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Last Updated : Nov 21 2019 9:22PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
CAG should be catalyst of good governance, says PM Modi            Different factors responsible for air pollution in various cities: Javadekar            Two lakh Gram Panchayats to be connected with internet, broadband by March 2020            India seeks consular access to its 2 nationals arrested by Pakistan            Hitech multimedia exhibition inaugurated at IFFI           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Political parties intensify campaigning for fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says rooting out terrorism is essential so that money can be used to improve living conditions of the poor.

  • Congress fields Ajay Rai to contest against Prime Minister in Varanasi parliamentary constituency.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hold their first-ever talks in Vladivostok.

  • Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma enter quarterfinals of Asia Badminton Championship at Wuhan in China.


Political parties have intensified campaigning for the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections. Seventy one constituencies, spread over nine states, will go to polls in this phase on Monday. 

Star campaigners of various political parties are making whirlwind tours at different places garnering support for their candidates.

Addressing a rally in Darbhanga in Bihar today, Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that national security and terrorism are main issues before the country. The Prime Minister said the poor of this country are the worst affected because of terrorism. He added that the money now spent on security could be spent on their well-being. Mr.Modi said terror factories will be decimated. He said the opposition has not been able to sense the mood of the country. He said people who are contesting only in a few seats are waiting for their turn to become the Prime Minister. 

"हमारा देश मजबूत होना होना चाहिए, मजबूत देश के लिए सरकार मजबूत होनी चाहिए, सरकार मजबूत बनाने के लिए प्रधानमंत्री मजबूत होना चाहिएा आजकल जो बीस सीट लड़ रहें है वो भी प्रधानमंत्री बनने के लिए लाइन में खड़े है। कर्नाटक में तो आठ सीट लड़ने वाले भी प्रधानमंत्री की लाइन में खड़े हैं। चालीस सीट लड़ने वाले भी प्रधानमंत्री की लाइन में खड़े हैं।"

The Prime Minister will also hold a road show in Varanasi today. He will file his nomination from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat tomorrow. More from our correspondent:

"Senior BJP Leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to land in Varanasi's Babatpur airport a short while from now. Heavy security arrangements are in place for the proposed road show. Before starting the roadshow, Mr Modi will hold a meeting with senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah, Piyush Goel and JP Nadda. Roadshow will begin from Banaras Hindu University's iconic Lanka Gate and will culminate at Dashashwamedh Ghat. In evening Mr. Modi is scheduled to participate in Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. Narendra Modi will also hold dialogue with intellectuals and people from all walks of life who have done exceptionally well in their field. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, AIR News, Lucknow."

Addressing a public meeting at Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, BJP President Amit Shah said, the NDA government will not compromise with national security and will continue to give befitting reply to terrorism.

"पाकिस्तान से गोली आएगी। यहां से गोला जाएगा। ईट का जवाब पत्थर से दिया जाएगा। इस देश की सुरक्षा के साथ कोई कोताही नहीं चलाई जाएगी। कोई इसके साथ खिलवाड़ नहीं कर सकता है। भारत मां की सुरक्षा हमारा सर्वप्रथम दायित् है।"

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that his party's NYAY scheme will benefit the poor, labourers and small traders. He was addressing a public meeting at Jalore in Rajasthan today. Mr Gandhi said GST will be simplified and 22 lakh government jobs given in one year if his party is voted to power. Mr. Gandhi said,

"न्याय योजना को पैसा पांच करोड़ महिलाओं के बैंक अकाउंट में जाने वाला हैं। साल के 72 हजार रूपये  पांच साल के तीन लाख साठ हजार रूपये। दूसरी बात 33 परसेन् रिर्जवेशन विधानसभा, राज्यसभा, लोकसभा में हमारी महिलाओं के लिए और आखिरी काम सरकारी नौकरियों में 33 परसेन् रिर्जवेशन महिला"

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is campaigning at Jalaun in Uttar Pradesh.

BSP Chief Mayawati is also participating in election rallies in Shahjahanpur and Kannauj district of the state.

In the fourth phase, voting will take place for 17 Parliamentary seats in Maharashtra; 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan; 8 in West Bengal; 6 each in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh; 5 in Bihar and 3 in Jharkhand. Voting will also be held in all the polling stations falling in Kulgam district under the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

Besides the 71 Lok Sabha seats, 41 of the total 147 Assembly seats in Odisha will also go to polls in this phase.

In Maharashtra, 17 constituencies including six from Mumbai, will go to the polls in the fourth phase. A report from our correspondent:

"Six of the high profile constituencies from Mumbai along with 11 other seats will vote on Monday with candidates hoping that the maximum city comes out of its traditional lethargy to vote in big numbers this time. Right from glamour to dynasty, this phase will see key contests between Congress candidate Urmila Matondkar and BJP’s sitting MP Gopal Shetty from Mumbai North, Poonam Mahajan and Priya Dutt vying for Mumbai North Central, Milind Deora from Mumbai South, Dr. Heena Gavit from Nandurbar and NCP’s Parth Pawar, making his poll debut from Maval. Some other prominent candidates include MoS (Defence), Dr. Subhash Bhambre from Dhule, NCP’s Sameer Bhujbal from Nashik and BJP’s Manoj Kotak from Mumbai North East. Overall, it will be a two-cornered fight between the Congress mahaghatbandhan and the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. With the BJP confident that the state’s drought relief measures, farm loan waiver and Kisan Pension scheme will benefit their alliance, the opposition is relying on the anti-incumbency factor and lack of new jobs. With Nisha Raney, this is Sweety Jain for AIR News, Mumbai."

