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Not involved in personal views arising due to miscommunication: Bharat Sevashram on monks row

KOLKATA, May 21: The Bharat Sevashram Sangha on Tuesday attempted to bury the hatchet over the monks row following controversial remarks by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, with the monastic order contending that it is not involved in personal views arising due to miscommunication. A monk from the orders Murshidabad district had sent a []

thehillstimes 22 May 2024 1:30 am

DC Edit | Low voter turnout not healthy for democracy

As the elections to the 18th Lok Sabha covers its major portions with voters in 428 of the 543 constituencies exercising their franchise by the fifth of seven phases, the low turnout of voters remains a concern for all, as reflected by the note of the Election Commission of India. While the first four phases saw a collective 66.95 per cent voting, the figure for the fifth was substantially lower at 60.4 per cent. The EC had earlier called upon voters in the fifth phase, which covered the big cities of Mumbai and Lucknow, to shed their urban apathy. Its exhortation does appear to have reverberated with the electorate, who in their large numbers chose to skip the exercise and either remain indoors or go off on a tour, thanks to the extended weekend facilitated by the voting on a Monday. As per EC, Maharashtra recorded its lowest polling at 54.33 per cent; Uttar Pradesh also has a lower 57.79 per cent of voters pressing the button on the electronic voting machine. On the higher side, West Bengal had a voting of 76.05 per cent. It does not augur well for democracy, which is still a work in progress in this country, to have almost half of its electorate say no to one of its key elements the election. Pundits will come up with a number of reasons for the voter apathy, which may vary from the perception that the outcome has already been decided and that their votes do not count or will not make a difference to an understanding that that their lives are not going to change, whatever the results. The urban apathy that the EC is worried about has a lot to do with such thought processes which would be tough to change in the short term. A refreshing change is seen in rural areas across the nation where political processes are reflected in the day-to-day lives of the people. The people there believe that they are responsible for the democratic Constitution of the country and hence have a stake in the running of the nation. They believe political parties are answerable to them and the vote is the tool to send the message across. They need not be told about shedding their apathy; they know that they cannot afford to be apathetic or indifferent to what is happening around them. They are the political force that has struck at the right time in our history and sent the self-righteous, self-serving politician for refresher courses in democratic governance. India as a nation owes them its gratitude for the safekeeping of its democracy. The higher turnout in militancy-torn Baramulla is refreshing. At 58.17 per cent the highest in three decades more than half of the voters of the constituency have come out and spoken about their choice to represent them in the Lok Sabha. The people of the state have often been vilified for their disinterest in the democratic process but the fact remains that given a chance they would never let it go. It is for the government now to build on the trust and help the state return to the national mainstream. Elections to the state Assembly will be a fitting start to the process.

Deccan Chronicle 22 May 2024 12:13 am

Will visit Sandeshkhali after winning, says Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee plans to visit Sandeshkhali after Trinamool candidate Haji Nurul wins the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat, marking her first visit since the area made national headlines for complaints of assault on women and land grabbing. Banerjee expressed sympathy for the women of Sandeshkhali during a rally in Basirhat, condemning the incidents and criticizing the BJP. She assured to prevent any potential violence and welcomed the Calcutta High Court's order on BJP advertisements.

The Economic Times 21 May 2024 11:51 pm

Voters Hit Low Scores Again in Phase 5 of Lok Sabha Polls: Just 10 Seats Saw Higher Turnouts from 2019

Maharashtras Kalyan was the seat with the lowest voter turnout, 47.08%. Mumbai South (47.7%) and Thane (49.81%) from the state were also not far away. The top four seats with the highest turnouts were from West Bengal Arambagh (79.5%), Bangaon (78.01%), Hooghly (77.84%), and Uluberia (77.74%). In 2019 also, these four seats were at the top but all had turnouts of over 80%

News18 21 May 2024 11:44 pm

West Bengal Police Raid House of BJP Leader Suvendu Adhikari, Sparking Outrage

KOLKATA: West Bengal police on Tuesday raided a rented house of leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari, leaving him furious. In the afternoon, around 70 cops conducted the raid on the rented house of the Nandigram BJP MLA at Kolaghat in East Midnapore. They claimed that they searched the place hunting for a miscreant who is absconding in a case. Mr Adhikari who was at a Lok Sabha Election campaign rally rushed to Kolaghat police station in the evening with his aides and burst into anger. He pointed out that he has protection from the Calcutta High Court which bars police to take any action against him. Mr Adhikari also threatened to move the HC on Wednesday against the raid. Who will be responsible if the police plant some weapons at my home in my absence? The Election Commission must act such frivolous step by the police. I want to know why the raid was done and at the behest of whom. It is clear chief minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to victimise me, the BJP MLA claimed.

Deccan Chronicle 21 May 2024 11:34 pm

Monks Rally in Kolkata to Protest CM Banerjee's Remarks and Jalpaiguri Ashram Attack

Monks Rally in Kolkata to Protest CM Banerjee's Remarks and Jalpaiguri Ashram Attack Monks of West Bengal have decided to bring out a rally in Kolkata on May 24 in protest against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's remarks against some monks of Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevasharam Sangha. The 'Sant Swabhiman Yatra' will be organised in north Kolkata by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and members of the Bangiya Sanyasi Samaj, an apex body of monks in West Bengal. The participants of the rally will also condemn the attack on a Ramakrishna Mission Ashram in Jalpaiguri on Sunday. ''The CM is making such remarks due to vote bank politics. We strongly condemn it. Monks of West Bengal will hold a protest rally against the comments,'' VHP leader Sourish Mukherjee said. Banerjee had stated that certain monks of influential monastic orders in West Bengal were working on the instructions of the BJP in the elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised the remarks, accusing the TMC of threatening monks for vote bank politics. Banerjee defended her statement, saying she was criticising certain individuals and not the institutions. Unidentified persons also stormed the premises of Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) in Jalpaiguri and threatened monks and other employees at gunpoint. An RKM official, however, suggested that local land mafia was behind the incident, which was reportedly a matter of property dispute. The monks lodged a complaint at Bhaktinagar police station against a local tough and his associates.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 11:24 pm

Nirmala Sitharaman Defends NDA, Criticizes Opposition for Constitution Misinformation

Nirmala Sitharaman Defends NDA, Criticizes Opposition for Constitution Misinformation Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Congress should stop ''spreading lies'' about the NDA's ''intention to change the country's Constitution'' as its leaders ''failed to protect own party constitution to protect one family''. Addressing a press conference here, she said, ''Congress and RJD leaders are spreading lies that the BJP-led NDA would change the Constitution of the country after returning to power. How can they say such things when Congress leaders failed to protect their party constitution? Alleging that the RJD and Congress were trying to ''rob'' SCs, STs and OBCs of quotas and divert the reservations to Muslims, she said, ''They want to give reservations on the basis of religion to benefit only Muslims but this is not permissible under the Constitution.'' ''When the Congress was in power, it never gave due respect to BR Ambedkar. He was given the Bharat Ratna in 1990. They don't deserve to speak about the Constitution or BR Ambedkar. Modi ji has taken several steps for uplift of the weaker sections of society and also for the overall growth of the country,'' she claimed. Sitharaman maintained that accelerated growth of eastern states has always remained a top priority of the NDA-led central government. ''The Union government wants the eastern states of Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha to be the growth engines of the country as part of the goal to make India a developed nation by 2047,'' she said. ''Bihar's growth was adversely affected due to 'jungle raj' (allusion to RJD rule) before 2005. The per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bihar was Rs 21,282 in 1991, higher than Odisha. But during 'jungle raj', it came down to Rs 14,209, almost a 33 per cent drop. I must say that post-2002 per capita GDP in Bihar rose to Rs 37,000,'' she said. Lalu Prasad's slogan of 'Sammaan Chahiye, Vikas Nahi' (we need social justice and respect, not development) led to a complete halt in Bihar's development, she added. ''The effect of jungle raj was seen not only on law and order in Bihar but also on the economic condition of the state and its people. Whereas, under PM Modi, all marginalised castes are getting 'samman' and 'vikaas','' she said. The NDA government has so far provided 40 lakh houses to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, she added. Later in the day, Sitharaman interacted with members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI-Bihar) and also addressed members of the Bihar Industries Association (BIA) in Patna. She also visited the residence of Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader who died last week battling cancer, in Patna and expressed her condolences to the bereaved family members.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 10:29 pm

Lok Sabha Elections | 'Hindu Monks Working For BJP' Has Mamata Step On Political Landmine?

Lok Sabha Elections | 'Hindu Monks Working For BJP' Has Mamata Step On Political Landmine?Halfway through the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal, Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee has opened a new front, that against Hindu monks, stirring the poll pot in the State.For the second time in three days, the Chief Minister targeted a prominent monk of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha (BSS) and blamed him for the riots at Beldanga in Murshidabad during Ram Navami processions last month.News18 Mobile App - https://onelink.to/desc-youtube

News18 21 May 2024 10:21 pm

Election Commission of India says 60.09% voter turnout registered till 11.30 PM in phase 5 of the elections

The Election Commission of India has said that a 60.09 % voter turnout was registered in the 5th phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. According to the data shared by the Election Commission. West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout at 74.56% followed by Ladakh where a voter turnout...

newdelhitimes 21 May 2024 10:00 pm

BJP falsely implicating TMC over attack on RKM in Jalpaiguri: Mamata

ASHOKENAGAR: Taking a strong view of the BJP's charges that the TMC was involved in vandalisation of properties of Ramakrishna Mission in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the saffron camp of falsely implicating her party over an incident triggered by property dispute. Addressing an election rally in support of TMC candidate from Barasat Lok Sabha seat Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Banerjee said she had always been supportive of the RKM and other socio-religious organisations. The chief minister said she renovated the residence of Sister Nivedita in Kolkata and the birthplace of Swami Vivekananda. I don't discriminate among religions. I work for renovating places of worship of all religions, she said. Banerjee also said, I may go for defamation for maligning me and TMC by spreading misinformation against our party. If anything happens in the state, the report comes to me as the head of administration. I did not get any such update. We have great respect for religious organisations like RKM and others. Miscreants had vandalised the premises of the Ramakrishna Mission in Jalpaiguri district and threatened monks and other employees at gunpoint to leave the place, an RKM official said Monday. The official also said that a local land mafia was behind the early Sunday morning incident. Many people donate property for religious reasons and then some dispute may break out. Police are investigating and action will be taken. But how dare you (BJP) implicate anyone without knowing the matter, she said while referring to the vandalisation of the RKM ashram at Salugara in Jalpaiguri. Mamata says heartbroken over plight of Sandeshkhali women, lambasts BJP for 'conspiracy' If anyone finds out that our people are involved, we will take action. I heard that the attack was related to a property dispute. I condemn such attacks...Before spreading canards please brush up your knowledge and crosscheck, she said in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The chief minister accused the PM of spreading falsehood over the granting of reservations to Muslims from the quotas of backward classes. No one can take away your (SC/ST) reservation. The SC reservation will be there, the tribal reservation will be there. I cannot take away the rights of Muslims and vice versa. It is so shameful for the BJP to spread canards over reservations to communities, she said at the rally. About the minority appeasement charges against the TMC, she said, I won't hanker for a certificate about my Hindu identity from BJP. For me, all religions are the same. Every religion speaks about humanity and brotherhood. My biggest identity is I am a human. I believe in brotherhood, Modi believes in hatred and is sowing seeds of discord. Banerjee said she belongs to a Brahmin family but her religion is humanity. She also accused the Centre of issuing false advertisements about people making CAA applications. They (BJP) are publishing photos of some Afghan men but the truth is that these men had not applied for citizenship under the CAA. What they have applied for is some residency benefits similar to the facilities enjoyed by green card holders in the US, the TMC supremo claimed. She also accused the BJP of deceiving Matuas in the name of CAA. If Modi is so positive about the Citizenship Amendment Act, why conditions are being attached to make applications under the CAA? The PM and the home minister and other BJP leaders are lying about the CAA. Speaking on the controversy over the comments of BJP leader Sambit Patra about Lord Jagannath, Banerjee said, Just imagine, BJP leaders are now saying 'Lord Jagannath is a bhakt of Modi'. She also alleged that BJP leaders have crossed all limits and are saying whatever they want, proclaiming themselves as custodians of Hinduism. They have hurt the sentiments of lakhs of devotees, she said. Banerjee also accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to engineer riots in Sandeshkhali. Alleging that the Marxists had burnt to death 19 Ananda Margis in Kolkata during their rule in the state, Banerjee said, Those who used to work for CPI(M) are now with BJP. She said the TMC has no truck with CPI(M) in West Bengal but would support the INDIA bloc in forming the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls. Many are still missing in Nandigram after the massacre. Remember, how they had raped and burnt to death a young woman protestor for being at the forefront of an anti-land acquisition stir in Singur, she said. Banerjee accused the CPI(M), Congress and the BJP of joining hands to work against the state's interest and sabotaging the career of educated youths. There are a few who are known as PIL babus' who rush to the court to file petitions whenever the state takes any move in the interest of lakhs of youths, she said at the rally. BJP is a dirty party. BJP had got Arvind Kejriwal arrested. Our leader in North 24 Parganas Jyotipriyo Mallick (Balu) is in jail. CPI(M) and BJP think they can get a free run in places like Haroa in North 24 Parganas as Balu is behind bars. But people are with us. If Mallick has committed any crime law will take its own course, we have faith in the judicial system, she said. Mallick, former food minister, had been arrested last October in connection with the alleged ration irregularities. EC debars ex-judge turned BJP candidate from campaigning for 24 hours for 'sexist' remarks on Mamata

