11 pm: Here are the day’s top stories
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said former PM Rajiv Gandhi used a naval ship to take his in-laws for a holiday. He also listed out abuses that the Congress has allegedly used against him, and claimed that the Congress and its allies have already given up the fight.
- Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi dared Modi to contest the last two phases of the polls on the matters of demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax, women’s security and other “promises that you [Modi] have lied to the youth about”.
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi apologised to the Supreme Court in a new affidavit for Chowkidar remark, and said the attribution was unintentional. The BJP claimed that Gandhi’s apology showed the ‘political bankruptcy’ of Congress.
- The Supreme Court asked Congress petitioner Sushmita Dev to file a fresh plea against the EC clearing Modi and Amit Shah for alleged model code breaches.
- Mamata Banerjee compared her campaign against the BJP to the 1942 Quit India movement.
- Mayawati said the Opposition alliance’s prospects are improving daily and that Modi’s “achche din” or good days were over.
- Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra told Modi to talk about poverty and jobs instead of him at election rallies, while Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam claimed Narendra Modi was a ‘modern-day avatar of Aurangzeb’.
- The Supreme Court sought the Election Commission’s response to ex-BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s plea against the rejection of his election nomination. The Samajwadi Party had fielded Yadav to contest against sitting MP Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the seat.
10.07 pm: Karnataka BJP leader Srinivasa Prasad contradicts Narendra Modi, says people like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said many good things about Rajiv Gandhi, ANI reports. “Rajiv Gandhi took bigger responsibilities at a young age,” he adds. “LTTE planned and assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. He did not die due to corruption allegations. Nobody believes that, even I don’t believe it.”
Prasad said he respects Modi but it was unnecessary for the prime minister to speak against Gandhi.
9.59 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu claims that his counterpart from West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, will play an important role in the formation of a non-BJP government at the Centre after the results of the Lok Sabha polls are declared, PTI reports.
“Mamata-ji has stood against the atrocities of the Narendra Modi regime and proved to be a challenge to these anti-constitutional forces,” he says at a rally for the Trinamool Congress in Jhargram town in West Bengal. “The BJP could not challenge Didi and her strength. That’s the reason they are resorting to their never ending communal politics to divide the people of Bengal.”
9.45 pm: BJP leader and Union minister Smriti Irani claims that the Congress has joined hands with a political outfit “baying for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blood”, PTI reports. “I am saddened that the Congress politics has stooped so low,” she says. “His ally says give Rs 50 crore to kill Modi. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi with whom you had forged an alliance, its candidate has said if he gets money he will kill Modi.”
Irani was referring to a video in which a man, alleged to be Samajwadi Party leader and former Army soldier Tej Bahadur Yadav, says he will take Rs 50 crore if Modi is to be killed.
9.25 pm: BJP President Amit Shah and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan campaign for the party’s candidate Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal.
9.01 pm: The prime minister says that the “New India” knows that the threat of terrorism still persists. “But the New India no longer hesitates to go the origin of terror to hit them, in their homeland wherever they are,” Modi says.
8.55 pm: Modi says the Congress and its allies are upholders of dynastic politics. “The Congress has spread its belief in dynastic politics among its ‘mahamilavat’ allies,” Modi says. “In Jammu and Kashmir, its the Abdullah and Mufti dynasty that is running. In Uttar Pradesh, its Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family and in Bihar it is Lalu [Prasad Yadav’s] family that are running their respective parties.”
8.52 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the people of Delhi have been fooled by people who promised a new kind of politics. “The people of Delhi have been fooled by a bunch of ‘Nakaampanthis’ who had come on the promise of bringing new kind of politics but they have become synonymous with anarchy and obstructionism,” Modi says in an apparent reference to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. “Foul language and taking U-turns have become their identity.”
8.48 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running a fascist government. “Someone has to bell the cat,” Banerjee says at a rally in Debra town. “In 1942, Quit India movement was launched against the British, now we are fighting to oust a fascist Modi from power.”
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8.41 pm: A Delhi BJP delegation expresses its dissent over the Election Commission’s “delay in taking action” against Aam Aadmi Party leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for alleged poll code violations, PTI reports. “We have lodged complaints with the EC and the Chief Electoral Officer (Delhi) against the AAP leaders with evidence,” Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta says. “But no action has been taken which hints an unexpected favour to the AAP by the EC.”
