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.
Congress Fields Kirti Azad from Dhanbad
The Congress on Monday, 8 April, announced cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad as it candidate from Jharkhand's Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat.
The party also fielded Kalicharan Munda from Khunti in the state.
Azad, who represents Darbhanga in Bihar in the outgoing Lok Sabha, had joined the Congress in February.
A three-time MP, he was suspended from his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015 after some of his remarks were seen as violation of party discipline.
Report Registered Against BJP's Sakshi Maharaj for Violating MCC
A non cognizable offence information report has been registered against sitting BJP MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj for allegedly violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
Rahul Gandhi Calls BJP's Poll Manifesto a 'Voice of an Isolated Man'
In a scathing criticism of the BJP's manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it was the voice of "an isolated man", besides being "short sighted" and "arrogant".
Candidates Take to Online Crowd Funding to Meet Poll Expenses
Several candidates cutting across party lines have taken to online crowd funding to finance their election campaigns, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Cash-starved, these nominees are also advocating transparency in poll funding.
Prominent among them are CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, who is fighting the election from Begusarai in Bihar, Nana Patole, the Congress candidate from Nagpur, Raghav Chaddah of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, and Mohammed Salim of the CPI(M) from Raiganj seat in West Bengal.
BSP Releases a List of Five Candidates
The Bahujan Samaj Party on Tuesday, 9 April, released a list of five candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Arunachal Polls: 29 Candidates Have Criminal Records
A report by an election watchdog has revealed that 29 of the 184 candidates contesting the 11 April Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh have criminal antecedents.
Nine of the 29 candidates belong to the Congress, the report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.
'Rahul Gandhi Has a Special Obsession With BJP': Smriti Irani on Gandhi's BJP Manifesto Comment
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s comment of “voice of an isolated man" on BJP manifesto, Union Minister Smriti Irani told ANI “Rahul Gandhi has a special obsession with BJP. Had he been focused on the country, nation would have come to know his vision for it.”
She also questioned Gandhi’s efficiency and said “despite having a vision, there's a question mark on his efficiency as nations knows condition of Amethi. On one hand there's an efficient govt which has taken resolution to build a New India, on the other there's a man who stays restricted to making announcements.”
IT Raids: EC Calls Revenue Secretary & CBDT Chairman
The Election Commission has called the revenue secretary and chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes on Tuesday to discuss ongoing income tax raids.
Revenue Secretary A B Pandey and CBDT Chairman P C Mody have been called to explain the raids amid allegations by the Congress that the ruling BJP was using enforcement agencies to target it during the poll season.
'Eliminating Terrorists in Their Homes Is India's New Policy': PM Modi Addresses Rally in Latur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a public rally today in Maharashtra’s Latur. He spoke on eliminating terrorism, farmer crisis among other things.
“Eliminating terrorists in their homes is the new policy of India,” he said.
Kamal Nath Files By-Election Nomination From Chhindwara, Son Nakul Files for LS Polls
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath filed his nomination on Tuesday for by-election to contest from the Chhindwara assembly seat.
His son Nakul Nath files nomination for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 to contest from the Chhindwara parliamentary constituency.
Kanhaiya Kumar Files Nomination From Bihar's Begusarai Constituency
Former JNU students' union leader Kanhaiya Kumar filed his nomination as Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate from Bihar’s Begusarai constituency.
Rajinikanth Supports BJP Manifesto
Actor-turned-politician welcomed the BJP Manifesto on Tuesday. He said “BJP has released its manifesto yesterday and like what I have been saying for long about the linking of rivers, a dream that was there of the former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the bagartha yojana - an effort which is difficult to achieve but can be achieved. This is mentioned in the manifesto. Once if they come to power this should be the first thing they should take and this will help the people more.”
Only Modi Can Give Strong Govt: Shah
BJP President Amit Shah made a strong pitch for return of the party-led NDA government at the Centre, saying only PM Modi can give a strong government.
Addressing an election rally at Shamshabad in Telangana, Shah referred to the Pulwama terrorist attack and the subsequent retaliatory air strike by India and asked whether Congress President Rahul Gandhi could give a fitting reply like Modi.
"The biggest work that the Modi government did was to secure the nation," he said.
Shah also sought to know whether the "tukade-tukade gang" and "Rahul baba and company" could give a "capable leadership" to the country.
