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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Updates: Modi, Mamata in Bengal tomorrow; Amit Shah eyes over 30 seats for NDA in TN

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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Updates: Modi, Mamata in Bengal tomorrow; Amit Shah eyes over 30 seats for NDA in TN
  • 17:56 (IST)

    FirstCut by Manjul

     

  • 17:41 (IST)

    Some Congress friends conspired against removal of AFSPA, says Omar Abdullah

    Welcoming as “better late than never” the Congress poll promise of amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said earlier “some friends” in the grand old party had “conspired” against scrapping the controversial law when he had demanded so during his tenure as the chief minister.

    "I wish they would have mentioned this issue (in the manifesto) earlier when I was the Chief Minister. At that time, when I demanded AFSPA's removal, some Congress friends had conspired against it. I do not want to name them. But, I got support only from (former Union minister P) Chidambaram," he said.

    ANI

  • 17:28 (IST)

    Puducherry CM thanks Rahul for promising statehood for UT in Congress manifesto

    Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy expressed gratitude to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for promising in the party's manifesto that it would procure full statehood for the Union Territory, if elected to power after the Lok Sabha polls.

    Addressing reporters at the party office in Puducherry, Narayanasamy said, "The specific announcement in the manifesto that the Congress would procure statehood for Puducherry now a Union Territory shows that the party and its leader have concern for the welfare of the people here."

    He further said, "The demand for statehood had been raised for years together as the present constitutional status of Union Territory had been standing in the way of getting sufficient grants from the Centre and most of the time the plea had fallen on deaf ears."

    PTI

  • 17:25 (IST)

    Congress manifesto 'bundle of lies', says Adityanath​

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Tuesday dismissed the Congress manifesto as a “bundle of lies” and also targeted the Opposition over its handling of national security. "It is a bundle of lies and the party has expressed its failure over 55 years in its 55-page manifesto," he said.
     
    PTI

  • 17:23 (IST)

    EC writes to civil aviation ministry, Railway Board over 'lackadaisical approach' towards enforcing MCC

    Election Commission of India writes to secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation and Railway Board's chairman over 'noncompliance of lawful instructions and lackadaisical approach towards enforcing the model code of conduct'. On 27 March, the poll panel had written to Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Civil Aviation, asking them why have the pictures of Narendra Modi had not been removed from rail tickets and Air India boarding passes even after Model Code of Conduct had come into effect.

  • 17:19 (IST)

    BJP will win over 30 seats in Tamil Nadu, says Amit Shah 

    BJP party president Amit Shah declared at his public address in Sivaganga that the NDA alliance under the leadership of Narendra Modi will win over 30 seats in Tamil Nadu.

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Modi, Mamata to launch poll campaigns in West Bengal tomorrow

    The battle of Bengal is all set to heat up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee kickstarting their campaign on Wednesday in the state that sends third largest number of Lok Sabha members to Parliament.
     
    While Modi will address a rally at Siliguri, Banerjee​ will hold her first public meeting for the general elections in the state at Dinhata, both in north Bengal.
     
    Political circles are agog that a war of words are on the cards with Mamata Banerjee deciding to hold her public rally on the same day the Prime Minister will commence his campaign in the state.
     
    PTI

  • 17:06 (IST)

    Amit Shah takes dig at Karti Chidambaram in Sivaganga

    Addressing a rally in Sivaganga, BJP chief Amit Shah said, "In their manifesto, the Congress has announced that all should get bail and no one should be put behind bars. Probably, it's meant for Karti Chidambaram."

  • 16:55 (IST)

    Priyanka Gandhi to accompany Rahul to Wayanad for filing of nomination on Thursday

    According to reports, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will accompany Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Wayanad in Kerala for filing of his nomination from the parliamentary constituency. Rahul will file his nomination from Wayanad on 4 April.

  • 16:39 (IST)

    Loan waiver only first step in relief for farmers, says Congress

    Speaking at the Congress press conference, senior leader Jairam Ramesh said, "We have promised that farm loan waiver is the first step. But we want to move from karz maafi (loan waiver) to karz-mukti (loan-free)."

