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Lok Sabha polls 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Amit Shah’s statement is an attack on secular culture, he should apologise, says Mufti

Lok Sabha elections 2019 LIVE updates: "Narendra Modi did not have the dignity to speak to the farmers of the country. In 2019, we are going to some dramatic change for the farmers," Rahul Gandhi said in Theni, Tamil Nadu.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 12, 2019 11:29:22 pm
Mehbooba Mufti said, “Language being used by Amit Shah & his men for votes in this election, isn’t right.”

Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: The first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections saw a moderate turnout on Thursday. Political leaders are now set for the next round of campaigning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address in Calicut, Kerala said, “For decades, the Communist LDF and Communal UDF have dominated Kerala politics but they have miserably failed the people.” Earlier today, Modi in his address at Gangavathi in Karnataka criticised the Congress-JDS rule in the state and said, “As much as Congress and JDS are disconnected with the people, they are immensely connected to their families.” While at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, he said that the Congress government was corrupt and urged the people to vote for honest leaders.

Meanwhile, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi completed three rallies in Tamil Nadu covering, Salem, Theni and Madurai. In Theni, Rahul assured farmers that if his party comes in power, it will introduce a new law which would not allow farmers to be put in jail on not being able to pay their defaulting loans. Click for more election news 


Live Blog

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his campaign in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, while Rahul Gandhi will held three rallies in Tamil Nadu. Follow LIVE updates:

21:07 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Have suggested re-poll at Konarchar polling station under Selsella constituency to EC: Chief Electoral Officer of Meghalaya

Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya has recommended a re-poll at Konarchar polling station under Selsella constituency to the Election Commission. "Perhaps because of simultaneous polls (LS & by-polls), there was human error, a mismatch of figures&crisscrossing of machines. Have recommended re-poll at Konarchar polling station under Selsella constituency to EC; waiting for EC's instructions," ANI quoted the official as saying. 

21:05 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Foundation of country laid on secularism, Shah should apologise to people: Mufti on Shah's statement on NRC implementation

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti called Amit Shah's statement on the implementation of NRC as an "attack on secular culture of the country" and asked Shah to apologise to the people. "Language being used by Amit Shah & his men for votes in this election, isn't right. India is a secular country. Such statements are intended to shake the country's foundations. They are an attack on secular culture of this country. J&K had decided to join India keeping in mind its secular culture. I think Amit Shah should apologise to people of this country because the foundation of this country has been laid on secularism. It's not only for Hindu, Sikh or Muslim, the country is for everyone," Mufti said.

Assuring implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal, BJP president Amit Shah Thursday called illegal migrants from Bangladesh as “termites’ and promised to throw them out of West Bengal after the BJP comes to power again for a second consecutive term. The BJP stalwart, however, added that citizenship would be granted to every Hindu and Buddhist refugee.

20:45 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Congress fields Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Manish Tewari from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab
20:29 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Showcause notice showed to Maneka Gandhi for her remark to Muslims in Sultanpur

Additional Chief Election Officer BR Tiwari said the EC has taken cognisance of the matter of Maneka Gandhi's remark during speech before a gathering of Muslims in Sultanpur yesterday and District Magistrate, Sultanpur has issued a show-cause notice to her. A report has been sent to EC.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi appealed to Muslims in Sultanpur to vote for her as they will need her once the Lok Sabha elections come to an end. “We are not Mahatma Gandhi's children that we keep giving and not get anything in return,” she said in Muslim-dominated Turabkhani area on Thursday.

20:14 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Cong, communists gave free pass to extremist organisations: Modi in Kerala

The Opposition’s non-serious attitude towards national security is known. When Congress was in power in India, the country saw many terror attacks but they did nothing. Today, when the bare minimum they can do is show support, they prefer to question & insult our forces. Here in Kerala, Congress and Communists have given a free pass to extremist organisations that are fomenting hate and radicalization among youngsters. It is important to teach such elements a strong lesson through the ballot, Modi said in Calicut, Kerala. 

20:10 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Why are fake liberals silent on political violence, asks Modi in Kerala

From Kozhikode, I want to ask outdated Communists and fake Liberals - why are you silent on the political violence in Kerala? I assure my fellow BJP Karyakartas - your struggles will not go in vain. Their bullying will not weaken us. The Communists and Congress have blatant double standards when it comes to women empowerment. The so-called defenders of women rights are the ones at the forefront of defending the brutal and barbaric practice of Triple TalaqThey are trying to make Kerala a laboratory of their mischief. They are insulting sentiments of the people. They call themselves champions of speech and expression. But, they deny the same to the people of Kerala, Modi said in Calicut, Kerala. 

