UP battleground as it happened: BJP hits back, says Rahul Gandhi must respect democracy

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UP battleground as it happened: BJP hits back, says Rahul Gandhi must respect democracy
  • 17:17 (IST)

  • 17:17 (IST)

    'Rahul Gandhi must respect democracy'

    BJP took on Rahul Gandhi after his allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP spokesperson said that Rahul Gandhi must respect democracy. Cash-commission-corruption go with the Congress. The party has a close bond with corruption and that's why the party is not supporting Modi's demonetisation. BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said Rahul should not cross the proverbial "lakshman rekha". 

  • 16:38 (IST)

  • 16:03 (IST)

    Does cashless economy rely on magic? Rahul Gandhi's bizarre speech

    In a bizarre comment over push for cashless economy in India, Rahul Gandhi questioned whether "cashless economy relies on magic."

    No. Really, he said that. 

  • 16:00 (IST)

    Modi is a super planner, Vaghela told me: Rahul Gandhi

    Quoting Shankersinh Vaghela, Rahul says that the former chief minister had said that Modi is a super event planner and that's it.

  • 15:51 (IST)

    How many black money hoarders have been put in jail by Modiji? Not even one; he instead made Modi(lalit) and Mallya run away

  • 15:48 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi warns of a quake but survey shows it might be a tremor never felt

    Here's an interesting fact: 

    According to a CVOTER survey, conducted on 19 and 20 December in 24 states, 57.7 percent of the total respondents believed that Gandhi's allegations about Modi's corruption were baseless. This group of respondents refused to trust Rahul, the survey said.

    As Parliament was going for its winter recess, Rahul had warned that he would drop a bombshell regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi if allowed to speak in the House. A survey of 1,235 people has revealed that his grandiose statements were a little too weak to cause an "earthquake", as he threatened would happen. The survey was conducted to find out what the nation thinks about Gandhi's claims that he would expose Modi's graft.

  • 15:42 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi's address a damp squib

    Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's speech, similar to his Mehsana address on Wednesday, said nothing new. Rahul quoted the same numbers, the same digits and raised the same points that he has been quoting since 8 November — the day Modi government implemented demonetisation. 

    Dubbing demonetisation as fire-bombing on citizens, Rahul on Wednesday had claimed the move by Modi was aimed at snatching money from the poor and giving it to the wealthy. Addressing a rally at Mehsana, Rahul had compared the hardships faced by people due to note ban with a World War-II tactic, called fire-bombing, wherein cities were destroyed through heavy bombing during nights.

    "During the WW-II, around 300 to 400 fighter planes used to drop large number of bombs on a city during night to destroy it within minutes. I want to tell Modiji he has done similar fire-bombing on India's downtrodden, poor people, farmers, women and middleclass citizens" he said.

    Rahul did the same thing in Bahraich on Thursday. Now sample this speech, which is again a copy of what the Congress vice-president said in Mehsana. 

    In his Mehsana speech, Rahul alleged the central government "deliberately" stalled cash dispensation from banks and ATMs to keep it in the banks for at least six to seven months "so that banks can write off loans of rich families". According to Rahul, only 6 percent black money is in cash while 94 percent is in the form of real estate, gold, diamonds, or is parked in bank accounts abroad. He also claimed that one per people or 50 rich families, are holding that black money while remaining 99 per cent population are honest. "When people started demanding Rs 15 lakhs as promised during the Lok Sabha polls, Modiji came up with this gimmick, which he termed as surgical strike on corruption and black money. But, instead of targetting 94 percent black money, he targetted remaining 6 percent" said Rahul. "Modiji took his aim on those honest 99 percent, not those 1 percent rich people having that black money. This one per cent had defaulted on loans of Rs 8 lakh crore. Now, Modiji wants to write off those loans of 50 rich families. Modi will not touch them, because these 50 families helped him in becoming PM," he alleged.

  • 15:31 (IST)

  • 15:30 (IST)

    Uttar Pradesh turns into a battleground

    On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a full-frontal attack on Congress, Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and every critic of demonetisation, the Congress vice-president did not shy away from a rebuttal. 

