Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates: Mamata vows to avenge bullets with ballot

Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates West Bengal Assam Kerala Tamil Nadu Puducherry-VPN

2:27 PM IST

PM Modi lambasts CM Mamata Banerjee at Bardhaman rally

Drawing a cricket analogy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday the people of Bengal have hit so many fours and sixes in the first four phases of the assembly polls that the BJP has already completed its century and the TMC is on course to being wiped out.

"In the four-phase election, the conscious people of Bengal hit so many fours and sixes that the seats of BJP have become centuries. Those who were thinking of playing with you have become very well with them," PM Modi said.

6:08 PM IST

Amit Shah blames Mamata for instigating Cooch Behar violence

Union Minister Amit Shah has accused Mamata Banerjee of instigating the violence that led to five deaths in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. 

Addressing a public gathering in Basirhat Dakshin, Shah said: "Earlier, Didi (Mamata) encouraged youngsters and women in Sitalkuchi to come forward and gherao Central Armed Police Forces. You said and left on your wheelchair. But because of you, 4 people died there. On the same morning, a BJP worker also died in the constituency."

Appealing people to give Mamata a befitting farewell, he said, "Didi is repeatedly saying Amit Shah must resign. Didi when people will ask me to resign then I will. But you must prepare as you will have to resign on May 2."

"I have come here to make one request. Didi has ruled for 10 years. Would it look good to give her a small farewell? So you should give her a farewell by giving 200 seats to BJP."

Highlighting the corruption in the state, Amit Shah said: "Right now, three laws are in operation under Didi's rule in Bengal. There is a law for nephew, under which there is no provision for punishment. The second law is for intruders, which again has no punishment. The third law is for the common people, for which all the punishments are reserved."

"By resorting to appeasement and vote bank politics even in death, Mamata has further lowered the politics of Bengal.

3:23 PM IST

Amit Shah: Mamata's politics is not the culture of Bengal

Union Minister Amit Shah has said that the elections in West Bengal have been conducted peacefully so far barring the one incident in Sitalkuchi.

"I promise that after BJP comes to power here political and poll-related violence will end in Bengal," Amit Shah said.

"Mamata Banerjee condoled only four people. She didn't shed a single tear for Anand Burman because he belonged to a Rajvanshi community. He wasn’t fit for her appeasement politics. This type of politics is not the culture of Bengal."

"Mamata Banerjee still has time to condole the fifth killing (Anand Burman) and apologise to the people of Bengal for her speech," he added.

1:51 PM IST

Mamata calls herself Royal Bengal tiger, vows to avenge bullets with ballot

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee tore into the Election Commission and the BJP in her campaign rally in Jalpaiguri.

She said, "They (BJP-ruled Centre) know they have lost in 4 phases (of Assembly polls) so now they are using guns. We will take revenge for these bullets in form of ballots."

"I am a Royal Bengal Tiger. They didn't let me go (to Cooch Behar). I talked to them (families of deceased in firing incident) over video call sitting in Siliguri."

"It's an incompetent govt with incompetent PM & HM. They're coming here daily to capture Bengal. You are welcome, nobody has stopped you. But make people happy rather than threatening them. You get people killed by central forces and later issue them a clean chit," she said.

9:31 AM IST

Mamata: EC must rename MCC as 'Modi Code of Conduct'

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has lashed out at the Election Commission over the firing incidents in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of polling in West Bengal which claimed four lives.

The Election Commission had late Saturday evening barred all politicians from entering the Cooch Behar district following the violence.

On Sunday morning, Mamata took to Twitter to state that the "Election Commission should rename MCC (Model Code of Conduct) as Modi Code of Conduct!"

She further said, "BJP can use all its might but nothing in this world can stop me from being with my people and sharing their pain. They can restrict me from visiting my brothers and sisters in Cooch Behar for 3 days but I will be there on the fourth day!"

6:30 PM IST

Heavy polling despite incidents of violence

Heavy polling despite incidents of violence. 76.16% polling so far in West Bengal Phase 4. 
 

6:14 PM IST

Bengal polls: Voter turnout at 5 pm

At 5 pm, West Bengal has registered approximately 76.16% voting.

3:13 PM IST

Bengal polls: Voter turnout at 3 pm

At 3 pm, West Bengal has registered 65.14% voting.
 

3:13 PM IST

Sourav Ganguly casts his vote

Sourav Ganguly cast his vote at a polling booth in Barisha Shashibhusan Janakalyan Vidyapith, Behala, South 24 Paraganas on Saturday. 

3:13 PM IST

TMC to take out state-wide march tomorrow, demands Amit Shah's resignation

"Four of our innocent workers have been killed on instructions of Amit Shah. We will take out protest march tomorrow at several locations and all of us will wear black badges. We still don’t know the names of those who fired at our workers," said Subrata Mukherjee. 

1:45 PM IST

PM Modi slams Mamata Banerjee at poll rally in West Bengal

Didi does not preside over destiny of people of Bengal, they are not your 'jagir' (fiefdom): PM Modi at poll rally

1:29 PM IST

EC adjourns voting in PS 125 of Sitalkurchi Assembly constituency after violence in Cooch Behar

The Election Commission Saturday adjourned voting in PS 125 of Sitalkurchi seat in Cooch Behar after a clash between political workers and subsequent firing allegedly by CISF officers led to the death of four people.

The Commission sought detailed reports from Observers and CEO by 5 pm.

12:34 PM IST

West Bengal: Violence marred polls in Coochbehar with five dead in two separate incidents

Violence marred polls in Coochbehar with five dead in two separate incidents. While a first time voter was shot dead by miscreants in Sitalkuchi in the morning while four persons died just before noon.As alleged four persons died when central forces were forced to fire after they were attacked.  
 

11:57 AM IST

33.98% voter turnout till 11:30 am

33.98% voter turnout recorded till 11:30 am amid violence.  

11:57 AM IST

Four shot dead in West Bengal amid clashes

Four shot dead in in Sitalkuchi in Bengal's Cooch Behar district amid clashes between TMC and BJP workers. 

PTI quoting police sources says the four were killed when CISF allegedly opened fire after coming under attack. 

11:57 AM IST

First-time voter shot dead outside polling booth in Cooch Behar

A first-time voter was shot dead by unidentified persons outside a polling booth in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district on Saturday, police said, reported PTI.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that the BJP was behind the killing, while the saffron party claimed that the deceased was its polling agent at the booth and accused the ruling party.

The youth, identified as Anand Burman, was dragged outside polling booth number 85 in Pathantuli area of Sitalkuchi while voting was underway and shot dead, a police officer said.

10:56 AM IST

West Bengal: Sporadic violence in some areas

Clashes broke out in Pathartuli area in Sitalkuchi area between TMC and BJP workers. Police resorted to lathicharge and CAPF personnel were deployed. EC officials reached the booth in Pathartuli as voters were unable to vote

In Cooch Behar's Sitalkuchi, a first time voter was shot to death by a miscreant while he was standing in queue.

10:56 AM IST

West Bengal registers 15.85% voter turnout till 9 am

15.85% voter turnout recorded till 9am in 44 seats where polling is underway for fourth phase of the West Bengal elections. 

4:46 PM IST

68% polling in Assam, West Bengal; over 55% in Kerala, Tamil Nadu

Voting trends at 1645 hours 

 

4:36 PM IST

PM: Didi, you broke the heart of the people of Bengal

First Cooch Behar, then Howrah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at yet another election campaign rally.

Here are highlights of what he said:

* "Didi, o didi, people of Bengal believed in you and you broke their trust. You broke the heart of the people of Bengal."

* Didi has accused you of taking money and selling your votes! Do you do this? Isn't this your insult? You must respond to this in the elections!

* "Sonar Bangla will be built by behaviour and a clean conscience, and with the right policy."

* "The truth of whatever Didi did to West Bengal has come out. This is why Didi is threatening people of West Bengal. Didi says 'Amra dekhe nebo', BJP says 'Amra Seva Korbo'. We are humbly asking for a chance to serve people."

4:24 PM IST

TMC claims BJP workers targeted woman leader

Trinamool Congress has accused BJP workers of attacking TMC candidate Sujata Mandal.

In a tweet, the TMC claimed: Petrifying visuals of @BJP4India goons attacking TMC candidate Sujata Mandal, openly abusing her & threatening her with rods & sickle. If they have the guts to do this to a female candidate, imagine what they can do to your daughters. This is their 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'"

 

 

1:46 PM IST

PM: TMC and Didi's exit has already been confirmed

PM Modi targets West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Cooch Behar

* "Didi has started issuing threats to people these days that if she doesn't win, all benefits will stop!"

* "Recently, the tapes that have been revealed gives Didi's report card of 10 years. Didi has started a new tax in Bengal -- 'Bhaipo Service Tax'!"

* "For 10 years, women, Dalits, backward classes and tea workers were subjected to injustices, you kept watching. For 10 years, farmers were deprived of irrigation and storage facilities but Didi, you were just an onlooker.

* "For 10 years, your (Mamata) corruption goons continued to loot Bengal and you were a mute spectator. For 10 years, injustice with North Bengal continued, but you chose to be a mute spectator."

* "Didi, people say you play a lot of football. You've already scored an own goal in football of politics!"

* "Recently, Didi said that every Muslim must get together and not allow their votes to be divided. Didi, it means you know that the Muslim vote bank, that you considered your strength, is also slipping away from you!"

* "TMC and Didi's exit has already been confirmed. People in huge numbers have come out and voted in our favour. The wave of BJP in Bengal has cornered Didi's goons and her nephew."

12:44 PM IST

TMC and BJP supporters clash in Hooghly's Arambag

Clash erupts between TMC and BJP supporters in Hooghly's Arambag in West Bengal, as voting in assembly elections is underway. 

"In Arandi-I area here, we have a minority. SC voters who love Mamata Banerjee. Goons of BJP threatened and tortured women voters last night," Sujata Mondal, TMC candidate from Arambagh said.

12:05 PM IST

Over 30% polling in Kerala, WB, Assam Puducherry at Noon

 

11:55 AM IST

Himanta Biswa Sarma: We will win more seats in 2021

BJP candidate from Jalukbari in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma casts his vote and says, "There're 40 seats in this phase. We are expecting to win on 22 of them... the number can be higher." 

"This election, we will win more seats. Last time, we had won 84 seats. We are expecting at least 90 seats this time." 

11:01 AM IST

True Democracy: ITP jawans help disabled people reach polling booth

 

 

 

10:40 AM IST

Brisk polling in all 4 states, Puducherry

 

10:30 AM IST

Pinarayi Vijayan casts vote, predicts historic win for LDF

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cast his vote in Kannur's Pinarayi.

