Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Highlights: PM Modi arrives at BJP headquarters for CEC meetinghttps://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-elections-2019-live-updates-narendra-modi-rahul-gandhi-congress-bjp-5629438/

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Highlights: PM Modi arrives at BJP headquarters for CEC meeting

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Highlights: Political parties have launched an intensive campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections scheduled to begin from April 11 and end with the results announcement on May 23.

PM Narendra Modi tweets to influential leaders ahead of 2019 lok sabha elections
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ”Main Bhi Chawkidaar” campaign for the BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a public meeting in Uttarakhand. (EXPRESS PHOTO BY PRAVEEN KHANNA)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Highlights: As the pitch for the 17th Lok Sabha election intensifies, political parties have mounted a strong campaign with all top leaders heading to various states to address rallies and meet the people. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ”Main Bhi Chawkidaar” campaign for the BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a public meeting in Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, there has been a series of political resignations across the parties. Leaders across BJP, Congress, JDS, BJD are switching sides to better their chances ahead of the polls. Click here for more Election News

In a video along with his post, PM Modi announced that he would hold a #MeinBhiChowkidar programme on March 31, days before the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar. Today, every Indian is saying-#MainBhiChowkidar,” PM tweeted. Meanwhile, Rahul will address a ‘Vishal Parivartan Rally’ in Uttarakhand, followed by visiting the families of martyrs in Dehradun. He is also scheduled to meet the family of Major Chitresh Singh Bisht, who was killed while defusing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Rajouri of Jammu & Kashmir.

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Rahul Gandhi in Uttarakhand, PM Modi launches BJP campaign ahead of Lok Sabha Elections. Follow Highlights Here. Read in Bengali Tamil

Apna Dal's Krishna Patel faction seals alliance with Congress in UP for 2 Lok Sabha seats

After reports of Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel joining BJP on Friday, the party's Krishna Patel faction today joins Congress for 2 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

EC amends Model Code of Conduct, no poll manifesto release during ‘election silence’

The Election Commission on Saturday amended the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), prohibiting political parties from releasing their manifesto in the last 48 hours leading up to voting in each phase of the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The seventeenth Lok Sabha election will be held in seven phases, between April 11 and May 19 and results will be declared on May 23. Read more

Goa BJP has called for an 'urgent meeting' of its MLAs in Panaji office

BJP  called an “urgent meeting” of the party MLAs in its Panaji office. At present, Congress has the majority in the house at 14, followed by BJP with 13 MLAs. The Congress on Saturday staked claim to form the government in Goa, claiming that the Manohar Parrikar-led dispensation has lost its majority in the Assembly following the demise of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza.  Follow LIVE updates

Allow us e-voting for LS polls, seafarers in letter to govt

Two seafarers' associations have urged the Union government to allow those out in the seas toe-vote during the April-May Lok Sabha polls. The Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagersand Agents (MASSA) has written to Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandavia seeking a mechanism to allow sailing Indian seafarers to exercise their franchise through e-voting. (PTI) 

PM Modi arrives at BJP HQ for the Central Election Committee meeting

As Union leaders huddle up at the BJP headquarters for the CEC meeting, the Delhi wing of the party wrote to the Election Commission requesting it to "appoint Special Observer for the mosques especially in Muslim dominated areas so that political/religious leaders cannot spread hate among people to influence elections".

Congress claims stake to form government in Goa

Staking claim to form government in Goa, the Leader of Opposition  Chandrakant Kalekar wrote to the Governor to dismiss BJP-led government which is in "minority" and allow Congress, which is enjoying majority in the August house to form government in the state. The letter also warns of any violation of the constitutional mandate to invite  Congress will be 'undemocratic and illegal' and will be challenged. 

Union leaders arrive at the BJP headquarters for the party's central election committee meeting

Hyderabad: Two leaders have joined YSR Congress in the presence of party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Congress announces its two candidates contesting from Nagaland for the Lok Sabha and bye-election

Congress has announced that K L Chishi and Alemjongshi Longkumar would be contesting from Nagaland Parliamentary constituency and for bye-election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly from 26 Aonglenden (ST) Assembly Constituency, respectively.

Harish Chandra Panda, nephew of Odisha BJP chief joins BJD

Uttarakhand CM responds to Rahul Gandhi after rally in Dehradun

CPI(M) releases first list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections

Biju Janata Dal writes to State Election Commission

Biju Janata Dal writes to State Chief Electoral Officer stating that 'BJP has been pressurizing Election Commission to stop flow of KALIA assistance being provided to over 20 lakh farmers in #Odisha. The party should not be allowed to stop it.'

