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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Pic/PTI

BJP-ruled Centre a fascist, racist, oppressive govt, says Priyanka Gandhi

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday attacked the BJP-ruled Centre, accusing it of being a "racist, fascist, and oppressive" government that was "haughtily" speaking of changing the Indian Constitution that was "written with the blood of freedom fighters". The Congress leader also charged the BJP-led administration with working for the benefit of the Prime Minister's "monopolist friends", "protecting" rapists and oppressors of women, "extorting" businesses through the electoral bonds," silencing" dissenting voices by using government agencies, and "bullying" the judiciary. Gandhi also attacked Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, alleging that he was "compromised" as he only "attacks and criticises" the Congress and Rahul Gandhi and not the BJP. The Congress leader participated in poll rallies in the Chalakudy, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituencies to campaign for the party candidates contesting from those seats. She also held a massive road show in Thiruvananthapuram along with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. Earlier in the day, speaking at a location in the Chalakudy LS seat, Gandhi attacked the BJP-ruled Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues. She alleged that elected governments were being bought and sold at the will of the PM and people were being fed "false figures" about the economy when the common citizen was struggling to support his family amidst the rising prices of basic commodities. "Standing here, ten years into the rule of a racist, fascist, and oppressive government, I have no hesitation in saying to you that we are, at this moment in our nation's history, standing in the eye of such a storm. A storm that is wreaking havoc on the soul of India," she said. She said it was time for the people to awaken, as in the Bhagavad Gita where Lord Krishna "taught us to set aside fear, greed, and ego and embrace the ways of love, compassion, and humility." "How can we watch in silence while our beloved country is overrun by the untamed ego, greed, and ruthless arrogance of the BJP, its allies, and its supreme leader?" Gandhi asked. The Congress leader said that the very foundations of India's nationhood stand at the threshold of destruction today, but some people instead claim that a "new India" is being created. She said that "the new India" that people were being asked to accept was one where "force asserts itself over righteousness and laws are enacted, bypassing the processes of democracy and being enforced upon people against their will." "In this new nation, the Prime Minister's men speak haughtily about changing the Constitution that was written with the blood of our freedom fighters and martyrs. "They treat the Constitution of India, which upholds our rights to liberty, equality, and brotherhood, as an instrument of their own greed and ambition, as if it is a piece of paper worth nothing," she alleged. She said that while Modi claims to fight for the rights of women, his administration did nothing when women were paraded naked in strife-torn Manipur. "Those in power tell women what to wear, they propagate laws that demand women's movements to be registered with the police, and they claim the right to decide whom women can love and whom they can marry. "The (central) government protects rapists and defends the oppressors and abusers of women, they vilify victims of heinous crimes, using the entire strength of their administrations to question the characters of victims of abuse. This is the new India," she alleged. Gandhi alleged that the CPI(M)-led Left government too "protects" those accused of rape, referring to the Walayar and Vandiperiyar rape-cum-murder cases where minor girls were sexually assaulted and killed. She attacked both the central and state governments for the rising unemployment in Kerala and the country, respectively, alleging that neither was doing anything to address the issue. She accused the state government of giving jobs only to its party workers and ignoring the common people. Gandhi also attacked Vijayan, calling him "compromised". "Like in a football match, you cannot win with a compromised player, the same way you have a compromised CM. He only attacks my brother (Rahul Gandhi) and the Congress party. He does not attack the BJP. "Have you thought about it? His name came up in so many scams -- Life Mission, gold smuggling, many other scams -- but how come the BJP government never put cases on him, never carried out raids on him and no action was taken against him?" Gandhi said while speaking at a poll rally in Pathanamthitta. Her attack on the Marxist veteran came hours after he raked up the DLF-Robert Vadra connection and targeted Priyanka Gandhi, who is Vadra's wife. Earlier, while speaking in Chalakudy, Gandhi likened the central government to "thugs" who oppress those who raise their heads in protest, and alleged that the Centre "harasses, accuses, and imprisons those who dare to speak against it." "Public assets that belong to the people of India, assets that were built by the sweat and toil of our people, are handed to the Prime Minister's billionaire friends one after the other with impunity," she alleged. Referring to the electoral bonds, she termed them a form of "extortion" and said the government agencies, meant to protect the law, were being "turned into unlawful extortionists" and also used to silence voices of dissent. "In this new nation, uniformity of culture, religion and language is imposed, and diversity is stamped out for political gain. Laws like the CAA are passed in order to segregate and fracture society," she said. She said Congress governments in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana are proof that it sticks to its guarantees. Gandhi said that the polls were a fight for a democratic India and urged people to "choose wisely and choose well." Lok Sabha polls will be held in Kerala on April 26. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 April,2024 10:07 PM IST | Thrissur/Pathanamthitta | mid-day online correspondent
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Odisha boat capsize toll rises to 8, govt ends search operation

