Lok Sabha Election Campaign LIVE Updates: Gauri Lankesh's sister warns against voting for Tejaswi Surya, who 'defended' journalist's murderers

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Lok Sabha Election Campaign LIVE Updates: Gauri Lankesh's sister warns against voting for Tejaswi Surya, who 'defended' journalist's murderers
  • 17:12 (IST)

    Congress pushes its berozgaar poll plank

    On a day when the BJP has fielded its two biggest faces, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi, in the west and east of the country, the Congress has repeated its counter to the chowkidar catchphrase of the BJP's with the berozgaar refrain.

  • 16:58 (IST)

    TMC voices support for DMK over I-T raids

    The Trinamool Congress spoke out on Saturday in support of DMK, over I-T raids being conducted at its leaders' houses. "After Bengal, Delhi, UP, Andhra, Bihar, and Karnataka, the BJP government is now harassing more political opponents," the Mamata Banerjee-led party has said.

    Officials of the Income Tax department and Election Commission have been conducting raids since Friday night at DMK treasurer Durai Murugan’s residence in Vellore, officials said on Saturday.

  • 16:38 (IST)

    Alliance is strong and will win Lok Sabha polls: Uddhav

    Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray told ANI in Ahmedabad that he has faith in the alliance and his presence at the BJP and Shiv Sena's mega show of strength was only natural.

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Gauri Lankesh's sister requests people to think before voting for man who defended her murderers 

    Kavitha Lankesh, the sister of journalist Gauri Lankesh who was shot by rightwing assassins in 2017, sent out an impassioned tweet on Saturday, asking people of Bengaluru not to vote for polarising candidates such as Bengaluru South's BJP nominee Tejaswi Surya, who had allegedly defended her sister's murderers. 

  • 15:51 (IST)

    Modi repeats key points of Arunachal and Dibrugarh rallies in Gohpur speech, lists achievements by govt 

    "Today, the poor in Assam are getting pucca houses, poor sisters are getting gas connections and small farmers are getting Rs 6,000 every year," the prime minister said. 

  • 15:39 (IST)

    Modi mentions 'Michel mama, Quattrochi mama' at Gohpur rally, amps scam charge against Congress

    The very people who are protesting against the chowkidar are ones who are opposed to India, the prime minister said at his rally in Assam's Gohpur on Saturday. Modi has essentially repeated the BJP's salient arguments against the Congress, making references to the scams that have come to the fore during the Congress's rule. 

    "Michel mama, Quattrochi mama...do you believe in people who will bring the nation into the nexus of uncles and nephews?" he asked to applauding audiences.

  • 15:34 (IST)

    Congress has duped Assam for 70 years: Modi

    "The youth of Congress have learned from the old how the Congress has duped Assam every time. It has betrayed the confidence of the Assamese population," Modi said.

    "Had it not been for Sardar Patel or Gopinath Bordoloi, Assam would not have been what it is today," he added.

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Can't claim I have completed all the work in 5 years: Modi

    Speaking at his second rally in Assam, at Gohpur, PM Modi said he could not claim that he had done all the work necessary in five years.

    "When those who have ruled for 70 years are not able to make these claims, how can I claim the same? I have come to seek your blessings once again to complete what is left," the prime minister said.

  • 15:25 (IST)

    Modi takes stage at Gohpur in Assam

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is speaking in what is his last rally of the day in Assam, in the state's Gohpur town, on Saturday. He began by invoking Bhupen Hazarika and thanked the audience for turning up in large numbers.

  • 15:14 (IST)

    Giriraj Singh blames Jignesh Mevani for attacks on migrants in Gujarat

    Union minister Giriraj Singh on Saturday trained his guns at Jignesh Mevani, who has been canvassing for his CPI rival Kanhaiya Kumar in Begusarai, blaming the young Dalit leader from Gujarat for the attacks on migrants from Bihar in the western state in 2018.

    "What is this Jignesh Mevani doing here in Begusarai.He was involved in attacks on Biharis who were forcibly driven out of Gujarat. He abetted those responsible for the dishonour that our mothers and sisters had to suffer in that state," tweeted Singh who reached Begusarai on Friday after spending several days in a sulk over not getting a chance to seek re-election from his Nawada seat..

