The SP-BSP-RLD alliance on Tuesday predicted "bad days" for the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Lok Sabha election results on May 23, claiming that even the foundation of the saffron party would not be visible because of the "alliance storm".
Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati said: "From May 23, the bad days of the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will start." Preparations will also start for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's return to Gorakhpur mutt, Mayawati said at the rally that was also attended by Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.
A number of houses, shops and vehicles were damaged and several policemen injured in clashes that went on for three days between workers of the TMC and the BJP in Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat where polling will be held on May 19, officials said on Tuesday.
The situation there in South 24 Parganas district is peaceful now and the West Bengal government has sought a report from the district administration.
"Several houses, shops and vehicles were ransacked during the clashes that began on Friday night and continued for three days. No casualty was reported," said a senior official at the state secretariat.
"This is a political clash, not communal. We have sought report from the district administration on this," the IAS officer said.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Bathinda, Punjab said, “When the entire Punjab was fighting for country's independence, RSS people were doing 'chamchagiri' (flattery) of Britishers, they never fought in the independence movement.”
Neither the air strike in Pakistan's Balakot nor the Rafale jet deal but caste equation is what is likely to decide the winner in Ghazipur, a Hindi heartland Lok Sabha constituency the BJP is desperate to retain.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, who is seeking re-election from this seat, faces a tough fight from the joint candidate of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, who had together polled more votes than BJP in 2014 polls.
Sinha had won the seat in 2014 by a margin of over 32,400 votes but total votes polled for him at 3.06 lakh were short of 5.16 lakh votes cornered by SP and BSP together.
State Crime Branch police on Tuesday arrested two leaders of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) from Kasargode district on charges of murdering two Youth Congress workers.
Krupesh, 19, and Joshy, 24, who were members of the Congress party's youth wing, were attacked on February 17 by three men. While Krupesh died at the Kasaragod district hospital, Joshy succumbed to his injuries on way to a medical facility in Mangaluru city of Karnataka.
The police arrested Manikandan and Balakrishnan following their detailed questioning by the Crime Branch team, a spokesperson said.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi insulted his father and grandmother during campaigning but he would not do the same to the latter's parents. Rahul Gandhi also said the Congress would defeat the prime minister "with love".
"Modi ji talks with hatred. He insults my father, grandmother, great grandfather. But I will never in my life speak about his family, his mother and father. I will die, but will never insult his mother and father.
"This is because I am not a RSS or BJP man, but belong to the Congress. I will return him love if hatred is thrown at me...We will defeat Modi ji with love, hugging you," he said.
Pushing for a new language in politics, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the fight on issues can be brutal but hatred and violence should not be used against each other.
Rahul Gandhi's message for leaders and political parties came on a day Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar was back in the news with an article justifying his "neech" jibe against Narendra Modi, and also calling him the most "foul-mouthed" prime minister the country has seen.
"I'm pushing for a new language in politics. Let's fight each other brutally on issues. Let's fight hard on ideology. But...Let's not use hatred and violence against each other," Gandhi tweeted. It's bad for the country, he said.
West Bengal Government writes to Election Commission over deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the state for 7th phase of Lok Sabha elections; requests, "decision for not having a local officer in charge of Quick Response Teams (QRTs) be re-examined".
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Ujjain, said “I will show you clearly, look at these forms. Congress Party waived off farm loans of Shivraj Singh Chouhan's family members, but he is lying to Madhya Pradesh that farm loans were not waived off.”
Predicting the defeat of the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said desperation was showing on the faces of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders.
Owaisi told reporters that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not be able to form the government again as it will suffer defeat everywhere.
"Desperation is there to be seen on faces of the Prime Minister and other BJP leaders. The results will not be on their expected lines. They wrongly assumed that losses in UP would be compensated in West Bengal and Odisha which is not going happen. Everywhere in India they are going to lose seats," he said.
Anand Sharma, Congress said, “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's public rally in Himachal Pradesh's Sundernagar has been cancelled as her chopper could not take off from Kangra airport as IMD had forecast bad weather between Kangra-Sunder Nagar, the pilot has also filed a report.”
