Elections: No party neglected Ambedkar more than Congress, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during 'Vijay Sankalp Samavesh' public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi, Tuesday, April 02, 2019 | Photo: PTI
The first phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections 2019 is set to take place in less than 10 days from now. With the poll battle hotting up, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released his party's election manifesto, with focus on jobs, farmers and women security. The Congress manifesto was released at Congress headquarters in New Delhi.

Describing the manifesto as the 'voice of people', Rahul Gandhi said if his party is elected to power, its government would spend six per cent of the GDP on education. He also said if Congress is elected to power, its government would spend six per cent of the GDP on education.

Senior party leader P Chidambaram asserted that 'wealth and welfare' is the manifesto's central theme. Accusing the ruling BJP of trying to take narrative to hyper-nationalism, Chidambaram said real issues in this general elections are unemployment, farmer distress and women's safety among others.

BJP dubbed the election manifesto of the Congress "dangerous and unimplementable", saying it was aimed at "balkanisation" of India.

The party alleged that though the Congress had set up a drafting committee, it appears that some important points related to Jammu and Kashmir were drafted by party chief Rahul Gandhi's friends in 'Tukde Tukde' gang.

Prime Minister and BJP star-campaigner Narendra Modi spent the morning rallying in Odisha. Later in the day, Modi kickstarted BJP's campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. 

Addressing a rally in Bihar's Jamui, Prime Minister Modi said governance goes into reverse gear when the grand old party and its allies are in power.

"Governance goes into reverse gear when the Congress and its allies are in power. Terrorism, prices, violence, corruption, black money rise when Congress is in power; the country's prosperity, its credibility, the morale of the armed forces, respect for honesty decline," Modi said.

The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held from April 11 until May 19.

The result of the polls will be declared on May 23.


Rahul challenges PM to debate him on security, corruption and foreign policy

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to debate with him on national security, corruption and foreign policy. Gandhi, while addressing a gathering at its manifesto release event at the party headquarters here, claimed that the prime minister was "scared" and did not want to have a "real debate". Asked about BJP's pitch on issues pertaining to "Hindus" and nationalism, the Congress chief said: "We all are Hindus, but the country needs employment, there is a need to help the farmers in the country, the country needs NYAY, there is a need to take care of women, give reservation to women."

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: @INCIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares a light moment with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, during an election rally, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Gaya | Photo credit: PTI
BJP supporters hold cutouts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah as they gather for a roadshow Amit Shah for the Bengaluru South Constituency candidate Tejaswi Surya, in Bengaluru | Photo credit: PTI

BJD fields women candidates on 33% seats; Tathagat Satpathy steps aside

The ruling BJD has kept its promise of fielding women candidates in 33 per cent seats for the coming Lok Sabha elections in Odisha.
"The BJD has fielded 33 per cent women candidates for the state's 21 Lok Sabha seats. We stand by our promise made in this regard," BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after announcing the candidature of Chandrani Murmu as the party's nominee for Keonjhar (ST) seat.

File photo of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

AAP may discuss pre-poll alliance prospects with Congress

Amid Congress president Rahul Gandhi's remarks that his party was flexible and open to alliances, the AAP on Tuesday said it will discuss the prospects of a pre-poll tie-up with the grand old party with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and party leaders.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

BJP releases candidates list for constituencies of Gujarat, Kerala

Congress manifesto pack of lies, says Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday dubbed the Congress's election manifesto a "pack of lies" and said it was an insult to the country's people and its brave soldiers. In a statement, he hit out at the opposition party over its promise to repeal Section 124A (sedition law) and review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, saying it is bringing a smile to terrorists and separatists while lowering the morale of the armed forces.

National president of BJP Amit Shah

Will reverse illegal interference by BJP in RBI functioning: Congress

The Congress said the party will "reverse the unwarranted and illegal interference by the BJP government into the functioning of the RBI" if voted to power. It also promised to review and replace the current Goods and Services Tax laws with "the GST 2.0 regime", which will be based on a "single, moderate, standard rate of tax" on all goods and services.
"The Congress will respect the autonomy of the RBI in matters reserved to the RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939, including the formulation of monetary policy," the party said in its election manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls.

Will review AFSPA Act in J&K if voted to power: Congress

The Congress said if voted to power it will review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir, and made it clear that nothing will be done to change the constitutional position on the state, a clear reference to Article 370 which the BJP has been long promising to scrap.
Releasing its manifesto for Lok Sabha polls with a dedicated section on J-K, the Congress articulated positions on key issues of the AFSPA, Article 370 and dialogue with stakeholders in Kashmir very divergent from the BJP, which accused the opposition party of making "dangerous promises" and compromising on national security.

FILE PHOTO: Congress President Rahul Gandhi

PM Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Bihar

Cong manifesto bundle of lies: Adityanath

UP CM Yogi Adityanath Tuesday dismissed the Congress manifesto as a bundle of lies and also targeted the opposition over its handling of national security. Read more

Modi to address six rallies in Karnataka from April 8

PM Modi will address six election rallies in Karnataka, including two on April 18, the day 14 Lok Sabha seats in southern districts will go to polls in the first phase. Read more

PM Modi, Mamata to launch poll campaign in West Bengal tomorrow

The battle of Bengal is all set to heat up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee kickstarting their campaign Wednesday in the state that sends third largest number of Lok Sabha members to Parliament. Read more

Mayawati slams both BJP & Congress, dubs them corrupt

Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati Tuesday mounted a blistering attack on both BJP and Congress and accused them of betraying the dalits and the minorities while benefitting the rich. Read more
Governance in reverse gear when Congress and its allies come to power: PM Modi
Terrorism, prices, violence, corruption, black money rise when Cong is in power; country's prosperity, credibility decline: PM Modi at Bihar rally

