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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Updates: Congress' Divya Spandana slams PM for taking 'Canadian' Akshay Kumar aboard INS Sumitra

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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Updates: Congress' Divya Spandana slams PM for taking 'Canadian' Akshay Kumar aboard INS Sumitra
  • 19:11 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh latest updates

    PM says 2010 Commonwealth Games known more for Congress corruption than India's achievement

    In Prayagraj, Prime Minister Narendra Modi targetted Congress over corruption allegations. "Commonwealth Games were held in 2010. It was a great opportunity for Indian athletes to show their potential. But the event is remembered more for the corruption under Congress government than the achievements of our atheletes," he said.

  • 18:52 (IST)

    Congress’ Divya Spandana slams PM for taking ‘Canadian’ Akshay Kumar aboard INS Sumitra

    A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at late Rajiv Gandhi for taking his family, ‘foreigner’ in-laws for a holiday aboard “personal taxi” INS Viraat, Congress social media strategist slammed him for allegedly taking Akshay Kumar, a Canadian citizen, aboard INS Sumitra.

    She wrote, “Yeh teek tha (Was this right?)? @narendramodi you took a Canadian citizen @akshaykumar with you on-board INS Sumitra," Spandana tweeted with the hashtag 'sabse bada jhoota Modi (biggest liar Modi)'.

  • 18:34 (IST)

    Sunny Deol in Punjab latest updates

    Woman kisses Sunny Deol on cheek during Batala roadshow


    A woman kissed BJP candidate and actor Sunny Deol on the cheek during his campaign in Punjab's Batala. Deol is the BJP candidate from Gurdaspur. He will face Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar in the constituency.

  • 18:07 (IST)

    Gautam Gambhir to file defamation suit against AAP leaders over pamphlet row

    After being dragged into a controversy over a pamphlet against Atishi, BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir said, "I will definitely file a defamation case against them (AAP leaders). You can't tarnish someone's image just like that, if you don't have the proof. I have never given a negative statement against anyone so far in my election campaigning."

  • 17:59 (IST)

    Modi's Gujarat 'vapsi' is certain: Kamal Nath
     
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's allegations against Rajiv Gandhi are "atrocious" and the way he now talks reflects that he is highly enraged and has started feeling that time has come for him to return to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath said on Thursday. 
     
    "It is a painful thing that Modi has forgot his status. The way he is levelling allegations is atrocious. He is not talking about youths, about farmers, about traders but trying to divert people's attention. He is misleading people," Nath said in an interview.
     
    Modi had said in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh district on Saturday that Rajiv Gandhi had died a corrupt person. "Your (Rahul Gandhi's) father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as bhrashtachari number 1," he had said. 
     
    PTI

  • 17:51 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh latest updates

    Will remove 5-acre clause from PM Kisan scheme if voted to power, says Modi
    In Jaunpur, Narendra Modi said if his government returns to power, he will remove the 5-acre clause under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) so as to give the benefits of the scheme to all farmers.

  • 17:39 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh latest updates

    Modi's says 'behenji' seeking votes for those who insulted Ambedkar

    Referring to Mayawati as 'behenji', Narendra Modi criticised the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh at a rally in Jaunpur. "Behen ji will understand the game that has been played to keep her outside Uttar Pradesh only after 23 May. Behen ji is now seeking votes for the people who had called Babasaheb Ambedkar a land mafia and insulted him at every step," he said.

  • 17:29 (IST)

    TMC campaign election latest updates

    Will withdraw all candidates if Modi proves links with coal mafia, says Mamata

    In Bankura, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for levelling allegations against her party leaders for alleged links with the coal mafia. "I challenge Modi, if you can prove your allegations that one of us is part of coal mafia, I will withdraw all my 42 candidates. If you are lying, you have to hold your ears and do a hundred sit ups before public," she said.

  • 17:21 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi's 'Red Fort' jibe shows his PM ambitions are very much alive

    While taking a dig at Narendra Modi at a rally in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar, Rahul Gandhi said that he'll never say from the ramparts of Red Fort or any other stage that no progress took place before he came to power. Every year on the Independence day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the flag at the main gate of the Red Fort and delivers a nationally broadcast speech from its ramparts. Rahul's jibe at Modi shows that his prime ministerial ambitions are still alive.

