The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections officially begun on 11 April. Polling for the first phase took place in 91 parliamentary constituencies spread across 20 states. The final results will be announced on 23 May. Catch all the updates on the Lok Sabha 2019 elections here.
Congress Files Complaints over Derogatory Remarks by BJP’s Himachal Pradesh Chief
The Congress on Monday, 15 April, filed a complaint with the Election Commission against BJP’s Himachal Pradesh chief Satpal Singh Satti for allegedly making a derogatory comment against Rahul Gandhi.
The party has also lodged a police complaint against the BJP leader, urging Shimla Police to register a case against him.
Earlier the Congress’s state unit spokesperson Naresh Chauhan had sought Satti’s apology, but he refused saying he merely read out the contents of a message which was already viral on social media.
Shekhawat Caught on Camera Purportedly Threatening Government Officials
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was caught on camera purportedly threatening government officials, saying they would not be spared once the party in power in Rajasthan changes.
The BJP candidate from Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat was angered apparently by the videography of vehicles during his election meeting in Pokaran on Sunday.
The videography was carried following a notice from the sub-divisional magistrate stating that the expenditure on vehicles used by Shekhawat in the meeting would be added to his total campaign cost.
“This is not the last election. I have details of all officials. The government would change after five years. I would hang all of them upside down then,” Shekhawat purportedly said on Sunday.
Polls in TN’s Vellore May Be Cancelled: Report
The Election Commission might cancel the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore after a police case was filed against the DMK candidate Kathir Anand following a cash seizure that was made a few days back, NDTV cited sources as saying.
EC Bars Azam Khan, Maneka Gandhi from Campaigning
The Election Commission has barred Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan from election campaigning for 72 hours starting from 10 am tomorrow for violating the Model Code of Conduct during his election campaign held in Rampur.
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has also been barred from campaigning for 48 hours.
‘Was Not Given a Hearing’: Mayawati on EC Ban Order
Addressing the media after she was barred from campaigning for 48 hours by the EC, BSP supremo Mayawati said she was not given a hearing and labelled the the poll body’s order as “unconstitutional”.
“This will be known as a black day,” Mayawati said in a press conference.
First Nomination Filed for Ladakh Lok Sabha Seat
Five days after an issuance of notification by the Election Commission for the Ladakh parliamentary constituency, Congress candidate Rigzin Spalbar on Monday filed his nomination papers from the seat, which is going to polls on 6 May.
Spalbar, a prominent Buddhist leader and two-time chief executive councillor (CEC) of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, was the first to file his papers before the returning officer at Leh, officials said, reported PTI.
Fresh Round of Talks Between AAP, Cong on Wednesday: Report
A fresh round of talks will be held between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress Wednesday, where the AAP will propose an tie-up in Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh with a seat sharing ratio of 5:2 in the national capital, sources said, reported PTI.
Senior leader Ahmed Patel would hold talks on Congress’s behalf and the AAP will be represented by party leader Sanjay Singh, they said.
The meeting would be mediated by NCP leader Sharad Pawar. This is the second meeting held in his presence over talks on alliance.
‘Muslims Can Be Identified by Removing Their Clothes’: Kerala BJP Chief Sparks Row
Kerala BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai’s distasteful comment on Muslims has sparked a political row, reported The News Minute.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Attingal on Sunday, Sreedharan Pillai said with a giggle that Muslims can be identified by ‘removing their clothes’, in a reference to circumcision. Speaking about the Balakot Air Strike by the Indian Air Force, Sreedharan Pillai said, “Our Rahul Gandhi, Yechury, and Pinarayi are saying, our soldiers have to go there and see the count of the dead…their caste, religion etc.”
“If it is Islam, there are some signs, no?” he continued, “If you remove their clothes you will be able to know. We have to do all that and return is what they are saying.”
Congress’ Shakeel Ahmad Announces Decision to Resign
Congress’s Shakeel Ahmad announced on Monday that he had decided to file his nomination papers on Tuesday from Madhubani Parliamentary Constituency in Bihar. He also announced that he was resigning from the post of Senior Spokesperson of AICC and sending his resignation to Rahul Gandhi.
“Our Doors Still Open”: Rahul Gandhi on Cong-AAP Alliance
Rahul Gandhi on Monday, 15 April tweeted that the Congress was willing to give up four seats to AAP in order to ensure the rout of the BJP but that Arvind Kejriwal had done a U-turn.
“An alliance between the Congress & AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP. The Congress is willing to give up 4 Delhi seats to the AAP to ensure this. But, Mr Kejriwal has done yet another U turn! Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out,” he tweeted.
Plea Against Andhra Govt Schemes Ahead of Polls Infructuous: HC
The Delhi High Court on Monday said a plea alleging that the Andhra Pradesh government has attempted to influence voters by launching schemes, including giving monetary benefits, ahead of polls, has become infructuous, reported PTI.
