Three phases have been completed in the ongoing seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. All the seven-phases of voting will end on 19 May, with the results coming out on 23 May.Catch all the updates on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections here.(The Quint will no longer be on WhatsApp, owing to changes in its policies regarding news publishers. You can now get the latest news updates on our Telegram channel. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram.)A letter threatening to target Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, and attack railway stations and temples was received by Shamli station master on 24 April, reported ANI. "The letter is being investigated. Forces have been alerted to conduct inspection," police told ANI.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, re-contesting from the Varanasi parliamentary constituency, will be holding a roadshow in the city on Thursday, 25 April, a day before filing his nomination papers.The Congress on Thursday slammed the Modi government over the issue of minimum support prices, alleging that farmers are getting 20 percent less than MSP.Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, citing a media report, said the promise made in 2014 was to give the farmers an MSP 50 percent over the cost of production, but they are getting 20 percent less than the MSP."This is Modi Ji's injustice," he said.(PTI)Aam Aadmi Party National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders released the AAP's Delhi Manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.PM Modi reiterated his stand on terror at a rally in Darbhanga on Thursday, saying that in new India, the aim was to destroy them.“National security may not be an issue for those who do ‘mahamilavat’ but in new India, it is a big issue. This is the new India, it will go inside terror camps and destroy them,” he said.Modi also said that he could not fight terror on his own and said he needed people’s votes to win this fight.Nadia District Nodal Election Officer Arnab Roy, who had been missing since Thursday, 18 April, has been rescued from Howrah by West Bengal CID, reported PTI.Actor Anupam Kher campaigned for his wife and BJP candidate, Kirron Kher, who is contesting the upcoming elections from Chandigarh. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was also present in the rally.Ajay Rai will be the Congress candidate from Varanasi, the constituency of PM Narendra Modi.Madhusudan Tiwari will be the Congress candidate from Gorakhpur, the bastion of the BJP and UP CM Yogi Adityanath.Congress General Secretary for UP (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held a roadshow in Jhansi.Election Commission is of the view that the movie 'PM Narendra Modi' should not be released till 19 May, ANI reported. Poll Body officials said delaying the release will be in the interest of free and fair Lok Sabha elections.BJP's Kirron Kher on Thursday filed her nomination from Chandigarh constituency, while RJD candidate Misa Bharti filed nomination from Pataliputra constituency in Bihar, reported ANI.The Mandi District Electoral Officer has issued a notice to Himachal Pradesh BJP Chief, Satpal Singh Satti over his comment 'will chop off hands of those who point fingers at Modi Ji’, reported ANI.Congress on Thursday announced three candidates for by-elections to the Legislative Assembly in West Bengal. Alhaj Muzaffar Hussain, Rejina Murmu and Khwaja Ahmed Hussain have been fielded from Islampur, Habilpur and Bhatpara respectively, reported ANI.Dissident AAP legislator Nazar Singh Manshahia today joined the Congress in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The Mansa assembly seat is part of the Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency. The chief minister said the joining of the Mansa legislator would further strengthen the Congress.He said the like-minded people from other parties, who had the interest of the state-at-heart, were joining the Congress in Punjab in large numbers. It was a clear sign of complete "disillusionment" within the AAP, he further claimed. Manshahia, the 56-year-old legislator, was part of the group of rebel AAP MLAs who had aligned with Sukhpal Singh Khaira after he was removed unceremoniously from the post of the Leader of Opposition of Punjab Assembly last year.With just three days to go for the campaigning to end for the fourth and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will address public meetings in Maharashtra on Friday.While Modi will address a rally at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai Friday evening, Gandhi will speak in Sinnar in Nashik district around the same time.In Maharashtra, the Congress president has so far addressed rallies in Nagpur, Wardha, Chandrapur, Nanded and held an interactive session with students in Pune.The Congress today named three candidates for three assembly seats in West Bengal where bypoll will be held on 19 May.The Congress has fielded Alhaj Muzaffar Hussain from Islampur, Rejina Murmu from Habilpur (ST) and Khwaja Ahmed Hussain from Bhatpara.Bypoll to five assembly constituencies of West Bengal will be held on 19 May and votes there will be counted along with those of all Lok Sabha seats, the Election Commission had said.The five assembly seats - Darjeeling, Islampur, Kandi, Habibpur (ST) and Bhatpara - fell vacant after the sitting MLAs resigned following their nomination to contest Lok Sabha elections.The Aam Aadmi Party came out with its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election based on the central theme of full statehood, giving a detailed analysis of what more can be done by the party if the status is granted.The