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Lok Sabha Elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Modi’s brothers have Rs 30 crore in banks, says Rahul Gandhi in Kerala

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 India HIGHLIGHTS: Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in Kozhikode. He has met the family of slain Youth Congress leader Shuhaib. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 14, 2019 7:02:00 pm
“What you’ve seen in the last 5 years, you’ve heard one man’s ‘Mann ki baat’, says Rahul Gandhi in Kozhikode, Kerala.

Even as Rahul Gandhi is campaigning in Kerala, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan switched sides to BJP on Thursday. “Hurt” after Congress questioned the armed forces post-Pulwama attack, Vadakkan joined BJP in the presence of Ravi Shankar Prasad. He also slammed Congress’ “dynasty politics” and said the party has a “culture of use and throw.” Vadakkan has never contested an election but was a key aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi vouched for minimum income line and promised people in Kozhikode, Kerala that money would be put in their bank accounts to help them overcome poverty. Taking pot shots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi claimed that Modi wants two Indias – one for the 15 or 20 rich people and other for who are jobless.

Gandhi assured the fishermen in Kerala that the UPA will bring a dedicated ministry for the community in New Delhi once voted to power. Taking a jibe against the prime minister, Rahul said, “I don’t make fake promises like PM Modi. “Please look at my speeches. When I say something, I only say it because I have decided to do it. I am confident that we will bring you a ministry in Delhi and your voice in the National Capital will be able to solve your problems.” Click for more election news

He is also expected to hold discussions with senior party leaders on the selection procedure of candidates, poll preparations and strategy in the state.

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Ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019, Rahul Gandhi will address a rally in Kerala today. Follow HIGHLIGHTS in Malayalam, Bangla, Tamil

18:40 (IST)14 Mar 2019
BJP-RSS, CPM use violence, weapon of the weak: Rahul Gandhi

Shifting his focus on CPM in Kerala, Gandhi said, "I want to ask CPM where they were when Kerala was facing floods? I want to ask CPM what they did for the 10000 families affected by floods. The only thing CPM is capable of doing is acting violently. When it comes to job creating, CPM has no answer."

"In a way, BJP-RSS and CPM use violence. Violence is a weapon of the weak. Congress has always fought violence with non-violence. You might get a chance to listen to Mr Narendra Modi' speeches. All he does is abuse people. He has never said anything nice about anybody You can even listen to his (PM Modi) speeches about Mr Vajpayee. You can see how he treats Mr Advani. He only has respect for his friend Mr Anil Ambani," Gandhi said. 

18:36 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Modi wants two India, one for 15 rich people and second for the jobless: Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi claimed took a jibe at industrialists and said Modi wants two Indias, "One India for these 15-20 people and the other for others who are jobless. We are not going to accept two Indias. He has given all the ports to one man and Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani."

Talking of the directives Congress would undertake if and when in power, Gandhi said the party will make a minimum income line in India, which will put money in the person's bank and uplift the person to the said line. 

"We will make a minimum income line in this country. And then we will go the every person who is below that line. And the min income guarantee scheme will put money in the person's bank and bvring that person to that line," Gandhi said. 

"Congress can give crores to the poor of this country," said Gandhi. 

18:25 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Modi calls Anil Ambani 'bhai', but not farmers: Rahul Gandhi

"Farmers asked for farm loan waivers, Modi and Arun Jaitley laughed at them. He calls Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Anil Ambani as 'bhai' (brother), so they're his brothers. But he does not call the farmers of the country 'bhai'. All Modi's brothers have 30 cr in the bank," Gandhi said. 

Gandhi spoke about Modi's actions post the Pulwama attack, "After Pulwama attack, he was making a movie for 3 and ahalf hours. He was explaining to the national Geographic channel about animals at the Corbett park. While Modi was being filmed, Adani got five Indian airports aa s free gift including one of yours." 

18:12 (IST)14 Mar 2019
PM's job is not to tell his 'Mann ki baat': Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi makes a symbolic reference and states that people are like the 'ocean'. Taking pot shots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi Gandhi says, "PM's job is not to tell the nation his' mann ki baat', PM's job is to listen to 'mann ki baat' of every citizen in India. What you've seen in the last 5 years, you heard one man's 'mann ki baat'.

Further, Gandhi spoke on the demonetisation issue and said he had a chat with students in Chennai yesterday and they thought demonetisation was "nonsense". 

"He (Modi) destroyed thousands of businesses, wiped out the future of millions of Indians and before that decision, he did not even ask the members of his cabinet. The RBI has been protecting our economy for several years, he did not bother to ask them. He attacks every institution of India," said Gandhi speaking on demonetisation. 

17:53 (IST)14 Mar 2019
You are the masters, we work for you: Rahul Gandhi in Kozhikode

Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at BJP and RSS  and said, " They want to tell India what to do. They have an ideology which they are convinced about and want the Indians to believe that ideology is the truth. They don't want to understand the ocean (people)."

