Lok Sabha election dates announced by Election Commission
The Lok Sabha election will begin on 11 April and continue for over a month till 19 May across seven phases, followed by counting of votes on 23 May, the Election Commission announced on Sunday, kick-starting a mega electoral battle where the BJP will pitch for a re-election of the Narendra Modi government amid the Opposition's efforts for a united fight to unseat it.
The polling will be held in seven phases for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country in which nearly 90 crore voters would be eligible to vote, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said during the press conference in Delhi. Assembly elections will also be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.
However, elections for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly have been deferred, the EC said, citing security reasons. The state has been under President's Rule after the ruling alliance between the BJP and Peoples Democratic Party fell apart last year. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti slammed the decision to not hold Assembly polls in the state, calling it a "sinister" move. In West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress called the EC decision to hold multi-phase elections in the state "unnecessary".
Arora said that the model code of conduct would come into immediate effect from Sunday. Among other restrictions, the model code bars the government from announcing any policy move that may impact voters' decision.
Rahul Gandhi to address Congress booth workers today
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address thousands of party polling booth in-charges in Delhi at a convention on Monday. The convention — 'Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav' (my booth, my pride) — will be held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, PTI reported.
"In light of the reports of BJP's manipulations to win elections, Rahul Gandhi will guide the booth in-charges on how to remain alert at booths and check EVMs (electronic voting machines) and keep watch on working of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines during the elections," a party official was quoted by the report as saying.
Delhi Congress leaders said that Gandhi wanted to meet the booth in-charges, who serve as "foot soldiers" of the party, to encourage them and give them tips about cornering the BJP and the AAP over the failures of their dispensations at the Centre and in Delhi, respectively.
NIA court to pronounce verdict in 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case
Twelve years after explosions on the Samjhauta Express, which operates between India and Pakistan, killed at least 68 people, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Panchkula is likely to pronounce its verdict in the case on Monday.
According to reports, the NIA investigations revealed that IEDs and inflammable substances were used two cause the blasts in two coaches of the train near Panipat in Haryana on the night of 1 February 2007. Most of the deceased were Pakistani nationals, reports said.
Eight people were named in the chargesheet, however, only four — Naba Kumar Sarkar, or Swami Aseemanand, who is out on bail; Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan, and Rajinder Chaudhary, all of whom are in judicial custody — will appear before the court on Monday when the verdict will be pronounced. The alleged mastermind in the attack, Sunil Joshi, was killed in December 2007.
IDBI Bank drafts yet another revival strategy
IDBI Bank is charting out a revival strategy to bring banking and insurance under one roof to its customers, along with its new owner Life Insurance Corporation. In January, LIC had completed the process of picking up a controlling 51 percent stake in the nearly crippled IDBI Bank which has been under the prompt corrective action framework of the regulator that bans it from corporate lending and branch expansions, salary hikes and other regular activities.
The RBI action followed after its bad loans touched 33 percent which in December 2018 had come down to 29 percent of its total assets. The bank and LIC, through its collective network of branches, offices and workforce, have started leveraging their mutual business synergies, a statement said Sunday. The major areas of synergy identified for the immediate short-term are pertaining to selling of LIC policies through IDBI branches.
Protests in Kolkata against Bengali film's withdrawal from theatres
Multiple actors and filmmakers from the Bengali film industry hit the streets of Kolkata to protest against the withdrawal of Anik Dutta's film Bhobishyoter Bhoot from multiplexes and single-screen halls in West Bengal, reports said.
The rally, from south Kolkata's Madhusudan Mancha to Taltala Ground, was led by Soumitra Chatterjee, filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Indian-American film and television actor Jayant Kripalani, Aparna Sen and director Dutta himself. They demanded that the film should be brought back to the theatres immediately.
A day after its release on 14 February, screenings of the film was mysteriously stopped in most places. The film, a socio-political satire, was apparently taken off by hall owners "following instructions from the higher authority" but no official communication of cancellation was sent to makers of the film.
Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren plans on breaking up Apple as well
Over a post published on Medium, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed breaking up tech giants Amazon, Google, and Facebook. While Apple was not explicitly mentioned, a report suggests that Apple is also in the senator's list. Warren mentioned that Apple should not be allowed to both run the App Store and distribute apps in it.
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Updated Date: Mar 11, 2019 08:12:03 IST