8.26 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi took his in-laws on a personal holiday on a naval warship. “I want to tell the people of our country about those who actually treated our Armed Forces as their personal property,” Modi says in Delhi. “Former PM Rajiv Gandhi took his in-laws and their family members from Italy to a personal holiday on Naval warship INS Vikrant.”
8.16 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi are wasting time campaigning in Delhi, PTI reports. “She [Priyanka] is wasting her time in the national capital, why doesn’t she campaign in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh?” Kejriwal says. “She is doing rallies in Uttar Pradesh against the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party, she is doing rallies in Delhi against the Aam Aadmi Party. Both the brother and sister are not going to those places where there’s direct fight with the BJP.”
8.14 pm: BJP candidate Pragya Thakur releases a vision document three days before polling in her constituency of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Hindustan Times reports. The document promises to prioritise employment for youth and to grant young entrepreneurs loans of Rs 50 lakh each.
8.08 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not become Prime Minister again because the people have lost faith in him, PTI reports. “Let Narendra Modi say anything now, people have lost faith in him,” says Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh. “He can no longer face the truth that the promises he made during the 2014 general elections have not been fulfilled.”
7.56 pm: Modi says that the Goods and Services Tax has eliminated the “tax net in the country, the GST has been designed so that the country gets rid of inspector raj.”
7.54 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises his government’s policies. “My government has not only worked to enhance ease of doing business but has also ensured ease of living for the people,” Modi says. “We have repealed more than 1,400 obsolete, unnecessary laws that hindered smooth daily lives of the citizens.”
7.46 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologises for inconvenience caused by his security detail, ANI reports. “After becoming PM, the security moves along with me,” Modi says in Delhi. “I see barricading and that people are stopped from going ahead. Some people would be late to reach their houses due to me, today too.”
7.22 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath denies former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s claim that the state failed to waive farmer loans as promised, The Hindu reports. “His own brother’s and nephew’s loans got waived,” Nath says in Gwalior.
7.17 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says the Opposition’s “mahagathbandhan” or grand alliance will send the next prime minister from Uttar Pradesh, reports India Today.
6.49 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati says PM Modi’s good days are ending and his bad days are around the corner, Hindustan Times reports. “His good days are over and bad days are starting,” she says. Her remark is a reference to Modi’s 2014 campaign slogan.
6.39 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says people gathered at one of his rallies coined the phrase “chowkidar chor hai”, reports say. “I did not hear it the first time,” The Hindu quotes Gandhi as saying. “So I asked [the young men] what did you say? They said ‘chor hai’. This slogan was not coined by the Congress, or by Rahul Gandhi but it is a slogan of the youth, farmers and labourers of India.”
6.26 pm: Madhya Pradesh Congress workers say they are sending eye-drops and almonds to former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, ANI reports. “He [Chauhan] lies about the farm loan waiver and other decisions taken by the state government,” they say. “We want him to know the reality but it seems his eyesight and memory has weakened. We are sending this to cure him.”
5.57 pm: Priyanka Gandhi challenges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest the elections on the issues of demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax and women’s security, ANI reports. “A Delhi girl is giving you an open challenge,” Gandhi says. “In the last phase of the polls, contest the polls with a focus on demonetisation, GST, women’s security and on those promises that you have lied to the youth about.”
5.43 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram claims the country’s economy has gone to “rack and ruin” under the Modi administration. “The Ministry of Finance’s report for March 2019 lays bare the false propaganda of the BJP government,” Chidambaram tweets.
5.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lists the insults the Congress has used against him from its “dictionary of love”. “No one is questioning the choice of words used by Congress candidates from their dictionary of love,” Modi says. “They have crossed the line of decency so many times in their endeavour to insult me.”
Modi says Congress leaders have chosen abuses from “mad dog, rabies-infected monkey to Hitler” to refer to him.
5.28 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes apparent reference to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law and businessman Robert Vadra and vows to send him to jail, ANI reports. “This chowkidaar has taken the person who looted farmers to court,” Modi says in Haryana. “He is making rounds of the Enforcement Directorate and court to take bail. He used to think he is Shahenshah, now is nervous. I have already taken him to the jail door. Give blessings and I will put him in jail within next the next five years.”
5.17 pm: Congress General Secretary Apsara Reddy on Wednesday claims people are planning to vote Prime Minister Narendra Modi out of power as his National Democratic Alliance government has “completely failed” on several fronts, PTI reports.