Meanwhile, re-polling is being held today in nine booths located in eight Assembly constituencies in Odisha. The constituencies are: Sorada, Bonai, Sundargarh, Daspalla, Attabira, Bargarh, Padampur and Brajarajnagar. Voting was affected in these booths due to various reasons, including procedural errors and damaging of an EVM by a candidate.

In Nagaland, re-polling is being held today at one polling station under Tyui Assembly Constituency in Wokha district .

53.48 per cent polling was recorded till 1 PM. Deputy Chief Minister Y.Patton was among the first to exercise his franchise.

The Election Commission has appointed Mr. Armstrong Pame, as the General Observer for the re-poll. 

Re-polling is also being held at a polling booth in Agra Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh.

The Election Commission ordered re-polling after the presiding officer wrongly d some votes after the polling by pressing a button of the control panel of the EVM.


The Congress has fielded Ajay Rai from Varanasi and Madhusudan Tiwari from Gorakhpur for Lok Sabha elections. The party  released a list of two candidates selected by the Central Election Committee. So far, the party has announced candidates for 424 Lok Sabha seats.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said his party will gain full statehood for Delhi and the seven seats will play a key role in forming the government at the Centre. He was releasing the Aam Admi Party's Delhi manifesto for Lok Sabha polls today. He said 85 percent of the children in the national capital would get admission in colleges when Delhi gets full statehood.


Gujarat is reeling under severe heat wave conditions over the last few days. The temperature in most of the cities including Ahmedabad was above 42 degrees Celsius. According to the met office, the day temperature is likely to increase further in the next few days. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has issued red from the 26th to the 28th of April as maximum temperature is likely to go beyond 45 degree Celsius.


The Met Department has forecast dust storm or thunderstorm in the national capital today. It said, the maximum temperature later in the day is likely to be around 42 degrees Celsius.

Delhi has been reeling under scorching heat for the past few days. The mercury crossed the 40 degree-mark for the first time this season on Tuesday.


In Sri Lanka, security is on in the capital Colombo and other parts of the country following reports that terrorist groups may be looking to carry out more attacks. A fundamentalist group linked to National Tawheed Jamaath is believed to have carried out the attacks killing at least 359 people including 36 foreigners. The Government has said that the group is linked with foreign organizations and several members travelled abroad. A report from our correspondent:

"A massive search operation is underway in Colombo and police check posts have been set up all over the city. Police is looking for some suspicious vehicles who may be involved in Sunday attacks and looking to carry out more attacks. Police advised people not to panic and cooperate in their search operations. Meanwhile, countrywide crackdown on suspects continue and 16 more were arrested in overnight operations. President Maithripala Sirisena held an all party meeting and sought support of all sides to overcome the crisis and defeat terrorism in the country. Santosh Kumar for AIR News from Colombo."


Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to seek closer ties as they met in Vladivostok today. The meeting came as Kim is looking for support in his nuclear stand-off with Washington after his talks with US President Donald Trump broke down in February this year. President Putin told North Korean leader Kim he supports ongoing efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and wants to boost economic ties.

The Kremlin has said the focus of today's  talks will be on finding a political and diplomatic solution to the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula  but that no joint statement or signing of agreements was planned.


At the stock markets, after opening higher early in the day, the Sensex lost 39 points, or 0.1 percent, to trade at 39,016, in the afternoon trade, a short while ago. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange shed 3 points, to trade at 11,723.

At the forex market, the rupee depreciated 18 paise, to 70 rupees 5 paise against the dollar, in intra-day trade.


Top Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Sameer Verma progressed to the quarterfinals of the Asia Badminton Championship at Wuhan in China today.

In women's singles, Olympic silver medalist Sindhu beat Indonesia's Choirunnisa 21-15, 21-19 in just 33 minutes. She will next face unseeded Cai Yanyan of China.

In the men's singles, Sameer brushed aside Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long Angus 21-12, 21-19.

However, mixed doubles pair of Utkarsh Arora & Karishma Wadkar and Venkat Prasad & Juhi Dewangan crashed out of the tournament.


India bagged four medals, including a Gold, on the final day of the Asian Athletics Championships at Doha in Qatar yesterday. PU Chitra successfully defended her Women's 1,500 metres Gold she had won in 2017, while Ajay Kumar Saroj in Men's 1,500 metres and the Women's 4x400 metres relay team clinched a silver each. Sprinter Dutee Chand added a bronze in Women's 200 metres race.

India ended at the fourth spot in the medals tally. Bahrain topped the table with China second and Japan, third.


In IPL Cricket, Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Rajasthan Royals in Kolkata at 8 PM today.

Last night, South African AB De Villiers powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 17-run win over Kings Eleven Punjab at Bengaluru. Put in to bat, Bangalore posted 202 for 4 riding on De Villiers' 44-ball 82 not out.

In reply, Punjab managed to make 185 for 7 in the alloted 20 overs, falling short by 17 runs. De Villiers was named man of the match.


Thirteen Indian pugilists will play their semi-final bouts of the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok today. The boxers -- seven men and six women -- are assured of Bronze medals after they advanced to the last-four stage of the marquee continental championship.


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