No alliance just in Delhi, AAP tells Congress
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said an alliance just in Delhi is not possible after the Congress refused to have a tie-up anywhere else with it.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that giving three seats to the Congress in the national capital would mean “giving three seats to the BJP”, when asked his opinion on the 4:3 seat sharing formula proposed by the Congress.
He said the Congress first proposed 6:3:1 seat sharing formula to the AAP in Haryana where six seats would be for Congress, three for Janayak Janata Party and one seat for AAP. “Our decision to form an alliance with the Congress was to stop the Modi-Shah duo,” he said.
Kolkata | West Bengal
Mamata Banerjee can go to any extent for appeasement politics, says Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday raked up controversy over campaign by actors from Bangladesh for Trinamool Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls and hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that “she can go to any extent for appeasement politics”.
“People from other countries are being brought to campaign here for appeasement politics. Has this ever happened in the country? For her vote bank and appeasement politics Didi (Ms. Banerjee) can go to any extent,” Mr. Modi said addressing a public meeting in Buniyadpur in West Bengal’s South Dinajpur district.
Videos of actors from Bangladesh Ferdous Ahmed and Ghazi Abdul Noor campaigning for Trinamool Congress candidates was aired by certain television channels, which also went viral on social media. The Election Commission of India and Ministry of External Affairs took note of these incidents and the actors were asked to return to Bangladesh.
Patna | Bihar
Bihar expecting lies and jumlas in PM rally: Tejashwi Yadav
Bihar is expecting “lies and jumlas” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally in Araria Lok Sabha constituency, RJD leader and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav said on Saturday.
Hours before the PM’s rally at Forbesganj town in favour of NDA candidates in the State, Tejashwi Yadav, also the leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly, said Mr. Modi will portray himself as the son of the extremely backwards.
“PM @narendramodi ji is coming to Bihar today. He would portray himself as the son of extremely backwards. Will make an abortive bid to create polarisation,” he tweeted.
“Bihar is expecting ‘lies and jumlas’ from him (PM Modi). Hope that the PM would give account of his 2014 promises such as giving special status, special package to Bihar, and also about giving free education and medicine #BiharRejectsModi,” Tejashwi Yadav said.
The RJD leader’s tweet comes two days after he had termed Mr Modi as “fake backward”, who did nothing for OBCs.
The remark had drawn a sharp reaction from the BJP, with national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav terming it as “arrogant, graceless and childish” made on the advice of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Tejashwi Yadav on Monday also asked the PM to name any project in Bihar, for which he had laid the foundation and inaugurated.
Mr. Modi would address a public meeting near the highway that was constructed by the UPA government, he said, adding, the Manmohan Singh-led government sanctioned projects worth Rs 1.44 lakh crore for Bihar, “while you (PM) merely indulged in rhetoric“.
Taking a swipe at Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for not releasing its manifesto, he said, “Nitish jee is so much scared of PM Modi that they (JDU leaders) have not released their manifesto so far.”
BJP has fielded Pradeep Singh from the Araria constituency, which would go to polls along with four other constituencies of Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Madhepura and Khagaria in third phase on April 23.
Raichur | Karnataka
We will forcibly take money from those who looted the country under Modi: Rahul
In a sharp response to BJP leaders who termed the minimum income guarantee scheme (NYAY) promised by the Congress as something that could not be implemented, Congress president Rahul Gandhi hit back stating that his party, upon coming to power, would forcibly take money from the pockets of big businessmen who looted the country under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule and put it into the bank accounts of poor people. He was addressing a public rally jointly organised by the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) here Friday.
“When we promised NYAY, the BJP and Mr. Modi started asking from where we will mobilise money for the scheme. Whenever we come up with any pro-people programmes, they ask from where we would bring the money for them. Now, I tell you that the money for the scheme meant for the 20 % of the poor will not come from the pockets of the middle class. Instead, we will, soon after coming to power, forcibly take the money from Ambani, Choksi, Mallya and others who looted the country and put it in the accounts of the poor [through NYAY],” he said, referring to industrialists Anil Ambani, Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi who are allegedly involved in different scams.
Terming the scheme as very much implementable, Mr. Gandhi said that his party would show Mr. Modi that it would be possible to spend ₹ 3.60 lakh crore every year for the scheme.
Fielding Pragya a reply to those who called Hindu civilisation terrorist: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that fielding of Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, as BJP candidate from Bhopal was a symbolic answer to all those who labeled the rich Hindu civilization as “terrorist” and asserted that “this symbol will prove costly for the Congress”.
He said the Congress works with a certain “modus operandi” to create false narratives on incidents such as Samjhauta Express blast and death of judge B.H. Loya. While defending the fielding of Ms. Thakur, who is on bail in the blast case, Mr. Modi asked why no such questions are being asked when Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are contesting from Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies, respectively, despite being on “bail”.
“One woman, that too a ‘sadhvi’, was humiliated in such a manner,” he said in an interview to Times Now while answering a question on fielding of Thakur in the Lok Sabha elections.
“Samjhauta Express verdict came. What came out? Without any evidence, a rich civilization as old as 5000 years, which gave the message of ‘the whole world is one’… You called such a civilization terrorist? To give a reply to all such people, this (fielding of Ms. Thakur) is a symbol and this symbol will cost Congress dearly,” the Prime Minister added.
She joined the BJP on Wednesday and soon after was fielded as its candidate from Bhopal against Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
Congress demands PM’s apology, EC seeks report on Pragya’s ‘curse’ remarks
Amid widespread outrage over the BJP’s Bhopal candidate, Pragya Singh Thakur’s derogatory comments about 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, the Congress on Friday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ms. Thakur, an accused in the 2013 Malegaon blasts case, claimed at a gathering of party workers on Thursday that Karkare, who was heading the probe into the blasts, was killed because she had cursed him for “torturing” her. The BJP issued a statement later in the day, distancing itself from Ms. Thakur’s comments, saying these were her personal views and she might have made them “due to years of physical and mental torture.”
In the evening, an aide quoted Ms. Thakur as saying at a rally in Berasia, “I felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it [my remarks], so I take back my statement and apologise for it.” “Pragyaji said that if her remarks hurt someone, she was sorry for it,” Upma Singh said.
EC seeks report
The Election Commission on Friday sought a report from Bhopal’s Returning Officer on remarks by the BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya SIngh Thakur that Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had died in the 26/11 terror attack because she had cursed him.
At a gathering of BJP workers on Thursday, Ms. Thakur, an accused in the 2013 Malegaon blasts case in which six persons were killed, said Karkare, who was heading the probe, had committed an anti-national act by allegedly falsely implicating her in the case. “It was treason. It was against religion,” she said.
Ms. Thakur alleged that she was tortured during her detention and that she had cursed him. “He tortured me and subjected me to harsh abuse which was unbearable. I told him he will be destroyed. A little over a month later ‘sutak’ (ritual observed after the death of a family member) was going to start …just over a month later, he was shot dead by terrorists and the inauspicious period ended,” she said.
This is the first time Ms. Thakur has spoke of torture. She had not raised the issue even when she filed for bail.