manifesto, released by AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has been divided into two sections - one about what the party did without full statehood and what they will do in if it is granted.The manifesto, featuring Kejriwal's photograph on the front page, focused in 12 areas of education, health, women safety, police reforms, zero corruption, jobs, land and housing, protection from sealing, cleanliness, pollution, transport, Yamuna rejuvenation.Lashing out at the BJP, BSP supremo Mayawati today said this Lok Sabha election will see the end of those who chant "Namo, Namo".The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was addressing a joint rally with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.Dimple Yadav, the sitting SP MP and wife of Akhilesh Yadav, is seeking re-election from the seat as the joint candidate of the SP-BSP alliance."This election will see end of those chanting 'Namo, Namo'," she said at the rally.AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal today said the BJP is fulfilling Pakistan's agenda of dividing India and asserted that his party would do everything to stop the Modi-Shah duo from coming back to power.Addressing the media after releasing his party's manifesto, the Delhi chief minister said AAP will support any "secular mahagathbandhan" after the general elections.Kejriwal said AAP's focus would be on getting full statehood for Delhi. "We will fight our battle on the issue of getting full statehood for Delhi," he said.The AAP chief said this election can prove to be a "turning point" in the history of the country.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today alleged that the Samajwadi Party had turned Azamgarh, which was once known in the field of education and literature, into a "stronghold of terrorism".The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have crime in their DNA, he said, while addressing an election meeting here in support of BJP's Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat candidate Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua'."Once Azamgarh was known in the field of education and literature but the Samajwadi Party turned it into a stronghold of terrorism," he said.The Election Commission has made it clear that candidates will have to bear the cost of advertising their criminal antecedents in TV and newspapers as it comes in the category of 'poll expenses', a senior functionary said on Thursday.The poll panel has made it compulsory for candidates contesting elections to advertise their criminal antecedents in TV and newspapers at least thrice during electioneering.Though directions in this regard were issued on 10 October, 2018, the rule is being used for the first time in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.The functionary said political parties have been informed that candidates will have to bear the cost of the advertisement from their poll expenses.Some parties had approached the poll panel urging it to allow the advertisement expenditure be borne by them and not the candidates.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel today claimed that Malegaon blast accused and BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat Pragya Singh Thakur stabbed a man in 2001.Thakur's conduct did not become of a `Sadhvi' (ascetic or holy woman), the Congress leader said."Pragya Thakur has a connection with our Chhattisgarh. Her brother-in-law worked at a warehouse in Bilaigarh (in Balodabazar district)," Baghel said, when asked whether the BJP was playing the 'Hindutva card' by fielding her."She used to carry a knife and stabbed a young man named Shailendra Devagan in the chest with a knife in Bilaigarh in 2001," Baghel said."Pragya also used to indulge in fights, and from the beginning her conduct was like that of a habitual criminal and not like that of a Sadhvi," the chief minister said.A total of 347 cases have been registered in connection with the recent Lok Sabha polls in Kerala where the entire election exercise was by and large peaceful and the state registered a record voter turn out.Politically volatile Kannur district had registered the most number of cases - 79 - related to the violent incidents, while Kottayam recorded the lowest at two, police figures said.The total number of cases registered this time was much lower compared to the 2016 Assembly elections, which stood at 613, it said."A total of 347 cases have been registered in connection with the violent incidents related to the Lok Sabha polls," DGP Loknath Behera said.Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who floated his outfit after quitting the Aam Aadmi Party, resigned from the state Assembly on Thursday as Bholath MLA to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda.Khaira sent his resignation to Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh."Since, I will be filing my nomination papers as the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) candidate from the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat tomorrow, I have decided to relinquish my Bholath seat as an MLA to uphold morality and ethics in politics," Khaira wrote in the resignation letter.As Haryana goes to the polls on 12 May, five mothers - four of them sitting MLAs -are actively campaigning for their children.Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhary, another party leader Renuka Bishnoi, BJP leader Prem Lata and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Naina Chautala are battling the scorching sun to seek votes for their children in the general elections.While Choudhary's daughter Shruti Choudhary (43), a former MP, is contesting from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, children of the other three women legislators are locked in a contest from Hisar Lok Sabha seat.Renuka Bishnoi's son Bhavya (26), grandson of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, and Prem Lata's bureaucrat-turned-politician son Brijendra (46) are taking on Naina Chautala's son and sitting MP Dushyant Chautala (31) from Hisar.A new mobile app was launched today to facilitate voters in the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat access information about the constituency, location of polling booths and facilities provided to the electorate.Called 'Vote Chandni Chowk', the app has been developed by a team of students of the Delhi Technological University (DTU) selected by the District Election Officer of North Delhi through a competition."The app will allow voters to access information regarding the constituency, the 10 Assembly segments that fall within it, candidates, location of polling stations through Google maps and facilities that they can get there as voters," North Delhi District Electoral Officer Tanvi Garg said.Congress leader PC Chako today said his party will have a direct fight with the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and asserted that the possibility of a triangular contest is "slowly disappearing" in the national capital.The senior Congress leader also raised doubts about AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal's seriousness in defeating the BJP.Chacko said the Congress was getting a good response after the party fielded its candidates for all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, which goes to polls on 12 May.Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) Thursday introduced its candidates before the media at its party office.“Sitting in AC rooms and tweeting on any issue is easy but I have joined politics to find solutions to problems faced by people,” cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir said today.Gambhir, who joined BJP recently is pitted against Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely and AAP's Atishi in a triangular contest in the east Delhi constituency during the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi."Dilli Ko Dilli banane ki jaroorat hain, London ya Paris nahi (Delhi needs to be developed as a national capital city and not London or Paris)," he said in an apparent dig at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal who often talks about making Delhi a global city on the lines of London and Paris if given full statehood.He asserted that the game of cricket was played by him with a "true spirit" and he has joined politics with the same guiding principle."Tweeting from AC rooms on any issue is very easy. I have joined politics to find solutions to the problems faced by the people. I have played cricket with true spirit and have now joined politics with the same intention," Gambhir said.In a rehabilitation of Saradha scam accused Madan Mitra, a former West Bengal minister, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today named him as the party's candidate for the by-election to Bhatpara assembly seat.Banerjee also announced the names of Amal Kishku and Abdul Karim Chowdhury as TMC candidates for Habibpur and Islampur assembly constituencies respectively for the upcoming by-elections.The by-polls to the four assembly seats will be held on 19 May, the date for the last phase of election to the Lok Sabha.By-polls to these seats have been necessitated owing to resignations of sitting MLAs who are contesting the Lok Sabha elections.Congress President Rahul Gandhi will be the only person responsible if the BJP comes back to power, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said as he slammed the Gandhi scion days after both the parties failed to form an alliance in Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections.He was speaking at the launch of party's manifesto in which the AAP promised 85 percent reservation in colleges and jobs for the people of the national capital.Kejriwal said the AAP would not have "dreamt" of forming an alliance with the Congress but agreed to save the country."I can say that we tried our best to form an alliance with Congress and if the BJP comes back to power, only one person would be responsible for it and that would be Rahul Gandhi," he said.Kejriwal hit out at Gandhi, asking him which alliance is formed on Twitter."I want to ask Rahul Gandhi which alliance is formed on Twitter. If they were serious about forming an alliance they should have come to the table for negotiations. Giving statements in public is not going to solve the problem," he said.On Gandhi's comment that he would try till the last moment that an alliance is formed with the AAP in Delhi, Kejriwal said, "this is posturing. They don't have an intention".BJP president Amit Shah today claimed opposition leaders cannot look after the country's security.Addressing a rally in Ghazipur constituency of Uttar Pradesh, he alleged BSP supremo Mayawati and her Samajwadi Party and Congress counterparts, Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi, respectively, were upset with the Balakot air strikes."These 'mahamilavati' people talk about the country. Akhilesh, Mayawati and Congress cannot keep the country safe," he said.Shah said the BJP cannot do "ilu-ilu" with terrorists, an apparent reference to the popular short form of 'I love you'.The Congress approached the Gujarat Assembly secretariat today, seeking expulsion of disgruntled leader Alpesh Thakor as a legislator for his "anti-party activities".Thakor resigned from all the posts he held in the Congress earlier this month, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.The "appeal" seeking his "expulsion" as MLA was submitted to the Assembly secretariat by chief whip of the Congress legislative party Ashwin Kotwal and senior party MLA Baldevji Thakor.Kotwal told reporters that as Thakor is no longer with the Congress and had engaged in anti-party activities, he had no right to be an MLA of the party.CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar is just a "new chap" and BJP's Giriraj Singh is a "kath ki handi" (spent force), says RJD's Tanveer Hassan, who is confident of his victory from Bihar's Begusarai Lok Sabha seat, which goes to polls on 29 April.Dismissing the idea of a triangular contest in the constituency, Hassan said the fight is only between him and Singh, while Kumar is just "existing".Begusarai, once known as "Leningrad of Bihar" due to the strong presence of Left parties, converted into "Lalugrad" after the 90s, the RJD leader, who lost to BJP's Bhola Singh from the seat in 2014, said."The Communist Party (of India) had contested elections in 2014 as well and it had finished third in Begusarai. Kanhaiya is just a new chap and it's not that the party's vote share will double just with his name," Hassan said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi today promised to work "in mission mode" to rid Bundelhand of its water scarcity, while also claiming that the opposition will be reduced to 'zero battey sannata' in the Lok Sabha polls."Opposition leaders are going with long faces after half of the polling is over as they know the outcome," he said at a public meeting here in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh."The opposition will get 'zero battey sannata'," he added, playing on the name of a Hindi movie, 'Nil Battey Sannata', which means zero divided by zero - a slang for nothing.Stating that he understands well the problem of acute water scarcity in the region, which is also responsible for its backwardness, the prime minister said it will be handled "in mission mode"."I feel the struggle for water faced by my sisters. This challenge also has been accepted by your chowkidar," said Modi.As the Congress has failed to eradicate poverty during its five decades of rule, the country will actually become poverty-free when it will be Congress-free, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.Claiming that the BJP-led NDA government has been able to take 7.5 crore people above the poverty line, Singh said those still living below it will be elevated in the coming five years."The Congress has ruled the country for five decades, but India still fights poverty. The garibi hatao call only remained a slogan as Congress governments failed to take any concrete step to eradicate poverty," the BJP stalwart said.Seeking to woo voters ahead of polling for the three out of four Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today held a roadshow, the second in two days in the region.On the second day of her Bundelkhand visit, she held the roadshow in a busy commercial area of the city, sitting atop a vehicle in a violet saree and exchanging pleasantries with people lined up on both sides of the narrow and congested roads.As young voters and Congress workers showered flowers on her cavalcade, she was greeted with slogans of "chowkidar chor hai" from the crowd at some places.Samajwadi Party's Badaun Lok Sabha candidate Dharmendra Yadav today complained of tampering with the strongroom where the EVMs were kept, accusing the Sambhal district administration of working in a partisan manner, a charge refuted by the authorities."The district administration denied our requests for providing a pass to our agents at the strongroom on the Bahjoi Mandi Samiti campus. On Wednesday, between 6 pm and 9 pm, some developments took place there," claimed Yadav, who is the sitting MP of Badaun.Fatima Rasool Siddique, the BJP's lone Muslim candidate in the last year's Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, today announced she will not campaign for Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the saffron party's Lok Sabha nominee from Bhopal.Siddique, who unsuccessfully contested Assembly polls from the Bhopal North seat in November last year, said some of the statements given by Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case of 2008, after her candidature was announced were "communal and obnoxious".Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing "injustice" to the people of the country in the last five years, saying the 'acche din ayenge' slogan has now been replaced by 'chowkidar chor hai'.He said there will be only one 'Hindustan' where justice will be done when the Congress is voted to power.During the day, Gandhi addressed election rallies at Jalore, Ajmer and Kota in Rajasthan.Congress Leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil resigns as Leader of Opposition(LoP) in Maharashtra assembly.The Delhi BJP today dubbed the Aam Aadmi Party's manifesto as a "document of deceit" and said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was "misleading" the people of the national capital over the issue of full statehood.Shyam Jaju, BJP's national vice president and party in-charge of Delhi, said there is no need for full statehood to Delhi for providing basic amenities like sufficient power, water supply, prevention of pollution, maintenance of sewers-roads, providing health services, employment, security to women and reliable transport system. The AAP on Thursday came out with its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election based on the central theme of full statehood, promising 85 per cent reservation in colleges and jobs for the people of the national capital.Taking a dig at Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said he was "disappointed" by the party's decision of not fielding Priyanka Gandhi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after building up a "suspense for an eventual thriller" in the Lok Sabha elections.Modi is contesting from Varanasi for the Lok Sabha and there were speculations that Congress would field Priyanka against him. However, the party named Ajay Rai, a political lightweight who was a distant third after Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in the 2014 general election, as its candidate from the holy city.Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today denied Opposition's allegation that the BJP was politicising security forces' valour to seek votes, saying her party was only talking about the "political will" necessary to combat terror.""Who is politicising the (valour of) security forces? We haven't done it," she said.“The UPA government led by Manmohan Singh lacked the political will to combat terrorism which was evident after the 26/11 Mumbai attack,” the BJP leader said.Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today said he would "aggressively" campaign against the Badals in Bathinda and Ferozepur, the two Lok Sabha from where SAD leaders Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal, respectively, are contesting."We have to cleanse Punjab of the Badals," Amarinder Singh said, adding that he planned to spend two days each in Bathinda and Ferozepur Lok Sabha constituencies to campaign against them.He said he would "expose the lies of the Badals on drugs and other issues," and would ensure that the people are not "misled by their fabrications".Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal Thursday urged party volunteers across the country, except the ones in Haryana and Punjab, to take leave from work and come to Delhi to help the party defeat the BJP in the national capital.In a tweet, Kejriwal said, "I request all volunteers to take leave from work till elections. Except Punjab and Haryana I urge all volunteers to come to Delhi and join our fight in defeating BJP on all seven seats in the national capital."However, Kejriwal's appeal did not go down well with Chandini Chowk MLA Alka Lamba who said it would send message of the party being "weak".AAP's Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba today said she would not be campaigning for her party as she has been "shunned" by the party leadership.Claiming that she has not been invited to any MLA meetings by the party in the last four months, Lamba said she would serve the people of her constituency, but would not be participating in any kind of campaigning for AAP."For the last four months, I have been trying to get an appointment with the party leaders, but no one has responded to me, so I have decided that I would not be campaigning for the party anymore," she said.Saying he was hurt by BJP candidate Pragya Singh Thakur's remark against Hemant Karkare, a former colleague of the slain chief of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad is contesting the election against her from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.Riyazuddin Ghayasuddin Deshmukh (60), who had worked under Karkare, has filed nomination as independent candidate.Deshmukh, who is from Aurangabad, told PTI today that he was "deeply hurt and devastated" by Thakur's remark against his former boss.Union minister Giriraj Singh was on Thursday booked for violating model code of conduct by making controversial remarks against the Muslim community at a rally a day ago where BJP national president Amit Shah, among others, was present.According to District Magistrate, Begusarai, Rahul Kumar, the FIR was lodged at Town police station under relevant sections of the Representation of People Act and the Indian Penal Code taking suo motu cognizance of the "controversial" remarks made by Singh at Wednesday’s rally.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is pretty cut up about Prime Minister Narendra Modi going public with the gift of kurtas and sweets that she sent him, saying he had made a "political issue" of the "courtesy" shown by her.Modi had said in a televised interview on Tuesday that the Trinamool Congress supremo sends him kurtas, which she chooses personally for him, and Bengali sweets, every year."What is wrong in sending kurtas? We send gifts to many important people during Durga Puja. You are trying to make a political issue by divulging this information."I show you (Modi) so much courtesy and you come here and abuse me," Banerjee told an election rally.The Congress blamed AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday for "botching up" the possibility of an alliance of the two parties for the Lok Sabha polls, with the two sides trading barbs on the issue that hogged the headlines for weeks prior to the nomination of candidates in Delhi.All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko told PTI that there is no possibility of an alliance between his party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) anymore as the last date for withdrawal of nominations in Delhi is Friday.Shouldering the responsibility of leading the Congress into the rough electoral battle ahead in the national capital, octogenarian Sheila Dikshit today joined the hustle and bustle by launching her election office in North East Delhi constituency.Dikshit is pitted against sitting MP and Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari and AAP's Dilip Pandey in a triangular contest on the seat, one of the most keenly watched contests.After opening her office in Yamuna Vihar area, she said Congress will win all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi under the "dynamic" leadership of Rahul Gandhi.