Narendra Modi to file his nomination from Varanasi today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency, is scheduled to file his nomination on Friday in the presence of NDA leaders, including Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal. The prime minister is also scheduled to offer prayers at the temple town's Kal Bhairav temple before filing his papers.
The prime minister will also address booth level workers and party cadres at around 9.30 am.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi, who contested from two seats "Varanasi and Vadodara in Gujarat " had defeated AAP leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal from here. Congress' Rai finished third.
This year, there were speculations that the Congress party will field Priyanka Gandhi Vadra against Modi, but the party ended the speculations a day before prime minister filed his nomination by declaring Rai's candidature.
On Thursday, Modi also held a mega roadshow in his constituency , drawing massive crowds, before he culminated the show of strength with the Ganga aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Soaring the political temperatures, Modi was joined by BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders in the temple town.
Election update: Rahul Gandhi on campaign spree in three states; Amit Shah to visit Rajasthan,
BJP president Amit Shah will address a public rally in Rajasthan's Jalore Lok Sabha constituency in support of party candidate Devji Patel. Shah will also attend a roadshow in Jodhpur for BJP candidate and Union minister Gajendra Singh, who is also the sitting MP from that constituency. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Bihar, Maharashtra and Odisha on Friday for public meetings.
Rahul campaigned in Rajasthan's Kota and Jalore districts on Thursday, where he accused the prime minister of doing injustice to the people of India, saying the 'acche din ayenge' slogan has now been replaced by 'chowkidar chor hai'. Expect Shah to hit back at the Gandhi scion when he takes the stage in the same city.
Priyanka Gandhi, meanwhile, will campaign in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao and Barabanki districts. Unnao will go to polls on Monday, while elections will be held in Barabanki on 6 April.
Justice Indu Malhotra inducted into panel probing sexual harassment allegations against CJI
Supreme Court judge Indu Malhotra was Thursday appointed as a new member of the in-house inquiry panel set up to examine the allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, following the recusal of Justice NV Ramana.
Justice SA Bobde, who is heading the inquiry panel and is the senior-most judge after the CJI, has appointed Justice Malhotra to the committee. Justice Indira Banerjee is also part of the panel.
"We are going to have our first sitting as scheduled on Friday. The notice which was sent to the woman employee on Tuesday remains and there is no need to issue a fresh notice," Bobde said.
The development assumes significance as the former woman employee of the apex court had written a letter Wednesday to the panel expressing reservation over the inclusion of Justice Ramana on the ground that he is a close friend of the CJI and a regular visitor to his house.
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil quits as Maharashtra Leader of Opposition after son joins BJP
Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, whose son joined the BJP last month, has resigned as the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, the party said on Thursday.
Party chief Rahul Gandhi has accepted Vikhe Patil's resignation, state Congress president Ashok Chavan told reporters in Ahmednagar district. The development comes a day before Rahul's rally in Ahmednagar on Friday. Patil was accused of giving tacit support to his son Sujay, who was the BJP contestant from Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat and was blamed for working behind the scenes in his campaign.
Party sources said he was in touch with the supporters of his father late Balasaheb Vikhe Patil in Rahuri, Parner and other areas in Ahmednagar district, and exhorted them to support Sujay.
Sri Lanka scales down Easter attack toll to 253, cites 'calculation error'
Sri Lanka on Thursday night revised the death toll from the Easter Sunday blasts by more than 100, to "about 253", according to the health ministry.
Authorities earlier said that nine suicide bombers, believed to be members of local Islamist extremist group called National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), carried out the devastating blasts that killed 359 people and wounded more than 500 others. A few days after the blasts, the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
"As it was not easy to count the correct number of dead due to extensive damages suffered in some cases, the figures issued were all approximate numbers," said Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director General of the Health Services.
RBI strengthening surveillance framework with rise in fintech adoption
With fintech innovations and their adoptions by the financial sector entities growing at a frenetic pace, the Reserve Bank is strengthening its surveillance framework.
Governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank is also aligning its framework to help the market intermediaries provide financial access to the bottom-of-the-pyramid. "In view of the growing significance of fintech innovations and their growing interface with the financial sector entities, RBI is strengthening its surveillance framework," Das said.
MI face CSK test as teams look to close in on playoff spot
In a highly anticipated clash table toppers Chennai Super Kings set to battle against Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. With eight wins from 11 games, MS Dhoni's CSK already have one foot in the playoffs, while MI will have an opportunity to complete a double over defending champions.
Apple recalls AC wall plug parts for several countries
Apple has announced a recall of wall plug adapters designed for use in three regions of Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The company said that this recall will not be affecting any of its USB power adapters. This happens to be Apple's second wall plug adapter recall in recent years.
Empire cast pens letter demanding Jussie Smollett's return to show
The cast of Empire has sent a letter to Fox and the show's producers, asking them to bring back Jussie Smollett in the next season. Smollett was written out of the last two episodes of season five after he was accused by Chicago police of orchestrating a staged assault against himself earlier this year. The letter, signed by the actors, including lead stars Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard, urged the makers to ensure Smollett's return for the sixth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
With inputs from agencies