“People are clearly designing the ‘Pradhamantri Hatao Yojana’ (remove PM scheme), as the NDA government has completely failed on several fronts,” she says in Goa. “The way a woman like [Congress general secretary] Priyanka Gandhi is attacked, it should not be encouraged in a democratic set up. Also, what Modi said about late PM Rajiv Gandhi shows India in poor light in front of the entire world.”
4.53 pm: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during her roadshow with North East Delhi Congress candidate Sheila Dikshit during a roadshow in Brahmpuri.
4.50 pm: The BJP says Rahul Gandhi’s apology in the Supreme Court for attributing “chowkidar chor hai” to the top court showed the opposition party’s “political bankruptcy”, PTI reports.
“Rahul Gandhi had to apologise to the Supreme Court for attributing lies to the Supreme Court,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar tells reporters at a press conference. “Congress is a habitual liar. This is political bankruptcy. This is desperation.”
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4.45 pm: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra begins her first roadshow in Delhi. She will cover Brahmpuri Pulia, Rajput Mohalla, Ghonda chowk, Yamuna Vihar Road, Mohanpuri, Subhash Mohalla areas.
4.40 pm: The Congress alleges that Modi was misleading the voters with “hollow claims” of success of various schemes, PTI reports. “The prime minister had focused only on advertisement and rank ‘zero’ on development,” Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill says. “The prime minister is a king of advertisement but a villain of development. That is a reality.”
4.38 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra accuses Narendra Modi of launching personal attacks on him. “I wonder what do you want to achieve by invoking my name, again and again,” Vadra says in a Facebook post. “Simply the nation knows my name is repeatedly used in elections to digress from the failures of your government & their own misdeeds.”
Vadra says he has been facing harassment for the last five years by the Modi government.
“There are glaring issues such as poverty, joblessness, women empowerment etc which are staring right at you, but you chose to talk about me, out of everything else,” he adds.
4.25 pm: Union minister Maneka Gandhi says the comments about Muslims she made in Sultanpur last month were “taken totally out of context”.
The Union Minister for Women and Child Development had said on April 12 that she is winning the Lok Sabha election with or without Muslims. “I am winning, but if my victory is without Muslims, I will not feel good, because then there is a bitter feeling,” Gandhi was heard saying in a video. “If Muslims come for some work after that I will think ‘why bother’. Because employment is a negotiation after all, isn’t that right? We are not Mahatma Gandhi’s children to keep giving without getting anything in return.”
Speaking to NDTV, Gandhi says when she works, she doesn’t think of lotus [her party the BJP’s election symbol]. “Wherever I’ve gone, I’ve always thought of all religions and castes as one,” Gandhi says. “But in the end, when it is time for voting and people say that they will not vote for me just because they don’t want to vote for the lotus symbol, I feel very bad...It was totally out of context. You heard my speech. It was in a very polite manner.”
4.16 pm: A BJP delegation approaches the Election Commission demanding stringent action against those who attacked the convoy of Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and West Bengal BJP unit president Dilip Ghosh, IANS reports.
The delegation named Trinamool Congress leader Ranajit Mondal and his supporters for Tuesday’s “barbaric and murderous attack”.
Neither Ghosh or Sarma were injured in the incident that took place in East Midnapore district’s Khejuri area on Tuesday evening, PTI reported on Tuesday.
4.05 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal poses three questions to Narendra Modi. “Why didn’t the BJP pass an ordinance and stop the sealing? In 2014, Modi promised full statehood for Delhi. Why didn’t the BJP grant full statehood? Why Imran Khan is endorsing Narendra Modi?” Kejriwal asks, according to PTI.
4 pm: The Goa government asks the Election Commission to relax the Model Code of Conduct in South Goa to take up pre-monsoon works, PTI reports. The voting for the Lok Sabha polls were held on April 12. State chief electoral officer says they have received a letter from Goa’s Chief Secretary Parimal Rai. Pre-monsoon works are allowed in the South Goa district on a case-to-case basis, says Rai.
3.58 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says if his party is voted to power, it will bring petrol and diesel within the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax. “To reduce this burden, the Congress party will bring petrol and diesel within the ambit of the GST and will try and reduce the increasing prices,” Gandhi said in a Facebook post.
3.45 pm: Mayawati says the prospects of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party of doing well in the ongoing elections was improving day by day. Ever since the mahagathbandhan has been formed, BJP leaders have lost their sleep, PTI quotes Mayawati as saying.
