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Narendra Modi in Rajasthan; Lok Sabha Election 2019 LIVE updates: Congress reacts to PM's 'video game' jibe, calls it 'insult' to forces

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Narendra Modi in Rajasthan; Lok Sabha Election 2019 LIVE updates: Congress reacts to PM's 'video game' jibe, calls it 'insult' to forces
  • 17:44 (IST)

    Lok Sabha election campaign live updates

    Sonakshi Sinha campaigns for mother in Lucknow

    In Lucknow, the election campaign got a touch of Bollywood as actor Sonakshi Sinha campaigned for her mother Poonam Simha, as reported by ANI

  • 17:15 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates
     
    Congress was cause of poverty, says Nitin Gadkari
     
     
    Union minister Nitin Gadkari Friday said Congress was the cause of poverty in the country and claimed there was no "serious policy" earlier to develop agriculture and villages.
     
    Addressing a poll rally in Multai, he claimed when former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi were unable to end poverty, then how would current Congress president Rahul Gandhi be able to do so.
     
    PTI

  • 16:58 (IST)

    AAP Gandhi Nagar MLA Anil Bajpai joins BJP
     
     
     
    Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Gandhi Nagar Anil Bajpai Friday joined the BJP, making him the second lawmaker from the party to join the saffron fold in the last two months.
     
    The move comes at a time when AAP leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, have accused the BJP of indulging in horse trading.
     
    Bajpai joined the BJP in the presence of party national vice-president and Delhi BJP in-charge Shyam Jaju and Union minister Vijay Goel at the Delhi unit office here.
     
    "I worked with the AAP for many years. I was hurt by the lack of respect and the peculiar functioning of the party. It has detracted from its original path," he said.
     
    Reacting to the development, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said that his party has for sometime been accusing the BJP of trying to "buy" its MLAs.
     
    "As far as Bajpai is concerned, no person would say that they have taken money and going to another party, they would be finding faults within the party. Bajpai had himself come from the Congress, so what issue did he have from the alliance talks that were going on?" he said.
     
    PTI
     

  • 16:36 (IST)

    Akshay Kumar rues row over his citizenship status, after being trolled on election day

    Actor Akshay Kumar, who was recently trolled after he dodged a question on whether he voted, courted controversy over his Canadian passport. In a statement on Twitter, Kumar said that the citizenship issue "is constantly dragged into needless controversy."

  • 16:31 (IST)

    Congress claims 'insult to forces' by Modi

    Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha has reacted sharply to Narendra Modi's dig at a recent rally.

  • 16:28 (IST)

    'Congress betrayed Amethi, Rae Bareli': Piyush Goyal

    BJP leader and Union minister Piyush Goyal slammed the Congress for ignoring the Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies, saying that the party, by keeping the people there in poverty for decades, has betrayed them.

  • 16:14 (IST)

    AAP campaign latest updates
     
    No Modi wave this time, people will not be swayed by 'jhumlas': AAP's Harmohan Dhawan
     
     
    Former Union minister and AAP's candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Harmohan Dhawan Friday claimed that people will not be swayed by 'jhumlas' this time and will oust the BJP from power.
     
    He alleged that several promises which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls remained unfulfilled.
     
    "There is no Modi factor unlike in 2014. At that time, I also supported Narendra Modi as he ignited hope among people and made various promises, but failed to deliver on ground," 71-year-old Dhawan said.
     
    PTI

  • 16:08 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Modi mocks Congress' 'surgical strikes' claim, asks if strikes during UPA regime were in 'video games'

    Narendra Modi mocked the Congress' claims that surgical strikes took place during the UPA regime, asking if they were only on paper, or in video games.

  • 15:49 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

     
    We'll block water to Pakistan, give it to farmers if we win: Narendra Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his rally in Rajasthan's Sikar, said that previous governments had given the water which was "India's right" to Pakistan. "I promise you that once the Modi government is formed on 23 May, the water that is going to Pakistan today will go to the Indian field," he said.

