Phase 3 of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is just a day away. Ahead of the polls that will be conducted in 116 constituencies across 15 states, campaigns are also underway in full force. To begin with, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally in Rajasthan's Chittorgarh. He criticised the Congress and asked people who were they willing to vote - "Congress that weakens the country or a BJP that strengthens it." Before that he held a rally in Gujarat's Patan. Bringing up Balakot strike, the Prime Minister said that he warned Pakistan of dire consequences if something happened to captured pilot of the Indian Air Force, Wing Commander Abhinandan. PM Modi will hold a rally in Rajasthan also.
Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against Congress's South Mumbai candidate Milind Deora under Section 171 of IPC and Section 125 of Presentation of People's Act.
In yet another development, controversial BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya said in an interview to Aaj Tak that she is proud of demolishing Babri Masjid and that it has "awakened the self-respect of our country". She added that they will construct a grand Ram Temple.
Follow the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 LIVE updates on the BusinessToday.in blog here:
7:40pm: BJP has released list of candidates for Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Dr Harsh Vardhan to contest from Chandni Chowk, Manoj Tiwari from North East Delhi, Pravesh Verma from West Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi.
Bharatiya Janata Party releases list of candidates for Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and UP; Dr Harsh Vardhan to contest from Delhi's Chandni Chowk, Manoj Tiwari- North East Delhi, Pravesh Verma- West Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri -South Delhi and Hardeep Puri from Amritsar pic.twitter.com/VDaivg0A7n— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
6:38pm: A bench of the Allahabad High Court has issued notices to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Congress Party, seeking explanations on the NYAY scheme.
6:06pm: BJP's Mukul Roy writes to Chief Election Officer, West Bengal over Bangladeshi actors campaigning for Trinamool Congress.
#WestBengal: BJP's Mukul Roy writes to CEO West Bengal over campaigning by Bangladeshi actors for Trinamool Congress, states, "No foreign hand can be allowed to meddle in India's electoral process. TMC ought to be de-recognised as a political party with immediate effect."— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
6:05pm: At a rally in Barmer, Rajasthan, PM Narendra Modi said that India has stopped the policy of getting scared of Pakistan's threats.
#WATCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Barmer, Rajasthan: India has stopped the policy of getting scared of Pakistan's threats. Every other day they used to say "We've nuclear button, we've nuclear button".....What do we have then? Have we kept it for Diwali? pic.twitter.com/cgSLoO8nma— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
3:50pm: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on whether she will contest from Varanasi: If Congress President asks me to contest, I will be happy to contest.
3:43pm: PM Modi had a telephonic conversation with the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He conveyed heart-felt condolences from his side and also on behalf of all Indians at the loss of more than one hundred and fifty lives in today's terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. Terming the attacks cold-blooded and pre-planned barbaric acts, PM Modi pointed out that these attacks were another grim reminder of the most serious challenge posed to humanity by terrorism in the world.
3:40pm: PM Narendra Modi in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan: "India stands with the citizens of Sri Lanka, in such a crisis India will do whatever it can to help Sri Lanka."
3:20pm: Priyanka Gandhi meets the family of Pulwama martyr VV Vasantha Kumar.
Kerala: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meets Late V V Vasantha Kumar's family members in Makkamkunnu, Wayanad. Kumar had lost his life in Pulwama terror attack on February 14. pic.twitter.com/QnxyAKFMia— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
3:15pm: Supporters of Congress leader Mahabal Mishra protest outside All India Congress Committee headquarters, demanding a ticket for him from West Delhi constituency.
Delhi: Supporters of Congress leader Mahabal Mishra protest outside All India Congress Committee headquarters, demanding a ticket for him from West Delhi constituency. #LokSabhaElection2019pic.twitter.com/oPQfY1ARsM— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
2:45pm: PM Modi said at a rally in Chittorgarh, "Do you want to see an India that gives reply to Pak or one that bows down to them? An India that gives a strong reply to terrorists or an India that stays mum after terrorist attacks? A Congress that weakens the country or a BJP that strengthens it?"
1:59pm: Visuals from Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's roadshow in Wayanad.
1:45pm: Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) Chief Shivpal Singh Yadav called the SP-BSP mahagathbandhan 'a flop show'. "The SP-BSP alliance is a flop show. It has taken shape only for convenience as they knew their existence was threatened. Otherwise they have been sworn enemies for the past 25 years. Now, how come they have come together?" he said.
1:30pm: At a rally in Gujarat's Patan, PM Modi said, "My government will come back to power for sure, but if Gujarat doesn't give 26 seats (to BJP), the TV discussions on May 23 will be why it happened."
1:20pm: Prime Minister Modi said in Gujarat's Patan, "It is the duty of people of my home state to take care of the 'son of the soil', give all 26 seats in Gujarat to me."
1:16pm: While campaigning for his son Nakul in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said,"I am where I am because of the love and strength you gave me. Nakul is not here today but he will serve you. I have given him responsibility. Take him to the task and tear his clothes if he does not deliver."
