Bangalore: Ahead of the second phase of Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani on Tuesday unveiled the party’s Vision Document on infrastructure development for the country.
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The document spells out BJP’s broad perspectives and plans for infrastructure development and commitment to take up 100 projects of national importance from different sectors and their time-bound implementation.
Asserting that the release of the document mid-way through the election process was not a “course correction,” he said infrastructure development had been taken up by the party even when the National Democratic Alliance was in power and cited the example of its endeavour in river-linking project.
“I have always believed that our country deserves infrastructure--both physical and social--that is second to none in the world and commensurate with quality and quantity of our goal of making the 21st century as India’s century”, said Advani after releasing the document.
“Rapid infrastructure development is critical for accelerated economic growth, removal of unemployment, bridging the rural-urban divide, broad-basing prosperity both geographically and socially and ensuring a better life for every citizen”, he said.
Mayawati attacks EC, accuses it of working on Congress directions
Lucknow: Launching a scathing attack on the Election Commission, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Tuesday accused the poll body of working on the directions of the Congress and its allies to stop her party Bahujan Samaj Party from gaining power.
“I would like to say that the EC officials are acting on the directives of the Congress and its allies. The EC under political pressure is trying to stop BSP to gain power despite the party having peoples’ support in its favour,” Mayawati alleged.
She told reporters, “Both members of EC (Navin Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi) are active members of the Congress coterie. Under such circumstances, free and fair elections are not possible in the country. I strongly condemn the EC tactics.”
Mayawati alleged Quraishi was “biased and is trying to help his political friends in Uttar Pradesh.
“Quraishi has interest in UP as he hails from this state and has number of close relatives here. He is also having good relations with a prominent SP leader and trying to help one of his old friend, who is contesting on a Congress ticket,” she alleged.
Mayawati also alleged that transfer of police officers on Monday in Jaunpur where a candidate was found hanging had “proved apprehensions of former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami regarding integrity of his successor Navin Chawla”.
Mayawati alleged that Congress leaders were threatening her by misusing Central Bureau of Investigation.
She also alleged opposition parties, in a bid to disrupt the poll process, may engineer a communal or casteist riots in the state.
“The opposition parties can also engineer a terror or naxalite attack behind the scene. Any political party can also get me killed during election campaign. The Congress can go to any extent to stop my party,” she alleged.
Accusing the Congress of misusing the government machinery, Mayawati alleged that in the last assembly elections similar tactics were adopted to demoralise the BSP workers and the party.
“Congressmen, who are sitting in the EC, joined hands with the SP and created problems for the BSP. I would like to question Chawla and Quraishi that why don’t they visit states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Chaittisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, which witnessed heavy violence in the first phase of polling,” she said.
She alleged the opposition parties were not happy with the fact that a Dalit’s daughter was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. “They do not want that a Dalit’s daughter to become the prime minister,” she alleged.
Rahul Gandhi, Pawar, Paswan’s fate tied in Phase-II LS polls
New Delhi: Duelling campaign for the 23 April round-two Lok Sabha elections in 141 constituencies ends on Tuesday, leaving contestants including Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Ramvilas Paswan and Sushma Swaraj to wait for voters to decide their fate.
At the end of the second phase, polls would be completed to 265 seats, just seven short of the magic number that parties need to form a government in the 545-member house. Elections are held to only 543 seats, as two members are nominated from the Anglo-Indian community.
Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election from the Gandhi family pocket-borough of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Pawar from the newly created seat of Madha in Maharashtra, Swaraj from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh and Paswan from Hajipur in Bihar.
Union commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath is contesting from Chhindwara constituency in Madhy Pradesh, while other prominent names include Akhilesh Prasad Singh (Purvi Champaran, Bihar), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (Vaishali, Bihar) and Raghunath Jha (Valmikinagar, Bihar).
A total of 2,041 candidates, including 121 women, are in the fray in this round. The states to be covered are Andhra Pradesh 20 Lok Sabha seats, Assam 11, Bihar 13, Goa two, Jammu and Kashmir one, Karnataka 17, Madhya Pradesh 13, Maharashtra 25, Manipur one, Orissa 11, Tripura two, Uttar Pradesh 17 and Jharkhand eight.
Unity of country threatened by divisive forces: Sonia
Ranchi: The country was not only facing threat from terrorists, but also those who were out to divide society on the basis of region and religion, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi said on Tuesday.
“The unity of the country is not only facing threat from terrorist outfits from outside, but also from divisive forces trying to divide the country,” Gandhi told an election meeting in the Jharkhand capital.
Stating that people of all religions, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, wanted to live in peace, she said those trying to divide the people were enemies of the country.
Gandhi said that the UPA government had, without discrimination, provided funds to all states for different programmes, but whether they were properly spent was for the people to judge.
Turning to the youth, the UPA chairperson said that it was the late Rajiv Gandhi who had brought down the minimum age for voting to 18 years which had enabled many to vote for the first time in the ongoing elections.
“In the face of empty promises being made by some forces, it is for you to decide who should be entrusted with the development and progress of the country,” she said.
Rahul Gandhi to visit Sikkim on 25 April
Gangtok: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will visit Sikkim on 25 April to address an election meeting.
Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to pay a brief visit to Sikkim on Saturday and address a poll meeting at Paljor Stadium, Luzinho Faleiro, CWC member and the party’s in-charge of north eastern states said on Tuesday.
His visit would provide a boost to the party in this Himalayan state, Faleiro, former Goa chief minister, said.
The Congress state unit had earlier released a campaign programme in which both Rahul Gandhi and the party president Sonia Gandhi were tentatively scheduled to visit Sikkim for campaigning on 19 April and 26 April respectively. However, their tour was later cancelled.
The Congress is contesting 32 assembly and the lone Lok Sabha seat in Sikkim the polling for which will be held on 30 April.