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Lok Sabha Election 2024 highlights: 'A farewell party,' BJP takes dig at INDIA bloc's meeting tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 highlights: Check out all the latest news and live updates on India's general elections here.
Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'A farewell party,' BJP takes dig at INDIA bloc's meeting tomorrow
Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'A farewell party,' BJP takes dig at INDIA bloc's meeting tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 highlights: The seventh and final phase of polling is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, marking the conclusion of the largest democratic exercise of electing the 543 representatives for the 18th Lok Sabha. The campaigning for Phase 7 of the Lok Sabha elections concluded two days before the voting day, as citizens across 57 Lok Sabha constituencies in eight states and union territories prepared to cast their votes....Read More

Polling is scheduled in all 13 seats of Punjab and four of Himachal Pradesh, 13 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight in Bihar, six in Odisha and three seats in Jharkhand besides Chandigarh.

Voting is already over in 486 seats in 28 states and Union territories. The turnout in the first six phases was 66.14 per cent, 66.71, 65.68, 69.16, 62.2 and 63.36 per cent respectively.

The campaigning saw BJP leaders led by PM Narendra Modi accusing the Congress and the INDIA alliance of being corrupt, anti-Hindu and engaging in loot, appeasement and dynastic politics.

The Opposition parties have been claiming that the BJP is anti-farmer, anti-youth and will change and scrap the Constitution if they win the elections.

The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4.

Follow all the updates here:
May 31, 2024 11:47 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: OpenAI says it stalled attempts by Israel-based company to interfere in Lok Sabha polls

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, has said it acted within 24 hours to disrupt deceptive uses of AI in covert operations focused on the Indian elections, leading to no significant audience increase. In a report on its website, OpenAI said STOIC, a political campaign management firm in Israel, generated some content on Indian elections alongside about the Gaza conflict. Dig Deeper

May 31, 2024 11:41 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: What's open, what's closed in poll-bound constituencies tomorrow?

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: The seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha election 2024 will take place on Saturday, June 1. In the last phase of polling, voters from 57 Lok Sabha constituencies spread across eight states and UT will exercise their franchise. On Saturday, voting will take place in eight states and union territories - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chandigarh. 907 candidates across 57 poll-bound constituencies will have their fate sealed tomorrow. Dig Deeper

May 31, 2024 11:29 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Because of the defeat, they are boycotting,' Amit Shah on Congress' stance on exit poll debates

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah has jibed at the Congress party over its decision to boycott the exit poll debates.

"...Congress has been in denial mode for so long...the whole election they kept campaigning that they are going to get the majority but they know the situation that...in the coming exit polls, it will be their massive defeat so they can't face the media. Therefore, they are boycotting the entire exit poll exercise...exit polls have been happening for a long time but this time, because of the defeat, they don't know how to explain and that's why they are boycotting. Since Rahul Gandhi has taken in charge of Congress, they are in denial mode...," said Amit Shah as quoted by news agency ANI.

May 31, 2024 11:16 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Congress has conceded the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,' says BJP chief JP Nadda

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: BJP National President JP Nadda has tweeted, "Congress’s decision to not participate in Exit Polls, on the eve of Phase 7 polling, is an unequivocal confirmation that the Congress has conceded the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. It is not surprising, since Congress usually opts out when it doesn’t expect results to go in its favour, but has no compunction showing up if it thinks it has even an outside chance. Their hypocrisy is not lost on anyone. Let no one in Phase 7 waste their vote on them...Now by deciding to boycott the Exit Poll exercise, they are bringing into question the exercise carried out by several professional agencies, who have worked with thousands of associates to bring what people may have voted for..."

May 31, 2024 10:59 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Does Opposition have hatred in mind even for doing meditation,' asks BJP's Sudhanshu Trivedi over criticism targeting PM Modi

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: BJP MP and party's national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi has slammed Opposition for criticism targeting PM Modi. He said, "Sad to say that when the Prime Minister is doing silent meditation in the temple of Kanyakumari after finishing his election campaign, this type of politics is going on about it too. I don't understand that no matter how much disrespect you (opposition) have for the Hindu religion culture, pilgrimage sites, and temples, do you (opposition) have hatred in your mind even for doing meditation? Is it because this is your agenda, the eradication of Sanatana Dharma? Or the destruction of Hinduism?..."

