With all the seven phases for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections concluding on 19 May, the exit polls predicted a second victory for the NDA. The final results will be declared on 23 May.
Catch all the updates on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections here.
UP DMs Write To EC, Say Strongrooms Can’t be Breached
Even as protests by opposition parties broke out in Chandauli, Ghazipur, Mau and Mirzapur seats of Uttar Pradesh this week, after videos of EVMs being moved from strongrooms went viral on social media, the District Magistrates of Ghazipur, Chandauli, Domariyaganj and Jhansi, who served as returning officers in UP, wrote to the EC rejecting allegations of EVM tampering made by the SP, BSP and Congress.
In their letters, the DMs stressed that strongrooms can’t be breached.
EC Sets Up 24-Hour EVM Control Room
A 24-hour EVM Control Room has been made functional at Nirvachan Sadan to monitor complaints relating to polled EVMs, reported news agency ANI.
Any complaints during counting related to EVMs can be informed at control room number is 011-23052123.
Cong Gen Secy Venugopal Meets CM Kumaraswamy, Party Leaders
Amid simmering discontent in the ruling coalition's alliance partner Congress, party General Secretary K C Venugopal on Tuesday, 21 May, held discussions with top Congress leaders in Karnataka and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on recent political developments and the Lok Sabha exit poll results.
During the meeting with the Chief Minister, Venugopal is said to have assured there would be no threat to the coalition government, amid speculations about its survival after the Lok Sabha poll results, Congress sources said.
Parties Engage in Consultations Ahead of Counting of Votes
Two days ahead of counting of votes, both the ruling and the opposition parties were engaged in consultations on Tuesday, 21 May, with BJP President Amit Shah hosting two key meetings, and leaders of 22 opposition parties coming together to take stock of the political situation.
Kerala BJP to Sue Thomas Isaac For Defamatory Statement
BJP Kerala unit president PS Sreedharan Pillai said that the state BJP has decided to sue and prosecute Finance Minister Thomas Isaac of CPM for a defamatory statement he made on 6 May. I have claimed Rs 10 cr as compensation besides seeking criminal prosecution against Isaac,” he added.
Thomas Isaac had reportedly alleged that Pillai is making use of his position as BJP state president to sabotage development in Kerala and had said that "Sreedharan Pillai, who tried to disrupt development of National Highway in Kerala should be treated as a public enemy of state"
EC to Meet at 10 AM to Discuss Opposition's Demand
The Election Commission will meet on Wednesday, 22 May, at 10 am to discuss the demands made by the opposition leaders.
The opposition leaders met the Election Commission (EC) with a demand that it should ensure transparency in the counting process by verifying EVM results with VVPATs.
NCP Leader Jaydutt Kshirsagar to Join Shiv Sena
Jaydutt Kshirsagar, NCP leader and former Maharashtra Minister, to join Shiv Sena on Wednesday.
Repolling Underway At A Booth in Punjab's Amritsar
Re-polling for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 underway at booth No. 123 in Amritsar. The voters are being given 'certificate of appreciation' by the Election Commission.
BJP to Keep an Open Mind About Other Allies Joining In: Baijayant Jay Panda
BJP's Baijayant Jay Panda said, on being asked if BJD will support NDA, “My Party president has said that we are confident of getting more than 300 seats. We'll form the government with NDA allies. If other parties seeing the national mood want to also join in, I think, BJP will keep an open mind.”
On being asked, who will be the next Odisha chief minister, Panda said, “I joined BJP after much soul searching. I'm happy to carry out whatever responsibility the party gives me. BJP has a lot of talent, whosoever takes which ever responsibility, we are going to cooperate with each other.”
Bihar Sees High Female Turnout in Lok Sabha Polls
Nearly 60 per cent female voters came out to exercise their franchise in Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections as against just about 55 per cent turnout for men.
As per the figures released by the Election Commission here, the overall turnout for female voters stood at 59.92 per cent as against 55.26 per cent for men.
Polling For North Kolkata Constituency Underway
Polling underway at polling station number 200 in North Kolkata parliamentary constituency. The ECI had declared void the poll held on 19 May at the polling station.
