Last Updated : Apr 23 2019 8:14AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Polling begins for 3rd phase of Lok Sabha elections            Campaigning for remaining phases gain momentum            EC bans Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu from campaigning            Emergency imposed in Sri Lanka; 8 Indians killed in blasts            US not to extend exemptions to any country buying Iranian oil beyond May 2           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
20.03.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant wins Vote of Confidence in Assembly. 

  • BSP Chief Maywati announces not to contest Lok Sabha election.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his government worked with the spirit of India first instead of family first; institutions were the biggest casualty of dynastic politics in the past.

  • Gauhati High Court declares strikes, road or rail blockades as illegal and directs police to lodge FIRs against organisations calling for bandh.

  • Germany initiates move at European Union to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

  • In Sports; At South Asian Football Federation Women's Championship, India to take on Bangladesh in semi-finals at Biratnagar shortly; In another semis, Nepal beat Sri Lanka.

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In Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant today won the Vote of Confidence in the Legislative Assembly. The BJP-led coalition government garnered the support of 20 MLAs which include 11 from the BJP, three MLAs each from MGP and GFP and three independents. Our correspondent reports that fifteen MLAs voted against the motion that include 14 from Congress and one NCP legislator.


"The support of at least 19 MLAs was required to pass the floor test in the 40-member Goa assembly, the strength of which has been currently reduced to 36, following resignations of two MLAs and demise of two including former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Congress continues to be the main opposition in the assembly as well as the single largest party with 14 MLAs, while BJP has 12 legislators including the speaker. GFP and MGP have three MLAs each in the house, which also includes three independents and one NCP legislator. The one-day assembly session commenced with a motion of condolence, during which tributes were paid to former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, former deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza and former deputy speaker of the Goa legislative assembly Vishnu Wagh, who passed away recently. The proceedings of the house were conducted by Deputy speaker Michael Lobo. With Saikar Sarkar, Mukesh Thali, for AIR news from Panaji Goa."

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Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati  has announced that she will not contest 2019 Lok Sabha election, keeping in mind the current political situation. Ms Mayawati announced her decision in an impromptu press conference in Lucknow. 


The BSP Chief said her party is in a strong alliance with Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal and it is more important for the alliance to win more seats  rather than her own victory. However, she said that she will contest the election later, if there is a need for it.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a sharp attack on the Congress over dynastic politics saying that its biggest casualty are the institutions. In a blog, Mr Modi said, from the press to Parliament, from soldiers to free speech, from the Constitution to the courts, nothing was spared. He said, the mandate of 2014 was epoch-making also because it was for the first time in the history of India that a non-dynastic party was blessed with a complete majority.


The Prime Minister said, his Government worked with the spirit of India First instead of Family First. He said, over the last five years, the Indian economy has been the cynosure of the world’s eyes. He said country has made remarkable achievements in sanitation coverage from 38 per cent in 2014 to 98 per cent now, banking the unbanked, financing the un-financed, building futuristic infrastructure, homes for the homeless, providing healthcare for the poor and educating the youth.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address over 25 lakh Chowkidars through audio bridge medium this evening and share the colours of Holi with them. Party's media head and Rajya Sabha Member Anil Baluni said, this is a part of a series of initiatives under the 'Main Bhi Chowkidaar' outreach programme.


Mr Modi is also scheduled to interact with people, who have pledged their support to the Main bhi chowkidar campaign, from 500 places in the country on the 31st of this month.

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has relegated the Prime Minister's Office to a "Publicity Minister's Office" by indulging in "mediocrity" in a highly sophisticated country. Mr Gandhi was interacting with the students of Manipur State Film Development Society in the state capital Imphal today. He said the Congress doesn't believe in cultural imperialism and it is of the view that one part of the country should not rule other parts as each state has its own voice which should be respected. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal  also refuted the Prime Minister's claims of "dynastic politics" prevalent in the Congress. He added that instead of talking about dynastic politics, Mr Modi should focus on issues confronting the people, such as farm crisis and joblessness.

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Delhi BJP has filed a complaint to the Election Commission against Aam Aadmi Party alleging that they are violating the model code of conduct by trying to incite communal tensions. A delegation led by Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta and BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri met election commission this afternoon and submitted a memorandum. They urged the election commission to take action against AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and others involved in violating the model code of conduct. Mr Gupta also accused the AAP of making phone calls to voters and telling the voters that their names have been d from voter lists.

