POLL-SNIPPETS: Constitutional institutions not personal property of PM Modi: Rahul Gandhi

In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the Constitutional institutions of the country are not his personal property but belong to every single Indian citizen

POLL-SNIPPETS: Constitutional institutions not personal property of PM Modi: Rahul Gandhi
In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the Constitutional institutions of the country are not his personal property but belong to every single Indian citizen.
Accusing the ruling BJP at the Centre of attempting to capture all the Constitutional institutions of the country, he said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls is a fight between those who want to protect the Constitution and those who want to destroy it.
Addressing party workers and voters after taking out a roadshow in Vellimunda in Wayanad constituency, he said the Constitution is the document that protects the rights of all Indians regardless of the language they speak, the community they are from, the religion they practice and the state they belong to. Everybody is the same in the eyes of the Constitution, he said.
"You understand very well that the BJP is attempting to capture all the (Constitutional) institutions of our country, one by one," he alleged. Whether it is the judiciary, Election Commission, CBI, ED, Income Tax department or the high bureaucracy, the RSS is infiltrating these systems by putting their men, he further charged. And on the other side, there is the INDIA bloc which believes that these institutions belong to India and not to any one organisation, he said.
"These institutions are not the personal property of the Prime Minister. They are the property of every single Indian citizen," Gandhi asserted.
Vote for NDA to put end to goonda raj, dynasty politics in Bihar: Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday urged people in Bihar to vote for the NDA to put an end to goonda raj and dynasty politics in the state.
Addressing election rallies in Bihar's Aurangabad and Nawada districts, Adityanath, without mentioning the Samajwadi Party by name, alleged, "Like the RJD here, we had a family ruling the roost in UP, unleashing goonda raj in the state."
"We put an end to this... Bihar was passing through an 'identity crisis' during RJD's goonda raj. People should ensure that they (RJD) are finished in this electoral battle. This election is about family first versus nation. The 'parivaarwadi' (family-centric) party pushed the country towards terrorism, separatism and corruption. Now, we have Narendra Modi's guarantee of a developed and self-reliant India. The country's prestige has grown all over the world under Modi ji's leadership. Its borders are secure, he said.
Adityanath said when the central government is focusing on digital India, RJD leaders are busy talking about the lantern (the party symbol). Their leaders are opposed to digital India initiatives of the Centre and Lalu Prasad can't think beyond his parivar (family)", he alleged.
RJD is against development They indulge in rangdaari' (extortion) and believe in brandishing the tamancha' (revolver). The party leaders are responsible for criminalising politics. I am sure the people of Bihar will give them a befitting reply this time, Adityanath said.
The BJP's manifesto is Modi's guarantee. It reaffirms the dedication to building a developed India, while also reinforcing the firm stance against corruption, Adityanath said.
'Strong undercurrent' in Cong's favour in NE: Jairam Ramesh
The Congress on Monday claimed that there is a "strong undercurrent" of support for it in the Northeast because of the fear that the diversity of the region is going to be "destroyed" and uniformity imposed by the BJP.
Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh said that there is a fear in the Northeast that a government that can "bulldoze the abolition of Article 370 can very well bulldoze the abolition of Article 371 and its special provisions". Ramesh, who recently was on a campaign tour to northeastern states such as Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram, said there is a "strong undercurrent" of support and sympathy for the Congress because the issues in the Lok Sabha elections are quite different from those in the assembly elections.
"The issue in the Lok Sabha election is the preservation of the special provisions for the Northeast in our Constitution -- 371-A for Nagaland, 371-B for Assam, 371-C for Manipur, 371-F for Sikkim, 371-G form Mizoram, 371-H for Arunachal Pradesh. There is a fear that a government that can bulldoze the abolition of Article 370 can very well bullldoze the abolition of Article 371 and its special provisions," Ramesh said at a press briefing at the AICC headquarters in Delhi.
"So the most important issue in the Northeast is the preservation of the religious diversity, linguistic diversity, food diversity, and very important issue in the northeast in the last few days is the food...the freedom to eat what you want to eat," he said. "The freedom to eat, freedom to dress, freedom to profess one's faith...basic freedoms are at stake. That is the real issue in the Northeast," he said.