“We are not mahamilavati [adulterated], the prime minister is mahamilavati,” Mayawati says in response to Modi’s claims that the Opposition alliance is adulterated.
3.35 pm: Addressing a rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind, Rahul Gandhi says Modi snatched Rs 30,000 crore from the youth of Bhind and transferred it to the bank account of Anil Ambani.
3.30 pm: About Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on Rajiv Gandhi, Scindia said they were “distasteful and sad”. “It is very hurtful to see that the person occupying the highest chair of this country talking about another person who occupied that same very chair and who is no longer in this world and cast slurs on that person,” Scindia tells PTI. “It does not behove someone who occupies that chair and sad to see that this is the level of politics that Mr Modi has come down to.”
3.28 pm: Scindia says Rahul Gandhi is the party’s choice for PM, but a final decision will be taken by the UPA’s constituents. “The Congress party is one constituent of the UPA and as far as Congress party is concerned, our voice is very clear that it should be Rahul Gandhi but it will be a collective decision,” he tells PTI.
3.24 pm: Jyotiraditya Scindia says the BJP has nothing to talk about in its last five years of governance. “The last time they were in government, they talked about India Shining. And India was shining only for the BJP but not for the rest of the country,” he tells PTI.
“Acche din” applied to only a “sub-section of a limited coterie of the BJP”, Scindia says. “If you ask the common worker of the BJP or even its MPs, not even their ‘acche din’ have arrived,” the former Union minister said.
3.18 pm: “I think the people of India are waiting for the moment to respond to the injustice that has been meted out to them by the Narendra Modi government over the last five years,” the Congress General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia tells PTI.
He says he is confident that the UPA will stitch together a very strong coalition government.
3.08 pm: Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia says no political party will achieve absolute majority. “Congress will stitch together a strong ‘UPA plus plus’ alliance government,” Scindia tells PTI in an interview.
2.58 pm: Modi says Congress leaders have called him Hitler, a dog, Bhasmasur (a mythological character), a virus, Ravana, among others. “The Congress leaders have several times crossed the line,” he adds. “I have not bothered about their abuses and have continued to serve the country.”
2.50 pm: Modi says one of our soldiers was captured by Pakistan after the Balakot strikes. “Within 48 hours, Pakistan had to release him,” Modi claims at a rally in Kurukshetra. “At that time, Congress and other Opposition leaders praised Pakistan prime minister and even demanded a Nobel Prize for him.”
2.40 pm: The “cat is out of the bag” after TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam sought support from the DMK to dethrone the Tamil Nadu government, the AIADMK says in its mouthpiece Namathu Amma, PTI reports. “The secret link between DMK and AMMK has been exposed,” the party says, adding that it would be better if Dhinkaran merged his party with the MK Stalin-led party.
On Tuesday, AMMK leader Thangatamilselvan had sought DMK’s support in toppling the AIADMK government post May 23.
The counting of votes polled in the bye-elections to the 22 seats would take place on May 23.
2.35 pm: Former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi says Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra made a mistake by comparing Narendra Modi to Mahabharata character Duryodhan. “He is a jallad [executioner],” Rabri tells reporters. “The one who kidnaps and kills judges and journalists. How would be intentions of such a man...it would be dangerous.”
2.30 pm: Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily says his party will get around 200 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and will become the leading party among the Opposition, PTI reports. “Make state-by-state analysis and you will definitely come to conclusion that the NDA government will fall,” Moily says.
The Congress leader also says there was nothing wrong in the efforts of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to form a federal front of regional parties, PTI reports. “Common enemy is Modi and NDA. That is why, they [regional parties] can’t join NDA. There shall be a combination of opposition parties who will definitely form the coalition [government],” says Moily.
2.20 pm: The BJP lodges protest with the Election Commission over alleged delay in action against AAP leaders on complaints of violation of the Model Code of Conduct. “No action has been taken which hints an unexpected favour to the AAP by the Election Commission,” says Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, according to PTI.
The BJP had filed complaints against the AAP relating to alleged misuse of public funds of appeasement politics, paid news, and asking voters to take money from Congress and BJP but to vote for the AAP.
2.15 pm: An FIR was registered after a group of people raised Modi slogans in Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh’s roadshow in Bhopal, reports ANI.