  • 16:36 (IST)

    P Chidambaram hits out at Jaitley, says Congress manifesto implementable by wise govt

    Hitting out at Arun Jaitley over his remarks on the Congress manifesto, P Chidambaram said, "I can say that it (promises in manifesto) is unimplementable by a BJP government. Why do you think it can't be done by a future government? Congress sets ambitious goals, but these are achievable with wise and competent government.

  • 16:31 (IST)

    Arun Jaitley's jibe at Rahul; 'I seem to have read the manifesto more than Congress president'

    At the BJP press conference on Congress manifesto, Arun Jaitley said, "Rahul Gandhi said that we will fill 28 lakh jobs. The next sentence of Congress manifesto says 20 lakh jobs are of them are in the state government. He must at least read what he is saying."

    "I seem to have read the manifesto more than Congress president," he further said, taking a dig at Rahul.

  • 16:29 (IST)

    P Chidambaram address press conference on Congress manifesto

    "What is here in these 54 pages is what we heard from the people of India. We believe this is the narrative which the people want to hear and which the people want to be addressed by the future government. We are confident that the Congress will have the capacity to implement this manifesto over the next 5 years. We think our economy will be stronger, and poverty will be considerably reduced," former finance minister P Chidambaram said at a press conference.

  • 16:20 (IST)

    Jaitley hits out at Congress over NYAY scheme

    On Congress' NYAY scheme which said that the growth in economy will help Centre fund it, Arun Jaitley said, "This is such a plan that I will buy a chicken, it will give the egg, which will create thousands of chickens, then I will become a millionaire."

    "I kept reading on this NYAY scheme very carefully. In 80s, Rajiv ji and Indira ji did fiscal blunder. They need to find Manmohan Singh to save the country from debt trap," he further said,

  • 16:12 (IST)

    Congress' promise on AFSPA will empower terrorists, says Jaitley

    On Congress' promise to review AFSPA, Arun Jaitley said, “The dilution of AFPSA was opposed by Congress and now the current leadership is now advocating for it. It will empower terrorists and their supporters."

  • 16:07 (IST)

    Congress manifesto has ideas which will divide India, says Jaitley

    Claiming that the Congress manifesto has ideas which will divide India, Arun Jaitley said, "They are moving forward on the agenda of the Nehru-Gandhi family's historic blunder on Jammu and Kashmir."

    He further added, "They are saying the law of sedition will be removed, the party which wants this does not have the right to get even a single vote." He also claimed that the Congress wanted to scrap sedition law in its bid to save the separatists.

  • 15:59 (IST)

    Arun Jaitley slams Congress over manifesto

    Union minister Arun Jaitley said, "When out of ignorance he makes unimplementable and dangerous promises, I'm sure the country will not be in a mood to oblige him for implementing the kind of promises in this manifesto. Some of the ideas are positively dangerous. Even though there was a drafting committee, It appears that some of the important points have been drafted by the Congress president's friends in the tukde tukde gang when it deals with Jammu and Kashmir."

  • 15:50 (IST)

    Amit Shah slams Congress for promise to review AFSPA

    Addressing a rally in Tuticorin, BJP chief Amit Shah said, "In their recent manifesto, the Congress has proposed to tone down AFSPA in J&K. Do they want to demoralize the forces and their personnel?"

  • 15:42 (IST)

    South India 'feels hostility' from Modi, standing from Wayanad to express support for people: Rahul

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed people in South India "feel hostility" from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he decided to contest from Wayanad in Kerala to send out the message that he stands with them. 
     
    "There is a feeling in South India, a very strong feeling in South India, that they are not being carried (along) by the current government. South India feels hostility from Mr Narendra Modi, they feel that they are not being included in the decisions of the country," Rahul said.  
     
    PTI

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Ex-navy chief Admiral L Ramdas writes to EC over Adityanath's 'Modi ki sena' remark

    Ex-navy chief Admiral L Ramdas has written a letter to the Election Commission on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath referring to the Indian Army as 'Modi ki sena' during a public rally in Ghaziabad on 30 March, ANI reported.

    Earlier, PTI had quoted Ramdas as saying, "The armed forces do not belong to any one individual, they serve the country. Till the polls get over, the Chief Election Commissioner is the boss. I am going to approach the Election Commission in this regard."

