Lok Sabha elections 2019 Highlights: PM Modi hails GST for transparency in address to tradershttps://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-elections-mulayam-singh-yadav-mayawati-manipuri-sp-bsp-rahul-gandhi-narendra-modi-live-updates-5683524/

Lok Sabha elections 2019 Highlights: PM Modi hails GST for transparency in address to traders

"I welcome Mayawati to this rally. We must respect the BSP chief because she has always stood by us during bad times. I am glad she has come to support me," Mulayam Singh Yadav told the crowd.

Lok Sabha elections 2019 LIVE: I am a challenger, fighting forces that harm India, says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign meeting for the Lok Sabha elections, in Amreli. (PTI)

Lok Sabha elections LIVE Updates: As phase two of Lok Sabha elections complete on Thursday, all political parties have geared up for phase three scheduled to held on April 23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with traders in New Delhi and hailed the government’s initiatives for improving the ease of doing business in India. On Friday, for the first time in over decades, BSP supremo Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav came together to address a Gathbandan rally in Mainpuri, the Lok Sabha constituency of the  Samajwadi Party patriarch. “I welcome Mayawati to this rally. We must respect the BSP chief because she has always stood by us during bad times. I am glad she has come to support me,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said.

Read | What Mayawati said in Mainpuri: ‘Mulayam not fake OBC like PM Modi’ and more

Mulayam Singh had so far stayed away from the SP-BSP-RLD alliance’s rallies in Deoband, Badaun, and Agra. Mulayam also skipped the nomination of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Azamgarh, a seat which is currently held by the former. Meanwhile, Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi resigned from the party and joined the Shiv Sena on Friday. She said she knew that she will be trolled and attacked on Twitter.

Live Blog

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is in Gujarat to address public meetings. Follow Lok Sabha elections Highlights here. Read in Bangla

Bypolls in Agra on May 19: ECI

EC announces bye-polls to Agra North, Darjeeling assembly constituencies on May 19; results on May 23. Polls were necessitated as Agra North BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg died due to cardiac arrest on Apr 10 & Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai is contesting Lok Sabha polls on TMC ticket

BJP's Babul Supriyo is campaigning in Asansol

Rahul Gandhi condemns Sadhvia Pragya's comments

Sadhvi Pragya apologises, calls Karkare martyr

I felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it, therefore I take back my statement and apologize for it, it was my personal pain. He (Hemant Karkare) died from the bullets of terrorists from the enemy country, he is certainly a martyr.

All poll parties safely returns from Naxal affected polling booths: ECI

In 13-Kandhamal parliamentary constituency in Odisha, large pockets are infested with Left Wing Extremism (LWE). On pre-poll day(17 Apr), LWE cadres blasted a polling party vehicle. One Gram Rozgar Sevika was killed in firing by LWE after a blast near the culvert. Therefore, it was decided to bring back polling parties & polled materials of around 7 booths in LWE areas by cross country (by foot) with police escort. They were brought to nearby safest locations once the polling process was over and halted for the night. Today, from there these polling parties were brought in vehicles to the reception centres' with police escort. This arrangement ensured the safe return of all our polling & security personnel from the booths in LWE areas. All parties arrived

Will work to transform youth in startup generators: PM

"Aim to break into top 50 in ease of doing business ranking in next five years from the current 77. Largely succeeded in checking inspector raj; changed income tax assessment," says PM Modi

National Trader Welfare Board to be formed if BJP comes to power: PM

PM Modi announces National Trader Welfare Board to be formed after May 23 results and if BJP comes to power. 

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing rally in Chikodi, Karnataka

ECI bars BJP Himachal chief Satpal Satti from campaigning

Election Commission bars Himachal Pradesh BJP Chief, Satpal Singh Satti from election campaigning for 48 hours starting from 10 am tomorrow for violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

PM hails GST and thanks traders for their support

PM Modi hails that GST initiative of his government and said that due to support of traders the dream of one nation one tax has been achieved. He adds that post-GST there has been transparency in businesses, therefore the number of registered traders have doubled.  

