March 24, 2023

Election round-up: UP was hotbed of terrorism under SP, BSP rule, claims Shah; Kejriwal terms PM Modi’s bicycle remark as attack on poor | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Campaigning for the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh polls contiunued full swing a day after Punjab and several districts of Uttar Pradesh cast their votes.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed that Uttar Pradesh under the rule of the SP and BSP was a “hotbed of terrorism”, while applauding the Yogi Adityanath dispensation for eliminating mafia and preventing riots in the last five years.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks equating ‘bicycle’ with ‘terrorism’ as an attack on the poor.
Here is a quick look at the political developments on Monday:
Uttar Pradesh
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Uttar Pradesh under the rule of the SP and BSP was a “hotbed of terrorism”, while applauding the Yogi Aditynath dispensation for eliminating mafia and preventing riots in the last five years.
Addressing an election meeting in Barabanki, he said, “Under the rule of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Uttar Pradesh was known as the hotbed of terrorism. The state was known as the centre of riots and corridor for the mafia throughout the country.
“In the five years of the BJP government, there is no terrorism, riots and the mafia is also not seen anywhere,” he said.
Intensifying his attack further, the minister said, “In the rule of the SP, the administration of the Nizam prevailed. The NIZM of Akhilesh ‘Babu’ means — N for Naseemuddin, I for Imran Masood, Z for Azam Khan and M stands for Mukhtar Ansari.
“Today, under the Yogi government, the ‘bahubali’ (muscleman) is in jail. If the SP government comes back (to power), even by mistake, the ‘bahubali’ will be out on bail,” he said.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav took a jibe at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for calling the prime minister for his poll campaign, and coined a new acronym for PM — Packers and Movers — to state that people have understood its meaning. Hitting out at the BJP, Yadav also asserted that there is a 440 volt current against the ruling party in the public.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks equating ‘bicycle’ with ‘terrorism’ as an attack on the poor, and indicated that his party will go with the anti-BJP camp in case of a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh. Addressing his first election rally in capital Lucknow after the assembly poll process began in Uttar Pradesh, Kejriwal said, “Yesterday, I heard the prime minister came (to the state) and said all those who rode cycles in the country were terrorists. This is a ‘chhot’ (attack) on all the poor who ride bicycles”.
A voter turnout of nearly 72 per cent was recorded in Punjab where polling for 117 assembly seats was held on Sunday. According to data shared by the office of Punjab’s chief electoral officer (CEO), the final voter turnout was 71.95 per cent in the state.
This is the lowest voting percentage when compared to that observed in the three previous assembly elections.
In the 2017 Punjab assembly polls, the voting percentage was 77.40. The percentage in 2007 and 2012 was 75.45 and 78.20 respectively. In the 2002 elections, the voting percentage was 65.14.
It took more than 24 hours, after polling ended at 6 pm on Sunday, for the office of Punjab’s CEO to release the final turnout figure.
CEO S Karuna Raju said that out of the total 2,14,99,804 voters, 1,54,69,618 exercised their franchise.
There were 81,33,930 men voters and 73,35,406 women voters while 282 were transgenders.
Among 117 assembly constituencies, Gidderbaha in Muktsar district recorded the highest voter turnout at 84.93 per cent followed by Talwandi Sabo at 83.70 per cent and Sardulgarh at 83.64 per cent. Amritsar West recorded the lowest percentage at 55.40 per cent, Ludhiana South at 59.04 per cent and Amritsar Central at 59.19 per cent.
Chamkaur Sahib constituency from where Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is seeking re-election registered a voter turnout of 74.52 per cent while Bhadaur from where he was also in the fray, recorded 78.90 per cent.
Amritsar East constituency from where Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia were fighting the polls, registered a voter turnout of 64.05 per cent, far below the state’s average percentage.
The Patiala assembly constituency from where former chief minister Amarinder Singh was contesting, recorded a voter turnout of 63.58 per cent.
Dhuri from where AAP’s chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann was trying his luck recorded 77.37 per cent turnout.
The Lambi seat from where 94-year-old former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was contesting the poll, recorded 81.35 per cent polling.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma mocked ally, National People’s Party, saying no one in India knows it and voting for its candidates in Manipur elections would be fruitless as the party has “no value”.
Sarma, who is the convener of the BJP-led anti-Congress alliance of regional parties — North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), of which the NPP is a constituent, said that Ministers from the NPP were earlier chosen in the Manipur government because of the BJP.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the party will protect the history, culture and language of Manipur which the “BJP and RSS have undermined”.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat on Monday claimed his Congress party will win 45-48 seats in the assembly polls this time owing to a strong anti-incumbency wave. Election to the 70-member assembly in Uttarakhand was held on February 14 and the results are to be announced on March 10.
“If we compare the 2002 assembly polls with the 2022 assembly polls we are in a better position this time. In 2002 we won the polls on the strength of our positivity while the anti-incumbency against the BJP government at that time was not as strong as this time,” Rawat said.
“In comparison to 2002 there is more positivity in Congress in 2022 and so is the anti-incumbency against the BJP. So we are confident of winning 45-48 seats and forming the government,” he said.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant condemned the killing of a 26-year-old Bajrang Dal activist in Karnataka as barbaric and claimed he was targeted for supporting the campaign against wearing hijab in educational institutes in the neighbouring state.

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