After casting his vote, Vijayan, who is contesting from Kannur's Dharmadam against Kannur District Congress Committee General Secretary C Raghunath and CK Padmanabhan for the BJP, said: "It will be a historic win for LDF. Just like how the opposition's allegations were dismissed by the people of Kerala in the local body polls... it is being dismissed in the Assembly polls and we witnessed that sentiment in the election campaign. We are expecting a decisive victory. From 2016, be it welfare measures or development activities, or when we faced the disasters, people stood by us. It is the people who have stood by us at all times, They are casting their decree."

9:35 AM IST

Slow voting in Tamil Nadu, brisk polling in other states, Puducherry

 

9:12 AM IST

Infected with Covid-19, but want to vote? Here's how

If you are a Covid-infected person undergoing home isolation in one of the four states or Union territory, here is how you can exercise your mandate.

According to Election Commission guidelines, thermal checking of voters will be done at the entry point of the polling station location/polling station, either by polling staff or Para Medical staff or Asha worker. 

If the temperature is above the set norms of the Union health ministry at first reading, then it will be checked twice and if it remains, then the elector shall be provided with a token/certificate and will be asked to come for voting at the last hour of the poll. 

At the last hour of the poll, such electors shall be facilitated voting, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures.

Those who are Covid-19 infected and the polling officers will have to wear PPEs when the person votes.

8:48 AM IST

3 EVMs found in TMC leader's house; EC suspends poll officer


Representative image

Election Commission has suspended a sector officer after three EVMs and four VVPAT machines were found in TMC leader Goutam Ghosh's residence.

Sector Officer Tapan Sarkar, who is in charge of Sector 17 in Uluberia seat, had spent the night at Goutam Ghosh's house who happens to be hs relative. 

The EVMs and VVPAT machines with Tapan Sarkar were part of the reserve stock. EC says they will not be used for voting today

8:42 AM IST

Kamal casts his vote along with daughters Shruti and Akshara

Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan and his two daughters Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan on Tuesday cast their votes.

Kamal, who is contesting from the Coimbatore South assembly constituency, cast his vote at Teynampet as polling across 234 assembly constituencies in 38 districts of Tamil Nadu is underway.

The MNM chief's daughters actors Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan also exercised their votes

8:36 AM IST

Stalin votes along with family, says high turnout against AIADMK

Among those casting their vote early was DMK President MK Stalin, who cast his vote at the Siet College booth in Teynampet. He was accompanied by his wife Durga and son Udhayanidhi Stalin.

After casting his vote, Stalin said: "I have been getting reports of high voter turnout from across the state. This vote is against the ruling party."

8:24 AM IST

PM Modi to voters: Vote in record numbers

In his message to voters, PM Modi says: "Elections are taking place in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. I request the people in these places to vote in record numbers, particularly the young voters."

 

 

8:24 AM IST

Rahul's appeal to voters: India is counting on you

 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeals to voters

 

8:21 AM IST

Voting underway in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala

Voting is underway in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.

In West Bengal, 31 assembly constituencies are going to polls, including key areas like Tarakeswar, Shyampur and Diamond Harbour. 

Polling of votes is underway for the 140-seat Kerala assembly.

Polling for the third and final phase of the tea-garden state of Assam began on Tuesday morning with security arrangements in place.

Voting also began in Tamil Nadu to choose 234 members. The key contests include Edappadi, Bodinayakkanur, Kolathur, Coimbatore South and Thousand Lights constituencies

In Puducherry, polling is underway in 30 constituencies of the legislative assembly. There are 324 candidates in the fray

2:24 PM IST

Amit Shah shortens Assam campaign in view of Chhattisgarh Naxal attack

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has cut short his poll campaign in Assam and is returning to Delhi in view of Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh. He is returning after addressing one out of three rallies he was supposed to address: Jitendra Singh, BJP's co-in charge for Assam poll to ANI.

6:44 PM IST

Amit Shah: UDF and LDF are both confused parties

Amit Shah took on the ruling LDF and UDF in Kerala today. Here are highlights of his speech at Sulthan Bathery:

* "LDF has nothing to do with efficiency. They only aspire for power on fear of political violence. Numerous workers of BJP and RSS have been killed in Kerala. Vijayanji, the BJP is never afraid of working hard and will never be afraid."

* "Congress was sitting mum when Lord Ayyappa's devotees where being lathi-charged here! BJP-NDA strongly feel management of temples should be managed by devotees and not atheists."

* "The Gold scam was done by Vijayan's govt. If you change it to UDF, solar scams will take place again. Nothing will change. LDF-UDF are very similar to the core."

* "UDF and LDF are both confused parties. They fight each other here, but fight together in Bengal! Do Left and Congress do politics of ideology or just power?"

* "Now, Wayanad is Rahul baba's constituency. He was Amethi's MP for 15 years, had not done anything to make Amethi better. Later, he shifted to Wayanad. I've never witnessed a tourist politician like him. He will do no development in the region."

6:44 PM IST

Amit Shah: UDF and LDF are both confused parties

Amit Shah took on the ruling LDF and UDF in Kerala today. Here are highlights of his speech at Sulthan Bathery:

* "LDF has nothing to do with efficiency. They only aspire for power on fear of political violence. Numerous workers of BJP and RSS have been killed in Kerala. Vijayanji, the BJP is never afraid of working hard and will never be afraid."

* "Congress was sitting mum when Lord Ayyappa's devotees where being lathi-charged here! BJP-NDA strongly feel management of temples should be managed by devotees and not atheists."

* "The Gold scam was done by Vijayan's govt. If you change it to UDF, solar scams will take place again. Nothing will change. LDF-UDF are very similar to the core."

* "UDF and LDF are both confused parties. They fight each other here, but fight together in Bengal! Do Left and Congress do politics of ideology or just power?"

* "Now, Wayanad is Rahul baba's constituency. He was Amethi's MP for 15 years, had not done anything to make Amethi better. Later, he shifted to Wayanad. I've never witnessed a tourist politician like him. He will do no development in the region."

5:33 PM IST

Saradha case: ED attaches assets worth 3 crore of TMC leaders

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 3 crore of TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, its MP Satabdi Roy and Debjani Mukherjee in the Saradha chit fund money laundering case.

The central probe agency said in a statement that the assets belong to "Kunal Ghosh, ex-Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress (CEO of Media Group Saradha), Satabdi Roy, Lok Sabha MP from TMC (brand ambassador in Saradha), and Debjani Mukherjee who is director in Saradha Group of companies in Saradha chit fund case."

Assets worth Rs 600 crore have been attached in this case till now.

The ED is probing the money laundering aspect of the alleged ponzi scam since April, 2013.

3:59 PM IST

PM Modi: Mamata insulting the people of West Bengal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again targeted Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, accusing her of insulting the people of the state.

Addressing a rally in Hooghly, PM Modi said: "Didi says people take money to attend BJP rallies. Didi, Bengalis are self-respecting people. Didi, you have insulted the people of Bengal with this statement."

"A major reason for Didi's bewilderment is her report card of 10 years. Old industries have been shut down. Possibilities of new industries, new investment, new business & employment have also been closed down."

2:14 PM IST

No 'Kottikalasham' in Kerala this time

Based on a request by Kerala's Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, the Election Commission of India has banned the customary finale marked by immense participation of crowd and celebration on Sunday ahead of the April 6 Assembly polls.

Known as "Kottikalasham" in Malayalam, the finale of the open poll campaigning used to be a jamboree in the southern state in which every political party would try to show off their strength by bringing a maximum number of supporters to add colour to the show.

The Covid situation in the state is stated to be the reason behind the decision.

2:11 PM IST

Mamata to Muslims: Don't fall in BJP-aided party's trap

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP and its 'aided party' of engineering communal strife in the state to win the elections.
 
Addressing an election rally in Raidighi in South 24 Parganas district, Mamata warned Muslims against "falling in the trap of a BJP-aided party from Hyderabad and its Bengal ally that are out to polarise votes."
 
Mamata was aiming at Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and Abbas Siddiqui's Indian Secular Front

2:05 PM IST

Centre failed Kerala during disaster: Pinarayi reminds voters

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other top Congress leaders for portraying Kerala in poor light.

The chief minister said that in the past five years, Kerala came under numerous disasters and the Centre failed to come to the state's rescue.

"During the floods, the Central forces were here and after they returned, we had to pay the bill for their services. None will forget the work of our own army - 'fishermen', who were chipped in and they had never sent a bill for their services rendered. The Centre then gave us food grains along with its bill. Besides, none will forget, how the Centre failed to give us the nod to receive aid from rebuilding Kerala in the aftermath of the floods. People know everything and they will not forget anything," Vijayan.

5:12 PM IST

Voter turnout in West Bengal, Assam at 6 pm

73.03% and 80.43% voter turnout recorded till 6 pm in the second phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal, respectively: Election Commission of India

5:12 PM IST

EC seeks report over violence during polling in Nandigram

EC has sought a detailed report from the administration in connection with the violence in Boyal area in Nandigram. The incidents happened when CM Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to oversee the polling process. Chaos and clashes broke out as she reached Booth No 7 in Boyal area. TMC has demanded repolling in Booth no 7. 

5:12 PM IST

West Bengal: Mamata Banerejee dials Governor amid sporadic incidents of violence

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee speaks to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over the phone at a polling booth in Nandigram. "...They didn't allow the local people to cast their vote. From morning I am campaigning...Now I am appealing to you, please see," she could be heard saying in the video.

5:12 PM IST

EC issues notice to Himanta Biswa Sarma over ‘remarks’ against BPF leader Hagrama Mohilary

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday issued a notice to BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly violating the model code of conduct by threatening Bodoland People’s Front leader Hagrama Mohilary, who is a part of the Opposition’s “grand alliance”.

The notice comes after the Congress, on March 30, wrote to the EC against the BJP leader for “openly threatening to send Hagrama Mohilary to jail”. “Sarma has sought to cast a malicious and malafide impression on the public at large, that on account of the undue strength of the BJP-led Central government manning the Central agencies, Sarma is in an undue position to control/ misuse the NIA and hence capable of sending Mohilary to jail. This is a clear message to the voters in order to influence them to not vote for INC alliance including the BPF by completely unconstitutional means and propaganda,” the party said, according to ANI.

3:10 PM IST

Assam registers 63.03%, West Bengal 71.07% voter turnout till 3:30 pm


63.03% polling in Assam, 71.07% polling in West Bengal, till 3:31 pm of second phase of polling: ECI

3:10 PM IST

Tamil Nadu: EC debars DMK's A Raja from campaigning for two days

EC reprimands DMK leader A Raja for violation of model code of conduct, delists his name from list of star campaigner of DMK and debars him from campaigning for 48 hrs with immediate effect upon not finding his reply regarding his remarks over Tamil Nadu CM and his mother, satisfactory.
 

