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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Congress manifesto 2024: Nyay Patra focuses on Caste census, jobs, restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, legal guarantee to MSP

The Congress’s Nyay Patra focused on caste census, employment for youths, restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and a legal guarantee to MSP among others.

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On Friday, the Congress released its manifesto barely weeks before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections kick off. The Congress’s Nyay Patra focused on caste census, employment for youths, restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and a legal guarantee to MSP among others.

The Congress’s Nyay Patra was released today at the AICC headquarters in the presence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Rajya Sabha MP K C Venugopal.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, after the release of the party manifesto, said that the party manifesto will be remembered as ‘Nyay ka dastavez’ in the political history of the country. The Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra, which was run under the leadership of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, focused on five pillars of the Yatra namely Yuva Nyay, Kisan Nyay, Naari Nyay, Shramik Nyay and Hissedari Nyay, he emphasised.

He added out of these five pillars, twenty-five guarantees emerged, and in every twenty-five guarantees, someone or the other gets benefited, under this, we have our manifesto here. The grand old party’s Paanch Nyay, five pillars of justice, included Yuva Nyay (Youth Justice), Naari Nyay (Women’s Justice), Kisan Nyay (Farmer’s Justice), Shramik Nyay (Workers Justice), Hissedari Nyay (Equity Justice). Kharge elaborated on all five pillars.

Speaking on the manifesto, Rahul Gandhi said that this election is about those who are trying to destroy the Constitution and destroy democracy in this country vs those who are trying to protect the Constitution and protect democracy in this country.

The Wayanad MP said that once this fight is won, Congress look after the interests of the vast majority of our people, ensuring that India is not run by 2 or 3 large conglomerates, that it is run by the vast majority of the people, that India is not a nation of monopolies, and that India is a nation where there is fair competition among businesses, he asserted. This election is a fundamentally different one. Gandhi said that he doesn’t think democracy has been as much at risk as it is today.

The party has said in its manifesto that it will abolish application fees for government examinations and government posts. Due to widespread unemployment, as a one-time measure of relief, the amount due including unpaid interest as of 15 March 2024 in respect of all student educational loans will be written off and the banks will be compensated by the government, Congress asserted.

The Congress party has promised to launch a Mahalakshmi scheme to provide Rs 1 lakh per year to every poor Indian family as an unconditional cash transfer. The poor will be identified among the families at the bottom of the income pyramid.

In its Manifesto, Congress has said that it will enact a separate legislation for the registration of sports federations/bodies/associations which will ensure full compliance with the Olympic Charter, allow for autonomy and full accountability, and provide recourse for members and sportspersons against discrimination, bias, sexual harassment, abuse, wrongful termination, etc. The party will provide sports scholarships of Rs 10,000 per month to talented and budding sportspersons below the age of 21.

The grand old party will reserve one-half (50 per cent) of central government jobs for women starting in 2025.

The central government’s contribution to pensions for senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities under the National Social Assistance Programme remains a pitiful Rs 200 to Rs 500 per month. Congress will raise this amount to Rs 1,000 per month, Congress promised.

The party will give a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) announced by the government every year, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.

Notably, Congress said it will amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to empower the Council to deal with the menace of fake news and paid news.

Congress will amend the election laws to combine the efficiency of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the transparency of the ballot paper.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

36.73% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in 5th phase of the Lok Sabha elections

36.73% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in 8 states and UTs; Maharashtra continues to put up a poor show

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Voter turnout at 1 pm was recorded at 36.73% for the 5th phase of the Lok Sabha elections. As this unfolds, significant political showdowns are set to take place across eight states and union territories. Bihar: 34.62%, Jharkhand: 41.89%, Jammu and Kashmir: 34.79%, Maharashtra 27.78%, Ladakh: 52.01%, Uttar Pradesh 39.55%, Odisha 35.31%, West Bengal: 48.41%

Voters in 49 Lok Sabha seats will decide the fate of 695 candidates, with many high-stakes contests featuring political dynasties and senior leaders striving to retain their influence. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Raebareli, a seat held by his mother, Sonia Gandhi, since 2004. He is also contesting the election from Wayanad in Kerala. After losing Amethi to Union Minister Smriti Irani in 2019, the Congress has fielded dedicated worker KL Sharma to challenge Irani this time.

Rohini Acharya, daughter of former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, makes her political debut from Saran Lok Sabha seat. Chirag Paswan of the LJP (Ram Vilas) aims to retain the legacy of his late father, Ram Vilas Paswan from Hajipur Lok Sabha seat.