Justice Yogesh Khanna declined the plea of Jana Chaitanya Vedika in which it had sought direction to the state government to keep the transfer of funds, as part of the schemes, in abeyance till the elections are over.
The plea has become infructuous as the entire money has already been disbursed, the court noted. A similar petition, which was filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, has also been dismissed, a PTI report said.
Congress Taking Help from RSS: Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused Congress of taking help from RSS to win elections and urged to the people to defeat the “deadly” combine of the Congress, BJP and the Left.
The Trinamool Congress supremo recalled former president Pranab Mukherjee’s participation in an event of the RSS in its headquarters in Nagpur in 2018 and alleged that the organisation is campaigning for his son, Congress candidate Abhijit Mukherjee.
“Don’t force me to open the Pandora’s box. The entire gameplan of the Congress will be exposed,” she told an election rally at Beldanga in Muslim-dominated Murshidabad district.
“Baharampore Congress candidate Adhir Chowdhury’s tactics to win election with the help of the Left and BJP will not be successful this time … People should not to vote for such a party with a dubious character,” Banerjee.
BJP Has Deviated from Path of Truth: Priyanka Gandhi
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Monday alleged that the BJP had deviated from the path of truth and it seemed that the saffron party neither had faith in democracy nor in the people. The Congress secretary general in-charge for Uttar Pradesh (East) also said the BJP instead of speaking about India and what it had done for its youth was talking about Pakistan.
“It seems that the government has faith neither in democracy, its institutions nor the people..had they been real nationalists they would have tread the path of truth”, she said.
“They would have understood that this country is based on truth and those who deviate from it are not let off…you will also not be excused as you, too, have deviated from the path of truth long ago,” Gandhi said at a rally in Agra.
BJP Candidate Asks EC for Permission to Use His Lock on EVM, VVPAT Strongrooms
Arvind Dharmapuri, BJP candidate from Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency, Telangana has filed a petition before Election Commission to permit him to put his lock as well on the strong rooms where EVMs and VVPATs used in the elections are kept.
BJP UP List: Praveen Nishad to Contest from Sant Kabir Nagar, Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur
Bharatiya Janata Party has announced a list of seven candidates for Uttar Pradesh. Ravi Kishan will be contesting from Gorakhpur and Praveen Nishad will fight the elections from Sant Kabir Nagar. Nishad was earlier part of the Samajwadi Party and recently joined the BJP.
No Candidates from Prominent Parties in TN Have Heinous Crime Charges: Report
Two candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu have murder charges against them, and one candidate has a charge regarding assault or the use criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. This and more such details were revealed by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) in a report, which analysed the affidavits filed by the candidates.
The affidavits of 802 out of 845 candidates were analysed on different parameters such as their assets and liabilities, their criminal records etc, as declared in the affidavit they filed.
(The News Minute)
BJP Leader Shot Dead Outside Party Candidate’s House In Odisha
Unidentified gunmen on Sunday shot dead a local BJP leader in Odisha’s Khurda town, triggering protest from the BJP. Manguli Jena was BJP’s mandal president of Khurda zone-9, the police said on Monday.
The incident took place on Sunday midnight when BJP leader was standing near the house of party’s candidate for Khurda assembly seat, Kalu Charan Khandayat and holding discussion with workers of the BJP.
Police said the gunmen fired four rounds, two of which hit Manguli Jena.
EC Censures Maya, Yogi for Objectionable Statements
The Election Commission has barred UP CM Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from holding public meetings, road shows and giving media interviews and public utterances in media, including social media, for 72 hours and 48 hours, respectively, starting 6 am on 16 April.
The action has been taken for objectionable statements in their poll speeches.
BJP Creating Insecurity Sensing Defeat: Mufti
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has said the BJP is looking to create insecurity among people sensing defeat after first phase of elections, reported news agency ANI.
“They are trying to create a sense of insecurity among people, making it look like they are planning another Balakot like attack on Pakistan, so that they will get votes in the other phases of elections,” she said.
Joshi Writes to CEC Seeking Investigation Into Fake Letter
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi has written to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora seeking investigation into the fake letter circulating on social media in his name, reported news agency ANI.
‘Our Silence Is Betrayal’ Letter From MM Joshi to Advani Is Fake
Rahul Gandhi Reiterates Poll Promises in Election Rally
Speaking at an election rally at Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi reiterated the party’s promises mentioned in the manifesto.
He also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising questions on the funding structure behind his publicity spendings. “Switch on TV-Narendra Modi, switch on a radio-Narendra Modi, walk on the roads-Narendra Modi. Where does all this money for publicity come from?” he said.
Demand for 50% Paper Trail Verification “Unreasonable”: Ex-CEC
Former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy Monday termed as ‘unreasonable’ opposition parties’ demand to verify at least 50 per cent of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
He reiterated that EVMs are credible even without VVPAT.
