10.54 pm: Here are the top updates of the day:

  • Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda apologised for his purported remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. Pitroda said his remark was misrepresented and “blown out of proportion”.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sam Pitroda’s remark on the 1984 violence showed the Congress party’s arrogance.
  • The Leh district election officer wrote to the Indian Army on a complaint raised by a candidate alleging malpractice in the electronic postal ballot system by commanding officers.
  • The State Bank of India sold electoral bonds worth Rs 3,622 crore in March and April, the response to a Right to Information query has revealed.
  • The Time magazine has described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India’s “divider in chief” on the cover of its May 20 issue.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Congress President Rahul Gandhi will be responsible if Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to power after the Lok Sabha elections.
  • The Aam Aadmi Party sent a legal notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party and its East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir for allegedly distributing derogatory pamphlets about AAP candidate Atishi Marlena.

10.42 pm: Gandhi says the people who are responsible for the 1984 tragedy have to be punished. He says former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, have apologised for the violence. “We all have made our position very clear – that 1984 was a terrible tragedy and should never have happened.”

10.40 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi condemns Sam Pitroda’s remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. “I think what Sam Pitroda Ji said is completely out of line and he should apologise for it,” says Gandhi on Facebook. “I think 1984 was a needless tragedy that caused tremendous pain.”

Gandhi says Pitroda’s remark is not appreciated. “I will be communicating this to him directly,” he says. “He must apologise for his comment.”

9.53 pm: Aam Aadmi Party sends a legal notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party and its East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir for allegedly distributing derogatory pamphlets about AAP candidate Atishi Marlena, ANI reports. AAP has asked the BJP and Gambhir to apologise in writing as well as in newspapers.

On Thursday, Gambhir sent a defamation notice to Marlena, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia for accusing him of distributing the pamphlets.

9.22 pm: Campaign ends for the sixth phase of polling on May 12.

9.19 pm: Election Commission issues a show-cause notice to Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

9.06 pm: Police book BJP candidate for Diamond Harbour constituency, Nilanjan Roy, under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for allegedly molesting a minor girl, reports PTI. Roy is yet to be arrested.

An unidentified family member says the alleged incident took place on April 26 when the girl visited Roy at a house in Falta in South 24 Parganas district to complain about some of his party worker misbehaving with her. West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti says a complaint was lodged at the Falta police station the next day.

The commission asks the state’s chief electoral officer to take necessary action within 24 hours and directs the police to arrest Roy under the POCSO Act, according to ANI.

8.58 pm: The defence public relations officer, Srinagar, says complaints on postal ballots for service personnel were received form independent candidates Sajjad Hussain and Asgar Ali Karbalail, ANI reports. “No specific instances have been mentioned in the complaints,” says the defence PRO.

The PRO says Army authorities have been requested to sensitise concerned officers about the procedures for postal ballots as prescribed by the Election Commission.

8.54 pm: Leh Deputy Commissioner Avny Lavasa writes to the Army on a complaint raised by a candidate who alleged that commanding officers of the Army asked jawans over the phone for their voting preferences instead of providing them with ballot paper, NDTV reports.

“This is a gross violation of secrecy of voting and a malpractice that has the potential to invite strict legal action,” she says in the letter.

8.46 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia criticises BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir for hiring a body double to campaign on his behalf. He shared a photo of Gambhir sitting on the front seat of a car while a person, who Sisodia claimed was Gambhir’s body double, waved to people from an open section of the car.

“This is the mahamilavat between Congress and BJP,” Sisodia says on Twitter. “Gautam Gambhir is sitting inside an AC car as he has issues standing in sunlight. Instead of him, his lookalike is standing on top of the car wearing a cap. Party workers are garlanding the duplicate Gambhir. And this duplicate is, in fact, a Congress worker.”

8.37 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee President Ghulam Ahmad Mir criticises Governor Satya Pal Malik for his remarks on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, saying he was misusing his position, reports PTI.