The toll in the Mahanadi river boat capsize in Odisha's Jharsuguda district rose to eight with the recovery of six more bodies on Saturday, an official said on Saturday. The search operation, which had been ongoing since Friday evening, came to an end after the recovery of a male child's body from Hirakud reservoir in the Mahanadi river, the official said, adding that among the victims were five women and three children. The deceased, all hailing from Anjoripali village of Kharsia in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh, were identified as Radhika Nishad (40), Teras Bai Rathia (60), Radhika Rathia (35), Ghasneen Bai Rathia (40), and Lacchinin Bai Rathia (40), while the children were identified as Kunal Rathia (9), Nabin Rathia (7), and Tikeswar Rathia (7). Personnel of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and Fire Services, who launched a search operation immediately after the boat capsized on Friday, recovered six more bodies from the Mahanadi river by engaging five scuba divers, an official said. "Five scuba divers fitted with underwater cameras in their headgear joined the search operation and spotted the bodies," the official said. Revenue division commissioner (RDC) Srikanta Prusty, Jharsuguda district collector Aboli S Naravane and SP Smit P Parmar were camping by the river bank to supervise the search operation. The incident occurred on Friday afternoon when around 50 passengers were returning in the boat after visiting a temple in Patharseni Kuda in Odisha's Bargarh district. The boat capsized as it was about to reach Sarada Ghat in Rengali area in Jharsuguda, a police officer said. Rajkumar Gavel, an official from Chhattisgarh government, said around 50 people were returning after a picnic from other side of the river when the mishap took place. Loknath Meher, the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) of Jharsuguda district, said, "The boat lacked registration and was deemed unfit to operate. Additionally, it did not have any life jackets onboard. Despite being designed to accommodate only 20 people, it carried 50 people, ultimately resulting in the mishap." Local fishermen rescued 40 passengers and brought them to the bank, he said. Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh administration has made arrangements for the transportation of bodies, sources said. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conveyed his condolences and declared an ex gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 April,2024 10:02 PM IST | Bhubaneswar | PTI

People of the country are eager to make PM Modi victorious again: CM Shinde

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Saturday that the people of the country are eager to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister again. Taking a dig at the Congress party, Shinde said that while PM Modi is working for the betterment of the country, Congress, on the other hand, is busy solving its internal issues. PM Modi should again get elected Prime Minister for the third time for the betterment and development of this nation, Shinde said while addressing the Vijay Sankalp Sabha here today. "Vote for one candidate means vote for Modi ji. The people of the country are eager to make Modi ji the Prime Minister. PM Modi's leadership is shining in the nation as the sun shines upon this earth. This is a matter of great pride for us. Modi ji has tried to bring not only Ram Temple but Ram Rajya in this country. INDIA bloc is asking the country that we have Rahul, Sonia, Stalin, Kejriwal, what do you have? On this the people of the country reply that we have "Modi guarantee". The synonym of trust is 'Modi Guarantee'," he said. "Congress gave the slogan of eradicating poverty but the poor suffered more. PM Modi brought 25 crore people out of poverty and announced to give free ration to 80 crore people for five years. PM Modi should become the Prime Minister for the development of this nation. This election is for the development of the nation. PM Modi has worked to bring the country's economy from 11th to 5th. His resolve is to make it the third-largest economy in the world. This is called the Modi Guarantee. Congress people are fighting among themselves. We do not need to make any efforts to defeat them," CM Shinde said. The polls for the five parliamentary seats in Maharashtra were held in the first phase of polling on Friday. The state, with its 48 Lok Sabha seats, is the second-largest contributor to the lower house of Parliament after Uttar Pradesh. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 23 out of 25 contested seats, while the undivided Shiv Sena secured 18 out of 23 seats. The undivided NCP, part of the opposition alliance, contested 19 seats and won four in 2019 Lok Sabha election. Following the split in the Shiva Sena 2022, the Eknath Shinde faction aligned with the BJP.  (With inputs from ANI)

