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India

Modi, Shah land in Gujarat to huge crowds, celebrations to be low key

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah arrived here on Sunday evening on a two-day visit to their home turf Gujarat, which has again given the party all the 26 Lok Sabha seats, but the celebrations will be devoid of drums and firecrackers in homage to the Surat fire victims.

Modi and Shah landed at the Sardar Patel airport around 6 p.m. and offered floral tributes to the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the airport.

Gujarat BJP President Jitubhai Vaghani told reporters earlier: “PM Modi and Amit Shah are coming for the first time after a huge victory but the celebrations will be simple and austere.

“There will be no firecrackers or beating of drums. This is in homage to the children who died in the Surat fire,” he added.

From the Ahmedabad airport, the leaders will reach the old State BJP headquarters at JP Chowk in the Khanpur area. Modi used to live here in a room when he was Gujarat BJP’s Organizational Secretary in the late 1980s during the party’s formative years in the state.

The Prime Minister and Amit Shah will address a public meeting at the JP Chowk where Modi always makes the first speech after every election victory. The meeting would be to convey his and the party’s gratitude to the people for giving such a massive mandate.

As always, Modi will have a night-halt at Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar and visit his mother Hiraba to take her blessings at his younger brother’s house in Raisan area in Gandhinagar before leaving for Delhi.

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India

How TikTok made Modi popular among young voters

Nearly 1.5 crore young “digital natives”, most of whom cast their votes for the first time, chose to vote for Narendra Modi as India’s next prime minister and Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok played a great role in creating a “Modi wave” among them.

While the seasoned members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were busy charting out strategies and organising rallies, the younger, tech-savvy karyakartas took charge of expanding Modi’s digital presence across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — and TikTok.

TikTok, which claims to have over 120 million monthly active users in India, played a crucial part in circulating dialogues, speeches and candid reactions from Modi on smartphones across the length and breadth of the country.

“One day, my Instagram was flooded with TikTok videos showing Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Modi sharing hugs and winks during a Parliament session with ‘Aankh maare, ladka aankh maare’ song playing in the background. It will always be one of my favourites this election season,” Riya Kalwani, content writer from Mumbai told IANS.

“Seriously, whoever took the time and energy to make these videos, hats off to them,” she added.

The app-struck young voters took to the platform to record themselves, shouting the famous “Mitro” and “Iss baar fir Modi sarkar” videos, hash-tagged them with social media trends and shared those.

After Modi prefixed the word “Chowkidar” before his name on Twitter, TikTokers went berserk.

Not just individuals but families recorded themselves imitating Modi’s “Aap aashvast rahiye, aapka ye chowkidar, poori tarah chowkanna hai” dialogue along with videos on the “Mein bhi chowkidar hu” songs.

“So many people did TikTok videos on ‘Zyada se zyada ye mera kya kar lenge? Aree hum toh fakeer aadmi hai, jhola leke chal padenge’ dialogue. It was everywhere. There was also this one where people have dubbed Modi discussing popular daily soap ‘Ye rishta kya kehlata hai.’ Just hilarious,” said Deepika Tiwari, a media student.

Another TikTok video that trended showed a TV screen recording of Modi speaking in a session with a paper in hand and his supporters banging the table behind him in agreement along with a famous dialogue from Bollywood movie “Munna Bhai MBBS”: ‘Sir, bahar casualty mei koi marrne ki halat pe raha, toh usko form bharna zaroori hai kya?”

In addition to Hindi, several TikTok videos were shared in other regional languages including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Gujarati and Bengali.

In an interview with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, Modi said that he enjoys memes on the Internet.

The clip became a sensational TikTok topic that floated on social media platforms for quite a while.

(IANS)

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India

New Delhi, The Unifier-III: Hindu Hriday Samrat Modi

PM Modi’s populist development model working well in conjunction with Hindutva Plus sits well with the sequential progression that India’s body politic seems to be taking. For politicians from the Samajwadi Party and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the Muslim vote bank is vital and they are refusing to cut the umbilical cord. Congress strategists have come to the conclusion that the Hindu vote is aggregating behind PM Modi. We saw that first in the May 2014 hustings and then saw it again in Assam, thrice in UP and most recently in Bengal. The bastion of Bengal has been breached.

