Lok Sabha election updates | BJP releases fifth list; Kangana fielded from Mandi, Maneka Gandhi retained, Varun dropped

Union Minister Gen. V.K. Singh has withdrawn his name from consideration for candidacy

Updated - March 25, 2024 10:22 am IST

Published - March 24, 2024 08:13 am IST

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has been fielded from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi, a stronghold of Congress. Photo: Instagram/@kanganaranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has been fielded from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi, a stronghold of Congress. Photo: Instagram/@kanganaranaut

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on March 24 named 111 more candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, dropping Union Ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey and V.K. Singh, besides MP Varun Gandhi, while fielding actors Kangana Ranaut and Arun Govil. The party fielded Maneka Gandhi from Sultanpur, while Uttar Pradesh Minister Jitin Prasada has replaced Varun Gandhi in Pilibhit. Sita Soren will fight from Dumka (Jharkhand).

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Janata Dal (United) also released their candidate lists for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar Parliamentary constituencies respectively, as the Congress party reiterated that the INDIA bloc remains intact. .

Here’s the full schedule of the elections

JD(U) released a list of 16 candidates providing a caste break-up, in a reflection of the impact that last year’s caste census has had on the Bihar’s politics. Meanwhile, BSP’s first list focused on Muslim outreach with seven out of 16 candidates hailing from the minority community. 

Watch | What is the Model Code of Conduct? | Explained

The Opposition INDIA bloc announced that it will hold a “maha rally” at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on March 31 to “safeguard the country’s interests and democracy”. The announcement comes after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an excise policy-linked money-laundering case.

Also Read | Lok Sabha elections 2024 LIVE updates - March 25

Here are Live updates from across the country on the upcoming elections:

  • March 24, 2024 22:21
    Odisha | BJP names 18 candidates; drops four sitting MPs

    The BJP announced the names of its candidates for 18 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, while dropping four sitting MPs from the list.

    The nominees for Cuttack, Jajpur and Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituencies are yet to be named by the party.

    Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be contesting from Sambalpur seat.

    The party has fielded four women - Aparajita Sarangi (Bhubaneswar), Sangeeta Kumari Deo (Bolangir), Malvika Keshari Deo (Kalahandi) and Anita Subhadarshini (Aska).

    The sitting MPs who were denied BJP tickets this time are Suresh Pujari (Bargarh), Union Minister Bisheswar Tudu (Mayrbhanj), Nitish Gang Deb (Sambalpur) and Basant Panda (Kalahandi).

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 22:21
    Bihar | BJP announces candidates for 17 seats, drops three sitting MPs

    The BJP announced its candidates for 17 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, dropping three sitting MPs, including Union Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey.

    According to the list released by the party in New Delhi, Choubey, who was elected from Buxar for the second consecutive term in 2019, was replaced by Mithilesh Tiwari, a senior BJP leader and a former MLA.

    The party also dropped its incumbent MPs Chedi Pawasan and Ajay Kumar Nishad from Sasaram and Muzaffarpur constituencies respectively.

    The BJP fielded former MLA Shivesh Ram for Sasaram, while Raj Bhushan Nishad, a greenhorn in the Lok Sabha polls, will contest the Muzaffarpur seat on a party ticket.

    Vivek Thakur, a Rajya Sabha member, was fielded from Nawada, where the BJP would be contesting this time, instead of its ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 21:51
    Maharashtra | BJP fields Satpute from Solapur, Nete from Gadchiroli-Chimur; retains Mendhe in Bhandara-Gondiya

    The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday named MLA Ram Satpute for the Solapur (Scheduled Caste) Lok Sabha seat and retained MP Sunil Mendhe from Bhandara-Gondiya.

    The ruling party also announced the name of Ashok Nete from Gadchiroli-Chimur.

    Satpute, the MLA from Malshiraj in Solapur, will take on the Congress’ Praniti Shinde, a three-time legislator and daughter of former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 21:41
    BJP fifth list | Sita Soren will fight from Dumka (Jharkhand)

    The BJP in its latest list of candidates has also announced that former JMM MLA Sita Soren will be contesting from Dumka. 

    Sita Soren, who is party MLA from the Jama Assembly seat from Dumka, tendered her resignation from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha party on March 19, citing allegations of being sidelined along with her family.

