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LK Advani says Bharat Ratna an honour not only for him but also for his ideals and principles

The 96-year-old leader has been the longest serving president of the BJP. He said ever since he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a volunteer when 14, he has sought reward in only one thing—in dedicated and selfless service of the country in whatever task life assigned to him.

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Veteran BJP leader LK Advani on Saturday said the Bharat Ratna is not only an honour for him as a person but also for the ideals and principles he strove to serve throughout his life. Advani said he accepted the Bharat Ratna that has been conferred on me today with utmost humility and gratitude.

The 96-year-old leader has been the longest serving president of the BJP. He said ever since he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a volunteer when 14, he has sought reward in only one thing—in dedicated and selfless service of the country in whatever task life assigned to him.

He said he was inspired by the motto, “This life is not mine.” The leader said his life is for the nation and remembered Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, with whom he worked closely. Advani expressed his heartfelt gratitude to millions of RSS volunteers, BJP workers and others with whom he had worked in his public life.

He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu for the honour. He said he was thankful to his all members of his family, especially his wife Kamla, who died in 2016. He added that his family has been the greatest source of strength and sustenance in his life. He wished that India progresses to the pinnacle of greatness and glory.

The announcement of the award was made by PM Modi on X and it was met with widespread appreciation by political leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who praised Advani’s dedication to the nation’s integrity.

Advani’s seminal contribution to the BJP came in the late 1980s when he led the party’s demand for demolishing the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya since it stood on Lord Ram’s birthplace. The Ram Rath Yatra saw the BJP grow exponentially in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections and unseated the Rajiv Gandhi government. Advani also served as the Deputy Prime Minister to Vajpayee and was the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes dig at Rahul Gandhi, says like Amethi, Congress will lose its ground from Wayanad also

PM Modi is currently on a visit to Maharashtra for election campaigning, and is campaigning for Mahayuti’s candidates from the parliamentary seat of Nanded Prataprao Patil Chikhlikar.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a prediction and said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be driven away from his parliamentary constituency Wayanad and the party will have to find another safe seat for him. PM Modi, at a rally in Maharashtra’s Nanded, said Rahul Gandhi was chased away from Amethi by BJP leader Smriti Irani. PM Modi is currently on a visit to Maharashtra for election campaigning, and is campaigning for Mahayuti’s candidates from the parliamentary seat of Nanded Prataprao Patil Chikhlikar.

The Prime Minister said Congress ke shehzade, unhe bhi Wayanad mein sankat dikh raha hai…Jaise Amethi se bhagna pada, aap maan ke chaliye wo Wayanad bhi chodenge… (The Prince of Congress is facing a danger in Wayanad. Like he was made to escape Amethi, believe me, he will have to leave Wayanad as well).

PM Modi added Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has blasted Congress leader in such a language that even he did not use for them. He said he is sure Congress will look for another safe seat for its Shahjada after voting in Wayanad is over. He claimed that in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, the people of the country voted for the BJP-led NDA. PM Modi said the INDIA bloc partners were fighting each other for 25 percent seats. He said if this is the situation now, what will they do after the election?

PM Modi addressed all the workers and leaders of other parties and said even if they felt that they are going to lose the elections then why should they work hard- he said they should work hard for democracy. Aaj nahin toh kal, kal nahin toh parso, parso nahin toh narso, arey kabhi to mauka aega (if not today, tomorrow, day after tomorrow, someday, you may get a chance).

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha Elections: Voter turnout 62.02% in Tamil Nadu till 5pm

The voter turnout in Tamil Nadu stands at 62.02%, while Uttar Pradesh records a turnout of 57.5%. Meanwhile, in West Bengal, voter participation surges to 77.5% as of 5 pm.

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The Lok Sabha elections 2024 began today, marking the onset of the world’s largest electoral event. Voting ended in all 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu with a total voter turnout of 62.02%. State BJP chief and Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency candidate K Annamalai said, they were getting complaints from a large number of voters that their names were missing from the voters’ list.

This incident happened in many places. Annamalai said they are demanding re-poll in places where the names of a large number of voters were missing.He said they had a doubt that there was some political interference because the names of a large number of BJP caders were missing from the voters list.

 The voters in South Chennai showed lukewarm interest to participate in the election process and had a total voter turnout of 57.04% till 5pm. Although the overall percentage is poor, some areas like Thiruvanmiyur witnessed brisk polling from 7am onwards. Elderly, middle aged and young voters turned up and it was a family outing for many as they cast their vote.

Corporation volunteers assisted senior citizens with wheelchairs and guided them to their respective polling booths. The hot weather also had an impact on the polling as it reduced the voter turnout as many booths in the corporation school in MGR Nagar were seen deserted around noon. Senior citizens showed courage as they reached the polling booths in private vehicles to exercise their franchise.

Most of the polling booths had shamianas for voters so that they could wait in a queue. Some people even found refuge in the nearby buildings to save themselves from the scorching heat. The polling officials gave instructions to the voters to keep their phones switched off while they exercised their franchise. The security personnel at the polling booth also regulated traffic outside the polling booth in MGR Nagar.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Deserted by key supporters, the Kamal Nath story looks set to wind to an end in Chhindwara

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail.

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By Neeraj Mishra

The Congress has lost Chhindwara only once since Independence when the wily Sunderlal Patwa was sent there by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to test Kamal Nath’s hold on the constituency. Patwa won the 1997 by-election by a slim margin in the backdrop of Nath having forced his wife to first contest and later vacate the seat for him. Nath, however, returned to his winning ways the very next year and has won the seat nine times.

It seems possible that Chhindwara, the lone surviving Congress seat, will be lost again this time and may be forever. A day ahead of polling, the town was drowned in saffron. Not so much the effect of vigorous campaigning by Vivek Sahu of the BJP but the Ram Navami festival which brought out saffron flags on every rooftop.  The effect is likely to last since the polling is today. At 77, Nath is unlikely to contest another election here and his son Nakul seems like a pale shadow of his father unable to even make a forceful speech. The days of running Chhindwara from Shikarpur kothi are gone.

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail. Nakul had won by a margin of 37,000 votes in 2019 and the biggest lead had come from Kamlesh’s Amarwada Assembly segment. With Saxena in control of Chhindwara and forced to show his strength in his new party, it is highly likely that Nakul will not be depending on these segments. Instead, the Congress campaign was focused on Pandhurna, Parasia and Chaurai.

Amit Shah was in the region a couple of days ago and warned all BJP workers—old and new—against lethargy. His message was clear, the BJP wants all 29 seats this time. Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya is camped here and using all his political acumen for the desired results. One such tactic was to raid the Shikarpur Kothi of Kamal Nath for his assistant Miglani who handles almost everything for him. With Miglani temporarily neutralised, BJP is best placed to repeat its win in Chhindwara in 1997.

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