‘Jai Shri Ram’ cries have never rent the air nor has Gau Puja been done there. Neither have swords been brandished on Ram Navmi, a non-festival in Bengal, till recently. But Mamata walked into the BJP hyper nationalism trap by playing the Bengali sub-nationalism card and while ‘Jai Shri Ram’, was met head on with ‘Jai Bangla’ and even ‘Jai Kali’ and ‘Gau Puja’ with ‘Durga Puja’, the Amit Shah school of political management has prevailed. From an 18 per cent vote in 2014 to slipping to a mere 10 per cent vote in the last assembly election to storming back with close to 40 per cent is a credit to Shah’s hot-button strategic sense.

The May 2014 result at the hustings was revelatory for it clearly showed that Modi and his neo BJP had managed to construct a grand Hindu coalition of votes. This was a brand new model, at odds with all the social engineering attempts of the past at cutting across caste and religious fault lines. You have to believe this because when you win 71 plus 2 Apna Dal seats out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh, then all modules and models are cast into the Ganga. Consolidation of the Hindu vote behind Modi was what happened.

Breaking caste and community-based models, the aspirational first-time voter in the 18-22 age group voted with its hands and feet for Modi, empirically this translated into 47 per cent of the vote in the 2014. Of course, Modi’s development pitch attracted a vast swathe, as did anger against the UPA at the centre and four-and-a-half CMs in UP courtesy a warring family. Backing my theorem is an article from the Hindu which says – First, the BJP regained the support of lower Other Backward Classes (more than half of the Kurmi community and Most Backward Classes voted the BJP). Second, the party garnered a substantial proportion of Dalit votes, mainly among the non-Jatavs.

And third, there was an unprecedented level of polarisation among the upper caste voters in favour of the party. Since the 90s, the BJP in UP has had two main support groups: the upper castes and the lower OBCs. Modi’s repeated emphasis on his caste background in his campaign speeches seems to have helped the BJP improve its vote share among the OBC voters. Remember that Modi himself is a Modh Ghanchi. One thought that this was a one off, but when the same thing was repeated in UP Assembly elections three years later, it made one sit up and take notice. For now it was a neon sign flashing in our faces.

Deepankar Basu and Kartik Misra of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst in their seminal paper, BJP’s Demographic Dividend in the 2014 General Elections: An Empirical Analysis, wrote and corroborated the young voter phenomenon that I have mentioned earlier. Mining data by doing a deep dive, they found that in the 2014 general election, 2.31 crore first time voters who came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise may have played a decisive role. According to a report, the BJP received 39 per cent support from the first-time voters in comparison to the Congress who could only secure 19 per cent votes from them.

Out of 81.45 crore voters, 2.31 crore belonged to the age-group of 18-19 years, around 2.7 per cent of the total voters, according to figures released by the Election Commission. Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP secured 71 out of 80 seats, 38.1 lakh voters in the age group of 18-19 exercised their franchise, according to figures released by the EC. On the other hand, West Bengal, where the party increased its tally, witnessed 20.8 lakh such voters. Similarly, in Himachal Pradesh 1.3 per cent youths came out to vote. The BJP won all the four seats in the state.

The national capital also saw participation from 2.7 per cent youth voters. In Delhi North-West, West, North East, and East constituencies, 81,760, 55,620, 54,889, and 46,574 first-time voters respectively came out to vote. The BJP recorded a clean sweep in all seven seats in Delhi where Congress was pushed to the third place. The role of young (and first-time) electors in ensuring BJP a victory again cannot be underscored.

The importance of this constituency for the BJP was evident from the strong emphasis that their campaign laid on luring them by engaging them through social media and tailoring their manifesto in accordance with their aspirations and needs.

The University of Massachusetts analysis shows that there is a strong positive correlation between the proportion of first-time electors and change in BJP’s vote share (between 2009 and 2014) across Indian states. Thus, states which had a high proportion of first-time electors were also the states where BJP increased its vote share significantly between 2009 and 2014.

For instance, total expenditure on the MGNREGA, the UPA government’s flagship welfare scheme, stagnated since 2009. In 2009-10, total expenditure was Rs 37,905.23 crore; in 2013-14, it stood at Rs 38,537.60 crore. Thus, over a period of four years, when inflation was hovering at double digits, nominal expenditure on MGNREGA increased by a measly 2 per cent. This suggests that one of the important factors underlying BJP’s unprecedented electoral victory was its ability to reach out to first-time electors.

