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PM Modi vs Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal: Key Pointers from the Election Battleground Today

Bengal has become an important factor in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with the BJP trying to make inroads into the populous state that holds crucial 42 Lok Sabha seats.


Updated:April 3, 2019, 11:24 AM IST
PM Modi vs Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal: Key Pointers from the Election Battleground Today
Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: With eight days to go before the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 11, every day is now crammed with political rallies. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi are holding back-to-back rallies across different regions.

The Congress in its election manifesto released on Tuesday, promised the much politicised minimum income guarantee (NYAY scheme) for the bottom 20 per cent, a twofold increase in education budget allocation amounting to six per cent of the GDP, a separate Kisan Budget, withdrawal of sedition law, proposal for amendment in AFSPA, removal of criminal offence in case of agriculture loan defaulters, separate industry for industries, services and employment and absorption in 20 lakh public sector vacancies by March 2020.

The BJP termed the Congress’s plan of AFSPA amendment a threat to national integration. The party leaders are likely to further target the Congress over the promises it has made in the manifesto. Here’s what to expect from the rallies top leaders from various national parties are holding on Wednesday.

PM Modi vs Mamata Banerjee in Bengal

After an early morning public meet in Arunacahal Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head to West Bengal on Wednesday. Bengal has become an important battleground in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with the BJP trying to make inroads into the populous state that holds crucial 42 Lok Sabha seats. The state, a historical hotbed of Left politics, is also a major centre of resistance to the BJP government, with Trinamool Congress chief and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee holding the fort.

Modi will hold rallies in Siliguri and in Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata. The TMC chief, never one to shy away from a head-on fight herself, will counter with a mega rally in Dinhata, Cooch Behar district in the state.

Before Modi heads to Bengal, he will also visit Arunachal Pradesh for a rally in Pasighat. Interestingly, an amount of Rs 1.8 crore was recovered from Arunachal BJP president Tapir Gao’s vehicle on Tuesday night. Modi, after his rallies in Bengal, will head to Gondia in Maharashtra for another rally.

Rahul Gandhi in Northeast

The Congress president is heading to the Northeast, where the saffron party has made considerable inroads in the past few years. Gandhi will visit Nagaland and Assam on Wednesday in a bid to revitalise the grand old party that long enjoyed a stronghold in the region. The eight Northeast states hold 25 Lok Sabha seats.

The Congress president will hold a rally in Dimapur in Nagaland and then head to Bokakhat and Lakhimpur in Assam. In Bokakhat, he will address a public meet on the campaign trail for Congress candidate Gaurav Gogoi from Kaliabor constituency. He will then campaign for Anil Borgohain, the Congress candidate for Lakhimpur.

Amit Shah in Jammu & Kashmir

BJP president Amit Shah will hold two mega rallies in Udhampur and Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. Shah will be campaigning for BJP candidates, sitting MP Jugal Kishore Sharma and Union minister Jitendra Singh, who are seeking reelection from Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituencies.

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