Several top leaders face litmus test in third phase

Amit Shah, former MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, SP leader Dimple Yadav, and NCP (SP) leader Supriya Sule among others in the fray…reports Asian Lite News

With the Lok Sabha elections 2024 gaining momentum, anticipation mounts for the third phase of polling scheduled for Tuesday, May 7. A total of 93 Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 11 states and union territories will witness the democratic exercise.

Prominent leaders to contest in the poll battle include Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Samajwadi Party leader Dimple Yadav, and NCP (SP) leader Supriya Sule among others.

During the campaign, the BJP attacked Congress and the INDIA bloc, accusing them of corruption and appeasement. The BJP came out heavily with the allegations that Congress aims to carry out ‘wealth redistribution’ and impose ‘inheritance tax’ on people.

The Congress, on the other hand, refuted the allegations and asked BJP if they will remove the 50 per cent cap on reservations (a promise which Congress has made in its manifesto). The INDIA bloc especially targeted the BJP over the ‘obscene video’ case of Prajwal Revanna, a suspended leader of BJP-ally JD-S.

Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, Sam Pitroda, backed the party’s stand on redistribution of wealth and advocated an inheritance tax law in the country. Emphasising the need for policy towards wealth redistribution, Pitroda elaborated on the concept of inheritance tax prevailing in America.

“In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has 100 million USD worth of wealth and when he dies he can only transfer probably 45 per cent to his children, 55 per cent is grabbed by the government. That’s an interesting law. It says you in your generation, made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public, not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair,” Pitroda has said.

Prajwal Revanna, the grandson of JD(S) party supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, was booked in the case on April 28 based on a complaint lodged at Holenarasipura Town police.

The case was registered under sections 354A, 354D, 506, and 509 of the IPC on charges of sexual harassment, intimidation, and outraging the dignity of a woman. As per the complaint, the victim claimed that Prajwal Revanna and his father, HD Revanna, had sexually assaulted her. A look out notice has been issued against Prajwal Revanna, who is currently claimed to be in Germany.

Alliance partners BJP and JD(S) found themselves in a spot, days ahead of the May 7 polls after the sexual abuse case involving Prajwal Revanna came to the fore.

Meanwhile, as voters are waiting to cast their ballots in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday, several prominent leaders, including Amit Shah, who is contesting from Gandhinagar, and Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri and the battle for the ‘Pawar’ legacy, are in high-stake contests.

The voting in the third phase will take place on May 7, followed by the two phases on April 19 and April 26.

The Union Home Minister will be seeking his second term from the seat of Gandhinagar. The seat is considered one of the prestigious bastions for the party, which has been represented by veterans like LK Advani.

The party has been undefeated on the seat since 1989. Shah is up against Congress’ Sonal Patel this time.

Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav will be seeking re-election from Mainpuri, a seat represented by her father-in-law and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and was vacated after his death on October 10.

Dimple Yadav of the Samajwadi Party won the Mainpuri parliamentary by-election in December 2022, defeating Raghuraj Singh Shakya of the BJP by a margin of 2,88,461 votes.

Baramati, known as the bastion of the ‘Pawar family’, is witnessing a direct contest between three-time sitting MP Supriya Sule, the daughter of NCP (SP) supremo Sharad Pawar and Sunetra Pawar, the wife of Ajit Pawar, who has switched over to the BJP-led NDA and became Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister.

This election comes after the split in the NCP, after which the Election Commission recognised Ajit Pawar’s faction as the real NCP and supremo Sharad Pawar’s faction was given the name of NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar).

The battle for ‘Pawar’ legacy took an interesting turn when Ajit Pawar decided to field his wife Sunetra against his sister Supriya Sule.

Other key leaders in the fray for polls on Tuesday include Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna in Madhya Pradesh and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Digvijaya Singh from Vidisha and Rajgarh, respectively.

A total of 17.24 crore voters are eligible to cast their franchise in this phase at 1.85 lakh polling stations. Seventy-five delegates from 23 countries will see the poll process, the poll panel said.

Voting will not take place for Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday as the Election Commission of India (ECI) has postponed the polling to the sixth phase to be held on May 25.

Originally, voting was scheduled to be held on 94 Lok Sabha seats in the third phase. However, elections were rescheduled from the second to the third phase in the Betul Lok Sabha seat of Madhya Pradesh due to the death of the BSP candidate. The BJP candidate in Surat has been declared the winner unopposed and due to the revised polling schedule in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, the total seats now going to poll are 93.

The Lok Sabha elections are being held across seven phases, from April 19 to June 1. The counting is scheduled for June 4.

The Narendra Modi-led BJP is seeking a third term in power, while the opposition INDIA bloc is aiming to wrest power by stopping the juggernaut. (ANI)

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