In a stinging attack on Congress for its minimum guarantee scheme for the poor, PM Modi on Tuesday said that the party remembers poor only during elections. Following the release of Congress manifesto, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the promises made by the Rahul Gandhi-led party is dangerous and divisive for the nation. Raising question over Rahul's promise to amend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), he said that it appears some points of the manifesto have been drafted by Congress president's friends in the Tukde Tukde gang', like in the case of Jammu and Kashmir. BJP President Amit Shah also slammed the Congress party and said that our forces crossed the borders and avenged the killing of our bravehearts. On the other hand, Congress and DMK leaders want us to engage in dialogue with Pakistan.
Earlier today, the Congress released its manifesto. The party has kept prime focus on the NYAY scheme, jobs for the youth, farmers' distress and a simpler taxation system in its manifesto which was unveiled today. Congress President Rahul Gandhi talked about 5 key ideas in Congress' manifesto during the event. He began with NYAY scheme and promised Rs 72,000 for 20 per cent of the poorest families. Gandhi then said that Congress will bring about a separate farmers' budget like the country earlier had for the Railways. He then spoke about education and healthcare. Rahul Gandhi also said that Congress would bring about a "saral, simple tax".
Manifesto committee president P Chidambaram said that the manifesto keeps in mind the millions of voices of the people of India. He added that the manifesto guarantees two things - wealth and welfare. He added that the party will bring in wealth and guarantees welfare. He further said that the manifesto looks to bring back the conversation to the real issues and not on issues of religion and community. The three issues that the manifesto keeps in mind are unemployment, farmers' distress and women, the former Finance Minister said
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7:40pm: Indian Army veteran Captain Shalini Singh on Tuesday joined the Aam Aadmi Party. Besides her, former vice president of Delhi BJP Purvanchal Morcha Shailendra Singh too joined the AAP, PTI reported.
"We are proud to announce that the country's brave daughter Captain Shalini Singh and former vice president of Delhi BJP Purvanchal Morcha Shailendra Singh are joining the AAP. We welcome both of them," Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said.
7:30pm: Addressing a rally in Gaya, Bihar, PM Modi said, "There are two kinds of people who have a problem with 'Chowkidar.' One type includes 'Maha Milawati' and the second includes all those who sponsor terrorists."
PM Modi addressing a rally in Gaya, Bihar: Yeh dhamake kisne band kiye? Yeh Modi ne nahi kiya. Aapke ek vote ne kiya, yeh aapke vote ki taqat hai. Agar kuch badla hai toh woh hai reet, neeti aur niyat. Dilli mein 'Chowkidar' ki sarkar bani aur parinaam aapke saamne hai. pic.twitter.com/ZZkfGByEXD- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
7:20pm: Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday releases a list of 9 candidates; 2 for Lok Sabha elections and 7 for Legislative Assembly polls. Mahesh Sahu to be fielded from Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seat and Chandrani Murmu from Kendujhar Lok Sabha seat.
7:10pm: Early today, Supreme Court reserved a judgement for tomorrow on the petition filed by GJM leaders seeking an interim protection during general elections.
Supreme Court reserves judgement for tomorrow on the petition filed by Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM) leaders Roshan Giri and Bimal Gurung seeking a direction to grant them interim protection for three weeks to allow them to participate in the general elections. pic.twitter.com/pp5JnxjuvF- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
7:05pm: "Recall how Congress treated architect of our Constitution, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Congress plotted many conspiracies to defeat him. It is important that youth of today knows about these facts," said PM Modi in Jamui, Bihar.
7:00pm: Speaking at Jamui, PM Modi asked people of Bihar to give a befitting reply to those who are spreading rumours about reservations.
PM Modi in Jamui, Bihar, earlier today: I want people of Bihar to give a befitting reply to those who are spreading rumours about reservations. Be it Modi or anyone else, no one can remove reservations. pic.twitter.com/LQ9H4w2tYc- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
6:55pm: Sasmit Patra of BJD accused PM Modi of violation of model code of conduct.