  • 15:42 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi accuses Congress of insulting defence leaders

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a rally in Rajasthan's Sikar, claimed that Congress leaders refer to the Army chief as a 'street goon' and the Air chief as a 'liar'.

  • 15:40 (IST)

    Congress campaign latest updates

    Priyanka Gandhi says she stopped children from raising 'wrong' slogans

    A day after being served a notice by the apex child rights body, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Friday she had stopped children from raising wrong slogans and asked them to raise good slogans.
     
     
    "The children were playing among themselves. When I got down to meet them, they raised some slogans. As soon as they raised wrong slogans, I stopped them and told them to raise good slogans instead," Vadra said.
     
     
    The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had issued a notice to Vadra on Thursday over alleged use of children in election campaign. The complaint pertains to a video in which children were seen using abusive language in front of Vadra.

  • 15:36 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi slams HD Kumaraswamy over comments on Army jawans

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's comment when he said that a majority of the Indian Army soldiers were from underprivileged families. "Do the brave sons of Rajasthan join the army to fill their stomachs? Can you forgive such an insult?"

  • 15:30 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    'Me too, me too': Narendra Modi launches blistering attack on Congress for claim of surgical strikes

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an attack on the Congress over its claim that surgical strikes were conducted during UPA tenure too. "First they objected, and criticised. When that didn't work, when the public continued to support us, they changed their strategy. Now they are saying, 'me too, me too!'"

  • 15:22 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi begins addressing rally in Rajasthan's Sikar

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress over former prime minister Manmohan Singh's statement that surgical strikes had been carried out several times in the UPA government's tenure. "Now the Congress is claiming that there were six surgical strikes in their tenure. What kind of strikes were these that the handlers of the terrorist didn't know, Indians themselves didn't know," he said.

  • 15:13 (IST)

    AAP campaign latest updates

    Anil Bajpai joins BJP

    Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Gandhi Nagar in Delhi, Anil Bajpai joined the BJP on Friday, in the presence of Union Minister Vijay Goel. The BJP had claimed that there was division among the party.

  • 15:01 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Yogi Adityanath says Opposition will lose in 2024 also

    Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, in an interview with ANI, said that the Opposition had lost 2014 and 2017, and will lose 2019 and 2022 also. "The foundation has been laid for their loss in 2024," he added.

  • 14:54 (IST)

    RECAP: SC asks EC to decide on Susmita Dev's petition by 6 May

    The Supreme Court directed the Election Commission on Thursday to decide by 6 May, nine complaints of the Congress party alleging violations of Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

    EC told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that it has already decided two out of the 11 complaints which were filed by the Congress party against Modi and Shah for alleged violation of the MCC.
     
     
    Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Congress Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev who has filed a petition in the apex court on the issue, told the court that they have given 11 representations to the EC against the PM and Shah but it has taken decision only on two. "After about five-and-a-half weeks, they (EC) have decided only two representations," Singhvi told the bench.

  • 14:52 (IST)

    SC asks EC to pass order on plea to advance poll timing

    The Supreme Court asked the Election Commission on Thursday to pass "necessary orders" on a representation seeking advancing of the voting time to 5 an from 7 am for the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha polls due to heat wave conditions and onset of the holy month of Ramzan.

    A plea in this regard was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, took the petition on board and said, "The Election Commission of India is directed to pass necessary orders. The writ petition is disposed of in the above terms." 
     
     
    The petition, filed by advocates Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha and Asad Hayat, sought advancement of polling hours by two to two-and-a half hours, for voting to commence from 4.30 or 5 am instead of 7 am, in the remaining phases.

  • 14:49 (IST)

    Congress campaign latest updates

    Congress says banking system 'in tatters'

    The Congress on Friday said the banking system was in tatters as the number of wilful defaulters had doubled during the last five years of the Narendra Modi government.

