With the date of voting for the third phase nearing, campaigning for the Lok Sabha election has reached a new height of excitement. While on one hand firebrand leaders are training their guns on rival leaders and wooing the voters, several party leaders are quitting their parties.
On Friday, ending the decades-long rivalry, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati shared dais at an election rally in UP with the BSP President describing the SP patron as a "real leader" of the backwards, unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom she dubbed as "farzi". The BSP leader, who had snapped all ties with the SP after the infamous state guest house incident in 1995, arrived at the Christian College ground to a rousing reception by surging crowds, comprising mainly of Samajwadi Party supporters in the party citadel.
In another major development, former Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi joined the Shiv Sena in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Thank you for joining us. Do come back again on April 20 (Saturday) for more updates on the Lok Sabha election.
Here are the updates from April 19 (Friday):
* Election Commission revises poll timing for J&K's Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama.
* 48-hour campaign ban on Himachal BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti over use of expletives against Rahul Gandhi.
* Estimated 69.09 per cent voter turnout in second phase of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. (Read full report)
* PG Vadra after supporters compare her with former PM Indira Gandhi: Mai Indira Ji ke saamne kuch nahi hu, lekin jo seva ki bhavna unke dil mein thi, mere dil mein hai, mere bhai ke dil mein hai, ye hamare dil se koi nahi nikal sakta. Hum seva karenge, aap chahe mauka dein na dein pic.twitter.com/vx7cjwgizY
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 19, 2019
* I take my words back, says Sadhvi Pragya after outrage over remarks on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare. (Read full report)
* Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee writes to Chief Electoral Officer Gujarat demanding the Election Commission to restore Y+ security for its leader Hardik Patel https://t.co/Cj9MsyKziS
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
* PM Modi: The last time you called me was in 2014, I wasn't the Prime Minister. You came from all across the nation, but no. was less. 'Kyunki swabhavik hai yaar, Modi ke karyakram mein jaayenge, aur photo nikal dega koi aur koi maar dega to. Income-Tax ki raid pad jaayegi to pic.twitter.com/evziBjURPA
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
* Traders have always thought about the country. It is the power of the traders of our country that India was once called 'sone ki chidiya': PM Modi addresses a convention of traders in Delhi.
* BJP MP from Machhlishahr Ram Charitra Nishad joins Samajwadi Party.
* Dum Dum constituency candidate Samik Bhattacharya’s central election working office has been ransacked.
* Chandi Charan Rai, General Secretary, BJP Kolkata North Suburban District, beaten up by miscreants. BJP claims TMC handiwork.
* Congress president Rahul Gandhi to hold election campaigns in Bihar and Chhattisgarh on April 20.
Here's the full schedule: 11:30 hrs - Public meeting at Gandhi Maidan Ground, Supaul, District Supaul, Bihar.
15:15 hrs: Public meeting at Irrigation Colony Ground, Sakri, District Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.
18:00 hrs: Public meeting at Baikunth Dham Dussehra Ground, Bhilai, District Durg, Chhattisgarh.
* Every time a party member leaves, it's a matter of pain for us. People look for career progression. We wish all of them well, including, Priyanka Chaturvedi. I must frankly and on record concede, yes, it's a reflection on my leadership: Congress' Randeep Surjewala
* Sadhvi Pragya's comment on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare is her personal opinion: BJP (Read full report)
* Darjeeling Assembly seat bypolls to be held on May 19. The seat got vacant after Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai had resigned to contest Lok Sabha poll from Darjeeling parliamentary constituency. Results to be announced on May 23.
* Sadhvi Pragya, BJP's Bhopal candidate, booked for remarks on 26/11 martyr. (Read full report)
* Poonam Sinha says she does not fear the contest against Rajnath Singh in Lucknow. (Read full report)
* We have given Congress the last chance to think it over, let's see what happens: AAP leader Gopal Rai on alliance with Congress.
* State Election Commission on Friday filed a complaint against Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora for violating Model Code of Conduct. On April 4, Deora accused Shiv Sena of hurting religious sentiments of Jain followers and urged the community to teach them a lesson by not giving them vote in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
* Priyanka says she was hopeful of getting a Congress ticket to contest Lok Sabha election but her reason to quit the party was not taken after the party failed to consider her candidature. She decided to quit the party as she found that while Congress talked about women safety and empowerment, it failed to act against leaders who harassed her. "I know I will be held accountable for my past statements and my views and that how I came to this conclusion but I would like to say that this decision of joining Shiv Sena I have taken after a lot of thought," says Priyanka.
Priyanka Chaturvedi: I know I will be held accountable for my past statements and my views and that how I came to this conclusion but I would like to say that this decision of joining Shiv Sena I have taken after a lot of thought pic.twitter.com/2BuzaSCmas
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
* Priyanka Chaturvedi thanks Shiv Sena for inducting her in the party with respect and dignity
* Priyanka Chaturvedi reaches Matoshree, the residence of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
* BSP Chief Mayawati addresses a rally in UP, asks people to bring SP-BSP to power by voting by a huge majority. In an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said a fake person can't work for the backward classes.
* Mulayam Singh Yadav asks his supporters at poll rally to always respect Mayawati.
