Leaders of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday held a mega election rally here even without the presence of BSP leader Mayawati who has been banned from campaigning for 48 hours by the Election Commission.
Substituting Mayawati, her nephew Akash took the stage and made his maiden speech and appealed to the voters to ensure the 'gathbandhan' candidates in Agra and Mathura Lok Sabha parliamentary constituencies won handsomely.
BSP leader Satish Mishra told the rally at Kothi Meena Bazar ground: "Five years of BJP rule has been a failure... The BJP was only exploiting religious feelings."
Congress on Tuesday released a list of three candidates for two seats in Uttar Pradesh and one in Madhya Pradesh.
The party has decided to go with a Brahmin face in Acharya Pramod Krishnam from the high-profile constituency of Lucknow, currently represented by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
From Kaiserganj, Congress has fielded Vinay Kumar Pandey. Pankaj Sanghvi has been named as party’s candidate from Indore, another high-profile seat which sent Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan to Parliament in 2014.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said the people have realised "political opportunism" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his "lies and deceit" cannot save the "sinking ship" of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In an election rally in south Kashmir's Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, Azad also alleged that the BJP has not been able to fulfil any of the promises made in the 2014 election campaign and that the party after coming to power, has destroyed the constitutional fabric of the country.
"Never in the history have four senior judges of Supreme Court come out and said that democracy was in danger in the country," he said.
Azad said the Centre over the past five years has filled up independent constitutional institutions and academic institutions like universities with people from the RSS
Campaign ended on Tuesday for five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar where polling will be held on April 18 in the second phase of general elections.
The five Lok Sabha constituencies are Bhagalpur, Banka, Katihar, Kishanganj and Purnea.
The BJP had fought these five seats unsuccessfully in 2014 and this time its ally JD(U) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is contesting from those constituencies.
Both the BJP and the JD() are contesting 17 out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Nominees of NDA ally LJP are in the fray in the remaining six constituencies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi held rallies at Bhagalpur and Katihar respective
Loudspeakers blaring political message turned silent on Tuesday evening as the curtains came down on the high-voltage electoral campaign for the 39 Lok Sabha seats and Assembly by-polls in 18 constituencies in Tamil Nadu, to be held on April 18.
The Lok Sabha and the Assembly by-elections will witness four-cornered contests.
However, the major contest will be between the ruling AIADMK-led alliance comprising of PMK, BJP, PMK, TMC, PT and PNK, and the opposition DMK-led alliance consisting of Congress, MDMK, CPI, CPI(M), IUML, VCK, KMDK and IJK.
Both AIADMK and DMK will be contesting in 20 seats in Tamil Nadu while sharing the remaining 20 -- including the lone Puducherry seat -- with their alliance partners.
Also in the fray are Kamal Haasan's MNM and T.T.V. Dinakaran's AMMK.
DMK Chief MK Stalin in Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu said, “This (AIADMK-BJP) is an inefficient alliance, remember it's these same people who brought GST, promising that rates of essential things will come down but you tell me, rates of which things have come down?”
Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara in Tumakuru said, “I don't want to predict how many seats we (Congress-JDS) will win but we are trying to win all 28 seats in the state. They (BJP) had given false promises and are continuing with the same false promises in this election too.”
Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Tuesday slammed the BJP for attacking Congress president Rahul Gandhi with expletives.
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party was resorting to abusive language as they had "no poll issue" and a "track record of non-performance" to campaign with for the ongoing General Elections.
"The difficulty is that the BJP has no issue. They have no performance. So, how do you deflect the (public's) attention? You indulge in abuse and rhetoric. People of India are not going to be misled. They are angry over the broken promises of the past five years and they will teach the Narendra Modi government a lesson in these elections," the former Congress union minister said.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Shakil Ahmed on Tuesday filed his nomination papers, in presence of a host of party leaders,including a couple of MLAs, and expressed hope that he would be allotted the party symbol within the next couple of days failing which he would be contesting as an Independent.
