Days ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, two of India's biggest parties - Congress and BJP - have organised multiple rallies and road shows. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing rallies in three states, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra, while BJP chief Amit Shah went and addressed a rally in Mamata Banerjee's home turf, West Bengal. Not to be outdone, the Gandhi siblings have also set out to test their might. Rahul Gandhi is addressing rallies and road shows in Haryana, while Priyanka Gandhi has taken on Ayodhya.
Needless to say, scathing attacks have been launched from both sides in these high-octane rallies. The Prime Minister at his rally in Odisha said that it is now time to give a befitting reply to people who insult the capabilities of our scientists and armed forces. He criticised Congress and BJD for having ample time to develop the state but failing to do so. In Telangana, he accused the state government of not letting the people enjoy the services of the Ayushman scheme. He also added that before 2014 only 40% of the population there had toilets, while now every household has.Rahul Gandhi criticised the Prime Minister at a rally in Haryana for helping people like Nirav Modi, while neglecting the youth of the country. Joining in, Priyanka Gandhi attacked the Prime Minister for his disconnect with the people of Varanasi at a rally in Ayodhya.
6:45pm: BJP has released another list of 11 candidates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
6:11pm: BJP president Amit Shah would be accompanied by Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray during his nomination filing for the Gandhinagar constituency in Gujarat to show the strength of the NDA alliance. Reports suggest that Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Prakash Singh Badal will join them.
6:05pm: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has released a list of 18 candidates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
5:30pm: A case has been lodged against Kanhaiya Kumar over violation of model code of conduct violation. The case was filed after Kanhaiya held a public meeting in Begusarai allegedly without prior permission.
5:15pm: Your vote will ensure the double engine for the development of Andhra Pradesh - BJP govt in the state and BJP govt at the centre, Narendra Modi said at his election campaign in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
PM Narendra Modi in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh: Your vote will ensure the double engine for the development of Andhra Pradesh - BJP govt in the state and BJP govt at the centre. https://t.co/a6Cwcjzti1— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
4:05pm: BJP's Sambit Patra files his nomination for Puri Lok Sabha Constituency.
4:00pm: TDP suspends its 9 rebel members who filed nominations after not getting tickets from the party- KPRK Phaneeswari, K Srinivasa Rao, Kantamaneni Ravi Shankar, M Madhava Reddy, Bommanacheruvu Sriramulu, N Vijaya Jyothi, A Raja Gopal Reddy, Sarva Srinivasarao, N Viswanadha Reddy, reported ANI.
3:55pm: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar begins her election campaign.
Mumbai: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar begins her election campaign. She had joined Congress party recently and will contest from Mumbai North parliamentary constituency. #LokSabhaElections2019pic.twitter.com/oDAnrKbDpv— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
3:50pm: "These days there is a new slogan going around - Chowkidar Chor Hai. In 2014, Modi ji said don't make me the Prime Minister, make me Chowkidar. Now he is saying you all become Chowkidar," said Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Haryana.
3:45pm: "Modi ji has given the keys of the banks away to people like Anil Ambani and Nirav Modi. We will get those keys and them over to the youth of the country. Youth who aspire to be entrepreneurs will be exempted from seeking permission for the first 3 years," said Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Haryana.
3:40pm: "In 2009, we had promised to waive off Rs 72,000 crore worth farm loans in the country and fulfilled that promise. Similarly, 20% of India's poorest families will receive Rs 72,000 as promised," said Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Haryana.
3:30pm: "Before 2014, around 40% of the population of the country didn't have access to toilets. Now, around every house has a toilet which has provided dignity to the mothers and sisters,"said PM Modi at a rally in Telangana.
3:26pm: "Ayushman yojana is providing free healthcare services to the poor of the country. However, the state govt isn't allowing it to reach to the people of this state," said PM Modi in Telangana
3:25pm: "On one hand, you've people who have neglected this region and on the other, you have Chowkidar who stands for the people," said PM Modi in Mahabubnagar.
3:20pm: "At the suggestions of an astrologer, no work was done in the state. If the state elections were held with general elections, it would've spared the state from extra burden that the state has to now bear. They were well aware that they can't win if both elections are held together. Who is going to decide the fate of the state? The people of Telangana or an astrologer?" said PM Modi in Telangana.