“And this has been confirmed not by me, but by technical experts, and nobody has still been able to find out any fault; there can be human errors in operating machines,” Krishnamurthy, who oversaw the 2004 general elections, told news agency PTI.
Scuffle Between Cong, BJP Supporters in Mumbai
A scuffle broke out between Congress workers and BJP supporters during the election campaign of Congress’ Mumbai North candidate, Urmila Matondkar at Borivali in Mumbai, reported news agency ANI.
Reacting to the incident, Matondkar said she has filed a complaint and asked for police protection as she feels there is threat to her life.
Gopal Sahu Congress’ Hazaribagh Candidate
Gopal Sahu has been declared as Congress’ candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, reported news agency ANI.
Shashi Tharoor Hospitalised After Sustaining Injuries
Congress’ Thiruvananthapuram candidate Shashi Tharoor has been hospitalised after sustaining injuries on his head and leg while performing rituals at a Kerala temple, reported The News Minute.
Tharoor got injured while taking part in the Tulabharam ritual, which involves weighing a person against gold, grain or fruits.
Tharoor fell when the balance scale broke and the hook support came loose.
SC Issues Notice to Bring Parties Under RTI
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Union of India and the Election Commission on a plea seeking direction to bring all national and state recognised political parties under the ambit of RTI.
Yogi Attacks Naveen Patnaik in Odisha
Speaking at an election rally at Rourkela in Odisha, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said on Monday that the money sent by central government for development works in Odisha has not been used by the state government, reported news agency ANI.
” Naveen Babu’s govt has failed completely in implementing schemes whether it’s about providing Rs 5 lakh insurance cover under Ayushmaan Bharat or the toilet scheme,” he said.
SC Summons EC Representative on Hate Speech
The Supreme Court has summoned representative of Election Commission on Tuesday on the issue of hate speeches during poll campaign. The apex court has also agreed to examine EC’s powers to deal with hate speeches based on caste and religion during campaign, reported news agency PTI.
Vadra Part of Family, Welcome to Join Politics: Raj Babbar
Congress leader Raj Babbar has said that Robert Vadra is part of the family and no one will oppose his inclusion in the party in future.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Babbar said, “If Vadra would wish to join the party then the party will definitely think about it as he is a part of the family, and who would oppose his inclusion into the party?”
Rahul to Hold Rally With Priyanka Today
Congress President Pahul Gandhi will hold an election rally with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in UP’s Fatehpur Sikri today. He will also hold rallies in Kerala, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Goa BJP Files Complaint Against Catholic Priest
BJP Goa filed a complaint with the Election Commission on 15 April against a Roman Catholic priest for ‘creating an atmosphere of hate and fear against a particular political party and a specific religion’ in an address inside a religious institution
Yogi Should Be Charged With Sedition for Comment on Army: Gehlot
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that UP CM Yogi Adityanath should be charged with sedition for his ‘Modi Ji Ki Sena’ remark about the Army, reported news agency ANI.
“Armed forces and soldiers have always been kept separate from politics, in this country. For the first time in 70 years, they are being politicised,” he said.
Pulwama Attack Was Planned by PM Modi For Electoral Gains: Ex-Mizoram Governor
Former Mizoram Governor Aziz Qureshi on Sunday, 14 April, said that the Pulwama attack was a pre-planned conspiracy by PM Modi to regain power, reported news agnecy ANI.
He raised questions on how a vehicle loaded with arms could enter a highway, through which security forces’ convoy was passing.
I-T Dept Raids MLA Hostel in Chennai
An election flying squad and the Income Tax department conducted raid at MLA hostel at Chepauk in Chennai last night. Rooms of AIADMK’s RB Udayakumar and two others were searched, reported news agency ANI.
Case Filed Against BJP MLA For MCC Violation
A case has been filed against BJP MLA from Belapur in Maharashtra Manda Mhatre, for violating model code of conduct, for allegedly asking voters at a programme to vote twice in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, news agency ANI reported.
My Part in Defeating Digvijaya Already Done: Uma Bharti
BJP leader and Union Minister Uma Bharti, whose name has been mentioned as a probable against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, on Sunday, 14 April, said she had already done her part in dislodging him from power and now the city’s people would defeat him.
Bharatiya Janata Party workers will be enough to defeat him, Uma Bharti, who has already announced her decision not to contest the Lok Sabha polls, said in series of tweets.
TDP Files Complaint over Shifting of EVMs in Andhra Pradesh’s Nuzvid
TDP candidate for the Nuzvid Assembly seat M Venkateswara Rao lodged a complaint on Sunday, 14 April, with the Election Commission, saying polling equipment have been shifted from strong room without any intimation.
He said the equipment were from the Nuzvid Asembly segment and were stored in the strong room at Machilipatnam Krishna University campus after polling was held on 11 April.
Election authorities, however, said the equipment that have been shifted were either not used on the election day or defective.