If the infrastructure supporting the Modi campaign was monumental, the results were equally historic and unprecedented.

According to the data released by the EC, the 2014 elections saw the highest-ever voter turnout of 68.38 per cent which not only bettered the 2009 turnout of 58.19 per cent but also surpassed the 1984 record of 64.01 per cent as almost all states saw a significant increase in the number of people who exercised their right to vote. The majority of the increase in voting percentage, it seems, translated into increasing the vote share of the BJP that saw an increase of over 11 per cent in its vote share (from 18.80 per cent in 2009 to 31 per cent in 2014).

The Congress, on the other hand, saw a significant reduction in its popularity as its vote share fell from 28.55 per cent in 2009 to 19.31 per cent in 2014. In addition to increasing its absolute vote share, the BJP managed to break fresh ground in states like Tamil Nadu where it not only managed to increase its votes from 2.3 per cent to 5.5 per cent but also succeeded in winning a seat.

Similarly, in Assam its vote share more than doubled from 16.21 per cent in 2009 to 36.9 per cent in 2014. While an increase in vote share may not always imply a corresponding increase in seats, the BJP also almost doubled its seats from 4 in 2009 to 7 in 2014 in Assam.

Similarly, in Bihar, its vote share increased from 13.93 per cent in 2009 to 29.4 per cent in 2014. The corresponding increase in seats was from 12 to 22. In addition, the BJP made its presence felt in the erstwhile Communist bastion of West Bengal where its vote share increased from 6.14 per cent in 2009 to 16.8 per cent in 2014.

Even in the southern state of Kerala where the BJP did not win seats, it managed to garner an impressive vote share of 10.3 per cent.

(IANS)

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Entertainment

New Delhi, Web series on Modi returns after elections

‘Modi: Journey Of A Common Man’, the web series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is live again, a month after the Election Commission banned its streaming in favour of a level-playing field during the Lok Sabha elections.

Directed by Umesh Shukla of ‘OMG – Oh My God’ fame, the web series was launched just days ahead of the polls, and was playing on even though the EC had stopped the release of Bollywood biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’ from releasing on April 11 when the seven-phase polls began.

Five episodes, which were launched earlier, were made available again on OTT platform Eros Now on Tuesday. The remaining five are yet to be out.

“Our plan is to release episodes 6 and 7 on Thursday (May 23) in five different languages – Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati. The remaining episodes of the 10-part original series will be streamed shortly,” Ridhima Lulla, Chief Content Officer, Eros Group, told IANS.

“Our attempt through this series is to tell the story of Narendra Modi’s struggle, will power, vision and victory. His journey is truly inspiring,” Lulla added.

Shukla, the director of the web series, had earlier said the release of the show was not planned in a way to coincide with the elections.

“I was working on it for almost a year. It could have come out a month earlier as well, but it got delayed owing to some technical glitches… My web series is not about politics. It is more about a character and his journey,” Shukla had told IANS.

The trajectory of the web series and the film ‘PM Narendra Modi’ is similar as they trace Modi’s journey from his humble beginnings to become the Prime Minister.

Written by Mihir Bhuta and Radhika Anand and based on Kishor Makwana’s ‘Modi: Common Man’s PM’, the show stars Faisal Khan, Ashish Sharma and Mahesh Thakur depicting different phases of Modi’s life.

Meanwhile, BJP-sponsored channel NaMo TV went off air on May 17 soon after the conclusion of campaigning across the country. It began on March 31, BJP sources said.

“The channel was brought as a medium of election campaign of BJP. As the campaign ended, there was no need of it. So it went off air on May 17 after the campaign concluded,” a BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

(IANS)

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Business

Modi government dismantled India’s economy: Congress

May 18  The Congress on Friday said that the Modi government will be shown the “exit door” by the people of India on account of an atmosphere of “fear, despair, division and economic devastation” and alleged that it had “dismantled” India’s economy in five years.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the year-on-year growth of national income has plunged from 14 per cent in 2005-06 to 11.6 per cent in 2018-19.

He said that the per capita income increased during the UPA government by a whopping 233 per cent (2004-14) and it has slowed down to 40.5 per cent during the Modi government.

“The average GDP growth during UPA years was 8.1 per cent and has fallen to 7 per cent in last five years. The average agriculture growth rate during UPA was 4.2 per cent and has fallen to just 2.9 per cent. The average industrial growth rate during UPA was 8.55 per cent during UPA government and has fallen to just 4.45 per cent now,” he said.

