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Terror Suspect Linked to Bangladesh Group Arrested by West Bengal Police

Kolkata: A terror suspect with alleged links to a Bangladesh-based outfit was arrested by the special task force (STF) of the West Bengal Police on Saturday afternoon from Kanksa in Burdwan West. Five of his aides were also detained for questioning. The accused, Mohammed Habibullah, is a member of banned terror group, Shahadat-e al Hiqma, which was formed by the operators of another major outfit, Ansar-al-Islam, after it faced crackdown in Bangladesh. Booked under the UAPA and IPC charges, the culprit was remanded in police custody for two weeks by a district court after his production on Sunday. Habibullah is a second-year college student with computer science in the district. He allegedly headed a module that used encrypted messaging platforms like BiP to coordinate the recruitment of young minds from India and Bangladesh, according to the STF. The STF caught him from a house at Mirpara during a raid at 3 pm on Saturday following a tip-off. Based on his revelations, five of his associates were also detained from Nababghat area later. Deputy Commissioner (East) of Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate, Abhishek Gupta, said, The STF has arrested one person on suspicion of being a militant. The STF and the Kanksa police station are investigating. The NIA already registered three cases against the Ansar al-Islamone each in Mizoram, Bengaluru and Bengal.

Deccan Chronicle 23 Jun 2024 10:43 pm

Shatrughan blesses Sonakshi-Zaheer; reception venue dolled up in red for all-night party

Shillong, June 23: The Bollywood veteran and Asansols newly-elected Lok Sabha MP, Shatrughan Sinha, blessed his daughter Sonakshi after witnessing her civil marriage with Zaheer Iqbal at her recently acquired Bandra apartment on Sunday. Speaking to the media, the Trinamool Congress MP said: Every father waits for this moment when his daughter is given [] The post Shatrughan blesses Sonakshi-Zaheer; reception venue dolled up in red for all-night party appeared first on The Shillong Times .

The Shillong Times 23 Jun 2024 8:22 pm

Shatrughan Sinha blesses Sonakshi-Zaheer; reception venue dolled up in red for all-night party

Mumbai: The Hindi film veteran and Asansols newly-elected Lok Sabha MP, Shatrughan Singh, blessed his daughter Sonakshi after witnessing her civil marriage with Zaheer Iqbal at her recently acquired Bandra apartment Sunday. Speaking to the media, the Trinamool Congress MP said: Every father waits for this moment when his daughter is given to her chosen []

orissapost 23 Jun 2024 7:30 pm

Shatrughan, Poonam Sinha leave for Sonakshi-Zaheer wedding

Mumbai: The parents of Sonakshi Sinha newly elected Trinamool Congress MP from Asansol, Shatrughan Sinha, and Poonam Sinha were photographed leaving their palatial Juhu home, Ramayan, for their daughters wedding with Zaheer Iqbal. The visuals show Shatrughan Sinha wearing a navy blue outfit, and completing the look with a blue stole. He is []

orissapost 23 Jun 2024 6:08 pm

Shatrughan and Poonam Sinha leave for Sonakshi-Zaheer wedding; say thank you to paps

Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) The parents of Sonakshi Sinha newly elected Trinamool Congress MP from Asansol, Shatrughan Sinha, and Poonam Sinha were photographed leaving their palatial Juhu home, Ramayan, for their daughters wedding with Zaheer Iqbal. The visuals show Shatrughan Sinha wearing a navy blue outfit, and completing the look with a blue []

bhaskarlive 23 Jun 2024 5:54 pm

West Bengal STF Foils Cross-Border Terror Network Shahadat; Mohammed Habibullah Arrested as Head

Kolkata: On June 22nd, the West Bengal Special Task Force (STF) successfully dismantled a new cross-border terror network operating under the name Shahadat. The module's leader, Mohammed Habibullah, was apprehended by the authorities. Investigations have revealed links between this terror cell and members of Ansar Al Islam, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group banned in Bangladesh. According to officials, the STF arrested Mohammed Habibullah, the group's Ameer, from his home in Paschim Bardhaman. Habibullah is a second-year computer science student. Additionally, another suspect, Mohammed Hasibul Sheikh, was detained in Mirpara, within the Kanksha police station area of the West Burdwan district. The arrest was carried out by a special police squad from West Bengal, who raided a house in Mirpara under the Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate at around 3 AM. Senior officers from the Asansol Durgapur Police and the STF questioned the detainee at the Kanksha police station following his arrest. He is expected to be transported to Kolkata for further interrogation. This significant breakthrough occurred after a specific tip-off led the authorities to his location. The terror group primarily communicated using the encrypted messaging application BiP. According to SIT authorities, the group operated covertly with the goal of undermining the integrity and sovereignty of both India and Bangladesh. A case has been registered under the relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Mayawati's Nephew Akash Anand Back in Leadership Role Amid BSP's Struggles NADA Reinstates Suspension of Wrestler Bajrang Punia Over Dope Test Refusal BJP Leader Monu Kalyane Fatally Shot in Indore; Close Aide to Kailash Vijayvargiya

News Track 23 Jun 2024 3:11 pm

UP police nab robbery suspect, held by WB cops for 'abduction'

A UP police team faced resistance from Bengal Police in West Bengal while trying to arrest Makhan Lal Meena for a gold theft. The suspect, identified through CCTV footage, was detained by Bengal Police near Asansol in connection with a robbery case due to the lack of proper coordination with Bengal Police.

The Times of India 21 Jun 2024 12:42 am

TMC lost in the area and so they cut off our water supply: Residents in Asansol protest against Mamata govt for worsening water crisis

Earlier four water tanks used to come daily. Now, it has been reduced to one, BJP MLA (Pachim Bardhaman) Ajay Kumar Poddar stated.

OpIndia 17 Jun 2024 9:42 am

Passenger trains through Rourkela delayed as freight traffic surges

ROURKELA : Amidst the increasing emphasis of the South Eastern Railway (SER) on boosting freight revenues, passenger trains on the congested Howrah-Mumbai main line through Rourkela continue to face delays. The situation shows no signs of immediate resolution. The much-anticipated East-West Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) by the DFC Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL), announced in the 2016-17 railway budget, remains on the drawing board even after eight years. Reliable sources indicate severe track congestion at Rourkela Junction of the Chakradharpur Division of SER, causing almost all 52 passenger trains to run several hours behind schedule regularly. The daily train traffic through Rourkela has surged to over 170 trains, including nearly 120 goods trains, in recent months. A reality check reveals that goods trains, primarily transporting minerals, are frequently detained on tracks at Rourkela due to route congestion. There is no progress update on the much-needed East-West DFC through Rourkela. According to the DFCCIL website, the East-West DFC is classified as a proposed new DFC, with the Detailed Project Report (DPR) expected by April 2024. However, no further updates are available. The revised proposal for the East-West DFC, which spans three railway zones, includes two components. The first is the East-West DFC Sub-Corridor-1, with a main line of 2,073 Running Kilometers (Rkm) from Palghar (Maharashtra) to Dankuni (West Bengal). The second is the East-West Sub-Corridor-II, with a spur line of 195 Rkm from Rajkharsawa (Jharkhand) to Andal (West Bengal). Under the Chakradharpur Divisions jurisdiction, the proposed DFC would start from Jharsuguda in Odisha, pass through Rourkela, enter Rajpur near Tatanagar (Jharkhand), and continue through Adra and Asansol Divisions of Eastern Railway (ER) to meet the recently commissioned Eastern DFC (Dankuni-Ludhiana) at Dankuni. A senior officer of SER mentioned that four years ago, DFCCIL authorities conducted preliminary track surveys and route finalisations towards Dankuni in consultation with Chakradharpur Division and two separate divisions of Eastern Railway. The Chakradharpur Division suggested a new alignment for the DFC route from Rourkela to cover the Koida Mining Sector in Odisha and the Dongaposi-Pandrasali mining belts of Jharkhand to alleviate congestion on the Howrah-Mumbai main line. Contacted, SERs Chakhardharpur division spokesperson and senior divisional commercial manager Aditya Chaudhury stated he is unaware of any further developments regarding the proposed DFC. Meanwhile, the SER reported a record freight loading of 211.60 million tonnes in the 2023-24 fiscal year, with the trend continuing in the current fiscal year. In a statement on Wednesday, the SER highlighted that it loaded 34.91 million tonnes of originating freight in April and May 2024, generating Rs 3,166.66 crore, up from Rs 3,076.13 crore in the corresponding period of 2023. Freight business SER reported a record freight loading of 211.60 million tonnes in the 2023-24 fiscal year Loaded 34.91 million tonnes of originating freight in April and May 2024 Generated Rs 3,166.66 crore, up from Rs 3,076.13 crore in the corresponding period of 2023 SER Statement

The New Indian Express 13 Jun 2024 8:48 am

Video: Armed to the teeth, gang cleans out jewellery story in Bengal's Asansol

Video Armed to the teeth gang cleans out jewellery story in Bengals Asansol

India Today 10 Jun 2024 11:34 am

BJP's Internal Struggles: Old Guard vs Newcomers

BJP's Internal Struggles: Old Guard vs Newcomers Senior BJP leader Dilip Ghosh ignited a debate within the party on Saturday by questioning the rationale behind moving established leaders like himself from winnable constituencies to more challenging electoral battlegrounds. A social media post by Ghosh has fueled speculations of an 'old versus new' rift within the party's West Bengal unit. In a cryptic message on X, Ghosh posted, 'Old is Gold.' He previously remarked that sidelining veteran leaders was a significant mistake by the party, attributing the recent electoral debacle to the inexperience of newcomers taking critical roles. The BJP saw its Lok Sabha tally in West Bengal dip to 12 seats in this election, down from 18 in 2019, when Ghosh served as the BJP state president. The party had aimed to secure 30 out of 42 seats this time but fell short, with Ghosh losing by nearly 1.38 lakh votes in the Bardhaman-Durgapur seat to TMC's Kirti Azad. Ghosh criticized the decision to relocate him from his winning seat in Medinipur to the more contested Bardhaman-Durgapur, a move he deemed a 'mistake.' This strategic shift saw Ghosh replacing sitting MP SS Ahluwalia, who was moved to Asansol, while Asansol Dakshin MLA Agnimitra Paul replaced Ghosh in Medinipur. All three BJP candidates were defeated by their TMC counterparts. On Friday, Ghosh openly questioned the state BJP leadership's decision-making, specifically the relocation of seasoned leaders like himself and former Union MoS Debasree Choudhury to unfamiliar constituencies.

devdiscourse 8 Jun 2024 4:06 pm

Wave of Discontent Sweeps Through BJP's West Bengal Unit, Targeting Leader Adhikari

New Delhi: After its major electoral debacle, a wave of heavy resentment is brewing within the BJPs West Bengal unit against the Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari. Party insiders report growing discontent over his leadership style and strategic decisions. A fuming former state unit president, Dilip Ghosh, who lost the polls, hit out saying conspiracies and back-biting are part of politics. I have not lost. The BJP has lost. West Bengal state unit chief Sukanta Majumder, who won by a slender margin from Balurghat Lok Sabha seat, reportedly indicated to party workers that he had little say over the selection of candidates. Besides the poor selection of candidates, what hit the party hard was the consolidation of women and Muslim voters in favour of Mamata Banerjee. The BJP, incidentally, failed to retain its 2019 tally of 18 Lok Sabha seats. It came down by six seats and the partys voteshare too declined by nearly two per cent -- from 40.6 per cent in 2019 to 38.73 per cent this time. A senior party leader from West Bengal claimed most of the decisions on candidate selections were taken by Mr Adhikari. A section of state unit leaders also blamed Mr Adhikari for the defeat of former BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh. It was argued that the decision to shift Mr Ghosh from Midnapore Lok Sabha constituency to Burdwan-Durgapur proved to be costly for the BJP. Mr Ghoshs nomination remained uncertain and his candidature from Burdwan-Durgapur was announced only 48 hours before the deadline. In the process, the party shifted Suranderjeet Singh Ahluwalia, who won from Burdwan-Durgapur seat to Asansol Lok Sabha seat to take on TMC heavyweight Shatrughan Sinha. Eventually, the BJP lost both the seats. It was alleged that despite objections by Mr Ghosh and other state unit leaders over the shifting of candidates, the BJP national leaders n cahoots with a section of senior BJP functionaries who had migrated from the TMC went ahead with the decision. State unit leaders also fumed over the national leaderships decision to promote the turncoats (who came to the BJP from the TMC) over loyal party workers. The state leaders were seething over giving tickets to Arjun Singh and Tapas Roy of the TMC. It was noted that over the last five years Mr Singh has been going back and forth between the TMC and BJP. When the TMC refused to give him a ticket during this election, he promptly joined the BJP and was given a ticket from Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat. He lost by over 64,000 votes to the TMCs Partha Bhowmick. Former TMC leader Tapas Roy, who was being probed by Central agencies over corruption charges, shifted to the BJP. He was inducted and fielded from Kolkata (Uttar). Mr Roy lost to his TMC rival by a huge margin. Some state unit leaders hold Mr Adhikari and the BJP national leadership responsible for this mess. The consolidation of women and Muslim voters in favour of Ms Banerjee has rattled the BJP in the state. Despite the BJP and the Centre's attempt to play up the alleged torture and abuse of women by TMC leaders in Sandeshkhali, a majority of women voters, who constitute 50 per cent of the West Bengal electorate, voted for Ms Banerjee. Also, the BJP's high-pitched Islamophobic campaign failed to pay any dividends in the state. The BJP had hoped to split the 30 per cent of Muslim votes between the TMC, CPI(M) and Congress. Almost 99 per cent of the 30 per cent Muslims voted en masse in favour of the TMC. The shift of the entire Muslim vote to the TMC also resulted in the defeat of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from Behrampore constituency. The BJP leaders, however, claimed the party's failure to counter Ms Banerjees welfare scheme for women, Lakshmir Bhandar, had hit the party hard. As the West Bengal BJP stares into a bleak future, the party's minority cell president, Charles Nandi, felt the decimation of the CPI(M) and Congress in the Lok Sabha polls would help the BJP in future. In the next Assembly elections, there is going to be a direct fight between the BJP and TMC. We have emerged as the main Opposition. The Assembly elections in West Bengal are due to be held in mid-2026.

Deccan Chronicle 6 Jun 2024 10:33 pm

RVNL Receives Rs 390 Crore Order From Indian Railways

The contract is for construction of the Sitarampur bypass line under the Asansol division, RVNL said in an exchange filing.

Bloomberg Quint 5 Jun 2024 10:28 pm

Doing it the Didi way: How Mamata confounded predictions and proved Bengal is hers again