    An indignant Mevani hit back saying he would sue the BJP leader for defamation and alleged that in the backdrop of the "silence" of the ruling BJP in Gujarat, during the anti-migrant violence, Girirajs outbursts were tantamount to "ulta chor kotwal ko daante" (the thief reprimanding the policeman).

    "I am going to lodge a defamation case against Giriraj Singh. He has the nerve to blame me when his party, which is in power in Gujarat, was solely responsible for the unfortunate events that took place there," Mevani told PTI over phone from Begusarai.

  • 15:09 (IST)

    NDA govt is committed to Assam Accord, says Narendra Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted that the NDA government is committed to the Assam Accord and mulling granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities in the state.

    The Assam Accord provides for deportation of all illegal immigrants who entered Assam after March 1971, irrespective of their religion. The Centre is trying its best to implement the Assam Accord that was suspended by the Congress, Modi said.

    "We have made efforts to protect the people of Assam, its culture and interests. The NDA is seriously considering granting ST status to six communities — Tai Ahom, Muttock, Moran, Chutiya, Koch Rajbongshis and the tea tribes," he said.

  • 15:01 (IST)

    Balakot made BJP forget its temple issue: Farooq Abdullah

    National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the BJP, which once had the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as its main issue, has forgotten about it after the air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at terror launch pads in Pakistan. 

    Addressing a public gathering, Abdullah said, “Previously the temple issue was important for them but where it is now? Has Balakot eaten it?”

    ANI

  • 14:49 (IST)

    Modi retweets Lata Mangeshkar's rendition of patriotic song

    "Your affection and blessings are a source of inspiration for me," the prime minister wrote.

  • 14:40 (IST)

    Vasundhara Raje congratulates Amit Shah on filing nomination papers

    Wishes have begun pouring in for BJP chief Amit Shah, on the occasion of the BJP chief filing his nomination papers. One of the first to tweet her wishes to the leader was BJP leader Vasundhara Raje.

  • 14:27 (IST)

    Congress leader refers to Gandhis as 'first family of India'

    Congress leader PC Chacko, while referring to the Gandhi family as India's "first family", opined that the country is obliged to them.

    Speaking to ANI, Chacko on Saturday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a negative opinion regarding India's first family. 

    “Prime Minister Modi has kind of negative opinion for the first family of India, the first family of India is truly the first family of India. India is obliged to them...,”  Chacko said. “The Prime Minister was speaking about India's adventure in space. The fact is, India is India today because of the planning and leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” he said.
     

    Chacko also claimed that Prime Minister Modi is not aware of India's history. “When India became free, what was the situation? (Narendra) Modi doesn't know history. India was made self-sufficient through the green revolution, white revolution. Everything happened during Pandit ji's time (Nehru). Pandit ji's contribution and (Gandhi) family's contribution cannot be erased.”

    ANI
     

  • 14:18 (IST)

    Ballot paper in braille for visually impaired Meghalaya voters
     
    The Election Commission has made arrangements to issue braille-enabled ballot papers at all polling booths in the state, as part of its efforts to ensure wider participation of voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha​ elections, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said.
     
    The EC initiative, a first in Meghalaya, will facilitate more than 800 visually impaired electorates to vote by a secret ballot, he said.
     
    "We are making preparations to make the election more inclusive We have already mapped over 4,500 persons with disabilities to ensure that they get priority at the polling booths," Kharkongor told PTI on Friday.

  • 14:05 (IST)

    Amit Shah files papers at Gandhinagar collectorate

    BJP chief Amit Shah's enormous roadshow from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar has reached the district collector's office. Shah filed his papers in the presence of senior party leaders and ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray.

  • 14:04 (IST)

     
    Non-fixation of minimum wages, closed gardens main poll issues in Bengal, Assam tea belt
     
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at his rally in Dibrugarh, said that the earlier Congress governments have never paid attention to the plight of chaiwalas in West Bengal and Assam and that it took only a chaiwala to understand the problems of tea garden workers. However, a report by PTI non-fixation of minimum wages  for workers and closed tea gardens are the main poll issues in West Bengal's tea belt where the Lok Sabha elections will
    be held in the first two phases.
     
