Election watch: PM Modi dares Congress to contest polls in ‘Bofors-accused’ Rajiv Gandhi’s name
All of today’s Lok Sabha poll updates, as they happened.
India’s General Elections will take place in three more phases until May 19, and the results will be declared on May 23. For the full schedule click here, and to subscribe to our newsletter about the elections, click here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi challenged the Gandhi family to fight the remainder of the Lok Sabha elections in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s name. The prime minister had said on Saturday that Rajiv Gandhi, who was considered a clean politician, had ended his life as “corrupt No 1”.
Polling is currently underway in 51 Lok Sabha seats across seven states. EVM malfunctions and some violence has been reported from parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir. Union minister and BJP candidate Smriti Irani alleged Congress workers were capturing booths in Amethi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, but the Congress dismissed it as an excuse.
Here’s what you need to know about the fifth phase of voting.
10.45 pm: Here are the top stories of the day:
- The fifth phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections were held on Monday in which voters across seven states in 51 constituencies cast their ballot. The Election Commission said that the total turnout in the fifth phase was 62.56%.
- Modi challenged the Congress to fight the Lok Sabha elections in the name of “Bofors accused” former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. “I will wait and see if the Congress and other Opposition parties will accept this challenge or not.”
- AAP legislator Devinder Singh Sehrawat joined the BJP. Sehrawat is the second AAP MLA to join the BJP after Gandhi Nagar legislator Anil Bajpai switched camps on Friday.
- Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee traded bards over Cyclone Fani. Speaking at an election rally in Tamluk in East Medinipur district, Modi claimed Banerjee did not take his call when he tried to talk to her about the storm. Banerjee said she could not take Modi’s call as she was in Kharagpur monitoring the situation.
- The BJP candidate in West Bengal’s Barrackpore constituency, Arjun Singh, accused Trinamool Congress workers of assaulting him. Singh, who was earlier in the ruling party, is contesting the elections against former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
- Suspected militants threw a grenade towards a polling station in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, where polling is underway for the Anantnag constituency in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections.
10.30 pm: BJP chief Amit Shah says people should vote for Narendra Modi as “he has made the country secure”. “When 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Pulwama, Pakistan massed its troops along the borders fearing yet another surgical strike,” PTI quotes Amit Shah as saying. “But our Narendra Modi is the man with a 56-inch-chest. He commissioned the Air Force to do the needful and the terror hideout in Balakot was bombed and the militants were blown to smithereens.”
10.10 pm: Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar says less than three percent people voted in Shopian and Pulwama districts of Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, PTI reports. Ladakh recorded nearly 64% turnout, he says. “Shopian district recorded a turnout of 2.88%, while Pulwama registered a turnout of 2.14%. The average for the two districts was 2.81%,” Kumar said.
10.05 pm: The Congress approaches the Election Commission seeking action against PM Modi for his remark about former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, PTI reports. The party had on Sunday written to the poll panel allegining Modi had violated the Model Code of Conduct with his comments. Modi had said Gandhi had died a corrupt person.
“We have sought an immediate ban on the prime minister’s campaign,” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi tells reporters. “We have emphasised to the Election Commission that it is very important for its own credibility, as the EC had kept complaints pending for over 30 days in the past.”
There should be an immediate ban on the prime minister’s campaigning and a notice of 24 hours should be given at the most and action should come within 48 hours, Singhvi says.
10 pm: Shiv Sena Monday condemns the recent attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and says there should not be any lapse in his security, PTI reports. The party also praises the Kejriwal-led AAP government in the national Capital for its work in the fields of education and health.
9.28 pm: Delhi Chief Electoral Officer says his office has received responses from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on showcause notices issued to him in connection with complaints filed by BJP leader Vijender Gupta and party’s northwest Delhi candidate Hans Raj Hans, PTI reports.
