Campaigning for Phase 4 begins in full swing: Narendra Modi to address rallies in Bengal, Jharkhand today; Rahul Gandhi in UP
India can expect a politically charged Wednesday as both Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi campaigns planned in multiple states for the Lok Sabha election.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will hold public meetings at Khaga and Ghazipur in Fatehpur, followed by a roadshow at Mahoba and Rath in Hamirpur.
In Phase 4, 13 seats of UP will vote, including Kanpur from where Congress fielded former Union minister Shriprakash Jaiswal for whom Rahul is campaigning in the region.
On Tuesday, the Congress accused Narendra Modi of violating the Model Code of Conduct for holding a roadshow after voting in Ahmedabad.
The country can expect a politically charged Wednesday as both the BJP and Congress have begun campaigning in full swing, with their top leaders scheduled to hold multiple rallies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed election rallies in West Bengal and Odisha on Tuesday, is scheduled to campaign at Lohardaga in Jharkhand and Ranaghat and Bolpur in West Bengal on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will hold public meetings at Khaga and Ghazipur in Fatehpur constituency, followed by a roadshow at Mahoba and Rath in Hamirpur.
On Tuesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a public rally in Rajasthan, a day after Modi had campaigned in the state. Rahul is scheduled to hold public meetings at Lakhimpur Kheri, Unnao and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
In Phase 4 of the Lok Sabha election, 13 seats of Uttar Pradesh will go to polls, including Kanpur from where Congress fielded former Union coal minister Shriprakash Jaiswal for whom Rahul is campaigning in the region.
For months, the Congress chief has used the Rafale deal to attack Modi in his election campaigns. Now, one of the phrases he reiterates often at rallies in this context has created trouble for him, even though he expressed regret over his gaffe.
In a major setback for the Congress on Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a contempt notice to Rahul for incorrectly attributing his 'chowkidar chor hai' jibe against Modi and the Rafale deal verdict to the top court. On 30 April, the bench will hear the criminal contempt petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against the Congress chief, along with the pending review petitions against court's 14 December, 2018, verdict in the Rafale fighter jet deal.
On Monday, the Congress president had filed his response to the apex court's notice on his comments, saying he had made the 'chowkidar chor hai' remarks "in the heat of the moment".
In an another important political development, a Congress delegation met the Election Commission on Tuesday, seeking to have Modi barred from campaigning for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi pointed out that after casting his vote in Ahmedabad, Modi "held a long procession and delivered a speech". He claimed that this was a "clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct" and appealed to the Election Commission to "bar him from campaigning for 48 to 72 hours".
Polling for Phase 3 of the Lok Sabha election concluded on Tuesday with a voter turnout of 64.66 percent, making way for preparations to begin for Phase 4. In Phase 4 of the Lok Sabha election scheduled for 29 April, 71 parliamentary constituencies in nine states — Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — will vote, for which campaigning has already begun in full swing.
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Detailed discussions were held with nodal officers and representatives of various enforcement agencies such as the Income Tax, Excise, Reserve Bank of India, Department of Revenue Intelligence and Narcotics Control Bureau, release said