  • 17:03 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh latest updates

    Modi has become confused in five years, thinks he runs the country: Congress chief

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in Sagar, "I will never be able to say from Red fort or anywhere else that no work was done before I came to power. That's because I think I'm one of you. I know that the country was great even before any of us came to this stage. I have no confusion. Whatever you tell me, I will listen and try to execute him.

    "I understand that knowledge and power is with the people of the country. In the last five years, Narendra Modi has become confused. He has started thinking that he runs the country, and that he doesn't need the farmers. He told one of his ministers that if our farmers can grow wheat or sugarcane, then we can import it. But, I disagree. The farmers of the country can challenge anybody in the world if he is given aid."

  • 16:54 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh latest updates

    Time to bid BJP goodbye, says Rahul

    In Sagar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Rafale deal and unemployment. " Modi is not able to tell the people that he failed. If he admits it, we can forgive him, but he should at least tell us what he'll do in the next five years. Our Congress workers have shut all doors for the BJP. It's time for goodbye."

  • 16:41 (IST)

    Congress campaign election latest updates

    Priyanka Gandhi slams Modi in Pratapgarh

    In Pratapgarh, Priyanka Gandhi said, "I have never seen a coward like him, or a prime minister this weak. Political power doesn't come by doing publicity, or by appearing on the television. Political power is when the leader agrees that the public is at the top of the hierarchy, and is ready to listen to the people. But forget about listening to the people, this prime minister doesn't even know how to answer the people."

  • 16:21 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh latest updates

    The more you abuse me, the more the lotus will bloom: Modi tells Opposition leaders

    "There is no word in the dictionary that Congress, SP, BSP leaders did not use to insult me. I want to tell them that the more abuses you hurl, the more the lotus will bloom," Narendra Modi said in Azamgarh.

  • 16:09 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh latest updates

    PM says UPA govt was embarassment for India due to corruption 

    In Azamgarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "From 2004 to 2014, the 'mahamilavati' government was an embarrassment for India. There was no such area during the 10 years of UPA rule where scams and scandals did not take place."

  • 15:52 (IST)

    Gautam Gambhir blames Kejriwal for offensive pamphlets against Atishi

    Amid a row over offensive pamphlet against AAP candidate Atishi, BJP nominee Gautam Gambhir blamed Arvind Kejriwal, saying, "I abhor your act of outraging a woman’s modesty Arvind Kejriwal and that too your own colleague. And all this for winning elections?"

    He said that he was ready to withdraw his candidature if there was proof that the pamphlets were his doing. However, he further asked AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Atishi if they would step down from politics if he's not found guilty.

  • 15:40 (IST)

    Amit Shah in Uttar Pradesh latest updates

    BJP chief claims SP, BSP never worked for society when they were in power

    Addressing a rally in Sant Kabir Nagar, BJP chief Amit Shah said, "When SP was in power in Uttar Pradesg, they worked only for one caste. When BSP was in power, the work for mainly done for some other government. No work was done was the society.

    "Only when BJP came to power there was sabka saath, sabka vikas. We never asked for anyone's caste or religion while undertaking the work of development."

  • 15:24 (IST)

    At fag end of polling, Opposition steps up alliance efforts after Ram Madhav cast doubts over BJP's ability to get majority

    A study in January predicted that the BJP's tally in the Lok Sabha after the 2019 general election will drop to 252 — 20 seats short of an absolute majority and 30 short of its current strength in the Lower House. The Times Now-VMR poll predicted that the Congress-led UPA will bag 146 seats, the Samajwadi Party-BSP alliance 51 seats, Trinamool Congress 32 and Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party, 23 seats.

    Months later in May, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav went against the party narrative to admit that this year it will fall short of winning an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and will have to turn to allies to form the government if voted to power.

    Read the full story

  • 15:11 (IST)

    BJP says AAP circulated pamphlet themselves

    BJP Delhi spokesperson Harish Khurana responded to the allegations levelled by AAP against the party's East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir by calling them "baseless". Atishi, Gambhir's AAP counterpart for the controversy, had broken down while holding the press conference where she alleged that Gambhir had circulated a pamphlet intended to insult her. The purported pamphlet, shared on Twitter, contains several insults pinpointed to Atishi.

    "It is very much possible that these people (of AAP) circulated or got this distributed by themselves," Khurana added.

