File photo of Union minister SS Ahluwalia. (Getty Image)
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was conducting the event in Hyderabad, also hailed the surgical strikes. Hitting out at the Opposition, she said the previous government should have carried out similar offensive after the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
The Bharatiya Janata Party launched its massive election campaign blitzkrieg with the ‘Vijay Sankalp Sabha’, with party stalwarts travelling across the country to address rallies in different Lok Sabha constituencies. Party national president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will address the sabha in Agra, home minister Rajnath Singh will hold the fort in Lucknow and Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur, his own constituency.
Besides the ‘Vijay Sankalp Sabha’, the BJP and Shiv Sena will kick-start their political campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections from today. Both the parties will hold their first joint rally in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Their four smaller allies will also be a part of the rally. During the rally, which will be closely watched in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena is expected to announce the names of two of its remaining candidates on Palghar and Satara seats.
The BJP is keen to put up a united front at a time when the Opposition hasn’t yet announced the details of the seat-sharing formula. It will also be important to watch the stand of the smaller allies. During the rally, some leaders from other parties are expected to publicly join the BJP-Sena alliance.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party today announced that its chief Akhilesh Yadav will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Azamgarh, while Azam Khan will contest from Rampur. The party also put out its list of star campaigners, which surprisingly did not feature SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The suspense over Rahul Gandhi’s nomination from Kerala’s Wayanad constituency also continues. On Saturday, rumours were rife that Congress workers in Kerala have requested their party chief to contest from the constituency. However, Rahul is yet to decide on the matter.
Further, Adityanath will also begin his 2019 Lok Sabha elections campaign from Saharanpur district today. The CM will address a public rally at 1 pm at the Shakumbhari Devi temple.
Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan’s party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) is set to release the names of remaining candidates and will also reveal their manifesto. Haasan will address a press conference at 6pm in Coimbatore and will likely put an end to the suspense over his nomination.