“Malik is misusing his position as State Governor in order to please his boss by joining the vilification campaign against Rajiv Gandhi who was martyred for the nation,” Mir says in a statement. Malik had told reporters on Thursday that Rajiv Gandhi was not corrupt in the beginning, but under the influence of some people, he got involved in the Bofors corruption case.

7.20 pm: Senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar says Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done no credit to his office by launching a “vicious campaign of calumny” against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and he cannot denigrate martyrs, PTI reports.

7.03 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about “Made in India” and “Startup India”, but unemployment is now at an all-time high in 45 years, ANI reports. “I want to tell youth, especially those in Chandigarh, we’ve to compete with China,” he says in Chandigarh. “Not only ‘Made in India’, we have to print ‘Made in Chandigarh’ behind cellphones.”

6.58 pm: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra says Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the Sikh community “with folded hands” for the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, sack Sam Pitroda and accept that the Congress “got people massacred for selfish reasons”, PTI reports.

Patra says the language used by Pitroda is comparable only to the “insensitive, inhuman” remark made by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who in the aftermath of the riots said that “when a big tree falls, the earth shakes.”

6.53 pm: The National Commission for Minorities issues a notice to Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda for his remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. The complaint was filed by BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga.

The notice says Pitroda’s remark “hurt the religious feelings and sentiments of the Sikh community” and sought an unconditional apology from Pitroda towards the Sikh community.

6.32 pm: BJP chief Amit Shah says his party will win more than 55 new seats, reports PTI. “The party will get over 23 seats in West Bengal, 13-15 seats in Odisha,” Shah says. “More regional parties are welcome to join NDA after polls if they wish so.”

6.27 pm: Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda says his remarks on the anti-Sikh violence was taken out of context, reports ANI. “The statement I made was completely twisted, taken out of context because my Hindi isn’t good, what I meant was ‘jo hua vo bura hua,’ I couldn’t translate ‘bura’ in my mind. What I meant was move on. We have other issues to discuss as to what BJP government did and what it delivered. I feel sorry that my remark was misrepresented, I apologise. This has been blown out of proportion.”

6.23 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticises the Congress for the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, reports ANI. “Congress has one more stain on it which can never be cleaned,” he says in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. “Can Punjab ever forget 1984? Who is responsible for what happened then? For three decades injustice was meted out to my Sikh brothers and sisters, and now Congress has said ‘hua to hua.’”

6.17 pm: Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha claims former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was set to dismiss Narendra Modi after the 2002 Gujarat riots, PTI reports.

“After the communal riots in Gujarat, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had decided that then state chief minister Narendra Modi should resign,” he says in Bhopal. “While going to the national executive committee meeting in Goa in 2002, Atal ji had made up his mind that the Gujarat government would be dismissed if Modi ji refused to resign. According to my information, Advani ji had opposed this [dismissing the Modi government] and he told Atal ji that if Modi ji is dismissed then he [Advani] would resign from the government.”

6.12 pm: “I say so with great regret that election commission’s inaction is as much a test of its credibility as it is necessary to uphold the majesty of the law,” Singhvi says. “Has he [and] his party not spent 5 years assiduously trying to divide communities? We don’t need #TimeMagazine’s certification. There is a large number of people in the country who believe in that and Mr. Modi has only proved without doubt.”

6.09 pm: Singhvi says: The Ministry of Commerce and its departments write to different departments of Govt of India to collate and supply necessary inputs from the Vision 2024 document for the BJP election manifesto.” He claims three paragraphs of the Vision 2024 document have been “identically incorporated” in the BJP’s manifesto.

6.06 pm: Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi says Narendra Modi’s government has turned the Model Code of Conduct into “Modi Code of Conduct”. “They have made it into a blatant, shameless violation of all norms,” he says at a press conference.

5.56 pm: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah says Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s remark on the 1984 violence was a “callous” reaction. ““Hua toh hua” is right up there with if “someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not?” as callous reactions to mass murder in pogroms.”

