Lok Sabha Elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: If Cong voted to power, indebted farmers will not be sent to jails, says Rahulhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-elections-2019-live-rahul-agdnhi-pm-modi-election-campaign-5681407/

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: If Cong voted to power, indebted farmers will not be sent to jails, says Rahul

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned in Gujarat, Karnataka, and Kerala today while Congress chief Rahul Gandhi visited Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses crowds in Gujarat. (Source: REUTERS/File)

The second phase of Lok Sabha elections Thursday covering 95 constituencies in 11 states and Puducherry saw a high voter turnout. Both the Union territory and Manipur clocked a percentage of 80. The Srinagar seat in Jammu and Kashmir recorded a percentage of only 14.8. Barring Maharashtra, the poll percentage in rest of the states was in excess of 60 while in Puducherry it was 80.47.

Except for a few sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal and Manipur and EVM glitches in some seats, polling was by and large peaceful.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address in Gujarat’s Amreli thanked the people of Gujarat for grooming him. He said that what he learned in Gujarat had helped him during the long Doklam standoff with China in 2017. Modi blamed the Congress government for the delay in completion of the Sardar Sarovar project. Modi later addressed public meetings in Karnataka and Kerala.

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Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, while addressing a rally in Junagadh district, accused PM Modi of applying different rules to the rich and the poor. “If the Congress comes to power, the country will have two budgets. One will be the national budget and another farmers’ budget,” he said.

In the second phase, several prominent faces are in the fray including Union cabinet ministers, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, and Kanimozhi, Congress veterans Verappa Moily and Raj Babbar, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and BJP’s Hema Malini and Tejaswi Surya.

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PM Modi will be campaigning in Gujarat, Karnataka, and Kerala while Rahul Gandhi will be in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Follow LIVE updates:

Lok Sabha elections 2019: 66 per cent turn out in second phase; violence in West Bengal

The second phase of Lok Sabha elections ended on Thursday, with 66 per cent voters exercising their franchise, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said. While West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout with 75.27 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir recorded the lowest with 43.37 per cent polling. However, incidents of violence marred the polling process in West Bengal.

The voting took place in 95 constituencies across 11 states and one union territory. Polling was held for 38 seats in Tamil Nadu, 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry. READ MORE

Modi 'misleading' youths on work done by Cong govts: Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Thursday said India is positioned to be a 'superpower' due to the work done by successive Congress governments and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading youths on the issue. He said the prime minister is "misleading" the new generation who are not aware of the contribution of the Congress governments.

"India is positioned to be a superpower and this could be possible because of the Congress. Modi should tell people what his government has done in five years instead of misleading people. He is doing politics in the name of Army," Gehlot said at a public rally in Bikaner, reports PTI.

"... Modi is targeting youths through social media. He is misleading them and the social media is being misused," he said. On Modi's statement that he was being targeted over his Other Backward Classes (OBC) status, the chief minister said such remarks were uncalled for and that the PM says such things to win elections. Gehlot said Modi won elections in Gujarat by telling lies and raising emotive issues.

Debar Sadhvi Pragya from contesting LS polls, Tehseen Poonawalla writes to EC

Political activist Tehseen Poonawalla Thursday moved the Election Commission urging it to debar Malegaon terror blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

“I would humbly request the Election Commission of India to take further necessary steps to uphold the Model Code of Conduct 2019 and take appropriate action against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and debar her from contesting elections. A candidate accused with terror links must not be permitted to contest elections,” Poonawalla said in his letter to the poll watchdog.

Poonawalla’s complaint came a day after BJP fielded Thakur from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat against Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh. Bhopal will vote on May 12.

‘Be careful in the future,’ EC tells Naqvi after ‘Modiji ki sena’ remark

The Election Commission Thursday decided to let off Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi with a mild rap on the knuckles for his ‘Modiji ki sena’ (Modi’s army) remark, warning him against using the armed forces for political propaganda.

“The Commission … hereby warns Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to desist from using the references to defence forces for political propaganda and to be careful in future,” the EC order read. The EC also asked him to be “careful in the future” with his words.

Naqvi, while addressing an election rally in Rampur on April 3 had used the phrase ‘Modiji ki sena‘ which was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The state election authorities had issued the BJP leader a showcause notice and in response to it, he had agreed using the phrase.

The poll watchdog issued a warning reminding Naqvi of its March 19 instruction which directed politicians “to desist from using any reference to defence forces in their political campaign/propaganda”.

Don't want to tell you our 'Mann ki Baat' every time: Rahul

While addressing a rally in Junagadh, Gujarat, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said: "We don't want to tell you our 'Mann ki Baat' in your (Modi's) every speech. What's there in our hearts, we don't want to tell you. We want to take the country forward with your help. We will not allow two Hindustans. If Ambani gets justice then a farmer should also get it," he said.

