11.07 pm: Here are the day’s top updates:
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday. The meeting came a day after exit polls predicted a comfortable victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance. Naidu and other Opposition leaders will meet the Election Commission on Tuesday to discuss VVPATs.
- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath agreed to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s demand for a floor test in the Assembly after the saffron party claimed that the Congress government was now in minority.
- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami dismissed exit poll predictions that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam would not do well in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He said there were similar predictions of him losing in the state Assembly elections of 2016, but he proved them wrong.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley criticised the Opposition for questioning the accuracy of exit polls. Jaitley said voters do not trust “Coalition of Rivals”, do not elect a hung Parliament, nor do they believe in fake issues.
- Bharatiya Janata Party leader and terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur claimed that she was observing silence for three days as a mark of penance for her comments during campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. She contested the Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal constituency in Madhya Pradesh.
- The Shiv Sena mocked the Opposition for trying to form a grand alliance to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power at the Centre following the Lok Sabha election results. The Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana that the country cannot afford a government that “crawls on many crutches”.
10.49 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and not his personal security officer, wants to get him killed. He was responding to BJP leader Vijay Goel, who told him to choose his own security officer if he doubted the current officer.
10.43 pm: The Rajasthan election commission has announced the schedule for bye-elections in 17 local body seats in 11 districts of the state, reports PTI.
10.41 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and 21 other Opposition leaders will meet Election Commission at 3 pm on Tuesday, reports ANI. They are likely to the discuss the matter of tallying voting machine figures with VVPAT slips.
10.39 pm: The Rashtriya Janata Dal claims that its workers along with Congressmen have detained a truck full of electronic voting machines that was roaming near the strong room for voting machines used in the Saran and Maharajganj Lok Sabha seats. A block development officer was accompanying the truck and he reportedly did not have any answers to the party workers’ questions,.
8.55 pm: West Bengal special police observer, Vivek Dubey, says 200 Central force companies will be retained to counter violence in the state, ANI reports. “This force will be deployed all over state,” Dubey adds. “Remaining 510 Companies will move out of the state.”
8.53 pm: Former President Pranab Mukherjee praises Election Commission of India, ANI reports. “If we want to strengthen institutions, we have to keep in mind institutions are serving well in this country and if democracy has succeeded, it is largely due to the perfect conduct of elections by Election Commissioner starting from Sukumar Sen to present Election Commissioners.
8.46 pm: Chandrababu Naidu says he had a good discussion with Mamata Banerjee. “Called on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjeeji in Kolkata today,” he tweets. “Had a good discussion prior to the announcement of Lok Sabha election results.The opposition stands united.”
8.14 pm: Election Commission says Section 144, prohibiting the assembly of four or more people in an area, has been imposed in Bhatpara in West Bengal, ANI reports. The poll panel says the restriction has been imposed indefinitely to counter violence in the area.
8.13 pm: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says Congress workers had threatened deceased BJP worker Nemichand Tanwar, when he talked about voting for the saffron party. “The Congress has been working with political vendetta since the time it came to power in the state,” Chouhan tweets. “False cases are being lodged against the BJP government.”
8.06 pm: BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condemns killing of 60-year-old man who was killed allegedly because he voted for the BJP. “We will not let goons take over Madhya Pradesh and allow it to become West Bengal,” Chouhan says. “People are being threatened, the BJP will not tolerate this at any cost.”
8.01 pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah weighs in on discussion about exit polls. “Every single exit poll can’t be wrong!” Abdullah tweets. “Time to switch off the TV, log out of social media and wait to see if the world is still spinning on its axis on the 23rd.”
6.59 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says the Congress will perform very well. “The exit polls have been proven wrong in past,” Gehlot says. “It is not necessary that they are always right, instead, most of the time they have not been accurate.”
6.55 pm: Chandrababu Naidu says the Election Commission has failed democracy like never before. “BJP candidates including the prime minister himself violated the Model Code of Conduct several times,” Naidu tweets. “A recent example being his over-publicised pompous holiday in Kedarnath. Why is the EC giving clean chits to the BJP? One incident after other the EC has failed this democracy like never before.”
6.46 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu says former Chief Election Commissioners of India Navin Chawla and SY Quraishi have supported the demands of Opposition parties about the VVPAT verification process. “Those who respect democracy are disappointed with how the Election Commission conducted elections,” Naidu tweets. “Our fight to save democracy will continue.”
6.43 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu meets his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, reports ANI.
