Elections

Lok Sabha Elections: PM Modi Begins 'Dhyan' At Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his 45-hour long meditation at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari on Thursday evening. Earlier, Modi in his message to voters of Varanasi appealed them to create a ‘new record’ on June 1 by voting at the polling booths. On the other hand, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge slammed Modi for his remarks on Mahatma Gandhi. The seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha election 2024 is set to take place on June 1, Saturday. Today is the second-last day of campaigning for political parties before the Lok Sabha election 2024 comes to an end, and the results are declared on June 4.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI

Lok Sabha Election LIVE: Welcome To Our Live Blog

Welcome to our live blog, where we'll be bringing you all the latest updates and developments about elections on 30 May 2024. Stay with us!

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Campaign To End Today

Campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections will enter its final stage today. The campaign for 57 constituencies in seven states and one union territory which will go to polls on June 1 will end today. 904 candidates including PM Modi are contesting at this stage.

Voting will take place in constituencies across Uttar Pradesh (13 seats), Bihar (8 seats), Punjab (13 seats), Jharkhand (3 seats), Chandigarh (1 seat), West Bengal (9 seats), Odisha (6 seats), and Himachal Pradesh (4 seats).

June 1 marks the end of the polling process, which started from the first phase on April 19.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Updates: Cong Attacks PM Modi Over Remarks On Mahatma Gandhi

The Congress on Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks that the "world did not know of Mahatma Gandhi till the film 'Gandhi' was made" and said those whose "ideological ancestors" were involved in Gandhi's assassination can never follow the path of truth shown by him.

Here's who said what

-Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "I don't know in which world the outgoing prime minister lives where Mahatma Gandhi was not recognised across the world before 1982. If anyone has destroyed the legacy of the Mahatma, it is the outgoing prime minister himself.

-Rahul Gandhi said that those who follow Nathuram Godse's path of violence cannot understand Gandhi.

"Those whose ideological ancestors along with Nathuram Godse were involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, can never follow the path of truth given by Bapu.

-Congress leader P Chidambaram said he was appalled by the prime minister's comment.

"Has Mr Modi heard of the name Albert Einstein? Does Mr Modi know what Albert Einstein said of Mahatma Gandhi? Did Albert Einstein (died 1955) know about Mahatma Gandhi only after the film 'Gandhi' was released (1982)," he asked.

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Congress Tells EC 'Ensure PM’s Kanyakumari Trip Doesn’t Violate Model Code'

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announced to meditate at Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari from May 30 to June 1, the Congress on Wednesday submitted a complaint to Election Commission of India, demanding that it (the trip) should either be postponed or its broadcast be banned in view of rules under the Model Code of Conduct for elections.

Speaking to mediapersons after submitting the complaint, Singhvi said, “We told the ECI that no one is allowed to campaign directly or indirectly during the silence period. We have no issue with some person or leader doing anything… someone observing a vow of silence. But there should be no indirect campaigning during the silence period. The honourable prime minister has announced that he will go on a silence vow from May 30 evening… you know that the period of silence starts from May 30 morning 7 am, and it will continue till June 1.”

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Voting Dates

The voting for Lok Sabha elections 2024 is taking place in seven phases and started on April 19. The counting of votes will take place on June 4. While voting for Phase 1 took place on April 19, the Phase 7 voting will take place on June 1.

  • Phase 1/April 19 - 21 states/UTs - 102 constituencies

  • Phase 2/April 26 - 13 states/UTs - 88 constituencies

  • Phase 3/May 7 - 12 states/UTs - 12 constituencies

  • Phase 4/May 13 - 10 states/UTs - 96 constituencies

  • Phase 5/May 20 - 8 states/UTs - 49 constituencies

  • Phase 6/May 25 - 7 states/UTs - 57 constituencies

  • Phase 7/June 1 -  8 states/UTs - 57 constituencies

Lok Sabha Elections Full Schedule Here

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Arvind Kejriwal On Alliance With Congress 'We Are Not In Permanent Marriage'

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that the political alliance with Congress, as part of the INDIA bloc, is temporary, stating that they only came together to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this Lok Sabha election.

“It’s not like we have married. This is not an arranged or love marriage. We have come together to save the country and fight this election till June 4,” Kejriwal said in an interview.

The AAP chief stated that the aim is to defeat the BJP for now and end the “dictatorship and gundagardi of the present regime”.

In Other News: Prajwal Revanna Books Munich-Bengaluru May 30 Flight

Suspended Janata Dal (Secular) leader Prajwal Revanna, who is facing sexual abuse charges, has reportedly booked a return flight ticket to Karnataka's Bengaluru from Munich In Germany for May 30. Prajwal Revanna on Wednesday also moved a Special Court in Bengaluru seeking anticipatory bail in a rape case registered against him.

According to sources in the Special Investigation Team cited in a news agency PTI report, the grandson of JDS supremo and former prime minister of India HD Deve Gowda is expected to land in Bengaluru in the small hours of May 31.

The SIT is maintaining vigil at Bengaluru's Kempegowda airport to arrest him as soon as he lands, the above mentioned sources said.

Lok Sabha Election 2024: 'JMM-Led Alliance Patronising Forces Indulging In 'Love Jihad, 'Land Jihad' In Jharkhand', Says JP Nadda

BJP president JP Nadda on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the ruling JMM-led alliance in Jharkhand, accusing it of patronising forces indulging in "love jihad", "land jihad" and "infiltration jihad".

