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Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
20.05.2019
THE HEADLINES
  • Voting for the 17th Lok Sabha concludes successfully; around 70 percent polling recorded overall.
  • Election Commission seizes cash, liquor, drugs, gold and freebies worth around 3,450 crore rupees since announcement of polls.
  • Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh, re-opens.
  • Four-day India - Singapore Naval drill begins in South China Sea.
  • In Tennis, Rafael Nadal wins Italian Open for the 9th time.
  • India Open International Boxing Tournament begins in Assam today.

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Voting to elect the 17th Lok Sabha has successfully concluded. Overall around 70 percent polling was recorded in seven phases that were held to elect the Lower House of Parliament. Briefing media in New Delhi last evening, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said, polling was by and large peaceful barring some incidents of violence. He said, this year's general elections were more peaceful as compared to the 2014 edition. Mr Sinha said, people, including women and senior citizens, came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
"The polling was carried out through 1.14 lakh polling stations. 74 percent of these were located in the rural areas. In the age group of 18-19 years old voters, the youth who came out to play decisive role. In this phase, the number at 12.45 lakhs. The highest number being in a state of Madhya Pradesh 4.30 lakhs, closely following by Punjab with 3.94 lakhs. The persons of disabilities registered as the electors for this phase 6.8 lakhs."
With completion of polling, the fate of 8,049 candidates, in fray for 542 Lok Sabha seats, has been sealed.
In Gujarat, fate of 371 candidates will be decided this time. Of these, 27 candidates are women, while one is from third gender. The ruling BJP and opposition Congress contested all 26 seats in the state but the representation of women candidates in the state is still very low. Here is a report:
"BJP has fielded six women candidates this time, which is highest ever in the state in Lok Sabha elections. While Congress fielded one woman candidate. Total 27 women candidates are in fray, out of which 15 women candidates are Independents. During the last 2014 Lok Sabha elections, four women emerged winners out of total 16. Similarly, four women declared victorious out of 26 contested in 2009 and seven contested in 1998. Total 23 women MPs have represented Gujarat in Lok Sabha so far since the formation of the state. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."
Voting for the seventh and final phase was held yesterday. Around 65 per cent electorate cast their votes in 59 constituencies that went to polls in this phase in seven states and one union territory. According to the Election Commission, the highest 76 per cent polling was recorded in West Bengal, followed by 75 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, 72 in Himachal Pradesh and 71 in Jharkhand. While Punjab recorded a poll percentage of 66, it was 63 in Chandigarh, 58 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and the lowest 53 per cent in Bihar.
Re-polling at a booth in the Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency of Delhi was also held yesterday.
By-polls to four Assembly seats each in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal; two Assembly segments in Karnataka; and one Assembly constituency in Goa were also held.
Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha and four state Assemblies of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be taken up on Thursday.
The Meghalaya State Election Commission is fully geared up to ensure that the counting is carried on smoothly. Our correspondent has filed this report:
"For the first time in Meghalaya, a model counting hall has been set up at the North Eastern Hill University to provide hands-on training to all Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers and other counting officials. Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said, the Election Commission has instructed that the State Election Commission will have to match EVM results with VVPATs of five polling stations per assembly constituency. Accordingly, the exercise has to be conducted in 300 polling stations across the state. There are 13 counting centres across the state and 60 counting halls plus one hall for Selsella Bye-Poll. With Samir Verma, this is Rustum for AIR News Shillong."
The News Services Division of All India Radio has made elaborate arrangements for providing authentic and latest results. For the first time, AIR, the biggest radio network of the country, will continuously broadcast special programmes on election results for 40 hours.

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Most exit polls have predicted the return of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. Majority of the news channels have predicted between 276 to 336 seats for NDA, 82 to 164 for Congress-led UPA and 104 to 138 for others.
However, some channels predicted that the NDA could fall short of majority. Two channels have predicted 242 to 267 seats to NDA, 127 to 164 for UPA and 135 to 148 for other parties.

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The Election Commission has seized unaccounted cash, illicit liquor, drugs, gold and freebies worth around 3,450 crore rupees since the model code of conduct came into effect on 10th March. The seizure is nearly three times the figures of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which was around 1,200 crores. Briefing media in New Delhi, Director General in the Commission, Dilip Sharma said, of the total seizure, cash worth over 800 crore rupees and drugs worth 1,270 crores were confiscated.