1:39 PM IST

Assam records 33.24% voter turnout, 37.4% in Bengal till 1 pm

33.24% polling in Assam, 37.42% polling in West Bengal, till 1.02 pm: Election Commission of India

12:06 PM IST

West Bengal: BJP worker found dead in Nandigram

A BJP worker was found hanging at his home in Nandigram in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district on Thursday, triggering tension in the area amid the highprofile election here, police said. Uday Dubey was found hanging at his home in the Bhekutia area of Nandigram in the morning, they said.

11:40 AM IST

Assam, West Bengal register 21.71% and 29.27% turnout respectively till 11 am

Voter turnout of 21.71% in Assam and 29.27% in West Bengal recorded till 11.17 am in the second phase of polling. 
 

10:40 AM IST

Assam registers 10.51%, West Bengal 13.14% voter turnout in first two hours

The states of West Bengal and Assam, where second phase of polling is underway, recorded 13.14% and 10.51% of turnout in the first two hours,  cited figures from Election Commission of India.

10:40 AM IST

Assam: 10.51% polling recorded till 9 am, says ECI

10.51% polling recorded till 9 am, says ECI. In Assam, the fate of 345 candidates, including 26 women, will be decided by over 73.44 lakh voters in 39 constituencies in this phase.

10:40 AM IST

West Bengal: High-stakes in Nandigram as CM Mamata Banerjee takes on Suvendu Adhikari

All eyes on high-stakes Nandigram as polling underway for 30 seats in second phase of West Bengal elections amid heavy security, as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her former lieutenant and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari. 

10:40 AM IST

PM Modi urges people to vote in large numbers

With polling getting underway for the second phase of assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the voters of both states to exercise their franchise in record numbers.

10:40 AM IST

West Bengal records 15.72% voter turnout till 9 am

Polling began at 7 am, including the high-profile Nandigram seat, in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections amid tight security. Till 9 am the polling percentage is 15.72% in West Bengal. 

9:44 PM IST

Mamata: Outsiders can't rule West Bengal

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hits back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah for predicting that the BJP will win the mandate in West Bengal based on the voting trend in the first phase of voting.
 
Addressing a rally, Mamata said, "Home Minister said they will win 26 out of 30 seats where voting took place in the first phase. Have you (HM Amit Shah) entered the EVM? Why didn't you say BJP will win all 30 seats? Let's wait for May 2. TMC will win. Outsiders can't rule Bengal."

"They (BJP) have a lot of money so they are trying to purchase people. Modi is taking land. He will snatch away everything as Adani is his friend. Chase away outsiders and BJP like you chased away CPI-M," Mamata told the gathering.

9:35 PM IST

BJP sacks 7 leaders from party membership

BJP in Assam has expelled seven leaders from primary membership of party for six years for contesting as independent candidates in assembly election after being denied tickets. 

5:19 PM IST

Rajnath: Time of Congress and Left parties is now over in Kerala

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched a scathing attack on the Left Democratic Front-led government and the Congress-led United Democratic Front, accusing them of taking the state backwards with their misgovernance over the years.

Addressing a gathering in Kerala's Irinjalakuda, Rajnath said: "I want to ask the leadership of LDF and UDF why in spite of being the first state with 100 per cent literacy, Kerala is facing backwardness. When the entire country is redefining the aspiration and development trajectory why is Kerala lagging behind in this exercise."

"In spite of there being everything in Kerala, there is a lot missing here. It is because even after seven decades of independence, Kerala has not been able to come out of the clutches of LDF-UDF."

Appealing to voters to give BJP-led National Democratic Alliance a chance, Rajnath said: "LDF and UDF have been alternatively forming the government here and busy criticising each other, but, now people want an alternative. And, that alternative can only be BJP led NDA coalition. In the last 7 years, we have strengthened the presence of NDA and we have created an alternative."

4:25 PM IST

Rahul in Tamil Nadu: AIADMK, RSS & BJP combine will be decimated

Rahul Gandhi on Sunday addressed a public rally in Chennai's Shastri Nagar locality.

Targetting the AIADMK-BJP combine, Rahul said, "This is an election between AIADMK, RSS, Modi & Shah and the Tamil people. So you are going to see the decimation of the AIADMK, RSS & BJP combine, and the instrument of that decimation will be the Congress DMK alliance."

"For me an India where Tamil Nadu is forced to bow down, is not India, it's something else. Because I understand that the central idea of India is respect for all its languages, people, traditions."

"The Chief Minister is forced to bow in front of Amit Shah because of the corruption he has done. Ironically because of the money he has stolen from the Tamil people he is now trapped."

2:35 PM IST

First phase of elections in Assam and WB show BJP victory: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that BJP has gained a lot of ground after the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal.

Addressing media persons in New Delhi, Amit Shah thanked the people of both states for a high turnout in the first phase of the election. 

"Politics of appeasement in West Bengal, mismanagement of Covid and Amphan cyclone relief. People thought Mamata will bring relief from decades of Left mismanagement. But only the party symbol and name changed, the mismanagement continued. The people of Bengal have accepted Prime Minister Modi's policies.

Amit Shah also thanked the Election Commission for holding a peaceful first phase of election in the two states.

"We are confident that we will fulfil the 'Mission 200' (seats) in West Bengal and storm back to power in Assam."

7:19 PM IST

Assam registers 72%, West Bengal 80% voter turnout

Bengal reported 79.79% voter turnout till 6 pm in the first phase of the 2021 Assembly election. Assam, which also began voting today, reported 72.14% turnout till the same time.

5:12 PM IST

79.79% voter turnout in Bengal till 5:30 pm, 72.16% in Assam

Till 5:30 pm, West Bengal recorded 79.79% voter turnout and Assam registered 72.16% turnout in the first phase of polling for the Assembly elections.

5:12 PM IST

Assam records 62.36% and West Bengal 70.17% voter turnout till 4 pm

62.36% and 70.17% voter turnout recorded till 4pm, in the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal assembly elections, respectively: Election Commission of India

4:07 PM IST

West Bengal polls: 70.17% voting till 3 pm, huge turnout in East Medinipore

Voter turnout till 3 pm

East Medinipore - 70.38%
West Medinipur - 68.76%
Jhargram - 72.10%
Purulia - 69.24%
Bankura - 68.03%

4:05 PM IST

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on PM Modi's Bangladesh visit

Mamata Banerjee in Kharagpur: In 2019 Lok Sabha polls when a Bangladeshi actor attended our rally, BJP spoke to Bangladesh government and cancelled his visa. When polls are underway here, you (PM) go to Bangladesh to seek votes from one section of ppl, why shouldn't your Visa be cancelled? We'll complain to EC."

"Sometimes they say Mamata has brought people from Bangladesh and did infiltration. But he (PM) himself goes to Bangladesh for vote marketing," she added.

4:01 PM IST

70.17% voter turnout in Bengal till 3 pm, 62.09% in Assam

Till 3 pm, West Bengal recorded 70.17% voter turnout and Assam registered 62.09% turnout in the first phase of polling for the assembly elections. 

2:35 PM IST

Assam records 45.24% and West Bengal 54.90% voter turnout till 2 pm

45.24% and 54.90% voter turnout recorded till 2 pm, in the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal Assembly elections, respectively: Election Commission of India

12:41 PM IST

West Bengal polls: 36.09% voter turnout till 11 am

Under a massive security arrangement, polling for the first phase of the eight-phase Assembly Elections began Saturday morning with West Bengal recording 36.09% voter turnout till 11 am. In the first few hours of polling, the turnout was comparatively low.
 

11:01 AM IST

BJP accuses TMC of creating disturbances at polling booths in West Bengal

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from West Midnapore Samit Das on Saturday alleged that Trinamool Congress is creating disturbances in the rural areas of the district as voting in the first phase of Assembly polls is underway. Das cast his vote at a polling booth in the West Midnapore district in the state. "Voting in Midnapore town is going on smoothly. But, at some places in rural areas, TMC workers are trying to create a disturbance," Das told ANI. "At booth no. 266 and 267, some TMC workers entered the booth to influence the voters. We have complained to the Election Commission regarding the matter," Das said. "We trust the Central police force. They are trying to help in conducting the polls smoothly," he added.

11:01 AM IST

Vote for progress, golden future of Assam: Priyanka to people

As polling began for the first phase of assembly elections in Assam, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday urged the people to vote for progress and golden future of the state. The Congress-led 'Mahajot' alliance is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in Assam which is voting in three phases starting on Saturday. The counting of votes will be on May 2. "Today, the first phase of polling is being held in Assam. I appeal to the people of Assam, especially the youth and my sisters, to go to the polling booths today and vote in large numbers," Priyanka Gandhi said in a Facebook post in Hindi. 

11:01 AM IST

Polling peaceful in early hours of Bengal elections, 14.28% turnout till 9 am

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from some areas that are voting in the first phase of the Assembly elections in West Bengal on Saturday, even as the overall poll situation was peaceful with 14.28% turnout recorded till 9 am, officials said. Elections are being held in 30 seats, most of which are in the once-Naxal-affected Jungle Mahal region, across five districts amid tight security, they said. A man, in his mid-30s, was found dead in Keshiary's Begumpur area in the Paschim Medinipur district in the morning, police said. He has been identified as Mangal Soren, they said, adding that his body was found outside his home.

9:40 AM IST

EC vehicle set ablaze in West Bengal hours before first phase of assembly polls

According a PTI report,  a vehicle hired for poll duty was set ablaze at Bandwan in Purulia district on Friday night, hours before the first phase of assembly elections get underway, official sources said.

The vehicle was reportedly on its way back after dropping election officials at a polling station, when it was set on fire at Tulsidi village in the once-Maoist-affected 'Jangalmahal' belt of the state, they said.
    
According to eyewitnesses, the vehicle was stopped by a few persons who emerged out of the forests all of a sudden and allegedly threw a petrol-soaked material on it, before fleeing. No one was injured in the incident, the sources said. 

9:40 AM IST

Voters being influenced, stopped from voting: Suvendu Adhikari's brother

Voters being influenced and stopped from voting at booth number 149. Overall polling being held peacefully. EVMs malfunctioning at some locations, it happens in all polls, EC is looking into it: Soumendu Adhikari, BJP leader and brother of Suvendu Adhikari

9:40 AM IST

Assam records 8.84% and West Bengal 7.72% voter turnout till 9 am

8.84% and 7.72% voter turnout recorded till 9 am, in the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal Assembly elections, respectively: Election Commission of India. 

