Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: In a major change the Congress on Monday appointed former union minister Milind Deora as Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief, replacing Sanjay Nirupam. Nirupam had been at loggerheads with senior party leaders in the state and the move has come as a bid to quell the intense infighting within the Mumbai Congress, PTI reported.
In another development, Former Union telecom minister Sukh Ram and his grandson Aashray Sharma, rejoined the party Monday.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi Monday said nearly 25 crore poor people in the country will get financial assistance of Rs 72,000 per annum if the party is voted to power. His statement, however, was slammed by BJP in a press conference later as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calling it a “bluff announcement”.
Meanwhile, the deadline for filing of nominations for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections ends Monday. On April 11, 91 constituencies across 20 states and union territories will go to polls in the first phase. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is March 28. Monday is also the last day of filing nominations for all 175 Assembly constituencies of Andhra Pradesh, 28 seats in Odisha, all 32 seats in Sikkim and all 60 assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh.
Election activity in the country gears up as political parities hustle to file nominations for the first phase of elections Monday. Follow LIVE Updates here.
Congress releases list of 5 candidates in Chhattisgarh, Goa, Daman and Diu
Rahul's minimum income promise a 'bluff', another Cong bid to 'cheat' poor: Jaitley
BJP leader Arun Jaitley Monday slammed Rahul Gandhi's promise of giving Rs 72,000 per year to the poorest families as a "bluff announcement" and yet another Congress bid to "cheat" the poor, and asserted the Modi government was already giving one-and-a-half times more money to them.
The Finance Minister told reporters here that the Congress has a history of cheating the poor and misleading the country in the name of removing poverty as it only gave them slogans but not the tools and resources, PTI reported.
"Merely slogans and statements will not remove poverty. It will go by providing resources which the Modi government has by giving the poor houses, gas connections, roads... You (Congress) have cheated the poor many times and are trying to do so again. But people will not fall in trap this time," he said.
Earlier in the day, Congress president Gandhi promised that the 20 per cent poorest families will be given Rs 72,000 annually as a minimum income if his party is voted to power in the Lok Sabha polls.
Milind Deora thanks Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi
After being appointed the president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, Union Minister Milind Deora thanked Sonia Gandhi and party president Rahul Gandhi. "Mumbai is a city of diversity, we'll take everyone together; present a positive agenda to Mumbaikars," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Milind Deora on being appointed Pres of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee: I thank former party Pres Sonia ji & Rahul ji who gave me this responsibility at such a crucial time. Mumbai is a city of diversity, we'll take everyone together & present a positive agenda to Mumbaikars. pic.twitter.com/FfCJvrKFRl— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Big change in Mumbai Congress as Nirupam replaced by Deora
BJP rubbishes Rahul Gandhi's Minimum Income Scheme announcement
The BJP on Monday reacted sharply over Congress President Rahul Gandhi's Minimum Income Scheme. He said the Congress has resorted to such polls gimmicks since the time of Indira Gandhi. Addressing a press conference, senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it a "bluff announcement".
कांग्रेस का इतिहास गरीबी और गरीबी हटाने के नाम पर राजनीतिक व्यवसाय का रहा है।— BJP (@BJP4India) March 25, 2019
उनका इतिहास गरीबी हटाने का नहीं रहा है, बल्कि योजनाओं के नाम पर छल कपट का रहा है : श्री @arunjaitley pic.twitter.com/AQUT83NmHL
Union Minister Arun Jaitley will hold a press conference shortly
Congress record of 55 years has always been anti-poor: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday made light of Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi's announcement of Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme. "Indira Gandhi had raised slogan of 'Gareebi Hatao' in 1971. We thought poverty had been removed but nothing happened. Rajiv Gandhi was PM, he said I send Re 1 from Delhi and only 15 paise reaches villages," the law minister was quoted as saying by PTI.
"This showing of false dream to the people of India, is not going to cut any ice because the Congress record of 55 years has always been anti-poor," he added.
