Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST updates: Addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon, BJP president Amit Shah said, "MLA Bhima Mandavi's (who lost his life in a Naxal attack on 9 April) death smells of a political conspiracy. I want to tell chief minister of Chhattisgarh, if you have nothing to hide, then order a CBI inquiry into Mandavi's death."
A day after Andhra Pradesh went to polls, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said, "Tomorrow (Saturday), I'm meeting the Election Commission. I'm going to discuss the anomalies and technical problems EVMs are facing. Nobody knows what is happening in EVMs," he told reporters.
In a video doing rounds on social media, Union minister Maneka Gandhi, is allegedly seen telling Muslims in Sultanpur to vote for her. "I am going to win because of the love of the people. But if I win without the votes of the Muslims, then I won't be too happy. I will not be inclined to be responsive when you come to seek jobs," she is heard saying in the video. Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha lashed out at Maneka over the video and tweeted, "WHOA!!! Just hear #ManekaGandhi talking to Muslims; it's a shocker!!!!"
Addressing a rally in Karnataka's Gangavathi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi targetted Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. "JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda's son said that if NDA forms the government in the Centre again, then he'll retire from politics. In 2014 election, Deve Gowda had said that if Modi becomes the prime minister then he'll retire from politics. Did he retire? Will his son retire?)"
Former Union minister Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma tendered his resignation as Himachal Pradesh minister on Friday. In March, Sukh Ram rejoined the Congress along with his grandson Aashray Sharma ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The development had led to speculation on the fate of Anil. State BJP president Satpal Singh Satti had then said, "It is up to Anil Sharma whether to remain a Himachal Pradesh minister or quit. He should make his stand clear."
Congress leader PC Chacko said on Friday that the door is open for Aam Aadmi Party to forge an alliance with the party in Delhi. "AAP wanted to have an alliance in other states also, which is not practical. Every state is different; we will announce the seats tomorrow or day after tomorrow. If they are ready for an alliance in Delhi with Congress, we are ready even today," Chacko said.
AAP had earlier said that the party is not interested in tying up with Congress in Delhi alone.
A delegation of the BJP, led by Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Nirmala Sitharaman, met the Election Commission to raise complaints on several charges. Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Naqvi charged the language used by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Rafale documents admissability order. Rahul had said, "Supreme Court has pronounced the verdict, chowkidar is a chor."
Rabri Devi, on Friday, told News18 in an interview that JD(U) leader Prashant Kishore had visited Lalu Prasad's hope as many as five times, to broker a deal through which Nitish Kumar and his party could make their way back to the mahagathbandhan in Bihar.
"Kishore asked for him (Nitish Kumar) to be declared the prime ministerial candidate, even after JD(U) had joined hands with the BJP. Not just I, but my entire staff saw this," she said.
Speaking at Odisha's Keonjhar, BJP chief Amit Shah significantly brought back the BJP's favourite language slam against Naveen Patnaik, who cannot speak in Odia. "Naveen babu has ruled Odisha for 19 years, but still can't talk in Odia to his people," he said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said during his rally at Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri, "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."
Speaking at Ahmednagar, Narendra Modi steered clear of asking voters to cast their ballots in the name of the Army or the martyrs, after running into quite some controversy after repeatedly mentioning them in earlier speeches. He, however, repeated his earlier promises of a water ministry and rang up the old slam of a scam operating out of the Gandhi family's 'Tughlaq Road' residence. "Congress has stolen money meant for pregnant women just days after coming to power in Madhya Pradesh," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his rally at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, hit out at the Congress-NCP alliance. "Today, on the one hand, the Congress and NCP has given you hollow promises and on the other hand the NDA has made good on its promises. During the Congress-NCP government, bomb blasts took place across Mumbai, in Pune, on a train. In the last five years, since the BJP came to power, blasts have stopped in Maharashtra," he said.
BJP MP Meenaakshi Lekhi has filed a contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on the recent Supreme Court verdict in the Rafale case. Lekhi told the SC bench that the Congress president, in his remark over the top court's verdict in the Rafale case, had said, "Supreme Court has said, chowkidaar chor hai (in its verdict)".
SC has agreed to hear the contempt plea on April 15.
A day after Phase 1 of the Lok Sabha elections, the Supreme Court pronounced a key verdict on electoral bonds in which it asked political parties to reveal by 30 May, how much money they have respectively received through such bonds. The apex court also held that the issue of electoral bonds needed lengthy hearing.
The Centre had appealed to let the system of electoral bonds continue till the end of the Lok Sabha elections. Now that the court has set a deadline that comes well after the 27 May announcement of results of the polls, the system effectively will continue through the election process.
The central government and the Election Commission have taken contrary stands in the Supreme Court over political funding, with the government wanting to maintain the anonymity of the donors of electoral bonds and the poll panel batting for revealing the names of donors for transparency.
Meanwhile, with six phases of the elections still to go, leaders of parties, both big and small, are eager to make the most on the campaign trail.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address rallies at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra (11 am), Gangavati in Karnataka (3 pm) and Kozhikode in Kerala (6.30 pm). Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah will address a rally at Keonjhar in Odisha.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi too will be in the south. He is expected to hold a public rally at 11 am in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district. Rahul is then expected to address meetings at Salem district (around 1 pm), Theni district (3.45 pm), and Madurai district (5.30 pm).
Sources, News18 had reported, had said that concerns have been raised to the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and the party's central election committee about the lack of booth level co-ordination in Thiruvananthapuram constituency. Thiruvananthapuram is where Shashi Tharoor is contesting against BJP's Kummanam Rajashekaran and C Divakaran of the Left.
Congress is also expected to come up with a statement on its alliance with Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi.
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