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Newly-elected BJP MPs meet today to formally elect PM Modi as their leader            Congress Working Committee meet begins to discuss defeat in LS polls            Jagan Mohan Reddy elected YSRC Legislature Party leader            Surat fire tragedy: Police arrest coaching owner            India meet New Zealand in warm-up game of ICC World Cup           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
18.04.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • Voting begins for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections.
  • Filing of nominations for the fifth phase of polling ends today.
  • Death toll rises to 60 in rain related incidents in four states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. 
  • Civil Aviation Secretary to hold separate meetings with airport and airlines authorities after Jet Airways temporarily ceased its operations.
  • And in IPL cricket, Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets last night.

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Voting is underway for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls. Ninety-five constituencies, spread over 11 States and one Union Territory are going to polls in this phase. Earlier, 97 constituencies were scheduled to be covered in this phase. But, election to the Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu was cancelled over allegations of excess use of money power and polling to Tripura (East) stands postponed to the third phase, over law and order concerns.
Polling is being held in 38 constituencies in Tamil Nadu, 14 in Karnataka, 10 - Maharashtra, eight - Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, 3 each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Manipur and Puducherry. 
In Tamil Nadu, voting in 38 Lok Sabha seats and 18 Assembly constituencies is underway. Polling will go on till 6 pm in all constituencies except Madurai where electors can vote till 8 pm as a two-hour extension has been given in view of the famous Kallazhagar festival there.
Now, we go over live to our Chennai correspondent.

Jayasingh, How is the polling progressing?

"Well, Saira, one encouraging feature is, that youth could be seen with great interest and bubbling enthusiasm really on their faces in the polling booth. Elders and women are also lined up in considerably long queues. This is an election that does not have, you know, charismatic leaders like Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. Concerted efforts have been made for an all-inclusive polling by Election Commission. People with disabilities, are being facilitated to come and vote hassle-free. Volunteers are there to help them. Basic facilities are put in place. Shamianas are also erected there for the shade as this is summer season. In every constituency, one all-woman booth is also established as disclosed by election commission officials. Whenever there are long queues, one male voter is being allowed for every two female electors. Saira."
   
In Karnataka, 14 parliamentary constituencies are going to polls. There are 241 candidates in the fray in this phase. Our correspondent gives us the poll s from Bengaluru.

"Bangalore North has the highest number of electorate and Udupi-Chickmagalur has the least. Voters gender ratio has improved in the state from 972 last year to 979 in this election. The female voters are more than male voters in Udupi-Chickmagalur, Dakshin Kannada, Tumkur, Mandya and Mysore. Deve Gowda, Sadananda Gowda, Veerappa Moily, K H Muniyappa, B K Hariprasad are some of the leaders facing election in this phase. Sudhindra, AIR news, Bengaluru."

In West Bengal, peaceful voting is on in Jalpaiguri, Raigunj and Darjeeling Parliamentary constituencies amidst tight security. More than 49 lakh electors will decide the fate of 42 candidates in the three seats. Besides State police, 194 companies of Central forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair voting.
We have our correspondent Arijit in Darjeeling covering the polling.
Arijit, how is the polling going on there?

"Saira, Now I am standing near Deshbandhu library polling booth in Darjeeling. People gathered here much before beginning of polling in a festive mood. People belongs to Nepali, Lepcha, Gorkha, Tamang and other communities have come to polling booths with their traditional dresses wearing special caps and holding sticks in hand. 64 all women managed polling booths have been set up in Darjeeling. Out of total polling booths more than 400 are in remote places of hills. 57 companies of central forces have been deployed in addition to State Police. Security measures along Indo - Bangladesh and Indo - Nepal borders have been strengthened to ensure free and fair voting. SAIRA."

In Maharashtra, a total of 179 candidates are in the fray. Besides Nanded and Solapur, voting is taking place in Buldhana, Akola and Amravati in Vidarbha and Hingoli, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad and Latur in Marathwada.
In Bihar, Purnia, Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka seats are going to polls. A report:-   

"live webcasts are being done from 160 polling booths. Micro observers are tracking the whole poll process over 2200 sensitive polling booths. A helicopter is stationed at Purnia for air surveillance and an air ambulance has been kept ready at Patna to meet any kind of eventuality. Former Union Minister Tarique Anwar, former Member of Parliament Uday Singh alias Pappu Singh both of Congress, former Union Minister Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav from RJD, former Bihar Minister Dulal Chandra Goswami from JD(U) and independent candidate Putul Kumari are prominent candidates whose fate would be sealed today in EVMs. Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News, Kishanganj."

In Uttar Pradesh, polling is being held in Amroha, Aligarh, Mathura, Fatehpur Sikri, Nagina, Bulandshahar, Hathras and Agra. Our correspondent has the details.

"All the eyes are on Mathura and Fatehpur Sikri seats. Actor turned politician Hema Malini is seeking second term from Mathura while RLD has fielded Narendra Singh and Congress has Congress chief Raj Babbar is trying his fate against Bhagwan Sharma alias Guddu Pandit of BSP and  given ticket to Mahesh Pathak from this seat. In Fatehpur Sikri, UP Rajkumar Chahar of BJP. DIWAKER, AIR NEWS, MATHURA."