Kejriwal and others faced a complaint for accusing Hans of converting to Islam in 2014 and claiming he cannot contest the election as the seat is reserved for Scheduled Caste category, PTI reports.
Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh says the reply has been forwarded to the Election Commission of India. Singh says Kejriwal has also responded to the showcause notice sent to him in connection with another complaint filed by Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta.
Gupta had alleged that pamphlets were being distributed by AAP asking voters to “take bribe” from the Congress and the BJP but vote for AAP in the elections in the national Capital on May 12.
9.15 pm: Senior Congress leader and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda claims that the election result in Sonipat Lok Sabha seat would determine the outcome of the Assembly elections in the state due later this year, PTI reports. Hooda is contesting the parliamentary polls from Sonipat and is pitted against BJP’s sitting MP Ramesh Chander Kaushik and Digvijay Singh Chautala of the Jannayak Janata Party.
“The entire country is looking at the Sonipat Lok Sabha seat as a barometer of political opinion in the state as the party that wins the seat would form the next government in Haryana,” he says in Safidon Assembly segment.
9.10 pm: A team of the Election Commission and local police stops the screening of a short film featuring Bhopal BJP Lok Sabha candidate and Malegoan blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur, PTI reports. The film titled Bhagwa Aatankwad Bhramjaal focuses on the Samjhauta Express, Malegaon, Ajmer Dargah and Mecca Masjid blasts and was being shown to journalists in Bhopal.
The screening was held by an organisation called Bharat Vichar Manch.
“They are free to show the short film after May 12 when elections for Bhopal Lok Sabha seat gets over,” Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta says, according to PTI. “We lodged a model code of conduct violation with the EC and it promptly took action. The EC has put off the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the same yardstick should apply to Pragya Thakur as well.”
9.02 pm: The Delhi unit of Congress says it will present a “report card” of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to highlight the failures of his government across all departments. The party says it would release the “report card” on Tuesday.
“The failure of AAP government to keep the fuel prices under control has forced Delhiites to pay more, making it costlier to live in Delhi,” says Subhash Chopra, chairman of the Delhi Pradesh Congress’ Campaign Committee. “In 2014, under the Congress government in Delhi, value added tax rates on petrol and diesel were 20 and 12.5%, while under the AAP government, the VAT rose to 25% on petrol and 16.6% on diesel in 2015.”
8.55 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati indicates that if she gets a chance to become the prime minister, she will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Ambedkar Nagar, reports IANS. “If all goes well, I may have to seek election from here because the road to national politics passes through Ambedkar Nagar.”
Mayawati has been elected to the Lok Sabha Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh in 1989, 1998, 1999 and 2004.
8.51 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says that despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi insulting his father Rajiv Gandhi, he only has love for Modi, reports PTI. Gandhi was addressing a public meeting at Delhi’s Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency.
“Narendra Modi insulted a martyr (Rajiv Gandhi), no matter how much hatred he has for my family, I only have love for him,” Gandhi says.
8.14 pm: The Election Commission postpones the polling in Patkura Assembly constituency in coastal Kendrapara district because of the devastation caused Cyclone Fani in Odisha, PTI reports. “In view of the serious devastation caused by cyclone Fani, ECI has decided to extend the completion of the elections from Patkura Assembly constituency for 60 days,” PTI quotes Odisha’s Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar as saying.
Kumar adds that the date of the poll will be be suitably decided after assessing local situation.
8.10 pm: The Election Commission of India says 62.56% turnout in the fifth phase polling for the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reports.
Read more here: Fifth phase of polling ends; EVM glitches reported from parts of the country
8.05 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh slams Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, accusing her of “doing nothing” for the state despite being a part of the central government, PTI reports. Responding to Singh, Badal asks why welfare schemes initiated by the previous Shiromani Akali Dal government in the state had allegedly been stopped by the current Congress regime.
