With the third round of the Lok Sabha election approaching, the BJP is playing with fire

With 92 seats spread across 11 states and Union Territories, the intense campaign for the third phase of the Lok Sabha election came to an end on Sunday night. During the campaign, the BJP-led NDA and the INDIA bloc fiercely attacked each other on issues like reservations and allegations of sexual harassment against JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna.

The BJP has a lot on the line in this round of elections since it won a resounding majority of these seats in 2019—including every one in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh—which will be decided on May 7.

Leading the BJP’s attack was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who demanded in writing from the Congress that it not award Muslims the quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes.

The BJP was accused by the Congress and its allies of attempting to alter the Constitution and eliminate reservations. The main opposition party requested the BJP clarify its stand on the matter in addition to promising to lift the 50% reservation quota.

Along with party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congressman Mallikarjun Kharge concentrated on problems of social justice, unemployment, “injustice” to farmers, and purportedly favorable treatment to some companies.

Rahul Gandhi restated the Congress’s pledge to carry out a caste census and economic survey if elected to power, while the BJP leaders attacked the Congress on matters of wealth redistribution and inheritance tax, accusing it of engaging in appeasement politics.

There are more than 1300 contenders, and around 120 of them are female. Amit Shah (Gandhinagar), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad), and SP Singh Baghel (Agra) are among the prominent figures.

This time, former chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh from Rajgarh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vidisha, have also entered the Lok Sabha election race. On May 7, decisions will also be made about the futures of former Karnataka chief ministers Basavaraj Bommai (Haveri) and Badruddin Ajmal (Dhubri).

In Uttar Pradesh, many relatives of Mulayam Singh Yadav are also running in this phase.

After speaking at two rallies in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday and visiting the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Modi attacked the opposition alliance partners’ “dynastic politics,” claiming that while they only work for their own families, he is constructing a better future for the country’s future generations.

He replied, “We don’t have children,” referring to Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, and himself. We labor on behalf of your offspring.

Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat will see elections for 25 seats on May 7, along with 11 seats in Maharashtra, 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining 14 seats in Karnataka, seven in Chhattisgarh, eight in Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar, four in Assam and West Bengal, and all two in Goa. The BJP won Surat with no opposition.

The election in the Anatnag-Rajouri seat has been postponed until the sixth phase for logistical reasons, while the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2 seats) will also hold elections in the third phase.

Congressmen Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have taken aim at the BJP over claims that Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, the head of the JD (S) and an ally of the BJP, was sexually harassed.

Retaliating, BJP leader Amit Shah and others questioned the reason behind the Karnataka Congress government’s decision to postpone taking action against Revanna. September of last year saw the JD(S) become a part of the BJP-led NDA.

Prajwal Revanna, the JD(S)-BJP coalition candidate from the Hassan seat that went to elections on April 26, is the grandson of former prime minister and JD(S) patriarch H. D. Deve Gowda.

Shortly after a court here denied Prajwal’s request for anticipatory bail, his father, H. D. Revanna, was taken into custody by the Special Investigation Team on Saturday in connection with a kidnapping case, including claims of sexual abuse against Prajwal.

The Congress has been under fire from the BJP for ‘appeasement politics’, ‘Love Jihad’ occurrences, and its claimed inability to “contain anti-national activities.”

The leaders of the party brought up the bombing at a café here on March 1, the killing of 23-year-old Neha Hiremath on a Hubballi college campus by Fayaz Khondunaik on April 18, and the February 27 pro-Pakistan shouts raised in the Vidhana Soudha corridors.

A thrilling race between Supriya Sule, the daughter of senior politician Sharad Pawar, and Sunetra Pawar, the wife of the veteran leader’s estranged nephew and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, is underway in Baramati, Maharashtra, where elections are scheduled for 11 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats.

After other candidates withdrew and the candidacy of Congressman Nilesh Kumbhani was disallowed due to anomalies in proposers’ signatures, the BJP’s Mukesh Dalal emerged victorious from Surat, Gujarat, without facing any opposition.

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, BJP state unit president CR Paatil, and minister Harsh Sanghavi took part in motorcycle rallies on Sunday, the last day of campaigning. Rupala’s statement in Rajkot during the campaign brought the Kshatriya community’s wrath down on the BJP.

Bhagwant Mann, the chief minister of Punjab, addressed rallies on behalf of the Aam Aadmi Party, which is running from Bhavnagar and Bharuch. The incarcerated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita Kejriwal, also conducted a roadshow in Bharuch.

The campaign in Uttar Pradesh’s ten constituencies—Sambhal, Hathras (SC), Agra (SC), Fatehpur Sikri, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Budaun, Aonla, and Bareilly—was intense, with a lot of roadshows and rallies.

For the Mulam Singh Yadav family, this is a crucial time, as Dimple Yadav wants to hold onto the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat. Aditya Yadav is running for the first time in politics from the Budaun Lok Sabha constituency, while Akshaya Yadav, the son of Ram Gopal Yadav, is running from Firozabad.

Shah criticised Rahul Gandhi during his rallies, saying that his party will need to organise a ‘Congress Dhoondho Yatra’ after June 4.

The leaders of the BJP said that the Congress and the SP refrained from attending the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya out of concern for their voter base.

Akhilesh Yadav, the president of the Samajwadi Party, vigorously defended his party’s candidates during the third round of voting, criticizing the BJP on matters of reservation and other matters.

With 29 representatives sent to the Lok Sabha by Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is expecting a resounding victory. During a Morena rally, Modi said that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi removed the inheritance tax, ostensibly to prevent the government from receiving the funds he was due to receive after Indira Gandhi’s passing.

Priyanka shot back at the Prime Minister with passion, claiming that her father received “martyrdom” rather than money from the dead Indira Gandhi.

Araria, Supaul, Jhanjharpur, Madhepura, and Khagaria in Bihar—all of which are now ruled by the NDA—will also have voting rights. Prime Minister Modi, the main draw for the BJP-led alliance, led the heavy artillery of the NDA. The leader of the JD (U) and an NDA partner, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, conducted roadshows and rallies in each of the five seats.

The leader of the RJD, Tejashwi Yadav, vigorously campaigned in all five seats, save for Jhanjharpur and Khagaria, where his party is not running. Leaders of the CPI (M) continued to be noticeably absent from Khagaria, the one seat in Bihar that the party is running for.

Both the government and opposition parties ran strong campaigns in Dhubri, Barpeta, Kokrajhar (ST), and Guwahati despite the final day’s intense rains in Assam.

The main goal of the BJP campaign was to draw attention to the many development initiatives implemented by the federal and state governments. The opposition parties emphasized problems with unemployment, connection, and citizenship.

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