“The latest announcement of the Congress Party if tested on simple arithmetic then Rs 72,000 is less than 2/3rd of the existing DBT under Modi government, which averages Rs 1.068 lakh annually. So what is being claimed by the Congress Party – a bluff announcement,” he tweeted.
Congress leader Milind Murli Deora, meanwhile, has replaced Sanjay Nirupam as the head of the party’s Mumbai unit with just weeks to go for the Lok Sabha election. Party spokesperson confirmed the rejig in a tweet. “With you as the Mumbai President, I am extremely confident the party will emerge stronger! I Look forward to working with you to achieve the same (sic),” she tweeted.
The Congress fielded Nirupam from the North West Mumbai as it released its tenth list, clearing 26 names for the Lok Sabha elections. Out of the 26 candidates announced by the party on Monday, 25 were for West Bengal. Mohammad Alam from Barrackpore, Mita Chakraborty from Kolkata Dakshin, Suvra Ghosh from Howrah, and Pratul Saha from Hooghly were among those named in the list. With this, the party has announced a total of 253 candidates so far.
The Samajwadi Party on Monday, meanwhile, said reports suggesting that Congress president Rahul Gandhi might contest from another seat besides Amethi reflect the “real picture” of that party’s strength in Uttar Pradesh. There has been speculation that Gandhi may also contest from Wayanad in Kerala. “We have heard that Congress president, apart from his seat of Amethi in UP would also contest election in other states such as Karnataka or Kerala. This shows the real picture of Congress’s organisational strength in Uttar Pradesh,” SP vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda said.
“We have left two seats for Congress in Uttar Pradesh and three seats for Rashtriya Lok Dal (of Chaudhary Ajit Singh). But the Congress has decided to fight in 73 seats of the state. We would like them to put up a good fight,” he said. Defending the decision to leave only two seats for the Congress in UP in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Nanda said in the 2017 state assembly polls, his party had forged an alliance with the Congress but it had failed to make any impact.
Meanwhile, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata today. “Our relationship with the honourable CM is quite old and I am coming to take my best wishes from her like last time,” Haasan told reporters following his arrival in the city. Haasan had earlier said that his meeting with the Trinamool Congress chief will be of a “political nature”, but remained cryptic about what will be discussed. The meeting is slated to take place later in the State Secretariat building- Nabanna.
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today announced the NYAY scheme, promising Rs 72,000 every year to 20 per cent of the poorest families if voted to power. “Five crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from this scheme. All calculations have been done. There is no such scheme anywhere else in the world,” Gandhi said in a press conference after the party’s working committee meeting.
Troubles for the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka are on the rise after the southern ally, failing to find a suitable candidate, decided to give back the Bangalore North seat to the Congress. Earlier, there were reports that the Karnataka Congress wanted JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Bangalore North constituency, but the latter decided to be fielded from Tumkur instead. BJP’s DV Sadananda Gowda is the sitting MP for the seat.
Nationalist Congress Party general secretary and chief spokesperson DP Tripathi will release the manifesto at 3pm at the party’s central office in New Delhi.
In a move to defer the release of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biopic, a Congress delegation is likely to approach the Election Commission today at 5.30pm. The Congress is set to appeal to the EC that the movie ‘PM Narendra Modi’ be released only after the final phase of voting is done, which is May 19. The grand old party claims that the April 5 release of the movie would amount to violation of the model code of conduct as it can lead to sizeable influence among voters.
Further, the meeting between Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the party’s Delhi unit on an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party was inconclusive, with the leaders saying the Congress chief would take the final call on the issue. Sources said the Congress leadership is also in talks with AAP leaders and senior leaders within the party are trying to convince the Delhi Congress for an alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. The development comes even as AAP leader Gopal Rai reiterated that the AAP will contest alone, and now it’s too late to join hands.