2.10 pm: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam urges the Chief Election Commissioner for clatification on the suspicious movements of EVMs and VVPATs in Tamil Nadu, The Hindu reports. The development comes a day after the shifting of 20 VVPATs and 50 ballot units from Coimbatore to Erode and Theni.
The party asks the machines shifted to Erode and Theni to keep in a separate “strong room” without distributing the one where polled EVMs and VVPATs are kept.
1.27 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says time is up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Across India, it is not just young people who are coming out in large numbers to vote for NYAY; older more experienced voters too have understood how powerful the idea is,” he tweets.
1.20 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asks why Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi is campaigning against non-BJP parties. “She is wasting her time, why does not she campaign in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh?” ANI quotes him as saying. “She is addressing rallies in Uttar Pradesh against SP-BSP, she is doing rallies in Delhi against AAP. Both the brother and the sister are not going to those places where there is direct fight with BJP.”
1.16 pm: Narendra Modi says he had promised the Sikh community that those behind the 1984 anti-Sikh violence would be punished. “I am satisfied that the process of them being sentenced to death or life imprisonment has started,” he adds.
The prime minister says that a “shameless Congress” is rewarding those who were allegedly involved in the violence. “By making a person who is said to be involved in 1984 anti-Sikh violence the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Congress has proved that it does not care about your sentiments,” Modi adds, referring to Kamal Nath.
1.09 pm: Narendra Modi claims at a public meeting in Fatehabad district in Haryana that he has taken to court Congressmen who looted farmers. “They have been made to run around ED and the courts,” he adds. “With your blessings, justice will be done to the farmers and they will be put behind bars.”
12.52 pm: The Election Commission says it has received a detailed report from the Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Pratapgarh district on May 6 in which he had called former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi “corrupt number 1”. “The matter is under consideration of the commission,” adds a spokesperson.
12.42 pm: Narendra Modi alleges Congress has let down military personnel and veterans. “The Congress had promised to implement the One Rank One Pension scheme,” says the prime minister. “It did nothing for 40 years. When the Congress was put under pressure, it allocated Rs 500 crore in the interim budget in 2014 and claimed the scheme had been implemented.”
12.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing an election rally in Haryana’s Fatehabad district, reports ANI. “Can any nation become world power without strengthening its defence?” he asks. “Have Congress or any other ‘mahamilavati’ parties ever spoken about defence in their gatherings? They can’t say anything on defence because of their history in this field.”
11.55 am: BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who had filed the contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi, says justice is a great leveller after the Congress president apologised to the Supreme Court for attributing his party’s chowkidar slogan to it. “You can run but you can’t hide!,” tweets Lekhi. “Rahul Gandhi finally apologises to the SC for his irresponsible remarks. Justice is a great leveller and Pinocchio’s story is a great reminder!”
11.31 am: Supreme Court rejects Congress MP Sushmita Dev’s petition challenging the Election Commission’s decision to clear Narendra Modi and Amit Shah of poll code violations. The court asks her to challenge the EC’s clean chits separately, reports Live Law. “The court cannot go into merits of the [EC] order,” it says.
11.23 am: Supreme Court asks Election Commission to go through the petition of sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav by Thursday, reports Bar and Bench. He moved the court against the poll panel for its decision to reject his candidature in the Lok Sabha polls from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency.
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10.52 am: “The Deponent unconditionally apologises for the wrongful attributions to this Hon’ble Court,” reads Gandhi’s new affidavit. “The Deponent further states that any such attributions were entirely unintentional, non-willful and inadvertent.”
10.50 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi files a fresh affidavit tendering his unconditional apology for attributing “chowkidar chor hain” slogan to the Supreme Court in the Rafale jet deal case. The court will next hear the matter on May 10, reports News18.
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10.47 am: Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir says he has faced more allegations in his first 15 hours in politics than 15 years of playing the sport, reports Hindustan Times. “Sometimes, they [AAP] talk of cancelling my nomination, sometimes that I have 2 voter IDs, sometimes an FIR and now, Kejriwal says that I will be abroad 240 days in a year,” he adds.
10.31 am: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu meets Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, reports ANI.
10.17 am: Of the total number of poll code violation complaints received by the Election Commission, the maximum have been against BJP leaders, reports The Indian Express. The poll panel has got 46 complaints so far. Of these, 29 were against BJP leaders, 13 against Congress leaders, two against Samajwadi Party leaders and one each against the TRS and the BSP. The EC has disposed 40 complaints.
