Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Will fill 20 lakh job vacancies by March 2020 if voted to power, says Rahul Gandhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/lok-sabha-elections-2019-rahul-gandhi-narendra-modi-amit-shah-congress-jds-bjp-5651159/

Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Will fill 20 lakh job vacancies by March 2020 if voted to power, says Rahul Gandhi

Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: "We are all chowkidars, committed to a strong and prosperous India. As a chowkidar, I will also fulfil my responsibility," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

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Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (File)

Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Taking a swipe at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that citizens prefer a “chowkidar” and not “rajas and maharajas” to rule the country. “The country does not need rajas and maharajas; makes me happy that the spirit behind chowkidar is expanding,” the Prime Minister said during his address to the nation across 500 locations via video conferencing. Modi added, “We are all chowkidars, committed to a strong and prosperous India. As a chowkidar, I will also fulfil my responsibility.”

Earlier in the day, BJP chief Amit Shah accused the Opposition of hatching a conspiracy against Swami Aseemanand, who was recently given a clean chit by a special NIA court in the 2007 Samjhauta blast case in which 68 people were killed. “The court has given a clean chit to Swami Aseemanand in the Samjhauta blast case. But for the sake of vote bank politics, some people conspired against him and sent him to jail,” Shah said while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, announced to contest from two seats — his bastion, Amethi and Wayanad in Kerala. “Wayanad is at the junction of three states. Rahul ji has given his consent to contest from two seats,” Kerala Congress leader A K Antonyaid had said.

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PM Modi addresses Chowkidars across country, Congress-JD(S) combine to hold their first rally in Bengaluru. Follow HIGHLIGHTS.

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Yogi Adityanath: Congress should be punished for its deeds. People of Amethi will give a befitting reply for deceiving them. And I feel, that fear is forcing him to migrate.

Kejriwal calls for full statehood of Delhi

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Mamata Banerjee supporting Arvind Kejriwal says that we support Delhi's demand for full statehood. We also support Chandrababu Naidu's demand for special state status for Andhra Pradesh.

Mamata challeneges PM for a debate

Modi ji don’t worry who will become prime minister. We also work for the people we know what to do how to do...you never gave an interview. Let’s have a debate on one of your channels let’s debate without phones and teleprompters: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee attacks Modi govt in Andhra Pradesh

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that in 2014 BJP had 21 seats from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka which account for 190 seats in Lok Sabha., Out of this they had 17 alone in Karnataka, now that state is also gone to Congress-JDS. 

Last election if PM Modi, Amit Shah win: Kejriwal

"Demonetisation was the biggest scam of 70 years but they have killed brotherhood. They are making communities fight each other. Like Hitler had changed the German Constitution in 1931, if PM Modi and Amit Shah win in 2019, it will be the last election. Even BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had said that," the Delhi Chief Minister said.

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Congress leader P Sudhakara Reddy praises PM Modi after quitting

I had been with Congress for the last 40 years and faced humiliation at times. Yet I worked for the party. We lost badly in Telangana in last elections due to the failure of local leadership. LS elections are being contested under the same leaders in 2019. There are a lot of middlemen, there is no certainty if the voice of the loyalists is reaching the leadership. Our soldiers died in Pulwama, in last few months there has been a change in party leaders' attitude, levelling allegations and saying whatever comes to mind. I have seen a strong leader in PM Modi. I have decided to join the party (BJP). State President has already welcomed me, I am also trying to meet the National President. I hope the PM gets a second tenure. 

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Taking a jibe at former Union minister P Chidambaram, PM Modi said, "Some intelligent politician had said that we should have kept Mission Shakti a secret. When the US, China and Russia publicly launched the anti-missile satellite, why should we do it secretly?" On Saturday, Chidambaram had said that only a “foolish government” would make such a disclosure and “betray” a defence secret.

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Without naming liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is facing a money laundering case and is presently residing in London, PM Modi said, "Some people complain about the state of prisons in India. Are they expecting to be kept in a palace?"

Not polls but country my priority, says PM Modi

Responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's claims that Indo-Pak relations would remain tense till the Lok Sabha elections are over, PM Modi said, "Pakistan thinks that I might be busy with the elections. I want to make it clear that it is the country and not polls which is my priority."

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"I am confident that the citizens of the country prefer Chowkidars and not a king," PM Modi said.

