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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three rallies in the North East on Saturday – one in Arunachal Pradesh and two in Assam. He criticised the Opposition’s stand on various issues, and asked voters to choose between a strong and a tainted government.
Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Saturday filed his nomination from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. He was joined by leaders from BJP ally parties at a rally as well. Gandhinagar is currently held by BJP veteran leader LK Advani, who has not been given a seat this time.
Here are the day’s updates:
5.57 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Hema Malini says it will be dangerous for the country if Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not get re-elected. “There is no other choice,” she tells PTI Bhasha. “Modiji has to come back. It will be dangerous for the country if someone else wins. That’s why we all are working hard to bring him back.”
5.35 pm: The Congress claims that the government mismanaged the economy, which suffered due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “reckless” decisions, PTI reports.
“The government is destroying the credibility of Indian data by embellishing the data, fudging numbers and inflating figures,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma says. “The fact is that there has been an monumental mismanagement of Indian economy under his watch. It is not galloping economy but a gasping economy, a struggling economy which has also suffered because of the reckless decision of Prime Minister Modi.”
4.10 pm: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma describes the Congress’ “NYAY” scheme promise as “anyay [injustice] yojana”, PTI reports. He says the scheme is “laughable” when compared to the welfare schemes implemented by the BJP.
3.45 pm: Biju Janata Dal MP Arjun Sethi resigns from the party, PTI reports. He was denied a ticket to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
3.38 pm: “I cannot claim that I did everything in five years,” Modi says. “Not even those who were in power for 70 years can claim that, so how can I? So, I am here to seek your blessings so that I can complete whatever work is remaining.”
3.35 pm: “The whole world is standing with India and praising each step of ours, but those doing mahamilawat are not ready to acknowledge these glorious things,” Modi says in Gohpur. “These people have started opposing India while opposing the chowkidar.”
3.22 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now addressing a public meeting at Gohpur in Assam.
2.11 pm: Amit Shah has filed his nomination papers in Gandhinagar. He is accompanied by Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Uddhav Thackeray and Vijay Rupani among others.
2 pm: Modi says his government is committed to the Assam Accord and is considering granting the Scheduled Tribe status to six communities in the state, PTI reports.
1.45 pm: Modi asks Indians to choose between a powerful government or a tainted one. He says the Congress hates watchmen or chowkidars, but has also hurt tea makers. In Assam, tea cultivators did not do well for decades under the Congress, Modi says.
1.40 pm: Modi claims the Congress was reduced to tears after India’s A-Sat space test.
1.30 pm: Modi is now addressing a public meeting in Moran, Assam.
1.07 pm: Congress leader PC Chacko says Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a negative opinion on the “first family” of India, referring to the Nehru-Gandhi family. “The first family of India is truly the first family of India,” ANI quotes him as saying. “India is obliged to them... India is India today because of the planning and leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru...”
1.03 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Treasurer Durai Murugan says Income Tax raids in Tamil Nadu will not bring Narendra Modi any success in politics. “Tt will rather bring only blame [and] criticism, it is a conspiracy,” he says, according to ANI. “It’s a wrong calculation that by ordering I-T raids on us we would raise ‘Modi Jai’ slogan, it is a democratic country.”
Officials of the Income Tax department and the Election Commission’s flying squad began searches at Murugan’s properties on Saturday, according to The New Indian Express.
12.15 pm: The BJP’s Twitter handle puts out pictures as Amit Shah begins his roadshow. He is accompanied by Union minister Rajnath Singh, Gujarat’s Chief and Deputy Chief Ministers Vijay Rupani and Nitin Patel, and state president Jitu Vaghan.
12 pm: Modi says Opposition leaders have no one in India but Pakistan has been singing their praises. When our country does something good, when it achieves something, these leaders are not proud, he says. “When India achieved the surgical strike, these leaders’ faces fell. They speak the same language of the terrorists.”
“When the country makes significant achievements, don’t you feel happy?” he says, according to PTI. “Everyone, irrespective of their social and financial status, regales at India’s success stories. There are, however, some who feel disheartened by India’s growth and success.”
11.57 am: Modi says the Congress has colluded with corruption whenever in power. He says these are the same people who steal income tax, farmers’ land, and get their properties by brokering defence deals.
11.55 am: Modi says he had the opportunity to place Arunachal Pradesh on the railway map.
