Election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Congress releases second list of 21 candidates for Lok Sabha pollshttps://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-election-2019-live-updates-congress-bjp-rahul-gandhi-narendra-modi-tamil-nadu-5623702/

Election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Congress releases second list of 21 candidates for Lok Sabha polls

Election 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Rahul Gandhi said, "Who will be the PM (from the opposition) is for the people to decide. It is very arrogant for us to talk about it. The entire opposition is united in defeating PM Modi, BJP and RSS."

Election 2019 LIVE updates: Probe Robert Vadra, but also investigate the PM, says Rahul Gandhi
Election 2019 LIVE updates: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address a public rally at Scott Christian College ground in Kanyakumari’s Nagercoil. (Source: Twitter/@INCIndia)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday said that the party will give 33 per cent to women in government jobs if elected to power. “Not just in Parliament and state legislatures, Congress will reserve 33% of all posts/vacancies for women in central govt, central govt organisations and CPSUs,” Gandhi said. He was addressing a press conference in Chennai.

Talking about the Rafale deal, Gandhi said, “We do not think there are questions about the capability of the Rafale aircraft. The only question we are raising is about Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani. There should be an investigation, the people should be punished.”

Earlier in the day, the Congress president interacted with students of Stella Maris College. On being questioned about Robert Vadra, Gandhi said, “The government has every right to investigate every person. Law must apply to everybody, not be applied selectively. PM has his name in govt documents that say he is directly responsible for negotiating parallelly with Dassault on Rafale. Investigate everybody, be it Mr Vadra or PM.”

Gandhi also addressed a public rally at Scott Christian College ground in Kanyakumari’s Nagercoil, later.

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On the other hand, PM Modi Wednesday appealed to Opposition leaders to encourage voter participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Tagging Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and MK Stalin in a tweet, the PM said high voter participation “augers well for our democratic fabric”.

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi is in Tamil Nadu today. Read in Bangla, Tamil, Malayalam. Follow Live updates

Modi a 'pseudo chowkidar': says Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him a "pseudo chowkidar" who protected only criminals.

Naidu's remarks triggered a strong reaction from the BJP which accused the Telugu Desam party president of resorting to "murky politics" as his party was frightened of losing in the April 11 Lok Sabha and State assembly polls.

"What right you have to call yourself a chowkidar? You are chowkidar for criminals," the Telugu Desam Party president said at a press conference here this evening.

Announcement of seat sharing for Karnataka Lok Sabha seats

Congress releases second list of 21 candidates for Lok Sabha elections

'BJP's 1st list of candidates for LS polls from Karnataka to be finalised on March 16

Karnataka BJP President B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday said the party would finalise its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls on March 16 and that virtually all the 16 sitting party MPs were likely to get tickets to contest.

Calling the Congress-JD(S) rule in Karnataka as "Tughlaq Darbar", he said the alliance would benefit the BJP in the polls, as they "lack" understanding between each other.

"I'm confident that because of the state government's failures and achievements of the central government, we will win at least 22 Lok Sabha seats. I have this confidence and we are all working unitedly in that direction," he said.

Congress-JD(S) arrived on a 20-8 seat share in Karnataka

Congress and JD(S) arrived on a 20-8 seat share deal in Karnataka today

PM feels he can control any Indian state by blackmail: Rahul

In his first public rally to launch the UPA poll campaign in the southern state, Gandhi said: "today, the government in Tamil Nadu is controlled by the Prime Minister's Office."

The Congress chief launched a frontal attack on the AIADMK-BJP alliance in Tamil Nadu, alleging that the state government was controlled by the Prime Minister's Office, something that has never happened before.

Jaitley makes scathing attack on "capital creation" of Congress party's first family

In a scathing attack on the Congress party's first family, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said if a forensic audit of their "capital creation" is conducted, the facts will speak for themselves, reports PTI. Referring to a report on a web portal on "unjust enrichment of the extended Gandhi family", Jaitley said while conventionally many may have relied on straightway corruption through bribery, a new methodology has now been established. "Wheeler-dealers and fly-by-night operators give you the privilege of 'sweetheart deals'. With very little investment, windfall profits are thrust on a few privileged ones to enable them to create a capital. " 'Political equity' results in buying goodwill. It enables you to influence decisions," said Jaitley who heads the BJP's publicity committee for the ensuing general elections.

Chandrashekhar a young man who is struggling, raising his voice: Priyanka

Priyanka Gandhi meets Bhim Army chief at a hospital in Meerut
Priyanka Gandhi with Bhim Army chief at a hospital in Meerut

Meanwhile, Bihar Mahagathbandhan leaders meeting is underway in Delhi

Priyanka Gandhi met Bhim Army Chief at a hospital in Meerut

This was just a solidarity visit: Priyanka after meeting Bhim Army Chief

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Wednesday met Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad at a hospital where the Dalit leader was admitted a day earlier. Chandrashekhar Azad was taken into custody by police on Tuesday for violating the model code of conduct, officials were quoted as saying by PTI.