    Calling the government a "suit-boot aur loot ki sarkar", Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet, "The banking system is in tatters. Wilful defaulters have doubled in five years. 5090 creditors have increased to 11000 creditors."
     
    He also claimed that wilful defaults had increased by 308 percent in terms of value. "At the time when Modi government is leaving, the wilful default amount stands at Rs 1,21,700 crore," the Congress leader said.

  • 14:47 (IST)

    Sitaram Yechury slams Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur over 'non-violence' comment

    Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury attacked Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, on one of her earlier remarks that the Hindus do not believe in violence. Yechury said the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata that she narrates are filled with instances of violence.

    "Pragya Thakur said that Hindus don't believe in violence. Many kings and principalities have fought battles in the country. Even the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are also filled with instances of violence. Being a pracharak, you narrate the epics but still claim Hindus can't be violent?

    "What is the logic behind saying there is a religion which engages in violence and we Hindus don't," he questioned. The leader said that BJP is spreading "Hindutva agenda".

  • 14:43 (IST)

    AAP MLA Anil Bajpai likely to join BJP
     

    Aam Aadmi Party MLA Anil Bajpai is likely to join the BJP on Friday, India Today reported.

  • 14:40 (IST)

    Sumitra Mahajan calls meeting in Parliament to review preparedness for next govt

    Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called a meeting of senior officers of the Parliament over preparedness for the 17th Lok Sabha.

  • 14:26 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Secularism in India is intact because of Hindus: Yogi Adityanath

    Asserting that 'Hindu terrorism' is not even a word, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said that secularism is intact in India because of Hindus. He said that the Congress party should apologise to the nation for linking Hinduism with terrorism.

    "Hindu terrorism is not even a word. By linking Hindu with terrorism, Congress has disrespected the country's culture, tradition, and legacy. It should apologise to the nation." He said, unlike Pakistan where secularism is in "shambles", in India "secularism is intact because of Hindus. Congress is maligning the image of India on a global platform."

    When asked on BJP's decision to field Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal, the chief minister, in an interview with ANI, said that the 2008 Malegaon blast accused, Pragya is the perfect answer to Opposition's Hindu terror allegations. Pragya still has charges against her under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) but is currently out on bail.

  • 14:23 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Yogi Adityanath slams SP-BSP alliance

    Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday hit out at 'Mahagathbandhan', saying that their leaders aspire to become prime minister, even as they are contesting on just 37-38 seats.

    In an interview with ANI, Adityanath said, "At least 272 seats are needed to become the prime minister. Only the BJP has this capacity. Those who are contesting on just 37-38 seats, will they become prime minister?"

    "Those times are gone. People now want a stable government," he said when asked about HD Deve Gowda, who was made the prime minister in 1996 when the United Front — a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties — decided to form the government. 
     

    Mayawati, the BSP supremo, last month had said that she would use her experience as former Uttar Pradesh chief minister "if we get an opportunity." When asked about Mayawati's claim that the next prime minister would be from Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath said, "Modi ji is from Uttar Pradesh. He contested the last election from Varanasi and is seeking re-election from the seat which is in Uttar Pradesh. This is good that she supports us. I thank Mayawati Ji for supporting Modi Ji."

  • 14:12 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Amit Shah to hold roadshow in Amethi tomorrow

    BJP president Amit Shah is scheduled to hold a roadshow in Amethi on Saturday. Shah will campaign on the last day ahead of the fifth phase of Lok Sabha election on 6 May, for Union minister Smriti Irani.

  • 14:10 (IST)

    Omar Abdullah questions Narendra Modi over 'IPL' comment

    Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the latter's comment regarding the Indian Premier League (IPL) in his rally in Rajasthan's Hindaun.

    Modi said, "The youth takes a lot of interest in IPL. But there were two occasions when it could not be played in India, it was played in South Africa. This happened in 2009 and 2014. The government at the Centre was so scared of terrorists. That government had no courage."

