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Narendra Modi in Jammu; election campaign updates: PM says mahamilawati leaders bound to face 'mahagirawat'

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Narendra Modi in Jammu; election campaign updates: PM says mahamilawati leaders bound to face 'mahagirawat'
  • 18:33 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Congress workers stage demonstration demanding ticket for Jitin Prasada from Dhaurahra 

    In Dhaurahra, Congress workers staged a demostraction demnanding Jitin Prasad be giving ticket from the constituency. Prasada responded to it, saying, "I am a disciplined soldier of the party and will do what I am told."

  • 18:29 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Narendra Modi's 'panchdhara' of development

    Speaking on development, Narendra Modi said, "Your chowkidaar (watchman) is committed to ensuring the fulfillment of the five points of development: Education for children, income for youth, medicine for the old, irrigation for farmers, and voice of the public."

  • 18:12 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Narendra Modi attacks Congress over Sam Pitroda's remarks

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "The guru of Congress naamdar (Sam Pitroda, Rahul Gandhi's media advisor), who accompanies Rahul on foreign trips, gave clean-chit to terrorists and Pakistan on television. Jab guru hi aisa hoga to chele kaise honge, aur chele ke sathi kaise honge. (When the guru is of such kind, then how would his followers be?)"

  • 18:10 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi brings back 'mahamilawati' jibe for Opposition grand alliance

    Speaking at Akhnoor in Jammu, Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition grand alliance. "If the people of Jammu have faith in chowkidaar, then note it down that the mahamilawati leaders are bound to face mahagirawat (great destruction)," he said.

  • 17:58 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Congress, NC, PDP are in favour of terrorism in Kashmir, says Modi

    Narendra Modi accused the Congress, National Conference and PDP of praising the people who promote terrorism in the Valley. "They have a problem in saying 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' , but they are proud to hail those who promote terrorism," he said. He also blamed the three parties of stalling developmental projects in state. 

  • 17:52 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | In Jammu, Narendra Modi slams Congress for demanding proof of Balakot strike

    peaking at Akhnoor in Jammu, Narendra Modi lashed out at the Congress for demanding proof of Balakot air strike. "Amid the call to end terrorism, what has happened to the Congress and its allies. I simply don't understand that is it the same Congress which belong to Sardar Patel. I don't understand is it the same Congress in which Subhash Chandra Bose had dreamed of an independent India? My soul says it's not the same Congress. What is your opinion?"

    He further said, "After the strike in Balakot, the Congress leaders have been speaking such things that are not in the favour of the country. How can an individual find anything acceptable that is being lauded in Pakistan. They're asking for proof of the attacks, " he said.

  • 17:38 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Narendra Modi addresses rally in Jammu

    Addressing a rally in Jammu, Narendra Modi said that it was an honour that he got to visit Jammu on the first day of his election campaign and that he was able to seek blessings of Vaishno Devi.

  • 17:34 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Amit Shah's 'ilu-ilu' jibe at Tarun Gogoi and AIUDF's Badruddin Ajmal

    Addressing a rally in Assam's Teok, BJP chief Amir Shah said, "Din mein to Congress ke Gogoi ji aur Ajmal (AIUDF Cheif Badruddin Ajmal) aamne saamne chunaav ladte hain. Magar jab raat hoti hai, dono ke beech mein ilu-ilu chalu ho jata hai (During the day, Congress' Tarun Gogoi and AIUDF's Badruddin Ajmal fiercely contest elections, but in the night, the two share a friendly relationship)."

  • 17:23 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Tej Pratap Yadav resigns as chief of RJD's student wing

    Lalu Prasad's son Tej Pratap Yadav tweeted that he has resigned as the chief of RJD's student wing.

  • 17:18 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Samajwadi Party releases list of five candidates

    According to Samajwadi Party's new list, Nasir Qureshi will contest from Moradabad, Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar from Bareily,Pooja Pal from Unnao, Shyam Sunder Yadav from Jhansi and Nathuni Prasad Kushwaha from Kushinagar. 

  • 17:15 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | BJP's Prakash Babu remanded to 14-day judicial custody in connection with Sabarimala violence

    According to ANI, BJP's Kozhikode Lok Sabha candidate Prakash Babu has been remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a Pathanamthitta court in connection with the violence in Sabarimala.