While talking to reporters after the meeting, Priyanka said that this was just a solidarity visit and need not be politicised. She said she understands the struggle of Dalit leader. 

Azad was detained while leading a procession that included cars and motorcycles, but was shifted to the hospital when he took ill. The code violation was allegedly over the number of vehicles in the political rally.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has given Priyanka Gandhi the charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Govt in Tamil Nadu is controlled by PM's Office: Rahul in Nagercoil rally

Addressing a rally at Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi said that today, the government in Tamil Nadu is controlled by Prime Minister's Office. Hitting out at the PM, the Congress chief said Modi feels he can capture any Indian institution, control any state by blackmail, pressure states from Delhi.

Rahul pays tribute to Kalaignar, K Kamaraj at Kanyakumari rally

Congress issues press release on 'failures of Modi government'

BJP needs to explain why Masood Azhar was sent back: Rahul

Congress President Rahul Gandhi is addressing a press conference now.

Rahul to have hectic trip to Kerala; to address mass rally on Mar 14

Congress President Rahul Gandhi will formally launch the party's poll campaign in Kerala on Thursday when he will address a huge rally of workers at Kozhikode on March 14, reports PTI. Gandhi will arrive in Thiruvananthapuram this evening after his programmes in Nagercoil and Kanyakumari in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

He has no official programmes in the state Wednesday and after reaching here, would board a special flight to Kochi and spend the night at a guest house in Thrissur, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said.

The Congress chief would attend a series of programmes on March 14, beginning with the "fishermen's parliament" at Triprayar in Thrissur.

Cong will reserve 33% govt jobs for women if voted to power: Rahul

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the UPA will reserve 33 per cent seats for women in government jobs if voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Reiterating his support to the long-standing issue of Women’s Reservation Bill, Gandhi told reporters in Chennai, “Not just in Parliament and state legislatures, Congress will reserve 33 per cent of all posts and vacancies for women in central govt, central govt organisations and CPSUs. We also want to increase the expenditure on education (in the budget) and are discussing with the manifesto committee to make it 6 per cent.”

The Congress announcement comes days after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that his party, the Biju Janata Dal, would allocate 33 per cent of its Lok Sabha tickets to women. READ MORE

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No success in Delhi, yet Kejriwal pitches to Rahul: Consider alliance in Haryana

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday made another attempt to form an alliance with the Congress, this time in Haryana. He said the two parties along with Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) can win all 10 seats in the state if they come together. The state goes to polls in one phase on May 12. Read More

It's Rahul Gandhi who is hiding behind Robert Vadra now: Smriti Irani

"The new facts which have come to the fore clearly establish a relationship between Rahul Gandhi and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. Hence, the nation has come to a conclusion, that Rahul Gandhi's intervention in the defence preparedness of our country stems from his pursuit not only of individual politics but his personal commercial interests, his personal family interests," Irani said.

"It's Rahul Gandhi who is hiding behind Robert Vadra now, saale sahab khud janata ko bataein ki raksha saudon mein unki(RG) itni ruchi kyun hain,vo bataein ki kya desh ki suraksha ko chand rupayon ke liye,land ke liye,Rahul Gandhi ne kya shaheed karne ka prayas kiya? In connection with Rafale files, involvement of Sanjay Bhandari has been found in how documents are stolen from Defence Dept & info is provided to defence contractors. Relation b/w Sanjay Bhandari&Robert Vadra were established in relation to benami properties in London," Irani added.

'Sanjay Bhandari, an arms dealer with close links to Robert Vadra, is also under investigation for defence deals'

Smriti Irani said, "Reports have suggested that HL Pahwa was suitably financed and supported by CC Tahmpi. Investigation have found money trail between CC Thampi and HL Pawa amounting to Rs 54 crore. CC Thampi is a name that figures in the probe with regard to not only a petroleum deal under UPA but also financial violation with regard to land transaction in Delhi NCR amounting to Rs 280 crore. A relationship between CC Thampi and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari is publicly known. Sanjay Bhandari, an arms dealer with close links to Robert Vadra is also under investigation for defence deals and his desperate desire to be a party to the ill-gotten fruits of corruption during UPA regime."

Watch | Rahul Gandhi greeted students of Stella Maris College

Rahul Gandhi is the leader of future: Students from Stella Maris College

Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses a rally in Gwalior

Meanwhile, BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressed a rally in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior Wednesday.

Congress will reserve 33% seats for women in govt jobs too: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi also said, "Not just in Parliament and state legislatures, Congress will reserve 33% of all posts/vacancies for women in central govt, central govt organisations and CPSUs."