20 April,2024 07:19 PM IST | Nanded | mid-day online correspondent
Ajit Pawar. File Pic

"LS polls are not about family relations, but a battle between PM Modi, Rahul"

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday said this Lok Sabha elections 2024 is not about family relations but a battle between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reported news agency PTI. Ajit Pawar's wife Sunetra, the NCP's candidate from the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency in Pune district, officially launched her campaign by offering prayers at the Hanuman temple at Kanheri on Saturday. Ajit Pawar, his sons Parth and Jay, and several local party leaders were present for the campaign launch. On Thursday, Sunetra and her sister-in-law three-term Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule filed their nomination papers for the NCP and NCP (SP) respectively. Ajit Pawar has also filed nomination papers for the seat, which an NCP functionary described as a backup plan in case his wife's nomination does not stand scrutiny or if any discrepancy is found. Addressing the gathering, Ajit Pawar said, "We are launching the official campaign after praying to Lord Hanuman. The election is not about family relations. The election is all about Prime Minister Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi," reported PTI. Incidentally, Sule launched her poll campaign on Friday by offering prayers at the Hanuman temple in the presence of her father, NCP (SP) supremo Sharad Pawar, and other members of the Pawar family. "Yesterday, everyone (members of the Pawar family) was sitting next to Pawar saheb. They attempted to show that the family was united. One of them claimed that Sharad Pawar established all institutions in Baramati. In that case, what have I done in the last 30 years?" Ajit Pawar said, reported PTI. The NCP is a constituent in the Mahayuti alliance, comprising the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party, and the NCP (SP) is a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi with the Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress. Polling in Baramati, the pocket borough of Pawars, will be held on May 7. (With inputs from PTI)

20 April,2024 06:42 PM IST | Pune | mid-day online correspondent
Sharad Pawar. File Pic

PM Modi's speeches project him as PM of BJP, not country, says Sharad Pawar

The prime minister belongs to the country and has the responsibility to lead the nation but Narendra Modi's speeches suggest he is "BJP's PM" and not India, claimed NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday, reported news agency PTI. PM Modi should tell the people what he and his party will do for the country instead of attacking the opposition, said the 83-year-old NCP founder at a campaign rally in Maharashtra's Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. Pawar was in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar to canvass for opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) candidates Chandrakant Khaire, who is contesting from the Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency on a Sena (UBT) ticket, and Congress' Kalyan Kale from Jalna. The central Maharashtra constituencies, located in the state's Marathwada region, will go to polls in the fourth phase on May 13. Pawar said, "I was listening to Narendra Modi's speech before I came here (Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar). The prime minister belongs to the entire country. If we listen to Modi's speeches, it seems he is the prime minister of BJP and not the country," reported PTI. The NCP (SP) chief said PM Modi and BJP should tell the people what they will do for the country. "But sometimes they criticise Nehru (country's first PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru), sometimes Rahul Gandhi and also me at times," he said, reported PTI. Nehru spent over ten years of his life in jail fighting against the British. He encouraged science, said Pawar. Incidentally, PM Modi on Saturday held rallies in Nanded and Parbhani constituencies in the state and attacked the opposition, particularly the Congress. According to a recent report by the International Labour Organisation, 87 of 100 students coming out of college are unemployed in India, claimed Pawar. Speaking about the Marathwada, Pawar said, "There is a severe drought in the region as well as in other parts of the state. But the Centre and state government have no time to address this situation," reported PTI. In the Aurangabad, AIMIM's sitting MP Imtiaz Jaleel and Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi's Afsar Khar are in the fray, while the BJP-led Mahayuti alliance is yet to declare its candidate. In Jalna, Kale is pitted against BJP's sitting MP Raosaheb Danve. (With inputs from PTI)

