Election Campaign 2019 LIVE updates: Rahul says decision on contesting from another seat will be taken by Congress 'soon'

Election Campaign 2019 LIVE Updates: Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that Amethi is his 'karmabhoomi' and will remain so. He further said that the decision on contesting from more than one Lok Sabha seat will be taken by his party soon.

FP Politics March 29, 2019 18:08:31 IST
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Election Campaign 2019 LIVE updates: Rahul says decision on contesting from another seat will be taken by Congress 'soon'
  • Priyanka Gandhi is in Ayodhya but will not visit the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site, TV channels reported

  • She will then embark on the road show to Ayodhya. Later she will pray at the Hanumangarhi temple before concluding her journey

  • The party's eastern in-charge of the state will reach Faizabad around 11.30 am and meet party workers at several places in the temple town

Highlights

12:54 (ist)

Saritha Nair to contest Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat

The main accused in solar panel case Saritha S Nair has announced her candidature from Ernakulam constituency in Kerala. In 2011, she had allegedly floated a fictitious company promising imported solar panels and stakes and allegedly cheated many. 

Speaking to The Indian Express, Nair said, "I’m not contesting to become an MP or sit in the Lok Sabha. I’m fighting the elections to mock and shame those who have criminal charges levelled against them. I have always been labelled as a cheater. But how are these leaders, who have committed crimes against women, which are far serious than financial crimes, allowed to contest elections?"

12:52 (ist)

Opposition cashes in on clout of BJP's 'ticket-less' MPs

With the BJP denying tickets to 12 MPs in Uttar Pradesh, the Opposition is planning to cash in on the clout of these disgruntled parliamentarians in the upcoming general elections. In its list of 61 candidates, the saffron party has refused tickets to 12 MPs, two of whom have already switched sides and joined the rival parties--Samajwadi Party and Congress.

BJP Allahabad MP Shayama Charan Gupta and  Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule are now official candidates of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress from Banda and Bahraich, respectively. Another BJP MP Anshul Verma from Hardoi also joined the SP ahead of the polls, terming the ruling party "anti-Dalits".

Although Verma claimed that he joined the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP "without any condition", the Samajwadi Party is planning to utilise his support base among the Dalits, especially in Hardoi area. Asked about giving preference to BJP turncoats this election, SP MLC Rajpal Kashyap said such a strategy is only aimed at "exposing misdeeds of the ruling party" in the state.

"They are the ones who were on the ground for five years. They can very well tell the electorate what the BJP is and expose their misdeeds," he said. "Our alliance with the BSP and RLD is very powerful and that is why these leaders have faith in us," Kashyap said.

The SP has tied up with Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Chaudhary Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the Lok Sabha elections. BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule, who resigned before the Lok Sabha polls were declared, is now a vocal critic of the saffron party.

"The BJP did nothing for Dalits and backwards. Its government functions in an unconstitutional manner and is conspiring to end reservation. I will ensure defeat of the BJP in my constituency and am ready to campaign wherever my party sends me," she said.

(PTI)

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Mar 29, 2019 - 19:10 (IST)

52 candidates in fray for 5 seats in Uttarakhand

Fifty-two candidates are in the fray for the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand, the state election commission said.

The last date of withdrawal of nominations for Tehri, Pauri Garhwal, Nainital, Haridwar and Almora (reserved) seats ended on Thursday.

Haridwar and Tehri seats will see the maximum number of candidates trying their luck — 15 each. The minimum number of candidates — six — are in the Almora seat, while nine candidates will be battling it out in Pauri Garhwal and seven in Nainital. — PTI

Mar 29, 2019 - 18:38 (IST)

Priyanka Gandhi holds roadshow in Ayodhya

Mar 29, 2019 - 18:28 (IST)

Congress releases list of 5 candidates

The Congress announced its candidates for four seats — Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Gauhati — in Assam and one (Etawah​) in Uttar Pradesh.

Mar 29, 2019 - 18:21 (IST)

Never saw such intoxication of power earlier, says Kapil Sibal on Narendra Modi

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, "We never saw such intoxication and pride of power earlier. I know Indians don't want Modi ‘s win. He is under the influence of pride of power. Such a prime minister is not required."

On Congress' announcement on minimum income scheme, Sibal said, "We announced to give Rs 72,000 to poor in comparison to this government scheme of Rs 6,000 annually. The prime minister is scared of this announcement. The prime minister believes that in Congress, everything is fake and he thinks his fakes are correct. Demonetisation resulted to big losses to the public, it snatched income of the poor. Rahul Gandhi has said we will cover this loss by the minimum income  scheme."

(Input courtesy: News18, Delhi)

Mar 29, 2019 - 18:11 (IST)

Rahul Gandhi says Congress to soon decide on him contesting from another LS seat

Congress president Rahul Gandhi told PTI that Amethi is his 'karmabhoomi' and will remain so. He further said that the decision on contesting from more than one Lok Sabha seat will be taken by his party soon.