May 31, 2024 10:38 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Congress has no complaints about either EVMs or poll process when it wins,' says BJP president JP Nadda

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: BJP president JP Nadda has taken a dig at the Congress party, saying, "Congress has no complaints about either EVMs or poll process when it wins but whines endlessly when it expects a rout".

May 31, 2024 10:21 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Odisha CM’s officials are trying to influence elections by distributing crores of rupees,' says Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Union Minister and BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan has accused BJD of trying to influence elections in Odisha’s Balasore.

“In the SHG Bhavan in Remuna district, conspiracy to distribute lakhs of rupees was taking place in the evening today. Locals caught those involved and senior government officials arrived at the spot. CM Naveen Patnaik’s officials are trying to influence the elections by distributing crores of rupees. This is unconstitutional, unethical and undemocratic,” said Dharmendra Pradhan

May 31, 2024 8:50 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'The INDI alliance meeting scheduled for tomorrow is essentially a farewell party,' says BJP leader Tom Vadakkan

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: On the upcoming INDIA alliance meeting on June 1, Tom Vadakkan BJP National Spokesperson said, "The INDI alliance meeting scheduled for tomorrow is essentially a farewell party. The DMK and the TMC have read the writing on the wall and they have kept a distance..."

May 31, 2024 8:47 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Security forces carry out flag march in Odisha's Balasore

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Security forces carried out a flag march in Odisha's Balasore on Friday, ahead of the last and final phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

May 31, 2024 8:19 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'What's the point of speculation?,' says Congress leader Pawan Khera on exit polls

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: In an interaction with news agency ANI, Congress leader Pawan Khera weighed in on exit polls by TV channels and the party's decision to not be a part of it.

He said "What's the point of speculation? Why should we indulge in meaningless speculation just to increase the TRPs of channels or to there is some force? There are some forces which are involved in betting. Why should we be a part of that? Everybody knows who he or she has voted for. Parties will get to know how many votes they got on the 4th of June. Why should we speculate?.. We are poised to win this election. INDIA alliance will be forming the government after the 4 June."

May 31, 2024 7:28 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: What was the voter turnout in first six phases?

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: According to the Election Commission of India, the voter turnout in the first six phases was 66.14 %, 66.71%, 65.68%, 69.16%, 62.2% and 63.36 % respectively.

May 31, 2024 7:14 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Further legal procedures will follow,' Karnataka Home minister on Prajwal Revanna's arrest

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara on Friday said suspended JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna, facing allegations of sexually abusing several women, was arrested after completing due process, and further legal procedures will follow, reported news agency PTI.

"Prajwal Revanna landed around 12.40 am -12:50 am from Germany's Munich. As there was an arrest warrant against him, SIT accordingly arrested him and took him into custody and further legal procedures they will follow today. I'm yet to discuss with our officials," Parameshwara said.

May 31, 2024 6:46 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 13 poll personnel die in UP's Mirzapur

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 13 poll personnel in UP's Mirzapur have died following fever, high BP. Exact reason is being ascertained, said Medical college principal Raj Bahadur Kamal, reported news agency PTI.

May 31, 2024 6:28 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Which states will see polling tomorrow?

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Polling is scheduled in all 13 seats of Punjab and four of Himachal Pradesh, 13 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight in Bihar, six in Odisha and three seats in Jharkhand besides Chandigarh. Polling for the remaining 42 assembly constituencies of Odisha and bypolls to six assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh will also take place simultaneously.

May 31, 2024 6:14 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Polling on three seats in Jharkhand's Santhal Pargana tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Over 53.23 lakh voters will decide the fate of 52 candidates in three Lok Sabha seats in the Santhal Pargana region of Jharkhand, where polling will be held in the last phase on Saturday, officials said, reported news agency PTI.

Tight security arrangements have been made for conducting the elections to Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda seats.

May 31, 2024 5:58 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Do not get misled by the BJP,' SP chief Akhilesh Yadav tells party workers

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday asked his party workers, candidates and office-bearers to remain "vigilant" against the "lies" of the BJP and "its exit polls," reported news agency PTI.

In an appeal in Hindi on X, Yadav wrote, "Today I am making an extremely important appeal to you. All of you should remain fully alert, vigilant and cautious during the voting tomorrow and also in the days after the voting, till the counting of votes is over and you receive the certificate of victory. Do not get misled by the BJP."

