Lok Sabha election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Priyanka Gandhi calls PM Modi ‘Pradhan Prachar Mantri’https://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-election-2019-live-pm-modi-bjp-west-bengal-jharkhandrahul-gandhi-priyanka-vadra-congress-5691593/

Lok Sabha election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Priyanka Gandhi calls PM Modi ‘Pradhan Prachar Mantri’

Lok Sabha election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Repolling is being conducted in five polling stations in Assam- four in Karimganj and one in Autonomous District seats.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bolpur, West Bengal. (Source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

Lok Sabha election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS With the third phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections held Tuesday, all eyes are now on the fourth phase which is due on April 29. An overall voter turnout of 65.61 per cent was recorded in the third phase yesterday. Polling was held in 116 constituencies amid claims, complaints of EVM malfunctioning in many states and violence in West Bengal in which a man was killed outside a polling booth.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a public meeting at Gumla in Lohardaga Lok Sabha constituency in Jharkhand and an election rally at Bolpur and Ranaghat in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, repolling is being held in five polling stations in Assam — four in Karimganj and one in Autonomous District seats. The repolling was ordered as the printed data of the VVPAT slip was not clear.

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Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed rallies in West Bengal and Jharkhand today. Read in Bangla

BJP fields 437 canidates, highest number of seats so far

The BJP has fielded 437 candidates, the highest number of seats the party has contested so far. In 2014, BJP had contested 427 seats and had won 282 while the Congress had fielded 144 candidates.

No nationalist party like Congress: Hardik Patel

Hardik Patel said termed Congress the biggest nationalist party in the country and said several of its leaders sacrificed their lives for the nation. "There is no nationalist party like the Congress. The soil of the country contains the blood of party leader and workers, who have sacrificed their lives," he said.

Addressing a rally in Amethi, said no probe was done by Modi on connection to the "huge cache of explosives" used in the Pulwama attack.

68.02% voting recorded in repoll in two Assam constituencies

In five polling stations of Karimganj (SC) and Autonomous District (ST) constituencies of Assam, around 68.02 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the re-polling held today.

Voting in both the constituencies was held in the second phase on April 18. In the four polling stations of Karimganj 67.25 per cent voters exercised their franchise while in the one in Autonomous District 70.78 per cent polling was reported, an election office spokesperson said

AAP forms 24 frontal organisations for targeted campaigning in Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party has set up 24 frontal organisations, including special wings for women, auto drivers, senior citizens and on legal matters for targeted campaigning and hopes that the initiative would enhance the party's poll prospects. These bodies would target particular groups and tell them what the AAP government has done for them and the benefits full statehood would bring for the national capital, the AAP said. "In the first phase, it was general campaigning. The second was campaigning that connected with floating voters and now in the third phase of campaigning, we would be identifying points that could give the AAP a jump or an advantage," the AAP said.

(With PTI inputs)

Poll authorities accept Gautam Gambhir's nomination from East Delhi

Hours after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) raised objections to the nomination of BJP's Gautam Gambhir, the poll authority accepted Gambhir's cleared his name and accepted the papers.

"The stamp paper which has been furnished is dated April 23, 2019 whereas the notarial stamp on two of his affidavits have a date of April 18 and April 19 respectively," the AAP candidate said in a statement.

"Gambhir's nomination was examined by the authorities and has been accepted," a senior official of the Delhi CEO Office said.

Himachal Pradesh: BJP MP Ramswroop Sharma files nomination from Mandi

BJP's sitting Mandi, Shimla parliamentarian Ramswroop Sharma filed his nomination papers from the seat in Himachal Pradesh, reported PTI.

A total of four candidates filed their papers in Himachal Pradesh. With this, the number of candidates who have filed their papers has risen to 15.

At the time of filing nomination papers, Sharma was accompanied by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, former CMs Shanta Kumar, Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP HP affairs in charge Tirath Singh Rawat, state BJP chief Satpal Satti, ministers Govind Thakur and Ram Lal Markandey and MLAs from Mandi district.

