Central UP takes centrestage as poll fever peaks with Modi, Rahul, Priyanka canvassing in region; PM to visit Ayodhya

Four phases of the Lok Sabha election have concluded and campaigning for Phase 5 — to be held on Monday, 6 May — is on in full swing. All eyes will be on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he is scheduled to address a rally in the temple town of Ayodhya, apart from Gosaiganj (Ambedkar Nagar) and Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are going to campaign in the state too, with Rahul addressing rallies in Barabanki, Sitapur. Priyanka will be campaigning majorly in central Uttar Pradesh and will visit Amethi, her brother's constituency.

Modi is also scheduled to address rallies in Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh and Jaipur in Rajasthan. It would be interesting to note whether the prime minister visits the Ram temple near the disputed site. Last time, when Congress general secretary Priyanka was in the city, she gave the Ram temple a miss, stating that the issue was still sub-judice.

In in a positive development for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi, the Election Commission on Tuesday evening gave a clean chit to Modi for his speech in Wardha, Maharashtra. In April, the Congress had approached the Election Commission alleging that Modi’s speech at Wardha — in which he lashed out at Rahul for contesting from Wayanad and had "indicated" that the constituency in Kerala had more voters from the minority community — was "divisive" and in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

 Central UP takes centrestage as poll fever peaks with Modi, Rahul, Priyanka canvassing in region; PM to visit Ayodhya

File image of Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Rahul was campaigning in Tikamgarh, Damoh, and Panna in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court allowed Rahul to file a new affidavit on Monday after Singhvi assured the bench that Rahul will apologise for wrongly attributing 'chowkidar chor hai' remark to the apex court and that the rectified affidavit would contain the word apology. The court, however, clarified that this order cannot be an acceptance or acknowledgement of the affidavits that have been filed already.

The court posted the matter for next hearing on 6 May, the same day that Rahul's constituency Amethi goes to the polls.

On Wednesday, the Congress chief will address public rallies at Sitapur and Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and also campaign Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh.

On Monday, Congress MP Sushmita Dev had filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have been violating the Model Code of Conduct during their campaigning for the Lok Sabha election. During the hearing in the matter on Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Election Commission and scheduled the next hearing in the case for Thursday.

Furthermore, BJP vice president Prabhat Jha has sent a legal notice to Rahul for saying, "Narendra Modi sarkar ne ek kanun banaya hai jisme ek line likhi gayi hai ki Adivasiyon ko goli se mara ja sakega (the Modi government has passed a law in which one line allows tribals to be shot)."

Rahul had made the statement at a rally in Bhopal.

As reported by Firstpost, in the the 25-page legal notice, the BJP warned the Congress chief that his remarks on the prime minister are "defamatory, derogatory, lacking verification and without any substance”.

Updated Date: May 01, 2019 08:53:46 IST