    The tea belt is located in Terai and Dooars region of north Bengal where 3 lakh odd permanent workers are employed in around 300 gardens.
     
    The Terai and Dooars region comprises Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Darjeeling and Coochbehar districts of West Bengal and a part of Assam.  
     
    PTI

  • 13:53 (IST)

    Nishad Party parts ways with SP-BSP-RLD mahagathbandhan, meets Yogi Adityanath

    Barely three days after joining the SP-BSP-RLD mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh, the Nishad Party on Friday sprang a surprise by parting ways with the fledgling anti-BJP alliance and meeting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. There was no immediate word from either side as to what transpired at the meeting between the Nishad Party leaders including its president Sanjay Nishad with Adityanath in Lucknow.

    "The Nishad Party is no more in alliance with the Samajwadi Party," Nikky Nishad alias Riteash Nishad, media in-charge, Nishad Party, told PTI in Gorakhpur.  

    Read the full story here

  • 13:46 (IST)

    PM mentions Assam Accord, garners huge applause

    "We are trying to bring to force the same Assam Accord which the UPA government had kept suspended for the longest time. Assam's six tribes will be given full status soon, we are considering it with full seriousness," said the Prime Minister. 

  • 13:41 (IST)

    Modi keeps wordplay alive, says Congress against chaiwalas in tea hub of Assam

    "Do you want a damdaar sarkar or a daagdaar sarkar," asked the PM while addressing a rally at Dibrugarh. 

    "At first I thought Congress was against one particular chaiwala, but now I realise that from Assam to West Bengal, they are against all chaiwalas and against everyone who makes tea. Only a chaiwala will understand the indifference metted out to makers of the brilliant Assam tea which the whole world drinks," he added.

  • 13:35 (IST)

    Modi hits out at Congress at Dibrugarh, says party has 'lost sleep' over air strikes

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at his second rally of the day in the North East, said at Assam's Dibrugarh that his government has brought electricity to a state where only 40 percent of the houses had electricity in the first 70 years since Independence. He then went on to list all of his government's achievements in the state.

    He added that while Assam was happy with Modi, the only two groups of people who were not happy were Congress and terrorists. "They are losing sleep," he said.

  • 13:28 (IST)

    PM Modi takes stage at Dibrugarh in Assam

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun speaking at Dibrugarh in Assam. "I stand before you with a new promise," he said.

  • 13:24 (IST)

    SP's Gorakhpur, Kanpur candidates belong to Nishad community

    Samajwadi Party has announced its candidates for Gorakhpur and Kanpur Lok Sabha constituencies. Both the candidates belong to Nishad community. reported News18.

    The SP candidate from Gorakhpur is Rambhual Nishad who has been a two-time MLA from Kaudiram Assembly seat which he lost in 2012. Rambhual has been in BSP before, and was also a minister for fisheries department. He is considered a big name in the Nishad community and hails from Badhalganj of Gorakhpur. The Kanpur candidate is Ram Kumar Nishad, who is a lawyer by profession.

  • 13:21 (IST)

    WATCH: Villagers speak of woes with Priyanka Gandhi 

    Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday tweeted a video where she is seen speaking to villagers in an informal meeting. The villagers are seen speaking to her about their dual chowkidar duties and complain that they have no rest, because they need to work very hard. Priyanka, the newly anointed Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh, is touring the state ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

  • 13:18 (IST)

    BJP betrayed Mission Shakti secret, alleges Chidambaram

    Congress, once again on Saturday, hit out at the Modi government for publicising the Mission Shakti missile test. Former finance minister P Chidambaram tweeted on Saturday, saying that the BJP had in fact betrayed a "capability secret".

  • 13:14 (IST)

    WATCH: BJP supporters, workers throng Amit Shah's roadshow

    The BJP's official account on Twitter has uploaded a video of the roadshow of the party's chief Amit Shah. The rally has reached Gandhinagar, from where Shah will file his nomination papers.

