Lok Sabha elections updates | ‘Viksit Bharat’ agenda takes centre stage at first meeting of BJP’s manifesto committee

Defence Minister and former BJP president Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting, with Union minister Piyush Goyal telling reporters that the party has received over 3.75 lakh suggestions for its manifesto

April 01, 2024 07:39 am | Updated April 03, 2024 09:59 am IST

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chairs the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Election Manifesto Committee's first meet ahead of the Lok Sabha elections at BJP HQ in New Delhi on April 01, 2024.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chairs the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Election Manifesto Committee's first meet ahead of the Lok Sabha elections at BJP HQ in New Delhi on April 01, 2024. | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

The BJP has filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for the “match-fixing” comments he made during an INDIA bloc rally in Delhi on March 31. Addressing the media after meeting Election Commission officials, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the former Congress chief’s comments during the public meeting were “extremely objectionable” as they are not just in violation of the model code of conduct, but could have serious implications.

The biggest challenge yet for the great Indian election

Earlier in the day, the EC censured the BJP’s Dilip Ghosh and Congress’ Supriya Shrinate for derogatory remarks against the dignity of women. The Commission said it is convinced that they made low-level personal attacks and violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct. It also warned the leaders to be careful of what they say in public during the Model Code of Conduct period. 

Meanwhile, the Income Tax department informed the Supreme Court that no coercive steps would be taken against the Indian National Congress on tax demands to the tune of approximately ₹3,500 crore raised in March in view of the general elections.

Read | A dozen mutinies in Karnataka

The Katchatheevu issue is dominating headlines today as well. PM Narendra Modi targeted the DMK over the issue and alleged the ruling party of Tamil Nadu did nothing to safeguard the State’s interests. He said, “The Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don’t care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular.”External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the AIADMK and other political parties have commented on the matter.

Also Read: The biggest challenge yet for the great Indian election

For updates on the elections from March 31, click here. 

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  • April 01, 2024 20:19
    Congress leaders also face ED cases, party reminds Kerala CM

    Responding to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s allegations about probes by central agencies into “non-Congress” parties, the Congress on Monday pointed out that their top leaders have also been subjected to investigations by the Enforcement Directorate and others.

    Shortly after Vijayan accused the Congress of demanding an ED probe into the Delhi liquor excise policy case, V D Satheesan, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, sought to sidestep the allegation, but stated that the Chief Minister was ignorant of the legal challenges faced by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and P Chidambaram during the BJP rule.

    “The ED had interrogated Sonia Gandhi, who was facing health issues for hours, and Rahul Gandhi for days. The central agency personnel arrested and jailed former minister P Chidambaram in the night by jumping the compound wall of his house. Karnataka deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar had also been jailed,” Satheesan said, during a press conference.


  • April 01, 2024 20:16
    Karnataka | Should I remain as CM or not? Siddaramaiah’‘s emotional appeal to Varuna voters

    Amid speculations about leadership change, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday asked the people of his Varuna assembly segment to give the Congress candidate a lead of at least 60,000 votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, to ensure that he remains in the post.

    In Mandya, Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President D K Shivakumar, who has made no secret about his Chief Ministerial ambitions, told the people that the desire with which they supported the party in the assembly poll in May last year, keeping him in mind, “will not turn out to be false.” The statements gain significance amid persistent rumours about leadership change in the ruling Congress in the state after Lok Sabha polls or mid-way of the current assembly’s tenure.

    “In 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) Dhruvanarayan (Congress candidate) lost by a margin of only 1,817 votes.... This time in the Assembly you made me win by giving a lead of 48,000 votes (in Varuna). Will you give the same lead or more now? (Our candidate should win ) with a lead of at least 60,000 votes,” Siddaramaiah said.


  • April 01, 2024 20:02
    A bone of contention between DMK and AIADMK, Katchatheevu takes centre stage ahead of LS polls

    The emotive issue of Katchatheevu, an island ceded to Sri Lanka by the Congress government at the Centre in 1974 had always been a key point of discord between late Chief Ministers M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa and the issue has occupied centre stage yet again, ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

    The Katchatheevu retrieval issue had all along been a subject of intense debate between the Dravidian majors with the unceasing arrest and harassment of Tamil fishermen.

