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News at Nine

2100 HRS
18.04.2019

THEHEADLINES :-

  • Moderate to high voter turnout recordedfor 95 Lok Sabha seats under second phase of general elections; polling alsoconcludes for 35 Assembly seats in Odisha and 18 in Tamil Nadu.

  • Campaigning gears up for third phase;filing of nominations for fifth phase ends.

  • Government suspends cross-LoC trade inJammu and Kashmir.

  • Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar resigns amid negotiations tosecure economic bailout package from IMF.

  • Wrestler Bajrang Punia regains worldnumber one spot in men's 65 kilogram freestyle rankings.

  • In IPL Cricket, match between Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indiansunderway at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

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Moderate to heavy polling was recordedin 95 Parliamentary constituencies, spread over 11 States and one UnionTerritory that went to polls today under second phase of general elections.

The Election Commission said an averageof 66 per cent turnout was recorded. Briefing media in New Delhi this evening,Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said:

 

"For the second phase, forcorresponding phase, it was 69.62 percent in 2014. In 2019 it is 66 percent.The voters came out in large number to casts their votes for the country. Thepolling was conducted peacefully, barring sporadic incidents in different partsof the poll going states."

 

Puducherry recorded the highest78 per cent voting followed by West Bengal around 76.07 per cent. Manipurrecorded 74.3 per cent, Assam 73.32 per cent, Tamil Nadu 72 per cent,Chhattisgarh 71 per cent, Maharashtra 62 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 62.3 per cent,Jammu and Kashmir 43.4 per cent, Karnataka 61.84 per cent and Bihar 62.52 percent.

 

Voting also took place for 35 Assemblyseats in Odisha and 18 in Tamil Nadu. 64 per cent polling was recorded for bothLok Sabha and Assembly election in Odisha.


In the second phase of Lok Sabha polls, voting was held for 38 seats in TamilNadu, 14 in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each inAssam, Bihar and Odisha, 3 each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammuand Kashmir and one each in Manipur and Puducherry.

 

In Tamil Nadu, polling was peaceful,barring a few isolated incidents. More from our correspondent:

 

"The fateof over 822 candidates in the state have been sealed in EVMs following thecompletion of polling, barring Vellore, where election has been countermanded.The political fortunes of 269 contestants in the Assembly bye-elections arealso going to be decided by the outcome of today’s polling that will be knownon May 23rd. The main battle in today’s election has been between the NDAconsisting of AIADMK, BJP, PMK and DMDK with the UPA comprising DMK, Congress,the two Left Parties and Vaiko-led MDMK besides others. Actor Kamal Haasan’sfledgeling Makkal Needhi Mayyam and Naam Tamizhar Party were also in theelectoral fray.  Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

 

In Karnataka, a few incidents of EVMmalfunction and names missing from voters' list were reported. A report:

 

"Threeprominent parties namely BJP, Congress and JD(S) had run an aggressive campaignduring this phase. The impact of Congress-JD(S) alliance, Deve Gowda shiftinghis base from Hassan to Tumkur, absence of Ananth Kumar in Bengaluru South,introduction of Deve Gowda’s grandsons in election politics and ultimately thefuture of coalition government in the state are some of the issues underdiscussion. It is also of interest to see whether Sadanand Gowda, VeerappaMoily and KH Muniyappa will retain their seats. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."

 

In West Bengal, elections to Jalpaiguri,Raigunj and Darjeeling Parliamentary seats ended by and large peacefully,barring a few stray incidents. Our correspondent covering the polls inDarjeeling hills has filed this report:

 

"Barringfew stray incidents, polling in Darjeeling was by and large peaceful. Policeregistered eight FIRs in different cases. The Election Commission hasremoved  presiding officer of a pollingbooth in Darjeeling for negligence of duties. In Chopda, five policemen wereinjured in a clash allegedly between ruling Trinamool Congress and  BJP supporters. However, voting in teagardens in the hills was peaceful. Arijit Chakravarty reporting from Darjeelingfor AIR News.

 

In Maharashtra, except a few stray incidentsof technical snags at some polling stations, polling overall ended peacefully.

 

In Chhattisgarh, heavy polling wasrecorded in Maoist- affected Kanker, Mahasamund and Rajnandgaon Lok Sabhaconstituencies. More from our correspondent:

 

"Votersturned out with great enthusiasm to exercise their franchise in three Lok Sabhaconstituencies of Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund of Chhattisgarh. Elders,Divvyang, women and first time voters turned up in large numbers in all thethree constituencies to cast their vote. 105 year old woman Ramkunwar Bai  cast her vote in village Podi in Kabeerdhamdistrict while 100 year old Jamuna Bai reached the polling station to exerciseher franchise. Four grooms walked to polling booth in marriage attire and casttheir votes before marriage at Sambalpur village in Rajnandgaon district. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

 

In Bihar, polling was held in Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Purnia andBanka. Here is a report:

 

"In Bankaconstituency, situation aggravated after altercation of  police personnel with a faction of localpeople over allegation of bogus polling. Paramilitary forces had to resortlathi charge and aerial firing to disperse miscreants.  Chief Electoral Officer HR Shrinivas hasordered an inquiry over the incident. Political fortune of 68 candidates sealedin Electronic voting machines including former union minister Tarique Anwar,former member of parliament Uday Singh, both of Congress, former Union MinisterJay Prakash Narayan Yadav from RJD and independent candidate PutulKumari."Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News, Kishanganj

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Campaigningis gearing up for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections. Polling will be heldin 116 constituencies, spread across 13 states and 2 Union Territories, in thisphase on the 23rd of this month. Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister NarendraModi heldpublic rallies in Bagalkote and Chikkodi in North Karnataka today. Mr Modisaid, the NDA government worked for the welfare of farmers in the last fiveyears and will continue to do so if voted to power again.