    She is also sister-in-law of former chief minister Hemant Soren who is currently in jail in connection with a money laundering case. 

  • March 24, 2024 21:35
    BJP fifth list | Two Union Ministers, Varun Gandhi dropped

    The BJP, in its fifth list of 111 candidates released today, dropped Union Ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey and V.K. Singh, besides MP Varun Gandhi.

    The party fielded Maneka Gandhi from Sultanpur, while Uttar Pradesh minister Jitin Prasada has replaced Varun Gandhi in Pilibhit. 

    The party has also dropped ex-Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde from Uttara Kannada constituency.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 21:30
    BJP fifth list | Naveen Jindal gets ticket from Kurukshetra

    Former Congress MP Naveen Jindal who joined the BJP today will contest from Haryana’s Kurukshetra on BJP ticket.

    Industrialist Naveen Jindal represented the Kurukshetra constituency in the Lok Sabha for two terms (2004-2014). However, he lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Raj Kumar Saini in the 2014 national elections and was not fielded by the Congress in 2019.

    - ANI

  • March 24, 2024 21:29
    BJP fifth list | Actors Kangana Ranaut, Arun Govil get ticket

    Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has been fielded from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi, a stronghold of Congress.

    The party has also fielded veteran actor Arun Govil, who played the character of Lord Ram in Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Ramayan’ from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut.

    - ANI

  • March 24, 2024 21:14
    BJP announces fifth list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections

    The Bharatiya Janata Party released a list of 111 candidates, its fifth list overall, for the Lok Sabha elections. The announcement came a day after the party held a meeting of its Central Election Committee to decide the names. 

    The list features candidates from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkahnd, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, U.P. and West Bengal

  • March 24, 2024 20:39
    Union minister General V.K. Singh withdraws his name for consideration as candidate

    Incumbent Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General V.K. Singh, has withdrawn his name from consideration for Lok Sabha candidacy from the BJP. 

    Sitting MP from the Ghaziabad constituency, Mr. Singh has won the seat twice consecutively in 2014 and 2019. 

    He announced his decision on X, in a post in Hindi

  • March 24, 2024 20:29
    Rajasthan | Congress drops Jaipur candidate following controversy

    Congress drops Sunil Sharma from Jaipur city Lok Sabha seat and fields Pratap Singh Khachariyawas. Mr Sharma’s selection created a political uproar as he was associated with the right-wing forum, The Jaipur Dialogues, that targeted Congress and its leadership.

    - Sandeep Phukan

  • March 24, 2024 20:01
    Maharashtra | Congress MLA from Nagpur district joins Shiv Sena led by Shinde; may be fielded from Ramtek Lok Sabha seat

    Congress MLA from Umred constituency, Raju Parve, resigned from the party and joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Mumbai.

    He is likely to be fielded from the reserved Ramtek constituency by Shiv Sena against Congress candidate Rashmi Barve, sources said Parve won the Umred seat in Nagpur district on a Congress ticket in the 2019 assembly elections.

    Ramtek goes to poll in the first phase on April 19.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 19:30
    Maharashtra | Days after meeting Sharad Pawar, Dhangar leader Jankar says he will remain with saffron fold

    In a U-turn, Rashtriya Samaj Party chief Mahadev Jankar vowed to remain with the ruling saffron alliance-Mahayuti- in Maharashtra, days after he met NCP (SP) president Sharad Pawar who asked him to contest from the Madha Lok Sabha constituency. The apparent change of heart happened after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena) and his deputies Devendra Fadnavis (BJP) and Ajit Pawar (NCP) met Jankar, who belongs to the Dhangar (shepherd) community.

    Notably, after meeting Sharad Pawar in Pune on Wednesday, Jankar expressed displeasure over the saffron party declaring its candidate from the Madha Lok Sabha seat without taking him into confidence.

    A joint statement was issued on Sunday after Shinde, Ajit Pawar, and Fadnavis met Jankar, stating that the country is taking huge strides under PM Modi in development and hence Jankar will continue to be with the Mahayuti.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 18:50
    Uttar Pradesh | Samajwadi Party fields S.T. Hasan from Moradabad, changes its Bijnor candidate

    The Samajwadi Party on Sunday renominated its Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad S T Hasan from the same seat and changed its Bijnor candidate by fielding Deepak Saini, the son of a party MLA.