Cong delegation meets EC over Modi biopic, says it's purpose is political
A Congress delegation comprising Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kapil Sibal, and Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Monday met Election Commission of India over the biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the meeting, Sibal said the purpose of the movie is political since it is beibg launched just a few days ahead of the elections.
Kapil Sibal, Congress: We represented to the EC that there is a film being made on Narendra Modi, to be launched just a few days before election, it's purpose is political. 3 producers & actor belong to BJP, director is involved in Vibrant Gujarat. This is violative of all norms. pic.twitter.com/sBOY1EXX5X— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Didn't want to contest as I worked as Lok Sabha MP for 29 yrs: Deve Gowda
Karnataka's ruling coalition partner Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, who filed nomination from Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency today, said he didn't want to contest the elections as he worked as Lok Sabha MP for 29 yrs. "Farooq Abdullah, Mamata Banerjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad & many leaders, including my friends, suggested me to contest," he told ANI. "I know when we took this decision it might have hurt the sitting MP from Tumkur SP Muddahanumegowda. I don't want to hurt him, Congress leaders conveyed everything to him...I chose to contest from Tumkur on the demand of many Congress and JD(S) leaders," he said. "Congress gave CM seat to us even when we won 37 seats," Gowda said while referring to the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka. "With support of Rahul Gandhi & Sonia Gandhi we formed govt here. I'll campaign everywhere in state. I'll also go to Andhra, Chandrababu Naidu also invited me. We're secular parties, wherever required I'll go," he said.
Deve Gowda, grandson file nominations for Lok Sabha polls
Former prime minister and JD(S) president H D Deve Gowda and his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy have filed their nominations from Tumkur and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies respectively. Earlier in the day, two Congress leaders filed their nominations for the Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency — the seat from where Deve Gowda is contesting. Congress leaders KN Rajanna and SP Muddahanumegowda defied the pre-poll understanding between the ruling alliance partners in Karnataka.
While the JDS announced Gowda’s name as the joint candidate, Rajanna and Muddahanumegowda rebelled against the move.
Tumkur will vote on April 18.
Jharkhand RJD Chief Annapurna Devi joins Bharatiya Janata Party
Historical day as HD Deve Gowda ji is contesting from Tumkur: Karnataka Deputy CM
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Monday said that it's a historical day as former state chief minister, who made Kannadigas proud, is contesting Lok Sabha elections from Tumkur.
G Parameshwara, Karnataka Deputy CM: It's a historical day as far as Tumkur is concerned. One of the senior most leaders of the nation, who made Kannadigas proud, who was elected many times from Hassan and was also the CM,HD Deve Gowda ji, is contesting from here. pic.twitter.com/mH16dHggvl— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Appreciate work done by PM Modi for women empowerment, divyangs: Deepa Malik
Paralympian Deepa Malik, who joined the BJP on Monday, said that she appreciates the work done by the Modi government for women empowerment. She said the PM has put women in leading portfolios and has also worked extensively for the divyangs (disabled).
Deepa Malik, Paralympian on joining BJP: The work that PM Modi has done for women empowerment and his thoughts towards women, is evident. He has put women in leading portfolios, he has also worked extensively for the 'divyangs'. pic.twitter.com/veQwVBarST— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Proud to say that Makkal Needhi Maiam is an ally of TMC in Andaman: Kamal Haasan
After meeting West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Makkal Needhi Maiam chief kamal Haasan said the interaction was excellent. "We are proud to say that Makkal Needhi Maiam is an ally of TMC in Andaman. We hope this relation evolves in future. I'm going to campaign for their candidate (in Andaman)," Haasan was quoted as saying by ANI.
Kamal Haasan, Makkal Needhi Maiam after meeting West Bengal CM: Meeting was excellent we are proud to say that Makkal Needhi Maiam is an ally of TMC in Andaman. We hope this relation evolves in future. I'm going to campaign for their candidate (in Andaman). pic.twitter.com/gaZSj3TLQZ— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Odisha CM and BJD Chief Naveen Patnaik files nomination for Bijepur assembly constituency
Odisha Chief Minister and BJD Chief Naveen Patnaik on Monday filed nomination for the Bijepur assembly constituency at the Padampur Sub Collector office in Bargarh. He had earlier filed his nomination for the Hinjili assembly constituency as well, reports ANI.