  • 17:12 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | NCP to contest on all 26 seats in Gujarat, reports ANI

    According to reports, an alliance between the Congress and the NCP is unlikely in Gujarat. The NCP also released its list of star campaigners on Thursday, featuring prominent names like Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, and Supriya Sule..

  • 17:05 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Amit Shah targets Manmohan Singh at Assam rally 

    "Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was an MP for 20 years from Assam. However, the Congress failed to do any development for the region," Amit Shah said while addressing a rally in Assam's Teok.

    Attacking the Opposition grand alliance, he said, "The Opposition that doesn't have a prime minister candidate or a policy can't develop the country or work for the welfare of the people."

  • 16:49 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Hearing 'fir ek bar, Modi sarkar' everywhere I go, says Amit Shah in Teok

    Addressing a rally in Assam's Teok, BJP chief Amit Shah claimed that he is hearing only slogans for Narendra Modi government's re-election these days. "Wherever I go, I'm hearing the same slogan: "Fir ek bar, Modi Sarkar (Once again, Modi government)."

    Asserting that the NDA government has worked for development in every field, Shah said, "To save Assam, infiltration has to be stopped and the Congress cannot do this work."

  • 16:41 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | NCW issues notice to SP leader Firoz Khan over remark on Jaya Prada

    The National Commission for Women has issued a notice to Samajwadi Party leader Firoz Khan over his remark on BJP Rampur candidate Jaya Prada. Khan on Thursday stirred a controversy by saying people of Rampur will get entertained in the ensuing polls, where Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan will face BJP's newly-inducted member Jaya Prada. "Evenings in Rampur will now become more vibrant during elections. Azam Khan has done enough for the people of Rampur, so they will surely vote for him. But they will leave no stone unturned in getting entertained during this one-off opportunity."

    He further said, "I was once travelling in a bus while your vehicle was passing by. There was a traffic jam, so I got off the bus thinking maybe you would do a dance number or two to clear the jam."

  • 16:31 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Kumaraswamy, Parameshwara hold protest over raids on CS Puttaraju's house

    Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, his deputy G Parameshwara, and other senior Congress-JD(S) coalition leaders are currently protesting outside I-T office against raids at residence of Karnataka minister CS Puttaraju in Mandya.

    ANI quoted Kumaraswamy as saying, "I-T department should work independently, but it's working under the instructions of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. After the BJP came to power, it (the situation) has become like a dictatorship. Do you think the I-T director in Bengaluru is innocent? I also have lot of records."

  • 16:22 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | RJD's Girinath Singh joins BJP

    RJD leader Girinath Singh joined the BJP in presence of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

  • 16:21 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | I'm not in race to be PM, says Chandrababu Naidu 
    In an interview, TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said, "I am not a contender for prime minister's post. I am being targeted by the BJP government through YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy.

    "Jaganmohan is a criminal. He is a cheat. BJP is supporting Jagan as they feel he will support them post polls. There is a hidden nexus between them. Both TRS and YSRCP are with the BJP... I am not in the race to be the next prime minister, but we will all sit together post polls and work out a solution. Democratic compulsions far bigger today than political compulsions.

    "There are two sets of parties today. Those who are neutral and those who are anti-BJP. I am anti-BJP, while Naveen Patnaik, according to me, is neutral. On 23 May (counting day), there will be a new prime minister. I can assure that."

    (Input courtesy: CNN-News18, Delhi)

  • 16:03 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | BJD writes to Bhubaneswar CEO over alleged MCC violation by BJP

    Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has written to Chief Electoral Officer of Bhubaneswar demanding action against BJP for alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct 'for surrogate advertising through a TV serial broadcast on a TV channel in which the characters talk about Atal Pension Yojana, ANI reported.

  • 15:44 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Amit Shah promises to 'remove' infiltrators from Assam

    "If Modi ji is elected again we will ensure every infiltrator is removed from Assam," Amit Shah said at his Assam rally on Thursday. The BJP has run into choppy waters in Assam over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has seen widespread protests, and a firm promise by the BJP chief is likely to help the party at this point.

  • 15:34 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Amit Shah speaks on Modi government's 'achievements' at Kaliabor in Assam

    Speaking at a campaign rally at Kaliabor in Assam, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday recited a list of the Narendra Modi government's achievements, inlcuding the construction of the Bogibeel bridge. 

    "The Modi government had allocated Rs 2.94 lakh crore for the development of Assam," he said.

