Lok Sabha election LIVE updates | SC’s notice to EC on VVPAT slips an important first step: Congress

by verenalincoln59

The EC has appointed former civil servants as special observers to oversee the electoral process

April 02, 2024 08:45 am | Updated 03:25 pm IST

Representational image of a VVPAT

Representational image of a VVPAT
| Photo Credit:
K. Murali Kumar

The Election Commission has appointed former civil servants as special observers to oversee the electoral process with strict vigilance. Special Observers (General and Police) have been deployed in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Bihar where the population is more than seven crore and in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha where the simultaneous elections are to be held. Special Expenditure Observers have also been deployed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, the poll panel said.

Meanwhile, The BJP has named 112 candidates for the Odisha assembly polls which will be held alongside the Lok Sabha elections. The party’s state unit president Manmohan Samal will contest from Chandabali, while its former chief Suresh Pujari will fight from Brarajarajnagar. The Odisha assembly has 147 seats and the BJP has emerged as the main challenger to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal. The BJP and the BJD were in talks for an alliance but the negotiations fell through over seat-sharing arrangement.

The Congress hailed as an “important first step” the Supreme Court’s notice to the Election Commission and the Centre on a plea seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips and said the matter should be decided before the Lok Sabha polls commence.

Also Read: All you need to know about VVPAT

The court on Monday sought responses from the commission and the central government on the plea seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in polls as opposed to the current practice of verification of only five randomly-selected EVMs through VVPAT paper slips.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE updates – April 1

Follow The Hindu’s live updates here:

  • April 02, 2024 15:10

    Congress releases list for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Assembly elections

    The Congress has released its first list of Assembly candidates for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Y.S. Sharmila Reddy will contest from Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa, M.M. Pallam Raju will contest from Kakinada. – PTI

  • April 02, 2024 14:44

    Odisha | ECI seeks transfer of eight IAS and IPS officers

    The ECI has asked Odisha Chief Secretary to transfer eight IAS and IPS officers and directed submission of compliance report by 5 PM on Tuesday.

  • April 02, 2024 14:32

    BJP’s second meet on manifesto likely on April 4

    The second meeting of the BJP’s newly formed Election Manifesto Committee is likely to be held on April 4, the ANI has reported.

    The news agency cites sources who said that the BJP’s manifesto for the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections is likely to be titled ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’, his campaign pitch for the electoral contest. The inaugural meeting of the BJP’s manifesto committee was held on Monday under the leadership of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, with the discussions revolving around the suggestions and feedback the party received from the public. -ANI

  • April 02, 2024 13:42

    Bihar| The RJD does not treat the Congress as a partner: Anil Kumar Sharma

    Since the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) announced its seat-sharing deal in Bihar on March 29, many in the Congress felt that the party had been short-changed by the RJD. This sentiment came out in the open after Anil Kumar Sharma, former Bihar Congress president, resigned from the party on Sunday.

    “The RJD leadership does not treat the Congress as a partner, but as a beggar. I fail to understand the reasons to keep supporting the RJD, which, in Bihar, is seen as a reactionary casteist party and promoter of ‘Jungle Raj’. It seems that the Congress party has entered into a permanent agreement with the RJD,” he told The Hindu’s Amit Bhelari. 

    Read the story here.

  • April 02, 2024 13:24

    Congress is so engrossed in appeasement that it can never think of the national interest: PM Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the Congress is so engrossed in appeasement that it can never think of the national interest at an election rally in Rudrapur. “Congress is so engrossed in appeasement that it can never think of the national interest. It is this Congress which promotes infiltrators. But when BJP, through CAA, gives Indian citizenship to those who believe in India,” he said. 

    “The prince of the royal family of Congress has announced that if the country elects Modi Government for the third time, it will be on fire. Those who ruled the country for 60 years, remained out of power for 10 years, are now talking about setting the country on fire,” he said in a veiled attack on Rahul Gandhi. – The Hindu BureauRead the story here.

  • April 02, 2024 13:18

    Bihar | Ajay Kumar Nishad, BJP’s MP from Muzaffarpur, joins the Congress

    Ajay Kumar Nishad, BJP’s sitting MP from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, joined the Congress days after the saffron party denied him a ticket. 