When the sun rose on Tuesday, June 4, not many gave an outside chance to West Bengal's ruling All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) to stem the saffron tide in the state. In fact, many were wondering if she might wobble out when assembly polls are held two years later. But by the time the sun was at its zenith the same day, the tables had turned. TMC went on to clinch 29 seats in the Lok Sabha election 2024. Didi had reduced the BJP to just 12 seats from the 18 they won in 2019. This despite the BJP, PM Modi and Amit Shah giving the state elections their all. What lay behind the comeback? Still Bengal's didi Mamata herself is still the didi she was. While many TMC leaders are facing corruption charges, the party chairperson remains unscathed. She is known to maintain a humble lifestyle since her time as an activist. She is an enigma to many. A strong, yet vulnerable person. An astute politician, but one who calls a spade a spade. She remains a leader in whom the followers can repose their faith. She is also looked up to as a person who cares. For the older generation, she is the leader who stood up against the Left's alleged oppression and inertia. For the youth, she is an icon of rebellion and change. Her role as a generous patron of sports and festivities adds to the charisma. In addition, special schemes like Swasthyasathi for health and government initiatives for women and minorities helped her earn support. Women power Then there was Lakshmir Bhandar, where eligible women from the SC and ST category are given Rs 1,000 per month and those from other categories Rs 500. A revised amount of Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,000 respectively has been announced for 2024-25. There is also a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 and an annual scholarship of Rs 500 for eligible girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in recognised schools or training courses. This is for girls from families with annual family income not more than Rs 1, 20,000, or orphans, or with 40% disability, etc. Perhaps that's why women voters seem to have backed Mamata. In Phase 1 of the Lok Sabha election 2024, 82.59% women cast their vote against 81.25% men in the state, when the national percentages were 66.07 and 66.22 respectively. In Phase 2, they surpassed men with a 77.99% turnout against 75.22%, when across the country, 66.42% female turned up at polling booths to 66.99% male. In the third phase, the number of women went up to 83.01% against 72.21% men, as the nation witnessed a turnout of 64.41% female voters to 66.89% male. In the fourth phase, women (81.49%) again bettered men (79%), while the figures at the national level were 68.73% and 69.58% respectively. In the next two phases, women voters in the state recorded a 78.43% and 83.83% turnout, with males at 78.48% and 81.62%. At the time of writing, the male-female breakup is awaited from the Election Commission. Women MPs in the18th Lok Sabha TMC: 38% BJP: 12% Am on Instagram> https://t.co/kLo5Wi9EAV pic.twitter.com/zFoMCxoNIT Derek O'Brien | ' (@derekobrienmp) June 5, 2024 Minorities While women were seen backing didi, minority voters were also turning to her. The border districts like Malda, Murshidabad, among others are among the few areas in the country where the minority population is in majority. The last Census of India conducted in 2011 records Muslims constituting over 51% of the undivided Malda district's population of about 40 lakhs. Unofficial estimates now put that number at around 69%. The polarisation is such that despite the demography, in one of the two Lok Sabha constituencies in this district ( Maldaha Uttar ), the BJP candidate has won the seat twice in a row, including in 2024. The split of the minority votes between the TMC and Congress, who fielded a Muslim candidate, also came to Khagen Murmu's aid this time. The other seat here ( Maldaha Dakshin ) saw Isha Khan Choudhury of the Congress register his party's lone win in the state. But TMC had better luck elsewhere. To Malda's south lies the district of Murshidabad where the last Census recorded Muslims comprising 66.27% of its population of over 71 lakh people in 2011. Estimates put Muslim population in the former at a formidable 72%. Here the TMC candidate Abu Taher Khan bested CPM stalwart Mohammed Salim. Didi's government has several schemes for minorities which include honorarium to the imam and muezzin, funds meant for the establishment of hostels and for stipend to poor and meritorious students of the minority community. The outreach paid dividends in 2024. Though Muslim electors, most of whom are from adjoining Bangladesh, do not repose their faith in a non-Bengali minority candidate, Yusuf Pathan proved to be a rare example in 2024. In fact, he turned into a giant slayer. The cricketer-turned-politician, who challenged Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on his home turf of Baharampur (in Murshidabad district), won convincingly with a margin of over 85,000 votes despite being a greenhorn. Pathan, from Gujarat, got the support of minorities, purportedly since he represented the TMC. His sporting background added to the final score. The TMC outsiders who won Pathan wasn't the only outsider from the party to win. Film star Shatrughan Sinha and cricketer Kirti Azad, who are from the adjacent state of Bihar, were leaders of the BJP and then Congress. While the former lost from Patna Sahib (Bihar) in 2019 on a Congress ticket in 2019 and subsequently joined TMC, Azad lost from Dhanbad (Jharkhand), again as a Congress candidate. Sinha was reinstated in the TMC and won the Asansol seat in a bye-election and he retained it in 2024, while Azad found victory this time in Bardhaman-Durgapur Parliamentary seat. These three candidates were propped up by the TMC despite party leaders having coined the term bhariagata which means an outsider. For BJP, a party just evolving in West Bengal, there was no other option than finding leaders from other states to camp in the state or poach others as candidates. Thus, the TMC, which itself is a breakaway from the Congress, raised this slogan to fight their rivals. The big changes in Bengal's Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the impact they could have Ekla Chalo Added to other factors was Mamata's decision to go to the hustings alone in 2024. She had formed the TMC in 1998 after leaving the Congress. But it was the same Congress that allied with her when she formed a government the first time in 2011. Now a wiped out Congress in the state could not help her in elections. She would only lose the seats that could land in her partys kitty. BJP was also a no-no though she had chosen to align with the NDA to strengthen herself against the then-ruling Left Front government in the initial years after forming her party. But, she knews that re-aligning with the saffron party could cost her the minority vote bank now. Another point was that arch-rivals with regional compulsions may shake hands elsewhere, but not on ground. In successive elections, Left parties' alliance with the Congress did not necessarily result in the conversion of the other's votes. Mamata does not need an ally anymore to rule West Bengal. Her charisma and tactics helped the TMC collect over 48% of the votes in the assembly election of 2021, an increase of about 3% over her victory in 2011. In the Lok Sabha polls, the share gradually increased from about 40% in 2014 to around 43% in 2019, and almost 46% in 2024. Therein lay the decision for ' ekla cholo re ', because she calculated that finally it would still be ' khela hobe ' for her

The New Indian Express 5 Jun 2024 9:49 pm

Rail Vikas Nigam receives Rs 391 crore contract from Eastern Railway

Rail Vikas Nigam receives Rs 391 crore contract from Eastern Railway State-owned company Rail Vikas Nigam has received a Letter of Acceptance from Eastern Railway for the construction of the by-pass line in Sitarampur under its Asansol Division. The company informed stock exchanges on Wednesday that the timeline for the completion of this contract is 24 months. The project cost is pegged at about Rs 391 crore. Separately, Rail Vikas Nigam informed stock exchanges that it emerged lowest bidder (L1) from Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited for the implementation of some works in the Gurugram Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) in Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam. The poject cost is Rs 124 crore. On Monday, the state-owned company received a Letter of Acceptance from South Central Railway for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender for the proposed doubling of railway track in a portion of the Nanded Division of South Central Railway, costing Rs 440 crore, to be completed in 30 months. The central public sector enterprise Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) under the Ministry of Railways was granted a 'Navratna' status last year. The Navratna companies have the autonomy to invest up to Rs 1,000 crore without seeking approval from the central government. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited was incorporated as a PSU on January 24, 2003, with the objective of implementing projects relating to the creation and augmentation of capacities of rail infrastructure. The company was granted Mini-Ratna status in September 2013. Rail Vikas Nigam's shares almost doubled so far in 2024 and have risen 200 per cent in the past year. On Wednesday, the shares closed 0.7 per cent higher at Rs 353.90. (ANI)

devdiscourse 5 Jun 2024 6:09 pm

From Kangana Ranaut to Hema Malini: New parliament to have many celebrity faces

New Delhi: With voters favouring many celebrity faces -- trusted and new -- this election season, eyes will be on the performance of first-time MPs like Kangana Ranaut and Arun Govil as they take their place in the 18th Lok Sabha along with returning star-politicians Hema Malini and Manoj Tiwari. The country went to the polls from April 19 to June 1 in seven phases to elect the 543 members in the lower house of the Parliament and many from the showbiz were in the fray. Ranaut, a popular face from Bollywood and a long-time supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, won her first ever election as she was elected from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, her home state. She defeated Vikramaditya Singh, the son of six-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh and state Congress chief Pratibha Singh. The actor, who has often found herself at the centre of controversies and always vocal about her opinions, had spoken about devoting her life to public service post her win. There is a lot of curiosity about Ranaut's tenure as an MP. Not just Ranaut, Ramayan star Govil was another celebrity face fielded by the BJP. He emerged victorious in the Meerut seat in Uttar Pradesh in a close battle with Samajwadi Party's Sunita Yadav. The winning margin was just 10,585 votes and for a time it looked like Govil would lose but his image of lord Ram from the classic TV serial seems to have worked in his favour. Hema Malini, another popular face from Hindi cinema, was elected for a straight third term in Lok Sabha from Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) against her nearest rival, Mukesh Dhangar of the Congress. Malini's third win shows the sway the actor-politician and a self-confessed Krishna devotee has on the electoral public in the temple town of Mathura, regarded as the birthplace of the Hindu god. Tiwari, a former Bhojpuri cinema star-singer and BJP's candidate from North East Delhi, bested Congress rival Kanhaiya Kumar, a popular youth leader. This is also Tiwari's third win in a row from the seat. He was the only sitting MP from Delhi retained by the BJP for the 18th Lok Sabha polls. Ravi Kishan, another popular Bhojpuri cinema star and the BJP contender from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, was elected for a second consecutive term. He defeated Kajal Nishad from the Samajwadi Party to retain his constituency. Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi, another BJP candidate, finally made inroads for the party in Kerala's Thrissur constituency. Gopi defeated VS Sunilkumar of the Communist Party of India to claim the Lok Sabha seat in the state. Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha, who was fielded as the Trinamool Congress candidate from West Bengal's Asansol, defeated his nearest rival, BJP's S S Ahluwalia. Sinha, who has had political stints under the BJP and Congress, joined the TMC in 2022 to contest in the by-election for the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency. Former actor and BJP MP Smriti Irani lost to Kishorilal Sharma of Congress in the Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh. Actor-BJP politician Dinesh Lal Yadav, better known by his stage name Nirahua, was also bested by Samajwadi Party candidate Dharmendra Yadav in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh seat. Actor and Janasena Party chief Pawan Kalyan won the Pithapuram Assembly seat in Andhra Pradesh defeating his YSR Congress Party rival Vanga Geetha. Bengali actor-turned-politician June Maliah of the TMC won from Medinipur in West Bengal by defeating Agnimitra Paul of the BJP in a tough fight. In 2021, Maliah was elected as Member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Medinipur. In West Bengal's Birbhum, TMC's three-term MP and actor Satabdi Roy secured a thumping victory over BJP's Debtanu Bhattacharya. In the state's Hooghly and Ghatal constituencies, the battle was between TMC and BJP's celebrity faces. But TMC prevailed in both. Actor and TMC candidate Rachna Banerjee won from Hooghly against actor Locket Chatterjee of BJP. This will be Banerjee's first term as a politician. Dev Adhikary of TMC bested fellow actor and BJP's Hiran Chatterjee to hold on to his constituency Ghatal. It will be his third term. Film personalities and Indian politics have had a close association for decades with popular faces from Hindi cinema such as Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna and briefly even Amitabh Bachchan taking the political plunge. Star power has yielded rich results in the South as well by producing mass leaders who started out as actors like N T Rama Rao, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa to name a few. In the current lot, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Prakash Raj, Bhagwant Mann, Paresh Rawal, Urmila Matondkar, and Govinda are among the popular faces active in politics today.

Deccan Chronicle 5 Jun 2024 2:37 pm

LS elections 2024: BJP's Kangana Ranaut Leading from Mandi, Arun Govil Trails in Meerut

New Delhi: Actor Kangana Ranaut is on the way to become a parliamentarian as the BJP candidate from Himachal Pradesh's Mandi is leading by a margin of over 75,000 votes, according to Election Commission trends. Ranaut, the four-time National Award-winning actor, has been fielded against Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress. Ramayan actor Arun Govil, meanwhile, is trailing the Meerut Lok Sabha constituency by over 20,000 votes. Samajwadi Party's Sunita Verma is currently in the lead from the seat, as per trends available till 1.30 pm. Veteran actor Hema Malini, seeking a third term in Lok Sabha from Mathura, is ahead by over 2 lakh votes. Her nearest rival is Mukesh Dhangar of the Congress. Another BJP candidate, actor Suresh Gopi from Thrissur, Kerala, is leading by over 73,000 votes. Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha, who has been given a ticket by the Trinamool Congress, is also leading in his bid to get elected from Asansol, West Bengal. He has a lead of over 47,000 votes over BJP's Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia, according to trends available on the Election Commission website. Other notable celebrity candidates in the electoral fray include BJP's Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan from Northeast Delhi and Gorakhpur, respectively. Tiwari is leading by 1 lakh votes over Kanhaiya Kumar (Congress), while Kishan is ahead by over 41,000 in his constituency. Kishan is pitted against Samajwadi Party's Kajal Nishad. BJP's Locket Chatterjee is trailing in her constituency Hooghly in West Bengal with TMC's Rachna Banerjee leading from the seat by over 34,000 votes. As per the trends, the NDA was close to the 300 mark, comfortably over the magic figure of 272 with the opposition INDIA bloc making significant gains.

Deccan Chronicle 4 Jun 2024 2:51 pm

Diamond Harbour Election Result 2024: TMC's favorite nephew Abhishek Banerjee wins seat with over 5 lakh vote margin

Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, leads by over 5 lakh votes from Diamond Harbour in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is leading in 31 of the 42 seats in West Bengal, with significant victories in Asansol, Krishnanagar, and other constituencies. Mamata Banerjee skipped a major opposition meeting due to the final phase of polling. The BJP is leading in 10 seats, while Congress trails with only one.

The Economic Times 4 Jun 2024 2:50 pm

Shatrughan Sinha leading in Asansol against BJPs S.S. Ahluwalia

Kolkata: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, of the Trinamool Congress, was leading in West Bengals Asansol seat by over 39,000 votes against his BJP rival, Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia. According to the trends by the Election Commission, Sinha is leading by 39,034 votes, securing 371,438 votes against Ahluwalia, who got 332,404 votes. Also ReadCongress chief Kharges son-in-law Radhakrishna Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 4 Jun 2024 1:36 pm

TMC Leading in 24, BJP in 7, Cong in 3 Seats in Bengal

Kolkata: The TMC surged ahead of its rivals as it was leading in 24 seats, whereas the BJP was leading in seven and the Congress in three seats after the initial round of counting, the Election Commission website said. TMC candidate and sitting MP Abhishek Banerjee is leading in the Diamond Harbour constituency over his nearest rival BJP's Abhijit Das by a margin of 96,507 votes. TMC's Hooghly candidate Rachana Banerjee was over her nearest BJP rival and sitting MP Locket Chatterjee by a margin of over five thousand votes. TMC candidate and two-time MP Asit Mal was leading from Bolpur over her nearest rival BJP's Piya Saha by 6,010 votes. In Malda Dakshin, Congress candidate Isha Khan Choudhury was leading by 11,733 votes over his nearest BJP rival Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury. In Jadavpur, TMC's Sayani Ghosh was leading by 8,048 votes over her nearest BJP rival Anirban Ganguly. In Malda Uttar, sitting MP and BJP candidate Khagen Murmu was leading by a margin of 11,119 votes over his nearest rival TMC's Prasun Banerjee. In Cooch Behar, BJP candidate and sitting MP Nisiht Pramanik was trailing by a margin of 5,529 votes against his TMC candidate Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia. In Krishnanagar's seat, BJP candidate Amrita Roy was leading by over 12,000 votes against her nearest rival of the TMC's Mahua Moitra. BJP candidate Rekha Patra of Basirhat, where Sandeshkhali is situated, was trailing against her nearest rival of TMC's Sheikh Nurul Islam by a margin of over his nearest rival TMC's Biswajit Das by over 8,480 votes. Heavyweight BJP candidate and BJP candidate Shantanu Thakur was leading in West Bengal's Bongaon seat- a Matua bastion - over his nearest rival TMC's Biswajit Das by over 5,389 votes. In Murshidabad constituency, CPI(M) state secretary Mohammed Salim was leading by a margin of 826 votes over his nearest rival of the TMC, Abu Taher Khan. Heavyweight BJP candidate and state president Sukanta Majumdar was trailing in West Bengal's Balurghat seat over his nearest rival TMC's Biplab Mitra by 9554 votes, as per the EC website. BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia was leading in West Bengal's Asansol seat over his nearest rival TMC's Shatrughan Sinha by 6,956 votes. TMC candidate Arup Chakraborty was ahead of BJP candidate and sitting MP Subhas Sarkar in Bankura Lok Sabha constituency by 3,765 votes. TMC candidate and party's Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay, was leading by 98 votes from the Kolkata North seat over his nearest BJP rival BJP rival Tapas Roy. In the Bardhaman-Durgapur seat, TMC candidate Kirti Azad was leading by 6,526 votes over his nearest BJP rival Dilip Ghosh. In Kolkata's south seat, TMC candidate Mala Roy was leading over her nearest rival of the CPI (M) Saira Shah Halim by a margin of 12,491 votes. Counting of votes for 42 Lok Sabha constituencies began at 8 am.

Deccan Chronicle 4 Jun 2024 11:23 am

Asansol Election Result 2024 Live Updates: Counting of Votes Starts Today

Asansol Election Result Live Updates: Get all the latest news and updates on Lok Sabha elections 2024 results on The Quint.

The Quint 4 Jun 2024 4:19 am

Asansol Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: Date, Key Candidates to Watch; All you need to know

Asansol Lok Sabha Election Results Date Key Candidates to Watch All you need to know

India Today 3 Jun 2024 7:11 pm

Poll Perils: Tales from West Bengal's Dedicated Election Officials

Poll Perils: Tales from West Bengal's Dedicated Election Officials From encountering 'dead' voters to navigating pitch-dark school corridors, revelling in the scenic beauty of a dam to scrubbing neglected toilets, polling officials encountered an array of extraordinary challenges while conducting elections in West Bengal. It's this effort to uphold democracy with an unwavering commitment that poll personnel strive to achieve despite the myriad obstacles coming their way which perhaps ensures that a vast and complex process of conducting parliamentary elections in a nation like India culminates successfully edition after edition. Even as six of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls in the country drew to a close, PTI spoke to some polling officials in West Bengal who returned to their base to share their riveting tales. Arup Karmakar, a school teacher from Durgapur, is one among those who spoke about his remarkable experience during the poll assignment. ''My duty was at a booth at a school in Barabani assembly segment under Asansol Lok Sabha constituency. Upon our arrival at the polling station, the entire polling party, including myself, was pleasantly surprised. The landscape, dotted by surrounding hills and a massive reservoir around Maithon Dam was breathtaking. We faced no disturbance from any political party supporters or workers,'' Karmakar said. On the morning of the polling day, Karmakar even took a dip in the reservoir water. Karmakar noticed that a herd of around 50 cows had gathered in a field next to the school in the evening, treating the space as their regular shelter. The herd had vanished in the morning, only to return after sundown. Things moved smoothly for Karmakar and his teammates until they encountered a situation involving a ''dead man walking''. ''A man entered the polling station while voting was in progress and claimed that although his name was on the list of deceased, he was actually alive and wanted to vote. Polling agents from across political parties present at the booth confirmed the man was indeed who he claimed to be. He had all the necessary documents to prove his identity, and after verification, he was allowed to vote,'' Karmakar recounted. Anshuman Roy, another school teacher stationed at a booth under the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency, discovered that washrooms in good condition were locked by central force jawans, leaving only the less suitable ones for poll officials. ''But this wasn't the end. Immediately after reaching the polling station, we were offered soft drinks by some local people and I sensed that something was amiss. The person in charge of keys to the booth was absent and when contacted, she said she was unwell and that locals would make arrangements for our food,'' Roy said. Typically, women who cook mid-day meals are entrusted with the job of taking care of poll parties, including providing them with food and water. Known as the 'key holders', these women quite literally hold the key to the voting premises and, by extension, to hassle-free polls, Roy explained with an intended pun. ''Some people brought us dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. We paid for all the food. The Election Commission has funds earmarked for poll officials to avoid taking any favours from anyone, including political parties,'' Roy added. On the day of the polls, the same group of men approached Roy and his team and insisted that some individuals without valid photo ID cards be allowed to vote. ''When we refused, they didn't argue but stopped providing us with our lunch or drinking water for the day. We had to complete our job without any water or food,'' Roy said. Amit Kumar Biswas's poll duty took him to a remote village in the Asansol Lok Sabha seat where he found almost everything perfect, until it was not. ''Our booth was set up at Kakhoya High School with lights and fans in all rooms. However, the rest of the school compound had no lights, and the bathrooms were located in a dark corner,'' Biswas said. The experience was pretty eerie as nobody could step out of the classrooms without a candle or a flashlight, he said. Rathin Bhowmick, another polling official, had to clean toilets on poll eve to make them usable at Haripal under the Arambagh Lok Sabha Seat in Hooghly district. ''The toilets were not used for ages. When asked, the headmistress said that the school had only 40 students and nobody used them. Later some village education committee members brought a brush and some cleaning liquid with which we scrubbed the toilets,'' Bhowmick said.

