Following their dismal performance in Lok Sabha Elections 2019, uncertainty looms over the Congress party as chief Rahul Gandhi remains insistent on stepping aside. According to a report in India Today, Congress leaders have persuaded Rahul Gandhi to stay as party president for the next 3-4 month. Gandhi has been reportedly authorised to make structural changes and rejig the organisation to strengthen the party.
Separately, Modi is likely to be sworn-in as the Prime Minister on May 30. As per reports, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba may be appointed as next Cabinet Secretary, replacing P K Sinha, whose four year tenure comes to an end on June 12.
Follow the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 LIVE blog here:
7:05pm: BSP leader Haji Ahsan, nephew shot dead in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor
Bijnor: BSP leader Haji Ahsan and his nephew Shadab were shot dead at around 3 pm by unidentified assailants. Addl, SP says,'Unidentified assailants shot at him while he was at his office with his nephew around 3 pm. Prima facie it appears to be a case of enmity; probe on. pic.twitter.com/g0y78w9Bsb— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 28, 2019
7:00pm: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to attend PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony on May 30.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on PM Modi's oath taking ceremony: I have spoken to other Chief Ministers also. Since it is a ceremonial program we thought of attending it.Yes I will go pic.twitter.com/qbgIomrvCL— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
4:43pm: Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee has released a statement appealing to Congress President Rahul Gandhi to take back his resignation.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee has released a statement appealing to Congress President Rahul Gandhi to take back his resignation. pic.twitter.com/4CISFmVcpT— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
4:34pm: TMC MLAs Subhranshu Roy, Tusharkanti Bhattacharjee and CPM MLA Devendra Roy joined BJP today. Subhranshu is the son of BJP leader Mukul Roy and had been suspended by TMC recently.
4:16pm: Two TMC MLAs and one CPM MLA from West Bengal join the Bharatiya Janata Party its headquarters in Delhi. More than 50 Councillors also join BJP.
Two TMC MLAs and one CPM MLA from West Bengal join BJP at party headquarters in Delhi. More than 50 Councillors also join BJP pic.twitter.com/9cJ0gTn9FC— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP National General Secretary on 3 MLAs and more than 50 Councillors from WB joining BJP: Like the elections were held in seven phases in West Bengal, joinings in BJP will also happen in seven phases. Today was just the first phase. pic.twitter.com/YbYEYK2KwU— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
4:04pm: Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP National General Secretary: "Three MLAs and 50-60 Councillors are joining BJP today. Such joinings will continue in future also."
4:02pm: Sixteen TMC Councillors of the Kanchrapara Municipality collectively withdraw from AITC Councillor' Party.
West Bengal: 16 TMC Councillors of the Kanchrapara Municipality collectively withdraw from AITC Councillor' Party. Subhrangshu Roy, son of BJP leader Mukul Roy also withdraws his membership. pic.twitter.com/h2F9wZf4SN— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
3:38pm: Backing the continuation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president, senior party leader M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday termed the Lok Sabha election setback for the grand old party as a "passing phase". The former Union minister said the outcome of one or two elections could not be a pointer to the future prospects of the party, which had seen many ups and downs in its long history.
Describing Gandhi as the "inspiration" for the party, Moily said it was not appropriate for him to quit as the Congress chief.
"Just because (Narendra) Modi has won...that is not a criteria to leave the presidentship. After all, ups and downs are common for the Congress party. We have seen them many a time," he told PTI.
Recalling that the Congress had secured more than 400 seats in the 1984 Lok Sabha election, Moily said, "...the future prospects of the Congress cannot be decided in one Lok Sabha election or one or two Assembly polls." "The BJP, after all, can play a game for some time, but it cannot play a sustained game in the politics of this country," the former Karnataka chief minister claimed.
Stating that Gandhi should not insist on his resignation, he said he should "continue to guide the destiny of the party and the nation".
"Apart from legacy, on his own personality, he is the most competent person to lead the party," Moily said.
3:36pm: DMK President MK Stalin to attend Andhra Pradesh CM designate Jagan Mohan Reddy's swearing in ceremony on 30th May.