Like Ahmed, senior RJD leader Mohd Ali Ashraf Fatmi might also throw his hat in the ring for Madhubani Lok Sabha seat against the mahagathbandhan nominee hailing from fledgling VIP party.
Ahmed, who had announced his decision to enter the fray on Monday followed by resignation from the post of AICC senior spokesman, filed his nomination papers in two sets one as a candidate of the Congress party and another as an Independent.
Election Commission (EC) issues show-cause notice to Union Minister and BJP MP from Jodhpur, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by threatening public officials in his speech in Pokhran on 14 April.
The Election Commission on Tuesday issued notification for the sixth and penultimate phase of Lok Sabha elections to be held on May 12 in 59 seats across seven states.
The seven-phase elections began on April 11 and will end on May 19. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will head for voting in all the seven phases of the general elections.
All the seven seats in Delhi will also go for polling in the sixth phase.
SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav in Agra says, “If an alliance of three parties is 'mahamilawat' then we want to ask them, what do we call your alliance which has 38 parties from across the country? Do suggest us a name.”
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has stoked controversy by urging Muslim voters of a Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar with sizeable population of the minority community to vote en bloc and defeat (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi.
The comments by former test cricketer at a rally in Katihar, where he was canvassing in support of veteran Congress leader and former union minister Tariq Anwar, drew an angry response from BJP which condemned the "reprehensible act", urged the Election Commission to take "suo motu cognizance" and take suitable action.
"Do not consider yourself as being in a minority. You constitute the majority here. You are about 64 per cent. Do not fall into the trap laid down by people like Owaisi (president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen). They have been propped up by the BJP," Sidhu had said on Monday at a rally held at Barasol, in Balrampur assembly segment falling under Katihar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked for a report from Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) on Bangladeshi actor Ferdous campaigning for TMC in West Bengal.
Shivpal Singh Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) releases a list of 14 candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction for Election Commission to ensure the safety and security of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and to secure that they are not tampered with, during the post polling period.
Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate for Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency, M Nara Singh campaigns in the constituency. Lok Sabha polls in the state will be held for one out of two seats on Apr 18. Voting for Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituency was held on Apr 11
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy says, “It's because of me that contribution of Ambareesh is being given recognition and she (Independent MP candidate from Mandya Sumalatha Ambareesh) goes around Mandya saying JDS is a party of thieves. I'm CM because of no other person but you (audience) 'punyaatmas'.”
A total of four people have been suspended by DRM (Divisional Railway Manager) Lucknow. Besides two reservation clerks, one Chief Reservation Supervisor and a Commercial Inspector have also been suspended after tickets with photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were issued to passengers.
Election Commission flying squad checks luggage of former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa at helipad in Shivamogga.
BJP delegation comprising senior leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Jagat Prakash Nadda, will approach the Election Commission later today against the ban on UP CM Yogi Adityanath who has been barred from election campaigning for 72 hours.
The Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, will contest on 39 Lok Sabha seats separately.
Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Minister and SBSP President Om Prakash Rajbhar said that he had waited long enough for the BJP to share seats.
"But the BJP gave Apna Dal two seats and none to us. We have influence on 125 Assembly seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh and we are going to contest on our own," he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Election Commission's response on a petition alleging that bribing of voters have taken place in each of the 39 Lok Sabha constituency of Tamil Nadu.
The petitioner said each voter has been paid around ₹5,000 and pleaded that th poll panel must be asked to postpone polls in all 39 constituencies of the state.
Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore files his nomination from Jaipur parliamentary constituency for Lok Sabha Elections 2019. Yog guru Ramdev and Rathore's wife Gayatri Rathore are also present.
Prakash Raj who is contesting from Bengaluru Central LS seat as an independent candidate, says, “I'm not fighting against anyone. I'm fighting for the people. It's we who are the majority. In democracy, if you choose the right leader, people win, if you choose wrong leader, people lose.”
The crackdown against four leaders by the Election Commission for making hate speeches seems to have had little impact on other contestants.