    Jayalalithaa once vowed to retrieve the island to end the travails of fishermen and her party had always blamed the DMK for doing nothing to stop it, though it held the reins of power in 1974.

    Karunanidhi had asserted he never accepted the ceding nor did he agree to it. He had expressed his opposition as the Chief Minister. The DMK has always pointed out that it had held state-wide protests to oppose the ceding of Katchatheevu. In effect, both the ruling DMK and AIADMK have favoured reclaiming Katchatheevu.

    It was Indira Gandhi’s regime at the Centre that concluded pacts in 1974 and 1976 giving away the island to Sri Lanka. In the 1971 election, the DMK allied with the Gandhi-led Congress.


  • April 01, 2024 19:38
    Uttar Pradesh | Shed over-confidence, war and election fought with full caution, Adityanath tells BJP supporters

    Ahead of Lok Saha polls, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday asked party leaders, workers and supporters to shed any sense of over-confidence and emphasised that “both war and election should be fought with complete caution and alertness”.

    Adityanath said this while addressing a ‘Prabuddh Varg Sammelan’ (intellectual community’s conference) at Greater Noida in Gautam Buddh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency of western Uttar Pradesh after a couple of similar events in Hathras and Bulandshahr earlier in the day.

    During the conference, Adityanath appealed to the participants, including party workers, office-bearers, representatives from industry, medical fraternity, trade unions, lawyers, and intellectuals from several walks of life, to ensure electoral victory of BJP candidate Mahesh Sharma.


  • April 01, 2024 19:26
    Maharashtra | When oppn has no issues, they talk about Constitution getting changed: Ajit Pawar

    Opposition parties raise the bogey of the Constitution being changed every time polls are near since they do not have better issues to discuss, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Monday.

    Addressing a gathering after Rashtriya Samaj Paksha leader Mahadev Jankar filed his nomination for Parbhani Lok Sabha seat, Pawar said people must not fall prey to such baseless statements.

    “The opposition does not have issues. Now they say the ruling alliance, after winning 400 seats, will change the Constitution. It will not happen,” Pawar said.

    Speaking on the occasion, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the Centre has brought about development and given gas and water connections without going into religion and caste angles.


  • April 01, 2024 19:15
    Madhya Pradesh | BJP playing game of deceit and bargaining ahead of polls: Kamal Nath

    Congress veteran Kamal Nath on Monday accused the ruling BJP of playing the “game of lies, deceit and bargaining” in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls, in the wake of the recent defection of trusted leaders from home turf Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.

    He also alleged that the BJP was misusing the power of money, muscle and administration in elections and threatening leaders.

    Nath’s outburst follows the defection of his trusted lieutenants, including MLA Kamlesh Shah and Chhindwara mayor Vikram Ahake, to the saffron party, which is keen to wrest this lone Congress stronghold in Madhya Pradesh.

    Shah joined the BJP last Friday and Ahake on Monday.


  • April 01, 2024 19:02
    Action against opposition parties: Congress protests against BJP in J&K

    The Congress on Monday held protests in Jammu and Kashmir against the BJP-led Centre over its alleged attempts to cripple the opposition parties ahead of the general elections.

    The protest, outside the party headquarters in Jammu’s Shaheedi Chowk, was led Bharat Singh Solanki, the AICC’s Jammu and Kashmir in-charge; Manoj Yadav, the co-in-charge; and the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir chief Vikar Rasool Wani.

    Carrying placards and shouting slogans against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to denounce the freezing of accounts and serving Income Tax notices on the Congress, and the arrest of opposition leaders such as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the protesters tried to march forward but were stopped by police.


  • April 01, 2024 18:50
    Karnataka | Mandya Congress candidate Venkataramane Gowda & wife have assets of Rs 633 crore

    Mandya Congress candidate for Lok Sabha elections, Venkataramane Gowda, also known as ‘Star Chandru’, and his wife Kusuma have declared assets worth Rs 622.96 crore.

    According to the affidavit he filed on Monday along with the nomination, Gowda’s wife is richer than him.

    Gowda’s personal assets are worth Rs 267.05 crore and those inherited under the ‘Hindu Undivided Family’ Rs 26.59 crore, totaling Rs 293.64 crore.