    Omar tweeted his comment saying, "Why is the Hon PM talking about IPL?  His is the first government since 1996 that has been unable/unwilling to have assembly elections in J&K on schedule. Why doesn’t he talk about that also?"

  • 13:54 (IST)

    Congress campaign latest updates

    Rahul Gandhi says Narendra Modi is 'chowkidar' of 'industrialists'

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in Madhya Pradesh's Rewa and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP's 'chowkidar' campaign. He said, "First he (Modi) said that make me prime minister, then he became chowkidaar. People thought he will become chowkidaar of poor people, farmers and others but he became a chowkidaar of few industrialists.”

  • 13:36 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

     
    Narendra Modi claims Congress cheated Adivasis ahead of previous Lok Sabha polls
     
     
    Accusing the Congress of "cheating" Adivasis as pre-poll promises ahead of previous Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Congress was a party of "liars". "They cheated Adivasis out of Rs 100, 150 by promising homes and land, but they were exposed as liars and frauds," Modi said.
     
     
    He also targeted the Congress over Rahul Gandhi's flagship NYAY scheme. "Now they have promised Rs 72,000 but the lies behind that are also slowly coming ahead," he said.

  • 13:31 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Make sure the lotus blooms in Rajasthan: Narendra Modi

    Appealing to the Rajasthan electorate in a rally in Hindaun, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the BJP must win all 25 Lok Sabha seats from the state like it had in 2014. "Make sure the lotus blooms in Rajasthan again," he said.

  • 13:29 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

     
    Narendra Modi says Rajasthan govt working against farmers
     
     
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the Congress-led Rajasthan government, which was elected in December 2018, and alleged that the government was "working against" the interest of the farmers. Modi claimed that the Centre was facing obstacles in directing benefits towards the farmers in Rajasthan.

  • 13:21 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi launches attack on Congress over Masood Azhar

    Addressing the United Nations' listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress and said that when India progresses, the Congress is upset. "They were questioning the listing of the terrorist they address with 'ji', they were questioning why it happened only in the year of an election.

    "They are feeling bad that a chaiwalla is accomplishing the work that they were not able to for 70 years. If Congress workers come asking for votes even by mistake, give them a handkerchief and tell them to wipe their tears," he said.

  • 13:16 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    IPL was not played in 2009, 2014 because of General Election: Narendra Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the Indian Premier League (IPL) series which is ongoing. He said that the previous governments had not allowed the tournament to take place in 2014 and 2009 because they were "scared" of the security threat in the years of the Lok Sabha elections. "But it happened this year, didn't it? Our government is not scared or indecisive."

  • 13:12 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

     
    Narendra Modi reiterates national security poll plank
     
    Addressing a rally in Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that there were "multiple" terror attacks across the country before the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008. He said that now, terrorists had been scared to attack India because of the BJP-led government. "Why do you think this has happened? Not because of me, because of your votes," he told the people.
     

  • 13:08 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi asks for 'blessings' from people of Rajasthan

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for re-election by reminding the people of Rajasthan at a public rally in the state's Hindaun, that the BJP had won all the Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014. Modi also asked the gathering if he had delivered on his promises, which was answered in the affirmative by the crowd. "Will you give your sevak more blessings than in 2014?," he said.

  • 13:01 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

     
    Narendra Modi extends Centre's support to West Bengal, Odisha, Puducherry govts over Cyclone Fani
     
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a rally in Rajasthan's Hindaun, extended solidarity and pledged the Centre's support to the governments of the eastern states, in view of Cyclone Fani. "The Centre has promised a relief fund to the states, so that can deal with this serious situation," he said.
     

  • 12:57 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Amit Shah cancels Jharkhand rallies 

    BJP president Amit Shah, who was scheduled to hold three rallies in Jharkhand, has cancelled all three in view of bad weather due to Cyclone Fani. 

  • 12:44 (IST)

    Priyanka Gandhi in Raebareli latest updates

    Priyanka Gandhi slams 'chowkidars', says only lies told in election campaign

    Congress leader and general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed the public in Raebareli on Friday. She is touring the state as part of her campaign for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha election.