  • 15:24 (IST)

    Omar Abdullah, Gautam Gambhi spar on twitter 

    Ex-Cricker and BJP leader Gautam Gambhir engaged in a Twitter war with former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. 

    Omar Monday said his party will strive hard for restoring the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir that could include having a separate 'Sadar-e-Riyasat' (President) and 'Wazir-e-Azam' (Prime Minister). Gambhir slammed these comments advising Omar to take a nap and some strong coffee. Omar hit back with some sage wise in turn. He asked Gambhir to stick to his area of expertise and not lecture him on matters he does not understand.  

  • 15:11 (IST)

    BJP appoints Ananth Kumar's wife as state Karnataka unit president 

    In what appears to be a compromise formula, Tejashwini Ananth Kumar has been appointed the vice-president of state unit after the party denied her ticket from Late Ananth Kumar's traditional constituency Bengaluru South. Instead of Tejashwini, the BJP picked Ananth Kumar's political prodigy Tejaswi Surya, causing some heartburn to the former's supporters. 

    In this backdrop, the new position seems to be a bid to pacify the agitated section and prevent any split in the party just before the elections. 

  • 14:57 (IST)

    Congress defends promise to review AFSPA, says move only after consulting forces

    With the BJP wasting no time in latching on to Congress' promise to review AFSPA, the grand old party has found itself on the defensive moments after the release of its manifesto. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the Congress will only move forward with it after due consultation with the security forces.   

  • 14:40 (IST)

    Congress had Bofors and now BJP has Rafale, says Mayawati in Odisha Rally

    "The Bofors scam during the Congress regime and the Rafale scam during the BJP regime shows that both these parties do not have any interest in strengthening our security forces," Mayawati said while addressing a rally in Bhubaneswar. 

  • 14:36 (IST)

    BJP corners Congress for stating it will review AFSPA in manifesto 

    The Congress party promised in its manifesto to re-look at the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, opening a floodgate of criticism from BJP and its supporters. The act gives security forces immunity from prosecution in  war zone and gives them substantial power to conduct operations in such areas. 

    But the announcement to review the act gave BJP the ammo against party it had been looking for. Here's what the party's I-T cell head said. 

  • 14:19 (IST)

    Shiv Sena, BJP bound by Hindutva, says Uddhav Thackeray 

    Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said his party and the BJP are bound by Hindutva and the two decided to enter into a pre-poll alliance after overcoming differences that soured their ties in the past.

     
    In an interview to Sena MP Sanjay Raut in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', Thackeray said he agreed to the alliance after BJP president Amit Shah came to him twice to sort out the issues. "...You ask me why did we agree to an alliance again. The whole world is a witness. BJP president Amit Shah came to me not once, but twice. And when the alliance was charted out, we put forth the problems of people. Even the chief minister was present when all this happened," Thackeray said.

  • 14:03 (IST)

    'Don't doubt our capability to deliver on promises,' says Sam Pitroda

    Sam Pitroda, Indian Overseas Congress Chief on party's election manifest said, "Don't underestimate our ability to deliver, we'll deliver. We promised we'll deliver. We've delivered in past  and we'll deliver in future. Who created telecom jobs?How did we get from 2 mn telephones to 1.2 bn?"

  • 13:57 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi dares PM to debate on national issues 

    Rahul Gandhi repeated his dare to prime minister Narendra Modi for a debate on issues of national importance. "Who is he scared of, I challenge him to come and have a debate with me on any issue," Rahul said. 

  • 13:46 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi promises to allocate 6% of GDP to education sector

    In Congress manifesto, party president Rahul Gandhi has promised to allocate 6 percent of the GDP to to the education sector and an accessible healthcare setup. 

  • 13:41 (IST)

    Party's manifesto website crashes moments after release

    Congress party's manifesto website has crashed moments after its release. The party said that the issue was caused due to "heavy traffic" and the website would be back up shortly. 

  • 13:30 (IST)

    Congress promises to withdraw Citizenship Bill in current form

    The Congress party has promised to immediately withdraw the widely resented Citizenship Amendment Bill introduced by the BJP-led government against the wishes of the people of the North Eastern States. It also promised to ensure that no citizen of India is denied inclusion in the final National Register of Citizens.