Approved self-certification to show we have trust in citizens

The PM talking about reducing the pressure of filing numerous forms for starting a business said, "I made the rule of self-certification and began trusting the citizens. Even for traders self-certification was approved." 

Ended 1500 laws, making ease of doing business: PM Modi

In the past the traders had to face the law of the jungle and a jungle of laws for doing business, Modi said adding that in 2014 he had promised to end a defunct law every day when he comes to power. PM Modi goes on to say that the politicians want people to forget the promises they make within a few day, but I have ended 1500 laws in the last five years. 

Traders most affected due to price hike

The Prime Minister speaking to traders said that truth is that they are the most affected as they face the issue of price rises the most. 

PM Modi praises traders for their service to the nation

PM Modi said it was traders helped in spreading the culture of India across the world through their work. He adds that he is impressed by the hard work of traders. I am not saying this because there are elections, I believe that the trading community is the true weatherman. When I call you weatherman its because you know everything in advance. 

Priyanka Gandhi holds roadshow in Kanpur

Watch | PM Modi address traders in New Delhi

Amit Shah addresses public meeting in Pune

BJP president Amit Shah is addressing a rally in Pune of Maharashtra. He said, "Entire country is reverberating with the words Modi, Modi. This name is reverberating because in the last five years this government has brought about a phenomenal change in India."

'I am a challenger, fighting forces that harm India'

I am a challenger who is fighting against those things that harm India. Corruption, dynasty & terror weakens our country, 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭. 'Chalta Hai' attitude held our nation’s progress hostage for a long time, I am challenging it: PM Modi

Rahul Gandhi repeats 'Chokidar Chor Hai' jibe in Raichur

We demand nyay for farmers. We have promised in our manifesto to decriminalise non-payment of debts by farmers. Let PM Modi protect the interests of people like Anil Ambani, we will protect our farmers. 

Priyanka Chaturvedi on if she will continue attacking NDA

If you see Shiv Sena also, in past 5 yrs they've never hesitated from speaking if Govt did something wrong. 'Aur gaana main gaate rahungi'.

No, the ‘overpaid’ IT worker might not be the cause of Bangalore’s low voter turnout

There have been many theories on why urban voters don’t turn up to vote. Bangalore could be an interesting case study. Considered a BJP stronghold, in 2014 parliamentary polls, BJP won all the three seats — Bangalore South, Bangalore North and Bangalore Central — with a margin of more than 1.5 lakh votes. Bangalore sees huge rallies whenever Modi turns up, attendance is high and the voter appears to be enthused. In the 2018 Assembly elections, Congress led the polls in the city with 14 seats and the BJP scored 11. So the voter is also aware and has been changing his preferences quite often.  READ MORE HERE

In Rampur, Azam Khan looks for Yadav-Jatav push as opponents cosy up with Congress

Abdulla Azam Khan, the MLA son of Azam Khan, has launched a bicycle rally in Rampur’s Topkhana area after the Election Commission banned his father from campaigning for three days. Azam Khan, the Samajwadi Party’s candidate from Rampur in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, faced EC’s wrath after his “misogynistic” remarks against rival BJP candidate Jaya Prada. Abdulla told reporters, “Kendra sarkar aur kuchh log Musalmanon, pichadon aur Daliton kee awaaz band karna chahte hain, magar vo kamyaab nahin honge (The central government and some people want to curb the voices of Muslims, OBCs and Dalits, but they will not be successful).” Read More Here

Punjab: Former Congress MP joins SAD

Former Congress MP Jagmeet Singh Brar Friday joined the Shiromani Akali Dal in the presence of party's senior leadership at Muktsar in Punjab.

Akali stalwart and five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia welcomed Brar and his supporters into the party fold.