devdiscourse 29 May 2024 9:16 am

Why predicting the Bengal outcome in Lok Sabha Polls 2024 is difficult

Amit Shah doesn't have an iota of a doubt. He believes the BJP will win 30 seats in the West Bengal Lok Sabha elections, an assertion he has made repeatedly including in his interview to The New Indian Express . Oh to have the certitude of India's home minister! Of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, the state with the third-highest number of parliamentary seats after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, only a handful have remained out of public discussions in the 2024 Lok Sabha election with the contests there being perceived as oo one-sided. They include Darjeeling and Alipurduar in the northern part of the state, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is considered to have a clear edge over its rivals, and Jangipur in Murshidabad of central Bengal and Diamond Harbour and Kolkata South of southern Bengal, which are considered the strongholds of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC). All other seats have drawn public interest in varying degrees, as a lot has changed in the Bengal political landscape since the last Lok Sabha election. Northern equations On paper, Cooch Behar appears to be a safe seat for the BJP. In 2019, when many Cooch Behar residents were livid with frequent political clashes between warring factions of the TMC, expelled TMC youth wing leader Nishith Pramanik contested on a BJP ticket and defeated the TMC's incumbent by 54,231 votes. The BJP strengthened its position in the 2021 assembly election when its lead over the TMC in the seven assembly segments forming the Lok Sabha seat stood at 76,880 votes. In July 2021, Pramanik was rewarded with a ministerial berth, that of a junior minister in the Amit Shah-led home ministry. However, despite Pramanik's elevation, the BJP lost the November 2021 assembly by-election in Dinhata, Pramanik's home constituency, by a margin of 1.64 lakh votes. Since then, a cold tension has prevailed over the district, bursting out in political violence at intervals. The TMC, meanwhile, has checked its factional conflict. The BJP won the Jalpaiguri seat with a big margin of 1.84 lakh votes in 2019 but the 2021 assembly election results put the BJP only 12,000 votes ahead of the TMC. Besides, the TMC wrested one of the assembly seats from the BJP in the 2023 by-election and hopes to draw more votes as they have kept their promise of elevating Dhupguri town into a sub-divisional headquarters. In both these seats, the BJP in 2019 gained from a consolidation of the influential Rajbanshi community's votes in its favour. This time, the TMC believes a section of the community is disenchanted with the BJP. In 2019, the BJP's political greenhorn Sukanta Majumdar wrested the Balurghat Lok Sabha from the TMC by 33,293 votes. However, in the 2021 assembly election, the TMC had a lead of 88,920 votes over the BJP. If the TMC appeared to have regained ground, what seemed to be working in the BJP's favour is that Majumdar has since September 2021 become the president of the BJP's Bengal unit. It's a rare achievement for a leader from northern Bengal to head a major party's state unit. The Muslim Belt There are six Lok Sabha seats in the three Muslim-majority districts of northern-central Bengal Uttar Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad. In 2019, the BJP won Raiganj and Malda Uttar in four-cornered contests, while the Congress won Malda Dakshin and Baharampur and the TMC won Jangipur and Murshidabad. This time, except for Jangipur where the TMC is being seen as the favourite, five others are expected to see close three-cornered contests between the TMC, BJP and the Left-Congress alliance. 3 parties combine to make Bengal a bipolar contest In Nadia district of south Bengal, expelled Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra's Krishnanagar has become a prestige seat with the TMC renominating her and the BJP going all guns blazing to defeat the outspoken TMC leader. Moitra won the seat by a margin of 63,218 votes but the TMC's lead over the BJP in the 2021 assembly election stood at nearly 1.4 lakh. However, the 2023 panchayat election indicated the CPI(M) regained some votes it had lost to the BJP and the TMC. A three-cornered fight with a prominent CPI(M) leader in the fray has turned the contest interesting. Pulse of Polarisation The BJP won the other seat of the district, Ranaghat Lok Sabha, with a massive margin of 2.33 lakh votes, riding an overwhelming consolidation of the Matuas, a Scheduled Caste refugee community from Bangladesh who hold the key in Ranaghat and its neighbouring Bangaon Lok Sabha. The BJP's winning margin in Bangaon, which is in North 24-Parganas district, was 1.11 lakh votes. A majority of the Matuas support two of the BJP's major political planks a citizenship screening exercise to weed out illegal infiltrators (read Muslims) and full-proof citizenship to Hindu refugees . The BJP held both these bastions in the 2021 assembly election, winning 12 of the 14 assembly seats within these two Lok Sabha seats, though their lead over the TMC reduced to 1 lakh votes in Ranaghat and 14,468 votes in Bangaon. This time, while the BJP is hopeful of a 2019-like consolidation of Matua votes in their favour, the TMC expects to eat into their Matua support base. In both seats, the TMC candidates are turncoat BJP MLAs from the Matua community. TMC believes the complicated procedure of the recently notified Rules of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has upset many Matuas. The question is, is such disappointment cause enough for them to vote against the BJP? Past electoral equations keep the TMC ahead of the others in Bangaon's neighbouring Basirhat Lok Sabha, where Muslims form 46% of the population. TMC won the seat by a margin of 3.5 lakh votes in 2019 and its lead in 2021 was 3.71 lakh votes. The constituency shot to prominence recently as Sandeshkhali , which hogged the headlines due to anti-TMC mass agitation, is a part of it. While the BJP tried to polarise voters by citing alleged TMC atrocities in Sandeshkhali, especially on women, a string of sting operation video and audio recordings released by the TMC have created confusion among a section of voters about the veracity of the BJP's claims. Meanwhile, the Left-Congress alliance candidate, CPI(M)'s former Sandeshkhali MLA, is trying hard to cash in on anti-TMC sentiments over local corruption and high-handedness. Heartland Vibes Barasat in North 24-Parganas is a Lok Sabha seat less talked about, as it is considered a safe seat for the TMC. In 2019, the TMC won it by a margin of 1.1 lakh votes and its 2021 assembly election lead was 1.96 lakh votes. While the opposition appears organisationally weak, the BJP believes the incumbent's three consecutive terms spanning 15 years have developed a certain level of anti-incumbency. Barrackpore in the same district is one of the most keenly watched seats. In 2019, TMC MLA Arjun Singh contested on a BJP ticket and wrested the Lok Sabha from the TMC by 14,857 votes. However, TMC in 2021 had a lead of 97,800 votes, having won six of seven assembly seats. Singh switched back to the TMC in 2021 but rejoined the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election after the TMC refused him the ticket. He got the BJP ticket again to fight TMC minister Partha Bhowmik and political observers are curious to see if Singh holds the same clout as he held five years ago. In Kolkata and its neighbourhood, the Kolkata Uttar seat has drawn everybody's attention, as disgruntled TMC veteran and former minister Tapas Roy is contesting on a BJP ticket against the TMC incumbent Sudip Bandyopadhyay, another TMC veteran who served as the party's leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha. Even TMC leaders privately agree that Roy is a formidable candidate who can give Bandyopadhyay a run for his money. In Howrah district, where the BJP does not have a single MLA, the TMC appears to have an edge in both the seats they currently hold Howrah and Uluberia though the BJP is confident that the Howrah contest would be close. Of the four seats in the South 24-Parganas district all held by the TMC the ruling party is seen as a clear favourite in party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee's Diamond Harbour. Of the two seats covering the Sundarbans region, the TMC appears to have an edge in Jaynagar. In Mathurapur, the equations on paper place the TMC as the favourite but the BJP hopes to gain from communal polarisation that they say has quietly developed over the past couple of years. Jadavpur in South 24-Parganas, Sreerampur in Hooghly and Dumdum in North 24 Parganas districts all in Kolkata's outskirts - are expected to see three-cornered contests between the TMC, BJP and the Left-Congress alliance, though the TMC is perceived to have a slight edge. Jadavpur joust is on a razors edge The Rice Belt However, in BJP-held Hooghly and TMC-held Arambag, the equations on the ground have significantly changed in the last five years, which is why many are considering the TMC to be a favourite in Hooghly this time and the BJP in Arambag. Locals are expecting close contests in both seats. Contests in both seats in Purba Bardhaman district the BJP-held Bardhaman-Durgapur and the TMC-held Bardhaman Purba are expected to be close, in which the vote share of the Left-Congress alliance candidate can play a crucial role. The Left-Congress combined vote in the 2023 panchayat election was higher than the BJP's in both these seats. The BJP, though, hopes that their Lok Sabha candidates are stronger than the Left's in these seats and most of those who voted for the Left in the panchayat election will switch back to the BJP. Western Winds Asansol Lok Sabha in Paschim Bardhaman district is also a hot topic of discussions. The BJP won it in 2014 and 2019 but the TMC gained a lead over the BJP in seats here in the 2021 assembly election. After the BJP's incumbent, Babul Supriyo, resigned and joined the TMC, Mamata Banerjee's party wrested the Lok Sabha in a by-election. Now, it's a battle of two heavyweights, the TMC's incumbent, Shatrughan Sinha and the BJP's Surinder Singh Ahluwalia. Of the two seats in the Birbhum district the TMC-held Birbhum and Bolpur the TMC appears to be in an advantageous position in both due to the organisational weakness of the opposition. The Birbhum contest, however, can get closer due to communal polarisation on the one hand and the presence of the Left-Congress alliance candidate on the other. In the state's southwestern region called Jangalmahal, the TMC appears to have gained some ground in Jhargram and Bankura Lok Sabha, which it lost to the BJP in 2019. On paper, the BJP remains favourite in Bishnupur and Purulia Lok Sabhas, which they won by margins of 78,000 votes and 2 lakh votes, respectively. In the assembly election, the TMC narrowed the gap. Now, in Bishnupur, the TMC has fielded the BJP incumbent's estranged wife, Sujata Mandal, who had in fact led her husband's campaign in 2019. At that time, Khan's entry into most of his Lok Sabha constituency was restrained by a high court order related to a criminal case and Mandal took charge of the campaign. In Purulia, a four-cornered contest has turned the election into a likely close one. The TMC's candidate is a former minister, the Left-Congress alliance candidate is a veteran Congress leader, and in the fray is an independent candidate who enjoys some popularity for his fight for Scheduled Tribe status for the Kudmi-Mahato community, which dominates Purulia's demography. Prestige Fights The contest in the BJP-held Kanthi, Tamluk and Medinipur and the TMC-held Ghatal seats in East and West Midnapore districts are expected to be sharp bipolar ones between the TMC and the BJP, in which the Left-Congress alliance candidates may not have much of a role to play. Kanthi and Tamluk are prestige seats for both parties, as they have been held by the Adhikari family since 2009 but the family changed allegiance from the TMC to the BJP in 2020. The family's Suvendu Adhikari is the current Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly. Going by the assembly election trends, the TMC was ahead of the BJP by 21 votes in Tamluk and the BJP had a lead of 29,154 votes in Kanthi. What makes guessing Bengal electoral outcomes more difficult is that the perceptions of electoral possibilities are based on the opinions of voters who spoke their minds. But this time, there are a huge number of silent voters. So, we can only wait for June 4 to get the exact picture. The big changes in Bengal's Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the impact they could have

The New Indian Express 28 May 2024 8:45 pm

Jadavpur joust is on a razors edge

KOLKATA: The Jadavpur parliamentary constituency is known for its cerebral power as it often sends luminaries to the Lok Sabha. For example, way back in 1984, current Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrested the seat on a Congress ticket from CPM stalwart Somnath Chatterjee. This time around, it could be a toss up between the Trinamools Saayoni Ghosh, the CPMs Srijan Bhattacharyya and the BJPs Anirban Ganguly because the race is that tight. All three are alumni of Jadavpur University. At 47, Dr Ganguly is the eldest of them. Saayoni and Srijan are 31. Saayoni became the Trinamool Congress youth wing head after Mamatas nephew and party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee vacated the position in 2021. An actor by profession, she got the moniker of a party streetfighter from Mamata. Srijan is member of the CPMs West Bengal state committee. He was the state secretary of the Students Federation of India for just over six years till January last. As for Dr Ganguly, he is an academic and chairman of the BJPs Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. While Saayoni parrots Mamatas seamless connect with the grassroots, adding she introduced various innovative schemes for the upliftment of the poor, Ganguly hammers away at the TMCs scams under Mamatas watch and her attempts to shield her tainted party leaders. Saayoni models herself on Mamatas brand of politics, saying: Ive learned that real politics is different from whats in the textbooks. A true leader understands the peoples needs and struggles, just like Mamata. A leader must be accessible, and I am here for Jadavpur. Her political journey began in February 2021 when she joined the TMC and unsuccessfully contested for the Asansol South assembly seat. In contrast, Srijan has been in politics for a long time. He promises to introduce more industries and bring back jobs to the state that were chased away by the current regime. He flogs the Singur example where the then CPM chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya invited the Tatas to set up their Nano plant, but they were driven away by Mamatas activism. Ganguly is seen mobilising people from other districts for large road shows and rallies with posters and banners in a demonstration of strength across the constituency. Sobha Rani Deb, a senior voter in Baghajatin area of Jadavpur is critical of Gangulys mobilisation. This is an election, not a festival. Gangulys road shows often end up in creating traffic bottlenecks, she rued. The Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency includes Baruipur Purba (Scheduled Caste), Baruipur Paschim, Sonarpur, Bhangar, Jadavpur, Sonarpur Uttar and Tollygunge assembly segments. It falls within the 24 Parganas district, which is the sixth-most densely populated in India.

The New Indian Express 28 May 2024 7:08 am

Nazrul Jayanti 2024: Bangladesh Honors Kazi Nazrul Islam on 125th Birth Anniversary

Today, May 24, Bangladesh celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the National Poet and a towering figure in Bangla literature. This day not only marks his birth but also reflects on his enduring legacy a decade since his passing. Across the nation, diverse events are being held to honor Nazrul Jayanti, with numerous admirers paying tribute by laying floral wreaths at his final resting place near Dhaka University's Central Mosque. Kazi Nazrul Islam's iconic poem 'Bidrohi' (The Rebel) and his debut poetry collection 'Agnibeena' (The Fiery Lute) have now reached their centenary, having left an indelible mark on Bangla literature for a hundred years. His poems continue to inspire and resonate with themes of social justice, freedom, and the spirit of resistance. Born in 1306 in the Churulia village of Asansol, West Bengal, India, Nazrul courageously fought against exploitation during his youth. Despite enduring poverty, torture, and oppression, he steadfastly wrote for the marginalized, becoming a voice of rebellion and hope. His works encompassed a wide range of emotions, from love and harmony to the plight of the common people. The son of Imam Kazi Fakir Ahmed and housewife Zaheda Khatun, Nazrul started his career as a band player and worked as a bakery laborer. His early experiences of hardship and struggle deeply influenced his poetry, which often highlighted the struggles of the working class and the oppressed. Nazrul's life took him into the military, where he continued to write and compose. He also engaged in journalism and worked at HMV and Calcutta Betar, further expanding his influence and reach. Joining the anti-British movement, he faced imprisonment, yet his literary pursuits remained paramount throughout his life. Nazrul also made significant contributions to Bangla music, pioneering a distinct genre and introducing Bangla Ghazal. His compositions are still cherished and performed today, reflecting his deep connection to the culture and spirit of Bengal. In Bangladesh, Nazrul is remembered not only as a poet but as a symbol of courage, resilience, and the fight against injustice. His legacy continues to inspire generations, and on this significant anniversary, the nation celebrates the life and contributions of Kazi Nazrul Islam, a literary giant whose words continue to echo in the hearts of the people. When is Narasimha Jayanti 2024: Know the Date, Time, Rituals, and Importance Buddha Purnima 2024: PM Modi, Murmu, Top Leaders extend warm wishes The history of Bada Mangal is related to which city of Uttar Pradesh, know its story

News Track 24 May 2024 2:03 pm

BJP expels Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh for contesting LS polls as independent candidate

PATNA: Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh was on Wednesday expelled from the BJP for arnishing the party's image by contesting Lok Sabha poll against an authorized NDA candidate. Singh has entered the fray, as an Independent, in Karakat seat of Bihar, queering the pitch for ex-Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, an NDA partner who is contesting on the symbol of his Rashtriya Lok Morcha. According to a communication issued by Arvind Sharma, the BJP's Bihar headquarters in charge, Singh, who is a member of the party's district executive committee in Bhojpur, has been expelled upon the directions of state president Samrat Choudhary. In the letter of expulsion, Singh has been charged with anti-party activities and indiscipline and reprimanded for arnishing the party's reputation by contesting against the NDA's authorized candidate (adhikrit pratyashi). Despite repeated attempts, Singh could not be reached for comments on the development. The belated action, from the party, comes with just over a week left before voting takes place in Karakat on June 1. Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold three rallies in Bihar on May 25 at as many constituencies going to polls in the final phase and one of these has been proposed in Karakat constituency. Singh, who has been a BJP member for several years, had about a month ago turned down a party ticket from Asansol in West Bengal where fellow Bihari, actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha, is seeking re-election as the candidate of Trinamool Congress. Singh is understood to have chickened out after a massive controversy broke out over a number of his songs with lyrics that were allegedly misogynistic and denigrated Bengalis. The actor-singer is understood to have lobbied hard with the party for a ticket from Ara, named after the town where his home district of Bhojpur is headquartered. He was, however, reportedly told by the party that it would not drop RK Singh, the Union minister who is now in the fray seeking a third consecutive term. Finally, Singh threw his hat in the ring from adjoining Karakat, amid speculations that he may have been receiving the backing from a section of the state BJP which feels that by promoting leaders like Kushwaha, the party ran the risk of diluting its own OBC outreach. Recently, when journalists sought Kushwaha's views about Singh, the NDA partner claimed that he suspected that the singer-actor had been propped by the RJD, the main opposition party. RJD sources, however, rubbished the charge, pointing out that they were firmly backing ally CPI(ML) Liberation's candidate Raja Ram, while admitting that if Singh cut into the votes of his Rajput community, traditionally supporters of the BJP, it will be to the INDIA bloc's advantage. Although large crowds had turned up when the Bhojpuri superstar filed his nomination papers, and all his public meetings have been well attended so far, Singh initially appeared to be having second thoughts, as was evident from his mother Pratima Devi also entering the fray as an Independent. It was believed that Singh might back out from the contest under pressure from the BJP with his mother still in the fray as a proxy. However, as things turned out, the mother withdrew her nominations in a manner as hushed as her filing of nominations while the son chose to stay on.

