The election office on Thursday dismissed as “rumour” the allegations levelled by the BSP and the SP that some Dalit voters were prevented from casting ballots in a booth in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor Lok Sabha constituency. “These (reports) are only rumours,” State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) L Venkateshwarlu said. “We have spoken to all DMs (district magistrates) in this regard. Nothing of this type of incident has taken place. These are only rumours, as they are not mentioning any specific polling booth,” he said.
Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘megalomaniac’, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that Congress manifesto is kaam ki baat (something concrete) and not a telecast of thoughts by a man obsessed with power. Addressing a rally in Theni, Gandhi further said, “PM Modi is the element of hate among Indians.”
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah today assured people that Kashmir cannot be separated from India till the “last BJP worker is alive”. Condoling BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi’s death in Dantewada attack, Shah called the Naxal ambush “political conspiracy”. His comments came during an election rally in Chhattisgarh.
The BJP has approached the Election Commission as well as the Supreme Court against Rahul Gandhi, saying the Congress chief wrongly attributed his ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ jibe against PM Narendra Modi to the top court. While Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi went to the Election Commission, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi sought contempt proceedings against Rahul Gandhi in the Supreme Court.
The Congress is, meanwhile, likely to announce its candidates for the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. The list may see the return of former CM Sheila Dikshit to take on AAP’s Atishi from East Delhi. Ajay Maken is likely to fight from New Delhi and Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk. Other probables include JP Aggarwal from North East, RK Chauhan from North West, Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi and Sushil Kumar from South Delhi.
In an interview to News18 Network, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi launched a scathing attack on strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor. “Prashant Kishor met Lalu on five occasions. I even threw him out of the house. He’s a liar. He told us that Lalu and Nitish Kumar should come together, but we protested. We don’t trust Nitish,” she said.
Local poll authorities in Maharashtra, meanwhile, are learnt to have told the Election Commission that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their vote to those who carried out the Balakot air strike, are prima facie violative of its orders, asking parties against using the armed forces in their campaigns. Addressing a rally in Ausa in Maharashtra’s Latur on April 9, Modi had said, “Can your first vote be dedicated to those who carried out the air strike… I want to tell the first-time voters: can your first vote be dedicated to the veer jawans (valiant soldiers) who carried out the air strike in Pakistan? Can your first vote be dedicated to the veer shaheed (brave martyrs) of Pulwama (terror attack),” Modi said.
The EC had sought the report in the context of an EC advisory issued last month asking parties to desist from indulging in political propaganda involving actions of the armed forces. “…parties/candidates are advised that their campaigners/candidates should desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of defence forces,” the commission said on March 19.
In an unprecedented move, more than 150 veterans, including some former Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs, have written to the President of India against the “politicisation” of the armed forces in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
The letter, titled ‘From A Group of Veterans To Our Supreme Commander’, registers strong objection to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s ‘Modiji ki Sena’ remark.
Among the signatories of the letter are three former Army chiefs — Sunith Francis Rodrigues, Shankar Roychowdhury, Deepak Kapoor; four former Navy chiefs — Laxminarayan Ramdas, Vishnu Bhagwat, Arun Prakash, Suresh Mehta; and former Air Force chief NC Suri.
Election Tracker LIVE: BJP MP Moves Court, Says Rahul Gandhi Attributed ‘Chowkidaar Chor Hai’ Jibe to SC – News18