SC to Hear West Bengal BJP Candidate's Plea Seeking Relief in Political Cases
The SC decided to hear on Wednesday a petition filed by BJP LS candidate, Arjun Singh, seeking bail in certain political cases in which he claims he is implicated by West Bengal Police. Senior lawyer Ranjeet Mishra told SC "he fears arrest and thereby seeking a direction for relief in the cases"
Delhi Court Reserves Order in Sedition Case Against Rahul Gandhi
Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi reserves order on a complaint seeking direction to police for registering an FIR against Congress President Rahul Gandhi under charges of sedition for accusing PM Modi of "hiding behind the blood of soldiers & doing dalali on their (soldiers') sacrifice"
Cong MP Udit Raj Asks Why SC Opposed to Counting More VVPATs
Congress' Udit Raj drags the Supreme Court into EVM row, asking why apex court opposed to counting more VVPATs.
He tweeted, “ Why don't the Supreme Court want all the slips of VVPAT to be counted, is it also included in the rigged? In the electoral process, when the government work has been subdued for almost three months, it takes two or three days for the counting to take place.”
Matching VVPAT Slips Likely to Delay Results
Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections, in which over 8,000 candidates were in the fray for 542 seats, will begin at 8.00 am Thursday and results are expected only by late evening due to tallying of voter verified paper audit trail slips with EVM count for the first time.
Counting of Votes to Be Held in 63 Centres in Odisha: CEO
Counting of votes for the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 146 Assembly segments in Odisha will be held at 63 different centres across the state amidst tight security on Thursday, a senior election official has said.
Polling was held in 21 Lok Sabha seats and 146 Assembly segments in four different phases on 11, 18, 23 and 29 April.
EC Meets to Decide Opposition's Demand For Matching VVPATs
The EC meeting is underway on Opposition's demand for matching of VVPATs slip before counting.
Smriti Irani Attacks Oppisiton For Supporting Anti-Nationals
A day ahead of the Lok Sabha election results, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday launched a veiled attack at the Opposition for supporting alleged anti-nationals who demanded the division of the country.
"This election was about the people versus the opposition. The people stood firm against the anarchists who screamed Bharat ke tukde honge. It is to those citizens that I give my grateful thanks for they resolutely and unabashedly believed in Bharat and her future," she tweeted.
Opposition Alliance Will Bite Dust in Polls: UP Dy CM Dinesh Sharma
Ahead of counting of votes for Lok Sabha polls, UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma Wednesday claimed that May 23 will witness the "political funeral" of the anti-BJP alliance of opposition parties.
The month of May, he said, will prove to be a "sad month" for SP, BSP and Congress, which are fighting for their political survival.
3-Tier Security Present At EVM Strong Room: Bhopal Collector
Bhopal Collector S Khade told ANI, "Three-tier security present at EVM Strong Room. All counting agents, polling agents and candidates to be frisked before entering the area. The movement of EVMs and counting to be done under police presence and CCTV surveillance."
SC Gives Protection From Arrest to WB BJP Candidate Arjun Singh
The Supreme Court gives protection from arrest for five days to BJP candidate from Barrackpore constituency in West Bengal, Arjun Singh. A Bench of Justice Arun Mishra &Justice MR Shah grants protection to Singh from arrest in cases registered against him by the West Bengal police.
Exit Polls Were to Boost Stock Market, Disrupt Opposition Unity: Veerappa Moily
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday, 22 May, alleged exit polls that predicted return of the NDA government at the Centre were aimed at boosting investor sentiment on the stock market and "disrupting" opposition unity.
The former Union Minister said he strongly felt that those exit polls do not reflect the reality on the ground, and claimed that some agencies who have conducted them have now "backed out" saying "there are full of errors".
TRS Upbeat on 16 Seats, BJP Hopes to Pull off Surprises in Telangana
A day ahead of counting of votes for the Parliamentary elections, the ruling TRS in Telangana is upbeat about winning 16 of the total 17 Lok Sabha seats, while opposition Congress and BJP also sounded hopeful of winnng a good number of seats.
"We have full confidence that we will definitely win 16 seats. We have no doubts about it. Majority (winning margins) may vary, but we will win 16," TRS MLC Palla Rajeshwara Reddy told PTI.
TRS has been focused on winning 16 out of the total 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana (leaving Hyderabad seat to its ally AIMIM).
Rahul Gandhi Asks Party Workers to Stay 'Vigilant'
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, urged his party workers to be cautious and alert, and not be scared as they "are fighting for the truth".