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The Gauhati High Court has declared  strikes and road or rail blockades as illegal in Assam and directed the police to lodge FIRs against organisations who call for bandh. Hearing a writ petition, Justice Ujjal Bhuyan said the Guwahati Police Commissioner or any of his subordinate officers whom he may authorise, will have to file an FIR in Guwahati within 24 hours of the state bandh or statewide blockade. The court further said, investigating officers in all such cases shall carry out investigation expeditiously and file chargesheets before the competent criminal court promptly so that the offenders can be tried in a fast-track mode.

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In Bihar, 55 companies of central para military forces have been deployed in different parts of the state to ensure free and fair polls. Strict vigil is being maintained in the Naxal-affected districts of Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui where the first phase of elections will be held on the 11th of next month. Combing operation has already been launched against Maoists and flag march is being carried out to instill confidence among the electorate.

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Germany has initiated a move at the European Union to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed, JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, days after China blocked a bid at the United Nations to ban him. According to diplomatic sources, Germany was in touch with several member-nations of the European Union to list Azhar as a terrorist which will result in his travel ban as well as freezing of his assets in the 28-country bloc. JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said free media is the cornerstone of democracy and it can actually be a force multiplier to sustain it. Delivering the first Atal Behari Vajpayee Memorial Lecture at Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi today, Mr Naidu said media should play a pivotal role in spreading correct and credible information. Mr Naidu said, if media can present report cards of parties in an objective manner, the country can boast of cleanest and most vibrant democracies of the world. 


"Use of money, muscle power, breaching the limit of election expenditure, envoking caste, region, religion, criminal antecedents of the candidates, paid news, fake news, violating the normal of level playing fields, violating the model code of conduct, inadequate representation to women in legislatures are the major pitfalls of our democracy and needs to be addressed in a quick time to make our election more credible and inclusive."

Paying tributes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Naidu said,


"Atal Ji was indeed a great democrat and his contribution to enriching the democratic spirit of the country has very few parallel. His contribution as a outstanding Parliamentarian to enriching the democratic discourse is indeeded legendary. Vajpayee has been one of the tallest leader of post independent India. Who ushered in a connectivity revolution in the country.


Prasar Bharti Chairman Dr A Surya Prakash who presided over the event said that it is important for the media to be transparent and fair.

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Social Media platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India will come up with a Code of Ethics by this evening for the Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission met the representatives of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google among others in New Delhi yesterday on the use of social media during polls. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora asked them to come with a similar code of conduct like the Model Code of Conduct.

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The Election Commission has appointed transgender social activist Gauri Sawant, as one of the 12 election ambassadors from Maharashtra. Transgenders got the right to vote for the  first time in 2014 following a Supreme Court order. According to the Commission, Gauri Sawant's appointment would help in more  people from this category getting registered for the voters enrollment. Renowned sportsmen, film-makers and literary personalities have been appointed as goodwill ambassadors to induce more voters to vote in the Lok Sabha elections.

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At the 5th South Asian Footbal Federation Women's Championship, defending champion India will take on Bangladesh in the second semi final in Biratnagar, Nepal shortly. Earlier in the day, Nepal entered in the final of  the SAFF Women's Championship. Our correspondent has the details:


In a short while from now four time defending champions India will take on Bangladesh. Coach Maymol Rocky has said that Indian team will play its attacking game and match will be interesting. Since beginning of the championship in 2010, India has won all 21 matches. In the last edition of the tournament in 2016, India had defeated Bangladesh 3-1 to lift the trophy. In the first semi final host Nepal easily defeated Sri Lanka by 4-0. Raj Kumar AIR News, Kathmandu

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India has been performing exceptionally well at the Special Olympics at Abu Dhabi in UAE and they hope to cross the 300 mark by this evening as far as medal tally is concerned. Our correspondent reports that  it will be best performance ever by Indian Special athletes.


"Every Special athlete at the Special Olympics has a story to tell . And these are no ordinary tales, but those of grit and determination and hope. Shallu, who has a speech impairment and learning disorder, was homeless on the streets of Amritsar after her parents abandoned her at the age of four. At the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society which is also an orphanage, Shallu took exceptional interest in sports and supported by them and with her determination to do something, today, she has won four silver medals for India in the powerlifting. India has been performing exceptionally well at the Special Olympics and according to Victor Vaz, the head of the Indian delegation at the Special Olympics, they hope to cross the 300 mark by today evening as far as medal tally is concerned. This is by far the best performance by Team Bharat ever at the Special Olympics. Kanchan Prasad Mandlaus, AIR NEWS, Dubai."

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