  • 13:10 (IST)

    Congress writes to President Ram Nath Kovind over I-T raids on leaders of party, JD(S) in Karnataka

    Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Saturday wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention against the ongoing Income Tax raids against the Congress and JD (S) leaders, terming it as a political vendetta by the BJP against its rivals at the time of elections.

    "We request you to direct the Income Tax department to desist from conducting raids in the interest of free and fair elections," Rao said in the letter. 

    "The ruling party in power at the centre is misusing the office of the Commissioner of Income Tax of Karnataka and Goa circle, whose integrity is doubtful and who is inimically disposed towards Congress and JD(S). The said officer acts as BJP agent by his candid actions," he wrote. 

    ANI

  • 13:08 (IST)

    Sonakshi Sinha backs father Shatrughan's decision to join Congress

    Backing her father Shatrughan Sinha's decision to leave BJP, Bollywood actor Sonakshi Sinha has said he should have taken the step long ago as an entire group of leaders, including LK Advani, has not been given the respect it deserved. 

    She said that having been a member of the party since the time of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani, her father had a lot of respect within BJP.

    “(But now) I feel the entire group hasn't been given the respect it deserved. I think he has done it a bit too late. He should've done it a long back," she said.

    "If you are not happy with what is happening at a place with which you are associated, then there is a need to bring a change. And the same he did. I hope in his new association with Congress, he will be able to do a lot of good work and not feel suppressed," the actor told reporters.

    ANI

  • 13:05 (IST)

    EC serves notices to Railways and Civil Aviation ministries over MCC violation

    Election Commission of India (ECI) has served notices to the Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Civil Aviation regarding two different complaints raised regarding the alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

    In a notice to the Ministry of Railways in connection with a viral picture of tea being served in Shatabdi train in 'Main bhi Chowkidar' cups, the Commission has asked Ministry to file a reply by Saturday.

    The ECI has also sent a notice to Ministry of Civil Aviation, seeking a reply on Madurai Airport matter where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's picture was seen on boarding passes. The Civil Aviation Ministry too has been asked to file a reply by Saturday.

    ANI

  • 13:03 (IST)

    Days after raids on JD(S) leader, I-T sleuths arrive at DMK treasurer's residence

    Members of a flying squad involved in election surveillance and officers of the income tax department are conducting raids at three places across in Vellore, including the residence of senior leader and DMK treasurer Durai Murugan. Murugan’s son Kathir Anand is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Vellore constituency.

    Speaking to ANI, Murugan said, “It's a wrong calculation that by ordering I-T raids on us we would raise 'Modi jai' slogan, it is a democratic country. This will not bring Modi any success in politics, it will rather bring only blame and criticism, it is a conspiracy.”

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Development important, but national security even more so: Amit Shah

    BJP president Amit Shah, on his way to filing nomination papers, told News18 that while development is important, national security is even more so at this point.

    This marks a telling shift from the party's 2014 poll plank, which focused wholly on development and centred upon the catchphrase sabka saath, sabka vikaas. 

  • 12:56 (IST)

    Congress bashes MUDRA bank: What employment can a person generate with this amount?

    The Congress on Saturday slammed the alleged inefficiency of the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Bank. "Ninety percent of loans issued under the scheme is barely ₹25,000. What employment can a person generate with this amount?" party leader Jairam Ramesh asked. 

  • 12:44 (IST)

    BJP Odisha Assembly candidate joins BJD

    BJP candidate for Anandpur Assembly constituency, Bhagirathi Sethi on Friday joined the Biju Janta Dal (BJD) in presence of party chief Naveen Patnaik.
     

    Sethi was elected to the Odisha assembly from Anandpur in 2009 on a BJD ticket, however, the party in 2014 replaced him with Mayadhar Jena due to which he had resigned from the Patnaik led the party and joined BJP. After rejoining BJD Sethi said, "I decided to quit BJP as there were a lot of internal fights and conspiracies against me."