10.09 am: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav defends Mamata Banerjee’s comment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs a “slap of democracy”. He asks Sushma Swaraj, who said Banerjee crossed all limits, to tweet about the foul language used by the prime minister as well. “I hope you are listening to the below the belt remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” says Yadav. “You are elder to him, knowledgeable and experienced and yet you choose to target Mamata Banerjee instead despite knowing the truth.”
10.02 am: Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav will hold a joint rally in Azamgarh.
10.01 am: Priyanka Gandhi will hold a public meeting in Pratapgarh before heading for her roadshow in Delhi.
9.51 am: Union minister Sushma Swaraj warns West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against using acrimonious words against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Swaraj reminds Banerjee that as the chief minister of a state she will need to talk to Modi for administrative purposes in the near future.
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9.46 am: Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam calls Narendra Modi the modern incarnation of Aurangzeb, reports ANI.
9.42 am: Modi says the Opposition’s frustration and disappointment is rising and becoming clearer with every phase of voting. “One close leader of ‘the family’ dismissed any chance of Congress getting a majority,” he says. “Congress is a party that claims it will win even when it knows it will lose its deposit. So when a big leader of the party says this, it means Congress will end up in a bad situation in elections.”
9.41 am: “I don’t understand why Congress is so agitated over the remark,” says Modi. “When the Congress president abuses the sitting PM or makes fun of the poverty of the PM’s family, this very ‘ecosystem’ of Congress applauds the remark. But if I say something about his [Rahul Gandhi’s] father which is a stated fact, Congress leaders lose their cool.”
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9.35 am: In an interview to Navbharat Times, Narendra Modi says he only stated a fact when he called late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi “Bhrastachari No. 1”.
9.27 am: Leh district election officer has sought an FIR to be filed against state BJP leaders for allegedly offering bribes to media persons, reports The Indian Express. This comes after a fact-finding panel, looking into complaints that BJP leaders offered bribe to media persons in Leh, has found prima facie merit in the allegations. “On Tuesday, we approached the district court through police, seeking directions for registration of an FIR in the matter,” says Leh District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner Avny Lavasa. “However, the court has not issued any order in the matter so far.”
9.22 am: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu says Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be known for two schemes. “One is the pakoda scheme for youngsters, the other is the bhagoda [runaway] scheme,” he tells NDTV. Sidhu says Modi was not the prime minister but publicity minister. “He had spent 6000 crore on his own publicity,” he claims.
9.21 am: The convoy of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was attacked in East Midnapore district on Tuesday evening, reports Hindustan Times. The BJP leaders, who were unhurt, accuse Trinamool Congress supporters of attacking them.
9.10 am: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu says he is not aspiring to become the next prime minister, reports Hindustan Times. “In 1995-’96, I got an opportunity twice to be prime minister, during Deve Gowda’s selection and IK Gujral’s selection,” says Naidu. “The job was first offered to me and then they asked Deve Gowda ji.”
8.55 am: Union minister Arun Jaitley called the Congress a “cry baby”, claiming that political parties have been complaining of violations of the Model Code of Conduct by opponents excessively.
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8.50 am: The Election Commission of India ordered re-polling at 168 polling stations in Tripura West parliamentary constituency on May 12 from 7 am to 5 pm. The polls in the constituency were held in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 11.
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8.45 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday:
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Narendra Modi needed a “slap of democracy” for alleging that her government was made of extortionists. Meanwhile, Amit Shah asked Banerjee: ‘Will we chant Jai Shri Ram in Pakistan, if not in India?’ He also hit out at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s remark likening the prime minister to Duryodhana, a character in the Mahabharata.
- The Supreme Court rejected Opposition’s review plea seeking to validate 50% of votes. Meanwhile, Chandrababu Naidu said the EC has assured the Opposition that it will examine discrepancies in the VVPAT system.
- Modi and Shah’s hate speeches promote enmity, Congress MP Sushmita Dev alleged in the Supreme Court. The court will hear the MP’s petition challenging the EC’s clean chits to the prime minister and BJP chief on Wednesday.
- The Election Commission, meanwhile, issued a showcause notice to Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia for a tweet about AAP candidate Atishi Marlena’s caste.
- The Election Commission said that allegations of booth capturing in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency were baseless. The poll commission was responding to Union minister Smriti Irani’s accusation that Congress workers had captured booths.