In Assam, polling is being held for 5 seats including Silchar, Karimganj, Autonomous District, Nagaon and Mangoldoi. 50 candidates are in the fray in this phase.
In Chhattisgarh, three Maoist affected Lok Sabha constituencies of the state are going to polls in this phase. More from our correspondent:-

"Polling would come to an end at 3 pm in Maoist affected five assembly constituencies and six polling stations of Bindranavagarh assembly constituency. In the rest of the thirteen assembly constituencies, the polling would end at 5 pm. More than 49 lakh electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase. In Kanker and Mahasamund constituencies, female voters outnumber male voters. More than six thousand 4 hundred polling stations have been set up. The electoral fate of 36 candidates will be sealed in EVMs today. More than 70 thousand armed security personnel are manning sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling stations. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

In Jammu and Kashmir over 29.81 lakh voters will decide the fate of 24 candidates contesting for Udhampur and Srinagar Parliamentary seats today. 12 candidates are in the fray for Srinagar seat. National Conference  President and three time Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah is among the 12 candidates. Congress has not fielded any candidate for the Srinagar seat. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh is seeking re-election from the  Udhampur constituency.
In Manipur, polling is underway in the Inner-Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.  Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla cast her vote at the TG Higher Secondary School polling station under Sagolband Assembly Constituency in Imphal West. Indo-Myanmar border along the Manipur sector has been sealed to check infiltration of anti-social elements.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the citizens to strengthen democracy by exercising their franchise in this phase. In a tweet, Mr Modi hoped that more youngsters will head to the polling booths and vote.

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Today is the last date for filing nominations for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections. 51 constituencies spread over 7 states will go to the polls on the 6th of May. Scrutiny of nominations will be held on Saturday. Monday is the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
In Uttar pradesh, many high profile candidates including Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav will file their nominations today. A Report...

"Election on Lucknow parliamentary seat has become interesting with the announcement of Poonam Sinha as candidate of SP BSP alliance against senior BJP leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Poonam, wife of Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha will hold a roadshow today in Lucknow before filing her nomination. Congress nominee for the seat Acharya Pramod Krishnam will also lead a foot march in city and file his nomination this afternoon. SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav is scheduled to file his nomination for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat. Senior BJP leader and union minister Maneka Gandhi will file her papers today from Sultanpur constituency. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."
In Bihar 19 candidates filed their nomination papers for the fifth phase of elections in the state yesterday. With this, 88 candidates have filed nominations so far.

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Prime Minister and Senior BJP leader Narendra Modi will address public meetings for remaining phases at Amreli in Gujarat, Bagalkot and Chikkodi in Karnataka and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala today.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address rallies at Badaun in Uttar Pradesh and Junagadh and Kutch in Gujarat.

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The death toll due to rain, thunderstorm and lightning in several parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra has risen to 60.
Rajasthan Relief Secretary Ashutosh A T Pednekar said twenty-five deaths occurred in the state. In Madhya Pradesh, senior police officials confirmed 22 deaths. Gujarat government's Director of Relief G B Manglpara said that at least 10 people have died due to rain and dust storms. In Maharashtra, three persons died in rain related incidents.

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Civil Aviation Secretary will convene separate meetings with airport and airlines authorities today to coordinate and address any emerging issues on capacity, slots and passenger convenience after Jet airways temporary ceased its operations. 
In a series of tweets, the Ministry said, the bank-led resolution process is still underway and it is expected to end by the 10th of next month.
The Ministry said, the Directorate General of Civil Avaition and other regulators are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure that all existing rules regarding refunds, cancellations and alternate bookings are followed strictly.

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In IPL Cricket, Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in Hyderabad last night. Chasing a target of 133 runs to win, Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 137 for 4 in 16.5 overs. Jonny Bairstow made 61 not out and David Warner 50.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES
  •  Political temperatures rising with the onset of the second phase of polling while seasonal temperatures fall, hinting at a stormy summer, are some major stories in today's newspapers.
  • "Round two key to opposition plans", headlines The Hindustan Times while The Hindu Business Line informs, "About 16 crore people to cast their votes today". The Pioneer reports, "ADMK, BJP stakes high in second phase".
  • Newspapers also cover Rahul and Modi taking potshots at each other in the run up to second phase of polling. The Asian Age writes, "Modi raps Rahul: "Won't let Congress abuse backwards". While the same paper also notes, "Rahul targets PM, Sangh, says Kerala a role model."
  • The BJP pitting Malegaon accused Sadhvi Pragya against Congress' Digvijay Singh in Bhopal is also widely noticed by the press. The Indian Express reports, "Accused in Malegaon terror blast case, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is BJP's candidate.
  • "Squall leaves 60 dead, stormy summer ahead", is a headline in The Hindustan Times which reports on yesterday's storm that left many dead and damaged crops.
  • Jet Airways grounding all its flights is also noticed by the dailies. The Hindu Business Line writes, "Jet Airways folds its wings as banks decline interim funding."
  • And finally, The Hindu has some good news for literature lovers.  A long-hidden trove of unpublished works of Franz Kafka could soon be revealed following a decade long battle over his literary estate that has drawn comparisons to some of his surreal tales.The paper writes, "Unseen Kafka works may be revealed soon."

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