    He is the son of Ram Avtar Saini, the SP legislator from the Noorpur assembly segment that comes under the Bijnor parliamentary constituency.

    According to the election schedule, polling in Uttar Pradesh’s eight parliamentary constituencies, including Bijnor and Moradabad, will be held in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 19.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 18:45
    Odisha | BJP’s Irani Ray, husband join BJD

    Prominent BJP leader from Odisha’s Nayagarh district, Irani Ray, and her husband joined the ruling BJD, weeks ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in the State.

    Ray, who had unsuccessfully contested the Nayagarh assembly elections in 2019, joined the BJD in the presence of senior leaders, including Nayagarh MLA Arun Sahoo, at the Shankha Bhawan here.

    “The party (BJP) did not acknowledge my contribution even though I worked with 100 per cent dedication. Therefore, I along with my supporters quit the BJP,” she said.

    Irani had secured 66,737 votes in 2019 as a BJP candidate from the seat. Before joining the saffron party, her husband Lala Manoj Ray was in the Congress and fought the Nayagarh assembly polls in 2014.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 18:23
    Rajasthan | Over 1,500 poll code violation complaints from State registered on cVigil app in a week

    More than 1,500 complaints related to violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) from across Rajasthan have been registered on the Election Commission’s cVigil app over the last week, a senior official said.

    “Out of the 1,515 complaints received in the last seven days, 546 were found correct by the returning officers and were disposed of within the stipulated time (of 100 minutes). Six complaints are still pending for decision by the investigating teams and returning officers while 789 complaints were dropped,” said Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Gupta.

    Initially, complaints related to posters and banners are higher. Prompt action is being taken on such complaints, Gupta said. Other complaints, like those related to the distribution of liquor or money, increase as the polling date gets nearer. The resolution of such complaints requires more time, the chief electoral officer said.

    Any person can report MCC violations using the cVigil app.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 18:06
    Assam | State Congress’ media cell chief resigns

    Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah on Sunday resigned as the chairman of the party’s media cell in Assam.

    Narah’s resignation comes a day after his wife and former union minister Ranee Narah was denied a party ticket from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency.

    The Congress nominated Uday Shankar Hazarika for the seat.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 17:39
    Uttar Pradesh | Samajwadi Party’s Dharmendra Yadav booked for MCC violation over motorcade

    A case has been registered against Samajwadi Party candidate for Lok Sabha polls Dharmendra Yadav for alleged violation of the model code of conduct for elections in Azamgarh district, a police official said.

    While travelling in Mehnagar assembly constituency of the district on March 22, Yadav’s motorcade had more vehicles than those permitted by the Election Commission, the official claimed. After the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, not more than 10 vehicles can run in the convoy of candidates.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 17:31
    INDIA bloc intact, will cross 272; PM’s corruption pitch ‘hollow’: Jairam Ramesh

    The INDIA bloc is intact despite Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “somersault” and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee deciding to be Mamata Banerjee, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said, rejecting as “hollow” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pitch against the opposition on corruption.

    He said they have evidence that bonds worth Rs 4,000 crores purchased by several companies in favour of the BJP are directly linked to the award of contracts and action initiated by central agencies against them. 

    “To say that Mr Modi is going to take the corruption plank and use Hemant Soren and Arvind Kejriwal as examples that he is fighting corruption is absolutely a bogus argument. Look at the electoral bonds saga, it is a complete case of quid pro quo,” the Congress leader said.

    - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 17:18
    Himachal Pradesh | Former H.P. CM Shanta Kumar rues state of politics, asks BJP to heed Lord Ram’s principles

    BJP leader and two-time Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar has expressed his anguish at the state of politics in the country saying his party too has swept in the wave.

    “We built Ram Mandir but simply constructing the Ram temple will not help, we must also follow his principles,” he told reporters recently.

    Mr. Kumar’s remarks come in the wake of a political turmoil in the State, with six Congress members breaking away and joining the BJP, an act which the Congress termed as part of a conspiracy by the BJP to topple the state government.

    “I am surprised. The politics of enslaved India was for the country, but the politics of free India is for the chair. And I am pained that my party is also swept in the wave,” said Mr. Shanta Kumar, who has also been a Member of Parliament from Kangra seat four times.