    His wife’s assets are worth Rs 329.32 crore, including Rs 176.44 crore she invested in ‘Star Infratech Private Limited’, as per the affidavit.


  • April 01, 2024 18:35
    Delhi | ‘Viksit Bharat’ agenda takes centre stage at first meeting of BJP’s manifesto committee

    The road map for the government’s “Viksit Bharat” agenda took centre stage at the first meeting of the BJP’s election manifesto committee on Monday as eight Union ministers and three chief ministers joined other party leaders to deliberate on its key promises for the Lok Sabha elections.

    Defence minister and former BJP president Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting, with Union minister Piyush Goyal telling reporters that the party has received over 3.75 lakh suggestions through its missed call service and nearly 1.70 lakh on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s app (Namo).

    “The road map for Viksit Bharat by 2047 was discussed in the meeting. People’s enthusiastic participation for our manifesto shows their trust in the prime minister and their expectations from him,” he said.

    BJP leaders said all the suggestions received from people will be sorted out under different categories and narrowed down for the committee’s next meeting.


  • April 01, 2024 18:26
    Uttar Pradesh | Over 3 lakh suggestions received for BJP’s poll manifesto: DyCM Maurya

    Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Monday said the BJP has received over three lakh suggestions for its Lok Sabha poll manifesto and it will reflect the aspirations of the people of the country.

    In an exclusive interview with PTI, Maurya, who is a member of the BJP’s manifesto committee, said the panel will discuss all the suggestions that have been received and finalise the document soon.

    The BJP’s manifesto committee, headed by senior party leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, held its first meeting earlier in the day.

    He said people have faith in the BJP that it does what it says. “We do not say what we cannot do.” Maurya said the BJP ran a campaign seeking people’s suggestions for the manifesto. “More than three lakh suggestions have been received on what should be proposed. People from over 3,000 assembly segments have sent their suggestions. Suggestions have come also through the NaMo App as well through a missed-call number which had been released for this purpose,” he said.


  • April 01, 2024 18:07
    BRS is fast collapsing in Telangana, says Kishan Reddy

    Alleging that Congress only gave political slogans like ‘garibi hatao’ and ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ without ensuring any change in people’s lives, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government worked as per people’s aspirations.

    He also claimed that the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS is fast collapsing in Telangana.

    “Nobody expected it to collapse in such a short time. So, there is no need to comment about it. There is no need for BRS in Telangana,” Kishan Reddy, president of Telangana BJP, told reporters here.

    The BRS has seen a number of leaders switching over to either the ruling Congress in the state or the BJP in recent times.

    Reddy alleged that Telangana suffered due to the mistakes of the father-son duo - former chief minister KCR and K T Rama Rao.


  • April 01, 2024 17:58
    Steps being taken to ensure safe and secure environment for polls: J&K DGP

    Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) R R Swain on Monday said that steps are being taken to ensure a safe and secure environment to all during the Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory.

    He said that the security forces are working round the clock to ensure safety of all the stakeholders.

    “The process of elections has started. We are taking steps to ensure a safe and secure environment. Keeping in view the safety and security of voters, public rallies and candidates, our officers and forces are engaged in the planning and execution round the clock”, Swain told reporters on the sidelines of the passing out parade of women cops at Kathua.

    He said that police are playing their role in this democratic exercise in coordination with the Centre and its agencies.


  • April 01, 2024 17:49
    Uttar Pradesh | SP’s Mahendra Nagar files nomination as INDIA bloc candidate in Noida

    Samajwadi Party’s Mahendra Singh Nagar on Monday filed his nomination as the INDIA bloc candidate for the Lok Sabha election from Gautam Buddh Nagar constituency in western Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

    Nagar filed the nomination papers before District Election Officer Manish Kumar Verma at the collectorate office in Surajpur, Greater Noida, a local official said.

    Nagar, a practising doctor, has been fielded by the Samajwadi Party to take on BJP’s Mahesh Sharma, who is also a doctor and the winner of Lok Sabha polls 2014 and 2019 from Gautam Buddh Nagar.

    As SP’s candidate, Nagar is representing the INDIA bloc of opposition parties on the seat where the Congress is not putting up its candidate while the Bahujan Samaj Party, which is fighting it alone this time, has fielded Rajendra Singh Solanki.


