Get all the latest updates on Lok Sabha election throughout the day:
9.00 pm: FIR filed against VHP president Pravin Togadia for hate speech against Muslims in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Bhavnagar police begin probe into the remarks made Togadia.
7.44 pm: Dubbed as non-secular by the opposition, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today tried to reach out to Muslims, saying change had to be brought in the lives of poor members of the community.
Extremism in any form is bad 4 India. Every vote 4 BJP & it’s allies pushes us to this very DANGER.#votefordmk to keep such elements at bay.
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) April 21, 2014
6.42 pm: Congress today approached the Election Commission requesting it not to post government officials having allegiance to RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Sri Ram Sena and other similar organisations on election duty, raising doubts about their ability to conduct impartial polls.
6.16 pm: There is no possibility of any post-poll alliance between BJP and Trinamool Congress, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh today said.
— INC Live (@INCLiveTweets) April 21, 2014
5.30 pm: The Election Commission has sought the recording of speech made by VHP leader Pravin Togadia in Bhavnagar in which he allegedly said that people from minority community should be stopped from buying properties in Hindu-dominated localities.
4.35 pm: Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today attacked BJP leader Narendra Modi, alleging that over 7,000 farmers had committed suicide in Gujarat during his tenure.
Togadia and Giriraj Singh are the true face of RSS proves that RSS is anti Muslim organisation and fascist.
— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) April 21, 2014
3.58 pm: Over 800 kg of explosives and 127 improvised bombs have been recovered by security forces from across Naxal violence-hit areas since the Election Commission sounded the poll bugle in the country on March 5.
2.43 pm: A day after shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan’s family refused to propose Narendra Modi’s candidature from Varanasi, Hindustani classical singer Pandit Channulal Mishra has said that he will be going his proposer for nomination. Talking to the reporters, Mishra said: “Mayor of Varanasi told me Modiji wants me to be his proposer for nomination, I will be going…I am an artist, if Soniaji, Mulayamji would have asked, I would have gone too.”
1.15 pm: Notwithstanding BJP’s assertion that there will be no witch-hunt if it comes to power, Uma Bharti has said that Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra will be in jail if NDA comes to power. Bharti also alleged that Vadra had made money by breaking all the norms.
12.20 pm: Narendra Modi addressing rally in Etah.
12.15 pm: Syed Yahya Bukhari, the younger brother of Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari says Narendra Modi wearing a skull cap will not change what his party feels about Muslims.
12.10 pm: Repolling began at three booths in Barmer and one in Churu constituency for the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan.
12.05 pm: In Ramanathapuram, Rahul says Modi talks about Gujarat model but he should come here and watch Tamil model.
11.55 am: Congress candidate Nagma confuses shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan with hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, says Geelani is a Bharat Ratna awardee.
11.40 am: Rahul Gandhi addressing a rally in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.
11.20 am: People of Uttar Pradesh are stuck between father-son duo sarkar and ‘Beheji sarakar’.
11.15 am: Modi takes a jibe at Rahul Gandhi again, says people visit Taj Mahal and click pictures and those born with a golden spoon visit homes of poor to see poverty. “Rahul bhaiya does not know what is poverty and so he does poverty tourism.”
11.12 am: In Hardoi, Modi accuses Congress, SP and BSP of mocking poor.
Modi is a caste name. BJP campaign Ab Ki Bar Modi Sarkar’ has castist overtone as per EC guidelines.EC should ban this.
— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) April 21, 2014
11.00 am: Narendra Modi addresses rally in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh.
— Aam Aadmi Party (@AamAadmiParty) April 21, 2014
10.30 am: The Indian Express twitter poll shows that AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal still leads the social race leaving behind BJP Pm candidate Narendra Modi. To a poll question on who should be India’s next Prime Minister, Modi got only 32.3% Twitter votes while Kejriwal led the race with 64.6% Twitter votes.
10.05 am: Election Commission-appointed surveillance teams have seized Rs 50 lakh from a political party worker in Ahmedabad.
9.45 am: The family of late shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan has reportedly said no to propose BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s candidature. Reports suggest that Khan’s son Zamin Husain refused to BJP for being a proposer for Modi when they were approached by the saffron party.
Amazed at the incredible venom of Modi supporters on my TL. Do you really want to take political discourse to this level? @narendramodi
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) April 21, 2014
9.30 am: Already witnessing a high-profile contest between Arun Jaitley and former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Amritsar could become the only Lok Sabha seat in this election where both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi will be testing their electoral prowess. While the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is already scheduled to address a rally in Amritsar, the Congress is learnt to be considering the option of organising a Manmohan Singh rally there to shore up Amarinder’s chances.
— Dr. Kumar Vishvas (@DrKumarVishwas) April 21, 2014
FROM THE PRINT: WHO WILL BE FM?
It had all started with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal declaring him the future Deputy Prime Minister after the NDA forms the government at the Centre. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, who is contesting from Amritsar, then saw a change in his future portfolio with Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal telling voters that if they vote for Jaitley, they would be electing the “future Finance Minister” of the country. At Bathinda though, Akali leaders, including Sukhbir’s cousin Bubby Badal, constantly tell voters that if they vote for Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Sukhbir’s wife, they would be voting for the “future Finance Minister”. Drawing on this, comedian Bhagwant Mann, a candidate in Sangrur, tells voters to ask whether the next government would have two Finance Ministers!
The 2014 Lok Sabha election is witnessing participation of various universities in different ways. A faculty member from Mumbai University is conducting an online survey on the elections for research purposes. Indian students at Columbia University had started a website on the 2014 elections earlier this year. Aligarh Muslim University, however, is taking much more active interest. Closely tracking the contest in Varanasi where BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is pitted against Congress’s Ajay Rai and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, the AMU community and the Millat Bedari Muhim Committee (MBMC) of Aligarh have appealed to Mukhtar Ansari. While Ansari who was to contest from Varanasi withdrew from the fray, the AMU community has appealed to him “to declare support” to the Congress candidate “in national interest”. While the MBMC also looked upon Kejriwal favourably, it said it favoured the Congress in view of its greater acceptability and winnability.