In less than a week, the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will officially begin. Polling for the first phase would be held in 91 parliamentary constituencies spread across 20 states on 11 April. The final results will be announced on 23 May. Catch all the updates on the Lok Sabha 2019 elections here.
Facebook Does Physical Verification of Indian User for Post
Facebook, facing the election heat in India and unable to stop misinformation and fake news circulating on its platforms, is busy doing something never heard of: Sending its representatives to users' home to verify if the post with political content was actually written by them.
IANS has contacted one such Facebook user in New Delhi who was recently visited by a Facebook representative for the verification process related to the content the user had posted.
"It was like cops coming to your door for passport verification. The Facebook representative asked me to prove my credentials by asking for my Aadhaar card and other documents to understand if I am the one who had posted the political content," the person who did not wish to be named told IANS.
The user was left stunned to see the Facebook representative landing at his home for inquiring about a post.
BJP to Release Manifesto for Lok Sabha Polls Today
The BJP will release its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls on Monday, 8 April, with issues of development and national security set to be its key highlights.
Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its chief Amit Shah, will be present at the launch of the manifesto, described by the BJP as its "sankalp patra".
A party statement said members of its parliamentary board, the BJP's apex body whose members include Modi, will be present on the occasion.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday unveiled campaign themes and other materials of the party's election campaign, with "Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar (Modi government, once more)" as the tag line.
RJD Releases Manifesto for Lok Sabha Elections 2019
The Tejashwi Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Monday, 8 April, released its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Bihar will be voting in all the seven phases of the elections, starting 11 April.
Will Not Let Rahul Gandhi Come to Power by Supporting Traitors, Says Thackeray
Hitting out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his party's promise to abolish sedition law, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday, 7 April, that he will not be allowed to come to power by supporting "traitors".
He said the BJP, Shiv Sena and the Republican Party of India have come together on one ideology for the love of the nation.
"But, I want to ask why have Maha Aghadi come together who have conflicts between them. Who are these people? Our dream is for the country, what about you? Your dream is only power. Our prime minister will be Narendra Modi tomorrow also. And I want to ask the Opposition to announce one name for the PM's post," said Thackeray.
Thackeray also took a potshot at Congress' promise in its manifesto to abolish the sedition law. "Do you agree with this?... Anyone who commits treason should be hanged," he said.
"If Gandhi thinks he will come to power by supporting traitors, we will not let it happen," he added.
'PM Modi Has Given Honour to the Country Like No One Else': Varun Gandhi
Addressing a rally in UP's Pilibhit on Sunday, 7 April, BJP leader Varun Gandhi said, "In my family too, some people have been the prime minister. But the honour PM Modi has given to the nation, it has not been given to the country by anyone for a long time. That man (Modi) is just living for the country and he'll die for the country too. He is only concerned about the country."
SC Issues Notice to EC on Party Representatives Making Remarks Pertaining to Religion or Caste
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Election Commission on a PIL seeking strict action against political parties if their spokespersons and representatives deliver speeches or make remarks in media pertaining to religion or caste. A bench headed by the Chief Justice has the sought the response of EC by next Monday.
SC Hears Petitions Challenging EC's View on VVPATs
The Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the Election Commission's decision to only audit EVM count using VVPAT slips from one polling station per constituency.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal are arguing for the petitioners in front of a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
SC Directs EC to Increase VVPAT Check Per Constituency
SC directs Election Commission to increase random checking of VVPAT slips from one booth per assembly segment to five in Lok Sabha polls.
SC Asks PM Modi Biopic Petitoner to Place on Record What He Objects.
Supreme Court asks petitioner Aman Panwar seeking stay on release of film 'PM Narendra Modi', to place on record what is depicted in movie and what he is objecting to. SC says order on whether film violates Model Code cannot be determined without seeing it, next hearing on Tuesday, 9 April.
Congress' Northwest Mumbai Candidate Priya Dutt Files Nomination
Congress’ candidate from Mumbai Northwest and the daughter of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, Priya Dutt has filed her nomination at the Bandra Collector Office. Sanjay Dutt was also present while the Congress leader was filing her nomination.
JD(U) Leader KC Tyagi Disagrees With Abrogation of Article 370, 35A
Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi has shown his displeasure towards the BJP manifesto promise to abrogate Article 35A and Article 370, saying that it was very close to the party’s heart. “Article 370 and Article 35A are very close to our heart. Our leaders Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayana fought for it,” he said.
PIL in Delhi HC to Ban Farooq, Omar, Mehbooba From Lok Sabha Polls
A PIL has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Election Commission of India to ban Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti from participating in the Lok Sabha elections 2019 as their 'statements are against the Indian Constitution '.
