It has been 67 days since the Election Commission announced the dates for the biggest celebration of democracy anywhere in the world - the Indian general elections. Spread across seven-phases and two months, the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are being held to ascertain the mandate of the citizens and to elect representatives to 543 Parliament seats.
During this fiery election season, Republic Media Network has kept you ahead with some of the biggest newsbreaks that have sent shockwaves across the political spectrum. From the first election interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which made headlines both nationally and abroad, to unmasking not one but three sitting members of Parliament from three parties and three states who willingly prioritized money and in-kind returns over preserving the sanctity of our democracy in the sensational Operation Bikau Sansad sting, to highlighting the most abhorrent remarks and stunning admissions from across the country as politicians pulled out all the stops to be the loudest in appealing to prospective voters, Republic Media Network's newsbreaks have set the agenda in these 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Here are some of the biggest newsbreaks of the 2019 Parliamentary elections:
On March 29, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his first election interview to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, speaking on a wide range of topics. Ranging from what he believes is necessary for a healthy democracy, such as his reasons for why the people of India will choose a government with absolute majority, to matters of national security such as the Pulwama terror attack, IAF airstrikes on Pakistan's Balakot terror base and India's A-SAT success, to detailing his government's actions on corruption and fugitive absconders, the Prime Minister left little unanswered.
On April 9, 2019, Republic TV accessed a sensational diary note which was recovered during the Income Tax department's raids in Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi. The accessed documents recovered from the house of a Congress functionary indicated that funds had been pulled out of various Madhya Pradesh government schemes and used for election campaigning. Some of the schemes mentioned in the note were aimed to benefit the poor, malnourished children, pregnant and lactating mothers as well.
On April 2 and 3, Republic Media Network broke twin explosive story entailing details of Congress president Rahul Gandhi's links and dealings with persons and entities that were at the time of the deals being probed by investigative agencies in connection with some of the biggest scams under the then UPA government
In the first part, documents were accessed that revealed how Rahul Gandhi partook in a commercial property transaction with one of the main accused in the notorious 2G spectrum allocation. The entity being probed was Sanjay Chandra-led Unitech and the documents revealed the initial transactions of Rahul Gandhi and also a string of payments that continued after that. Sanjay Chandra's Unitech was allegedly one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 2G scam.
Later on April 3, in Part 2 of the newsbreak, Republic brought out sensational revelations about the Gandhi-Vadra family's transactions with yet another scam-accused from the period of its UPA regime - Jignesh Shah of the infamous NSEL scam right. Documents were accessed which revealed how Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra had conducted business transactions with one of Jignesh Shah's companies involving a sprawling farmhouse owned jointly by the Gandhi siblings. Called the 'Indira Gandhi Farmhouse', the property is located at Village Sultanpur, Tehsil Mehrauli, New Delhi. The 4.6 acre-plot with a 1014 running feet compound wall is valued at a paltry Rs 9.86 lakh, as per filings in Rahul Gandhi's 2009 election affidavit.
DETAILS HERE | Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra Rented Farmhouse To NSEL Scam-accused Jignesh Shah's Company, Got 407% Of Declared Property Value As 'deposit' And Disproportionate Monthly Rent. All Signed And Stamped Proof Here
On March 19, Republic Bharat’s SIT broke one of the biggest political investigations as it caught on camera three sitting members of Parliament: Ram Kumar Sharma who is the sitting RLSP MP from Sitamarhi constituency, Santokh Singh Chaudhary, a Congress MP from Jalandhar and Harinarayan Rajbhar, a BJP MP from Ghosi, U.P. who revealed shameful and condemnable sidelining of the aspirations of Indian citizens and attempts by the elected representatives to further their own ends whether it be via pecuniary benefit or some in-kind compensation.
From 'hundi, hawala' to Rs 10 crore chatter to price tags for questions in Parliament (RLSP MP Ram Kumar Sharma), from 'risk' from Cash Deals following demonetisation to accepting 'investment' in the name of 'elections' (Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary), from vote buying mentions to seeking daily 'expenses' (BJP MP Harinarayan Rajbhar), the three MPs revealed it all on how democracy is not safe and those responsible might just be amongst the ones sitting in Parliament.