3:18pm: "Terrorism is now confined to J&K. You no longer hear of news of bomb explosions as it was five years ago. The noose has been tightened on the supporters of the terrorists. We go across the border and annihilate the hotbeds of terrorists. This new identity of India gives energy to New India," said PM Modi in Telangana's Mahabubnagar.
3:16pm: "In the elections, you aren't going to elect an MP, you are going to vote for a new India," said PM Modi in Mahabubnagar.
3:15pm: "For five years, I've worked honestly and religiously to ease life of common people," said PM Modi at a rally in Telangana's Mahabubnagar.
3:07pm: Modi said that the Telegana government held separate elections for state assembly and Lok Sabhato avoid defeat.
3:00pm: Barring a small region in India, bomb explosions have become a thing of the past, Narendra Modi said during his rally at Mahabubnagar, Telangana.
2:47pm: We will help the youth of the country to become entrepreneurs and open the doors of the banks to them, Rahul Gandhi said.
2:45pm: Congress party will give you a simple GST with a single tax slab, Rahul Gandhi said.
2:43pm: "We have promised to waive farm loans in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, we did it in two days. We promised to bring MNREGA, we brought it. Now we are promising Rs 72,000 every year and we will do it. It will be done in a phased manner. Deserving beneficiaries will be identified," Gandhi said.
2:39pm: Indian government can provide minimum basic income to the people for five years, Rahul Gandhi said.
2:38pm: NYAY has shaken the Prime Minister, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said at his rally in Yamunanagar, Haryana.
2:25pm: "I asked people if PM visits villages in Varanasi, I got reply, "He does not visit". I was surprised because his publicity is such that I thought he must have been doing something. He visited whole world and hugged everyone, but didn't hug his own people," said Priyanka Gandhi in Ayodhya.
2:20pm: "Mamata didi is spreading lies stating that refugees will be forced to leave India. Let me assure refugees belonging to Sikh, Budhha and Hindu religion that they will not be removed and are safe here," Amit Shah in Alipurduar.
2:15pm: "Gone are the days when TMC and Communists prevented people from voting. BJP karyakartas will ensure that people are able to exercise their right to vote," said Amit Shah in Alipurduar.
2:11pm: "In panchayat polls, Mamata didi envisaged people's discontent and 37% electorates were not allowed to vote. Around 80 BJP karyakartas were killed. I can assure that this time, TMC will lose," said Amit Shah in Alipurduar.
2:09pm: "Bengal govt provides monthly allowance to Imams, but not to the Priests. Mamata has imposed urdu language in schools. Mamata didi govt allocated Rs 4,000 crore to madarsas. However, the budget of higher education is less than that," said Amit Shah in Alipurduar.
2:04pm: "TMC is bound to lose in the upcoming elections. It has destroyed the culture and heritage of West Bengal. Mamata didi, your time is up. No one will stop people of Bengal from performing pooja during Durga pooja," said Amit Shah in Alipurduar.
2:01pm: Congress releases list of 5 candidates - 4 in Assam and 1 in Uttar Pradesh - for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
Congress releases list of 5 candidates (4 Assam & 1 Uttar Pradesh) for the upcoming #LokSabhaElections2019 Ashok Dohare who joined the party earlier today, to contest from Etawah parliamentary constituency. pic.twitter.com/p4pzHx2ecv— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
1:59pm: BJP chief addresses a rally in Alipurduar, West Bengal. "This is an election for the existence of Bengal. Democracy has been smothered in Bengal," said Shah.
1:56pm: Priyanka Gandhi interacts with locals in Kumarganj, UP. She is on her way to Ayodhya.
Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with locals during a 'chaupal' in Kumarganj. She is on her way to Ayodhya. pic.twitter.com/83Xy1fu0FF— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 29, 2019
1:45pm: Rahul Gandhi arrives in Haryana's Yamuna Nagar.
1:30pm: Election Commission gives clean chit to Prime Minister Modi on his Mission Shakti speech.
