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Lok Sabha polls, May 21: As it happened

The Lok Sabha polls are just a few days away and the parties are leaving no stone unturned to garner as much as attention and affection from the crowds as possible. To this end, leaders of 21 Opposition parties met in Delhi earlier today, over the possibilities of an alliance ahead of poll results.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: May 21, 2019 22:34 IST
PM Modi arrives at Ashoka Hotel for NDA leaders dinner

PM Modi arrives at Ashoka Hotel for NDA leaders dinner

India is awaiting a new government and in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls 2019, campaigners and warriors belonging to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rahul Gandhi's Congress have got battle-ready.

According to most exit polls released on Sunday, with Congress-led UPA expected to fall far short of numbers to reach the half-way mark in the Lok Sabha elections.

The exit polls, released on the conclusion of seven-phase Lok Sabha election, also predicted that "others" will gain a significant chunk of seats ranging from 94 to 138.

Stay tuned to this space as IndiaTVNews.com brings to you live and latest updates on the Lok Sabha poll campaign.

Live updates : Lok Sabha polls, May 21: As it happened

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  • 10:32 PM (IST)

    N Chandrababu Naidu meets JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda in Bengaluru

  • 8:34 PM (IST)

    Amit Shah congratulates team Modi Sarkar on Twitter

  • 8:33 PM (IST)

    Alliance leaders felicitate PM Modi

  • 8:21 PM (IST)

    PM Modi arrives at Ashoka Hotel for NDA leaders dinner

  • 7:51 PM (IST)

    Uddhav Thackeray and Nitish Kumar arrive for NDA dinner in Delhi

  • 6:41 PM (IST)

    N Chandrababu Naidu to meet Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru today

  • 5:27 PM (IST)

    PM Modi arrives at BJP headquarters for meeting of Union Council of Minsters

  • 4:20 PM (IST)

    Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Maneka Gandhi and VK Singh arrive at BJP Office for meeting

  • 3:27 PM (IST)

    Pranab Mukherjee reacts to on EVM controversy

    I am concerned over reports of alleged tampering of voters' verdict, says former President Pranab Mukherjee on EVM controversy. 

  • 3:25 PM (IST)

    Union council of ministers to meet at 5 pm today

    Delhi: A meeting of Union Council of Ministers to be held today at 5 pm at the BJP Office.

  • 3:13 PM (IST)

    EVMs are absolutely fool proof: Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer

    Amid a slew of allegations by the opposition about the reliability of EVMs, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh has said that the machines are "absolutely fool-proof" and fulfils all "transparency and administrative protocols".

    Singh said the EVM is "robust by design" and there is no way the machine can be tampered with.

    "There is no way that the machine can be tampered with, manipulated or hacked into because it does not have connectivity with the outside world.
    "It does not have internet, wi-fi or bluetooth connectivity. This means you cannot access the mind of the machine. It has a one-time programmable chip," Singh said.

    The Aam Aadmi Party Monday asked the Election Commission to provide additional security at a counting centre in South Delhi, alleging that political opponents plan to manipulate EVMs ahead of the announcement of poll results on May 23.

    The letter by AAP's South Delhi candidate and spokesperson Raghav Chadha said that "he has strong reasons to believe that the political adversaries will attempt to open the strong rooms and manipulate or replace the machines as a handful of such incidents have been seen in the past".

  • 3:11 PM (IST)

    Congress complains against BJP worker for remarks on Gandhiji

    Activists of the Youth Congress in Palghar district of Maharashtra have complained to police against a BJP worker for allegedly posting derogatory comments against Mahatma Gandhi on social media, police said Tuesday.

    The Congress workers alleged that local BJP activist Prakash Lodaya last week in a post on Facebook justified the assassination of the Father of the Nation and lauded his assassin Nathuram Godse, a police official said.

    They submitted a memorandum to the Vasai police on Monday in this connection, he said.

    Vasai police's sub-inspector Sahebrao Kachre said they received the complaint which was forwarded to the Manickpur police here for further action.

  • 3:11 PM (IST)

    Panneerselvam hails exit polls favouring NDA

    Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday hailed the exit polls favouring a second term for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, saying it indicated a "good verdict" to be given by the voters.

    Responding to Chief Minister K Palaniswami's remarks that the exit polls were "imposing of opinions", his deputy said such views were based on the respective individuals' "frame or mind", but did not elaborate.

