Election Tracker LIVE: NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew Parth and senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer figure in the second list of five candidates for next month’s Lok Sabha poll, declared by the party on Friday. Parth, son of senior NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, will be contesting from the Maval constituency.
Parth’s candidature follows Sharad Pawar stepping back from the poll arena from Madha seat to accommodate his grand-nephew in the list. The party has so far not announced any candidate for the controversial Ahmednagar and Madha seats. Pawar was expected to contest from Madha but recently declared he won’t do so.
The Samajwadi Party on Friday announced its first candidate in Madhya Pradesh as part of its alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party to contest unitedly in that state. “The SP has announced Ratiram Bansal as its candidate on Tikamgarh Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh," party chief spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said.
The SP and the BSP alliance had last month announced a electoral pact to fight Lok Sabha election in MP and Uttarakhand besides Uttar Pradesh. The SP will contest on three seats — Balaghat, Tikammgarh and Khajuraho - while the BSP will field candidates on the remaining 26 seats in Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress is considering fielding former chief minister Digvijay Singh from Bhopal and changing the seat of AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna to Gwalior, sources have told News18. The candidatures have been recommended by Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) of Congress to Central Election Committee (CEC) for clearance.
Of the total 29 parliamentary constituencies, single names have been recommended each in half-a-dozen parliamentary constituencies by the PEC to the CEC for consideration. According to sources, Kamal Nath’s son Nakul has also been recommended as a party candidate for the polls from Chhindwara LS seat, which is currently held by his father.
The Bahujan Samaj Party today joined hands with Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena for Andhra Pradesh assembly elections. Announcing that the seats have finalised between the parties, Mayawai said, “It will be great to see Pawan as AP chief minister. We will soon be beginning our campaign."
Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that Tom Vadakkan is “not a big leader" when asked about the party turncoat joining BJP. In an embarrassment to the grand old party, Vadakkan, once seen as a key aide of Sonia Gandhi, joined the saffron on Thursday, saying he was “deeply hurt" over the opposition party’s stand post-Pulwama terror strike.
The Congress also announced to fight Lok Sabha polls on 10 Tamil Nadu seats, while Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) said that it would contest on 20 seats. Stalin’s party has left two seats each for CPI, CPI(M) and VCK and one each for MDMK, IJK, KDMK and IUML.
Supreme Court today issued notice to the Election Commission on plea of 21 Opposition parties, asking it to pass a directive that electronic voting machines be made tamper-proof. The parties want mandatory verification of 50 per cent votes by paper trail before announcement of results in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, sources have told News18 that Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has backed out of alliance with BJP. An official announcement is likely at noon.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had declared in an opposition meet in February that the parties will move SC against use of EVMs. Naidu is the lead petitioner in this case.
Apart from Naidu’s TDP, the parties that have approached the apex court include the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Derek O’Brien for the Trinamool Congress, Farooq Abdullah for the National Conference, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The decision to approach SC was taken in the meeting at Sharad Pawar’s residence.
In a meeting with the Election Commission in February, Opposition parties had raised doubts about the credibility of electronic voting machines, though the EC has repeatedly denied allegations that the machines can be tampered with. Dismissing the apprehensions, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that the country would not revert to using ballot papers for elections.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray are expected to begin their joint state-wide tour today, from Vidarbha. Both the leaders are scheduled to address elected representatives and party workers at Amravati on Friday morning at around 11 am and at Nagpur around 2 pm. However, due to the bridge collapse incident, the rallies could be affected.