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Last Updated : May 27 2020 8:08PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Congress weakening fight against COVID 19 pandemic says Law Minister Ravi shankar Prasad            Compulsory Hotel quarantine period for Indians, returning from abroad, reduced to 7 days from 14 days; Centre asks states to ensure refund of extra charges            ICMR ramps up testing, gives approval to 624 laboratories across India approved till now to conduct Covid-19 tests            Air Force operationalises 2nd Squadron of indigenous Combat Aircraft-Tejas            New areas inundated in Assam due to incessant rains; Several rivers flowing above danger level           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0815 HRS
  • Top political leaders to hold back-to-back rallies today for the final phase of Lok Sabha elections.
  • Re-poll ordered at 34 booths in 10 districts of Odisha.
  • Election Commission issues notices to three media houses for displaying poll surveys predicting results of general elections.
  • Seventeen developing countries call for strengthening World Trade Organisation to promote development and inclusivity.
  • In Tennis, Serena Williams withdraws from Italian Open due to injury.


Top political leaders will hold back-to-back rallies today for the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections. Fifty nine constituencies, spread over seven states and one Union Territory, will go to polls in this phase on Sunday.

Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address rallies at Paliganj in Bihar; Deoghar in Jharkhand; and Hasnabad and Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.

BJP President Amit Shah will campaign at Dhar and Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address rallies at Faridkot and Ludhiana in Punjab.
Our Lucknow correspondent reports that many leaders will campaign in Uttar Pradesh today.

"Senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Kalraj Mishra, Yogi Adityanath, Keshav Prasad Maurya, Manoj Tiwari and Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua will address rallies today. Varanasi will witness road show of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who will campaign for party candidate Ajay Rai. Prior to the road show, she will also address a rally in Salempur constituency. SP-BSP-RLD alliance will hold two rallies back to back today - first in Mau and another one in Deoria - in which Chiefs of all the parties will be present. Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav will also address a rally in Maharajganj later. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."

The seventh phase will cover 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh; all 13 in Punjab; nine in West Bengal; eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; all four constituencies in Himachal Pradesh; three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Chandigarh.

Counting of votes for all the seven phases will be taken up on the 23rd of this month.

In Madhya Pradesh, the entire work of counting of votes in Harda district will be handled by women. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"Harda district is part of Betul parliamentary seat and the counting of votes of Timarni and Harda Assembly segments will take place at Harda district headquarters. At present, 84 women are being trained for counting in Polytechnic College. District Election Officer S Vishwanathan told AIR that his intention is to encourage them and to prove that the women are not behind in any case. Apart from the counting of votes, only women will deployed for the security of the counting centre. Betul voted on 6 May and the women had taken the responsibilities of voting in 60 all women polling booths in Harda. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."


The BJP has approached the Election Commission over the violence in party President Amit Shah's road show at Kolkata in West Bengal yesterday. A party delegation, comprising Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, met the poll body in New Delhi over the issue. The delegation alleged that a large number of anti-social elements supported by the Trinamool Congress have taken shelter in hotels, and Dharmshalas and they are inciting violence in poll-bound areas.

Talking to reporters, Ms Sitharaman said, they have urged the Commission to take action immediately.

"Our demands are: one that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should be banned from talking in election campaigns; two, the Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) should really be functioning as QRTs; third, a special representative of the Election Commission should go to Bengal."

TMC spokesperson Derek O' Brien has alleged that the BJP President brought outsiders for his road show and they were responsible for the violence.

The TMC government has ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. Our correspondent reports that police has arrested more than 100 people in this connection.

 "Several organisations have condemned the vandalism and violence during the Road Show of Amit Shah in Kolkata. The statue of Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was damaged which was installed at Vidyasagar College. Beside ransacking of college properties. The trouble began when a group of students of the college showed black flag to Amit Shah when his vehicle was passing through the area. The area suddenly turned into battle fields and clashes took place between Trinamool Congress and BJP supporters. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the college at night to take stock of the situation. Different organisations, including Teachers bodies, have called protest rallies in Kolkata today condemning the incident. Arijit Chakraborty, AIR News, Kolkata."


The Election Commission (EC) has issued notices to three media houses for displaying poll surveys predicting results of the general elections. It has sought explanation from IANS India Private Limited, Economic Times and Swaraj Mass Media as to why action should not be taken against them for violation of provision of Representation of the People Act. They have been asked to respond by tomorrow.


The EC has issued a show cause notice to Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam for alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct. The notice has been issued to Mr Nirupam for his alleged controversial remarks against the Prime Minister in Varanasi. The Congress leader has been asked to submit his reply by today.


The Election Commission has ordered re-polling at 34 booths in 10 districts of Odisha. Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar told reporters that re-polling will be held in different assembly segments in the districts of Puri, Cuttack, Deogarh, Khurda and Balasore among others.