“The next 24 hours are important. Be cautious and alert. Not scared. You are fighting for the truth. Don't be disappointed with the propaganda of the fake exit poll. Trust yourself and the Congress party, your hard work will not go waste,” he tweeted.
All Arrangements in Place for Counting in UP: CEO
With opposition parties expressing doubts over the security of EVMs, the Election Commission officials said all arrangements have been made for smooth counting of votes on Thursday for 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Kumaraswamy Will Be CM Till Friday Morning: Union Minister Gowda
Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda claimed that the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka would collapse after the Lok Sabha poll results and HD Kumaraswamy would be the chief minister only till the morning of 24 May.
Security Beefed up in Delhi Ahead of Counting Day
The fate of 164 candidates, who contested the Lok Sabha elections will be decided on 23, May, Thursday when the counting of votes takes place amid tight security in the national capital.
Has 'Chunav Achar Sanhita'Become 'Modi Prachar Sanhita'?: AM Singhvi
AM Singhvi of Congress has said, “ VVPAT slips have been counted due to either non-display of result from control unit or under rule 56 D of conduct of polls rule or whatsoever 'the reason shan't be included in draw of lots for mandatory verification of VVPAT slips'.What's the reason?”
He continued, “Is it because 'Chunav Achar Sanhita' has become 'Modi Prachar Sanhita'? Won't you do anything for credibility of EVMs? Will you make EVMs 'Electronic Victory Machines' for BJP? Is it because EC stands for 'Enfeebled Commission', 'Eradicated/Eliminated' Credibility'?”
22 Parties Questioning Country's Democratic Process: Amit Shah
“Questioning the EVMs is a disrespect to the mandate, the 22 parties are questioning country's democratic process and tarnishing the image of the country,” Amit Shah said.
Opposition's Desperation over VVPAT Issue Indication of Their Defeat: Ram Vilas Paswan
Union Minister and BJP ally Ram Vilas Paswan Wednesday dubbed the opposition "sour losers" and claimed that their "desperation" over the VVPAT issue was an indication of their defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.
"I have been saying for many months now that when the opposition heads towards defeat it starts complaining about EVM. Those opposing EVMs want to drag India back to the time when money and muscle power decided elections. The Supreme Court has heard the issue four times already. They are now concocting stories in the face of impending defeat," he said.
"When you win, EVMs are alright. But when you lose, allegations about EVM manipulation arise. This kind of pessimistic attitude of the opposition will hurt the Constitution and also the Indian democracy," Paswan said.
MHA Asks States, UTs to Maintain Law and Order on Counting Day
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday alerted the State Chief Secretaries and DGPs regarding possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country in connection with the counting of votes on Thursday. The MHA has asked the states and Union Territories to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquility.
The states and UTs have further been asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes. This is in the wake of calls given and statements made in various quarters for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of counting of votes.
Congress Looking for Excuses Ahead of Defeat: Ram Madhav
BJP’s Ram Madhav hit out at the Congress on Wednesday, saying that the party was looking for excuses for their “impending defeat”.
“People want Modi ji back as PM, we'll form a strong govt again, together with our NDA partners. They (Congress) are looking for excuses for their impending defeat tomorrow, they have blamed EC, now they are blaming EVMs, tomorrow they'll start blaming voters also,” Madhav said, reported ANI.
NCP Leader Jaydutt Kshirsagar Joins Shiv Sena
Jaydutt Kshirsagar, NCP leader and former Maharashtra Minister on Wednesday joined Shiv Sena in presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Smriti Irani Thanks Party Karyakartas, Citizens for Support to BJP
Ahead of the results of the Lok Sabha polls, in a series of tweets, Smriti Irani thanked BJP karyakartas as well as the “millions across the Nation” who had given their blessings to the party. She also said that this election was about the “people vs the opposition” and thanked those citizens who had stood firm against the “anarchists” and “resolutely and unabashedly believed in ‘Bharat’ & her future.”
EVMs Cannot be Tampered With, Security Protocol Very Strict: OP Rawat
OP Rawat, Former Chief Election Commissioner said that EVMs cannot be tampered with because of how strict the security protocol is. “EVMs can't be tampered with. EVM security protocol is so strict that whenever a strong room has to be opened, representatives of all political parties have to be there and the machines are taken out in their presence. A mock poll is also conducted,” he said.
“In fact when making an EVM ready for the polling, a mock poll is again conducted at polling station where all the polling agents are asked to vote and then count. All these arrangements ensure that EVMs can't be tampered with,” he added.
Niti Aayog's Economic Agenda for New Govt to Boost Pvt Investment: VC Rajiv Kumar
Niti Aayog is working on the economic agenda for the new government where the focus will be on achieving long term sustainable growth and boosting private investments in the country, the think tank's Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said.
EC Decision on VVPAT Slips 'Dark Day for Indian Democracy': TDP
The Telugu Desam Party termed as “a dark day for Indian democracy” in reference to the the Election Commission of India turning down a demand to count VVPAT slips ahead of the EVMs during the counting process on Thursday.
There Will Be 3 Layers of Security: Officer AR Ajay Kumar
AR Ajaykumar, Returning Officer, Wayanad said, “3 counting stations have been set up. Security arrangements and logistics done. Police patrol will be there. No one can enter the counting premises without valid pass so there's no scope for ruckus. There'll be 3 layers of security.”
Arunachal NPP Urges Centre to Apprehend Tirong Aboh's Killers
The Arunachal Pradesh unit of National People's Party (NPP) has urged the state and the central governments to apprehend the insurgents behind the killing of MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others.
I&B Ministry Asks Channels to Adhere to News and Non-News Categories
A day before the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory to all private satellite TV channels, asking them to strictly comply with their respective undertakings of carrying news or non-news content.
3-Tier Security Cordon in AP on Counting Day
A three-tier security cordon, with Central Armed Police Force personnel in the innermost perimeter, would maintain vigil at 36 centres in Andhra Pradesh where counting of votes for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats will be taken up on Thursday.
Sweets in Abundance Being Prepared in Bhubaneswar
In Bhubaneswar, sweets being prepared ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 results tomorrow. Shop owner said, “Have received orders for ladoos, rasgullas and kaju barfi from political parties. Have received orders for 2000 ladoos. Parties hopeful of winning have already placed orders.”
CRPF Jawan Deployed at a Strong Room Dies
In Chhattisgarh, a CRPF jawan B Satish Kumar, deployed at strong room in Kondagaon, died of a heart attack earlier this evening.
Cong MLA Strikes Different Note on EVMs, Questions Party Stand
In another note of dissent within the Karnataka Congress, MLA K Sudhakar questioned why the issue of alleged EVM manipulation was being brought into the discourse about the Lok Sabha exit poll predictions.
Oppn in 'Wait and Watch' as They Await Poll Results Before Making Next Move
Top opposition leaders will be in touch with each other and in case the NDA falls short of a majority, they will act swiftly to stake claim to form government, sources said a day ahead of counting of votes of the Lok Sabha elections.
Cong in Odisha Concedes Defeat Before Counting of Votes
A day before the counting of votes take place, Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik conceded that the party will not be able to form a government on its own in the state and may lose opposition status also.
EC Working With BJP to Tamper EVM Machines: AAP
The Aam Aadmi Party accused the Election Commission of working with the BJP to "tamper" EVMs to get the results of the Lok Sabha polls in its favour.
Cong Complains to Lok Pal on Its MLAs Deciding to Switch Over to TRS in T'gana
Congress in Telangana has lodged a complaint with anti-corruption ombudsman Lok Pal, alleging that the ruling TRS indulged in “political corruption” by providing government benefits to opposition MLAs who are ready to switch over to the party.
'Onus on Him If He Directly Instigated Anyone': ADG Krishnan on RLSP's Kushwaha
ADG(HQ)K Krishnan on RLSP's Upendra Kushwaha and independent candidate Ramchandra Yadav, “EC has taken cognizance of both matters. MCC still in place. As far as U Kushwaha is concerned, in case of any incident onus will be on him only if he would've directly instigated someone.
As for the independent candidate Yadav, he also said, “Orders given to investigate if the gun was licensed. If any law was broken, it'll be a violation of Arms Act, weapon will be seized and license cancelled. He'll be arrested if he has violated relevant laws and it's a non-bailable offence.”
Vijay Goel Prays at Bapu's Memorial for 'Sanity' to Oppn Leaders Questioning Evms
Union minister Vijay Goel held a prayer meeting at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi for “sanity” to opposition parties, saying that they were raising questions over EVMs sensing their defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.
Buoyed by Exit Poll Projections, Delhi BJP Leaders Order Ladoos, Motichoor Cakes
Buoyed by exit polls predicting a sweeping victory for the BJP in Delhi, the party's unit here has already ordered delicacies like 'motichoor cakes' and 'kamal barfis', a day before counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls on Thursday.
BJP Questioned EVMs First: Siddaramiah
As the debate over EVMs hotted up, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has said that it was BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao who has authored a book questioning about electronic voting machines 10 years ago and party veteran L K Advani had written the preface of it.
EC to Deploy Additional 200 CAPF Coys for Counting in Kolkata
The EC will deploy 200 coys of Central Armed Police Forces(CAPF) in West Bengal in addition to the 82 companies present to ensure security at the counting centres and check any post-poll violence when the exercise is taken up, an EC senior official said.
Changing VVPAT Count Protocol Not Practical: EC to 22 Opposition Parties
The Election Commission rejected the demand of 22 political parties to count paper trail machine slips before the counting of votes polled in electronic voting machines (EVMs), saying it has not been found “feasible.”
Fin Min Prepares 100-Day Agenda for New Govt; Focus on Boosting Economy
With the Lok Sabha election process coming to an end, the finance ministry has prepared 100-day agenda for the new government with an aim to push the economy which has slipped to 6.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2018-19.
Kumaraswamy Hopes His Govt Will Continue for 4 More Years With Cong Support
Amid strains in ties with Congress, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Wednesday expressed hope his government would complete its five-year term with the support and blessings of the coalition partner and others.
BJP Demands Immediate Polls to Zilla Parishad Chairman Posts
BJP in Telangana urged the State Election Commission to issue the notification for elections to Zilla Parishad Chairman and other posts immediately after counting of votes in the rural local body polls on 27 May.
TMC Asks Workers to Guard Strongrooms Fearing EVM Manipulation
The Trinamool Congress leadership has asked its workers in West Bengal to guard strongrooms in their respective areas, fearing that the BJP might try to smuggle out EVMs, the TMC leaders said.
Counting for the 14 Lok Sabha Seats in Jharkhand Will Begin at 8 AM
Counting for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand will begin at 8 am across 24 districts amid tight security, officials said.
The counting process and announcement of results, however, are expected to be delayed by several hours this time as the outcomes of five assembly segments per Lok Sabha constituency will be tallied with VVPAT slips, an Election Commission release stated, quoting Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) L Khiangte.
Cong Odisha Candidate Shot At in Berhampur
Unidentified assailants fired upon Congress candidate for Odisha's Aska Assembly seat, Manoj Jena, in Berhampur earlier this evening. He is now being shifted to a hospital in Bhubaneswar. More details awaited.
Cong Slams Modi Govt Over 'Pro-Pak Policy'
The Congress on Wednesday, 22 May slammed the Modi government over what it called "foreign minister-level talks" with Pakistan, alleging with the end of electoral politics pro-Pakistan policy has begun.
The sharp attack came after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi exchanged pleasantries during a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Bishkek on Wednesday and sat next to each other during a joint call on Kyrgyz president.
Matching VVPAT Slips Likely To Delay Lok Sabha 2019 Election Results
Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections, in which over 8,000 candidates were in the fray for 542 seats, will begin at 8.00 am on Thursday, 23 May and the results are expected only by late evening, due to tallying of voter verified paper audit trail slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) count for the first time.
67.11 per cent of the 90.99 crore electors had cast their vote in the seven phase elections.This is the highest ever-voter turnout in Indian parliamentarian elections.
Opposition Plans Swift Response in Case of Split Verdict
If the Lok Sabha elections result comes to a split verdict, a joint opposition would approach the President that it be invited to form the government.
According to a Times of India report, activities picked up to put together a coalition of Opposition parties, with the decision that they move in quickly if the ruling alliance fails to secure a clear majority on Thursday, 23 May.
According to the report, the senior members of the coalition, led by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu have been in touch with their regional satraps to convince them to join the front.
The report further adds that the opposition will wait till the afternoon to see if the ruling NDA will fall short. If so, they will move in with the petition to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
(Times of India)