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Lok Sabha polls, May 18: 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, PM Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand from today.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: May 18, 2019 22:14 IST
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Image Source : INDIA TV

Lok Sabha Election 2019 LIVE Updates

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.

Keeping up with this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand from today.

Saturday saw West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee write to the Election Commission regarding 'Undue interference by the central government in the polls' while her nephew sends PM Modi a defamation notice.

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 18: As it happened

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  • 7:48 PM (IST)

    Mamata's nephew sends defamation notice to Modi

  • 5:51 PM (IST)

    Chandrababu Naidu meets Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow

    Andhra Pradesh CM and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu met Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav, in Lucknow, today.

     

  • 4:21 PM (IST)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi trekked 2 kms to the cave and on request of media allowed cameras to make initial visuals. PM will begin his meditation in a few hours which will last till tomorrow morning. No media or personnel will be allowed in the vicinity of the cave.

  • 4:01 PM (IST)

  • 3:46 PM (IST)

    PM Modi meditates at holy cave near Kedarnath Shrine in Uttarakhand

    On his visit to Kedarnath, PM Modi meditates at holy cave.

  • 2:50 PM (IST)

    BJP worker Anoop Singh Chandan registers complaint against OP Rajbhar

    BJP worker Anoop Singh Chandan registers a complaint with the police against Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party Chief, OP Rajbhar, for allegedly abusing BJP workers at a public meeting yesterday, in Ghazipur.

  • 2:27 PM (IST)

    PM Modi walks to a holy cave in Uttarakhand

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi walks to a holy cave near Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand. 

  • 2:19 PM (IST)

    Election Commission or omission, asks Congress

    The Congress on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa's letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora over his dissent in the EC decisions in going unrecorded and asked whether it was "Election Commission or Election Omission".

    In a letter to the CEC, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recused himself from the Full Commission meetings related to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) after his "minority decisions" on the clean chit to Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on their respective speeches went unrecorded. 

  • 2:17 PM (IST)

    Nishads emerge as major vote bank in UP elections

    For the first time in Uttar Pradesh, the Nishads have emerged as an important vote bank in the Purvanchal region. The Nishads have consolidated themselves to such an extent that no political party can afford to ignore the community.

    The community includes sub-castes like Manjhi, Kevat, Bind, Mallah and refers to the fishermen and boatmen community that lives along the banks of rivers and thrives on water resources.

    They are among the 17 OBC communities that have been proposed for the Scheduled Caste status by the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in 2004 and then in 2016. The state government issued a government order for the inclusion of these caste groups in the list of Scheduled Castes but the Allahabad High Court stayed the decision.

    This Lok Sabha election marks a turnaround for the Nishad community that has acquired political bargaining power and have been acknowledged by all major political parties.

    Nishads began consolidating into a political group in 2013 when the Rashtriya Nishad Ekta Parishad was set up.

  • 2:16 PM (IST)

    Kashmir issue 'myth' created by Congress, NC: MoS PMO Jitendra Singh

    The so-called Kashmir issue is a political "myth" created by the Congress, the National Conference and other such political groups which have a vested interest in the region's electoral vote bank, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said Saturday.

    He said Jammu and Kashmir is very much like any other state of the Indian union.

    There is no such issue as "Kashmir issue" and the political leaders who try to rake it up have a deep-rooted selfish interest in creating an issue out of non-issue, in order to hoodwink the innocent masses of Kashmir, he said.

    "The so-called Kashmir issue is a political myth created by the Congress, the National Conference and other such political groups for their vested interest," the minister told PTI.

    "The biggest evidence of hypocrisy on the part of the Kashmir-centric leaders is that they underplay the fact that even though Jammu and Kashmir has a separate Constitution of its own. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir itself states that it is an integral part of India," the minister said.

  • 1:41 PM (IST)

    Former Union ministers, greenhorns in fray in MP

    Eight constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, which will vote in the last round of seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on May 19, will decide the fate of a number of key candidates including former Union ministers Kantilal Bhuria and Arun Yadav, sitting MLA Guman Singh Damor and a few greenhorns, among others.