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 9:37 pm

TMC In Damage Control Mode After Mamata Riles Up Ramakrishna Mission, Sevashram Monks; Row | News18

With the Lok Sabha Election now in the penultimate phase, a controversy of sorts has erupted involving Mamata Banerjee and the Bharat Sevashram Sangha (BSS), after the West Bengal chief minister has alleged that some of the monks were working for the BJP.In the last three days, Banerjee again targeted a prominent monk of the BSS and blamed him for the riots at Beldanga in Murshidabad during Ram Navami processions last month.Banerjee later clarified on Monday at a public rally in Bishnupur constituency in Bankura district, I am not against Ramakrishna Mission. Why should I be against an institution and show disrespect? Even I paid a visit to Maharaj (former head of the RKM) when he was ill. I have only talked about one or two people. Bharat Sevashram Sangha does great philanthropic work for the people and they also love me. I only mentioned one name and he is Kartik Maharaj. He did not allow our agents in polling booths. Two days before the election in Murshidabad, he incited a riot in the district. Thats why I took his name,News18 Mobile App - https://onelink.to/desc-youtube

News18 21 May 2024 8:43 pm

Rameshwaram cafe blast: NIA raids 11 locations across 4 southern states

NEW DELHI: The anti-terror federal probe agency NIA has on Tuesday conducted raids at 11 locations across four states in the country in connection with its probe into a case linked to the Rameshwaram cafe blast in Bengaluru, officials said. They said that the searches were conducted with an aim to uncover the entire conspiracy behind the blast and also to identify the other conspirators involved in helping and supporting the accused from abroad. In a coordinated action, NIA teams searched 11 locations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. Extensive searches were conducted at the premises linked with 11 suspects in the case, in which an IED explosion at the caf on ITPL Road, Brookefield in Bengaluru, Karnataka had left several customers and staff members injured, a senior agency official said, adding that the attack, which took place on 1st March 2024, had also caused massive damage to property. The 11 suspects whose premises were searched today include individuals convicted in the 2012 LeT Conspiracy case of Bengaluru and Hubli Districts. The targeted searches led to the seizure of various digital devices and documents, which the NIA is examining exhaustively, the official said. It is to be noted here that the NIA took over the case from Karnataka Police on March 3, 2024, and arrested two accused - Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Taha - from their hideout in Kolkata (West Bengal) on April 12, after a nationwide hunt. According to the official, the accused, both residents of Thirthahalli, Shivamogga district of Karnataka, were identified as the perpetrator and the mastermind of the attack. He added that further probe in the case is ongoing.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 8:36 pm

Heartbroken By Plight Of Sandeshkhali Women: Mamata Banerjee In Basirhat

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she was heartbroken over the plight of women in Sandeshkhali and asserted that the BJP should not have played with the dignity of women there as its conspiracy now stands exposed.

NDTV 21 May 2024 8:21 pm

Mamata Banerjee Threatens Defamation Case After High Court Order On BJP Advertisements

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has threatened to file a defamation case after the Calcutta High Court pulled up the Election Commission for inaction and restrained the BJP from running certain advertisements. The Calcutta High Court was addressing complaints regarding derogatory advertisements published by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, and restrained the opposition party from carrying out materials that are in violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

NDTV 21 May 2024 8:15 pm

Knows what has happened there: Tripura CM slams Mamata Banerjee for not visiting Sandeshkhali

Knows what has happened there: Tripura CM slams Mamata Banerjee for not visiting Sandeshkhali Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha launched an attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday for not visiting Sandeshkhali even after knowing what happened there. The remarks of Tripura CM come amidst a statement of Mamata Banerjee where she said, Everyone expects me to visit them during elections...I will definitely go everywhere. I will come to you too, I will visit Sandeshkhali too. Taking a jibe at the statement of Banerjee, Manik Saha, while speaking with ANI, said, She (Mamata Banerjee) knows what has happened there...Earlier also, we used to see that whenever any such incident happened in Nandigram, Sandeshkhali or other places, she said that all this was a story, but the public understood everything. This is the public's election, not the party's and the public knows everything. Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district started hitting the headlines in February this year when villagers, mostly women, came out on the streets against the ruling TMC and Shahjahan, accusing the TMC strongman and his aides of perpetrating gross excesses and atrocities on them while also grabbing their land. Multiple women on the island accused Shajahan and his aides of land-grab and sexual assault under coercion. Shahjahan, the key Sandeshkhali accused, is currently behind bars in connection with the attack on a team of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) while it was in the process of raiding his residence in connection with the alleged ration scam. Saha, while holding a roadshow in Paschim Medinipur, also said, I am going to everyone's place and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked to say one thing to everyone: that he has sent us to seek people's blessings...Wherever I have gone, I have seen that people have trust and faith in PM Modi. A day earlier, Manik Saha had addressed a rally in the Jayanagar Lok Sabha constituency in the district of South 24 Parganas and made a fervent appeal to the voters of West Bengal to oust the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government. The Left Front government ruled Tripura for over 30 years. People wanted to oust them but failed. It was only possible, due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that we were able to end the misrule of the Left Front. The same situation is happening in West Bengal. People wanted a change and brought the Trinamool Congress, but it was surprising to see that they are similar to the CPI (M). The state is witnessing massive violence during and after elections, Saha had said. He had also criticised the TMC for its alleged destructive actions, including tearing down BJP flags and attacking party workers. We have guardians like PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. In Tripura, during the election campaign, I saw how people support the BJP. In the 2023 Assembly election, not a single instance of violence took place. The time has arrived to oust the TMC from Bengal, Saha urged, encouraging the electorate, particularly the youth, to oppose the TMC's misrule. The polling for 42 seats of West Bengal is being held across all seven phases. The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4. In 2019, BJP made strong inroads into TMC's hold in West Bengal, by winning 18 seats and being a close second to TMC, which won 22 seats. (ANI)

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 8:09 pm

EC bars BJP candidate Abhijit Ganguly from campaigning for 24 hrs

Kolkata, May 21 (UNI) The Election Commission of India on Tuesday censured BJPs Tamluk nominee and former high court judge Abhijit Ganguly, debarring him from campaigning for 24 hours from 5 pm Tuesday for his remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The poll panel order stated: The Commission hereby strongly censures Abhijit Gangopadhyay... The post EC bars BJP candidate Abhijit Ganguly from campaigning for 24 hrs first appeared on Central India's Premier English Daily .

Central Chronicle 21 May 2024 7:46 pm

Tripura: Tipra Motha opposes CAAs implementation in tribal areas

GUWAHATI: Tipra Motha Party chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma on Tuesday said that the party would not allow the government to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Tripuras tribal areas. The statement followed Congress leader Sudip Roy Barmans charge that Debbarma was maintaining stony silence on the CAA as he had sold himself off to the BJP. The Tipra Motha is a component of the state's BJP-led government. Responding to the Congress leader's remarks, Debbarma said, He asked why we did not raise voice against CAA. Pradyot Bikram Manikya is still fighting CAA in the Supreme Court. We will not allow CAA to be implemented in TTAADC (Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council) areas, Debbarma said. He said the party would fight for every Tiprasas right to their land. He added that this clause figured in the agreement that the party had signed with the central government towards solving the problems of Tripuras tribals. Debbarma also hit out at Barman for his political inconsistency. A group from the Congress, of which Barman was a part, had ditched the party in 2016. They joined the Trinamool Congress but when they felt elections (in Tripura) cannot be won through didi (TMC president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee), they joined the BJP. They won the polls in 2018 but when he did not get the CMs post, he returned to the Congress. This man does politics for himself, Debbarma said. Congress leader Barman had warned that implementation of the contentious Act would alter the demography of Tripuras tribal areas. Tipra Motha is keeping quiet because its supremo has been asked to shut his mouth. I believe the legislators and the functionariparty's functionaries are not going to echo the voice of their party supremo who has been completely purchased and has sold himself off to the BJP, Barman had said. We are unable to give a share of the GDP to those who were born and brought up here, the son of the soil.. and you are inviting foreigners in the name of religion, the Congress leader had said addressing BJP. Last week, the Tripura government had stated that it was preparing to implement CAA. It constituted a six-member state-level empowered committee to grant citizenship under CAA.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 7:27 pm

Dr Jitendra Lauds 73% Polling With Advantage BJP In Bengal

NEW DELHI, May 21 : Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has lauded 73% polling with advantage BJP in West Bengal. Expressing optimism over high voter turnout in all the 7 Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal in phase 5, Dr Jitendra Singh who was assigned the BJP election responsibility for phase 5 in the State, said that even though the national average percentage was around 57.57%, West Bengal recorded the highest percentage at 73% polling with clear advantage for BJP. [] The post Dr Jitendra Lauds 73% Polling With Advantage BJP In Bengal appeared first on Daily Excelsior .

Daily Excelsior 21 May 2024 7:08 pm

West Bengal News | Mamatas Offensive Against Hindu Monks Stirs The Poll Pot In Bengal? | News18

Halfway through the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal, Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee has opened a new front, that against Hindu monks, stirring the poll pot in the State.For the second time in three days, the Chief Minister targeted a prominent monk of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha (BSS) and blamed him for the riots at Beldanga in Murshidabad during Ram Navami processions last month.

News18 21 May 2024 6:49 pm

TMC Leader Declares BJP's Political Fragmentation Ahead of Final Lok Sabha Poll Phase

TMC Leader Declares BJP's Political Fragmentation Ahead of Final Lok Sabha Poll Phase Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Tuesday claimed that in the last five phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has been ''partially fractured'' politically which will be ''fully complete'' after the last phase on June one. The TMC national general secretary claimed the people of the country has already given their mandate against the saffron party so far and its ''exit is definite'' after the results are out. Speaking in support of Trinamool Congress candidate from Bankura Lok Sabha constituency Arup Chakraborty, Banerjee said ''The life of the present BJP government at the Centre is only ten days''. Banerjee, also the nephew of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, said ''people of the country has partially fractured the BJP politically in the last five phases. This process will be completed after the last seventh phase of the Lok Sabha polls''. He said that BJP had won the Lok Sabha seat from Bankura in 2019. ''Subhas Sarkar of the BJP had won the seat last time in 2019. But I want to ask everybody in the region if he been seen in the constituency in the last five years. Has BJP done any developmental work in Bankura in last five years''. ''If any BJP worker goes to you to seek votes, my request will be to confine them without inflicting any harm and inform me. I will send representatives with the report card with the work TMC had done for the region in last five years'', he said. The TMC national general secretary alleged that the saffron party is depriving the people of the state by not giving money under the 100-day programme, Awas Yojana (housing) for the last three years. ''As BJP will be ousted now, all dues of the state will be realised within three months after the new government assumes charge at the Centre'', he said. However, the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has paid money under 100 days work to the people from its own exchequer. Banerjee said prices of items of household consumption have risen exorbitantly, and also the price of life-saving drugs. ''The BJP has taken money from pharmaceutical companies through electoral bonds and so prices of the life-saving drugs have increased'', he alleged. He said the people of Bankura have now realised the mistake they have done by electing a saffron party MP and are now sure to make a course correction in polls now. The BJP has to be given a befitting reply, he said. Polling in the Bankura Lok Sabha seat will be held on May 25.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 6:33 pm

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Decoding Poll Pulse Of West Bengal | TMC Vs BJP | Sandeshkhali | News18

News18 Mobile App - https://onelink.to/desc-youtubeAs the 2024 Lok Sabha elections approach, Mamata Banerjee rallies support in Sandeshkhali, accusing BJP of false accusations. The TMC focuses on state financial dues and local issues to galvanize voters. The political battle intensifies with major rallies and counter-rallies, highlighting the high stakes in Bengal.

