The countdown for the first phase of voting on April 11 has begun with both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party raising campaign fever. Top brass from both mainstream political outfits as well as regional parties having a stake in the polls for 91 seats across 20 states and union territories in this phase are working overtime to woo the voters. The BJP released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls 2019 today, focusing on farmers, housing for all and national security and the party’s star campaigner PM Narendra Modi held rallies in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Here are the highlights of the day:
Apr 8, 2019
That's all for the day, folks! We will be back tomorrow with more updates on Lok Sabha polls.
BJP’s decision to turn their Fasal Bima scheme from compulsory to voluntary is an admission of its failure & proves the scheme was designed to benefit insurers. Whereas the Congress promises to change the scheme to a "no profit, no loss" system for insurers.#BJPJumlaManifestopic.twitter.com/Vt08CHW59g
-BJP’s promise to veterans is nothing but an eye-wash move ahead of elections. On the other hand the Congress Manifesto promises real benefits like compensation for families of martyrs, lateral entry into civil services and entry into Central Armed Police forces.
-BJP claims they will construct 60,000 kms of National Highways to double it by 2022. Once again simple math fails them; 2017-18 Economic Survey states India has 1,01,000 km of national highways - how exactly will building 60,000 kms double the current amount?
-BJP’s ‘Seed Start-Up Fund’ is another jumla. The fund already exists with Rs 10,000 crore, of which only 6 percent has been used. Meanwhile we have promised transformations like - No Angel tax, tax incentives for job creators and 3 years free from government permissions.
-BJP’s manifesto speaks volumes of their governance and awareness. The “new” mission to achieve self-sufficiency in oil-seeds and other agri products already exist as the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm under the Ministry of Agriculture since Jan 2014.
Apr 8, 2019
Rajnath Singh in Jammu and Kashmir
Addressing a rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Suchetgarh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “People who led J&K as CM for a really long time, they say there should be a separate PM for the state. If someone talks of a separate PM for J&K, then we'll have no option but to abolish Article 370 & 35A.”
Apr 8, 2019
Who says what on BJP manifesto
Mehbooba Mufti on BJP in manifesto promising abrogation of Article 370 and annulling Article 35A: Already J&K ek barood ki dher par baitha hua hai. If this happens then not only Kashmir but the country and the region will burn. So I appeal to BJP that please stop playing with fire.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Congress saying “instead of manifesto, BJP should have come out with a 'maafinama'”: Their manifesto doesn't mention as to how to take the country towards good governance, how to fight terrorism. It hasn't been able to rise above appeasement and dynasty politics.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Congress calling 75 resolutions in BJP manifesto a ‘bluff': Speed with which Congress has reacted on the manifesto is very clear that they have not gone through even one of the 75. Congress should spend some time, read the manifesto, then talk.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath on BJP Manifesto: It is for the first time that a govt has promised a house by 2022 to every poor family. BJP has reiterated its commitment on the Ram temple issue, on Kashmir and Uniform Civil Code. Coming 5 years will be to address aspirations of people. (ANI inputs)
UP CM on Mayawati appeals to Muslims to vote for BSP-SP: Mayawati ji ke dwara is prakar ka sambodhan... Kanshiram ji aur Ambedkar ji ka isse bada doosra apmaan nahi ho sakta. Agar unhe keval Muslim vote chahiye to swabhavik roop se doosra vote bhi tay kar lega ki kahan jana hai pic.twitter.com/iD8mJ9t6pG
Rahul Gandhi leveling corruption allegations on Narendra Modi for political gains, says Nitin Gadkari
Gadkari also slammed Gandhi's proposed minimum income scheme to give Rs 72,000 per year to 20 percent of the poor in the country, dubbing it a "populist slogan" and a "political strategy" to seek votes from the poor.
NC leader Farooq Abdullah dares BJP to scrap Article 370
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah also hits out the BJP over its manifesto promise to scrap Article 370 according special rights to the permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir. "We will challenge this, how will you scrap 370. I swear on Allah. Allah will also agree to this that we get liberated from them. We will see how they do it," he says.