19:44 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Electing Cong, communists is like giving license to engage in to-level corruption: Modi in Calicut, Kerala

"Electing Congress and Communists is like giving a license to their leaders to engage in top-level corruption. Right now, the entire nation is talking about a very big national scam of the Congress. This is the Tughlak Road Election Scam. In Madhya Pradesh, crores of Rupees, bags of cash have been found. Detailed probes revealed that the money trail reaches the house of a top Congress leader in Delhi’s Tughlak Road. Kerala’s culture has come under immense attack from LDF & UDF Kerala is a land of peace & harmony but insensitive Communists & Congress have brought a culture of political violence Several patriotic RSS & BJP Karyakartas have been attacked & killed for serving the people," Modi said in Calicut, Kerala. 

19:38 (IST)12 Apr 2019
UDF, LDF only differnet in name, both took turns to loot state: Modi in Calicut, Kerala

"For decades, the Communist LDF and Communal UDF have dominated Kerala politics but they have miserably failed the people of Kerala. BJP presents an alternative that is inclusive, democratic and compassionate. We will serve each and every citizen," Modi in Calicut, Kerala.

"UDF and LDF are different only in name. In deeds they are the same. Both have taken turns to loot the state. UDF has a full dictionary of scams. LDF is no better. Why have so many Ministers resigned on corruption charges? Since May 2016, backdoor appointments have been taking place in State PSUs but there is no vision for industrial development."

19:14 (IST)12 Apr 2019
NYAY scheme is a surgical strike on poverty: Rahul Gandhi in Madurai, TN

"The central theme of our manifesto is justice 'NYAY'. We are going to fulfil Modi's promise. The answer is Rs 72,000 in a year to 20 per cent of poorest families. Five crore families will receive this money and the women of the families will get it. It is a surgical strike on poverty," Rahul Gandhi said in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. 

"Modi snatched the purchasing power from you. Unemployment rose and the economy faltered. Nyay scheme is designed to counter that. We are going to start putting into your pocket. As you keep buying things, factories will start producing things."

"Nyay scheme is designed to jump-start India's economy. We are going to re-start the economic engine. The money is going to come from Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi. There is no shortage of money in India."

18:30 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Maneka Gandhi appeals to Muslims to vote: 'You might need me tomorrow'

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi appealed to Muslims in Sultanpur to vote for her as they will need her once the Lok Sabha elections come to an end. “We are not Mahatma Gandhi's children that we keep giving and not get anything in return,” she said in Muslim-dominated Turabkhani area on Thursday.

“I am winning, but if my victory is without Muslims, I will not feel good, because then there is a bitter feeling. If Muslims come for some work after that, I will think ‘what difference does it make’. Because employment is a negotiation after all, isn’t that right? We are not Mahatma Gandhi’s children to keep giving without getting anything in return,” she told the crowd in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur.

18:09 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Naveen Patnaik has been CM for 19 years, state still lacks educational, job opportunities: Amit Shah in Odisha

Amit Shah addressing a gathering in Odisha said Naveen Patnaik has remained the chief minister for the last 19 years, however, the state still lacks educational and employment opportunities. "The youth of people have to go to other states in search of livelihood. If we form govt, we'd ensure ample opportunities for people."

"On one hand, Modi govt builds hospitals with the money from mining and on the other hand, a Commission has found corruption in issuing of mining lease. The land of Odisha is rich in natural resources but the corruption has kept them poor," the BJP president said.

Shah spoke about BJP's achievement in terms of state development, "For the development of Odisha, Modi govt has carried out several infrastructural and connectivity work. The government has built IIM, IIT and ESIC hospital. Besides, Rs 10,000 has been spent on four lane road."

(Source: Twitter/BJP)

17:39 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Will make make law- no farmer will go to jail for defaulting his loans: Rahul Gandhi in Theni, TN

After 2019 election, when Congress comes to power, "We will bring a new law. Not a single farmer will go to jail because he hasn't paid his loan. We will make it illegal for putting any farmer in jail for defaulting his loan," Rahul Gandhi said in Theni, Tamil Nadu.

17:35 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Next year, cong will place a budget for farmers: Rahul Gandhi in Theni, TN

"In every Congress state in the country, we have given farm loan waivers. Modi did not have the dignity to speak to the farmers of the country. in 2019, we are going to some dramatic change for the farmers of the country. We want farmers to live with confidence. As a gesture to all the farmers, the next budget Congress places will have a budget for farmers. Every single farmer will know in the beginning of the year, what the government will do for them. You will be given details what govt will do for you," Rahul Gandhi said in Theni, Tamil Nadu. 