20 April,2024 06:33 PM IST | Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar | mid-day online correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI

Congress a vine, sucks dry those who support it, says PM Modi in Maharashtra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dubbed the Congress a vine which has no roots or branches and sucks dry those who support it, and asked people to be wary of the opposition alliance in realising the goals of 'Viksit Bharat' and 'Viksit Maharashtra'. Modi, who addressed two election rallies in Maharashtra on Saturday - first in Nanded, followed by Parbhani - also said the Congress has accepted its defeat even before the Lok Sabha poll results are out, and took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi, saying that just as he lost from Amethi in 2019, the "Congress' sahabzade" will lose the Wayanad parliamentary seat this time. Both Nanded and Parbhani are located in Marathwada region of the state. At the Parbhani rally, the PM said the 2024 polls were not just to form the government, but to make India developed and self-reliant. "Congress is a vine which doesn't have roots or branches. It sucks dry those who lend support to it," Modi said, hitting out at the opposition. He accused the Congress of partitioning the country and claimed it did not allow the Constitution to be implemented in Kashmir under the pretext of Article 370. Hitting out at the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra, he said the Congress and the "fake Shiv Sena", a reference to Shiv Sena (UBT), were busy decorating Yakub Memon's grave. Memon, a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was hanged in 2015 "When the INDI alliance (opposition grouping) was in power, they did not make (people) feel that the Nizam rule had ended, the Razakar mentality was overwhelming here. Their priority was (to decorate) Yakub Memon's grave," he said. Modi urged people to be wary of the INDI alliance in realising the goal of 'Viksit Bharat' and 'Viksit Maharashtra'. He said the 2024 Lok Sabha polls were all about making India the third-largest economy in the world. In the last term of his government, Modi said, people saw the success of Chandrayaan mission and in the next term, 140 crore Indians will witness Gaganyaan's success. This is the first election where people are talking about the success of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', from anti-coronavirus vaccine to weapons for the armed forces, he said. "In only 10 years, the country has traversed a long journey of development," Modi said. The PM said when he first contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the talk in the country was about the fear of terror attacks and blasts and the pain of the death of soldiers.  "However, the talk was about surgical strikes in the next five years in 2019," he said. Modi said he had lived a life of poverty, understood the pains of the poor and stressed that no poor should go through what he had experienced. At the Nanded rally, he accused the Congress of being a barrier in the path of development and said it it cannot be trusted to work for the country's progress. Apparently targeting former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Modi said some INDIA bloc leaders who have been members of the Lok Sabha for several years, have left the Lower House of Parliament and found a seat in the Rajya Sabha as they lack confidence to fight elections. Referring to Rahul Gandhi, he said, "The Congress' sahabzade sees a problem in Wayanad. He is waiting for the voting on April 26, after which he and his gang will look for a safe seat because after Amethi, he will have to leave Wayanad as well." "Will any voters waste their vote for such people? They will instead vote for 'Viksit Bharat'. Congress has been a barrier in the development of farmers, poor and women...Can't trust that the party will work for the country's progress," he said. Modi referred to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's recent remarks against Rahul Gandhi, and said, "Even I can't make such comments." Holding Congress-led governments' flawed policies for the agriculture crisis and farmers' problems, he said the NDA government was committed to work for their welfare.The PM said he has been fixing the problems created by the erstwhile Congress governments in the last 10 years. "Now, we have to work even harder," he said. "Congress survives on one family. But now that family can't vote for the party candidate. For the first time, the family will have to vote for a non-Congress candidate in the constituency where they live because they don't have a candidate," Modi added. Describing the INDIA bloc as a grouping of selfish parties that have come together to protect their corrupt practices, he said the alliance has been rejected by voters in the first phase. The INDI alliance does not have a face to project whom the people see to entrust the country's future to, he said. They may claim anything, but the reality is that Congress leaders have accepted defeat even before announcement of poll results, he added. The INDIA bloc parties are contesting the Lok Sabha polls against each other in 25 per cent seats. "Can you trust such people?" he asked people at the rally. "After June 4, an all-out fight will break out among the INDIA bloc members. You need to teach them a lesson in elections," Modi said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 April,2024 05:42 PM IST | Nanded/Parbhani | PTI
Manish Sisodia. File Pic