    Also in the running are former state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan and senior Congress leader Meenakshi Natrajan.

    The constituencies in the state going to polls in the last round are Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa. All eight seats are held by the BJP.

    Bhuria, the sitting Congress MP from Ratlam-Jhabua seat is up against Damor, the sitting BJP MLA from Jhabua. This is Damor's maiden parliamentary poll.

    After retiring as engineer-in-chief from the public health department, Damor joined the BJP before the 2018 Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. In a successful electoral debut, he defeated Bhuria's son Vikrant with a margin of nearly 10,400 votes.

  • 1:00 PM (IST)

    CEC Sunil Arora issues statement on EC Ashok Lavasa's purported letter

    Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora Saturday described as "unsavory" and "avoidable" reports that fellow commissioner Ashok Lavasa has decided to recuse himself from meetings related to model code violations till he is not allowed to record his dissent.

    He also said in the last meeting of the commission on May 14, it was "unanimously" decided to form groups to deliberate issues which arose in the course of conduct of Lok Sabha elections.

    "Out of the 13 issues/areas which were identified, model code of conduct is one of them," Arora said in a statement.

    India Tv - CEC Sunil Arora issues statement on EC Ashok Lavasa's purported letter 

    Image Source : ANI

    CEC Sunil Arora issues statement on EC Ashok Lavasa's purported letter 

  • 12:57 PM (IST)

    PM Modi to seek re-election in final phase of polling

    Voting will be held on Sunday for 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, which will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking re-election from Varanasi.

    Polling will be held in Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj (SC).

    Union minister Manoj Sinha, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey are seeking re-election from Ghazipur and Chandauli, respectively.

    The BJP is contesting 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) is contesting Mirzapur, currently held by Union minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj.

    The saffron party has pitted Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur against Congress's Madhusudan Tripathi and Rambhual Nishad of the Smajwadi Party.

    Gorakhpur MP Pravin Nishad, who had won the seat on a SP ticket in bypolls last year, has joined the BJP. 

  • 12:39 PM (IST)

    Godse killed Gandhi's body, people like Pragya killing soul of India: Kailash Satyarthi

    Stressing that Mahatma Gandhi is above power and politics, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi Saturday said people like Pragya Singh Thakur are killing the soul of India and the BJP should expel her from the party.

    His comments came after Malegaon blast accused and BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate Thakur lauded Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "patriot" in an election rally in Madhya Pradesh.

    She later apologised for her statement, saying she respected Gandhi and his work for the country cannot be forgotten.

    "Godse had killed Gandhi's body, but people like Pragya are killing the soul, non-violence, peace, tolerance and the soul of India. Gandhi is above all power and politics.

    "The BJP leadership should forego its interest of any small benefit and immediately take her out of the party in compliance with the Raj dharma," Satyarthi, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, tweeted.

  • 12:27 PM (IST)

    Shatrughan Sinha, Ravi Shankar Prasad slug it out in Patna Sahib

    A clash of titans is on the cards in Patna Sahib where Shatrughan Sinha is seeking to retain the seat for a third consecutive term, this time on a Congress ticket, surmounting a formidable challenge posed by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

    Altogether 18 candidates are in the fray for the constituency, which covers the entire Patna city and a part of the outskirts, though the contest is being viewed as essentially a straight one between the actor-turned-politician and Prasad.

    Named after a centuries-old Sikh shrine located on the banks of the Ganga where Guru Gobind Singh was born and spent his early childhood, Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat came into being in the delimitation of 2008 and Sinha won it in the 2009 and retained the seat five years later.

  • 12:15 PM (IST)

    Fabricated stories being created against Modi, Shah: Naqvi

    Those not aware of the struggles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have tried to create "fabricated" stories that the cadre-based party has become an individual-centric organisation, Union minister Muktar Abbas Naqvi said.

    Denying claims that a sense of fear prevails in the BJP, he said stories of no other senior leader apart from Modi and Shah are allowed to speak their mind are "fabricated".

    Modi has been the biggest victim of "political intolerance" and a "few incidents by fringe elements" cannot be branded as intolerance against minorities, the senior BJP leader and Union minister for minority affairs told PTI in an interview.