3:34pm: DMK President MK Stalin had a telephonic conversation with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and requested him not to step down from presidential post. Rahul Gandhi congratulated Stalin for DMK-Congress Alliance victory in Tamil Nadu. Sonia Gandhi too congratulated Stalin: ANI.
3:27pm: Describing May 23, when the BJP rode back to power with a massive mandate, as a 'historic' day, yoga guru Ramdev on Monday said it should be celebrated either as 'Modi Diwas or public welfare day'. "May 23 is a historic day. It should be celebrated either as Modi Diwas or Jan Kalyan Diwas (public welfare day)," Ramdev told reporters in Haridwar.
3:15pm: A PIL was moved in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking directions to the Centre to implement population control measures on the ground that population explosion was the root cause behind rise in crimes, pollution and dearth of resources and jobs in the country.
The petition by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is also a lawyer, has sought implementation of recommendations for population control made by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) headed by Justice Venkatchaliah.
"The NCRWC, after making immense efforts for two years and elaborate discussion, had suggested addition of Article 47A in the Constitution and formulation of Population Control Law.
"Till now the Constitution has been amended 125 times, hundreds of new laws have been enacted, but population control law, utterly required for country, is not made, though it will curtail more than 50 per cent problems of India," the petition said.
2:45pm: A special session of the Goa Legislative Assembly would be held here on June 4 to elect new Speaker, acting Speaker Michael Lobo said Tuesday.
The post of Speaker has been lying vacant since Pramod Sawant was sworn in as Chief Minister in March, following the death of the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Lobo, who is the deputy speaker, has been officiating as Speaker. Lobo ruled himself out of the race for new Speaker.
Responding to a query, Lobo said the final order on a disqualification petition filed against BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane might be pronounced before June 4.
"The arguments in the disqualification petition are over and final order is ready. We have sent the order for legal opinion. Once we get legal opinion, it can be pronounced any time," he said.
2:15pm: BJP ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has passed a resolution, recommending its President Ram Vilas Paswan as party representative in Modi government
2:10pm: YS Jaganmohan Reddy has invited outgoing Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu for swearing-in ceremony, scheduled on May 30th in Vijayawada.
2:05pm: "Rahul Gandhi is the best person to lead party, too premature to write obituary of Congress," says Shashi Tharoor.
1:58pm: Gyandev Ahuja, BJP Rajasthan Vice President said, "I am not an official party spokesperson but I have heard that the BSP MLAs here are unhappy and so are 20-25 Congress MLAs. I don't want to comment further on this."
1:50pm: "There was nothing wrong for the regional parties to bargain for more seats but they should not have done the strategic blunder of not projecting someone who has a national perspective as the Prime Minister candidate," said Lalu Prasad Yadav who felt that the Opposition should have collectively projected Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate.
1:30pm: "I think he tried very hard. But you can see the results," said Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik when asked about Rahul Gandhi's leadership, in an interview by The Economic Times.
1:02pm: Pakistan has tried to downplay India's decision not to invite Imran Khan for Narendra Modi's swearing-in on Thursday, claiming that the Indian Prime Minister's "internal politics" does not permit him to extend an invitation to his Pakistani counterpart.
The government on Monday announced in New Delhi that it has invited leaders from BIMSTEC countries to Prime Minister Modi's inauguration, leaving out Pakistan, which is not a member of the regional grouping. The BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
Reacting to reports that India has not invited Pakistan Prime Minister Khan to Prime Minister Modi's inauguration, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said a meeting for the sake of dialogue to find a solution to the Kashmir issue, as well as Siachen and Sir Creek disputes, would have been a significant measure instead of attending the swearing-in ceremony.
"His (Prime Minister Modi's) entire focus (during the election campaign) was on Pakistan-bashing. It was unwise to expect that he can get rid of this narrative (soon)," Qureshi was quoted as saying by Dawn news. "India's internal politics did not permit him to extend an invitation," he said.
12:45pm: Six BSP MLAs in Rajasthan will meet party chief Mayawati in Delhi on June 1 during which the party's performance in the Lok Sabha polls in the state will be reviewed, a legislator said on Tuesday. BSP MLA Wajib Ali told PTI that the party's support to the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government would continue.