    She said, "In Uttar Pradesh, what is the condition of the farmers? They (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah) call themselves 'chowkidars' but they have made farmers sit in their own farms to over them.

    "They have only been giving promise on promise, lie on lie, and campaigning is happening without the truth."

  • 12:39 (IST)

    Opposition to decide on PM candidate post 19 May

    Opposition leaders will hold a meeting to deliberate on the prime ministerial candidate after 19 May, which will be the last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election, reports said.

    CNN-News18 reported that the 'mahagathbandhan' is likely to finalise on a leader in the strategy meeting.

  • 12:37 (IST)

    Samajwadi Party campaign latest updates

    Akhilesh Yadav says Mulayam 'not in running' to be PM

    Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said that Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party's patriarch, will not be in the race for the prime minister after the results of the ongoing General Election will be declared on 23 May. He also said that the candidate will be from the 'mahagathbandhan', referring to his alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.

  • 12:26 (IST)

    Samajwadi Party campaign latest updates

    Sonakshi Sinha to campaign for Poonam Sinha today

    Actor Sonakshi Sinha is likely to campaign for her mother and Samajwadi candidate from Lucknow, Poonam on Friday. Poonam is contesting against Union minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh.

    Sonakshi is expected to be accompanied by her father Shatrughan at a roadshow in Lucknow. Shatrughan, a former BJP leader and a vocal critic of the BJP-led NDA government, recently left the saffron party and joined the Congress.

  • 12:22 (IST)

    Lok Sabha election to decide Rupee's performance

    The outlook for India’s rupee has deteriorated from just a month ago as the outcome of a more than month-long national election draws near, according to foreign exchange strategists polled by Reuters.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling alliance — which got the biggest mandate in three decades in the previous election — is widely expected to win again, but with a thinner majority, according to an average of four opinion polls recently by different agencies.

    “The general election result has the potential to either amplify the (Rupee's) weakness, or push against the seasonal weakness as it did in the previous two elections," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ.

  • 12:16 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Narendra Modi extends birthday greetings to Ashok Gehlot

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday. 

  • 12:08 (IST)

    Congress campaign latest updates

    Amethi is my family, says Rahul Gandhi

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha election from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh along with Kerala's Wayanad, addressed a 'letter' to the people of the constituency, saying that they were "his family". Amethi will vote in the fifth phase of the election, scheduled for 6 May.

  • 12:00 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    EC's clean chit to Narendra Modi for Wardha, Latur speeches 'not unanimous' decision

    The Election Commission's decision to give a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over alleged Model Code of Conduct violations in his Wardha and Latur speeches was not unanimous, The Indian Express reported.

    In Wardha, on 1 April, Modi had lashed out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for contesting from Wayanad and had "indicated" that the Kerala constituency had more voters from the minority community. In Latur, on 9 April, Modi had urged first-time voters to dedicate their votes in the name of the Balakot air strike heroes and the soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack.


    "In both cases, one Commissioner had dissented and the EC’s final decisions, in favour of the PM, was taken by a majority of 2-1," the report said.

  • 11:53 (IST)

    BJP campaign latest updates

    Ravi Kishan says regret joining Congress, BJP is 'last destination'

    Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishan, the BJP candidate from Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency, has said that contesting the 2014 general election on a Congress ticket was a mistake and that the saffron party is his last destination.

    In an interview to PTI, Kishan said actor-turned-politicians like N T Rama Rao and Vinod Khanna inspire him and he wants to project himself as a serious politician just like them.
     
    "I want to become a serious politician like N T Rama Rao and Vinod Khanna who were from the film industry but joined politics and worked with utmost seriousness," Kishan said.
     
    "If I was not serious about politics, I would not have left behind my successful career to become a politician," added the actor who joined the BJP in February 2017.

