Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST updates, 3rd Phase of voting will be held tomorrow, 23 April: The Election Commission registered two FIRs against Union minister and BJP candidate from Asansol Babul Supriyo for continuing to play a campaign song despite denial of permission by the commission and for snatching the camera of an Election Commission official who was video recording his rally.
The Congress will decide on Priyanka Gandhi contesting from Varanasi in the next 24 to 48 hours, CNN-News18 quoted sources as saying. In March, the AICC leader had first hinted about contesting from Varanasi, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election. On Sunday, she said she will contest from Varanasi if asked by her brother and party president Rahul Gandhi. 29 April is the last date to file nomination for the constituency.
The Trinamool Congress announced that former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha will campaign in Kulti and Ranigunj in Asansol. Sinha quit the BJP in April 2018 alleging that democracy was "under threat" under the NDA government and that he would launch a strong movement to "save democracy" in the country.
In Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at Congress and its allies for demanding proof for Balakot air strikes. "The public has given proof to the 'naamdar' in the first two phases of the election. In the next five phases, the people of the country will rightly answer the questions raised against the valour of our soldiers," he said.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi lashed out at BJP's Amethi candidate Smriti Irani while campaigning in Uttar Pradesh. "Smriti Irani is distributing shoes in Amethi .The people of Amethi have never begged from anyone. She thinks she can insult Rahul Gandhi by doing this," she said.
Ending months of speculation over a possible tie-up with AAP, the Congress on Monday fielded three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit from North-East Delhi and former Union minister Ajay Maken from New Delhi, as it announced names of candidates for six Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.
The Congress also fielded JP Agarwal from Chandni Chowk, Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi, Rajesh Lilothia from North-West Delhi and Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi.
Dikshit, who took over from Maken as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief earlier this year, was last a member of Parliament from 1984-89 from Kannauj. She was the chief minister of Delhi for three terms between 1998 and 2013.
Dikshit will take on BJP's sitting MP Manoj Tiwari and Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Dilip Pandey.
Interestingly, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has not been named from the Chandni Chowk seat from which he has been fighting from since 2004. After two terms, Sibal had lost to Union minister Harsh Vardhan in 2014.
Sibal had said last month that he will "certainly contest" from Delhi's Chandni Chowk seat in the Lok Sabha, irrespective of whether there is an alliance between his party and AAP.
Another interesting pick by the Congress is former DCC chief Lovely from East Delhi where he will take on AAP's Atishi. The BJP is yet to declare its candidate from the seat.
Lovely has held important portfolios such as a minister in Delhi. He had briefly joined the BJP, but returned to the Congress fold in 2018.
The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the South Delhi seat.
In the 2014 national election, the BJP won all seven seats in Delhi.
Talks for an alliance between the Congress and AAP broke down over AAP's insistence that the grand old party should agree to share seats in Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab apart from Delhi.
The AAP has already named its seven candidates in the national capital and party's West Delhi candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar had also filed his nomination papers on Thursday.
The other six candidates who are expected to file their nominations soon are Chandni Chowk candidate Pankaj Gupta, East Delhi candidate Atishi, North West Delhi candidate Gugan Singh, South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha, North East candidate Pandey and New Delhi candidate Brajesh Goel.
The BJP on Sunday fielded its four sitting MPs from Delhi — Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, Manoj Tiwari from North-east Delhi, Pravesh Verma from West Delhi and Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi.