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Martyrs’ day and its nuggets: Mamata Banerjee admonishes BJP and CPI(M)

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By Arnab Mitra

On the eve of the age-old martyrs’ day celebration, Mamata Banerjee kicked off her election campaign for the forthcoming state assembly elections.

Picture credit: indiatoday.in
Picture credit: indiatoday.in

On the 21st of July 1993, 13 people were shot dead in a police firing owing to their incessant demands to make voter ID card as the sole document to exercise one’s right to vote. It was Mamata Banerjee who started off with this annual affair; a day to commemorate the sacrifices of the martyrs at Shahid Minar.

In an effort to save her party from the string of criticisms dogging her and her party members, she lambasted the media and the opposition parties, “the media and the opposition parties are working hand in glove to shatter the image of the Government, but the people are stronger than media and they will judge our performance”.

Reiterating her distrust in the Modi government, she says, “ Don’t teach us how to deal with corruption, better see yourselves.” Criticizing Modi’s flagship programmes like Swach Bharat Abhiyan and Beti Padao aur Beti Bachao Andolan, she added, “Modi ji work, don’t say.”

Picture credit: indiatoday.in
Picture credit: indiatoday.in

Fleshing out her government’s progress report, she added that Nadia district has been declared as India’s cleanest district by UNESCO. Further, shedding light on the state government’s initiative to up the status of girls in the state, she also restated that Kanyashri Prakalpa – a state-run program to support and empower adolescent girls- has 22 lakhs adolescent girls under its wings, the number being the highest amongst the states.

Refuting the media furore about her joining hands with the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections, she said, “Trinamool Congress will fight alone and win all the assembly seats in Bengal”.

Giving an inkling of her party’s strength and intent, she lashed out at her predecessors, “ For 35 years CPI(M) failed to develop the state, and when we are trying to bring forth development, they are feeling jealous. In 2016, the CPI(M) party will totally be removed from the state”.

Besides applauding her party members for the amount of hard work they have put in, she also ensured the youth of the state that they will soon be bagging coveted employment opportunities. According to her, the government will soon hire two lakh people in different sectors.

Rolling out her schemes exclusively meant for the poor, she said the state government will be providing ration on a monthly basis to three lakhs poor people in Bengal.

Further, the government will be giving scholarships to students hailing from the minority communities and will be building 22 multi-specialty hospitals and five new universities in Bengal.

 

indianexpress.com
indianexpress.com

Mamata Banerjee also gave a strong message to her party workers. She said, “To be a Trinamool party member, you have to follow five Ds- Discipline, Dedication, Determination, Devotion and Development”.

Painting a pro-poor picture of her party, she said Trinamool is a party for the poor people and not for the businessmen.

In an attempt at sporting her support for a party bereaved of corruption, she warned her party members involved in syndicates or illegal mining activities of grave repercussions. In addition, she asked the young generation to respect their elders and teachers.

As a last nail on the coffin, she congratulated the people of Kolkata for their recent victory in the elections to the Kolkata Municipal corporation and promised the people that she will arrange a victory party in Kolkata after Bengal becomes green in the 2016 assembly elections.

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)