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Lok Sabha Election 2019: As it happened

The political blitzkrieg has hit a high note with Priyanka Gandhi's Ganga Yatra from Allahabad to Varanasi and the expected list of Lok Sabha candidates by the Bharatiya Janata Party. While Priyanka will try to garner votes for Congress in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency today, the PM himself will further his 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign by addressing 25 lakh chowkidars across the nation. Stay tuned with us as our team across the nation brings you latest election updates:

India TV Politics Desk Reported by: India TV Politics Desk New Delhi Updated on: March 20, 2019 22:58 IST
Visuals from inside Kashi Vishwanath temple as Priyanka
Image Source : INDIA TV

Visuals from inside Kashi Vishwanath temple as Priyanka Gandhi performs special prayers

This is India TV's Daily Election Live Blog that brings you all the latest from across the country that is all set to go to polls in 7 phases starting April 11. 

05:10 pm: PM Modi in interaction with security guards across the country: I want to apologise as some people in last few months for their vested interests have run a disinformation campaign against 'chowkidaars'. It is unfortunate that language of these people has hurt you. Some people insulting chowkidars by calling them chor: PM Narendra Modi

05:00 pm: PM Modi begins interaction with 25 lakh chowkidars across India

04:25 pm: PM Modi to chat with 25 lakh chowkidars at 4.30 pm

04:15 pm: Priyanka Gandhi in Varanasi: None of the eight mentioned promises in BJP manifesto have been fulfilled by BJP.

04:00 pm: BJP will contest on 14 seats in Kerala, Bharath Dharma Jana Sena on 5 and Kerala Congress on 1: Muralidhar Rao, National General-Secretary of BJP

03:45 pm: BJP announces alliance with Bharath Dharma Jana Sena and Kerala Congress, finalises seat-sharing for Lok Sabha polls.

03:00pm: CPI-M issues second list, names 20 more candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

02:45 pm: Mahagathbandhan is intact, seats and constituencies will be announced after Holi: Tejashwi Yadav 

02:30 pm: Farooq Abdullah, NC on alliance with Congress: Jammu and Udhampur will be contested by Congress, I will contest from Srinagar and there will be a friendly contest between NC and Congress in Anantnag and Baramulla. We are also discussing the Ladakh seat.

02:00 pm: Priyanka Gandhi reaches Kashi Vishwanath temple, offers prayers at ancient temple. 

India Tv - Visuals from inside Kashi Vishwanath temple as Priyanka Gandhi performs special prayers

Image Source : INDIA TV

Visuals from inside Kashi Vishwanath temple as Priyanka Gandhi performs special prayers

01:39 pm: Priyanka Gandhi culminates 'Ganga Yatra' at Varanasi's Assi Ghat, to visit Kashi Vishwanath temple soon. At ghat, Priyanka offered prayers to Maa Ganga with proper rituals. 

01:34 pm: Nomination process underway in Karnataka. Sumalatha Ambareesh files nomination as an independent candidate from Mandya parliamentary constituency. The polling will be held on April 18. 

01:30 pm: Rahul Gandhi questions PM Modi's education while interacting with students in Imphal: We still have not had access to PM's university degree. Nobody actually knows whether the Prime Minister went to a university or not. There is an RTI filed in Delhi asking for PM's university degree but it has not been responded to, he said. 

01:21 pm: Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reaches at Assi Ghat in Varanasi for her 'Ganga Yatra' campaign. She started her campaign from Manaiya ghat in Prayagraj.

01:03 pm: Former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh: It was decided unanimously in BJP CEC meeting that the sitting MPs in Chhattisgarh will not contest the election and new faces will be brought in. The decision is to be respected by all.

01:00 pm: Vote for Modi, if you want your child to become 'chowkidar', says Kejriwal: Taking a dig at BJP's 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said that if people want their children to become watchmen, they should vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And if they want good education, they should vote for Aam Aadmi Party, he said.

12.38 PM: Good morning everyone. This is big breaking news coming up at this hour. BSP supremo Mayawati has just announced that she would not contest Lok Sabha election 2019. Mayawati will rather campaign for the party. BSP and Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party are in alliance in Uttar Pradesh. 

12:01 pm: Just In: Mahagathbandhan will do a press conference in Patna on March 22 to announce the seat sharing in Bihar, Sharad Yadav tells ANI.

11:53 am: Skirmish between BJP, Congress workers during Priyanka rally: According to sources, Congress workers beat up and drove away BJP workers after they pelted stones at Priyanka Gandhi's roadshow in Varanasi. 

India Tv - Priyanka Gandhi's route on last leg of her three-day-long Ganga Yatra


Priyanka Gandhi's route on last leg of her three-day-long Ganga Yatra

11:45 am: Speaking to reporters earlier, Priyanka Gandhi accused PM Modi of supressing dissent. "We will continue our fight; the more we are harassed, the stronger will it get," she said. 

11:32 am: Priyanka Gandhi gets a rousing welcome in Varanasi. Turns road trip into roadshow. She is expected to take the boat from Ramnagar to Assi Ghat. She is also expected to hold a roadshow later in the day and visit Kashi Vishwanath temple. 

India Tv - Priyanka Gandhi reaches Varanasi

Priyanka Gandhi reaches Varanasi

11:30 am: After Priyanka, Rahul Gandhi launches a direct attack at PM Modi, says PMO is now 'Publicity Minister's Office', Narendra Modi indulging in mediocrity. 