Ramesh claimed that the BJP's strategy in the Northeast has been to use regional parties to spread its presence but this is not going to work in the Lok Sabha polls. In the northeastern states, there is a strong undercurrent of support because of the fear that the diversity of the region is going to be "destroyed" and the BJP will impose uniformity, Ramesh said.
INDIA bloc has nothing to do with general public: Nadda
Launching a vitriolic attack on the opposition INDIA bloc, BJP president JP Nadda on Monday said that it has nothing to do with the general public and all parties in it are concerned only about their families.
Addressing a poll rally in Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Nadda said on one side there is the BJP's manifesto (Sankalp Patra) which lays the roadmap for a developed India and on the other side the INDIA bloc constituents who have their separate manifestos. "What will they do for development when they cannot even come together," he said.
Describing the INDIA bloc as a conglomeration of the corrupt who are either in jail or on bail, he said that all they are concerned with is saving their families.
Naming Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram, and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Sanjay Singh, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain, Nadda said all of them are either in jail or on bail.
The BJP president asked the general public whether they would vote for such people. "They (INDIA bloc) have nothing to do with you. They are only concerned with their families and saving themselves," he said.
Nadda said that all constituents of the opposition bloc have been involved in scams be it Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Yadav's fodder scam, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav's laptop scam or the numerous scams committed during the UPA. 
The BJP president said it is also a gathering of family centred parties led by Lalu Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee (TMC) or Stalin (DMK). "The only ones who care about you are your Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, "he added
BJP says its manifesto recognises middle class aspirations
The BJP asserted on Monday its manifesto recognises the aspirations and needs of the rising middle class, and identifies opportunities for them and promises to create conditions for a better quality of life.
The ruling party has promised better cities, higher quality infrastructure, faster and better digital infrastructure, controlling pollution, investment in technologies of tomorrow and better living conditions, it said, adding that the middle class will benefit a lot from these, it said.
Its promise of encouraging the creation of new satellite townships near metro cities, boosting transit-oriented development, building unified metropolitan transport systems, ensuring water-secure cities, leveraging best practices for waste water treatment and eliminating open landfills will address immediate liveability concerns of the middle class, the party said.
It has also promised in its manifesto, which was released on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders of the BJP, high-value jobs not just in big cities but in tier-2 and tier-3 cities besides leveraging tourism to promote local entrepreneurship and jobs.
The manifesto's focus on increasing the number of Global Capability Centres (GCCs), Global Tech Centres (GTCs) and Global Engineering Centres (GECs) and making the country a global hub will also help the middle class, who will benefit also from the resolve to make housing more affordable.
Noting that medical treatment for senior citizens, and those 70 years and above, is costly and can be a financial drain on middle class families as getting insurance for them is not always easy, the party said its promise of bringing them under the 'Ayushman Bharat' cover for health cost up to Rs 5 lakh irrespective of their family income will be a big helm to them.
The party also cited its promise of zero electricity bill through solar rooftops, including in housing societies, and the expansion of IITs, IIMs and AIIMS to make its point. The BJP's promise of new investments in agricultural storage will lead to not only farmers getting more remunerative prices but also lower and more predictable food prices for the consuming middle class, it said.
The manifesto's details on India's proposed foreign policy initiatives, promoting the country's ideas and values to the world and carving a place for it at the global level, also benefits the middle class the most as they will play a key role as its ambassadors to the world.
AAP to hold 200 'Sankalp Sabhas' in Delhi ahead of LS polls
The AAP will hold 200 "Sankalp Sabha" meetings across four Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi ahead of the parliamentary polls to seek the support of people against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest, senior party leader Gopal Rai said on Monday.
The "Sankalp Sabha" meetings, to be held in 40 Assembly constituencies under the four Lok Sabha segments, will be attended by senior leaders and ministers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Rai told a press briefing here. Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Gopal Rai will preside over these meetings.
Rai will hold the first such meeting in the Vishwas Nagar Assembly constituency under the East Delhi Lok Sabha segment. Delhi goes to polls on May 25. 

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