7.50 pm: Chief Electoral Officer of Himachal Pradesh directs district election officer of Kangra to take action under section 127A of Representation of People Act, 1950, regarding violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Congress candidate Pawan Kajal, ANI reports.
7.45 pm: Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh says he sought a detailed investigation from Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik into the recent attack on Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a roadshow in the New Delhi constituency, PTI reports. Kejriwal has been attacked nine times and it indicates that a bigger attack on him is impending, says Singh.
During the roadshow on Saturday, Kejriwal was slapped by a man. The AAP has blamed BJP for the “cowardly attack”.
7.30 pm: The Congress in Telangana seeks information on polling details from the Election Commission claiming unusual increase in percentage of votes given on polling day and the final figures in the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reports. “The ‘spike’ in polling percentages after 5 pm in the state Assembly elections in December 2018 and in the parliament elections in April 2019 in Telangana is totally unprecedented,” Congress leader Marris Shashidhar Reddy says, according to PTI.
7.17 pm: The Election Commission says that the overall polling percentage in Anantnag Lok Sabha elections, held in three phases, was 8.76%.
7.13 pm: The BJP has filed a complaint with the Election Commission alleging that Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav used two minor boys for campaigning in Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reports.
“Under the scorching sun, where adults find it difficult to stand, two innocent boys were forced to stand for a few bucks,” state BJP Vice President JPS Rathore says. “This is the disgusting face of the SP and the BSP.”
7.07 pm: Mamata Banerjee says at a rally in Kotulpur town in West Bengal that she wishes Narendra Modi’s 56-inch chest grows to 112 inches, PTI reports. “He has a good figure, I want it to get better; I will be happy if 56-inch becomes 112-inch,” she says. “I want everybody to be in good health.”
7.03 pm: According to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout app, the overall polling percentage at 7.03 pm stands at 61.62%.
- Bihar (5 seats): 57.76%
- Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 17.07%
- Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 63.51%
- Rajasthan (12 seats): 63.36%
- Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 55.17%
- West Bengal (7 seats): 74.15%
- Jharkhand (4 seats): 64.23%
6.54 pm: The poll panel has asked Delhi government departments to send proposals seeking exemptions under the Model Code of Conduct online, PTI reports. The chief electoral office said that it will not process offline proposals any more. Voting will be held in Delhi for all seven Lok Sabha seats on May 12.
6.41 pm: BJP complains to Rajasthan Chief Electoral Officer Anand Kumar, alleging that Congress nominee from Sikar Lok Sabha seat Subhash Meharia tried to abduct and attack its party worker Sudhir Garg, PTI reports.
6.36 pm: The BJP has written to the West Bengal chief electoral officer claiming that violence took place on all seven Lok Sabha seats in which polling took place on Monday, ANI reports. The saffron party says there was “rigging of booths, destruction of EVMs and brutal attacks on BJP candidates”. It demands a re-poll in all constituencies.
6.33 pm: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has expelled leaders MC Murugasan and M Savithiri from the party for supporting the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate for the Ottapidarum Assembly bye-election, ANI reports.
6.25 pm: The Nationalist Congress Party says former Maharashtra Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal will campaign for Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, PTI reports. Bhujbal will be in Bhopal on Tuesday to address two rallies. Singh is contesting against the BJP’s Pragya Singh Thakur, who is an accused in the Malegaon blasts case.
6.11 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleges that the BJP is forcing people to chant “Jai Shree Ram”, PTI reports. “Why should I give your slogan?” Banerjee asks at a rally in Bishnupur town in the state. “I will not chant the name of rotten Modi or rotten BJP. They are trying to erase the culture of Bengal.”
6 pm: At 6 pm, the overall voter turnout, according to the Election Commission, stands at 59.38%.