The New Indian Express 22 May 2024 4:05 pm

BJP expels Bhojpuri film star Pawan Singh for contesting against NDA candidate from Bihars Karakat seat

The BJP had originally fielded Pawan Singh from Asansol seat in West Bengal, which he refused for personal reasons. He chose to stand as an Independent candidate in Karakat against RLM leader Upendra Kushwaha from the NDA

The Hindu 22 May 2024 2:31 pm

BJP expels Pawan Singh for Contesting against NDA candidate

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has expelled Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh for contesting as an independent candidate against NDA candidate in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections. Pawan Singh had earlier announced his decision to contest from Karakat constituency as Independent candidate. Bihar BJP expels Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh for contesting Lok Sabha elections against NDA's official candidate, as an independent candidate. Pawan Singh had earlier announced his decision to contest from Karakat Lok Sabha constituency as an Independent candidate. pic.twitter.com/kLYbCWXMXm ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2024 BJP had given Asansol seat in West Bengal to Pawan Singh but he refused and he filed nomination from karakat as independent candidate on May 9. It will be a triangular contest in Karakat. NDA has fielded Upendra Kushwaha whereas CPI-ML's Rajaram Singh Kushwah nominated by the Mahagathbandhan will contest from Karakat. Karakat will go to polls on June 1 in the seventh phase.

Deccan Chronicle 22 May 2024 11:32 am

BYJUS starts new batches in 240 centres across India

BYJU'S Tuition Centres (BTCs), India's largest and strongest network of learning centres, have started batches for the 2024-25 academic session in full swing across their 240 locations. BTCs provide classroom-based programs for K-12 students, complemented by access to BYJU'S entire digital learning universe. For the current academic year, BYJU'S has dropped the annual fee for BTCs to just INR 36,000, making it more affordable than even neighbourhood tuition classes, while offering a far superior quality of curriculum, pedagogy, and delivery. BYJU'S has also seen a strong inbound interest for the role of teachers, receiving nearly 1200 applications per day over the last two months. On May 19th, Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of BYJU'S, addressed all BTC centre heads and shared an innovative new business model, based on intrapreneurship. I want you to see yourselves as part-owners of these centres, not just managers, he said. Under this model, BTC centre heads will receive a share of profits from their centre's operations, provided they meet minimum thresholds for admissions and quality over a one-year period. We have invested crores of rupees in each centre. And you get to part-own it, free of cost! There is a floor we have prepared for you. But there is no ceiling. How much you want to grow is up to you, he added. The heads have also been empowered to hire their own teams and even rehire former BYJU'S employees. BTCs have huge potential to transform the supplementary education experience for millions of students across India, said Byju Raveendran. With the right programs, dedicated teachers, enabling technology and a sustainable financial model, I believe we can take BTCs to remarkable heights in terms of both scale and impact. The 240 hybrid learning centres of BTC, with the 300 plus centres of Aakash, make the BYJU'S group one of the largest networks of learning centres across India with presence across diverse locations like Bilaspur, Kharar, Dibrugarh, Vapi, Latur, Asansol, Dhule, and Tirupati, taking quality education to the deepest parts of India.

Deccan Chronicle 21 May 2024 6:11 pm

Bhojpuri Star Pawan Singhs Mother Registers Candidacy for Karakat Seat

Bhojpuri Star Pawan Singhs Mother Registers Candidacy for Karakat Seat Pratima Devi, the mother of Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh, filed nomination for the Karakat Lok Sabha seat, which her son is contesting as an Independent. Neither Singh nor his mother made any statement about the move. Former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who heads the Rashtriya Lok Morcha, is the NDA candidate in Karakat. The RJD-led Mahagathbandhan has fielded CPI(M-L) Liberation's Rajaram Singh in the seat, which will go to the polls on June 1. Speculations are rife that Pratima Devi, who filed the nomination on Tuesday as an Independent, entered the fray as her son, a BJP member, might withdraw from the contest. Singh, who turned down a BJP ticket from Asansol in West Bengal, has been advised by senior party leaders not to contest against the NDA nominee, sources said. He is understood to have lobbied with opposition parties like the RJD for a Lok Sabha ticket from Bihar before deciding to fight as an Independent candidate. The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is May 17.

devdiscourse 15 May 2024 2:11 pm

Bengal coal smuggling case: Prime accused Anup Majhi surrenders in special CBI court

Shillong, May 14: Anup Majhi a.k.a. Lala, one of the prime accused in the coal smuggling case in West Bengal, on Tuesday surrendered in a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Asansol in West Burdwan district. Lala had escaped arrest by the CBI sleuths because of a protection against arrest provided [] The post Bengal coal smuggling case: Prime accused Anup Majhi surrenders in special CBI court appeared first on The Shillong Times .

The Shillong Times 14 May 2024 11:27 am

LS polls: EVM snags, violence in Bengal

KOLKATA: Sporadic clashes marred the fourth phase of voting for the eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal on Monday with a high voter turnout of 75.66%, election officials said. The Bolpur (SC) constituency from where Asit Kumar Mal from Trinamool Congress, Shyamali Pradhan from CPM, and Priya Saha from BJP are the key contestants, polled the highest vote percentage at 77.77. Around 1,700 complaints of EVM malfunction and obstruction of agents entering booths were recorded, the EC said, adding the TMC, Congress, and BJP filed hundreds of complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on agents. In voter percentage, Bolpur (SC) was followed by Ranaghat (77.46%), Bardhaman-Purba (77.36), Krishnanagar (77.29), Birbhum (75.45), Baharampur (75.36), Bardhaman-Durgapur (75.02) and Asansol (69.46), an official said. Out of the eight seats, Bolpur, Bardhaman-Purba, Birbhum and Krishnanagar were won by the Trinamool in 2019, whereas Bardhaman-Durgapur, Ranaghat and Asansol were bagged by the BJP. The Baharampur seat was retained by the Congress. Clashes broke out between supporters of TMC and BJP in Monteswars Susunia area of Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat around noon, as BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh was on his way to a polling booth following complaints of booth jamming. TMC supporters allegedly blocked Ghoshs convoy and squatted in front of his vehicle, starting a protest against him. Stones were hurled at his convoy, following which some of the cars of the security personnel tailing his convoy were damaged. Ghosh was also heckled by the TMC activists, sources said. The police are mute spectators. The TMC has let loose a reign of terror. TMC goons have beaten up our polling agents and are not allowing polling to be free and fair, Ghosh told the media. The TMC, however, denied the charges and said Ghosh was trying to vitiate the atmosphere sensing defeat. In Durgapur area of the same constituency, clashes broke out between the TMC and the BJP, following which saffron activists staged a sit-in. Party clash In Birbhum, the BJP workers clashed with TMC men in Nanoor after BJPs agents were stopped from entering booths.

The New Indian Express 14 May 2024 8:07 am

Asansol... aaj apki baari hai: Sonakshi Sinha urges voters to exercise their franchise

Asansol... aaj apki baari hai: Sonakshi Sinha urges voters to exercise their franchise Bollywood actor Sonakshi Sinha has urged support from the people for his father Shatrughan Sinha, who is a sitting MP from Asansol and is contesting from the same seat for the second time. Calling her father a leader with integrity, vision and a commitment, the Heeramandi actor wrote on he Instagram handle that Asansol... aaj apki vote dene ki baari hai... Your vote matters, make it count for progress, unity and prosperity. Sharing a video of Shatrughan Sinha's poll campaign, Sonakshi Sinha wrote, Asansol... aaj apki vote dene ki baari hai! If theres one thing i can tell you about my father is that he is a leader with integrity, vision and a commitment to positive change! Your vote matters, make it count for progress, unity and prosperity! Vote wisely, vote well and vote for democracy!. Veteran actor Shatrughan Prasad Sinha eyeing for a second term from the Asansol constituency. Earlier he was elected as Member of Parliament from Patna Sahib. He has also served as a Union Cabinet Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Shipping in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. In 2016, he had launched his biography, entitled 'Anything but Khamosh'. Pertinent to note that before entering into the political life, Sinha worker in more than 100 films in his career. 'Kalicharan', 'Dostana', 'Jaani Dushman', and 'Khudgarz' are some of his memorable movies. Meanwhile, Sonakshi is being lauded for her role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's web series 'Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar'. Set against the backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle of the 1940s, 'Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar' promises to be an epic saga of love, power, revenge, and freedom. Through the stories of courtesans and their patrons, the series delves deep into the cultural reality of Heeramandi. 'Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar' is streaming on Netflix. Fardeen Khan, Aditi Rao Hydari,Richa Chadha, Manisha Koirala, Sharmin Segal, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman, and Adhyayan Suman are also a part of 'Heeramandi'. (ANI)

devdiscourse 13 May 2024 11:01 pm

Sporadic clashes overshadow impressive turnout in Bengal

Kolkata: Violence marred the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha Election covering eight parliamentary constituencies, where many heavyweights were in fray, in West Bengal on Monday amid an average voter's turnout of 75.66%. While Bolpur in Birbhum recorded highest polling 77.77%, Ranaghat clocked 77.46% followed by Bardhaman Purba- 77.36%, Krishnanagar- 77.29%, Birbhum- 75.45%, Berhampore- 75.36%, Bardhaman-Durgapur- 75.02% and Asansol- 69.43%. Though the voter's turnout looked impressive, it was overshadowed by clashes between the ruling and opposition parties. Midnapore BJP MP Dilip Ghosh, who is contesting from Bardhaman-Durgapur seat this time, came under violent attacks twice. On both the occasions, the blame went to the Trinamul Congress. Mr Ghosh remained unhurt however. In the afternoon, he was visiting Kopibagan at Kalna Gate. TMC workers pelted stones on his motorcade. One of the vehicles, an SUV, was hit. It's windshield was broken. Mr Ghosh said that two central forces jawans, who were in his security cover and were in that vehicle, were injured. TMC never allows people to cast their votes here. So I came here but was attacked. The Election Commission and police are silent, he said. TMC later accused his security personnel of injuring four of its workers. Earlier Mr Ghosh was targeted by TMC supporters at Tuilya village at Monteswar during his visit after a BJP agent was roughed up and driven out of a polling booth. TMC supporters shouted Go Back slogan at Mr Ghoshwho turned furious and got engaged in a tussle with them. Suddenly stone pelting began. Many vehicles were damaged. Mr Ghosh alleged police inaction. The scene was however completely different in the morning. Mr Ghosh and his rival candidate from the TMC Kirti Azad, a former cricketer, were seen greeting each other during a visit to a polling booth. There was reports of clashes and electoral malpractices in Durgapur and Nadia, where two seats went to polls, also. In comparison Berhampore where five time Congress MP Adhir Choudhury fought for his re-election against another former cricketer Yusuf Pathan of TMC, witnessed a peaceful polling. According to Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, it received 1705 complaints.

Deccan Chronicle 13 May 2024 9:34 pm

BJP Veteran Vs Popular Actor In Asansol Seat

In West Bengal the phase 4 of elections will take the total number of seats that have voted to 18 with eight seats going to polls this time in Phase 4. Some of the key seats are Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Bardhaman-Durgapur and Asansol which are seeing heated contests with high profile candidates. Well known faces like Adhir Chowdhury, Yusuf Pathan, Mahua Moitra, Dilip Ghosh, Kirti Azad, SS Ahluwalia and Shatrughan Sinha are in the fray this time. This will also be an election without the imprint of Birbhum strongman Anubrata Mondal in the two seats of Birbhum and Bolpur. Anubrata Mondal who has been arrested in connection with the alleged cattle smuggling case by the CBI in 2022.

NDTV 13 May 2024 8:43 pm

Bardhaman Durgapur To Key Battle This Time: Kirti Azad Vs Dilip Ghosh

In West Bengal the phase 4 of elections will take the total number of seats that have voted to 18 with eight seats going to polls this time in Phase 4. Some of the key seats are Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Bardhaman-Durgapur and Asansol which are seeing heated contests with high profile candidates. Well known faces like Adhir Chowdhury, Yusuf Pathan, Mahua Moitra, Dilip Ghosh, Kirti Azad, SS Ahluwalia and Shatrughan Sinha are in the fray this time. This will also be an election without the imprint of Birbhum strongman Anubrata Mondal in the two seats of Birbhum and Bolpur. Anubrata Mondal who has been arrested in connection with the alleged cattle smuggling case by the CBI in 2022.

NDTV 13 May 2024 8:04 pm

Bengal Witnesses 66% Voter Turnout in Phase 4 of LS Polls

Bengal Witnesses 66% Voter Turnout in Phase 4 of LS Polls A voter turnout of 66.05 per cent was registered in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal till 3 pm on Monday, an Election Commission official said. The Bolpur (SC) Lok Sabha constituency registered the maximum polling of 69.08 per cent followed by Bardhaman-Durgapur (67.92 per cent), he said. Bardhaman-Purba recorded 67.83 per cent of polling while Krishnanagar (66.37 per cent), Ranaghat (SC) (66.18 per cent) Baharampur (65.57 per cent), Birbhum (64.98 per cent), and Asansol (60.26 per cent), he added. The poll panel said it has so far received 1,088 complaints from various political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths. Polling in the eight constituencies started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. A total of 1,45,30,017 voters 73,84,356 men, 71,45,379 women and 282 third-genders are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations.

devdiscourse 13 May 2024 4:31 pm

Will Asansol pick 'Bihari babu' Shatrughan Sinha or the son of the soil, Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia?

Asansol's political clash features TMC's Sinha against BJP's Ahluwalia. The constituency's diversity and key issues shape the intense competition, with both parties facing internal challenges that could impact the outcome.

