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A war of words between PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Two years after demonetization and its aftermath, the move and its fallout continue to be among the core issues in public and political discourse. While Narendra Modi government has extended a number of ‘innovative’ justifications for the step, the Prime Minister and Congress president Rahul Gandhi engaged in a war of words of sorts, raising the issue in their respective rallies during their election campaigns.

While addressing a rally in Chattisgarh, PM Modi claimed not a single person had any issue with the demonetization but “only a family” was facing problems.

The Prime Minister also claimed the Congress was “worried” that he took away all the money its “minions and friends” had stashed under their beds and in sacks in one stroke.

“Something rankles them (Congress) in such a way that they are still not able to sleep…No one sitting here is crying. But only a family is crying,” Modi told the gathering at Ambikapur.

He said his government’s fight against corruption would go on and those who had plundered public money “will have to return what they looted”.

Modi said his government was investing the money recovered post-demonetisation on carrying out public works and funding welfare schemes.

Speaking at a rally in adjoining Madhya Pradesh, which goes to the polls on November 28, Gandhi launched a broadside against the prime minister over note-ban and accused him of “robbing” the hard-earned money of the poor and giving it to rich men.

After the note ban exercise, which had rendered 86 per cent of the total currency in circulation invalid, Modi made honest and hardworking citizens stand in queues outside banks, he said, addressing the rally in Sagar district.

“He (Modi) allowed the rich like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya (all accused of financial frauds) to flee the country with your money and made you stand in queues outside banks. Time will prove how Modi had robbed you and gave your money to a few rich,” he claimed.

Gandhi also claimed demonetisation had helped turn black money into white (legal).

“These days, Modi’s speeches don’t have any mention of (eradicating) corruption, a tall promise that he had made before coming to power,” Gandhi charged.

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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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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Amit Shah files nomination from Gandhinagar

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah was accompanied by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.

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Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah submitted his nomination today from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. During his nomination, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhuperndra Patel accompained him.

Former deputy prime minister and BJP chief LK Advani, who earlier served as a representative of this seat during Shah’s successful run for re-election.

Soon after filing nomination, Shah said, today he has submitted his nomination from the Gandhinagar seat. He said it is a matter of pride for him that this seat was represented by the former Prime Minister  Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and the seat where Narendra Modi himself is a voter. He also said he has been an MLA and MP from this seat for 30 years. The people of this region have given him immense love, Shah said.

With an astounding vote share of 69.67 percent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shah maintained the BJP’s stronghold in Gandhinagar with a resounding victory. Election turnout has been consistently high in the city.

In 1984–85, Amit Shah joined the BJP. His political skills and organizational prowess were recognized, and he soon became the national treasurer of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

Amit Shah’s political career took a significant turn in 1991.

Shah became the national president of the BJP in 2014, and he was promoted to the position of Home Minister five years later.

In the context of Indian politics, Gandhinagar is a historical landmark. The former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, won seats from Gandhinagar and Lucknow in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. However, he decided to stay to his Lucknow seat, opening the door for other leaders to set their mark in Gandhinagar.

Meanwhile, Congress has fielded its party secretary Sonal Patel from Gandhinagar.

Gujarat is scheduled to go for a single phase of elections on May 7. The results of the election will be announced on June 4.

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