13 out of 48 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra are undergoing elections including high-profile candidates: Dindori: Union Minister Bharati Pravin Pawar (BJP) vs. Bhaskar Bhagare (NCP). Dhule: BJP’s Subhash Ramrao Bhamre vs. Congress’s Shobha Dinesh Bachhav.

Palghar: Hemant Vishnu Savara (BJP) vs. Bharti Kamadi (Shiv Sena UBT). Nashik: Rajabhau Waje (Shiv Sena UBT) vs. Godse Hemant Tukaram (Shiv Sena). This election phase will also serve as a crucial battleground for the factions of Shiv Sena to measure their support among voters.

In Ladakh, an independent candidate is posing a significant challenge to both BJP and Congress contenders. Simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls are taking place in Odisha with the fifth phase, covering 5 Lok Sabha seats and 35 assembly constituencies. Voters in 3 parliamentary Lok Sabha seats — Chatra, Koderma, and Hazaribagh—will cast their votes in this phase.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

PM Modi visits Jagannath Temple, leads roadshow in Odisha

Ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha election, PM Modi today visited Odisha and offered prayer at Jagannath temple

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Jagannath temple in Puri, Odissa, on Monday morning, and offered prayers before leading a significant roadshow to rally support for BJP candidates ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The roadshow commenced at Marichkote Square and concluded at Medical Square on Grand Road. State BJP president Manmohan Samal, BJP MP candidate Sambit Patra, and MLA nominee Jayanta Sarangi accompanied the Prime Minister.

Thousands of BJP supporters lined the barricaded Grand Road, waving BJP’s banners and posters. The event saw elaborate security arrangements to ensure the safety of the Prime Minister and the public, as confirmed by the local police.

The Prime Minister’s visit to Puri comes at a crucial time as the second phase of polling for five Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 assembly seats in Odisha is underway, with strict security measures in place.

PM Modi’s engagement in Puri included not just the temple visit and the roadshow but also a series of strategic campaign stops. After the roadshow, he was scheduled to depart by helicopter for Angul, where he would address a large public meeting. The Prime Minister’s day was set to continue with another poll rally in Cuttack, reflecting the BJP’s intensive campaign efforts in the state.

The roadshow in Puri had high energy and drew a big crowd. The BJP aims to strengthen its position in Odisha, where regional parties have been strong contenders. Modi’s active campaigning is meant to gather voter support and improve the party’s chances in both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

The roadshow route, from Marichkote Square to Medical Square, is an important road in Puri and has been packed with supporters since early morning. This event showed how strong the BJP’s campaign is and how Modi personally connects with voters.

With voting already happening, the Prime Minister’s visit is likely to influence how people feel about the election. It could help undecided voters make up their minds and boost the morale of BJP supporters in the state.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Akshay Kumar votes for the first time after getting Indian citizenship

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During the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar cast his vote for the first time after becoming an Indian citizen last year. The actor, who previously held Canadian citizenship, was seen voting in Mumbai on Monday during the fifth phase of the elections. 

The Bhool Bhulaiyaa actor proudly showcased his ink-stained finger, symbolizing his participation in the election process. In a video shared by sources, he expressed his excitement and urged the citizens to vote. He stated that he wanted India to be developed and strong, and he voted with that in mind. He also mentioned that India should vote for what it deems right.

Reflecting on his experience, Akshay remarked that it was great and he was feeling very good. He highlighted the importance of the moment, noting that the actor marked his first vote as an Indian citizen.

The Entertainment actor obtained Indian citizenship in August 2023, which he celebrated by sharing a picture of his government documents on social media. He tweeted that both his heart and citizenship were Indian, and wished everyone a happy Independence Day, concluding with Jai Hind.

Discussing his decision, Akshay revealed that he hadn’t visited Canada for nearly a decade, despite holding Canadian citizenship. He mentioned that for 9 to 10 years he hadn’t gone there, although it was a very nice place and one of his best friends lived there. He decided that he should take Indian citizenship and noted that it was just a coincidence that he received a letter on August 15 confirming his citizenship.

Akshay initially applied for Canadian citizenship in the 1990s after facing a series of box office failures. He contemplated starting a cargo business in Canada with a friend. However, his fortunes changed with successful films, leading him to return to India. Despite the lomg process, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Akshay renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2019. He explained that it was just a travel document and that he pays his taxes in India, where he is the highest taxpayer.

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