"There is no agenda of withdrawing support from the government, rather we will discuss how efficiently we can work with the government here," he said.
"We will discuss the party's performance in the Lok Sabha elections in the state. Future strategy will also be discussed in the meeting," the MLA added.
The six BSP MLAs were scheduled to meet Governor Kalyan Singh here on Monday but the meeting was cancelled at the last moment.
Ali said that based on the discussions with the party chief, a decision would be taken regarding the meeting with the governor.
In the house of 200 MLAs, the Congress has 100 and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has one. Besides the BSP, which has 6 MLAs, the Congress has the support of 12 out of total 13 independent MLAs.
12:41pm: JP leaders LK Advani and Sumitra Mahajan pay tribute to Veer Savarkar.
Delhi: BJP leaders LK Advani and Sumitra Mahajan pay tribute to Veer Savarkar on his birth anniversary, at the Parliament. pic.twitter.com/lL5zAwYkLo— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
12:40pm: TMC councillors join BJP.
Ruby Chatterjee, TMC councillor from Garifa (West Bengal), ward no 6 says, "20 councillors are here in Delhi. We are not upset with Mamata ji but the recent victory of BJP in Bengal has influenced us to join the party. People are liking BJP as they are working for them." pic.twitter.com/qpYCCmS4HF— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
12:38pm: Talking about Rahul Gandhi's possible resignation, Rajinikanth said, "He should not resign. He should prove he can do it. In democracy the opposition should also be strong."
12:35pm: "This victory is a victory for Modi. He is a charismatic leader. In India after JL Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi he is now a charismatic leader. I will be going for the swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi ji," said superstar Rajinikanth.
12:29pm: "He is a statesman who has made an indelible contribution to our nation," said PM Modi about former President Pranab Mukherjee.
Meeting Pranab Da is always an enriching experience. His knowledge and insights are unparalleled. He is a statesman who has made an indelible contribution to our nation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 28, 2019
Sought his blessings during our meeting today. pic.twitter.com/dxFj6NPNd5
12:28pm: Former Karnataka CM & BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa in Bengaluru: "We oppose FIR against Vishweshwar Bhat (editor of Kannada daily, Vishwavani). JD(S) is trying to curtail freedom of expression."
He also said, "We have won 25 out of 28 seats in Karnataka. It is a historic win. It is better if the government is dissolved and mid-term polls are held. No BJP MLA is in touch with Congress or JD(S)."
12:20pm: "I never expected such a big loss to the Congress party. In a way let's all sit together and work out. I have just arrived,I have to meet my party leaders and committee. Congress can't be wiped out and Gandhi family has been protecting the party in all crisis," said DK Shivakumar, Karnataka Minister.
12:06pm: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot arrives at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Delhi: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot arrives at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Sachin Pilot are also present there. pic.twitter.com/fylvxe3qtc— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
11:55am: Alpesh Thakor, Gujarat MLA, said "My people are poor and backward. They need support of govt. I was disturbed that I couldn't give that to my people what I had intended to. My org voiced their opinion that we need not be there where we don't have respect and there's no talk of their rights."
11:50am: "Baba Ramdev's statement on population control should be seen in a positive light. Population control laws are necessary for the development of the country," said Begusarai BJP MP Giriraj Singh.
11:45am: Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot arrives at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Delhi: Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot arrives at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. pic.twitter.com/TA6leEblcT— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
11:30am: Newly elected DMK MLAs take oath at the state secretariat.
Chennai: Newly elected DMK MLAs take oath at the state secretariat; DMK President MK Stalin also present. pic.twitter.com/EnWczjjEs0— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
11:10am: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Randeep Singh Surjewala arrive at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Delhi: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Randeep Singh Surjewala arrive at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. pic.twitter.com/WXmvlPMJv0— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
11:00am: Pandaveswar TMC MLA Jitendra Tiwari alleges BJP worker vandalised TMC office in Durgapur yesterday.