Phase 3 LS elections: Voter turnout in Kerala recorded as 78%

In third phase of polling, the total poll percentage recorded in Kerala is 77.68%. Kannur constituency recorded the highest polling percentage of 83.05% as reported by ANI. 

Will cut off arm who raises finger against Modi: HP BJP chief Satti

In a rally in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti said, "We will cut off the arm of a person who raises a finger against Modi."

Modi protected interest of '15 selected people': Rahul Gandhi in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP

Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of shielding the interest of "15 selected people" and leaving farmers and the poor "high and dry". Addressing a rally in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, Rahul said, "This chowkidar obliged 15 selected people during his five-year term but told sugarcane farmers that cane-farming caused sugar (diabetes)."

Party candidate for Kheri Lok Sabha seat is Zafar Ali Naqvi and its nominee for the Nighasan assembly bypoll is Atal Shukla.

I send them gifts but will not give them a single vote: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee, without taking the name, said, "I send rosogollas to people. I do send them gifts during pujas and offer tea, but will not give (them) a single vote," IANS quoted.

In a "non-political" interview with actor Akshay Kumar, Modi had revealed that he and Banerjee "share cordial relationship outside political arena and despite all the rivalry, didi personally selects and sends me kurtas every year."

You can never purchase voters in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee alleged Modi could use the black money that was converted to white during demonetisation and spend them in elections to purchase votes, but he can "never purchase voters in Bengal".

"Modi Babu you may forcibly impose notebandi (demonetisation) on people to convert black money into white and spend them during elections to purchase votes, but you can never purchase voters in Bengal," Mamata said at an election rally at Serampore in Hooghly district.

"You (Modi) are destined to be dethroned after the elections. Our government will prove what a big scam demonetisation was."

Mamata Banerjee who sought throwing out illegal immigrants, is nwo their biggest protector: Modi in Ranaghat, WB

"Mamata Banerjee has betrayed the people of Bengal, who gave her so much trust and respect. Mamata Banerjee used to shed tears in Parliament seeking that illegal immigrants be thrown out, is now their biggest protector," Modi said at Ranaghat in West Bengal.

PM Modi will not hold presser in Varanasi, '110% false news': BJP leader

Denying the reports that PM Modi is to hold a press conference in Varanasi on April 26, a BJP leader said "its 110% false" news. No such plan at all, the leader said

'Speed-breaker' Didi is also 'Sticker Didi': Modi in Ranaghat, WB

"The free electricity connection the poor receives is provided by the central government. Around 7 lakh people have receives free electricity in Bengal. Similarly, the low-cost ration you receive also comes from Delhi. Mamata Banerjee only puts her sticker on it to take toll tax," Modi said at Ranaghat in West Bengal.

"Speed-breaker didi is also a sticker didi. The central government sends help to Mamata Didi and she sells it by claiming it as her scheme by placing a sticker on it."

Congress conspiring but we will definitely win: Pragya Thakur

Speaking to the media on NIA court rejecting plea to ban her from contesting LS poll, BJP MP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur said,  "Congress has been conspiring continuously but we will definitely win because truth and 'dharma' always wins."

We will start working towards identification of infiltrators: Modi in Ranaghat, WB

"We will start working towards the identification of the infiltrators through the NRC. People occupying West Bengal's should get identification. The ruling state government wants you to be dependent for a ration card," Modi said at Ranaghat in West Bengal. 

Re-poll in Cooch Behar, West Bengal

Re-polling to be held at polling station 181 at Cooch Behar in West Bengal on April 29 following allegations that voters were stopped from casting vote, ANI reported. 

Water used to clean roads to 'welcome Pradhan Prachar Mantri (Modi)': Priyanka Gandhi in Banda, Uttar Pradesh

On her visit to Banda in Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi called Modi as 'Pradhan Prachar Mantri' and accused BJP of "wasting drinking water" in the town. Modi is scheduled to visit Banda tomorrow and address an election rally.