Excise 'scam': Delhi court reserves order on bail pleas of Manish Sisodia

A court in Delhi on Saturday reserved its order on the bail pleas of AAP leader Manish Sisodia in corruption and money laundering cases, lodged by the CBI and the ED in the alleged Delhi excise policy case. Special judge for CBI and ED, Kaveri Baweja, reserved the order for April 30 after hearing arguments from the central probe agencies as well as the counsel appearing for Sisodia. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had also moved interim bail pleas in both cases to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. However, Sisodia's counsel told the court today that the plea has become infructuous as the regular bail plea is being reserved. The CBI as well as the ED have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Delhi Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, licence fee was waived or reduced and licences were extended without the competent authority's approval. The beneficiaries allegedly diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection, the probe agencies have alleged. Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26, 2023, for his alleged role in the "scam". The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested the former deputy chief minister in a money-laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9, 2023.Sisodia resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28, 2023.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 April,2024 02:00 PM IST | New Delhi | PTI
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21 police, Home Guard jawans injured as bus carrying them after poll overturns

Twenty-one police and Home Guard personnel were injured when the bus carrying them overturned in Madhya Pradesh's Betul district in the wee hours of Saturday, an official said. These jawans were returning to their home district Rajgarh in the state after performing their election duty when the accident occurred near Baretha Ghat on the Bhopal-Betul highway, the official said. The incident took place around 4 am, Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) Shalini Paraste said. "It happened when the bus carrying a total of 40 jawans, including five policemen and remaining home guard, was on its way to Rajgarh after their election duty in Chhindwara," she said. Eight of the personnel who received serious injuries are being treated in the district hospital at Betul, while those with minor injuries are being treated in Shahpur hospital, the police official said. The incident took place when the bus swerved to avoid a truck that crossed its path, she said. Polling for the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat was held on Friday. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 April,2024 01:55 PM IST | Betul | PTI
Jairam Ramesh. File Pic

Will PM Modi deliver on his 'promise' to put Ashok Chavan in jail, says Congress

The Congress on Saturday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking whether he would deliver on his promise to put the BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Chavan in jail. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed a few questions for Prime Minister Modi ahead of his rally in Nanded and Parbhani. "Today's questions for PM Modi as he heads to Nanded and Parbhani: Will the PM deliver on his promise to put BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Chavan in jail? What is the BJP's plan to deal with Marathwada's worsening drought and water scarcity? Why has the Indian Railways performed so poorly in Nanded division," Ramesh said in a post on 'X'. Elaborating on what he dubbed as "jumla details", the Congress leader said the prime minister should revisit his words from his campaign in Nanded on March 30, 2014, when he launched a ferocious attack on Chavan -- "now the latest labaarthi of the 'BJP Washing Machine Yojana'". "The PM declared Chavan an 'Adarsh candidate', and said that 'the Congress is shameless' for having given him a ticket while he was under investigation," Ramesh said. He said PM Modi had announced that he would send Chavan to jail "within six months" if he became the prime minister. "A decade later, Chavan is not in jail, continues to be under investigation, and is a Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP. Does PM Modi hold the BJP to be 'shameless' as well? Will he conspire to get Mr Chavan a clean chit soon? Will he deliver on his promise to put the BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Chavan in jail," Ramesh asked. After suffering from drought conditions over the last four months, the Marathwada region has now been hit by unseasonal rains and hailstorms, which have caused severe crop losses, he said. "The ruling BJP government has not declared this event a national disaster or announced any relief measures. This is no surprise from a government that has also failed to care for the lifeline of Marathwada, the Godavari river," Ramesh added. Although Rs 88 crore were allocated for the cleaning of the river in 2022, there has been no tangible improvement, he said. "Why has PM Modi ignored the plight of Marathwada's farmers? Does his government have any plans to protect the river that is so crucial to the environmental and economic health of this drought prone area," Ramesh further asked. He also claimed that the railway infrastructure in the Nanded division, which serves many areas in Marathwada, has collapsed under the Modi government's supervision. According to data furnished by the South Central Railway (SCR) in 2021, Nanded has only 35 kilometres of route electrification and 83 kilometres of track-doubling, he said. "This puts it at the bottom in terms of electrification and only marginally ahead of the bottom in track doubling compared to other SCR divisions. "Additionally, it is the only division in its zone that still has 130km of colonial-era meter-gauge tracks," Ramesh said. Why has crucial railway infrastructure been neglected in Nanded, he asked. "Does the PM have any real vision for bringing development to the Marathwada region," Ramesh said and asked the prime minister to break his "silence" on these issues. 

