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Mehbooba Mufti slams Shiv Sena's demand for ban on burqa in public places

Ayodhya takes the centrestage as PM Narendra Modi as well as Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati will address rallies here today.

Mehbooba Mufti slams Shiv Sena's demand for ban on burqa in public places

More than half of the country has exercised their right to vote. The fifth phase of Lok Sabha poll will take place on May 6 and the counting of votes will take place on May 23. As part of their campaign for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, leaders from several parties will continue to criss-cross the country to woo the voters. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on his maiden visit to Ayodha in the last five years to address an election rally at Ambedkarnagar, 27 km from proper Ayodhya on Wednesday.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati set to hold a public rally at Ramsanehi Ghat in Ayodhya parliamentary constituency. Akhilesh and Mayawati are scheduled to address the rally at 1 pm.

Thanks for staying with us. Please do come again on Thursday (May 2) for Lok Sabha live updates.

Here are the developments of May 1 (Wednesday)

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday slammed Shiv Sena's demand for ban on burqa in public places, saying it was unwarranted and will "fan the flames of Islamophobia". 

EC bars BJP Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur from campaigning for three days starting 6 am tomorrow. Thakur's remark that she is proud of Babri Masjid's demolition was found violative of the Model Code of Conduct.

PM Narendra Modi’s public rally in Jhargram and Tamluk in West Bengal on May 5 postponed due to Cyclone Fani

DM Varanasi: "A person who has been dismissed from service from state or central govt within last 5 yrs has to obtain a certificate from EC stating he/she hasn't been dismissed due to disloyalty or corruption.Certificate wasn't produced before 11am, so, the nomination was rejected."

* Samajwadi Party candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav after his nomination from Varanasi parliamentary seat was rejected: "We have been told that we did not produce the evidence that was asked from us before 11 am. Whereas, we had produced the evidence."

* SP candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav's nomination cancelled from Varanasi

* Varanasi returning officer will on Wednesday address the media at 5:30 pm on sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur's nomination. Tej Bahadur is Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party's joint candidate for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat against PM Modi. Yadav's fate hangs in balance as the district election officer has served him notices pointing "discrepancies" in the two nominations filed by him.

* Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that speeches made by PM Narendra Modi cause his Pakistani counterpart to sweat across the border."Today when Prime Minister Modi makes a speech anywhere in India, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan sweats in AC room of Islamabad. He remains worried as to when the Indian army would enter Pakistan and destroy terrorist camps there. This valour and strength has emerged due to the political willpower of Prime Minister Modi," said Adityanath at a rally in Ambedkarnagar near Ayodhya.

* Rahul Gandhi addresses a rally in Sitapur, attacks BJP government. "Modi ji broke dreams of youth. He took out money of people of this country and gave it to his industrialist friends." 

* Your vote for BJP will give you a strong future but the 'Mahamilavat' (coalition) government will only form a weak government, PM Modi said in Ayodhya, appealing the people to vote for BJP in Lok Sabha election. 

* Terrorists are produced in our neighbouring country which is hoping for a weak government. But this government (in an apparent reference to BJP) does not spare those who try to mess with the country: PM Modi

* Be it Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party or Congress.it is necessary to know their reality. Mayawati used the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar but she did everything which is just the opposite of his principles. Samajwadi Party used the name of Lohia ji but they destroyed the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh: PM Modi

* My government helped those who couldn't continue their studies: PM Modi

* Congress used poor only for their vote-banks. They cared for only one family: PM Modi

* Responding to the 'chaiwala-pakorewala' jibe of Navjot Singh Sidhu, PM Modi said, "Congress has only mocked poor'.

 * India's poor don't want insult. They want to move ahead in life. It is my government that has worked for the poor. I understand the needs of the poor, feel the pain of the sick. Our government committed to their cause: PM Modi at the rally near Ayodhya

* Prime Minister Narendra begins his address at a mega rally near Ayodhya, says, 'I thank all of you who have come here to bless me in this intense heat. This is the land of India's pride. This is the city of Maryada Purushottam Ram'. 

* UP CM Yogi Adityanath arrives at Ambedkarnagar near Ayodhya, where PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally, in the first after he took charge as the Prime Minister in 2014. 

* A BJP delegation to meet Election Commission officials on Tuesday. 

* Telangana: People pay last tribute to Nandyal MP and Jana Sena Party candidate from the constituency, S.P.Y. Reddy, at his residence. He passed away at a hospital in Hyderabad last night.

* Jaya Bachchan, Samajwadi Party in Lucknow: A protector’s responsibility is very important and crucial. The kind of atmosphere that is prevailing in this country at this time, it is the protector who is creating the disorder in the country. Read full report

* EC approves proposal of lifting of provisions of Model Code of Conduct in districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack&Jajpur to facilitate speedy rescue, relief&restoration activities to face cyclonic storm Fani.

* In a big jolt to the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the Election Commission announced that Central Armed Police Forces will replace the state police at all polling booths in Bengal. At least 660 companies of CAPF will be present at all polling booth in West Bengal for the next three phases of Lok Sabha election. Home guards will also be deployed at booths to assist the CAPF personnel. Read full report

* Upping the ante amid polling in the state, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said PM Narendra Modi should visit farmers instead of attending weddings of celebrities in the country. "Prime Minister Modi should visit farmers instead of attending marriages of celebrities like Priyanka Chopra," he said.

* Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to urge EC to postpone polling in Patkura assembly segment due to Fani Cyclone. Read full report

* Rajnath Singh to address a rally in Delhi's Shastri Park.

* Besides Ayodhya, PM Narendra Modi to hold rallies in Uttar Pradesh's Kaushambi, Madhya Pradesh's Itarasi and Jaipur in Rajasthan.

* PM Narendra to address an election rally in Ayodhya's Maya Bazar. This would be PM's first visit to Ayodhya in the last five years. Read full report

* BJP party president Amit Shah to hold rallies in North 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly in West Bengal. He will also address the public in New Delhi's Vasant Kunj.

* Congress president Rahul Gandhi to address the public in Sitapur, Barabanki and Hoshangabad in Uttar Pradesh. 

* Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to address rallies in Basti and Sitapur in the state. 

* The Election Commission has barred Gujarat BJP chief Jitubhai Vaghani from campaigning for 72 hours for "using intemperate and abusive language" and "alleged violation of Model Code of Coduct" when he addressed party workers and voters at Amroli on April 7, sources said on Tuesday. Read full report

The campaigning ban on Vaghani will be effective from 4 pm on May 2 to 4 pm on May 5.