Yadav went on to allege that the BJP will start spreading lies once the polling is over on Saturday.

"Actually I am making this appeal because the BJP people have made a plan that as soon as the elections are over tomorrow evening, they will start getting their 'media group (media mandali)' to say on various channels that the BJP has got a lead of around 300 seats, which is completely false," Yadav wrote.

May 31, 2024 5:43 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: ‘BJP will win all 29 seats with historic majority in Madhya Pradesh,’ says state BJP chief VD Sharma

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief V D Sharma on Friday expressed confidence that the party would win all 29 seats with a historic majority in the Lok Sabha Election 2024, reported news agency ANI.

"Just as the people of MP blessed us in the state assembly poll last year, we will get a historic success in the Lok Sabha election in the state as well. We all have campaigned together with team spirit for the Lok Sabha poll in the state. Today, I am proud to say that BJP will win all 29 seats with a historic majority in the state," Sharma said while addressing a press conference in Bhopal.

May 31, 2024 5:13 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: List of states where liquor shops will be closed tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: The seven-phase Lok Sabha election will conclude on Saturday, with polling on as many as 57 parliamentary constituencies across seven states and the Union territory of Chandigarh. The Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, from where Prime Minister Narendra is two-term and incumbent MP, will vote in the seventh phase, with one of the candidates being the Prime Minister himself. Ahead of the last round of polling, dry days have been declared in some states, meaning that liquor shops in these states will remain shut. Dig Deeper

May 31, 2024 4:43 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Opposition is against the Sanatan,' says Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: In an interaction with news agency ANI, Uttarakhand CM and BJP leader Pushkar Singh Dhami said, "Last time also PM Modi did meditation at the cave in Kedarnath Dham. This time also he will be meditating at the place where Swami Vivekanand did meditation...Opposition is against the Sanatan. They consider it Dengue and Malaria...They keep criticising PM Modi and by doing this they become 'desh virodhi'..."

May 31, 2024 4:25 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 10 polling personnel die in Bihar due to heatstroke

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Fourteen people, including 10 polling personnel, have died due to heatstroke in Bihar in the last 24 hours, officials said on Friday afternoon, reported news agency PTI.

In a statement issued by the Disaster Management Department, most of the fatalities were reported from Bhojpur, where five officials on election duty died of heatstroke.

Three election officials died in Rohtas, and one each died in Kaimur and Aurangabad districts, it said. Four other people died in different parts of the state, it added.

May 31, 2024 4:13 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 'Arvind Kejriwal has a disease of lying,' says Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva has jibed at Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over the latter seeking extension of interim bail citing problems to health.

“Delhi CM (Arvind Kejriwal) has said that he has a serious disease. I agree with what he has said. He has a disease of lying. He did the election campaigning. However, when now the time has come for him to go (to jail), he is reminding everyone of his diseases,” says Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva

May 31, 2024 4:02 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Voters in Ara hopeful of Bhojpuri language's inclusion in Eighth Schedule

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: A section of voters in the Ara Lok Sabha seat in Bihar are nursing a hope that after the elections, efforts will be made by the new dispensation to include Bhojpuri language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, reported news agency PTI. Bhojpuri is spoken in several parts of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Ara, the headquarters of Bhojpur district, is a historic city and culturally-rich region, and Bhojpuri the dominant language of this region earlier known as Shahabad, which includes current districts of Buxar, Rohtas, Kaimur and neighbouring areas.

May 31, 2024 3:50 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Key candidates contesting in polls tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Narendra Modi (Varanasi), Afzal Ansari (Ghazipur), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Patna Sahib), Pawan Singh (Karakat), Kangana Ranaut ( Mandi), Manish Tewari (Chandigarh) are some of the key candidates contesting in the final phase of the polls tomorrow.

May 31, 2024 3:26 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: 70,000 security personnel deployed in Punjab for polls tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Around 70,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed in the wake of polling in 13 Lok Sabha seats on June 1, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C said on Friday, reported news agency PTI.

Besides, 1.20 lakh polling staff have been deployed for the voting in the state, he said. Polling for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will take place from 7 am till 6 pm on Saturday.

May 31, 2024 3:06 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Where will banks be closed tomorrow?