9:23 AM IST

PM Modi urges people of Assam to vote in record numbers

As the first phase of elections gets underway in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the people, especially the youth of the state, to vote in record numbers. 

 

9:23 AM IST

PM urges West Bengal voters to vote in record numbers

As the first phase of Assembly elections got underway in West Bengal, PM Modi on Saturday morning requested all the voters in the seats polling today to exercise their franchise in record numbers.

9:23 AM IST

Voting underway in Assam to decide the fate of CM Sarbananda Sonowal, host of ministers and Opposition leaders

Voting began at 7 am on Saturday for 47 seats in the first phase of the Assembly elections in Assam to decide the fate of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and a host of ministers and opposition leaders, officials said. Altogether 264 candidates, including 23 women, are in the fray in the first phase, they said.

9:23 AM IST

Polling underway in Bengal, voters to decide fate of 191 candidates in 30 seats

Polling for the first of the eight-phase assembly polls in West Bengal began at 7 am on Saturday with voters deciding the fate of 191 candidates in 30 constituencies. All constituencies in Purulia, Jhargram and segments of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur are going to decide the electoral fate of 191 candidates, including 21 women candidates in the fray.

9:23 AM IST

In first phase today, 47 seats in Assam, 30 in Bengal vote

After days of high-octane campaigns and a series of lucrative poll promises by contesting parties, the first phase of elections in West Bengal and Assam got underway Saturday. The first phase of the polls has begun, with 30 seats in West Bengal and 47 in Assam voting.

11:59 AM IST

BJP releases manifesto for Puducherry elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday released the election manifesto for the upcoming assembly polls in Puducherry. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Giriraj Singh officially unveiled the party’s manifesto in Puducherry.

3:56 PM IST

Kerala: Prakash Javadekar unveils NDA manifesto

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar releases NDA manifesto for Kerala Elections 2021 in Thiruvananthapuram. 
 

2:59 PM IST

DMK moves Madras HC seeking ban on EVMs older than 15 years, installation of jammers in EVM strong rooms, live CCTV coverage of voting

The petition also prayed for a direction to the Returning Officer to count at least 50 percent of VVPATs simultaneously in the upcoming elections to the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu on April 6, 2021.

3:53 PM IST

Wlection commission officials visit West Bengal to review poll preparedness

The Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain arrived in Siliguri, West Bengal on Tuesday to review poll preparedness ahead of the first phase of the Assembly polls.

2:19 PM IST

AIADMK candidate promises to give washing machine after winning elections

Tamil Nadu: AIADMK candidate Thanga Kathiravan from Nagapattinam washed people’s clothes and promised to give washing machine after winning elections during campaigning yesterday, reports ANI.
 

12:07 PM IST

BJP president JP Nadda releases party manifesto for Assam polls

The Bharatiya Janata Party's national president JP Nadda on Tuesday released the manifesto for the upcoming assembly elections in Assam, promising to work on the corrected National Register of Citizens (NRC) for ‘Assam's protection.’

6:15 PM IST

Kerala Congress vice president KC Rosakutty resigns from party

In yet another blow to the Congress in Kerala, another senior leader KC Rosakutty, who is also the Vice President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), has resigned from the party. She cited women being ignored by the party in the polls for her decision.

12:05 PM IST

Karur DMK candidate Senthil Balaji booked under 6 IPC sections for remarks against government officials

Senthil Balaji had reportedly said in a poll campaign, "Tell me if any official stops you from mining sand in bullock cart, he won't be there again."
 

11:50 AM IST

WB minister Firhad Hakim resignd as Kolkata Municipal Corporation chairman

West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim has resigned as the chairman of Kolkata Municipal Corporation following Election Commission's advice, as he is contesting in the assembly polls.
 

11:50 AM IST

We will implement CAA in Assam: State BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass

This (Citizenship Amendment Act) has been passed (by Parliament). There is no question of stepping back. This is an ideological commitment of the BJP. CAA is not going to cause any harm. We will definitely implement it, rules will be formed: Dass 

9:25 AM IST

Rahul Gandhi to arrive in Kerala today

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will arrive in Kerala on Monday to campaign for the upcoming assembly polls.

Rahul Gandhi will be in Kerala for two days.

He will take part in public meetings organised at several districts.

Congress is contesting 91 seats in the Assembly polls

8:57 AM IST

TMC says BJP manifesto shows it is anti-Bengali

Reacting to the release of the BJP manifesto for West Bengal election, the Trinamool Congress said the document was hollow and anti-Bengali.

TMC MP Sougata Roy told a national news agency, "BJP manifesto is hollow. In any case, they're not coming to power. So what does it matter what they say? If they want to make Sonar Bangla, why didn't they make Sonar Uttar Pradesh, Sonar Madhya Pradesh and Sonar Himachal Pradesh first."

More criticism came from Abhishek Banerjee, who said: "Absurd how the Tourist Gang relased their jumla-laden Manifesto for Bengal polls in the hands of a Gujarati! A party that cannot find sufficient candidates for all 294 seats in Bengal is now faltering to find local leadership for such key events!"

6:48 PM IST

West Bengal: Amit Shah releases BJP’s election manifesto in Kolkata

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday released Bharatiya Janata Party's election manifesto for the forthcoming assembly election in West Bengal. Unveiling the manifesto, Shah said the party has decided to call it a 'Sankalp Patra'. It is not just a manifesto but a resolution letter for West Bengal by the country's largest party, he said. 

4:41 PM IST

BJP will bring the 'Ashol Poriborton' in Bengal: PM Modi

Didi, you have only made hollow announcements in the last 10 years, where is the work you claim to have done? You keep saying 'Khela Hobe' while people of West Bengal have decided 'Khela Shesh Hobe' (the game will end): PM Modi 

Didi does not like my face; but in democracy, work for people is seen, not someone's face. Mamata didi can kick my head, but I'll not allow her to kick dreams of Bengal people: PM Modi 

Had you shown your true colours 10 years ago, Bengal's people wouldn't have elected you: PM Modi to Mamata 

3:56 PM IST

Amit Shah to unveil BJP manifesto in West Bengal

Amit Shah to release BJP manifesto at Kolkata's EZCC (Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre) today evening. 
 

3:56 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address election rally at Bankura district of West Bengal shortly

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Bankura district of West Bengal and will address an election rally shortly.

3:54 PM IST

Will join BJP, save honour of Midnapore: TMC MP Sisir Adhikari

Ending weeks of speculation, disgruntled TMC MP Sisir Adhikari said on Sunday that he will join the BJP, following in the footsteps of his two sons Suvendu and Soumendu, and put up a formidable fight against the Mamata Banerjee camp to ''save the honour of Midnapore''.

The patriarch of the Adhikari family -- which wields considerable influence in Bengal's Purba Medinipur district -- said that he was forced to switch camp, as the leaders of the ruling party left him with no other option. Earlier, too, the TMC MP had accused the ruling party of ''humiliating'' him and son Suvendu, who is locked in a fierce battle with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the district's Nandigram constituency.

''They (TMC leaders) forced me to join the BJP. Let them (TMC) do what they want, and I will do what I can,'' Adhikari told reporters here before leaving for Egra, where he is set to attend Union Home Minister Amit Shah's rally.

He asserted that Suvendu Adhikari will bag the Nandigram seat by a comfortable margin. ''Suvendu will win the polls by a huge margin. The TMC will be wiped out of East Midnapore,'' the Lok Sabha MP added.

1:08 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses public rally at Bokakhat, Assam

•    It is now decided that Assam will get 'double engine ki sarkar', 'doosri baar, BJP sarkar: PM Modi 

•    During Congress' reign, the main question was to save the loot of Assam from Congress. Under the NDA, Assam is heading to touch new highs: PM Modi

•    NDA government ensures peace and stability in Assam: PM Modi
 

2:28 PM IST:

Drawing a cricket analogy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday the people of Bengal have hit so many fours and sixes in the first four phases of the assembly polls that the BJP has already completed its century and the TMC is on course to being wiped out.

"In the four-phase election, the conscious people of Bengal hit so many fours and sixes that the seats of BJP have become centuries. Those who were thinking of playing with you have become very well with them," PM Modi said.

6:08 PM IST:

Union Minister Amit Shah has accused Mamata Banerjee of instigating the violence that led to five deaths in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. 

Addressing a public gathering in Basirhat Dakshin, Shah said: "Earlier, Didi (Mamata) encouraged youngsters and women in Sitalkuchi to come forward and gherao Central Armed Police Forces. You said and left on your wheelchair. But because of you, 4 people died there. On the same morning, a BJP worker also died in the constituency."

Appealing people to give Mamata a befitting farewell, he said, "Didi is repeatedly saying Amit Shah must resign. Didi when people will ask me to resign then I will. But you must prepare as you will have to resign on May 2."

"I have come here to make one request. Didi has ruled for 10 years. Would it look good to give her a small farewell? So you should give her a farewell by giving 200 seats to BJP."

Highlighting the corruption in the state, Amit Shah said: "Right now, three laws are in operation under Didi's rule in Bengal. There is a law for nephew, under which there is no provision for punishment. The second law is for intruders, which again has no punishment. The third law is for the common people, for which all the punishments are reserved."

"By resorting to appeasement and vote bank politics even in death, Mamata has further lowered the politics of Bengal.

3:23 PM IST:

Union Minister Amit Shah has said that the elections in West Bengal have been conducted peacefully so far barring the one incident in Sitalkuchi.

"I promise that after BJP comes to power here political and poll-related violence will end in Bengal," Amit Shah said.

"Mamata Banerjee condoled only four people. She didn't shed a single tear for Anand Burman because he belonged to a Rajvanshi community. He wasn’t fit for her appeasement politics. This type of politics is not the culture of Bengal."

"Mamata Banerjee still has time to condole the fifth killing (Anand Burman) and apologise to the people of Bengal for her speech," he added.

1:54 PM IST:

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee tore into the Election Commission and the BJP in her campaign rally in Jalpaiguri.

She said, "They (BJP-ruled Centre) know they have lost in 4 phases (of Assembly polls) so now they are using guns. We will take revenge for these bullets in form of ballots."

"I am a Royal Bengal Tiger. They didn't let me go (to Cooch Behar). I talked to them (families of deceased in firing incident) over video call sitting in Siliguri."

"It's an incompetent govt with incompetent PM & HM. They're coming here daily to capture Bengal. You are welcome, nobody has stopped you. But make people happy rather than threatening them. You get people killed by central forces and later issue them a clean chit," she said.

9:31 AM IST:

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has lashed out at the Election Commission over the firing incidents in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of polling in West Bengal which claimed four lives.

The Election Commission had late Saturday evening barred all politicians from entering the Cooch Behar district following the violence.