  • 15:03 (IST)

    Ex-president Zail Singh's son-in-law joins BJP

    Sarvant Singh Channy, the son-in-law of former president Giani Zail Singh, joined the ruling BJP on Thursday in the presence of senior leaders of the saffron party, including Union minister Nitin Gadkari. A former Punjab-cadre IAS officer, Channy served as the Chief Information Commissioner of Punjab from September, 2014 to 3 May, 2019. He also served as the secretary of Punjab's Home department.

    PTI

  • 14:59 (IST)

    Less than five percent of Haryana candidates women

    In Haryana, less than five percent of the candidates in the running for the Lok Sabha are women, reports IANS. Only nine women have been elected to Parliament from the state so far. Eleven women (4.9 percent) of the total 223 candidates are in the fray among 1.80 crore registered electors, including 83,40,173 women.

    No woman figures in the list of candidates of state's oldest regional party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), an alliance partner with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), a breakaway faction of the INLD, even as the fairer sex constitutes 46 percent (83,40,173) of the total electorate.

  • 14:51 (IST)

    AAP election campaign latest updates

    Atishi alleges Gautam Gambhir circulated derogatory pamphlet on her

    Aam Aadmi Party's East Delhi candidate Atishi held a press conference on Thursday, alleging that her BJP opponent, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, had circulated pamphlets with derogatory and abusive language intended to demean her. "We would clap for Gambhir when he used to bash opponents with fours and sixes while playing for India but never in our worst dreams had we thought that this man would stoop this low to win an election," party leader Manish Sisodia said.

  • 14:19 (IST)

    Retired vice-admiral said Rajiv had been on official visit: Pawan Khera

    Thick in the controversy over Narendra Modi's mention of Rajiv Gandhi using the INS Viraat as a personal taxi for family vacations, Congress leader Pawan Khera said in a press conference earlier in the day that retired Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha had been one to clarify that the prime minister's assertion was a lie. Khera said Pasricha had said that Rajiv was on an official visit. "It wasn’t a holiday but facts don’t matter to Mr Narendra Modi," he added.

  • 14:04 (IST)

    BJP election campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi shares video of journey into Purulia

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official Twitter account has shared a video showing crowds gathered by the side of the streets in Purulia as Modi travelled in his cavalcade. "The writing on the wall is clear, West Bengal is set to choose BJP!" Modi wrote through his account.

  • 13:52 (IST)

    Congress election campaign latest updates

    Digvijaya Singh offers prayers at temple

    Congress candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, Digvijaya Singh, offers prayers at Gayatri Temple.

  • 13:50 (IST)

    Former IAS officer joins BJP

    Former IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, SS Channy, joined BJP in the presence of Union minister Nitin Gadkari.

  • 13:47 (IST)

    TMC election campaign latest updates

    Prove TMC candidates have coal mafia connections or do 100 sit-ups, says Mamata

    Speaking at Bankura shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at a rally in the same constituency, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee was full of admonishment at everything ranging from the prime minister's rally timings to the noise being made by college students attending her rally. She was particularly vicious at Modi's allegation, at his second rally in Purulia, that her party had exposed the eponymous district to the coal mafia.

    "Prove that even one of my 42 Lok Sabha candidates have any connection with the coal mafia, and I will cancel the nomination of all 42 of them. But if you fail, you will have to do 100 sit ups," she said to Modi.

  • 13:46 (IST)

    Sunny Deol mistakes Balakot for Kartarpur

    Sunny Deol, in an interview to News18, mistook Balakot for Kartarpur and said "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened a door there (at Balakot)". He had been asked by the interviewer if he felt proud about Narendra Modi's achievements in conducting the Balakot air strike.

  • 13:20 (IST)

    CNN report claims internet services being cut off from pockets in Rajasthan, Bengal, ahead of poll dates

    People in pockets of the country are being denied access to the internet for days at a time as they prepare to cast their ballots, a CNN report has revealed.

    Since voting began last month, shutdowns of mobile internet have been reported from across Rajasthan, West Bengal and Indian-administered Kashmir, according to the Delhi-based Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC). According to the SFLC, on 18 April, authorities in the Srinagar and Udhampur districts of Indian-administered Kashmir suspended mobile internet access during polling "as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order."

    Law and order was also cited as a reason for cutting off mobile internet a couple of days later in Rajasthan's Sikar district. 

  • 13:18 (IST)

    In Bengal, Modi touches lightly on Pakistan angle 

    Taking a dig at Mamata Banerjee for saying that she doesn't accept Narendra Modi as the prime minister of India, Modi on Thursday said Mamata feels proud to accept Pakistan's prime minister and accused her of insulting the Constitution.