"Can they give a strong government?. Only and only Modi can give a strong government to the country," he said.
Odisha Congress' Women's Wing President Quits
Sumitra Jena, the Congress' women's wing President in Odisha, resigned from the party on Tuesday.
Jena held the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Niranjan Patnaik responsible for her move.
"It was unbearable for me to tolerate the utter callousness and apathy of the PCC President towards women," she added.
She expressed her discontent over being denied a party ticket to contest in the Assembly elections.
Women Will Get 33% Quota in Parliament, Says Rahul
Addressing a rally in Assam, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that as soon as the Congress forms the government, 33 percent reservation will be given to women in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Sabha(s).
Gandhi also said Narendra Modi government has given benefits to only rich people, adding that the PM is scared to face him for a debate.
ECI Transfers West Bengal Cop Abhishek Gupta
Election Commission of India has transferred Abhishek Gupta from the post of Superintendent of Police of Cooch Behar in West Bengal and has posted Amit Kumar Singh in his place.
7 BJP Leaders Booked for Poll Code Breach, Notice for Nominee
Seven BJP leaders, including former Union minister Prahlad Patel and city mayor Swati Godbole, have been booked for allegedly violating the model code of conduct in Madhya Pradesh.
Besides, BJP's Jabalpur Lok Sabha seat candidate Rakesh Singh has also been issued a show cause notice for alleged violation of the poll code, district collector and returning officer Chhavi Bhardwaj told PTI.
As per rules, only five persons including the party candidate are allowed to enter office of the returning officer during filing of nomination papers, she said.
Assembly Bypolls in TN, Goa, Karnataka on 19 May
Election Commission has announced 19 May as the date for assembly by-elections for- Panaji (Goa), Sulur, Aravakurichi, Thiruparankundram, Ottapidaram in Tamil Nadu and Kundgol in Karnataka. Counting will begin on 23 May.
Media Prefers Covering PM Modi Due to His 'Shiny Face'
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy claimed that the media prefers covering PM Modi due to his "shiny face" that "looks good on camera."
"Modi wakes up every morning, applies makeup or wax to get a shine on his face and sits in front of cameras," Kumaraswamy said.
He added saying, "Look at our faces. In the morning we shower and leave and it is only the next morning that we shower again. Our faces don't look good on camera. Our media friends also don't like showing our faces, they only say Narendra Modi."
PM Modi to Address Rally in Goa on 10 April
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a poll rally at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium in Goa on Wednesday, 10 April.
Polls for the state's two Lok Sabha seats and three Assembly seats (bypolls) will be held on 23 April.
A crowd of 30,000 is expected to attend the PM's rally scheduled for 4pm on Wednesday, BJP Goa Unit President Vinay Tendulkar told media.
Not 'Fully Satisfied' with SC Decision on VVPATS: Naidu
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that he was not "fully satisfied" with the Supreme Court decision on VVPATs and the Election Commission has to ensure there are not discrepancies in paper trail slips.
If there is any mismatch, the EC should ensure counting of all VVPATs in the country, he suggested.
The Supreme Court on 8 April, directed the EC to increase the random matching of paper trail machine slips with EVM results from one to five polling booths in each assembly segment for the multi-phase Lok Sabha polls.
PCI Urges Media to Do Objective Reporting on Polls, Cautions Against Paid News
The Press Council of India has asked the media to give objective reports about the election and cautioned it against the phenomenon of paid news. Issuing guidelines for the media, the Press Council Of India (PCI) said newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate or party during the elections.
"It will be the duty of the press to give objective reports about the election and the candidates," the PCI said in a statement.
Rajasthan Has Sent Only One Muslim Candidate to Lok Sabha Since 1952
Only one Muslim candidate from Rajasthan has made it to the Lower House of Parliament twice since the general election to the first Lok Sabha in 1952.
While 13 Muslim candidates from the state have contested on Congress ticket, only one Muslim has been a BJP candidate in the last 16 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress Was in Mourning After Balakot Air Strike: Shah
BJP president Amit Shah targeted the Congress, saying when the whole country was rejoicing over the air strikes on a terror camp in Balakot, there was mourning only in Pakistan and the Rahul Gandhi-led party.
Addressing a rally in Nagpur, he said the Modi government's biggest success was that it had made India secure which was not the case when the Congress-led UPA was in power.
