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‘Modi threw his guru Advani out’: Rahul Gandhi stings PM

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Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the PM has insulted his political guru LK Advani.

Rahul Gandhi alleged that the PM doesn’t even greet or acknowledge Advani, one of the BJP’s founding members, at public meetings. Gandhi said as per the Hindu tradition, a guru is considered supreme, deserves utmost respect and honour but Modi has insulted Advani time and again.

Addressing an election rally at Chandrapur, some 150 kms from here on Friday, where the Congress has fielded former Shiv Sena MLA Suresh Dhanorkar and Gadchiroli Congress nominee Dr Namdeorao Usendi, Rahul accused Modi of making a false promise to the people of the nation of depositing Rs 15 lakh in individual accounts from the supposed black money stashed abroad.

On the contrary, Gandhi said, the PM has ensured that a “select few” get multiple times more money into their accounts. He said Modi was just a custodian of the rich whom his government extended huge loans and ensured their safe passage to go abroad after defaulting on these loans. “They gave money to just 15 people. Farmer pay crop insurance money which is discreetly diverted to these select individuals and industrialists,” he alleged.

The Congress chief’s swipe at PM Modi over the treatment meted out to Advani follows the BJP veteran’s blog published Thursday where he said the BJP never considered its political adversaries as anti-national.

“BJP talks of Hinduism. In Hinduism, guru is supreme. It talks about the gurushishya parampara. Who is Modi’s guru? Advani. Modi unhe joote marke stage se utara (just kicked him out),” Gandhi said. The remark was a veiled reference to Advani not getting Lok Sabha poll ticket from Gandhinagar, from where BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah instead. This election is a battle of ideologies and the Congress ideology of brotherhood, love and harmony will win against Modi’s hate, anger and divisive ideology, he said.

While raising the issue of demonetisation, GST, employment and farmers, he said that the BJP did nothing for the farmers and unemployed youths of the country. Gandhi mocked at the Modi government’s claims of creating crores of jobs. “The economy is flat, people are not getting jobs, the farmers aren’t getting loans and the educated have no opportunities,” he pointed out.

Gandhi claimed it is not that financial provisions cannot be made to address the above concerns. “To run ‘MNREGA’, the government needs Rs 35,000-crore per year. This means crores of people can be given employment using this money. But this Rs 35,000-crore was clandestinely siphoned off by fugitives, like Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and the other select few. If the Congress comes to power, then the money which is going to these 15-20 people will be put directly into your bank account,” he said.

Ridiculing Modi’s self-proclaimed ‘chowkidar’ tag, he again cocked a snook at the PM saying “he is only standing guard outside the house of the rich. I told you that I do not want to be the Prime Minister’s watchman. Have you have ever seen a watchman guarding a poor person’s house? On the day of the Pulwama terror attack, six airports were given to Adani for development,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi again reiterated the Congress’s promise of transferring Rs 72,000 annually to the poorest 20 percent of the families if his party comes to power.

He said the Congress will set up food processing factories in different places in the region where the farmers will be able to send their produce directly and will also provide storage facility so that the farmers get more benefits.

The Congress party is committed to giving farmers the true value of their crop.

Lashing out at the BJP-led government in the Centre and the state, the Congress chief alleged that the state sponsored loans waiver did not reach a single beneficiary.

The Congress president also addressed another rally at Swavalambi Vidyalaya ground in Wardha where PM Modi launched his election campaign from Maharashtra on Monday.

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Is Arvind Kejriwal Leader Of Delhi Or Dharnas, Asks Yogi Adityanath

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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today asked whether Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is the head of the city administration or leader of dharnas and demonstrations.

Addressing a rally at Mandawali in support of the BJP’s East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir, Yogi Adityanath said, “We are confident that he will be opening our victory tally in Delhi just as he opened for team India in cricket.”

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he landed at the Hindon Air Base and after entering Delhi he was appalled with the condition of roads here.

“The AAP government has turned Delhi into a city of potholes and has hurt the sentiments of people of the city. Kejriwal has nothing to do with ‘vikas’ (development) and he does not have any interest in working in collaboration with the central government for the betterment of the national capital,” Yogi Adityanath said.