News18 21 May 2024 6:16 pm

Controversial Remarks Ignite Row Between Mamata Banerjee and Monastic Orders

Controversial Remarks Ignite Row Between Mamata Banerjee and Monastic Orders The Bharat Sevashram Sangha on Tuesday attempted to bury the hatchet over the monks row following controversial remarks by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, with the monastic order contending that it is not involved in personal views arising due to miscommunication. A monk from the orders Murshidabad district had sent a legal notice to Banerjee over her comments about certain socio-religious organisations in the state acting at the behest of the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused the CM of ''acting under pressure of Islamic extremists'' and held her responsible for ''instigating violence'' against monks ''to appease the TMC's vote bank''. Banerjee, on her part, had clarified that her subject of criticisms were certain individual monks belonging to the orders who ''were working under instructions of the BJP'' and not against any institution per se. ''There may be some personal views and opinions arising due to miscommunication, but the Bharat Sevashram Sangha is not involved in it. As a philanthropic institution, we are not against anyone,'' its principal secretary Biswatmananda Maharaj, also known as Dilip Maharaj, told PTI. He also hailed both the Centre and the state government for their endeavours to promote activities of the Sangh. ''Mamata Banerjee has always been supportive,'' he said. Sources in the Sangha said that after Banerjee softened her stance on Monday, the organisation did not find any reason to continue dragging the controversy. Last week, while speaking at a public meeting at Goghat in Arambag, the chief minister had claimed, ''Some monks of the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha are working under the influence of BJP leaders in Delhi.'' Banerjee named Swami Pradiptananda, better known as Kartik Maharaj, a senior monk with the Sangha working from its Beldanga establishment in Murshidabad, and alleged that he did not allow TMC poll agents to sit inside a polling station in Rejinagar when the Baharampur seat went to polls on May 13. Kartik Maharaj responded by sending a legal notice to the chief minister and demanded a public apology from her. Besides offering her clarification, Banerjee had on Monday stuck to her guns, saying the monk ''garnered support for the BJP'' while propagating spiritualism endorsed by the Sangha. ''I have no issues if you do that. But, you should do it by wearing the BJP's badge, not as a monk,'' she had said. Meanwhile, on early Sunday, unidentified miscreants reportedly threatened monks and other employees at gunpoint at the Ramakrishna Mission premises in Jalpaiguri district. Condemning the attack, the PM accused the TMC regime of unleashing a reign of terror on monks to appease its vote bank. Addressing an election rally in Jhargram on Monday, Modi had claimed that Banerjee was ''issuing threats'' against the monks of the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha, emboldening ''TMC goons to attack'' the ashram. ''ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha are known for service and morality, but today the chief minister of Bengal is openly threatening them. This is being done to appease the vote bank. As the CM herself is threatening the monks, TMC goons now dare to attack Ramakrishna Mission,'' he had said.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 6:10 pm

New Covid variant scare: 290 cases of KP.2, 34 cases of KP.1 detected in India

Covid-19 infections in Telangana continued with the state reporting 10 new cases on Monday with nine of them coming from Hyderabad and one from Karimnagar district. (Image source: WHO) Covid-19 infections in Telangana continued with the state reporting 10 new cases on Monday with nine of them coming from Hyderabad and one from Karimnagar district. (Image source: WHO) New Delhi: As many as 290 cases of KP.2 and 34 cases of KP.1, both sub-lineages of COVID-19 that are responsible for surge in cases in Singapore, have been found in India, according to official data.However, a source in the Union health ministry told PTI that they are all sub variants of JN1 and there is no associated increase in hospitalization and severe cases. So there is no reason for concern or panic. The mutations will keep happening at a rapid pace and this is the natural behaviour of viruses like SARS-CoV2, the source said. The source further said that the INSACOG surveillance is sensitive and is able to pick up the emergence of any new variant and samples are also picked from hospitals in a structured manner to detect any change in the severity of disease due to virus. Data compiled by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) showed that 34 cases of KP.1 have been found across seven states and UTs with 23 cases registered from West Bengal. The other states are Goa (1), Gujarat (2), Haryana (1), Maharashtra (4) Rajasthan (2) and Uttarakhand (1). As many as 290 cases of KP.2 have been registered with Maharashtra reporting the highest number at 148, according to the data. The other states and Union territories are Delhi (1), Goa (12), Gujarat (23), Haryana (3), Karnataka (4), Madhya Pradesh (1), Odisha (17), Rajasthan (21), Uttar Pradesh (8), Uttarakhand (16) and West Bengal (36). Singapore is seeing a new COVID-19 wave as the authorities recorded more than 25,900 cases from May 5 to 11 with KP.1 and KP.2 accounting for over two-thirds of cases in Singapore. Globally, the predominant COVID-19 variants are still JN.1 and its sub-lineages, including KP.1 and KP.2. KP.1 and KP.2 belong to a group of COVID-19 variants scientists have nicknamed 'FLiRT', after the technical names of their mutations. The strains in FLiRT are all descendants of the JN.1 variant, an offshoot of the Omicron variant. KP.2 was classified by the World Health Organization as a Variant Under Monitoring.

Deccan Chronicle 21 May 2024 5:06 pm

Covid-19: Are lockdown like situations happening again? Increasing cases of FLiRT variant scare, be careful

Cases of coronavirus infection are being seen increasing once again in many countries. There has been a huge surge in infection cases in many countries including India, Singapore, and America in the last month. It has been reported in the study that such mutations have been seen in the new variant of Corona, FLiRT (Filert), which makes it capable of spreading the infection rapidly. The situation is such that in the week ending May 11, infection has been identified in more than 25 thousand people in Singapore. More than 13 thousand cases were reported in the previous week. According to media reports, coronavirus cases have increased in India too. The number of coronavirus infections has increased due to new variants in many states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Odisha. The new Corona variant Filart (KP.2) is a sub-variant of Omicron, regarding which health experts have appealed to all people to continue taking precautions. The Singapore government has also appealed to people to wear masks as a precautionary measure. In such a situation, the question arises whether a lockdown-like situation is being created once again. Next month challenging According to local media reports in Singapore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has expressed the possibility of infection cases reaching a peak next month. The Health Minister said that we are in the initial phase of the new wave of Corona where cases are continuously increasing, and it is necessary to control it from now on. The new set of 'FLiRT' variants now account for more than two-thirds of the cases in the country. The number of patients in Singapore hospitals is also increasing. Is a lockdown-like situation happening? Based on the reports of studies conducted on the new variant of Corona, experts said that due to the speed with which KP.2 is growing, it can very soon replace the fastest-spreading JN.1 variant. In the study of about 50% of Corona samples, KP.2 is considered to be the main factor. The World Health Organization has classified KP.2 as a 'variant under monitoring'. Health officials say that Filart is also of Omicron-like nature, hence there is a risk of increasing the infection, but the possibility of serious disease cases is less. If preventive measures are taken in the initial stages then it can be easily controlled. How different are its symptoms? According to the initial report of the researchers regarding the new variant, no surprising symptoms have been observed in KP.2. Study researcher Dr. Lundstrom says, the symptoms of the new variant are also similar to the earlier variants of Covid. Most of the infected people are experiencing problems like fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, fatigue, muscle or body pain, headache, and loss of taste or smell. Most of the infected are seen without symptoms. What do the researchers say? Study researcher Lundstrom says, like previous variants of Omicron, cases like loss of taste and smell are being seen less in those infected with KP.2. Most people do not feel the need for specific treatment and they recover on their own. Health experts say it is too early to say how contagious the new variant is but its cases are increasing. It is most important to wear a mask and follow COVID-19 COVID-19-appropriate behavior. Everyone needs to keep protecting themselves. (PC: ISTOCK)

Kalam Times 21 May 2024 4:26 pm

Remark on Mamata: Gangopadhyay barred from campaigning

The Election Commission on Tuesday censured former Calcutta high court judge and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay for his comment against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and debarred him from campaigning for 24 hours.

Rediff 21 May 2024 4:13 pm

Mamata says heartbroken over plight of Sandeshkhali women, pans BJP for 'conspiracy'

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee condemns BJP for disrespecting women in Sandeshkhali, criticizes PM Modi for speaking to Sandeshkhali protester, plans visit after Basirhat elections, amid sexual abuse allegations by TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh. Emphasizes the sensitivity of the issue in Sandeshkhali protests, highlighting concerns over women's safety under BJP rule, especially in Uttar Pradesh

The Economic Times 21 May 2024 4:07 pm

Ex-Judge`s Sexist Remarks On Mamata: ECI Slaps 24-Hour Campaign Ban On BJP Candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay

Ex-Calcutta HC Judge turned BJP leader Abhijit Gangopadhyay while addressing a public meeting in West Bengal's Haldia made sexist remarks against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Bengali.

Zee News 21 May 2024 3:46 pm

West Bengal News | CM Mamata Banerjee Says Will Visit Sandeshkhali Soon | TMC News | News18

West Bengal News | CM Mamata Banerjee Says Will Visit Sandeshkhali Soon | TMC News | News18Breaking News | West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee says, 'I will visit Sandeshkhali soon'

News18 21 May 2024 3:45 pm

EC debars BJP leader from campaigning for 24 hrs for comments on Mamata

Kolkata: The Election Commission on Tuesday censured former Calcutta High Court judge and BJP candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay for his comment against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and debarred him from campaigning for 24 hours. The EC described Gangopadhyays remark as a low-level personal attack, asserting that he violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). 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 21 May 2024 3:36 pm

Tension grips Medinipur following attack on Mithun Chakrabortys roadshow

Kolkata: Tension gripped the Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal Tuesday after an attack on a roadshow by BJP leader and actor Mithun Chakraborty in support of party candidate and fashion designer turned-politician, Agnimitra Paul. The local BJP leadership alleged that the roadshow was going smoothly before a group of people started throwing bricks, []

orissapost 21 May 2024 3:26 pm

AVPL International, IFFCO partner for drone spraying on farmland

New Delhi: Drone company AVPL International on Tuesday announced a collaboration with the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) to begin drone spray operations across an expansive 50 lakh acres, spanning eight states including Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The partnership promises to revolutionise the distribution of agricultural 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 21 May 2024 2:58 pm

Abhijit Gangopadhyay debarred from campaigning by EC for comments against WB CM Mamata Banerjee

The Election Commission has banned BJP's Abhijit Gangopadhyay from campaigning for 24 hours due to derogatory comments against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Gangopadhyay, contesting from Tamluk constituency, faces backlash for remarks made during a public event. The EC found his comments violative of the Model Code of Conduct

The Economic Times 21 May 2024 2:44 pm

For Bengal to prosper, BJP is the only choice, says Assam CM

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday campaigned for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal. Taking to X Sarma wrote, For Bengal to prosper, the BJP is the only choice. Growth, security and filip to culture are intrinsic to our vision for the state. I am attending a meeting in Uttar Kolkata [] The post For Bengal to prosper, BJP is the only choice, says Assam CM appeared first on NORTHEAST NOW .

NorthEast Now 21 May 2024 2:39 pm

EC bans BJPs Abhijit Gangopadhyay from campaigning for 24 hours for remarks against Mamata Banerjee

The former Calcutta High Court judge made the remarks against the West Bengal Chief Minister while addressing a public meeting held on May 15 in Haldia

The Hindu 21 May 2024 2:31 pm

Raj Bhavan staffers get anticipatory bail from Kolkata's Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court

Raj Bhavan staffers get anticipatory bail from Kolkata's Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court Three staffers of the Raj Bhavan including the Governor's Officer on Special Duty (OSD) were granted anticipatory bail by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Kolkata on Tuesday. This comes after the three Raj Bhavan employees were summoned by the Kolkata Police in connection with the molestation charges against West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose. The Kolkata Police have registered an FIR in the Raj Bhavan molestation case, naming the three staffers under Section 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and Section 166 (Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) of the Indian Penal Code. The individuals named in the FIR have been identified as SS Rajput, the officer on special duty (OSD), Kusum Chetri who was seen in the CCTV footage carrying a bag, and Sant Lal, a peon at the Raj Bhavan. The complainant, a contractual staffer at Raj Bhavan, claimed that she was detained by staff members after the incident and pressured to keep quiet on May 2. The victim has already recorded a statement under Section 164 before a Magistrate in this case. The West Bengal Governor had earlier launched an initiative enabling any citizen of the state, with the exceptions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state police, to access the CCTV footage of the incident by sending him an email or making a call to the Raj Bhavan. Hon'ble Governor Dr. C. V. Ananda Bose has launched a programme SACH KE SAAMNE in the background of the mischievous and fabricated allegations by the police that Raj Bhavan is not sparing the CCTV footage of an incident which is under the illegal and unconstitutional investigation of the police, read a notice posted on the official X handle of Governor Bose. Hon'ble Governor has decided that the CCTV footage can be seen by any citizen of West Bengal except politician Mamata Banerjee and her police for the stand they had taken, which is in the public domain, the post read further. (ANI)

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 2:28 pm

Ex Judge Barred From Campaigning Over Sexist Comments On Mamata Banerjee

High Court judge-turned-politician Abhijit Gangopadhyay has been barred by the poll panel from campaigning for 24 hours over his sexist comments on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

NDTV 21 May 2024 2:25 pm

Shantanu tours Bongaon, Biswajit keeps tabs on polling from war room

In Bongaon, BJP's Shantanu Thakur and TMC's Biswajit Das had contrasting approaches on poll day. Thakur raised complaints against Trinamool Congress and local cops before the Election commission, visiting several locations. Das maintained composure, limited booth visits, and enjoyed lunch before touring far-off booths in Nadia.