Odisha Chief Minister and BJD Chief Naveen Patnaik files nomination for the Bijepur assembly constituency at the Padampur Sub Collector office in Bargarh. He had earlier filed his nomination for the Hinjili assembly constituency as well. pic.twitter.com/K0Jd1hmLTn— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Kamal Haasan meets TMC chief Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna in Howrah
Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan on Monday met West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna in Howrah. Putting all speculations to rest, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Haasan on Sunday had said he won’t be contesting upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Haasan also announced the second list of 19 candidates who will be contesting on the ‘Torch Light’ symbol. Last week, MNM released its first list of 21 candidates for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for Lok Sabha elections.
West Bengal: Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan meets Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna in Howrah. pic.twitter.com/OKkdLb17pE— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
NCP releases election manifesto for LS polls
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday released its election manifesto for the Lok Sabha Polls. NCP leader DP Tripathi, on the party's election manifesto said: "Road to dialogues should never be closed. It's necessary to strengthen our stand in global circumstances. So we said road to dialogue should stay open.I don't say dialogues will immediately resolve situation but it'll lessen problems."
Congress delegation to meet EC over PM Modi biopic
A Congress delegation comprising Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kapil Sibal, and Abhishek Manu Singhvi to meet Election Commission of India over the biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today, reports ANI.
BJP fields greenhorn Acharya against Naveen Patnaik in Hinjili
The BJP Monday named party's state vice-president Pitamber Acharya as its candidate against ruling BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is seeking re-election from Hinjili assembly seat in Odisha's Ganjam district, party sources were quoted as saying by PTI.
This will be the first time that Acharya will fight the assembly polls though he has been in politics since his student days and was the president of the students union in BJB College here in the 90s.
Acharya, a senior advocate of Orissa High Court, is also the BJP's spokesman. He was assigned the responsibility of the party's vice-president barely two days ago. The BJP is yet to name its candidate against Patnaik in Bijepur assembly seat from where the BJD president will also contest.
Former Union min Sukh Ram, grandson Aashray Sharma join Congress
Former Union telecom minister Sukh Ram and his grandson Aashray Sharma on Monday joined the Congress, AICC in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Rajni Patil said. Sukh Ram and Aashray Sharma met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and joined the Congress. A formal announcement will be made shortly at a press conference, Patil told PTI.
Aashray Sharma, son of cabinet minister Anil Sharma in the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal Pradesh, seeks to contest from Mandi parliamentary seat. He quit the BJP after the saffron party renominated its sitting MP Ramswaroop Sharma from Mandi.
Aashray's father Anil Sharma had been a part of Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government in the state from 2012-17, but joined the BJP before the last state assembly elections. The latest development has put Anil Sharma in a spot.
Paralympics Games winner Deepa Malik joins BJP
The BJP on Monday got a shot in the arm as Paralympics Games winner Deepa Malik joined the party, along with INLD MLA Kehar Singh Rawat. Deepa hails from Haryana.
Delhi: Paralympian Deepa Malik and INLD MLA Kehar Singh Rawat joins Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). pic.twitter.com/H9iqxtQGfC— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Karti Chidambaram files nomination for Sivaganga constituency as Congress candidate
Former finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram on Monday filed nomination for the Sivaganga parliamentary constituency as the Congress candidate.