Apr 8, 2019
BJP could eat into TMC, CPI(M) votes in West Bengal
There is palpable anger, rather animosity, against Mamata Banerjee in Kolkotta. But then, it will be a mistake if one refuses to see the class of people who are angry with Mamata and hence want her party voted out this election; they are the upwardly mobile classes to whom Mamata is a hate figure because she remains a street fighter and her party has attracted small time extortionists at parking bays and taxi stands.READ MORE
Apr 8, 2019
Imran Masood, Congress' candidate from Saharanpur: For now the program (Rahul Gandhi-Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's rallies) has been cancelled at all three places (Shamli, Bijnor, Saharanpur), due to bad weather. We are planning Priyanka ji's road show tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/tGvK4h9Kpj
Supreme Court directs Election Commission to increase random checking of VVPAT slips
The Supreme Court Monday directed the Election Commission to increase random checking of VVPAT slips from one booth per assembly segment to five in Lok Sabha polls for better voter confidence and credibility of electoral process.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi however did not agree to the request of 21 opposition parties leaders that VVPAT slips of 50 per cent EVMs be matched, on the ground that it will require huge manpower and not be feasible in view of infrastructural difficulties.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, disposed of the petition filed by opposition parties including TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu on the issue. (PTI)
Apr 8, 2019
BJP manifesto highlights: Farmers, housing for all, national security in focus
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and home minister Rajnath Singh released the manifesto. Finance minister Arun Jaitley and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj also accompanied them on the stage for the announcement.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Cooch Behar: Did PM even give a single penny for West Bengal? The person who makes such big claims must see what he has contributed towards Bengal.He was busy in foreign tours for five years and now he saw the need to come here pic.twitter.com/9PiM0y4Z7F
Maoists put up posters in Wayanad calling for poll boycott
Maoists have put up posters and banners asking farmers and plantation workers in Mundakkai, a part of Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency from where Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contesting, to boycott the April 23 elections. The posters were put up at some places in Mundakkai town under Mepady police station limits early Monday morning, Wayanad District police chief, R Karuppasamy, said.
"Police have beefed up security and we will be getting additional paramilitary forces. Already one company is stationed in the district," he told PTI. "We are monitoring the situation and have begun investigation", he added.
A letter had also been sent to the Wayanad Press Club regarding boycott of the polls, Karuppasamy said.
Gandhi, who was in Wayanad on April 4 to file his nomination, had taken out a roadshow in a massive show of strength along with his sister and AICC secretary of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. He is expected to visit Wayanad again on April 16. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are also likely to visit Wayanad, Congress sources said.
Apr 8, 2019
SC says can't pass order on Modi biopic at this stage
The Supreme Court said it cannot pass an order at this stage on a plea seeking a stay on the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Censor Board is yet to certify the film. The apex court said it will hear the matter Tuesday and could possibly pass an order if the petitioner brings on record that what the film depicts is highly objectionable.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi refused the plea of the petitioner, Congress activist Aman Panwar, that the copy of the film should be given to him. "Why should we direct that individual be given a copy of the film," said the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
"We fail to understand why such a direction be given," the bench said.
The bench said as of now there is no cause of action for challenging release of the film. When Singhvi repeated for further stay on the biopic, the bench said, "How can we stop the release of the film. It is not yet certified. There is only a statement from the producer for its release."
Apr 8, 2019
PM Narendra Modi at BJP Manifesto release: To develop India, development has to be made into a mass movement, and a successful result of that is 'swacchta', today 'swachhta' is a mass movement. pic.twitter.com/zey64YYzNp
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee hits out at BJP's manifesto promise
In West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is addressing a rally at Jalpaiguri. The West Bengal CM hits out at the BJP's manifesto promise to implement the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill.
"Don't believe the Citizenship Amendment Bill, I have read it. You will not have a voter card or surety of a job," she says.
