General election 2019 — As it happened — Gujarat court summons Rahul Gandhi over his Modi surname remark

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Here are the day's election-related developments at a glance


Gujarat court summons Rahul Gandhi over his Modi surname remark

A court in Surat Thursday issued summons to Congress president Rahul Gandhi in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by a Gujarat MLA over the Congress president’s “how come all thieves have Modi as common surname” remark.

Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat, B.H. Kapadia, issued summons to Mr. Gandhi, directing him to be present before the court on June 7.

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Amethi/Rae Bareli (U.P.)

Nationalism means respect for people, don’t see respect in anything BJP does: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

True nationalism is love for the people and the country which means respect, and the BJP’s narrative is devoid of it, says Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, stepping up her attack on the saffron party for failing to address real issues.

In an exclusive interview to PTI, Ms. Priyanka Gandhi also said there is growing “public anger and pain” for which the people of India will give a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 23 when the votes for the Lok Sabha polls will be counted.

In an attack on Mr. Modi, she said if the voice of the people is drowned by the voice of one leader, there are going to be consequences.

“Nationalism means solving the problems of the people of the country. The greatest patriotism of any politician, of any government, would be to be able to hear the people when they speak, would be to be democratic, to be able to strengthen the institutions that strengthen the public voice, not weaken it,” she said.

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New Delhi


BJP’s nationalism narrative devoid of love for people and country: Priyanka

“True nationalism is love for people and country, BJP’s nationalism narrative devoid of it,” says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tells PTI in an interview “There is growing public anger and pain for which people will give message to Narendra Modi.

“If voice of people is drowned by voice of one leader, there are going to be consequences.

“This is an election in which we are fighting for the India we all love and for democracy. BJP has targeted every person who has spoken against it.”

Uttar Pradesh

Congress, BJP acting against SP-BSP alliance: Mayawati

BSP chief Mayawati on May 2 accused the BJP and Congress of having a tacit understanding and unitedly working against the SP-BSP alliance.

“Congressmen think it is not a problem if BJP candidates win elections but SP-BSP alliance candidates should not win polls,” the former Uttar Pradesh CM alleged.

“Like BJP, Congress has started talking absurd about the SP-BSP alliance. It is clear that both (Cong and BJP) have a tacit understanding and are contesting against our alliance unitedly,” Ms. Mayawati said in Lucknow.

BSP supremo Mayawati

BSP supremo Mayawati  


Addressing an election rally in Barabanki on May 1, Congress president Rahul Gandi alleged that control of Ms. Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav was in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“In the past five years, did the SP or BSP take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly? Did you hear any statement from Mayawati or Mulayam Singh Yadav? See, I am not scared of Narendra Modi. I don’t care. If someone is scared, it is Narendra Modi. But the controller of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav is in the hands of Narendra Modi,” Mr. Gandhi said.


Kerala police books three women, alleged to be CPI (M) workers, for voter fraud

The Kerala police on Thursday indicted three women believed to be Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers for electoral fraud. They identified the accused as M.V. Salina, K.P. Sumayya, and Padmini.

The suspects have been charged for committing voter fraud in booth number 19 at Pilathara in Kannur district in Kasaragod Lok Sabha constituency segment.

Kerala Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena

Kerala Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar


According to the police, the women had impersonated absentee voters and fraudulently cast ballots on their behalf as part of a broader bid to steal the election in favour of their candidate.

Officials said they had booked the suspects as per the directions of the Returning Officer.

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A ‘rebel’ who vows to protect people from ‘dacoits in society’

His name used to send shivers down the spine in ravines of Chambal in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the seventies.

But the former dacoit now describes himself as a “baagi” (rebel) and vows to fight against ‘dacoits in society’ and stand rock-solid for their cause.

He is Malkhan Singh Rajpoot, 76, who is testing his electoral fortunes from Dhauhara constituency as Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) candidate.

“Mahaul accha hai...dhuan dhaar lad rahe hai” (The scenario is good...I am contesting solidely),” Malkhan, who was the uncrowned emperor of dacoits of Chambal in the 1970’s, told PTI over phone when asked how his election prospects.

“I will party is strong and I am getting good response wherever I go in the constituency,” he claimed.

Asked about issues being raised by him, Malkhan, who was first picked up by police in 1964 when he was just 17-year-old under the Arms Act, said, “I will stand rock-solid for the cause of the people and save them from dacoits in society whom they face everyday.” “Garibon, mahilaon par anyay aur atyachar ke khilaf khada rahunga,” (I will stand against those who commit atrocities on poor and women),” he said. “As a ‘pehredar of Chambal’, I took care of all irrespective of their caste. I don’t carry any blot now,” he said, recalling his past when he was known as a dreaded dacoit of Chambal.

“No one can met injustice to anyone here. I will ensure that. They (people) will only get benefited by me as their representative,” Malkhan said, when asked why people should vote for a ‘dacoit’, as he is perceived.

“I was not a dacoit. I was ‘baagi’, who took up gun for self-honour and self-protection. I know who are real dacoits and also know how to deal with them,” he said.

People of his area say Malkhan hates being called a dacoit.

They say he still evokes the Robin Hood image even outside the badlands of Chambal where he ruled for 15 years.

When asked as to why he selected Dhaurahara constituency and not any other seat in UP or in MP, Malkhan said, “It is democracy. Anyone can contest from anywhere. If our PM Narendra Modi can contest from Varanasi, why can’t I?” Malkhan and his gang were the most feared in the Chambal region and had a total of 94 police cases, including 18 cases of dacoity, 28 of kidnapping, 19 of attempt to murder and 17 cases of murder against them. When his surrender was ultimately negotiated, Malkhan himself carried a price of Rs 70,000 on his head.

Malkhan settled down in district headquarters of Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh after his surrender before then MP chief minister Arjun Singh in 1982.

Locals say at the of 76, the over six-foot tall Malkhan is still a rebel, but sans the American self-loading rifle that he used to flaunt.

Nevertheless, he is campaigning with all guns blazing, kicking up dust in the villages braving the scorching heat.

In Dhaurahara, Malkhan had campaigned for Congress nominee Jitin Prasada in 2009 and helped him win. “I was assured a Congress ticket from Banda this time, but they ditched me,” Malkhan said, when asked about his meetings with Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Raj Babbar.

Malkhan is contesting against Congress candidate Jitin Prasada, BJP’s Rekha Verma and opposition alliance candidate Arshad Iliyas Siddiqui (BSP). The constituency will go to polls on May 6 in the fifth phase of polling. - PTI

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:28:17 AM |

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