5.50 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claims the BJP is using hawala route to transfer money for distribution among voters and blames law enforcement agencies for not taking any action, PTI reports. “This operation is being carried out by BJP during the night when campaigning is over,” she says at a poll meeting in Ashoknagar, West Bengal. “It is surprising that no enforcing agency is taking any action. We need to keep a watch on this.”

5.41 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says he doesn’t accept Sam Pitroda’s comment on the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, reports ANI. “It’s duty of the successive governments to find out how it happened, who all were responsible, it must be found, doesn’t matter how many years have passed.”

5.37 pm: The Congress says for the BJP, “riots are vote garnering exercise in every election”. “People should see through this Machiavellian game of deception, distraction and distortion by Narendra Modi.”

5.34 pm: The Congress criticises BJP for fielding Pragya Thakur as its Bhopal candidate. “Lastly, unlike the BJP, which has decided to field a candidate charged with terror crimes and is being lauded as its face by none less than Narendra Modi himself, Congress party has shown the moral and political courage to punish people and leaders accused of violence/role in 1984,” the Congress says in a statement. “This is the yardstick of self imposed accountability and sense of justice to people followed by the Congress party, unlike the BJP.”

5.27 pm: “Congress party believes that justice should be done to 1984 riots victims as also to 2002 Gujarat riots victims,” it says in a statement. “We abhor violence of any kind, against any person or a group of people based on their caste, colour, region or religion. This is the essence of India.”

5.24 pm: The Congress says violence and riots are unacceptable and unpardonable. “Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of the Congress party,” the party says in a statement. “We advise all leaders to be careful and sensitive.”

5.22 pm: West Bengal chief electoral officer says they have sent a report to the Election Commission of India regarding the money seized from BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Ghatal, Bharati Ghosh’s car earlier on Friday, reports ANI.

5.11 pm: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says Sam Pitroda’s remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh violence are not the party’s stand. “The party condemns it,” he says, according to News18. ‘All leaders should be careful about what they say. Congress party has worked to provide justice to the victims of 1984 riots. No act of violence and riots can be forgiven.”

5.04 pm: Union minister Nitin Gadkari says BJP can never be an “individual-centric” party as it is based on ideology. “BJP neither became Atal or Advaniji’s party in the past, nor can it ever be only Amit Shah or Narendra Modi’s party,” he tells PTI.

He says the party is based on ideology and that it was wrong to say BJP has become “Modi-centric”. Gadkari says the party will more seats that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

4.15 pm: Congress leader Anand Sharma says Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no respect for family values, ANI reports. “If he [Modi] is talking about Rajiv Gandhi going with his family on an aircraft carrier, Gandhi was well within his rights to do so while serving as prime minister,” Sharma says. “But this prime minister has no family. If he did, then he would go on board an aircraft carrier with his family too. But he goes alone because he has no connect with a family or any respect for family values.”

4.07 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says voting for the BJP will translate to a country with Amit Shah as home minister. “Citizens, think about this when voting,” Kejriwal tweets. “If Modi is reelected to power, then Amit Shah will be home minister. What will happen to a country that has Amit Shah as Home Minister? Think about this before voting.”

3.35 pm: BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir vows to hang himself in public if the Aam Aadmi Party’s allegations against him are proven. “If he [Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal] can prove that I have anything to do with this pamphlet filth, then I will hang myself in public,” Gambhir tweets. “Otherwise Arvind Kejriwal should quit politics. Accepted?”

AAP has claimed that he was behind the circulation of a pamphlet with derogatory and vulgar remarks about its candidate Atishi.

Read more here:

Gautam Gambhir sends defamation notice to Atishi for alleging that he circulated derogatory pamphlet

3.27 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah says that the Congress failed to fulfill the Army jawans’ demand for a one-rank, one-pension scheme. “Within one year, the Modi government fulfilled that demand,” Shah claims.