Poonam Sinha files nomination from Lucknow, to contest against Rajnath Singh

Samajwadi Party (SP) nominee Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha who had rebelled against the BJP leadership, Thursday filed her nomination papers for the Lucknow parliamentary seat from where Union Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking re-election.

Accompanied by SP MP Dimple Yadav and Shatrughan Sinha, Poonam filed her papers at the Collectorate as the candidate for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the seat, which goes to polls on May 6, reports PTI.

Clad in a green saree, the SP nominee, who had joined the party two days ago, arrived at the Collectorate in the afternoon after a roadshow. Thursday is the last date for filing of nominations for the seat. Her husband, Shatrughan Sinha, was present during the filing of the nomination as well as the roadshow, which was taken out from the party office.

Shoe hurled at BJP MP during press conference in Delhi

Shoe hurled at BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao during a press conference at party headquarters in New Delhi. (PTI)

Maneka Gandhi files her nomination from Sultanpur constituency

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi filed her nomination from Uttar Pradesh's Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency today.

Had Sardar Sarovar project been completed on time Gujarat would have been much better: PM Modi in Amreli

PM Modi blamed the previous Congress-led governments in the country for the delay in the Sardar Sarovar project, saying had the project been completed on time Gujarat would have been much better. Modi also said that the statue of Sardar Patel built in Gujarat was not intended to disrespect late prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. (PTI)

Terrorism contained to only 'two and a half' districts in Kashmir: PM Modi in Amreli

PM Modi asserted that terrorism is contained to only 'two and a half' districts in Kashmir and that there has been no bomb blast elsewhere during the five years of BJP rule. Talking about the statement issued by Pakistan PM Imran Khan after the Balakot air strike, Modi said, "Pakistan had to publicly plead to us to de-escalate." (PTI)

PM Modi thanks people of Gujarat for the 'grooming'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his campaign rally in Gujarat's Amreli today thanked the people of Gujarat for the 'grooming' that he received in the state. He said, "What I learned in Gujarat helped me during Doklam standoff with China in 2017." 

What has PM Modi done for backward community: Tejashwi Yadav

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav claimed that PM Modi is pretending to be of backward class and that he has never really 'done anything' for people of backward classes.

Yadav tweeted: Narendra Modiji is a pretending to be of backward class. From his birth till 55 years he belonged to a high class then one day suddenly he becomes a backward class person. An honest and truly born into the backward class person will never lie, adulterate, exaggerate or show off. Do you think people from backward classes are stupid? What have you done for people from backward class?

National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah after casting their votes in Srinagar

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah is contesting from Srinagar seat, he was accompanied by Omar Abdullah who addressed reporters saying: 'These elections have been significantly different from bye-elections in which Farooq Abdullah won. In these elections, thankfully, the electorate has been far more receptive, I don't know if it will impact on the turnout. I only hope that the Centre with EC gives the people of J&K an elected government.'

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: ‘Show me one MP, except PM, who has invested half as me in sports, I’ll resign’

In an interview with The Indian Express, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who is seeking re-election from Jaipur Rural, speaks about the work he has done and whether the loss in the Assembly polls will affect the party’s fortune in Rajasthan during the Lok Sabha elections. Read more here

Will not lie, make promises of 2 crore jobs or Rs 15 lakh: Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad

Addressing an election in Wayanad, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi said, “I am not like Prime Minister Modi. I will not come here to tell you that I want to give you 2 crore jobs, or deposit Rs 15 lakh in your accounts, because I respect your intelligence, your wisdom, and your understanding.” Gandhi said that he wants to build a lifelong relation with people of the constituency, and wants to send a message to the rest of the country that “there is a place called Wayanad, where people live peacefully”.

Read more here

Odisha: Chopper search delays PM Modi’s departure, EC suspends IAS officer

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has suspended a high-ranking poll observer deputed to Odisha on charges of “dereliction of duty” with regard to “SPG protectees” — in a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to officials, Mohsin in the capacity of General Observer attempted to check the helicopter that brought the Prime Minister. According to the ECI order, Mohsin’s suspension order was issued after reports from the Chief Electoral Officer (Odisha), District Election Officer (Sambalpur) and DIG (Sambalpur).

Meanwhile, a separate video showing a flying squad inspection of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter in Rourkela on Tuesday has gone viral. The Chief Minister is shown sitting calmly as the cabin of the helicopter is subjected to a thorough examination.

Read more here

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Sadhvi Pragya will secure victory with a record win, says Shivraj Chouhan

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is greeted by BJP National Vice President Prabhat Jha after her name was finalised as the party candidate for Bhopal constituency, at BJP at the Madhya Pradesh BJP headquarters in Bhopal, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (PTI Photo)

On Wednesday, BJP declared Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur — an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case —  as their candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, she will be taking on Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh.

Meanwhile at a rally yesterday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's remark on President Ram Nath Kovind created a huge furore with BJP ministers demanding an apology from Gehlot and Rahul Gandhi.