On Sunday morning, Mamata took to Twitter to state that the "Election Commission should rename MCC (Model Code of Conduct) as Modi Code of Conduct!"

She further said, "BJP can use all its might but nothing in this world can stop me from being with my people and sharing their pain. They can restrict me from visiting my brothers and sisters in Cooch Behar for 3 days but I will be there on the fourth day!"

6:30 PM IST:

Heavy polling despite incidents of violence. 76.16% polling so far in West Bengal Phase 4. 
 

6:14 PM IST:

At 5 pm, West Bengal has registered approximately 76.16% voting.

4:05 PM IST:

At 3 pm, West Bengal has registered 65.14% voting.
 

4:04 PM IST:

Sourav Ganguly cast his vote at a polling booth in Barisha Shashibhusan Janakalyan Vidyapith, Behala, South 24 Paraganas on Saturday. 

3:13 PM IST:

"Four of our innocent workers have been killed on instructions of Amit Shah. We will take out protest march tomorrow at several locations and all of us will wear black badges. We still don’t know the names of those who fired at our workers," said Subrata Mukherjee. 

1:45 PM IST:

Didi does not preside over destiny of people of Bengal, they are not your 'jagir' (fiefdom): PM Modi at poll rally

1:29 PM IST:

The Election Commission Saturday adjourned voting in PS 125 of Sitalkurchi seat in Cooch Behar after a clash between political workers and subsequent firing allegedly by CISF officers led to the death of four people.

The Commission sought detailed reports from Observers and CEO by 5 pm.

12:34 PM IST:

Violence marred polls in Coochbehar with five dead in two separate incidents. While a first time voter was shot dead by miscreants in Sitalkuchi in the morning while four persons died just before noon.As alleged four persons died when central forces were forced to fire after they were attacked.  
 

12:00 PM IST:

33.98% voter turnout recorded till 11:30 am amid violence.  

11:59 AM IST:

Four shot dead in in Sitalkuchi in Bengal's Cooch Behar district amid clashes between TMC and BJP workers. 

PTI quoting police sources says the four were killed when CISF allegedly opened fire after coming under attack. 

11:57 AM IST:

A first-time voter was shot dead by unidentified persons outside a polling booth in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district on Saturday, police said, reported PTI.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that the BJP was behind the killing, while the saffron party claimed that the deceased was its polling agent at the booth and accused the ruling party.

The youth, identified as Anand Burman, was dragged outside polling booth number 85 in Pathantuli area of Sitalkuchi while voting was underway and shot dead, a police officer said.

11:03 AM IST:

Clashes broke out in Pathartuli area in Sitalkuchi area between TMC and BJP workers. Police resorted to lathicharge and CAPF personnel were deployed. EC officials reached the booth in Pathartuli as voters were unable to vote

In Cooch Behar's Sitalkuchi, a first time voter was shot to death by a miscreant while he was standing in queue.

11:00 AM IST:

15.85% voter turnout recorded till 9am in 44 seats where polling is underway for fourth phase of the West Bengal elections. 

4:48 PM IST:

Voting trends at 1645 hours 

 

4:37 PM IST:

First Cooch Behar, then Howrah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at yet another election campaign rally.

Here are highlights of what he said:

* "Didi, o didi, people of Bengal believed in you and you broke their trust. You broke the heart of the people of Bengal."

* Didi has accused you of taking money and selling your votes! Do you do this? Isn't this your insult? You must respond to this in the elections!

* "Sonar Bangla will be built by behaviour and a clean conscience, and with the right policy."

* "The truth of whatever Didi did to West Bengal has come out. This is why Didi is threatening people of West Bengal. Didi says 'Amra dekhe nebo', BJP says 'Amra Seva Korbo'. We are humbly asking for a chance to serve people."

4:26 PM IST:

Trinamool Congress has accused BJP workers of attacking TMC candidate Sujata Mandal.

In a tweet, the TMC claimed: Petrifying visuals of @BJP4India goons attacking TMC candidate Sujata Mandal, openly abusing her & threatening her with rods & sickle. If they have the guts to do this to a female candidate, imagine what they can do to your daughters. This is their 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'"

 

 

1:47 PM IST:

PM Modi targets West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Cooch Behar

* "Didi has started issuing threats to people these days that if she doesn't win, all benefits will stop!"

* "Recently, the tapes that have been revealed gives Didi's report card of 10 years. Didi has started a new tax in Bengal -- 'Bhaipo Service Tax'!"

* "For 10 years, women, Dalits, backward classes and tea workers were subjected to injustices, you kept watching. For 10 years, farmers were deprived of irrigation and storage facilities but Didi, you were just an onlooker.

* "For 10 years, your (Mamata) corruption goons continued to loot Bengal and you were a mute spectator. For 10 years, injustice with North Bengal continued, but you chose to be a mute spectator."

* "Didi, people say you play a lot of football. You've already scored an own goal in football of politics!"

* "Recently, Didi said that every Muslim must get together and not allow their votes to be divided. Didi, it means you know that the Muslim vote bank, that you considered your strength, is also slipping away from you!"

* "TMC and Didi's exit has already been confirmed. People in huge numbers have come out and voted in our favour. The wave of BJP in Bengal has cornered Didi's goons and her nephew."

12:44 PM IST:

Clash erupts between TMC and BJP supporters in Hooghly's Arambag in West Bengal, as voting in assembly elections is underway. 

"In Arandi-I area here, we have a minority. SC voters who love Mamata Banerjee. Goons of BJP threatened and tortured women voters last night," Sujata Mondal, TMC candidate from Arambagh said.

12:05 PM IST:

 

12:00 PM IST:

BJP candidate from Jalukbari in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma casts his vote and says, "There're 40 seats in this phase. We are expecting to win on 22 of them... the number can be higher." 

"This election, we will win more seats. Last time, we had won 84 seats. We are expecting at least 90 seats this time." 

11:01 AM IST:

 

 

 

10:40 AM IST:

 

10:31 AM IST:

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cast his vote in Kannur's Pinarayi.

After casting his vote, Vijayan, who is contesting from Kannur's Dharmadam against Kannur District Congress Committee General Secretary C Raghunath and CK Padmanabhan for the BJP, said: "It will be a historic win for LDF. Just like how the opposition's allegations were dismissed by the people of Kerala in the local body polls... it is being dismissed in the Assembly polls and we witnessed that sentiment in the election campaign. We are expecting a decisive victory. From 2016, be it welfare measures or development activities, or when we faced the disasters, people stood by us. It is the people who have stood by us at all times, They are casting their decree."

9:36 AM IST:

 

9:14 AM IST:

If you are a Covid-infected person undergoing home isolation in one of the four states or Union territory, here is how you can exercise your mandate.

According to Election Commission guidelines, thermal checking of voters will be done at the entry point of the polling station location/polling station, either by polling staff or Para Medical staff or Asha worker. 

If the temperature is above the set norms of the Union health ministry at first reading, then it will be checked twice and if it remains, then the elector shall be provided with a token/certificate and will be asked to come for voting at the last hour of the poll. 

At the last hour of the poll, such electors shall be facilitated voting, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures.

Those who are Covid-19 infected and the polling officers will have to wear PPEs when the person votes.

8:49 AM IST:


Representative image

Election Commission has suspended a sector officer after three EVMs and four VVPAT machines were found in TMC leader Goutam Ghosh's residence.

Sector Officer Tapan Sarkar, who is in charge of Sector 17 in Uluberia seat, had spent the night at Goutam Ghosh's house who happens to be hs relative. 

The EVMs and VVPAT machines with Tapan Sarkar were part of the reserve stock. EC says they will not be used for voting today

8:43 AM IST:

Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan and his two daughters Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan on Tuesday cast their votes.

Kamal, who is contesting from the Coimbatore South assembly constituency, cast his vote at Teynampet as polling across 234 assembly constituencies in 38 districts of Tamil Nadu is underway.

The MNM chief's daughters actors Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan also exercised their votes

8:38 AM IST:

Among those casting their vote early was DMK President MK Stalin, who cast his vote at the Siet College booth in Teynampet. He was accompanied by his wife Durga and son Udhayanidhi Stalin.

After casting his vote, Stalin said: "I have been getting reports of high voter turnout from across the state. This vote is against the ruling party."

8:29 AM IST:

In his message to voters, PM Modi says: "Elections are taking place in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. I request the people in these places to vote in record numbers, particularly the young voters."

 

 

8:26 AM IST:

 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeals to voters

 

8:22 AM IST:

Voting is underway in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.

In West Bengal, 31 assembly constituencies are going to polls, including key areas like Tarakeswar, Shyampur and Diamond Harbour. 

Polling of votes is underway for the 140-seat Kerala assembly.

Polling for the third and final phase of the tea-garden state of Assam began on Tuesday morning with security arrangements in place.

Voting also began in Tamil Nadu to choose 234 members. The key contests include Edappadi, Bodinayakkanur, Kolathur, Coimbatore South and Thousand Lights constituencies

In Puducherry, polling is underway in 30 constituencies of the legislative assembly. There are 324 candidates in the fray

2:25 PM IST:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has cut short his poll campaign in Assam and is returning to Delhi in view of Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh. He is returning after addressing one out of three rallies he was supposed to address: Jitendra Singh, BJP's co-in charge for Assam poll to ANI.

6:45 PM IST:

Amit Shah took on the ruling LDF and UDF in Kerala today. Here are highlights of his speech at Sulthan Bathery:

* "LDF has nothing to do with efficiency. They only aspire for power on fear of political violence. Numerous workers of BJP and RSS have been killed in Kerala. Vijayanji, the BJP is never afraid of working hard and will never be afraid."

* "Congress was sitting mum when Lord Ayyappa's devotees where being lathi-charged here! BJP-NDA strongly feel management of temples should be managed by devotees and not atheists."

* "The Gold scam was done by Vijayan's govt. If you change it to UDF, solar scams will take place again. Nothing will change. LDF-UDF are very similar to the core."

* "UDF and LDF are both confused parties. They fight each other here, but fight together in Bengal! Do Left and Congress do politics of ideology or just power?"

* "Now, Wayanad is Rahul baba's constituency. He was Amethi's MP for 15 years, had not done anything to make Amethi better. Later, he shifted to Wayanad. I've never witnessed a tourist politician like him. He will do no development in the region."

6:45 PM IST:

Amit Shah took on the ruling LDF and UDF in Kerala today. Here are highlights of his speech at Sulthan Bathery:

* "LDF has nothing to do with efficiency. They only aspire for power on fear of political violence. Numerous workers of BJP and RSS have been killed in Kerala. Vijayanji, the BJP is never afraid of working hard and will never be afraid."

