Lok Sabha Election LIVE updates: Rahul to address party workers in Delhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: @INCIndia
The battle for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 has officially begun with the Election Commission of India on Sunday announcing the poll schedule. Since Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has been imposed by EC, the party in power (the BJP-led NDA) at the Centre cannot announce any policy, project or scheme. The code applied not only to political speeches, but also polling day, polling booths, portfolios, rallies, general conduct and even contents of election manifestos. Read all about the Model code of conduct here.

Today, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address thousands of party polling booth in-charges at a convention -—'Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav' (my booth, my pride) at Delhi's Indira Gandhi stadium. Delhi Congress leaders said that Gandhi wanted to meet the booth in-charges who served as foot soldiers of the party, 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.

Meanwhile, DMK office-bearers in Tamil Nadu will fine-tune the party's strategy for the Lok Sabha polls. Deliberations on bypolls to the 21 Assembly constituencies and the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April 18 would be the agenda for the meeting, which would see the participation of district secretaries, MLAs, and MPs.

Catch LIVE updates on Lok Sabha Election 2019

2:35 PM IST The number of voters in Maharashtra has gone up by over 65 lakh in the last five years, according to official figures.   From 8,07,98,823 voters in the state at the time of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the number has now gone up to 8,73,30,484, as per the electoral office data.   This is a sharp rise of 65,31,661 voters.   Of these increased 65,31,661 voters, 35,98,905 are women, 29,31,588 men and the rest are transgenders.

2:34 PM IST Senior BJP leader and former MLA from Khurda, Jyotirindra Nath Mitra, Monday joined the ruling BJD, party sources said.   The two-rime MLA, popularly known as Jitu Mitra, had quit the BJD in 2014 after being denied a party ticket. He then switched over to the BJP and contested the Assembly elections unsuccessfully. Mitra returned to the BJD's fold in the presence of party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

1:35 PM IST Madhya Pradesh: Computer Baba was appointed on 8 March as the Chairman of 'Ma Narmada, Ma Kshipra and Ma Mandaknini River Trust'b in the state.

1:34 PM IST Kerala Chief Electoral Officer T R Meena: Citing/invoking or doing some sort of religious propaganda based on Sabarimala issue/judgement will be a clear violation of the model code of conduct and we will be taking action.

12:48 PM IST Tamil Nadu CM and Deputy CM and AIADMK leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam conduct interview of aspiring Lok Sabha candidates ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

12:20 PM IST The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the ruling BJP in Goa, on Monday said it will contest bypolls to all the three Assembly seats scheduled next month. The move is likely to pit the regional party against the BJP in all the three Assembly seats of Shiroda, Mandrem and Maspusa, where by-elections will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 23.

12:19 PM IST Shiv Sena on Monday criticised its ally BJP and other political parties for using the uniform and pictures of soldiers to seek votes ahead of Lok Sabha polls and claimed that they are "as guilty as those demanding proofs of the operations of armed forces".   "Those using the uniform and pictures of soldiers to seek votes are as guilty as those demanding proofs of the operations of armed forces," the latest editorial in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.   "Photographs have been published of BJP leader Manoj Tiwari donning Army uniform. He is saying that BJP will win the election...This gives strength to the Opposition's allegation that the air strike (in Balakot in Pakistan) was done for political benefit," it said.

12:12 PM IST Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim has questioned the lengthy schedule of the upcoming seven phase Lok Sabha polls stating that it will be arduous for those observing Ramzan in the states of Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.   Hakim said, "Election Commission is a constitutional body and we respect them. We don't want to say anything against them. But the 7-phase election will be tough for people in Bihar, UP and WB. It will be most difficult for those who will be observing Ramzan at that time."   The Kolkata Mayor also lambasted BJP on the issue and said, "BJP doesn't want minorities to cast their votes."

12:10 PM IST The Election Commission of India on Sunday imposed 'Model Code of Conduct' (MCC) with immediate effect for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. What is a model code of conduct and when does it kick in? The Code comes into play as soon as the EC announces an Assembly election in a state or the Lok Sabha polls. Article 324 of the Constitution gives the Election Commission the power to monitor Central and state governments, all the candidates and political parties.   In the context of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the Model Code of Conduct will be in force until after May 19, the last phase of polling. The Lok Sabha poll 2019 results and Assembly election results in four states — Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim — will be declared on May 23. According to the PRS Legislative Research, the Code deals with eight provisions – general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, the party in power, and election manifestos. Read on...

12:01 PM IST Congress President @RahulGandhi will be addressing a booth workers meeting in Delhi today. Tune into our social media channels to watch him live. FB: https://t.co/nX8RdNUP9b YT: https://t.co/g2POk7bvU1 pic.twitter.com/KtVWa2lGkP — Congress (@INCIndia) March 11, 2019

12:01 PM IST The stage is set for Arunachal Pradesh to hold Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously on April 11.   With the model code of conduct coming into force, the election authorities have issued do's and donts to all political parties and urged all government machinery to strictly follow it.   A total of 7,94,162 voters, including 4,01,601 women, would exercise their franchise in the April 11 simultaneous polls in 2,202 polling stations across the state.