Congress Moves EC to Stop Telecast of Three Serials
Congress has moved the Election Commission to stop the telecast of three popular serials, saying that they are a violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The Congress alleged that these serials were being used to promote the government’s schemes and that they should be viewed as paid news.
Kirti Azad, Kalicharan Munda to Contest for Congress From Dhanbad, Khunti
The Congress on Monday fielded former BJP leader Kirti Azad from Dhanbad Lok Sabha constituency in Jharkhand.
The party also fielded Kalicharan Munda from Khunti ST seat in Jharkhand, a party statement said.
Azad, a former BJP MP from Dharbhanga in Bihar had to shift out after the seat was given to the RJD as part of the seat sharing arrangement for the alliance in the state.
The cricketer-turned-politician was seeking to contest from his Dharbhanga seat, but had to relent after senior Congress leadership intervened.
Azad, who was suspended by the ruling BJP for anti-party activities, had joined the Congress in February.
Former CECs Welcome SC's Direction to EC to Increase Matching of Paper Trail Machine Slips With EVM Results
Former chief election commissioners on Monday welcomed Supreme Court's direction to the EC to increase the matching of paper trail machine slips with EVM results, saying it will boost the confidence of people in the electoral process.
Former CEC V S Sampath told PTI that the ruling is a "good solution". "The Supreme Court has put an end to the controversy once and for all," he told PTI. He said matching of EVM results with slips from paper trail machines was feasible and it would not delay the results.
Another former head of the poll panel, Nasim Zaidi said that in 2017, the commission had suggested tallying results in five to seven per cent constituencies. "We had also given a sample size," he said.
He described the ruling as "very, very good", saying it will improve the satisfaction of the people. "It was the Supreme Court which had ordered the use of VVPAT machines. Now it has given the matching a five-time jump. It is good for perception of the people," Zaidi said.
Cong, BJP Copied Schemes of TRS Government: Telangana CM
The Congress and the BJP "copied" the schemes being implemented by his government in Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao claimed on Monday.
"Day before yesterday Congress and today BJP announced election manifesto. I am feeling very proud. Both have copied many schemes that the Telangana government has introduced. Both have incorporated in their manifestos," he said during an election meeting at Vikarabad.
Predicting Results During Polling Period Violation of Law: EC
Predictions about election results by astrologers, tarot card readers and others in media when there is a ban on broadcasting exit polls are a violation of law, the Election Commission said on Monday.
The poll body's advisory comes days before the first phase of Lok Sabha elections is to be held on 11 April. The silence period, when campaigning in poll-going areas is barred, begins on Tuesday evening.
"The Commission is of the view that prediction of results of elections in any form or manner by way of predictions etc by astrologers, tarot readers, political analysts or by any persons during the prohibited period is violation of the spirit of Section 126A (of the Representation of the People Act) which aims to prevent the electors of constituencies still going to polls from being influenced in their voting by such predictions about the prospects of the various political parties," the advisory read.
Electronic and print media is advised not to publish or publicise any article or programme related to the dissemination of results of exit polls during the prohibited period, it said.
129 FIRs Against Political Parties, Others for Poll Code Violation: Delhi CEO
As many as 129 FIRs and daily diary (DD) entries have been registered till date against various political parties and others for violation of the model code of conduct in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, the poll body in Delhi said on Monday, 8 April.
"A total of 129 FIRs or DD entries have been lodged till date in connection with the violation of the model code of conduct," Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh told reporters.
"Out of these, 15 are against the Aam Aadmi Party (eight FIRs and seven DD entries), 13 against the Bharatiya Janata Party (nine FIRs and four DD entries), four against the Congress (all DD entries), one against the Bahujan Samaj Party (one DD entry), Samajwadi Party (one DD entry), and 95 against others or non-political (entities)," the CEO office said.
Shah Meets Party Veterans Joshi, Advani
BJP president Amit Shah has met party veterans Murli Manohar Joshi and L K Advani on Monday, hours after launch of party poll manifesto.
Shah's meeting with the two leaders came days after they were not given poll tickets.
The BJP has fielded Shah from Gujarat's Gandhinagar, a seat represented by Advani for many years, while Joshi has been replaced by Satyadev Pachauri in Kanpur.
After being denied ticket, Joshi had issued a statement saying the BJP told him that he would not be nominated by the party in Kanpur.
While Advani has not said anything about being dropped from the party's list of Lok Sabha candidates, he wrote a blog asserting his party never regarded those who disagreed with it politically as "anti-national".