Apr 8, 2019
PM Narendra Modi at BJP manifesto release:Rashtravaad hamari prerna hai, antoydaya hamara darshan hai aur sushasan hamara mantra hai. Desh neeti chalane ke liye hume multi dimensional level par kaam karne ki zarurat hoti hai aur humne use sankap patra mein shaamil kiya hai pic.twitter.com/rhzV1EWBwb
PM Modi addresses meeting at BJP's manifesto launch: Here are the main highlights from his speech
PM Modi is currently addressing the meeting at BJP's manifesto launch. Here are the main highlights from his speech:
-I thank and fully support my colleagues for highlighting our vision document.
-We have set 75 goals for 2022 when India will commemorate its 75th anniversary of independence.
-We are inspired by nationalism and guided by the philosophy of Antayodya.
-We will make development for all a mass movement like we made cleanliness drive a mass campaign.
-We want to empower the poor to fight poverty and only they can help themselves and not any slogans as seeen in the last so many decades.
-We want to trust citizens to bring positivity in administration. For instance, over 1.25 crore people giving up subsidy on gas cylinders or senior citizens not availing subsidy while traveling.
-We have empowered citizens with the help of technology.
-We lost a big opportunity to prepare people for advancing into the 21st century India.
-2019-2024 will lay down the foundation of India we want to see in 2047 when we celebrate the country's 100 years of independence.
Apr 8, 2019
EAM Sushma Swaraj at BJP manifesto release: This is an indication of Modi ji's diplomatic success that when Pakistan threatened to boycott Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) meeting if India was invited then 56 out of 57 countries said let Pakistan not come. pic.twitter.com/Zp7s1G8VZ4
Supreme Court increases VVPAT verification from 1 EVM per constituency to 5
Supreme Court has increased VVPAT verification from one EVM per constituency to 5 randomly selected EVMs in upcoming General Elections 2019. At present only one EVM per assembly segment is taken up for VVPAT paper slip matching.
Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi says 'increasing the VVPAT verification from one EVM per constituency to five is to ensure the greatest degree of accuracy, satisfaction in election process and not only political parties but the poor should be satisfied.'
Apr 8, 2019
#WATCH Arun Jaitley on BJP manifesto release says "This manifesto, in a season of manifestos, is not prepared with a 'tukde tukde' mindset. It is not even prepared with an 'Ivy league' mindset. This has been prepared with a strong nationalist vision." pic.twitter.com/LDWxfdY4G3
BJP manifesto rooted in Indian realities, says FM Arun Jaitley
Finance minister Arun Jaitley is speaking at the release of Sankalp Patra for Lok Sabha elections 2019. Here are the main highlights from his speech:
-This manifesto has been prepared with strong nationalist vision and it's been after a detailed consultation by a committee headed by Rajnath Singhji across the country. Therefore, it's rooted in the Indian realities.
-A new security doctrine makes India into one of the most powerful nations in the world where our deterrent is the best defence.
Apr 8, 2019
BJP Manifesto: Women's welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and the BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment
Zero interest on Rs 1 lakh credit card loan for 5 years, pension benefits for farmers, traders
Speaking at the launch of BJP manifesto, Union minister Rajnath Singh said that his party's vision document or Sankalp Patra focuses on improving the lot of farmers and traders. He announced zero rate of interest on Rs 1 lakh credit card loan for 5 years, while also promising to spend Rs 25 lakh crores on the development of rural areas in the next 5 years.
Singh also said that we want to extend PM Kissan Samman Nidhi scheme to cover all farmers to provide a minimum income support. Additionally, Singh also said that BJP will aim to provide pension benefits to small and marginal farmers.
For small traders, the Sankalp Patra promises pension benefits after 60 years for small shopkeepers, said Singh. The document also promises to end regional imbalance in development.
Apr 8, 2019
Reiterate our position on abrogation of Article 370, says Rajnath Singh
Addressing media persons at the launch of BJP manifesto, Union minister Rajnath Singh said the party reiterates its commitment on article 370 and Article 35A.
"We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh on abrogation of article 370... We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir," the Sankalp Patra reads.