The Times of India 21 May 2024 1:47 pm

Didi No. 1's face-off with former Tolly 'buddy' on peaceful poll day

In Hooghly, a heated contest between Trinamool's Rachna Banerjee and BJP's Locket Chatterjee unfolded, with accusations of vote rigging. Asima Patra of TMC and concerns about inadequate lighting were prominent. Central forces were called for, and EVM issues arose in Pandua. The peaceful polling saw Rachna Banerjee in a peacock blue sari, expressing concerns about specific polling booths.

The Times of India 21 May 2024 1:47 pm

Arjun drives 100 km in five hours, Partha focuses on 'enemy lair'

Arjun Singh, the Barrackpore MP, cast his vote at Saraswati Balika Vidyalaya and faced a TMC supporter's opposition in Amdanga. He visited temples and lodged complaints with the EC. Singh also responded to incidents in Titagrah, Bijpur, and Kanchrapara during his campaign.

The Times of India 21 May 2024 1:47 pm

BJP's Sambit Patra Apologizes for Controversial Statement on Lord Jagannath

BJP's Sambit Patra Apologizes for Controversial Statement on Lord Jagannath Embroiled in a controversy over his ''slip of the tongue'' on Lord Jagannath, BJP leader and party's Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra apologised and announced to undertake a penance by observing fast for three days from Tuesday after being criticized from different quarters. Patra while giving bytes to television channels on Monday, had said that the state's most revered deity ''Lord Jagannath is a devote of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Patra'', however, later clarified that it was a slip of the tongue and he wanted to mean that the PM was an ardent 'bhakt' (devotee) of Lord Jagannath and not the other. Taking to X, Patra said: ''For this mistake, I apologize at the feet of Lord Sri Jagannath. I will fast for the next three days to atone for this mistake.'' Patra also said that on the occasion of Modi's roadshow in Puri on Monday. He had conversations with many media. While talking to media, instead of saying 'Maha Prabhu Sri Jagannath's Bhakti Modi', he mistakenly pronounced 'Modi's Bhakti Jagannath'. The issue was aggravated when Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik strongly condemned Patras statement and appealed to the BJP to keep Lord Jagannath above the political discourse. Patnaik, in an X post, criticised Patra for hurting Odia 'asmita' (pride). ''Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe. Calling Mahaprabhu a 'bhakt' of another human being is an insult to the Lord... it is totally condemnable. This has hurt the sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannatha bhaktas and Odias across the world. ''The Lord is the greatest symbol of Odia asmita. I strongly denounce the statement... and I appeal to the BJP to keep the Lord above any political discourse. By this, you have deeply hurt Odia asmita and this will be remembered and condemned by people of Odisha for a very long time,'' Patnaik said. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also condemned Patras statement. In a post on X, he said: ''The comments made by BJP's Puri candidate is an insult to Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha revered by crores of people. We condemn it in the strongest possible words. It reinforces our charge that a BJP, drunk with power, will not even spare our Gods, let alone Indias people. On June 4th, this arrogance shall be destroyed by the will of the People.'' Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the statement of the BJP candidate. ''I strongly condemn this statement of the BJP. They have started thinking that they are above God. This is a height of arrogance. Calling God bhakt of Modi ji is an insult to God,'' he posted on X. Meanwhile, Congress candidate from Puri Lok Sabha seat Jayanarayan Patnaik also lodged a complaint against Patra with the Town police station in Puri. West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress said the sentiments of millions of people across the country have been hurt by the ''blasphemous'' statement of Patra. ''People of Odisha and Bengal will teach him and his party BJP a lesson for such a blasphemous remark,'' West Bengal minister and senior party leader Chandrima Bhattacharya, in a video message in Bengali said.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 12:01 pm

JSW Cement to invest Rs 3K cr for Nagaur plant

JSW Cement on Tuesday said it plans to invest around Rs 3,000 crore to set up a cement manufacturing facility in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The greenfield, integrated facility will be funded by a mix of debt and equity, the company said. The investment in the new facility includes a clinkerization unit of up to 3.30 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) and a grinding unit of up to 2.50 MTPA, said a statement from JSW Cement, a part of USD 24.25-billion JSW Group. The new plant will also have an 18 MW waste heat recovery-based power generation system, it added. The proposed investment will be funded through a mix of equity and long-term debt, it said. This new plant is also expected to create more than 1,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, JSW Cement said. The investment also includes around 7-km overland belt conveyor to transport limestone from mines to the manufacturing plant and arrangements to use alternative fuel in the kiln. JSW Cement Managing Director Parth Jindal said it is one of the most significant investments, which the company is making in Rajasthan. The proposed investment to establish our integrated cement facility in Nagaur puts JSW Cement firmly on its path to achieving a pan-India footprint within the next few years. The new capacity in this region will enable us to service the prolific needs of our customers in the northern states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and the NCR region, he said. JSW Cement, which has a manufacturing capacity of 19 MT annually, aims to achieve the capacity of 60 MTPA. It currently has manufacturing units at Vijayanagar in Karnataka, Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh, Salboni in West Bengal, Jajpur in Odisha and Dolvi in Maharashtra. Besides, JSW Cement through its subsidiary Shiva Cement operates a clinker unit in Odisha. JSW Cement is part of the diversified JSW Group, which has business interests in sectors such as steel, energy, maritime infrastructure, defence, B2B e-commerce, realty, paints, sports and venture capital.

The Economic Times 21 May 2024 11:08 am

JSW Cement to Invest 3,000 Crore in New Rajasthan Facility

JSW Cement to Invest 3,000 Crore in New Rajasthan Facility JSW Cement on Tuesday said it plans to invest around Rs 3,000 crore to set up a cement manufacturing facility in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The greenfield, integrated facility will be funded by a mix of debt and equity, the company said. The investment in the new facility includes a clinkerization unit of up to 3.30 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) and a grinding unit of up to 2.50 MTPA, said a statement from JSW Cement, a part of USD 24.25-billion JSW Group. The new plant will also have an 18 MW waste heat recovery-based power generation system, it added. ''The proposed investment will be funded through a mix of equity and long-term debt,'' it said. This new plant is also expected to create more than 1,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, JSW Cement said. The investment also includes around 7-km overland belt conveyor to transport limestone from mines to the manufacturing plant and arrangements to use alternative fuel in the kiln. JSW Cement Managing Director Parth Jindal said it is one of the most significant investments, which the company is making in Rajasthan. ''The proposed investment to establish our integrated cement facility in Nagaur puts JSW Cement firmly on its path to achieving a pan-India footprint within the next few years. The new capacity in this region will enable us to service the prolific needs of our customers in the northern states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and the NCR region,'' he said. JSW Cement, which has a manufacturing capacity of 19 MT annually, aims to achieve the capacity of 60 MTPA. It currently has manufacturing units at Vijayanagar in Karnataka, Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh, Salboni in West Bengal, Jajpur in Odisha and Dolvi in Maharashtra. Besides, JSW Cement through its subsidiary Shiva Cement operates a clinker unit in Odisha. JSW Cement is part of the diversified JSW Group, which has business interests in sectors such as steel, energy, maritime infrastructure, defence, B2B e-commerce, realty, paints, sports and venture capital.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 11:05 am

3 Bengal seats lose 2 hours of voting to storm & rain

The Times of India 21 May 2024 9:55 am

Heavy Rain Predicted In Northern Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that a low pressure area is likely to form over the south-west Bay of Bengal on May 22. Due to the low pressure, the regional weather department has issued warning for very heavy rainfall at isolated over North Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal on May 24 and [] The post Heavy Rain Predicted In Northern Odisha appeared first on Pragativadi | Odisha News, Breaking News Odisha, Latest Odisha News .

Pragativadi 21 May 2024 9:53 am

Depression forming over Bay of Bengal: IMD issues heavy rains and strong winds alert for Odisha and West Bengal

A low-pressure system in the Southwest Bay of Bengal by May 22, 2024, will intensify into a depression by May 24, causing heavy rainfall in northern Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal, and light to moderate rain in Andhra Pradesh. Fishermen should avoid the Central and North Bay of Bengal from May 23.

The Economic Times 21 May 2024 9:09 am

Not against Ramakrishna Mission, says Mamata amid attack on ashram

KOLKATA : A few youths vandalised premises of the Ramakrishna Mission in West Bengals Jalpaiguri district and threatened monks and other employees to leave the place, RKM officials said Monday. The incident happened two days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee came down on some monks of RKM and Bharat Sevashram Sangha for supporting BJP and trying to incite communal violence. Condemning the attack on the ashram, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at Banerjee during an election rally for insulting RKM and Bharat Sevashram Sangha. It is shameful that the TMC has taken up the onus of hurting the religious faith of Hindus in Bengal, he said in Jhargram. Reacting to it, Banerjee said in Bankura, I am not against Ramakrishna Mission. Why should I be against an institution or insult it? Even I paid a visit to Maharaj (former head of the RKM) when he was ill. I have spoken about one or two persons. The CM also praised Bharat Sevashram Sangha. Bharat Sevashram Sangha does great philanthropic work and they also love me. I only mentioned one name and he is Kartik Maharaj. Two days before the election in Murshidabad, he incited a riot in the district, she said. Officials said a local land mafia was behind the attack on RKM ashram in Jalpaiguri. Police have initiated a probe and promised security to the ashram. Visited Maharaj Mamata Banerjee said in Bankura, I am not against Ramakrishna Mission. Why should I be against an institution or insult it? Even I paid a visit to Maharaj when he was ill. I have spoken about one or two persons.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 8:04 am

West Bengal News | Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Bengal Monks Face-Off, PM Attacks Mamata Banerjee

Bengal Monks Face-Off: During his rally in West Bengal's Jhargram, PM Modi accused the ruling TMC of letting loose a reign of terror on monks just to appease vote bank politics'