- Bihar (5 seats): 52.86%
- Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 17.07%
- Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 62.96%
- Rajasthan (12 seats): 59.30%
- Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 53.20%
- West Bengal (7 seats): 74.06%
- Jharkhand (4 seats): 63.72%
5.50 pm: At a rally in Jharkhand, Modi dares the Gandhi family to contest the remaining two phases of the elections in the name of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was an accused in the Bofors scandal, BJP tweets. On Saturday, Modi had courted controversy by claiming that while Rajiv Gandhi had a clean image, he died as a corrupt leader.
5.45 pm: BJP candidate from Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency stages a sit-in protest at District Magistrate Jagdish Prasad Meena’s office after her car was allegedly vandalised, ANI reports. Chatterjee had earlier alleged fake voting in her constituency.
5.38 pm: Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa claims that there will be “political ups and downs” after the election results are declared on May 23, PTI reports. He asserts that over 20 Congress MLAs feel disgruntled.
However, Yeddyurappa rules out an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular). “I want to say one thing clearly: Kumaraswamy had betrayed me after deciding to share power 20 months each [in 2006],” he says. “There is no question of coming to an understanding with JD(S). There is no question of coalition government.”
5.36 pm: The Congress alleges that one of the Narendra Modi-led government’s flagship schemes has met its target, PTI reports. Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu says in New Delhi that the prime minister “will sink in his own wave of lies”.
5.31 pm: A scuffle breaks out between Trinamool Congress MP from Howrah, Prasun Banerjee, and security forces at a polling booth in the town, ANI reports.
5.22 pm: The Congress has sought re-polling in several booths in Shopian and Pulwama districts in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, alleging that the Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference indulged in bogus voting in many areas, PTI reports. Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee Ghulam Ahmad Mir says there was bogus voting in some booths under Pampore and Rajpora Assembly segments. He adds that a complaint has been submitted to the returning officer.
5.10 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati says that she “may have to contest” the Lok Sabha elections from Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh “if all goes well”, NDTV reports.
“If all goes well, I may have to seek election from here because the road to national politics passes through Ambedkar Nagar,” she says at a rally in Lucknow. “The era of ‘Namo Namo’ is over and the time has come for those who chant ‘Jai Bhim’,” she adds, referring to a slogan used by followers of Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
4.58 pm: The overall voter turnout at this time is 50.75%, according to the Election Commission.
- Bihar (5 seats): 44.08%
- Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 15.51%
- Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 54.04%
- Rajasthan (12 seats): 50.44%
- Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 44.89%
- West Bengal (7 seats): 63.57%
- Jharkhand (4 seats): 58.07%
4.50 pm: Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar has resigned from the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, News18 reports. He tells ANI that he had resigned from the ministry on April 13 but his resignation was not accepted. Rajbhar says he has filed a complaint with the poll panel.
Rajbhar says the BJP wanted him to contest the Lok Sabha elections on their symbol, but he told them he would contest on his party’s symbol. However, this was unacceptable to the BJP, Rajbhar alleges.
4.43 pm: The Samajwadi Party says it will support two Aam Aadmi Party candidates and five Bahujan Samaj Party candidates in the Delhi Lok Sabha elections. Samajwadi Party General Secretary RS Yadav says the party will back Bahujan Samaj Party candidates in East, North East, West, South and Chandni Chowk seats. In New Delhi and North West seats, the party will back AAP nominees.
4.31 pm: BJP’s Amethi Lok Sabha candidate Smriti Irani criticises her opponent, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, for not visiting the constituency on Monday while polling is underway. “I never expected that Rahul Gandhi will be so conceited that he will not visit his constituency on the day of polling,” Irani tells ANI. “Why did he lie to the people of Amethi? He is running away from here.”
4.19 pm: A Delhi court reserves its order in a case filed by Aam Aadmi Party’s East Delhi candidate Atishi against BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir. Atishi Marlena alleged in a criminal complaint that Gambhir possesses two voter identity cards. Gambhir has denied it.
The court will rule on May 13 whether to summon records and documents from the state election commission, ANI reports.