    “Politics of principle is the need of the hour and I pray that the leaders of my country follow their values and standard of politics improves in the country,” he added. — PTI

  • March 24, 2024 17:15
    Kerala | BJP will win 4-5 seats in Kerala in LS polls: ‘‘Metroman’‘ Sreedharan

    ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan said that the BJP Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi would definitely come back to power at the Centre and that the saffron party would win at least four-five seats in Kerala in the Lok Sabha polls.

    He asserted that BJP candidate Suresh Gopi would surely win from Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency in the State and Union Ministers Rajeev Chandrasekhar and V. Muraleedharan would win in Thiruvananthapuram and Attingal segments, respectively.

    Senior woman leader Shobha Surendran has good chances in Alappuzha constituency, the Metroman added.

    Mr. Sreedharan, who had unsuccessfully contested as a BJP candidate from Palakkad constituency in Kerala’s Assembly polls, also made it clear that he has no plans to come back to active politics due to his advanced age of 94 years.

    “The Narendra Modi Government will definitely come back to power at the national level after the polls. In Kerala also, the party will win at least 4-5 seats. The victory is 100% sure in Thrissur constituency,” he said.

    Mr. Sreedharan told reporters that he would not contest from Palakkad Assembly constituency even if there is a bypoll as sitting MLA Shafi Parambil is contesting in the Lok Sabha polls from Vatakara. — PTI

  • March 24, 2024 17:12
    Maharashtra | Minister Dhananjay Munde joins cousin Pankaja to pay tributes at Gopinath Munde’s memorial

    Maharashtra Minister and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde joined his cousin and BJP’s Beed Lok Sabha seat candidate Pankaja Munde to pay homage at the memorial of her late father Gopinath Munde.

    On March 24, the cousins arrived together at late BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s memorial in Beed. Ms. Pankaja Munde’s sister Pritam Munde, the sitting BJP MP from Beed, was also present.

    Talking to reporters, BJP national secretary Pankaja Munde said, “I have come to the ‘Gopinath Gad’ for the first time after the announcement of my candidature. I told Dhananjay Munde that I will come to his residence to seek the blessings of elders in the family and will appeal for his help in the elections.” “Here he came as a brother, but as he is the guardian minister [of Beed district], I will go to his residence,” she added. “The work I did from 2014-2019 (as Minister in the then Maharashtra government) and the faith of people in me will be my issues in the election,” she said.

    Mr. Dhananjay Munde said, “It is an emotional moment for me as my sister has been nominated for the Lok Sabha poll. Broad mindedness should be shown, so I came here. I met her as an elder brother.” “We will come to know on June 4 how favourable the environment [for the BJP candidate] is in the (Beed) district. Rest we will speak once the candidate of the Opposition is declared,” he added. — PTI

  • March 24, 2024 16:30
    TMC government will not complete its full term till 2026, says BJP’s Sukanta Majumdar

    Exuding confidence in the party’s prospects for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said the TMC government will not complete its full term till 2026 if the saffron party gets even one more seat than the Mamata Banerjee-led party. “We have set a target of winning 35 seats from Bengal. We are confident about it. If we get even one more seat than that of the TMC, which we will get, the Mamata Banerjee government will not complete its full term till 2026. Its government would collapse,” he said.

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah in April last year had set a target of winning 35 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the State. He said the party would not be responsible for the collapse, rather “dynasty politics” of the TMC would be the reason for it.

    “We were not the reason for the collapse of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra; rather it was Uddhav Thackeray’s love for his son and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s love for his daughter that was responsible for it. It was dynasty politics that led to the collapse.” “In Bengal, too, it will be love for the nephew that will lead to its collapse. If you try to give something to a person not worthy of it, then everything ought to go haywire,” he said in an apparent reference to TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee.

    The BJP presently has 74 MLAs in the 294-member State assembly, of which seven have switched to the TMC camp but have not resigned from the post. The TMC has 217 MLAs. - PTI

  • March 24, 2024 16:00
    Manoj Jarange asks Maratha community to select candidates for Lok Sabha polls before Mar 30

    In a bid to press for the reservation for the Maratha community, activist Manoj Jarange has appealed to the community’s leaders to choose candidates for contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as independents before March 30. 

