The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections officially began on 11 April. Polling for the first phase took place in 91 parliamentary constituencies spread across 20 states. The final results will be announced on 23 May. Catch all the updates on the Lok Sabha 2019 elections here.
Rs 26.35 Crore Cash Seized in Bengal So Far: EC
The Election Commission on Tuesday, 16 April, said about Rs 26.35 crore of unaccounted cash has been seized so far, besides recovery of over 11.28 lakh litre of liquor in West Bengal.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Basu told reporters that the commission received about 5,658 complaints on its portals till Tuesday while 99 of them are yet to be cleared, he said.
The grievances were registered on its cVIGIL app, Basu said, adding the poll panel has addressed most of the complaints, but around 33 of them are in the process of disposal, Basu said.
Army Veterans' Letter Has Lost Credibility: Sitharaman
Reacting to the letter to President signed by Armed Forces veterans, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told news agency ANI that it has lost credibility after some of them denied involvement.
"It is well within every veteran's prerogative to contact the Supreme Commander. But the problem is, especially when it is election time all of us will have to be conscious we don't give rise to questions of credibility and in the letter even if one individual says, 'I haven't signed it', my worry is that credibility of whole appeal is lost," she said in an interview.
Imran Khan's Statement Could be Congress' Ploy: Sitharaman
Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's statement that there might be a better chance of India-Pak peace talks if BJP is voted back to power, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that it could be a ploy by Congress.
"They (Congress) went there (Pakistan) saying, help us to oust Modi. I wonder whether this is also a part of the scheme of things which have been put by Congress. I don’t know what to make of this honestly," she said in an interview to news agency ANI.
BJP Leader Kailash Vijayvargiya Not to Contest LS Polls
Senior BJP Kailash Vijayvargiya leader has clarified that he will not be contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. In a tweet on Tuesday, he said that he would be performing his duties as the BJP’s election in charge in West Bengal and hence will not be able to fight the elections.
Will Ask Workers to Chase Away Forces With Brooms: TMC MLA
In a controversial statement, TMC MLA from Chakdaha, Ratna G Kar, on 15 April, said: “This time, it's even more challenging, but there’s nothing to be scared. I’ll go to each and every booth and we won't care about central forces, if they're pro-active, I'll request Mahila Morcha members to pick up broomsticks & chase them away”.
Vellore Candidate Moves HC Against EC’s Decision
Vellore candidate AC Shanmugam to move Madras High Court today against EC's decision to cancel Vellore Lok Sabha polls, reported news agency ANI.
Shanmugam is the founder of New Justice Party, an ally of AIADMK.
'I Know Why Sharad Pawar Ran Away from Battleground': PM Modi in Solapur
Prime Minister Modi while addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Solopur took a jibe at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar saying he “ran away from the battleground” because he had lost the ground connect with people.
“Those sitting in Delhi in AC rooms and keeping a tab on things which will happen after who hugs whom, after who shakes hands with whom, after who looks at whom, they don't know the ground reality. Now I know why Sharad Rao ran away from the battleground,” he said.
“Sharad Pawar is a seasoned player. He knows which way the winds are flowing and steps aside. He doesn’t let the reputation of his and his family get harmed. He doesn’t care who gets sacrificed in the process,” he added.
NCP Dares Govt to Conduct Raids at Raj Thackeray's Home
NCP has dared the government to carry out raids at the home of MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who has been asking party workers to vote against the ruling BJP, reported news agency PTI.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik's remarks came after the Maharashtra BJP sought to know which Lok Sabha candidate would incur expenses of the poll rallies of Thackeray, whose party has not fielded any candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.
EC Appoints Special Observer for West Bengal
The Election Commission has appointed former Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ajay V Nayak as special observer for West Bengal, news agency PTI quoted a senior official as saying on Wednesday.
Cong Files FIR Against Nagaland Dy CM for MCC Violation
The Congress has filed an FIR against Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton for allegedly violating the model code of conduct during the 11 April Lok Sabha poll in the state, reported news agency PTI.
