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Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Modi ignored farmer-drought issues; rally a flop, says Congress

Lok Sabha elections 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: Congress Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failing to address Maharashtra's burning issues including drought and farmers' suicides after he attacked the opposition party at a poll rally on the 'Hindu terror' tag.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 2, 2019 8:32:46 am
 PM Modi questions Omar Abdullah's 'separate PM for Kashmir' remark Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant took at dig at the PM and asked why he had to come personally to Wardha if he intended to deliver the “same speech” he had made here five years ago.

Lok Sabha elections 2019 LIVE updates: With less than two weeks for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, political parties have stepped up their efforts to galvanise votes which will determine who will form government for the next five years in the country. In a rally at Wardha, Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the government’s Swatchh Bharat initiative. Taking on the Congress, Modi said he is “proud that he is the chowkidar of toilets” and that the Congress has humiliated him for it. The Prime Minister targeted the Opposition, saying they are “heroes in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is scheduled to hold three rallies in Telangana today, alleged there is a “partnership” between the ruling TRS and the BJP. Gandhi was speaking in Zaheerabad. After its shock defeat in the assembly polls, the Congress is seeking to salvage the situation with a decent performance in the parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to hold a rally in Telangana later today. The BJP had also won only one seat out of 119 in the Assembly polls held in December.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address three rallies today: 11:30 am – Wardha (Maharashtra), 02:45 pm – Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh)
and 5:10 pm – Secunderabad (Telangana). Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address three rallies in Telangana — Zaheerabad, Wanaparthi and Huzurnagar.

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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Narendra PM Modi will address election rallies in Telangana today. PM Modi is also scheduled to visit Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Here are the HIGHLIGHTS in Bangla

21:44 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Shashi Tharoor has total assets of over Rs 35 crore

The affidavit filed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor Monday while submitting his nomination papers for the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat showed he has assets over Rs 35 crore. A former union minister, Tharoor, who is seeking reelection to the Lok Sabha in the April 23 polls, has declared a total of Rs 34,00,22,585 as movable assets, while he has immovable assets worth Rs one crore. According to the affidavit, his total income for the year 2017-18 was Rs 3,66,21,978.

READ FULL REPORT

20:56 (IST)01 Apr 2019
PM Modi ignored Maharashtra farmer-drought issues; rally a flop: Congress

The Congress Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failing to address Maharashtra's burning issues including drought and farmers' suicides after he attacked the opposition party at a poll rally on the 'Hindu terror' tag."#BJP has failed #Vidarbha .#maharashtra as PM in #Wardha failed to address burning issues of draught, farmer suicides, #MSP distress, corruption of his govt & unfulfilled promises made in 2014 over jobs, Ease of doing business, Women safety, Inflation...," AICC secretary in-charge for Maharashtra Ashish Dua tweeted.Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant took at dig at the PM and asked why he had to come personally to Wardha if he intended to deliver the "same speech" he had made here five years ago."He (Modi) again gave the slogan of Hindutva. He did not touch upon issues which matter. He spoke as if opposition parties are in power," Sawant said. READ FULL REPORT

20:07 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Post-poll alliance ‘absolutely’ possible, job no.1 is to defeat PM Modi: Rahul Gandhi

Exuding confidence that the Opposition is “united” in defeating the Narendra Modi-led government, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that a post-poll alliance is “absolutely” possible after the parliamentary elections. “A post-poll alliance is absolutely possible after the Lok Sabha elections as all the opposition parties are united in defeating the BJP,” the Congress leader told news agency PTI.

Stating that the “job no.1” is to defeat Prime Minister Modi, Gandhi said, “For the entire opposition, the job number one is to defeat Mr Narendra Modi and save Democracy and the Constitution. To stop the BJP from destroying India’s institutions and its social fabric. To stimulate growth, propel economy, create jobs, ensure harmony, and address injustice and inequality. In this, we are all united.”

Asked about the possibility of a post-poll alliance of opposition parties, the Congress leader said, “Yes, absolutely”. “It is the people of India who are standing up to counter Mr Modi,” he added.

19:14 (IST)01 Apr 2019
PM Modi condemns National Conference for 'separate PM for Kashmir' remark, demands Cong's clarification

PM Modi in Telangana rally: "National Conference -a significant ally of Congress party- has stated that Kashmir should have a separate Prime Minister. Congress will have to answer for it. What is the reason behind Congress' ally having the courage to come out with such statements?

19:04 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Rahul Gandhi talks about secular alliances across India

Secular formations in place in various states and BJP will face 'strong' opposition candidates all over India, says Rahul Gandhi. 

18:18 (IST)01 Apr 2019
BJP's alleged misuse of Doordarshan: Congress complains to EC

"A Congress delegation met Election Commission over a few issues including the misuse of Doordarshan by BJP in broadcasting certain speeches made by PM Modi and use of a particular channel which has come up and has logo of 'NAMO', " Kapil Sibal was quoted as saying by ANI.

17:05 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Naveen Patnaik rejects Modi's claim, says BJD will perform very well

Rejecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that BJP will repeat Tripura-like result in Odisha, ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday said the regional party will perform "very well" in the coming simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.

"We(BJD) will do very well in the elections. I have said it before ... you will see," Patnaik said replying to a question on the prime minister's statement on Sunday that Odisha will have poll results like Tripura. Modi had said on Sunday that Odisha will be the second Tripura, where BJP had won a comfortable majority in the last assembly elections and formed the government dismantling the 25 years of Left Front rule.

"Odisha will surprise everybody in the country this time ... It will be a second Tripura," Modi said, implying that BJP is poised to post an impressive show in Odisha against BJD which has been in power in the state for the past about two decades in the elections this month. Modi said this while addressing Main Bhi Chowkidar programme via video conferencing from Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. (PTI)

16:16 (IST)01 Apr 2019
BJP will meet the fate of 'India Shining' due to anti-poor policies: Siddaramaiah

Predicting defeat for BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah Monday mockingly said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet the fate of 'India Shining' due to his anti-poor policies. "After completing five years, Vajpayee came up with a slogan 'India Shining' in 2004. I don't know where it shined. If it had really shone, there was no need for any welfare schemes. History tells us what happened to 'India Shining'. Narendra Modi will also meet the same fate," Siddaramaiah said at a 'Meet the Press' programme at the Press Club of Bangalore. (PTI)

15:25 (IST)01 Apr 2019
BJP ally party leader to contest against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad

BJP ally party Bharath Dharma Jana Sena president Thushar Vellappally to contest against Rahul Gandhi in Kerala's Wayanad

14:15 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Odisha must choose Odia-speaking CM: Amit Shah

Naveen Patnaik failed to learn Odia in 19 years. People must choose Odia-speaking CM this time, BJP president Amit Shah said Monday at a rally in Odisha. BJD govt adopted step-motherly approach towards west, central Odisha due to which these parts remained backward, he said. 

13:54 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Rahul may file nomination papers in Wayanad on April 4

The Congress state unit in Kerala is all geared up to make the occasion of Rahul Gandhi filing his nomination papers from Wayanad grand and festive. Gandhi is likely to submit his papers on April 4, the last day to file nominations. AICC general secretary KC Venugopal has been given the charge of getting the papers ready. Gandhi faces CPI candidate PP Suneer in Wayanad, a constituency in northern Kerala at the tri-junction of the states of Kerala, TN and Karnataka.

13:50 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Amit Shah addresses rally in Odisha

BJP president Amit Shah is addressing a public meeting in Gajapati, Odisha.

13:44 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Shashi Tharoor files nomination from Thiruvananthapuram Constituency

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor filed his nomination Monday from Thiruvananthapuram Parliamentary Constituency.

13:38 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Vote for TRS means vote for Modi, RSS: Rahul in Telangana

If you vote for TRS you are giving vote to Narendra Modi and RSS, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said at a public rally in Telangana today. There is "partnership" between TRS and BJP; remote control in Narendra Modi's hand, he said. 

13:32 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Will spend 6% of GDP on education if elected to power: Rahul Gandhi in Telangana

UPA, if elected to power, will spend six per cent of GDP, on education, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Monday at a rally in Zaheerabad, Telangana.

13:27 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad is 'Pappu strike': CPI(M) mouthpiece editorial

The 'Deshabhimani' newspaper, mouthpiece of the CPI(M) in Kerala, produced a stinging editorial Monday questioning the candidature of Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad in the state. Calling the move a 'Pappu strike', the editorial repeated the BJP charge that Gandhi was perhaps hunting for a 'safe' seat in case he loses badly from Amethi, the traditional stronghold of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. The article asked how his fighting from Wayanad could produce a wave for the party in Kerala. In 2014, it pointed out, the Congress won just two seats in Uttar Pradesh and lost badly from most North Indian states despite him fighting from Amethi.

12:50 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses rally in Zaheerabad, Telangana

Watch LIVE: Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses rally in Zaheerabad, Telangana

12:47 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Remember who coined the term 'Hindu terror': Modi in Maharashtra rally

Targeting the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said the party humiliated "our 5,000 years old culture" by labelling "peace-loving Hindus as terrorists". Addressing a rally at Wardha, Modi said the recent court's verdict has exposed Congress' conspiracy on 'Hindu terror'. 

Modi was referring to the Samjhauta Express blast case verdict in which Panchkula special court judge acquitted all four accused, citing loopholes in the probe by the NIA. 

All the four accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were acquitted by the special NIA court.

The blast in Samjhauta Express took place near Panipat in Haryana on February 18, 2007, when the train was on its way to Attari, the last railway station on the Indian side. Sixty-eight people were killed in the incident.

12:38 (IST)01 Apr 2019
PM Modi targets Congress over 'Hindu terror'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday targeted the Congress over 'Hindu terror', saying the party humiliated crores in India and labelled "peace-loving Hindu society as terrorists" in front of the world. 

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12:24 (IST)01 Apr 2019
Lok Sabha elections: BSP releases list of 6 candidates in UP

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Monday released a list of 6 candidates in Uttar Pradesh for Lok Sabha Elections 2019. 

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi being presented a memento at an election campaign rally in Vijayawada. (file/PTI Photo)

In Telangana, both the BJP and the Congress face tough competition from the TRS. Modi, who launched his campaign in the state on Friday, will address a public meeting at the LB Stadium in support of the candidates of the BJP, that is contesting 17 Lok Sabha seats on its own.

With just ten days left for polling, BJP president Amit Shah and other top leaders, including Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, are also expected to campaign for the party nominees in coming days.

After its defeat in the assembly polls, Congress is also seeking to salvage the situation with a decent performance in the parliamentary elections. Congress in Telangana is facing a crisis with 10 among its 19 MLAs announcing their decision this month to leave the party and join the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Meanwhile, in Kerala, Congress president Rahul Gandhi picked Wayanad as his second Lok Sabha seat apart from party stronghold Amethi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other hand, intensified his "Main Bhi Chowkidar" campaign. The BJP on Sunday announced the launch of Namo TV. The television channel, available on major DTH platforms, will provide “real-time coverage of PM Modi’s exciting election campaign and a lot more fascinating content.”

The 17th Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases, between April 11 and May 19, involving close to 90 crore voters. The results will be declared on May 23, ten days before the term of the current House expires. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC), which bars the government in power from announcing any new decisions, is into effect.