4 pm: “I cannot believe that a man from Mahatma Gandhi’s soil Gujarat would go to that level and make a comment on someone who died with great honour,” says Congress leader Sam Pitroda, PTI reports.
Pitroda was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at a rally on Saturday. At a rally in Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Modi had called Rajiv Gandhi “Bhrashtachari No. 1”.
3.41 pm: The overall voter turnout as of 3 pm is 50.70%, according to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout application. Here are the state-wise figures:
- Bihar (5 seats): 44.08%
- Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 15.34%
- Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 54.17%
- Rajasthan (12 seats): 50.39%
- Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 44.89%
- West Bengal (7 seats): 62.84%
- Jharkhand (4 seats): 58.63%
3.35 pm: The Election Commission relaxes Model Code of Conduct in Maharashtra to allow the state government to do drought relief work, ANI reports. Polling in all 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state got over on April 29.
3.03 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleges Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury insulted the Ramayana and Mahabharata, ANI reports. He was speaking in Jhargham in West Bengal.
Yechury was booked on Sunday for allegedly hurting religious sentiments after he said: “Hindus can be violent, which is evident by Hindu mythologies Ramayana and Mahabharata.”
2.56 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate in West Bengal’s Barrackpore constituency, Arjun Singh, on Monday accused Trinamool Congress workers of assaulting him. Singh, who was earlier in the ruling party, is contesting the elections against former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
Read more here:
West Bengal: BJP candidate Arjun Singh alleges Trinamool Congress workers assaulted him
2.53 pm: “I don’t want to share dais with expiry PM as elections are on,” says Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, PTI reports.
She was responding to the prime minister’s allegations that Banerjee tried to play politics even when Cyclone Fani was approaching. “I tried to get in touch with Mamata didi but her arrogance is such that she refused to talk to me, I tried again but she did not get in touch,” he said.
2.47 pm: Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal alleges that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalism is fake, PTI reports. “Modi’s nationalism is fake. Modiji’s nationalism is cheating. Modiji has created a fake ‘mayajaal’ [illusion] of nationalism...Go beyond this ‘mayajaal’, you’ll see the truth,” he says at a press conference in New Delhi.
He also asks which “nationalist prime minister” gets the chief minister of the national Capital “attacked”. He was referring to an attack on him on Saturday.
2.34 pm: Cricketer MS Dhoni casts his vote at a polling station in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
2.32 pm: Suspected militants hurl a grenade at a polling station in Chatpora locality of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, Rising Kashmir reports. Polling is currently under way in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency. A petrol bomb was also reportedly hurled at a polling station in Bhatnoor village of Tral.
Earlier in the day, militants hurled a grenade towards a polling station in Rohmoo in Pulwama district.
Read more here:
Lok Sabha elections: Suspected militants throw grenade at a polling station in Pulwama
2.24 pm: “In the last general election, people placed a 56-inched boxer in the ring against the might of unemployment and corruption, thinking ‘boxer’ Modi will fight them,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi says at a rally in Bhiwani in Haryana, according to News18. “But this boxer started hitting the people instead with policies like demonetisation and GST. Then he punched the farmers. As if this was not enough, Narendra Modi the boxer insulted his guru, LK Advani and punched him out as well.”
2.15 pm: Aam Aadmi Party leader Devinder Sehrawat joins BJP. He is the second MLA from the party to join BJP in less than a week.
2.11 pm: The overall voter turnout as of 2 pm is 40.75%, according to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout application. Here are the state-wise figures:
- Bihar (5 seats): 32.27%
- Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 11.35%
- Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 43.85%
- Rajasthan (12 seats): 42.77%
- Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 35.15%
- West Bengal (7 seats): 50.78%
- Jharkhand (4 seats): 45.98%
1.42 pm: A Trinamool Congress leader allegedly beat up a BJP worker outside a booth in Shibpur in West Bengal’s Howrah district, reports ABP Ananda.