    He claimed the Maratha community holds sway over 17-18 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. With their influence, they can garner the support of Muslims, Dalit communities and the wider section of the society, he said while addressing a meeting of Maratha community members, who had come from across the State, at his native Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district.

    “I don’t know politics and am not interested in it,” he said. 

    Expressing dissatisfaction over the state government’s handling of the Maratha quote issue, Mr. Jarange accused Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of employing tactics to stifle the reservation movement. He condemned the registration of cases against protesters seeking reservation. -PTI

  • March 24, 2024 15:21
    BJP files complaint with EC against Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

    The BJP has filed a complaint with the ECI, accusing Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah of trying to defame the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls by levelling allegations that the BJP was trying to woo Congress MLAs by offering them ₹50 crore each. Terming the allegations as “false”, the BJP said the CM had failed to furnish evidence to support his allegations and demanded that Mr. Siddaramaiah apologise to the party. It also urged the ECI to initiate an appropriate action against him.Read the full story here.

  • March 24, 2024 14:55
    BSP releases list of 16 candidates

    The BSP has declared its list of candidates for 16 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls. The party in-charges in some districts had earlier declared candidates at the district level.

    The Mayawati-led party has fielded Majid Ali from Saharanpur, Shripal Singh from Kairana, Dara Singh Prajapati from Muzaffarnagar, Vijyendra Singh from Bijnor, Surendra Pal Singh from Nagina (SC seat) and Mohammad Irfan Saifi from Moradabad.

    It has given tickets to Zishan Khan from Rampur, Shaulat Ali from Sambhal, Mozahid Hussain from Amroha, Devvrat Tyagi from Meerut and Praveen Bansal from Baghpat, it said.

    From Gautam Buddha Nagar, Rajendra Singh Solanki will be the party candidate, while Girish Chandra Jatav will be in fray from Bulandshahr (SC seat), Abid Ali from Aonla, Anis Ahmad Khan alias Phool Babu from Pilibhit and Dodaram Verma from Shahjahanpur (SC), it added. -PTI

  • March 24, 2024 13:49
    INDIA bloc to hold a ‘maha rally’ on March 31

    INDIA bloc will hold ‘maha rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on March 31 to ‘safeguard country’, AAP’s Gopal Rai has announced. Delhi chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said that the rally will not be ‘political’, but a call to save India’s democracy and to raise voice against the Centre. He noted that the Opposition was not being given a level playing field, adding that the Congress’ accounts were frozen, and Chief Ministers were arrested. 

    INDIA bloc to hold ‘maha rally’ in Delhi on March 31 to ‘safeguard democracy’, says AAP’s Gopal Rai

  • March 24, 2024 13:31
    Ghulam Nabi Azad’s DPAP is not fighting to win, says Congress leader Lal Singh

    Congress leader Choudhary Lal Singh said that the Democratic Progressive Azad Party’s decision to field former minister G.M. Saroori instead of founder Ghulam Nabi Azad from Udhampur constituency shows that the party is not fighting to win, but to cut the votes of the Opposition.

    The parliamentary constituency will go to polls in the first phase on April 19. So far five candidates, including Union Minister Jitendra Singh and DPAP’s G.M. Saroori have filed their nominations. The Congress leader is set to file his nomination papers to contest in the seat in the next couple of days. Union Minister Jitendra Singh is seeking re-election from the seat for the third consecutive term. -PTI

  • March 24, 2024 13:02
    Prakash Ambedkar calling off alliance with Shiv Sena (UBT) unfortunate: Sanjay Raut

    A day after Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar said the alliance with Shiv Sena (UBT) doesn’t exist any longer, Sanjay Raut of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party termed it as a “one-sided” and unfortunate decision.

    Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Raut said when Uddhav Thackeray and Prakash Ambedkar announced their alliance more than a year back, the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were not on the agenda.

    It was basically working together for the assembly and local bodies elections, he said.

    “The alliance was made with good intentions,” the Sena (UBT) leader said.

    “Ambedkar should have discussed with Thackeray before making such an announcement. It is one-sided and unfortunate,” Raut said, adding that the VBA chief, grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar, should reconsider his decision.