    "One can easily gauge the level of her anxiety hearing the language she has been using. Now she talks of stones and slaps for me... I am used to abusive language and have inculcated a power to digest all the slangs present in dictionaries around the world. But Didi is now in a frenzied condition. Didi is even insulting the Constitution of the country.

    "You will be shocked to know she has been publicly saying that she is not ready to accept the Prime Minister of the nation, whereas she feels proud to accept Pakistan's Prime Minister," Modi said at the election meeting at Kamladanga in Bankura district.

    IANS

  • 13:14 (IST)

    Priyanka in Delhi draws up memories of Indira

    As Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held impressive back-to-back roadshows in Delhi, many residents said her face and mannerisms reminded them of her grandmother Indira Gandhi. Neighbours Urmila and Munni in South Delhi's Madangir area, stood on a road divider and waved at Priyanka as her caravan passed through busy streets on Wednesday. "She's a spitting image of Indira Gandhi. She looks just the same, same hairstyle, she reminds us of our Indiraji," said an excited Urmila.

    They both said they had seen former prime minister Indira Gandhi during rallies and felt Priyanka's playing a larger role in the party has "revitalised" the party. "I had seen Indira Gandhi at a rally in Aligarh...Today, when BJP politicians attack Nehruji or other members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, our affection for the family only multiplies," Munni said.

    PTI

  • 13:06 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi in Haryana latest updates

    Rahul keeps charge against Modi limited to 'chowkidar chor hain', doesn't bring up father

    Keeping the topics of his rally in Haryana's Sirsa limited to the usual ones of Congress' campaign, the NYAY scheme and the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi avoided speaking on his father Rajiv Gandhi amidst the back and forth regarding the former prime minister. "Narendra Modi ji, you want to talk on Rajiv Gandhi, but talk on the Rafale deal first," said Rahul, before moving on to farmers' issues once again.

  • 13:02 (IST)

    BJP election campaign latest updates

    My brother hasn't filed for loan waiver, Shivraj counters Rahul

    Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Thursday that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had made a false claim in saying that even Chouhan's brother's farm loans had been waived. "In application forms that were presented before the panchayat in Jait, it's written that my brother Rohit hasn't even filled an application for farm loan waiver," Chouhan alleged. 

    While Chouhan has two brothers, Narendra and Surjit, it is not known how 'Rohit' is related to him. Rahul had, on Wednesday, said that even Shivraj's relatives had benefitted from the Congress-led government's loan waiver scheme in Madhya Pradesh.

  • 12:42 (IST)

    TMC election campaign latest updates

    Bengal's ruling party tears into Amit Shah for mistake on Tagore's birthplace

    Mamata Banerjee-helmed Trinamool Congress, on the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, uploaded a video slamming BJP chief Amit Shah over his mistake at a Birbhum rally in identifying the birthplace of the poet as Birbhum itself. The clip shows Shah saying Tagore was born in Birbhum on a loop. "They talk of saving Bengali culture! First learn about Bangla and then dream about winning here," the TMC tweeted through its official account.

  • 12:35 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Purulia latest updates

    Modi attacks Mamata for bringing coal mafia to Bengal state

    In addition to blaming her with scaring people who wished to chant 'Jai shri Ram' and 'Jai ma Kali', Narendra Modi said at his Purulia meeting on Thursday that Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had destroyed the 'black gold' of Purulia by bringing in the coal mafia there. He also brought up Rabindranath Tagore, on the day of the poet's birth anniversay according to the Bengali calendar, and said that Mamata had entirely destroyed Tagore's vision for India.

  • 12:21 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in Purulia latest updates

    PM says he is willing to take slaps from Didi as blessings

    Speaking at his second rally of the day at Bengal's Purulia, Narendra Modi took the "slap" charge further, and said while Mamata Banerjee wants to slap him, he regards her as his elder sister, calls her "Didi" and is willing to accept her slaps as blessings. On Wednesday, Mamata had spoken at a rally on Modi's rule coming as a slap to democracy, which some media outlets had mis-reported as "slap to Modi", 

    Modi said Mamata might have been better off to have slapped those of her aides who had been levying a TTT, a Trinamool Tolabaji Tax from the people of Bengal.