3.22 pm: Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti compares Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fictional villain Thanos. “Our very own B team of desi avengers,” Mufti tweets. “Although with his current demeanour, I’d say he’s more of a Thanos.”

She was responding to Modi’s comments that the BJP is committed to defending India on land, air and space.

3.06 pm: Samajwadi Party leaders Jaya Bachchan and Dimple Yadav hold a roadshow in Prayagraj, ANI reports.

2.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells ANI that the Bharatiya Janata Party will prioritise national security. “Do not take the names of individuals, any threat to nation, be it by people or system, whether it is on land, sky or in space, the BJP is bound to protect India and Indians,” Modi says.

2.17 pm: Modi says the Opposition has moved from insulting him to insulting electronic voting machines, ANI reports. “For the first three phases they were all abusing Modi,” the prime minister says. “When they sensed which way the wind was blowing they started abusing EVMs. Like in cricket, the batsman who gets out sometimes abuses the umpire, they are abusing Election Commission.”

2.13 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s remarks on the 1984 violence reflects his party’s mentality, ANI reports. “They [Congress] have done this for years, Modi says. “Rajiv Gandhi had said ‘when a big tree falls earth shakes’. They even made Kamal Nath in charge of Punjab, now they have made him Madhya Pradesh chief minister.”

1.48 pm: Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa says that more than 20 Congress MLAs are not happy with their party’s coalition government with the Janata Dal (Secular), ANI reports. “They [Congress MLAs] might take any decision at any time. Let us wait and see.”

1.45 pm: Mayawati says Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance was “casteist” is “laughable” and “immature”. The Bahujan Samaj Party chief says that Modi has never faced the “pain of casteism”.

Read more here:

Mayawati says Narendra Modi calling SP-BSP alliance casteist is ‘laughable, immature’

1.38 pm: BJP workers stage a protest outside Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s house against the comments made by Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda about the 1984 riots, ANI reports.

Pitroda on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of distorting his quotes about the Congress party’s alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, and said he acknowledged the pain of the Sikh community.

Read more here:

BJP demands Rahul Gandhi’s apology for Sam Pitroda’s ‘so what?’ remark

1.28 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says innocent people were trapped and Pakistani militants were freed after the Samjhauta Express blast. “The Congress started shouting that this was Hindu terrorism,” Modi says in Rohtak.

The explosion, which took place on February 18, 2007, had killed 68 people, including 10 Indians. In its chargesheet, the NIA said the blast had targeted Pakistani Muslims. The incident happened at Diwani village near Panipat, 160 km from Panchkula in Haryana. The train, which connects India and Pakistan, was heading toward Attari, the last station on the Indian side.

1.20 pm: The prime minister says Sikhs were targeted in states such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. “The Congress was behind this violence,” Modi adds. “This sin was committed by every small and big leader in the Congress. But today the party says ‘it happened, so what?’.”

1.15 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi targets Congress leader Sam Pitroda for being dismissive about the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. “‘Hua so hua’ – the three words that sum up Congress’s arrogance were uttered yesterday by one of its most senior leaders, he said this on 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” Modi says at a rally in Haryana’s Rohtak city. “This leader is one of the closest people to the Gandhi family and is Rahul Gandhi’s mentor. These people do not value life.”

1.09 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says BJP President Amit Shah will be appointed the Union home minister if the saffron party comes back to power. “Please think about that before voting,” he tweets.

1 pm: AAP’s East Delhi candidate Atishi Marlena says the party has filed a complaint against BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir with the Delhi Commission of Women for allegedly distributing pamphlets about her containing derogatory words. “We will soon file a complaint with the Election Commission and Delhi Police,” ANI quotes Marlena as saying.

On Thursday, Gambhir sent a defamation notice to Marlena, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia for accusing him of distributing the pamphlets.

12.44 pm: Priyanka Gandhi alleges that farmers marched to Delhi from all over the country and wanted to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “But he did not step out to meet them,” News18 quotes her as saying. “They introduced ‘Kisan Samman Yojna’ keeping in mind only when elections came near. This is ‘Kisan Apmaan Yojna’. Instead of meeting the farmers and hearing about their demands, the prime minister insulted them, she alleges.