    "Narendra Modi and Shah are both ground-level workers. They started their political journey as village and local level (mandal) workers.

    "Those who don't know Amit Shah and Modiji (and their struggles) make such comments. They create such false and fabricated stories," Naqvi said when asked whether a cadre-based party like the BJP has turned into a party of Modi and Shah.

  • 12:04 PM (IST)

    Akali top gun Sukhbir Badal to battle it out with former colleague Ghubaya in Punjab's Ferozepur

    Retaining the Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat has turned into a prestige battle for the SAD, which has fielded its president Sukhbir Singh Badal to wrest it from his former colleague and sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya, who recently switched over to the Congress.

    Caste factor has always played a key role in this constituency, which shares an over 200-km-long international border with Pakistan. The Rai Sikhs are the predominant community here, followed by the Hindus, Kumhars, Jatt Sikhs and the Kamboj.

    It has mostly been either Jatt Sikh or Rai Sikh candidates, barring the exception of late Balram Jakhar of the Congress (in 1980).

    The seat came to seen as a SAD bastion as the party won five consecutive terms starting 1998. Party stalwart and old horse Zora Singh Mann, a "Jatt Sikh", was elected from the seat three times in a row in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

    In 2009, the SAD played the caste card and fielded Ghubaya, a Rai Sikh. He emerged victorious, defeating firebrand Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar. 

  • 12:01 PM (IST)

    42 candidates in fray in 3 LS seats in Jharkhand

    The electoral fortunes of 42 candidates including that of former Chief Minister and Union Minister Shibu Soren will be decided on Sunday in the final
    phase of the general elections in Jharkhand.

    Elections will be held in three seats - Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda on Sunday.

    Soren, the chief of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and a 8th term sitting MP is in the fray from Dumka seat once again. He is crossing swords with BJP's Sunil Soren. The JMM leader had defeated his BJP challenger twice in 2009 and 2014.

    Altogether 45,64,681 electors, including 22,00,119 female and 21 third gender voters are eligible to exercise their franchise, an Election Commission release said.

    While 15 candidates are in the fray in Dumka, 14 are trying their luck from Rajmahal and 13 in Godda.

    The JMM, the Congress and the JVM of former chief minister Babulal Marandi have formed 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance), putting up candidates against the BJP nominees in the 14 seats of the state.

  • 11:57 AM (IST)

    TDP chief Naidu meets Rahul; discusses firming up anti-BJP front

    TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu Saturday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and discussed firming up an anti-BJP front to keep the saffron party out of power after poll results are declared.

    Before meeting the Congress chief, Naidu, who is spearheading an effort to cobble up an anti-BJP front, met CPI leaders Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja.

    He is scheduled to meet NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and LJD leader Sharad Yadav in the national capital later in the day.

    The Andhra Pradesh chief minister is also scheduled to meet BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow in the evening.

    In an hour-long meeting with Gandhi, sources said, Naidu discussed the impending need to bring together all parties which are against the BJP after the Lok Sabha election results are declared on May 23.

    Sources said Naidu also told Gandhi to have a strategy ready in case the BJP falls short of numbers and still stakes claim to form the government.

  • 11:44 AM (IST)

    Congress slams Modi govt over election commissioner Lavasa recusing himself from meetings

    The Congress Saturday hit out at the Modi government over Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recusing himself from EC meetings to discuss poll code violations, saying erosion of institutional integrity is the hallmark of the present dispensation.

    Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala cited a media report which claimed Lavasa, who disagreed with the poll panel's decisions to clear Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of charges of violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), has since May 4 recused himself from all meetings to discuss MCC issues.

    Lavasa has reportedly insisted that he will do so only after dissent notes and minority decisions are included in the orders of the commission.

    "The Election Commission or Election Omission! Another Dark Day for Democracy!" Surjewala tweeted, tagging the media report.

    "Sh Ashok Lavasa, Member CEC, who dissented on multiple occasions when EC was busy giving clean chits to Modi-Shah duo, opts out of EC as the ECI even refuse to record dissent notes," he said.

    Erosion of institutional integrity is the hallmark of the Modi government, Surjewala alleged.