6.37 pm: Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav says Congress should die. “I say this in all seriousness, without exaggeration, without anger, [and] without any emotion – Congress should die,” Yadav says during a debate on the news channel India Today. Yadav says that the Rahul Gandhi-led party is the “single biggest obstacle in the path of creating an alternative to divisive politics which the country desperately needs”.
Read more here:
6.09 pm: The Aam Aadmi Party requests for Central Reserve Police Force security at the Jijabai Institute where South Delhi’s EVMs are stored. “It is further requested that additional CRPF personnel may be deployed to keep watch over the strong rooms around the clock,” Chadha writes.
6.02 pm: Aam Aadmi Party’s South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha tells the Election Commission that its political rivals will manipulate electronic voting machines. “I have strong reasons to believe that the political adversaries will attempt to open the strong rooms and manipulate or replace the machines as a handful of such incidents have been seen in the past,” Chadha writes.
5.35 pm: BJP assigns MLA and Minister of State Anil Rajbhar with additional charge of departments headed by sacked minister Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party Chief OP Rajbhar, ANI reports.
Read more here:
5.24 pm: Janata Dal (United) MLA and spokesperson asks why RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav told the people of Bihar to vote for his imprisoned father Lalu Prasad Yadav when he failed to vote himself, PTI reports.
RJD National Vice President Shivanand Tiwary claims an incorrect photograph of Yadav in the voters’ list may have prevented him from casting his vote.
5.20 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nikhil Anand criticises Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav for failing to vote on Sunday, PTI reports. Anand claims Yadav did not vote because none of his family members were in the fray for the prime minister’s post and that the RJD leader does not accept his ally and Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.
5.18 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu arrives in Kolkata to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, ANI reports.
5.05 pm: Maharahstra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis calls for a state core committee meeting at his residence to review elections, reports ANI.
5.03 pm: Biju Janata Dal leader Amar Patnaik says the party would probably support some party or “some kind of combination” with whoever forms the government at the Centre and “agrees to settle some of the unsettled and long pending issues of Odisha”, reports ANI.
5.01 pm: BJP leader Rakesh Singh says the Madhya Pradesh government is a “minority government standing on crutches”, reports ANI. “It’ll collapse due to its internal conflicts. But today we are focussing on elections results and forming government at the Centre. Today we are not discussing whose government will be or won’t be there in Madhya Pradesh.”
4.35 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami dismisses exit polls which suggested the AIADMK-BJP alliance will win less than eight seats, reports News18. “In 2016 [Assembly elections] also, such exit polls were done and they suggested that in Salem, the AIADMK will win only three seats and that even I will lose [from Edappadi seat in Salem],” Palaniswami says. “But I won with a difference of 42,000 votes even as the AIADMK won 10 seats against the three [mentioned in exit polls].”
Read more here:
4.25 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rejects exit poll results which predicted a second term for the National Democratic Alliance. He says there is no need to rely on “speculations based on speculations”, PTI reports.
4.21 pm: BJP candidate for Bhopal says she taken a vow of silence for her remarks on Nathuram Godse. “After the election procedures, now it is time for contemplation,” she says on Twitter. “During this time, if my words have hurt the patriots in the country, then I apologise and I will strictly follow a vow of silence in accordance with public life for 21 prahar [around three days] to atone for them.”
3.37 pm: Jaitley claims a “huge maturing of Indian democracy” taking place. “When well-meaning people with similar ideas vote in the same direction, it leads to the making of a wave.”
3.34 pm: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley criticises Opposition for questioning the accuracy of exit polls. “If the results of the Exit Polls and final results on the 23rd May, 2019 are in the same direction, the Opposition’s fake issue of the EVMs would also lose its non-existent rationale,” Jaitley says in a Facebook post.
3.25 pm: Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury says the Election Commission is yet to form a procedure in case of a mismatch in the EVM and VVPAT tally. “Even if there is one mismatch in the VVPAT samples picked for counting and EVMs, to maintain integrity of the electoral process, all VVPATs in that Assembly segment must be counted.”
3.21 pm: A BJP delegation led by Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal meets Election Commission officials to seek re-polling in constituencies where violence was reported during the seven phases of the elections, ANI reports. “We have demanded the the EC withdraw false cases made against BJP leaders in West Bengal,” says Goyal. “We have informed the EC about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s threat to people of the state that she will deal with them after the polls.”