11:20 am: In another major setback to the Telangana Congress, its senior leader and former Minister DK Aruna joined the BJP. She is likely to be fielded from the Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha seat. 

10:45 am: Telangana Assembly elections update: Ex-Congressman Soyam Bapu Rao has reportedly joined BJP on the assurance of ticket to fight state polls. Bapu Rao, former MLA, had lost the election as Congress candidate from Boath constituency. Rumours were abound that he and his five other colleagues were about to join the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which led to their expulsion from Congress on Monday. Soyam Bapu Rao had won in 2004 assembly elections from Boath on TRS ticket and had later joined the Congress. He lost the 2018 assembly elections from the same assembly segment. He had also sought a ticket from Adilabad Lok Sabha from the Congress, but the party declared Ramesh Rathod as its candidate a couple of days ago. 

10:20 am: Who has attacked Indian institutions: Priyanka Gandhi, who is on last leg of her three-day long Ganga Yatra today slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accusing Congress of destroying India's institutions. "BJP has systematically attacked every institution, including the one you are a part of, you are aware of it better than I am aware of it. So I think prime minister should stop thinking that people are fools and understand that they see through all this," she said while talking to media in Mirzapur. 

Her statement came in reaction to an article shared by the prime minister a short while ago where he has alleged that 'dynasty'  has destroyed India's institutions. "The biggest casualty of dynastic politics are institutions. From the press to Parliament. From soldiers to free speech. From the Constitution to the courts. Nothing is spared,"he said in a tweet while sharing his article. 

09:17 am: Priyanka Gandhi cancels Holi celebrations in wake of Pulwama terror attack: The Congress leader, who is cuirrently undertaking a 100-km long Ganga Yatra in Uttar Pradesh has cancelled Holi celebrations to pay homage to CRPF jawans who lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack. priyanka was scheduled to celebrate Holi with party workers at Varanasi party office at 03:30 pm today. She is also expeced to meet the families of slain CRPF jawans in Varanasi today. 

09:10 am: Modi to address 25 lakh 'chowkidars':  On the eve of Holi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address over 25 lakh watchmen through audio bridge medium at 04:30 pm today as he steps up his 'Main bhi chowkidar' campaign in the run up to the Lok Sabha campaign. The prime minister is also scheduled to interact with people, who have pledged their support to the 'Main bhi chowkidar' (I also am a watchman) campaign, from 500 places in the country on March 31.

09:10 am: BJP likely to announce list of candidates for UP today: Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to release its list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand today. India TV sources have said that candidates for VVIP seats, including Narendra Modi have been finalised. 

VVIP seat allocation in UP, as per sources: 

Varanasi - Narendra Modi
Lucknow - Rajnath Singh 
Amethi - Smiriti Irani
Mathura - Hema Malini 
Noida - Mahesh Sharma 

India Tv - VVIP candidates likely to be fielded by BJP in UP

Image Source : INDIA TV

VVIP candidates likely to be fielded by BJP in UP

Also read | BJP likely to release list of Lok Sabha candidates for UP today, PM Modi to contest from Varanasi

08:45 am: The Congress on late Tuesday night released its sixth list of nine candidates, seven from Maharashtra and two from Kerala, for the Lok Sabha elections. With this, the party has so far released names of 146 candidates for the polls starting April 11.In Kerala, the Congress announced that Shanimol Usman will be the candidate from the Alappuzha seat and Adoor Prakash from the Attingal seat.

08:30 am: Congress-AAP alliance not going ahead: The Congress has refused to form an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and the two parties are not in talks with each other, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday. Talking to reporters, he claimed media reports stating that talks between the AAP and the Congress had been finalised were planted by the grand old party.

08:00 am: Election Commission seeks a model code of conduct for social media: The EC on Tuesday met with the representatives of Twitter, Google and other social media platforms and asked them to come up with something like a model code of conduct adopted by political parties during the elections. The commission asked social media organisations, like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google, to consider some punitive action against users misusing the platform.

India Tv - Priyanka Gandhi, Ganga Yatra

Image Source : PTI

Priyanka Gandhi's Ganga Yatra has been all about religious sentiments. She has been in and out of temples and dargahs along the route. 

07:00 am: Priyanka may face opposition at Kashi Vishwanath temple: A lawyers body on Monday filed a petition with DM office to bar Priyanka's entry into the ancient temple as she was a 'Christian'. Her place of worship is church, the petition said. A group of people also stage protests and raised slogans against her entry into the temple in Varanasi on Monday. It is likely that Priyanka will face the crowd today. 

Also read | Priyanka Gandhi's Ganga Yatra to reach Varanasi today, may face opposition at Vishwanath Temple

06:30 am: Priyanka's Ganga Yatra to reach Varanasi today: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's 100-km long Ganga Yatra will culminate at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency today. Her campaign, so far, has been a major response, with scores of people pouring out on streets to catch her glimpse and numerous photo ops with women and children. She has been in and out of temples and dargahs along the route. However, she may face severe opposition at Kashi Vishwanath temple today. 

The political blitzkrieg has hit a high note with Priyanka Gandhi's Ganga Yatra from Allahabad to Varanasi and the expected list of Lok Sabha candidates by the Bharatiya Janata Party. While Priyanka will try to garner votes for Congress in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency today, the PM himself will further his 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign by addressing 25 lakh chowkidars across the nation.