Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST updates: Speaking at his first rally of the day, at Madha in Maharashtra, Narendra Modi gave out a clarion call to people to vote for the BJP, the only party which has the strength to bear the weight of India according to the PM. “I can understand why Sharad Pawar removed himself from the polls now. He is wise, he knew which way the winds were blowing,” he said.
Modi also announced relief for those affected by unseasonal rains in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Congress president and party’s candidate from Wayanad parliamentary constituency, Rahul Gandhi, offered prayers at the Thirunelli temple in Kerala. Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in the Papanasini river near the temple. Rahul will be campaigning across the state for the second day running on Wednesday.
The spotlight sought by campaigners in the nearly two-month-long Lok Sabha election process is now being increasingly taken over by the Election Commission of India itself. Issues like the cancellation of the polls in Vellore, successive petitions over campaign bans on prominent politicians and outrage over joint EC-Income Tax raids on yet others, have kept the poll panel busy, a day before India heads to Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha election.
On the same day when the Election Commission escalated the recovery of Rs 11.50 crore in cash at a DMK candidate’s house to President Ram Nath Kovind and got the Vellore Lok Sabha polls cancelled as a result, party leader Kanimozhi’s residence was raided by Income Tax officials. The department, reportedly, found nothing in her house and suggested that it had received false inputs. This, along with the Vellore move, has led to various protests by south leaders who have claimed that the poll body has been focusing on the Opposition alone.
Meanwhile, most familiar campaigners of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress will be addressing rallies as usual.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will campaign across Kerala’s Wayanad constituency. This will be his second trip to the region since he filed his nomination from there and led a roadshow through the town.
After addressing a co-ordination meeting of three parliamentary constituencies (Kannur, Kasargod and Vadakara) at Kannur, Rahul is expected to visit the Thirunelli Temple at Wayanad, where his father Rajiv Gandhi’s ashes were immersed. He is then expected to address successive public meetings at Wayanad, Thiruvambady, Wandoor and Thrithala.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, is scheduled to address four rallies, one each at Madha in Maharashtra, and Himatnagar, Surendranagar and Anand in Gujarat.
BJP national president Amit Shah will address two rallies at Baramba and Dhenkanal in Odisha. Modi himself addressed two rallies in the state just on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, serving a 72-hour campaign ban, will be travelling to Ayodhya and then Devipatan. The BJP, meanwhile, has urged the poll body to review its order banning Adityanath from campaigning, claiming he did not intend to incite communal tension and had only expressed his beliefs.
The party has called on the Election Commission to ban Rahul Gandhi from campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls and impose the “heaviest penalty” on him, saying that he levelled false allegations against Narendra Modi on the Rafale aircraft deal. A BJP delegation including Union ministers JP Nadda, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and VK Singh also sought similar action against cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.
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