Surjewala said that the average manufacturing growth rate during Congress-led UPA was 3.5 per cent and it has now fallen to 1.8 per cent.

The unemployment rate, he said, has climbed to an unprecedented 45-year high from 2.2 per cent (2011-12 as per NSSO) to 6.1 per cent.

He said the percentage increase in exports has come down, year-on-year average wage rate growth has fallen and average electricity consumption has dropped.

The Congress leader said there has been a fall in average cement and steel production growth besides growth in mining activity and tourism.

Surjewala said growth in bank credit, FDI, rail and road freight movement, production of motor vehicles, sales growth of textiles, gems and jewellery, leather, and rubber had fallen.

“The average growth of stock market during UPA was 15.5 per cent and has now fallen
to just 7.7 per cent,” he said.

Surjewala said that the task before the next government is to reinvent “the wheel of India’s prosperity and social cohesion,”

(IANS)

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India

Narendra Modi accused of holding rally on scamster’s ground

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally in Bengal’s Mathurapur constituency was held at a ground which belongs to the owner of an illegal microfinance company. 

Taking a swipe at Modi for repeatedly accusing her and her party leaders of being involved in Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scam, the Trinamool Congress supremo urged the police to immediately start a case against that “chit fund owner”.

“The ground where PM Modi is holding his rally today belongs to Kapil Mondal, the owner of a microfinance company without a license. Go and check. And he (Modi) talks about chit fund scams?” Banerjee said during her meeting at the same parliamentary constituency.

“I have got all the documents. It has come to our knowledge just yesterday (Wednesday) that the person has collected crores of rupees from people in the name of his company and illegally bought lands here. I will hand over all the documents to the local police here so that a case could be immediately started against the chit fund owner,” she said.

She also wondered whether the BJP is getting a share of the money collected by the microfinance company owner.

“Is he giving a share of the money to BJP? Maybe they are. Where is Narendra Modi? You talk about Narada (sting footage case), Saradha. But this is how you people start such scams,” she said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

The owner of the land, however, refuted Banerjee’s allegations and said his company has been given a clean chit by central regulatory authorities like the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

“The SEBI and RBI has checked everything here and given me a clean chit. Maybe she is claiming it to be illegal because she could not hold the rally on this ground. Had I permitted her to hold a meeting here, everything would have become legal,” Mondal said.

(IANS)

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India

No ‘hate’ comments if Modi had done ‘tapasya’: Priyanka

(IANS)  Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that if he had done ‘tapasya’, he would not have made such hate-filled comments.

 

Interacting to reporters after casting her vote along with her husband, Robert Vadra, she said: “If he (Modi) had done even 50 hours of tapasya, he would not have made such hate-filled comments.”

 

She was responding to a question over Modi’s comment in an interview where he said that it was 45 years of ‘tapasya’ (austerities), “not the Khan Market gang or Lutyen’s club” that had contributed to his image.

 

The Congress General Secretary, who exercised her franchise at a polling booth in the Vidya Bhawan Mahavidyalaya in Lodhi Estate area, also claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be ousted from power this time.

 

Citizens of the country were not happy with the BJP government, especially in Uttar Pradesh, she said.

 

“It’s clear that the BJP is losing the elections. I am hopeful that the results in Delhi will also be good,” she said.

 

Slamming Modi for not speaking on the poll promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, she said her party’s campaign was not negative as it was of the BJP.

 

“We raked up real issues which were affecting the common people and spoke on their solutions while Modiji kept talking about things that were of no importance.”

 

She also hit out at Modi for not responding to the questions posed by the opposition.

 

“The Prime Minister does not reply to the questions posed at him. He should have answered on promises of giving Rs 15 lakh, providing two crore employments every year and also on the income of farmers. He also remaied silent on the challenge thrown by (Congress President) Rahulji (Gandhi) to debate on issues,” she added.

 

Asked about her son Rehan, who did not come out to vote, she said: “He could not vote as he had gone to London for his exams.”

 

During the nomination filing of her brother brother Rahul Gandhi from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Rehan and his sibling Miraya were also seen during the road show.

 

The voting on 59 seats across seven seats are underway in the sixth phase. The polling on all the seven seats in the national capital are also underway where the BJP, Congress and the AAP are in a triangular fight.