5.47 pm: Samajwadi Party candidate Azam Khan says democracy is in danger, News18 reports. “We will know the results on May 23,” Khan says when asked about the exit polls. “The current government has a lot of power and they can do anything. People are living under some kind of fear. They are scared of what will happen if the present government is re-elected.”
2.47 pm: The BJP says Om Prakash Rajbhar, who was sacked from the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet, shattered the decorum of alliance dharma by speaking speaking against the BJP despite being an ally, PTI reports. “The BJP is a party which gives full respect to its allies and honours the coalition dharma.”
2.09 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin says he does not take poll projections seriously and will wait till May 23 to know the people’s mandate, PTI reports. When asked about a meeting of the Opposition parties convened by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on May 23, Stalin says: “Such meetings will be useful only if held after results are known. So we are waiting.”
2.03 pm: Shiv Sena mocks the Opposition for trying to form an alliance to keep the BJP out of power at the Centre after the results of the polls are declared.
Read more here:
1.57 pm: Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Gopal Bhargava, says the BJP will send a letter to Governor Anandiben Patel requesting a special Assembly session, ANI reports. Bhargava claims the state government led by the Congress will fall. “I don’t believe in horse-trading but I feel its time has come and it will have to go soon.”
The Congress has 114 members in the Assembly and is supported by four independent MLAs, two Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs and one Samajwadi Party member. The BJP has 109 MLAs in the House.
1.54 pm: Union minister Nitin Gadkari says exit polls are not the “final decision”, but indicate that the BJP will once again come to power, PTI reports. “Exit polls are not the final decision, but are indications,” he says at the launch of the poster of a biopic on Narendra Modi. “But, by and large, what comes out in the exit polls also reflects in the results.”
1.50 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu claims there are problems in the counting process. “There are many rumours regarding EVMs, including that printers may be manipulated and that control panels will be changed,” he says. “EC has given scope for suspicion.”
1.43 pm: Election officials inspect a strong room at Reckong Peo in Himachal Pradesh after what appeared to be smoke was detected in the CCTV camera footage, PTI reports. An unidentified district official says it was later found that the cameras were set to the night vision mode and dust particles in a corner of the strong room gave the impression that it was smoke.
1.34 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu says he has no doubt that his party, Telugu Desam Party, will win the elections, reports ANI. “I am 1000 per cent confident that TDP will win the elections.”
1.15 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the Left Democratic Front will “win big”, reports ANI. “Sabarimala issue didn’t affect polls in Kerala,” he says. “All of us know who created troubles there.”
1.12 pm: Union minister Nitin Gadkari attends the poster launch of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Narendra Modi was slated for release on April 11, but a day before that, the Election Commission stayed its release. The film is now slated for release on May 24, a day after the results of the elections are declared.
Read more here:
1.06 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav meets Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati at her residence in Lucknow, reports ANI.
1.03 pm: Union minister Piyush Goyal meets Election Commission officials regarding violence during polls, reports ANI. “We reiterated our demand for re-poll for constituencies where violence occurred in the seventh phase and earlier phases, particularly in West Bengal.”
12.27 pm: The Sensex continues to rise, and has now breached the 39,000 mark. It is up 1,104.92 points at 39,035.69. The Nifty 50 has gained 323.35 points to reach 11,730.50.
12.26 pm: The turnout in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections is now estimated at 65.11%, according to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout app.
11.41 am: Ram Madhav tells ANI that the mahagathbandhan had failed even before election began. “Many parties tried to create a mahagathbandhan but failed to do so in even a single state,” he says. “Post polling, they tried again but what couldn’t happen before the poll, I don’t think will happen after the poll.”
11.40 am: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday to talk about the strategy to form a mahagathbandhan, unidentified officials tell PTI.
On Sunday, Naidu had met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, apart from Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.
11.30 am: BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav tells ANI that the party will do extremely well in West Bengal and the state will surprise all pollsters. “Everyone has seen the tremendous outpouring of support for PM Modi and BJP in Bengal,” he says. “What Uttar Pradesh was in 2014, Bengal will be in 2019.”
11.23 am: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh accuses state Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu of eyeing his post, reports ANI. Sidhu had alleged a nexus between senior Congress leaders and the Badals of the Shiromani Akali Dal, and had accused the chief minister of denying ticket to his wife.
“If Sidhu wanted to challenge me and my job, then he should take it up with the high command,” Singh said after casting his vote on Sunday. “It is for the high command to decide on any action against Sidhu, but the Congress, as a party, does not tolerate indiscipline. I do not have any differences with Sidhu, whom I have known since he was a child. Perhaps he is ambitious and wants to be chief minister.”
11.05 am: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy hits out at media, claiming that news channels are “belittling politicians” in their satires. “Whom are you [media] trying to help by misusing our name,” Kumaraswamy said on Sunday, according to ANI. “I’m thinking of bringing in a law. What have you thought of us politicians? You think we’re jobless? Do we look like cartoon characters to you? Who gave you authority to show everything humorously?”
The chief minister further said not many in the electronic media adhere to media ethics. “If the chief of a television channel does not have a good enough story, let him close the channel and go home instead of airing false reports and having discussions according to their whims and fancies,” The Times of India quotes him as saying.
10.55 am: Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed congratulates Narendra Modi after most exit polls predict a majority for the NDA. “As Indian polls close, congratulations are in order for Narendra Modi and the BJP,” Nasheed tweets. “I am sure the Maldives people and Govt will be delighted to continue their close cooperation with the PM and the BJP-led Govt.”
10.45 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath asks Governor Ram Naik to expel minister OP Rajbhar from his cabinet, NDTV reports. Rajbhar is the chief of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, an ally of the BJP.
Earlier this month, Rajbhar had claimed that he had resigned as backward classes welfare minister in February but the government is yet to accept it.
“[I] Welcome Chief Minister’s decision... but where will the people I am representing go?” Rajbhar says, according to NDTV.
On Friday, Rajbhar had allegedly abused and threatened BJP workers at a public meeting in Ghazipur. An FIR was filed against him on Saturday by a BJP worker. Rajbhar asked his supporters and party cadres to thrash BJP workers if they attempt to spread any misinformation ahead of the last phase of the polling, the complainant claimed.
10.08 am: The rupee rises 79 paise to 69.44 against the dollar in early trade after exit polls suggest a second consecutive term for the NDA.
The Sensex is up 903.08 points at 38,833.85, while the Nifty 50 has gained 268.25 points to reach 11,675.40. Both have gained 2.3%.
9.45 am: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor says all exit polls are wrong and asks people to wait till May 23 for the results. “In India many people don’t tell pollsters the truth fearing they might be from the Government,” Tharoor tweets.
He cites the recent national elections in Australia where Prime Minister Scott Morrison defied all exit polls and secured a surprise win over the opposition Labor Party.
9.20 am: The Election Commission orders disciplinary action against the presiding officer of a polling station in Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency in Delhi who forgot to delete test votes, necessitating the need for a repoll, PTI reports.
9.15 am: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu says time and again exit polls have failed to catch “the people’s pulse”. “Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances,” Naidu tweets.
He says while he is confident that his Telugu Desam Party will form the government again in Andhra Pradesh, a non-BJP government will be at the Centre. “We reiterate our demand to the ECI to count VVPATs in at least 50% of polling stations. VVPATs should be counted in 5 polling stations in each Assembly Constituency at the beginning of counting process. In case of discrepancy, all VVPATs of Assembly Constituency shall be counted,” he adds.
9 am: The BJP demands repolling in several booths in eight constituencies that went to polls on Sunday, claiming that the Trinamool Congress workers had indulged in violence. “In Diamond Harbour, Kolkata North, Kolkata South, Jadavpur, Basirhat, Mathurapur and Joynagar, there has been rampant violence,” says BJP leader Mukul Roy, according to PTI. “The TMC is afraid of defeat, that is why it is resorting to violence.”
8.53 am: Bahujan Samaj Party clarifies that Mayawati will not be holding any meeting with Opposition leaders in Delhi today, reports ANI. There were reports that Mayawati would meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday.
8.52 am: Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dismisses the exit poll predictions and urges all Opposition parties to be united.
8.51 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:
- Voting in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections ended on Sunday evening, with the electorate in 59 constituencies in seven states and the Union territory of Chandigarh exercising their franchise in the final phase. Results for all seven phases will be out on Thursday. By 9 pm, the estimated turnout in the final phase was 64.02%.
- Soon after the elections ended, media outlets published exit poll results. Most exit polls predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will secure a comfortable majority. The Congress is likely to gain in its tally, but will be far short of what it would need to form a government, the forecasts showed.
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked the Election Commission for Narendra Modi’s visit to the Kedarnath shrine over the weekend. Gandhi said the poll panel’s “capitulation before the prime minister and his gang is obvious to all Indians”.