  • 11:43 AM (IST)

    Akali top gun Sukhbir Badal to battle it out with former colleague Ghubaya in Punjab's Ferozepur

    Retaining the Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat has turned into a prestige battle for the SAD, which has fielded its president Sukhbir Singh Badal to wrest it from his former colleague and sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya, who recently switched over to the Congress.

    Caste factor has always played a key role in this constituency, which shares an over 200-km-long international border with Pakistan. The Rai Sikhs are the predominant community here, followed by the Hindus, Kumhars, Jatt Sikhs and the Kamboj.

    It has mostly been either Jatt Sikh or Rai Sikh candidates, barring the exception of late Balram Jakhar of the Congress (in 1980).

    The seat came to seen as a SAD bastion as the party won five consecutive terms starting 1998. Party stalwart and old horse Zora Singh Mann, a "Jatt Sikh", was elected from the seat three times in a row in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

    In 2009, the SAD played the caste card and fielded Ghubaya, a Rai Sikh. He emerged victorious, defeating firebrand Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar. 

  • 11:16 AM (IST)

    Sheila Dikshit reacts to Kejriwal's remark on Muslim voters

    Don't know what is he trying to say. Everyone has the right to vote for whichever party he/she wants. People of Delhi did not understand nor liked his governance model: Sheila Dikshit on Delhi CM's reported remark 'Muslim votes shifted to Congress in Delhi at last moment'.

  • 11:14 AM (IST)

    EC issues notice to Sunny Deol for 'violating' poll code

    The Election Commission has issued a notice to BJP candidate Sunny Deol for allegedly violating of 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 come in force.

    They also found that a loud speaker was used in the public meeting in which around 200 people were present.

    In the notice, it was pointed out that by holding a public meeting during the silent period, Deol has violated the model code of conduct.

    Election campaign is completely banned 48 hours before the polling process. Polling in all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will be held Sunday.

    Deol is pitted against Congress's Sunil Jakhar from the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.

  • 11:05 AM (IST)

    Amit Shah prays at Somnath temple in Gujarat

    Gujarat: BJP President Amit Shah offers prayers at Somnath temple.

     

  • 11:00 AM (IST)

    4 Union ministers in fray in last phase of Lok Sabha polls in Bihar

    As many as four Union ministers are among the 157 candidates in Bihar whose electoral fortunes will be decided on Sunday in the final phase of general elections.

    About 1.52 crore voters will exercise their franchise in the eight Lok Sabha constituencies - Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Arrah, Buxar, Karakat, Sasaram, Nalanda and Jehanabad - at 15,811 booths, according to figures made available by the Election Commission.

    Seven of these seats were won by the NDA last time, five by the BJP and two by the RLSP, which is now with the "Mahagathbandhan".

    One was bagged by the JD(U) headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which then fought separately but is now back with the NDA.

  • 10:49 AM (IST)

    Clean chit to PM: Lavasa opts out of EC meetings

    Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has decided to stay away from the meetings related to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) due to his dissent on the clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, sources said.

    Election Commissioner Lavasa is learnt to have written a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora stating that he is forced to stay away from the meetings of the Full Commission since "minority decisions" were not being recorded.

    He has recused himself from all meetings on MCC issues from the first week of this month.

    Lavasa, in his letter, insisted that he would attend the meetings if his minority decisions were also included in the orders of the Commission.

    Sources said that Lavasa has expressed his dissent on clean chit to four speeches of PM Modi and one speech of Amit Shah.

    The Full Commission in a majority ruling 2:1, reportedly did not find any MCC violation in the speeches.

  • 10:48 AM (IST)

    PM Modi reviews development projects at Kedarnath

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews redevelopment projects in Kedarnath.

  • 10:38 AM (IST)

    PM Narendra Modi at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand. 

  • 10:33 AM (IST)

    Visuals: PM Modi at Kedarnath temple

    Visuals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering prayers at Kedarnath temple.

