LS tryst; Rahul files papers from Amethi, heavy turnout in 4 states
As Dadasaheb Phalke awardee Gulzars 'Jai Ho' started resonating again in some political camps, Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination from Amethi, the pocket borough of the Nehru-Gandhis.
A heavy voter turnout was reported from three Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam, two in Goa and one each in Sikkim and Tripura.
Simultaneous elections were held in Sikkim for the 32-member House.
Another blood-spattered paragraph was added when 14 polling officials and security personnel were killed in twin Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh's Bastar area.
Police said 12 others were injured -- five grievously-- when Naxalites triggered two landmines targeting polling teams returning with EVMs.
A bus carrying one team was heading for Bijapur district headquarters from Kutru polling centre. The rebels ambushed the vehicle within a forest in the vicinity of Ermanar village. The explosion was so intense that the bus was blown to pieces killing six people and injuring a dozen.
Accompanied by Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka, her hubby Robert Vadra, and a large contingent of supporters, a beaming Rahul filed papers and described his links with Amethi as a ' family like relationship.'
The Congress No.2 made it clear that he had not mounted a personal attack on Narendra Modi, but only cited facts.
His sister, Priyanka, also said Rahul had not made any personal attacks.
Unfazed by battering by his erstwhile aide Sanjaya Baru in his latest book, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh campaigned in high-profile Pilibhit constituency of Maneka Gandhi and accused BJP of dividing people on religious and communal lines.
Narendra Modi, in an interview to a TV channel, affirmed that he lived by his tradition and would not like to wear a skull cap to deceive people.
The BJP's pm nominee was questioned why he had declined to wear skull cap offered by a Muslim cleric in Gujarat three years ago.
'I live by my tradition which is why I would not like to wear a skullcap and pose for a photograph just to deceive people,' Modi said.
Controversy over SPs Azam Khan and BJPs Amit Shah acidic remarks in public meetings and subsequent banning of their speeches raged through both the camps.
''Though we respect the Election Commission a lot, the BJP is deeply saddened by its decision to ban Amit Shah's rallies in Uttar Pradesh.
''The BJP is anguished over comparison between Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's speeches,' the party's chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news conference in Ahmedabad.
GUWAHATI In Bareilly, Mulayam Singh Yadav contested the EC decision and said it was unfair to put both Azam Khan and Amit Shah in the same bracket.
The SP chieftain claimed that after the polls, Third Front government would be formed at the Centre, and added that the media had distorted his statement on rapists.
In Tamil Nadu, opposition DMK lodged a complaint with the Election Commission seeking stringent action against those allegedly distributing money to voters on behalf of the AIADMK with assistance from police and revenue officials. Rahul, locked in a three-cornered contest in Amethi with BJPs Smriti Irani and Kumar Vishwas of Aam Aadmi Party, declared financial assets worth Rs 9.40 crore, a rise of around four times since 2009.
He showed movable assets worth Rs 8.07 crore and immovable ones of Rs 1.33 crore.
A heavy voter turnout was witnessed in Phase IV polling in seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam, Goa, Sikkim and Tripura.
Over 50 per cent of the electoral college exercised their franchise till this evening in three Assam constituencies.
The withdrawal of an indefinite bandh in Karbi Anglong district, part of Autonomous District constituency (generally referred to as Diphu constituency),by tribal militants encouraged voter turnout.
Karimganj recorded 65 per cent voter turnout, Silchar 55 per Bent and Diphu 50 per cent.
Brisk polling was registered till noon in East Tripura tribal reserved constituency which rose to over 60 per cent till afternoon.
About 80 per cent voter turnout was registered in Sikkim till 1530 hours for the 32-member Assembly and a lone Lok Sabha seat. An average 43 per cent turnout was recorded till noon in both north and south Goa constituencies. Voting started at O700 hrs at a brisk pace.
' Ji Ho ' song of the acclaimed flick 'Slumdog Millionaire' reverberated afresh with the announcement of India's top cinematic honour to Gulzar, famous lyricist, poet, author and filmmaker.
(Posted on 12-04-2014)