READ ALL DETAILS ON #MPsOnSale HERE: The 10 Most Explosive Takeaways From The 'Operation Bikau Sansad' Sting
On April 12, Republic TV exposed BJP leader Maneka Gandhi for asking Muslim voters in her constituency of Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, to back her in the 2019 polls, saying that she won't help them if she doesn't get their support.
"I am winning for sure but if I win without the support of Muslims then I would feel really bad and when Muslims come to me for work then I feel there is no point of helping them as after all giving employment is a give-and-take and it is not that we are like Mahatma Gandhi as we continue to help them but don't win in the elections. Spread this message everywhere," she said.
Following the controversial speech, the Election Commission had issued a show-cause notice to Maneka Gandhi.
On May 10, Republic Media Network broke the most sensational sting of the political season with an extensive 2-week investigative report on the Robert Vadra land dealings. The two-part investigation resulted in the sensational on-camera admissions, revelations and confessions about Vadra's land deals by brothers Mahesh Nagar and Lalit Nagar. Mahesh Nagar exposed Robert Vadra's alleged land deals from Haryana to Rajasthan, and Lalit Nagar who is a sitting Congress MLA admitted freely about his closeness with the Vadras and his loyalty to them.
On May 9, Republic TV was first to highlight the shocking '1984 Hua to Hua' statement by Indian Overseas Congress chief and Gandhi loyalist Sam Pitroda shamefully brushing off the violent mass genocide of thousands of Sikhs in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Speaking to the media on the BJP's charge citing the Nanavati commission report that the instructions for the genocide had come from then PM Rajiv Gandhi, Pitroda angrily said, "I don't think so, this is also another lie, and what is with 1984? You speak about what happened in 5 years. It happened in 1984, so what? (1984 hua toh hua)".
On May 3, Republic Media Network exposed Congress' farm loan waiver lie. A sensational sting operation carried out Republic Bharat's SIT laid how the loan waiver plan of the Madhya Pradesh government not only increased the burden on the farmers but also gave false hopes to them.
In the exclusive newsbreak, Congress MLAs were spoken to in on-camera conversations which exposed just how the farmers were waylaid even after their support helped Congress to topple the incumbent government of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. In the sting, Congress MLA for Vidisha Shashank Bhargav, caught-on-camera revealed how he was approached by a farmer over not waiving the loans in 10 days as promised and told the shocking reply he gave to the farmer. Another Congress MLA Bapu Singh Tanwar from Madhya Pradesh's Rajgadh, admitted that there is little idea of where the funds to waive off loans will come from for the farm loan waiver. Just days later, Kamal Nath admitted that the loan waiver promise was unfulfilled, even as Rahul Gandhi has continued to maintain that the loans have been waived as promised.
On May 1, Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi made a sensational admission on how the Congress would contest to win in some seats and in others, cut votes of the BJP but not the SP-BSP gathbandhan in the state.
"If I would have fought from Varanasi then I would have been in Varanasi only. But there is a lot of work in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Politics is not only for winning. My strategy is very clear we have to defeat BJP in 2019 elections. Congress will only cut the votes of BJP and not of the Ghathbandhan," Mrs Vadra has said.
On April 1, former Jammu and Kashmir CM and NC chief Omar Abdullah called for a 'separate Prime Minister' for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. While addressing a rally in Kashmir's Bandipora, he claimed to revive the demand while opposing BJP's manifesto promise of abrogating Article 370 and 35A from Kashmir to resolve the issue.
"To maintain our identity distinct, we entered certain things in the Constitution. We said our identity would be ours, we will have our own law, our own flag. At that time we also had our President and Prime Minister, and we will bring that back," he had said.
Seven days remain for the results of the elections to be declared. Tune in to Republic Media Network for the fastest and most accurate updates from counting day.