    ANI

  • 12:30 (IST)

    NCP pokes fun at Amit Shah, tweets video of his granddaughter refusing to wear BJP hat

    The Nationalist Congress Party tweeted out a video from BJP president Amit Shah's publicised roadshow on Saturday. In the video, a child (identified in the NCP tweet as Shah's granddaughter) is seen refusing to put on a hat while on Shah's lap. Sharad Pawar's party said even children, who are pure, know better than to wear the BJP's hat and would prefer their own instead.

  • 12:26 (IST)

    33 withdraw nomination in Karnataka, 241 left in fray for 18 April polls
     
    A total of 241 candidates are left in the fray in Karnataka's 14 Lok Sabha constituencies that will go to polls in the first phase on 18 April, poll officials said late on Friday night.  
     
    A total of 33 candidates withdrew their nomination papers on the last day on Friday.  
     
    At 31, the Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency has the maximum candidates while Hassan has the least at six.   Prominent among those in the race in the first phase include former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda (Tumkur) and his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Hassan and Mandya respectively. 
     
    PTI

  • 12:23 (IST)

    BJP Minister Anil Sharma not to campaign against son fighting on Congress ticket
     
    Power minister of the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh, Anil Sharma, has said that he will not campaign against his son Aashray Sharma, who has been declared the Congress candidate in Mandi.
     
    A day after allocation of Congress ticket to Aashray Sharma from Mandi parliamentary seat, Anil Sharma told PTI that he would not campaign against his son.
     
    Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma is the BJP MLA from Mandi Assembly segment which along with 16 other Assembly segments falls under Mandi parliamentary
    segment. 
     
    As an elected BJP legislator from an assembly segment falling under the Mandi parliamentary seat, he would have been expected to campaign in favour of BJP candidate sitting MP Ramswroop Sharma and against Congress candidate Aashray Sharma.
     
    PTI

  • 12:15 (IST)

    Bhalai vs Malai: Narendra Modi remains unrelenting in wordplay

    It is interesting to note how Narendra Modi's predilection for wordplay has endured well into this election season. 

    At Arunachal Pradesh's West Siang, he said, "We work for your 'bhalai' but they work for their 'malai' .. you have said goodbye to them. Now, don't let them enter back in."

  • 12:09 (IST)

    Amit Shah's son Jay makes appearance at father's roadshow

    BJP president Amit Shah's son Jay is also a part of his father's roadshow. Reports say Shah will file his nomination at 1.30 pm.

  • 11:58 (IST)

    People will make fun of these clothes, for me they are a symbol of Arunachal's culture: Modi

    "There are people who make fun of such clothes. They say, look Modi has worn such clothes. These may be clothes for them, but for me they are a measure of Arunachal's culture," says Modi, pre-empting any conversation on his clothing.

  • 11:53 (IST)

    Congress speaks same language as terrorists: Modi 

    "When our country does something good, when it achieves something, are you not proud? These leaders are not. When India achieved the surgical strike, these leaders' faces fell. They speak the same language of the terrorists," Modi said, making a reference to the Congress.

    "These leaders have no one in India but Pakistan has been singing their praises. Make them pay," he said in Arunachal.

  • 11:50 (IST)

    Modi hits out at Congress once again, repeats corruption claim

    "In the name of running a newspaper, the Opposition's leaders have been looting the government. Here, local Opposition leaders steal from the plates of the poor, inspired by their leaders in Delhi. These are the very leaders who hit out at the Chowkidar. They think neither of you, nor of the youth," Modi said in Arunachal.

  • 11:44 (IST)

    Amit Shah makes way to Gandhinagar

    While Narendra Modi speaks at Arunachal, his trusted lieutenant Amit Shah is currently making his way towards Gandhinagar in a roadshow.

  • 11:40 (IST)

    Modi lists out his government's achievements in Arunachal

    "We have given 50,000 households in the state electricity connections for the first time and 40,000 women received gas connections for the first time," he said.

    He also highlighted the first ever Sainik School in the state, which was set up in his regime.

  • 11:36 (IST)

    Narendra Modi addresses Arunachal rally

    As BJP chief Amit Shah's rally takes off in Ahmedabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun speaking at the ITBP grounds of West Siang in Arunachal Pradesh. 