He asked whether the AAP chief was a “mukhiya (leader) of Delhi or dharna”.

He said Mr Kejriwal attacked the same Congress over corruption and dishonesty before gaining power in Delhi and now it is desperate to “make alliance” with the party. “Their reality is before the public,” he said.

“Democracy or politics done without values and ideals is dangerous for the country,” he said.

During his speech, he also hit out at the Congress, saying it has “failed” as a party and staring at defeat even in its bastion Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.1

“Congress has failed because it does negative politics. And after the prince (Rahul Gandhi), it fielded its princess (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra). And what happened after that…they are staring at a defeat in Amethi too,” the BJP leader claimed.

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Congress confident of crossing three-digit mark in Lok Sabha elections

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At the end of the fourth phase of polling, Congress is confident of crossing the three-digit mark in the 17th Lok Sabha polls.

According to an internal assessment, Congress will significantly improve its tally compared to the 2014 election when it bagged just 44 of the 543 seats. That was its lowest tally in any Lok Sabha election, beating the previous low of 114 seats in 1999.

In 2014, Congress failed to open its account in 13 states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Odisha, and could not cross the double-digit mark in any state. It did not get Leader of Opposition status as it failed to win 10% of total seats of House.

On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became the first political party to secure an absolute majority on its own in 30 years by winning 282 seats.

The Congress’s evaluation for 2019 indicates gains in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. But it is not expecting a good showing in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Delhi and the North-East.

The internal assessment is based on feedback from the ground in several Lok Sabha constituencies across the country, a Congress functionary familiar with matters said. The party is expected to revise its assessment after the final phase of polling on May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23. On record, Congress said people were voting for change and the fall of the BJP government at Centre was imminent, as evident from statements of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

“Our first and foremost assessment comes from Modi’s desperation and nervousness… Sometimes, he indulges in abusive language against Congress president Rahul Gandhi, second day he says he is going to bring down an elected government in West Bengal through defection, and on the third day… he and his home ministry indulges in absolute rubbish of questioning Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship,” party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. “It seems he is trying to hold on to every straw to somehow stop his boat from sinking.” Surjewala said the party’s second assessment comes from the observations of workers on the ground. “That is extremely encouraging and shows massive gains for Congress and allies and consequent losses for BJP,” he said.

He said the third assessment comes from online and physical surveys that have established the observations of workers on the ground.

When contacted, BJP refused to make any comment on it

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‘PM Modi doesn’t respect his mother, how can he respect India’: Mamata

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In a no-holds barred attack not seen so far in this election season, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not respecting his mother and wife.

“How can you, who has not shown any respect to your own mother, your wife, teach us how to respect our country? A prime minster like this can never be trusted with the country,” Banerjee said at an election rally at Heria in East Midnapore district.

“The Prime Minister’s speeches are instigating, the language is shameful,” she added. The Trinamool Congress chief appeared agitated and referred to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders as liars and hooligans. “They are using religious propaganda to divert your attention from crucial issues. If this is how elections are to be held, let there be no election at all. Let us all fight over religion,” she said.

This is not the first time that Banerjee has resorted to personal attacks on Modi, but she never accused the Prime Minister of disrespecting his family. “Did you ever look after your family? Leave alone others, did you look after your wife? How can you know how mothers, daughters and sisters live? You have none,” the Bengal chief minister had said while addressing a rally in Cooch Behar district on April 8.

Reacting to Banerjee’s statement on Sunday, Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said, “It is a matter of shame that a chief minister resorts to personal attacks against the Prime Minister. She is incapable of countering Modi Ji politically and hence she is resorting to personal attacks. This is nothing but an expression of her fears.”

At her second rally at Nimtouri, also in East Midnapore, Banerjee alleged that crores of rupees were being spent on Modi’s rallies but the Election Commission of India (ECI) was not taking any action.

She also targeted the Communist Party of India (Marxist). “Those who unleashed violence wearing red shirts are now flexing their muscles in saffron shirts. CPI (M) has sold its flag to the BJP,” Banerjee said.

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