  • 13:29 (IST)

    Gareebi pe waar, 72,000, Congress' new poll slogan 

    Elections more often than not become a war of words, with political leaders harping on catchy wordplay which makes their campaign narratives rememberable for the voters. This year we heard prime minister Narendra Modi latchin on to the 'chowkidar' narrative to put focus on his incorruptible image. "Ek taraf mazboot chowkidar, dusri taraf daagdaro ki bharmaar," the prime minister coud be heard saying at his rallies. 

    The Congress, meanwhile, has come with its own slogan: Gareebi pe waar, 72,000

  • 13:22 (IST)

    Congress promises to review AFSPA, repeal sedition law 

    The Congress manifesto promised a re-look at the the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in order to strike a balance between the powers of security forces and the human rights of citizens and to remove immunity for enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture. The party also promised to repeal the sedition law stating that it has become redundant. 

  • 13:15 (IST)

    Freedom vs divisiveness, Congress manifesto sets narrative for 2019 polls

    "Will India be a free and democratic country and will the Indian people be free from fear, free to live and work and pray and eat and love and marry according to their wishes, free from poverty and free to pursue their ambitions? Or will India be governed by a pernicious ideology that will trample upon people’s rights, institutions, conventions and the healthy differences that are the essence of a multi-cultural country?" the party's manifesto stated. 

  • 13:13 (IST)

    'Why is Modi afraid of facing the media,' says Rahul Gandhi

    Speaking to reporters, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "You all drill me with questions but are afraid of taking on Modi ji. Why don't you ask him some questions?"

    "He has never ever addressed a press conference so far, why don't you ask him why is he so afraid of talking to media," Gandhi said. 

  • 13:09 (IST)

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi promises 150 days of employment under MGNREGA 

    "PM had spoken about MGNREGA. He mocked and said it is a bogus and useless scheme. Today everyone knows how much it helped the country. So now we want to guarantee jobs for 150 days, instead of 100 days, under the scheme," Rahul Gandhi said. 

  • 13:04 (IST)

    Here's the Congress party's manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha polls 

  • 13:01 (IST)

    PM can't hide behind hollow narratives, says Rahul Gandhi 

    When asked about his decision to contest from a smaller seat Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi said that the narrative has been set and it is about  the real issues like unemployment, GST and healthcare. "The prime minister is trying to hide behind hollow narratives, but he can't do that anymore." 

  • 12:55 (IST)

    Wanted manifesto to reflect the voice of the people: Rahul Gandhi

    Rahul Gandhi said that he had instructed Congress manifesto committee to not put any lies in the manifesto unlike what the BJP does. "When we started the process for drafting the Congress manifesto one year ago, my first instruction to them was that don't make it behind closed doors and secondly, don't put anything that is a lie in it."   

    "I don't want a single thing in the manifesto that is a lie because we hear the PM speak a lie every day,"  said Gandhi.

  • 12:48 (IST)

    Congress promises separate agrarian budget in poll manifesto 

    Rahul Gandhi has said that the Congress, if voted to power, will start a separate agrarian Budget. He claimed that the party will ensure that non-payment of loans by farmers is no longer deemed a criminal offense. 

  • 12:42 (IST)

    Sonia, Rahul Gandhi  unveil Congress manifesto 

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Manmohan Singh unveil poll document at the AICC headquarter. The theme of the document is "marrying wealth to welfare". 

  • 12:37 (IST)

    Marrying welfare to wealth, Congress manifesto theme this election  

    Congress released its manifesto claiming that the theme of the election document was marrying welfare to wealth. He said that apart from wealth creation and economic boost, the manifesto will focus on three main issues: unemployment, women's security, and agrarian crisis. Chidambaram said that the manifesto will be a guiding document for governnance. 

  • 12:32 (IST)

    Congress Manifesto puts farmers, youth, and women at forefront 

    P Chidambaram said that the COngress manifesto tries to encapsulate aspirations of farmers, youths, minorities, women security. “You will find there is enough in the manifesto which addresses the concerns of Dalits, youths, minority, the state of healthcare and education and that concerns the internal and national security.”