  • April 01, 2024 17:39
    Uttar Pradesh | Shahid Siddiqui quits RLD, says Constitution and democratic structure under threat

    Rashtriya Lok Dal vice president Shahid Siddiqui on April 1 announced that he has resigned from his post and the party’s primary membership, saying the Constitution and democratic structure are under threat and remaining silent is a sin.

    Mr. Siddiqui’s move comes days after the RLD joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

    Read the full story here
  • April 01, 2024 17:35
    Haryana CM Saini slams INDIA bloc, calls it ‘thagbandhan’

    Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini on Monday slammed the opposition INDIA bloc, calling the alliance as “thagbandhan” and alleged the job of its leaders is to “lie” every day and “abuse” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Saini lambasted the INDIA bloc leaders a day after they held a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan.

    Addressing the media at the BJP office here, Saini said the entire country has seen the scene of “bhrashtachar ke bhaichare’ (brotherhood of corruption) at the Ramlila Maidan on Sunday.

    They targeted the Modi government, said Saini, adding that the entire country saw how the leaders of “ghamandiya gathbandhan” (arrogant alliance) justified their corruption.


  • April 01, 2024 17:29
    BJP urges EC to order FIR against TMC’s Piyush Panda over casteist slur against Modi

    The BJP on Monday urged the Election Commission to order lodging of an FIR against TMC leader Piyush Panda and ban him from campaigning, alleging that he hurled a casteist slur against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in West Bengal.

    A BJP delegation comprising Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and party’s national general secretary Arun Kumar visited the EC here and also lodged a complaint against TMC’s social media in-charge Debganshu Bhattacharya accusing him of posting on ‘X’ personal details of Rekha Patra, the BJP candidate from Basirhat Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal.

    The party alleged that Bhattacharya posted personal details of Patra in a “malicious and malafide manner with sole intention of showing her in a poor light” for being beneficiary of the state government’s health scheme, and demanded lodging of an FIR against him.


  • April 01, 2024 17:11
    Bihar | Pappu Yadav says he will file nomination papers from Purnea

    Former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav on Monday said he will file his nomination papers for Purnea in Bihar later this week, and urged RJD president Lalu Prasad to forego the Lok Sabha seat for ally Congress.

    Yadav, who has merged his Jan Adhikar Party with the Congress, wrote “people from across the country, hailing from Purnea, want to join me during filing of nomination papers. For their convenience, proposed date has been deferred, from June 2 to June 4”.

    Neither the RJD, which has been distributing tickets, nor the Congress has formally declared candidates for any of the 40 seats in Bihar.

    Purnea, according to the formula made public several days after Bima Bharti, a JD(U) turncoat, announced having received the RJD ticket from Lalu Prasad, was predictably among the 26 seats claimed by the party.


  • April 01, 2024 17:10
    Karnataka | Amit Shah to interact with JD(S) leaders

    JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said he along with his party colleagues will apprise Union Home Minister Amit Shah and share feedback on poll situation in various constituencies across Karnataka ahead of Lok Sabha polls, at Tuesday’s breakfast meeting with him and state BJP state leaders.

    The joint breakfast meeting is being seen as a move by the BJP to plug any trust gaps with its alliance partner -- the JD(S).

    Speaking to reporters here on Monday, the JD(S) state unit President and son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, said poll preparations are going on well in all the constituencies.

    “We don’t want small minor issues to disturb the understanding between both the parties, and our intention is that there should not be even a minor fault in reaching our goal. So we will discuss all matters with him,” he said.


  • April 01, 2024 16:44
    PDA candidate Murry will be voice of Nagas in Lok Sabha if elected

    People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) consensus candidate, Chumben Murry said he would be the voice of the people in matters relating to Naga political issue, concerns over CAA, UCC, FMR and developmental requirements if voted as next Lok Sabha MP from Nagaland.

    On the Naga issue, Murry the official nominee of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) for the lone parliamentary seat said, “We will not be directly negotiating with the Centre but at the same time we have to keep the yearning of the people for a solution alive.” He said the Congress is banking on alleged Christian atrocities across India and its slogan is more or less anti-BJP but “We (NDPP) are a regional party and we will represent Nagaland for its people and the issues that concern all of us”.