Priyanka claimed that water from tankers were being used to clean roads to "welcome our Pradhan Prachar Mantri (chief publicity minister)".

She further said, this is happening, "when the entire Bundelkhand, the men and women living there, school going children, crops, birds and animals are facing the terror of drought."

On Twitter, Priyanka asked, "Is he a 'chowkidar' (watchman) or a 'shahnshah' (emperor) coming from Delhi."

Congress' believes in threatening political opponents, their ego is too big: Akhilesh Yadav

"We had an alliance with the Congress, but found that their ego is too big," SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said today while addressing a press conference. Yadav stated that like BJP, Congress also believes in threatening their political opponents.

SP had an understanding with the Congress during the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

To remove 'speed-braker' Didi, you will have to strengthen this 'chowkidar': Modi in Bolpur, Bengal

"More than 800 Indian prisoners were released by Saudi Arabia due to the bond between India and Saudi share. The daughter of Bengal Judith D'Souza was kidnapped in Afghanistan by the terrorist. We tried hard and using our diplomatic relations, we freed her.  To remove 'Speed-breaker' Didi, you will have to strengthen this Chowkidaar. I urge you to go and vote for BJP," Modi said in Bolpur, Bengal. 

It is your 'chowkidar's rule that killed terrorists: Modi in Bolpur, Bengal

"Today the world can see India's strength, people are talking about our country as the voices of 130 crore people are echoing abroad. There is immense scope for tourism in Bolpur but as long as TMC will continue to rule, tourism in the city will not increase," Modi said in Bolpur, Bengal. 

Sun is setting for Mamata Banerjee in Bengal: Modi in Bolpur

In the first three phases of polling, it is clear that the sun is setting for Mamata Banerjee in Bengal. Gurudev did not want a Bengal where people would be scared to celebrate Sarasvati Puja, Durga Puja and Ram Navmi," Modi said in Bolpur, West Bengal. 

"The first-time voters in Bengal do not want hooliganism in the state."

AFSPA can never be repealed: Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah, who was in Samastipur, Bihar, to address an election rally spoke against the repealing of AFSPA, saying, "Should AFSPA be repealed? I've come to tell Rahul baba it will not be repealed in your whole life, after you, if another Gandhi comes, even he will not be able to repeal it."

In Bolpur, PM Modi targets Mamata Banerjee govt

Addressing a rally in Bolpur, West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying, "The countdown of the tyrannical rule of TMC will begin when we again form govt on 23rd May in the country." He said it is clear from the first three phases of polling that TMC's rule in West Bengal is not going to last and the people's verdict is going to be against the syndicate rule.

Akhilesh hits out at UP CM over 'casteist' remark

Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday hit out at UP CM Yogi Adityanath over his remark in which he had said that had there been no constitution, the SP chief would have been rearing cattle. He said such statements don't suit a chief minister. He said if the CM has such thinking towards a leader of Opposition, then what would he think of poor people.

Priyanka Gandhi holds roadshow in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh

NIA court rejects plea to bar Pragya Thakur from contesting LS elections

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court Wednesday rejected a plea to bar 2008 Malegaon blasts accused and BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha elections, citing that it is for the electoral officers to take a call on the matter.

21 Oppn parties seek SC's direction to EC to verify 50% of the EVMs using VVPAT

In view of several EVM malfunction complaints, 21 opposition parties filed a review petition before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking a direction to the Election Commission to verify 50 % of the EVMs using VVPAT.

BJP's anti-backward mindset is clear: Udit Raj

A day after the BJP denied party ticket to its sitting MP from North West Delhi Lok Sabha seat (reserved), Udit Raj on Wednesday officially joined the Congress and lashed out at the saffron party for its "anti-backward" mindset. He said he has always shared camaraderie with the Congress president Rahul Gandhi and wanted to join the grand old party in 2013-14 but circumstances didn't allow him.