20 April,2024 01:49 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI

PM Modi running 'school of corruption' in country, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over electoral bonds on Saturday, alleging that he is running a "school of corruption" in the country and teaching all chapters in the subject of "entire corruption science", reported news agency PTI. On the social media platform 'X', Gandhi shared a video of a new Congress advertisement that takes a swipe at the BJP over the electoral bonds issue. "Narendra Modi is running a 'school of corruption' in the country, where under the subject 'entire corruption science', he is teaching every chapter in detail including 'donation business'," Gandhi said in a post in Hindi. The former Congress chief claimed that the prime minister was teaching chapters on how the collection of donations is done through raids and how contracts are distributed after taking donations. "How does the washing machine that washes the corrupt work? How is the game of 'bail and jail' played by turning agencies into recovery agents," he said. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also shared the same advertisement on 'X' and said, "Don't choose 'hafta vasuli' government, choose change. Vote for the Congress." Gandhi alleged that the BJP, which has become a "den of corrupt people", has made this "crash course" mandatory for its leaders, and the country is paying the price for it. An INDIA bloc government will shut this 'school of corruption' and close this course forever, he asserted. In February, the Supreme Court delivered a judgment striking down the electoral bonds scheme. Following a directive from the apex court, the State Bank of India, which was the authorised seller of electoral bonds, shared data on electoral bonds which was then made public. The Congress has alleged that the electoral bonds data has exposed "corrupt tactics" of the BJP such as quid pro quo and grant of "protection" to companies against donations. (With inputs from PTI)

20 April,2024 01:44 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi. File pics

'No guts to throw a stone in Kashmir': Amit Shah mocks Rahul Gandhi

Home Minister Amit Shah held a roadshow in Rajasthan's Udaipur on Friday evening, hours after voting for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections concluded. During the roadshow, Shah couldn't resist a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, mocking him over his past predictions of turmoil in Kashmir. "In Kashmir, (Peoples Democratic Party chief) Mehbooba Mufti and (Congress leader) Rahul Baba (Gandhi) used to say there would be bloodbath here once Article 370 is removed," he said while addressing a gathering. "Rahul Baba, five years have passed (since the abrogation of Article 370). This is the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Leave alone the talk of the bloodbath, no one has the guts to throw a stone there," Amit Shah said. Earlier in the day, Amit Shah also addressed a public meeting in Rajasthan's Pali. The 25 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan are polling in two phases. While polling for 12 seats concluded on Friday in the first phase, the remaining 13 seats in the state will be contested in the second phase on April 26. In 2019, the BJP registered a sweeping victory, winning 24 out of 25 seats, while the remaining one seat was won by Rashtriya Loktrantrik Party candidate Hanuman Beniwal. Earlier in the day, Amit Shah filed his nomination for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat. He was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. Shah, who is eyeing a second consecutive term, is pitted against Sonal Patel, fielded by the Congress party. The former BJP president won the 2019 elections with a huge margin of 5.55 lakh votes, defeating Congress' CJ Chavda, who later joined the BJP. All 26 seats in Gujarat go to the polls in a single phase on May 7. The BJP whitewashed the 2014 and 2019 general elections by winning all 26 constituencies in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The first phase of voting for 102 parliamentary constituencies spread over 21 states and Union Territories was held on Friday. The Lok Sabha polls will be held in India in seven phases to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha. The results will be announced on June 4. The second phase will be held on April 26, and the remaining phases will be on May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1, accordingly. The last general elections in 2019 were also held in seven phases. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 April,2024 08:30 AM IST | Udaipur (Rajasthan) | ANI
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