  • 11:29 (IST)

    Local worker who stuck party posters became chief of world's largest party: This happens only in BJP, asserts Amit Shah

    Recounting his long journey in the BJP, Amit Shah said that he started working for the party as a booth-level worker in 1982. And from there, from sticking political posters and painting graffiti, he has now become the party's national president. "This happens only in BJP," Shah said. 

  • 11:28 (IST)

    Shah repeats 'national security' argument, to now proceed to file nomination

    In what was a remarkably short speech, Amit Shah touched upon the BJP's salient poll plank this season, the importance of national security. Pronouncing that the tenets taught by the likes of Deen Dayal Upadhyay are unassailable, Amit Shah reiterated that the Balakot air strikes have helped ensure the safety of the nation. 

    He will now proceed to file his nomination papers in a roadshow. 

  • 11:24 (IST)

    Fill Narendra Modi's bag with all 26 seats of Gujarat, urges Shah

    "If there is one leader who has ensured that the safety of the nation is maintained, it is Narendra Modi. Gujarat must fill Narendra Modi's bag with all 26 seats of the state. Make sure your own son returns to power," Shah implored. 

  • 11:22 (IST)

    Shah not a novice in LK Advani's bastion, Gandhinagar 

    Shah's nomination from the Gandhinagar seat will mark a generational shift in the BJP as this seat was held by LK Advani for six terms. The state BJP feels that Shah's nomination will energise the party in Gujarat and help it win all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

    However, Shah is not a novice in the region. He has represented various regions in the seat as an MLA at least 5 times in the Gujarat Assembly. As an MLA, Shah had earlier represented Sarkhej constituency. After delimitation, he was an MLA from Naranpura constituency. Both the seats were under Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. 

  • 11:21 (IST)

    Whatever I have learnt is from the BJP: Amit Shah

    Speaking at the BJP's roadshow before he files his nominations from the Gandhinagar constituency, BJP chief Amit Shah said on Saturday that if the BJP is taken out of his life, it would be reduced to nothing. "All that I have, all that I have learnt and all that I wish to do is associated with the BJP," he said. 

    Listing the number of leaders from the BJP, like LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who have won from the Gandhinagar seat, Shah also went on to list the characteristics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that make it 'imperative for him to be voted back to power.'

Election Campaign 2019 LATEST updates: Kavitha Lankesh, the sister of journalist Gauri Lankesh who was shot by rightwing assassins in 2017, sent out an impassioned tweet on Saturday, asking people of Bengaluru not to vote for polarising candidates such as Bengaluru South's BJP nominee Tejaswi Surya, who had allegedly defended her sister's murderers.

The very people who are protesting against the chowkidar are ones who are opposed to India, the prime minister said at his rally in Assam's Gohpur on Saturday. Modi has essentially repeated the BJP's salient arguments against the Congress, making references to the scams that have come to the fore during the Congress's rule.

"Michel mama, Quattrochi mama...do you believe in people who will bring the nation into the nexus of uncles and nephews?" he asked to applauding audiences.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is speaking in what is his last rally of the day in Assam, in the state's Gohpur town, on Saturday. He began by invoking Bhupen Hazarika and thanked the audience for turning up in large numbers.

Congress leader PC Chacko referred to the Gandhi family as the "first family of India" and said that the whole country is obliged to them. Speaking to ANI, Chacko on Saturday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a negative opinion regarding "India's first family". propagating the BJP's argument that the Congress relies heavily on dynasty.

BJP chief Amit Shah's enormous roadshow from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar has reached the district collector's office. Shah filed his papers in the presence of senior party leaders and ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at his second rally of the day in the North East, said at Assam's Dibrugarh, a tea hub, that the Congress was against chaiwalas. "At first I thought Congress was against one particular chaiwala, but now I realise that from Assam to West Bengal, they are against all chaiwalas and against everyone who makes tea. Only a chaiwala will understand the indifference metted out to makers of the brilliant Assam tea which the whole world drinks," he added.

He had earlier said his government has brought electricity to a state where only 40 percent of the houses had electricity in the first 70 years since Independence. He then went on to list all of his government's achievements in the state.