    Palaniswami had on Monday dismissed the exit polls suggesting a bad show by the AIADMK in the just-concluded Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu as "imposing of opinions" and exuded confidence that they would be proved wrong.

    Panneerselvam, the AIADMK coordinator, also expressed confidence that the ruling coalition would secure a grand victory in Tamil Nadu, despite the exit polls projecting otherwise.

    He was speaking to reporters here before leaving for Delhi to attend a dinner for NDA leaders to be hosted by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Tuesday evening, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to be present.

  • 3:10 PM (IST)

    Congress urges EC for action on complaints of EVM movement from strongrooms

    The Congress on Tuesday said the Election Commission (EC) should take immediate and effective steps to address the complaints of movement of electronic voting machines (EVMs) from strongrooms from various parts of the country.

    Party spokesperson Rajeev Shukla also said it was the EC's responsibility to ensure that polls were held in a fair and unbiased manner.

    "Complaints about movement of EVMs are coming from various parts of the country. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab -- there have been complaints of taking out of EVMs from strongrooms from various places. People's suspicion and anger are increasing," he said.

    The reason that was being given was that these were the reserve machines, but even then, the EVMs should be shown to the candidates' representatives, Shukla added.

    "The EC should ensure that elections are conducted in an unbiased manner. It should take immediate and effective measures. Opposition leaders will approach the EC and raise the issue," he said.

  • 3:09 PM (IST)

    'Negative elements' trying to disrupt NRC update; create unrest in Assam: Sonowal

    Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Tuesday claimed that "negative elements" were trying to disrupt the ongoing process to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and his government was determined to thwart any such attempts.

    Sonowal also asked "genuine" Indian citizens not to panic as their concerns would be adequately addressed in the mega exercise aimed at identifying those illegal immigrants who had entered the state after 1971.

    "There are some negative elements. These negative elements are trying to disrupt the smooth proceedings of the NRC update. The state government is alive to the situation."

    "There are some groups which are trying to create unrest in Assam in the name of NRC. Our government is determined to thwart any such attempts," he told PTI.

    Sonowal is in the national capital and he held a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and top officials of the Union Home Ministry to review the present security scenario in the state and preparation to deal with any possible law and order situation which may arise after the publication of the final NRC on July 31.

  • 3:08 PM (IST)

    EC could have taken decisions quickly: Ex-CEC Krishnamurthy

    Former chief election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy Tuesday said the poll body has done 'a good job' in conducting the Lok Sabha elections but
    could have taken decisions on certain complaints in time.

    He also came out in support of the demand of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa that his dissent be recorded in orders on model code of conduct (MCC) violation cases.

    "Election Commission did a good job (in conduct of elections), reasonably well...", he told PTI.

    The former CEC said he was not surprised by political parties' attack on the Election Commission, saying when it takes a decision on complaints of MCC violations, it has to be "one way or the other".

  • 3:06 PM (IST)

    Uddhav Thackeray to attend dinner by Amit Shah today

    Delhi: Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray to attend dinner hosted by Amit Shah for NDA leaders today

  • 3:03 PM (IST)

    Milind Deora writes to EC

    Mumbai Congress President Milind Deora writes to Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra requesting "increase of vigilance, security etc at counting centers, so that EVM machines should not get tampered in any manner whatsoever".

  • 3:01 PM (IST)

    I have complete trust on Congress MLAs: MP CM Kamal Nath

    I have complete trust on the MLAs of Congress party. At least 10 MLAs have told me now that they are getting phone calls where they are being offered money and posts: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath

  • 2:59 PM (IST)

    Jharkhand: RJD, JVM workers stop a truck in Deoghar

    Deoghar: RJD and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) workers stop a truck alleging that EVMs were being transported in boxes.

    SDO Vishal Sagar says 'All boxes are empty, the EVMs were already sent to Dumka for counting, you can check yourself'

  • 2:57 PM (IST)

    Opposition leaders arrive at EC to meet officials

    Delhi: Opposition leaders arrive at Election Commission, to meet EC officials over EVMs.

  • 1:04 PM (IST)

    Cat is out of the bag: Puri on Amarinder-Sidhu row

    Union Minister and BJP candidate from Amritsar, Hardeep Singh Puri, on Tuesday took a jibe at the ongoing war of words between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, saying, "...the cat is out of the bag".

  • 1:03 PM (IST)

    Kejriwal dials Akhilesh to discuss post-results strategy

    Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal talked to Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav over phone on Tuesday to discuss the strategy to be followed after the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll results on Thursday.

    Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh told reporters here that the two leaders held talks over the phone. Singh also met Yadav in Lucknow and discussed the political situation prevailing in the country.

    He said Kejriwal and Yadav talked about the strategy to be followed after the announcement of the poll results.

    Singh added that their priority was to stop the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from forming the government. 

    On May 17, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu had paid a "courtesy visit" to Kejriwal.
    The results of the just-concluded, seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be announced on May 23. 

  • 12:41 PM (IST)

    AIADMK asks counting agents to be alert over DMK's "dishonest practices"

    The AIADMK Tuesday instructed its counting agents to remain vigilant over archrival DMK's "dishonest practices" during the counting of votes polled in
    the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly by-polls, and asked them to ensure all standard procedures were followed.

    AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator K Palaniswami said in a statement that agents must follow a slew of steps, including reaching the counting centres as early as 6 AM on May 23.

    Palaniswami is Tamil Nadu Chief Minister while Panneerselvam is his deputy.

    "The entire country knows that DMK members are experts in resorting to dishonest practices as well as violence. Many instances can be mentioned (to prove this). 

  • 12:05 PM (IST)

    Buoyed by exit polls, Sena says Modi govt will get second term

    The Shiv Sena Tuesday expressed confidence that a government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be re-elected for a second term as the exit polls show a "clear trend" in the BJP-led NDA's favour.

    At the same time, it also praised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for their "hard work", saying their party will get enough seats to bag the leader of opposition's post in the new Lok Sabha.

    Elections to 542 seats of 543-member Lok Sabha ended on Sunday and counting of votes is scheduled for Thursday.

    Most exit polls have forecast another term for Prime Minister Modi, with some of them projecting that the BJP-led NDA would get over 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.

  • 12:03 PM (IST)

    WB: SC refuses to entertain plea challenging appointment of bureaucrats as special observers

    Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea challenging the appointment of two retired bureaucrats as special observers in West Bengal for Lok Sabha elections.

  • 11:39 AM (IST)

    Karnataka Deputy CM reacts to Roshan Baig's comments

    Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara reacts to Congress leader Roshan Baig's comments.

  • 11:37 AM (IST)

    Modi, Shah to hold dinner meet with NDA leaders today

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah will hold a dinner meeting on Tuesday with leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

    The meeting, which comes two days ahead of the counting of votes of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, is likely to chalk out a strategy for the post-poll scenario.

    Senior BJP leaders are also likely to meet at the party headquarters prior to the dinner meeting.

    Party sources said Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United President Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan will attend the meeting.

    Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal might give it a miss and are likely to send their representatives.

  • 11:35 AM (IST)

    BSP suspends senior leader Ramvir Upadhyay

    The BSP Tuesday suspended senior leader and former minister Ramvir Upadhyay from the party for his "anti-party" activities. Upadhyay has also been removed from the post of chief whip of the party in the state assembly, BSP General Secretary Mewalal Gautam said.

    He said Upadhyay openly opposed party candidates in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Aligarh and other seats during Lok Sabha polls and backed opposition candidates.

    Taking note of these anti-party activities, Upadhyay has been suspended from the BSP with immediate effect, he said.

  • 11:32 AM (IST)

    UP: Mirzapur Congress candidate requests observer to remove EVMs

    Congress candidate from Mirzapur, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi, writes to the observer of the constituency requesting him to remove the reserve EVMs, kept at the counting venue, in front of political parties' candidate and their representatives, while being photographed. 

  • 11:27 AM (IST)

    All EVMs put in place by 7 am: Jhansi District Election Officer

    Jhansi District Election Officer, Shiv Sahay Awasthi, reacts to EVM issue, says, "Some polling parties arrived late however all EVMs were put in place in the strong room by 7 am.

    "The strong room has been sealed in presence of general observers and candidates under CCTV surveillance," Awasthi said. 

  • 11:25 AM (IST)

    SC dismisses plea seeking direction on increase in verification of VVPATs

    The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during counting of votes on May 23 for Lok Sabha polls.

    A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra refused to entertain the plea filed by a Chennai-based organisation 'Tech for All', saying that a larger bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had already dealt with the matter and passed an order.

    "The CJI had dealt with this matter. Why are you taking chance before a two-judge vacation bench," the apex court asked.

    "We cannot override the CJI's order... This is nonsense. The petition is taken on board. Dismissed," Justice Mishra said.

    The apex court had on May 7 dismissed a review plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu seeking that random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs be increased to 50 per cent.

