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Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2100 HRS

2100 HRS


17th April, 2019


  • Stage set for voting in ninety-five Parliamentary constituencies under second phase tomorrow.

  • Star campaigners of political parties hold rallies and roadshows for third phase of elections.

  • BJP fields Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal seat against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh; Actor Shatrughan Sinha’s wife Poonam Sinha named Samajwadi Party candidate against BJP leader Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.

  • Nearly 50 people killed in four states due to rain-related incidents.

  • In Sports; International Hockey Federation imposes hefty fine of over one lakh Euros on Pakistan for not honouring Pro League commitments.

  • In IPL cricket, match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings in progress at Hyderabad.


The Stage is set for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls tomorrow. Ninety-five constituencies, spread over 11 States and one Union Territory, will go to polls in this phase. Earlier, 97 constituencies were scheduled to be covered in this phase. But, election to Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu was cancelled over allegations of excess use of money power and polling to Tripura (East) stands postponed to the third phase, over law and order concerns.

Polling will be held in 38 constituencies in Tamil Nadu, 14 in Karnataka, 10 in  Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Manipur and Puducherry.

In Tamil Nadu, besides polling to the 38 Lok Sabha seats, by-elections will also be held in 18 Assembly constituencies tomorrow. 822 candidates are in the fray for Parliamentary elections and 269 for Assembly by-elections. Nearly 6 crore electors are eligible to vote. NDA consisting of AIADMK, BJP, PMK and DMDK is taking on the UPA comprising DMK, Congress, the two Left Parties and Vaiko-led MDMK besides others.

"Nearly 68000 polling booths with basic amenities have been established with volunteers to help persons with disabilities and elders. For the first time, more than four lakh differently-abled voters have been mapped polling booth-wise for extending necessary help for them to vote. Since several elections in the past, polling has been peaceful in the state, though it is categorized as expenditure sensitive. Observers say youth show more interest in voting this time. Jaya Singh, AIR News, Chennai."

"All the polling booths will be provided with drinking water, toilet, ramp, electricity and help desks. Over one lakh 95 thousand voters with disabilities will be provided with assistance such as free transport to the polling station, wheelchairs, magnifying glasses, escorts, sign language interpreters and walking sticks. A private taxi service in Bengaluru has also come forward to transport them free of cost.  The Chunavana mobile app is being used by the citizens to navigate to their respective polling booths."Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."

In Maharashtra, a total of 179 candidates are in the fray. Prominent candidates are former Chief Ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushil Kumar Shinde of Congress. Mr Chavan is contesting from Nanded and and Mr Shinde from Solapur. Besides these two seats, voting will also take place in Buldhana, Akola, Amravati in Vidarbha and Hingoli, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad and Latur in Marathwada. Maharashtra Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dilip Shinde said 'Sakhi' polling booths have been set up to encourage more female voters to exercise their franchise.

In West Bengal, Jalpaiguri, Raigunj and Darjeeling Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in the second phase. 42 candidates are in the fray.

"The contest in Darjeeling seat is interesting this time. Split in Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha is a major political development in the hills. One of its faction is allying with Trinamool Congress while other is with BJP. Trinamool Congress has put up Amar Singh Rai, a Gorkha Janamukti Morcha legislator from Darjeeling while BJP put up Raju Bista replacing Union Minister S.S. Aluwalia. Arijit Chakraborty reporting from Darjeeling for AIR News."

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has appointed senior IAS officer Ajay V Nayak as a special observer for the state. An official said, Mr Nayak will be overseeing the remaining phases of theLok Sabha polls. The Commission has already appointed Vivek Dubey as a special police observer to ensure free and fair voting in the state.

In Bihar, Purnia, Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka will be covered in second phase.

"Former Union Minister Tarique Anwar, Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav, forrmer BJP MP and rebel leader Putul Kumari, Congress leader Uday Singh alias Pappu Singh are prominent candidates in this phase. Hyderabad based Asaduddin Owaisi party AIMIM is first time contesting Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. Party has fielded former RJD MLA Akhtarul Iman. Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News Kishanganj."

RJD has expelled Ali Ashraf Fatmi from the party for six years because of his anti-party activities. He has already resigned from the primary membership of the party. Mr Fatmi announced that he will file nomination from Madhubani Parliamentary constituency as an independent against the grand alliance candidate.

In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party has announced film star-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha's wife Poonam Sinha as its candidate from Lucknow against senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh. Our Lucknow correspondent reports that polling in the state during second phase will be held on eight seats.