The Economic Times 13 May 2024 3:09 pm

Bengal Witnesses 51.87% Voter Turnout Till 1 PM

Bengal Witnesses 51.87% Voter Turnout Till 1 PM A voter turnout of 51.87 per cent was registered in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal till 1 pm on Monday, an Election Commission official said. The Bardhaman Purba (SC) Lok Sabha constituency registered the maximum polling of 55.87 per cent followed by Bolpur (54.81 per cent), he said. Ranaghat (SC) recorded 52.70 per cent of voting while Baharampur recorded 52.27 per cent polling, Bardhaman-Durgapur (50.30 per cent), Krishnanagar (49.72 per cent), Birbhum (49.63 per cent), and Asansol (49.55 per cent), he added. The poll panel said it has so far received 1,088 complaints from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths. Polling in the eight constituencies started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. A total of 1,45,30,017 voters including 73,84,356 men, 71,45,379 women and 282 third-genders are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations.

devdiscourse 13 May 2024 2:09 pm

Bengal Witnesses 32.78% Voter Turnout in Fourth Phase of LS Elections by 10 am

Bengal Witnesses 32.78% Voter Turnout in Fourth Phase of LS Elections by 10 am A voter turnout of 32.78 per cent was registered in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal till 10 am on Monday, an Election Commission official said. The Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency registered maximum polling at 35.53 per cent followed by Bolpur (35.22 per cent), he said. Bardhaman Purba (SC) recorded 33.82 per cent polling, Ranaghat (SC) (33.23 per cent), Krishnanagar (32.59 per cent), Bardhaman-Durgapur (31.41 per cent), Birbhum (30.45 per cent), and Asansol (29.99 per cent), he added. The poll panel said it has so far received 1,088 complaints from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths. Polling in the eight constituencies started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. A total of 1,45,30,017 voters 73,84,356 men, 71,45,379 women and 282 third-genders are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations.

devdiscourse 13 May 2024 12:29 pm

In Asansol there will be clean sweep by BJP: BJP leader Agnimitra Paul

The News Mill

The News Mill 13 May 2024 10:39 am

Every vote can help Narendra Modi win more than 400 seats: BJP candidate from Begusarai Giriraj Singh appeals to voters

Every vote can help Narendra Modi win more than 400 seats: BJP candidate from Begusarai Giriraj Singh appeals to voters Union Minister and BJP candidate from Begusarai Giriraj Singh cast his vote for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections today in Patna, Bihar. Speaking to reporters after casting his vote at a polling booth in Lakhisarai, the BJP leader said, I want to appeal to the voters of Bihar that they must go out and vote. One vote can cause the fall of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and every vote can help Narendra Modi win more than 400 seats. Your one vote will give strength to the poor... Amidst a contentious debate over the issue of Muslim reservation, the Union Minister launched a scathing attack on RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, accusing him of perpetuating the religious divide for political gains. People like Lalu Prasad Yadav would previously speak about backward communities to divide them into castes. Today, by giving reservations to the Muslims, they want to snatch the jobs of other backward Hindu communities, said Giriraj Singh. Polling for the 96 parliamentary constituencies spread over 10 states and Union Territories is underway. Polling for all 175 seats of the State Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh and 28 seats of the State Legislative Assembly of Odisha also started simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Voting for the first three phases was held on April 19, April 26 and May 7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is seeking a third term cast his vote in Gujarat's Gandhinagar in the third phase. Of the 96 Lok Sabha seats, 25 are from Andhra Pradesh, 17 from Telangana, 13 from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Maharashtra, eight each from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, five from Bihar, four each from Jharkhand and Odisha, and one from Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 1,717 candidates from 10 States/UTs will contest elections in phase 4 of the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission of India said. The fourth phase is witnessing key contests in various constituencies. Leaders such as AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC leader Mahua Moitra, BJP leader Giriraj Singh, JDU's Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Lalan Singh), TMC leaders Shatrughan Sinha and Yusuf Pathan.BJP leaders Arjun Munda and Madhavi Latha, and Andhra Pradesh Congress Chief YS Sharmila are also looking for electoral success. Baharampur, Hyderabad, Krishnanagar, Begusarai, Munger, Srinagar, Asansol, Kannauj, Kadapa, and Khunti are some of the prominent Lok Sabha seats where voting is underway. The next round of polling would kick off on May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting and the results will be declared on June 4. (ANI)

devdiscourse 13 May 2024 8:08 am

Polling begins for eight West Bengal Assembly seats

Polling begins for eight West Bengal Assembly seats Polling for eight Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal began at 7 am on Monday, amid tight security arrangements, an EC official said. Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Bardhaman Purba (SC), Bardhaman-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum seats in the state are going to polls in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Altogether 1.45 crore voters, of whom 71.45 lakh are women and 282 are belonging to the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise at 15,507 polling stations spread across several districts in south Bengal. Several heavyweight candidates, including state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from Baharampur, and BJP's former state chief Dilip Ghosh from Burdwan-Durgapur, are in the fray. Ex-cricketer Yusuf Pathan is contesting as a TMC candidate in Baharampur, while actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is the TMCs Asansol nominee. The BJP has fielded Rajmata Amrita Roy in Krishnanagar seat against sitting MP Mahua Moitra of the TMC. The Trinamool Congress has nominated former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad in Burdwan-Durgapur and renominated Satabdi Roy in Birbhum. The poll panel has identified 3,647 polling stations as critical. The maximum of 659 critical polling stations are in Bolpur, while the least number of 301 such booths are in Bardhaman Purba seat. There are 640 critical polling stations in Birbhum seat, while Baharampur has 558, Burdwan-Durgapur 422, Ranaghat 410, Krishnanagar 338, and Asansol 319. A maximum of 152 companies of central forces has been deployed in Bardhaman Purba, 131 in Birbhum, 88 in Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate area, 81 in Krishnanagar, 73 in Murshidabad and 54 in Ranaghat.

devdiscourse 13 May 2024 7:22 am

Live: Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Phase 4

Representational picture. Representational picture. Voting for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in 96 Parliamentary Constituencies across nine states and one Union Territory began on Monday at 7:00 am. Polling for all 175 seats of the State Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh and 28 seats of the State Legislative Assembly of Odisha also started simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Of the 96 Lok Sabha seats, 25 are from Andhra Pradesh, 17 from Telangana, 13 from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Maharashtra, eight each from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, five from Bihar, four each from Jharkhand and Odisha, and one from Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 1,717 candidates from 10 States/UTs will contest elections in phase 4 of the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission of India said. According to the poll body, a total of 4,264 nominations were filed for 96 parliamentary constituencies. The Election Commission further stated that the maximum number of nomination forms were received from Telangana (1488) followed by Andhra Pradesh with 1103 nominations from 25 constituencies. Malkajgiri Parliamentary Constituency in Telangana received a maximum of 177 nomination forms, followed by 13-Nalgonda and 14-Bhongir in the same state with 114 nomination forms in each. The fourth phase is witnessing key contests in various constituencies. Leaders such as AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC leader Mahua Moitra, BJP leader Giriraj Singh, JDU's Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Lalan Singh), TMC leaders Shatrughan Sinha and Yusuf Pathan. BJP leaders Arjun Munda and Madhavi Latha, and Andhra Pradesh Congress Chief YS Sharmila are also looking for electoral success. Baharampur, Hyderabad, Krishnanagar, Begusarai, Munger, Srinagar, Asansol, Kannauj, Kadapa, and Khunti are some of the prominent Lok Sabha seats where voting is underway. The Election Commission on Sunday informed that polling time in certain assembly segments of 17 Parliamentary Constituencies of Telangana was increased by the Commission (from 7 am to 6 pm) to increase voters' participation.

Deccan Chronicle 13 May 2024 6:56 am

Live: Lok Sabha Polls Phase 4 | Fate of candidates in 96 seats to be decided

May 13, 2024. Monday. A total of 96 constituencies across 10 states and union territories goes to the polls in the fourth phase of the 82-day long, seven-phase polling. The fate of 283 seats were sealed in the first three phases held on April 19, April 26, and May 7. The voters turnout recorded in the first three phases reads as 66.1%, 66.7%, and 61%, respectively. Phase-IV will witness simultaneous elections for the Andhra Pradesh assembly (175 seats) and the Lok Sabha (25 seats). In Telangana, 17 Lok Sabha seats are up for grabs. Key candidates The key candidates in the fray in Phase IV include Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, TMC's Mahua Moitra, Shatrughan Sinha and Yusuf Pathan, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and YS Sharmila of the Congress. For the BJP, big names include Union ministers G Kishan Reddy, Arjun Munda, Ajay Mishra Teni, Giriraj Singh and Nityanand Rai, along with party leaders Sakshi Maharaj, Dilip Ghosh, Pankaja Munde, Bandi Sanjay, Madhavi Latha, and Daggubati Purandeswari, who will feature on the ballot. Srinagar Srinagar, witnessing the first parliamentary polls since the revocation of Article 370, will see a three-cornered contest between the National Conference's Agha Ruhullah, People's Democratic Party leader Waheed Para and the Altaf Bukhari-led Apni Partys Mohammad Ashraf Mir, who is contesting as an NDA candidate. The counting of votes will be taken up on June 4 nationwide. Phase IV Andhra Pradesh: All 25 seats Telangana: All 17 seats Jharkhand: 4 out of 14 seats Odisha: 4 out of 21 seats Uttar Pradesh: 13 out of 80 seats Madhya Pradesh: 8 out of 29 seats Bihar: 5 out of 40 seats Maharashtra: 11 out of 48 seats West Bengal: 8 out of 42 seats Jammu and Kashmir: 1 out of 5 seats Andhra Pradesh: All 175 assembly seats Andhra votes for Lok Sabha, Assembly polls in single phase Phase 4 will see elections being held for the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly, along with the 25 Lok Sabha seats from the state. YSRCP president Jagan (Pulivendula), TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu (Kuppam) and Janasena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan (Pithapuram), among others, are in the Assembly poll race. AP Congress president and Jagan's sister YS Sharmila (Kadapa) and BJP state chief Purandeswari (Rajamahendravaram), among others, are in the Lok Sabha poll fray. The YSRCP is contesting in all 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha segments in the state. As part of a seat-sharing deal among NDA partners, the TDP was allocated 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies, while the BJP will contest from six Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats. The Janasena will contest two Lok Sabha and 21 Assembly seats. As many as 454 candidates are in the fray for Lok Sabha and 2,387 for Assembly polls, according to Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer MK Meena. Telangana: All 17 seats in fray after electrifying campaign After a high-decibel campaign, including by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the top leaders of Congress and BRS, the stage is now set for polling on Sunday to elect 17 Lok Sabha members from the state in a single phase. The Election Commission has also made arrangements to conduct a bypoll for the Secunderabad (Cantonment) Assembly seat to be held tomorrow. As many as 625 candidates, including Union Minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy, the party's national general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar and senior leader Etala Rajender are among the saffron party candidates while the Congress fielded among others, BRS turncoats Danam Nagender and K Kavya. AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is seeking re-election from the party's bastion of Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency and the BJP has fielded a political novice but enthusiastic K Madhavi Latha who has begun a spirited campaign. The former IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar and sitting MP Nama Nageswar Rao, among others, are in the poll fray from former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS. Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, and Congress leaders Mallikrajun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy canvassed for their respective party candidates. Over 3.31 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in 35,356 polling stations across the state. Telangana recorded 62 percent voter turnout in the 2019 parliamentary elections. The BRS (then TRS) won nine seats, BJP four, Congress three and AIMIM one seat in the 2019 general elections. Uttar Pradesh: Akhliesh's legacy in play as 13 seats go to polls Voting for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, covering 13 parliamentary constituencies, will take place on Monday, with all eyes on the prestigious Kannauj seat from which Samajwadi Party president and former MP Akhilesh Yadav is seeking re-election. Another prominent candidate in the fray in this round is Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni, who is contesting from Kheri. Voting will take place in Shahjahanpur (SC), Kheri, Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Hardoi (SC), Misrikh (SC), Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah (SC), Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur and Bahraich (SC). A total of 130 candidates are in the poll fray in this phase. Among the 13 poll-bound constituencies, Kannauj will see a contest between the SP chief and sitting BJP MP Subrat Pathak, while in Unnao, incumbent BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj (Swami Sachidanand Hari Sakshi) is pitted against SP's Annu Tandon (a former Lok Sabha MP from Unnao). Of the 13 parliamentary constituencies going to polls in the fourth phase, the BJP has reposed its faith in 11 sitting MPs by giving them tickets, while it has fielded new candidates Ramesh Awasthi from Kanpur and Anand Kumar from the Bahraich-SC seat. In the INDIA bloc, the SP has fielded candidates from 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase, while on two seats -- Kanpur (Alok Misra) and Sitapur (Rakesh Rathor) -- candidates of the Congress are in the fray. Four BJP candidatesUnion minister Teni (Kheri), Rekha Verma (Dhaurahra), Mukesh Rajput (Farrukhabad) and Devendra Singh alias Bhole (Akbarpur)are eyeing a hat trick, while Rajesh Verma is eyeing a fifth term from Sitapur. Maharashtra: 11 seats in action Maharashtra, with its 48 Lok Sabha seats, is the second-largest contributor to the Lower House of Parliament after Uttar Pradesh. In the fourth phase, polling will take place across 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. These Lok Sabha constituencies are Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Maval, Pune, Shirur, Ahmednagar, Shirdi, and Beed. In the first phase of voting for the general polls, Ramtek, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur, and Chandrapur were in the fray. The voter turnout in this phase stood at 63.71 percent. Buldhana, Nanded, Akola, Amravati, Wardha, Yavatmal-Washim, Hingoli and Parbhani went to the polls in the second phase. The final polling percentage in this phase was 62.71 percent. In the third phase on May 7, voting took place across 11 constituencies - Raigad, Baramati, Osmanabad, Latur, Solapur, Madha, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, and Hatkanangle. The voter turnout in this phase stood at 63.55 percent. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 23 out of 25 contested seats, while the undivided Shiv Sena secured 18 out of 23 seats. Elections to the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra will be held in five phases on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20. West Bengal: Fate of several star candidates to be decided Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC's Shatrughan Sinha, Mahua Moitra and Yusuf Pathan, BJP's SS Ahluwalia and Dilip Ghosh will be among the candidates whose fates will be decided in the EVMs as eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal will go to the polls in the fourth phase on Monday. Spread over Murshidabad, Nadia, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman and Birbhum districts, the problems flagged by voters in these constituencies vary from migrant labour, drinking water supply and drying up of industries, while the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) notification is a bone of contention between the TMC and BJP in some places. Polling will be held in Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Bardhaman Purba (SC), Bardhaman-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum in West Bengal in the fourth round of the Lok Sabha polls. Film star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is seeking re-election from Asansol and is pitted against the BJP's veteran leader SS Ahluwalia. In Krishnanagar, the TMC has put up its outspoken leader Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the 17th Lok Sabha last December, against BJP's Amrita Roy, a member of the Krishnanagar royal family. Former Bengali cine celebrity Satabdi Roy is seeking a fourth term from the Birbhum seat, which is now shorn of its maverick TMC leader Anubrata Mondal, lodged in Tihar jail in connection with an alleged cattle smuggling case. Congress' leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, fighting for a sixth consecutive term from Baharampur, is set to see his clout tested in the seat considered his fortress for the last three decades, with the TMC having fielded former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan and the BJP's Nirmal Kumar Saha. BJP's former West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh, whose controversial comments on various issues and against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee have often made headlines, is contesting from Bardhaman-Durgapur, having been shifted by the saffron party from Kharagpur, where he had won in 2019. Trinamool Congress has put up former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad from the seat, while CPI(M) has fielded Sukriti Ghosal. BJP's Jagannath Sarkar is seeking re-election from Ranaghat constituency, which has a significant Matua population. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been a profound issue of debate here between the saffron party and the TMC. TMC announced the candidature of Mukut Mani Adhikari for the seat soon after he joined the party, leaving the BJP, of which he was an MLA from Ranaghat Dakshin assembly segment. Asit Kumar Mal is seeking re-election from Bolpur on a TMC ticket, having been pitted against Priya Saha of BJP and Shyamali Pradhan of the CPI (M). In Bardhaman Purba, TMC fielded psychiatrist Sharmila Sarkar against BJP's folk singer candidate Ashim Kumar Sarkar, who is the saffron party's MLA from Haringhata Assembly segment, and CPI(M)'s Nirav Kha. Jharkhand: Four reserved seats in fray The stage is set for voting in Jharkhand's four Lok Sabha constituenciesSinghbhum, Khunti, Lohardaga and Palamuon Monday amidst heavy security deployments in all polling booths. Of the four Lok Sabha seats, three are reserved for Schedule Tribe (ST), while Palamu is reserved for Schedule Caste (SC) candidates. Interestingly, the number of female voters is higher than the number of male voters in three tribal seats. More than 64.37 lakh electors, including 32.07 lakh female voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the four constituencies in the state, an election official said. A total of 45 candidates, including seven from Khunti, 15 from Lohardaga, nine from Palamu and 14 from Singhbhum, are in the poll fray. An interesting fight is likely in all three tribal seats as the JMM-led ruling alliance and the BJP-led opposition in Jharkhand have put all their efforts into galvanising people's support in their favour. In Singhbhum, BJP's Geeta Kora, who had won the seat on Congress ticket in 2019, has locked horns with INDIA bloc's Joba Manjhi, who is a JMM MLA from Manoharpur assembly seat. Khunti is heading for a direct fight between Union Minister and BJP nominee Arjun Munda and the INDIA bloc's Kalicharan Munda. The Lohardaga seat might see a triangular contest after JMM's Bishunpur MLA Chamra Linda filed nomination as an Independent candidate against BJP's Samri Oraon and INDIA bloc's Sukhdeo Bhagat. The Palamu seat is set for a direct fight between the BJP's sitting MP Vishnu Dayal Ram and RJD's Mamta Bhuiyan as INDIA bloc candidate.