  • 11:49 (IST)

    Supreme Court to hear Opposition plea for 50% VVPAT verification next week

    The Supreme Court has agreed to hear next week a review plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders seeking an increase in random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in the ongoing general elections.

    The apex court had on April 8 directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in five polling booths per assembly segment from one booth.
     
    Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has sought the review of the apex court's order, saying the "increase from 1 to 5 is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court".

  • 11:45 (IST)

    'PM Narendra Modi' biopic to release on 24 May

    The makers of Vivek Oberoi-starrer biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday announced that the film will be released countrywide on May 24, a day after the results of the Lok Sabha elections are declared.

    The film, titled 'PM Narendra Modi', was earlier set to release on April 11 but was banned by the Election Commission. In its order last month, the EC had banned the screening of film during the poll period, saying any such film that subserves purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media.

  • 11:43 (IST)

    BJP election campaign latest updates

    Sunny Deol campaigns in Punjab

    Actor Sunny Deol, who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and is contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha election from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab, is on the campaign trail in Pathankot.

  • 11:41 (IST)

    In 2019, EC handed out more bans for MCC violations than in 2014

    The Election Commission of India (ECI) has stepped up the ante in the ongoing Lok Sabha election 2019 and taken action against politicians indulging in communal speech or found violating the Model Code of Conduct with outrageous and disrespectful remarks.

    The ECI put a stop on the election campaign of many politicians across party lines. And this General Election has been a rarity in the number of defaulters penalised by the commission.

    Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, BSP chief Mayawati, SP leader Azam Khan, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu adn BJP Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur have been penalised by the Election Commission.

    Read the entire story here

  • 11:37 (IST)

    EC issues notice to Yogi Adityanath over 'Babur ki aulad' comment

    The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath over his "Babar ki aulad" comment made during a rally in Sambhal on 19 April. The electoral body has asked Adityanath to file his reply within 24 hours.

    "The Commission, after considering the available material and extant instructions on the matter, has decided to provide you an opportunity to explain your stand regarding the said statement," EC stated. Adityanath had on 19 April called Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Shafiqur Rahman Barq "Babar ki aulad" (successor of Babar).

    Read the entire story here

Lok Sabha Election LATEST updates:  Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha has reacted sharply to Narendra Modi's dig at a recent rally. Modi had mocked the Congress' claims that surgical strikes took place during the UPA regime, asking if they were only on paper, or in video games.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his rally in Rajasthan's Sikar, said that previous governments had given the water which was "India's right" to Pakistan. "I promise you that once the Modi government is formed on 23 May, the water that is going to Pakistan today will go to the Indian field," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress over former prime minister Manmohan Singh's statement that surgical strikes had been carried out several times in the UPA government's tenure. "Now the Congress is claiming that there were six surgical strikes in their tenure. What kind of strikes were these that the handlers of the terrorist didn't know, Indians themselves didn't know," he said.

The Congress on Friday said the banking system was in tatters as the number of wilful defaulters had doubled during the last five years of the Narendra Modi government.

Calling the government a "suit-boot aur loot ki sarkar", Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet, "The banking system is in tatters. Wilful defaulters have doubled in five years. 5090 creditors have increased to 11000 creditors."

He also claimed that wilful defaults had increased by 308 percent in terms of value. "At the time when Modi government is leaving, the wilful default amount stands at Rs 1,21,700 crore," the Congress leader said.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday hit out at 'Mahagathbandhan', saying that their leaders aspire to become prime minister, even as they are contesting on just 37-38 seats.

In an interview with ANI, Adityanath said, "At least 272 seats are needed to become the prime minister. Only the BJP has this capacity. Those who are contesting on just 37-38 seats, will they become prime minister?"

"Those times are gone. People now want a stable government," he said when asked about HD Deve Gowda, who was made the prime minister in 1996 when the United Front — a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties — decided to form the government.