  • 12:02 (IST)

    AAP election campaign latest updates

    Raghav Chadha alleges BJP distributing alcohol, cash

    AAP leader Raghav Chadha wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he had received "distressing news of BJP distributing alcohol and cash in various unauthorised colonies" in the South Delhi Parliamentary constituency. He wrote that Aam Aadmi Party had set up surveillance teams armed with spy cameras to "ensure free and fair elections."
     

  • 11:50 (IST)

    Supreme Court dismisses petition over Rahul's citizenship

    The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the petition against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, alleging he holds citizenship of two countries, India and Britain. The petitioners had asked that Rahul be banned from contesting in the Lok Sabha election as he is a British citizenship.

    Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, hearing the matter, said, "Some company in some form has mentioned Rahul Gandhi as a British citizen, so does he becomes British citizen? Dismissed."

  • 11:45 (IST)

    SC declines to urgently list CPM petition against repolling in just 168 Tripura West booths

    The Supreme Court has declined to urgently list a petition by CPM against the Election Commission's order of re-polling across just 168 booths of Tripura West parliamentary constituency. CPM had asked for repolling in 433 booths. The poll panel had ordered repolling to take place on 12 May.

  • 11:38 (IST)

    CPIM election campaign latest updates

    Sitaram Yechury holds rally at Bankura, Bishnupur 

    Nearly half a day before Narendra Modi held a rally in Bankura, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury spoke in public meetings at Bankura and Bishnupur towns. Both eponymous constituencies will go to polls on 12 May. 

  • 11:27 (IST)

    BJP election campaign latest updates

    Arun Jaitley says Congress desperate to discover BJP role in Rajiv death

    Arun Jaitley, on Thursday, sought to reply to Congress' charge that BJP was responsible for Rajiv Gandhi's death. Minutes after Congress leader Ahmed Patel decried the attacks on a deceased prime minister who was no longer able to defend himself in the face of abuses, Jaitley turned the tables and instead hit out at the Congress for blaming the BJP for Rajiv's death. Patel had said the BJP-supported VK Singh government had de-escalated Rajiv's security and that their "hatred" had killed him. 

    "From December 1990 till May 1991, when Shri Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, the Congress party supported Chandra Shekhar government was in power," Jaitley wrote on Twitter, pointing out that the Congress had at times chosen to blame the DMK for this death and has now decided to focus on the BJP out of compulsion.

  • 11:05 (IST)

    Battle over Rajiv reaches crescendo: Omar Abdullah asks after Modi's time machine

    The tussle over Rajiv Gandhi and the extent of his culpability for events that transpired three decades ago has well and truly risen to a crescendo. While the BJP has concentrated the attack first made by prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, the Congress has expressed its unveiled anger at slams made on a prime minister who is no longer alive to defend himself. Meanwhile, Opposition leaders like Omar Abdullah questioned why the BJP would seek to rake up an issue as old as Rajiv's alleged corruption. 

  • 10:56 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in West Bengal latest updates

    PM switches between Bengali and Hindi, accuses Didi of dadagiri

    Addressing locals of two key Parliamentary constituencies of Bankura and Bishnupur (both of which go to polls on Sunday), Narendra Modi made a last ditch effort to harness popular trust by switching between Bengali and Hindi throughout the rally. While his pronunciation faltered in the former, his attack on chief minister Mamata Banerjee was unflinching. 

    Modi accused Mamata of a host of charges, including keeping worshippers of Ram and Saraswati in constant fear. He said she had reduced a thinking, artistic land such as Bengal into one of dadagiri. 

  • 10:40 (IST)

    Narendra Modi in West Bengal latest updates

    Called Mamata twice after cyclone, but she was too proud to take my call, says PM

    Speaking at his first rally of the day in West Bengal's Bankura, Narendra Modi lost no time in coining two new campaign phrases, "chup chap kamal chhap" and "booth booth se TMC saaf". He struck at Mamata Banerjee and her government, alleging that she cared not about the people of Bengal but about her own family and its wealth. Modi also alleged that while Mamata allegedly feels pride on behalf of Pakistam prime minister Imran Khan, she was "too proud" to take his call when he made one after the cyclone (Fani). Modi alleged that Mamata had also turned down the central government's requests for meetings on relief.

  • 10:27 (IST)

    Shiv Sena election campaign latest updates

    Abuses to Rajiv price Rahul has to pay for insulting Veer Savarkar, says Shiv Sena

    In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's verbal attack against late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Shiv Sena on Thursday opined that Gandhi's insult by the Prime Minister is the price Congress president Rahul Gandhi has to pay for "insulting" freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.

