The Assam government has sounded an alert in all districts of the state following a warning that Cyclone Fani will lash Assam and other parts of the northeastern region for two days starting Saturday early hours.
The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) at Guwahati said that there will be heavy to very heavy rains in most of the northeastern states including Assam on April 4 and 5 and strong surface winds with speeds of up to 40 km per hour.
"Extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani (pronounced as 'Foni') over west central Bay of Bengal has already hit coastal region of Odisha. It is very likely to impact Assam and other northeastern states on late Friday night or Saturday early morning. There will be heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by strong winds," said Sanjay O'Neill Shaw, Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) based in Guwahati.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has been asked to submit details within 90 days of expenses incurred on the election rallies of its president Raj Thackeray.
An election official said the notice for submission of election expenditure was issued after consultations with the Election Commission following a complaint from the BJP demanding that expenditure incurred on MNS rallies be shown in the accounts of opposition candidates in the nine Lok Sabha constituencies where Raj Thackeray addressed rallies.
"We sought guidance regarding the complaint and were told that the MNS is a registered political party and should give details of the expenses incurred on its election rallies.
Congress Lok Sabha candidate Manish Tewari on Friday said he doubted if Prime Minister Narendra Modi knew about freedom fighter Bhagat Singh as the PM never turned up to pay respects to the martyr.
Tewari is contesting the Anandpur Sahib constituency in Punjab against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) nominee and sitting MP Prem Singh Chandumajra. "I really doubt if PM Modi has any idea about 'Shaheed-e-Azam' Bhagat Singh as he never turned up to pay respects to the legendary hero here," Tewari said at a public meeting at the memorial of the freedom fighter.
He announced that the first thing he would do after getting elected would be to move a resolution in Parliament to officially declare Bhagat Singh as 'Shaheed-e-Azam'.
Maoists blew up the election office of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda in Seraikela district early on Friday, but no one was hurt, police said.
According to the police, Maoist guerrillas raided the Kharsawa election office of Arjun Munda, who is a BJP candidate from Khunti, in the early hours of Friday and forced the five people sleeping there out. They later blasted the building using an IED.
Earlier on April 26, Maoists blew up a BJP election office in Palamau district.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said no farmer will be jailed for not repaying loans if his party comes to power at the Centre.
He also said under the Congress rule, the country's youth will not have to obtain any permission for the initial three years to run a business.
"When Congress government comes to power in 2019, no farmer will be sent to jail for not repaying bank loans, he said at an election rally.
Gandhi said if his party was voted to power at the Centre, 22 lakh youth will be given government jobs in a year and 10 lakh others will be recruited in panchayats.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect the fields of farmers on Friday, saying that is nationalism as well.
"You are protecting people from Pakistan's aggression. This is a big achievement. Everyone is happy. But you should also protect the fields of farmers. That is nationalism as well," she told an election meeting here in support of her mother and the Congress candidate from Rae Bareli in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, Sonia Gandhi.
"Loving people also means respecting them. If they are saying something, you (PM) should listen to them as their voice is the voice of democracy. What kind of nationalism is this that you ignore farmers, youngsters and women?," the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said.
Renuka Chowdhury, Congress on EC notice to UP CM Adityanath for his statement 'Babar ki aulad' said, “He is supposed to be the Chief Minister! Come on, speak with some responsibility. You forget that you are in this saffron garb and you talk like that. Despicable!”
A day after the BJP claimed that 14 AAP MLAs were in touch of it to switch over, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi if democracy for him meant buying the legislators of Opposition parties.
"Modiji, are you trying to topple the governments of Opposition parties in states by horse-trading their MLAs? Is this your definition of democracy? Where is the money for this horse-trading coming from? You tried to buy our MLAs earlier too. But horse-trading of AAP leaders is not so easy," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
On Wednesday, AAP leader Manish Sisodia accused the BJP of trying to buy at least seven of its MLAs saying that it offered them Rs 10 crore each to join the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Election Commission of India approves the proposal for granting relaxations in the provisions of Model Code of Conduct in East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, for all the preventive and relief work associated with Cyclone Fani.
A BJP member Rajesh Kumar has filed a defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for tweeting objectionable comments against his party men.
The complaint was filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, who has listed the matter for a hearing on May 16.
Kumar, who claimed to be convenor of legal cell of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Purvanchal Morcha in Delhi, told the court that he was shocked to see a tweet by Kejriwal saying that BJP members kept roaming around the country and raping Hindu girls.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he "ditched" people of the country by promising good days which are still "elusive".
The cricketer-turned-politician also charged that no action was taken against those involved in scams like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi as they belonged to Gujarat.
"Modi has ditched people by promising 'acche din', which are elusive. Good days have come only for people like Adani and Ambani. Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others did scam worth crores and fled the country but no action is taken against them as they belonged to Gujarat," he said addressing an election meeting on Thursday in support of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Raebareli said, “Aaj UP mein kisan ki kya sthisti hai? Apne aap ko desh ke chowkidar kehne wale, inhone kisaano ko khet mein baitha diya hai chowkidari karne. Bas wade pe wada, jhooth par jhooth bola ja raha hai, bas prachaar ho raha hai aur sachaai alag hai.”
With a highly politicised bureaucracy, it is little wonder that the line between bureaucrats and politics is blurring in Uttar Pradesh and a record number of retired bureaucrats are contesting the ongoing elections.
Former IAS officers P.L. Punia and Satyapal Singh have already had successful stints in politics and they seem to be inspiring many more in the cadres.
Another retired IAS officer, Vijay Shankar Pandey, who served as Principal Secretary to Mayawati during her term as Chief Minister between 2007 and 2012, is now contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat.
He has floated his own Lok Gathbandhan Party, which is not a part of any alliance. Incidentally, Pandey was posted in Faizabad during the Ayodhya movement.
Supreme Court agrees to hear on Monday a plea by DMK against the decision of Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker's notice for disqualification of three AIADMK MLAs for supporting TTV Dinakaran.
Tej Pratap Yadav in Jehanabad, yesterday said, “Lalu Prasad Yadav Ji used to meet the public and attend about 12 programs in a day. But politicians today, get tired after attending 2-4 public programs only.”
Supreme Court to hear next week, the review petition filed by Congress and other parties seeking VVPAT slip counting of 50% EVMs, for Lok Sabha elections.
A total of 25 candidates, including four women, are in the fray for the two assembly by-elections in Karnataka on May 19, an official said on Thursday.
"After the last day of withdrawals today (Thursday), 17 candidates are in the fray for the Chincholi (SC) seat in Kalaburagi district and 8 for the Kundagol seat in Dharwad," the official said.
Prominent among the candidates for Chincholi are Avinash Umesh Jadhav of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Subhash V Rathod of the Congress and Gautam Bomnalli of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) said, “Ramayana and Mahabharata are also filled with instances of violence and battles. 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.”
Raj Kumar Chabbewal, Congress candidate from Hoshiarpur, Punjab said, “Modi govt has failed. They can't find candidates even for 3 seats in Punjab. They've fielded Sunny Deol in Gurdaspur. BJP can bring Sunny Deol or Sunny Leone, but no one will be able to stand before this 'aandhi'.”
The makers of Vivek Oberoi-starrer biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 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.
The EC order had come a day before the movie was to be released. Producer Sandip Ssingh said he hopes the film will have a smooth run in the theatres.