  • 15:21 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Shatrughan Sinha to join Congress on 6 April

    On a day when it was widely expected that Shatrughan Sinha will join the Congress, it was announced by the party that he will join the party on 6 April. The actor-turned-politician has, however, met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

  • 15:16 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Jaitley writes new blog, rakes up Kashmir issue, blames Congress govts

    In a new blog post, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has been particularly prolific with the keyboard has blamed earlier Congress governments' decisions for the Kashmir situation today.

    "Article 35A was surreptitiously included by a Presidential Notification in the Constitution in 1954.  It was neither a part of the original Constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly, nor did it come as a Constitutional Amendment under Article 368 of the Constitution which requires an approval by two-third majority of both Houses of Parliament.  It came as a Presidential Notification and is a surreptitious executive insertion in the Constitution," he wrote. 

  • 15:06 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi repeats outrage over Congress doubting Balakot air strike

    In a shorter speech than his Meerut one, Modi made it clear in Rudrapur that he is willing to rake up the Balakot air strikes in order to strike the nationalism chord when and where required. This was the second rally where he has called Rahul Gandhi "Pakistan's hero."

    "The people of Uttarakhand have always been with me. This is a contribution which I never forget," he said. In the rally, he also highlighted the several measures taken by his government in the state.

  • 15:02 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi hits out at Congress over Balakot air strike 'doubt' again

    "When it was we who entered the homes of the terrorists and killed them right there, who are they to consider the valour of our jawans?" asked Narendra Modi at Rudrapur.

    "Is it right to abuse our Army Chief? Will people forgive those who make anti-national statements just to become a hero in Pakistan?" he asked.

  • 14:58 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Michel mama's sweat is running, says Modi

    Modi, in his Rudrapur rally, made repeated references to the scams that came to light in the UPA regime. He also said AgustaWestland accused Christian Michel was nervous and referred to him as "Michel mama", in ostensibly a jibe at Rahul Gandhi.

  • 14:41 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Will add fifth dham for sainiks to Uttarakhand's four dhams, says Modi

    "Uttarakhand has four holy dhams to which I wish to add a fifth dham, the sainik dham," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He, once again, asked the crowds if it was okay to question whether India had indeed done the Balakot air strikes. 

    "They wanted to become heroes of Pakistan. Will you forgive these people?" he asked to resounding cheers.

  • 14:27 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi kicks off rally at Uttarakhand's Rudrapur

    PM Narendra Modi began the second of his three rallies of Thursday at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand with yet another invocation of the nation's Army. He called Uttarakhand "the land of the brave, the land of sacrifices."

  • 14:17 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi proves that he remains a master of wordplay 

    In response to the opposition’s constant demand for ‘proof’ for the air strike that the Indian armed forces made across the border in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 26 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "Kya humein saboot chahiye ya sapoot chahiye? Mere desh ke sapoot hi mere desh ke sabse bada saboot hai. Jo saboot maangte hain woh sapoot ko lalkaarte hain”. 

    The play of saboot and sapoot which mean 'proof' and 'good son' was cannily used by Modi to reiterate his government's primal focus on the soldiers. 

  • 14:12 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Tej Pratap challenges Tejashwi's candidates' list

    Tej Pratap Yadav has threatened to put up two of his own candidates over disagreements with his brother Tejashwi, reported News18. Those candidates had been dropped by Tejashwi. 

    "These RJD candidates have given their whole life to the party. Tejashwi has told me that he will take care of them. People should not peddle lies about brothers fighting," Tej Pratap told News18, quashing rumours that he is rebelling against the party.

  • 13:59 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Congress 'congratulates' Modi over scam allegations

    The Congress has tweeted tongue-in-cheek congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the PM allegedly completing "100 scams".

  • 13:55 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Meerut rally attendants see Modi returning

    Many of the BJP's supporters at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Meerut were convinced that the PM would return for a second term, thanks to his attention to the armed forces of the nation. Watch what one attendant had to say.

    Video by Kamal Bhargava

  • 13:24 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | We saw theatre today at Meerut: Congress strikes back at Modi

    Minutes after Modi had stopped speaking at his first campaign rally at Meerut, Congress communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a press conference that the prime minister should apologise for "mocking the poor of the country."

    "It is unfortunate that when we speak of 'NYAY', Mr Modi mocks the poor of the country. Previously he had mocked the poor of the country during demonetisation, this shows his true character," Surjewala said.