Puri was worst-hit by Cyclone Fani which hit the state earlier this month.
Of the 34 booths, polling was held at 12 booths in the third phase and 22 booths in the fourth phase.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Ministerial central team which is conducting the on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused by Cyclone Fani will conclude its visit today. The team is led by Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Vivek Bharadwaj. The team interacted with the affected people in Puri, Cuttack, and Khurda districts. More from our correspondent:

"Interacting with media persons, Mr Bharadwaj said, the people had informed the team about losing the means of livelihood. He said, the team would see how the central government can help the affected people. After winding up its three-day visit today, the team will hold another round of meeting with Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and other senior state government officials at Bhubaneswar before leaving for Delhi. The team will submit the report to the Centre on the damage caused by the cyclone. The state government is scheduled to start the house damage assessment today for the families whose houses were completely or substantially damaged during cyclone. SN Pattnaik, AIR News, sambalpur."


Seventeen developing countries have stressed on working collectively to strengthen the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to promote development and inclusivity for the benefit of all members. A 13-point declaration was signed by these nations at the end of the two-day wto Ministerial meeting of developing countries in New Delhi yesterday. The countries include India, Egypt, Barbados, Jamaica, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Africa. Five countries refrained from backing the document. Our correspondent reports that a total of 22 countries attended the meeting.

"According to the document, the process of WTO reform must keep development at its core, promote inclusive growth and fully take into account the interests and concerns of developing members. The member nations who signed the document also pitched for filling vacancies in WTO's appellate body saying that the current impasse could completely paralyse the dispute settlement mechanism. They urged all the members to engage constructively to address the challenge without delay. The developing nations also agreed to consult  with developing members on various issues of common interest. Anand Kumar, AIR News, Delhi."


In Sri Lanka, overnight curfew imposed across the country was lifted this morning as the situation is returning to normal. Seventy four people have been arrested in connection with recent attacks on Muslim homes and shops. Police said, arrests of those who are using hate speech on social media to disrupt national unity, are continuing. The police said, if mobs continue to engage in communal violence, they will use force to stop them.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said, all necessary powers have been given to the police and the armed forces to ensure peace and security in the country.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, he would like to fully restore relations with the United States and believes that his counterpart Donald Trump also wants the same. At a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Sochi, Mr Putin also said, Moscow had not interfered in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

Earlier, Mr Pompeo met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The US Secretary of State said, Washington does not seek a war with Iran. He said, the US would respond if its interests were attacked.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also said there will be no war with the US.


Mexico City has declared an environmental , ordering vehicles off the road. The semi-finals of the first-division football league have also been postponed as a blanket of smog enveloped the capital. A series of wildfires on the city's outskirts have combined with stagnant weather conditions to cloak the metropolitan area in a gray cloud. Pollution levels have crossed critical points.


The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed 18 states and two Union Territories to submit an action plan to ensure utilisation of treated waste water to reduce pressure on the ground water resources throughout the country. A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, directed the states and union territories to submit the action plan within three months to the Central Pollution Control Board. The NGT said, it may have to consider coercive measures, including compensation for loss to the environment, if the states fail to submit the plan.


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable properties worth 483 crore rupees registered with KSL and Industries Limited, Mumbai in a bank fraud case. The company is part of the Tayal group of companies. The ED said in a statement that the properties attached consist of commercially diverted land along with a shopping mall in Nagpur. The agency initiated investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of FIRs filed by the CBI against three different companies of the Tayal group. They are accused of cheating and fraudulently availing loans of 524 crore rupees from two banks. The investigation revealed that they have diverted these funds through a maze of shell companies.


Onto Sports-

In Tennis, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the ongoing Italian Open due to a knee injury. The 37-year old was all set to clash with her sister Venus in the second round of the tournament in Rome today. Serena is a four-time Italian Open champion and holds the record for the most number of wins by a player in the tournament.

Italian Open is the last big event before the French Open which begins in Paris later this month.


  • Newspapers lead with different stories this morning.
  • "Bengal simmers after BJP and TMC clash during Shah's Kolkata roadshow" headlines The Indian Express. "Clash cuts short Shah show" says The Pioneer.
  • "Federal Front can take Congress support to form government; But we will not give up Driver's Seat". The Times of India quotes the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.
  • "Next government will weigh factors, decide on oil import: India to Iran" writes The Indian Express.
  • "Monsoon slightly late, may be below normal", leads the Hindustan Times. "Belated and scanty monsoon to rain misery on farm" states The Pioneer.
  • "4 top Jet executives resign in a day as revival hopes dim" reports The Times of India.
  • "World Jittery as Spyware hits WhatsApp" writes The Mail Today. "Hacked! WhatsApp urges users to upgrade app" states The Financial Express.
  • And finally, "Mumbai girl first to cross Atlantic solo in small aircraft" The Tribune reports on 23-year-old pilot, Captain Aarohi Pandit becoming the world's first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft.



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