    Speaking in Bahraich, Rahul lambasted Modi for making fun of him. "Everyday our farmers are committing suicide, we went to the PM with these problems, but the PM did not say even one word."

  • 15:26 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi tosses Ghalib barb at Narendra Modi

    In UP's Bahraich, Congress scion slammed the prime minister for making fun of him. Rahul, who was addressing the Jan Akrosh Rally in Bahraich on Thursday, said that make fun of me as much as you want, "but at least reply to my questions."

    "Main Ghalib ke shabdon mein kehta hoon 'Har ek baat pe kehte ho ke tu kya hai, tumhi kaho ke yeh Andaaz-e-Guftagu kya hai," says Rahul, quoting Ghalib.

  • 15:17 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi addresses Jan Akrosh rally in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich

  • 15:16 (IST)

    Liars ask liars to speak the truth 

    The current slugfest between the BJP and the Congress over the Sahara and Birla diaries is a living embodiment of Rahat Indori's couplet: Jhooton ne jhooton se kaha hai, sach bolo (liars are asking liars to speak the truth), writes senior editor of Firstpost Sandipan Sharma. 

    Consider Rahul Gandhi's case first. After threatening to expose Modi in Parliament, bring about a quake, he has done a Kejriwal 2.0 by rehashing some of the allegations made by the Delhi chief minister in the state assembly. The papers he is quoting to attack Modi are a compilation of the who's who of Indian politics. Hidden in the Sahara files and the Birla papers are names of politicians from across the political spectrum, including those of Congress leaders, some UPA-era stalwarts and the then Delhi chief minister, now the party's face in Uttar Pradesh.

    The BJP's conceit, deceit and denials are even more shameful.

    Read the full article here

  • 15:06 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi responds to Narendra Modi's "earthquake" jibe

  • 14:16 (IST)

    Rahul never thinks before he speaks: PM Modi

    Accusing the government of not allowing him to speak in Parliament, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had earlier said that "an earthquake will come" if he speaks and had gone on to claim that he had knowledge of "personal corruption" by Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were demonetised on 8 November, was speaking at a function organised inside the Banaras Hindu University campus.

    Modi took potshots at Gandhi's assertion that payments through cards, online transfers etc. would face hurdles in the country due to low literacy levels, saying, "I hope he does not say that I had indulged in some sort of black magic to make illiterate those who knew how to read and write. He never thinks before he speaks and he may not have realized that he has admitted the failure of the long reign of his own party," the PM said adding his detractors have been forced "to admit, even if unwittingly, their failures".

    He said a cleanliness campaign has been launched and the "stink" raised during cleaning of garbage which is scattered everywhere is the same that the country is feeling now.

    With inputs from PTI

  • 13:54 (IST)

    Did not take into account that political leaders will come to the rescue of the corrupt: Modi

    The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after demonetisation, said, "Many people say I had not taken into account the consequences of this huge step. In fact, the only thing that I could not take into account was the brazenness with which many political parties and leaders will come to the rescue of the corrupt. But I am happy that this drive aimed at eliminating kala dhan has exposed so many kale mann."   


  • 13:46 (IST)

  • 13:29 (IST)

  • 13:12 (IST)

  • 13:11 (IST)

    Gloves off ahead of Uttar Pradesh polls

    Narendra Modi's visit to Varanasi, ahead of the crucial UP Assembly polls early next year, has given us a glimpse into what we can expect from the upcoming political event. Speaking at BHU, Modi attacked critics of demonetisation and kept his audience riveted.

    His visit came in the wake of scathing allegations against the prime minister levelled by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, and ahead of next year's Uttar Pradesh Assembly election. While he sidestepped the accusations, Modi made a mockery of the Opposition, particularly former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former finance and home minister P Chidambaram and Rahul.

    However, it was a sombre Modi who began his address at the Banaras Hindu University by paying tribute to the foresight of Chanakya and stating the importance of art and culture in today’s world. “To save a human from becoming a robot, art and culture is needed,” he said.

    However, the Samajwadi Party was not far behind, as Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's government approved conversion of 17 backward castes (OBCs) to Scheduled Castes (SC) in a key Cabinet decision.

    Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh State Backward Class Commission (UPSBCC) had recommend to the state government to enact legislation for curbing atrocities on the members of the OBCs, reports CNN-News18. 

    On 8 December, 15 new castes were included in the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) with the Centre issuing notification in this regard. Out of these 28, 15 castes, including Gadheri/itafarosh in Bihar, Jhora in Jharkhand and Labana in Jammu and Kashmir, were new entries, nine were synonyms or sub-castes of the castes which were already in the list and four were corrections.

  • 13:02 (IST)

  • 13:01 (IST)

    People are using different methods to save black money hoarders and the corrupt: Modi

    Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ANI reports: 

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Watch: Modi inspecting works carried out under IPDS-HRIDAY Schemes at Kabir Nagri in Varanasi

  • 12:57 (IST)

    'Critics like Pakistan? Didn't expect this from a PM'

    Reacting to PM Narendra Modi's jibe against Rahul Gandhi, senior NDTV journalist Sreenivasan Jain took to Twitter and said, "'Critics like Pakistan' are the kind of inferences I heard at Yogi Adityanath rally in Gorakhpur two days ago. Not expected from a PM."

  • 12:29 (IST)

    When Narendra Modi mimicked Rahul Gandhi

    M5calnI - Imgur

  • 12:27 (IST)

    Modi compares Parliament disruptions to Pakistan cross border-firing

    The prime minister came down heavily on former prime minister Manmohan Singh for lambasting the current BJP government's decision to demonetise. Training his guns on specific members of the Opposition, he said, "Our former prime minister (Manmohan) said, 'It’s the need of the hour to bring change'. There was a time when silver coins were currency, now it’s paper money. And technology has enabled us to move forward and beyond all that. He (Manmohan) also said that in a country where 50 percent of the population is poor, you can't expect technology to be incorporated across the board. Was that (his allusion to poverty) a report card of his government or mine?"

  • 12:02 (IST)

    Modi and his many engagements in Varanasi

    During his visit, the Prime Minister will inaugurate several projects and will also address the party workers. "Will inaugurate a Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum and launch schemes and programmes of Ministry of Textiles during the Varanasi visit," Modi tweeted.

    "There will also be an interaction with booth level BJP Karyakartas (workers) working in the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat," PM said in another tweet.

    Modi will also lay the foundation stone for Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Hospital and a Centenary Super Specialty Hospital at the Banaras Hindu University campus. 

    "Foundation stone for a ESI super speciality hospital will also be laid. All these development works will greatly benefit the people of Varanasi," Modi said in another tweet.

    With inputs from IANS

  • 11:55 (IST)

    Modi versus Rahul: This round goes to the prime minister

    Joking about Congress vice-president's oratory and political skills, Modi at an event in BHU said that back in 2009, there wsa no way to figure out what was happening inside Rahul Gandhi's head, but "we now know that there's nothing to be worried about."

    "Naa bolte toh bada bhukamp aajata, aur desh ko kitna bada bhukamp jhelna padta ki desh 10 saal tak ubhar na pata. Lekin achha hua bolna shuru kar diya, toh pata chal raha hai bhukamp ki sambhaavna bachhi hi nahin (If he didn't speak, apparently the country would have to live through a terrible earthquake and would take us 10 years to recover from it. Well, thank god he started speaking, now we know that therre's no danger of any earthquake)," Modi says.

  • 11:53 (IST)

    Watch: Prime Minister Narendra Modi ridicules Rahul Gandhi's oratory and political skills

  • 11:46 (IST)

  • 11:45 (IST)

    Modi takes a dig at Manmohan, Rahul and those opposing demonetisation

    Turning the tables against his detractors, the prime minister raised the issue of opposition to demonetisation. "When a former prime minister and a former finance minister and a man like Manmohan Singh who has been part of the core economic team, would say that when 50 percent of the population is poor, how will a cashless economy work? I want to tell Mr Singh that the fact that 50 percent of India is poor, is not my doing," says Modi at the Banaras Hindu University. 

