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Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates: Rajnath Singh to address public meetings in West Bengal

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address public meetings in West Bengal today, ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state. He will address public meetings in Joypur, Taldangra, and Kakdwip assembly seats.

Meanwhile, in Kerala, BJP candidate and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan said that he was certain the BJP could win in the assembly polls, predicting that “either the party will have a full majority or enough numbers of seats to evolve as a kingmaker in the state”. “I think this will have a tremendous effect on the morale of people who were let off by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) governments. People will vote for the BJP,” he told ANI.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday took serious note of a complaint alleging that the Puducherry unit of the BJP accessed and misused the personal details about voters, including their phone numbers, linked to their Aadhar cards. It has directed the Election Commission of India to file a report by Friday on the steps taken by it to prevent such acts from taking place ahead of the Assembly elections.

A law against love jihad, freeing up temple administration from political parties’ control, legislation to protect the traditions at Sabarimala and a ban on forced conversions are some of the highlights of the manifesto released by the BJP-led NDA for Kerala election

Burnt offices, embers of protests: The faint pulse of CAA in heartland
On December 12, 2019, a day after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by Parliament, this small town in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district had erupted into violent protests. The same night, the town’s railway station, post-office and Circle Office, apart from sitting BJP MLA Binod Hazarika’s house, were set on fire, with Chabua, home to both Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and wanted ULFA militant Paresh Baruah, emerging as the epicentre of the anti-CAA protests after Guwahati.

Hundreds of local youths were picked up from here and several charged under stringent laws.

Amidst the Assam elections, the BJP has maintained complete silence on the CAA, even after promising to implement it in West Bengal. Its manifesto released on Tuesday too didn’t mention the Act, though party president J P Nadda said, “The CAA has been passed by Parliament… It will be implemented in letter and spirit.” Read the full report here.

Rajnath Singh to address public meetings in West Bengal today
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address public meetings in West Bengal on Thursday, ahead of the upcoming Assembly Elections in the state. He will address meetings in Joypur, Taldangra, and Kakdwip assembly constituencies. “Heading to West Bengal to address election meetings in Joypur, Taldangra and Kakdwip assembly constituencies. Looking forward to it,” he tweeted.

Hello and welcome to our Election LIVE Blog! Follow this space for the latest updates on the upcoming Assembly Elections in four states and one Union Territory.

Burnt offices, embers of protests: The faint pulse of CAA in heartland
On December 12, 2019, a day after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by Parliament, this small town in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district had erupted into violent protests. The same night, the town’s railway station, post-office and Circle Office, apart from sitting BJP MLA Binod Hazarika’s house, were set on fire, with Chabua, home to both Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and wanted ULFA militant Paresh Baruah, emerging as the epicentre of the anti-CAA protests after Guwahati.

Hundreds of local youths were picked up from here and several charged under stringent laws.

Amidst the Assam elections, the BJP has maintained complete silence on the CAA, even after promising to implement it in West Bengal. Its manifesto released on Tuesday too didn’t mention the Act, though party president J P Nadda said, “The CAA has been passed by Parliament… It will be implemented in letter and spirit.”

From Trichy, a story of two families, best friends forever
It’s a family friendship that goes back generations — starting with Anbil Mahesh Poyyamuzhi’s grandfather Anbil Dharmalingam and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s grandfather M Karunanidhi, continuing with their respective fathers Anbil Poyyamuzhi and Stalin, and now the two of them.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Udhayanidhi, who is making his electoral debut, said he began his foray into politics campaigning for Mahesh in the 2016 Assembly polls, when Mahesh stood from Thiruverumbur, in his family’s pocketborough of Trichy. Even Karunanidhi had attended a rally for Mahesh, establishing him as one of the DMK’s next-generation faces.

As Mahesh, 43, walks 10 hours a day, seeking votes again in Thiruverumbur, the Tamil Nadu first family’s backing is clearly with him. There are at least 100 cadres in his entourage, mostly youth. His campaign office has huge posters of him and Udhayanidhi flanking Stalin.

To return to power, Kerala CPM banks on ‘Visual Vijayan Vote’
At the press meet in Kottayam, Kerala’s most visible political face is doing what he is best at – telling the media what exactly he wants to do. Not a word more, not a syllable less. The clinically controlled delivery is nothing new to those who have watched this 77-year-old stalwart of both party and government.

What is new is that the state’s laidback TV viewers have taken to the measured tone. Over the last one year, since the outbreak of the pandemic in March, Vijayan was on TV at 6 pm on weekdays, giving a methodical account of the day’s Covid situation. Malayalam news channels saw viewerships soar to entertainment channel highs.

Party insiders expect a corresponding voter response, notably from women. The cumulative daily build-up of a reassuring chief-in-charge is what the party banks on as the state votes on April 6. Called ‘triple V’ (Visual Vijayan Vote), this is crucial to an election that cannot be taken for granted. You can never rule out the Congress which under Rahul Gandhi scored an upset win in the last Lok Sabha polls. The BJP-led third front is out to win seats and become kingmaker.