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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has expressed anguish over the low quality of political debates during the just-concluded election campaign. Speaking at a function at Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Naidu said, politicians resorted to personalized attacks instead of focusing on larger issues of public concern. He said, politicians should remember that they are only rivals and not enemies and said that the language should not be abusive. The Vice President underlined the importance of respecting the institutions of the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and other public representatives.

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The four-day Naval drill between India and Singapore, SIMBEX, began in the South China Sea yesterday. In a statement, the Indian Navy said, various maritime combat exercises are being conducted during the annual maritime bilateral drill. The exercises include firing on aerial or surface targets, advanced aerial tracking, coordinated targeting exercises and tactical exercises on surface or air scenarios. More from our correspondent:
"Naval ships INS Kolkata and INS Shakti are taking part in the bilateral naval exercise, along with long range maritime patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I. The Singapore side is being represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 and F-16 fighter aircraft. The South China Sea waters, which are claimed by many littoral states, have been witnessing muscling in of the Chinese navy. Over the years, SIMBEX has stood the test of time in demonstrating the nation's commitment to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies and bolster bonds of friendship between India and Singapore. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."

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US President Donald Trump has said, it will be the official end of Iran, if Iran wants to fight. Mr Trump said this in a tweet. There have been tensions between Washington and Tehran as the US deployed a carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over what it termed Iranian threats.
The frictions came after Iran suspended its commitments under the 2015 international nuclear deal, and said it will resume production of enriched uranium used to make nuclear weapons.

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In Brazil, gunmen killed at least 11 people at a bar in the city of Belem yesterday. There was no immediate word on the motive of the shooting. Police said, at least seven masked gunmen fired into the bar. Some people were also injured in the attack. The police said, the bar is a well-known drug-dealing hangout.

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In Arunachal Pradesh, three northeast insurgents have been nabbed by the Assam Rifles from Old Changlang area of Changlang district. Arms and ammunition have also been recovered from the insurgents who are members of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang). Some mobile phones and objectionable documents have also been recovered.

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The government plans to introduce artificial intelligence system in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, MCA 21 portal as it seeks to make compliance process easier and to ensure that routine enforcement activities are done round-the-clock on an autopilot basis. MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors.
In the Ministry's monthly newsletter, Secretary Injeti Srinivas said, the Ministry would like to introduce Artificial Intelligence in MCA 21 when version 3 of the portal is rolled out in about a year's time.

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In Himachal Pradesh, Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti valley, has been re-opened. The Border Roads Organisation said, despite all odds like heavy snowfall, landslides and rough weather, it has been able to connect the Lahaul valley with Manali through the Rohtang Pass.
The district administration has restricted the movement of tourist vehicles towards the Pass for safety reasons.

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In Tennis, world number two Rafael Nadal has lifted the Italian Open trophy for the 9th time. In the Men's Singles Final at Rome last night, the Spaniard beat top seeded Serb Novak Djokovic, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to bag his first title of the year and 81st of his career. It was also Nadal's record 34th ATP Masters 1000 crown.

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The Second India Open International Boxing Tournament begins in Guwahati, Assam today. 200 boxers from 16 countries will vie for a podium finish in the five-day tournament. India has fielded a strong contingent of 38 Men and 37 Women pugilists, including MC Mary Kom and Shiva Thapa.
The preliminary round bouts will be held today and tomorrow, and they will be followed by the knock-outs.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:

  • The predictions of Exit Polls dominate newspaper headlines this morning.
  • "All exit polls point to return of NDA" headlines The Indian Express. "Exit polls Predict Modi 2.0: Holds on in UP, Rises in Bengal" reports The Economic Times. The Mail Today calls the predictions "TsuNamo?".
  • The Hindustan Times reports "Violence in West Bengal, Punjab as voting ends". The Times of India writes "Overall voter turnout 2 per cent lower than in 2014".
  • "Opposition plans coalition list to stake claim in event of hung verdict" reports the Hindustan Times. "Naidu knits anti-BJP front" writes the Tribune.
  • Calling BJP's Pragya Thakur's remark on Godse condemnable, The Hindu quotes Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar "BJP should consider expelling Pragya".
  • The Pioneer reports "Opposition cries foul over telecast of Modi's visit to Kedarnath". The Hindustan Times writes "TMC complains to EC on Modi's Kedarnath Trip."
  • And finally, the Tribune says - the world's highest polling station at 15,256 feet in Tashigang village of Himachal Pradesh recorded an unbelievable 143% per cent voter turnout yesterday. And all votes were declared valid, thanks to voting by the polling staff deployed in the region.

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