Hardoi | Uttar Pradesh
In central U.P., the Pasi vote is up for grabs
In a remote corner of Saraiyan village in Hardoi, the Pasis (Dalit) are faced with a dilemma.
Despite their general anger with the BJP government, they are unable to choose between the BJP’s Jai Prakash Rawat and the Samajwadi Party’s Usha Verma, both members of their community. If Ms. Verma, a former MP, is criticised for not doing enough during her tenure, Mr. Rawat, a four-time MP with stints with the SP and Bahujan Samaj Party, is also not credible. Even the outgoing BJP MP Anshul Verma, also a Pasi, who was denied ticket and later dramatically resigned by submitting his letter to the chowkidar outside the BJP headquarters, is denounced for being an absentee MP and allegedly spending more time in Chandigarh.
The villagers, who have gathered at a corner, threaten boycotting their vote. However, this is not just prompted by the lack of a preferable candidate but by a more urgent infrastructural requirement. The road connecting to the main road is bad, forcing them to take a detour of 3 km, which not only escalates transportation costs but also poses challenges during health emergencies.
Bengaluru | Karnataka
EC bars Minister from holding meet on drought
While about 2,500 villages in the State are reeling under severe drought, the Election Commission (EC) has barred Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Krishna Byre Gowda from holding meetings with zilla panchayats on monitoring the situation and providing relief to affected people.
Citing enforcement of the model code of conduct, the EC has permitted only the Principal Secretary of RDPR Department to chair the meeting of CEOs.
L.K. Ateeq, Principal Secretary of the RDPR, on Saturday held a meeting and instructed CEOs to implement relief measures on a war footing.
Bhubaneswar | Odisha
Curtains on campaigning for phase four, voting on Monday
Campaigning for the fourth phase of the 17th Lok Sabha election ended on Saturday in 71 constituencies across nine States.
With Monday’s voting, the election will begin in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and end in Maharashtra and Odisha. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
In the fourth phase, five constituencies in Bihar, three in Jharkhand, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, eight in West Bengal, 17 in Maharashtra, and 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh will vote. In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Congress and the BJP are face to face, while the contests in other States are more complex with the presence of regional parties.