General election 2019 Live | I am committed to resolving issues, says Rahul Gandhi

Wayanad, Kerala

Not here to make false promises, committed to resolving issues: Rahul

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday reached out to the people of Wayanad, saying he did not want to make false promises,but was committed to resolving their issues after hearing their “heart and soul”.

 Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Gandhi said he was not here to tell his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ but to understand the difficulties, including the night travel ban, man-animal conflicts and lack of medical facilities, being faced by the people.

 “I am not like the Prime Minister.. I am not here to tell you that I will give you 2 crore jobs, ₹15 lakh in bank accounts. I will give farmers and give them whatever they want.. I am not going to lie to you.. Because I respect your intelligence.. your wisdom,” Mr. Gandhi told a rousing crowd of thousands in Sulthan Bathery.



Congress has insulted backward castes of this country, alleges Modi

The Congress and their supporters have never hesitated in making derogatory remarks about my caste, alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, accusing the Congress of insulting the backward castes of the country with their ‘watchman is a thief’ poll slogan.

“The Congress says that chowkidar chor hai [the watchman (read Mr. Modi) is a thief]…While I can bear all the insults hurled at the Congress at me, they have insulted the backward communities of this nation by dubbing them as ‘thieves’,” Mr. Modi said, projecting himself as a true servant of the country and remarking that the Congress was incapable of showing any sensitivity towards the Dalits and the socially backward people of the country.

The Prime Minister was addressing a massive rally at Akluj in Solapur district which saw estranged Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and the sitting MP from Madha, Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, sharing the stage with Mr. Modi.


Tamil Nadu

Chidambaram slams Income Tax officials for “partial” action

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday accused the Income Tax department of taking “autocratic and partial” action in Tamil Nadu in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

A day after I-T sleuths along with poll flying squad carried out raids at the residence of DMK leader Kanimozhi at Tuticorin, Mr. Chidambarm in a series of tweets said, “the news,” is that nothing was found during searches in her residence.

“How is it that tip off on Opposition leaders alone is received (by officials),” he wondered in his tweet in Tamil.

He also said, “The marker of the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Tamil Nadu is the Income Tax department’s autocratic and partial steps.”

Election officials had on Tuesday held searches at the residence of Ms. Kanimozhi in Tuticorin in south Tamil Nadu from where she is contesting.

Authorities conducted a search at a store in Theni Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday night following inputs about suspected cash, during which police had to open fire in the air to disperse supporters of the TTV Dhinakaran-led AMMK, who objected to the action.

During the raids, cash to the tune of Rs 1.48 crore allegedly stashed to bribe voters was seized.

The store was believed to be run by a supporter of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).

Tamil Nadu goes to polls tomorrow.

West Bengal

EC appoints special observer for West Bengal

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed former Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ajay V Nayak as special observer for West Bengal, a senior official said in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Mr. Nayak may reach Kolkata on April 19, he said.

“He will be overseeing the last five phases of polls and directly report to the Election Commission in New Delhi on a daily basis,” the official said.

Mr. Nayak, a 1984-batch IAS officer, had retired last year.

The ECI had earlier appointed Vivek Dubey as a special police observer for the state.

Two Lok Sabha seats — Cooch Behar and Alipurduar — witnessed polling on April 11, while the rest of the 40 constituencies will go to polls in six phases.


‘Divisive politics’ of Modi biggest anti-national activity: Rahul

AICC president Rahul Gandhi has said that the ‘divisive politics’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the biggest anti-national activity that can destroy the nation.

Addressing the media in Kannur on Wednesday after attending a meeting of UDF leaders in Kannur, Kasaragod and Vadakara Lok Sabha constituencies, he said that dividing the country is the most anti-national activity. He was responding to a query on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegation during election rallies in Odisha and Chattisgarh on Tuesday that the Congress is supporting forces that are trying to break the country. He said that thousands of Congress workers had given their lives in Punjab and other places.

Mr. Gandhi said that Mr. Modi’s policies had crippled the agricultural system. The Rafael scam involved stealing of Rs. 30,000 crore and giving it to Anil Ambani, he said.


 CSDS researchers detained in Sikkim for conducting post poll survey

Researchers from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) have been detained over night in Sikkim for conducting a post poll survey in the State.

Mukund Giri, one of members of the research  team involved in the exercise along another researcher have remained under custody at Gangtok Sadar police station since Tuesday evening.  An officer of the police station said on Wednesday that the researchers  have been detained after a complaint was received by Sub Divisional Magistrate. “There was some protests by locals about the survey and two people have been taken under preventive detentikn,” the officer said. Laterin the day they are likely to be questioned by senior administrative officials. 

Mr Giri said that they have been conducting the survey in the state since Sunday but the problem started early on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu

I-T seizes Rs 1.48 cr cash suspected to bribe voters in Theni

The Income Tax Department on Wednesday said it has seized Rs 1.48 crore cash allegedly stashed to bribe voters in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, where an assembly bypoll is scheduled on Thursday.

Unaccounted cash worth Rs 1.48 crore was seized. It was neatly packed in 94 packets and envelops on which the ward number, number of voters and the amount of Rs 300 per voter was written, I-T Director General (investigations) B Murali Kumar said, after the overnight raids concluded at 5:30 AM.

“All these wards are within the Andipatti assembly segment which is going to bypoll tomorrow,” the officer added.

Mr. Kumar added that the premises belongs to a functionary of the AMMK party.

Infact, the AMMK party office functions from the ground floor of the premises, he said.


Tamil Nadu

Vellore parliamentary constituency polls rescinded

President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday rescinded the election to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat based on a recommendation of the Election Commission, following a detailed report on the use of money power to influence voters. The I-T Department had seized ₹11.48 crore from the house of an alleged associate of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan, whose son Kathir Anand is the party candidate for Vellore.

Women voters now matter much more than before: Prannoy Roy

Veteran journalist and psephologist Prannoy Roy recently co-authored a book, ‘The Verdict: Decoding India’s Elections’, with Dorab R. Sopariwala. In this interview, Mr. Roy talks about opinion polls, landslide victories and the problem of missing women voters in India.

Second phase polling

Campaigning ends for second phase of Lok Sabha election

Campaigning ended on Tuesday evening for the second phase of the 17th Lok Sabha election in 97 constituencies, spread over 12 States and a Union Territory that will vote on Thursday. Counting of votes will take place on May 23, after all seven phases of voting are completed.

In the second phase, all 39 constituencies of Tamil Nadu, 14 in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, 3 each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Manipur, Tripura and Puducherry will be voting.

‘There is a pro-Modi wave in Odisha,’ says Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaks about the BJP’s electoral prospects in Odisha, where the party hopes to gain ground, and the induction of leaders from other parties, including the Biju Janata Dal.


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