* Mulayam Singh Yadav addresses a rally at Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh. BSP Chief Mayawati and SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav present on stage.
* SP-BSP-RLD's joint rally to begin shortly in UP's Mainpuri. BSP Chief Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav will share the stage.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 19, 2019
* Congress leader Hardik Patel slapped onstage by an unknown person in Gujarat's Surendranagar district while holding a rally.
* Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi quits AICC WhatsApp media group after alleging party reinstates leaders who misbehaved with her.
* BJP leader Manoj Sinha raked up a controversy after he made a statement saying that the BJP workers won't spare anyone who does politics with the money earned in a corrupt manner. He further added that BJP workers need not be afraid of anyone and if anyone raises a finger against a BJP worker he will have his finger broken withing four hours. Nobody can dare to raise a finger at BJP workers and if they do so they will be buried in the ground.
* In West Bengal's Nadia district, Nodal election officer Arnab Ray has gone missing since Thursday. He went to Bipradas Pas Choudhury Polytechnic College for his poll duty but post lunch, he couldn’t be found. His official vehicle is still lying there. He was in charge of all the EVMs and VVPATs. Meanwhile, police have begun an investigation and the DM, SP besides the election commission are looking into it.
* Post poll violence continues in Chopra of Uttar Dinajpur district in West Bengal. The cadres of TMC and BJP clash with each other. A class seven student has suffered bullet injuries on his leg. He has been rushed to the hospital. It is yet to be confirmed which party cadres opened fire at whom. Forces have been rushed to the spot.
* BJP MLA Basavaraj Bommai said voters will decide who is a "hero" and who are the "jokers", in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the "hero" and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy as "jokers."
When asked why Bommai ridicules the Congress chief and Kumaraswamy, the BJP lawmaker told ANI, "They (Rahul and Kumaraswamy) have made fun of themselves with the way they talk, their thinking and body language. People will decide who is a hero and who are jokers." Bommai further alleged that the Lingayat issue was used by the Congress party just like `divide and rule policy` of the British.
* Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Amethi on a one-day tour. In the guest house made in the Central Office premises, meeting with the party officials and workers will prepare the outline of the election. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will reach Furastganj at 9.30 in the morning. From here, she will go to the central office of the party located at Gauriganj at 10 in the morning. In the guest house made in the office premises, she will have separate meetings with the area's intellectuals and party workers.
* Former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has said that he will not retire from active politics and that if Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister of the country, he will be by his side."I announced three years back that I will not contest elections. There are circumstances now in which I have been forced to contest. There is nothing to hide. I have no ambition of anything but what I always said is that I am not going to retire from active politics," he said, adding "If Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister, I will sit by his side. It is not necessary to become the Prime Minister."
* The Election Commission (EC) is unlikely to bar BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, from contesting the poll. The ban cannot be imposed under current laws, added a source to Zee News.
* After three days of a ban by the Election Commission (EC) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will hold four rallies in Uttar Pradesh.
CM Adityanath will address public meetings with the resolve of win in Sambhal, Ferozabad, Etawah and Mishrikh Lok Sabha seats. The CM will address the public at 11.30 am in support of BJP candidate Parmeshwar Lal Saini in the Kaila Devi Temple Ground, Assamouli in Sambhal. After this, he will be addressing the public meeting in support of BJP candidate Dr Chandrasena Jadon at 1 pm at GL Inter College ground, SirsaGanj, Firozabad. CM Yogi will address public meetings in support of BJP candidate for Ramshankar Katheria at Ramlila Maidan, Etawah, at 2 pm and Ashok Rawat from the Mishrikh Lok Sabha constituency at Junior High School Ground at 3 pm in Hardoi.
* BJP president Amit Shah will address a rally in Baramati in Pune district on Friday. Shah will address a rally on the NCP chief's home turf Baramati in Maharashtra.
* RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav will hold rallies in Bihar's Khagadia, Madhepura, and Araria.
* Bihar CM Nitish Kumar will hold rallies in Bihar's Supaul, Jhanjharpur and Madhepura.
* Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi will hold a rally in Madhubani
* Chirag Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party leader and son of Union Minister Ram Vilas, will hold a rally in Darbhanga, Bihar
* Maharashtra's Aurangabad will witness rallies of three firebrand leaders--Prakash Ambedkar, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. All the three leaders will hold rallies at 6 pm.
* NCP chief Sharad Pawar will hold a rally in Maharashtra's Madha Lok Sabha constituency at 4 pm.
* Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to hold a roadshow in Kanpur Nagar and Akbarpur (Kanpur Dehat) constituencies in support of party candidates on Friday. She will land at Chakeri airport and later take part in a road show in the city in support of Congress candidate Sriprakash Jaiswal. She will also hold a road show in support of Raja Ram Pal in Akbarpur. The roadshow will pass through Kidwainagar, Bara Devi, Gaushala, Deep Talkies, Sachan guest house, Shastri Chowk Barra, Natraj Talkies, Chawla market, Govind Nagar bridge, Fazalganj, Lajpat Nagar, Sindhi Colony, Vijay Nagar, Double Puliya, Devki Talkies and culminate at Namak Factory Chauraha. The roadshow is likely to start at 3 pm from Ghantaghar square.