On his sister and AICC general-secretary Priyanka Gandhi's chances of fighting election, he said that it was up to her to decide if she wants to contest election or not. 

Mar 29, 2019 - 18:02 (IST)

Our manifesto will reflect people's voice, not one man's view: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress' soon-to-be released manifesto will lay major thrust on jobs creation, addressing agrarian distress and strengthening the education and health sectors besides charting a roadmap to boost economic growth, says party president Rahul Gandhi.
 
He said the manifesto, being prepared after extensive nationwide consultations with key stakeholders, will reflect the people's voice and not just one man's views, an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
The Congress chief said the Congress-led UPA is storming back to power as people have rejected Modi's politics of "false promises". "We want India's voice and aspirations to prosper. We don't believe in one man's voice. We believe in everyone's voice and choices. It requires tremendous discipline and hard work to do, but it works," he said.
 
PTI

Mar 29, 2019 - 17:47 (IST)

AAP fields its first transgender candidate from Prayagraj

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh Friday said his party has fielded its first transgender candidate from the Prayagraj seat in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. 
 
Member of 'Kinnar Akhada' Mahamandaleshwar Bhawani Nath Valmiki will contest on the Aam Aadmi Party ticket from Prayagraj, Singh said. The senior AAP leader hoped that Valmiki wins and becomes the first transgender to become the Member of Parliament.
 
"BJP has insulted the transgender community by bringing a derogatory bill (Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill, 2016) against them. "The AAP has utmost respect for the community and this move of ours proves it," he said. Valmiki, 46, is a social activist and has been a jury member of the Delhi international film festival.

PTI

Mar 29, 2019 - 17:45 (IST)

Congress tweets visuals from Rahul Gandhi's Parivartan Bus Yatra

Mar 29, 2019 - 17:37 (IST)

In Kurukshetra, Rahul says Congress will replace Gabbar Singh Tax with 'true GST' after coming to power

Addressing a rally in Kurukshetra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "After our government comes to power, we will introduce 'true GST' for the small businessmen and shopkeepers of the country and  remove Gabbar Singh Tax."

Speaking on his minimum income promise, he said, "Our NYAY scheme plan is a surgical strike on poverty. We will get 25 million people out of poverty. You should help spread the word about NYAY scheme." 

Mar 29, 2019 - 17:17 (IST)

Narendra Modi's dig at 'sticker babu' Chandrababu Naidu 

In Kurnool, Narendra Modi stepped up his attack against Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and said, "He is an artist who puts his sticker on the schemes of the Central government. This is why people have also started calling him 'sticker babu'."

Election Campaign 2019 LATEST updates: Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that Amethi is his 'karmabhoomi' and will remain so. He further said that the decision on contesting from more than one Lok Sabha seat will be taken by his party soon.

In a veiled attack on TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, Narendra Modi said at a rally in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool, "The schemes made by the TDP government are for scams. When your chowkidar raised question on the corruption, then 'U-turn babu' took a U-turn from the progress of Andhra Pradesh and exitted the NDA."

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will accompany BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday during his nomination filing in Gandhinagar, in a show of strength of the NDA alliance. "Amit Shah called Uddhav Thackeray and extended a special invitation, requesting our party chief to accompany him at the nomination in Gandhinagar," Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told ANI.

The Telugu Desam Party suspended nine rebel members who filed nominations for the Lok Sabha election after they were denied party ticket. The members are KPRK Phaneeswari, K Srinivasa Rao, Kantamaneni Ravi Shankar, M Madhava Reddy, Bommanacheruvu Sriramulu, N Vijaya Jyothi, A Raja Gopal Reddy, Sarva Srinivasarao, N Viswanadha Reddy.

The Gujarat High Court refused to stay Hardik Patel's conviction in the 2015 Mehsana rioting case. Patel had filed a plea seeking suspension of his conviction. As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, he won't be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election due to his conviction.

In Telangana's Mahabubnagar, Narendra Modi took a dig at the Gandhi family and said that one should reward performance and hard work,

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi will reach Ayodhya shortly, reports have said. Priyanka will also visit the Hanuman Garhi shrine in Ayodhya. Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with Republic Bharat, Narendra Modi said that he was confident over BJP's electoral prospects in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Modi said that the NDA will form the government with over 300 seats.

Priyanka will not visit the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site, TV channels reported. There was no official confirmation from the party, but it is unlikely that the Congress general secretary will rake up the Ayodhya issue during election campaigning.

Narendra Modi has urged people to vote wisely and said, "Do you want a government which attacks the enemy in the house or who run away from the battleground? Do you want a government which makes decisions or which only raises slogans? Does Odisha need a weak or strong government? Doesn't India need a strong government? You gave BJD and Congress the responsibility of handling the state, but do you want to lose the opportunity to punish them? Shouldn't they be removed from power, you need to make a decision during these elections."

