Democratic Progressive Azad Party chief Ghulam Nabi Azad backed out from contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, a day after his nomination. The Trinamool Congress released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, promising to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Uniform Civil Code if the opposition INDIA bloc comes to power at the Centre. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, countering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of the National Democratic Alliance winning 400 seats or more, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party will be restricted to just 150 Lok Sabha seats after the polls.

Here’s a look at today’s top developments:

  • Democratic Progressive Azad Party chief and former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad withdrew his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections from Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, reported PTI. Azad was to contest against People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti. Polling in Jammu and Kashmir will take place in the first five phases between April 19 and May 20. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.

  • The Trinamool Congress has included the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and Uniform Civil Code in its poll manifesto. The ruling party in West Bengal has also promised to provide ration directly to people’s homes and 10 free cooking cylinders for families under the poverty line. It said that the prices of petrol and diesel will be controlled through the formulation of a price stabilisation fund. Party leader Derek O’Brien said that these promises would be fulfilled once the INDIA bloc forms the government at the Centre.

  • Rahul Gandhi said that the BJP will be restricted to 150 seats in the Lok Sabha elections while addressing a press conference alongside Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the general elections. “This is an election of ideology,” said Gandhi. “On one side are the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the parent body of the BJP] and BJP who are trying to finish the Constitution and the democratic set-up. On the other side is the INDIA alliance and Congress which are trying to defend and protect the Constitution and democracy.”

  • “The Narendra Modi government will eliminate Naxals from the country in a very short period of time,” Union home minister Amit Shah said a day after twenty-nine alleged Maoists were killed and three security personnel injured in a gunfight in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district.“I can say with conviction that operations against Naxals will continue in the times to come, and under the leadership of Modi, we will uproot Naxalism from our nation.” Shah also said that since the formation of a BJP government in Chhattisgarh three months ago, over “80 Naxals have been eliminated, more than 125 arrested and more than 150 have surrendered”.