BJP president Amit Shah, on his way to filing nomination papers, told News18 that while development is important, national security is even more so at this point. This marks a telling shift from the party's 2014 poll plank, which focused wholly on development and centred upon the catchphrase sabka saath, sabka vikaas. 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and several other leaders of the NDA alliance are headed towards Gandhinagar where Shah will file his nomination papers. The leaders spoke at Ahmedabad first. Several BJP workers and supporters have been flanking their open-topped bus and can be seen walking with the politicians.

It is interesting to note how Narendra Modi's predilection for wordplay has endured well into this election season. At Arunachal Pradesh's West Siang, he said, "We work for your 'bhalai' but they work for their 'malai' ...you have said goodbye to them. Now, don't let them enter back in."

Modi said the naamdars or dynasts have been speaking in the same language as the terrorists. "These leaders have no one in India but Pakistan has been singing their praises. Make them pay," he said.

Modi began by listing out the various achievements of his and the Pema Khandu government in the state. He said the Opposition has stolen from the plates of the poor.

Recounting his long journey in the BJP, Amit Shah said that he started working for the party as a booth-level worker in 1982. And from there, from sticking political posters and painting graffiti, he has now become the party's national president. "This happens only in BJP," Shah said.

Canvassing in Ahmedabad, Rajnath Singh on Saturday briefly mentioned Lal Krishna Advani who represented the Gandhinagar seat for a long time. Singh said that the mantle was taken over by Amit Shah who will now contest from the prestigious seat, calling Shah the true successor of the BJP stalwart.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari and leaders of BJP's allies such as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan will be present during party president Amit Shah's filing of nomination from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat on Saturday.

The presence of the top BJP-led NDA brass at the event is being seen by observers as a show of support for Shah and an acknowledgement of him being the second most powerful leader in the alliance after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shah is replacing BJP veteran LK Advani, who had been winning uninterrupted from Gandhinagar since 1998.

Leaders of BJP's allies and Union ministers, including Singh and Gadkari, are scheduled to accompany Shah during filing of his nomination papers, BJP's Gujarat unit president Jitu Vaghani said on Friday. All these leaders are likely to accompany him in a road-show in Ahmedabad on Saturday, before filing of the nomination.

Sharing the details about the event, Vaghani said the four-kilometre-long road-show would start from Sardar Patel Statue in the Naranpura area of Ahmedabad and will culminate at Patidar Chowk in the Ghatlodia area. Party workers would greet Shah by forming a human chain on the road in Gandhinagar, he said.

"Shah would also address people before starting his road-show in the presence of our two union ministers and NDA leaders Badal and Thackeray. Shah may land in Gujarat tonight and the road-show would begin at 9 am tomorrow," Vaghani said. From Patidar Chowk, Shah would head to Gandhinagar in his car to file his nomination papers.

Shah, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, has been nominated by the BJP for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat. Last date for filing nominations is April 4. Polling for all the 26 seats of Gujarat will take place on 23 April.

Shah on Friday, in a rally in West Bengal said his party will replicate the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in the state on coming to power at the Centre to "throw out" infiltrators. He, however, made it clear that Hindu refugees will not be touched.

Kicking off the BJP poll campaign in the state, Shah took a swipe at the ruling TMC accusing it of trying to impose Urdu in schools and on Hindu population of the state and urged the people to vote for his party.

"We will also bring in NRC in Bengal and throw out all infiltrators. We will also ensure that the Hindu refugees are not touched. They are very much a part of our country and they will live in this country," Shah said. The NRC is a document containing names of all genuine Indian citizens in Assam.

It, however, became a hugely contentious issue after the complete draft, released last year, omitted the names of around 40 lakh people who have been residing in the state for several decades. The BJP president also said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are all about restoring democracy in the TMC-ruled West Bengal.

"The TMC stands for three Ts -Trinamool, toll and tax. Under the TMC government, syndicates (groups of extortionists) are flourishing in Bengal," he claimed.

Updated Date: Mar 30, 2019 17:12:37 IST