Slamming the Biju Janata Dal government led by Naveen Patnaik, Modi said that the chief minister has hardly taken any steps to curb the Naxal problem in neighbouring areas. "2019 Lok Sabha election is not an election for just one MP or an MLA. These elections are the time to elect a BJP government so that development in both Centre and state can run at double the speed. It is time to elect five more years of development for Odisha and India."

Addressing a massive rally at Odisha's Koraput, Narendra Modi slammed the Congress for questioning the intention of the Indian Army and the scientists of the country. "Aapko bharosa hai sena pe? (Do you trust the Indian Army)," asked Modi and the crowd responded with a loud, "Yes".

Instead of attacking the Opposition for being skeptical about the Centre, Modi told the gathering to decide the kind of government you want. "Do you want a strong government? Or do you want a government which sits down with its head hanging low?"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began day two of his campaigning in Odisha's Koraput. "I promised to work for you with full dedication and as your pradhan sevak, I have tried to keep all my promises," Modi said. The Prime Minister will be visiting three states today — Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh — to address rallies after he kicked off his poll campaign with three rallies on Thursday. Stay tuned on our website for updates on his rallies. Modi is expected to address Koratpur, Odisha at around 11 am; in Mahabubnagar, Telangana at 2 pm; and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh at around 4 pm.

After days of her joining, the Congress Election Committee has confirmed that actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar will contest from the Mumbai North parliamentary constituency. Matondkar had officially joined the party on Wednesday.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Ayodhya on Friday in the last leg of her three-day Uttar Pradesh visit, which will culminate with a road show. The party's eastern in-charge of the state will reach Faizabad around 11.30 am and meet party workers at several places in the temple town.

She will then embark on the road show to Ayodhya. Later she will pray at the Hanumangarhi temple before concluding her journey.

Priyanka sent ripples across the political spectrum after her swift riposte "Why not Varanasi" (the Lok Sabha seat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi) to the party workers' request to contest elections from her mother Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli.

Her remark came at an interactive meeting with party booth workers, block presidents, gram panchayat and nagar panchayat heads at a guest house here, about six km from the district headquarters.

After Priyanka told the gathering that her mother was tense as she could not come among them, some workers asked her to contest from Rae Bareli instead. At this, she smilingly said: "Why not Varanasi?"

Priyanka also said that she had told her mother not to worry as she would look at the work of her constituency. If the younger Gandhi sibling jumps into the fray against Modi, then it would be the most high-profile contest of the current Lok Sabha polls. But for now, it seems to be only a quick retort made by her.

Earlier in the day, the Congress leader said that she has been given the key task of strengthening her party in the Uttar Pradesh - even beyond the Lok Sabha elections - and ensure it comes back to power in the 2022 Assembly polls.

NARENDRA MODI IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ODISHA

After campaigning in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu on Thursday, Modi is headed to Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh today. The prime minister is expected to address a rally in Odisha's Karatpur at 11 am; Mahabubnagar, Telangana at 2 pm; Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh at around 4.30 pm.

Launching Bharatiya Janata Party's Lok Sabha poll campaign in three states, Modi on Thursday kept the focus on national security, terrorism and how his "decisive" government showed the courage to conduct a surgical strike in all spheres — land, sky and space.

Modi addressed rallies in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Rudrapur in Uttarakhand and Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir--all part of Lok Sabha constituencies figuring in the first phase of the polls on 11 April.

Modi also tore into the opposition parties by coining an acronym 'SARAB (alcohol') from the initial letters of the Samajwadi Party(SP), Rashtriya Lok Dal(RLD) and Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) alliance and urged people to “stay away from ‘SARAB' in the polls for the good health of Uttar Pradesh.” The Hindi word for liquor is 'sharab'.

The remarks by Modi, who also termed the SP-RLD-BSP alliance in UP 'mahamilavat' (adulterated), drew a furious reaction from the Congress and the SP. Congress demanded an apology from Modi while SP chief Akhilesh Yadav accused him of spreading the "intoxication of hatred", saying the prime minister didn't know the difference between 'sharab' and 'sarab' (mirage).

"By comparing three political parties with liquor, Modi ji has made fun of the entire democratic system. You should apologise to the 130 crore people who believe in the democratic system, otherwise the country and Uttar Pradesh, will never forgive you," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

Continuing his attack on the Congress, Modi accused it of raising questions on the valour of the armed forces after the post-Uri surgical strikes in 2016 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) and later the air strikes in Balakot inside Pakistan in February.

The contest is between "a decisive government and an indecisive past", Modi said at the BJP's Vijay Sankalp rally in the western UP town of Meerut, a day after announcing that India had demonstrated the anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite to join an elite club of space superpowers.

Updated Date:

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