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Bank holiday on June 1: The seventh phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections is scheduled for June 1 after six phases were held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20 and May 25. Owing to polling on June 1, banks in various cities will be closed. For phase 7 of the Lok Sabha Election 2024, banks will remain closed in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Chandigarh. Dig Deeper

May 31, 2024 2:53 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: Check date and time of exit polls result tomorrow

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: On Saturday, the seven-phase Lok Sabha election will conclude with polling on 57 parliamentary seats across seven states and the Union territory of Chandigarh. Once polling ends, all eyes will be on exit polls that would predict which alliance might form the country's next government – the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) or the Congress-led opposition INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc. Dig Deeper

May 31, 2024 2:34 PM IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: EVMs being handed over to poll parties ahead of tomorrow's voting

Lok Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates: EVMs and other polling materials are being handed over to poll parties ahead of tomorrow's voting in Kolkata, West Bengal, reported news agency PTI.

May 31, 2024 1:43 PM IST

What have you done in the last 23 years when you were the CM of Gujarat for 13 years and now the PM? Kharge slams PM Modi

Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge says, "He (PM Modi) is from Gujarat, and if a person from Gujarat doesn't know about Mahatma Gandhi and also doesn't promote him, what can I say?... Being a member of RSS, you propagated its ideology and principles but you did nothing for Mahatma Gandhi. What have you done in the last 23 years when you were the CM of Gujarat for 13 years and now the PM?... You liked it to be with Godse but not with Mahatma Gandhi..."

May 31, 2024 1:40 PM IST

"Hope every citizen will exercise their voting rights:" Jyotiraditya Scindia ahead of last phase of LS poll

Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee from Guna parliamentary seat in Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiradtiya Scindia on Friday expressed his hope that every citizen of the country would exercise their voting rights in the last phase of Lok Sabha election.

The seventh and final phase of polling for Lok Sabha election 2024 is scheduled to be held on June 1.

"Tomorrow is the last stage of the festival of democracy. I hope that every citizen will exercise their voting rights, which is the biggest right in democracy, to build the future in the final phase of the Lok Sabha poll. Let there be good polling," Scinida told reporters.

He further added, "When the results come on June 4, India's flag will be hoisted on the world stage in the third term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We all will move ahead with PM Modi's resolution of making India the third largest economy in the world by 2027 under his leadership."

May 31, 2024 12:40 PM IST

"Opposition against Hindu practices:" BJP's Poonawalla slams Congress-INDIA bloc on Modi's Kanyakumari meditation

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla voiced sharp criticism against the Congress and the INDIA bloc on Friday, accusing them of opposing Hindu practices in their efforts to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his ongoing meditation at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari.

"Today, it is evident that in opposing Modi, a new dimension of opposition to Sanatan Dharma has emerged, where they (Congress-INDI alliance) don't even want a Sanatani Hindu to meditate or practice austerity," Poonawalla said.

Poonawalla questioned the basis of the opposition's claims, stating, "What has happened to the Congress party or the INDI alliance? If the Prime Minister says something, they have a problem. Now, if the Prime Minister goes to Kanyakumari and meditates at the Vivekananda Rock, they still have a problem. It seems that the Prime Minister's meditation is causing them complete frustration."

May 31, 2024 12:38 PM IST

Poll phase 1-7, education keeps political pot boiling in Bihar, as issues remain unresolved

While the electioneering stopped on Thursday across the state for the seventh and final phase of poll on June 1, the showdown between the education department and the state varsities, which started ahead of election announcement and brought the Raj Bhawan and the department face to face, did not.

All through the electioneering, one striking aspect was the way education remained a big issue, with the matter of higher education turmoil reaching the Patna High Court and still remaining unresolved, leaving thousands of teachers and employees as also guest teachers without salary and retired ones without pension for over four months.

The schools, too, witnessed resentment all through the period over timing and later running of classes in extreme heat wave, prompting intervention from the Governor and the CM after several students fainted and the Opposition as well as the NDA alliance partners went on the offensive.

May 31, 2024 12:30 PM IST

Meet Patna's 'Berozgar Chaiwala', serving tea with social message

Patna native Sahil Kumar, a graduate from a city-based college, has channelised his frustration about not getting a job into a tea-selling venture with a quirky name, 'Berozgar Chaiwala', more to serve a social message than the popular beverage.

His brother Suraj Kumar, a partner in the small business, quips it is a "start-up". He also points out the irony of the situation as loudspeaker-mounted campaign vehicles run by various candidates blare out their list of promises, including jobs.