Rahul Gandhi reaches the residence of CRPF personnel killed in Pulwama attack

Balabhadra Majhi meets BJP President Amit Shah after joining BJP

TN Cong urges Rahul Gandhi to contest LS polls from state

The Tamil Nadu Congress unit on Saturday urged its national president Rahul Gandhi to contest from the southern state for the April 18 Lok Sabha elections, saying he was first proposed as the next prime minister from here by the DMK. TNCC president K S Alagiri said besides contesting from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi should also select a seat from Tamil Nadu as he cannot be perceived as belonging to just the northern state, but "is seen as an asset of the people of India".    (PTI)

Rahul Gandhi to meet families of CRPF personnel killed in Pulwama attack

Rahul Gandhi after his public meeting is headed to meet the families of CRPF men who were killed in the Pulwama attack. He is scheduled to meet the family of Indian Army officer Major Chitresh Singh Bisht, who was killed while defusing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Rajouri of Jammu & Kashmir. 

Rahul Gandhi promises food processing units for Uttarakhand farmers

Rahul Gandhi promises food processing factories close to the fields of the farmer in Uttarakhand. He says that the BJP wants to create two India one of the rich another of the poor, adding, "We will not let that happen."

Another resignation in BJD, MP joins BJP

Rahul Gandhi promises Guranteed Minimum Income to every Indian

Narendra Modi has nothing for farmers and youth in the last five years. Their money is being sent to the pockets of Anil Ambani. The government does not give full MSP but keeps repeating we will help farmers. Congress has decided, in 2019 we will provide assistance to the poor of the nation. Rahul Gandhi says that Guaranteed Minimum Income will be provided to every Indian citizen. 

Rahul Gandhi says will transform GST after coming to power

Addressing the small and medium businesses of Uttarakhand, Rahul Gandhi said that he will transform the 'Gabbar Singh Tax' into its true form of single form GST.  Rahul Gandhi apologises to people of Uttarakhand for PM Modi's demonetisation. 

'Women suffered most under demonetisation'

Talking about farm crisis in the country, Rahul Gandhi said that within days of winning elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan Congress CMs waived of farm loans. Modi had promised two crore jobs to youth, Rs 15 lakh in every account, but nothing has happened. Talking about Uttarakhand, Rahul said that the informal sector suffered the most in demonetisation and the women of the state faced the most losses. 

PM Modi removed BC Khanduri from parliamentary committee on defence: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi calls up Manish Khanduri, son of former CM and BJP leader BC Khanduri and says that his father BC Khanduri was chairman of the defence committee of Parliament. Khanduri gave his life to national security, armed forces and asked a question on national security in the committee. He asked why isn't the government helping the armed forces the way it should be, he was removed from the committee by Narendra Modi. 

Chowkidar chor hai, says Rahul Gandhi in Dehradun

Congress president in his speech in Dehradun raises the issues surrounding the Rafale deal including raking up the infighting between CBI top bosses. Rahul added that the PM was unable to speak in Parliament when he asked him about Rafale deal and had no guts to make eye contact. 

'No difference' to BJP, says Adityanath on Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics

Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics will make 'no difference' to BJP's poll prospect in UP, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tells agency PTI. 

Rahul Gandhi questions Anil Ambani's capability of making a fighter jet

Mocking Anil Ambani, Rahul Gandhi says, "if you give him a paper, he will not be able to make even a paper plane. The HAL which made fighter jets and the MiG which shot the Pakistan jet is maintained by HAL." He asks people what does Anil Ambani have that PM Modi gave him a contract for making Rafale worth Rs 30,000 crore? 

"The UPA government had given a contract to HAL for making the fighter jets, making its terms clear about manufacturing in India. This was the biggest defence contract of the world when Narendra Modi became PM, Anil Ambani goes as part of the delegation to France, within days HAL is sidelined. Then defence minister Manohar Parrikar clearly says I don't know anything about it. The Rs 526 crore aircraft was bought at Rs 1600 crore,"  says Rahul Gandhi. 

Rahul Gandhi targets PM Modi over Pulwama atttack

Rahul Gandhi thanked the youth of Uttarakhand for serving in the armed forces and the paramilitary forces of the country. Remembering CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack, Rahul said that I will meet the families of the men in the state. Congress has made it clear that it stands with the government and the nation after the attack. Targetting PM Modi, Rahul said that while I cancelled all my engagements, PM Modi was busy filming in Jim Corbett Park. 