1:26pm: BJP releases 12th list of 11 candidates in Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan for Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
1:08pm: Ministry of Railways on viral picture of tea being served in Shatabdi train in 'Main bhi Chowkidar' cups: It happened today but immediately glasses were withdrawn. Penal action is being taken against the contractor. Action is also being taken against the supervisor.
1:02pm: Congress MP from Tumkur says he has no plans of taking back nomination.
Congress MP from Tumkur, Muddahanumegowda on JDS to contest from Tumkur: I've no plans to take back my nomination. Rahul ji & other leaders spoke to me & asked me to reconsider this decision but if my workers insist that I should contest then I should act as per them. #Karnatakapic.twitter.com/awciovKVsi— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
1:01pm: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley commented on the Samjhauta Blast case and said, "Congress coined 'Hindu terror' and filed cases based on fake evidence to create this theory but in the end court has to take decision. Perhaps because of this, those who considered Hindus as terrorists are now trying to prove their devotion towards religion."
12:54pm: Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora welcomes Urmila Matondkar.
I welcome Urmila Matondkar's nomination as the Congress candidate for Mumbai North!— Milind Deora (@milinddeora) March 29, 2019
Urmila will be a powerful voice for freedom of speech and expression in Parliament. We need artistes who will fight back against hate, against fear, against censorship.
12:48pm: Talking about the NYAY scheme, Rahul Gandhi said, "We're not going to do it the way GST was done. We are first going to run a short pilot project to smoothen out any flaws in the implementation process and then roll it out nationwide. We're also going to set down a robust way of identifying the beneficiaries, so that no deserving family is left out."
12:45pm: Taking a jibe at PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi said, "We're not rash. We don't take steps like demonetisation and GST without consultations, without conferring with the experts. We have vetted this, tested this, and fiscally NYAY as a scheme is completely doable ."
12:43pm: "There is another aspect to calling the scheme NYAY. Why have we chosen to call this scheme 'justice'? Because over the last five years, Mr Narendra Modi has simply snatched from poor and given nothing back. He has taken away from the farmers, he has snatched from the small and medium businesses, he's taken away from the unemployed youth, he has extinguished the savings of mothers and sisters of this country. We want to return to India's deprived sections what Modiji has snatched from them," Gandhi said in the interview.
12:40pm: In an interview to PTI, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that he will remonetise what has been demonetised by the Prime Minister. "What the PM has done over the past five years is to remove all money from the economy with failed policies like demonetisation and a poorly executed Gabbar Singh Tax (GST). Informal sectors have been badly hit. The aim of the NYAY scheme is two-fold. First is to guarantee a minimum income to the bottom 20 per cent families. The second is to remonetise the economy that has been demonetised by Modiji," Gandhi said.
12:34pm: Voter awareness campaign express flagged off from New Delhi station:
12:18pm: On the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019, PM Modi said, "There are three points we are sure of- 1. We will come in full majority; 2. NDA and BJP will come in power in more seats; 3. As a responsible citizen, and as a prime minister for the past 5 years, I would say I want to work with whoever becomes victorious. In politics, everyone must work together. The people of this country suffered for 30 years but enjoyed in the past 5 years which makes me confident of the upcoming polls."
12:15pm: On the Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign, he said, "I've been the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat. Yes, I'm a chaiwala and my past was never spoken about during my tenure as chief minister. But when I was elected as the Prime Minister, they started raising these issues while I proudly said that I was a chaiwala. As far as Chowkidar is concerned, it is a word I used for myself during 2011-2012 poll campaign too. Mahatma Gandhi also during his time had qualities of being a Chowkidar, not literally but in the spirit to ensure safety and security of the country."
12:11pm: On Pakistan, he said, "Pakistan has constantly tried to assure that they will take action, but we hardly see anything happening from their end. So I've stopped responding to their assurances. Regarding the 26/11 attacks, we had given them a detailed dossier, but there was no response again. When PM Khan was elected, I congratulated him and I've taken steps for cordial talks but where is the action? It's good that PM Khan is doing good things for his citizens, but what is necessary right now is for Pakistan to come out of terrorism."