  • 10:27 AM (IST)

    Don't want to speak anything before election results: HD Deve Gowda

    We are with Congress, I don't want to speak anything more. On 23rd, results will come, a clear picture will be known to the entire country and what further development takes place: JD(S) Chief and Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda

  • 10:11 AM (IST)

    Chandrababu Naidu meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu arrives at Congress President Rahul Gandhi's residence in Delhi

  • 10:09 AM (IST)

    Prime Minister's fourth visit to Kedarnath in 5 years

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Uttarakhand's Kedarnath on Saturday, where he is set to offer prayers ahead of the Lok Sabha election results. This is PM Modi's fourth visit to the Kedarnath shrine, in last 5 years. 

  • 9:34 AM (IST)

    PM Narendra Modi lands in Kedarnath

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi lands in Kedarnath, he will offer prayers at Kedarnath temple shortly. He will be praying at Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines over the weekend.

    Early in the day, Modi arrived at the Jollygrant airport after he finished his whirlwind election campaigning on Friday ahead of Sunday's final phase of the seven-phased Lok Sabha polls.

    He was scheduled to fly directly from Jollygrant to Kedarnath. Apart from paying obeisance, the Prime Minister was expected to also review the reconstruction works in the area.

    After spending the night at Kedarnath, Modi would fly to Badrinath on Sunday. He would return to New Delhi on the same day later.

    Security has been tightened around both the shrines in view of the Prime Minister's visit, said Ashok Kumar, Director General (Law and Order).

    India Tv - PM Narendra Modi arrives in Kedarnath

    Image Source : INDIA TV

    PM Narendra Modi arrives in Kedarnath

  • 9:12 AM (IST)

    AIADMK MP briefly stopped at Chennai airport for carrying Rs 25 lakh in cash

    The Income Tax Department briefly stopped a sitting MP from Tamil Nadu at the airport here as he was carrying Rs 25 lakh in cash, officials said. 

    He was allowed to go after questioning.

    The parliamentarian, V Elumalai of the AIADMK, is seeking re-election from his Arani Lok Sabha seat.

    "After ascertaining that the cash was withdrawn from his bank account in Delhi and it was meant for personal purposes, the cash was not seized," a senior tax official said.

  • 9:08 AM (IST)

    Supreme Court took decision on Kolkata cop, not BJP: Babul Supriyo

    The verdict on former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, was delivered by Supreme Court and it did not come from BJP headquarters, Union Minister Babul Supriyo has said. 

    "The Supreme Court has given direction to CBI and it did not come from BJP headquarters. I am saying this as the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) has the habit of making unconstitutional comments and resorting to insults," Supriyo said.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also said that he is just informing the Bengal Chief Minister of the facts.

    Asked about the view on SC's decision, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that law will take its own course and he would not comment.

    Recalling Banerjee's support for Kumar, Supriyo said: "She has been doing exceptional things and had also called him (Rajeev Kumar) the best cop or something."

  • 7:58 AM (IST)

    EC orders repolling in one booth in West Bengal

    The Election Commission has ordered repolling in one polling booth in West Bengal's Bankura parliamentary constituency on May 19, an official said. The constituency had voted in the sixth phase of polls on May 12.

    As per the notice on Friday, the EC has ordered the repoll in Chhatarkanali Prathamik Vidyalaya that falls under the Saltora assembly segment.

    The booth will go for the polls from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. along with the seventh phase elections for nine seats.

    There are 1,936 polling stations in Bankura parliamentary constituency
     

  • 7:35 AM (IST)

    Chandrababu Naidu to meet Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh-Mayawati today

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to meet Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati in Lucknow today. 

    Naidu is also likely to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi in the national capital on Saturday.

    The TDP chief had met the election commission on Friday and had told reporters that but any outfit which is against the saffron party is welcome to join a grand alliance after the election results are declared.

  • 7:29 AM (IST)

    PM Modi on two-day visit to Kedarnath, Badrinath

    After his whirlwind elections tours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to pay a two-day visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand.

    The Prime Minister will visit Kedarnath on May 18 and offer prayers at Badrinath the following day on May 19.

    In the past five years, after becoming the Prime Minister, Modi has visited Kedarnath several times. He is also taking a keen interest in the Kedarnath reconstruction works and often talk to state top government officials in this regard.

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