  • 13:18 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi supporters turn up in large numbers at Meerut rally

    Modi's Meerut rally saw hundreds of loyalists who sported everything from Modi masks to body paint to raise the pitch for the BJP.

    Video by Saurabh Sharma

  • 13:10 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | AAP leader Harinder Singh Khalsa joins BJP

    Aam Aadmi Party leader from Punjab, Harinder Singh Khalsa, who had been suspended by the Kejriwal-led party, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

  • 12:59 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi introduces new acronym: SaRaB

    "The 'sa' of Samajwadi Party, the 'ra' of RLD and the 'B' of Bahujan Samaj Party together form 'sarab' which is very bad for health, as you all know," Modi said at Meerut.

    'Sarab', it is understood, stands for alcohol.

  • 12:55 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Saabka saath, saabka vikas: Modi unleashes full stock of rhetorical flourishes at Meerut rally

    There is little that Modi did not speak on, when it came to issues at the Meerut rally. The prime minister spun his full repertoire of rhetorics for repeated slams on the Congress, the SP-BSP alliance and critics of his government. He, however, did give a new spin to the old 'saabka saath, saabka vikas' slogan and instead said 'saabka saath, saabka hisaab.'

    He also touched upon the safety of women, the respect accorded by his government to idealogues Chaudhary Charan Singh and Deenbandhu Chhoturam, the allegedly false promises made by Indira Gandhi ('gareeb, gareeb hi rehe gaya') and the numerous schemes brought by his government. 

  • 12:42 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi takes fresh jibe at Mayawati-Akhilesh alliance

    The same people Behenji spent her whole life putting into jail, she has now tied up with," said Modi, referring to the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party's alliance with the Akhilesh-led Samajwadi Party.

    Modi also questioned those who charged him with proof of the Balakot air strikes.

  • 12:39 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Confused people thought I meant 'set' when I said 'A-SAT': Modi

    If someone goes to the theatre to see a play, he or she expects drama, new sets. Sets is a common term in theatre. Some people who were confused, thought I meant theatre 'sets' when I said 'A-SAT'," Modi said, taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi over the latter's World Theatre Day snub of the PM's Mission Shakti announcement yesterday.

  • 12:29 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi repeats old charges against Congress, its promised Nyay scheme

    In yet another jibe to the Congress, PM says that on one hand there is a new idea of BJP and on the other is the grand old party's old dynasty. 

    "Those who could not open the account of the poor in 70 years today say they would deposit money in the account," he said, taking a dig at the Congress's Nyay scheme.

  • 12:26 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Modi supporters turn up in large numbers, as carnival spirit takes over Meerut

    As Modi speaks, taking a swipe at the Congress' NYAY scheme, his supporters have found innovative ways to pledge allegiance.

    Photo by Saurabh Sharma

  • 12:13 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Will question previous governments over their work: Modi

    Modi saluted Meerut residents by saying "this is a city of 1857, a city of revolution". He vowed to give the people a correct picture of the NDA government's achievements.

    "You know I am a chowkidar, I will question previous governments over their work," he said.

  • 12:10 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | India has decided 'phir ek baar Modi sarkar', says PM

    India has decided, phir ek baar Modi sarkar, Modi said at Meerut on Thursday. He kicked off the rally by remembering the Chaudhary Charan Singh and saying that he has followed in the leader's footsteps in prioritising farmers over all others.

  • 12:05 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Every other government has neglected western UP: Yogi Adityanath

    Adityanath said every other government in Uttar Pradesh has ignored Western Uttar Pradesh other than the BJP one. He also stressed on the fact that BJP has avenged the Pulwama attack, making India a safer place for everyone.

  • 11:59 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Yogi Adityanath repeats Modi hain toh mumkin hain message at Meerut rally

    Speaking before Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Meerut, UP chief minister repeated the selfsame chant of the BJP, 'Modi hain toh mumkin hain' and said Modi has been synonymous to development by now.

  • 11:49 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Crowds welcome Narendra Modi with chants at Meerut rally venue

    Narendra Modi has just arrived at his Meerut rally venue. Watch how hundreds of BJP supporters who have gathered to hear the PM welcome him.

    Input by Kamal Bhargava/101Reporters

  • 11:39 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Priyanka travels through UP

    On the campaign trail, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is travelling to Rae Bareli from Musafirkhana in Amethi.

  • 11:38 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Congress fires fresh salvo at BJP government

    The Congress party has hit out at Narendra Modi with a fresh GIF on Twitter, taking at dig at his government's flagship Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme.