Sasmit Patra,BJD: Today using a mobile number anyone could call up&listen to PM's speech while he was campaigning in Bhawanipatna,Odisha. So,we've gone before EC, since it didn't have pre-certification from EC,it's violation of poll guidelines&demanded action be taken against BJP pic.twitter.com/qcQzrepJcF- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
6:50pm: Commenting on Congress party's promise to amend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Omar Abdullah said that some 'Congress friends' conspired against removal of AFSPA.
Some 'Congress friends' conspired against removal of AFSPA, says Omar AbdullahApril 2, 2019
5:35pm:BJP President addresses rally in Tamil Nadu. He assured the people of the state that like previous five years of our govt, the next five years of our govt will be dedicated to the welfare of people like great MGR and Jayalalithaa.
On behalf of PM Modi, I want to assure the people of Tamil Nadu that like previous five years of our govt, the next five years of our govt will be dedicated to the welfare of people like great MGR and Jayalalithaa: Shri @AmitShah#BharatBoleModiModipic.twitter.com/kRLF7VGhr2- BJP (@BJP4India) April 2, 2019
5:30pm: In their recent manifesto, the Congress has proposed to bring back Special Status to North Eastern States and roll back Citizenship Amendment Bill.
We promise to bring back Special Status to North Eastern States & we ensure the Citizenship Amendment Bill will not pass as we are committed to protecting the indigenous culture of the North East. #CongressManifesto2019pic.twitter.com/E8lNAVDhQF- Congress (@INCIndia) April 2, 2019
5:25pm: "In ths time of grief & outrage, attempts will be made to divide us. Religions & identities will be pitted against each other. Hindu vs Mus. Jam vs Kash. Our pain musnt fuel such diabolical plans. Because eventually, the axe forgets but the tree remembers," Mehbooba Mufti said.
5:20pm: Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti lauded the Congress for promising to amend the Armed Forces Act (AFSPA) in its manifesto.
Congress has shown great courage by endorsing issues PDP incorporated in its agenda of alliance with BJP. Revocation of AFSPA, not fiddling with JK constitutional provisions & holding unconditional dialogue .The roadmap PDP envisages is the only solution for a peaceful J&K pic.twitter.com/HddumNZZZK- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) April 2, 2019
5:10pm: Ajit Jogi-led Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) will not contest Lok Sabha elections. The party has passed a resolution to not contest from any of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh, while they will support candidates fielded by the BSP on all these seats.
5:00pm: Election Commission of India writes to Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Chairman, Railway Board over 'noncompliance of lawful instructions and lackadaisical approach towards enforcing the model code of conduct', ANI reported.
4:40pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination from the parliamentary constituency of Wayanad in Kerala on 4th April. Sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to accompany Rahul Gandhi for filing of his nomination.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (file pic) to accompany Congress President Rahul Gandhi to Wayanad in Kerala for filing of his nomination from the parliamentary constituency. pic.twitter.com/UhCuQpQhKb- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
4:10pm: Congress names Babi Bagkar as its candidate to contest by-election from Mandrem, Goa.
Congress names Babi Bagkar as its candidate to contest by-election from Mandrem (Goa) legislative assembly seat and Atal Shukla (UP) to contest by-election from Nighasan legislative assembly seat. pic.twitter.com/UgQMEPstuj- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
4:05pm: Arun Jaitley on Congress manifesto: It seems some points have been drafted by Congress president Rahil Gandhi's friends in the Tukde Tukde gang', like in the case of Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Finance Minister & BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Congress manifesto: Even though there was a drafting committee, but it appears that some of the important points have been drafted by the Congress President's friends in 'Tukde Tukde gang' when it deals with Jammu & Kashmir pic.twitter.com/2rE39uBOaC- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
4:00pm: EC has written to the President against Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh for violation of model code of conduct.
Election Commission has written to the President against Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh for violation of model code of conduct. He had said 'We all are BJP workers&we want BJP to emerge victorious. We want that once again Modi ji should become the PM' on 23rd March. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/22NPW7579a- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
3:55pm: Former Navy Chief Admiral L. Ramdas has written a letter to the Election Commission of India on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referring to the Indian Army as 'Modi ki sena' during a public rally in Ghaziabad on March 30, ANI has reported.