In a fresh rebellion, dissident Cabinet minister in Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath government om Prakash Rajbhar, on Monday announced support for Opposition candidates in the seventh and the final phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections.
Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) President Rajbhar, who claims to have walked out of the Adityanath government miffed over denial of expected numbers of tickets, has already fielded 39 candidates for seats in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh phases.
Again playing spoiler to the BJP's plans, Rajbhar, who has considerable clout in in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has declared support for the Congress candidate in Mirzapur and SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidates in Maharajganj and Bansgaon.
Polling was underway for the third and final phase of the rural local body elections in Telangana on Tuesday.
Voters exercised their franchise for 161 Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs) and 1,708 Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTCs). Elections to 30 other MPTCs were unanimous.
According to State Election Commission officials, polling began amid tight security at 9,494 polling stations at 7 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. The polling in 205 MPTCs in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas will conclude at 4 p.m.
DMK President MK Stalin on Tuesday said only after the Lok Sabha election results are declared it will be possible to know if a non-Congress, non-BJP grouping is possible to govern the country.
He reiterated that Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao met him on Monday as a mark of courtesy.
Speaking to reporters, Stalin said he does not know whether a third front would be formed. This will be known only after the election results are declared on May 23.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh said, “Modi ji aapne aam khana sikha diya, aapne kurta kaatna sikha diya, ab aap desh ko ye bata dijiye ki apne 5 saalon main Hindustan ke berozgaar yuvaon ke liye kya kiya?”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Neemuch, MP said, “Narendra Modi told officers and Air Chief of Air Force, "It'll be beneficial, radar won't be able to track aircraft in bad weather". Narendra Modi ji, whenever it rains in India, do all the aircraft disappear from the radar?”
In a latenight development, the Congress urged the Election Commission to book Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai for sedition for urging youngsters to "weaponise" themselves to force the state government to fulfil their demands on norms for government jobs during a speech earlier this month.
In his complaint to the EC, Vivek D'Silva, North Goa District Youth President of the Congress has also said, that Sardesai's comments made during the inauguration of his party Goa Forward's office premises in Panaji, clearly showed "an intent to wage war against a government duly instituted under the Constitution, and also against the people of Goa".
"The complainant states that the said act is also an indirect attempt to threaten voters in Panaji which is going for polls on May 19. The complainant states that the said words have been made by Vijai Sardesai with intent to excite dissatisfaction and to create hatred amongst the people of Goa against the government," the complaint states.
Hearing begins in Supreme Court on bail plea of Priyanka Sharma, BJP youth wing worker who was arrested for sharing a morphed picture of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Supreme Court observes, "We can grant bail but she has to apologise."
Tejashwi Yadav, RJD said, “Nitish ji said y'day in Nalanda that he will not let Lalu ji come out of jail, it confirms our allegations that Nitish Kumar and people of BJP together sent Lalu ji to jail. Our appeal is in HC, it will be the court's decision not Nitish Kumar or Narendra Modi's.”
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati said, “During a ban on a candidate for violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC), if they go to a public place or offer prayers at a temple and it is shown in media, it should be stopped. Election Commission should take action on it.”
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) hops over a barricade to meet supporters during a public meeting in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.
‘Knock the door is the BJP campaign in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers have been directed to knock on every door and seek votes for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge people to cast their votes on the polling day.
This campaign has been initiated to ensure a high percentage of polling in the Prime Minister's constituency on May 19.
Over 10,000 BJP leaders and workers from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi have arrived in Varanasi to help in the campaign.
The Election Commission on Monday ordered repolling at a polling station in Faridabad Lok Sabha seat on May 19 after a polling agent was arrested for influencing voters.
The re-poll will be held at the polling station in Prithla assembly segment of the constituency.
The Election Commission said that Ashok Kumar Garg IAS has been posted by the Commission as new Returning Officer of Faridabad parliamentary constituency. He has been directed to join at Faridabad by forenoon on Tuesday.
The third and final phase of polling for Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC) elections got underway Tuesday.
The polling began at 7 AM and would continue till 5 PM, except in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas, where it would conclude an hour early at 4 PM, State Election Commission said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi to hold public meetings in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch, Khandwa and Tarana on Tuesday.