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Modi turns monk before judgement day as polls reach final lap; Rape-accused MP Prajwal Revanna returns

Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 05:05 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 05:05 IST

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Hello and a very good morning, dear readers! We are back to serve you (much like our politicians just prior to elections) with yet another edition of political theatre - DH's weekly roundup of major events from the world of politics. In a week that saw both a cyclone and a heatwave hit various parts the country, the political climate was bound to be tumultuous as well, as we slowly head towards the culmination of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

We have reached the business end of the festival of democracy, with the final phase of elections currently under way in 57 constituencies across 8 states and UTs. And of course, the usual jibes, banters, campaigns and gimmicks continued to take centre stage in the build up to phase 7. So without further ado, let's take a deep dive into the key happenings of the week:

The End Game is here

The sixth and penultimate phase of the Lok Sabha elections were held on Saturday, May 25, deciding the fate of 58 constituencies, spread across 6 states and 2 UTs. As per the Election Commission of India (ECI), voter turnout of 66.37 per cent was recorded in phase 6 with 7.05 crore voters coming out to exercise their franchise among a total pool of 11.13 crore eligible voters.

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87.54 crore voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the first six phases of the Lok Sabha polls. Among them, as many as 57.77 crore voters turned up at the polling booths to cast their votes, according to data released by the ECI.

With a lot of drama unfolding throughout the six phases, the big game players have left no stones unturned in making every poll campaign count, heading into the final lap. After all, judgement day is near.

Early promises

The to-do list of Modi government 3.0, provided the NDA retain power at the Centre after the June 4 results, has already been updated. Being bold and assertive, be it in their claims or in their campaign strategies, has never been a problem for the BJP. Keeping that tradition alive, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has ensured that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will be implemented in the country if BJP comes to power for the third consecutive term.

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Not only this - the senior BJP leader also claimed that 'One Nation, One Election' will also be put into force once (if?) the Modi government returns to power this term.

To believe or not to believe?

PM Narendra Modi's recent 'I am not biological' remark has tested the belief of the opposition, in more ways than one. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi responded by claiming that Modi's statements are a ploy to evade interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

"When the ED officials probe Modi about the undue favour to industrialists, he will say: I am not biological.. Parmatma ne bheja hai mujhe yeh karne ko (God has sent me to do all this)", said Rahul, as he hit back at the Prime Minister.

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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah also joined the bandwagon in dissing the PM. "Narendra Modi now says he was sent by God. Look at the irony. He says 'God has sent me to make Viksit Bharat by 2047'. Is he the incarnation of God?", he said. "Not even a single day, he launched any programmes aimed at the poor, Dalits, backward classes, minorities, and unemployed. There should be equality among all and equal opportunity for all... has he taken efforts to achieve it?", he further added.

Kejriwal bowled out by Supreme Court, bail(s) dislodged

Delhi CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, who is currently out on interim bail, had approached the Supreme Court on May 27 with a plea seeking a seven-day extension of his bail, citing health issues.

Senior AAP leader Atishi clarified that Kejriwal's bail extension plea was made as he needed to undergo several tests keeping in mind his unexplained weight loss and spike in ketone level, which might indicate severe underlying diseases.

However, the Delhi CM's appeal went in vain, as the apex court registry rejected to list his plea for the extension of his interim bail by a week.

The AAP chief is destined to head back to jail on June 2.

Modi's yogi act: Meditation is the best form of silence

On Thursday, May 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a 45-hour meditation exercise at the renowned Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari, Tamil Nadu. Modi's meditative activity began on the evening of May 30, and is said to continue till the evening of June 1.

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Interestingly, Modi will be meditating at the famed Dhyan Mandapa, the same place where the revered spiritual icon Swami Vivekananda is believed to have had an enlightening experience. It is hard to say whether Modi is going to experience something similar at Kannyiakumari, but the people of the country will surely be enlightened with the much awaited results of the 18th Lok Sabha polls come June 4.

However, the Congress saw PM Modi's publicised meditation exercise at Kanniyakumar as a means of violating the 48-hour silence period prior to the last phase of Lok Sabha elections on June 1, and urged the Election Commission of India to intervene.

The lesser known Gandhi

Narendra Modi's strife with the Gandhis seems to be never ending - only this time with a less familiar one. In an interview on Wednesday, May 29, PM Modi grabbed the headlines by sparking off a controversy when he asserted that prior to Richard Attenborough's 1982 biographical film on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the world was unaware of him.

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Congress MP Rahul Gandhi retaliated by saying that the Prime Minister merely needs to watch a movie to be aware of Mahatma Gandhi.

The return of Revanna

Hassan MP and JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna, who fled the country a month ago following allegations of serial sexual abuse, released a video statement on May 27, and announced that he would return to Bengaluru and appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday, May 31. However, even before his return, Revanna sought anticipatory bail from a court, as it was expected that he would be arrested on arrival by the SIT.

Finally, just as he landed at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport's Terminal 2 at 12.53 am on May 31, he was nabbed by the SIT, after managing to evade arrest for over a month. As per latest reports, Revanna was sent to a six-day custody under the SIT until June 6 by a Bengaluru court.

Snapshots from the world

The Israel-Hamas conflict is showing no signs of de-escalation - rather, the events that transpired throughout the past week signal the opposite. Despite the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) order to stop military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israel continued to amp up their military strikes on the city, with residents reporting exacerbating aerial and ground bombardments.

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For the first time, Israeli tanks breached the centre of Rafah on Tuesday, May 28, inciting outrage from around the world. As per Gaza's Health Ministry, an Israeli airstrike on a tent camp for displaced Palestinians killed at least 35 people in Rafah.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump became the first former president of the United States to be convicted of felony, when a New York jury found him guilty on all 34 accounts in the long-going hush money trial, barely 5 months before the US presidential elections.

That's all for the week! See you all again next week with all the tidbits from the Lok Sabha poll results and much more!

Exit Stage Left,

DH Newsletters Team

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Published 01 June 2024, 05:05 IST

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