    Slamming the Opposition for standing by the corrupt instead of helping the government with a "move like this", Modi said that what was shocking was when politicians and political parties started standing by the corrupt and those hoarding black money. 

  • 11:28 (IST)

    Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav government plays caste card ahead of UP polls

    While Narendra Modi reached Varanasi to address BJP workers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav played the ultimate caste card, hours before Election Commission will impose the moral code of conduct. 

    According to reports, merely 11 hours before the model code of conduct kicks in, Akhilesh Yadav Cabinet cleared proposal to include 17 OBCs in the Scheduled Caste list. Akhilesh was in Lucknow to unveil the Varuna riverfront project.

  • 11:21 (IST)

    Modi lays foundation stone of Mahamana Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya Cancer Centre in Varanasi

    "To save a human from becoming a robot, art and culture is needed," says a sombre Narendra Modi at Banaras Hindu University.

  • 11:19 (IST)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Varanasi

    With the crucial assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh just around the corner, the BJP's grass root level cadre in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency here shall be looking forward to receiving from him the mantra for electoral success on Thursday.

    Modi, who arrived Varanasi on Thursday morning will be interacting with nearly 20,000 booth-level party workers at the Diesel Locmotive Works (DLW) premises forms a major part of the Prime Minister's itinerary.

With the crucial assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh just around the corner, the BJP's grass root level cadre in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency here shall be looking forward to receiving from him the mantra for electoral success on Thursday.

Modi, who arrived Varanasi on Thursday morning will be interacting with nearly 20,000 booth-level party workers at the Diesel Locmotive Works (DLW) premises forms a major part of the Prime Minister's itinerary here.

And considering Rahul Gandhi is also in UP, it is likely that Modi will counter the Congress vice-president's corruption allegations. Gandhi had alleged that Modi had received money from Sahara and Birla groups during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister.

Modi's visit, which could be the last to his parliamentary constituency before the poll schedule is announced and the Model Code of Conduct comes into force, also includes flagging off of quite a few projects.

 UP battleground as it happened: BJP hits back, says Rahul Gandhi must respect democracy

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. PTI

These include laying of foundation stones for a cancer centre and a super-speciality hospital at the Benares Hindu University where Modi will also spend some time at the "Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav" (national cultural festival), a week-long event organised by the Union Ministry for Culture where artistes from across the country, some of them of international repute, have been performing.

From BHU premises, Modi will leave for a brief tour of Kabir Nagar locality, named after the 17th century mystic and poet, and inspect underground cabling and heritage lighting work, which is being carried out as part of the IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) and HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) schemes.

Thereafter the Prime Minister will reach DLW, where his political engagements will be preceded by laying of foundation stone for a 150-bed ESIC (Employee's State Insurance Corporation) super speciality hospital and inauguration of a trade facilitation centre and a crafts museum, besides launching of a number of schemes and projects under the Textiles Ministry.

This would be Modi's first tour of his parliamentary constituency since demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, that has drawn much flak from the opposition as the shortage of currency caused inconvenience to traders, salaried groups, artisans and unskilled daily wage earners alike.

The PM's message to the booth-level workers of the BJP, drawn from all five assembly segments falling under the Lok Sabha constituency, will set the tone for the party foot soldiers faced with a daunting task of holding their own in a state where politics has been dominated by two rival regional players — the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

From being a force to reckon with in the state in the 1990s, thanks to the momentum generated by the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation, the BJP underwent a steep decline in the first decade of the century.

However, expectations have been high since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when the party stunned all by putting up its best-ever performance, winning 71 out of the 78 seats it had contested in the state.

The spectacular comeback owed much to Modi's decision to step out of Gujarat and contest from this eastern UP seat.

The party's performance in the assembly polls in the state — which is the most populous and hence sends the maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha — will have a bearing on its future prospects on the national level.

This will be Modi's ninth tour of Varanasi since he became the Prime Minister in May 2014.

Significantly, Thursday's visit will also be his fifth since January this year.

The increased frequency of his trips here is seen as one of the many efforts being made by the BJP to improve its tally in the 403-strong UP assembly where it has less than 50 MLAs.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Dec 22, 2016 19:23:25 IST