Lok Sabha elections HIGHLIGHTS: This election is to save the country, says Priyanka Gandhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/lok-sabha-elections-2019-live-updates-priyanka-gandhi-amethi-congress-aap-bjp-narendra-modi-5644777/

Lok Sabha elections HIGHLIGHTS: This election is to save the country, says Priyanka Gandhi

BJP slams Opposition for raising objections over Mission Shakti. TMC manifesto promising probe into demonetisation. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and BJP's campaign. Here's all the latest news on the polls.

2019 Lok Sabha elections: PM narendra modi address to nation on Mission shakti, congress priyanka gandhi vadra in amethi
2019 Lok Sabha elections LIVE UPDATES: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrives in Lucknow, before heading to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. (PTI Photo)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday asked party workers to reach out to the villages and expose what she called was the BJP’s “jumlebazi” or empty rhetoric. She was campaigning in her brother Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency. Priyanka is in Uttar Pradesh for the next three days.

Earlier in the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation over Mission Shakti and said Indian scientists shot down an anti-satellite missile, in a three-minute operation. The operation was not directed at any country and did not violate any international treaty, the Prime Minister said, adding that the rare achievement helps India join a league of superpowers comprising Russia, USA and China.

Stay tuned as we bring you the latest election news from across the country as the day progresses, and some analysis of the events. The 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases, between April 11 and May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.

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2019 Lok Sabha elections HIGHLIGHTS: BJP slams Opposition for raising objections over Mission Shakti. TMC manifesto promising probe into demonetisation. Here's all the latest news on the polls. Read latest news in Bangla

Over 300 IT officials on their way to Bengaluru; Centre engaging in vengeance politics: Kumaraswamy

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said that more than 300 IT officials were on their way to Bengaluru and may start their raids tomorrow. He alleged that the Central government is engaging in vengeance politics and said all this was happening because of elections. He warned that if the Centre continues with such tactics his government will do what "didi" did in West Bengal. He was referring to a dharna staged by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when CBI raided on Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence

TRS MP AP Jithender Reddy joins BJP

Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS) MP AP Jithender Reddy on Wednesday joined the BJP in presence of BJP President Amit Shah

Have directed a committee to examine PM's address under MCC: EC

As several Opposition parties complained to the EC after PM Modi's address to the nation over Mission Shakti, the Election Body on Wednesday took cognizance of the matter and said it would examine the case in the light of Model Code of Conduct.

Odisha: BJD releases list of 36 candidates for state assembly elections

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday released a list of 36 candidates for state assembly elections.

Goa Police seizes liquor worth Rs 1.5 crore

Goa Police with the seized liquor (Express Photo)
Goa Police with the seized liquor (Express Photo)

Goa Police on Wednesday raided three locations in north Goa and seized liquor worth Rs 1.5 crore. District Investigation Unit, north district led by SP North launched an operation. Three premises in Dhargal and Pernem were raided based on specific intelligence about illegal storage of liquor in huge quantity today morning at around 11:30 am. Exact market valuation of the seized liquor is yet to be done based on the panchnama. All 3 premises have no excise license/permit to store or sell liquor.

If my party asks me to contest, I will definitely: Priyanka Gandhi

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday interacted with media and said this election is to save the country. On being asked if she will contest the Lok Sabha polls, she said: "I've not decided yet; If my party asks me to contest, I will definitely contest. My wish is to work for the party."

CPI(M) writes to EC over PM Modi's address to nation over Mission Shakti

The CPI(M) on Wednesday wrote to Election Commission over PM Modi's address to the nation today on Mission Shakti. The party said that it comes amid the ongoing election campaign and claimed that the exercise was in violation of Model Code since PM himself is a candidate.

TDP delegation meets EC over transfer of govt officers in Andhra Pradesh

A Telugu Desam Party (TDP) delegation on Wednesday met the Election Commission over the transfer of DG Intelligence and SPs of Kadapa and Srikakulam districts in Andhra Pradesh.

Goa: Swearing in ceremony of Dipak Pawaskar to be held around midnight

The swearing on ceremony of Dipak Pawaskar, who joined the BJP along with Goa tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, will be held around midnight as Governor Mridula Sinha is not in the state. Pauskar joined BJP last night at 1:30 am. Hours after the two MGP leaders joined the saffron party, Goa CM Pramod Sawant on Wednesday dropped deputy CM and MGP chief Sudin Dhavalikar from the state cabinet.

BJP relying on caste factors in ticket distribution: Analysts

The BJP appears to have kept the caste factor in mind while picking candidates which will help it reach its "target" of 74 seats from Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections, a PTI reports said. Of the total 80 seats in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party has so far declared 61 candidates, with the Brahmins getting the most nominations, followed closely by backward communities and the Dalits.

