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First session of 17th Lok Sabha commences today            Striking doctors in West Bengal to hold talks with CM today            NIA alleges hardline separatist leaders of J&K received funds from abroad, utilised them for personal gains            ICC World Cup: India beat Pakistan by 89 runs            Monsoon expected to advance further in next 24 hours           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
15.04.2019

THE headlines:

  • Campaigning reaches its peak for second phase of Lok Sabha elections as it comes to end tomorrow evening.

  • Re-polling underway at four centers of Naxal-infested Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra.

  • Supreme Court seeks explanation of Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on court's Rafale deal verdict by next Monday.

  • Apex Court directs Election Commission to watch full biopic on Prime Minister Modi and submit decision in a sealed cover by 22nd of this month.

  • In Jharkhand, three Maoists and a CRPF jawan killed in an encounter in Giridih district.

  • And in IPL Cricket, Mumbai Indians take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at Mumbai this evening.

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Electioneering has reached its peak for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. Campaigning for this phase will come to an end tomorrow evening. Ninety seven constituencies, spread over 12 States and one Union Territory, will go to polls on Thursday.

In this phase, voting will be held in all 39 constituencies of Tamil Nadu, 14 in Karnataka; 10 in Maharashtra; 8 in 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, Tripura and Puducherry.

Top leaders of various political parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters.

BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today addressed public meeting at Rourkela in Odisha. He said, the BJP has zero tolerance towards terrorism while both Congress and BJD have adopted soft approach towards naxalism and terrorism. He said, people across the country want the BJP government once again.

"भारत को एक भारत - श्रेष् भारत, समृद्ध भारत बनाना है तो मोदी जी को फिर से भारत का प्रधानमंत्री बनाना होगा और उत्तर हो, दक्षिण हो, पूरब हो, पश्चिम हो, सबकी एक आवाज है और वो आवाज है मोदी मोदी।"

In Uttar Pradesh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi as well as party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi addressed a rally at Fatehpur Sikri. Addressing the gathering, Ms Gandhi said,

"अगर आप राष्ट्रवादी हैं तो चुनाव के समय हिन्दुस्तान की बात करिए, हिन्दुस्तान के नौजवानों को बताइए आप उनके लिए क्या करने जा रहे हैं। महिलाओं को बताइए कि आप उनके लिए क्या करने जा रहें हैं। किसानों के लिए कहिए कि आपने कौन सी योजना बनाई है। गरीबो के लिए बताईये कि आप उनके लिए क्या करेंगे?"  

BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Mahesh Sharma and others are also participating in public meetings in different parts of the state including Mathura, Fatepur Sikri, Badayun and Rampur. BSP Chief Mayawati is also slated to address meetings at Aligarh and Amroha. Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav is campaigning in Kasganj and Moradabad.

BJP President Amit Shah is campaigning at Gir Somnath in Gujarat today. Later, he is also scheduled to hold a roadshow at Banaskantha district. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is also scheduled to campaign in the Saurashtra region. He will address a rally in Bhavnagar this afternoon.

Later in the evening, Rahul Gandhi will reach Thiruvananthapuram to campaign in various constituencies in Kerala. He is expected to attend public meetings in Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow. On Wednesday, Mr Gandhi will reach Wayanad for election campaign. 

In Bihar, Katihar, Kishanganj, Purnea, Bhagalpur and Banka parliamentry constituencies are going to polls on Thursday. Our correspondent reports that the second phase is crucial for JD(U) as party's candidates are contesting in all five seats.

"In the last elections, RJD had won Banka and Bhagalpur seats while JD(U) won Purnea, NCP Katihar and Congress Kishanganj. This time, Tariq Anwar has resigned from NCP and he is contesting from Kathiar on Congress ticket. He is in direct contest with Dulalchand Goswami of JD(U). In Kishanganj, there is a traingular contest among Mahmood Ashraf of JD(U), Mohmmad Jawed of Congress and Akhatarul Iman of AIMIM. Dissident BJP leader Putul Kumari is contesting as independent candidate up against Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav of RJD and Giridhari Yadav of JD(U). In Purnea, there is direct contest between Santosh Kushwaha of JD(U) and Udai Singh of Congress. With KK Lal's report report from Patna Anuja Bhardwajan, AIR News."

In Assam, 50 candidates are in the fray for five Lok Sabha seats going to polls in this phase. Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sarbanand Sonowal and  NEDA Chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma are campaigning for their party candidates. Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, state Congress President Ripun Bora, AIUDF President Badruddin Ajmal, AGP leaders Atul Bora and Keshab Mahanta are  also trying to woo the voters.

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In Maharashtra, re-polling is underway in four polling centers of Naxal-infested Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha constituency. 38.31 per cent polling was recorded till 11 am in Chimur constituency.