* "Congress was sitting mum when Lord Ayyappa's devotees where being lathi-charged here! BJP-NDA strongly feel management of temples should be managed by devotees and not atheists."

* "The Gold scam was done by Vijayan's govt. If you change it to UDF, solar scams will take place again. Nothing will change. LDF-UDF are very similar to the core."

* "UDF and LDF are both confused parties. They fight each other here, but fight together in Bengal! Do Left and Congress do politics of ideology or just power?"

* "Now, Wayanad is Rahul baba's constituency. He was Amethi's MP for 15 years, had not done anything to make Amethi better. Later, he shifted to Wayanad. I've never witnessed a tourist politician like him. He will do no development in the region."

5:33 PM IST:

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 3 crore of TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, its MP Satabdi Roy and Debjani Mukherjee in the Saradha chit fund money laundering case.

The central probe agency said in a statement that the assets belong to "Kunal Ghosh, ex-Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress (CEO of Media Group Saradha), Satabdi Roy, Lok Sabha MP from TMC (brand ambassador in Saradha), and Debjani Mukherjee who is director in Saradha Group of companies in Saradha chit fund case."

Assets worth Rs 600 crore have been attached in this case till now.

The ED is probing the money laundering aspect of the alleged ponzi scam since April, 2013.

3:59 PM IST:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again targeted Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, accusing her of insulting the people of the state.

Addressing a rally in Hooghly, PM Modi said: "Didi says people take money to attend BJP rallies. Didi, Bengalis are self-respecting people. Didi, you have insulted the people of Bengal with this statement."

"A major reason for Didi's bewilderment is her report card of 10 years. Old industries have been shut down. Possibilities of new industries, new investment, new business & employment have also been closed down."

2:16 PM IST:

Based on a request by Kerala's Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, the Election Commission of India has banned the customary finale marked by immense participation of crowd and celebration on Sunday ahead of the April 6 Assembly polls.

Known as "Kottikalasham" in Malayalam, the finale of the open poll campaigning used to be a jamboree in the southern state in which every political party would try to show off their strength by bringing a maximum number of supporters to add colour to the show.

The Covid situation in the state is stated to be the reason behind the decision.

2:11 PM IST:

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP and its 'aided party' of engineering communal strife in the state to win the elections.
 
Addressing an election rally in Raidighi in South 24 Parganas district, Mamata warned Muslims against "falling in the trap of a BJP-aided party from Hyderabad and its Bengal ally that are out to polarise votes."
 
Mamata was aiming at Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and Abbas Siddiqui's Indian Secular Front

2:06 PM IST:

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other top Congress leaders for portraying Kerala in poor light.

The chief minister said that in the past five years, Kerala came under numerous disasters and the Centre failed to come to the state's rescue.

"During the floods, the Central forces were here and after they returned, we had to pay the bill for their services. None will forget the work of our own army - 'fishermen', who were chipped in and they had never sent a bill for their services rendered. The Centre then gave us food grains along with its bill. Besides, none will forget, how the Centre failed to give us the nod to receive aid from rebuilding Kerala in the aftermath of the floods. People know everything and they will not forget anything," Vijayan.

6:15 PM IST:

73.03% and 80.43% voter turnout recorded till 6 pm in the second phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal, respectively: Election Commission of India

5:14 PM IST:

EC has sought a detailed report from the administration in connection with the violence in Boyal area in Nandigram. The incidents happened when CM Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to oversee the polling process. Chaos and clashes broke out as she reached Booth No 7 in Boyal area. TMC has demanded repolling in Booth no 7. 

5:13 PM IST:

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee speaks to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over the phone at a polling booth in Nandigram. "...They didn't allow the local people to cast their vote. From morning I am campaigning...Now I am appealing to you, please see," she could be heard saying in the video.

5:12 PM IST:

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday issued a notice to BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly violating the model code of conduct by threatening Bodoland People’s Front leader Hagrama Mohilary, who is a part of the Opposition’s “grand alliance”.

The notice comes after the Congress, on March 30, wrote to the EC against the BJP leader for “openly threatening to send Hagrama Mohilary to jail”. “Sarma has sought to cast a malicious and malafide impression on the public at large, that on account of the undue strength of the BJP-led Central government manning the Central agencies, Sarma is in an undue position to control/ misuse the NIA and hence capable of sending Mohilary to jail. This is a clear message to the voters in order to influence them to not vote for INC alliance including the BPF by completely unconstitutional means and propaganda,” the party said, according to ANI.

4:19 PM IST:


63.03% polling in Assam, 71.07% polling in West Bengal, till 3:31 pm of second phase of polling: ECI

3:11 PM IST:

EC reprimands DMK leader A Raja for violation of model code of conduct, delists his name from list of star campaigner of DMK and debars him from campaigning for 48 hrs with immediate effect upon not finding his reply regarding his remarks over Tamil Nadu CM and his mother, satisfactory.
 

1:39 PM IST:

33.24% polling in Assam, 37.42% polling in West Bengal, till 1.02 pm: Election Commission of India

12:07 PM IST:

A BJP worker was found hanging at his home in Nandigram in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district on Thursday, triggering tension in the area amid the highprofile election here, police said. Uday Dubey was found hanging at his home in the Bhekutia area of Nandigram in the morning, they said.

11:41 AM IST:

Voter turnout of 21.71% in Assam and 29.27% in West Bengal recorded till 11.17 am in the second phase of polling. 
 

10:56 AM IST:

The states of West Bengal and Assam, where second phase of polling is underway, recorded 13.14% and 10.51% of turnout in the first two hours,  cited figures from Election Commission of India.

10:53 AM IST:

10.51% polling recorded till 9 am, says ECI. In Assam, the fate of 345 candidates, including 26 women, will be decided by over 73.44 lakh voters in 39 constituencies in this phase.

10:49 AM IST:

All eyes on high-stakes Nandigram as polling underway for 30 seats in second phase of West Bengal elections amid heavy security, as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her former lieutenant and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari. 

10:46 AM IST:

With polling getting underway for the second phase of assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the voters of both states to exercise their franchise in record numbers.

10:42 AM IST:

Polling began at 7 am, including the high-profile Nandigram seat, in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections amid tight security. Till 9 am the polling percentage is 15.72% in West Bengal. 

9:45 PM IST:

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hits back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah for predicting that the BJP will win the mandate in West Bengal based on the voting trend in the first phase of voting.
 
Addressing a rally, Mamata said, "Home Minister said they will win 26 out of 30 seats where voting took place in the first phase. Have you (HM Amit Shah) entered the EVM? Why didn't you say BJP will win all 30 seats? Let's wait for May 2. TMC will win. Outsiders can't rule Bengal."

"They (BJP) have a lot of money so they are trying to purchase people. Modi is taking land. He will snatch away everything as Adani is his friend. Chase away outsiders and BJP like you chased away CPI-M," Mamata told the gathering.

9:35 PM IST:

BJP in Assam has expelled seven leaders from primary membership of party for six years for contesting as independent candidates in assembly election after being denied tickets. 

5:20 PM IST:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched a scathing attack on the Left Democratic Front-led government and the Congress-led United Democratic Front, accusing them of taking the state backwards with their misgovernance over the years.

Addressing a gathering in Kerala's Irinjalakuda, Rajnath said: "I want to ask the leadership of LDF and UDF why in spite of being the first state with 100 per cent literacy, Kerala is facing backwardness. When the entire country is redefining the aspiration and development trajectory why is Kerala lagging behind in this exercise."

"In spite of there being everything in Kerala, there is a lot missing here. It is because even after seven decades of independence, Kerala has not been able to come out of the clutches of LDF-UDF."

Appealing to voters to give BJP-led National Democratic Alliance a chance, Rajnath said: "LDF and UDF have been alternatively forming the government here and busy criticising each other, but, now people want an alternative. And, that alternative can only be BJP led NDA coalition. In the last 7 years, we have strengthened the presence of NDA and we have created an alternative."

4:26 PM IST:

Rahul Gandhi on Sunday addressed a public rally in Chennai's Shastri Nagar locality.

Targetting the AIADMK-BJP combine, Rahul said, "This is an election between AIADMK, RSS, Modi & Shah and the Tamil people. So you are going to see the decimation of the AIADMK, RSS & BJP combine, and the instrument of that decimation will be the Congress DMK alliance."

"For me an India where Tamil Nadu is forced to bow down, is not India, it's something else. Because I understand that the central idea of India is respect for all its languages, people, traditions."

"The Chief Minister is forced to bow in front of Amit Shah because of the corruption he has done. Ironically because of the money he has stolen from the Tamil people he is now trapped."

2:35 PM IST:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that BJP has gained a lot of ground after the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal.

Addressing media persons in New Delhi, Amit Shah thanked the people of both states for a high turnout in the first phase of the election. 

"Politics of appeasement in West Bengal, mismanagement of Covid and Amphan cyclone relief. People thought Mamata will bring relief from decades of Left mismanagement. But only the party symbol and name changed, the mismanagement continued. The people of Bengal have accepted Prime Minister Modi's policies.

Amit Shah also thanked the Election Commission for holding a peaceful first phase of election in the two states.

"We are confident that we will fulfil the 'Mission 200' (seats) in West Bengal and storm back to power in Assam."

7:19 PM IST:

Bengal reported 79.79% voter turnout till 6 pm in the first phase of the 2021 Assembly election. Assam, which also began voting today, reported 72.14% turnout till the same time.

6:02 PM IST:

Till 5:30 pm, West Bengal recorded 79.79% voter turnout and Assam registered 72.16% turnout in the first phase of polling for the Assembly elections.

5:13 PM IST:

62.36% and 70.17% voter turnout recorded till 4pm, in the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal assembly elections, respectively: Election Commission of India

4:07 PM IST:

Voter turnout till 3 pm

East Medinipore - 70.38%
West Medinipur - 68.76%
Jhargram - 72.10%
Purulia - 69.24%
Bankura - 68.03%

4:05 PM IST:

Mamata Banerjee in Kharagpur: In 2019 Lok Sabha polls when a Bangladeshi actor attended our rally, BJP spoke to Bangladesh government and cancelled his visa. When polls are underway here, you (PM) go to Bangladesh to seek votes from one section of ppl, why shouldn't your Visa be cancelled? We'll complain to EC."

"Sometimes they say Mamata has brought people from Bangladesh and did infiltration. But he (PM) himself goes to Bangladesh for vote marketing," she added.

4:06 PM IST:

Till 3 pm, West Bengal recorded 70.17% voter turnout and Assam registered 62.09% turnout in the first phase of polling for the assembly elections. 