3:50pm: UP CM Yogi Adityanath slammed Congress party after it released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Congress manifesto: Iss chunaav mein Congress naetretavya ka ye jhuut dubara benaqab hoga aur janata zordaar jawab Congress aur uske sehyogi dalon ko degi. Unhone apne 55 varsho ki naakaami ko 55 page ke apne ghoshna patra ke maadhyam se vyakt kiya hai. pic.twitter.com/MhbXI9hDFT- ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 2, 2019
3:40pm: "In their recent manifesto, the Congress has proposed to tone down AFSPA in J&K. Do they want to demoralize the forces and their personnel?" said Amit Shah in Thoothukudi.
3:35pm: "In Pulwama, 40 soldiers were killed by Pakistan. Our forces crossed the borders and avenged the killing of our bravehearts. On the other hand, Congress and DMK leaders want us to engage in dialogue with Pakistan," said Amit Shah in Thoothukudi.
3:30pm: "I want to assure people that the next five years of our govt will be dedicated to the welfare of people like MGR and Jayalalithaa govts were," said Amit Shah in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.
3:20pm: The Congress promises to reduce the presence of the armed forces in the Kashmir valley in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
3:10pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released its Lok Sabha election manifesto that promises to "reverse the unwarranted and illegal interference by the BJP government" into the functioning of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
"Congress will respect the autonomy of the RBI in matters reserved to the RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939, including the formulation of monetary policy," said the manifesto.
3:00pm: The Congress has said that it will review all laws and revoke the laws which are outdated, unjust or restrict the freedom of people, ANI has reported.
2:50pm: MP CM Kamal Nath has said that I don't support the decision to remove security from RSS office in Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath: We can have ideological differences with RSS but I don't support the decision to remove security from outside their office in Bhopal, hence have directed officials to continue to deploy security at RSS office https://t.co/gVUdtVFHdV- ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
2:40pm: Congress promises to bring every Fortune 500 company to set up business in India.
2:30pm: Congress promises separate department to help startups and a simple GST format.
2:20pm: BSP Chief Mayawati in Bhubaneswar: "The way PM Modi's government implemented GST and demonetisation in haste, that affected small businesses. That also led to increase in unemployment. Congress was involved in Bofors and now BJP govt is involved in Rafale."
2:10pm: Rahul Gandhi promises NYAY scheme, jobs, farmer welfare, universal healthcare and quality education for all. Read the full story here.
1:45pm: Congress manifesto - healthcare: "Congress promises to enact the Right to Healthcare Act that will guarantee to every citizen the right to healthcare services, including free diagnostics, out-patient care, medicines and hospitalisation through a network of public hospitals and enlisted private hospitals. We will ensure that government expenditure on healthcare and education will be doubled to 3 per cent of GDP and 6 per cent of GDP respectively by 2023-24."
1:40pm: The Congress manifesto mentions that the party will "Omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (that defines the offence of 'sedition') that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws".
1:30pm: Congress manifesto - women reservation: "Congress will pass the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to provide for reservation of 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha. We will amend the Service Rules to reserve for women 33 per cent of appointments to posts in the Central Government."
1:25pm: Congress manifesto - economy: "To ensure that no Indian is left behind, Congress will provide a Minimum Income Support Programme (MISP) or Nyuntam Aay Yojana(NYAY) under which Rs 72,000 a year will be transferred to the poorest 20 per cent families in India. We will provide special respite to farmers and farm workers, not just through "Karz Maafi" or a loan waiver but by setting farmers on the path to "Karz Mukti", or Freedom from Indebtedness."
1:20pm: Speaking on why he is contesting from Kerala's Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi said, "They feel that they are not being included in the decisions of this country. So I wanted to send a message to south India that we are with you and we are standing with you. That is why I am standing from Kerala."
1:15pm: Congress manifesto - jobs: "Our pledge is jobs, jobs, jobs. Congress will fill all 4 lakh Central Government and institutional vacancies before March 2020, create an estimated 10 lakh seva mitra positions in every gram panchayat and urban local body, launch a 'Water Bodies Restoration Mission' and 'Wasteland Regeneration Mission' to create 1 crore jobs, exempt new businesses from applicable laws and regulations (except Minimum Wages Act and tax laws) for a period of 3 years, encourage State Governments to fill their vacancies, reward businesses for job creation, provide businesses with fiscal incentives for employing more women, and require businesses with over 100 employees to start an apprenticeship programme."
