Elections 2024: Election Commissioner Arun Goel Resigns; BJP, TDP Seal Deal in Andhra – News18

Curated By: Asmita Ravi Shankar
Last Updated: March 10, 2024, 10:14 IST
New Delhi, India
Elections 2024: As the second and likely the last round of alliance talks between Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena and the Bharatiya Janata Party took place on Saturday at Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence, the saffron party’s president JP Nadda is expected to announce the deal shortly.
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Meanwhile, Congress leader Suresh Pachouri — who was close to the party top brass — joined the BJP in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. Present at the party office in Bhopal were CM Mohan Yadav, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP MP president VD Sharma.
With Lok Sabha elections preparations taking place across the nation, the Mahayuti seat-sharing talks were also held on Friday at Amit Shah’s residence. Sources suggested that the Home Minister advised Eknath Shinde to change some Shiv Sena candidates, while offering 10-12 seats to the party. The BJP offered 4-5 seats to Ajit Pawar’s NCP, however he and the Shinde are pressing for more seats.
Earlier on Friday, the Congress party released its first list of 39 candidates including Rahul Gandhi and Bhupesh Baghel for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. While Rahul is set to contest from Wayanad, the grand old party fielded the former Chhattisgarh chief minister from Rajnandgaon and MP Shashi Tharoor from his usual seat, Thiruvananthapuram.
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Arriving here days after being made BJP nominee for Varanasi Lok Sabha seat for the third time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded a rousing reception at the Varanasi airport on Saturday. BJP workers and locals lined up on the roads outside the airport from where Modi began a 28-km long roadshow during which he also stopped at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple to offer prayers.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, senior party leaders and office bearers were present at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport in Babatpur to welcome the prime minister. BJP regional chief Dilip Patel said that Varanasi district and metropolitan unit made elaborate arrangements for Modi’s visit. The locals, including women and children, showered flowers on the prime minister during the roadshow amid playing of drums, he said.
Election Commissioner Arun Goel tendered his resignation on Saturday, just days before the poll body is set to announce the schedule for the Lok Sabha Election 2024.
With Goel’s resignation, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is now just a one-member body headed by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar. Goel’s departure comes as he had three years left in his tenure. There was already one vacancy for an Election Commissioner in the three-member body. Earlier, Election Commissioner Anup Pandey had retired in February this year.
Repeating its 2019 seat-sharing formula for principal ally the Congress, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday allotted 10 seats in the state and neighbouring Puducherry to the national party for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Dravidian party gave Congress nine seats in Tamil Nadu, besides the lone Puducherry segment.
DMK President and Chief Minister M K Stalin and TNCC chief K Selvaperunthagai finalised the deal, in the presence of AICC leaders KC Venugopal and Ajoy Kumar. Addressing reporters, Venugopal exuded confidence of the DMK-led combine winning all 40 seats in TN and Puducherry and said the ‘bonding’ between the Congress and the DMK “is intact.” .
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Tamil Nadu’s DMK party has finalised a seat-sharing pact with its ally Congress and has given nine seats to the Congress in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry.
Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Asish Kumar Saha will take on BJP candidate and former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb from Tripura West constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Saha’s candidacy was announced by the AICC in the first list of 39 Lok Sabha candidates. Biplab Kumar Deb’s name was included in the first list announced by the BJP’s Parliamentary Board earlier.
On TDP joining NDA, suspended YSRCP leader K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju said, “After Jana Sena, now TDP is also a part of NDA from today. We are expecting the Election notification within a week. Election meetings will start and we expect nearly 4-5 meetings with the Prime Minister in Andhra Pradesh. The alliance is going to have a tremendous victory.”
On the announcement of Dr Pradeep Verma as party’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Jharkhand, BJP leader Sunil Soren said, “BJP is a cadre-based party, and it duly recognises the cadre’s contributions. Pardeep Verma is a senior party worker and is dedicated to the cause of the party. Announcement of his name as Rajya Sabha candidate shows the respect party has for its workers.”
The alliance among the BJP, the TDP and the Jana Sena Party has been stitched to bolster the progress of Andhra Pradesh and its people, and the seat-sharing modalities would be deliberated in a day or two, the three parties said in a joint statement on Saturday. “We hope that the alliance will come up to the expectation of the people of Andhra Pradesh with their wholehearted support,” BJP president J P Nadda, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu and Jana Sena Party’s (JSP) Pawan Kalyan said in the joint statement.
Asserting that the Northeast’s development is crucial to fulfil the objective of ‘Viksit Bharat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Congress of ignoring the region for decades.
Speaking at a public gathering in Meleng Meteli Pothar, after inaugurating projects worth Rs 17,500 crore in Assam, the prime minister emphasised the significance of Northeast India’s development for realising the vision of a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (Developed India). He criticised the previous Congress government, stating that they had neglected the region for decades since Independence.
On his party’s alliance with the BJP and JSP for Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls, TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar said, “With regards to the coming 2024 elections, our leader N Chandrababu Naidu, along with Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, came to Delhi and had a meeting with senior BJP leaders on their invitation. All the three parties have agreed upon a pre-poll alliance and to jointly contest elections in the state of Andhra Pradesh.”
BJP veteran and former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri’s son Manish Khanduri on Saturday joined his father’s party, a day after quitting the Congress.
Manish Khanduri joined the BJP at its Dehradun office in the presence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, state BJP president Mahendra Bhatt and party in-charge for Uttarakhand Dushyant Gautam.
“Our preparations are underway for the parliamentary elections. Two candidates have been nominated. There is excitement among people as they wish to cherish the peace and progress that has finally come here. They wish to lavish their love and that can be in terms of votes as well,” said Chairperson J&K Waqf Board and BJP leader Dr Darakhshan Andrabi.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s frequent visits to the state would not sway West Bengal voters in favour of the saffron camp. Instead, these visits would only strengthen the resolve of voters to reject the BJP, the party added.
While addressing the people at Siliguri, PM Modi said, “TMC is not bothered about your problems….Everyone knows what TMC did with dalit, poor and adivasi women in Sandeshkhali.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the AAP government’s Mukhyamantri Mahila Samman Yojana to give Rs 1,000 to all women above 18 years of age will make them financially independent and urged them to vote in large numbers for his party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Kejriwal was addressing at a townhall event here organised to interact with the women following the scheme presented in the 2024-25 budget outlay of the AAP-led Delhi government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated, dedicated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects in Siliguri, West Bengal.


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