  • March 24, 2024 12:45
    JD(U) announces candidates for all 16 Lok Sabha seats it is contesting in Bihar

    The JD(U), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Sunday announced candidates for all the 16 Lok Sabha seats it is contesting in the state, dropping two sitting MPs and fielding two turncoats.

    The announcement was made here by the party’s national vice president Vashishth Narayan Singh in the presence of several other senior JD(U) leaders.

    The seats where sitting MPs have been dropped are Sitamarhi, where legislative council chairman Devesh Chandra Thakur will be the JD(U) candidate, and Siwan, where Vijay Laxmi Kushwaha got the ticket just a day after she joined the party along with husband Ramesh Singh Kushwaha who was the state president of Rashtriya Lok Morcha, an NDA ally.

    Another turncoat to have got the party ticket is Lovely Anand, who had quit the RJD to join the JD(U) earlier this month. She will be contesting the polls from Sheohar.


  • March 24, 2024 12:36
    More than 40 per cent voters in 30-49 age group in Maharashtra

    More than 40 per cent of the total 9.2 crore persons eligible to vote in Maharashtra are in the age group of 30 to 49, as per the state electoral office data.

    Only 1.27 per cent electors are in the age group of 18 to 19, it said.

    Women outnumber men among the voters aged above 70.

    As many as 1,84,841 new voters have been registered between March 17 and 22, the state electoral office said.


  • March 24, 2024 12:24
    Election Commission orders disciplinary action against Punjab SDM for absence from poll duty

    The Election Commission has issued directions to take disciplinary action against the subdivisional magistrate of Amloh in Punjab’s Fatehgarh Sahib district for being absent from poll duty.

    Directions have been issued for taking disciplinary action against Amardeep Singh Thind, the assistant returning officer-cum-subdivisional magistrate, for his absence.

    In a statement, Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C on Sunday said the Election Commission has replaced Thind with Punjab Civil Services officer Karandeep Singh as assistant returning officer-cum-subdivisional magistrate to ensure smooth conduct of the poll process.


  • March 24, 2024 12:17
    Former IAF chief Bhadauria joins BJP

    Former Indian Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria joined the BJP on Sunday.

    BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde lauded Bhadauria’s long service in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and expressed confidence that he will now contribute actively in the political field after playing an active role in the defence forces.

    The BJP leader said Bhadauria spent nearly 40 years in the IAF and contributed to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Bhadauria hails from Uttar Pradesh. The BJP is yet to name its candidates from several seats in the state for the Lok Sabha elections.

  • March 24, 2024 12:06
    Female voters hold key in four tribal Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand

    Women voters will play a decisive role in four Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, as they outnumber male voters in the electoral roll.

    The four Lok Sabha seats where women outnumber male voters are—Rajmahal, Singhbhum, Khunti and Lohardaga - all reserved for scheduled tribe (ST) category.

    Singhbhum, Khunti and Lohardaga will go to polls on May 13, while Rajmahal on June 1, an election official said.

    Political parties, mainly the BJP and INDIA bloc partners, have already started chalking out strategies to galvanise the support of female voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.


  • March 24, 2024 11:40
    Discontent grows in TMC, BJP ranks over ticket distribution

    Discontentment seems to be increasing by the day in sections of the BJP and the TMC in West Bengal with several leaders of both camps expressing displeasure over the selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

    Several TMC leaders aspiring for tickets have openly voiced their unhappiness over not being nominated for the seats they eyed. The BJP has witnessed similar dissatisfaction among some influential leaders over candidate selection.

    At least five senior TMC leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Mausam Benazir Noor and party spokesperson Santanu Sen, who were seeking nomination from Malda North and Dum Dum seats respectively, have expressed dissatisfaction after being denied tickets.

    Read the full story here
  • March 24, 2024 11:31
    E Palaniswami meets locals in Salem as part of his election campaign
  • March 24, 2024 11:28
    “I agree that DMK is a family party, as...”: Udhayanidhi responds to BJP’s ‘nepotism’ barb

    Hitting back at the BJP, which has been taking frequent potshots at his party over ‘nepotism’, ruling DMK leader and minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said he does belong to a family-run party as all of Tamil Nadu is Karunanidhi’s (late party stalwart and his grandfather) kin.

    Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Udhayanidhi, the son of Chief Minister MK Stalin, said, “They (BJP) call us (DMK) a family-run party. I agree that DMK is a family-run party, as all of Tamil Nadu is Karunanidhi’s family.”


