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Daily Bulletin: Phase 5 of Lok Sabha polls begins with Rahul Gandhi, Rajnath Singh in fray; Narendra Modi to campaign in Bengal, Jharkhand; day's top stories

Fifth phase of Lok Sabha election today

The fate of several key leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani, will be decided on Monday in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, which will witness voting in 51 constituencies across seven states.

Fourteen seats in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Rajasthan, seven each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar and four in Jharkhand will go to polls, in addition to Ladakh and Anantnag constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.

This is an important phase for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh as it had won 12 of the 14 seats in the 2014 general elections. The party is now facing the combined force of the SP, BSP and RLD, which had contested solo last time.

 Daily Bulletin: Phase 5 of Lok Sabha polls begins with Rahul Gandhi, Rajnath Singh in fray; Narendra Modi to campaign in Bengal, Jharkhand; days top stories

Candiates in the fray for Phase 5 of the Lok Sabha election.

According to the Election Commission of India, over 8.75 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballots to decide the fate of 674 candidates. As many as 96,000 polling stations have been set up and security arrangements made for the smooth conduct of the elections.

Follow LIVE updates on fifth phase of Lok Sabha election here

Poll watch: Modi to campaign in West Bengal and Jharkhand 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will campaign for the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha election on Monday and address rallies in West Bengal's Tamluk and Jhargram and Jharkhand's Chaibasa.

Modi is also likely to visit Odisha to take stock of the damage caused by Cyclone Fani over the weekend.

Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah will address rallies in Bihar's East Champaran, Betiya, and Siwan.

On Saturday, Modi addressed rallies in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh's Gwalio, Modi said that for the first time since the Emergency, people were fighting to re-elect a government, adding that the trends of the first four phases of the Lok Sabha polls show that the Congress and its allies are staring at defeat.

Toll in Cyclone Fani rises to 34 in Odisha

The toll in Cyclone Fani mounted to 34 in Odisha on Sunday, two days after it caused widespread damage in the coastal region and left hundreds grappling with water shortage and power cuts, an official said.

Although the official figure is 34, many more are feared dead in the calamity as information from several areas, including the severely-damaged Khurda district, is still awaited.

The number of people affected by the cyclone has also jumped to around 1.08 crore in 14,835 villages spread across at least 11 districts, the official said, adding that over 13.41 lakh people had been evacuated in a span of 24 hours ahead of the disaster.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already unveiled a relief package for those affected by the calamity.

Manmohan Singh says Narendra Modi should be shown 'exit door'

Modi should be shown the exit door as his five-year rule has been the "most traumatic and devastating" for India's youth, farmers, traders and every democratic institution, former prime minister and Congress leader Manmohan Singh said on Sunday.

Singh dismissed the notion that there was a wave in favour of Modi and asserted that the people had made up their minds to vote out the government that "does not believe in inclusive growth and is only worried about its political existence at the altar of disharmony".

In one of his fiercest attacks on the Modi dispensation, Singh alleged that the past five years only witnessed the "stench" of corruption peaking to "unimaginable proportions", adding that demonetisation was perhaps the "biggest scam" of Independent India.

Opposition hits out at Modi over 'corrupt No 1' remark on Rajiv Gandhi

The Congress, led by party chief Rahul Gandhi, did not take well to Modi's comment on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at election campaigns in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh and Basti on Saturday. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also criticised Modi, calling the comment "unfortunate".

On Saturday, Modi had said, "Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'bhrashtachari no 1' (corrupt number 1)," referring to the Bofors case, a defence deal that allegedly involved bribes.

In response to Modi's remarks, Rahul on Sunday wrote on Twitter that the "battle is over" for the prime minister. "Modiji, your karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won't protect you," he tweeted.

Govt sees little hope for Jet Airways' revival

The government sees little hope of a bidder emerging for debt-laden Jet Airways, two senior finance ministry officials said, even as thousands of employees plead with the government for a rescue.

Parties that had initially expressed interest in Jet, which is saddled with roughly $1.2 billion of debt, have, so far, failed to make firm bids to bail it out, increasing the odds that it could soon face bankruptcy proceedings.

“There is little scope of the revival of Jet,” said one official, adding that if a bidder emerged, the government was still willing to return to the private airline the slots that have temporarily been given to rivals.

Women's T20 Challenge: Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas take on Smriti Mandhana's Trailblazers in opener

The best of Indian talent will be rubbing shoulders with prominent international stars in the Women's T20 Challenge on Monday. Three teams — Trailblazers, Supernovas and Velocity — will play each other in the round robin format. Harmanpreet Kaur's Supernovas will take on Smriti Mandhana's Trailblazers in the opening game.

Microsoft Build 2019 scheduled for today

The world's most valuable company will hold its annual developer conference 'Build 2019' on Monday. Microsoft is likely to announce the main chunk of new releases and updates at the event and also make announcements regarding AI, Azure, IoT, Microsoft 365 and more.

Woody Allen's new film likely to be released in Italy

After being put on the shelf by Amazon, director Woody Allens A Rainy Day in New York will reportedly be released in Italy this fall. It will be released via distributor Lucky Red, a source familiar with the situation told Variety.

The romantic comedy, starring Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law, is now being sold by Glen Basner's FilmNation Entertainment, the source said, adding that other European deals had also been closed. The film was completed in 2018.

Italy's Lucky Red has confirmed Italian press reports that it will release A Rainy Day in New York on 3 October, leading to speculation that the film could be premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September.

Allen's film has become toxic in the US because of the renewed attention to the sexual molestation allegations levelled against him by his daughter Dylan Farrow. Allen denies the allegations.

Your guide to the latest seat tally, live updates, analysis and list of winners for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 542 constituencies on counting day of the general elections.

Updated Date: May 06, 2019 08:19:50 IST