  • 12:27 (IST)

    Party claims it held consultations at 60 locations, opened online forums to draft document

    The Congress said it drafted its manifesto only after incorporating ideas and hopes of millions of Indians. Rajeev Gowda said that the party held discussions at at least 60 locations at around 60 locations around India. He also claimed that the party reached out to around 3 lakh NRI's before drafting the manifeso.  

  • 12:22 (IST)

    Congress promises are like oaths, says Randeep SIngh Surjewala 

    During the launch event of Congress manifesto, party spokesperson   Randeep Singh Surjewala said that a promise made by the Congress was as good as an oath. The party revealed its manifesto. 

  • 12:18 (IST)

    Congress manifesto promises detailed roadmap to employment

    In a video preview of their manifesto, Congress party has mentioned social security for poor, a detailed and effective plan for reducing unemployment. The party has also promised to probe the Rafale jets

  • 12:02 (IST)

    Sam Pitroda spotted at AICC headquarters ahead of Congress manifesto announcement 

    Congress leader Sam Pitroda was spotted at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi ahead of the party's presser announcing its manifesto. He was recently in the midst of a controversy for allegedly trivializing the Pulwama attack, and asking questions.  

  • 11:57 (IST)

    Narendra Modi exhorts crowd to chant 'Modi', 'Modi' at Kalahandi rally

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is addressing a rally in Kalahandi in Odisha, asked the crowd whether they were benefiting from the central government schemes. Modi recalled each social welfare scheme implemented under his government and asked people to tell him who made it possible. The crowds responded with the chants of 'Modi, Modi."

    The prime minister, however, in the end said that all this was not just because of him but because of the power in people's vote. 

  • 11:49 (IST)

    Congress ally makes sexist comment against Smriti Irani

    People's Republican Party leader Jayadeep Kawade made a sexist barb against Union Minister Smriti Irani, who is contesting elections from Amethi against Rahul Gandhi. 

    Commenting on Irani's bindi Kawade has said that bigger the size a woman's bindi the more number of husbands she has had. Apart from the bizarre lack of any logical connect, Kawade's comment was also in extremely bad taste. Irani is yet to react to the issue. 

  • 11:31 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi's tweets indicator of content in party's manifesto, say reports

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi's tweets since 25 March could be an indication of the party's anticipated manifesto, reports speculated on Tuesday. "Congress is likely to announce 'Mega Doles' this elections season," The Economic Times reported.

Lok Sabha Election 2019 Latest Updates: The battle of Bengal is all set to heat up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee kickstarting their campaign on Wednesday in the state that sends third largest number of Lok Sabha members to Parliament. While Modi will address a rally at Siliguri, Banerjee​ will hold her first public meeting for the general elections in the state at Dinhata, both in north Bengal.

AICC general-secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to accompany Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Wayanad in Kerala for filing of his nomination from the parliamentary constituency. Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination from Wayanad on 4 April.

Hitting out at Arun Jaitley over his remarks on the Congress manifesto, P Chidambaram said, "I can say that it (promises in manifesto) is unimplementable by a BJP government. But why do you think it can't be done by a future government? Congress sets ambitious goals, but these are achievable with wise and competent government."

Addressing a press conference, Union minister Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Congress for promising to review AFSPA in its manifesto. “The dilution of AFPSA was opposed by Congress and now the current leadership is now advocating for it. It will empower terrorists and their supporters," Jaitley said.

The Election Commission writes to President Ram Nath Kovind to bring it to his notice that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh's remark that Narendra Modi should be re-elected as the Prime Minister is violative of the Model Code of Conduct

The Congress manifesto promised a re-look at the the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in order to strike a balance between the powers of security forces and the human rights of citizens and to remove immunity for enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture. The party also promised to repeal the sedition law stating that it has become redundant.

Congress party's manifesto website has crashed moments after its release. The party said that the issue was caused due to "heavy traffic" and the website would be back up shortly.

Rahul Gandhi said that the narrative has been set and it is about the real issues like unemployment, GST and healthcare. "The prime minister is trying to hide behind hollow narratives, but he can't do that anymore."

Rahul Gandhi said that he had instructed Congress manifesto committee to not put any lies in the manifesto unlike what the BJP does. "When we started the process for drafting the Congress manifesto one year ago, my first instruction to them was that don't make it behind closed doors and secondly, don't put anything that is a lie in it."  