"It is a historic day for the party today as Punjab's well-known personality, speaker and the most experienced politician Jagmeet Brar joins Akali Dal," Prakash Singh Badal said. (PTI)

Explained: The significance of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav sharing a stage

In the recent history of politics in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati seeking votes for Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri on Friday is a special moment. Over the last quarter century, these two tallest leaders of the state have walked roads that had until recently appeared destined never to meet. In welcoming Mayawati to his rally on Friday, and asking his people to respect the Bahujan Samaj Party chief because “she has always stood by us during bad times”, Mulayam slayed a powerful demon from their past—which Mayawati acknowledged by her favourable comparison of the Samajwadi Party patriarch with the “nakli (fake)” and “farzi (fraudulent)” pichhda (backward) leader that she said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was.  Read More Here

Investigation launched in the missing Nadia poll officer: ECI

Nadia District Nodal Election Officer Arnab Roy is reportedly missing. He was at Bipradas Choudhury Polytechnic College for his poll duty yesterday and after lunch went untraceable. He is in charge of the EVMs and VVPATs. Police have begun an investigation. The Election Commission said, "Missing complaint has been filed with police. Meanwhile, another officer is being appointed in his place."

IPS Association on Pragya Thakur's statement on Karkare

Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected.

In Pics | Joint rally of SP-BSP in Mainpuri

(Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Kejriwal hits out at Pragya Thakur over her comments on 26/11 martyr Karkare

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Bhopal's BJP candidate Pragya Thakur for her "disgraceful" comments on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, saying it showed the party's “true colours”. According to media reports, Thakur said former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who died in action during the Mumbai terror attacks, had falsely implicated her in the Malegaon blast case and hence, died because "of his karma." "Disgraceful comments by BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Thakur on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare ji need to be condemned in strongest terms. BJP is showing its true colours & it must be shown it's place now,” he said in a tweet.

BJP's Rao Inderjit Singh files nomination

BJP's Rao Inderjit Singh, who is the sitting MP of the constituency, today filed his nomination from Gurgaon for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

Nalin Kohli on Sadhvi Pragya Thakur's statement on Hemant Karkare

Respect every son and daughter of India who sacrificed their lives for the motherland. What Pragya ji has said, that would evidently be her point of view perhaps because she herself underwent an investigation. We salute the sacrifice of Karkare ji and won't do politics on it. (ANI)

In Pics | Amit Shah during public meeting in Chhota Udepur Lok Sabha constituency

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(Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

In Pics | Rahul Gandhi during a public meeting in South Gujarat

(Express Photo by Javed Raja)

If you (Modi) are chowkidar of Ambani, Choksi, I am chowkidar of farmers: Rahul Gandhi

"If you are the chowkidar of Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi, I am the chowkidar of the farmers," Rahul Gandhi mocks Narendra Modi.

If voted to power, Congress will have separate special Kisan budget, says Rahul Gandhi

There will be two budgets this year —one national budget, another special Kisan budget, says Rahul Gandhi.

PM Modi committed bigger theft from houses of Gujarat farmers: Rahul Gandhi

"Rafale deal was small theft for Narendra Modi. PM Modi has committed bigger theft from the houses of Gujarat farmers," Rahul Gandhi says.

Rahul Gandhi addresses rally in Tapi, Gujarat

Rahul Gandhi addresses rally in Tapi, Gujarat.

Have taken decision to join Shiv Sena after lot of thought: Priyanka Chaturvedi

Have taken decision to join Shiv Sena after lot of thought: Priyanka Chaturvedi.

Priyanka Chaturvedi joins Shiv Sena

Priyanka Chaturvedi joins Shiv Sena. She says, "Rahul Gandhi talks of empowerment, yet lets away the goons."

Akhilesh Yadav credits BSP for Agra Expressway

Akhilesh Yadav credits BSP for Agra Expressway.

Farmers misled by Modi govt: Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav addresses public at Mainpuri. He attacks Modi govt saying the Centre has misled the farmers.

Taking the stage at Bihar's Gopalganj after a two-day ban from campaigning, Mayawati on Thursday slammed the Election Commission of India for the decision and asked people to give a befitting response to the poll panel by ensuring the victory of BSP candidates.

On Thursday, the second phase of Lok Sabha elections ended with 66 per cent voters exercising their franchise. 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.