Chowkidar is a spirit, a feeling: PM Modi

Beginning his address, PM Modi said, "We are all Chowkidars, committed to a strong and prosperous India. As a Chowkidar, I will also fulfil my responsibility. However, some people do not progress much. They do not know the meaning of Chowkidar and try to associate the term with someone who wears a hat. A Chowkidar is a spirit and a feeling." 

PM Modi to shortly address nation via video conference

Rahul Gandhi assures special status to Andhra Pradesh

"Special status is important for the future of Andhra Pradesh. The moment we come to power, we will give you a special status," Rahul Gandhi assured.

BJP, RSS attacking Constitution: Rahul Gandhi

"Over the last five years, tribals, dalits and minorities have suffered a lot. Their scholarships have been snatched out of their hands. They are beaten and killed on the streets. They are threatened every single day. The BJP and RSS are attacking the Indian Constitution. When Rohit Vemula is forced to commit suicide, that itself is an attack on the Constitution. We are going to increase the amount of money spent on education. We will spend 6% of our GDP on education," the Congress leader said.

Banks only for rich people, says Rahul Gandhi

"PM Modi carried out the demonetisation drive and removed the Rs 500 note. Millions of families were destroyed. Small and medium businesses had to shut down. The entire country's economy was destroyed. Today, youngsters are searching for jobs through out the country. Mr Modi spoke of Make in India but today we are suffering from a high rate of unemployment. Banks only lend to the richest people of the land. People are not rewarded for their hard work but on the basis of who they know," the Congress leader said.

NYAY scheme dedicated to farmers: Rahul Gandhi

"In Andhra Pradesh, 600 farmers had committed suicide last year. Our NYAY scheme will help farmers and their families as well. If you are a farmer and you are earning less than Rs 12,000 per month, our government will hand over to you that amount," Rahul Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi addresses rally in Andhra Pradesh

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Swami Aseemanand is innocent: Amit Shah

"The court had given a clean chit to Swami Aseemanand in the Samjhauta blast case. But for the sake of votebank politics, some people conspired against him and sent him to jail," Amit Shah said.

Handed over report to Rahul Gandhi: Lt General Hooda

Lt General Hooda submits port on national security to Rahul Gandhi

Meanwhile, Lt General (retired) D S Hooda, who was the Northern Army Commander in September 2016 when Indian troops carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the Line of Control following the Uri attack, handed over a comprehensive report on the national security of the country to Rahul Gandhi.

Congress insulting our forces: Amit Shah

"It was because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's determination that the Indian Air Force conducted strikes across the border. And it is the Opposition which is continuously seeking proof in this regard. By doing so, you are only insulting our forces. Whom are you trying to please by asking for proof?" the BJP leader asked.

Amit Shah addresses rally in UP's Baghpat

BJP chief Amit Shah is now addressing the crowd at Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat.

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Meanwhile, Shatrughan Sinha, who recently quit the BJP and joined Congress, said, "I decided to go with the Congress as it is a national party in the 'true sense'. RJD chief Lalu Prasad had also advised me to do so." 

Political parties are in the constant effort to reach out to as many voters as possible as we are 11 days away from kicking off the first phase of voting for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who visited BIEC ground in Bengaluru to inspect the arrangements being made for the rally today, said the event would be "historic." "This will be the first joint campaign by Congress and JDS... tomorrow's meeting is historic as it will send a clear message to people of the country from Karnataka for Lok Sabha polls," Mr Kumaraswamy told the media in Bengaluru. According to the seat-sharing arrangements, the Congress and JDS have decided to contest in 21 and 7 seats, respectively.

Amit Shah, who has replaced BJP patriarch L K Advani in Gandhinagar constituency, he said, he was fortunate to become a candidate from the constituency represented by LK Advani. Shiv Sena Chief in a display of support to Shah, accompanied him and slammed the opposition while addressing the public at the roadshow.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, PM Modi was on his campaign trail in northeast India. He addressed rallies in Arunachal Pradesh’s Aalo and Assam’s Moran. He concluded his northeast campaign for today with a public meeting in Gohpur.

Rumours regarding Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad in Kerala has still not died down as Kerala Congress Committee is still awaiting confirmation from Delhi. Congress' allies are putting pressure on the party to reveal the mystery as the opposition LDF and NDA camps have started their campaigns. Kerala goes to polls in a single phase for all 20 Lok Sabha constituencies on April 23.