News18 21 May 2024 7:55 am

LS polls: Violence mars high turnout in Bengal 5th phase

KOLKATA: Stray incidents of violence were reported in Phase-V polls for seven parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal, where the Election Commission reported a voter turnout of 73% till 5 pm on Monday. Clashes between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers were reported in parts of Barrackpore, Aramabagh and Hooghly. In Barrackpore, BJP candidate Arjun Singh claimed that Central forces were misguided by the state police. He alleged intimidation of voters by TMC workers. In Khanakul area of Arambagh constituency, clashes broke out between supporters of TMC and BJP over polling agents. Two live crude bombs were also recovered from the area by security personnel. TMC candidate Mitali Bag alleged BJP supporters unleashed a reign of terror and intimidated voters. BJP candidate Arup Kanti Digar, however, dismissed the allegations and blamed the TMC for violence. Reports of violence were also received from parts of the Howrah constituency. In the Liluah area of the constituency, the BJP accused TMC workers of booth jamming, leading to clashes. In Bongaon constituencys Gayeshpur area, local BJP leader Subir Biswas was allegedly beaten up by TMC supporters outside a booth. He was later shifted to a hospital. In the Kalyani area of the same constituency, Union Minister and BJP candidate Shantanu Thakur caught a person using the identity card of his rival TMC candidate Biswajit Das inside a polling booth. As many as 88 candidates are in the fray in the fifth phase, with the highest number of 15 nominees in Bongaon, where Union Minister Shantanu Thakur is contesting against TMCs Biswajit Das. The EC designated over 57% of the polling stations as sensitive and deployed over 60,000 personnel of Central forces in addition to around 30,000 state policemen. The number of security forces deployed for this phase surpasses any of the earlier four rounds of elections in the state. Meanwhile, CM Mamata Banerjees youngest brother Swapan Banerjee could not cast his vote after his name was not found in the voters list. Bihar Amid elaborate security arrangements, an estimated 55.85 percent of more than 95.11 lakhs electorate exercised their franchise during 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections in Bihar on Monday. Hajipur, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Madhubani and Sitarmhi went to the polls in the firth phase. 80 candidates including RJD chief Lalu Prasads daughter Rohini Acharya from Saran and LJP founder late Ram Vilas Paswans son Chirag Paswan from Hajipur are in the electoral fray. Other prominent candidates are sitting BJP MP from Saran Rajeev Pratap Rudy and Chairman of Bihar Legislative Council Devesh Chandra Thakur from Sitmarhi. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Bihar H R Srinivasa said that polling passed off peacefully as no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in five constituencies. Electorate boycotted polling at booth number 79 in Aurai assembly segment and 140 in Gaighat assembly segment of Muzaffarpur Lok Sabha seat, he added. Jharkhand Despite Hazaribagh recording highest voter turnout among the three Lok Sabha seats during the second round of polling on Monday, none of the voters turned up on the two polling booths in Kusumbha village under Katkamdag Block as a way of protest against their unfulfilled demand. According to the villagers, they were demanding from the administration that a flyover should be built near Banadag Coal Sliding, but their demand has not been fulfilled so far. Therefore, nearly 2000 voters decided not to turn up for voting as a way of protest at the two polling booths 183 and 184, of Kusumbha village. Not a single vote was cast on these two polling booths. The polling personnel returned empty handed as there was silence on the two polling booths throughout the day. Notably, the villagers had been requesting a bridge from NTPC authorities. The NTPC, however, is constructing an underpass, which the villagers find unsuitable for accessing drinking water, essential goods, medical services, and other day to day requirements. Odisha Odisha recorded 48.95 per cent voter turnout till 3 pm in the polling for five Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 Assembly segments on Monday, officials said. Voting started at 7 am in Aska, Kandhamal, Bargarh, Bolangir and Sundergarh parliamentary constituencies along with 35 assembly segments within the jurisdiction of these Lok Sabha seats. Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha. Police claimed that there was no report of any untoward incident in any polling booth. However, Chief Electoral Officer N B Dhal said one presiding officer of a booth in Kantamal assembly segment was taken to custody by police after some irregularities were found at the polling station. Regarding the murder of a man near Sarsara under Sadar police limits in Bargarh district, the CEO said: It is not a poll violence, but a crime incident had taken place outside the polling station. The local police have managed the situation as the incident created some tension in the booth. The polling was not affected in this incident, he said. Jammu & Kashmir After Srinagar, Baramulla Lok parliamentary seat in J&K witnessed record 59 % voter turnout, the highest in four decades. The Baramulla parliamentary seat recorded 59 per cent voting, said Chief Election Officer, J&K, P K Pole. It is the highest poll percentage recorded in Baramulla parliamentary seat in last four decades. It is the second highest poll percentage recorded pre-militancy era. In 1984, the Baramulla LS seat had recorded 61.09% voting. Of the 2103 polling stations in the constituency, none recorded zero percent polling. People in Sopore town, which is the hometown of late separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and used to witness very low voter turnout, came out to vote. It is for the first time that I have voted in my life. And I am also a voter agent for the first time. It is for the first time that people are voting in this polling booth in Sopore, said a youth Javed Ahmed. He said earlier, only few votes used to be cast in Sopore but now there is interest and enthusiasm among the people, especially among youth. Ladakh Ladakh is the largest parliamentary constituency in India in terms of area and covers the two districts of Leh and Kargil. Lt Governor Brig (Dr) BD Mishra (retd) and his wife Neelam Mishra were among those who cast their votes at Skara Yokma in Leh. Well-known climate activist Sonam Wangchuk, who was in the news recently for leading a 66-day sit-in protest in Leh over demands such as safeguards under the 6th Schedule for Ladakh and statehood, cast his vote in Lehs Ulyaktopo village. I have just voted and I am happy. I am also feeling sad because many people dont exercise their right to vote. Many leaders sacrificed a lot for this country. People should celebrate the festival of democracy, Wangchuk said. There are three candidates in the fray for the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat. While there are two candidates from the Buddhist-dominated Leh -- the BJPs Tashi Gyalson and the Congress Tsering Namgyal Independent candidate Mohammad Haneefa Jan is the lone candidate from the Shia Muslim-dominated Kargil region.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 7:51 am

Lok Sabha polls: Over 60 pc voter turnout recorded in fifth phase

New Delhi: Voting in the crucial fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, spanning 49 seats in 8 states/UTs, ended on Friday with an estimated 60.09 per cent polling, spanning from a high of 74.65 per cent in West Bengal (7 seats) to a low of 54.29 per cent in Maharashtra (13 seats), though the 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 21 May 2024 7:46 am

Why all parties are courting women in Bengal

Women voters in West Bengal play a crucial role in elections, with parties offering schemes and freebies to attract them. Trinamool and BJP compete over the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme, while Congress-Left combine introduces the Mahalakshmi scheme.

The Times of India 21 May 2024 7:29 am

Wont tolerate indiscipline, Congress warns Bengal unit

NEW DELHI: A day after Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharges posters were defaced with ink in front of the West Bengal headquarters, Congress on Monday warned the party men that it would not tolerate such public display of defiance and indiscipline. On Sunday, several posters and hoardings of Kharge were defaced with ink in front of the party office after he disapproved of state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhurys questioning Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjees loyalty to the INDIA bloc. Sources said Chowdhury had expressed displeasure over the development and asked the party workers to file a complaint. In a statement issued on Monday, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said, It has been brought to our notice that a few office bearers and workers of the INC have made certain uncharitable remarks against the Congress president in media and social media. It added that the hoarding outside of the WBPCC office has been vandalised by certain miscreants, and this has hurt the sentiments of millions of party workers and supporters. He also warned that the party is taking serious note of such grave anti-party activities. The Indian National Congress shall not tolerate such public display of defiance and indiscipline, the statement said. Venugopal further said that the general secretary in charge of West Bengal is directed to immediately submit a factual report of the acts of gross indiscipline. The events unfolded on Saturday after Kharge snubbed Chowdhury while responding to a query on Banerjees comment that if the INDIA bloc forms the government, she would support it from outside, and Chowdhurys remark that she cannot be trusted and that she might go with the BJP. Mamata Banerjee is with the alliance. She has recently said that she will join the government. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will not take the decision. The decision will be taken by me and the high command and those who dont agree will go out, Kharge had said. Kharge had also asserted that Chowdhury is no one to decide on whether Banerjee would be part of the INDIA bloc in the event of the anti-BJP alliance coming to power after the Lok Sabha polls. Banerjee later said that she is a part of the INDIA bloc. Chowdhury, a known baiter of Banerjee, while reacting to Kharge, said, I cannot speak in favour of someone who wants to finish me and our party in Bengal politically. This is a battle for every Congress worker. I have spoken on their behalf. I dont want the state Congress to be used for Banerjees agenda and then finish the organisation. If Kharge ji speaks against my views, I will continue to speak for Congressmen at the grassroots in the state, he added. The TMC is contesting the Lok Sabha elections alone in the state, while the Congress and the Left are fighting jointly.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 7:19 am

Uber gets 'rare' license from Delhi government, to now offer services through...

The company initially ran a pilot programme that was tested in Delhi-NCR and has been operational in Kolkata since last year under an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the West Bengal Government.

DNA India 21 May 2024 7:18 am

INTERVIEW | Left-Congress chemistry working

CPM West Bengal secretary Md Salim is confident of a Left resurgence in the state and says chemistry with the Congress is working well on the ground because the tie-up has been forged at the grassroots. In an interview with this newspaper, the former Lok Sabha MP and Murshidabad candidate says the Congress high command needs to assess the changing reality of Bengal. Excerpts: How confident are you of your and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhurys win from Berhampore, a constituency next to yours? The victory is already decided. Malda and Murshidabad will throw a surprise. In fact, the Left-Congress combine will sweep south Bengal. The BJP doesnt have any connect with the masses and the Trinamool is facing huge anti-incumbency. Thats why Mamata Banerjee is getting jittery and changing her stance every dayone day with INDIA bloc, and the next day with the BJP. If the Left-Congress vote increases, who will benefit BJP or TMC? I think the vote share will certainly increase for both parties and the people of Bengal will be the beneficiary. The BJP and TMC both will suffer heavy losses. The TMC would lose if the Left or Congress votes that had gone to it return to two INDIA bloc allies. Similar is the case with BJP. The INDIA bloc is going to gain in Bengal. Do you think the vote transfer between the Left and Congress is seamless at the ground level? In the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections, it didnt happen if one goes by the results. What did you do differently this time? It is absolutely seamless because the tie-up was not made top-down. It was rather bottom-up. And the chemistry is perceptible. The alliance wasnt made by spokespersons, but by the talapatras (those who work at the ground level). Thats why the media didnt get a whiff of it. The alliance is spontaneous the resistance is strong against the money power of BJP and the muscle power of TMC. If you hear closely in Murshidabad, the Left-Congress alliance is not referred to as an alliance but as Jot party. The nomenclature was given by the mango people. Whats the CPM was vocal on Sandeshkhali. Now with the sting operations, do you think it was a BJP plot? And then, where does the CPM stand now? Sandeshkhali is no stand-alone incident. You can find such examples in Birbhum, Bankura and elsewhere in the state. The TMCs shady operations needed liberated zones ruled by local satraps. What the TMC did was to destroy institutions, democratic rights and values. Women were attacked, molested and in some cases, raped. When our former MLA Nirapada Sardar raised the issue in the Assembly, the then deputy speaker Sonali Guha, who is now with BJP, switched off the mic. Thats how the TMC function. What the BJP has tried is giving it a religious and communal colour by linking Bangladeshis and Rohingyas to the incident. They tried to gain political mileage by catering to their vote banks and derailing the peoples protest. Mamata Banerjee has said she is with INDIA bloc, but she counts out the Left and Bengal Congress. If INDIA bloc is positioned to form the government, what will be your stand? She is making herself a laughing stock. When the decision to form the INDIA bloc was taken, I told a press conference that everyone can board a train from Howrah to Delhi. However, Mamata got down from the train to save her nephew from CBI-ED prove. At that time, Modi came out with a slogan ab ki baar 400 paar. Mamata miscalculated the situation and thought that it is better to jeopardise the INDIA bloc. Nitish Kumar was once called bin pendi ka lota (undependable). Similar is the case with Mamata whichever way the wind blows, she will take that course. Now with the BJP doesnt seem to get a majority comfortably, she is making a U-turn. She has been an opportunist. She now wants to create a division within Congress. The TMC was born out of that. It is up to AICC leaders to decide whether they would like to hand over the Congress in Bengal to Mamata and allow her to swallow it. The mood in Bengal is that anti-incumbency against the ruling party will help BJP. Naturally, AICC leaders, especially Mr Kharge, will need to assess the changing reality, unfolding stories and emerging scenarios in Bengal politics afresh. There is a learning curve on Bengals latest political developments that the Congress high command needs to go through, and with Mr Kharges comment on the Left-Cong alliance and how TMC is trying to sabotage it, is a welcome change.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 7:13 am

60% turnout in 5th phase of Lok Sabha polls

NEW DELHI: The fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Monday registered a 60.48% voter turnout at 11 pm, slowing closing in on the 61.82% tally for the same seats in 2019. With 49 seats across eight states and Union Territories voting, the fifth phase had the fewest seats in the seven-phase elections, which began on April 19. This phase wrapped up Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra and Ladakh. According to the Election Commission, Baramulla in J&K recorded a voter turnout of 59%. It is the highest-ever polling percentage in the constituency since 1984. Baramulla had witnessed a fierce three-cornered fight between National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah, Peoples Conference President Sajad Gani Lone and jailed head of the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias Engineer Rashid. In 1984, Baramulla had recorded a turnout of 58.90%. Ladakh, too, registered a record voter turnout of 68.47% till 8 pm. This is the first major electoral battle in the region after it was carved out of J&K and granted Union territory status in 2019. Of the 49 seats in the fifth phase, the BJP had pocketed 32 in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The most watched would be the 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, seven in West Bengal, and 13 in Maharashtra. All eyes are on UPs Rae Bareli and Amethi, where Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his family loyalist K L Sharma are in the fray. Rahul was fielded in Rae Bareli after his mother Sonia Gandhi moved to the Rajya Sabha. In Amethi, Sharma is facing off against incumbent BJP MP Smriti Irani. The fifth phase is crucial for the Congress as the BJP had won 13 of the 14 seats going to polls barring Rae Bareli. In Maharashtra, 10 seats out of 13 witnessed a pitched battle between the two factions of the Shiv Sena. Voting in five seats in Bihar, three in Jharkhand and five in Odisha were also held. West Bengal recorded a turnout of 73.14%. Key candidates include Piyush Goyal, Bharati Pawar, Rajnath Singh, and Chirag Paswan.

The New Indian Express 21 May 2024 7:05 am

At Chinsurah bldg, voters go downstairs for date with EVM

The Times of India 21 May 2024 5:38 am

Open UG portal: Principals body

The Times of India 21 May 2024 5:34 am

Women thrash ITBP constable for molest bid

The Times of India 21 May 2024 5:22 am

59 pc polling in 5th phase

NEW DELHI, May 20: Over 59 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Monday in 49 constituencies in six States and two Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections. Follow the Daily Excelsior channel on WhatsApp There were sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, besides EVM glitches at some booths in the State and neighbouring Odisha and complaints of slow voting in Maharashtra. West Bengal recorded the highest polling percentage at 73.14, while Maharashtra recorded the [] The post 59 pc polling in 5th phase appeared first on Daily Excelsior .

