General election 2019 | Clamping Article 324 in West Bengal Election Commission’s gift to Narendra Modi: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference in Kolkata on may 15, 2019. Photo: Facebook/@MamataBanerjeeOfficial

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference in Kolkata on may 15, 2019. Photo: Facebook/@MamataBanerjeeOfficial  

Here are the day's election-related developments at a glance

West Bengal

Election Commission should have acted against Amit Shah for Kolkata violence: Mamata

Attacking the Election Commission for curtailing the campaigning for the last phase of polls in West Bengal, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said it is an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the poll panel.

Ms. Banerjee said she had never seen this type of EC which is “full of RSS people“.

“There is no such law and order problem in West Bengal that Article 324 can be clamped. It is unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical. It is actually a gift to Mr. Modi and (BJP president) Amit Shah,” she claimed in a press conference.

In the first such action in India’s electoral history, the EC on May 15 ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 p.m. on May 16, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata on May 14.

The EC invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19.

The poll panel also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director-General, CID, Rajiv Kumar from their postings in West Bengal.

On this, Ms. Banerjee said the two officers were removed “not by the EC, but by Mr. Modi and Amit Shah“.

Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive road show in Kolkata. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised during the violence.

New Delhi

ECI curtails West Bengal campaigning after Kolkata violence

The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday night, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata.

The two parties have traded charges of inciting the violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive road show in the State capital on Tuesday.

During the violence, a bust of Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised.

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Uttar Pradesh

Priyanka’s Varanasi roadshow gathers crowds

In a big show of strength in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra started her roadshow in Varanasi on Wednesday evening.

Accompanied by Congress candidate for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat against Mr. Modi, Mr. Priyanka Gandhi began by garlanding the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at the gates of the Banaras Hindu University.

Ms. Priyanka Gandhi and other leaders, including Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, waved at the large crowd as the procession wound its way through Varanasi’s roads.

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Tamil Nadu

Godse remark: What I spoke in Aravakurichi is historic truth, says Kamal Haasan

“What I spoke in Aravakurichi is historic truth,” says Kamal Haasan on his remarks on Nathuram Godse. Mr. Haasan clarifies that he did not use term terrorist when talking about Godse.  — PTI

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West Bengal

Power-drunk Mamata is throttling democracy, says Modi

“Didi’s goons carrying guns and bombs are bent upon destruction,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells an election rally in West Bengal. “Power-drunk Mamata Banerjee is throttling democracy,” Mr. Modi says on Tuesday’s Kolkata violence. “Mamata Banerjee has destroyed West Bengal’s culture of ‘Bhadra Lok’.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally at Basirhat in West Bengal on May 15, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally at Basirhat in West Bengal on May 15, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi  

 

“People of Bengal have made up their mind to end this despotic rule of Mamata Banerjee one day,” he says. “Didi is frightened by rise of BJP in West Bengal.”

Jharkhand

Congress has fielded two batsmen to take blame for poll defeat, says Modi

Asserting that the Congress will be losing the Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday claimed that the party has fielded “two batsmen” to defend the “naamdar” (dynast).

In a veiled dig at Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyar and Sam Pitroda, Mr. Modi said they were tasked by the party to take the responsibility for the poor poll show.

“One says ‘hua to hua’ ( it happened, so what) on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots while the other, who has been behind curtains after abusing me during the Gujarat elections, is again attacking me,” the prime minister said.

West Bengal

Trinamool releases video of statue vandalism, blames BJP

A day after Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's bust was vandalised in Kolkata, senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien released a video to claim that the BJP workers damaged the statue.

A college named after Iswarchandra Vidyasagar, a key figure in the Bengal Renaissance, was ransacked and a bust of the 19th century social reformer shattered in a clash that broke out between Trinamool Congess and BJP workers in Kolkata on Tuesday. BJP president Amit Shah claimed the statue was damaged by Trinamool Congress workers.

In a media conference in New Delhi, Mr. O’Brien showed a video and blamed the “BJP goons” for the vandalism. "What happened yesterday hurt the Bengali pride. Streets of Kolkata are tinged with shock and anger," he said adding that the party would submit the video to the Election Commission.

"The video not only clearly establishes what the BJP did, but proves party chief Amit Shah is a liar," Mr. O’Brien said.