These vehicles pass daily by their pushcart stationed along a roadside near the popular Dakbungalow Chouraha in the heart of the city.

May 31, 2024 12:06 PM IST

Chief Election Officer on election preparation in Punjab

On election preparation in Punjab, Chief Election Officer, Sibin C says, "In Punjab, there are a total of 24,451 polling stations...Approximately, 1.25 lakh polling staff have been deployed...According to the Election Commission of India, minimum facilities have been ensured at all polling stations....In view of the heat wave, proper arrangements have been made...I appeal to the voters of Punjab to vote in large numbers and achieve the target of more than 70% voter turnout"...

May 31, 2024 12:03 PM IST

First photos of PM Narendra Modi meditating at Kanniyakumari's Vivekananda Rock Memorial | Watch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded the Bharatiya Janata Party's poll campaign on May 30, and is currently on a two-day visit to Tamil Nadu. PM Modi commenced his meditation break in Kanniyakumari on Thursday, at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

May 31, 2024 12:00 PM IST

The PM believes in meditation, says Union Minister Ramdas Athawale

On PM Modi's visit to Tamil Nadu for meditation, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale says, "...The PM believes in meditation. The PM has gone there to think about what to do next for the country and society. The opposition is accusing him of wrong things. The opposition reacts to every action of the PM. This is not right..."

May 31, 2024 11:46 AM IST

PM Modi meditates at Vivekananda rock memorial for the upliftment of Bharat: BJP's CR Kesavan

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi meditates at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari, BJP leader CR Kesavan said that PM Modi's meditation is not for personal salvation but for the upliftment of India.

"Currently, PM Modi is meditating and praying at the divine feet of our Bharat Mata at Kanyakumari in the Vivekananda rock memorial. PM Modi is meditating and praying not for personal salvation but for the uplifting of Bharat," Kesavan said.

Kesavan emphasised that PM Modi is following in the footsteps of Swami Vivekananda, making this meditation a milestone event in Indian history.

"PM Modi following in the footsteps of Swami Vivekananda to meditate will be a milestone event in our history, and on June 1st, after he completes 45 hours of meditation, he will come out with a renewed resolve and faith to serve the people of Bharat," Kesavan said.

May 31, 2024 11:40 AM IST

Cong's Anand Sharma in poll fray after 40 years, faces BJP debutant Rajiv Bharadwaj in Kangra

It is a battle between a politician who fought a poll over four decades back and an electoral debutant in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra Lok Sabha constituency.

Making his debut in this general elections at the age of 62, Dr Rajiv Bharadwaj of the BJP is contesting against Congress leader and former Union minister Anand Sharma in the parliamentary seat made up of 13 assembly segments of Kangra district and four of Chamba district.

While Bharadwaj has the legacy of his uncle and former chief minister Shanta Kumar and his popularity as a grassroots BJP worker and doctor to bank on to connect with the electorate, Sharma held a spirited campaign along with local and national Congress leaders to woo voters.

The Congress candidate last contested a poll from the Shimla assembly seat in 1982 and lost. He was a Union minister as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

May 31, 2024 11:04 AM IST

Stage set for polling in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Punjab

Polling for 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab and the lone Chandigarh seat will be held on Saturday, with INDIA bloc allies Congress and AAP contesting separately and the SAD and BJP also deciding to test the poll waters alone.

Prominent candidates in the fray are four-time MP Preneet Kaur, former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, three-time MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Ravneet Singh Bittu.

The BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal are contesting the Lok Sabha polls on their own for the first time since 1996 while two INDIA bloc parties - the Congress and AAP have fielded their own candidates.

The Sukhbir Badal-led party walked out of the NDA in 2020 over the now-repealed farm laws.

Besides the Congress, AAP, SAD and the BJP, two other parties --Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the Bahujan Samaj Party have also fielded their candidates.

Among the prominent faces, BJP nominee and four-time MP Preneet Kaur is seeking re-election from the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

May 31, 2024 10:08 AM IST

Income Tax Department seizes record ₹1100 crore cash and jewellery in Lok Sabha elections 2024

The Income Tax Department has achieved a record seizure of 1100 crore in cash and jewellery during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, sources told ANI.

