Election watch: SP-BSP alliance will shut shop after poll results, says Modi in Aligarh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the alliance between Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party will be forced to shut their shops after the elections. He said people who were not contesting on even 40 seats, dream to be the prime minister.

Leaders of Opposition parties held a joint press conference, where they said they will move the Supreme Court again demanding verification of at least 50% of votes cast in the ongoing elections against the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips.

9.58 am: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s remarks that former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar quit his post at the Centre and returned to Goa as he did not agree with the Rafale fighter jet deal were uncalled for, reports The Indian Express.

“Even Rahul Gandhi had earlier tried to make similar comments [against Parrikar], which was a very crass attempt,” Fadnavis said. “At that time Parrikar was alive and he had given a strong reply. But making similar comments after Parrikar’s death, I think is uncalled for.”

9.55 am: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad said his outfit, and not Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, was the real well-wisher of Dalits, reports PTI. Azad will contest the Lok Sabha election against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.

9.51 am: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik says his party, Biju Janata Dal, will support whoever commits to fulfilling the needs of Odisha, reports Hindustan Times. “Having said that, I repeat: we are equidistant from both the BJP as well as the Congress.”

9.48 am: KS Naveen, president of the Chitradurga unit of the BJP, says a black trunk which the Congress alleged was suspicious contained electronic equipment and party logos to be set up on the dais for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during a rally in Chitradurga, Karnataka, reports Deccan Herald.

“Being a president of the state unit of a national party, if he (Dinesh Gundu Rao) does not know what is part of the PM’s convoy, he should immediately resign from his office,” says Naveen. “As they have been out of power for five years now, they seem to have forgotten about the security provided for the prime minister.”

9.40 am: BJP files FIR against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for his alleged derogatory remark, reports News18. “It took you 17 years to understand her true face. But I realised in 17 days… that she wears khakhi underwear,” he said at a rally in Rampur. A case has been registered under Sections 509 and 125.

9.34 am: Congress leader Sachin Pilot says in a bipolar contest, the Congress can defeat the BJP and “defeat it comprehensively despite all the misuse of money, power and bureaucracy”, reports Hindustan Times. Pilot says United Progressive Alliance 3 is a reality and the country will get a new government and new prime minister when election results are announced on May 23.

9.29 am: National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma condemns Bahujan Samaj Party leader’s remarks alleged to be against BJP leader Jayaprada and said the panel will take suo moto action against him. “Absolutely disgraceful,” Sharma tweeted. “Azam Khan is always abusive and disrespectful towards women… Will request Election Commission to bar him from contesting elections.”

9.25 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Islamabad’s nuclear threats had been blown to bits and that India won’t bow down to such threats, reports The Indian Express. He accused the Congress of “stopping the Army from taking strong action against terrorists” as it feared “a 1962-type situation”, referring to the India-China war. He was speaking at a rally in Jammu.

9.20 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the armed forces and soldiers have always been kept separate from politics, reports ANI. “For the first time in 70 years, they are being politicised,” he said. Yogi ji says, ‘Ye Modi ki sena hai’ [This is Modi’s Army]. There should be a case against Adityanath for being anti-national.”

9.15 am: A Right to Information plea revealed that 99.8% of donations that political parties received through electoral bonds between March 2018 and January 24, 2019, were of the highest denominations – Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.

Read more here:

Over 99% of donations through electoral bonds were of Rs 10 lakh, Rs 1 crore denominations: RTI

9.10 am: Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan clarifies on his remarks which was alleged to be against BJP candidate Jayaprada. “I was referring to a person in Delhi who is unwell, who had said, ‘I came with 150 rifles and I would have shot Azam if I had seen him’,” Khan said, according to ANI. “Talking about him, I said, ‘it took a long time to know ppl & later it was found that he was wearing RSS shorts’.”

8.55 am: Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has no credibility, reports News18. “He will himself fall and make everyone fall wherever he goes,” Yadav said. “I am happy that he will sink the ship. People want to remove Nitish from Bihar as soon as possible, they are agitated with him.”

Yadav said: “The image Nitish Kumar had in Bihar is now completely destroyed. Modi is a factory of lies – he is the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer.”

8.50 am: Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged large-scale manipulation in first phase of elections, reports The Hindu. “If manipulation of election continues – the way it did in the first phase – the Election Commission may lose credibility,” he said. Leaders of the Left front will meet officials of the Election Commission on Monday and raise their concerns.

8.45 am: A case was registered against BJP legislator from Belapur, Manda Mhatre, for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct by asking voters to cast their vote twice in the elections, reports ANI.

8.40 am: Election Flying squad and Income Tax department conducted searches at an MLA hostel at Chepauk, reports ANI. Rooms of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam RB Udayakumar and two other people were searched.

8.35 am: Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan allegedly made derogatory remarks against BJP’s Rampur Lok Sabha candidate, Jayaprada. At a rally in Rampur, Khan said: “What is the difference between you and me? People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and the people of India. It took you 17 years to understand her true face. But I realised in 17 days… that she wears khakhi underwear,” he said in an alleged reference to Jayaprada’s association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Khan said he did not name anyone. “If anyone can prove that I named anyone anywhere&insulted anyone, then I’ll not contest election,” he said, according to ANI.

8.30 am: Leaders of Opposition parties held a joint press conference and said they will move the Supreme Court again demanding verification of at least 50% of votes cast in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections against the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips.

Read more here:

VVPAT verification: Opposition parties raise doubts over EVMs, to move Supreme Court again

8.25 pm: Here are the top updates from Sunday:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was because of Ambedkar’s blessings that a chaiwala is the prime minister. He also attacked the SP-BSP alliance, and said they will shut shops after the elections.
  • The Congress alleged that a black trunk whose contents are unknown had been spotted being carried out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during his visit to Chitradurga in Karnataka last week. The party has demanded an investigation by the Election Commission.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Jammu and Kashmir political families the Abdullahs and Muftis of ruining three generations of the state and trying to divide India.
  • Aam Aadmi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal said that if the Bharatiya Janata Party is voted back to power, BJP President Amit Shah would become Union home minister, which would spell doom for the country.
  • Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi criticised the BJP’s manifesto and said there was no space for different cultures and religions in it. She held a roadshow in Silchar, Assam – her first campaign outside Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 elections.
  • Rahul Dravid, who is the Karnataka state Election Commission’s ambassador, will not be able to vote in the ongoing elections after his name was deleted from the voters’ list when he moved homes.

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