"Congress is an instrument of listening to the people of India and it is important for the party to listen to every single belief, idea and passion of the country. We act accordingly what party hears. That's why doors are open to everybody in the country," Gandhi said, while addressing a rally in Kozhikode,

Gandhi said, "We start with humility. We bow in front of our country. We bow in front of every voice of the country. And then we listen. You are the masters, we work for you."

16:42 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Rahul Gandhi meets family members of deceased Youth Cong activist in Kerala

Rahul Gandhi met the family members of slain Youth Congress activist Shuhaib, who was allegedly hacked to death by CPI(M) workers in February last year. Spent around an hour and a half with Shuhaib's parents and sisters at the international airport in Kerala, Gandhi consoled the grieving relatives and extended support to them, PTI quoted party sources as saying. Senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mulapally Ramachandran were among those present during the meeting.

Shuhaib, 29, served as Mattannur block Youth Congress secretary. A CBI inquiry has been asked by the Oppostition Congress-led UDF and family members of Shuhaib.

(Source: Twitter/Congress)

16:30 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Congress' campaign against Rafale is based on lies: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Prasad further spoke on Congress' campaign against Rafale and said is it not a fair and appropriate campaign. "His campaign is based on fictional lies," said the Law minister. 

"Rahul Gandhi's campaign against Rafale and allegations are being raised, to maintain links with Sanjay Bhandari.  Sanjay Bhandari was also the middle man of Airbus which manufactures Airbus Euro fighter. This was also included in the competition of the tender for Euro fighter Rafale."

Calling on the campaign as unfair and inappropriate, Prasad said the said campaign is based upon fictional lies. "Because Sanjay Bhandari could not tilt the case towards euro fighters," said Prasad. 

Addressing the land deals in relation to cases pending in courts, Prasad said, "Everywhere two factors are common - a seller who is HL Pahwa and Robert Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as purchasers. A proper team was at work."

16:17 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Rahul Gandhi stands firmly behind Robert Vadra in land deals: Ravi Shankar Prasad

"Rahul Gandhi is standing firmly behind Robert Vadra in all the land deals, reeking of impropriety, use of power and also corruption," Ravi Prasad Shankar said today while addressing a press conference in Delhi. 

Prasad raised questions on Priyanka Gandhi's land,  "If there is a particular land rate, why is it the land purchased by Priyanka in April 2014, for Rs 16 lakhs and sold the land after 3 months at Rs 84. 35 lakhs."

"Yesterday Smriti Irani had raised the case of purchase of land linked to the Gandhi family. Congress has said that Rahul Gandhi bought the land and gave his sister a gift. Not to buy land but purchase land which is the main subject," said Prasad.

16:04 (IST)14 Mar 2019
NCP announces list of candidates for general elections

National Congress Party announced a list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections including Supriya Sule from Baramati, Sanjay Dina Patil from Mumbai North East, Anand Paranjpe from Thane, Sunil Tatkare from Raigad and Mohammad Faisal from Lakshwadeep.

The NCP will support Raju Shetti's Swabhimani Shetkari Saghtana in Hatkanagale Lok Sabha constituency.

15:44 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Rahul Gandhi meets families of deceased youth Cong activists

Rahul Gandhi visits Kasargod and meets families of deceased youth congress activists, Sarath Lal & Kripesh, who were allegedly killed by the CPI(M) recently. 

Youth Congress workers Sarath Lal, 24, and Kripesh, 19, were hacked to death on Sunday night at Periya in the district while they were returning home on a two-wheeler. The FIR has stated that they had faced threat from CPI(M) and that one of the local leaders openly threatened them.

(Source: Twitter/Congress)

15:06 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Lok Sabha member Balabhadra Majhi resigns from BJD, claims he was 'ignored and cheated'

Ahead of the general elections, Lok Sabha member Balabhadra Majhi today resigned from Biju Janata Dal (BJD) claiming he was "ignored and cheated", PTI reported.

"I have tendered my resignation from the primary membership of the BJD as I felt ignored, neglected and cheated. I presumed the party no more requires me," Majhi, who represents Nabarangpur (ST) Lok Sabha seat, said in Bhubaneswar.

Majhi has submitted his resignation letter to the political secretary of the party chief as he was unable to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

"Somewhere, a gap has developed between I and you .. may be designed by some persons envious of my achievements," his resignation letter to Patnaik stated., as reported by PTI.

It is unclear which party would Majhi be joining as he said he would arrive at a decision after speaking to the people of his area.

The letter further stated, "I was kept out of discussions and deliberations in the organisation .. I am sure some people have misled you and now I feel cheated."

Majhi said he was not informed about visits of party functionaries to his area on several occasions which hampered development works in the constituency.

"Now, I presume that I am no more required for the party .. I have no grudge against you," the Nabarangpur MP said describing Patnaik as a great political leader who will continue to inspire him, PTI reported.

