Top political leaders continued with their Lok Sabha election campaigns on Friday, crisscrossing the country to woo the voters.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress leaders held rallies across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh on May 3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed election meetings at Hindon, Sikar and Bikaner while BJP president Amit Shah held a meeting in Jhunjhunu. Shah later headed for rallies in Lucknow and Jharkhand's Koderma, Ranchi and Khunti. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath was in Raebareli, Banda and Fatehpur, before heading to Jharkhand's Hazaribagh.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also addressed an election meeting in Rajasthan's Bharatpur and Rewa district. Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will continue with her Raebareli tour, holding roadshows and meeting party workers across the Lok Sabha constituency currently held by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Upping the glam quotient, Bollywood actor Sonakshi Sinha hit the political trail, joining her mother and Samajwadi Party candidate Poonam Sinha for a roadshow in Lucknow.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held a rally in Barabanki while BSP supremo Mayawati addressed public meetings in Sultanpur and Siddharthnagar. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was in New Delhi's Raghuveernagar.
More than half of the country has exercised their right to vote in the four phases of the seven-phased Lok Sabha poll. The remaining fifth, sixth and seventh phase will take place on May 6, 12 and 19 respectively. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Thank you for joining us. Do come back again on Saturday (May 4) for live updates on election. Meanwhile, here are the updates from the ground on Friday (May 3):
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 3, 2019
* Rahul Gandhi’s travel programme in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for May 4:
13:15 hrs: Mahila workers meeting at Korwa, district Amethi, Uttar Pradesh
18:00 hrs: Public meeting at Huda Ground, Sector-5, Gurugram, Haryana
* They wish to win elections anyhow. We never took credit whether it was air strikes or Bangladesh war, credit must go to forces. It's not Congress' insult, it's an insult of jawans: Ahmed Patel on PM Modi's remarks on Congress' claims 'six surgical strikes were carried out during UPA government'
* Lucknow: Actor Sonakshi Sinha campaigns for mother and Samajwadi party candidate Poonam Sinha. Dimple Yadav also present pic.twitter.com/4i5da2XenQ
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 3, 2019
* Congress now claims they carried out 6 surgical strikes. What strikes were these about which the terrorists did not get to know, Pakistan didn't know, even Indians didn't know. First they mocked, then protested and now they say 'me too, me too': PM Modi in Sikar, Rajasthan
* कांग्रेस सरकार ने समाज को वोट बैंक की तरह इस्तेमाल किया है। यही कारण है कि सभी वर्गों को साथ लेकर चलना कांग्रेस की फितरत नहीं रही।
लेकिन भाजपा के लिए समाज का हर व्यक्ति महत्वपूर्ण है। विकास हर व्यक्ति, हर क्षेत्र तक पहुंचे इसके लिए हम प्रयासरत हैं: पीएम मोदी #ModiJahanVikasWahan
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 3, 2019
* Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Gandhi Nagar(Delhi) Anil Bajpayi joins BJP in presence of Union Minister Vijay Goel pic.twitter.com/RtdSMg2eVP
— ANI (@ANI) May 3, 2019
* "I'd asked (the children) to stop chanting wrong slogans. Will respond to the notice," says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, day after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued a notice regarding a video in which children "are being actively involved in election campaigning" and can be seen "shouting slogans, using derogatory remarks and using abusive language" in her presence
* In 2008 Jan, there was attack on CRPF camp in UP. In May, there was a bomb blast in Jaipur. In July, there were serial blasts in B'luru. Next day, bomb blasts in Ahmedabad. In Sept, there were 2 terror attacks in Delhi. In Oct, serial blasts in Guwahati, Agartala, Imphal: PM Modi
* "Two days back, a major enemy of India, terrorist leader Masood Azhar was designated a global terrorist. This terrorist leader, sitting in Pakistan, was giving India injuries after injuries. Several brave mothers of Rajasthan lost their brave sons while they attacked such terrorists but now this terrorist is finding it difficult to enjoy in Pak. Surgical strike, air strike & now this major international strike on intentions of Pak, terrorists and terrorist leaders. When there was Congress govt at the centre, terrorist attacks had become a daily affair. No city was safe in their tenure. Everyone knows how terrorists attacked Mumbai in 2008. What happened in Mumbai at that time, was neither the first nor the last," says PM Modi.