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India

What about Gujarat riots, Asaduddin Owaisi asks Modi

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the 2002 Gujarat riots after the latter called the 1984 anti-Sikh riots a “horrendous genocide”.

The Member of Parliament from Hyderabad asked Modi what would he call the Gujarat riots.

“Sir @PMOIndia so where the 2002 pogrom which happened under your tenure as CM and you failed in your constitutional oath to protect human beings,” Owaisi tweeted.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President pointed out that the accused in both the riots in 1984 and 2002 won the elections.

Owaisi was reacting to Modi slamming Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s advisor Sam Pitroda for his remark on the anti-Sikh riots. On Thursday, Indian Oversees Congress chief Pitroda had courted controversy by brushing off the 1984 anti-Sikh riots by saying, “hua toh hua” (it just happened).

–IANS

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India

Modi on Time magazine cover with controversial headline

American news magazine Time has featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover page of its May 20 issue with a headline that may create controversy across the India amid the election season.

The headline reads “India’s Divider in Chief” that is and carries a caricature of the Prime Minister criticises Modi.

This title pertains to the article in the magazine, written by Aatish Taseer with the headline “Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?”

The write up compares former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s idea of secularism with the prevailing social “stress” under Modi who “demonstrated no desire to foster brotherly feelings between Hindus and Muslims,” the article read.

Besides, the article it also recalled the Gujarat riots that allegedly claimed lives of scores of people.

The whole article is based on the Hindu-Muslim relations and blames Modi for being pro-Hindu.

It is not the first time when the magazine has come with critical commentary about Modi. In its published article in 2012, the magazine described him as a controversial, ambitious and a shrewd politician.

IANS

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India

Won’t let Modi, BJP destroy India’s unity: Punjab CM

Calling for a vote against the Akalis who he said resorted to sacrilege to polarise communities, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday made an emotional appeal to not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP destroy the country’s biggest strength — its unity.

Addressing an election rally here in support of Congress candidate from Sangrur Kewal Singh Dhillon, he said this land of martyrs was an inspiration for those who had sacrificed themselves for an India that belongs to all religions and communities.

Vowing not to spare the Badals or anyone involved in trying to divide the people of Punjab through desecration of the holy scriptures of various religions, the Chief Minister said they would have to pay for their sins, including the firing on people protesting against sacrilege cases.

Paying his tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh, whose picture he was presented, Amarinder Singh said the freedom fighter’s selfless sacrifice remains an inspiration for Indians even today.

He recalled the incident of Udham Singh keeping a bottle of blood-soaked Jallianwala Bagh soil next to his pillow, for years, out of sheer grief at the tragic killings of innocent Indians.

Those people were of a different mettle, he said, exhorting people to ensure that the India of their dreams was not destroyed by communal forces.

The nation was passing through difficult times and these Lok Sabha elections would decide its future by choosing between those engaged in communalising politics and those desirous of building a secular India, said the Chief Minister.

Modi and his men are breaking the strength of the nation and usurping the achievements of the armed forces as their own for furthering their political interests, he said, adding that as an Army officer he served Indian forces and not Modi’s forces.

Attacking the Akali candidate from Sangrur Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Amarinder Singh blamed the former Punjab Finance Minister for the fiscal crisis faced by the state and the additional debt burden of Rs 31,000 crore he had put on the coming generations.

He said his government would complete the farm debt waiver process for the 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers as promised.

“If we can do it despite the fiscal crisis in Punjab, why could Parkash Singh Badal not do it?” he asked.

However, he reiterated that debt relief was only a temporary measure and implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission report was the only solution to end the woes of the farmers in the country.

The promise of smartphones to aid youths in education is on way to being fulfilled, Amarinder Singh said, adding that the first batch of such phones would be distributed soon after the elections.

(IANS)

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India

Who let Masood Azhar out; Rahul Gandhi asks Modi, BJP

Pointing fingers at the BJP for being the one who allowed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar to return to Pakistan and carry out terror activities over the years, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asserted his party will deal with terrorism sternly and strictly.

“Who sent him there (in Pakistan)? How he went there? Which government sent him? The BJP negotiates with terrorists and buckles under pressure. They bowed down before terror.

“It was not done by the Congress,” Rahul said amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking credit for Azhar being designated terrorist by world body UN, and terror strikes to wipe out terror launch pads across the border.