1:10pm: "The last 5 years have been disastrous for the people of India. The youth have lost jobs. Farmers have lost hope. Traders have lost business. Micro, small and medium enterprises have lost their confidence. Women have lost the sense of security. Deprived communities have lost their traditional rights. Institutions have lost independence," the manifesto reads.
1:07pm: "You will ask me but why don't you ask PM Modi why won't he address the media? Why don't you ask why won't he answer the questions of the public?" says Rahul Gandhi to a reporter.
1:04pm: Commenting on how BJP has been saying that implementing NYAY scheme won't be possible, Rahul Gandhi said, "It might be impossible for BJP. They said the same thing about MNREGA but it helped people of the country. It is impossible for BJP but it is possible for Congress and we will do it."
1:00pm: "Believe in me, I don't lie. I won't promise Rs 15 lakh but I will promise Rs 72,000," says PM Modi.
12:55pm: "Party promises saral, simple tax," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:53pm: "We will also work to bring the country together. The BJP government has only worked to disrupt peace in the country, you can see for yourself in J&K. We will also work on the national security," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:51pm: "Then there is education and healthcare. Six percent of GDP will be reserved for education. We want everyone to have the best healthcare there is," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:50pm: "If farmers cannot replay their loans then we want to make it a civil offence and not a criminal one like it is today," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:48pm: "For farmers, there should be a separate farmers budget, like we had for railways. Everything should be clear and transparent," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:46pm: "Then there are the ideas of employment and farmers. There are no jobs in the country. I told the committtee that if we can't give 2 crore jobs then tell me the truth, we will tell the citizens the truth. Truth is 22 lakh vacant government jobs," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:44pm: "There are five big ideas and themes in the manifesto. The first is NYAY sceme," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:40pm: "This manifesto is a massive step for the Congress party. The committee has done a very good job and I thank them for it," says Rahul Gandhi.
12:32pm: "We will release a forward-looking document that sums up the aspirations of the people of India," says former PM Manmohan Singh.
12:30pm: "The manifesto keeps in mind two things - wealth and welfare. We will bring wealth and guarantee welfare," says P Chidambaram.
12: 25pm: "Contents of the manifesto in my view is the millions of voices we heard in the process," says former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Chidambaram is also the President of the manifesto committee.
12:15pm: Congress leaders arrive at the manifesto release event in Delhi.
12:13pm: We identified 8 crore fake people who were availing subsidies and looting public money: PM Modi in Kalahandi.
12:09pm: "Parties like Congress and BJD have conspired to keep the poor poor. They have betrayed them. People have been forced to migrate to other states for livelihood," said PM Modi in Kalahandi.
12:04pm: More than 400 Eklavaya model schools have been opened for the children of tribal communities: PM Modi in Kalahandi.
12:00pm: "If BJP had formed govt here, the work in Odisha would've been done much faster, better and at a bigger scale. Despite no cooperation from the state govt, we did our best to bring about the change in your lives," said PM Modi in Kalahandi.
11:57am: Congress ally Jaydeep Kawade said, "Smriti Irani sits next to Nitin Gadkari in the Parliament and says that they will change the Constitution. Let me tell you something about her. I have heard that those women who have bigger bindi on their foreheads, change their husbands quite frequently."
11:55am: In the last five years, 8 lakh poor families have been given houses in Odisha. More than 24 lakh free electricity connections have been given. After 70 years of independence, for the first time electricity was provided to 3,000 villages in India: PM Modi in Kalahandi.
11:50am: "Without taking a single leave in last five years, I have worked diligently to bring about transformation in the country. It was possible because people supported me. The credit for the transformation in the country goes to the people of the country," said PM Modi in Kalahandi.
11:45am: PM Modi addresses public meeting at Odisha's Kalahandi.
