Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST Updates: Clashes broke between TMC and BJP supporters at Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday. Speaking to CNN-News18, Amit Shah said, “TMC goons can’t let free and fair polls take place in Bengal. They set things on fire, attacked people at the roadshow. The Election Commission must take cognisance of TMC’s actions.”
DMK chief MK Stalin denied that he was in talks with the BJP. “If Tamilisai Soundararajan and Narendra Modi prove I was in contact with BJP to form an alliance with them, I’ll quit politics. If they fail to prove, will she and Modi quit politics? I condemn the statement made by Soundararajan,” he said.
Hours after a row erupted over the removal of BJP posters in West Bengal, party chief Amit Shah is holding a mega roadshow in Kolkata. Speaking to India Today, Amit Shah said, “Our posters were removed, but they’ve killed several of our workers so far. If she (Mamata Banerjee) thinks that she can stop BJP by using violence, she should know that the more dirt she hurls at us the more the lotus will bloom.”
DMK leader Durai Murugan met TDP president Chandrababu Naidu in Amaravati earlier on Tuesday. TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao had called on DMK chief Stalin on Monday in his bid to form a federal government. However, Stalin later said that he saw no hope for a third front and had reportedly told the TRS leader to support Congress.
Police have allegedly taken off posters and banners set up ahead of Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, leading to a charged atmosphere ahead of the mega rally. BJP workers have, as reported by News18, been out on the streets in protest. BJP vice-president for Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya and leader Rahul Sinha allegedly had a war of words with city police over this.
Repeatedly referring to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee as ‘Hitler’ and ‘Hitler didi,’ the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Poonam Mahajan said on Tuesday that while the party was delighted that Priyanka Sharma will be released, it would fight her case with renewed vigour due to the alleged injustice done. Calling the arrest of the youth leader in Bengal for sharing a meme on Mamata an assault on free speech, Mahajan alleged that people in Bengal are living in fear.
Speaking at his second rally of the day at Buxar in Bihar, prime minister Narendra Modi gave out his customary clarion call for a re-election of his government as he alone could take India further on a path of development. He said he has never spent any moment for himself, nor has he given any time to his family. “These 130 crores of Indians are my family. I have lived for you and I will live for you,” he said. He added that Opposition parties were nervous because people loved him so much.
In an extended address through the NaMo app, prime minister Narendra Modi made a drawn out appeal to people of Varanasi (which he repeatedly referred to as ‘Kashi’) ahead of its polls on 19 May. He admitted that while he has done a lot, there is a “lot left to do, but we have to do it together.” He also asked people to click selfies after voting and post them on social media. “Between all the running around, I will see your photos and feel your blessings travelling to me,” he said. Modi also asked Varanasi voters to “break the record” of maximum votes polled.
Faction wars in the Congress’ ranks in Punjab have kept Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been drawing huge crowds wherever he has campaigned across the country, from campaigning in Punjab, his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu. She said it was Congress leader and Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh who had expressly asked Sidhu not to campaign in the state. It had earlier been reported that Sidhu will not be campaigning in the state because his vocal chords had been damaged after 80 rallies in 28 days.
The Supreme Court has told Priyanka Sharma, the BJP youth leader in Howrah who was arrested for sharing a meme which had an image of Mamata Banerjee morphed onto the body of Priyanka Chopra’s Met Gala look, that she must apologise after her release on conditional bail. The court had first held that there would be no bail if Priyanka did not apologise and added that her situation is “different” as she is a BJP member. Senior advocate NK Kaul appearing for Priyanka said “asking for apology is amount to infringement of right to freedom of speech.”
The unrelenting, often violent, back and forth between BJP and TMC in West Bengal continued well into Tuesday, a day after police raided the house of a BJP worker in Barasat. Police, reported ANI, were acting on a complaint lodged by TMC candidate from Barasat, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar who alleged that the BJP was distributing money for votes. BJP leader Mukul Roy, meanwhile, said cars belonging to BJP leaders were attacked by TMC workers in Barasat. “BJP’s Arvind Menon was holding a meeting with few leaders in Barasat. Few people led by Kakoli came there and attacked the cars parked outside. There is no democracy in this state,” he added.
A day after she hogging headlines with her personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati took to Twitter to say that temple visits had become the new election fashion adopted by leaders, along with roadshows. She also said the expenses of these were quite a lot and that these should ideally be borne by the candidates themselves. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are among many who have made frequent visits to temples. Mayawati also commented on leaders visiting temples during campaign bans, something Adityanath could be accused of having done.
BJP president Amit Shah will hold a roadshow in rival Mamata Banerjee’s own turf of Kolkata on Tuesday. The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal had first denied permission to Shah to hold a rally at Jadavpur in the city and then withdrew permission for his chopper to land there as well. BJP has claimed that the party has been denied permission for the rallies of Yogi Adityanath and Smriti Irani that were scheduled on 15 May.
The BJP said on Monday that the Election Commission has become a “mute spectator” to Trinamool’s alleged undemocratic means to target the saffron party. BJP media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said his party will hold protests and also move the poll panel over this.
The tension between the two parties is at an all-time high, with every one of the six phases of the polls witnessing violent clashes between workers of the two parties in Bengal. On Monday, TMC leader and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien called Shah a “low-life” who “insulted” the state with his “kangal Bangla” remark.
Addressing an election rally in Canning, Shah had targeted Mamata and said, “We will restore the glory of Bengal. Mamata Banerjee has turned ‘shonar’ (golden) Bangla into ‘kangal’ (pauper) Bangla. She is only interested in protecting infiltrators to secure her vote bank. But her vote bank won’t be able to save her from imminent defeat.”
BJP’s Amethi candidate Smriti Irani will also campaign in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold four public rallies in two states and an Union Territory on Tuesday. He is first expected to speak at Baliya in Uttar Pradesh, then at Buxar and Sasaram in Bihar, and finally at Chandigarh.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will hold rallies at Neemuch, Ujjain and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, while his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi will speak in public meetings at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, and Bathinda and Gurdaspur in Punjab.
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Amit Shah in Kolkata; Lok Sabha Election 2019 LIVE Updates: Bengal will bring victory to Modi, claims BJP chief during mega roadshow – Firstpost