374 constituencies done, 169 more to go. Phase 4 of the Lok Sabha elections is over. In another 24 days, we will find out who gets to govern India for the next 5 years.
It was the same old story in Mumbai. Only about half of the city turned up to vote even as business leaders and film stars hit the polling booths in full force.
Prime Minister Modi sparked a controversy claiming that 40 TMCs MLAs are in touch with him. TMC moved the election commission accusing the Prime Minister of 'horse trading'.
Poll-related violence was seen in West Bengal's Asansol. Election commission ordered FIR against incumbent MP Babul Supriyo for interfering with the poll process.
Congress MP Sushmita Dev moved the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, accusing them of violating the model code of conduct. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the plea tomorrow.
Supreme Court also agreed to hear public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to decriminalise false complaints against EVM-VVPAT mismatch. Currently, a wrongful complaint can invite a 6-month jail term.
Samajwadi Party has fielded former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav against Prime Minister Modi in Varanasi. A video of Yadav complaining about poor quality of food being served to the forces had gone viral last year. Aam Aadmi Party has asked the Congress to withdraw their candidate in support of the former soldier.
To discuss all these developments, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Shama Mohammad, spokesperson of Congress, Nasser Salim, spokesperson of SP, Narendra Taneja, spokesperson of BJP, Sharat Pradhan, senior journalist and Parth MN, a freelance journalist.
Here's what they have to say:
Speaking on prospects for Congress party, Shama Mohammad said: "I can surely say that in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh the momentum is still there. What I hear from the ground is we are going to win a good number of seats. Let us understand that and even in Maharashtra it was slow initially, but now it is going on very well, you will see that in results. You have to understand in 2014 there was something called the 'Modi Wave' because he promised a number of things to Indians. But the Indians have understood that in the last five years none of these promises has been kept and they are upset. In December Rahul Gandhi before the Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan elections said if the Congress party comes to power in these three states, we will do a loan waiver for the farmers and we did it."
Speaking on low voter turnout in Mumbai, Narendra Taneja said: "Little bit disappointed because thought Mumbai this time would show more enthusiasm but it looks like since it was kind of connected with the weekend they just looked at it as a long weekend and people have gone out for a weekend somewhere. One hopes that next time they would be more careful and they need to participate in the whole process. They are always at the forefront to complain when things are not going to their satisfaction but they need to understand that they need to participate in the whole process so that the government of their choice is there. But looking at the percentage of voting in different parts of Mumbai, even where for instance the corporate leaders have got their offices... the percentage is really disappointing. Mumbai is not only the financial capital but commercial capital, economic capital, it is probably the most important city when it comes to the economy of the country."Parth MN:
"It seems like the national security issue has outweighed the issues of employment and agrarian distress in UP because more and more people are talking about it. They are talking about a need to have a strong leader at the centre. The fact is people like voting for a face and the opposition doesn't have one. Having said that I also want to underline that I have not met a single voter who said they did not vote for Narendra Modi in 2014, but plans to vote for him now. So he is not adding votes either so his vote share and seats are bound to go down."