* I took latest update from officers. I held a review meeting y'day. More than Rs 1000 cr was release to concerned govts y'day in advance. NDRF, Indian Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force are working with admn. I assure the affected people that nation and centre are with them: PM Modi
* PM Modi addresses public meeting at Hindaun, Rajasthan.
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 3, 2019
* "Nationalism is not just about love for the country, protection from Pakistan. It also mean keeping our farmers and their farms safe, loving our fellow countrymen and listening to them," Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Raebareli.
* Election Commission allows Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government to waive off farmers' loans. The process will start in constituencies where polling is over. Nearly 4.5 lakh farmers are expected to benefit from the waiver.
* Tamil Nadu: Popular Front of India releases statement on NIA raids on their offices and members residence across the state. “PFI calls the searches and raids against their party leaders are motivated and vouches to face it legally and by Democratic protests. NIA has constantly foster false charges against PFI to discredit us and NIA attempt to bring bad name to us in the Hadiya case is a testimony. NIA court has dismissed all the "Love Jihad" charges against PFI. When there are numerous murder cases filed , why NIA should take up only Ramalingam case. NIA is acting under the BJP's pressure and its spreading canards against PFI. Has ever NIA acted this shiftly in Malegaon blast or Samjodha express blast cases. PFI will face all the charges legally and will fight it out though Democratic protests.”
* The Supreme Court will hear the review petition of 21 opposition parties seeking counter checking of at least 50 per cent of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) next week. Read more
* West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee cancels rallies across the state for next 48 hours.
"Have cancelled my rallies for the next 48 hours because of what could be an impending disaster #CyclonicStormFANI We are monitoring the situation 24x7 and doing all it takes. I appeal to all people to cooperate. Be alert, take care and stay safe for the next two days," she tweeted.
Have cancelled my rallies for the next 48 hours because of what could be an impending disaster #CyclonicStormFANI We are monitoring the situation 24x7 and doing all it takes. I appeal to all people to cooperate. Be alert, take care and stay safe for the next two days
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 3, 2019
* "Looking forward to visiting Rajasthan today. Will be campaigning in Hindaun, Sikar and Bikaner. In order to gauge the mood of the state, here’s a short clip from my last rally in Jaipur. It is clear people of the state want BJP," tweeted PM Modi.
Looking forward to visiting Rajasthan today. Will be campaigning in Hindaun, Sikar and Bikaner.
In order to gauge the mood of the state, here’s a short clip from my last rally in Jaipur.
It is clear people of the state want BJP! pic.twitter.com/HoYipm5Y3S
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 3, 2019
* Election Commission to decide on Sadhvi Pragya's petition today. The poll panel had banned the BJP candidate from Bhopal from electioneering for 72 hours for her remarks on former ATS chief Hemant Karkare and Babri mosque demolition. The ban came into force at 6.00 AM Thursday. In the review petition, Sadhvi Pragya has requested that the ban be reduced to 12 hours.
* Jharkhand: Naxals blew up the BJP office in Kharsawan of Saraikela with cane bombs around 12:30 am on Friday. Kharsawan falls under Khunti Lok Sabha constituency, where party president Amit Shah is scheduled to hold a rally today. Former Jharkhand chief minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda, who is contesting from Khunti in the Lok Sabha poll, functioned out of the office. Read more
* The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked for details of expenses of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray`s rallies, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dilip Shinde said on Thursday, reported ANI. Thackeray reportedly conducted nearly a dozen public rallies for the Lok Sabha election although his party did not field a single candidate for the polls.
*A video of some Congress leaders, including former ministers N Cheluvarayaswamy and P M Narendraswamy, former legislator H C Balakrishna, Ravi Ganiga and Malavalli Shivanna at a dinner reportedly hosted by Sumalatha at a private hotel on Tuesday, has surfaced, reported news agency PTI. Sumalatha, the widow of actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh, is contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Karnataka's Mandya as an independent candidate. Congress has downplayed the meeting.