    He joined the Congress at the AICC headquarters in Delhi in the presence of the party’s state president Akhilesh Prasad Singh, AICC in-charge of state Mohan Prakash, party’s MP from Kishanganj Mohammad Javed and AICC head of media and publicity department Pawan Khera.

  • April 02, 2024 12:55

    PM Modi kicks off Lok Sabha poll campaign from Rudrapur in Uttarakhand

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the BJP’s Lok Sabha poll campaign in Uttarakhand by addressing a rally in Rudrapur. Ahead of the rally, Mr. Modi exuded confidence that the people of the State have resolved for the victory of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. 

    “Along with Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, the people of the country have once again resolved for the victory of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. The blessings of all our family members are with us for the accomplishment of this resolution,” he posted.

  • April 02, 2024 12:41

    Odisha Assembly elections | BJP names candidates for 112 seats

    The BJP has named 112 candidates for the Odisha assembly polls which will be held alongside the Lok Sabha elections. The party’s state unit president Manmohan Samal will contest from Chandabali while its former chief Suresh Pujari, an MP in the outgoing Lok Sabha, will fight from Brarajarajnagar.

    The Odisha assembly has 147 seats and the BJP has emerged as the main challenger to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal. In 2019, the BJD won 112 seats, and the BJP won 23 seats. The Congress is the third major party in the State.

    The BJP and the BJD were in talks for an alliance but the negotiations fell through over seat-sharing arrangement. – PTI

  • April 02, 2024 12:04

    Karnataka | Amit Shah meets JD(S) leaders, scheduled to hold a rally in Channapatna

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a joint meeting with JD(S) and State BJP leaders to improve coordination and resolve potential issues among the alliance partners.

    JD(S)‘ H.D. Kumaraswamy, G.T. Devegowda, veteran BJP leaders B.S. Yediyurappa, B.Y. Vijayendra and Radha Mohan Das Agarwal and other leaders from the two parties were part of the meeting. 

    Mr. Shah is scheduled to meet party leaders and workers from various parts of the State and will also hold a road show in Channapatna, under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency, where Mr. Kumaraswamy’s brother-in-law and eminent cardiologist C.N. Manjunath is contesting the polls on a BJP ticket. Mr. Kumaraswamy will also take part in the roadshow.

    As per the seat-sharing deal for the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP will contest in 25 constituencies and the JD(S) in the remaining three in the State. -PTI

  • April 02, 2024 11:49

    Nagaland | We will not take part in Lok Sabha poll process: ENPO writes to EC

    The Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) has written to the Election Commission stating that it will abstain from the Lok Sabha election. The organisation has been demanding a separate state carved out of Nagaland. 

    In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner through the chief electoral officer of the North Eastern State, the ENPO, the apex body of seven Naga tribes of the region, said its members have collectively decided not to take part in the parliamentary polls.

    “The people of eastern Nagaland under the aegis of ENPO had on March 19, 2024, reaffirmed its commitment to the “Chenmoho Resolution”, wherein it was further reaffirmed and resolved not to participate in any central and state elections against the failure to settle the creation of frontier Nagaland territory (FNT) as offered and assured by the Ministry of Home Affairs on December 7, 2023 to be settled before the announcement of Model Code of Conduct to the Lok Sabha 2024 by the ECI,” the ENPO letter said. The ENPO has been demanding a separate state since 2010, claiming that the six districts in the eastern part of Nagaland have been neglected for years.

    Polls to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland will be held on April 19. The Nagaland Cabinet and legislators have recently appealed to the ENPO to take part in the elections. – PTI 

  • April 02, 2024 10:59

    Will the Katchatheevu issue have an electoral impact in Tamil Nadu?

    The controversy around Katchatheevu, a barren islet about 14 nautical miles off Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district, refuses to die down. 

    This time around, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of ‘ceding’ Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in 1974. In a post on X, he claimed that the Congress “callously gave away Katchatheevu”. The Congress and the DMK issued rebuttals and the BJP has countered them. 