"During the UPA rule, there would be no response to terror attacks. After the Pulwama terror attack, there was anger and despondency all over.
High Decibel Campaign for Mizoram Lok Sabha Seat Ends
A high decibel campaign for the election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram and by-poll to the Aizawl West-I seat to be held on Thursday, ended at 5 pm on Tuesday.
The CEO said public meetings, street campaign, publication of advertisements, press conferences by candidates and political leaders, interviews and panel discussions in the electronic media, musical concert or any form of gathering to canvass has been completely prohibited after the campaign ended.
Six candidates are in the fray for the election to the lone Lok Sabha seat while it would a triangular contest in the Aizawl West - I assembly by-poll.
Rahul Gandhi to File Nomination for Amethi on 10 April
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination papers for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat on 10 April and also hold a road show in the constituency.
Rahul Gandhi will be accompanied by his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi during the filing of nomination.
'Arbitrary, Motivated and Biased' : TMC Writes to EC on Transfer of Cooch Behar SP
Trinamool Congress has written to the Chief Election Commissioner on the transfer of Abhishek Gupta, SP Coochbehar, terms the decision "arbitrary, motivated and biased".
Kanhaiya Kumar Files Nomination From Begusarai
Former JNU students' union president leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Tuesday, 9 April, filed his nomination papers as the CPI candidate from Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar.
Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar, civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad, young Gujarat MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani, CPI national secretary Atul Anjan and fellow JNU student leader Shehla Rashid making her electoral debut in Jammu and Kashmir - were among those who arrived in this provincial town on the occasion.
Kumar is pitted against Union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh.
EC Transfers Prakasam District SP, Two Circle Inspectors
The Election Commission has transferred Prakasam District Superintendent of Police, K Praveen. It has also transferred two Circle Inspectors in Andhra Pradesh.
Alpesh Thakor Expected to Exit Congress and Join BJP
Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor expected to resign from Congress and join BJP, according to reports.
Desist from Extending Preferential Treatment to One Party, EC Warns DD
The Election Commission today directed Doordarshan to "desist" from extending any preferential or disproportionate airtime coverage in favour of any party.
In a strongly-worded letter to secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the EC said, "Would like you (secy) to direct the DD news channel to desist from extending any preferential or disproportionate airtime coverage in favour of any party and extend commensurate and balanced coverage of the activities of all recognised political parties..." The commission had recently issued a show cause notice to DD news for showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' programme for nearly one hour after opposition parties complained that the national broadcaster was being biased.
In its reply, DD news had reportedly said the BJP gets maximum time on its news slot, followed by the Congress since the Lok Sabha polls were announced.
Only Donkeys Can Have 56-Inch Chest: Gujarat Cong Leader
Former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said only donkeys have a 56-inch chest, casting a slur at Prime Minister Narendra Modi that was condemned by the BJP.
Speaking at a rally in Deesa town today in Banaskantha district, Modhwadia raked up a 2014 statement by Modi where the prime minister had said only someone like him with a "56-inch chest" can take bold decisions.
"A fit person has a chest of 36 inches, a body-builder can have a chest of 42, it is only donkeys who have a chest of 56 inches, and bulls have a chest of 100 inches," Modhwadia said.
"Bhakts (Modi fans) do not understand this point and are happy when someone says their leader has a 56-inch chest," he said.
18,000 Security Personnel Deployed in Ghaziabad for LS Election
Ahead of polling on Thursday, authorities have deployed 18,000 security personnel in Ghaziabad district for the peaceful conduct of the election process.
The security personnel include police officials and para military forces.
District Magistrate Ritu Maheswari said 212 sector magistrates 29 zonal magistrates and 11 super zonal magistrates will be on duty to during the polling.
Forty-six polling stations have been identified as "vulnerable" and 174 polling stations as "critical". On all these polling stations stringent security measures have been taken, the official said.
Get NaMo TV Contents Cleared by Certification Panel: EC to Delhi CEO
The Election Commission is learnt to have directed the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi on Tuesday to ensure that the contents of NaMo TV are pre-certified by the local media certification and monitoring committee.
Such committees are formed at district and state levels during polls.
They clear political campaign and advertisements.
Last week, the Commission had issued a notice seeking a report from the I&B Ministry on NaMo TV, launched just weeks ahead of general election, after opposition parties, including the Congress, asked the poll body to direct the ministry to suspend the channel in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.