Last Updated : Jun 16 2019 10:43AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM announces high-level task force on structural reforms in agriculture            Govt convenes all-party meet today ahead of Parliament session            Efforts on to end West Bengal doctors' agitation            Heat stroke claims 43 lives in Bihar during past 24 hours            ICC World Cup: India to clash with arch-rivals Pakistan today           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
21.05.2019
THE HEADLINES
  • NDA leaders to meet in New Delhi today to chalk out strategy on the possible outcome of General Elections.
  • Supreme court to hear Centre's plea challenging Delhi High court's stay on retrospective effect of Black Money Act 2016.
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leaves for Kyrgyzstan today to participate in SCO's Council of Foreign Ministers meeting.
  • Joko Widodo elected President of Indonesia for the second term.
  • And in sports, all seven pugilists win their bouts on opening day of India Open International Boxing tournament in Guwahati.

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Top leaders of the National Democratic Alliance, NDA will meet over dinner today ahead of declaration of the Lok Sabha poll results on Thursday. The meeting will take place in New Delhi where NDA leaders including BJP President Amit Shah will chalk out strategy on possible outcome of General elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to be present there besides Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) President Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and Lok Janshakti Party head Ram Vilas Paswan.
A meeting of senior BJP leaders is also scheduled to be held at party headquarters before the dinner meeting. The two meetings are taking place in the backdrop of exit polls which have predicted a return of BJP led NDA government at the Centre.

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A BJP delegation met Election Commission in New Delhi yesterday and demanded re-polling in some areas particularly in West Bengal. Talking to reporters after the meeting, senior party leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal accused TMC chief Mamata Banerjee of threatening BJP candidates and workers. Mr Goyal said, the party has urged the Commission to take cognisance of the matter. He said, there is a possibility of violence in West Bengal during and after counting of votes and Central forces should be deployed there till Model Code of Conduct is in force. Mr Goyal said,
 
"हमने रिक्वेस् किया है माननीय कमीशन को कि सभी ईवीएम स्ट्रांग रूम पर सेंट्रल फोर्सेसेज़ बड़े पैमाने पर तैनात करी जाए। काउंटिंग तक और काउटिंग के बाद भी जब तक आर्डर कोड ऑफ कन्डक् है तब तक यह फोर्सेसेज़ पश्चिम बंगाल में रखी जाए।"
The BJP also appealed to the poll panel to ensure sanctity of counting process in  Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

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Election Commission has clamped prohibitory orders in Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal yesterday, following violence in the area during the assembly by-election on Sunday. An EC official told reporters in Kolkata yesterday that Keeping in view the sensitive situation in Bhatpara, it was decided to impose Section 144 of the CrPC. The commission had sought a report from the district magistrate on Sunday's poll-related violence in Bhatpara.

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Several opposition leaders will meet the Election Commission today and raise the issue of tallying Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) with electronic voting machine (EVM) figures as per Supreme Court directions.
 The opposition parties are demanding matching of VVPAT with EVM in an entire Assembly constituency in case a discrepancy is found in any polling booth.
The court has asked the Election Commission to match VVPAT slips with EVM figures of five polling stations in each Assembly constituency across the country, which may delay the results.

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Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Arun Jaitley has attacked exit poll doubters saying when multiple exit polls convey the same message, the direction of the result broadly will be in consonance with the message. In a blog, Mr Jaitley said the exit polls are based on personal interviews and the EVMs have no role in it. He added that the opposition’s fake issue of the EVMs would also lose its non-existent rationale if the results of the exit polls and final results on  Thursday are in the same direction.<><>
 Former President Pranab Mukherjee has lauded the role of the Election Commission saying the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were conducted perfectly. Speaking at a book launch event in New Delhi yesterday, he said that right from the first Election Commissioner Sukumar Sen to present Election Commissioners, the institution is working very well.
His remarks come a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Election Commission's capitulation before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is obvious and the poll watchdog is not feared and respected anymore.

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In Arunachal Pradesh, repolling at two polling booths - Nampe in Koloriang Assembly Constituency in Gimba in Tali Assembly seat is being held today. Both the constituencies fall in the Arunachal West Parliamentary seat. Polling started at 6 this morning and will end at 2 PM. Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Arunachal Pradesh were held simultaneously on April 11 in a single phase.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, arrangements for counting of votes for two parliamentary constituencies falling in Jammu Division- Udhampur and Jammu- are being given final shape. Proper security arrangement have been put in place and CCTVs installed to monitor the counting process. The fate of 36 candidates will be decided on the counting day on Thursday. Our correspondent reports that counting of votes for Udhampur Lok Sabha seat will be taken up at Government Degree College, Kathua.

"Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party  patron Bhim Singh is  the oldest candidate in the fray while 25 years old Anil Singh,  a lawyer by profession, is the youngest among the contestants who is fighting the election as an independent from the Jammu Lok Sabha seat. Meenakshi is the only woman candidate fielded by the Shiv Sena from the Udhampur parliamentary seat. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dr. Jatinder Singh is pitted against Vikramaditya Singh of Congress, Harshdev Singh of JK National Panthers Party and Choudhary Lal Singh of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat while Jugal Kishore Sharma of BJP, Raman Bhalla of Congress, Prof. Bhim Singh , Patron of JK National Panthers Party are the prominent candidates from the Jammu Lok Sabha seat. RK RAINA, AIR NEWS, JAMMU."  