  • March 24, 2024 11:11
    In ‘Land of seven languages’, BJP fields polyglot woman candidate

    With a jovial smile and friendly demeanour, a young woman candidate can be seen seeking votes from people in multiple languages in Kasaragod, Kerala’s northernmost Lok Sabha constituency.

    Ashwini ML, the 38-year-old teacher who has been fielded by the BJP, effortlessly switches between Malayalam, Kannada and Tulu, while interacting with people in Kasaragod, which is known as the ‘Land of seven languages’ with a significant number also speaking Marathi, Konkani, Byari and Urdu.

    The Mahila Morcha leader’s candidature from the BJP for the April 26 Lok Sabha polls came as a surprise, but her linguistic skills are helping her stand out.

    While contesting against sitting MP Unnithan and ruling CPI (M)‘s popular local leader M V Balakrishnan Master, Ashwini believes that her command over multiple languages would help her connect better with the voters, given that linguistic minorities have a significant influence here.


  • March 24, 2024 11:02
    Cong, AAP tie-up aims to put up tough fight in Gujarat; BJP says its prospects unaffected

    The Congress-Aam Aadmi Party tie-up in Gujarat is hoping to challenge the electoral hegemony of the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, while the ruling party is confident the opposition alliance will not affect its prospects.

    The Congress-AAP alliance this time aims to give a tough fight and stop the division of anti-BJP votes.

    A senior state Congress leader admitted that they lost in more than 40 assembly seats due to the division of votes between the grand old party and the AAP.

    Notably, four Congress MLAs and one AAP legislator in the state have resigned in the last four months.


  • March 24, 2024 10:41
    Congress nominates JNU professor, former MLA for two Lok Sabha seats in Manipur

    The Congress has nominated JNU professor Angomcha Bimol Akoijam and former MLA Alfred Kanngam Arthur for the Inner and Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seats respectively in the upcoming polls, an official statement said.

    The statement, issued by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary K Venugopal, said that the decision was taken by the Central Election Committee of the grand old party.

    Akoijam gained popularity for his academic insights into the ethnic violence that broke out in the state last year.

    Arthur, a former party MLA, hails from Tangkhul Naga-dominated Ukhrul district.

    Arthur will fight against Naga People’s Front (NPF) nominee and former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer K Timothy Zimik in the Outer Manipur seat, which is reserved for Scheduled Tribes.


  • March 24, 2024 10:28
    Congress MP Tharoor hits campaign trail in Thiruvananthapuram on Palm Sunday

    With the Lok Sabha elections barely a few weeks away, Congress MP and the party’s Thiruvananthapuram candidate, Shashi Tharoor, hit the campaign trail by participating in a Palm Sunday event.

    On Palm Sunday, Christians commemorate Jesus going to Jerusalem on a donkey for the celebration of Passover.

    Speaking to ANI on Sunday, the Congress MP said, “Palm Sunday marks the beginning of a week in which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Sunday, had his famous last supper on Wednesday, betrayed and arrested on Thursday, and then crucified on Friday. Then there is Easter Sunday, which commemorates his resurrection. This whole week is extremely important to our Christian constituents.”

  • March 24, 2024 10:07
    Congress nominates Uday Shankar Hazarika for Lakhimpur LS seat

    The Congress named Uday Shankar Hazarika as its candidate for the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency in Assam.

    Hazarika had quit the ruling BJP a few months ago and joined the grand old party.

    He is expected to be in a direct contest with incumbent two-term BJP MP Pradhan Baruah, with the constituency going to the polls in the first phase on April 19.

    The Congress is supporting the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) in Diburgarh.


  • March 24, 2024 09:49
    Barring agony, fear, nothing done by Owaisi for Hyderabad, alleges BJP contestant Madhavi Latha

    BJP’s rookie contestant, 49-year-old K Madhavi Latha, is unperturbed by sitting Hyderabad MP and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi’s “larger than life image,” and claims all he has given to the constituency is agony, fear and injustice.

    A classical dancer and entrepreneur, the 49 year-old Latha is set to take on Owaisi in his stronghold in the May 13 General Elections.