As per the sources, by the end of May 30th, the department had seized approximately 1100 crore worth of cash and jewellery, marking a 182 per cent increase compared to the 390 crore seized during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into force on March 16, the day the Election Commission of India announced the dates for the Lok Sabha elections. Since then, the Income Tax Department has been vigilant in monitoring and seizing unaccounted cash and valuables that could potentially influence voters.

May 31, 2024 10:00 AM IST

PM Modi touts India's roaring economy as he seeks reelection, but many feel left behind

Narendra Modi swept to power a decade ago on promises to transform India’s economy, and it would be hard to argue he hasn’t made strides. As he seeks a third term as prime minister, the country’s economic growth is the envy of the world, its stock markets are booming, and new buildings and highways are popping up everywhere.

There are cracks in the facade, though, that his political challengers hope to benefit from, including high unemployment, persistent poverty and the sense that only a small portion of India’s 1.4 billion people has been able to cash in on the good fortune.

“You have a booming economy for people higher up on the socioeconomic ladder, but people lower down are really struggling,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

May 31, 2024 9:46 AM IST

PM Modi meditates at Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari

PM Narendra Modi meditates at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari, where Swami Vivekananda did meditation. He will meditate here till 1st June.

May 31, 2024 9:11 AM IST

Himachal LS polls: Congress, BJP duke it out on digital turf ahead of June 1 fray

As the voting date inches closer, politicians in Himachal Pradesh are letting go of no opportunity in trolling their rivals, more often than not choosing as their weapon the social media and its memetic powers.

A scramble for gaffes is on between the two key political parties in the fray here – Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party –, whose followers have been posting slip-ups and blunders of their rivals, in some cases, to cut them down to size, in others, to bring to fore internal cracks.

A peep into the official accounts of both parties reveals that they are big on using bytes of the general public, especially those with a flair for a good rant.

War rooms have been set up for cyber-rattling to catch opponents on the wrong foot.

For instance, the BJP has uploaded a video showing Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge mispronouncing the name of the town where he was addressing a rally, as well as the names of the party colleagues from the state.

May 31, 2024 8:54 AM IST

India election 2024: How markets may react to the outcome

India's six-week long national election is in its final phase, with voting concluding on Saturday, and financial markets are keenly awaiting the verdict after counting scheduled for June 4.

Pollsters and political analysts differ on the possible outcome of the election, with lower voter turnout and apathy seen as risks for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP and its allies won 352 of the 543 seats in India's lower house of parliament at the last election in 2019 with the BJP alone winning 303 seats.

May 31, 2024 8:44 AM IST

Laughable: BJP on Manmohan Singh's remarks on PM Modi

The BJP on Thursday termed Manmohan Singh's remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi "laughable" and said that despite having quit active politics, the former PM has not given up his habit of misleading the people of the country.

In a letter to voters of Punjab ahead of the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha polls on June 1, Manmohan Singh accused Modi of lowering the dignity of public discourse and the gravity of the office of the prime minister by giving "hateful speeches" during the election campaign.

He also accused Modi of attributing some false statements to him.

Hitting back, BJP national spokesperson R P Singh said in a post on X, "The nonsense that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stated suddenly in his letter on the last day of the Lok Sabha election campaign is not only laughable but it also does not suit the person who held the post of country's prime minister."

May 31, 2024 8:09 AM IST

Congress placed new vision for country before people, says Rahul Gandhi in video message

The Congress controlled the narrative during the Lok Sabha polls and placed a new vision for the country before the people, former party chief Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday, exuding confidence that the INDIA bloc will form the next government.

In his message to the people and Congress workers at the end of the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi said, "We were successful in fighting the elections on real issues related to the people and despite the repeated attempts of the Prime Minister to mislead, we raised the voice of farmers, workers, youth, women and the deprived."

"I bow before the great people of the country and confidently say to the workers of Congress that an INDIA bloc government is going to be formed," he said in his video message in Hindi.

May 31, 2024 7:58 AM IST

Is VK Pandian 'controlling' BJD? Naveen Patnaik responds

Odisha chief minister and Biju Janta Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik on Thursday refuted the claims of his close aid and ex-bureaucrat VK Pandian being the former's successor, saying that his successor would be decided by the people of Odisha.

"I have said repeatedly that the successor will be decided by the people of the state. That is the natural result of these things," Patnaik said in an interview to news agency ANI.

The BJD chief further dismissed claims of top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, that Pandian is “controlling the state", saying saffron camp's allegations are ridiculous and hold no significance.

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