1.18 pm: Narendra Modi alleges that people in West Bengal are being put behind bars for saying “Jai Shree Ram” in public.
1.13 pm: Narendra Modi alleges that Mamata Banerjee did not comment on India’s diplomatic victory in the United Nations that saw Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar getting designated a global terrorist.
“It is a huge victory of India against the terrorist,” Modi says in Tamluk. “It is a matter of pride for the country. However, Didi failed to comment on this topic. This can be attributed to her vote bank politics. She is bound to lose in these elections.”
1.08 pm: The prime minister alleges that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tried to play politics even when Cyclone Fani was approaching. “I tried to get in touch with Mamata didi but her arrogance is such that she refused to talk to me, I tried again but she did not get in touch,” ANI quotes him as saying.
1.05 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing an election rally in Tamluk in West Bengal’s East Medinipur district. “We stand with people in these tough times and my thoughts are with the people who lost their near and dear due to cyclone,” he says.
12.50 pm: Locket Chatterjee, the BJP candidate in West Bengal’s Hooghly constituency, has accused the Trinamool Congress of rigging polls at a few booths, reports Hindustan Times. Central forces have not been deployed at such booths, she alleges.
12.31 pm: The BJP says it will move the Election Commission, demanding re-polling in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency because of alleged rigging by the Trinamool Congress. “Democracy does not exist in West Bengal,” ABP Ananda quotes Union minister Prakash Javadekar as saying.
12.22 pm: The Supreme Court has asked Congress MP Sushmita Dev to place on record the Election Commission’s orders exonerating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah in cases of alleged Model Code of Conduct violations, reports PTI. The matter will be heard again on Wedensday.
12.11 pm: Sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Election Commission’s decision to cancel his candidature from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, reports PTI. In its notice to Yadav last week, the poll panel had said that government employees dismissed for “corruption or disloyalty to the state” are disqualified from campaigning for five years.
Read more here:
Sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s nomination rejected, he may now approach SC
11.53 am: Trinamool leader Maharaja Nag allegedly accompanies a voter up to the EVM and presses the button inside a polling booth in Arambagh Lok Sabha constituency. The EC removes the presiding officer of booth No. 110 of Nashkarpur village in Tarakeshwar after the alleged incident, reports India Today.
11.47 am: Rahul Gandhi arriving in Amethi, reports India Today.
11.33 am: The Congress dismisses Smriti Irani’s allegations of booth capturing in Amethi. The Congress says the BJP candidate is “looking for excuses” to justify her defeat. “It now is more than clear that she has lost,” Congress spokesperson Zeeshan Haider tells Hindustan Times. “Now, she is looking for excuses. If Rahul Gandhi ji is capturing booths, and capturing votes, then what is the election commission doing that has been working in a biased manner in favour of Modi and Amit Shah?”
Read more here:
Smriti Irani alleges booth capturing in Amethi, Congress dismisses it as ‘excuse’
11.28 am: Re-polling under way at five booths in three districts of Andhra Pradesh, reports Hindustan Times. There were some technical glitches in electronic voting machines in these booths.
11.21 am: At 11 am, the overall voter turnout is 25%, says the Election Commission. Here’s state-wise figure
Bihar (5 seats): 20.74%
Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 6.08%
Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 20.55%
Rajasthan (12 seats): 27.32%
Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 22.22%
West Bengal (7 seats): 32.69%
Jharkhand (4 seats): 29.49%
11.19 am: Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot casts his vote.
11.17 am: Locket Chatterjee gets into in an argument with alleged TMC supporters in Dhonekhali area of Hooghly constituency.
11.13 am: BJP’s Hooghly candidate Locket Chatterjee alleges false voting in her constituency, reports ABP Ananda.
11.06 am: Supreme Court says it will hear Congress’ petition challenging Election Commission’s decision of giving clean chit to Modi and Amit Shah in poll code violation complaints on May 8, reports Bar and Bench.
