Sunday, 20 April 2014

Lok Sabha Polls 2014: How BJP Planned Mission UP and Why it is Confident of Winning 50+ Seats

NEW DELHI | LUCKNOW: About halfway through the general election, BJP's key strategists in Uttar Pradesh are confident of a 50-plus seats performance in the crucial 80-seat Uttar Pradesh.

Party leaders who have worked on the UP strategy for months told ET, over the course of lengthy interactions, that contrary to pundits' criticism about wrong ticket distribution and faulty caste arithmetic, the election front-runner is privately satisfied that its plans are working.

"We're looking at 53 seats," a BJP leader said. "And our strategy has four broad strands." Plus, there's a post-poll plan — and BJP leaders are calling it 'panchayat to Parliament'.

BJP leaders who spoke to ET for this news report did so on the condition that they not be identified.


BJP's 1998 performance — 58 seats in the 85-seat undivided UP — was the target set internally. In today's UP that meant 53 seats; five of the seats it won in 1998 are in Uttarakhand now. But against this target, said a BJP leader closely involved with poll decimation of party structure in UP.

This leader said when Amit Shah, close confidant of Narendra Modi, took charge six months ago, the contrast between Bihar, another crucial state, and UP could not have been more apparent.

In Bihar, BJP had been in government till it broke up with JD(U) and its poll performance had been respectable. In UP, another BJP strategist said, "There was no cadre... we haven't been in power for 17 years... forget about being in power, we weren't even in the contest."

And, this strategist said, Shah couldn't fall back on a strong state leadership either. "There was no Sushil Modi equivalent in UP," he said. "In UP, state leaders were 75-82 years of age. How would we have even attracted youth votes?" a close aide of Shah said. Plus, the aide pointed out, the existing leadership also lacked connect with workers.

So, Shah's priorities were set: get candidates of a quality that overcomes the handicap of weak state leadership and get the message on Modi to every corner of UP, especially remote corners where only BSP and SP have effective name recognition.

Source: EconomicTimes

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Lok Sabha Polls 2014: Modi to File Nomination from Varanasi on April 24, says Amit Shah

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will file his nomination for the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi constituency on April 24, his close aide Amit Shah said on Saturday.

While addressing a press conference, Shah further said that the nation is witnessing the Modi wave which will soon turn into a tsunami.

Clarifying his stand on the the controversial 'revenge remark', the BJP leader said that it was not his intention to break the model code of conduct and that a bowler sometimes delivers a no ball as well.

He further said that he respects the Election Commission (EC) and that if it sends anyone a notice then it is one's duty to respond to it. He added that the issue is over now and everyone should move on.

The BJP leader was recently banned from holding public meetings, processions or roadshows in Uttar Pradesh by the EC after the 'revenge remark'.

Shah also spoke on the furore caused by his statement that SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's government will be dismissed if Modi is elected as the prime minister of the country.

He said that the statement meant that BJP will not play a role in it and that the Samajwadi Party-led government in Uttar Pradesh will get fall on its own.

The BJP leader further said that his party will sweep majority of seats in Uttar Pradesh.

“In the first 2 phases of voting in UP, BJP is winning 18 out of total 21 seats,” he said.

He cited intelligence reports and accused Congress candidate from Varanasi, Ajay Rai, of being involved in the trade of AK-47s and called for investigations.

Source: ZEENews

Friday, 18 April 2014

Bihar's 'Osama bin Laden' to Contest against Modi from Varanasi

PATNA: Meraj Khalid Noor, popularly known as Bihar's Osama bin Laden due to his uncanny resemblance to the late al-Qaida leader, on Friday announced he would contest the Lok Sabha poll against BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi.

"I have decided to contest polls against Modi from Varanasi," said Noor, who is president of Ram India, a newly floated political outfit.

"After much thought I decided to fight against Modi," Noor said.

Patna-based Noor was once the darling of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former chief minister Lalu Prasad and the Lok Janshakti Party's (LJP) Ram Vilas Paswan to woo Muslim voters. However, it is a different story now.