Addressing a mid-poll press conference here, the Congress leader said, “Masood Azhar is a terrorist and strict action should be taken against him.”

He also asserted that the Congress will never negotiate with terrorists.

“Terrorism has to be dealt with sternly,” he added.

He was responding to a question over Masood Azhar being declared a global terrorist by the United Nation Security Council.

The Modi government, while taking credit for getting Azhar blacklisted, should also tell the citizens that it was during a BJP regime that the JeM chief was released and he transformed into an even bigger threat to India, the Congress had said earlier on Thursday following the UN action.

Azhar was released from a prison in India in 1999, in exchange for 155 hostages held on an Indian Airlines flight that had been hijacked to Kandahar, Afghanistan. The terror lord then created a base for himself in Pakistan for two decades.

IANS

 

 

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India

Rahul Gandhi accuses Modi of disrespecting armed forces

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of disrespecting the country’s armed forces by comparing surgical strikes to video games.

Addressing a perss conference at the party office here, Gandhi said: “The Army is not a personal property of Modiji. Modi thinks the Indian Air Force, Navy and the Army are his personal properties.

“These surgical strikes were not carried out by Modiji, it was carried out by our forces. And if Modiji says that the earlier surgical strikes were not real surgical strikes and a video game, then he is not demeaning the Congress but he is disrespecting the armed forces.”

Gandhi also said that if the media needs record then its written here. General Vikram Singh has said the UPA government had carried out six surgical strikes between 2008 and 2014 and given out the dates of the surgical strikes.

“This has been done by the Amry and we don’t want to politicise it. And the Prime Minister must have respect for the armed forces,” he said.

The Congress President’s remarks comes a day after the Prime Minister while addressing a public meeting said that the party that questioned the surgical strikes is now saying “me too, me too”. Modi also said bitingly that “it is no video game”.

The Congress leader also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was losing in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

“More than half of the elections are over and there is clear cut feeling that Modiji is losing. Main issues in this elections are unemployment, corruption of Prime Minister. Our general assessment is clearly saying that BJP is losing the elections.

“The biggest issue in front of the people is unemployment and the economy ruined by Modi government is the biggest issue and the country and Rahul Gandhi wants to understand it. Rahul Gandhi is nothing. Country is the biggest thing.

“Modiji had said that he shall give employment to over two crore youths every year. While in Congress manifesto an entire chapter is about jobs. In this we have listed how we will do and what we will do,” he said.

Hitting out at the Prime Minister, Gandhi said: “Modiji’s entire system is to distract. We have fought four to five elections with him. We have fought against him in Gujarat, Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh. Soon he realises that he is not going to win then he shall bring sometyhing new like he brought sea plane in Gujarat.

“Reality is Modiji is losing the elections and its visible on his face,” he added.

IANS

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Entertainment

Bollywood biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’ to release on May 24

Bollywood biopic “PM Narendra Modi” will hit the theatres on May 24, after the Lok Sabha Election results are announced, the makers said on Friday.

The film, on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was stopped just a night before its worldwide release on April 11 when the parliamentary polls kicked off.

The Election Commission said that any material which disturbs a level playing field should not be allowed.

Producer Sandip Ssingh said: “As a responsible citizen, we respect the law of the country. After a lot of discussions and given the curiosity and excitement about the film, we have decided to release the film immediately after the Lok Sabha Election results (to be announced on May 23).

“We will now release our film on May 24.”

Since the election end on May 19, Ssingh said it will “only have 4 days promotions before its release”.

“I hope now nobody will have any problem with the film and we are hoping for a smooth release,” he added.

The film has actor Vivek Anand Oberoi playing Modi.

Other cast members include Boman Irani, Manoj Joshi, Prashant Narayanan, Zarina Wahab, Barkha Sengupta, Anjan Shrivastav, Yatin Karyekar, Ramakant Dayma, Akshat R Saluja, Jimesh Patel and Darshan Kumaar.

Directed by Omung Kumar B, and co-produced by Ssingh, Suresh Oberoi and Anand Pandit, the film will traverse the journey of Modi from his humble beginnings to becoming the Prime Minister of India.

IANS

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IMB News Room

What happens if Modi wins 2019? | Who is Dajjal – Anti-Christ?

What happens if Modi wins 2019? | Who is Dajjal – Anti-Christ?