4:02 PM IST:

45.24% and 54.90% voter turnout recorded till 2 pm, in the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal Assembly elections, respectively: Election Commission of India

12:41 PM IST:

Under a massive security arrangement, polling for the first phase of the eight-phase Assembly Elections began Saturday morning with West Bengal recording 36.09% voter turnout till 11 am. In the first few hours of polling, the turnout was comparatively low.
 

11:03 AM IST:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from West Midnapore Samit Das on Saturday alleged that Trinamool Congress is creating disturbances in the rural areas of the district as voting in the first phase of Assembly polls is underway. Das cast his vote at a polling booth in the West Midnapore district in the state. "Voting in Midnapore town is going on smoothly. But, at some places in rural areas, TMC workers are trying to create a disturbance," Das told ANI. "At booth no. 266 and 267, some TMC workers entered the booth to influence the voters. We have complained to the Election Commission regarding the matter," Das said. "We trust the Central police force. They are trying to help in conducting the polls smoothly," he added.

11:03 AM IST:

As polling began for the first phase of assembly elections in Assam, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday urged the people to vote for progress and golden future of the state. The Congress-led 'Mahajot' alliance is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in Assam which is voting in three phases starting on Saturday. The counting of votes will be on May 2. "Today, the first phase of polling is being held in Assam. I appeal to the people of Assam, especially the youth and my sisters, to go to the polling booths today and vote in large numbers," Priyanka Gandhi said in a Facebook post in Hindi. 

11:02 AM IST:

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from some areas that are voting in the first phase of the Assembly elections in West Bengal on Saturday, even as the overall poll situation was peaceful with 14.28% turnout recorded till 9 am, officials said. Elections are being held in 30 seats, most of which are in the once-Naxal-affected Jungle Mahal region, across five districts amid tight security, they said. A man, in his mid-30s, was found dead in Keshiary's Begumpur area in the Paschim Medinipur district in the morning, police said. He has been identified as Mangal Soren, they said, adding that his body was found outside his home.

9:52 AM IST:

According a PTI report,  a vehicle hired for poll duty was set ablaze at Bandwan in Purulia district on Friday night, hours before the first phase of assembly elections get underway, official sources said.

The vehicle was reportedly on its way back after dropping election officials at a polling station, when it was set on fire at Tulsidi village in the once-Maoist-affected 'Jangalmahal' belt of the state, they said.
    
According to eyewitnesses, the vehicle was stopped by a few persons who emerged out of the forests all of a sudden and allegedly threw a petrol-soaked material on it, before fleeing. No one was injured in the incident, the sources said. 

9:51 AM IST:

Voters being influenced and stopped from voting at booth number 149. Overall polling being held peacefully. EVMs malfunctioning at some locations, it happens in all polls, EC is looking into it: Soumendu Adhikari, BJP leader and brother of Suvendu Adhikari

9:44 AM IST:

8.84% and 7.72% voter turnout recorded till 9 am, in the first phase of polling in Assam and West Bengal Assembly elections, respectively: Election Commission of India. 

9:30 AM IST:

As the first phase of elections gets underway in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the people, especially the youth of the state, to vote in record numbers. 

 

9:29 AM IST:

As the first phase of Assembly elections got underway in West Bengal, PM Modi on Saturday morning requested all the voters in the seats polling today to exercise their franchise in record numbers.

9:25 AM IST:

Voting began at 7 am on Saturday for 47 seats in the first phase of the Assembly elections in Assam to decide the fate of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and a host of ministers and opposition leaders, officials said. Altogether 264 candidates, including 23 women, are in the fray in the first phase, they said.

9:24 AM IST:

Polling for the first of the eight-phase assembly polls in West Bengal began at 7 am on Saturday with voters deciding the fate of 191 candidates in 30 constituencies. All constituencies in Purulia, Jhargram and segments of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur are going to decide the electoral fate of 191 candidates, including 21 women candidates in the fray.

9:24 AM IST:

After days of high-octane campaigns and a series of lucrative poll promises by contesting parties, the first phase of elections in West Bengal and Assam got underway Saturday. The first phase of the polls has begun, with 30 seats in West Bengal and 47 in Assam voting.

11:59 AM IST:

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday released the election manifesto for the upcoming assembly polls in Puducherry. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Giriraj Singh officially unveiled the party’s manifesto in Puducherry.

3:57 PM IST:

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar releases NDA manifesto for Kerala Elections 2021 in Thiruvananthapuram. 
 

2:59 PM IST:

The petition also prayed for a direction to the Returning Officer to count at least 50 percent of VVPATs simultaneously in the upcoming elections to the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu on April 6, 2021.

3:54 PM IST:

The Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain arrived in Siliguri, West Bengal on Tuesday to review poll preparedness ahead of the first phase of the Assembly polls.

2:19 PM IST:

Tamil Nadu: AIADMK candidate Thanga Kathiravan from Nagapattinam washed people’s clothes and promised to give washing machine after winning elections during campaigning yesterday, reports ANI.
 

12:08 PM IST:

The Bharatiya Janata Party's national president JP Nadda on Tuesday released the manifesto for the upcoming assembly elections in Assam, promising to work on the corrected National Register of Citizens (NRC) for ‘Assam's protection.’

6:16 PM IST:

In yet another blow to the Congress in Kerala, another senior leader KC Rosakutty, who is also the Vice President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), has resigned from the party. She cited women being ignored by the party in the polls for her decision.

12:05 PM IST:

Senthil Balaji had reportedly said in a poll campaign, "Tell me if any official stops you from mining sand in bullock cart, he won't be there again."
 

11:51 AM IST:

West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim has resigned as the chairman of Kolkata Municipal Corporation following Election Commission's advice, as he is contesting in the assembly polls.
 

11:50 AM IST:

This (Citizenship Amendment Act) has been passed (by Parliament). There is no question of stepping back. This is an ideological commitment of the BJP. CAA is not going to cause any harm. We will definitely implement it, rules will be formed: Dass 

9:26 AM IST:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will arrive in Kerala on Monday to campaign for the upcoming assembly polls.

Rahul Gandhi will be in Kerala for two days.

He will take part in public meetings organised at several districts.

Congress is contesting 91 seats in the Assembly polls

8:59 AM IST:

Reacting to the release of the BJP manifesto for West Bengal election, the Trinamool Congress said the document was hollow and anti-Bengali.

TMC MP Sougata Roy told a national news agency, "BJP manifesto is hollow. In any case, they're not coming to power. So what does it matter what they say? If they want to make Sonar Bangla, why didn't they make Sonar Uttar Pradesh, Sonar Madhya Pradesh and Sonar Himachal Pradesh first."

More criticism came from Abhishek Banerjee, who said: "Absurd how the Tourist Gang relased their jumla-laden Manifesto for Bengal polls in the hands of a Gujarati! A party that cannot find sufficient candidates for all 294 seats in Bengal is now faltering to find local leadership for such key events!"

6:48 PM IST:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday released Bharatiya Janata Party's election manifesto for the forthcoming assembly election in West Bengal. Unveiling the manifesto, Shah said the party has decided to call it a 'Sankalp Patra'. It is not just a manifesto but a resolution letter for West Bengal by the country's largest party, he said. 

4:41 PM IST:

Didi, you have only made hollow announcements in the last 10 years, where is the work you claim to have done? You keep saying 'Khela Hobe' while people of West Bengal have decided 'Khela Shesh Hobe' (the game will end): PM Modi 

Didi does not like my face; but in democracy, work for people is seen, not someone's face. Mamata didi can kick my head, but I'll not allow her to kick dreams of Bengal people: PM Modi 

Had you shown your true colours 10 years ago, Bengal's people wouldn't have elected you: PM Modi to Mamata 

3:59 PM IST:

Amit Shah to release BJP manifesto at Kolkata's EZCC (Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre) today evening. 
 

3:56 PM IST:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Bankura district of West Bengal and will address an election rally shortly.

3:54 PM IST:

Ending weeks of speculation, disgruntled TMC MP Sisir Adhikari said on Sunday that he will join the BJP, following in the footsteps of his two sons Suvendu and Soumendu, and put up a formidable fight against the Mamata Banerjee camp to ''save the honour of Midnapore''.

The patriarch of the Adhikari family -- which wields considerable influence in Bengal's Purba Medinipur district -- said that he was forced to switch camp, as the leaders of the ruling party left him with no other option. Earlier, too, the TMC MP had accused the ruling party of ''humiliating'' him and son Suvendu, who is locked in a fierce battle with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the district's Nandigram constituency.

''They (TMC leaders) forced me to join the BJP. Let them (TMC) do what they want, and I will do what I can,'' Adhikari told reporters here before leaving for Egra, where he is set to attend Union Home Minister Amit Shah's rally.

He asserted that Suvendu Adhikari will bag the Nandigram seat by a comfortable margin. ''Suvendu will win the polls by a huge margin. The TMC will be wiped out of East Midnapore,'' the Lok Sabha MP added.

1:08 PM IST:

•    It is now decided that Assam will get 'double engine ki sarkar', 'doosri baar, BJP sarkar: PM Modi 

•    During Congress' reign, the main question was to save the loot of Assam from Congress. Under the NDA, Assam is heading to touch new highs: PM Modi

•    NDA government ensures peace and stability in Assam: PM Modi
 

10:57 AM IST:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address public meetings at Bankura, West Bengal today. Meanwhile, Amit Shah will unveil BJP's manifesto in Kolkata. 

7:36 PM IST:

Congress leader Rahul gandhi has released the party's manifesto for the Assam assembly polls.

Here's what the Congress is offering the voters of the state:

* Hike the minimum wages of tea garden workers to Rs 365 per day.

* Five lakh government jobs and 200 units of free electricity per month for all

* 'Grihini Saman' scheme: Each housewife will receive Rs.2000/month.

* Will ensure Citizenship Amendment Act is not implemented.

5:37 PM IST:

Prime Minister Modi's next target of the day was Congress party.

Lashing out at the Congress while addressing a rally in Chabua, PM Modi said:

* "Congress has joined hands with parties that are a danger to Assam's culture & heritage. Development of every region of Assam is a priority for the BJP govt. We are committed to ensure that the culture and heritage of the state remains protected."

* "Congress has gone very far from the people of Assam. A few days ago, they shared a photo from Sri Lanka and said it was Assam. A few days ago, they shared a photo from Taiwan and said it was Assam. It is injustice and insult to our beautiful Assam."

* "The Congress party supports these toolkit makers and still has the audacity to ask for votes in Assam! Can we forgive a party such as this?"

* "Congress who is contesting elections in Assam doesn't even recognise Assam's tea gardens. This is how they insult the people of Assam."

* "A toolkit has been circulated that will defame the tea of Assam and our yoga. It has prepared a plan and the makes of this toolkit want to inflict losses on our tea plantations."