    The controversy has persisted for decades, but will it have an electoral impact in Tamil Nadu?

    Read the piece by T. Ramakrishnan here.

  • April 02, 2024 10:44

    We are not scared of the BJP: Atishi

    Senior AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi has claimed that the BJP plans to break the the party by sending all its leaders to jail. From the turnout at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday, they have realised that the party will not break by arresting Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal. “We are not scared of the BJP.. we are the soldiers of Arvind Kejriwal and the followers of Bhagat Singh. We will fight till the end to save our nation,” she said. – The Hindu Bureau

    Was informed to either join BJP or face ED action: AAP’s Atishi

    A person close to Delhi Minister Atishi said she should join BJP or be prepared to be arrested by ED within a month, the Aam Aadmi Party leader claimed

  • April 02, 2024 10:19

    Victory will be fitting reply to expulsion from LS, says Mahua Moitra

    Exuding confidence in securing her Krishnanagar Lok Sabha seat with a bigger margin, senior TMC leader Mahua Moitra feels that her victory would be a fitting response to the “conspiracy” to expel her from Lok Sabha last year and tarnish her reputation through raids and summons by central agencies in a cash-for-query case. 

    Ms. Moitra, who was re-nominated by the TMC from the same Krishnanagar seat after being expelled last year, accused the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of acting as “political agents of the saffron camp”.

    Ms. Moitra said the Election Commission has “lost its independence” since commissioners are handpicked by a selection committee where the Centre has two-thirds majority.

    “There is no doubt about my victory. It is about how big the margin will be, which will be decided on June 4. I live here and have been among my people for the past five years and even before that as an MLA. So there is a very strong connection, and frankly, there is no election mode as such here,” she said. – PTI

  • April 02, 2024 09:44

    Congress declares Kadiam Kavya as party’s candidate from Warangal LS seat

    The Congress has announced Kadiam Kavya, daughter of former Telangana Deputy CM Kadiam Srihari, as its nominee from Warangal in the Lok Sabha polls.

    The AICC announced the candidature of Kadiam Kavya on Monday night.

    Kavya and Srihari, who is a sitting BRS MLA, joined the Congress on Sunday in the presence of Chief Minister and state Congress president A Revanth Reddy. -PTI

  • April 02, 2024 09:29

    Happy to be BJP candidate in Sultanpur again, says Maneka Gandhi

    Former Union Minister and Sultanpur MP Maneka Gandhi on Monday said that there was no doubt about her contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls but deciding on the constituency led to delay in announcement of her candidature.

    Read the full story here.

  • April 02, 2024 09:01

    Opinion | The disgruntled Rajputs of Gujarat

    On March 22, during an election campaign speech in Rajkot in Gujarat, Union Minister and Rajkot Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Parshottam Rupala unwittingly triggered outrage when he praised the Dalits at the expense of the Kshatriyas or Rajputs.

    As clips of the speech went viral on social media, the Rajputs, who are descendants of royal or princely families in Saurashtra, began to protest. This was the region where more than 100 large and small princely states existed at the time of independence.

    The protests show the community’s frustration at being sidelined in the BJP.

    Read the piece by Mahesh Langa here.

  • April 02, 2024 08:58

    Amit Shah reviews BJP’s preparedness for LS polls in Jodhpur

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was on a two-day visit to Rajasthan, arrived in Jodhpur on April 1 to review the Bharatiya Janata Party’s preparedness for the Lok Sabha election.

    Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a two-time MP from Jodhpur, is the party’s candidate for the third successive term in the parliamentary constituency.

    Read the full story here.

  • April 02, 2024 08:45

    ‘Important first step’: Congress after SC seeks EC response on ‘complete count’ of VVPAT slips

    In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The Supreme Court has issued a notice today to the Election Commission on the issue of VVPATs. It bears constant repetition that the Election Commission has refused to meet a delegation of INDIA (bloc) party leaders who have been demanding 100 per cent VVPATs in order to increase public confidence in EVMs and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.”

    “The notice is an important first step, but for it to be meaningful, the matter should be decided before the elections commence,” Mr. Ramesh said. – PTI

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