 

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India

Modi ‘chowkidar’ of only 15 corrupt persons; Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “chowkidar” (watchman) who guards the interests of only 15 corrupt persons and not that of the country at large,

Addressing election rallies in Bundelkhand region in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said: “I want to make direct relation with crores of farmers, small traders, youth, sisters and mothers, and I won’t lie to them as I know that relationships can’t be based on falsehood. But Narendra Modi thinks otherwise…he lies and spreads hatred all around.

“He is ‘chowkidar’ for only 15 corrupt persons and guards their interests. I am yours, while Modi is theirs. He wants to create two Indias — one of the poor, farmers and unemployed youth, and the other of the corrupt.”

The Congress chief also targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and the big businessmen who fled the country after taking bank loans. He asked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath to take action against those ministers of the previous BJP government in the state who allegedly misappropriated the Bundelkhand package funds.

He said: “During demonetisation, it was said that it’s a fight against black money. If it was true, then why didn’t people like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi were seen in bank queues? Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah makes Rs 80 crore from Rs 50,000 in a matter of three months, Choksi sends money to Arun Jaitley’s daughter’s account and Vijay Mallya meets Jaitley before fleeing the country. All this must be explained…”

Gandhi maintained that while big businessmen are at large after committing crime, in sharp contrast a farmer is put behind bars if he is not able to pay back 5,000 to 10,000 rupees. “Why this double standard…because farmers are honest people and not thieves?”

The slogan of “achhe din” during the last election has completely changed now, he said, adding: “Now, if I just say mention ‘chowkidar’, people say ‘chor hai’.”

IANS

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India

EC meets to decide complaints against Modi, Rahul

The Election Commission (EC) held a meeting on Tuesday to decide on the complaints of alleged violations of the model code of conduct (MCC) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and BJP President Amit Shah.

While Modi and Shah have been accused of making “hate speeches” and “using” the armed forces for “political propaganda” during their Lok Sabha poll campaigns, the complaints against Gandhi relate to his use of the “chowkidar chor hai” slogan.

The EC had on Monday said that it would hold a meeting on Tuesday to decide on the complaints.

“Regarding the alleged complaints of violation of model code of conduct against senior leaders of two political parties, the Commission has already taken all the inputs and details and has scheduled a meeting on Tuesday for taking a decision on each of the issues,” Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar had told the media.

“At present there are three leaders against whom there are complaints — Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Amit Shah. The matters are under consideration with the Commission,” he added.

Kumar also said that the “full Commission” will meet on Tuesday to decide on the complaints. “The secretariat has processed everything and placed the details before the Commission,” he said.

The Commission meets every Tuesday and Thursday to discuss important issues.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena on Monday said there was a need to take a comprehensive view of all the complaints and added that each alleged violation would have to be taken up separately and decisions will be taken accordingly.

There have been several complaints of alleged poll code violations against the three leaders.

IANS

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EC to decide complaints against Modi, Rahul on Tuesday

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday is set to decide on complaints of alleged violations of the model code of conduct (MCC) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congres President Rahul Gandhi and BJP President Amit Shah.

While Modi and Shah have been accused of making “hate speeches” and “using” armed forces for “political propaganda” during the Lok Sabha polls, there have also been complaints against Gandhi’s use of “chowkidar chor hai” slogan.

In her petition, Congress leader Sushmita Dev has alleged that both Modi and Shah indulged in hate speeches and used armed forces for “political propaganda”.

While BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi had initially moved the apex court against Rahul’s remarks.

“Regarding the alleged complaints of violation of model code of conduct against senior leaders of two political parties, the Commission has already taken all the inputs and details and has scheduled a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) morning for taking a decision on each of the issues,” Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar told the media.

“At present there are three leaders against whom the alleged complaints are there — Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Amit Shah. The matters are under consideration with the Commission,” he added.

Kumar also said the ‘full commission’ will be meeting on the day decide on the complaints. “The secretariat has processed everything and place the details before the Commission,” he said.

The Commission meets every Tuesday and Thursday to discuss important issues. Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena on Monday said there was a need to take a comprehensive view of all the complaints and added that each alleged violation would have to be taken up separately and decision will be taken accordingly.

There have been several complaints of alleged code violations against the three leaders.

IANS

 

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India

Congress moves SC over EC inaction against Modi, Shah

The Congress on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the Election Commission for alleged inaction on complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.