10.48 am: Narendra Modi conducts aerial survey of areas affected by Cyclone Fani in Odisha.
10.24 am: The Bihar Police arrest one Ranjit Paswan on charges of vandalising an EVM at a polling booth in Chhapra, reports ANI.
10.22 am: At 10 am, the overall voter turnout is 12.65%. Here’s state-wise figure
Bihar (5 seats): 11.51%
Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 1.36%
Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 13.08%
Rajasthan (12 seats): 14.00%
Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 9.86%
West Bengal (7 seats): 16.56%
Jharkhand (4 seats): 13.46%
10.20 am: Smriti Irani alleges booth capturing in Amethi. She tells ANI that she has tweeted an alert to the administration and the Election Commission, “Hope they take action,” she adds. “People of the country have to decide whether this kind of politics of Rahul Gandhi should be punished or not.”
9.54 am: The Congress writes to the Election Commission, complaining against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct with his comments on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, reports NDTV. At a rally in Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Modi had called Rajiv Gandhi “Bhrashtachari No. 1”.
Read more here:
Congress seeks poll panel action against Narendra Modi for calling Rajiv Gandhi ‘corrupt no 1’
9.48 am: At 9 am, the overall voter turnout is 12.10%, says the Election Commission. Here’s state-wise figure
Bihar (5 seats): 11.51%
Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 0.80%
Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 12.16%
Rajasthan (12 seats): 13.35%
Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 9.82%
West Bengal (7 seats): 15.14%
Jharkhand (4 seats): 13.46%
9.40 am: BJP’s Hazaribagh candidate Jayant Sinha says the party is optimistic about the voter turnout, reports News18. “We are sure that PM Modi will be back in power and we will cross the 400 mark,” he adds.
9.37 am: BJP’s Bongaon candidate Shantanu Thakur alleges that the TMC conspired to kill him in a road accident, reports ABP Ananda.
9.36 am: A homeguard dies of cardiac arrest in Betul constituency of Madhya Pradesh, reports Hindustan Times.
9.35 am: Irani alleges that a person died because he was denied treatment at hospital in Amethi, reports ANI. Rahul Gandhi is reportedly a trustee of that hospital.
Read more here:
Hospital denies PM’s claim that it turned away patient with Ayushman card
9.34 am: BJP’s Smriti Irani hits out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi, says the elections are a “do-or-die” battle for him, reports News18. “The MP of Amethi is constantly absent,” alleges Irani. “The Congress can only bring development for Robert Vadra.”
9.28 am: Militants hurl a grenade towards Rohmoo polling station in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, police tell PTI. No casualties have been reported. Security forces cordon off the area. Polling is under way for the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.
Read more here:
Lok Sabha elections: Suspected militants throw grenade at a polling station in Pulwama
9.08 am: At 8 am, the overall voter turnout is 1.83%, says the Election Commission. Here’s state-wise figure
Bihar (5 seats): 2.40%
Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats): 0.00%
Madhya Pradesh (7 seats): 0.31%
Rajasthan (12 seats): 0.32%
Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): 4.23%
West Bengal (7 seats): 1.67%
Jharkhand (4 seats): 0.64%
9.02 am: Polling going on in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
8.54 am: TMC supporters agitate against Arjun Singh alleging that he misbehaved with women outside a polling booth, reports News18.
8.45 am: Arjun Singh accuses TMC-backed goons of kidnapping the son of a woman voter in his constituency, reports Hindustan Times.
8.42 am: Arjun Singh, the BJP candidate from Barrackpore, gets into a scuffle with West Bengal Police personnel, reports ABP Ananda. He alleges that Trinamool supporters attacked him. “I was attacked by Trinamool workers in the presence of the inspector-in-charge, Barrackpore,” Singh tells The Hindu.
8.37 am: Voting starts 50 mins late at booth number 256 in Tarakeswar under Arambag constituency in West Bengal because of alleged EVM and VVPAT glitch, reports Hindustan Times.