West Bengal: Pandaveswar TMC MLA Jitendra Tiwari alleges BJP worker vandalised TMC office in Durgapur y'day, says, "BJP is doing tandav in Bengal. If BJP doesn't stop its workers,we'll retaliate,we won't sit silent'.You've won in Bengal but you can't break a TMC office." (27 May) pic.twitter.com/y9oIRyHuAO— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
10:50am: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi will attend the May 30 swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister for the second term.
An official source said Bedi left for Delhi on Tuesday. The Lt Governor will in the meanwhile complete three years in office on Wednesday, but will not be in the union territory because of her visit to Delhi.
She has been at loggerheads with Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his government on various administrative issues ever since she assumed office in May 29 2016.
10:35am: Three more Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs have sent in their resignations to Rahul Gandhi. Assam PCC chief Ripun Bora, Jharkhan PCC chief Ajoy Kumar and Punjab PCC chief Sunil Jakhar are the new names on the list. Maharashtra unit chief Ashok Chavan, Odisha PCC Niranjan Patnaik and UP unit chief Raj Babbar had sent in their resignations earlier.
10:24am: Talking about the election results in UP, SP leader Azam Khan told Economic Times in an interview: "I am unable to understand what happened... kuch baat samajh mein nahi aati, kya hua kuch akal kaam nahi kar rahi hai (my brain is unable to comprehend this). Did a change come in the mind of the voters so silently, that they all changed camp? This has never happened before. Neither was there any atmosphere in BJP's favour in UP nor any public wave. Simply, we are stunned."
10:18am: "BIMSTEC member states have been invited by the government for the swearing-in ceremony. This is in line with the Government's focus on its 'Neighbourhood First' policy," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Apart from India, the BIMSTEC countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
10:11am: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba may be appointed as next Cabinet Secretary, replacing P K Sinha, whose four year tenure comes to an end on June 12, officials said on Monday. Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, B V R Subrahmanyam, a 1987 batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, seems to be the top contender for the post of union home secretary after Gauba.
Gauba, one of the senior most bureaucrats, had served in various capacities in central government as well as in Jharkhand and Bihar governments, is supposed to complete his two-year tenure as home secretary on August 31.
There is all likelihood that Gauba will be the next Cabinet Secretary, the top post in the country's bureaucracy, an official privy to the development said.
If Gauba, a 1982 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS officer, is appointed as cabinet secretary, he will have a fixed two-year tenure, which can be extendable for further two years.
10:06am: Modi pays tribute to Veer Savarkar.
We bow to Veer Savarkar on his Jayanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 28, 2019
Veer Savarkar epitomises courage, patriotism and unflinching commitment to a strong India.
He inspired many people to devote themselves towards nation building. pic.twitter.com/k1rmFHz250
10:04am: "I just know who won and who lost. I don't have further details. Usually I get messages, I don't know anything further. I'm just following Gandhi ji's theory 'Don't hear bad, don't speak bad and don't see bad'," said Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar in Benagluru.
10:00am: A bomb was hurled at the 'Vijay Rally' of BJP supporters, allegedly by TMC supporters, in West Bengal's Birbhum under Mayureswar police station limits yesterday.
West Bengal: A bomb was hurled at the 'Vijay Rally' of BJP supporters, allegedly by TMC supporters, in Birbhum under Mayureswar police station limits yesterday. Police say no injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/6MJAHGO0vv
West Bengal: A bomb was hurled at the 'Vijay Rally' of BJP supporters, allegedly by TMC supporters, in Birbhum under Mayureswar police station limits yesterday. Police say no injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/6MJAHGO0vv— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
9:50am: Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami and his family offered prayers at Lord Balaji temple in Tirumala.
Andhra Pradesh: Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami and his family offered prayers at Lord Balaji temple in Tirumala, today. pic.twitter.com/GBfU9gItC0— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
9:45am: "The jurisdiction of Lynch Mobs does not stop with Muslims & Dalits. Every personal choice (such as the choice of friends) will be subject to Gaurakshak-approval. Our silence/tolerance of these GANGS will only strengthen them," Asaduddin Owaisi said on a retweet of a post about the Madhya Pradesh incident.
On May 22, a video emergeed that showed a group of men in the south-eastern district of Seoni in Madhya Pradesh, allegedly attacked three people for "carrying beef".