  • 11:31 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | Rahul Gandhi chairs meeting with Bihar Congress leaders

    A meeting has begun at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's residence between the party brass and its Bihar leaders. 

    This comes amidst reports that discontent is brewing between the Congress and its Bihar ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal over seat-sharing.

    Reports say the Congress high command is upset with the allocation of certain seats and some Congress leaders have suggested calling off the alliance.

  • 11:25 (IST)

    28 March, 2019 | TN bypolls to be held in reasonable time, EC assures SC

    The Election Commission has assured the Supreme Court that bypolls in Tamil Nadu will be held within "reasonable" time.



Lok Sabha election 2019; pre-poll trends LATEST updates: Speaking at Akhnoor in Jammu, Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition grand alliance, and said that the "mahamilawati" leaders are bound to face "mahagirawat" (great destruction).

He also lashed out at the Congress for demanding proof of Balakot air strike. "After the strike in Balakot, the Congress leaders have been speaking such things that are not in the favour of the country. How can an individual find anything acceptable that is being lauded in Pakistan. They're asking for proof of the attacks, " he said.

Addressing a rally in Assam's Teok, BJP chief Amit Shah said, "Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was an MP for 20 years from Assam. However, the Congress failed to do any development for the region."

In an interview, TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said, "I am not a contender for prime minister's post. I am being targeted by the BJP government through YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy." However, he assured that on 23 May — which is the counting day, India will have a new prime minister.

Speaking at a campaign rally at Kaliabor in Assam, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday recited a list of the Narendra Modi government's achievements and vowed that if Modi is elected again, the BJP would ensure every infiltrator is removed from Assam.

On a day when it was widely expected that Shatrughan Sinha will join the Congress, it was announced by the party that he will join the party on 6 April. The actor-turned-politician has, however, met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

In a shorter speech than his Meerut one, Modi made it clear in Rudrapur that he is willing to rake up the Balakot air strikes in order to strike the nationalism chord when and where required. This was the second rally where he has called Rahul Gandhi "Pakistan's hero."

"The people of Uttarakhand have always been with me. This is a contribution which I never forget," he said. In the rally, he also highlighted the several measures taken by his government in the state.

PM Narendra Modi began the second of his three rallies of Thursday at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand by stressing that the Congress, which never thinks about the poor, sat on the Rafale deal for 10 years because they failed to make a profit out of it.

Modi uttered yet another invocation of the nation's Army in the beginning when he called Uttarakhand "the land of the brave, the land of sacrifices."

Reports have said that actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha who has been with the BJP for a very long time, is now headed to meet Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. The party has promised "good news" on the Sinha front soon, say reports.

Minutes after Modi had stopped speaking at his first campaign rally at Meerut, Congress communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a press conference that the prime minister should apologise for comparing three political parties of the country to alcohol with his "sarab" jibe and also for "mocking the poor of the country."

"It is unfortunate that when we speak of NYAY, Mr Modi mocks the poor of the country. Previously he had mocked the poor of the country during demonetisation, this shows his true character," Surjewala said.

There is little that Modi did not speak on, when it came to issues at the Meerut rally. He combined the 'sa' of Samajwadi Party, the 'ra' of RLD and the 'B' of Bahujan Samaj Party together form 'SARAB'. The acronym, it is understood, stands for alcohol.

The prime minister spun his full repertoire of rhetorics for repeated slams on the Congress, the SP-BSP alliance and critics of his government. He, however, did give a new spin to the old 'saabka saath, saabka vikas' slogan and instead said 'saabka saath, saabka hisaab.'

He also touched upon the safety of women, the respect accorded by his government to idealogues Chaudhary Charan Singh and Deenbandhu Chhoturam, the allegedly false promises made by Indira Gandhi ('gareeb, gareeb hi rehe gaya') and the numerous schemes brought by his government.

"If someone goes to the theatre to see a play, he or she expects drama, new sets. Sets is a common term in theatre. Some people who were confused, thought I meant theatre 'sets' when I said 'A-SAT'," Modi said, taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi over the latter's World Theatre Day snub of the PM's Mission Shakti announcement yesterday.

India has decided, phir ek baar Modi sarkar, Narendra Modi said at his first rally in Meerut on Thursday. He kicked off the rally by remembering the Chaudhary Charan Singh and saying that he has followed in the leader's footsteps in prioritising farmers over all others.