Daily Excelsior 21 May 2024 5:07 am

Footfall dip forces restos to make menu changes

The Times of India 21 May 2024 4:46 am

Dont panic, say docs after Covid uptick

The Times of India 21 May 2024 4:38 am

EC meet on Wed to plan force deployment

The Times of India 21 May 2024 4:22 am

Thundershower, gusty winds likely today: Met

The Times of India 21 May 2024 4:20 am

Cops turn down Raj Bhavan staffers plea for more time

The Times of India 21 May 2024 4:17 am

Am an RSS member, ready to return to fold: Calcutta high court judge Chitta Ranjan Dash

In a significant farewell speech, Justice Chitta Ranjan Dash of Calcutta HC revealed his RSS membership after 37 years, expressing willingness to work with the organization again. The resignation of Abhijit Gangopadhyay was also noted.

The Times of India 21 May 2024 3:45 am

Fifth Phase Voting: Fate of Top Leaders Sealed in EVMs

New Delhi : The fate of several top leaders and Union ministers like Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi got sealed in the EVMs as voting for the fifth phase took place on Monday with an overall voter turnout of 57.54 per cent. Mumbai, Howrah, Baramulla, Ladakh, Amethi, Rae Bareli and Lucknow were among the metros that voted amid an intense heatwave. Voters from 49 constituencies across six states and two Union territories voted in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls. The voting for the second phase of Assembly elections in Odisha also took place simultaneously. There were reports of violence from West Bengal and complaints of EVM malfunctioning from Uttar Pradesh. Chief minister and Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjees youngest brother Swapan Banerjee, also known as Babun, could not cast his vote on Monday after his name was not found in the voters list. Despite violence and intimidation reports, West Bengal had the highest voter turnout of 73 per cent, while Maharashtra had the lowest at 49.04 per cent. Bihar, too, had a poor turnout of 52.82 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir had 54.67 per cent, Jharkhand recorded 63 per cent, Ladakh 67.15 per cent, Odisha 60.72 per cent and Uttar Pradesh 57.79 per cent. In Mumbai, several film stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar, were among those who came out to vote and also urged people to come out of their homes. The half-dozen Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai were along with 13 constituencies that voted in the fifth and last phase of elections in Maharashtra. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who is nursing a hand injury and just returned from her trip to the Cannes Film Festival, was also seen at a polling booth. Aamir Khan and his ex-wife Kiran Rao posed for cameras after voting at a polling booth in Bandra. The actor also urged people to come out and cast their votes. Shah Rukh Khan, wife Gauri, son Aryan, daughter Suhana and younger son AbRam were also photographed entering a polling station in Bandra. Actor Hema Malini, whos a BJP candidate from the Mathura Lok Sabha constituency, said she is hopeful that voters turnout will be good. Captains of industry, including bigwigs from the houses of Tatas, Ambanis and Birlas, joined fellow citizens in the financial capital. Some, like finance industry veteran Deepak Parekh, also spoke about the challenges, like the long wait times faced by people at booths, pointing out that the delay in sweltering heat may dissuade voters from stepping out of their homes and casting their ballot. Voting centres in many neighbourhoods of south Mumbai started witnessing queues very early in the morning, with Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran being among the first of the India Inc. leaders to exercise their franchise. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das voted with family members at a school near his official residence in south Mumbai, while the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, who resides a few blocks away, turned up at the same school later in the evening with his wife Nita and son Akash in tow. Noted industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla ecstatically told reporters that his 19-year-old younger daughter Advaitesha also cast the vote for the first time along with him and her elder sister Ananya. With Mumbai known for voter apathy, many industry leaders appealed to electors to come out in large numbers and exercise their franchise to choose their Lok Sabha representatives. In Uttar Pradesh, where voting took place for 14 constituencies, defence minister Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), minister for women and child development Smriti Irani (Amethi), minister of state for housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj), minister of state for consumer affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur), and Union minister of state for MSME Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (Jalaun) were among those in the fray. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was in the fray from Rae Bareli, represented by his mother and former party president Sonia Gandhi earlier. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati was among the early voters in Lucknow. I have voted, and I appeal to all voters to exercise their franchise, she said. Mr Rajnath Singh, who is eyeing a fourth term from Lucknow and is pitted against sitting Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Lucknow Central Ravidas Mehrotra, cast his vote at a polling booth in Vipul Khand here and also appealed to the people to vote. Irani, who is seeking a re-election from Amethi, cast her vote in the constituency. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited different polling booths in Rae Bareli and posed for pictures with the local residents. He also interacted with Congress booth workers in Bachhrawan and visited a Hanuman temple in Churuva. In a post on X, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress, said, Booth number 5, Rasulpur in Sareni in Rae Bareli, has been closed since 8 am and voters are going back. So this is how (the target of) 400 (seats) will be crossed! In other posts, the Congress alleged EVM malfunctioning and accused the BJP of not allowing people to cast votes in three booths in Bela Khara village in Rahi block. SP candidate from Gonda constituency Shreya Verma complained to the Election Commission that fair polling was not taking place. According to reports from Kaushambi, voters of Hisampur Madho village boycotted the polls. With not a single villager reaching the polling station till 10.20 am, administration officials were busy trying to convince the villagers to vote. The villagers, however, told the officials that they would consider voting only after the administration gave them an assurance to build a road and railway bridge connecting the village to other areas. In Leh, lieutenant-governor Brig. B.D. Mishra (Retd) and his wife Neelam Mishra were among those who cast their votes at Skara Yokma in Leh. Well-known climate activist Sonam Wangchuk, who was in the news recently for leading a 66-day sit-in protest in Leh over demands such as safeguards under the 6th Schedule for Ladakh and statehood, cast his vote in Leh's Ulyaktopo village. Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla constituency at 59.49 per cent registered its highest polling percentage in the last 40 years. National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah, People's Conference president Sajad Gani Lone and jailed head of the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias Engineer Rashid were among the key candidates in the fray. In Jharkhand, a total of 11 candidates, including Kalpana Soren, the wife of jailed former chief minister Hemant Soren, are in the fray. The BJP has fielded Dilip Kumar Verma from the Gandey Assembly seat. The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Sarfaraz Ahmad, who was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed.

Deccan Chronicle 21 May 2024 1:42 am

LS polls: Over 59 pc polling in fifth phase

New Delhi, May 20: Over 59 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Monday in 49 constituencies in six states and two Union territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, with Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir recording its highest-ever voting percentage. There were sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, besides EVM glitches [] The post LS polls: Over 59 pc polling in fifth phase appeared first on The Shillong Times .

The Shillong Times 21 May 2024 1:17 am

Election Commission Overhauls West Bengal Police Leadership Ahead of Polls

Election Commission Overhauls West Bengal Police Leadership Ahead of Polls The Election Commission on Monday removed Paschim Medinipur SP Dhritiman Sarkar from his post. The poll panel also asked the authorities concerned to transfer the SP to a ''non-election related post with immediate effect'', an official said. Sarkar has been removed from the post of SP of Paschim Medinipur district. He will not be on any election-related duty, he said. The commission also named Aashish Maurya as the new SP of Purulia district. Abhijit Bandyopadhyay was removed from the position on Sunday, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally in Purulia. The commission also named Azharuddin Khan as the SDPO of Contai in Purba Medinipur district as Dibakar Das was removed from the post a day before.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 12:48 am

EC Reviews Gangopadhyay's Reply to Show-Cause Notice

EC Reviews Gangopadhyay's Reply to Show-Cause Notice Former Calcutta High Court judge and BJP's candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Monday sent his reply to the show-cause notice issued by the EC for his ''undignified'' remark against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The poll panel acted on a complaint by the Trinamool Congress against Gangopadhyay for his remarks against Banerjee while addressing a public meeting held on May 15 in Haldia. ''We have received his (Gangopadhyay's) reply today and forwarded it to the Delhi office,'' the official told PTI. The Election Commission had sought a response from Gangopadhyay by 5 PM on May 20. Senior officials of the Election Commission would take a call after going through the former judge's reply to the show-cause notice, he said. The BJP has fielded Gangopadhyay from the Tamluk seat in West Bengal where voting will be held on May 25. In its notice, the EC said Gangopadhyay's comment has been found to be ''beyond dignity in every sense of term'' and ''in bad taste'', and prima facie violative of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and its advisory to political parties. Gangopadhyay was the fourth politician in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections to have been served a notice for undignified remarks against women. BJP's senior leader Dilip Ghosh and Congress' Supriya Shrinate were censured by the poll body after being served notices for their remarks against Mamata Banerjee and Kangana Ranaut respectively.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 12:23 am

DC Edit | Parties compete to breach code

Political parties appear to be in a competition not just to beat one another but also to breach some of the revered conventions, also mandate by the law, while they go about campaigning in the ongoing general elections. And it is led by, sadly, none lesser than Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP. The latest attempt to communalise every statement made by his opponents is Mr Modis allegation that Trinamul Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was defaming and threatening Hindu religious organisations Iskcon, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha and their monks under the pressure of Muslim hardliners to appease her vote bank in the Lok Sabha elections. Mr Modi was responding to the charge Ms Banerjee levelled against some individuals within those organisations that they were siding with the saffron party; she would want them to be apolitical. Given the way these organisations are respected across communities all over the world, Ms Benerjee could have avoided dragging the organisations into the discussion; she could have taken up the issues with their leadership, which have refused to identify with political parties despite prodding. She, still, has a point in demanding that religious organisations and their members keep off politics. On his part, Mr Modi has invented an effort on the part of Ms Banerjee to appease the Muslims in her criticism of the monks. The Prime Minister who himself admitted that he would disqualify himself from being in politics the moment he would play the Hindu-Muslim card now misses no chance to see an appeasement angle in every sentence opposition leaders speak and every scheme they announce. Political expediency, especially in the time of elections, appears to have got the better of the Prime Minister who has a duty to walk his talk. He does not add to the glory of the position he holds or of his party by playing the card which he claims he abhors.

Deccan Chronicle 21 May 2024 12:10 am

Odisha CM Slams BJP's Patra Over Controversial Lord Jagannath Remark

Odisha CM Slams BJP's Patra Over Controversial Lord Jagannath Remark Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday appealed to the BJP to keep Lord Jagannath above the political discourse, after the saffron party's Puri candidate Sambit Patra's remark that the state's most revered deity is a ''devotee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi'' sparked a stir. Patra, however, later clarified that it was a slip of tongue and he wanted to mean that the PM was an ardent 'bhakt' (devotee) of Lord Jagannath and not the other way round. Patnaik, in an X post, criticised Patra for hurting Odia 'asmita' (pride). ''Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe. Calling Mahaprabhu a 'bhakt' of another human being is an insult to the Lord... it is totally condemnable. This has hurt the sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannatha bhaktas and Odias across the world. ''The Lord is the greatest symbol of Odia asmita. I strongly denounce the statement... and I appeal to the BJP to keep the Lord above any political discourse. By this, you have deeply hurt Odia asmita and this will be remembered and condemned by people of Odisha for a very long time,'' he said. Patra, while responding to the CM's post, said that ''we all have slip of tongue sometimes''. ''I gave a number of bytes today to multiple media channels after the massive success of Shri Narendra Modiji's road show in Puri today, everywhere I mentioned that Modi ji is an ardent 'bhakt' of Shri Jagannath Mahaprabhu. ''By mistake during one of the bytes, I said just the opposite... I know you too know and understand this... Sir let's not make an issue out of a nonexistent issue... we all have slip of tongue sometimes,'' Patra said. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the statement of the BJP candidate. ''I strongly condemn this statement of the BJP. They have started thinking that they are above God. This is a height of arrogance. Calling God bhakt of Modi ji is an insult to God,'' he posted on X. AICC in-charge of Odisha, Ajoy Kumar, also condemned the statement, posting on X, ''The country and Odisha will not tolerate this insult of Lord Jagannath!'' Meanwhile, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) moved the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) alleging that Patra violated the model code of conduct. The party's Puri candidate Jayanarayan Patnaik also lodged a complaint against Patra with Town police station in Puri. The OPCC, in its petition to the CEO, said that Patra's statement is an ''act of offensive indulgence to insult the religious beliefs of the devotees of Lord Jagannath in particular and Hindu community of our country and Odia people at large and it was clearly spoken with a deliberate and malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of millions of devotees of Lord Jagannath''. Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress said the sentiments of millions of people across the country have been hurt by the ''blasphemous'' statement of Patra. West Bengal minister and senior party leader Chandrima Bhattacharya, in a video message in Bengali, said, ''Sambit Patra has crossed all limits of arrogance and audacity, it will be an understatement that he has hurt the sentiments of lakhs of devotees of the Lord. He has actually committed an act of blasphemy and has shown that BJP professes scant respect for our gods. He has made a mockery of faith and beliefs of Hindus. It is unthinkable that someone can utter such a thing.'' She said lakhs of devotees, who visit the famed Jagannath temple in Puri every year from West Bengal, will not accept Patra's ''afterthought apology'' made in the wake of massive protests in Odisha and elsewhere. ''People of Odisha and Bengal will teach him and his party BJP a lesson for such a blasphemous remark,'' she said. The TMC, in its official X handle, said, ''BJP candidate from Puri Sambit Patra hit a new low by claiming that even Lord Jagannath is a bhakt of PM Modi. By dragging Mahaprabhu's name into their petty political discourse just to prop up the Prime Minister's image, BJP has hurt the sentiments of crores of devotees not just in Bengal but worldwide.'' The BJD president's attack on the BJP came on the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah raising the issue of Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of Lord Jagannath in poll rallies. Addressing two election rallies in Angul and Cuttack on Monday, Modi raised the Ratna Bhandar missing key issue and sought to know why the BJD ''suppressed the judicial commission report'' on the matter. ''The BJD's role in the case is suspicious. After the BJP forms the government in Odisha, it will make the report public,'' Modi said. Patra is in the fray in the Puri parliamentary constituency for the second consecutive time. He was defeated in the seat in 2019 by BJD's Pinaki Mishra at a margin of only 11,784 votes.

devdiscourse 21 May 2024 12:08 am

Kharge's posters defaced in Bengal: AICC seeks report on 'gross indiscipline'

The incident outside West Bengal PCC was widely seen as a backlash to Kharge's public snub of state PCC chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's criticism of Mamata Banerjee when she said that the Trinamool Congress would extend outside support to the INDIA bloc after the general election.

