Lok Sabha Election 2019 Latest updates; 2nd stage of the vote to be held tomorrow, 18 April: Naveen Patnaik's luggage was checked by the Election Commission's flight squadron at a heliport in Rourkela on Wednesday. Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy's helicopter was also searched at Shivamogga earlier in the day.
The muddy remains as usual between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday with BJP chief Amit Shah tweeting a video of the BJP Ratna Ghosh Kar of the Trinamool Congress urging the working women of the party to attack the Central Forces which attack the Trinamool workers. "Finally, Mamata's trusted lieutenant has accepted that his party believes in the idea of violence and anarchy," Shah wrote.
In what could be a blow to Congress, party spokesman Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote on Twitter to register his disappointment that members of Congress who had been suspended for behaving badly had been reinstated. The Uttar Pradesh Congressional Committee had initially suspended some of its leaders for their undisciplined behavior with Chaturvedi in Mathura and then reinstated them after a few days.
The UDF candidate for Kannur, K Sudhakaran, has released a blatantly sexist video in which it is suggested that educating a woman is a mistake and that a man should be elected so that "he can do things." The video is supposedly a strike for the sitting MP of Kannur and candidate of the Left for the chair Kannur, PK Sreemathi, who is the only woman to be elected of Kerala in the election of 2014.
Navjot Singh Sidhu attacked the BJP after he accused the congressional politician of attracting voters along the communal lines. "Those who are responsible for Godhra are teaching me nationalism," he said in Gujarat on Wednesday.
Twitter retained the controversial tweet of Yogi Adityanath's "green virus," referring to Muslims in India, along with tweets from 31 others, including Koena Mitra and Major Surendra Poonia. It is likely that the move will go far in the debate for greater control by social media sites on content policing.
The explosion of Malegaon accused of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur will likely be challenged in Bhopal, where she may be confronted with Congressional veteran Digvijaya Singh. Thakur arrived at the BJP's Bhopal office to meet party leaders Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Ramlal and Prabhat Jha. The move, if solidified, will likely give ammunition to the Opposition to beat the BJP for designing a candidate accused of terrorism.
Congressional Secretary-General KC Venugopal said on the visit of Rahul Gandhi's temple in Wayanad that the president of Congress performed rituals according to the pujari's instructions, by his "grandmother, father, ancestors and victims of the Pulwama incident ".
Congressman Rahul Gandhi was expected to talk about the travel ban in Wayanad that had been affecting the local tourism industry, which probably explains why his audience was ecstatic when he mentioned that he would see her if she was elected. Rahul also made several allusions to the region's diversity and said that Wayanad taught all of India what it meant to live in peace.
Addressing his first demonstration in Wayanad since he presented his nomination documents amid much fanfare, the head of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, said he was determined to prove that the south is as important and not less important than anywhere else in India. "I realized that Wayanad was the best place to fight because it represents so many different ideas and cultures. Almost every community can be found in this beautiful place," he said.
Narendra Modi, in a more than usual speech at Madha in Maharashtra, criticized Rahul Gandhi once more following the head of Congress's remark that "all thieves had the surname Modi." "You can imagine who these people are, who mocks my lineage, my surname? I do not care, I know how to endure insults so terrible," Modi said.
Speaking on his first rally of the day in Madha in Maharashtra, Narendra Modi appealed for people to vote in the BJP, the only party that has the strength to bear the weight of India according to the prime minister. "I can understand why Sharad Pawar withdrew from the polls now. He is wise, he knew from which side the winds were blowing," he said.
Modi also announced relief for people affected by off-season rains in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Congressman and party candidate of the parliamentary constituency of Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi, offered prayers at the Thirunelli Temple in Kerala. The ashes of Rahul's father, Rajiv Gandhi, were immersed in the Papanasini River near the temple. Rahul will campaign for the state for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.
The focus sought by the activists in the almost two-month electoral process of Lok Sabha is increasingly being taken over by India's Electoral Commission. Issues such as the cancellation of the Vellore polls, successive petitions about banning campaigns by prominent politicians, and indignation over joint EC Income Tax strikes in others still kept the voting panel busy, the day before India went to the Phase 2 of Lok Sabha. election.
On the same day that the Election Commission scaled back Rs 11.50 crore in cash at the home of a DMK candidate to President Ram Nath Kovind and canceled the Vellore Lok Sabha polls, the residence of Kanimozhi party leader was invaded by officials of the Income tax. The department allegedly found nothing in his home and suggested he received fake supplies. This, along with Vellore's move, has led to several protests from leaders in the south who have said that the research body has focused only on the Opposition.
Meanwhile, the more familiar militants of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress will be treating the rallies as usual.
The head of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, will campaign for the Wayanad electorate in Kerala. This will be his second trip to the region since he presented his nomination and conducted a roadshow through the city.
After addressing a co-ordinating meeting of three parliamentary groups (Kannur, Kasargod and Vadakara) in Kannur, Rahul must visit the Thirunelli Temple in Wayanad, where the ashes of his father Rajiv Gandhi were immersed. He is then expected to hold successive public meetings in Wayanad, Thiruvambady, Wandoor and Thrithala.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address four rallies, one in Madha in Maharashtra and Himatnagar in Surendranagar and Anand in Gujarat.
BJP national president Amit Shah will address two rallies in Baramba and Dhenkanal in Odisha. Modi himself addressed two rallies in the state only on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, following a 72-hour campaign ban, will travel to Ayodhya and then to Devipatan. The BJP, meanwhile, urged the investigating body to review its order prohibiting Adityanath from campaigning, claiming that he did not intend to incite communal tension and merely expressed his beliefs.
The party urged the Electoral Commission to bar Rahul Gandhi from campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls and impose the "heaviest punishment" on him, saying he raised false allegations against Narendra Modi in the Rafale agreement. A delegation from the BJP, including Union Ministers JP Nadda, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and VK Singh, also sought similar action against the cricket player who became politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.
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