"I wanted to join Congress in 2013-14, Rahul Gandhi knows, but circumstances didn't allow me. If BJP would have given me ticket, I would have fought from there (North-West Delhi). But this (denying him party ticket) proves that BJP is anti-Dalit," he said during a press conference at the Congress headquarters today.

Congress welcomes Udit Raj, targets BJP at party headquarters

Moments after BJP MP Udit Raj joined Congress on Wednesday, the grand old party held a press conference at its Delhi headquarters. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala lashed out at the BJP, saying the party has an anti-Dalit, anti-poor stand in the country. Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit was also present at the moment.

Opposition parties are left with no option but to accept defeat: PM

Response in first three phases of polls have left opposition parties with no option but to accept defeat, said Modi in Jharkhand. He said that just like a child who makes excuses to justify underperformance, the Opposition is now blaming EVMs for their poor show, reports PTI. He said before 2014 when the Congress party was in power, it would end up shedding tears as and when Pakistan threatened India. "When nurses were held captive in Iraq, we did our best to get them home; Indians everywhere are my responsibility," he said.

"Those who demoralised armymen saying people who cannot make ends meet join the forces should just drown," the PM said while targeting the Opposition. The third phase of polling was held yesterday. The next phase is due on April 29.

Priyanka Gandhi targets Modi, BJP in Fatehpur

While addressing a rally in Fatehpur, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday said that BJP leaders are obsessed with her family. She said 50 per cent of their electoral speeches revolve around what Nehru did, what Indira Gandhi did. "But they will not tell you what they did in last 5 years," she said.

They used to blame me earlier, now EVMs: Modi

Prime Minister Modi says the Opposition earlier used to blame him but is now blaming the EVMs. "They used to abuse Modi but since yesterday they have started to abuse EVMs. It seems they have decided to pin the blame of the loss on EVMs, just like a student whose exam doesn't go well comes home and gives excuses like the pen was not good etc." he said.

PM condemns church attacks in Sri Lanka

While addressing a rally in Lohardaga, PM Modi condemned the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka in which over 300 people were killed. He said that before 2014, India was also suffering from this menace of terrorism but the Congress government used to succumb under the pressure. He said that under his government, the defence forces launched a surgical strike and taught Pakistan a lesson.

PM Modi addressing rally in Lohardaga, Jharkhand

WATCH: PM Modi is addressing a public gathering at Lohardaga district in Jharkhand now.

Urmila Matondkar meets locals during campaign in Dahisar area

Congress candidate from Mumbai North- Urmila Matondkar meets locals during a campaign in Dahisar area. 

Denied party ticket, BJP MP Udit Raj joins Congress

BJP MP Udit Raj on Wednesday joined Congress party in presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Raj was upset over him being denied the ticket from North West Delhi. The BJP has fielded singer Hans Raj Hans from the seat.

Manipur: Re-polling on 12 booths today

Repolling on 12 booths in Manipur was initiated after several cases of impersonation, proxy voting and malpractices were reported during the second phase of elections on April 18. Yesterday, the district election officer had said that the polling agents had reached the stations for smoothly conducting the polls and all preparations were complete. READ MORE

Mamata gifts me kurtas every year: PM Modi

In an interaction with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, Prime Minister Modi spoke about his friends in opposition, especially Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mamata Banerjee. Mamata gifts me kurtas every year, PM said.

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The third phase of polling held Tuesday was by and large peaceful. (PTI Photo)

On Tuesday, the Election Commission has sought a report from the chief electoral officer of Gujarat on a 'roadshow' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad which the Congress alleged violated electoral law.

Briefing reporters on the phase three of Lok Sabha elections, which concluded Tuesday, senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said, a report has been sought in this regard from the chief electoral officer of Gujarat. Sources later pointed out that poll authorities in Gujarat have indicated that prima facie, the PM has not violated the model code. But there was no official word on this from the EC.

Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act states that, "No person shall — convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election ... in any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in that polling area."