8.36 am: EVM and VVPAT machine malfunction in four polling booths in Amethi, reports India Today.
8.32 am: Polling under way in Pulwama under Anantnag constituency.
8.27 am: BJP’s Barrackpore candidate Arjun Singh alleges that polling agents are not being allowed to sit inside the polling booth at Noapara, reports ABP Ananda.
8.25 am: Mayawati urges people to vote in large numbers, reports News18. “Right to vote should be used for your own good,” she says. “I appeal all to come out of homes and vote.”
8.20 am: BSP chief Mayawati casts her vote in Lucknow.
8.17 am: Voting is yet to begin in booth numbers 289/ 291/292 in Howrah, West Bengal, reportedly after glitches in EVMs and VVPATs, reports ANI.
Polling starts late in Shyampur under Uluberia constituency of West Bengal due to EVM glitch. “I am getting complaints of EVM glitches in different areas such as Chanditala, Sreerampore, Jangipara,” alleges TMC’s Serampore candidate Kalyan Bandyopadhyay, reports Hindustan Times.
8.11 am: Polling under way in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.
8.10 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks people to come out in large numbers to vote.
8.08 am: After casting his vote, Rajnath Singh says he cannot predict anything, reports NDTV. “I leave the decision to the voters in Lucknow. The people have the full right to choose who they want... In any case, Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi will become PM again.”
7.57 am: Union minister Rajnath Singh has cast his vote in Lucknow.
7.20 am: Nearly 8.75 crore voters are eligible to vote in the fifth phase. In 2014, the BJP had won 40 of the 51 seats going to polls in this phase. Congress has won just two.
Fourteen constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Rajasthan, seven each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar and four seats in Jharkhand are going to polls. Ladakh constituency and the Pulwama and Shopian districts of Anantnag seat in Jammu and Kashmir are also voting.
7.10 am: Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and his wife Nilima Sinha arrive at a polling booth to cast their vote in Hazaribagh, ANI reports. Their son, BJP leader Jayant Sinha, is a candidate.
7.05 am: Voting begins in 51 constituencies across seven states. There are 674 contenders in the fray this time.
7 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:
- Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi criticised Narendra Modi for alleging that their father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was corrupt. “Your father was termed ‘Mr Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrashtachari No. 1’ [corrupt no. 1],” Modi had said.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s scams were “being unearthed from land, air and water”. Speaking at a rally in Sagar city in Madhya Pradesh, Modi targeted Gandhi for his alleged association with UK firm Backops.
- The Reliance Group said it got contracts over Rs 1 lakh crore during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime from 2004 to 2014. The group accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi of engaging in a “calumny, disinformation, distortion and malicious lies,” by claiming that Anil Ambani is a crony capitalist.
- Arvind Kejriwal accused the BJP of plotting an attack on him the previous day and claimed that the people of Delhi will vote against them. A man slapped Kejriwal during a roadshow in the Moti Nagar area in New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency on Saturday, prompting the AAP to accuse the BJP of orchestrating the “cowardly act”.
- BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate in Ghatal, West Bengal, and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh warned Trinamool Congress workers that if they intimidate voters, she will bring men from Uttar Pradesh to pull the TMC men out of their homes and beat them up like dogs. A video showing Ghosh threatening two alleged TMC workers has gone viral.
- Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed that corruption rose to “unimaginable proportions” during the tenure of the Narendra Modi-led government. In an interview with PTI, Singh claimed that there was no “Modi wave” in the country during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
- Bhopal district returning officer issued a notice to BJP candidate and terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur on allegations that she campaigned even as the Election Commission’s ban was in force.
- The Samajwadi Party and its alliance Bahujan Samaj Party criticised Narendra Modi for his remark that the Samajwadi Party has a tacit understanding with the Congress and was leaving Mayawati in the dark.