Speaking before Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Meerut, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath repeated the selfsame chant of the BJP, 'Modi hain toh mumkin hain' and said Modi has been synonymous to development by now.

Fresh off the controversial speech on Mission Shakti — which has also attracted EC’s scrutiny — after India's launch of an anti-satellite weapon on Wednesday, the prime minister will speak in rallies at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Rudrapur in Uttarakhand and Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir.

A meeting has begun at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's residence between the party brass and its Bihar leaders. This comes amidst reports that discontent is brewing between the Congress and its Bihar ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal over seat-sharing.

Reports say the Congress high command is upset with the allocation of certain seats and some Congress leaders have suggested calling off the alliance.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy called the raids of JD(S) minister Putturaju's house the "real surgical strike".

"This is out in the open through I-T raids. The constitutional post offer for I-T officer Balakrishna has helped the PM in his revenge game. It is highly deplorable to use government machinery, corrupt officials to harass opponents during election time," he said.

In a predawn swoop Thursday, Income Tax officials along with CRPF personnel carried out raids at the residences of Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister CS Puttaraju and his nephew.

Speaking to a private news channel, JD(S) leader Puttaraju said three teams of Income Tax officials and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel carried out raids at his Chinnakurli residence in Mandya and his nephew's house in Mysuru.

The development came a day after, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy raised fears about possible raids on Congress and JD(S) functionaries in the state.

Thursday promises to be a high octane day as far as developments in the road to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is concerned. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hit the election trail for the first time since the dates of the election were announced on 10 March.

Modi's speech has also invited censure from Opposition parties which have questioned the timing of the speech and also alleged that Modi has chosen to dramatise the achievement for polltime gains.

TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the TMC will approach Election Commission to file a complaint on the speech.

It is, however, up to the Election Commission to interpret it in that manner. Modi did not explicitly turn the speech into a poll pitch, but the BJP leadership did pat Modi’s back for the success of the mission. The party’s social media team has also been strategically pointing out that Modi deserved credit for having the ‘courage’ to give a go-ahead for the project, something they allege that the previous UPA government stopped short of. The poll code does bar the ruling party from using the government’s achievements in a way to further political interests.

For now, the Election Commission has sought an active transcript of Modi’s speech from the government. A committee headed by the Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena will examine the prime minister's address on Mission Shakti for possible Model Code of Conduct violation.

BJP chief Amit Shah, meanwhile, will address rallies at Koliabor and Teok in Assam's Jorhat district in a daylong trip to the state.

In Bihar, the BJP will be losing its longtime member, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, to the Congress on Thursday. Sinha is likely to be fielded from the Patna Sahib seat in Bihar, which he currently holds.

Although not all is okay within the Congress either in the state of Bihar. Amidst reports that discontent is brewing between the Congress and its Bihar ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal over seat-sharing, Rahul Gandhi will meet his party's Bihar unit to finalize alliance details.

Reports say the Congress high command is upset with the allocation of certain seats and some Congress leaders have suggested calling off the alliance. Rahul's Bihar meeting will come on a day when he will hold a whopping five roadshows at Jagadhri, Radaur, Ladwa, Indri and Karnal in Haryana.

Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul's sister, newly anointed Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi, indicated on Wednesday that she would be open to contesting the 2019 election “if the party wants” her to.

Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party will release its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto on Thursday. The party manifesto will focus on jobs and in what is being considered a very youth-oriented poll plank, the Samajwadi Party will form a youth commission to help formulate policies.

In Karnataka, meanwhile, Putturaju claimed that CRPF personnel were brought from various parts of the country to carry out the raids.

"Three teams of I-T officials and CRPF soldiers comprising eight soldiers carried out raids at my Chinnakurli residence in Mandya and my nephew's residence in Mysuru," Puttaraju told a channel. The minister said he was not afraid of the raids and instead, it had instilled confidence in him.

Lok Sabha elections will begin on 11 April and continue for over a month till 19 May across seven phases, followed by counting of votes on 23 May, the Election Commission announced Sunday, kick-starting a mega electoral battle where the BJP will pitch for a re-election of the Modi government amid the Opposition's efforts for a united fight to unseat it.

The polling will be held on 11 April, 18 April, 23 April, 29 April, 6 May, 12 May and 19 May for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country in which nearly 90 crore voters would be eligible to vote, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said. Assembly elections will also be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, the CEC said.

 

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: Mar 28, 2019 18:48:57 IST