"I campaigned in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls for Paswan and in the 2005 assembly elections for Lalu," the businessman-turned-politician said.

He now complains that Lalu Prasad and Paswan "used me" to attract Muslim votes to their parties.

Noor is tall, well built and sports a long black beard. Like the now dead al- Qaida chief, he is always seen in white robes and a turban to match. The al-Qaida leader was gunned down by US commandos in his hideout in Pakistan in May 2011.

Noor admitted then it was his mere resemblance to the world's then most wanted man that was capitalized on as "I am neither a good speaker nor a leader with any support base".

In Patna and across Bihar, people don't know his real name. Everyone calls him bin Laden.

According to Salam Iraqi, one of his friends, Noor plunged into politics in 2004 when he sought ticket from Paswan's LJP to contest the assembly polls. His plea was turned down.

But Paswan asked Noor to campaign for his party and he would introduce him as "Osama bin Laden" at election rallies.

Noor switched over to the RJD in September 2005 and campaigned for Lalu Prasad.

He was so much in demand that Paswan and Lalu Prasad would invariably find a seat for him on their campaign helicopters, even if it meant dropping a senior party leader.

Noor is not a hardliner.

He is the grandson of Kazi Muzahidul Islam, former president of the Muslim Personal Law Board. His father, Noor Ahmad, was a close associate of veteran socialist leader George Fernandes.

Such was Noor's image that Narendra Modi once made a mention about him.

Late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan accused Lalu Prasad and Paswan in 2005 of glorifying "the most wanted terrorist in the world" by asking Noor to campaign for them.

Source: TOI

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lok Sabha Elections: Chiranjeevi's Brother Pawan Kalyan Campaigns for BJP

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh superstar Chiranjeevi's brother Pawan Kalyan has up his ante (politically) against his brother, no doubt. But the fact that the younger brother is supporting BJP and campaigning for it has not gone down well with the senior star.

Recently, Pawan Kalyan has floated his own outfit and is campaigning against Congress leader and Union Minister Chiranjeevi. In fact, both have been campaigning in the border districts of Karnataka, which include Kolar, Raichur and Gulbarga. This area has huge numbers of Kapu settlers.

Merely 24 hours after Chiranjeevi visited Chikballabpur (from where Union minister Veerappa Moily is contesting from), Pawan visited the same place. Pawan further hailed Modi saying he who could do away with discrimination. Saying that Modi is the solution for a developing India, Pawan Kalyan said,"country will be saved from terrorism, corruption and scams of Congress".

While Pawan hailed Narendra Modi as the saviour of the country, Chiranjeevi projected himself as the soldier of Congress and said that whoever opposed the party, including his brother, was his enemy. This border area has a huge fan following of both the brothers. The battle between the brothers would now shift to Seemandhra where some of Chiranjeevi's supporters have got Congress tickets.

Source: OneIndia

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

TV-Time: 429 Minutes to Kejriwal, 365 to Modi, 72 to Rahul Gandhi

NEW DELHI: AAP may not be much in the reckoning for post-poll tally of Lok Sabha seats as compared to the biggies like BJP and Congress, but its leader Arvind Kejriwal has dominated TV news space during prime time, according to a survey of select channels conducted by an agency.

BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi occupied the second slot while Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came a distant third.

The survey, which took into account prime time coverage (8-10pm), shows the AAP leader getting 429 minutes (28.2%) as compared to 365 minutes (24%) by Modi and Rahul Gandhi's 72 minutes (4.8%).

These conclusions are part of analysis of TV news election coverage, done by CMS Media Lab for the March 1-15 period, on three Hindi and two English channels- Aaj Tak, ABP News, Zee News, NDTV 24x7 and CNN IBN.

Though the findings demolished the popular perception that Modi might be getting more space on TV news, the survey found that the coverage of Kejriwal was "more negative than Modi" during the period of analysis.

Among regional leaders, RJD chief Lalu Prasad got the highest percentage of time (3% of the total coverage). Other leaders like Raj Thackery, Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav got between coverage space of 1.5%-2%.