    On state Congress’ accusation that the BJP-backed candidate would not be able to oppose the BJP government’s decision to implement Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Murry said Nagas are protected to have their own ways of living through Article 371(A) of the Constitution but the UCC conflicts with that and therefore Nagas have to be exempted from it.


  • April 01, 2024 16:30
    Assam | Govt announces localised public holidays on polling dates

    The Assam government has announced localised public holidays in respective constituencies during the three-phase Lok Sabha polls in the State. 

    The notification, issued by an order of the Governor, announced public holidays on April 19, 26, and May 7 in areas where polling is scheduled on those dates under the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881.

    Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kaziranga, Lakhimpur, and Sonitpur will go to polls on April 19. Silchar, Karimganj, Diphu, Nagaon, and Darrang-Udalguri will vote on April 26 and the remaining constituencies – Guwahati, Dhubri, Barpeta, and Kokrakhjar – will go to the polls on May 7.

    All government and non-government offices, PRIs, urban local bodies, educational institutions, business and commercial establishments including banks, tea gardens, and industries within the specified jurisdiction of the constituencies will remain closed on polling days, the General Administration Department order said. -PTI

  • April 01, 2024 15:49
    Rahul Gandhi has no right to talk about democracy, says Amit Shah

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has no right to talk about democracy as his grandmother and former PM Indira Gandhi jailed lakhs of people and banned political parties during the Emergency. 

    He hit out at INDIA bloc parties over their ‘Loktantra Bachoa’ (save democracy) rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on March 31, saying that the people of the country are ready to make Mr. Modi the prime minister for a third time. In the rally, Mr. Gandhi accused PM Modi of trying to do “match-fixing” in the Lok Sabha polls and warned that if the BJP wins the election through this endeavour and “changes” the Constitution, then the whole country would be “finished”. The public meeting was aimed at highlighting the issue of “attack on democracy” including the alleged misuse of agencies against opposition leaders in the aftermath of the arrest of AAP chief Kejriwal and JMM leader Hemant Soren and income tax notices to parties. - PTI

  • April 01, 2024 15:37
    BJD’s Lok Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty joins BJP

    The BJD’s Lok Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty joined the BJP on April 1, days after quitting the ruling party in Odisha, saying he was feeling “suffocated’ there. Mr. Mohanty, a film star, praised the Narendra Modi government, saying he was proud to witness the passage of several historic measures in Parliament, including the abolition of triple talaq and the introduction of new criminal laws in the last five years. For a developed India, people should support Modi, he added. 

    Welcoming him to the BJP, its national general secretary Vinod Tawde said the opposition is trying to project its strength by coming together but is not succeeding. Those interested in a developed India are supporting the ruling party, he added.

  • April 01, 2024 14:46
    Take strict action against Rahul Gandhi for his “match-fixing” remarks: BJP to ECI

    A BJP delegation, comprising of Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the party’s national general secretary Arun Kumar, lodged a complaint against Mr. Gandhi with the poll panel for his “match-fixing” remark and other comments made during an INDIA bloc rally in Delhi on March 31.

    “Addressing the public meeting yesterday, Rahul Gandhi said this (Lok Sabha polls) is a fixed match. He also said that the Central government has deployed its people in the Election Commission. He also raised questions on the credibility of the EVMs and said the Constitution will be cancelled (changed) after elections,” Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters. “We urged the Election Commission to take strictest action against Rahul Gandhi, other Congress leaders and those of the opposition’s INDIA alliance,” he added. -PTI

    BJP urges the ECI to take action against Rahul Gandhi over his ‘match fixing’ comment

    BJP urges strict action against Rahul Gandhi for "match-fixing" remarks during INDIA bloc rally in Delhi.

  • April 01, 2024 14:33
    J&K NC goes solo, announces candidate for South Kashmir

    Going ahead with its decision not to share seats in Kashmir with the Peoples DemocraticParty, the National Conference on Monday nominated Mian Altaf Ahmed as the Party candidate from south Kashmir Anantnag-Rajouri seat. - Peerzada Ashiq

  • April 01, 2024 13:49
    Puducherry | Liquor shops to remain closed for three days from April 17

    All liquor, toddy, arrack shops and clubs, bars and restaurants serving liquor will remain closed for three days from April 17 in Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam regions ahead of voting in the Union Territory.