The New Indian Express 13 May 2024 12:38 am

Oppn leaders being targeted by Modi govt: Shatrughan Sinha

Asansol: TMC MP Shatrughan Sinha, who is seeking re-election from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, on Sunday alleged that opposition leaders are being targeted by the Modi government and are facing persecution from central agencies. Expressing solidarity with Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who was recently granted interim bail by the Supreme Court Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 13 May 2024 12:03 am

Shatrughan Sinha Raises Concerns Over Alleged Targeting of Opposition Leaders by Modi Government

Shatrughan Sinha Raises Concerns Over Alleged Targeting of Opposition Leaders by Modi Government TMC MP Shatrughan Sinha, who is seeking re-election from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, on Sunday alleged that opposition leaders are being targeted by the Modi government and are facing ''persecution'' from central agencies. Expressing solidarity with Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who was recently granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in connection with an excise policy case, Sinha told PTI Video that Kejriwal ''paid the price'' for his popularity among the people. ''Opposition leaders are being targeted by the Modi government. It is great to hear about Kejriwal's bail. He is paying the price for his popularity,'' Sinha said. Kejriwal was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on May 10 after being arrested on March 21 by the ED in the case. On the issue of electoral bonds, Sinha, who had been a BJP MP from 2009-19 and a former Union minister, said, ''Even the Supreme Court has declared it unconstitutional.'' ''There is a need for transparency in funding of political parties,'' Sinha, who had joined TMC in 2022 and contested the Asansol Lok Sabha by-election successfully that year, advocated. He said comments of Parakala Prabhakar, husband of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, that the electoral bond scheme is the ''biggest scam in the world'' was true. About speculations surrounding potential prime ministerial candidates, Sinha said he believed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has all the qualities to fit the bill. ''Mamata didi's leadership credentials, her proven track record and her grassroots appeal make her the possible PM candidate,'' he asserted. ''I don't think about any other specific qualifications required to become a PM,'' he added. On the Sandeshkhali issue, Sinha said the sting operation has revealed how BJP used money power to fabricate allegations by some women. ''TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has already spoken about the truth of the matter to people... The issue is also in court. However, if any single such case (of atrocity against women) is found to be true, I would strongly condemn that,'' he said. Extending support to the CM's opposition to CAA and NRC, Sinha said, ''If she has given a guarantee that CAA and NRC will not be implemented in Bengal, she means it.'' ''There is no confidence in 'Modi ki guarantee', but people have confidence in 'Didi ki guarantee','' he quipped. On the issues on his plate as the candidate from Asansol, which will go to polls on Monday, he said, ''The condition of coal fields is deteriorating and privatisation of those resulted in large-scale unemployment. The issue of waste management needs to be addressed in a city like Asansol... I have tried my best to do whatever was possible in this two-year term.'' ''Asansol underwent a seismic shift as the government gradually phased out the subterranean operations in favour of open-cast mines managed by contractors. This transition, while promising economic progress, has exacted a heavy toll on the local populace,'' he said. On land subsidence issue in the coal belt area, he said, ''The unbridled extraction of resources has led to the sinking of land.'' Pledging to prioritise the resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced families, Sinha said, ''The families whose land sank and whose homes were damaged never met me, but I am well-versed about their issue.'' The actor-turned-politician, fondly referred to as 'Bihari Babu' by lakhs of his fans, said he would effectively utilise the MPLAD funds and ensure transparency through comprehensive reporting mechanisms. ''I have properly utilised the MP Development Fund during my tenure and made a comprehensive report on it, which was released to the media,'' he added.

devdiscourse 12 May 2024 11:02 pm

Fate of several star candidates to be decided in fourth phase LS polls in Bengal

KOLKATA: Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC's Shatrughan Sinha, Mahua Moitra and Yusuf Pathan, BJP's S S Ahluwalia and Dilip Ghosh will be among the candidates whose fates will be decided in the EVMs as eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal will go to the polls in the fourth phase on Monday. Spread over Murshidabad, Nadia, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman and Birbhum districts, the problems flagged by voters in these constituencies vary from migrant labour, drinking water supply and drying up of industries, while the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) notification is a bone of contention between the TMC and BJP in some places. Polling will be held in Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Bardhaman Purba (SC), Bardhaman-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum in West Bengal in the fourth round of the Lok Sabha polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew and party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee held several public meetings and roadshows in support of their party candidates in these seats. TMC goons threatening women in Sandeshkhali to protect culprits, claims PM Modi in Bengal poll rally A total of 1,45,30,017 voters, including 71,45,379 women and 282 third-gender electors, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations for the eight constituencies, an official said. The EC has identified 3,647 polling stations as critical across the eight constituencies, where a total of 75 candidates are contesting, the official said. A total of 152 companies of central forces would be deployed in Bardhaman Purba district, followed by Birbhum (131), Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate (88), Krishnanagar Police District (81), Murshidabad Police District (73) and Ranaghat Police District (54), he said. Several star candidates are contesting in these eight constituencies which go to polls on Monday in the fourth phase. Film star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is seeking to get re-election from Asansol, pitted against BJP's veteran leader S S Ahluwalia. In Krishnanagar, the TMC has put up its outspoken leader Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the 17th Lok Sabha last December, against BJP's Amrita Roy , a member of the Krishnanagar royal family. 'Victory will be fitting reply to expulsion from LS', says confident Mahua Moitra Former Bengali cine celebrity Satabdi Roy is seeking a fourth term from Birbhum seat, which is now shorn of its maverick TMC leader Anubrata Mondal, lodged in Tihar jail in connection with an alleged cattle smuggling case. Congress' leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, fighting for a sixth consecutive term from Baharampur, is set to see his clout tested in the seat considered his fortress for the last three decades, with the TMC having fielded former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan and the BJP's Nirmal Kumar Saha. BJP's former West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh, whose controversial comments on various issues and against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee have often made headlines, is contesting from Bardhaman-Durgapur, having been shifted by the saffron party from Kharagpur, where he had won in 2019. 'Surgical strikes' by central agencies must to curb anti-national activities in Bengal: Dilip Ghosh Trinamool Congress has put up former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad from the seat, while CPI(M) has fielded Sukriti Ghosal. BJP's Jagannath Sarkar is seeking a re-election from Ranaghat constituency, which has a significant Matua population. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been a profound issue of debate here between the saffron party and the TMC. Bengal: Bongaon LS seat all set to offer litmus test to BJP post CAA rules notification TMC announced the candidature of Mukut Mani Adhikari from the seat soon after he joined the party leaving the BJP, of which he was an MLA from Ranaghat Dakshin assembly segment. Asit Kumar Mal is seeking re-election from Bolpur on a TMC ticket, having been pitted against Priya Saha of BJP and Shyamali Pradhan of CPI(M). In Bardhaman Purba, TMC fielded psychiatrist Sharmila Sarkar against BJP's folk singer candidate Ashim Kumar Sarkar, who is the saffron party's MLA from Haringhata Assembly segment, and CPI(M)'s Nirav Kha. Yusuf Pathan and Kirti Azad: Two cricketers from TMC seemingly on sticky wicket

The New Indian Express 12 May 2024 3:06 pm

Fate of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Dilip Ghosh, Mahua Moitra to be decided in fourth phase LS polls in Bengal

Polling will be held in Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Bardhaman Purba (SC), Bardhaman-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum in West Bengal in the fourth round of the Lok Sabha polls. A total of 1,45,30,017 voters, including 71,45,379 women and 282 third-gender electors, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations for the eight constituencies, an official said.

The Economic Times 12 May 2024 2:26 pm

Fate of eight star candidates including two Union Ministers and five former MPs in fray in Bengal's phase 4 LS polls

Fate of eight star candidates including two Union Ministers and five former MPs in fray in Bengal's phase 4 LS polls Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC's Shatrughan Sinha, Mahua Moitra and Yusuf Pathan, BJP's S S Ahluwalia and Dilip Ghosh will be among the candidates whose fates will be decided in the EVMs as eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal will go to the polls in the fourth phase on Monday. Spread over Murshidabad, Nadia, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman and Birbhum districts, the problems flagged by voters in these constituencies vary from migrant labour, drinking water supply and drying up of industries, while the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) notification is a bone of contention between the TMC and BJP in some places. Polling will be held in Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Bardhaman Purba (SC), Bardhaman-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum in West Bengal in the fourth round of the Lok Sabha polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew and party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee held several public meetings and roadshows in support of their party candidates in these seats. A total of 1,45,30,017 voters, including 71,45,379 women and 282 third-gender electors, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations for the eight constituencies, an official said. The EC has identified 3,647 polling stations as ''critical'' across the eight constituencies, where a total of 75 candidates are contesting, the official said. A total of 152 companies of central forces would be deployed in Bardhaman Purba district, followed by Birbhum (131), Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate (88), Krishnanagar Police District (81), Murshidabad Police District (73) and Ranaghat Police District (54), he said. Several star candidates are contesting in these eight constituencies which go to polls on Monday in the fourth phase. Film star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is seeking to get re-election from Asansol, pitted against BJP's veteran leader S S Ahluwalia. In Krishnanagar, the TMC has put up its outspoken leader Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the 17th Lok Sabha last December, against BJP's Amrita Roy, a member of the Krishnanagar royal family. Former Bengali cine celebrity Satabdi Roy is seeking a fourth term from Birbhum seat, which is now shorn of its maverick TMC leader Anubrata Mondal, lodged in Tihar jail in connection with an alleged cattle smuggling case. Congress' leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, fighting for a sixth consecutive term from Baharampur, is set to see his clout tested in the seat considered his fortress for the last three decades, with the TMC having fielded former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan and the BJP's Nirmal Kumar Saha. BJP's former West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh, whose controversial comments on various issues and against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee have often made headlines, is contesting from Bardhaman-Durgapur, having been shifted by the saffron party from Kharagpur, where he had won in 2019. Trinamool Congress has put up former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad from the seat, while CPI(M) has fielded Sukriti Ghosal. BJP's Jagannath Sarkar is seeking a re-election from Ranaghat constituency, which has a significant Matua population. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been a profound issue of debate here between the saffron party and the TMC. TMC announced the candidature of Mukut Mani Adhikari from the seat soon after he joined the party leaving the BJP, of which he was an MLA from Ranaghat Dakshin assembly segment. Asit Kumar Mal is seeking re-election from Bolpur on a TMC ticket, having been pitted against Priya Saha of BJP and Shyamali Pradhan of CPI(M). In Bardhaman Purba, TMC fielded psychiatrist Sharmila Sarkar against BJP's folk singer candidate Ashim Kumar Sarkar, who is the saffron party's MLA from Haringhata Assembly segment, and CPI(M)'s Nirav Kha.

devdiscourse 12 May 2024 2:11 pm

Nobody can stop CAA implementation: PM Modi gives five guarantees to Bengal

North 24 Parganas (West Bengal): Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Trinamool Congress and said that infiltrators are flourishing under the Mamata Banerjee rule and guaranteed to the people of West Bengal that nobody can stop the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state. Addressing a rally in Barrackpur, PM Modi gave five guarantees to the people of West Bengal. I want to give five guarantees to the people of Bengal: - Nobody can give reservations based on religion. Reservations for SC, ST, and OBC will not be touched. Nobody can stop you from celebrating Ram Navami. The judgement of the Supreme Court on Ram Mandir will not be quashed. Nobody can stop the implementation of CAA, PM Modi said. The Prime Minister's remarks on the Ram Mandir verdict came days after former Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam claimed that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had vowed to overturn the Supreme Court's Ram Mandir verdict if Congress forms the government at the Centre. PM Modi slammed the Opposition and said that they had made the CAA a villain adding that the CAA is to provide citizenship. Vote bank politics has presented a law like CAA, which protects humanity, But opposition made it a villain. CAA is a law to give citizenship to the victims, it does not take away anyone's citizenship. But parties like Congress-TMC painted it with the colour of their lies, he said. The Prime Minister alleged that the infiltrators are flourishing under the protection of TMC in the state. There was a time when many scientific discoveries were taking place in Bengal, today under the rule of TMC, the home industry of making bombs is running in many places. There was a time when Bengal used to revolt against the infiltrators, but today the infiltrators are flourishing here under the protection of TMC, he said. He further hit out at the West Bengal government over the law and order in the state on several religious occasions when violent incidents have been reported, and said that it has become difficult for a common man to follow his faith in Bengal. PM Modi continued his attack on the state government and highlighted the Sandeshkhali incident saying that goons of TMC are threatening the women of Sandeshkhali. Goons of TMC are threatening the women of Sandeshkhali only because the culprit's name is Shahjahan Sheikh. They are trying their best to save and protect him from legal action. Don't be afraid of TMC. You must give your full mandate to our candidate; each vote will reach me. Viksit Bengal is crucial for Viksit Bharat, he said. Mentioning the West Bengal teacher's recruitment case, PM Modi said that the money that TMC extorted from the people would be lawfully given back to the people. Modi will not let the corrupt leaders sit peacefully. They will be reprimanded! No corrupt leader will be spared. The money that TMC extorted from you will be lawfully given back to you, he said. Voting will take place for eight Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal in the fourth phase of voting to be held on May 13. The constituencies are Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Bardhaman Purba, Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC won 34 seats in the state, while the BJP had to settle for 2 seats. The CPI (M) won 2 seats, while the Congress bagged 4. However, the BJP came up with a much-improved showing in the 2019 polls, winning 18 seats against the TMC's 22. The Congress's tally dropped to just 2 seats, while the Left scored a blank.

Deccan Chronicle 12 May 2024 1:48 pm

Ph 4 campaign for 96 seats in 10 states ends amid heatwave conditions

Among the notable contestants in this round are Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (Kannauj), NCPs Omar Abdullah (Srinagar), Union ministers Giriraj Singh (Begusarai) and Nityanand Rai (Ujiarpur), Congresss Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Baharampur), Trinamools Mahua Moitra (Krishnanagar) and Shatrughnan Sinha (Asansol), AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad), and AP CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddys younger sister YS Sharmila of Congress (Kadapa).

The Times of India 12 May 2024 3:37 am

Polling ends for fourth phase of LS elections in West Bengal

Polling ends for fourth phase of LS elections in West Bengal Campaigning for eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal going to polls in the fourth phase on May 13 came to an end on Saturday, an official said. Polling will take place in Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Bardhaman Purba (SC), Bardhaman-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum in the fourth round of the Lok Sabha polls. A total of 1,45,30,017 voters, including 71,45,379 women and 282 third-gender electors, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,507 polling stations, he said. Out of the 75 candidates contesting in the fourth phase, Baharampur has the highest number of 15 nominees, followed by Birbhum (12), Krishnanagar (11), eight each in Bolpur (SC) and BardhamanDurgapur constituencies, he said. There are seven candidates each in the constituencies of Bardhaman Purba (SC), Ranaghat (SC) and Asansol, the official said. Heavyweight politicians, including Congress West Bengal president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Baharampur), BJP's former state chief Dilip Ghosh (Burdwan-Durgapur), former cricketer Yusuf Pathan (Baharampur) and actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha (Asansol), are in the fray in this phase. The BJP has fielded Rajmata Amrita Roy from the Krishnanagar seat against TMCs Mahua Moitra. The TMC has nominated former India cricketer Kirti Azad from Burdwan-Durgapur and renominated Satabdi Roy in Birbhum. The Election Commission has identified 3,647 polling stations as critical, the official said. A total of 152 companies of central forces would be deployed in Bardhaman Purba district, followed by Birbhum (131), Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate (88), Krishnanagar Police District (81), Murshidabad Police District (73) and Ranaghat Police District (54), he said. Star campaigners like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, and her nephew and party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, took part in rallies and roadshows in support of their party candidates.

devdiscourse 12 May 2024 12:32 am

Medinipur's Top Contenders Facing Internal Resistance Overshadowing External Opposition

Medinipur's Top Contenders Facing Internal Resistance Overshadowing External Opposition Medinipur is probably the only Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal where both the prime contenders, the BJP and the TMC, seem more troubled with resistance from within than from the opposition outside. Should pollsters choose to add yet another layer of political complexity to the seat, there are those who view the battle for Medinipur as that taking place between current and former TMC supporters, roughly translated into followers of party supremo Mamata Banerjee and turncoat Suvendu Adhikari, with both rooting for candidates of their choice. What could have been a cakewalk for the BJP is now an arena where the fight is thrown wide open, with the saffron camp deciding to relocate popular sitting MP and former state party president Dilip Ghosh to Bardhaman-Durgapur, replacing him with the party's state Mahila Morcha president Agnimitra Paul as its candidate for Medinipur. Paul, a Kolkata-based fashion designer and sitting Asansol Dakshin MLA, has had a meteoric rise in the BJP since she was inducted into the party, ironically by Ghosh, in March 2019. She has been elevated to the rank of party state general secretary. Though critics attribute the candidate reshuffle in Medinipur to the BJP's internal power struggle between the Ghosh and Adhikari camps representing 'veterans' and 'newcomers' respectively, the former has accepted the fresh challenge to prove his mettle in a hitherto uncharted territory without complaint. But that hasn't stopped aggrieved Ghosh followers from either hanging up their boots in the run-up to the polls or jumping ship to the opponent camp. One such disgruntled BJP veteran and Kharagpur-based businessman, 56-year-old Pradip Patnaik, joined the TMC as late as May 5 and confided in PTI about his reasons to quit the party he served for 44 years. ''I gave my blood and sweat to the BJP since the 1980s when it barely had a handful of supporters in the state. I fought the parliamentary and assembly polls on the party ticket from here, where I was born and raised. But today, I find this place unsuitable for old-timers, who are cornered and are not respected,'' Patnaik said. Paul, however, stated that ''initial differences'' have now been ironed out, thanks to some key role played by ''the Sangh, Adhikari and the party's central leadership''. ''Medinipur was never on my radar. I was hoping for a ticket from Bardhaman-Durgapur since I have my roots there. But when Amit Shah ji asked me whether I would be comfortable with contesting from here, I accepted it without a question since I felt my seniors must have put thought before making such a decision. ''Now, I find they were correct since we have a solid organisation here with a large number of pro-Modi voters. Leaders here now realise I was Modi ji's choice and all debates were automatically put to rest,'' Paul said. Actor-turned-politician June Maliah, TMC's Medinipur MLA, is Mamata Banerjee's trump card from this seat. Maliah replaced former Congress-turned-TMC leader Manas Bhunia who lost the 2019 polls by nearly 89,000 votes. The change in candidates in both camps has, however, left the electorate of this mostly rural south Bengal constituency privy to representatives of the glamour world toil for political glory in the heat and dust of the land that has given innumerable freedom fighters including Khudiram Bose and Matangini Hazra, social reformers like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and patrons of art like Sisir Kumar Bhaduri. But for Maliah, who has experienced the bitter taste of TMC's factional fights in the region, the job could be just as daunting as her rival from the BJP. Local political observers highlighted the party's internal feuds frequently popping up its ugly hydra-head with Medinipur Municipality chairman Soumen Khan on one side of the divide and the party's influential local leader Bishu Pandab on the other. Both Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek are believed to have repeatedly called for a united face in the party's closed-door meetings in the run up to the polls. ''Show me one political party in India which doesn't have internal differences. Even families have fractured opinions. It's only human,'' Maliah argued. ''The grassroots workers have accepted me and if you notice my nomination rally, it was nothing short of a carnival. I am not perturbed because people will vote for me for my integrity and the vigour with which I have worked as an MLA. Leaders here realise that it's the survival of the fittest, in both rank and file. There's no choice but to emerge as winner,'' she asserted. The relatively silent, albeit impactful, challenge to both TMC and BJP may come from the Left, with CPI candidate Biplab Bhatta trying his luck for the second consecutive time. The seat had remained a Left stronghold for a good 25 years till the TMC wrested it from CPI in 2014. In 2019, Bhatta had managed barely 4.4 per cent of the votes polled, registering a dip of about 27 per cent vote share from the party's earlier performance. ''Last time, supporters of the Left had voted for the BJP out of disgust for the TMC. But during my campaigning this time, I find strong indications of their 'ghar wapsi','' Bhatta said. He highlighted the grievances of central government employees in Kharagpur working in the Railways, the Air Force and at IIT, and claimed those would have adverse impact on BJP's poll fortunes. ''The Railway employees spread over the 22 bustees in Kharagpur are suffering the plight of having to live without electricity, piped drinking water and other municipal facilities. They are threatened with eviction notices every now and then. Our priority is to meet their demands, should we win,'' Bhatta said. The 14-lakh plus voters of Medinipur are eligible to exercise their franchise in the sixth phase of polls on May 25.