14:54 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Ravi Shankar Prasad will address press conference at 4 pm

Ravi Shankar Prasad is scheduled to address a press conference today at 4 pm at Delhi BJP headquarters. 

14:38 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Nirmala Sitharaman, Manoj Tiwari at Delhi BJP workers meeting

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and party Delhi Unit Chief Manoj Tiwari at the Delhi state BJP workers meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photos by Tashi Tobgyal)

14:16 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Kamal Haasan's party invites applications from aspirants to contest Tamil Nadu Assembly bypolls

Actor Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM)invited applications from aspiring candidates for the bypolls to 18 vacant Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu

On Thursday, the party said the application forms for the bypolls will be available from today and invited both members and non-members to receive them. The forms can also be downloaded from the party website, a release from MNM said. The completed forms have to be submitted along with a Demand Draft of Rs 10,000 and the necessary documents on or before March 16, it said.

The April 18 by-polls are considered crucial as it would have a bearing on the stability of the K Palaniswami-led AIADMK government which needs to win a sizeable number of them to retain its majority in the 234-member House. (PTI)

14:14 (IST)14 Mar 2019
With poll code in force, no grand celebrations for BSP

With the poll code in place, BSP workers and supporters will celebrate the birth anniversaries of party founder Kanshiram (15 March) and ideologue Bhimrao Ambedkar (April 14) at a low scale at their homes. No grand celebrations have been arranged keeping in mind the Model Code of Conduct.

14:09 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Ahead of polls, TMC leader Arjun Singh joins BJP

(Anil Sharma)

14:02 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Believe in PM Modi's 'vikas narrative': Tom Vadakkan

Immediately after joining, Vadakkan said that he believed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development narrative. He also said the situation within the Congress was not clear as to who held the power in the party, PTI reported.

Vadakka, who never contested elections, is also a former AICC secretary. His induction into the BJP is likely to boost the party’s prospects in Kerala. Source told The Indian Express that Vadakkan is ready to contest on a BJP ticket from Thrissur, Ernakulam or Idukki.

13:39 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Congress leader Tom Vadakkan switches to BJP

Key Congress leader Tom Vadakkan joined the BJP in presence of Ravi Shankar Prasad "I left the Congress with a heavy heart. The reaction from the party over Pulwama was sad. It hurt me deeply when you question the integrity of the armed forces." He also slammed Congress' 'dynasty politics' and said the party had "use and throw culture." "If a political party takes such a position that is against the country then I'm left with no option but to leave the party," he said, referring to the Pulwama terror attack

12:35 (IST)14 Mar 2019
Parody WhatsApp conversation highlights cracks in Mahagathbandhan

A parody video capturing the frailties of the grand alliance has gone viral on social media. It is imperative to tell our readers that the following video is a fake WhatsApp conversation between key Opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and others.

It begins with Rahul adding all the leaders to a WhatsApp group, “Maha Gathbandhan”. As the conversation begins with a discussion on seat-sharing, it quickly veers off towards who would be the next Prime Minister in case the alliance gets the required numbers to form the government in Delhi.

Eventually, the WhatsApp group gets hijacked by SamajwadPatriarchch Mulayam Singh Yadav who “adds” BJP president Amit Shah and changes its name to BJP 400+.

The video was uploaded in two parts by a Facebook page, The Frustrated Indian (TFI). Founded in 2012 by Atul Kumar Mishra, TFI began as a website before building its Facebook page. A mission statement on the page reads: “To build a strong right wing political opinion in the country. To change the perspective that conservatives resist changes and are socially awkward.” Read more

12:15 (IST)14 Mar 2019
EC reaches marriage function in Karnataka, demonstrates use of EVM, VVPAT

Election 2019 LIVE updates: Probe Robert Vadra, but also investigate the PM, says Rahul Gandhi Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing students at a college in Chennai

In Chennai, Rahul Gandhi reiterated Congress' support to the long-standing issue of Women’s Reservation Bill. He also said the UPA will reserve 33 per cent seats for women in central government jobs if voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “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.”

In the morning, Gandhi addressing women college students in Chennai and said the law must be applied equally to everybody and not selectively. Referring to the ED probe on Robert Vadra, Gandhi said, “What about him (Vadra)? The government has the right to investigate anyone. I will be the first person to say it... Investigate Robert Vadra but also investigate PM Narendra Modi." Targetting the ruling AIADMK state government, Rahul said it is remote-controlled by the Centre.

While Congress clinched the seat-sharing agreement in Karnataka, the BSP has ruled out any alliance with the party anywhere in the country. Mayawati-led BSP also rejected RJD'S alliance offer and announced its decision to contest all 40 seats in Bihar.

In West Bengal, the BJP has urged the Election Commission to declare the state as a "super-sensitive" to ensure fair polling in the state. Following this, the poll panel sought a "ground level report" from the state electoral officer. CM Mamata Banerjee hit back at the saffron party saying it was "trying to hide behind central forces as it can't win any seat in the state."