 

"किसानों की स्थिति को सुधारने के लिए हमारी सरकार बने। पी एम किसान योजना की शुरूआत देश के तीन करोड़ से ज्यादा किसानों को इसका लाभ मिलना शुरू हो चुका है। उनके बैंक खाते में सीधे पैसे जा रहे हैं। लेकिन कर्नाटक के किसानों को इनका लाभ नहीं मिल पर रहा है क्योंकि यहां की सरकार ने बहुत कम किसानों की लिस् हमें भेजी हैं, लेकिन आप आश्वस् रहिए ये ज्यादा देर तक आपका हक रोक नहीं पाएंगे।"

 

Congress President RahulGandhi addressed a rally at Vanthli in Junagadh district of Gujarat. He said,his party's 'Nyay' scheme will not harm the economy, but instead help it grow.

 

"अगर आपकी आमदनी 12 हजार रूपए प्रति हीना से कम है कांग्रेस की सरकार आपके बैंक एकाउंट में 72 हजार रूपए साल के डालने वाली है। अब हम जैसे ही पैसा डालेंगे आप लोग माल खरीदना शुरू करोगे, वैसे ही हिन्दुस्तान की फैक्टरियां फिर से चालू हो जाएंगी। वैसे ही रोजगार फिर से शुरू हो जाएंगे। तो इससे सिर्फ गरीबों को फायदा नहीं होगा, इससे दुकानदारों को भी फायदा होगा। किसानों को, मजदूरों को फायदा होगा, सबको फायदा होगा।"   

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Today was the lastdate for filing of nominations for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections. 51constituencies spread over 7 states will go to polls on the 6th of May.Scrutiny of nominations will be held on Saturday. Monday is the last date forwithdrawal of candidature.

 

A total of 173candidates have filed nominations in Rajasthan for 12 seats going to polls inthis phase. Today, 95 candidates filed nominations. These include Congressleader Jitendra Singh and BJP's Arjun Ram Meghwal and Jaskaur Meena. Of 161candidates, there are just 19 women who have filed nominations for this phase.

 

In Bihar, 88candidates have filed their nomination papers so far.

 

In Uttar Pradesh,many high profile candidates, including Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav,SP-BSP alliance candidate Poonam Sinha and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi filed theirnomination papers today.

 

In Delhi, a total of 34 candidatesfiled their nomination papers today for seven Lok Sabha seats going to polls inthe sixth phase on the 12th of May. BJPand Congress are yet to announce names of their candidates. Aam Aadmi Party hasalready fielded its candidates.

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The government hassuspended the LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir from tomorrow. The Home Ministryissued an order in this regard. The decision was taken as the government hasbeen receiving reports that the Cross LoC trade routes are being misused by thePakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.

 

The LoC trade ismeant to facilitate exchange of goods of common use between local populationsacross the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. The trade is allowed through two TradeFacilitation Centres located at Salamabad, Uri, District Baramulla and Chakkan-da-Baghof District Poonch.

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)today clarified that no chapter has been d from the syllabus of SocialScience subject of Class 10th. In a statement, the board dismissed the mediareport in this regard, terming it as false. It said, all the chapters will bestudied by the class 10th students in due course of time and also evaluated.

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Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar abruptly quitthe Cabinet today before securing a multi-billion dollar International MonetaryFund bailout package for the cash-strapped country. He recently returned from atrip to the US in which the details of Pakistan's next IMF bailout werediscussed. He said, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Imran Khandesired him to take the Energy Minister portfolio instead of Finance. However,he obtained Mr Khan's consent to not take any cabinet position.

 

The Imran Khan-led government and Umar inparticular have faced mounting criticism by Opposition parties, members of thebusiness community and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis.

 

Pakistan is seeking eight billion dollars from theIMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatensto cripple the country's economy.

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In Portugal, threedays of mourning began at Madeira today after 29 German tourists died in a busmishap near Canico town. Local authorities said, 50-odd tourists had left theirhotel and were on their way to the regional capital Funchal when the accidentoccurred yesterday.

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North Korea has demanded the removal of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeofrom nuclear negotiations. The demand came after it test-fired today a new typeof tactical guided weapon, its first such test in nearly half a year. A SouthKorean analyst said, details in the North's media report indicate it could havebeen a new type of cruise missile.

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India's BajrangPunia has regained the world number one spot in the men's 65 kilogram freestylecategory rankings. The rankings were released by United World Wrestling. Punia,who won Gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as a silver inthe World Championships last year, secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev ofRussia. Punia is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to beheld in China from the 23rd of this month. He had first reached the worldnumber one spot in November last year.

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In IPL Cricket,Mumbai Indians were 104 for 3 in 15 overs against Delhi Capitals at the FerozShah Kotla Stadium in the national capital, when reports last came in. Mumbaihad won the toss and opted to bat. While Delhi's team is unchanged for thisgame, Mumbai has made two changes. Ben Cutting has come in for Ishan Kishan who is sick andJason Behrendorff has replaced Jayant Yadav.

 

Delhi is currentlysecond in the eight-team points table with 10 points behind leaders ChennaiSuper Kings. 

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