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Last Updated : Sep 23 2019 11:17PM     Screen Reader Access
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Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Stage set for seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha election; Fifty-nine Parliamentary seats go to polls tomorrow.

  • Prominent candidates in the fray include Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shatrughan Sinha of Congress from Patna Sahib.

  • Supreme Court says tribunal's order on exclusion or inclusion of illegal foreigners in NRC in Assam to prevail over government's decision.

  • Three terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • India voices concern over delays in reimbursement to countries providing peacekeeping troops for UN missions.


All arrangements are in place for the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections tomorrow. 59 constituencies, spread over 7 states and one union territory, will go to polls in this phase. Voting will take place for 13 seats each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four constituencies of Himachal Pradesh; three in Jharkhand and lone seat of Chandigarh.

Prominent candidates in this phase include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and union ministers - Manoj Sinha, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri, Kirron Kher, Sunny Deol and Ravi Kishan of BJP, Sukhbir Badal of SAD, Meira Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha of Congress and Shibu Soren of JMM. 

Polling, which will begin at 7 AM, will end at 6 PM.

In Uttar Pradesh, more than two crore 36 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the 13 constituencies spread over 11 districts of Poorvanchal. More from our correspondent:

"Polling will be held on Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj. Polling parties along with EVM machines and other election related material are leaving to their respective polling centers under tight security. The BJP is contesting 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase, while its ally Apna Dal is contesting Mirzapur, currently held by Union Minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj constituency. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, VARANASI."

In Bihar, voting will take place in Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Patliputra, Ara, Buxar, Sasaram, Karakat and Jahanabad. There are 157 candidates, including 20 women in the fray.

In West Bengal, elections will be held for Dum Dum, Jadavpur, Barasat, Basirhat, Joynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Kolkata South and Kolkata North. More than one crore 49 lakh electorate are eligible to cast their franchise. 111 candidates are in the fray. More from correspondent:

"Strong security measures are in place in all nine Parliamentary seats. Around 710 companies of Central forces have been deployed. These forces will be used for  security coverage in all polling booths. In addition 461 Quick Response Teams headed by an Assistant Commandant of Central forces will also be in support. In Kolkata 174 Companies of Central forces and 178 Quick Response Teams have been put on duties. Route Marches are being continued by Central forces in vulnerable areas as confidence building measures. Arijit Chakraborty, AIR News, Kolkata."

In Madhya Pradesh, around 1.5 crore voters will decide the fate of 82 candidates. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"Polling will be held in 8 Lok Sabha seats of Indore, Ujjain, Dhar, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Dewas, Khargone and Khandwa in the Malwa Nimar region of the state in this phase. Around 1.5 crore voters will decide the fate of 82 candidates including 6 women. More than 13 thousand polling stations have been set up for voting. More than 55 thousand security personnel are being deployed for the security during polling. These include 83 of Central Security Forces and 49 companies of State Security Forces. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

The News Services Division of All India Radio (AIR) has made elaborate arrangements for providing authentic and latest results of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in four states. For the first time, AIR, the biggest radio network of the country, will continuously broadcast special programmes on election results for 40 hours.

Similarly, all 46 Regional News Units of AIR through out the country will mount special programmes and news bulletins in regional languages of their respective states. Hourly news bulletins will be available across the country through various channels like FM Gold, FM Rainbow,Vividh Bharati and other local channels of AIR.


The Election Commission has taken serious exception to media reports about its internal functioning in respect of handling the Model Code of Conduct. The Commission described the reports as unsavory and avoidable controversy. It said this has come at a time when all Chief Electoral Officers throughout the country and senior officers of the Commission have been working their utmost ahead of the last phase of election and counting. In a statement issued in New Delhi today, the Commission said its three members are not expected to be template or clones of each other. It also recalled that there have been so many times in the past when there has been a vast diversion of views.

Meanwhile, the Congress has criticised the government over reports that Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has recused himself from meetings to discuss poll code violations. In a statement, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala cited a media report which claimed that Mr Lavasa recused himself from these meetings as the poll body refused to record his dissent notes. 


