Election Tracker LIVE Updates: Karnataka chief minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy got emotional again during a rally and begged people not to fall for Narendra Modi’s “colourful” words. He claimed a military officer had told him two years ago that PM would “build a story” around elections to get votes. “I’m pleading with you don’t believe PM’s colorful words. Why should we have enmity with neighbouring countries? Two years, ago a military officer told me that PM will build a story before election to get votes. They don’t ask for votes on development work,” he said.
Congress’s in-charge for east UP, Priyanka Gandhi, slammed the BJP over ‘hugplomacy’, and said that PM Modi can hug world leaders and eat biryani in Pakistani, but cannot serve people of Varanasi. “He has roamed all around the world. He has hugged premiers of Japan and China, also had biryani in Pakistan, but have you ever seen him hugging a poor in Varanasi?” she asked while campaigning for Congress candidate Dolly Sharma in Ghaziabad.
Continuing his attack on Congress, BJP chief Amit Shah questioned former PM Manmohan Singh’s contribution to his Assam seat. Calling Singh “mauni (silent) baba”, Shah said, “He went to the Rajya Sabha via Assam. Why doesn’t he give an account of Congress’s 10 years of governance here.”
Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on PM Modi at Chandrapur rally for “disrespecting his guru” LK Advani. “Advani was forced out of BJP. Which student treats a guru like this? Where is the Hindu philosophy in this treatment?” he asked.
After it came to light that Christian Michel had named senior Congress leader “Ahmed Patel” in VVIP chopper deal case, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raked up the issue at his Dehradun rally. “We know now who was involved in the helicopter scam,” he said. Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland case, is understood to have identified the initials “AP” as Ahmed Patel in a chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before a court in Delhi.
The Samajwadi Party today released its manifesto for the upcoming general elections, with party supremo Akhilesh Yadav saying the move was now towards ‘Mahaparivartan’. Yadav promised to release figures of caste census, while blaming the government for hiding figures of unemployment and farmer suicide.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today said money for the Congress’s proposed NYAY scheme would come from the pockets of crony capitalists who had the support of the current government. Gandhi, during an interaction with students in Pune, also called demonetisation a “disastrous” idea, saying it not only hit the economy but also rendered many jobless.
Tejashwi Yadav today defended his father and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad who stirred a controversy with his claim that Nitish Kumar made several attempts to return to the alliance after walking away to join hands with the BJP. Tejashwi said, “I say this with full responsibility, Nitish Kumar made many attempts to get back and ally with us, he tried many different approaches, that also within 6 months of returning to NDA.” JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor lashed out at Prasad, saying his claims were “poor attempts to stay relevant”.
With less than a week left for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, campaigning is on in full swing across the country. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing election rallies in Amroha, Saharanpur and Dehradun, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is in Maharashtra today. He will address election rallies in Chandrapur and Wardha.
Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Maharashtra comes a day after he filed his nomination from Wayanad, his second seat, in Kerala. His move to pick Wayanad is being hailed as a safe bet by political experts. Rahul Gandhi is also contesting the Amethi seat against BJP’s Smriti Irani. On Thursday, Irani hit out at the Congress chief, saying his decision to contest from Wayanad was an ‘insult’ to Amethi.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi will be in Ghaziabad today to campaign for Dolly Sharma. BJP chief Amit Shah is in Arunachal Pradesh and will proceed to Manipur and Assam. His visit comes just days after PM Modi visited the region and lashed out at the Congress for its ‘manifesto of lies’. In a virtual face-off, TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will also be addressing rallies in northeast.
On an action-packed Friday, the Election Commission will also take a final call on the release of PM Modi’s biopic, which many opposition leaders have termed a poll code violation. The release of the ‘PM Narendra Modi’ biopic has been delayed as it awaits the clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification. The biopic was earlier scheduled for an April 5 release, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.