1:11pm: Visuals from BJP chief Amit Shah's roadshow in Gujarat.
1:00pm: While campaigning for Jaya Prada in Rampur, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said, "If anyone stands with Azam Khan, she/he, too, will be a culprit. When I was made chief minister, I took up the work to ensure safety to women and for people like Azam Khan, we created an Anti Romeo Squad in UP. I want to ask Akhilesh Yadav - how can he even share the stage with such a man who is ill-mannered? How can he ask for votes for a man like that?"
12:45pm: Condemning the Sri Lanka blasts, PM Modi said, "No place for such barbarism in our region."
Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
12:40pm: Lt General (Retd) DS Hooda on Pragya Thakur's remark on late Hemant Karkare: Yes it does hurt when such things are said about a martyr, be it from the Army or the Police, full respect should be given. These utterances are not good.
12:10pm: Aam Aadmi Party declares candidates for 3 seats in Haryana - Naveen Jaihind from Faridabad, Prithviraj from Ambala and Krishan Kumar Agarwal from Karnal.
12:00pm: At a rally in Gujarat's Patan, Modi said that when Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured after the Balakot strike, he told Pakistan that if anything happens to the pilot, he won't leave them.
11:40am: Congress condoles the Sri Lanka blasts on Easter Sunday.
We are deeply saddened by the terrible attacks on several churches in #SriLanka on the holy day of Easter. We stand with the people in their time of grief & pray for their recovery.— Congress (@INCIndia) April 21, 2019
11:19am: Bhopal District Election Officer issued a notice to BJP candidate Pragya Singh Thakur and sought explanation within a day for her remarks, "I had demolished the structure (in Ayodhya). I will go there & help in the construction of Ram temple": ANI.
10:55am: BSP supremo Mayawati said, "Narendra Modi is roaming around in UP and saying that the UP has made him the PM of the country, which is true, but why did he betray 22 million people of UP? If the UP can make them PM, then they can also remove him from the post." She also added that BSP's alliance with SP and RLD has made people happy, which has shocked the BJP.
पीएम श्री मोदी ने अपने मन की बात सुनकर मनमानी की व स्वार्थ के लिए अपनी जाति को पिछड़ा वर्ग घोषित कर दिया, किन्तु बीएसपी-सपा-आरएलडी ने जनता के मन की बात सुनी, समझी और उसका सम्मान करके व्यापक जनहित व देशहित हेतु आपस में गठबंधन किया जिससे जनता में उमंग पर बीजेपी की बौखलाहट स्पष्ट है— Mayawati (@Mayawati) April 21, 2019
10:32am: On Saturday West Bengal's ruling party Trinamool Congress demanded from the Election Commission the removal of Special Observer Ajay Nayak following his comment that the state's present condition is same to what it was in Bihar 10-15 years ago.
10:30am: Sadhvi Pragya said, "Yes, I had gone there (Ayodhya), I had said it yesterday too, not denying it. I had demolished the structure. I will go there and help in the construction of Ram temple, nobody can stop us from doing that, Ram rashtra hain, rashtra Ram hain."
10:26am: Supporters of Senior Delhi Congress leader Raj Kumar Chauhan protest outside Rahul Gandhi's residence alleging that Chauhan is being denied a Lok Sabha ticket.
Supporters of Senior Delhi Congress leader Raj Kumar Chauhan protest outside Rahul Gandhi's residence alleging that Chauhan is being denied a Lok Sabha ticket pic.twitter.com/qXDg5AYAO4— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
10:25am: PM Modi tweeted, "In Rajasthan, there is a sense of betrayal and despondency after Congress came to power. People will reject Congress."
Heading westwards today. Will join rallies in Patan (Gujarat), Chittorgarh and Barmer (Rajasthan).— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
Gujarat and Rajasthan have seen the pioneering work of BJP.
In Rajasthan, there is a sense of betrayal and despondency after Congress came to power. People will reject Congress.
10:20am: In an interview to Aaj Tak, BJP's Bhopal candidate, Sadhvi Pragya said that she is proud of the Babri Masjid demolition. "Why would we regret the demolition of the Babri Masjid? We are, in fact, proud of it. There were some waste products of the Ram temple and we removed it. This has awakened the self-respect of our country and we will construct a grand Ram temple," she said.
"The Congress has ruled for 70 years and look what it has done. Even our temples were not secure. By gathering and demolishing the structure of the Babri Masjid, the Hindus have awakened the self-respect of the country. Where will the Ram temple be constructed if not in this country?" she said.
Sadhvi Pragya further added, "The public is with me. My candidature has motivated them. Everyone is telling me that their confidence has doubled ever since my name was declared for the Lok Sabha election in Bhopal."
10:15am: FIR registered against Congress candidate from South Mumbai Milind Deora under section 171 of IPC (giving false statements for elections) and section 125 of the Presentation of People's Act (promoting enmity between classes in connection with elections): ANI.