Countdown on to wrap 91 per cent election; Campaign ends Mon
Determined to consolidate gains and make up losses in the penultimate round on May 7-which brings curtains down on 91 per cent election-parties, armed with verbal arrows, fanned out in large tracts of 64 constituencies sprawled mainly over Seemandhara, central and eastern Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.
Law-enforcing agencies took strong note of terrorist strikes in Tamil Nadu and killings in Assam on Friday. Though polling is over in these two states, security has been reviewed for polls mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, West Bengal for the remaining two rounds.
Leaders took asylum in cool environs of their sprawling bungalows and houses after hectic canvassing in seven rounds to embark on the campaign trail with renewed vigour from today-last week-end-ahead of the polling on Wednesday.
Many in BJP looked confident of formation of the NDA government at the Centre, but Congress, which was a shaky starter initially,appeared confident of winning a good number of seats though reticent leaders say the next government is anybody's guess in this 'watershed' polls. They say new norms have been laid and voters mainly highlighted 'missing representatives' and sought report cards mainly on the BSP (Bijli,Sadak,Pani) count. Oft repeated comments that it was the domain of respective state governments, did not cut ice.
Samajwadi Party leader Prof Ram Gopal Yadav,while nursing a minor operation near his eye, was gearing up for campaign in UP ahead of next two rounds of polls and seen leaving directions for measured and balanced comments in the wake of strict model code of conduct.
In meetings in Sant Kabir Nagar, Basti, Gonda and Balrampur, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi alleged that a mother-son duo has ruined the nation and given way to a number of scams.
Without taking the names of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul, Modi said, "the mother-son duo has given the worst governance and ruined the country for their mere political gain."
The Gujarat Chief Minister, while addressing election meetings in Sant Kabir Nagar and Basti districts, flayed the Congress-led UPA government for the alleged massive scams that have earned bad name for the nation.
In Amethi, where stumping ends on Monday, Priyanka Gandhi stepped up canvassing unfazed by sweltering heat and torrent of attacks on Congress candidate and her brother, Rahul by rivals, who say, he had not delivered despite his high profile personality.
Carrying forward her tirade on BJP, she said there are many candidates in the fray from Amethi Lok Sabha seat, but people know who is the most deserving and suitable candidate for them.
"No political party can befool the voters as they are very well aware of their real well-wisher and who is not.
"The Nehru-Gandhis have old connections with this constituency and have always tried to usher in development in this district," she asserted.
"Some other parties only indulged in politics and are least worried about the problems of the people,' she affirmed.
Ms Vadra further chided Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and BJP candidates Kumar Vishwas and Smriti Irani respectively, saying these leaders will disappear once the elections get over.
Priyanka said those, who were distributing objectionable booklets about her family, were 'cowards' and should be exposed.
"Some mischievous people are distributing booklets containing objectionable matter on my mother and brother Rahul during night time to mislead the people," she said while addressing an election meeting in Shahgarh market.
"I challenge such 'cowards' to come and face me," Priyanka asserted.
The 'Snoopgate' case of Gujarat hogged limelight with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde asserting that the episode of snooping on a woman architect would be investigated by a retired judge of Allahabad High Court.
Law Minister Kapil Sibal said the UPA was not a caretaker government and appointment would be made before the vote was counted on May 16.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was the politics of desperation and vendetta. People, he said, understand all such designs.
As the political row erupted over the issue,Congress senior leaders described the snooping, allegedly on behest of the Gujarat Chief Minister, would be investigated thoroughly.
On 'Snoopgate,' BJP's Arun Jaitley said Congress was trying desperately to find out a judge to head the commission for inquiring into the charges.
He made it clear the next government would review all such decisions taken by its predecessor in the fag end of the regime.
(Posted on 02-05-2014)