Fifteen seats have been allotted to Brahmins, 14 to backward community leaders, 13 to Dalits, 10 to Kshatriyas, four Jats, two Gurjars and one each to Vaishya, Parsi and Bhumihar castes, said party leaders.

But the party claimed caste was not taken into account. "Our party does not believe in caste politics. The tickets are given considering winnability and local factors. All aspects are being taken into account before declaration of tickets by the party leadership," a senior BJP leader told PTI.

Scientists should've announced Mission Shakti, will complain to EC: Mamata

TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the BJP government's announcement regarding Mission Shakti was politically motivated. She said the scientists working at DRDO and ISRO should have announced the operation. "Only one satellite was destroyed, that wasn't necessary, it was lying there since long, it's the prerogative of scientists, when to do it. We will complain to the EC," she said.

EC holds ‘internal consultation’ on PM Modi’s Mission Shakti address

The Election Commission of India has just concluded what is being described as an “internal consultation” on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on India successfully testing an anti-satellite missile. Senior officials said comments from the government would soon be sought on the circumstances and urgency for the address.

Election Commission officials told The Indian Express that what is already under examination by them are the precedents of such a national address by the Prime Minister shortly before the Lok Sabha polls and whether “national security” could be invoked by the ruling NDA for the urgency of the address. READ FULL STORY HERE

TMC polls manifesto promises probe into demonetisation

TMC on Wednesday released poll manifesto promising a probe into demonetisation if the opposition alliance comes to power after the Lok Sabha election.

Opposition has stooped to the level of ridiculing our scientists: Shah

BJP Amit President Amit Shah on Wednesday slammed the Opposition for objecting to the government announcing successful testing of the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile, saying that the operation took place in space but few people on Earth were also hurt.

Congress leading a conspiracy-driven campaign for polls: Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is addressing a press conference in Delhi. She claimed that Congress has resorted to a conspiracy-driven campaign before the Lok Sabha elections.

Dropped Dhavalikar from Cabinet as he was doing activities against alliance: Goa CM

After dropping Goa deputy CM and MGP chief Sudin Dhavalikar from the state cabinet, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that he (Dhavalikar) was doing activities against the alliance. "We had requested Sudin's brother Deepak to not contest in Shiroda by-poll but he's not ready to listen, so we have taken the decision," he told ANI. The Goa Deputy CM was dropped from Cabinet after 2 MGP MLAs joined the BJP.

All issues with Giriraj Singh will be solved: Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah on Wednesday said that party leader Giriraj Singh will contest the Lok Sabha polls from Bihar's Begusarai. He said that all issues with Singh will be solved. Giriraj Singh was miffed over the party leadership allocating him the Begurari seat without asking him. Singh was in New Delhi, still to make up his mind on contesting the seat. He was the sitting MLA from Nawada and wanted to contest from the same seat.

Giriraj Singh will contest Lok Sabha elections from Begusarai: Amit Shah

Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh: BJP MP joins Samajwadi Party

BJP MP from Hardoi Anshul Verma has joined the Samajwadi Party in the presence of Akhilesh Yadav.

2019 Lok Sabha elections: Urmila Matondkar joins Congress

Urmila Matondkar has joined the Congress party in the presence of its president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.

Matondkar with Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday (Twitter/@INCIndia)

Mission Shakti: Happy World Theatre Day, Rahul trolls Modi

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Mission Shakti, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has wished the PM "a very happy World Theatre Day". Modi had said he would make an "important announcement", before delaying it by at least 30 minutes. Rahul also congratulated the DRDO for the Mission Shakti test.

2019 Lok Sabha elections: Priyanka Gandhi in Amethi, a Congress bastion

Priyanka Gandhi is in Amethi today. This constituency, held by party chief Rahul Gandhi, is important as it is a Congress bastion. It holds significance; it is located in central Uttar Pradesh, a state that sends the largest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha (80). The state accounts for 16 per cent of India’s population and holds key to the formation of the government at the Centre.

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Rahul Gandhi to address OBC dept shortly

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will address the National Convention of OBC department in New Delhi. Stay tuned!

PM Narendra Modi's 'Mission Shakti' announcement: 'India's action doesn't violate international treaties'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while explaining Mission Shakti, said India's action doesn't violate any international treaties. He assured the international community that India's capability won't be used against anyone, but is purely India's defence initiative for its security. "We're against the militarisation of space," PM Modi said.