He also claimed slogans like ‘Vidyasagar finished, where is the Josh’ could be heard in the video. We are trying to authenticate the audio, he added.

Mr. O’Brien also showed WhatsApp messages and videos asking people to come to Mr. Shah’s roadshow with rods and arms to fight the TMC and police.

The Trinamool Congress representatives will be meeting Election Commission officials at 4:30 pm today.

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Uttar Pradesh

PM is honest only on paper just like he is an OBC only on paper: Mayawati

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BSP president Mayawati on Wednesday said his legacy as the chief minister of Gujarat was a black spot and burden on the BJP as well as the communal history of the country.

She alleged that the Prime Minister had crossed all limits of decency in terming the BSP the personal property of its president.

“The entire country knows that most of those having benami properties and the corrupt are connected with the BJP,” Ms. Mayawati said, adding that the prime minister is honest only on paper just like he is an OBC only on paper.

She said her tenures as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had been clean.

“PM Modi has been CM of Gujarat for a longer time than me but his legacy is such that it is a black spot not only on himself but also on the BJP and a burden on the communal history of the country,” Mayawati said here.

Terming note ban the biggest scam, she said it is also an issue which needs investigation - PTI

Madhya Pradesh

Will never insult Modi's parents in return, says Rahul

Citing the attacks on the Nehru-Gandhi family by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Lok Sabha 2019 campaign, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday vowed that he will not insult Modi’s parents in return.

“Narendra Modi talks of hatred, insults my father (late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi), speaks about my grandmother (late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi), my great-grandfather (former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru) but I will, all my life, will never speak about his family or his parents. I will die but never insult his mother or father,” he said at rallies for party candidates in Neemuch area of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur, Tarana in Ujjain and Khandwa parliamentary constituencies.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses an election rally in Madhya Pradesh on May 11, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses an election rally in Madhya Pradesh on May 11, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia  

 

“I am not a member of the RSS or the BJP, but of the Congress. They (Modi and the BJP) may send as much hate and anger they want my way, but I will answer it with love. I will embrace him warmly. We will defeat Modi with love. We defeated him in and the BJP Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh with love,” he said.

On former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s questioning of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government’s farmer loans waiver, Mr. Gandhi again cited how Mr. Chouhan’s own brother and relatives had benefitted from it.

“Congress has waived loans of everyone, we treat everyone with love... be it someone from the BJP or the Congress, everyone eligible has had their loans waived.

“If Narendra Modi has a 56-inch chest, we have a 56-inch heart,” he said. - IANS

West Bengal

I am not an outsider, says Amit Shah in West Bengal

BJP national president Amit Shah has rebutted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s charge that he is an “outsider” in West Bengal and said he has come to the state to campaign for his party.

Mr. Shah wondered if he is called an outsider for coming to West Bengal, “which is very much a part of India”, then why is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not labelled as an “outsider” when she visits New Delhi?

The BJP leader was addressing a meet of intellectuals in the city on Tuesday. “I am president of a national party and I am here to campaign for my party.

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West Bengal

BJP will fight but not get seats, says TMC’s Subrata Mukherjee

A stalwart in West Bengal politics and the senior-most West Bengal Cabinet Minister, Subrata Mukherjee has been given Trinamool ticket for Bankura to shore up the party in the face of an aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party. Exuding confidence, Mr. Mukherjee says despite all sound and fury, the BJP will not be able to convert votes to seats.

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New Delhi

Our priority is to form a non-BJP government: K.C. Venugopal

“For one, the BJP had peaked in all these States — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, we had zero; in Maharashtra, the NCP and the Congress together got six of 48 seats. In Jharkhand we had no seat, in Haryana we had one. We are doing extremely well in all these States. The BJP is facing a tough battle and even people like Nitin Gadkari are not having it easy and more than half the seats in Maharashtra will come to us.

“In Gujarat, the BJP has tried everything to decimate us, but we are getting anywhere between six and 10 seats. There are conflicting reports from Rajasthan, but we are winning around 10 seats there. In Madhya Pradesh, they tried everything, including fielding a hardcore Hindutva candidate in Bhopal but we will get more than half the seats. In Jharkhand and Bihar also, the situation is similar. The BJP hopes to win seats in West Bengal, but they are not going to win more than one or two. Overall, the BJP tally is coming down by 80-100 seats.”

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 8:03:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/general-election-2019-live-updates-may-15-2019/article27134114.ece

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