The Election Commission on Monday declined to comment on remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a poll rally in Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party expelled its leader KS Eshwarappa from the party for six years for contesting the polls as an Independent candidate from Karnataka’s Shivamogga seat.

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

  • The Election Commission declined to comment on remarks made by Modi on Sunday claiming that the Congress would distribute citizens’ property among “infiltrators” if voted to power. In response to media queries, a spokesperson of the poll panel said, “we decline to comment”. Opposition leaders have criticised Modi’s remarks as hate speech and demanded action against the prime minister. Congress said that those who create divisions among people through their statements in an election campaign should be disqualified from the electoral process. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation sought a ban on Modi from campaigning, the Deccan Herald reported.
  • The BJP expelled former Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa from the party for six years for contesting the general elections as an Independent candidate from the state’s Shivamogga constituency, ANI reported. The Hindutva party has fielded BY Raghavendra, the son of former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, from the constituency.
  • The Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party released his party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections on Monday, which included support for a caste-based census – an issue its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been sidestepping.
  • Rahul Gaikwad of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi on Monday withdrew his candidature from Maharashtra’s Solapur Lok Sabha seat, stating that he wants to avoid the division of votes against the BJP, Loksatta reported.

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