The party has demanded repolling at Riphyim Polling Station in Patton's home constituency Tyui in Wokha district.
'Patidar Quota No Longer an Issue,' Says BJP
The BJP has claimed that the reservation demanded by Patidars in Gujarat is no longer an issue and expressed confidence that the community will vote for it in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, reported news agency PTI.
A number of Patidars in the state's Saurashtra region are engaged in agricultural activities, and opposition Congress has accused the has accused the government of going back on its promises to farmers, especially the crop insurance scheme.
'Not Afraid of Central Forces': TMC Leader Madan Mitra
Reacting on TMC leader Anubrata Mandal’s alleged threats to the central forces, party leader Madan Mitra hs said: “I didn't see Anubrata’s statement. Yes, we are not afraid and not suffering from fear psychosis. The central forces may be with BJP but the people of Bengal are with Mamata, reported news agency ANI.
'Kovind Made President Due to Caste Equations', Says Gehlot
In a controversial statement, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that President Ram Nath Kovind was nominated for the position due to caste equations.
“With Gujarat elections coming up, they were apprehensive about their chances in the state. I believe Ram Nath Kovind was made the President keeping caste equations in mind and Advani missed out”.
150 Men Booked in TN for Preventing Flying Squad Team
Cases were registered on Wednesday against 150 AMMK members for preventing a flying squad team from discharging its duty, with four people being arrested in this connection, news agency PTI quoted police as saying.
Authorities had conducted a search at a store in Theni Lok Sabha constituency Tuesday night following inputs about suspected cash, during which police had to open fire in the air to disperse around 50 supporters of AMMK, who objected to the action.
Harassment Complaint Filed Against Mysuru's BJP Candidate
A complaint has been filed with the State Women Commission against BJP candidate from Mysuru, Pratap Simha, for allegedly mentally and physically harassing a woman, reported news agency ANI.
'Rahul Gandhi Afraid of Defeat in Amethi,' Says Piyush Goyal
Reacting on Rahul Gandhi’s decision to fight elections from Wayanad, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said, “Rahul Gandhi is afraid of defeat in Amethi and has to run all the way to Wayanad. I am sure the people of Kerala will defeat him so that in the next election, he will have to look for a constituency in some other country.”
Let BJP Dream, People in Bengal With TMC: Derek O'Brien
Reacting on BJP’s claim that they will win 30 out of 42 seats in West Bengal, TMC leader Derek O’ Brien said: “BJP people are also saying they will win 50 out of 42 seats as they don't even know how many seats are there. Let them dream, people of Bengal are with Mamata Banerjee and TMC.
Cong MLA Extends Support to Shiv Sena Candidate
Maharashtra Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar on Wednesday expressed disappointment with the party leadership and said he will campaign for Shiv Sena candidate Rahul Shewale, who is contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Mumbai-South Central seat, reported news agency PTI.
There has been speculation that Kolambkar, who is six-term legislator from Wadala Assembly seat in Mumbai and a close aide of former chief minister Narayan Rane, may join the BJP.
Mamata Extends Support to Kanimozhi
Following I-T raids at Kanimozhi’s house, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has said she has been harassed as her party is opposed to the BJP and that the TMC supports DMK.
Sadhvi Pragya Joins BJP, May Fight Against Digvijaya Singh
Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur has said that she has formally joined BJP. Speaking to the media in Bhopal she said: “I will contest elections and will win also”.
Reports suggest that BJP might field her from the Bhopal constituency against Congress’ heavyweight leader Digvijaya Singh.
EC Officials Likely to Watch Modi Biopic Today
Officials of the Election Commission, drawn from its model code and legal divisions, are likely to watch the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The EC has asked the producers of the film to arrange for a screening for a committee set up for the purpose.
BJP Writes to EC Over Mamata Banerjee Biopic
The BJP has written to the Election Commission over the alleged biopic on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee named Baghini, saying the poll body should review it before release on “similar lines that was done by the EC in the case of another biopic depicting Narendra Modi.”
