04:05 pm KOLKATA: Crude bombs were flung in Bengal's Bhatpara as two groups clashed and elsewhere, three BJP candidates claimed they came under attack on the last day of polling in the state. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for the presence of Central forces in the state till the counting of votes gets over. Two of the claims came from state capital Kolkata, which is voting today along with the remaining eight seats in the state, which sends the second highest number of members to the Lok Sabha after Uttar Pradesh, reports NDTV. Bengal voted in all seven rounds of the Lok Sabha elections and violence was reported in every round, NDTV reported.
03:05 pm NEW DELHI: Over 41.6 per cent of the 10.17 crore voters have exercised their franchise till 1 pm in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Jharkhand witnessed an impressive turnout with 52.9 percent of the voters casting their votes so far. Nearly 49.8 percent of the electorate in West Bengal also marked their presence at the polling booth despite incidents of violence across the state. Fifty-nine seats, including PM Modi's constituency Varanasi, are voting today in the seventh and final phase of the, reports NDTV. Over 10.17 crore voters across seven states and one Union Territory will decide the fate of 918 candidates. The Bharatiya Janata Party or the BJP had won 30 of the 59 seats in the 2014 elections. Voting will be held for 13 parliamentary constituencies each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine seats in West Bengal, Bihar (8), Madhya Pradesh (8), Himachal Pradesh (4), Jharkhand (3) and Chandigarh (1) today. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is contesting in 11 seats, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) is contesting Mirzapur, currently held by Union minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj. The party has fielded Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur against Congress's Madhusudan Tripathi and Rambhual Nishad of the Samajwadi Party, NDTV reported.
05:05 pm NEW DELHI: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has stopped attending meetings to decide on violations of the Model Code of Conduct over his "minority decisions going unrecorded", correspondence reviewed by NDTV finds. Some of his objections involve the Election Commission's clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in six instances. The three-member Election Commission consists of the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and two election commissioners - Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra. The poll panel's rules express preference for a unanimous view, but also allow a majority decision, reports NDTV.
06:05 pm KOLKATA: Amid the huge political row over yesterday's violence during a rally of BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that Mamata Banerjee has taken "revenge". The Bengal Chief Minister, he said, is afraid of the outcome of the election and is "scared of her own shadow". The BJP and the Trinamool Congress have been at loggerheads since yesterday over the violence, during which a statue of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar -- a 19th Century reformer and an iconic figure in the state -- was smashed. The parties have blamed each other for the vandalism, reports NDTV. "Mamata didi had declared publicly two days ago that she will take revenge (inch inch ka badla). She fulfilled her agenda within 24 hours, BJP President Amit Shah's roadshow was attacked," PM Modi said at a rally in Bengal. This, he said, was "intimidatory tactics" from the Bengal Chief Minister, who swept to power in the state in 2011, ending the 35-year Left rule. "Mamata didi got scared after seeing the BJP wave in the state. And everyone now knows what she is capable of when scared", NDTV reported.
08:05 pm Four commercial ships were subjected to sabotage operations near UAE territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, east of Fujairah, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MOFAIC, has announced. The Ministry said that the concerned authorities have taken all necessary measures, and are investigating the incident in cooperation with local and international bodies. It said that there had been no injuries or fatalities on board the vessels and that there had been no spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel. The MOFAIC statement said that the carrying out acts of sabotage on commercial and civilian vessels and threatening the safety and lives of those on board is a serious development. It called on the international community to assume its responsibilities to prevent such actions by parties attempting to undermine maritime traffic safety and security. The Ministry also described as ‘baseless and unfounded’ rumours earlier of incidents taking place within the Port of Fujairah, saying that operations within the port were under way as normal, without any interruption.
12:05 pm Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots were "absolutely and completely out of line" and he should apologise for them, party chief Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post on Friday. "What Mr Sam Pitroda has said is absolutely and completely out of line and is not appreciated. I will be communicating this to him directly. He must apologise for his comment," he said, describing the riots -- which claimed nearly 3,000 lives -- as a "terrible tragedy", reports NDTV.
12:05 pm NEW DELHI: The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ (pronounced as ‘FONI’) over Westcentral & adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal, moved northwestwards with a speed of about 10 kmph in last six hours and lay centred at 0530 hrs IST of 01st May, 2019 over Westcentral and adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 13.9°N and longitude 84.0°E, about 680 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha) and 430 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). It is very likely to move northwestwards during next 12 hours and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around 3rd May afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.