Maharashtra: Ruling, opposition alliances in direct fight in 1st phase
The first phase of Lok Sabha elections covering seven constituencies in Maharashtra will see a tough contest between the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and the opposition Congress-NCP alliances.
The Congress is in a direct fight with the BJP in four of these constituencies and with the Shiv Sena in two others.
Besides, the NCP is locked in a battle with the BJP in one seat.
There are 116 candidates in fray and over 1.30 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 14,919 polling centres.
Of the total voters, 66.71 lakh are men, 63.64 lakh women, and 181 belong to the third gender category.
Voting for 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state will be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
Naveen Patnaik, sole face of BJD, turns to tech to widen campaign
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik has an unenviable task as his party faces a stiff fight in the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections this time.
With the 72-year-old bachelor politician hard pressed to reach out to the voters in all constituencies, the party has embarked upon a well-designed campaign adopting new technology, a new approach and massive social media outreach to counter the Congress and the BJP.
For the first time, the BJD is using hologram technology to make Mr. Patnaik’s campaign more effective and widespread. An automated voice call, in which Mr. Patnaik addresses mobile phone users by their name before delivering his campaign message, has added an interesting dimension to his campaign.
In Kerala, a queer shift on the poll scene
On Thursday, Chinju Ashwathi filed nomination papers from Ernakulam to become the first openly intersex and transgender to contest the Lok Sabha elections in the State.
This significant step in ‘other’ gender representation in politics is accompanied by a statistic that signals the winds of change – there are 174 registered transgender voters in the State this year.
This is up from the 2016 Assembly polls when there were only two registered transgender voters.