11:15am: Congress has released a list of 9 candidates for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 - 1 from Gujarat, 2 from Maharashtra and 6 from Rajasthan.
आगामी लोकसभा चुनावों के लिये आज केंद्रीय चुनाव समिति ने राजस्थान की 6 सीटों पर उम्मीदवारों की घोषणा कर दी है।— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) April 2, 2019
मैं आप सबको शुभकामनाएँ देता हूँ। pic.twitter.com/PbZh5ZA8wU
11:05am: The district election officer of Mumbai has issued a notice to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for alleged violation of the model code of conduct over his comments against CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar. Raut, who is the editor of Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', said in the publication on Sunday that Kumar should be defeated in the elections even if it means the BJP has to "tamper with EVMs".
11:00am: "When we will come to power, we will initiate an inquiry into Rafale deal on the first day and we have included this in the manifesto," said Bhalchandra Mungekar, member of Congress' manifesto committee.
10:50am: Supreme Court declines urgent hearing of Patidar leader Hardik Patel's plea seeking a suspension of his conviction in a 2015 case relating to rioting, so that he can contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "The order was passed in August 2018. What is the urgency now?" the bench said while refusing to accord urgent hearing on the petition. Patel, 25, had started preparations to contest from Jamnagar on a Congress ticket after joining the party on March 12 and the last date for filing of nominations is April 4.
10:40am: Former Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas said he would approach the Election Commission against UP CM Yogi Adityanath's comment on Indian Army. The CM called the Indian Army 'Modi ji ka sena'. "The armed forces do not belong to any one individual, they serve the country. Till the polls get over, the Chief Election Commissioner is the boss. I am going to approach the Election Commission in this regard," Admiral Ramdas said.
10:30am: BSP chief Mayawati said that it was the will of the people while justifying expenses in installations of her statues and of elephants in Uttar Pradesh.
10:15am: BSP MLA Maulana Jameel joined the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Talking to reporters in Muzaffarnagar, Jameel said he left the Mayawati-led outfit as he felt only Congress could defeat the BJP in the coming elections.
10:10am: Arvind Panagariya, former Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog on NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana): If you are giving Rs 72,000 per annum to 5 crore families then there will be an expense of Rs 3.6 Lakh Crore - this is 13% of the total budget of central govt. No one has given details of how Rs 3.6 Lakh crore will be arranged for the implementation of the scheme. It's more than our defence budget. Fiscal situation is always tight, it's almost impossible to take out 13% of the budget.
10:00am: "My campaigns across Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been overwhelming. NDA's solid track record and development agenda has connected with people. Votebank politics and failed promises of the Opposition has repulsed India," tweeted Narendra Modi.
9:45am: Congress on Monday fielded Olympian discus thrower Krishna Poonia from the Jaipur Rural constituency as it released another list of nine candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. She will contest against Union Information and Broadcasting Minister and Olympic medallist Rajyavardhan Rathore, who is the Jaipur Rural MP.
Read the full story here: Congress fields Krishna Poonia against Rajyavardhan Rathore from Jaipur Rural
9:38am: In an attempt to urge people to vote in the upcoming elections, Coimbatore-based miniature artist Raja has carved 18 election party symbols in one gram silver and 300 milligram gold.
Tamil Nadu: Urging people to vote in upcoming elections, Coimbatore-based miniature artist Raja has carved 18 election party symbols in one gram silver & 300 milligram gold in a miniature EVM, & a compass & a pencil in which a person raises his hands with the black ink-mark. pic.twitter.com/9VRqTsXBFu— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2019
9:35am: Electoral Officers of West Tripura constituency took part in a one-day technical training on the Commissioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) on Monday.
Agartala: Electoral Officers of West Tripura constituency took part in a one-day technical training on the Commissioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) & Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) yesterday. #LokSabhaElections2019pic.twitter.com/3ITZ8tFVBo— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2019
9:30am: In a press statement, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said that the PM Modi's comments on Rahul Gandhi's nomination from Wayanad are a "disgrance to the high office of Prime Minister". "Without understanding the cultural legacy and demography of Wayanad, the PM was making a communal and diviisive statement," Venugopal said.