devdiscourse 11 May 2024 2:11 pm

Shatrughan Sinha To Take On BJPs S Ahluwalia From West Bengals Asansol Constituency

The Bihari Babu of the Indian film industry, ShatrughanSinhajoined TMC in 2022 after a brief stint in the Congress

newsmobile 10 May 2024 1:30 am

Pawan Singh files papers from Karakat as Independent candidate

A day after the BJP nominated its candidate from Asansol in West Bengal, he withdrew from the Lok Sabha polls; Karakat seat will now see triangular fight with former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha and CPI(ML)s Rajaram Singh in the fray

The Hindu 10 May 2024 12:02 am

Bhojpuri singer-actor Pawan Singh announces independent candidacy in Bihar's Karakat, BJP remains silent

Bhojpuri singer-actor Pawan Singh announces independent candidacy in Bihar's Karakat, BJP remains silent Bhojpuri singer and actor Pawan Singh, who had earlier refused BJPs offer to contest the Lok Sabha election as the partys nominee in West Bengal, on Thursday filed his nomination papers as an independent in his home state Bihar. Singh filed his papers from Karakat Lok Sabha seat, where former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha of Rashtriya Lok Morcha is likely to be fielded as the NDA nominee. Previously nominated by the saffron party from Asansol in West Bengal, Singh withdrew amidst controversy over some of his songs that disparaged women. BJP sources refrained from commenting on the singer-turned-politician's decision to contest independently, although he was believed to have lobbied with opposition parties like the RJD for a ticket. Despite repeated attempts by PTI, Bihar BJP president and state Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Chaudhary was not available for comments over Singh's decision to contest the polls against the NDA. Singh's move to contest against the NDA nominee in Karakat has drawn criticism from some BJP leaders, including Union Minister R K Singh, seeking re-election from neighboring Arrah Lok Sabha seat. R K Singh emphasised the importance of party loyalty, stating that contesting against the NDA nominee undermines the alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With Singh now an independent candidate, Karakat is poised for a three-way contest. While Kushwaha is likely to file his nomination papers as the NDA candidate soon, CPI(M-L) Liberation's Rajaram Singh has already submitted his papers as the Mahagathbandhan nominee. Karakat will go to polls on June 1.

devdiscourse 9 May 2024 9:31 pm

Lok Sabha Election 2024 | SS Ahluwalia Contesting As BJP Candidate For Bengal's Asansol | N18V

Lok Sabha Election 2024 | SS Ahluwalia Contesting As BJP Candidate For Bengal's Asansol | N18V Former Union Minister Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday filed his nomination as the BJP candidate for West Bengal's Asansol Lok Sabha constituency.

News18 8 May 2024 9:38 pm

Krishnanagar Candidate of BJP, Richest Candidate in 4th Phase Bengal Elections

Krishnanagar Candidate of BJP, Richest Candidate in 4th Phase Bengal Elections Twenty-one candidates fighting the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal's eight constituencies, which are going to the polls in the fourth phase, have assets of more than Rs 1 crore, and among them, BJP's Krishnanagar nominee Amitra Roy is the richest, according to a report. A total of 75 candidates are in the fray in these eight seats, and Roy is the richest among them with total assets worth Rs 554 crore, an analysis of their affidavits by West Bengal Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed. Roy is followed by TMC's Asansol candidate Shatrughan Sinha who has assets worth Rs 210 crore and Baharampur candidate Yusuf Pathan whose total assets are valued at Rs 45 crore. TMC's seven candidates have assets worth over Rs 1 crore, followed by BJP whose six candidates found a place on the list. Two candidates each of SUCI(C), Congress and CPI(M) also have assets worth over Rs 1 crore. One candidate each of BSP and Indian National Socialist Action Forces also found a place on the list, it said Independent candidate in Ranaghat Jagannath Sarkar has assets of Rs 3,587, the lowest for any nominee in this phase. Also, there are 13 candidates with criminal cases, it said. Polling in Asansol, Baharampur, Bardhaman Purba, Birbhum, Bolpur, Bardhaman-Durgapur, Krishnanagar and Ranaghat will be held on May 13.

devdiscourse 4 May 2024 11:18 pm

In West Bengal's Asansol, it's TMC's 'Bihari Babu' vs BJP's 'Sardarji'

The Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, known for its mining and industrial belt, faces key issues like reopening closed factories, tackling drinking water scarcity in rural areas, and curbing illegal mining in abandoned collieries. The region, with a significant Hindi-speaking population, will see a contest between TMC's Shatrughan Sinha, BJP's Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia, and CPI(M)'s Jahanara Khan. Sinha, confident of retaining the seat, highlights his commitment to the constituency. Khan criticizes the lack of action by previous MPs on local issues.

The Economic Times 2 May 2024 12:04 pm

In Bengal's Asansol, It's Trinamool's 'Bihari Babu' vs BJP's 'Sardarji'

Reopening factories closed for years, addressing drinking water scarcity in rural pockets and reining in the illegal mining menace in abandoned collieries are the primary issues for the people of Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal.

NDTV 2 May 2024 11:51 am

It's TMC's 'Bihari Babu' vs BJP's 'Sardarji' in West Bengal's Asansol

ASANOL: Reopening factories closed for years, addressing drinking water scarcity in rural pockets and reining in the illegal mining menace in abandoned collieries are the primary issues for the people of Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. The region cradles the mining and industrial belt of the state, with Raniganj, Pandaveswar and Jamuria assembly segments housing coal mines and Kulti serving as the home to some of the bigger factories. Asansol, which borders Jharkhand, has a significant percentage of the Hindi-speaking population, mostly migrant workers from Bihar and UP employed in the mines and factories. While the TMC has repeated Bollywood superstar Shatrughan Sinha aka 'Bihari Babu' as its candidate for this seat, the BJP settled for its veteran leader Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia who was born and raised in the city. The CPI(M) has fielded Jahanara Khan, a debutant in Lok Sabha polls, in the seat that is also home to a fair number of tribals. Sinha won the 2022 by-elections here by over 3 lakh votes after BJP MP Babul Supriyo vacated the seat, which he secured in 2014 and 2019, and switched over to the TMC. Sinha expressed confidence about retaining the seat by a greater margin this time. I will win more support from people in the constituency this election, he told PTI. Left nominee Khan, a two-time MLA from Jamuria, alleged that neither Sinha nor Supriyo had done much to alleviate the problems of the locals. The poorer tribals and minorities in the rural areas are suffering from tremendous drinking water scarcity, but little has been done so far to solve that crisis, she said. Alleging that illegal mining from the abandoned collieries in the region is rampant, she said the menace must be stopped to prevent land subsidence and mudslides which claim lives almost every year. Acknowledging the rural water crisis, TMC's Pandaveswar MLA Narendranath Chakraborty said water level depletes in the summer months in the mine region which, he maintained, was a atural occurrence. We are working towards providing water connection to homes, and reservoirs are being built in every block, he said, adding that water gets supplied through tankers in many places as a stop-gap measure. Sambhu Majhi, a resident of Kulti, said that he wanted factories, which have been closed for years over issues ranging from militant trade unionism to lack of timely modernisation, reopened. If the factories are back in operation, our children will not have to migrate in search of livelihood, he said. Several well-known factories like those of Sen-Raleigh and Asansol Glass have downed their shutters over the years. According to Ajay Ghosh of Dishergarh, illegal sand mining from Damodar is also on the rise and needs to be stopped. The BJP took a while to officially name Ahluwalia, fondly called 'Sardarji' by many, for the Asansol seat after Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh stepped aside from the contest. In the 2019 elections, Ahluwalia won the neighbouring Bardhaman-Durgapur seat, where the BJP has fielded its former state president Dilip Ghosh this time. Ahluwalia, also a former Rajya Sabha MP, had won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in northern West Bengal in 2014. He won the 2019 elections by a slender margin of 18,540 votes and managed to deliver for his party only one out of the seven assembly seats in Bardhaman-Durgapur during the 2021 state polls. Ahluwalia faces the litmus test of obfuscating TMC's gains in Asansol, where five out of seven assembly segments went to the Mamata Banerjee-led party in 2021. During a recent election rally in Kulti, Banerjee took a dig at Ahluwalia and accused him of playing the vanishing act from Bardhaman-Durgapur during the last five years. He could manage to get a ticket for this seat after putting in much effort, the TMC supremo claimed. Local BJP leader Jitendra Tiwari claimed that having an experienced campaigner like Ahluwalia in Asansol has boosted the morale of his party's workers to reclaim the seat. Brushing aside the TMC allegation of Ahluwalia's absenteeism, Tiwari asked, That way, how many times did we see Shatrughan Sinha in Asansol in the last two years? A two-term BJP MP from Patna Sahib, Sinha had joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and switched over to the TMC in 2022. Among his many films, Sinha had co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in 'Kaala Patthar', a 1979 Bollywood hit based on the Chasnala coal mine tragedy in neighbouring Dhanbad. Calling Sinha an acting legend, the Pandaveswar MLA said the star of yesteryears still commands a crazy fan following. As an MP, he worked for Asansol and MPLAD funds were properly utilised for the welfare of people, he said. Confident about a formidable margin, Chakraborty said the leader meant business when it came to development and maintained a polite demeanor with people. Local CPI(M) leader Partha Mukherjee claimed that people would vote against the ideological bankruptcy of TMC and BJP. All anti-TMC and anti-BJP forces will come together to defeat them and we are sure that Jahanara Khan will win Asansol, he said. Asansol goes to polls in the fourth phase on May 13.

The New Indian Express 2 May 2024 11:26 am

Asansol Lok Sabha Bypoll: 'Bihari Babu' of TMC and 'Sardarji' of BJP Face Off

Asansol Lok Sabha Bypoll: 'Bihari Babu' of TMC and 'Sardarji' of BJP Face Off Reopening factories closed for years, addressing drinking water scarcity in rural pockets and reining in the illegal mining menace in abandoned collieries are the primary issues for the people of Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. The region cradles the mining and industrial belt of the state, with Raniganj, Pandaveswar and Jamuria assembly segments housing coal mines and Kulti serving as the home to some of the bigger factories. Asansol, which borders Jharkhand, has a significant percentage of the Hindi-speaking population, mostly migrant workers from Bihar and UP employed in the mines and factories. While the TMC has repeated Bollywood superstar Shatrughan Sinha aka 'Bihari Babu' as its candidate for this seat, the BJP settled for its veteran leader Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia who was born and raised in the city. The CPI(M) has fielded Jahanara Khan, a debutant in Lok Sabha polls, in the seat that is also home to a fair number of tribals. Sinha won the 2022 by-elections here by over 3 lakh votes after BJP MP Babul Supriyo vacated the seat, which he secured in 2014 and 2019, and switched over to the TMC. Sinha expressed confidence about retaining the seat by a greater margin this time. ''I will win more support from people in the constituency this election,'' he told PTI. Left nominee Khan, a two-time MLA from Jamuria, alleged that neither Sinha nor Supriyo had done much to alleviate the problems of the locals. ''The poorer tribals and minorities in the rural areas are suffering from tremendous drinking water scarcity, but little has been done so far to solve that crisis,'' she said. Alleging that illegal mining from the abandoned collieries in the region is rampant, she said the menace must be stopped to prevent land subsidence and mudslides which claim lives almost every year. Acknowledging the rural water crisis, TMC's Pandaveswar MLA Narendranath Chakraborty said water level depletes in the summer months in the mine region which, he maintained, was a ''natural occurrence''. ''We are working towards providing water connection to homes, and reservoirs are being built in every block,'' he said, adding that water gets supplied through tankers in many places as a stop-gap measure. Sambhu Majhi, a resident of Kulti, said that he wanted factories, which have been closed for years over issues ranging from ''militant trade unionism'' to lack of timely modernisation, reopened. ''If the factories are back in operation, our children will not have to migrate in search of livelihood,'' he said. Several well-known factories like those of Sen-Raleigh and Asansol Glass have downed their shutters over the years. According to Ajay Ghosh of Dishergarh, illegal sand mining from Damodar is also on the rise and needs to be stopped. The BJP took a while to officially name Ahluwalia, fondly called 'Sardarji' by many, for the Asansol seat after Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh stepped aside from the contest. In the 2019 elections, Ahluwalia won the neighbouring Bardhaman-Durgapur seat, where the BJP has fielded its former state president Dilip Ghosh this time. Ahluwalia, also a former Rajya Sabha MP, had won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in northern West Bengal in 2014. He won the 2019 elections by a slender margin of 18,540 votes and managed to deliver for his party only one out of the seven assembly seats in Bardhaman-Durgapur during the 2021 state polls. Ahluwalia faces the litmus test of obfuscating TMC's gains in Asansol, where five out of seven assembly segments went to the Mamata Banerjee-led party in 2021. During a recent election rally in Kulti, Banerjee took a dig at Ahluwalia and accused him of playing the vanishing act from Bardhaman-Durgapur during the last five years. ''He could manage to get a ticket for this seat after putting in much effort,'' the TMC supremo claimed. Local BJP leader Jitendra Tiwari claimed that having an experienced campaigner like Ahluwalia in Asansol has boosted the morale of his party's workers to reclaim the seat. Brushing aside the TMC allegation of Ahluwalia's absenteeism, Tiwari asked, ''That way, how many times did we see Shatrughan Sinha in Asansol in the last two years?'' A two-term BJP MP from Patna Sahib, Sinha had joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and switched over to the TMC in 2022. Among his many films, Sinha had co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in 'Kaala Patthar', a 1979 Bollywood hit based on the Chasnala coal mine tragedy in neighbouring Dhanbad. Calling Sinha an ''acting legend'', the Pandaveswar MLA said the star of yesteryears still commands a crazy fan following. ''As an MP, he worked for Asansol and MPLAD funds were properly utilised for the welfare of people,'' he said. Confident about a formidable margin, Chakraborty said the leader meant business when it came to development and maintained a polite demeanor with people. Local CPI(M) leader Partha Mukherjee claimed that people would vote against the ''ideological bankruptcy of TMC and BJP''. ''All anti-TMC and anti-BJP forces will come together to defeat them and we are sure that Jahanara Khan will win Asansol,'' he said. Asansol goes to polls in the fourth phase on May 13.

devdiscourse 2 May 2024 11:07 am

Heatwave to Persist in South Bengal Until May 5: Meteorological Department Warns

Heatwave to Persist in South Bengal Until May 5: Meteorological Department Warns The Met department on Wednesday said heatwave conditions are very likely to continue till May 5 over south Bengal, which has been reeling under a scorching sun with Kalaikunda recording the state's highest temperature at 45.2 degrees Celsius. The weather office, however, held out a ray of hope for the situation to change from May 6 with the possibility of rains in the coastal districts, which will spread to other parts of Gangetic West Bengal gradually. Heatwave conditions will continue in many places of south Bengal till May 5, with severe heatwave very likely in Bankura, Birbhum, Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur, Purba and Paschim Bardhaman districts, the Met department said. It said that there will not be any large change in maximum temperature during the next two days and thereby it will fall gradually in the subsequent three days in the region. The severe weather conditions in the southern and western districts of West Bengal are being caused by dry westerly winds and strong solar insolation, the Met said. Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district recorded West Bengal's highest temperature on Wednesday at 45.2 degrees Celsius, while Jhargram followed closely at 44.5 degrees Celsius, the Met said. In Panagarh and Purulia, the mercury touched the 44.1 degrees mark. Kolkata recorded 42 degrees Celsius as its highest temperature on the day while neighbouring Salt Lake was a little cooler at 41.1 degrees, the Met said. Among the other places which recorded above-40-degree Celsius temperatures are Medinipur (43.4), Bankura (43.3), Krishnanagar (42.2), Bardhaman (42), Asansol (42.3), and Sriniketan (41.8), the Met data said.