Paralympian Deepa Malik, INLD MLA Kehar Singh Rawat to join BJP
In good news for the BJP, Paralympian Deepa Malik and INLD MLA Kehar Singh are set to join the saffron party, just days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls
Delhi: Paralympian Deepa Malik(in file pic) and INLD MLA Kehar Singh Rawat to join Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) pic.twitter.com/peWgNFbdwX— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
Hema Malini files nomination from Mathura as BJP's Lok Sabha candidate
Sitting BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini on Monday filed nomination from the Lok Sabha constituency as BJP candidate for LS Polls. Before filing the nomination today, she offered prayers at Banke Bihari temple with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Karnataka CM's son files nomination as Congress-JD(S) coalition candidate from Mandya
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy on Monday filed nomination as Congress-JD(S) coalition candidate from Mandya
NCP releases list of star campaigners for Lok Sabha elections
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday released a list of star campaigners for Lok Sabha elections for Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel and Supriya Sule feature on the list.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) releases list of star campaigners for #LokSabhaElections2019 for Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel and Supriya Sule feature on the list. pic.twitter.com/j3S6OSqekY— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2019
UP BJP expels IP Singh for 6 years over anti-party activities
UP BJP has expelled party leader IP Singh for six years, reportedly over anti-party activities.
State Unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expels party leader IP Singh for 6 years. He has reportedly been expelled for anti-party activities. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/0EJlhtKgTD— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 25, 2019
People of Sivaganga know me very well: Karti
Congress candidate from Sivaganga Karti Chidambaram yesterday said that every frontal organisation of the Congress and the alliance parties fully support his candidature. He also said that he has worked in 10 general elections and the public knows him very well.
Campaign car with our alliance flags :) pic.twitter.com/wpgxLDDCd1— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) March 25, 2019
If you are sure about your defeat, you can promise moon: Ram Madhav on Rahul Gandhi's minimum income support scheme
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's promise of giving the poor Rs 72,000 per annum under the minimum income support scheme, BJP leader Ram Madhav said if the Congress leader is so sure about his defeat, he can promise moon. "If you are sure about your defeat, you can promise moon. Who takes it seriously? Already under different schemes poor families get much more support. Is it in addition to those schemes or they all will be subsumed in it?" Madhav said on Twitter.
Final assault on poverty has begun: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi: We have studied fiscal implications of the scheme. Final assault on poverty has begun.
It is an extremely powerful, ground-breaking and well-thought through idea: Rahul Gandhi on minimum income scheme
Speaking about his minimum income support scheme, Rahul Gandhi said it is an extremely powerful, ground-breaking and well-thought through idea. The Congress president said that the party has consulted many economists on the scheme.
There is no such scheme anywhere else in world, says Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi: 5 crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from this scheme. All calculations have been done. There is no such scheme anywhere else in the world.
Rahul Gandhi unveils minimum income support scheme: 25 crore poor people to get Rs 72,000 per year
Congress president Rahul Gandhi Monday said that 20 per cent of India's most poor families will get yearly 72,000 rupees in their bank accounts under minimum basic income guarantee scheme if the party comes to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections.
Congress' Sachin Choudhary to contest from Amroha
Congress Monday announced the candidature of Sachin Choudhary from Amroha Parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Choudhary will replace veteran leader Rashid Alvi from the seat.
SC seeks EC reply on whether it can increase VVPAT sample survey
The Supreme Court Monday asked the Election Commission to reply if it has any difficulty if court orders increase in the number of random VVPAT audits. Currently only one per assembly segment is audited.
A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi was hearing plea by 21 political parties seeking direction to EC to randomly verify the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in atleast 50 percent Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during elections. The top court will hear the matter on on April 1.
CJI asked the appearing EC official if the Commission can on its own increase the number of VVPAT’s that are randomly verified, adding "we would like you to increase”.
In reply, the EC official said there was no requirement to increase the count and that it was taking periodic steps to strengthen the poll process. The bench was not happy and asked why then the apex court had to intervene to introduce the VVPAT machines.
CJI also tells the EC official that “no institution including the judiciary should insulate itself from suggestions”.
Farookh Abdullah files nomination from Srinagar
National Congress (NC) leader Farookh Abdullah Monday filed the nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections. Abdullah is contesting from the Srinagar constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.
Hema Malini offers prayer before filing nomination for Lok Sabha elections
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Mathura Hema Malini offer prayers at Banke Bihari temple, ahead of her filing nomination. (ANI)
Mathura: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Mathura Hema Malini offer prayers at Banke Bihari temple, ahead of her filing nomination. pic.twitter.com/G3b0yWIcaX— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 25, 2019