Facts indicate how Gandhi-Vadra family has described ;parivarik brashtachar'

Smriti Irani said, "In the past 24 hours, the facts that have come out in news, indicates how Gandhi-Vadra family has described "parivarik brashtachar".

We want to increase the expenditure on education: Rahul Gandhi

Talking about the education sector, the Congress president said, "NEET issue is resolvable. It is something that is discriminatory towards the state (Tamil Nadu). We want to increase the expenditure on education (in the budget). We are discussing with the manifesto committee to make it 6 per cent."

Rahul Gandhi on the case related to Rajiv Gandhi's assassination: It is for the court to decide

Rahul Gandhi on the case related to the assassination of his father Rajiv Gandhi: The personal issue we have dealt with. The legal issue needs to take its course. It is for the court to decide. We don't have any animosity towards anybody.

Who will be PM face from the opposition is for the people to decide: Rahul Gandhi

On the question about who is the PM face from the Opposition, Rahul Gandhi said, "Who will be the Prime Minister (from the opposition) is for the people to decide. It is very arrogant for us to talk about it. The entire opposition is united in defeating PM Modi, BJP and RSS."

There should be an investigation in Rafale deal, people should be punished: Rahul Gandhi

Talking about the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi said, "We do not think there are questions about the capability of the Rafale aircraft. The only question we are raising is about Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani. There should be an investigation, the people should be punished."

BJP leader Smriti Irani addresses press conference

Meanwhile, BJP leader Smriti Irani is addressing a press conference in New Delhi. Watch below:

I don't think the country should be run from the PMO: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said, "This country is not going to be ruled from Nagpur. After 2019, there will be nobody in India below the minimum income line. This is a revolutionary idea that we are studying. BJP differentiates between states where they are in power and where they are not. That's anti-national. The BJP does not see all states similarly. I believe in decentralisation. I don't think the country should be run from the PMO. I also don't believe that a state should be run from the CM's office. I believe in the powers of all offices, including panchayats."

BJP needs to explain why they sent Masood Azhar back to Pakistan: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said, "45 people were killed in the Pulwama Attack. The question is what did the govt do to protect these 45 people? BJP needs to explain why they sent Masood Azhar back to Pakistan."

Rahul Gandhi: Job creators are under attack

Rahul Gandhi said, "The job creators are under attack. Mr Modi has attacked them through demonetisation and GST. We will give access to SMSEs, will make entrepreneurship easy and simple." "Everyone believes that Narendra Modi is a flop show when it comes to job creation and employment," he added.

Culture, languages should not be under attack, India belongs to everybody: Rahul Gandhi

Addressing a press conference in Chennai, Rahul Gandhi said, "Alliances in a number of states are firmed up. Bihar is almost concluded. People who don't have alliances are the BJP. The first thing our government will do is to bring back harmony in the nation. Culture should not be under attack, languages should not be under attack. India belongs to everybody."

Have requested EC to take action against Rahul Gandhi for levelling unverified allegations against PM Modi

Ravi Shakar Prasad also said, "We've requested EC to take action against Rahul Gandhi for levelling unverified allegations against PM yesterday in Ahmedabad, when the Model Code of Conduct is already in effect."

Rahul Gandhi is holding a press conference in Chennai

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is holding a press conference in Chennai. Follow this space for LIVE updates

We have demanded West Bengal should be declared as super-sensitive state: Ravi Shankar Prasad

In case I don't get ticket from Unnao, I'll campaign for party: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj

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Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Tuesday addressed her first political rally after assuming charges. (Source:Twitter/Congress)

On Tuesday, the Congress president addressed a public rally in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar in which he said the party will come to power in 2019 and help eradicate unemployment and waive farm loans across India. Launching a stinging attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi asked who was responsible for sending Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar back to Pakistan, adding that Congress had jailed him but BJP freed him.

Sharing stage with her brother Rahul, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi also addressed her first political rally after here elevation in the party. Asking the public to use their vote as a weapon, Priyanka asked them to pose the right questions to the government. On Tuesday, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met in Ahmedabad and resolved to “defeat the RSS/BJP ideology of fascism, hatred, anger and divisiveness”. Members agreed that “no sacrifice is too great in this endeavour to defeat the ideology of RSS/BJP, no effort too little; this battle will be won”. The meeting, chaired by Rahul Gandhi, was held two days after the Election Commission announced that Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 and counting on May 23.

Also Read | Take the fight to BJP, don’t fear its Balakot pitch: Rahul to party

Meanwhile, Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday joined Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat's Adalaj. The 25-year-old Patidar leader praised Gandhi, saying the Congress president is “honest”. “People ask me why I chose the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. I chose Rahul Gandhi because he is honest. He does not believe in working like a dictator,” he said.