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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

BJP’s Kamal Nath plan continues to unfold, his acolytes keep ditching the Congress

Deepak Saxena is the latest to desert the Congress and the most damaging so far. He has been a Kamal Nath acolyte for four decades and was minister.

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By Neeraj Mishra

When Kamal Nath had been denied entry into the BJP, we had confidently bared a secret game plan assigned to him by the BJP. It involved Nath staying back in the Congress and damaging it from inside in lieu of later rewards. The plan continues to unfold as Kamal Nath supporters have been joining the BJP in droves. The latest to desert is the most damaging so far, Deepak Saxena, who has been a Kamal Nath acolyte for four decades. Saxena was also a minister under Digvijaya Singh in both his terms as chief minister in the 1990s.

Kamal Nath’s BJP entry has been denied temporarily as the Sikh farmers are agitating on the highways heading to Delhi. Nath’s name is soiled in the anti-Sikh riots case of 1984. Another reason was that the BJP could not find any position “worthy”  of his stature. It is expected he will be inducted into the party after the Lok Sabha victory and given a good ministry. We had even reported that a Gujarat businessman was behind the BJP-Nath arrangements.

Saxena resigned from all his positions within the party and he and his son Ajay are likely to join the BJP after Holi. Saxena and Sajjan Singh Verma alongwith former Speaker NP Prajapati are seen as the closest associates of Nath. The ground team has already been sent to the BJP by Nath as most Congress corporators from Chhindwara have joined the BJP. It all points towards a sinister plot where Nakul Nath may eventually emerge as the BJP candidate after the official candidate withdraws making his victory a foregone conclusion.

Nakul Nath is presently the Congress candidate and is likely to slip into BJP at the last moment. Such things have happened before in Madhya Pradesh. Bhagirath Prasad, a former IAS officer considered close to Digvijaya Singh, had been given the Congress ticket from Bhind in 2014. He also got the BJP ticket from the same constituency and junked the Congress ticket to win handsomely. Nakul is expected to do the same.

Saxena’s exit is actually Kamal Nath’s style of functioning. He first sends out his team out on the field to create an atmosphere and welcome him when he lands. The same is happening now. His entire team which was managed by Saxena is now in the BJP and they will take care of his welcome in the party as and when it happens. The existing Chhindwara BJP unit will automatically get replaced by the Nath gang.

Meanwhile, the rush of Congressmen at the BJP gates is so heavy that the BJP has even formed a welcome committee called New Joining Committee under former Home Minister Narottam Mishra. Another former Digvijaya minister Yadvendra Singh also joined the  BJP weakening the Congress in Vindhya region as he took with him 13 other local heavyweights.

Former Congress MLA Narayan Tripathi, who had recently formed the Vindhya Janata Dal, will now contest the Satna seat from the BSP.  

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Voter turnout of 56.68% recorded till 5pm in 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections

Elections are being held in 49 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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A voter turnout of 56.68 % was recorded in phase 5 till 5 pm as per the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App, with the highest voting percentage in West Bengal (73 %) and the lowest in Maharashtra (48.66 %). Lok Sabha elections are taking place in 49 constituencies across 8 states and Union Territories in the 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Voter turnout of 56.68% was recorded till 5pm. The breakup is as follows: J&K: 54.21%, Bihar: 52.35%, Ladakh: 67.15%, Jharkhand: 61.90%, Maharashtra: 48.66%, UP: 55.80%, Odisha: 60.55% and West Bengal: 73%. The fate of 4 Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, as well as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be decided in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. Former UP CM Mayawati, BJP’s Rae Bareli candidate Dinesh Pratep Singh, Smriti Irani were among the early voters today who cast their vote in the morning.

 The Lucknow East Lok Sabha seat will also hold a bypoll on the same day. The Lok Sabha seats which are participating in this phase include Rae Bareli, Mohanlalganj, Jalaun (SC), Amethi, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Banda, Kaushambi (SC), Fatehpur, Faizabad, Barabanki (SC), Gonda  and Kaisarganj. The candidates also include and minister of state of consumer affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and minister of state for housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj). Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat which was previously held by his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

 The total number of voters expected to cast their vote in this phase is over 2.68 crore voters, with 144 candidates looking for their support. 11 BJP incumbent Lok Sabha MPs are contesting in this phase, while nominating new candidates in Kaisarganj and Barabanki (SC) Lok Sabha seats.

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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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