Rahul Gandhi begins address in Dehradun

Rahul Gandhi is addressing a public rally in Dehradun where he is pitching the Congress for the five Parliamentary seats to the people of Uttarakhand. 

Setback for BJP in Uttar Pradesh

Harish Rawat addresses rally in Dehradun

Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat talking about Rahul Gandhi said that the people of the state know that the youth which is suffering from unemployment looks at you with hope. 

Five Parliamentary seats are in fray in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand has five Lok Sabha seats and the two traditional parties BJP and the Congress has been arch rivals in the state. Rahul Gandhi will be looking to clinch the seats after the party lost the assembly elections in the state throwing the Congress government of Harish Rawat out of power. 

Manish Kanhduri, son of BJP leader BC Khanduri joins Congress

Manish Kanhduri, son BJP leader B C Khandoori joins Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi. This is likely to emerge as a major setback for the BJP as BC Khanduri has been the CM of Uttarakhand under BJP. 

Congress President Rahul Gandhi reaches Dehradun

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has reached Parade Ground in Dehradun where he will begin his addess shortly. 

JD(S) General Secretary Danish Ali joins BSP

JD(S) General Secretary Danish Ali, who until recently was involved in alliance negotiations with Congress and JD(S), joins Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). After joining the BSP, Ali said, "JD(S) doesn't have a large organisational structure in UP.  Despite all my effort,s I could not have raised it in my 'janmabhoomi, my 'karmabhoomi'....The way in which there is a threat to constitution today, it has become essential to use our energy with a strong leadership."

Assam: Two BJP sitting MPs walk out of contest

Of the BJP’s seven sitting MPs from Assam, two — Rajen Gohain and RP Sharma — out of contest this time. Sharma resigned citing that he was not given ticket while Gohain, who is a rape accused, says won’t be contesting any election till allegation cleared.

Congress MLA Prakash Behera resigns from party in Odisha

In a setback for the opposition Congress ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections, its Salipur MLA Prakash Behera Saturday resigned from the primary membership of the party. Earlier, three MLAs - Nabakishore Das, Jogesh Singh and Krushna Chandra Sagari, had resigned from the Congress. While Das and Singh joined the BJD, Sagaria went to the BSP. In a letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Behera said that he has decided to quit the party after being "ignored" by the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) leadership.     (PTI)

Sachin Pilot at The Indian Express Adda

At the Express Adda held in Mumbai, Congress leader and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot spoke to Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express Group, and Vandita Mishra, National Opinion Editor, on national security as an election issue, speaking to the young voter and the alliance against the BJP.

Rajasthan Dy CM Sachin Pilot at #ExpressAdda

TN CM Edappadi K Palaniswami meets DMDK Chief Captain Vijayakanth in Chennai

Chandrababu Naidu set to launch poll campaign for elections

Polls will come and go, but harsh figures about our children will continue to rankle

As things stand, 2019 is likely to be an election driven by emotion. As Narendra Modi hit out at the Opposition that they were trying to “finish Modi” while he wanted to finish “terrorism, poverty and malnutrition”, it is probably the first time that a prime minister had put combating malnutrition amongst his top three priorities, and that too as an election promise. As poll talk generates heat, a report has put out cold figures about child malnutrition in India’s 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. This is the first time that constituency-wise data has been released by a Harvard professor, S V Subramanian, and his team, including researchers from the Indian Institute of Economic Growth, and supported by Tata Trust. The report ranks every constituency by five indicators on stunting, wasting, underweight, low birth weight and anaemia amongst children.  READ OPINION HERE

Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday took on the Naveen Patnaik-led government while addressing a public meeting at Sarsara Public Meeting ground in Bargah district of Odisha. Gandhi called Odisha as the ‘centre of unemployment’ and accused the state government of not generating jobs opportunities for the youth. Gandhi interacted with health professionals in Raipur, where he said the Congress is considering Right to Healthcare Act as part of the party’s manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections adding that in their manifesto, Congress is committed to increasing health budget to 3 per cent. “Healthcare is, in a sense, a foundation. So, we’ve to ensure that the foundation is built firmly. Congress govt in 2019 is dramatically going to increase the amount of money we put into healthcare and education,” Gandhi added.