"These 8 seats includes 4 general seats, Amroha, Aligarh, Mathura, Fatehpur Sikri and 4 reserve seats Nagina, Bulandshahar, Hathras and Agra. Polling will decide the fate of total 85 candidates including bigwigs like Hema Malini from Mathura, Congress state chief Rajbabbar from Fatehpur Sikri and former JDS secretary and now SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate from Amroha, Kunwar Danish Ali.  SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."

Our Guwahati correspondent reports, arrangement for webcasting and video recording  have been made at some places in Assam. All the 5 seats are likely to see straight or triangular fights.

The Election Commission of India today ordered re-polling at 19 polling stations of two Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh due to various reasons, including EVM malfunctioning. Speaking to media persons, State Additional Chief Electoral Officer Kangki Darang informed that the ECI declared polling held in these polling stations void and has ordered fresh polling on the 20th of this month. Re-polling will be held between 6 am and 2 pm.

Simultaneous polling for 60-seat Assembly and 2 Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh was held on the 11th of this month in the first phase.

In Madhya Pradesh, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur will contest against senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh from high profile Bhopal Parliamentary constituency. She formally joined the BJP today.

"Apart from Sadhvi Pragya, the party has announced its candidates from three other seats -KP Singh from Guna, Raj Bahadur Singh from Sagar and Ramakant Bhargav from Vidisha. Vidisha is also a high profile seat and till now it was represented by senior leader Sushma Swaraj. Polling in Madhya Pradesh will be held in the last four phases of elections. -Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."


Campaigning has picked up for the third phase of Parliamentary polls. Polling in this phase will take place on the 23rd of this month.

Addressing public meetings in Gujarat and Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the current elections will decide the future of our next generation. Referring to the rain and hailstorm in the last three days, Mr. Modi said, his government stands firmly with the affected farmers. He said, if NDA comes to power again a separate Jalshakti Mantralaya will be constituted  to resolve the water problem.

Speaking at an election rally at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, the Prime Minister said  after the results of the recently held state assembly elections, his government's resolve to work for the marginalised has strengthened. He said, the Government keeps coming and going, but the resolve to raise the standard of living of people remains unchanged. The Prime Minister also addressed a rally at Bhawanipatna in Odisha.

Speaking at an election rally at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, the country has earned respect across the world during the last five years of the Modi government. He said, BJP wants the country to become a superpower and 'vishwa' guru.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, after attending campaign rallies at Kannur, addressed a public meeting in Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad, the second constituency from where he is contesting Lok Sabha polls, besides Amethi. He said, financial crisis, scandals and price fall of agricultural crops will influence these elections. He said, his party has an exemplary record in fighting against the forces that attack the nation.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and NC leader Omer Abdullah addressed party workers at Shangus in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. He said, once in power, his party will fulfill the development requirements of the State, especially far flung areas on priority.


In Odisha, election supervisor Sanjukta Digal was shot dead by suspected Maoists in Kandhamal district today. Digal, who sustained grievous injuries, was rushed to hospital for treatment. However, doctors declared her brought dead.


The death toll due to rain, thunderstorm and lightning in several parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra has risen to nearly 50.

Twenty-one deaths occurred in Rajasthan, followed by 15 in Madhya Pradesh, 10 in Gujarat and three in Maharashtra.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of two lakh rupees each for the next of kin of those killed and 50 thousand rupees each for the injured. Congress President Rahul Gandhi expressed sadness over the loss of lives in rain-related incidents.


Cash-strapped airline Jet Airways temporarily suspended all its flight operations from today. In a statement, the company said, since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. Jet Airways has informed the DGCA, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Civil Aviation has said DGCA and other regulators are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure that all existing rules regarding refunds, cancellations and alternate bookings are followed strictly. The Ministry said, any passenger complaints or issues should be promptly reported to the Air Sewa portal or mobile app and the Ministry will follow up immediately.

Civil Aviation Secretary will convene separate meetings with airport and airlines tomorrow to coordinate and address any emerging issues on capacity, slots and passenger convenience.


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has imposed a hefty fine of one lakh seventy six thousand Euros on Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for not honouring the Pro League commitments. The FIH, has given the Pakistan sports body time until the 20th of June to pay the fine or else the penalty would be doubled. Confirming the fine, the cash-strapped PHF said it is in no position to pay the penalty. PHF Secretary General Shahbaz Ahmed said in Karachi today that he has requested the FIH to reduce the fine and allow it to be paid in instalments.


In IPL Cricket, the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings is underway at Hyderabad. Opting to bat, Chennai were 99 for 4 in 14 overs when reports last came in.  Chennai is being led for the first time by Suresh Raina in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has opted out of today's game due to back spasm.


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