11:58 AM IST India’s elections have been notoriously difficult to predict because of the endless possibilities of coalitions. It will be no walk in the park for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain power -- after five years in office his popularity is receding over concerns about his government’s failure to create the promised millions of jobs and as well as a lag in economic development. Read on...

LIVE UPDATES

Maharashtra voter numbers swell by 65 lakh in five years

The number of voters in Maharashtra has gone up by over 65 lakh in the last five years, according to official figures.
 
From 8,07,98,823 voters in the state at the time of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the number has now gone up to 8,73,30,484, as per the electoral office data.
 
This is a sharp rise of 65,31,661 voters.
 
Of these increased 65,31,661 voters, 35,98,905 are women, 29,31,588 men and the rest are transgenders.

Former Khurda MLA Jitu Mitra returns to BJD

Senior BJP leader and former MLA from Khurda, Jyotirindra Nath Mitra, Monday joined the ruling BJD, party sources said.
 
The two-rime MLA, popularly known as Jitu Mitra, had quit the BJD in 2014 after being denied a party ticket. He then switched over to the BJP and contested the Assembly elections unsuccessfully. Mitra returned to the BJD's fold in the presence of party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Madhya Pradesh: Computer Baba was appointed on 8 March as the Chairman of 'Ma Narmada, Ma Kshipra and Ma Mandaknini River Trust'b in the state.
Kerala Chief Electoral Officer T R Meena: Citing/invoking or doing some sort of religious propaganda based on Sabarimala issue/judgement will be a clear violation of the model code of conduct and we will be taking action.

AIADMK leaders conduct interview of aspiring Lok Sabha candidates ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha polls

Tamil Nadu CM and Deputy CM and AIADMK leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam conduct interview of aspiring Lok Sabha candidates ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

BJP's ally MGP to contest all 3 Assembly bypolls in Goa

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the ruling BJP in Goa, on Monday said it will contest bypolls to all the three Assembly seats scheduled next month. The move is likely to pit the regional party against the BJP in all the three Assembly seats of Shiroda, Mandrem and Maspusa, where by-elections will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 23.

Shiv Sena slams BJP for using uniform, pictures of soldiers to seek votes

Shiv Sena on Monday criticised its ally BJP and other political parties for using the uniform and pictures of soldiers to seek votes ahead of Lok Sabha polls and claimed that they are "as guilty as those demanding proofs of the operations of armed forces".
 
"Those using the uniform and pictures of soldiers to seek votes are as guilty as those demanding proofs of the operations of armed forces," the latest editorial in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
 
"Photographs have been published of BJP leader Manoj Tiwari donning Army uniform. He is saying that BJP will win the election...This gives strength to the Opposition's allegation that the air strike (in Balakot in Pakistan) was done for political benefit," it said.

TMC leader questions 7 phase election schedule for West Bengal

Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim has questioned the lengthy schedule of the upcoming seven phase Lok Sabha polls stating that it will be arduous for those observing Ramzan in the states of Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
 
Hakim said, "Election Commission is a constitutional body and we respect them. We don't want to say anything against them. But the 7-phase election will be tough for people in Bihar, UP and WB. It will be most difficult for those who will be observing Ramzan at that time."
 
The Kolkata Mayor also lambasted BJP on the issue and said, "BJP doesn't want minorities to cast their votes."

What you must know about Model Code of Conduct

The Election Commission of India on Sunday imposed 'Model Code of Conduct' (MCC) with immediate effect for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. What is a model code of conduct and when does it kick in? The Code comes into play as soon as the EC announces an Assembly election in a state or the Lok Sabha polls. Article 324 of the Constitution gives the Election Commission the power to monitor Central and state governments, all the candidates and political parties.
 
In the context of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the Model Code of Conduct will be in force until after May 19, the last phase of polling. The Lok Sabha poll 2019 results and Assembly election results in four states — Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim — will be declared on May 23. According to the PRS Legislative Research, the Code deals with eight provisions – general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, the party in power, and election manifestos. Read on...

Stage set for simultaneous elections in Arunachal Pradesh on April 11

The stage is set for Arunachal Pradesh to hold Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously on April 11.
 
With the model code of conduct coming into force, the election authorities have issued do's and donts to all political parties and urged all government machinery to strictly follow it.
 
A total of 7,94,162 voters, including 4,01,601 women, would exercise their franchise in the April 11 simultaneous polls in 2,202 polling stations across the state.

Why you can't ignore world's biggest elections

India’s elections have been notoriously difficult to predict because of the endless possibilities of coalitions. It will be no walk in the park for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain power -- after five years in office his popularity is receding over concerns about his government’s failure to create the promised millions of jobs and as well as a lag in economic development. Read on...

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