11.50 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says other prime ministers did not visit Aalo in Arunachal Pradesh in 30 years. “...But in BJP’s rule Prime Minister has visited Northeast over 30 times within five years,” he says, according to Hindustan Times.
11.39 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in West Siang, Arunachal Pradesh.
In Gujarat, BJP chief Amit Shah takes part in a road show in Ahmedabad ahead of filing nominations in Gandhinagar.
11.35 am: Shah appeals to the people of Gujarat to give all 26 Lok Sabha seats to Narendra Modi to make him prime minister
11.30 am: “We are faced with the question of ‘who will keep the country safe?’”Shah says. Only Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance government will be able to protect the country, he says.
11.25 am: BJP chief Amit Shah says whatever he has achieved is because of the party, reports Times Now. Shah says he is fortunate to contest from the Gandhinagar seat which was represented by LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
11.23 am: Union minister Rajnath Singh says he is confident the people will support BJP chief Amit Shah, reports Times Now. He is addressing the Vijay Sankalp Sabha in Ahmedabad. “If Indira Gandhi can get credit for dividing Pakistan, why shouldn’t PM Narendra Modi get credit for Balakot strike,” he asks, according to PTI.
11.20 am: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses a gathering at Vijay Sankalp Sabha in Ahmedabad ahead of Amit Shah filing his nomination from Gandhinagar seat. “My father taught me to do everything from heart, issues that we raised were of the people, we [BJP-Shiv Sena] had differences but we settled them,” he says, according to ANI. “We never stabbed the from back [and] never will.”
11.05 am: The Samajwadi Party releases names of two more candidates. Ram Kumar will contest from Kanpur and Nishad community leader, Rambhual Nishad, from Gorakhpur.
The Nishad Party had ended its alliance with the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh on Friday and is now likely to ally with the BJP. The Samajwadi Party had fielded Praveen Nishad of the Nishad Party for the 2018 bye-elections to the Gorakhpur seat, which had been held by Chief Minister Adityanath.
Praveen Nishad had defeated the BJP candidate to win the Gorakhpur seat, according to NDTV.
10.50 am: In Ahmedabad, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Ram Vilas Paswan, and allies, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Parkash Singh Badal attend a public meeting before Amit Shah files his nomination from Gandhinagar, reports ANI.
10.20 am: Income tax officials are searching Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam treasurer Durai Murugan’s home in Katpadi, Vellore, The Hindu reports. The searched began on Friday and continue today.
DMK legal wing joint secretary Parandhaman has called the searches politically motivated.
10 am: BJP President Amit Shah is today expected to file his nomination as the candidate from Gandhinagar, reports The Hindu. He will file his nomination after a roadshow in parts of Ahmedabad.
According to the report, he will also hold a rally where the BJP’s alliance partners will join him. Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal, Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will join Shah along with other BJP leaders.
9.30 am: Actor Sonakshi Sinha says her father, rebel BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, should have left the saffron party sooner. ANI quotes her as saying her father was not given the respect he was due.
9.15 am: Election Commission sends a second notice to Ministry of Railways in connection with railway tickets carrying Prime Minister Narendra Modi photo, reports ANI. The poll panel asks the ministry to file a response by Saturday.
9.07 am: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignored the poor and instead focussed on publicity.
9.05 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi said he would scrap the NITI Aayog if his part is voted to power. He alleged the government think tank “fudged data”.
9 am: Here are the top updates from Friday:
- A panel set up by the Election Commission did not find any violations of the Model Code of Conduct in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the successful test of an anti-satellite missile on Wednesday.
- The Election Commission told the Supreme Court that an increase in the sample size of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips would lead to a six-day delay in the results of the Lok Sabha polls
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi said he had not ruled out contesting the Lok Sabha elections from a second seat other than Amethi.
- Congress leader Hardik Patel will not be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as the Gujarat High Court rejected his plea to stay his conviction in a 2015 rioting case.
- The Congress named actor Urmila Matondkar its candidate from the Mumbai North seat, two days after she joined the party.
- Congress leader SP Muddahanumegowda withdrew his nomination to contest the Lok Sabha election from Tumkur constituency, days after he had defied his party’s decision to cede the seat to alliance partner Janata Dal (Secular).
- Over 100 filmmakers issued a joint statement urging Indians to vote BJP out of power. “Giving them one more term in power will be a grave blunder,” the said.