devdiscourse 1 May 2024 9:26 pm

Southern Bengal to Endure Heatwave Until Sunday, Followed by Rainfall

Southern Bengal to Endure Heatwave Until Sunday, Followed by Rainfall The Met department on Monday forecast hopes of cooler climes a week ahead with the possibility of rain owing to the possibility of moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal, providing a respite from the protracted heatwave conditions prevailing in south Bengal. Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions are very likely to continue in the south Bengal districts for at least five more days, the Met office said. People are likely to get respite from the prevailing heatwave conditions in the region from May 5 with the possibility of rain in the coastal districts owing to the incursion of moisture from the Bay of Bengal, an IMD official said. The rain will gradually spread to several of the perched southern districts of the state and continue for at least a few days, he said. The severe weather conditions in the southern and western districts of West Bengal, caused by dry westerly winds, and strong solar insolation, have caused the state government to advance the summer holidays in schools run or aided by it, while many private educational institutions have either switched to online classes or changed their timings. The Met office said that severe heatwave conditions will prevail in Bankura, Birbhum, Jhargram, Murshidabad, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Bardhaman and Paschim Bardhaman while the other districts in south Bengal will experience heatwave conditions till May 3. Panagarh in Paschim Bardhaman district recorded the state's highest day temperature at 44.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, 9.2 notches above normal, the Met said. Kolkata recorded the day's highest temperature at 41.7 deg C, while the mercury hit the 41.6 mark in neighbouring Salt Lake, both six degrees above normal, it said. The other places which recorded temperatures above 40 deg C are Medinipur (44.5), Bankura (44.2), Bardhaman (42), Asansol (43.5), Purulia (42.3), Jhargram (42), Barrackpore (42.6) and Sriniketan (42.6), the Met data said.

devdiscourse 29 Apr 2024 10:12 pm

Mamata Banerjee falls while trying to board a chopper in Durgapur

KOLKATA : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lost her balance and fell while attempting to board a chopper in Durgapur, West Burdwan district, on Saturday. CM Banerjee slipped and fell while trying to take a seat on her helicopter. Her security personnel at the scene assisted her to her seat. The Trinamool chief reportedly suffered a minor injury, but was still able to proceed with her journey to Asansol. Mamata Banerjee was en route to Kulti for an election rally when the incident occurred. The CM fell inside the helicopter after losing her balance while trying to sit. She is fine, a senior officer accompanying Banerjee said. Following the incident, she flew to Kulti and addressed the rally in support of TMCs Asansol candidate and veteran Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha. Just about a month ago, on March 14, Banerjee, 69, had sustained serious injuries to her forehead after falling at her home in Kalighat, Kolkata. Banerjee has suffered injuried quite often. Ealier in March, the chief minister was injured when she had a gash on her forehead. She had also suffered a leg injury in Spain in the year 2023. Flew to Kulti Mamata Banerjee flew to Kulti and addressed the rally in support of TMCs Asansol candidate and veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha

The New Indian Express 28 Apr 2024 7:52 am

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee injured boarding helicopter in Durgapur

The West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly stumbled on board of her chopper while on her way to a campaign in Kulti on Saturday afternoon from Durgapur. The nature of her injury is not known yet. However, the injury was minor and she went to her scheduled rallies in Kulti and Asansol.

The Economic Times 27 Apr 2024 8:02 pm

No evidence of arms seizure in Sandeshkhali, recovered items might be brought by CBI: Mamata

USHAGRAM: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said there was o evidence of arms seizure in Sandeshkhali, asserting that CBI teams conducted searches without informing the state police. She expressed scepticism regarding the operations, stating that the recovered items might have been brought by officials of the central agency. If a firecracker goes off in Bengal, the NIA, CBI, NSG are coming to investigate. It seems that a war is going on. The state police were not informed. It is not known what was found. There was no evidence. The seized items might have been brought by them (CBI) in a car, Banerjee said here. Small arms including foreign-made pistols seized by CBI in raids in Sandeshkhali She was addressing an election rally for TMC's Asansol Lok Sabha candidate Shatrughan Sinha. The CBI on Friday seized arms and ammunition, including a police service revolver and foreign-made firearms, during searches at two premises of an associate of now-suspended TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh in Sandeshkhali, officials said. The searches were conducted in connection with the January attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team by a mob that was allegedly instigated by Sheikh, who was arrested by the West Bengal Police on February 29 in the case. Teams of the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI), the bomb detection squad, the National Security Guard (NSG), the central paramilitary forces and the West Bengal Police were part of the searches at Sandeshkhali -- a riverine delta -- on the fringes of the Sunderbans in North 24 Parganas district. TMC moves EC over CBI's Sandeshkhali raid, says BJP 'weaponized' agencies for 'smear campaign' Banerjee also said, Today, I heard there was an incident near Sandeshkhali. A BJP leader had stored bombs in his house. They think that they can win the elections by cancelling (school) jobs and with bombs. We want 'roti, kapda, makaan' and jobs for the people, not their lofty speeches. The Trinamool Congress on Saturday alleged that several people were injured after a bomb went off at the house of a relative of a BJP leader in Basirhat assembly constituency. She was apparently referring to the Calcutta High Court judgment on school jobs. The court declared the recruitment process of the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools as 'null and void', ordering the cancellation of all appointments made through it. HC order on Bengal school jobs 'illegal', will challenge: Mamata

The New Indian Express 27 Apr 2024 7:19 pm

Mamata Banerjee Injured after Falling Inside Helicopter

Kolkata:West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sustained injuries after falling inside a helicopter while boarding it for Lok Sabha election campaigning on Saturday. Reports say, she reportedly suffered a minor injury. Later, she continued with her onward travel to Asansol. The West Bengal CM slipped and fell while taking a seat after boarding her helicopter [] The post Mamata Banerjee Injured after Falling Inside Helicopter appeared first on Pragativadi | Odisha News, Breaking News Odisha, Latest Odisha News .

Pragativadi 27 Apr 2024 6:03 pm

Mamata loses balance, falls while boarding helicopter

Following the incident, she flew to Kulti and addressed a rally in support of TMC's Asansol candidate Shatrughan Sinha.

Rediff 27 Apr 2024 3:22 pm

Mamata loses balance while boarding helicopter

I am now in a position (as Chief Minister). If I had not been in this position, I would have pulled out the tongue. - Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM I am now in a position (as Chief Minister). If I had not been in this position, I would have pulled out the tongue. - Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lost her balance and fell while boarding a helicopter in Durgapur in Paschim Bardhaman district on Saturday afternoon. She was on the way to Kulti for an election rally when the incident happened. The CM fell inside the helicopter after losing her balance while she was trying to sit. She is fine, a senior officer, who was accompanying Banerjee, told PTI. Following the incident, she flew to Kulti and addressed a rally in support of TMC's Asansol candidate Shatrughan Sinha

Deccan Chronicle 27 Apr 2024 3:20 pm

Mamata Banerjee injured again after fall while boarding helicopter

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, April 27, reportedly got injured after slipping and falling while taking a seat after boarding her helicopter in Durgapur. The chief minister reportedly suffered a minor injury and was helped by her security personnel. She continued with her onward travel to Asansol, reported ANI. #WATCH | West Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 27 Apr 2024 2:38 pm

Watch: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee slips and falls inside chopper, injured

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee suffered an injury on Saturday after boarding a helicopter in Durgapur. The CM was helped by her security personnel and she continued with her onward travel to Asansol, said reports. The incident comes just a month after the CM suffered a serious injury on her forehead after slipping at her residence.

The Times of India 27 Apr 2024 2:31 pm

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sustains minor injuries while boarding helicopter

This incident occurred as she was enroute to a public rally in Asansol. Banerjee proceeded with her scheduled activities after receiving first aid.

The Economic Times 27 Apr 2024 2:15 pm

Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Former Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla votes in Darjeeling

Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Former Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla votes in Darjeeling Former Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday cast his vote at a polling booth in Darjeeling. After casting his vote, Shringla showed his inked finger at the polling booth there. Darjeeling has been a BJP bastion since 2009, with the Trinamool Congress never managing to wrest the seat from the principal opposition party in the state. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, MP Raju Bista won the constituency with 59.2 per cent of the total votes polled against TMC's Amar Singh Rai, who bagged a mere 26.6 per cent votes. In 2014, BJP's SS Ahluwalia, who is in the fray this year from Asansol, won 42.8 per cent of votes against 25.5 per cent won by former footballer and TMC's star candidate Bhaichung Bhutia. Apart from Darjeeling, voting is also taking place in Balurghat, and Raiganj in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections today. Voting for the remaining constituencies of West Bengal will be held on May 4, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1. The Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases till June 1 and votes will be counted on June 4. There are 8.08 crore male and 7.8 crore female voters among the electorates who will decide the fate of candidates. As many as 5,929 third-gender electors will also exercise their franchise in the second phase of polls. The first phase of voting for the seven-phased Lok Sabha election, the world's largest electoral exercise, was held on April 19 in 102 constituencies across 21 states and UTs. According to the Election Commission, the voter turnout registered was over 62 per cent. The third phase election will be held on May 7. (ANI)

devdiscourse 26 Apr 2024 10:09 am

Met forecasts heatwave conditions in several south Bengal districts

Met forecasts heatwave conditions in several south Bengal districts Several areas in south Bengal on Wednesday recorded temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, with the meteorological department predicting heatwave conditions persisting until April 21. The forecast indicates that heatwave conditions will persist across various districts in south Bengal, including Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Purba and Paschim Bardhaman, Purulia, Bankura, and Birbhum. Additionally, the weather office said hot and humid conditions will prevail in other parts of the region. Over the next three days, the maximum temperature is expected to increase by two to three degrees Celsius, with minimal change thereafter, according to the Meteorological department. To mitigate heat-related risks, people have been advised to avoid prolonged exposure to heat and outdoor activities between 11 am and 4 pm. Panagarh in Paschim Bardhaman district registered the highest daytime temperature on Wednesday at 42.8 degrees Celsius, surpassing the normal by six notches, weathermen said. Other areas experiencing temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius include Bankura (42.1), Barrackpore (41.5), Medinipur (41), Kalaikunda (41), Bardhaman (40.8), and Asansol (40.7), they said. Kolkata recorded a maximum temperature of 39.4 degrees Celsius, exceeding the normal by four degrees.

devdiscourse 17 Apr 2024 8:10 pm

Aakar Patel| We cant forget how govt failed to tackle Covids 2021 2nd wave

Three years ago, on April 15, 2021, the National Task Force on Covid-19 met for the first time in three months (the last meeting was on January 11). Cases were now at 216,000 and deaths over 1,100. Two days after that, on April 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held what he said was his largest-ever rally at Asansol in West Bengal, with lakhs of people in the audience. The daily positive cases that day were 260,000 with 1,500 deaths. Till this time, Mr Modi had appeared to be oblivious to the power of exponential growth though the government was warned specifically and severally about an impending second wave. It was only after he returned that evening from West Bengal and perhaps internalised the commentary on television of the devastation in Delhis hospitals that Mr Modi acted. The next day, April 18, he cancelled any further activity at the Kumbh Mela. Daily cases were now at 275,000 but it still took another four days for Mr Modi to cancel his rallies in Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum and Kolkata. He said the rallies would be virtual (in reality, only the speaker was virtual and appeared on a screen; the crowd still gathered). By now, cases were at 332,000, with 2,200 deaths daily. The same day that Mr Modi cancelled his rallies, the obliging Election Commission banned rallies for all parties. In guiding India through this second wave, Mr Modi flew by the seat of his pants. Structurally, there was nothing other than his office running the Covid-19 strategy. The Union Cabinet did not decide or discuss a single issue related to the pandemic as the second wave surged through March and April 2021. It met five times, but only to clear things like the second phase of Bengalurus metro project and some memoranda of understanding with foreign nations. Even on May 11, it met only to approve things like a ropeway project in Uttarakhand. Ministers did not appear to know what Mr Modis vaccination strategy was, or if indeed he had any. On May 18, Nitin Gadkari asked for more firms to be issued licences to make the vaccine. This was reported the next day, and it was pointed out that this was exactly what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had suggested to Mr Modi a month before (a suggestion that was met with an insolent reply from Harsh Vardhan). In the face of calamity, Mr Modi froze. In the seven months from March to September 2020, Mr Modi made 82 public appearances physical as well as virtual. In the next four months, he made 111 such appearances. From February to April 25, 2021, he clocked 92 public appearances. From April 25, after he called off the Kumbh and his West Bengal rallies, Mr Modi disappeared. He made no public appearance for 20 days. The Prime Minister of India fled the field when his people needed the government most. Twice in 2020, in April and in November, the government had been warned that an oxygen shortage was looming. The minutes of one meeting said in clear terms: In the coming days India could face a shortage of oxygen supplies. While before April, Mr Modi did not himself take the pandemic seriously, he also insisted on managing it personally. If there was any strategy at all in tackling the pandemic, it came directly from Mr Modis office; there was no role for the Cabinet in pandemic control, PMO calls the shots, as a newspaper headline put it. This was in keeping with the way in which he has run the government all this time. A wave that began at the end of February was not only allowed to gather momentum, it was goaded on. Through four weeks of March, through three weeks of April, India held gigantic gatherings directly organised by the BJP or approved and encouraged by it. The consequences were felt by the countrys healthcare system, which was always fragile and unavailable to the poor at the best of times. Here, the second aspect to tackling a pandemic, the failure to anticipate the effects of a sudden wave and the preparation of a war chest of medical equipment, came into playIn the eight weeks between March 1 and April 30, Indias daily cases grew 40 times from 11,000 to more than 400,000. No healthcare system in the world can handle an explosion of patients of this sort. The only way to protect the population is to stockpile things that may not be immediately required today but are produced and procured and set aside in anticipation of a waves peak. India did not do that. In April 2020, the government decided it would procure 50,000 Make in India ventilators, but ultimately only procured 35,000 of them after it determined that the pandemic had been seen off. Corporates like Maruti said they had made ventilators, but the government chose not to procure them. Two months before the second wave, on February 21, 2021, the BJP passed a resolution: It can be said with pride that India not only defeated Covid under the able, sensitive, committed and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, but also infused in all its citizens the confidence to build an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. The party unequivocally hails its leadership for introducing India to the world as a proud and victorious nation in the fight against Covid. When the crematoria began to overflow, no reference to this was made. All this may not affect the claims and the bombast, but this is not history from 1526, this happened to us just three years ago and must not be forgotten.

Deccan Chronicle 16 Apr 2024 12:10 am

Adhir and Ahluwalia face protests during election campaign

Both Baharampur and Asansol are going to polls on May 13. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is five term Congress MP while S.S. Ahluwalia has represented Darjeeling and Bardhaman Durgapur.

The Hindu 14 Apr 2024 8:17 am

BJP nominates former PM Chandra Shekhar's son for Ballia, SS Ahluwalia for Asansol

BJP shuffles MPs in UP, bringing Neeraj Shekhar, Sanjay Tandon, and others into the fray. The party strategically places candidates to target specific communities in different constituencies for the upcoming elections.

The Times of India 11 Apr 2024 5:59 am

BJP Picks Ex Union Minister SS Ahluwalia To Take On Shatrughan Sinha In Bengal's Asansol

The BJP on Wednesday announced the nomination of former Union minister SS Ahluwalia from the Asansol Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal.

NDTV 10 Apr 2024 11:06 pm

Having spurned a BJP ticket from Asansol, Pawan Singh to contest LS poll as an Independent from Bihars Karakat

The Bhojpuri singers nomination from Asansol triggered outrage due to his alleged denigration of Bengali women; he will take on RLM chief Upendra Kushwaha, CPI(ML)s Rajaram Singh in Karakat

The Hindu 10 Apr 2024 9:55 pm

BJP fields Ahluwalia in West Bengals Asansol against Trinamools Shatrughan Sinha

S.S. Ahluwalia, a two term BJP MP, is a politician with significant political experience

The Hindu 10 Apr 2024 9:29 pm

Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh throws his hat in the ring, names seat but keeps mum on party

Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh throws his hat in the ring, names seat but keeps mum on party Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh, who had turned down a BJP ticket for Asansol in West Bengal, on Wednesday said he will contest Lok Sabha polls from Karakat in his home state of Bihar. Singh made the announcement on X but did not disclose whether he would be contesting as an Independent or as the candidate of a political party. ''One's mother carries greater weight than this earth. I had promised my mother that I would contest elections this time. I will stand from Karakat, Bihar, in the Lok Sabha polls. Jai Mata Di,'' Singh wrote in Hindi. Notably, the announcement comes on a day the BJP has declared SS Ahluwalia, its sitting MP from Bardhaman-Durgapur, as the candidate from Asansol, where actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha is seeking re-election on a Trinamool Congress ticket. Singh, who hails from Bhojpur district in Bihar, and was said to be eyeing the Arrah seat where Union minister RK Singh is seeking re-election for a third consecutive term. The Bhojpuri singer was named the party candidate from Asansol but he withdrew from the contest following a backlash over some of his songs with misogynistic lyrics that also denigrated the Bengali community. Karakat goes to polls in the seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections and filing of nomination papers will begin in about a month from now. The Bhojpuri singer, by entering the fray, would queer the pitch for former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, an ex-MP from Karakat whose Rashtriya Lok Morcha has been assigned the seat by the NDA. Kushwaha's principal challenge is likely to come from far-Left CPI(ML) Liberation, which will contest the seat on behalf of INDIA bloc, and has fielded veteran peasant leader and former MLA Raja Ram Singh. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM has also said that it will contest the central Bihar seat.

devdiscourse 10 Apr 2024 6:11 pm

Pawan Singh, who turned down BJP ticket from Asansol, to fight from Bihar seat

Pawan Singh who turned down BJP ticket from Asansol to fight from Bihar seat

India Today 10 Apr 2024 5:31 pm