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In Tamil Nadu, Lok Sabha elections were held for 38 seats and Assembly bypolls were conducted in 22 constituencies. The scorching summer heat did not stop voters from exercising their franchise throughout the State. More from our correspondent:

"To ensure hundred percent voting, awareness banners were displayed at public places. Some restaurants had publicly displayed signboards advising guests to refrain from talking politics and some had appealed to voters to cast their votes and have free lunch at their restaurants after showing the indelible mark on their fingers on the date of poll to encourage voting. It was encouraging to talk to daughters who accompanied their parents for the first time to the polling booth to cast their votes. Boys had come along with their friends and  proudly displayed their indelible mark. In some booths newly wed couples came straight from temples in their wedding attire to the polling booth and exercised their franchise. JOY, AIR NEWS, CHENNAI."

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In Chhattisgarh, preparation to match VVPAT slips with EVM results is in the final stage. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, VVPATs were used for a pilot run in eight of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies but there was no tallying done. Chhattisgarh Chief Electoral Officer, Subrat Sahoo said that random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs will take place in five polling booths per assembly segment.

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Supreme Court will hear today the Centre's plea challenging Delhi High Court order staying the 2016 black money law to operate with retrospective effect from July 2015 to book and probe offenders. The Centre is also aggrieved by the interim order of the high court that restrained the Income Tax (I-T) department from taking any action against 3,600- crore rupees VVIP chopper scam accused Gautam Khaitan, against whom a black money case has been lodged. Khaitan has challenged the legality of various provisions of black money law.
The high court, in its order, said the Black Money, Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets, and Imposition of Tax Act, which was enacted in April 2016, cannot be allowed to operate with retrospective effect from July 2015.

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National Investigation Agency (NIA) has carried out searches at 10 locations in Tamil Nadu yesterday in connection with an alleged conspiracy to form a terror group by some youths. NIA said in a statement in New Delhi that the searches were carried out at the residences of the 10 accused in Muthupet, Keelakarai, Devipattinam, Lalpet and Salem in connection with the case.
The NIA has alleged that 10 people from Tamil Nadu had started a group on WhatsApp in 2018 and conspired together to procure arms for their terrorist gang, to propagate their ideology and to act against the State. It said nine accused were arrested earlier, while one remains absconding.

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The nation is paying homage to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 28th death anniversary today. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing at Sriperumbudur of Tamil Nadu on this day in 1991. The martyrdom of Rajiv Gandhi is also observed as Anti-terrorism Day.

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will leave for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan today to represent India in the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO. The two day meeting will begin from today. It will review the preparations for the forthcoming SCO Summit in Bishkek which will begin from 13th of next month. Our correspondent reports that this will be the second CFM meeting that India will be attending as a full member of SCO.

"External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also attended the last CFM meeting in China in April last year. Mrs Swaraj's program in Bishkek will include the meeting of Council of SCO Foreign Ministers and a joint call of SCO Foreign Ministers on Kyrgyz President Sooranbay Jeenbekov. According to the External Affairs Ministry,India actively took part in various SCO dialogue mechanisms under the Chairmanship of the Kyrgyz Republic over the past year. India became the member of SCO in 2017. Anand Kumar, AIR News Delhi."

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Indonesia's Joko Widodo has been re-elected as president of the country, beating rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general.
The elections commission has said, Widodo and his vice-presidential running mate Ma'ruf Amin won the election by a 55.5 percent to 44.5 percent margin over Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.
The Commission was expected to announce the official results of the April 17 poll tomorrow. But amid fears about unrest and street demonstrations in response to the final count, the final tally was released early with little advance notice.

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India got off to a flying start at the Second India Open International Boxing tournament in Guwahati with all the seven Indian pugilists won their preliminary bouts on the opening day yesterday. Ace boxer Mary Kom will start her campaign today in 51 kilogram against Nepal's opponent.
As many as 10 Indian boxers are already confirmed of a medal each with six in men and four in women entering the semi-finals straightaway because of the smaller size of the draw.
The five-day boxing tournament kicked off yesterday.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES
  • The Sensex and nifty hitting new all time highs after exit polls showed that the ruling NDA is set to win a second term is the lead story in most of the dailies.  Financial Express leads "Stocks pole-vault as exit polls signal NDA return". "Best day in a decade for markets" writes The Business Standard.
  • "Opposition doubts exit poll projections of NDA win" reports The Statesman.
  • The Tribune writes "2016 surgical strike was first,  says Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, the then DGMO".
  • And finally, the  definitions for units of weight, electricity and temperature have changed forever. Scientists have adopted a new kg definition. The Times of India reports that it will now be defined in terms of Planck Constant.

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