BJD govt did not cooperate, 'chowkidar' transformed Odisha with central schemes: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday slammed the Naveen Patnaik government of Odisha for "not cooperating" with the Centre for the speedy development of the state and said he used central schemes as a tool for the welfare of the Odiyas. Read more
Cong does not deserve even single vote for promises like doing away with sedition law, says Arun Jaitley

Tejashwini, wife of late Union Minister Ananth Kumar, appointed Vice President of Karnataka BJP

Congress was involved in Bofors and now BJP govt is involved in Rafale: Mayawati

Capex at 14-year low amid political uncertainty ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Capex on new projects halved in the March quarter of FY2018-19, compared to the same period last year even as a new government is set to be elected at the Centre.
The total value of new projects for the last quarter was Rs 1.99 trillion, a decline of 54.4 per cent from the Rs 4.36 trillion spent during the corresponding period in the previous financial year, shows data from CMIE. Read more

Notification for phase 4 of Lok Sabha polls to be held on April 29 issued

The Election Commission Tuesday issued notification for phase four of Lok Sabha elections to be held on April 29 in which 71 seats across nine states will go to polls. Read more

Congress Lok Sabha Elections 2019 manifesto: Key takeways

1. NYAY: Congress promises Rs 72,000 per annum to poorest people
2. Jobs: 22 lakh government jobs will be filled by March 2020
3. Farmer distress: Separate Farmer Budget; farmers not paying loan will not be 'criminal offence'
4. Education: 6% of Budget to be allocated for education
5.Healthcare: High quality public health system for all
6. MNREGA: Guarantee days will be increased to 150 from 100
7. Start-up: For first 3 years, one does not need any permission to start a business
8. GST 2.0: Congress promises GST regime will be based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax on all goods and services
Congress President Rahul Gandhi: PM had spoken about MGNREGA. He mocked and said it is a bogus and useless scheme. Today everyone knows how much it helped the country. So now we want to guarantee jobs for 150 days, instead of 100 days, under the scheme.
Wanted to send a message to south India that Congress is with them: Rahul Gandhi on contesting from Wayanad
The manifesto has come to us from the people, it's citizens' Mann Ki Baat, not ours, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress promises to fill 22 lakh government vacancies by March 2020 and increase job guarantee under MGNREGA from 100 days to 150 days.
Rahul Gandhi at Congress' election manifesto release: I also said that whatever is going to be in this manifesto has to be truthful, I do not want a single thing in this manifesto that is a lie because we have been hearing large number of lies spoken everyday by our PM.
Rahul Gandhi at Congress' election manifesto release: When we started this process about a year back, I spoke to Mr Chidamabaram, Mr Gowda & gave 2 instructions. I said this is not a manifesto to be made in closed rooms but this should reflect the wishes of the people of India.
Healthcare and education cannot be in the hands of private sector, says Rahul Gandhi
Entrepreneurs will not need any permission to start a business if we come to power: Rahul Gandhi
We would like India to be prosperous, manifesto's perspective is India's economy: Manmohan Singh
All sections of society have been taken care of in this manifesto: Manmohan Singh

Congress manifesto will sum up aspirations of Indian citizens: Manmohan Singh

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is addressing the gathering.
Manisfesto based on suggestions received from people from all walks of life: Manmohan Singh
Former union minister P Chidambaram, who headed the manifesto committee, is addressing the gathering and talking about the process undertaken while compiling it.
BJP trying to take the narrative back to polarisation, hyper-nationalism and divisiveness: P Chidambaram
Manifesto addresses concerns of minorities, women, Dalits, farmers, industries, education, healthcare, workers among others: P Chidambaram, Congress manifesto committee chairman
Enough in Congress manifesto to address everyone's demand. However, there's a lot more we wanted to do, but couldn't accomodate it: Chidambaram
We have taken your  (Rahul Gandhi) view and created the manifesto for the people of India, says Congress.
Watch live:

If BJP had formed govt here, the work in Odisha would've been much faster, better and at a bigger scale. Despite of no cooperation from the state govt, we did our best to bring about the change in your lives: PM Modi.
More than 400 Eklavaya model schools have been opened for the children of tribals: PM Modi

People have been forced to migrate to other states for livelihood from Odisha: PM Modi

People have been forced to migrate to other states for livelihood from Odisha: PM Modi
PM Narendra Modi in Kalahandi, Odisha: Parties like Congress and BJD conspired to keep the poor of the country poor, they deceived the poor. They treated them as vote-bank; and because of this don’t know how many Dana Manjhis don't even get ambulance.

In the last five years, 800,000 poor families have been given houses in Odisha: PM Modi

PM Modi addressing public meeting at Kalahandi, Odisha

Will initiate an inquiry into Rafale deal if we come to power: Congress' Bhalchandra Mungekar

SC declines urgent hearing on Hardik Patel's plea seeking to cancel conviction to contest polls

'It was the will of the people': BSP chief Mayawati files affidavit before the Supreme Court justifying expenses in installation of her statues and elephant statues in Uttar Pradesh

Narendra Modi to hold two rallies in Bihar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar today with rallies in Jamui and Gaya Lok Sabha seats, both of which go to polls in the first phase. Read more

BSP MLA Maulana Jameel joins Congress

BSP MLA Maulana Jameel joined the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Jameel said he left the Mayawati-led outfit as he felt only Congress could defeat the BJP in the coming elections.
The MLA joined the Congress in the presence of AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia in Delhi on Monday.

Congress to release manifesto on April 2

Congress party will release its manifesto for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls on April 2, said a source.
The manifesto will be released by party president Rahul Gandhi at the Congress headquarters. Read more

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel