Lok Sabha Election 2019 Final Phase Voting LATEST News and Updates; (National Pollsters To Release Lok Sabha Exit Poll Results Today): After the end of polling, Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter that the Election Commission’s “capitulation before Modi and gang is obvious to all Indians”.
At a press conference, the Election Commission said that polling has concluded in 542 parliamentary constituencies across states and Union Territories. The exit poll results will be made available shortly.
The overall voter turnout at 5 pm is 52.62 percent. After casting her vote, Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the BJP and central security forces for ‘torturing’ West Bengal on Sunday. “I have never seen anything like this before,” she said.
CPM general-secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote on Twiter: “Massive rigging including in Diamond Harbour, Dum Dum, North Kolkata. There are no central forces, no efforts to stop the hijacking of democracy. The EC cannot merely watch it needs to intervene decisively. It is the people resisting this violence and wresting back their rights.”
After TMC, the TDP has approached the Election Commission against the alleged poll code violation by Narendra Modi with his Kedarnath visit. CNN-News18 quoted TDP president Chandrababu Naidu as saying in his letter to the EC that Modi was “canvassing in disguise”. According to ANI, the letter said: “Modi has gone to Badrinath and Kedarnath on an official visit. All the private activities done by him during his pilgrimage are being displayed and continuously telecast, which is a clear violation of the MCC.”
TMC workers held protests against BJP’s North Kolkata candidate Rahul Sinha in Kolkata and blocked the BJP leader’s convoy, according to reports.
Farid Alam, a police officer posted at booth number 11, Government Middle School, in Maheshpur block of Pakur in Jharkhand has been removed from poll duty with immediate effect by Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, DC Chaudhary after he was accused of pressurising voters to vote for a particular candidate in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. After a protest by voters, the complaint was escalated to DC who removed Alam from the polling booth.
Women voters turned up without face-covering veils to cast their votes in seven polling booths under Kasargod and Kannur constituencies in Kerala, where bogus voting was confirmed on 23 April. The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) had urged the Election Commission not to allow women with covered faces to cast their votes.
The commission had deputed women officials in all the booths to identify such women and facilitate their votes. Most of the booths recorded 50 percent polling till 1 pm. The polling in all these booths was above 80 percent in the 23 April polling.
Tej Pratap Yadav’s personal security guards in Patna allegedly beat a camera person after he allegedly broke the windscreen of Yadav’s car. Tej Pratap was leaving after casting his vote at Veterinary College in Pataliputra Lok Sabha constituency. The former RJD leader has filed an FIR in the incident. According to eyewitnesses, Tej Pratap was travelling in an e-rickshaw which ran over the feet of a media person.
A Congress worker was attacked with sharp edged weapons and killed as soon as he came out from the polling booth in village Sarhli of Khadoor Sahib constituency in Punjab. The deceased has been identified as Bunty. Victim’s family alleged that Shiromani Akali Dal workers attacked and killed Bunty.
BJP MP candidate Anupam Hazra has alleged that TMC workers were covering their faces at a Jadavpur booth and giving proxy votes. Shortly after he made this allegation, Hazra said TMC goons have beaten up a BJP mandal president, a driver and attacked a car. Hazra’s own car was also allegedly attacked. “We also rescued our three polling agents. TMC goons were going to carry out rigging at 52 booths. People are eager to vote for BJP but they are not allowing people to vote,” he said.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s photo has been replaced with someone else’s on the voter identification list at the Veterinary College booth, where Rabri Devi and Misa Bharti voted and where he will vote, in the Pataliputra Lok Sabha constituency. Polling officials have said that Tejashwi will not be facing problems when he comes in to vote. An investigation on the goof-up is underway.
Voters are staging a sit-in protest outside polling station number 189 in Basirhat, alleging that TMC workers are not allowing them to cast their votes. BJP MP candidate from Basirhat, Sayantan Basu told ANI, “Hundred people were stopped from voting. We will take them to cast their vote.”
Even though polling began peacefully in violence-torn West Bengal, an incident of bombing was reported outside Deganga’s booth number 66/67 in Basirhat. It has been alleged that some unidentified men came riding a bike, hurled a few bombs and as soon as forces rushed in, left the bike there and fled away. Tollywood actress Nusrat Jahan, the Basirhat candidate, has arrived to cast her vote.
Jharkhand has so far led the footfall of voters, with 11.05 percent voter turnout recorded at 9.20 am. Polling booths in urban areas of Ludhiana constituency witnessed low footfall in the early hours of voting. Punjab recorded one of the the lowest voter turnout figures, along with hilly Himachal Pradesh, at around 9.20 am.
No phase of this election has been without EVM failures and Phase 7 was no exception. Voting has still not begun at booth number 29, under Arrah Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, due to EVM malfunction. At Bihar’s Chandauli, voting has been halted for more than an hour at Fattepur’s booth number 35 and Chakiya Development Block’s booth number 274 owing to EVM glitches.
Voting could not be started at booth number 108 in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau as EVMs there have developed some sort of snag. EC officials are replacing the machines. Polling has just resumed at booth number 155 in Madhya Vidyalaya Beni Bigha, under Patliputra constituency after 40 minutes after a malfunctioning EVM was replaced. Voters allege that poll officers reached the booth 20 minutes late and found the glitch in the machine.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and the Trinamool Congress’s candidate from Diamond Harbour Abhishek Banerjee cast his vote at polling booth number 208 in South Kolkata Parliamentary constituency. After casting his ballot Abhishek emerged with criticism for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said “Watever he (the PM) said in his meeting on 15 May in Diamond Harbour, he has to substantiate those statements with ample proof and justify what he said. If he fails to do so I’ll sue him in the criminal and defamation cases. I’ll drag him to the court and do the needful.”
Two NDA chief ministers, Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath and Bihar’s Nitish Kumar were one of the first to cast their votes at Gorakhpur and Patna respectively on Sunday.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, one of the most bitterly fought in recent memory, will come to a close Sunday when polling will be held in 59 constituencies including in Varanasi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to retain the seat.
Polling will be held in all 13 seats in Punjab and an equal number of seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat Chandigarh.
Over 10.01 crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 918 candidates. The Election Commission has set up more than 1.12 lakh polling stations for smooth conduct of polls.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reportedly trekked 2 kilometres to a Kedarnath cave and on the request of mediapersons accompanying him, allowed cameras to take initial photos. His meditation, reported ANI, will begin in a few hours and will last until tomorrow morning. No media or personnel will be allowed in the vicinity of the cave at that time, the agency has reported sources as having said.
In the aftermath of comments by Janata Dal (Secular) leaders H Vishwanath and Basvaraj Horatti, signalling discord in the JD(S)-Congress alliance once again, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, said on Saturday that it is time for leaders of his party to fall in line and stop contradicting each other. “We are on the verge of formation of a new government at the Centre. At this juncture where all efforts are being made to form non-BJP government at the Centre, the contradictory statements by leaders of coalition partners Congress-JDS may mar such efforts,” he said.
The Election Commission has issued a notice to BJP candidate from Gurdaspur Sunny Deol for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct. Poll officials took serious note of a public meeting held by Deol in Pathankot on Friday night, after the silent period came in force. They also found that a loud speaker was used in the public meeting in which around 200 people were present.
Responding on media reports of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recusing himself from the panel’s meetings to discuss poll code violations, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday said the “erosion of institutional integrity” was “the hallmark” of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. In a tweet, he dubbed the poll panel the “Election Omission.”
Reports have said that Election Commission member Ashok Lavasa had allegedly sent three letters and several notes over the last 10 days, asking for his dissent to be recorded. These were allegedly ignored by the Election Commission, leading to a final letter sent by him, in which he said he will skip the poll panel meetings. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora described these reports as “unsavory” and “avoidable”.
A day after making an appearance at his first-ever press conference as prime minister, and with Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha election all wrapped up, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to Uttarakhand’s pilgrimage sites of Kedarnath and Badrinath. Modi arrived at the hill shrine of Kedarnath in a chopper and walked from the helipad to the Himalayan shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
On the way, he also greeted people who were standing at a distance to get a glimpse of the prime minister.
In the temple, Modi sat on the floor in front of the deity and performed rituals.
He also took rounds of the sanctum-sanctorum as per Hindu practice of worship. He also stepped out of the temple premises and greeted the crowd. People gathered around the temple also greeted the Prime Minister with loud chants of “Har Har Mahadev”.
This is Modi’s fourth visit in three years.
Modi flew 1.5 lakh kilometres and addressed 142 public rallies during the most extensive campaign for a Lok Sabha election since Independence, BJP president Amit Shah said Friday.
In what is rumoured to be some heavy duty post-campaign strategising, Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday morning. He is also scheduled to meet Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, and Uttar Pradesh alliance partners Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday. Yesterday, Naidu had met Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi.
Opposition parties have lost no time in taking swipes at Narendra Modi’s maiden press conference on Friday, where he did not entertain even a single impromptu question. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the presser seemed “like last episode of Mann ki Baat aired on TV instead of radio”.
Loktantrik Janata Dal party chief Sharad Yadav, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot and party chief Rahul Gandhi too made fun of the fact that Modi was not asked any questions in the meet.
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