The Election Commission has issued a notice to BJP candidate Sunny Deol for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct. The Commission took serious note of a public meeting addressed by the actor-turned politician in Pathankot last night after the silent period came into force. Sunny Deol is contesting against Sunil Jakhar of the Congress from Gurdaspur constituency.


The Supreme Court has held that a tribunal's order declaring a person as an illegal foreigner would be binding and prevail over the government decision to exclude or include the name in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi distinguished between the decisions of the NRC and of foreigners tribunals. The bench said, the tribunal's order being the quasi judicial one would prevail. The apex court said, the persons whose names are not included in the NRC can produce documents, including the ones related to their family tree, and seek review of the tribunal's decision. 

The court rejected the plea contending whether a judicial determination of a person being foreigner would stand superseded if his or her name was included in or excluded from the NRC.


In Jammu and Kashmir, three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora area of Pulwama district today. The gun fight broke out after security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Panzgam village and the terrorists hiding there opened fire on the forces. Officials said the identity and group affiliation of the slain terrorists is being ascertained. Arms and ammunition were also retrieved from the encounter site. Meanwhile, a cordon and search operation is underway in  Hathlangoo village in Sopore area of Baramulla district. Security sources said one or two terrorists are believed to be trapped in the area. Authorities have suspended Internet services in Sopore town as a precautionary measure. Details are awaited.


India has voiced concern over the delays in reimbursement to countries providing peacekeeping troops and police for UN missions. The First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN, Mahesh Kumar said the situation calls for a serious introspection. He was addressing a session on 'Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations.' Mr Kumar emphasised that India is among those member states who continue to be owed significant sums towards troop and Contingent Owned Equipment reimbursements. A report:

The UN owes India 38 million US dollars, among the highest it has to pay to any country, for peacekeeping operations as of March this year. This was stated by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in April in his report on improving the financial situation of the UN. India's share of the UN's budget has been increasing in recent years, including a 13 per cent increase from this year and the country has been paying its share on time. Earlier, this year, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had said that the financial situation of the United Nations peacekeeping, particularly the non-payment or delayed payment of arrears to the contributing countries, is a cause for concern. Swati Rakheja, News desk.


Prime Minister Narender Modi reviewed the development and reconstruction work in Kedarpuri, Uttarakhand today. Mr Modi reached Dehradun this morning on a two-day visit to the state. He paid obeisance at Kedarnath shrine. Tomorrow, Mr Modi will offer prayers at Badrinath before returning to Delhi.

The portals of both the Himalayan shrines were re-opened for devotees after the winter break early this month. Our correspondent reports that Char Dham Yatra is in full swing, with about four lakh pilgrims having performed pooja-archana at all the four shrines so far.

"Uttarakhand is known as Dev Bhoomi (Land of Gods) which attracts millions of pilgrims and spiritual seekers to get enlightenment. The pilgrimage of four Dhams Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and  Yamunotrilocated in Garhwal region of the state is considered amongst the most sacred places in India and abroad.  The Chardham Yatra attracts lakhs of devotees every year from across the country and abroad. Thousands of local people get employment during yatra season in the state.

Raghwesh Pandey, AIR News, Dehradun."


Buddha Purnima, marking the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, is being celebrated in several parts of the country today.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted people on the occasion.

In his message, the President said, the values of non-violence, peace, compassion and service to humanity embodied in the teachings of Lord Buddha have profoundly influenced human history and the course of civilization. The President expressed hope that Lord Buddha’s message will infuse people's thoughts, words and deeds and guide them towards greater compassion, love and fraternity.

The Vice President said, Lord Buddha was one of the most illustrious spiritual leaders to have walked the Earth and his eternal message of non-violence and compassion continues to inspire humanity to strive towards a more fulfilling life and a world where all people live together. He called upon people to commit themselves to the path of righteousness, compassion and universal friendship shown by Lord Buddha.

The Prime Minister said, Buddha known for truth, peace and love will always continue to inspire people.


In Sri Lanka, Vesak festival is being observed with religious fervor amidst tight security after last month's Easter Sunday attacks. The day is celebrated to mark the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. People are visiting Buddhist temples and decorating their houses with Buddhist flags and lanterns. In view of security restrictions, the number of food camps during Vesak is limited to 92 compared to around 6,000 last year.


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