Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST updates: In the presence of senior BJP leaders, Home minister Rajnath Singh is now filing his nomination papers from the Lucknow constituency, at the Collectorate. Rajnath had earlier tweeted that he is eager to fulfill the dreams of Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the city.
Azam Khan’s son, Abdullah Azam Khan, alleged on Tuesday that the Election Commission has been banned from campaigning because he is a Muslim. “Because Yogi Adityanath was banned, they saw it fit to ban a Muslim man too,” he said.
Azam Khan is the only leader among the four who were banned from campaigning on Monday (including Maneka Gandhi, Yogi Adityanath and Mayawati), who did not receive a notice before being banned. This, his son and family have held, is grounds for alleging that the bias against a Muslim candidate was at play.
BJP leader Mukul Roy, who was once Mamata Banerjee’s man friday, led the charge against Trinamool Congress after it engaged Bangladeshi actor Ferdous to campaign for its Lok Sabha candidate Kanaia Lal Agarwal from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district. The saffron party has complained to the EC in this regard, reports said.
Senior Principal Secretary in the EC KF Wilfred told News18 that there is “no such specific rule, but we need to look in to his (Ferdous’) purpose of visit when he applied for visa.”
Hitting out once again at the Naveen Patnaik government, PM Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the Naveen Patnaik government at Odisha had pocketed 85 percent of the money that the Centre had sent to the state. “You tell me, how will development happen then,” he asked, pointing out that most of Odisha’s people were wracked by poverty years after Independence because “Congress and BJD have been in power in the state.”
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, speaking at a mega show in Kerala’s Kollam, circled back to the Rafale scam, notwithstanding the backlash to his harnessing of the case. In Lucknow, meanwhile, Rajnath Singh’s roadshow has taken off. The Home Minister will file his nomination papers from the Collectorate soon.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, after summoning the Election Commission on Monday, appreciated the poll watchdog for taking action on political leaders spewing hate speech. It also asked Mayawati, who was contesting her campaign ban, to come back another day with a separate plea.
The poll watchdog has barred Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours and Union minister Maneka Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for 48 hours. This was after the Supreme Court had criticised the Election Commission for not taking concrete action against disrespectful or communally-coloured speeches being political leaders and had called it a”toothless body”.
While Tuesday is yet another crucial campaign day for Lok Sabha hopefuls of parties big and small, it is doubly important for the Election Commission of India, which will be heard by the Supreme Court on the matter of hate speeches being made by politicians on the campaign trail.
The Election Commission has also hogged the limelight over a confusion regarding whether it has set the wheels in motion to cancel the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency election, scheduled for Phase 2 on Thursday. While it said it has not issue an “order” in the matter, several media reports say that the poll body has recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind that the election to the seat be cancelled after cash amounting to Rs 11.50 crore was found in a warehouse linked to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham party’s candidate Kadhir Anand.
The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party’s rallies, meanwhile, will continue unabated on Tuesday, the last day for campaigning before Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha election on Thursday, 18 April.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to campaign in Kerala, which will vote in the phases beginning on 23 April, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday will see a packed programme for Rahul. He is expected to hold public meetings at the grounds of St Stephens Higher Secondary School at Pathanapuram in Kollam district’s Pathanamthitta — near the Sabarimala temple — and also at stadiums in Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts. He will also visit the house of recently deceased Congress leader KM Mani in Kottayam district.
The Congress chief’s BJP counterpart too will be in Kerala. Amit Shah will address two rallies at Thrissur and Ernakulam, and two others at Karnataka’s Tumakuru and Davanagere.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address rallies criss-crossing Odisha and Chhattisgarh, at Sambalpur, Korba, Bhatapara and Bhubaneswar.
Significantly for the BJP, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to file his nomination from Lucknow in the company of several leaders. He is likely to hold a road show from the party office to the collectorate.
The spectre of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party’s alliance in Delhi included considerable bickering between the party chiefs on Monday, as Rahul accused AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal of making a U-turn and the latter refuted his claim— all on Twitter.
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