New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh may contest the Lok Sabha polls from Darjeeling in West Bengal. The party had already announced the name of retired IPS officer Dawa Sherpa from there, but Sherpa is said to be willing to step down if Jaswant is keen on the seat. These developments took place when Gorkhaland Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung met BJP’s PM candidate LK Advani at his residence on Thursday. “Gurung offered his support for the BJP and requested that Jaswant Singh be fielded from Darjeeling,” BJP leader SS Ahluwalia told HT. In return, the GJM wants BJP’s support on its Gorkhaland demand.
Mallika Sarabhai files nomination
Gandhinagar: Noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai filed her nomination on Thursday for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat as an Independent candidate against the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee LK Advani. Sarabhai said she was contesting to give democracy back to the people of Gujarat. “I am here on the plea of the people of the state to contest the polls,” she told reporters outside the Collectorate. Advani is seeking re-election from the Gandhinagar seat for the fifth consecutive time.
Court turns down Pappu plea
Patna: Patna High Court on Thursday rejected Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Rajesh Ranjan Yadav alias Pappu Yadav’s plea to suspend his conviction in a criminal case so he could contest the Lok Sabha election. A division bench of the court rejected the petition of Yadav, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court for murdering CPI(M) legislator Ajit Sarkar in 1998. Yadav, the sitting MP from Madhepura, is out on bail.
BJP twist to Pranab statement on PM
New Delhi: Buoyed by reports of key allies deserting the Congress, the BJP has reiterated its stand that Manmohan Singh was a weak leader, even giving a twist to Pranab Mukherjee’s statements before the media. “A day earlier, the NCP had made it clear they did not regard Manmohan Singh as their leader. This time, senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee has told the media he is unable to reach the top post because Manmohan Singh is a superior intellectual person who enjoys the backing of Sonia Gandhi,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said. He then said Mukherjee’s statement showed his deep sense of pain. “This is a very loaded comment…. Obviously there is a great sense of unease even among Congress leaders about the patent lack of leadership qualities of Dr Singh, the supposed leader of one billion Indian people.”
Cong replaces Madan Lal in Hamirpur
New Delhi: Bowing to pressure from local leaders and taking his health into consideration, the Congress has replaced veteran cricketer Madan Lal with Narender Thakur from Hamirpur constituency in Himachal Pradesh. The decision to field Lal from the seat had triggered infighting within the state unit. Lal is unwell and admitted in a hospital in Noida.
Rama Sene to contest five seats
Bangalore: Sri Rama Sene will put its hardline Hindutva agenda to test in the general elections in Karnataka. Rashtriya Hindustan Sene, the political outfit of the Sene, will field candidates in five constituencies — Udupi-Chikmagalur, Mangalore; Chikkodi, Shimoga; and Bangalore (South).
EC notice for BJP’s Karanataka leader
New Delhi: The Election Commission has issued a notice to Anant Kumar Hegde, the BJP’s candidate from Uttar Kannada, for making inflammatory remarks at a poll meeting. The poll panel said it has come to its notice that Hedge conducted a meeting in Mundgod in his constituency on March 21, where he said: “If Muslims do not stop violence, it will be difficult to celebrate Id-Milad.” The panel has given the BJP leader two days to submit his response.