At the BJP's office in Mumbai (Express Photo: Nirmal Harindran)

PM Narendra Modi address to nation: India has established its name as space superpower

Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his nation to the address. "India has established its name as a space superpower. On March 27, some time ago, India achieved something remarkable. India shot down a low-orbit satellite in three minutes. With Mission Shakti, India is now the fourth nation in the world to be a Space Superpower," PM Modi says.

PM Narendra Modi address to nation: EC likely to be watching closely

The Election Commission is likely to be watching Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation to ensure it does not violate the Model Code of Conduct. With the MCC in force, PM Modi cannot make any announcements or take policy decisions. 

Omar Abdullah pokes fun after PM Modi announces address to nation

Social media is abuzz with speculations as to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi will say in his address to the nation. There are several witty reactions, including former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, who says, "He’s declaring the results of the Lok Sabha elections. #JustSaying"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver 'important message' shortly

The Prime Minister has tweeted that he will deliver an "important message" to the nation between 11.45 and noon.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan says something may happen before 2019 Lok Sabha polls

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says he is “still apprehensive” that “something could happen” before the Lok Sabha elections in India. Describing India as gripped with “war hysteria”, he told Financial Times in the interview: “I’m still apprehensive before the elections, I feel that something could happen.”

Congress consulted economists for minimum income scheme, says Chidambaram

Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a press conference this morning, said the party has consulted economists regarding its Nyay scheme. "They have broadly agreed that India has capacity to implement the scheme. It will be rolled out in phases and cover five crore families," the former union finance minister said.

Lok Sabha Elections: Mayawati says Congress, BJP are 'birds of the same feather'

Taking a swipe at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's Nyay scheme, BSP supremo Mayawati says the “ruling BJP calling Congress’ slogan of Garibi Hatao 2.0 as bluff is true”. She adds that the parties are “birds of the same feather” when it comes to betraying the poor.

Decision 2019: Actress Urmila Matondkar to join Congress today

Mumbai North West Lok Sabha candidate Sanjay Nirupam, veteran actress Urmila Matondkar, MLA Aslam Shaikh and MRCC GS Bhushan Patil arrived at the New Delhi airport this morning. Urmila Matondkar will join the Congress party today in the presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Urmila Matondkar at the New Delhi airport on Wednesday morning.

Decision 2019: Farooq, Mehbooba are selfish, says Ram Madhav in Srinagar

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav called former J&K chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti "selfish" for wanting to contest the Lok Sabha elections but boycotting regional polls over Article 35A and Article 370. "The BJP's stand on these issues hasn't changed. We have asked Election Commission to hold Assembly Elections in the state as early as possible," he is quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav holds a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday. (Express Photo)

2019 Lok Sabha elections: Priyanka's Amethi visit in focus

Welcome to our live blog on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Today, we'll bring you all election-related news from across the country including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's three-day trip to Uttar Pradesh and the BJP's campaign. Stay tuned for the latest news!

2019 Lok Sabha elections: PM narendra modi address to nation on Mission shakti, congress priyanka gandhi vadra in amethi

Lok Sabha elections LIVE UPDATES: BJP election campaign material in Jammu on March 26, 2019. (AP Photo: Channi Anand}

2019 Lok Sabha elections LIVE UPDATES:

The Election Commission of India has given NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar two days to explain his comments criticising the Congress' basic minimum income scheme. Kumar on Tuesday had said the party's promise of a minimum income of Rs 6,000 to the poorest 20 per cent households would increase fiscal deficit. He added that the party can “say and do anything to win elections”.

His comments come ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and at a time when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is inforce. “He is a public servant and ideally should not have made such a statement which is seen as working to the BJP’s advantage. His comments have been sought,” a source told The Indian Express.

Read | EC asks Niti VC Rajiv Kumar to explain his comments on Congress’ Nyay

Rahul's announcement of the Nyunatam Aay Yojana Sunday has raised several questions and sparked debate as the Congress has not shared any details of its plan. According to a report in Paris-based World Inequality Lab, the scheme can be financed with “more progressive taxation,” which can include a wealth tax on the rich.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Chancel said: “India’s progressive tax rates have been falling since the 1980s and people associate high progressivity with low growth. But this is nonsense. From an international comparative perspective, nothing shows that high top tax rates lead to lower growth. Look at US again but also at Europe, the period of high top tax rates coincide with very high productivity growth periods. What is particularly striking in the case of India is the huge rise of income and wealth inequality at the top of the distribution. We believe that a top wealth tax could yield a significant amount of tax revenues to finance social spending and protect Indian democracy from the risks of too high top-end inequality.”

Follow the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 real-time on IndianExpress.com/elections. Check the Lok Sabha election schedule, your Lok Sabha constituency details as well as where Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi are campaigning in the Lok Sabha Election. On Twitter, follow @Decision2019 for the latest news and analysis.