The Election Commission on Wednesday banned Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief and former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao from election campaigning for 48 hours, saying that his remarks on April 5 about the Congress were “objectionable” and “derogatory”.

In Delhi, former Congress MLAs Neeraj Basoya and Naseeb Singh quit the party on Wednesday, citing its alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party.

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

  • Former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was on Wednesday barred by the Election Commission from campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections for 48 hours in view of his comments against the Congress. The poll body said that Rao’s statements on April 5 at a rally in Telangana’s Sircilla district were violative of the Model Code of Conduct, which is a set of norms that political parties have to follow while campaigning. The Election Commission said that it had received a complaint from Congress leader G Niranjan alleging that Rao had made derogatory statements against the party. Subsequently, a show cause notice was issued to Rao. In response, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief on April 23 told the poll body that the “complaint is made by the Congress by picking some sentences from the press conference out of context”. However, the poll body issued the ban for 48 hours from 8 pm on May 1.
  • Former Congress MLAs Neeraj Basoya and Naseeb Singh on Wednesday resigned after claiming that the party’s workers were “upset” and “humiliated” because of its alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, PTI reported. “I humbly submit that the said alliance is bringing great disrepute and embarrassment to Delhi Congress workers on a daily basis,” Basoya said in his resignation letter. The alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party was “extremely humiliating” as it had been associated with “numerous scams” in the last seven years, he said. Singh, in his letter, claimed that the public had realised the Aam Aadmi Party’s “true colours and have understood that it has become a haven of corruption”. Singh said that he had opposed the alliance from the beginning. “However, in total disregard of my opinion and the views of other Delhi Congress leaders, the high command has decided to ally with the AAP.”
  • The Jharkhand Congress’ handle was on Wednesday withheld by X in India in response to a legal demand. This was after a deepfake video of Union Home Minister Amit Shah was posted on the page, ANI reported. On Sunday, the Delhi Police registered a first information report about a doctored video of Shah in which he can be purportedly heard saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party would end reservations for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in government jobs and education. What Shah had actually said – as seen in the original video that was recorded during an election rally in Telangana – was that the BJP would do away with reservations for Muslims in the southern state.
  • Shah on Wednesday said the BJP will not remove reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes or allow the Congress to do so, the Hindustan Times reported. Speaking at a rally in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district, the home minister said: “Congress party has one formula, speak lies loudly, publicly and keep repeating it.” He alleged that the Congress had spread fake news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would scrap reservations if he gets elected for a third term.
  • The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday removed Kunal Ghosh as the party’s general secretary and said that his recent views did “not align with those of the party”, India Today reported. “Recently, Kunal Ghosh has been expressing views that do not align with those of the party,” the party said, adding that his opinions should not be attributed to the outfit. Earlier in the day, Ghosh had praised Tapas Roy, who had quit the Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP. He also shared the stage with Roy at a blood donation camp in South Kolkata. Ghosh, in response to his removal as the Trinamool Congress’ general secretary, said that he had not received an official letter from the party, ANI reported. “But I have seen a press release,” he said. “I had already left the position of spokesperson and general secretary. I had tweeted about it.”