    "Rahul Gandhi refers to Narendra Modi as chor in public assemblies; does anyone expect the prime minister to invite him for a cup of tea for this? Even if we assume that what prime minister said about Rajiv Gandhi was wrong, the manner in which Rahul Gandhi has insulted great freedom fighter Veer Savarkar is worse," the party said in its editorial mouthpiece Saamana. 

    "The manner in which he made fun of Savarkar and described how he freed himself by pleading to be British, it is an insult to all the freedom fighters and is simply unacceptable," it said.

    ANI

  • 10:21 (IST)

    Congress election campaign latest updates

    Party releases satirical video portraying BJP's blindness towards real issues

    Harnessing the term "Bhakt ka chashma," the Congress uploaded a satirical music video, showing how BJP supporters were allegedly bent upon seeing the condition of the country as much better than it actually is. A real sunglass is used to cloud issues like unemployment, lack of hospital supplies and farmers' issues as an abundance of jobs, great medical care and a hearty meal for a farmer. In the election season, both Congress and BJP have been using specially shot and intricately produced videos to hit the opposition party where it hurts.

  • 10:06 (IST)

    Congress election campaign latest updates

    Abusing a 'martyred' prime minister a sign of ultimate cowardice: Ahmed Patel strikes back at Narendra Modi

    Striking back at the Narendra Modi-led attack on late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on behalf of the Congress on Thursday, Ahmed Patel labelled the abuse levelled at a person who was no longer able to reply to it as an "act of ultimate cowardice."  

    Patel also said the BJP-backed VP Singh government which had allegedly refused to provide Rajiv with additional security in the charged 1991 atmosphere and had "left him with one personal security officer" despite credible intelligence inputs and repeated requests, was responsible for killing him.

  • 10:00 (IST)

    BJP election campaign latest updates

    Rajiv Gandhi used INS Viraat as 'personal taxi' during tenure as PM, says Narendra Modi 

    At the BJP rally held at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Gandhi family of using INS Viraat as a “personal taxi” for 10 days when his family and his in-laws took a vacation. Accusing the Gandhi family of compromising with national security, Modi claimed that Indian Navy personnel were stationed at the island in service of late Rajiv Gandhi and his family. Modi was referring to the Lakshadweep vacation taken by former prime minister and his family in 1987.

    Read the full story here

  • 09:58 (IST)

    BJP election campaign latest updates

    Gadkari says India no longer bound to honour Indus Water Treaty

    A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeated the claim that India's excess water was "enriching Pakistan's soil" and that India would attempt to stop flow of it from the three rivers which belong to the country according to the Indus Water Treaty, India's water resources minister Nitin Gadkari also hinted that India might not be honour bound to follow the words of the treaty. "Water is going to Pakistan from three rivers. We don't want to stop that. But the basis of the water treaty between India and Pakistan was peaceful relations and friendship, which have completely vanished. So we are not bound to follow this treaty," said Gadkari.

    He also added that because Pakistan is continuously supporting terrorists, if Pakistan doesn't stops terrorism, India won't have any other option but to stop river water to Pakistan. 

  • 09:50 (IST)

    Congress election campaign latest updates

    All eyes on Delhi, tussle to claim capital as 'own turf' grows

    Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday invoked her Delhi roots during a roadshow in New Delhi, and threw an open challenge at Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight the last two phases of the Lok Sabha election on the issue of the "false promises" he made to people.

    Priyanka, 47, said she was born in Delhi and knows the city like the back of her hand. Holding her first roadshow in the city in support of Sheila Dikshit, the Congress candidate from North East Delhi constituency, she said the people of the city were tired of Modi's "purposeless talk".

    Read full story here

  • 09:49 (IST)

    Congress election campaign latest updates

    Priyanka expected to be at Jaunpur at around same time as Modi

    Like on Wednesday, when their Delhi campaigns nearly coincided, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be at Jaunpur at around the same time as Modi. She will also hold rallies at Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh and Sultanpur. Priyanka on Wednesday accused Modi of blaming the Nehru-Gandhi family for his own failures, alleging that he was like a "schoolboy who failed to do his homework" and his excuses are "Pandit Nehru has taken away his answer-sheet and Indira Gandhi has made a paper boat out of that."


Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST UpdatesAfter being dragged into a controversy over a pamphlet against Atishi, BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir said, "I will definitely file a defamation case against them (AAP leaders). You can't tarnish someone's image just like that, if you don't have the proof. I have never given a negative statement against anyone so far in my election campaigning."

In Bankura, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for levelling allegations against her party leaders for alleged links with the coal mafia. "I challenge Modi, if you can prove your allegations that one of us is part of coal mafia, I will withdraw all my 42 candidates. If you are lying, you have to hold your ears and do a hundred sit ups before public," she said.

Addressing a rally in Azamgarh,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued his tirade against the Opposition over the abuses subjected to him in the past. "There is no word in the dictionary that Congress, SP, BSP leaders did not use to insult me. I want to tell them that the more abuses you hurl, the more the lotus will bloom," he said.

Amid a row over offensive pamphlet against AAP candidate Atishi, BJP nominee Gautam Gambhir said that he'll withdraw his candidature if there is proof that he was behind the act. He further asked AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Atishi if they would step down from politics if he's not found guilty.

BJP Delhi spokesperson Harish Khurana responded to the allegations levelled by AAP against the party's East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir by calling them "baseless". Atishi, Gambhir's AAP counterpart for the controversy, had broken down while holding the press conference where she alleged that Gambhir had circulated a pamphlet intended to insult her. The purported pamphlet, shared on Twitter, contains several insults pinpointed to Atishi.

"It is very much possible that these people (of AAP) circulated or got this distributed by themselves," Khurana added.

Aam Aadmi Party's East Delhi candidate Atishi held a press conference on Thursday, alleging that her BJP opponent, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, had circulated pamphlets with derogatory and abusive language intended to demean her. "We would clap for Gambhir when he used to bash opponents with fours and sixes while playing for India but never in our worst dreams had we thought that this man would stoop this low to win an election," party leader Manish Sisodia said.

In a press conference today, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the BJP had run out of issues to change the focus towards, and was thus content with spreading disinformation regarding things like Rahul Gandhi's citizenship. He dubbed the party a "Bahut Jhoot Party" and warned that lies, propaganda and canards can "never succeed beyond a very short shelf-life."

Sunny Deol, in an interview to News18, mistook Balakot for Kartarpur and said "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened a door there (at Balakot)". He had been asked by the interviewer if he felt proud about Narendra Modi's achievements in conducting the Balakot air strike. However, at a later interview to a channel, the actor-turned-politician said he did not know much about India-Pakistan relations or the Balakot air strikes.

Speaking at Bankura shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at a rally in the same constituency, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee was full of admonishment at everything ranging from the prime minister's rally timings to the noise being made by college students attending her rally. She was particularly vicious at Modi's allegation, at his second rally in Purulia, that her party had exposed the eponymous district to the coal mafia. "Prove that even one of my 42 Lok Sabha candidates have any connection with the coal mafia, and I will cancel the nomination of all 42 of them. But if you fail, you will have to do 100 sit ups," she said to Modi.

Keeping the topics of his rally in Haryana's Sirsa limited to the usual ones of Congress' campaign, the NYAY scheme and the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi avoided speaking on his father Rajiv Gandhi amidst the back and forth regarding the former prime minister. "Narendra Modi ji, you want to talk on Rajiv Gandhi, but talk on the Rafale deal first," said Rahul, before moving on to farmers' issues once again.

Mamata Banerjee-helmed Trinamool Congress, on the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, uploaded a video slamming BJP chief Amit Shah over his mistake at a Birbhum rally in identifying the birthplace of the poet as Birbhum itself. The clip shows Shah saying Tagore was born in Birbhum on a loop. "They talk of saving Bengali culture! First learn about Bangla and then dream about winning here," the TMC tweeted through its official account.

Speaking at his second rally of the day at Bengal's Purulia, Narendra Modi took the "slap" charge further, and said while Mamata Banerjee wants to slap him, he regards her as his elder sister, calls her "Didi" and is willing to accept her slaps as blessings. On Wednesday, Mamata had spoken at a rally on Modi's rule coming as a slap to democracy, which some media outlets had mis-reported as "slap to Modi",

Modi said Mamata might have been better off to have slapped those of her aides who had been levying a TTT, a Trinamool Tolabaji Tax from the people of Bengal.

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea by former BSF constable and Samajwadi Party candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav against the sudden rejection of his nomination from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissing the plea said, “We don’t find any merit to entertain this petition.”