The Economic Times 21 May 2024 12:06 am

Not letting up, Trinamool chief accuses priest of starting riots once again

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee criticizes Kartick Mahraj of Bharat Sevashram Sangha for alleged role in Murshidabad riots during Ram Navami. PM Modi criticizes Banerjee for attacking saints like Ramkrishna Mission. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury responds to Banerjee's remarks about instigating riots.

The Economic Times 20 May 2024 11:44 pm

Lok Sabha Elections: Modi slams BJD, Trinamool for 'corruption and slow growth'

PM Modi criticized the corrupt BJD government in Odisha and the Mamta Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal for hindering growth, impoverishing farmers, youth, and tribals, urging support for BJP to fight corruption and bring change.

The Economic Times 20 May 2024 11:34 pm

Shameful that it happened under a woman CM: BJP's Anirban Ganguly slams TMC over Sandeshkhali issue

Shameful that it happened under a woman CM: BJP's Anirban Ganguly slams TMC over Sandeshkhali issue Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Anirban Ganguly slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, over the Sandeshkhali issue and said that it is a matter of shame that the episode was allowed to happen under the leadership of a woman Chief Minister. Ganguly is the BJP's candidate from the Jadavpur constituency. The voting on the seat will be held on June 1 in the seventh phase. He also exuded confidence that the BJP will improve its tally in West Bengal in comparison to the last year. Speaking to ANI on Monday, Anirban Ganguly said, We have very good expectations. We are going to get more seats here in Bengal than in 2019 and it will be an unprecedented gain for BJP in West Bengal. Attacking the Mamata Banerjee government over the Sandeshkhali incident, he termed the episode a shame for the state. It is a shame for West Bengal, for all of us. That this could happen, this was allowed to happen under the watch of a women Chief Minister, the BJP leader said on being asked about the Sandeshkhali issue. Sandeshkhali, a village in North 24 Parganas district, started hitting the headlines in February this year when villagers, mostly women, came out on the streets against the ruling TMC and Shahjahan (the main accused in the incident). Women accused Shahjahan and his aides of perpetrating atrocities on them along with gobbling up their land. Multiple women on the island accused Shajahan and his aides of land-grab and sexual assault under coercion. Speaking further, the BJP leader slammed CM Mamata for accusing the BJP on the issue, saying she is stressed. I think she (Mamata Banerjee) is too stressed. Someone who can accuse the Ram Krishna Mission...ISKCON, can naturally accuse the BJP also. She is stressed, she needs to take rest. She should stop campaigning for some time, because she realizes she is losing her ground, he added. Reacting over the Ramakrishna Mission row, Ganguly said, She has taken a U-turn but that U-turn is also dishonest. This comes after West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee accused ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram of acting under instructions from New Delhi. She questioned why monks are getting involved in politics. Her remarks created a stir drawing heavy criticism. There is a maharaj in Behrampore; I have been hearing about him for a long time. Kartik Maharaj. He says he will not allow any TMC agent in the poll booth. I do not consider him a saint because he is directly involved in politics. I used to respect Bharat Sevashram Sangha a lot. It has been on my list of respected organisations for a long time, she said at an election rally. Coming out heavily against West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee over her remarks, PM Modi said 'threats' are being issued against these socio-religious organisations to please their vote bank. The TMC government, which intimidated and threatened the people of Bengal during elections, has crossed all limits this time. Today, in the country and the world, ISKCON, Ram Krishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram Sangh are known for service and morality, but today the Chief Minister of Bengal is openly threatening them, warning them from an open platform, PM Modi said. There are millions of followers associated with these missions all over the world, and their sole aim is to serve the people. The Bengal government has pointed a finger at him and is threatening his name. So much courage! Just to please their vote bank, he added. CM Mamata later issued a clarification, saying she is not against Ramakrishna Mission or any institution, but was only talking about a few people. The polling for 42 seats of West Bengal is being held across all seven phases. The counting of votes is scheduled on June 4. The constituencies of Bangaon, Barrackpur, Howrah, Uluberia, Srerampur, Hooghly and Arambagh are voting today. In 2019, BJP made strong inroads into TMC's hold in West Bengal, by winning 18 seats and being a close second to TMC, which won 22. (ANI)

devdiscourse 20 May 2024 11:09 pm

Mamata Banerjee is not running govt but running a mafia...: BJP leader Tejasvi Surya

Mamata Banerjee is not running govt but running a mafia...: BJP leader Tejasvi Surya Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tejasvi Surya on Monday attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said that TMC leader is not running a government in the state but she is running a mafia, and putting the country's internal security in danger. Mamata Banerjee is not running a government in West Bengal. She is running a mafia. This mafia is a danger to the country's internal security. It is a danger to the state's economy and it has already proven to be a danger to the security and welfare of the state's women and youth, BJP MP told ANI. Surya alleged that the TMC government has been providing infiltrators with Aadhaar cards, ration cards, and voter ID cards and has been endangering the internal security of the country. Today I visited Mathurapur and for literally kilometres, I could see infiltrators huntsmen and tenements on both sides of the roads. TMC government has been providing these infiltrators with Aadhaar cards, ration cards, and voter ID cards and has been endangering the internal security of the country. There has been a demographic change in so many villages, and so many districts of West Bengal only to increase and protect the vote bank of the TMC. This government after 2011 has added 71 castes to the OBC list, of these 71 castes, 65 castes belong to Muslim denominations. This just indicates the extent to which an assault has been made not only on the demography of the state but also on the Constitution of India. This is the kind of battle that people of West Bengal are facing, he added. He further praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and said that the economy is growing at a fast pace under PM Modi's leadership. On one hand economy is growing at a fast pace under Prime Minister leadership. On the other hand, West Bengal is rapidly deindustrialized. West Bengal in the last five years figures among the state has attracted the least amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Young people from the state are forced to migrate to different cities seeking job opportunities. This state was once considered to be the pioneer on all dimensions of India. it was said that 'what Bengal thinks today, India thinking tomorrow.' This state has been reduced to this kind of a morass because of TMC and Mamata Banerjee's leadership, he said. Tejasvi Surya exuded confidence that West Bengal will vote in massive numbers in favour of the BJP. I am very confident that this time around youth of the West Bengal will vote in massive numbers for the BJP's and Prime Minister's leadership and will lift the state of the morass that TMC has taken, he said. In the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, polling was held in Bangaon, Barrackpur, Howrah, Uluberia, Srerampur, Hooghly and Arambagh Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal. Notably, elections in West Bengal are being conducted in all seven phases. The result of the elections will come on June 4. (ANI)

devdiscourse 20 May 2024 11:07 pm

PM Modi Blasts TMC, Accuses Banerjee of Threatening Monks and Shielding Corruption

PM Modi Blasts TMC, Accuses Banerjee of Threatening Monks and Shielding Corruption Condemning the attack on the Ramakrishna Mission ashram in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused the TMC regime of unleashing a reign of terror on monks to appease its vote bank. Addressing an election rally in Jhargram, Modi claimed that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself is ''issuing threats'' against the monks of the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha, emboldening ''TMC goons to attack'' the ashram. ''In Bengal, the TMC has taken up the onus of hurting the religious faith. The TMC leaders deem the Ram Mandir unholy and the government halts Ram Navami celebrations. The TMC goons orchestrate attacks on Ram Navami processions, he said. The chief minister herself threatened Hindu saints, Modi claimed adding: On Sunday night, the Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Jalpaiguri was attacked. The people of Bengal will not tolerate this.'' His remarks follow the vandalism on the Ramakrishna Mission premises in Jalpaiguri district on early Sunday, where miscreants threatened monks and other employees at gunpoint. An RKM official suggested that a local land mafia was behind the incident. Modi criticised Banerjee's recent comments against a few monks of the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha (BSS). ''ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha are known for service and morality, but today the chief minister of Bengal is openly threatening them. This is being done to appease the vote bank. As the CM herself is threatening the monks, TMC goons now dare to attack Ramakrishna Mission, he said. To appease vote bank, the TMC government is crossing all limits, he said. Addressing an election rally in Goghat under the Arambagh Lok Sabha constituency on May 18, Banerjee had claimed, ''Some monks of Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha are working under the influence of BJP leaders in Delhi.'' Criticising her statement, Modi said, ''The TMC does not care about the sentiments of the people of Bengal. They have no sympathy for the feelings of the Hindus here. The people of Bengal will not tolerate this insult.'' The prime minister also accused Banerjee of abusing saints and monks of the state to appease her vote bank. ''The TMC is jittery because the party sees its time is over. The TMC anticipated a defeat in the polls and thus its anger and frustration is at the peak,'' he said while reminiscing about his association with the RKM monastic order. Modi on Sunday had also accused Banerjee of ''threatening'' these socio-religious organisations, claiming that she was ''under pressure from Muslim extremists'' to ''appease'' the TMC's vote bank. Lambasting the TMC dispensation for putting ''Bengal's identity at risk'', the prime minister said, ''The TMC welcomes infiltrators which have led to change in the demography of the state.'' ''The TMC is concerned only about its vote bank. They are allowing infiltrators to settle in Bengal, leading to a decline in the population of Bengal's border areas. These infiltrators come into our country and occupy the land of our Dalits, backward classes, and tribals. Is infiltration good for the country or Bengal?'' he said at the rally. Today, the whole country is worried about Bengal, Modi claimed. Violence and riots occur almost every day in the state. BJP workers are killed. There are attempts to erase the identity of tribal brothers and sisters,'' he alleged. The prime minister alleged the TMC and the Congress want to legalize the occupation of infiltrators. ''The Congress party is saying they will investigate everyone's property. Then they will give your money, your land to their vote bank. Do you accept this? Will you let this happen?'' he questioned. He slammed the TMC for corruption in the state, claiming that the Mamata Banerjee-led party had introduced a rate card for every job in Bengal. ''On one hand, there is Modi's report card about jobs, and on the other hand, there is a rate card of the TMC. The TMC has put up a rate card for every job in Bengal, where jobs are up for sale. You pay and you will get a job. Government jobs are under the grip of TMC's syndicate,'' he said. TMC ministers openly sold jobs, jeopardizing the future of the new generation, he alleged. Do you know who is protecting these scams? Who is shielding the accused of corruption? Who is preventing the CBI from doing its job in Bengal?'' he added. Modi also said the people of Bengal know that Congress is a 'sunken ship', and there is a hole in the ship of the TMC, an ally of the INDIA bloc. ''No matter how hard they try, their drowning is certain,'' he said.

