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.