  • 11:24 AM (IST)

    Nitish Kumar to attend dinner hosted by Amit Shah today

    Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar to attend the dinner hosted by Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah for NDA allies in Delhi today.

     

  • 11:20 AM (IST)

    Affidavit against Mulayam Singh, Akhilesh Yadav

    CBI files an affidavit in Supreme Court against Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav in connection with a disproportionate assets case.

    The CBI, in the affidavit, gives clean chit to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav in the disproportionate assets case registered against them. CBI further said, it did not find any evidence to register a Regular Case (RC) against the father and son.

  • 11:19 AM (IST)

    Kumaraswamy's Delhi visit stalled

    Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has cancelled his scheduled visit to Delhi Tuesday, where he was expected to take part in a meeting of opposition leaders over the issue of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), official sources said.

    "The proposed visit of the chief minister to New Delhi today stands cancelled," the CMO said, without specifying any reasons.

    According to the schedule of the chief minister shared with the media earlier, Kumaraswamy was to leave for Delhi by a special flight at 11 am and take part in meetings there, before heading back to the city in the evening.

    According to JD(S) sources, the chief minister was to take part in the meeting of opposition leaders over the EVM issue.

    Ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23, leaders of various opposition parties would meet the Election Commission (EC) and raise the issue of tallying paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with EVM figures.

    Opposition parties are demanding tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM figures in an entire Assembly constituency in case a discrepancy is found in any polling booth.

  • 11:19 AM (IST)

    MP: Raids at residences, farm house of Assistant Commercial Tax Officer

    Madhya Pradesh: Indore Lokayukta police conducts raids at two residences and a farm house of Assistant Commercial Tax Officer, Komal Bali. Rs 49,000 cash, 2 kg gold and luxury vehicles found.

  • 11:13 AM (IST)

    UP: Crowd outside strong room in Mau

    UP: Police dispersed crowd gathered outside a strong room in Mau last night.

    Surendra Bahadur, SP Mau says, "Some people had gathered outside the EVM strong room believing social media rumors. They were dispersed using light force, law and order of the area is intact."

  • 9:57 AM (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary.

  • 9:19 AM (IST)

    PM Modi pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tributes to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. 

  • 9:15 AM (IST)

    West Bengal: Re-polling at booth number 200 of Kolkata Uttar tomorrow

    West Bengal: Poll held on 19th May at booth number 200 of the Kolkata Uttar parliamentary constituency declared void by Election Commission. Re-poll to be held tomorrow from 7 am to 6 pm. 

    There are 1,862 polling stations in Kolkata North parliamentary constituency.

  • 9:05 AM (IST)

    Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee pay tributes to Rajiv Gandhi

    Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former President Pranab Mukherjee pay tributes to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary at Veer Bhumi.

  • 9:04 AM (IST)

    Gandhi family pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary

    Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary for UP (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra pay tribute to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary at Veer Bhumi. Robert Vadra also present.

  • 9:01 AM (IST)

    Congress leader appeals Muslims to 'join hands' with BJP if need arises

    Amid poor numbers given by exit polls to the Congress in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leader Roshan Baig Monday dropped hints of quitting the party, and humbly appealed to Muslims to compromise with the situation, if NDA returns to power.

    "Well if NDA is coming back to power, I humbly appeal to Muslim brothers to learn to compromise with the situation," he told a section of media.

    Asked if that means Muslims should join hands with BJP, Baig said if need arises, they must as the Congress had given just one ticket to a Muslim leader in Karnataka.

    "If needs be, (Muslims) must join hands. We must not remain loyal to one party. What happened to Muslims in Karnataka? The Congress gave just one seat," he blurted.

    Asked if he will take a decision to quit Congress in coming days, Baig said if needs be, he would do it.

  • 9:00 AM (IST)

    21 Opposition parties to meet in Delhi today

    Two days ahead of the counting of votes for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, 21 Opposition parties will meet on Tuesday here to discuss the possibilities of a non-NDA alliance.

    The meeting of the 21 opposition parties will be held at the Constitution Club here at 1.30 p.m., Telugu Desam Party (TDP) sources said on Monday.

    The meeting will be attended by the several senior Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPI-M, AAP, NCP, National Conference, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, DMK, Janata Dal-Secular and the TDP.

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, as part of his efforts to unite the opposition in the last four days, held meetings with the leaders of several parties in the national capital, Lucknow and Kolkata.

    Naidu had met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury in the national capital.

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