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the petition against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, alleging he holds citizenship of two countries, India and Britain. The petitioners had asked that Rahul be banned from contesting in the Lok Sabha election as he is a British citizenship. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, hearing the matter, said, "Some company in some form has mentioned Rahul Gandhi as a British citizen, so does he becomes British citizen? Dismissed."

Minutes after Congress leader Ahmed Patel decried the attacks on a deceased prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, who was no longer able to defend himself in the face of abuses, Arun Jaitley turned the table on the Congress for blaming the BJP for Rajiv's death. Patel had said the BJP-supported VK Singh government had de-escalated Rajiv's security and that their "hatred" had killed him.

"From December 1990 till May 1991, when Shri Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, the Congress party supported Chandra Shekhar government was in power," Jaitley wrote on Twitter, pointing out that the Congress had at times chosen to blame the DMK for this death and has now decided to focus on the BJP out of compulsion.

The tussle over Rajiv Gandhi and the extent of his culpability for events that transpired three decades ago has well and truly risen to a crescendo. While the BJP has concentrated the attack first made by prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, the Congress has expressed its unveiled anger at slams made on a prime minister who is no longer alive to defend himself. Meanwhile, Opposition leaders like Omar Abdullah questioned why the BJP would seek to rake up an issue as old as Rajiv's alleged corruption.

At his Bankura rally, Narendra Modi accused Mamata Banerjee of a host of charges, including keeping worshippers of Ram and Saraswati in constant fear. Modi, significantly, made no bones about attempting to harness the local populace's trust by switching between Bengali and Hindi throughout his speech.

Speaking at his first rally of the day in West Bengal's Bankura, Narendra Modi lost no time in coining two new campaign phrases, "chup chap kamal chhap" and "booth booth se TMC saaf". He struck at Mamata Banerjee and her government, alleging that she cared not about the people of Bengal but about her own family and its wealth. Modi also alleged that while Mamata allegedly feels pride on behalf of Pakistam prime minister Imran Khan, she was "too proud" to take his call when he made one after the cyclone (Fani). Modi alleged that Mamata had also turned down the central government's requests for meetings on relief.

Striking back at the Narendra Modi-led attack on late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on behalf of the Congress on Thursday, Ahmed Patel labelled the abuse levelled at a person who was no longer able to reply to it as an "act of ultimate cowardice." Patel also said the BJP-backed VP Singh government which had allegedly refused to provide Rajiv with additional security in the charged 1991 atmosphere and had "left him with one personal security officer" despite credible intelligence inputs and repeated requests, was responsible for killing him.

With only two phases of the 2019 Lok Sabha election remaining to go, back and forth between the Bharatiya Janata Party and Opposition parties has reached a crescendo with little effort at courtesy on either side. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address rallies in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh today (9 May), a day after making charged speeches targeting the Gandhi family and also alleging that the Congress had insulted him in several ways through the years.

In Bengal, he can be expected to direct the vitriol at chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at his public meetings in Bankura (10 am) and Purulia (11.40 am). In Uttar Pradesh, the prime minister is likely to once again barrel into the past of Rajiv Gandhi, at rallies in Azamgarh (3.10 pm), Jaunpur (4.45 pm) and finally, Prayagraj (6.40 pm).

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is poised to reply to the prime minister's charges at his scheduled rallies at Sirsa in Haryana, Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. The last venue is where Modi accused the Gandhi family of using INS Viraat as a "personal taxi" for 10 days when his family and his in-laws took a vacation, thereby allegedly compromising national security.

The Supreme Court will, on Thursday, hear the petition to keep Rahul Gandhi from contesting polls and becoming a Member of Parliament in the future over having allegedly acquired British citizenship. On 1 May, the home ministry sent Rahul a notice seeking a response to charges that he held British citizenship.

Like on Wednesday, when their Delhi campaigns nearly coincided, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be at Jaunpur at around the same time as Modi. She will also hold rallies at Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh and Sultanpur. Priyanka on Wednesday accused Modi of blaming the Nehru-Gandhi family for his own failures, alleging that he was like a "schoolboy who failed to do his homework" and his excuses are "Pandit Nehru has taken away his answer-sheet and Indira Gandhi has made a paper boat out of that."

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu (who on Wednesday met Rahul at his residence) are expected to meet in the afternoon, at Bengal's Kharagpur on Thursday.

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Updated Date: May 09, 2019 19:31:02 IST