By- Mohammad Javed Rasheedi
Campaigning for the assembly polls in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and phase three in West Bengal and Assam ended on Sunday evening.
In Kerala, the ruling Left Democratic Front, the United Democratic Front, of which the Congress is a part, and the BJP are the three key contenders that are fighting in all 140 constituencies.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, an MP from Wayanad, is campaigning in Kerala as the campaign for Assembly polls is ending on Sunday. Gandhi reached the ancient Lord Mahavishnu Temple in Thirunelli and offered prayers. Reaching out to the voters at an UDF meeting at Vellamunda in Mananthavady, he promised that every poor person in the state will get Rs 6,000 every month without fail, if the UDF is voted to power.
Tamil Nadu too has witnessed a hectic campaign over the last few weeks. The AIADMK-BJP combine is eyeing re-election as the DMK-Congress coalition, actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam, and TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam give it a tough fight.
Tejasvi Surya, BJP MP from South Bangalore, promised the people of the state to put an end on Periyarism in Tamil Nadu if his party wins. Interestingly, the DMK candidates trolled Narendra Modi requesting him to campaign for AIADMK-BJP candidates. Tamil Nadu will vote on Tuesday.
Among others, Puducherry, which has only one representative in the Parliament, is also gearing up for the upcoming state assembly elections. The Union Territory, which is currently under presidential rule, will go to polls for 30 seats two months after the V Narayanasamy-led Congress government slipped into majority in a huge embarrassment for the party.
Accepting senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma’s plea seeking a reduction in the duration of the campaign, the Election Commission on Saturday halved the ban imposed on him from 48 to 24 hours. Now, Sarma will be able to campaign on Sunday, the final day before the third and last phase of the assembly election in Assam.
The ban was imposed late Friday night for threatening to send BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary, an opposition leader whose party had formerly allied with his, to jail. The EC had banned Sarma for 48 hour after a complaint by Congress Party. On Tuesday, voting will be held in 40 seats in Assam.
After EC’s decision to allow Sarma to campaign in the state, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Election Commission on Saturday and tweeted two-word election “Commission”. He took to Twitter after a huge controversy over officials transporting EVM in a BJP candidate’s car in Assam and a reduction of campaign ban duration on a senior BJP leader.
Voting will be held on Tuesday for the third phase in Bengal which has been witnessing a vitriolic campaign in a closely-fought election between the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the Congress-Left alliance. On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reached Bengal to campaign for the BJP.