    In an interview to PTI, she lambasted the AIMIM chief for the alleged lack of development in the constituency though he has been representing it since 2004.

    She is not perturbed by the larger than life image of the strident BJP critic in the constituency.

    Asked how she takes on her main rival Owaisi as she is a new entrant into politics, she shot back, asking what kind of an image does Owaisi have.


  • March 24, 2024 09:34
    Prestigious South Chennai to see DMK, AIADMK, BJP face-off

    Home to some top-notch educational institutions and IT companies, the prestigious South Chennai Parliament seat is set for a 3-way direct fight involving two women leaders and a former MP as the ruling DMK, AIADMK and BJP will slug it out in the April 19 Lok Sabha polls.

    Incumbent DMK MP T Sumathy alias Tamizhachi Thangapandian will face-off former Telangana Governor and BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan, while the the AIADMK has fielded ex-MP Dr J Jayavardhan, who won from here in 2014.

    Incidentally, Tamilisai reisgned as governor earlier this week before re-joining the saffron party which has nominated her from this segment.

    The leader has expressed confidence of winning, saying she was aware of the problems in the constituency, being a resident for 40 years.


  • March 24, 2024 09:12
    OPS opts for LS poll seeking an identity of his own

    With his legal options only strengthening his erstwhile colleague’s case, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam now banks heavily on the BJP to bail him out of the political quagmire.

    He is facing a piquant situation now wherein he has to perform to gain an identity for himself or become a non-entity in state politics. His relevance will be decided by his electoral fortunes in Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha constituency where he has announced to contest as an independent with the support of the BJP for the April 19 polls.

    Panneerselvam, currently representing the Bodinayakkanur Assembly constituency in Theni district, has formed the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhaga Cadres Right Retrieval Organisation.


  • March 24, 2024 08:55
    In Himachal Pradesh, six former Congress MLAs, three Independents join BJP

    Amid political turbulence in Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh, the six rebel Congress MLAs who were disqualified from the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly last month, joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Saturday. They were joined by the three Independent MLAs who had submitted their resignations to the State Assembly secretary on Friday.

    The three Independents who have now joined the BJP are Ashish Sharma, Hoshiyar Singh, and K.L. Thakur. The six former Congress MLAs are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, and Kutlehar MLA Davinder Bhutto. They joined the BJP in New Delhi, in the presence of Himachal Pradesh BJP president Rajiv Bindal and Union Minister Anurag Thakur.

    Read the full story here
  • March 24, 2024 08:45
    JDU MLA Bima Bharti switches to RJD

    Janata Dal United MLA from Rupauli Bima Bharti resigned from the party’s primary membership on Saturday. Following her resignation, she joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and expressed her readiness to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Purnia if her new party permits.

    “People of Purnia are ready to vote for us. I will contest Lok Sabha polls from Purnia if my party asks me to,” the former Bihar Minister said.


  • March 24, 2024 08:41
    Modi, senior BJP leaders meet to pick candidates for Lok Sabha election

    The BJP’s central election committee (CEC) met in New Delhi on March 23 to finalise the party’s candidates in several States for the Lok Sabha election.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and BJP president J.P. Nadda were joined by other CEC members as they went over the list of probable candidates to take a final call.

    The States for which candidates were tipped to be discussed included Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

    Read the full story here
  • March 24, 2024 08:30
    Congress U.P. chief Ajay Rai to take on PM Modi in Varanasi

    The Congress on Saturday announced 45 names in its fourth list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls while one seat for the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) in Rajasthan.

    Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh will contest the Rajgarh seat in the State while Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai has been fielded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seat of Varanasi.

    Chhattisgarh Congress chief and sitting member from Bastar, Deepak Baij, has been dropped as the party named Kawasi Lakhma from the seat.

    Read the full story here
  • March 24, 2024 08:18
    Former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad’s daughters likely to contest Lok Sabha elections

    Former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughters, Rohini Acharya and Misa Bharti, are likely to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, as per sources.

    Rohini Acharya could contest the election from Saran and Misa Bharti from Pataliputra Lok Sabha constituency, according to sources.

    Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Jan Adhikar Party chief Pappu Yadav merged his party into Congress. He is a former five-time MP from Bihar and the husband of Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ranjeet Ranjan. He is known for influencing the Seemanchal area of Bihar in politics.


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