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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge appointed INDIA Bloc chairperson

In today’s meeting except Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the conference was attended by every other party.

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Mallikarjun Kharge, the head of the Congress, has been selected to lead the opposition coalition INDIA after long discussion, according to sources. India bloc has not yet released a official statement.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was another candidate for the position, but he stated in today’s meeting that the Congressman ought to take the lead.

A coalition of opposition parties, including the Congress, is known as INDIA, or the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. In order to stop the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), from gaining a third consecutive term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the parties have united.

In today’s meeting except Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the conference was attended by every other party.

A number of the meeting’s leaders emphasised how critical it is to maintain national unity and prevent state-level divisions from upsetting the alliance.

But selecting a chairperson is just one of the numerous difficulties the INDIA bloc faces. The problem of everyone sharing a seat still needs to be addressed.

Given the state Congress’s reluctance to give up any seats in the assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh is not anticipated to be particularly understanding. The leader of the state party, Kamal Nath, has declined to carry out the central leadership’s pledge to secure six state seats.

At a meeting on Friday, Kharge encouraged the party’s Lok Sabha coordinators from various states to strengthen their ties to the people.

The second meeting was for coordinators from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Jammu-Kashmir, and Ladakh, while the first meeting was for representatives from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu.

Kharge had earlier on Thursday met with the coordinators of the Lok Sabha from various states.

The party has selected coordinators for all Lok Sabha constituencies in a bid to coordinate the efforts being made across the country ahead of the polls.

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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