    The Lieutenant Governor has issued an order directing the closure of the shops, clubs, bars and restaurants serving liquor to ensure “fair and peaceful polls in the Union Territory”. The notification also said that all these shops, restaurants, bars and clubs would be closed on June 4 on account of the counting of the votes. - PTI

  • April 01, 2024 13:22
    EC censures BJP’s Dilip Ghosh, Congress’ Supriya Shrinate for derogatory comments against women

    The Election Commission has censured BJP leader Dilip Ghosh and Congress’ Supriya Shrinate for derogatory remarks against the dignity of women. The Commission said it is convinced that they made low-level personal attacks and violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct. They have been warned to remain careful in public utterances during the Model Code of Conduct period. Their election-related communications will be specially and additionally monitored by the Commission from April 1.

    A copy of the warning notice or censure is also being marked to their respective party chiefs for sensitising their functionaries to be careful while communicating in public and refrain from such derogatory comments and violations of model code guidelines.

    A controversial comment was posted on social media platforms from Ms. Shrinate’s accounts against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, who has been fielded by the BJP as its candidate from the Mandi seat in Himachal Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Ms. Shrinate has removed the remarks from all her social accounts and claimed that those were not posted by her.

    Mr. Ghosh was captured on video mocking Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s family background. He has apologised for his remarks. - PTI

  • April 01, 2024 13:12
    No coercive action against Congress over tax demand notices due Lok Sabha polls: I-T Dept to Supreme Court

    The Income Tax department has informed the Supreme Court that no coercive steps would be taken against the Congress on tax demands to the tune of approximately ₹3,500 crore raised in March because of the general elections.

    A Bench headed by Justice B.V. Nagarathna recorded the “concession” made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the department, and postsed the main case for hearing on merits on July 24, 2024. Mr. Mehta made a point to say that the statement has been made even though the demands raised in March for a total ₹3,500 crore approximately are not strictly relatable to the appeals pending in the Supreme Court.

    No coercive action against Congress over tax demand notices in view of Lok Sabha polls: I-T Dept to Supreme Court

    Income Tax Department will not take coercive action against Congress for ₹3,500 crore tax demand during Lok Sabha elections.

  • April 01, 2024 12:41
    Shahid Siddiqui quits RLD, says Constitution and democratic structure under threat

    Rashtriya Lok Dal vice president Shahid Siddiqui on Monday announced that he has resigned from his post and the party’s primary membership, saying the Constitution and democratic structure are under threat and remaining silent is a sin.

    Siddiqui’s move comes days after the RLD joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). 

    He discussed the timing of his move in another post, saying he didn’t want to resign immediately as he welcomes the Bharat Ratna accorded to Chaudhry Charan Singh Ji.


  • April 01, 2024 11:52
    Green activists in Odisha’s Ganjam urge candidates to avoid using plastic flags, banners

    As candidates gear up for campaigning in the Odisha Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, green activists in Ganjam district appealed to all political parties to use eco-friendly materials during electioneering.

    Candidates and political parties are requested to use only eco-friendly campaign materials which can be recycled and to avoid non-biodegradable poll materials like plastic flags, banners and flexes, said Sudhir Rout, an environmentalist. 

    “In the last several elections, we have seen candidates and political parties use several non-biodegradable materials during the campaign. This practice causes harm to the environment,” he said. 


  • April 01, 2024 11:01
    Kerala CM says huge public participation in INDIA bloc rally, a warning to BJP

    Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the huge participation of people in the INDIA bloc rally held in New Delhi a day ago was a strong warning for the BJP.

    Addressing the media here, Mr. Vijayan also attacked the Congress party and said it was the steps taken by the grand old party which led the Enforcement Directorate to probe the Delhi liquor excise policy case. 


  • April 01, 2024 10:23
    Chhattisgarh CM Vishnu Deo Sai leaves for Delhi to attend first LS election manifesto committee meeting

    Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai left for Delhi on Monday to attend his first meeting of the Lok Sabha election manifesto committee. 

    Thanking the national leadership for including him in the election manifesto committee, Vishnu Deo Sai said, “Today is the first meeting of the committee and going to Delhi to attend it. 


  • April 01, 2024 10:22
    CPI announces names of candidates in 4 LS constituencies in Jharkhand

    The Jharkhand unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) announced the names of candidates for four Lok Sabha constituencies in the State.