Mayawati, the BSP supremo, last month had said that she would use her experience as former Uttar Pradesh chief minister "if we get an opportunity." When asked about Mayawati's claim that the next prime minister would be from Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath said, "Modi ji is from Uttar Pradesh. He contested the last election from Varanasi and is seeking re-election from the seat which is in Uttar Pradesh. This is good that she supports us. I thank Mayawati Ji for supporting Modi Ji."

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in Madhya Pradesh's Rewa and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP's 'chowkidar' campaign. He said, "First he (Modi) said that make me prime minister, then he became chowkidaar. People thought he will become chowkidaar of poor people, farmers and others but he became a chowkidaar of few industrialists.”

Addressing the United Nations' listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress and said that when India progresses, the Congress is upset. "They were questioning the listing of the terrorist they address with 'ji', they were questioning why it happened only in the year of an election.

"They are feeling bad that a chaiwalla is accomplishing the work that they were not able to for 70 years. If Congress workers come asking for votes even by mistake, give them a handkerchief and tell them to wipe their tears," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a rally in Rajasthan's Hindaun, extended solidarity and pledged the Centre's support to the governments of the eastern states, in view of Cyclone Fani. "The Centre has promised a relief fund to the states, so that can deal with this serious situation," he said.

Opposition leaders will hold a meeting to deliberate on the prime ministerial candidate after 19 May, which will be the last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election, reports said. CNN-News18 reported that the 'mahagathbandhan' is likely to finalise on a leader in the strategy meeting.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha election from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh along with Kerala's Wayanad, addressed a 'letter' to the people of the constituency, saying that they were "his family". Amethi will vote in the fifth phase of the election, scheduled for 6 May.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear next week a review plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders seeking an increase in random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in the ongoing general elections.

The apex court had on April 8 directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in five polling booths per assembly segment from one booth.

Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has sought the review of the apex court's order, saying the "increase from 1 to 5 is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court".

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit West Bengal's Kharagpur to monitor the situation of Cyclone Fani, which made landfall in Odisha on Friday morning, reports said. Mamata will be in the coastal city on Friday and Saturday. All her political campaigns scheduled for the two days have been cancelled.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a day's break on Thursday, will be campaigning in Rajasthan. The prime minister is expected to address rallies at Hindaun, Sikar and Sam. The first rally is expected to begin at noon.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, too, will be in Rajasthan with a rally scheduled in Bharatpur. Before that, Rahul is expected to address a meeting of Congress workers at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh at 11.45 am. The state, incidentally, is where BJP chief Amit Shah campaigned through Thursday.

On Friday, Shah is scheduled to campaign at Koderma, Khunti and Ranchi in Jharkhand, and at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too will be in Uttar Pradesh, touring Mahrajganj, Halor, Osah, Gudha, Bachhrawan. Johwa Sarki, Gurubaxganj, Achleshwar and finally, Raebareli.

On Thursday, Rahul campaigned in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He slammed the NDA government and said that if Congress were to come to power at the Centre, the party's government will not work for a handful of top businessmen, calling them Modi's “masters”.

"We will not run the government for 15 people because they are not our 'malik' (masters),” he told a public meeting at Chomu in Jaipur district. “These are Narendra Modi's “masters”, he said, naming industrialists like fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi.

“Polling in most states is over and the result is clear. PM Narendra Modi is going to lose the elections and the Congress government of the farmers and the youth is about to come in,” he said. “You are our masters and we will do what you will order,” he told the gathering.

In Uttar Pradesh, Rahul said that his party's primary aim in the state is to defeat the BJP and where it does not have a strong candidate, it is giving help to the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party. The Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati-led parties have formed an alliance for the General Election without the Congress.

Rahul's remarks echoed the views of his sister and party general secretary in-charge eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had said on Wednesday that her party has fielded candidates either with prospects of victory or having potential to damage the BJP's chances.

Your guide to the latest seat tally, live updates, analysis and list of winners for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 542 constituencies on counting day of the general elections.

Updated Date: May 03, 2019 17:44:59 IST