devdiscourse 20 May 2024 10:33 pm

India Votes: Record Turnout in Baramulla & High Drama in West Bengal

India Votes: Record Turnout in Baramulla & High Drama in West Bengal Over 59 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Monday in 49 constituencies in six states and two Union territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, with Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir recording its highest-ever voting percentage. There were sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, besides EVM glitches at some booths in the state and neighbouring Odisha and complaints of slow voting in Maharashtra. West Bengal recorded the highest polling percentage at 73.14, while Maharashtra recorded the lowest at 53.51 per cent, with six Lok Sabha constituencies of Mumbai witnessing voting between 46 per cent to around 54 per cent per cent. Thane recorded a turnout of 49.81 per cent, according to the EC's voter turnout app. The EC had on Sunday flagged urban voter apathy in Mumbai, Thane and Lucknow and had urged people to come out and vote. Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency, which was once militancy-infested, recorded its highest-ever voter turnout on Monday at 59 per cent, J-K Chief Electoral Officer P K Pole said. The Sopore assembly segment of the parliamentary constituency witnessed a healthy turnout of 44 per cent after recording single-digit polling percentages in the past couple of decades. ''The Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency witnessed a record voter turnout since parliamentary polls were first held here in 1967,'' Pole told reporters at the end of polling. The previous highest voter turnout in the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency was witnessed in 1984 at 58.90 per cent. Former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah is among 22 candidates contesting on the seat. Among other states, Bihar recorded 53.78 per cent turnout, Jharkhand 63.06 per cent, Odisha 62.23 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 57.79 per cent and Ladakh 68.47 per cent. The figures, the EC said, were ''approximate trend'' as data was still being collated. According to the figures made available by the Election Commission around 10 pm, the approximate polling percentage was 59.06. The last four phases have registered a total voter turnout of 66.95 per cent. With the end of polls in the fifth phase, voting has been completed in 25 states and Union Territories and 428 constituencies out of 543 in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Two more phases -- on May 25 and June 1 -- are remaining now. Counting of votes is on June 4. Scattered incidents of violence marred the polls in seven parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal where TMC and BJP workers clashed in various parts of Barrackpore, Bongaon, and Arambagh seats. Till 4.30 pm, the state CEO's office received 1,913 complaints in connection including those related to EVM malfunctioning and polling agents being stopped from entering booths, an election official said. Clashes broke out between supporters of the TMC and BJP in the Khanakul area of the Arambagh constituency. In neighbouring Hooghly constituency, BJP sitting MP and party candidate Locket Chatterjee faced protests from TMC activists led by TMC MLA Ashima Patra. A huge police and central forces contingent was rushed to the spot. Violence was also reported from various parts of the Howrah constituency. In the Liluah area of Howrah, the BJP accused TMC workers of ''booth jamming'' leading to clashes between groups. The central police forces rushed to the area and dispersed them. In Bongaon constituencys Gayeshpur area, local BJP leader Subir Biswas was allegedly beaten by TMC supporters outside a booth. He was later shifted to the hospital. In the Kalyani area of the same constituency, Union Minister and BJP candidate Shantanu Thakur caught a person using the identity card of his rival TMC candidate Biswajit Das inside a polling booth. The person was later removed from the booth by central forces. TMC workers also held protests in some areas following allegations that central forces were assisting BJP workers in ''intimidating'' voters at some booths of Hooghly. In Uttar Pradesh, Amethi recorded a voter turnout of 54.17 per cent, Lucknow 52.03 per cent Rae Bareli 57.85 per cent, Banda 59.49 per cent, Barabanki 66.89 per cent, Faizabad 58.96 per cent, and Fatehpur 56.90 per cent. Gonda recorded 51.45 per cent voting, Hamirpur 60.36 per cent, Jalaun 53.44 per cent, Jhansi 63.57 per cent, Kaisarganj 55.47 per cent, Kaushambi 52.60 per cent, and Mohanlalganj 62.53 per cent, according to the Election Commission. The polling percentage in the Lucknow East assembly constituency was around 52.25 per cent. ''There was no violence anywhere in the state. About 250 complaints regarding slow voting and EVMs were received by the EC,'' according to Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa. In three booths in the Jhansi constituency in Lalitpur district, 100 per cent of polling was reported. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is in the fray from Rae Bareli which was represented by his mother and former party president Sonia Gandhi earlier, visited different polling booths in the constituency and posed for pictures with local residents. He also interacted with Congress booth workers in Bachhrawan and visited a Hanuman temple in Churuva. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani (Amethi), Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj), Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and Union Minister of State for MSME Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (Jalaun) are among those in the fray in seats in Uttar Pradesh. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati was among the early voters in Lucknow. ''I have voted and I appeal to all voters to exercise their franchise,'' she said. Defence Minister Singh, who is eyeing a fourth term from Lucknow, cast his vote at a polling booth in Vipul Khand here and also appealed to the people to vote. Irani, who is seeking a re-election from Amethi, cast her vote in the constituency. The Congress alleged EVM malfunctioning ats several places and accused the BJP of not allowing people to cast votes in three booths in Bela Khara village in Rahi block. According to reports from Kaushambi, voters of Hisampur Madho village boycotted the polls. The villagers told the officials that they would consider voting only after an assurance from the administration that a road and railway bridge connecting the village to other areas would be built. In Maharashtra, Mumbai residents faced delays, slow-paced voting process and long queues amid sultry weather conditions, with Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress raising concern. Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed a press conference where he accused the EC of delaying the poll process deliberately at the behest of the Modi government. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, said he first complained to the EC about the slow pace of voting in the city and claimed Thackeray was blaming the Modi government only because the opposition was staring at a defeat. Thackeray was preparing the ground to face the results on June 4, Fadnavis added Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray also claimed there were a lot of complaints from electors about facilities outside polling booths. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged that Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Sanjay Raut and Sunil Raut were found involved in ''corrupt practices'' outside their polling booth at Bhandup in Mumbai. The former MP also claimed that two activists of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) were arrested for ''illegal and corrupt practices of using a fake EVM''. However, MLA Sunil Raut, who is the brother of Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut, dismissed the allegations saying a dummy electronic voting machine (EVM) was kept outside the 100-metre radius of the polling booth for educational purposes. Still, the police removed it under ''political pressure'', he claimed. Politicians, sportspersons and prominent persons from the financial sector exercised their franchise at polling booths in different parts of Mumbai and neighbouring Thane. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde along with his family members, including his son and sitting Kalyan MP Shrikant Shinde, voted at a booth in his political turf, Thane. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray and their families also cast their votes. A 56-year-old election officer died after suffering a heart attack at a polling booth in the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency In Odisha, some unidentified persons allegedly hacked an auto-rickshaw driver to death near Sarsara in Bargarh district. The deceased was carrying some voters to the polling booth. While the family members claimed it was a political murder, police say personal enmity is the reason behind the crime. EVM glitches were also reported at some places in Odisha. Jharkhand saw a voter turnout of 63 per cent in the Lok Sabha election. In the Gandey assembly by-poll where jailed former chief minister Hemant Soren's wife Kalpana Soren is the JMM candidate, 68.26 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise. Chief Electoral Officer K Ravi Kumar said seven FIRs were registered for violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) - two each in Palamu, Latehar and Hazaribagh and one in Giridih. ''Polling was boycotted across two booths in Hazaribagh and one in Panki,'' he said. Electors from five Maoist-hit villages in Jharkhand's Chatra district on Monday cast their votes in large numbers for the first time in their booths since the state's creation in 2000. Earlier, polling booths for voters of Garia, Amkudar, Pathel, Baniabandh and Sikid villages in Kanhachatti block were relocated due to security threats from Maoists and people had to walk for 10-11 km on difficult terrain to exercise their franchise Over 8.95 crore people, including 4.26 crore females and 5,409 third-gender electors, were eligible to vote in this round and 9.47 lakh polling officials had been deployed across 94,732 polling stations. According to the Election Commission, the voter turnout in the fourth phase stood at 69.16 per cent, 3.65 percentage points higher than the corresponding phase in the 2019 parliamentary elections. The turnout percentages was 66.14, 66.71, 65.68 and 69.16 per cent in the first four phases. In the second phase of the 2024 elections, the turnout was recorded at 66.71 per cent as against the 69.64 per cent in the second phase of the 2019 polls. In the first phase of the ongoing general elections, a 66.14 per cent turnout was recorded. In the 2019 polls, the turnout in the first phase was 69.43 per cent. The poll panel said the final turnout will only be available after the results, with the counting of postal ballots and its addition to the total voting percentage. Polling for 23 states and Union territories and 379 seats has been completed so far.

devdiscourse 20 May 2024 10:25 pm

Depression May Spare AP, says IMD

Wind blowing at a speed of 100 km per hour at Gopalpur as Cyclone Hudhud hits Ganjam District on Sunday. (Photo: PTI) Wind blowing at a speed of 100 km per hour at Gopalpur as Cyclone Hudhud hits Ganjam District on Sunday. (Photo: PTI) Visakhapatnam: The depression that is likely to form over central Bay of Bengal around May 24 may not have any impact on Andhra Pradesh, IMD Amaravati stated on Monday. Weather scientist Karunasagar of IMD told Deccan Chronicle that the Odisha and West Bengal coasts might bear the brunt but AP need not worry. Only north coastal Andhra might get rains from May 24. Private weather observer Skymet said this maiden system of pre-monsoon will have the potential to intensify further as it moves over the deep waters of the Bay of Bengal. The timing and location favour the possibility of a cyclone. A large stretch of the coastline along the box-like structure of Bay of Bengal becomes vulnerable for rough weather conditions. At present, a broad east-west cyclonic circulation is marked off the Tamil Nadu coast, extending from farther parts of south-west Bay of Bengal to south-central parts of Bay. The system is getting organised and likely to become compact in the next 24-36 hours. Subsequently, a low-pressure area is likely to form over south-west Bay of Bengal, supported by a cyclonic circulation up to mid-tropospheric levels. Environmental conditions being favourable, the chances of having a strong system remain alive, it said. During the consolidation phase, the low pressure will intensify and move north-eastward. It means that the system will shift farther from the coast and keep a safe distance from becoming a depression or deep depression. The dichotomy begins from thereon, about its likely course and timelines. At this juncture, there is large diversification and precision-forecasting is difficult. It may or may not become a cyclonic storm and could navigate as depression or deep depression. However, the chance cannot be ruled out and, in that case, the entire coastline from Myanmar-Bangladesh- West Bengal to Odisha becomes vulnerable. Meanwhile, the south-west monsoon advanced into more areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and south Bay of Bengal. Amarapuram in Sri Sathya Sai district received the highest rainfall of 7.5 cm, Atmakur in Nandyal district 5 cm and Veeraghattam in Parvathipuram Manyam district 4.5 cm of rainfall.

Deccan Chronicle 20 May 2024 10:17 pm

General elections 2024: Urban apathy continues; nearly 58% turnout in phase 5

In West Bengal, workers of TMC and BJP clash in various parts of Barrackpore, Bongaon and Arambagh; Maharashtra recorded the lowest turnout at 48.88%, while West Bengal saw the highest at 73%

The Hindu 20 May 2024 10:01 pm

Bharat Sevashram Sangha Monk Sends Legal Notice to CM Mamata Banerjee Over Defamation Allegations

Kolkata : A Bharat Sevashram Sangha (BSS) monk, Swami Pradiptananda alias Kartik Maharaj, sent a legal notice to West BengalChiefMinister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, seeking her apology within 48 hours for allegedly trying to defame him. Buckling under pressure, Banerjeelaterclarified that she spoke against only a few individuals and not any institution but justified her tirade against the monk, who is the secretary of the BSS at Aurangabad in Murshidabad. Themonksnotice asked the CM, ...to forthwith address the press and issue an unconditional apology and retract your virulent and mala fide statement as aforesaid within 48 hours from receipt of the instant notice and cease and desist from making further similar statements against my client, be it on any website, newsprint or television channel defaming and maligning my client. The notice, issued by the monks legal counsel, said, I must ask you to let me have a reply within 4 days of receipt of this letter. If I do not receive any reply, my client will understand and proceed on the basis that you wanted to give and have given wide publicity to the defamatory content with intent to falsely and maliciously defame my client and the Bharat Sevashram Sangha. My client fully reserves his right to take further appropriate action. including initiation of criminal cases against you for making such baseless, false, frivolous, slanderous and malicious statements... MamataBanerjee later said at a Trinamul Congress poll campaign rally in Onda of Bankura, Im not against Ramakrishna Mission. Why would I be against a particular institution or defame it? I even went to visit Maharaj few days ago when he was ill. That's not an issue. I only spoke about one or two people.TheBSS has an office and ashram in Sagar Island. They love me a lot and serve people. She added, I named one man. He is Kartik Maharaj. He did not allow TMC to field agents and also masterminded the riot in Murshidabad before the polls. That's why I took his name. He was earlier with Adhir (Choudhury oftheCongress) but is now intheBJP. He runs an ashram at Rejinagar where the riot happened. I have no problem with his ashram. But when I enquired about our party agents absence at(pollingbooths, I was told that Kartik Maharaj said he would not allow them.

Deccan Chronicle 20 May 2024 10:00 pm

Modi alleges Mamata letting loose reign of terror on monks to appease vote bank politics

Addressing an election rally in West Bengals Jhargram, Modi condemned an alleged attack on Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Jalpaiguri

The Hindu Businessline 20 May 2024 9:58 pm

73% polling in West Bengal in fifth phase amidst charged political atmosphere and isolated violence

Passions ran high when candidates contesting for Opposition parties were confronted by supporters of the Trinamool Congress

The Hindu 20 May 2024 9:53 pm