Voting, which began at 7 AM, will continue till 3 PM. An Election Commission official said, repoll is taking place at Watali, Garadewada, Garadewada (Pusosoti) and Garadewada (Wangeturi).

Repolling is being held as an encounter took place between security forces and Naxals in Gadchiroli when a polling party was returning after first phase of elections.

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The National Commission for Women, NCW today sent a notice to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for his alleged comments  directed at BJP leader Jaya Prada at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. The commission said the remarks made by Khan are extremely offensive, unethical and shows disrespect towards the dignity and respect of women in general. Citing news reports, the NCW said it strongly condemns such comments from persons holding responsible positions. The Commission has asked Azam Khan to give an explanation in the matter.

NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma  said that the Commission will request Election Commission to bar Azam Khan from contesting elections.

"NCW has taken Suo moto and we are sending him a notice and we are also writing to the Election Commission to take a strict action against him, because he has to learn this lesson now."

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The Supreme Court has said that remarks made by Rahul Gandhi on the Rafale case verdict were "incorrectly attributed" to the apex court and directed the Congress President to give his explanation by next Monday. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi today said, it will consider the petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi seeking action against Mr Gandhi in contempt of court case for having some wrong observations on the Rafale judgement.

The court said the explanation by the Congress President has to be filed on or before 22nd April and the matter will be heard on 23rd.

The BJP today said, it is now clear from the Supreme Court notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi that he is deliberately conspiring to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, Mr Gandhi misinterpreted the remarks of the Supreme court on Rafale fighter jet deal. Mr Javadekar said:

"देश के प्रधानमंत्री को देश के इंस्टिट्यूटस को बदनाम करने की कांग्रेस की साजिश है और जिसके स्क्रिप् के तहत उनको एसएसमस आता है और वो पढ़ कर दिखाते है और इसलिए राहुल गांधी को सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने 22 तारीख को उनसे जवाब मांगा हैं।"

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The Apex Court today directed the Election Commission to watch the full biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and take an informed decision on banning its pan India release by Friday. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also directed the poll panel to submit its decision to the court in a sealed cover by 22nd of this month.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for film producers who challenged the EC's ban on release, said the poll panel banned it just by watching the promo and did not watch the full movie.

The poll panel had earlier banned the screening of the biopic during the current poll period, observing any such film that subserves purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed on electronic media.

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The Supreme Court today took note of the alleged hate speeches made by BSP Chief Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during poll campaign. The court sought to know from the Election Commission the action initiated against them so far. The counsel appearing for poll panel said that it has already issued notices against the two politicians. 

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In Jharkhand, three Maoists and a CRPF jawan were killed in an encounter in Giridih district today. Officials said, the encounter took place this morning in Belbha Ghat forest area when troops of the Central Reserve Police Force were undertaking anti naxal operations there. They said three bodies of Maoists along with weapons  have been recovered from the encounter site. Security forces have conducted searches in the area for more recoveries.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire yet again by resorting to indiscriminate firing on Indian forward posts along the Line of Control in Rajouri district today. Defence spokesperson said, Pakistani troops started shelling Indian posts in Nowshehra sector by firing mortars and small arms this morning. However, Indian troops gave them a befitting reply. Exchange of firing between Indian and Pak troops was continuing when reports last came in. No casualty was reported from Indian side of the border.

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of fertilizers to extend the duration of New Urea Policy - 2015 from 1st of April, 2019 till further orders. It will facilitate  continued operations and  regular supply of urea to the farmers.

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Cabinet has approved cooperation agreement between India and Denmark in the field of renewable energy with focus on offshore wind energy. The Agreement was signed in March this year in New Delhi. The areas of cooperation include technical capacity building for management of off­shore wind projects and measures to develop and sustain a highly efficient wind industry.

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Traditional new year festivities are being observed in some parts of the country. People are celebrating new year festival of Vishu in Kerala, Manuh Bihu in Assam and Poela Boisakh in West Bengal.

In Assam, our correspondent reports that bihu is celebrated to mark the onset of new agriculture season and the new Assamese year.

"The second day of the celebration is being marked as the Manuh Bihu where respects are being paid to the elders in the family and their blessings are sought. On this occasion, gifts particularly the traditional Gamosa is being given to younger. People across all communities and religions, are seen exchanging Rongali Bihu greetings on social media as well as in person. Traditional sweet dish like laaru and pitha have been served in every household. Husori, Bihuwoti competition, cultural programmes are being organized in Bihu sanmilan. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR News, Guwahati."

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted the people on the occasion.

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In IPL Cricket, third placed Mumbai Indians will take on bottom dwellers Royal Challengers Bangalore at 8 in the evening. Delhi Capitals defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 39 runs at Hyderabad last night to go second in the points table behind Chennai Super Kings.

Earlier in the day, Chennai beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets.

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