Party-wise, it is the BJP which occupied the top position followed by AAP and Congress. Among regional parties, only Samajwadi Party got approximately 5% of the coverage time. The MNS and Shiv Sena got equal coverage by acquiring more than 2% while rest of the regional parties including RJD, TMC, BSP and DMK received less than 2% of the total coverage time given to the political parties.

Interestingly, it is Hindutva and not corruption or governance which got higher position in the list of issues which grabbed coverage during prime time TV news.

In this category, issues around 'personality' got top slot followed by Hindutva, party, development, corruption, public policy and governance.

CMS Media Lab claimed that the findings are based on the detailed content analysis of election coverage on the five TV news channels.

Source: TOI

NDTV-Opinion-Poll: BJP likely to Sweep Delhi Lok Sabha Elections, No Encore for AAP

Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party or AAP seems to have lost steam in the last lap of the gigantic general election now being held. NDTV's latest opinion poll shows the BJP surging ahead in Delhi and likely to win six of the national capital's seven Lok Sabha seat.

The AAP could have to settle for only one seat and the Congress is expected to draw a blank. In 2009, the Congress had won all seven seats.

Delhi voted on April 10.

Arvind Kejriwal, the hero of Delhi's Assembly elections held in December last year, had quit as chief minister in February after only 49 days in the post over his inability to push through his pet Jan Lokpal Bill through the Assembly. His rivals accuse him of abdicating to pursue a national agenda.

Last week Mr Kejriwal admitted that he may have mistimed the decision and that he should have explained he rationale behind his resignation to the people who had given him 28 seats in his very first election, enough for him to form government with the support of the Congress.

For the BJP, projected as Delhi's big winner, it will be a much-awaited comeback after the washout in the last Lok Sabha election and the heartbreak of falling just short of a majority in the Delhi Assembly elections.


NDTV-Opinion-Poll: NDA Set to Get Clear Majority with 275 Seats

An opinion poll tonight projected BJP-led NDA securing majority with 275 out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats in the elections.

The survey shows Congress-led UPA ending up with just 111 seats and others bagging 157.

According to the survey conducted by Hansa Research for NDTV, BJP would win 226 seats and Congress would be reduced to 92 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha.

The survey predicted BJP would garner 34.5 per cent of the votes while Congress 25.6 per cent.

In Uttar Pradesh, BJP is set for its best performance, winning more than 50 of the state's 80 parliamentary seats, according to the survey.

BJP gets 51 seats in the key state, ten more than the last election in 2009.

The latest opinion poll has prediced Congress' scores down to five in UP. It had won 21 in 2009.

Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party gets 14 as against 23 it won in 2009.

Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party also slides to 10, almost reduced to half from the last Lok Sabha.

In Rajasthan also, BJP is projected to get 21 of the state's 25 parliamentary seats and Congress three. In the last election in 2009, it had won 20 seats.

The opinion poll has predicted Congress is gaining in Karnataka where the party is expected to win 14 of the state's Lok Sabha 28 seats, eight more than its 2009 tally. BJP would get 12 seats as against 19 seats last time.

H D Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular) is likely to win two seats. It had won three in the general election held five years ago.

The forecast has given a surprise result in Odisha giving 7 seats to BJP out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats replacing Congress as the main opposition party in the state. BJP had drawn a blank in the 2009 general election in the state.

Congress, which had bagged 6 seats in Odisha in the last elections, will manage only a single seat this time, according to the opinion poll.

In Punjab, SAD would get 7 and Congress 6, says the survey.

BJP and its allies are expected to win 24 of Bihar's 40 seats and the state's ruling CM Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), which had won 20 seats in 2009, is likely to see its tally reduced to four.

Lalu Yadav's RJD, which is contesting the polls in alliance with Congress, is likely to win 12 seats, a gain of six seats. RJD had won four seats and Congress two in the last elections.

In Gujarat, BJP is set to get 22 seats as against 15 last time and Congress only 4 against 11 in 2009.

Source: Business Standard