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh unveil poll document at the AICC headquarter. 

P Chidambaram said that the COngress manifesto tries to encapsulate aspirations of farmers, youths, minorities, women security.

In a video preview of their manifesto, Congress party has mentioned social security for poor, a detailed and effective plan for reducing unemployment. The party has also promised to probe the Rafale jets

Amid speculation and anticipation regarding the Congress' manifesto for the crucial Lok Sabha election, Congress president Rahul Gandhi's tweets are an indicator of content in party's manifesto, The Economic Times reported.

Rahul tweets since 25 March could be an indication of the party's anticipated manifesto, reports speculated on Tuesday. "Congress is likely to announce 'Mega Doles' this elections season," the report said.

The Congress on Tuesday said that the Rafale inquiry is part of the party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha election. Bhalchandra Mungekar, member of Congress party's manifesto committee on Tuesday said, "When we will come to power, on the first day we will initiate an inquiry into Rafale deal and we have included this in the manifesto."

The Supreme Court has declined to hear newly-joined Congress leader Hardik Patel's plea seeking a stay on his conviction. Since the last date of filing nomination for the Lok Sabha election is on Thursday, the apex court's decision might mean Patel may not be able to contest the election.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is planning to chair a high-level meeting with party leaders PC Chacko and Sheila Dikshit over the possible alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Lok Sabha election in Delhi. An announcement of the final decision is likely, reports said.

The party has been ambiguous over this issue over the past week, even as Arvind Kejriwal on Monday stated that Rahul had "refused" the alliance with AAP.

The much-debated Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) or Minimum Income Support Programme (MISP), which was announced by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in March.

According to reports, it is a scheme to "provide economic justice to the poorest citizens". The basic element of the scheme, according to a press release by the party, is that every year, Rs 72,000 will be transferred to the poorest 20 percent families in India. This translates to Rs 6,000 per month for 5 crore families/

"It will also serve the additional purpose of ‘remonetisation’ or ‘note wapsi’ of the Indian economy, which was badly hit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s destructive demonetisation," the release said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address an election rally at Bhawanipatna, the district headquarter of Kalahandi district in western Odisha. From there, he will travel to Ballopur village in Bihar's Jamui district for a rally and then to Gaya's Gandhi Maidan, where he and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will address another rally.

BJP national president Amit Shah will also hold public meetings on Tuesday, at Thoothukudi, Sivaganga and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Later in the evening, he and the BJP's Bengaluru South candidate Tejaswi Surya will hold a joint road show in Bengaluru.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yodi Adityanath will interact with nearly 10,000 youngsters in Gorakhpur as part of the party's Yuva Sammelan.

Meanwhile, the Congress is likely to release its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday. The manifesto document will be released by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and all top party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, will be present at the party's Akbar Road headquarters.

Rahul has said that the manifesto will reflect the people's voice and not just one man's view, while making a clear reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has also said the 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.

The Congress document is the result of extensive nationwide consultations and it will be a very "powerful" document aimed at redressing key challenges facing the nation, Rahul said.

Congress had initiated a consultation process across the country and many of its top leaders had interacted with a host of people from different sections to seek their views on their aspirations from the party. The party's manifesto committee was headed by former finance minister P Chidambaram.

The Congress on Monday also accused Modi of dividing the country on the basis of religion and culture and demanded his apology even as it asked the Election Commission (EC) to take "decisive action" against him for violating the law. The Opposition party also accused Modi of insulting democracy by trying to segment Indians in terms of castes and communities.

Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala charged the prime minister with indulging in "cheap politics by sowing the seeds of hatred" among people and alleged that Modi had now gone to the extent of insulting India's composite culture and the sacrifice of the people of south India during the freedom struggle.

Earlier in the day, slamming the Congress over the "Hindu terror" metaphor, Modi charged the Opposition party with insulting the "peace-loving" followers of the religion by linking them to terrorism.

The Hindus had woken up and the country had decided to "punish" the Congress, the prime minister said at a public rally in Maharashtra's Wardha, adding that the opposition party was scared to field its leaders from constituencies where the majority community dominated in terms of the voter-base, without naming Rahul.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Apr 02, 2019 18:12:43 IST

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