12.36 pm: Congress General Secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi says at a public meeting in Siddharth Nagar district that the government had promised to provide two crore jobs. “I have travelled around the state but have not found even a single person who has got one,” News18 quotes her as saying. “They promised MSP to farmers but again never did so. Farmers today are in distress.”

12.31 pm: The West Bengal Election Commission has sought a report from the magistrate of West Medinipur after Rs 1.13-lakh cash was seized from BJP Lok Sabha candidate Bharati Ghosh’s vehicle last night, reports ANI.

11.47 am: Police seized Rs 1.13 lakh in cash from the vehicle of BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh late Thursday, PTI reports. Ghosh is the candidate from Ghatal constituency of West Bengal. The constituency will vote on Sunday.

A police officer said Ghosh was unable to explain why she was carrying the money. She was detained for almost three hours for questioning.

Ghosh denied the allegations and claimed that the money was for her personal expenses.

11.42 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati says the prime minister’s allegation that her alliance with Samajwadi Party is casteist is “laughable and immature”. “How can those suffering from casteism be casteist?” she tweets. “Modi is not OBC by birth, so he has not faced the pain of casteism and talks of such falsehoods. On the contrary, he forcefully calls himself a lower-caste person and uses casteism for political gains. Would the RSS ever let him become PM if he was a lower-caste by birth?”

11.06 am: BJP President Amit Shah slams Pitroda for his comments on the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. “Agony of the entire Sikh community. Suffering of all those Sikh families killed by Congress leaders in 1984,” Shah tweets. “Attack on Delhi’s secular ethos. All Summed up in these three words by Sam Pitroda - Hua To Hua. India will never forgive #MurdererCongress for its sins.”

Read more here: 1984 anti-Sikh violence: BJP demands Rahul Gandhi’s apology for Sam Pitroda’s ‘so what?’ remark

11 am: Union minister Arun Jaitley says it is a “matter of disgrace” that the Congress has no remorse over the anti-Sikh violence of 1984. His comments come a day after Congress leader Sam Pitroda, responding to a question about the 1984 violence, purportedly said, “This is also another lie, and what is with 1984? You speak about what happened in 5 years. Happened in 1984, so what? [1984 hua toh hua]”

Jaitley on Twitter says: “Sam Pitroda’s ‘Hua to Hua’ reaction to the 1984 Sikh killings is reflective of the lack of remorse on the part of Congress Party with respect to the 1984 genocide. Will the Congress President oust his ‘Guru’, who rubbishes the genocide of India’s most patriotic community in 1984?”

10.40 am: Former Union minister Chidambaram hits out at Narendra Modi after former Indian Navy chief denied the prime minister’s allegation that Rajiv Gandhi had used the naval warship INS Viraat as his “personal taxi”.

“Another lie of Mr Narendra Modi blown away. Top officers of Navy have testified that Mr Rajiv Gandhi was on an official visit to INS VIRAAT,” Chidamabaram tweets. “I am curious: who feeds these lies to the Prime Minister? Why does the PM repeat the lies without verifying the facts?”

Chidambaram further says: “If PM did not find evidence of cross-border actions under the UPA government, that means information is being held back from him. Why doesn’t he speak to the General who said ‘this is not the first time and this will not be the last’?”

10.27 am: Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda says the BJP’s claim that instructions to kill during the 1984 anti-Sikh violence came from Rajiv Gandhi’s office is a lie, ANI reports. “Whatever happened, happened,” he says about the 1984 violence. Pitroda asks the BJP what it has done in the last five years.

10.20 am: The Election Commission has issued a notice to “Computer Baba”, after the BJP alleged that he was fanning communal sentiments while campaigning for Congress candidate from Bhopal Digvijaya Singh, ANI reports. Namdas Tyagi alias Computer Baba has been asked to reply to the notice within 24 hours.