17:29 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Modi is element of hatred among Indians, he does not understand Tamil spirit: Rahul in TN

"Narendra Modi is the element of hate among Indians. The moment Indians get together, Modi goes down. So we are not going to fight Modi's hatred with hatred but with love and affection of people and by respecting each other," Rahul Gandhi said in Theni, Tamil Nadu. 

"One thing that surprises me about Modi. he is convinced he can run TN from Delhi. He is convinced that because he can pressurise the govt in the state, he can decide what will happen in the state. I don't think he has read anything about Tamil history and certainly does not understand the Tamil spirit."

17:25 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Modi stole money from small traders, shopkeepers: Rahul Gandhi in Theni, TN

Addressing a rally in Theni, Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi said, "Modi stole money from small traders and shopkeepers. With Gabbar Singh Tax, he introducted five different layers of taxes. dForced small busniesmen to fill forms everyday. Charged 28% tax to India. And he took this money to give to his friends, Mehul Choksi, Anil Ambani. Their purchase in power collapse and goods were left lying in the factories. And when factories stopped producing goods, they stopped hiring people."

17:04 (IST)12 Apr 2019
CM Baghael should ask CBI to probe Bhima Mandavi's murder: Amit Shah in Chhattisgarh

Addressing a public meeting in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, BJP president Amit Shah said if there's nothing to hide, CM Bhupesh Baghael should ask the CBI to investigate Bhima Mandavi's murder. "The moment Congress took power in Chhattisgarh, CBI was banned. Earlier under Raman Singh's government, never sucha step was taken as there was no corruption under his rule."

"For 10 years, Sonia-Manmohan government ruled the state and in those years, they brought in Rs 12 lakh crore corruption.."

16:53 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Andhra Pradesh CM Naidu to meet EC tomorrow

Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu said he would be meeting with the Election Commission to discuss the anomalies and technical problems EVMs are facing, as ANI reported. "Nobody knows what is happening in EVMs," Naidu said.

16:51 (IST)12 Apr 2019
Will work for Amethi, no matter what you say: Smriti Irani on Cong's education qualification jibe

Union Minister Smriti Irani today responded to Congress' allegations that she "falsified records" of her educational qualifications, stating that she will continue to work for Amethi no matter what its leaders say.

"In the past five years, there has not been any attack which has not been made against me by the Congress and its 'chele chapate' (stooges), nor is there any bad word or disrespect which has not been hurled at me," Irani said. "I have a message for them... as much as you try, I will work for Amethi against the Congress. No matter what you say, the more you harass me, the harder I'll work," she said.

Earlier, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi alleged that Irani submitted contradictory affidavits to the Election Commission for which she should be disqualified.

16:45 (IST)12 Apr 2019
BJP dividing society over caste and religion, says Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today alleged that that BJP was creating a divide in the society on the basis of caste and religion while the 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) was committed to remove hatred, PTI reported. 

"They (BJP) confused the people with their promises and forgot the 'acche din' promise after coming to power," he said. "The BJP is playing politics by dividing the society on basis of caste and religion. Our 'Mahagathbandhan' wants to remove the hatred and bring a change to save the Constitution," the former chief minister said in a statement here.

16:13 (IST)12 Apr 2019
All farmers will get financial assistance after Modi govt forms: Modi in Karnataka

Taking a jibe at the current government in Karnataka, Modi said the state government has failed to send a list of eligible farmers for sending financial assistance, however,  "when Modi govt again forms a government, all farmers of Karnataka will receive financial assistance."

"In the first phase of election, the wave of BJP and its allies will sweep the opposition. The situation in West Bengal is chaotic. It's a sign of an imminent change."

elections, elections 2019, india elections 2019, india elections, india election 2019, lok sabha election, lok sabha elections 2019, elections 2019 live, general elections 2019, india general election 2019, general election 2019 india, india election news Voters outside New Town Higher Secondary Girls School in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district. (Express photo/Partha Paul)

The first phase of voting for 91 Lok Sabha constituencies across 20 states and Union Territories on Thursday saw a moderate turnout. There were sporadic incidents of violence and reports of EVM malfunctioning. In Andhra Pradesh, at least two people were killed in poll-related violence in Tadipatri after TDP and YSRCP factions clashed outside a polling booth.

A total of 14 parliamentary constituencies out of 25 in the eight northeastern states also voted in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls. In four of these states, i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, all seats have been polled. With six phases left, campaigning will continue in other parts of the country.

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