BJP Writes to EC Alleging Campaigning by a Bangladeshi National for TMC Candidate
The BJP has written to the Election Commission alleging campaigning by a Bangladeshi national Gaazi Noor for TMC MP candidate Sougata Roy in the Dum Dum constituency in Lok Sabha, saying “this act is in complete violation of the terms of visa” and is “yet another case of a foreigner actively influencing the electoral process”.
EC Flying Squad Conducts Raid at AIADMK Leader's Residencex
The Election Commission flying squad on Wednesday conducted a raid at the residence of AIADMK leader Devadas in Madurai, just a day before Tamil Nadu goes to polls.
NaMo TV Will Have to Follow Silence Period as Per Election Law: EC
NaMo TV, sponsored by the BJP, cannot display 'election matter' during the silence period prescribed in the electoral law in a particular phase of the poll, the Election Commission has concluded.
The EC has now asked the chief electoral officer of Delhi to ensure that its directions are followed in each of the remaining six phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
The directions were issued to the Delhi CEO as he is the nodal officer to pre-certify political content in TV channels and similar platforms which are beamed nationally. He has also been provided with a committee specifically for the purpose, a source aware of the development said, reported PTI.
According to ANI, while live coverage can be done on NaMo TV, any pre-recorded content cannot be streamed for 48 hours before the polling date. The state chief election commissioners have been informed to observe this strictly.
BJP Fields Malegaon Blast Accused Sadhvi Pragya Against Digvijaya Singh
The BJP has fielded Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur against Congress heavyweight Digvijaya Singh from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.
EC Flying Squad Carries Out Check at Ex-Puducherry CM's House
The Election Commission flying squad on Wednesday carried out a check at the residential premises of All India NR Congress chief and former Puducherry CM N Rangaswamy in the Union Territory.
EC Screening of PM Modi Biopic Underway With 7 Officials Present: Report
According to sources cited by ANI, the screening of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biopic by the Election Commission is underway, with a total of seven EC officials present.
The Supreme Court had directed the poll body to watch the full biopic and take a fresh decision on its ban.
Election Official Shot Dead in Odisha's Kandhamal Day Before Polls: Reports
An election official has been shot dead allegedly by Maoists in Odisha’s Kandhamal district, where polls are scheduled to be held on Thursday in the second phase, media reports said.
EC Flying Squad Checks Luggage of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik
The Election Commission flying squad on Wednesday checked the luggage of Odisha CM and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik at a helipad in Rourkela.
Madras HC Upholds EC's Decision to Cancel Vellore LS Poll
The Madras High Court on Wednesday upheld the decision of the Election Commission to cancel the election to the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency. The court dismissed the pleas moved by AIADMK alliance candidate AC Shanmugam and Independent candidate K Sugumar.
Himachal CEO Issues Notice to State BJP Chief for Remarks Against Rahul Gandhi
The Himachal Pradesh chief election officer on Wednesday issued a notice to state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti for violating the Model Code of Conduct by allegedly making derogatory remarks against Rahul Gandhi at a public rally in Una district on 14 April.
EC Suspends General Observer in Odisha
The Election Commission has suspended with immediate effect general observer Mohammed Mohsin in Odisha for acting contrary to the instructions of the commission concerning SPG protectees. He will be posted at Sambalpur till further orders.
Alliance Between AAP and Cong Called Off: Sanjay Singh
AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Wednesday said that the alliance between AAP and Congress was called off following disagreement over the tie-up in Haryana and Delhi.
“Congress has refused to form an alliance in Haryana and we do not want a tie-up only in Delhi,” Singh said.
Modi "Peeps" in Homes of Others as He Has No Family: Pawar
Addressisng a poll rally at Partur on Monday, Pawar said Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released by Pakistan under pressure from the world community and the Modi government had no role in it.
"I have my wife, daughter, son-in-law and nephews. What Modi has?...no one," he said, attacking the PM over his remarks on feud in the Pawar family.
"That is why Modi is peeping into the homes of others. How will he (Modi) know how to run a family, he has no one?" the former Union minister said.