Poll campaigning has taken off in the country as political parties declare their candidates for the remaining Lok Sabha seats in a race against time. Several leaders made a beeline to file their candidature for this high-stakes battle as last date for filing nominations for the first phase ends today, March 25 .
It may be noted that there are 91 constituencies in over 20 states and Union Territories which will vote in the first phase on April 11.
These include states from all corners of the country – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal along with Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, UP, Andaman and Lakshadweep. Nominees can withdraw their candidature by March 28.
The last-minute scramble for filing the nomination papers by candidates of various parties has been marred by defections, infighting, and indecisiveness.
Nitin Gadkari files nomination from Nagpur
BJP heavyweight Nitin Gadkari filed his nomination papers from Nagpur today. The nomination papers were filed by Gadkari following a major show of strength by BJP workers. Gadkari was flanked by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other leaders of the party. In the 2014 general elections, Gadkari, currently Union minister in the Narendra Modi government, defeated Vilas Muttemwar of the Congress by a margin of 2.84 lakh votes. Gadkari said he will win with a bigger margin this time around. Nagpur goes to polls on April 11.
Hema Malini files nomination from Mathura today
Monday morning saw BJP’s firebrand leader and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offering prayers with Lok Sabha candidate from Mathura Hema Malini at Banke Bihari temple, ahead of her filing nomination for the seat which goes to polls on April 18. Rumours had started doing the rounds that singer-dancer Sapna Choudhary could be fielded against Hema Malini, on a Congress ticket, however, Choudhary later refuted the reports.
Jammu and Kashmir
National Conference (NC) leader Farookh Abdullah on Monday filed the nomination papers for Srinagar constituency in Jammu and Kashmirwhich goes to polls in the second phase.
Karti Chidambaram files nomination
Drama unfolded in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the allotment and seat sharing. Putting rumours to rest, Congress gave Karti Chidambaram, Congress leader and son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, a second chance from Sivaganga from where he filed his nomination today. People of Sivaganga constituency will vote on April 18 in second phase.
The Chidambaram father-son duo are battling in court battle over charges by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in cases of alleged irregularities in grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The Congress leader is up against a firebrand BJP leader H Raja,who is the BJP national secretary, known for his several controversial remarks because of a viral video of him calling the state police ‘anti-Hindu’, and ‘corrupt’ last year. He claimed that the video was doctored.
Former union minister EM Sudarshana Nachiappan, who is upset over the party’s decision and told news agency, ANI, “The cadres from the constituency are disappointed. His (Karti Chidambaram) family has done nothing for the constituency, instead they have accumulated wealth. This could damage Congress’ reputation.”
This ticket is being called a second chance because Karti had lost the Sivaganga seat to AIASMK in 2014; this constituency had been held by P Chidambaram since 1984.
Tumkur becomes a bone of contention between Congress and JD(S)
Row erupted over the coveted Tumkur Karnataka’s sitting Congress MP from Tumkur SP Muddhanumegowda said that he had filed his nomination as the a Congress candidate from the region despite deciding on Congress-JDS joint candidate Deve Gowda.
Muddhanumegowda rebelled against Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara’s call to follow the coalition decision which meant that Congress to contest from 20 seats while JD(S) recieved eight seats, including the coveted Tumkur seat from where JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has been finalised as the coalition candidate from the region.
The rebel move could be a serious blow to the coalition between the two parties as Lok Sabha polls come knocking.
Odisha: BJP candidate files nomination for Cuttack
Former Odisha DGP and DG CRPF Prakash Mishra has been declared as BJP candidate from parliamentary constituency of Cuttack in Odisha which will go to polls in phase III. He had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday.
Bharatiya Janata Party also released list of candidates for two parliamentary constituencies and nine assembly constituencies in Odisha. Kharbela Swain who joined BJP on Monday will contest from parliamentary constituency of Kandhamal.
Tripura which goes to poll on April 11 and April 18 had a crucial announcement to hear. Tripura Congress President Pradyot Kishore: Congress & Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) are going ahead in LokSabhaElections2019 with an alliance. The party president said that LS polls will be a test for forces which want to bring in Citizen Amendment Bill against those who want to oppose it. Citizen Amendment Bill has been a contentious topic in the state that saw numerous protest over it.