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Left Front announces first list of 25 candidates for LS polls in Bengal

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Kolkata | The CPI(M)-led Left Front announced its first list of candidates for 25 seats in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on Friday, leaving 17 constituencies for the Congress. The list has four women and five Muslim candidates.

The Left Front has nominated former Kolkata mayor and CPI(M) leader Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency. He will be pitted against Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) Mimi Chakraborty, a popular film actress. The state Congress leadership, which was keen on contesting the Purulia and Barasat seats, said everyone should be flexible in an adjustment.

For the first time, the Left Front has opted for a seat-sharing deal with its once arch rival — the Congress — for the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Earlier in 2016, against the wishes of its Left allies, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had entered into a seat-sharing deal with the Congress for the state Assembly polls. Struck in a hurried manner, the deal had failed to evoke mass support.

In a press statement, West Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose said the 25 Lok Sabha seats included Raiganj and Murshidabad, for which the candidates were declared earlier. “For the remaining 17 seats, some will be contested by the Congress and some by the Left Front. In some seats, there might be candidates who would be jointly supported by the Congress and the Left Front,” the statement added.

The state CPI(M) leadership is in a fix over choosing between the Congress and its Left Front allies, who are not willing to leave the Purulia and Barasat seats, which they have been contesting for decades. The Congress is keen on contesting these two seats, leading to an impasse in the seat-sharing talks.

Bose said it was decided at the Left Front meeting that the CPI and the Forward Bloc would contest Purulia and Barasat respectively, but if the Congress wanted to field its candidates in these two seats, they could go ahead.

Reacting to the development, state Congress chief Somen Mitra said they would discuss the matter within the party and announce their list very soon. “We will inform the party high-command about it. We will discuss the matter and announce our list. They (Left) did whatever they felt right and we will do whatever we feel right,” he said.

The CPI(M) and the Congress have agreed on a seat-sharing adjustment to stop the march of the ruling TMC and a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bengal.

The Left Front has nominated Mohammed Salim and Badaruddoza Khan from Raiganj and Murshidabad respectively. Both of them had won these seats in 2014.

In Diamond Harbour, senior CPI(M) leader Fuad Halim will be pitted against sitting TMC MP and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

In the Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat, the Left Front has fielded CPI(M) leader Nepaldeb Bhattacharya against sitting TMC MP Sougata Roy.

The Left Front has also nominated Rejaul Karim, a medical practitioner, from the Birbhum seat. A doctor at a government hospital, Karim was suspended by the TMC government for participating in a rally against it in November last year.

The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be held from April 11 to May 19 and the counting of votes will be taken up on May 23. West Bengal will go to the polls in all the seven phases.

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Stop all advertisements featuring Hema Malini: RLD writes to EC

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Lucknow| The Rashtriya Lok Dal Saturday urged the Election Commission to stop all advertisements featuring cine star Hema Malini, who has been renominated as BJP candidate from Mathura.

In a letter addressed to Chief Electoral Officer of UP L Venkateshwarlu, RLD spokesperson Anil Dubey said, “The advertisements of a water purifying machine featuring cine star Hema Malini are appearing in various media. This is a blatant violation of model code of conduct, as in the advertisement she appeals to the public to use the water purified by the said water purifying machine.”

Dubey said, “Either the advertisement should be stopped on all media or the cost of the advertisements should be added to the election expenses of Hema Malini.”

When contacted, UP’s chief electoral officer L Venkateshwarlu told PTI a decision in the matter will be taken soon.

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‘Modi following Hilter’s tactics to grab power’: Kejriwal

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“Goons of Hitler use to beat and kill innocent people. Later, police use to file cases against the victims. Modiji is also doing the same,” said Kejriwal.

 

New Delhi| Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging he is “following” German dictator “Adolf Hitler’s tactics to grab power.”

Kejriwal launched the scathing attack on Modi while re-twitting a video that purportedly showed members of a Muslim family in Gurgaon’s Dhamaspur village being beaten up with sticks and rods by a group of men on Thursday.

Police had said a mob pelted stones at a house in Gurgaon and beat up family members, after a quarrel over a game of cricket on Holi. Later six persons were arrested for attempt to murder.

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal hit out at Prime Minister Modi.

“Goons of Hitler use to beat and kill innocent people. Later, police use to file cases against the victims. Modiji is also doing the same. He is following Hitler’s tactics to grab the power and his supporters are not able to see in which direction India is going,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.

The Delhi Chief Minister also re-tweeted the video of the incident and said, “Look at this video. In which holy book it is written that one should beat Muslims. Is it in Gita? Or in Ramayan? Or in Hanuman Chalisa? These people are not Hindus but goons in their disguise”.

Earlier, on Friday ACP, Gurgaon, Shamsher Singh had said that the incident occurred on Thursday evening at 5.00 pm when some of the victim family members, belonging to a minority community, were playing cricket outside their residence in Bhup Singh Nagar in Bhondsi area.

According to a victim, Shahid, six to seven drunk people asked his my family members not to play cricket on the street.

The attack was captured on a cellphone by one of the victims.

The family later alleged it was a planned attack by a group of people “backed” by a Hindutva group.

The police, however, did not confirm the allegation.

AAP senior leader Sanjay Singh also alleged the BJP is trying to turn India into Taliban and urged the opposition parties to be careful of the saffron party’s tactics of “polarising people ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.”

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Adityanath to launch Lok Sabha poll campaign from Saharanpur

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Lucknow| Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will begin his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections from Saharanpur on Sunday.

UP BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said that before addressing a public meeting, Adityanath would visit the Shakumbhari Devi temple in Saharanpur and offer prayers.

He said the chief minister would highlight the achievements of the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state.

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