The Congress claimed that the two leaders have used military operations as propaganda during the election campaign but the poll panel did not act against them despite various complaints.

IANS

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Modi files nomination from Varanasi, NDA stands in support

Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed his nomination papers for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat on Friday.

Modi won the Varanasi seat in 2014 with a massive margin of 3.37 lakh votes.

In an impressive show of strength, the entire top leadership of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was present at the nomination.

BJP President Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Ram Vilas Paswan and Piyush Goyal, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Assam Chief Minister Sarvanand Sonowal and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray were among those present.

AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Pannerselvam were also present.

The Prime Minister, in a touching gesture, touched the feet of Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal, one of the senior-most politicians in the country, and sought his blessings.

Union Minister Anupriya Patel said: “There is no doubt that the Modi government is returning to power with full force. The road show in Varanasi shows the kind of support that the Prime Minister has got from the people.”

Paswan also reiterated that the NDA would return to power with a greater majority and asserted that the elections were a mere formality.

Jagdish Chaudhary, a member of the Dom Raja family, which helps perform the last rites at Varanasi’s Manikarnika Ghat, Subhash Gupta, a veteran BJP leader, and Nandita Shastri, the principal of a women’s college were among those who proposed Modi’s name.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister held a meeting with party workers in which he is said to have laid down the strategy for campaigning.

“All party workers must take it upon themselves to get the Modi app on the phones of all first time voters and ask them to look at the positive news surrounding our government,” he said.

“A pro-incumbency wave has been seen in country for the first time after independence. People across the nation are saying, ‘Fir ek baar.. Modi Sarkar’. Political pundits will analyze this pro-incumbency wave later,” he said.

He told party workers to respect all candidates contesting the elections as they are also part of the democratic process.

“Don’t get influenced by our fights in election rallies. No candidate is our enemy. They are all part of the democratic process. Respect them all,” he stated.

He added: “We need to break some records in Varanasi. I have always wished that a number of women voters’ turnout will be more than men. I couldn’t do this in Gujarat, but you can do it Varanasi. I have faith in you.

“Kashi has been won. Kashi was won by the party and party workers on Thursday night. Now, the polling booths are the only thing left to be won in Kashi.”

Modi then visited the Kaal Bhairav temple and offered prayers.

Varanasi will go to polls on May 19 in the last phase of elections.

IANS

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India

Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s 13 luxury cars on auction

Thirteen luxury cars owned by fugitive diamantaires Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi went on online auction by the Metals & Scrap Trading Corporation, here on Thursday.

The auction is being carried out on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which had seized these vehicles from Modi and Choksi last year.

The vehicles include a silver Rolls Royce with a reserve price of Rs 1,33,00,000, a Porsche worth Rs 54,60,000, a red Mercedes Benz Rs 14,00,000, a white Mercedes Benz Rs 37,80,000 and a BMW Rs 9,80,000.

Besides, there are two Honda Brio, Toyota Innova, Honda CRV, Toyota Fortuner, Skoda Superb Elegance, Toyota Corolla Altis and Toyota Innova Crysta.

Of these 13 vehicles, the BMW and Toyota Innova Crysta belong to Choksi and the rest belong to Modi, his family and his group companies.

Prior to the auction, the prospective bidders were permitted physical inspection of the vehicles at various locations earlier this week.

A MSTC official said that by 4 p.m. the highest bidders shall be known and communicated to the ED which will take the final decision on awarding the successful bids.

The ED auction follows an order of the Special PMLA court permitting the sale of these cars.

IANS

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India

Modi misleading the country on quota; Mayawati

BSP President Mayawati on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading the country on reservation.

She was replying to Modi’s assertion in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar that no one can take away reservation allotted to some sections of the society by the author of the Constitution Dr B.R. Ambedkar as long as (Modi) headed the government.

Writing in a Twitter post, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said: “The Prime Minister is misleading the country by saying that reservation in jobs and education will never be ended. It’s a jumla, because just like under the Congress rule, during the BJP government too all SC/ST/OBC reservation benefits were made completely ineffective. Why?”

She added: “The BJP and the Prime Minister must also explain why their governments at the Centre and in the states are not filling up lakhs of government jobs reserved for dalits, tribals and other backward classes (OBCs) and depriving these sections of their due.”

IANS