* "India's oldest party, who ruled over India for 50-55 years, is supporting people who're trying to remove India's image associated with tea. Can we forgive the Congress for this? Don't they deserve to get punished?"

* "The Congress, once the largest party in the country, is shrinking today. The reason is absolutely clear. There is no respect for talent in the Congress. Greed for power is paramount. For power, they can take anyone with them, they can support anyone."

* "If a chaiwala does not understand your pain, then who will understand. I assure that the NDA government will intensify efforts to improve the standard of living of colleagues working in Tea Gardens."

3:57 PM IST:

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi is giving 5 guarantees to the electorate in Assam

He promises:

- We will not allow CAA to apply
- Tea plantation workers to get Rs 365 per day
- 200 units of free electricity to every family
- Women to get Rs 2000 per month
- 5 lakh jobs to the youth of Assam

3:36 PM IST:

Congress-led UDF releases election manifesto in Thiruvananthapuram

Some of the promises made in the manifesto include:

* Rs 2000 monthly pension to homemakers

* 5kg free rice to all white cardholders

* Ban on strikes, forced closures

* Creation of a ministry of happiness

* Welfare pension to be increased to Rs 3000 per month.

* Special law for the protection of Sabarimala tradition

* Rupees 5,000 each to auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers

* Five lakh people will be given homes free of cost

* Rs 6 lakh as home allocation funds for families belonging to backward classes such as SC, ST

* 100 units of free electricity in every bill.

12:36 PM IST:

 And the first Trinamool Congress response to Prime Minister Modi's remarks at Kharagpur campaign rally come from party MP Mahua Moitra.

 

 

12:34 PM IST:

And the first response from the Trinamool Congress to Prime Minister Modi's remarks in Kharagpur comes from party MP Mahua Moitra.

 

 

12:32 PM IST:

More highlights from PM's Modi's campaign speech in Kharagpur:

* Didi keeps saying, "Khela hobe!" The entire Bengal is responding, "Khela sesh hobe, vikaas arombho hobe"! 

* First the Congress, then the Left and then the Trinamool stalled the development of Bengal.

* BJP is the party of Bengal. The BJP is literally the party of Bengal. We will brighten the future of the people of Bengal.

* If Mamata didn't want to give credit to Modi for the schemes, that's fine. But why deprive the poor of their livelihood?

* Everyone knows till where the links to illegal mining in the Subarnarekha and Kansabati river go. After the BJP government comes to power in Bengal, strict action will be taken against all these. the rule of law will be established.

* The people of West Bengal are demanding a 10-year report card from Didi. But she gets angry when if someone asks her about Amphan cyclone relief. She will put you behind the bars if you ask about the ration theft. She will get you caned by the police if you seek answers on the coal scam

12:16 PM IST:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a scathing attack on Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal's Kharagpur.

Here are highlights of the PM's speech at Kharagpur:

* In West Bengal, Didi (Mamata) has stood like a wall blocking every development project. You trusted Didi, but she gave you misgovernance; she betrayed you. 

* People of Bengal gave Mamata the opportunity of ten years of service. But she gave them ten years of plunder, she gave them 10 years of corruption, she gave them 10 years of misrule.

* Last night, for 50-55 minutes, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram were down which left everyone worried! Here in Bengal, development, belief, dreams have been down for 50-55 years, and thus, I understand your impatience to bring in a change!

* Her party is the school of cruelty, and its syllabus is Tolabaji, cut-money, syndicate and is a training centre for harassing and troubling people.

9:25 AM IST:

PM Narendra Modi will address rallies in West Bengal's Kharagpur and Assam's Chabua. The rallies are scheduled to be held at 11:15 am and 2:30 pm respectively. 

 

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, "Will be in Assam and West Bengal tomorrow and the day after. Tomorrow, 20th March, I would be speaking at rallies in Kharagpur (WB) and Chabua (Assam). Will elaborate on BJP's development agenda during my speeches. It is clear both states want to elect NDA in the upcoming polls."

9:17 AM IST:

A total of 2138 election nominations have been filed for the 140 member Kerala assembly on the last day of the process

According to the Election Commission, the highest number of nominations were filed in Malappuram (235) followed by Kozhikode (226) and Ernakulam (219). Thrissur saw 194 nominations while 187 nominations were received in Thiruvananthapuram.

The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly will be held on April 6. 

9:14 AM IST:

A total of 309 candidates have filed their papers for 40 constituencies going to polls in the third and final phase in Assam on April 6.

Friday was the last date to submit nominations.

Prominent candidates who filed their nominations for the third phase include BJP ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma (Jalukbari), Siddhartha Bhattacharya (Gauhati East), Chandra Mohan Patowary (Dharampaur), the party's state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and AGP minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury (Bongaigaon).

6:13 PM IST:

The Left Democratic Front in Kerala has released its election manifesto. Among other things, the manifesto promises:

* 20 lakh educated people will be provided employment

* 15 lakh livelihood jobs will be created 

* 15,000 start-ups will be launched in five years. 

* Investment of Rs 10,000 crore in the industrial sector over the next five years.

* The number of enterprises in the MSME sector will be increased from 1.4 lakh to 3 lakh.

* Development assistance of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 15 lakh to be provided to 45 lakh families. 

* Upto Rs 5 lakh free inpatient treatment for 20 lakh families and up to Rs 2 lakh Karunya scheme for the rest.

* Five lakh houses to be completed in five years. 

* Rs 40,000 crore will be spent on road construction.

* Social pensions to be increased to Rs 2,500 in stages. The minimum wage will be 700 rupees. 

* Infrastructure works worth Rs 60,000 crore to be completed.

* Drinking water will be provided to 30 lakh families. 

3:33 PM IST:

All India NR Congress has released its list of candidates for the Puducherry election.

Former Chief Minister N Rangasamy will contest from Thattanchavady and Yanam.

 

3:03 PM IST:

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi targets the Narendra Modi government once again in Assam's Dibrugarh.

After promising the fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Kerala that he will create a fisheries ministry if voted to power, Rahul has now gone ahead and promised tea workers of Assam that he will set up a new ministry dedicated to solving their problems.

"For the tea industry, we will start a special ministry to solve all your issues. Our manifesto is in consultation with tea tribe, people, and not framed behind closed doors," he said.

"BJP promised Rs 351 but gives only Rs 167 to Assam tea workers. I'm not Narendra Modi, I don't lie. Today, we give you 5 guarantees: We will give Rs 365 for tea workers, we will stand against CAA, we will give 5 lakh jobs, we will provide 200 units free electricity and we will pay Rs 2000 to housewives."

2:01 PM IST:

Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP Central Observer for West Bengal, has announced that the BJP manifesto for West Bengal assembly elections will be released by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on March 21 at Kolkata.

1:42 PM IST:

Highlights of Kamal Haasan's poll manifesto:

* Makkal canteens will be introduced in the state

* Implement Tamil as the official language of the state

* Eradication of poverty

* Turning TN into a one trillion dollar economy, ensuring 15 to 20 per cent growth rate

* Monorail connectivity to all cities 

* Value-added employment for up to 2 crore people

1:24 PM IST:

TMC delegation comprising Saugata Roy, Mahua Moitra and Yashwant Sinha briefs the media after meeting the Election Commission:

* The EC has said that it is yet to reach a conclusion on the incident involving Mamata Banerjee. The EC reportedly told the TMC delegation that unlike what has appeared in the media the poll body's probe still has not ruled out an attack. 

* The TMC took up the issue of the rule under which only central forces will be stationed within 100 metres of the booth. The EC clarified that the rule is applicable in all states. 

* The TMC also raised the issue of only 5% VVPATs being used in the West Bengal election.

12:24 PM IST:

Rahul Gandhi rakes up the Citizenship Amendment Act issue in Assam once again.

During an interaction with students in Assam's Dibrugarh, Rahul said: "You think democracy is declining. We can't ask the people of Assam to forget their culture, language if they come to Delhi. One force, born in Nagpur, us trying to control the whole country."

 

12:39 PM IST:

Assam Cabinet Minister and BJP's key strategist for northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma is on his way to file his nomination for the Jalukbari assembly constituency today. 

Earlier in the day, he visited the Maa Kamakhya temple and Doul Govinda temple en route the nomination centre.

 

 

10:44 AM IST:

An AIADMK leader has been caught on cam distributing cash in Tamil Nadu's Chepauk constituency in Chennai.

The video shows AIADMK Minority Cell leader JM Basheet allegedly distributing money with a party notice to voters at the Chepauk-Triplicane constituency. 

 

11:18 AM IST:

BJP MP Babul Supriyo was allegedly hounded by the TMC cadre when he was visiting a locality to campaign.

He took to Twitter to share a video of the incident.

 

 

 

9:39 AM IST:

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is on the campaign trail in West Bengal. His mode of transport for a "tough drive"? The Mahindra Thar.

Taking to Twitter, the minister said, "Tough drives call for tougher vehicles. And the Mahindra Thar felt just perfect during the Bengal election rally. A perfect ambassador of Make In India!"

 

 

9:24 AM IST:

TMC leader Dibyendu Adhikari has hinted that he might join the BJP like his elder brother Suvendu.

Talking to a news agency, Dibyendu said that even though technically he is with the TMC, the party has blocked him from attending public events for the last 4-5 months. 

On whether he would join the BJP like his brother, Dibyendu said that he is yet to decide on that even though he had received an invitation from the BJP high command.

9:19 AM IST:

Moments after BJP announced its list of candidates for the West Bengal elections, protests erupted in certain parts of the state with some BJP workers resorting to violence.

In the Jagaddal assembly constituency, BJP cadre tore up posters, vandalised party office and staging protest after Arindam Bhattacharya was announced as the party's candidate from the Assembly constituency.

Similar scenes were witnessed in Jalpaiguri Sadar Assembly constituency where BJP workers vandalised the party office after Sujit Singha was announced as the party candidate.

8:49 AM IST:

Trinamool Congress parliamentary delegation comprising of Saugata Roy, Mahua Moitra and Yashwant Sinha will meet the Election Commission in Delhi later today to discuss issues related to 'free and fair polling in West Bengal'

8:43 AM IST:

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's net assets have gone down in the last 5 years.

In an affidavit filed before the Election Commission of India, Mamata declared that her net worth is Rs 16.72 lakh. 

That's 48 per cent lower than what Mamata declared in 2016.

The election affidavit state that the Nandigram candidate has Rs 69,255 cash in hand. 

Her bank balance is Rs 13.53 lakh which includes Rs 1.51 lakh in her election expenditure account. 

Mamata also has a National Saving Certificate deposit of Rs 18,490.

Join Asianet Newsable's relentless coverage of the assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and in the Union Territory of Puducherry.