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.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear a review plea filed by 21 Opposition parties seeking to verify 50% votes using VVPAT slips next week.
The Election Commission on Thursday said Rahul Gandhi’s comment calling BJP chief Amit Shah a “murder accused” did not violate the Model Code of Conduct. The poll panel also cleared Narendra Modi of any poll code violation for his remark at a rally in Barmer on April 21 that India has not kept its nuclear weapons for use during Diwali.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi told NDTV that the party was harming the BJP’s electoral prospects in Uttar Pradesh and not dividing the Opposition’s votes. His statement came hours after the BJP criticised Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s statement that the party’s candidates in the state either have a good chance to win the elections or cut the BJP’s votes.
10.59 am: The stalled biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now set to be released on May 24, a day after the counting of votes of the Lok Sabha elections.
Read more here:
10.49 am: The Supreme Court will hear next week a review petition filed by 21 Opposition parties seeking to verify 50% votes using VVPAT slips, reports ANI. The petitioners had cited concerns raised in the first two phases of voting in the Lok Sabha polls.
The Supreme Court in April ordered that Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips of five electronic voting machines in every constituency be counted instead of just one EVM in the ongoing elections.
10.43 am: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi tells The Indian Express that she would “rather die that help the BJP”. “Our ideologies are poles apart,” she says. “I can’t say how we will perform in Uttar Pradesh, but we are putting up a spirited fight. We are putting up strong candidates against the BJP everywhere. There will definitely be an improvement in our vote share.”
10.38 am: Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son, Tej Pratap Yadav, says Lalu Yadav used to meet the public and attend around 12 events a day, reports ANI. “But politicians today get tired after attending two or four public programs only.”
9.43 am: The biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will now be released on May 24, a day after the counting of votes in the Lok Sabha elections. The film’s release had earlier been stopped by the Election Commission because of the ongoing elections.
9.21 am: The Election Commission’s decisions in favour of Narendra Modi in two of three complaints resolved so far were not unanimous, The Indian Express reports. Only the decision on Thursday – in case of the nuclear weapons remark – was unanimous, while the other two were 2–1 in Modi’s favour.
8.45 am: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has issued a notice to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the allegedly involving children in her election campaign, PTI reports. On Wednesday, the child rights body had written to the Election Commission after a video showed children shouting “derogatory remarks and using abusive language” in her presence.
8.45 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday.
- The Election Commission said Narendra Modi did not violate the Model Code of Conduct during his speech in Barmer town in Rajasthan on April 21. The poll panel also cleared Rahul Gandhi of poll code allegations for calling Amit Shah a ‘murder accused’.
- Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that she “would rather die” than benefit the BJP. Her comments come a day after she had said that the Congress has fielded candidates in Uttar Pradesh that would cut into the BJP’s votes. Meanwhile,
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that his party is helping the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in Uttar Pradesh in constituencies where it lacks strong candidates.
- The Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to decide on a petition that sought an early start to polls in the upcoming phases of the Lok Sabha elections as Ramzan begins. The religious month of Ramzan, which Muslims observe by fasting, is expected to begin on May 5.
- Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the United Progressive Alliance government had conducted “multiple surgical strikes” but did not believe in using them to win votes.
- Congress leader and former Union minister Rajiv Shukla claimed that the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance government had conducted several surgical strikes across the border into Pakistan between 2008 and 2014.