Hours after the EC's action against Yogi Adityanath, Azam Khan, Maneka Gandhi and Mayawati, the BSP candidate from Fatehpur Sikri, Guddu Pandit alias Bhagwan Sharma, launched a diatribe against UPCC President Raj Babbar who is also contesting on Fatehpur Sikri seat.
"Sunn lo Raj Babbar ke kutton, tumko aur tumare neta nachaniya ko dauda dauda kar jooton se maarunga. Jo jhoot faelaya samaaj mein. Jahan milega, Ganga maa ki saugandh tujhe jooton se maarunga, tujhe aur tere dalaalon ko," he told a news channel.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “#AbHogaNYAY is not just a slogan, it’s the Congress party’s commitment to the people of India. Our catchy campaign theme song has become a big hit across India. Here’s a new video built around our NYAY theme.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Kollam: As PM said 'Congress mukt Bharat', meaning we'll erase idea of Congress from India. What Congress says to Narendra Modi is we don't agree with you. We'll fight you to convince you, you're wrong. We'll beat you in e election but we won't use violence against you.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi says, “The Prime Minister talks about Nationalism, and then gives one of the biggest defence contract to a man who has never made a single airplane.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi says, “The difference between BJP, RSS and the Congress (UDF). They believe that anyone that doesn’t agree with us we will crush them. They want to remove all traces of the Congress, but we respond by saying that we will beat you in the Lok Sabha elections. We believe that even though we don’t agree with you, we respect you. We will counter any opposing ideology with love and nonviolence.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi says, “I normally fight the elections from Amethi, but this time I wanted to send a message to South India and that is why I am contesting from Wayanad. I believe that India belongs to different groups of people and the voices of every person should be heard. We believe that India should be ruled by Indians and not by one person.”
Hitting back at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for trying to link two of its candidates to the RSS, the Congress on Monday accused her of trying to sow the seed of suspicion among the minorities about the Congress, and reminded her of her past relations with the BJP.
"The West Bengal Chief Minister knows very well that there is no existence of the RSS in West Bengal. And people in Murshidabad also know this," said Congress' Baharampur candidate and sitting MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Chowdhury took a dig at Banerjee for having called the RSS leaders "true patriots" at a programme organised by the organisation in Delhi years back.
Preparations underway for Lok Sabha elections in Ramanathapuram parliamentary constituency; District Collector says, "we are fully prepared to conduct free and fair elections."
As the poll fever rises, many politicians have stooped so low that the political narrative is going below the belt -- at times, literally.
While the league of such inglorious men and women has got the usual blabbermouths like Azam Khan of the Samajwadi Party (SP) commenting on the colour of a rival's "underwear", there are also hardened politicians like Kamal Nath of the Congress making remarks about the time when the prime minister was yet of the age to learn wearing trousers.
Campaign managers working with different political parties said often such controversial remarks are strategically made, including at the behest of rivals for obvious gains, to polarise voters and they are circulated widely through a well-designed social media publicity mechanism.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Modiji favourite virtue -Discrepancies not Delivery! But, what is the mystery of PM Modi’s property? Stand by for an explosive AICC Press Conference at 12.30 PM today!”
Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has alleged that the Election Commission (EC) is under "pressure" from the Modi government to not take action on complaints of political parties over alleged EVM tampering and their demand for re-introduction of ballot paper.
He said the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not tamper-proof and Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPATs) machines are not without their flaws either, he said adding that the Congress will bring back ballot paper if voted to power.
Alleging that EVMs were rigged during the 2014 general elections, Siddaramaiah said it could happen this time but "not all EVMs can be tampered with" and therefore, it would be impossible for the BJP to get a majority at national level in the current elections.
2 Railway employees have been suspended after tickets with photo of PM Modi printed on them were issued to passengers at Barabanki railway station on Monday. ADM says, "On 13 April, when shift changes, the old roll was mistakenly used. 2 employees suspended, dept probe underway"
Today is the last day to campaign for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections, which is due on April 18, Tuesday. Rahul Gandhi will be in Kerala on Tuesday, he will be addressing several public meetings in the state