12:08pm: In an interview to Republic Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there is no contest in 2019. "Whatever we have been able to successfully execute in the past 5 years, it is because of the trust Indians place in us. We came into power with a sweeping majority, which shows the consent of the people and as of what I understand of politics, people have understood what Modi can do for them, what are the changes our government can bring in, how BJP can help the country progress. There are some spheres where India feels we lack, but we are sure that Indians won't let us down," he said.
12:05pm: Bihar mahagathbandhan releases seat-sharing agreement for 40 Lok Sabha seats.
Bihar mahagathbandhan releases seat-sharing agreement for 40 Lok Sabha seats. RJD to contest on 19 seats, Congress on 9 seats, RLSP on 5 seats, HAM(S) on 3 seats, VIP on 3 seats and CPI(ML) on 1 seat. pic.twitter.com/leJ9DhHUGS— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
12:04pm: Out of Rs. 6,500 crore accumulated under District Mineral Fund, Odisha govt has only spent Rs. 1,000 crore for the poor tribals: PM Modi at Koraput.
12:03pm: PM Kisan Yojana is providing financial assistance to the farmers. However, Odisha govt hasn't provided us with the list of eligible farmers: PM Modi.
12:01pm: In India, 1.5 lakh wellness centres are being built, mothers and infants are being vaccinated. However, people of Odisha aren't able to make the most of them. Odisha government refused to be part of Ayushman Yojana and thus deprived the poor of their right for quality healthcare: PM Modi at Koraput.
12:00pm: Odisha is rich in natural resources but people are poor. This situation proves that the Congress and BJD have failed to develop Odisha: PM Modi at Koraput.
11:59am: Can those who are involved in Chit fund scam make Odisha strong? Can those who are working with mining mafia and deprived tribals of their rights and resources make Odisha strong?: PM Modi.
11:58am: This is the right time to punish the Congress and BJD who were given ample time in Odisha to develop the region. However, they have failed miserably: PM Modi.
11:57am: It's about time to give an apt answer to people who are insulting the capabilities of our scientists and the armed forces: PM Modi at Koraput.
11:56am: Odisha became a witness of a historic moment that showed the world India's capability. India can now keep an eye in the space, too: PM Modi, Koraput.
11:52am: At a rally in Odisha's Koraput, the Prime Minister said that he has tried to fulfil every promise made in 2014. "It's because of unflinching support of people that I was able to carry out welfare work for the people of the country," says Modi.
11:50am: TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) gets 'gift pack' as common symbol for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and state assembly bye-elections.
11:45am: Senior Congress leader Manikrao Gavit's son, Bharat, on being denied a ticket: These elections are very important for our family. If we don't contest and win, our politics will be over. Congress didn't give us a ticket for Lok Sabha elections, it's disappointing," as mentioned in ANI.
11:43am: "It has been a month and Pakistan is still counting bodies. When India takes action against terrorists, enters their home and kills them, then are some people here who ask for proof," says PM Modi talking about the Balakot air strike.
11:40am: BJP MP Ashok Kumar Dohre joins Congress.
Sitting BJP MP from UP's Etawah,Ashok Kumar Dohre joins Congress in presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi pic.twitter.com/CXgY9mscpH— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
11:37am: "RJD to contest on 19 seats including Bhagalpur, Banka, Madhyapura, and Darbhanga. RLSP to contest on 5 seats, Congress to contest on 9 seats including Patna Sahib," Tejaswi Yadav.
11:35am: Congress releases list of 4 candidates from Bihar, 7 from Odisha and 1 from Uttar Pradesh.
Congress releases a list of 4 candidates from Bihar, 7 from Odisha and 1 from Uttar Pradesh. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to contest from Sasaram(Bihar). Supriya Shrinate from UP's Maharajganj(replacing Tanushree Tripathi) pic.twitter.com/bVM1ADOVwp— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
11:32am: DMK chief MK Stalin tells India Today, "I don't think there could be such a scenario where the coalition will be lead by another leader. If such a situation arises, I would put forward my views."
11:31am: Urmila Matondkar joins Congress.
11:30am: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi reaches Amethi.
Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meets supporters in Amethi. She is on her way to Ayodhya. pic.twitter.com/hFK0PDqIvI— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 29, 2019