    CPI Jharkhand secretary said Abhay Bhuiyan was nominated from the Palamu Lok Sabha seat, Mahendra Oraon from Lohardaga, Arjun Kumar from Chatra and Rajesh Kumar Kisku from Dumka Lok Sabha seat. 


  • April 01, 2024 10:20
    Congress Mayor from Kamal Nath’s home turf Chhindwara joins BJP

    In another setback to the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, its leader and Chhindwara mayor joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh on Monday morning.

    Vikram Ahake, the Mayor of Chhindwara, joined the BJP in the presence of MP Chief Minister Mohan Yadav and State party chief VD Sharma in the state capital Bhopal.

    Chhindwara, which goes to polls in the first phase on April 19, is the home district of former State CM Nath.


  • April 01, 2024 09:39
    Overseas Friends of BJP in U.S. organises car rallies in 20 American cities

    The Overseas Friends of BJP in the U.S. has held car rallies in 20 different American cities to express their support for a third term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge the people of India to give a decisive mandate of 400 plus seats to the BJP-led NDA alliance in the general elections. 

    “Indian American community is extremely enthusiastic and motivated to see the Modi-led BJP and NDA cross 400 seats,” said Adapa Prasad, president of OFBJP-USA. Indian Americans want the NDA to achieve “Ab ki Baar 400 Paar” in the Lok Sabha Elections.

    In the Washington DC metro area, rallies were conducted in Virginia and Maryland. In New Jersey, about 200 cars participated in a carnival atmosphere. In Atlanta, Georgia, about 150 cars have participated. Similar car rallies were held in cities like Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Raleigh, and Detroit.

    **EDS: TO GO WITH STORY** Washington: Members and supporters of the Overseas Friends of BJP take part in a car rally in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India, in USA, Sunday, March 31, 2024. (PTI Photo)(PTI04_01_2024_000002A)

  • April 01, 2024 09:20
    Day after attacking Congress, PM Modi targets DMK on Katchatheevu issue

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday targeted the DMK over the Katchatheevu island issue, alleging the ruling party of Tamil Nadu did nothing to safeguard the state’s interests. 

    New details emerging on the issue of India handing over the Katchatheevu island to Sri Lank have unmasked the DMK’s double standards totally, he said on X, citing a news report which claimed that then chief minister M Karunanidhi had given his concurrence to the agreement despite his party the DMK’s public posturing against the deal.

    Mr. Modi said, “Rhetoric aside, DMK has done NOTHING to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests. New details emerging on Katchatheevu have UNMASKED the DMK’s double standards totally.” “The Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don’t care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular,” he added. 

    Katchatheevu issue | DMK’s double standards unmasked, says PM Modi

    PM Modi criticizes DMK over Katchatheevu island issue, accusing them of neglecting Tamil Nadu's interests, exposing double standards.

  • April 01, 2024 08:42
    For the first time, election expenditure details of candidates will be posted in public domain, says CEO

    Intensifying its election expenses monitoring activities, the Election Commission will now post expenditure details of individual candidates on the public domain after every inspection.

    Revealing this to The Hindu in an interview, Manoj Kumar Meena, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka, said for the first time expenditure details would be available for the public to see and challenge during the elections itself. “Earlier, these details were available for the public after candidates submitted their expenditure statement to the commission within 30 days of completion of an election,” Mr. Meena said. 

    Read the whole interview here.
  • April 01, 2024 07:57
    In M.P., Congress seeks donations from people claiming bank accounts frozen

    The Congress in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday launched a “one note, one vote” campaign seeking donations to contest Lok Sabha elections claiming the party has run out of money since its bank accounts have been frozen by the BJP-led Central government.

    Speaking on the occasion, MP Congress chief Jitu Patwari said the move to freeze the bank accounts after the model code of conduct kicked in was aimed at financially weakening the party in the run-up to elections. 


  • April 01, 2024 07:56
    BJP to hold 100 election rallies in Odisha

    The BJP, which is aiming to topple the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha, plans to hold as many as 100 election rallies in the state, with key speakers including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

    Odisha BJP vice-president Golak Mohapatra on Sunday said that mega rallies will be held in all the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, which besides Modi and Shah, BJP president JP Nadda and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would also address. 


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