The Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for allegedly "dragging" the armed forces in the political domain by using them to seek votes.
A Congress delegation, comprising Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Randeep Surjewala, made several representations such as over Union minister Smriti Irani's "contradictory affidavits" to the Election Commission on her educational qualifications and a web series on Prime Minister Modi.
The party gave a memorandum to EC over Irani's contradictory affidavits, demanding that she should be disqualified from contesting.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, “Tomorrow I'm meeting Election Commission, I'm going to discuss the anomalies and technical problems EVMs are facing. Nobody knows what is happening in EVMs.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who will arrive on Monday night, will campaign across the state for two days, where he will also cover his constituency -Wayanad - on Wednesday.
Kerala goes to the polls on April 23 to elect 20 Lok Sabha members.
Releasing Rahul Gandhi's tour programme, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee on Friday said he will arrive here on the night of April 15.
The following morning, he travels to Pathanapuram in Kollam district to address a party rally in the constituency where Kodikunnil Suresh, a former Union Minister and sitting member from the Mavelikera Lok Sabha constituency, is seeking re-election.
The Delhi High Court on Friday refrained from hearing a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission to bar Jammu and Kashmir politicians Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti from participating in the Lok Sabha election as they have allegedly made "seditious" statements.
The court asked the petitioner to move the appropriate forum with his grievance after which the petition was withdrawn.
"Dismissed as withdrawn," said a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Prateek Jalan.
The petition filed by a lawyer alleged that the "seditious and communal statements" given by the three leaders were against the Constitution, adding that the court or the EC should bar or impose conditions on their entry into the Lok Sabha.
Former Union Minister Krishna Tirath on Friday rejoined the Congress after a gap of four years.
Tirath, who was a Minister of State in the Manmohan Singh government, had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015.
She contested the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls on BJP ticket but lost to the Aam Aadmi Party. She has been a two-time MP from Delhi.
Upset over remarks by Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, his Cabinet Minister Anil Sharma on Friday tendered his resignation from the cabinet.
However, he has not resigned either from the BJP party or from the state assembly.
"Jai Ram Thakur gave some statements against me in my constituency yesterday (Thursday) and I am upset. This morning I decided to quit from his cabinet and submitted my resignation to his office," Sharma, who holds the Power portfolio, told reporters here.
Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday expressed her solidarity with the military veterans who have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing outrage over alleged use the armed forces for political purposes.
Addressing a rally in Kurseong, Banerjee said, "We are proud of our Armed forces, but I will never seek votes highlighting the achievements of soldiers, like (prime minister) Narendra Modi."
The Shiv Sena on Friday advised its ally BJP to "speak less" on the Rafale deal, in which the Congress has alleged corruption, cautioning that unwanted statements may increase troubles for the national party.
The Sena also said the ban on NaMo TV could have been avoided had the BJP been satisfied with the coverage being given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign rallies on electronic channels.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party sought to corner its senior ally over the recent clash between BJP workers in the presence of Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan at a public rally in Jalgaon, where the party has changed its Lok Sabha candidate.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Krishnagiri said, “We will never ever let the people of Tamil Nadu be ruled by Nagpur. Tamil Nadu is going to be ruled from Tamil Nadu and MK Stalin is going to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.”
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sakshi Maharaj said, “I am a sanyasi (monk) and I am here to beg at your door, if you refuse a sanyasi, I would take away the happiness of your family and will curse you” in a bid to seek votes. He also threatened people in the name of ‘Mythology’ according to a report in the ABP.
Sakshi, who is currently a Member of Parliament from Unnao, has made several controversial statement in the past as well, but this time the ‘controversial and threatening ‘statement was addressed to the voters.
BSP chief Mayawati tweeted that with the voters rejecting the ruling BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha election, the party has now decided to gain victory by, "Not by vote but by notes; EVM rigging; and abuse of police/administration".
Raising finger over EVM control, she said: "The election staff wants to win the elections by pushing the button with the sticks".
"If there is a need to save the faith of common people in the country, then it is the constitutional responsibility of the Election Commission to take cognisance of these things seriously and take urgent measures so that the elections of the next phase can be free and fair," Mayawati added.
The Supreme Court on Friday directed all political parties to furnish receipts of electoral bonds and details of identity of donors in a sealer cover to the Election Commission.
In an interim order, the apex court also directed all political parties to provide details of the amount and bank account of donors by May 30 to the poll panel. The order was pronounced by a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
The order was passed on a plea of an NGO which challenged the validity of the scheme and sought that either the issuance of electoral bonds be stayed or names of donors be made public to ensure transparency in the poll process. The government had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 on January 2, 2018.
As per provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
Only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than one per cent of votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive electoral bonds. Electoral bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with authorized bank.
“As long as I'm alive Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) will not be implemented. I will kill myself, I will suicide before Narendra Modi but I will not let CAB to be implemented,” said Sanbor Shullai, BJP candidate from Shillong parliamentary seat
Two local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Thursday clashed with each other on stage in Masuda, Ajmer when BJP candidate Bhagirath Choudhary came to address a rally. Supporters of both leaders also joined the fight and there was total chaos. Due to the clash, BJP candidate had to leave the stage.