramodi addressing an election rally in Baran, Rajasthan. #RajasthanElection2023… pic.twitter.com/FoqJQVjqOR— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 21, 2023
After the Congress released its manifesto in Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi pressed for conducting a caste census during a rally in Rajasthan's Vallabhnagar. "PM Modi calls himself OBC; When I talked about caste census, he said there is only one caste in India - the poor," he said. Alleging that BJP helps billionaires in every scheme while Congress helps poor labourers, Rahul Gandhi said, "Modi's job is to divert people's attention while Adani pickpockets."
Right ahead of the much awaited assembly polls in Telangana, the ruling BRS party during its poll campaign focused on enhanced civic infrastructure, job creation and "well maintained" law and order, among others, in Hyderabad and adjoining areas which constitute 24 segments in the 119 member-assembly in Telangana.
There are 15 seats in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits with 45.37 lakh voters, while nine are located in the adjoining parts of the city with over 50 lakh electors.
The ruling BRS bagged a majority of the seats in the 2018 assembly polls while Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM won seven seats.
Caste has always played a crucial role in Rajasthan’s politics. Despite aspirations for progress, caste divisions persist, acknowledged by all, hindering efforts to transcend them.
VIDEO | "They (BJP) put our children in jail. They stopped our girls from going to school in the name of 'hijab', demolished our homes. Is this 'sabka saath, sabka vishwas, sabka vikas'? On the other hand, a new shop has opened - 'mohabbat ki dukan'. The Nehru-Gandhi family has… pic.twitter.com/qqxqNbZnqt— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 21, 2023
The Congress in its manifesto on Tuesday promised to increase the amount of Chiranjeevi health insurance from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. While some believe that the scheme seems to have given a boost to Congress’s governance, others allege that the Chiranjeevi scheme is nothing but an eye wash.
The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday searched the premises of Congress candidate from Telangana's Chennur seat Vivek Venkatswamy and some others as part of a foreign exchange violation probe. The former MP, early this month, had resigned from the BJP and joined the Congress in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi in Hyderabad.
Vivek is the richest politician contesting the November 30 assembly polls in Telangana, with declared assets worth over Rs 600 crore.
VIDEO | "Rajasthan has always been a stronghold of the Congress. We have always made promises that could be fulfilled," says Congress president @kharge as the party releases its manifesto for Rajasthan election 2023. #RajasthanElection2023 #AssemblyElectionsWithPTI pic.twitter.com/ovCvYBbQel— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 21, 2023
Here are the main promises Congress made in its manifesto for Rajasthan:
Rs 2 lakh interest-free loan to farmers
Law for Minimum Support Price as per Swaminathan commission report
Amount of Chiranjeevi health insurance will be increased from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh
New scheme for recruitment at panchayat level
Rajasthan economy will be Rs 15 lakh cr by year end, target to take it to Rs 30 lakh cr by 2030
Four lakh government jobs, 10 lakh new jobs
Gas cylinder for Rs 400
Congress leader Lokesh Sharma said on Tuesday that the policies of the Narendra Modi-led Central government have led to "skyrocketing inflation" in the country but it is blaming the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan for it.
“PM Modi and BJP leaders are holding the Congress government responsible for inflation in Rajasthan but the fact is that it is the policies of the central government that have led to skyrocketing inflation in the country,” Sharma told PTI.
Sharma, co chairman of the PCC central war room, asserted there is a wave in favour of the Congress this time.
With three days left for campaigning in Rajasthan to end, the Congress party will release its manifesto today that is expected to include mega sops. Congress in-charge for Rajasthan Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, state party president Govind Singh Dotasra, manifesto committee chairman C P Joshi and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot will release the manifesto - 'Jan Ghoshna Patra' - at the state party office.
Chief Minister Gehlot has already announced seven "guarantees", or promises, to the people of the state if the party is re-elected.
PM Narendra Modi will hold a roadshow in Jaipur in the evening.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address a public meeting in Udaipur district in Rajasthan today.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had ordered re-polling on November 21 at a booth in the Ater assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district, according to an official release. Voting has commenced at booth number 3 under polling centre number 71 at Kishupura from 7 am and will continue till 6 pm today.
A district official said repolling was ordered because of the breach of secrecy as some people had shot videos of voting on November 17 at the concerned booth in Kishupura.
PHOTO | After leading the huge roadshow in Bikaner in Rajasthan yesterday, PM Modi issued directions to ensure that a rapid cleanliness drive be done all along the route of the roadshow. BJP workers immediately sprung into action, resulting in the entire route being cleaned at… pic.twitter.com/IasvZOmhqT— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 21, 2023
PM Narendra Modi will hold a roadshow in Jaipur on Tuesday evening. It will start from Sanganeri Gate and will traverse through Bapu Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, Kishanpole Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupad, Tripolia Bazaar, Badi Chaupad and Johri Bazaar before culminating at the Sanganeri Gate.