10.14 am: Congress leader Ashwani Kumar says the “failure” of the Election Commission in taking action on his party’s complaint against Narendra Modi for his remarks on Rajiv Gandhi, has dented the poll panel’s credibility, The Hindu reports.

10.10 am: Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha says he learnt that BJP chief Amit Shah was coming to Patna Sahib constituency to show Sinha his “aukaat” (worth), PTI reports. “This is going to backfire,” he adds. “It seems the BJP has not learnt its lessons from the assembly polls of 2015 when the DNA remark had cost the NDA dearly.”

10.05 am: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik defends Narendra Modi for calling Rajiv Gandhi “Corrupt No 1”, the Hindustan Times reports. “If Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru can be mentioned, Rajiv Gandhi can also be mentioned,” Malik tells reporters in Srinagar. “When Rajiv’s son [Rahul Gandhi] calls you a thief, won’t you tell him who he is and what is his legacy.”

9.59 am: Gandhi says he loves Modi as an individual. “However, I disagree strongly with his ideology and I will do whatever it takes to defeat that ideology,” he adds.

9.55 am: The Congress scion says Modi is obsessed with his family. “I don’t think about my father, grandmother or great-grandfather as much as Modi does,” says Gandhi. “He thinks that that’s the place where he’s going to find his escape. Best of luck to him!”

9.54 am: Gandhi accuses Modi of taking refuge in the past. “Modi has been outmaneuvered, outflanked and cut down, as far as the present and the future are concerned,” he says. “So where else can he go, but the past?”

9.52 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi denies Modi’s allegations that his father had gone for a holiday on a warship. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Gandhi calls the allegation crazy. “Why would anyone holiday on an aircraft carrier?” he asks. “It’s not a cruise ship!”

9.30 am: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu hails his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee as “Bengal tigress” and claims she would act as a kingmaker in the formation of the next government at the Centre. “We want to save democracy, protect our nation and save our democratic institutions,” Naidu says.

Read more here: ‘Under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership, the country will get a new PM,’ says Chandrababu Naidu

9 am: Gautam Gambhir, Delhi’s BJP East candidate, sends a defamation notice to his rival AAP’s Atishi Marlena for alleging that he had distributed a pamphlet containing “obscene and derogatory” remarks against her, News18 reports. He also sends notices to Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia.

In his notice, Gambhir demands apology from the three AAP leaders and withdraw statements or face legal action.

Read more here: Gautam Gambhir sends defamation notice to Atishi for alleging that he circulated derogatory pamphlet

8.54 am: The man who slapped Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a roadshow last week says he regretted the attack. “I do not know why and how it happened that day. When I was behind bars; I regretted what I did that day,” says Suresh, according to ANI.

He clarifies that he is not associated with any political party. “Nobody asked me to do this. Police did not misbehave with me. They only said what I did was wrong,” he adds.

8.48 am: The Election Commission gives Congress President Rahul Gandhi time till May 10 to respond to its notice on his speech at Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh on April 23, The Hindu reports. The Election Commission had sent Gandhi the notice on May 1 with a 48-hour deadline.

8.45 am: Here are the day’s top updates:

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove his allegations that Trinamool Congress candidates were involved with the coal mafia or do 100 sit-ups.
  • The Aam Aadmi Party accused the BJP of circulating a derogatory pamphlet about its East Delhi election candidate Atishi Marlena. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Marlena alleged that her rival from the BJP, Gautam Gambhir, was circulating it.
  • The Congress refuted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that Rajiv Gandhi had used the warship INS Viraat to go on a vacation with his family when he was the prime minister.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of insulting the Constitution by refusing to accept him as the country’s prime minister.
  • The Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking to debar Congress President Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha elections on grounds that he holds a British citizenship
  • The Election Commission of India dismissed reports that nearly 20 lakh Electronic Voting Machines have gone missing in a 25-year period.