UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has decided to take the lead in consolidating the opposition and has called the respective parties for a meeting on May 23, the day the results of the national election will be declared. Mrs Gandhi has written to several opposition leaders, including DMK chief MK Stalin, Janata Dal Secular, Sharad Pawar's NCP and the Uttar Pradesh opposition alliance partners, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, according to sources. Sonia Gandhi has so far kept a low profile with the initiative to push for campaigning for the Congress given to her son and party chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister, the party's eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The opposition also tore into the BJP today, questioning the Model Code of Conduct, after the Election Commission cut short campaigning in West Bengal for the last round of the national election. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala termed the Model Code of Conduct as the "Modi Code of Misconduct".
The Election Commission took this step after violence broke out during Amit Shah's rally in Bengal capital Kolkata. The clashes ended with vandals destroying a bust of iconic 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The BJP and Trinamool Congress proceeded to trade charges against each other of inciting the violence and desecrating the statue of the social reformer, widely revered by Bengalis.
Amit Shah termed the violence during his roadshow as a part of a "conspiracy", while Trinamool leader Derek O' Brien in turn called the BJP chief "pukeworthy" and "dhokebaaz".
Here are the highlights of Lok Sabha Elections 2019:
The BJP distancing itself from party leader Pragya Singh Thakur's statement that Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse is a "patriot" is not enough, Congress general Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said today, challenging "nationalist luminaries of the BJP" to spell out their stand.
Robert Vadra, the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, says he has "learnt a lot in the past 20 years", as part of the Nehru-Gandhi family, but when it comes to joining politics, he wants to earn it. The businessman, who is being investigated over allegations of money laundering and illegal land deals, also says that he has tolerated so much political attack that it has stopped affecting him.
Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, "was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a deshbhakt and will remain one," the BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur said today, adding to her growing list of controversial statements. She apologized hours later, with her party publicly condemning the comment and disowning it.
Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, "was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a deshbhakt and will remain one," the BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur said today, adding to her growing list of controversial statements. After outrage over her remarks and the BJP distancing itself from it, Pragya Thakur apologised and retracted her statement, news agency Press Trust of India reported.
"This Lok Sabha election will remain etched in our minds for the attack on democracy and opposition workers in Bengal," PM Modi said.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, fighting to defend her turf against the BJP's aggressive campaign to score in the national election, today thanked a range of opposition parties, including the Congress and Mayawati, for their support.
In the massive political row over the vandalism of an Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue in clashes at BJP president Amit Shah's rally in Kolkata, the legendary 19th century reformer was seen in the campaign of a BJP candidate today. Or at least, an actor in costume, complete with a faux receding hairline, a dhoti, a brown shawl and a book in one hand.
Election in Bhopal is over, but Congress's Digvijaya Singh today said his opponent Pragya Singh Thakur's statement glorifying Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, calls for an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, engaged in a bitter fight with the BJP since the violence at Amit Shah's rally, today gave a report card for the BJP in the ongoing elections. The party will end up with less than a hundred seats, she predicted - immediately after accusing it of being a "goonda (rogue) party, spreading money trying to buy votes".
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has termed as 'disturbing' the Election Commission's action cutting short the election campaign in West Bengal by a day and has said that the poll panel's integrity is at stake.
Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, "was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a deshbhakt and will remain one," the BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur said today, adding to her growing list of controversial statements.
Thanks and gratitude to @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @INCIndia, @ncbn and others for expressing solidarity and support to us and the people of #Bengal. EC's biased actions under the directions of the #BJP are a direct attack on democracy. People will give a befitting reply- Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 16, 2019
After Mayawati's attack, PM Modi today in Uttar Pradesh's Mau said: "I had thought the way Mamata didi is targeting UP and Bihar, and people from Purvanchal, calling them outsiders for her politics, Behen Mayawati will surely slam Mamata didi, but this did not happen."