Addressing an election rally in Deoghar, Nadda alleged that forces supported by the state's ruling coalition were committing atrocities on tribal women and grabbing their land.

"The government which came to power on issues such as 'jal, jungle, jameen' (water, forest and land) indulged in patronising forces active in land jihad and love jihad. They are manipulating tribal girls... It (government) is patronising jihad by infiltrators. Sand and land loot is at its peak. Do you want such a government to continue?" he said. (PTI)

Lok Sabha Election 2024: 'India To Get Another Five Years Of Stability After PM Modi's Re-Election,' Says Indian-American Author

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 10 years of rule has focused on development, an influential Indian-American author has said, hoping that a third term for him would give India another five years of stability and provide him an opportunity to address some of the major challenges facing the country.

“India can courageously counter all this (challenges being faced from outside the country). The reason India can counter all this is because of the Modi government. Despite all the things that people claim, argue and criticise, the fact is that they've delivered development. A lot more development is needed but they have delivered,” Princeton-based Indian-American author Rajiv Malhotra told PTI in an interview.

"Snake in the Ganga: Breaking India 2.0” is his latest book.

-PTI

Lok Sabha Election 2024: 'Agniveer Scheme Introduced To Avoid Pension To Soldiers,' Says Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday attacked the BJP-led Centre over the Agniveer scheme, saying that the short-term military recruitment scheme was primarily introduced to avoid giving pension to soldiers.

Addressing a press conference here, the former Union minister said that the government is sending young recruits to the borders after just six months of training and then leaving them unemployed after four years.

"This approach risks ruining the global reputation of our army and is driven by a desire to balance the government's accounts rather than ensuring national security," he claimed.

-PTI

LIVE Lok Sabha Election 2024: '19 Days Gone, Rahul Gandhi's Debate Invitation To Outgoing PM Remains Unanswered,' Says Congress

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not responding to Rahul Gandhi's debate invitation. In a tweet, he stated, "19 days have passed since Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter accepting the invitation to debate with the outgoing Prime Minister. The so-called 56-inch chest has not yet gathered the courage to accept the invitation."

Ramesh reiterated his point, saying, "Day 19 of Rahul Gandhi's letter accepting an invitation to debate the outgoing Prime Minister. The 56-inch chest has not yet mustered the courage to accept the invite."

He concluded his tweet with the hashtag #DaroMat.

LIVE Lok Sabha Election 2024: 'INDIA Bloc To Pick PM Within 48 Hrs, After 'Decisive Mandate', Says Congress

The INDIA bloc will get a "decisive mandate" in the Lok Sabha polls and may take even less than 48 hours to decide on its prime ministerial pick, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday, asserting that it stands to reason that the party which gets the maximum seats in the alliance will be a "natural claimant" for its leadership.

In an interview with PTI on the last day of campaigning for the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls, the Congress general secretary exuded confidence that the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will get seats "well above" the 272-mark needed for a majority in the Lower House.

Those parties that have 'imaandaari (honesty)' and 'insaniyat (humanity)', but are in the NDA, will join the INDIA parties, he said. (PTI)

LIVE Lok Sabha Election 2024: Modi To Leave For Kanyakumari To Meditate Amid Row

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday embark on a near two-day meditation exercise at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial here, and the district has come under a thick security blanket following the high profile event.

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed, mid-sea memorial, named after the revered Hindu saint.

The PM had undertaken a similar exercise in a Kedarnath cave after the 2019 poll campaign.

As the meditation coincides with the silence period ahead of the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections on June 1, opposition Congress and DMK have expressed reservation and moved the Election Commission against the PM's spiritual sojourn. (PTI)

Punjab Lok Sabha Election 2024: State Congress Chief Rules Out Alliance With AAP

Here's what Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said on Congress not being in alliance with AAP in Punjab.

"Party's state union has already told that we will not make an alliance with AAP in Punjab and our party respected this decision of ours. We cannot compromise with them (AAP)." 

-PTI

Punjab Lok Sabha Election 2024: 'BJP Is Nowhere In Punjab,' Says SP Spokesperson

"BJP is nowhere in Punjab. There's a wave of INDIA alliance; BJP will be cleaned up from the entire country, not just from Punjab," says Samajwadi Party spokesperson

"On June 4, INDIA alliance will form the government."

In Other News: Arvind Kejriwal Moves Delhi Court For Regular Bail In Excise Policy Case

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday moved the Rouse Avenue court seeking regular bail in the Delhi liquor excise policy case.

The court will likely take up the matter at 2 pm today.

LIVE Lok Sabha Election 2024: Manmohan Singh’s Dig At PM Modi 'Never Distinguished One Community From Another'

Weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Manmohan Singh-led government of favouring Muslims, former PM Singh responded, stating he "never distinguished one community from another."

In a letter addressed to the nation before the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Singh criticised Modi's "vile hate speeches" and claimed Modi had lowered the dignity of the Prime Minister's office. He denied ever making divisive statements, attributing such behavior to the BJP.

Singh appealed for peace and harmony, urging voters to support Congress for a development-led future that protects democracy and the Constitution.

LIVE Lok Sabha Election 2024: BJP Has Insulted People Of Odisha, Lord Jagannath, 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the BJP of insulting the people of Odisha as one of its leaders recently claimed that Lord Jagannath is a devotee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing an election rally in Simulia in the Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat, he also vowed to save the Constitution of India and democracy in the country.

“The BJP has insulted every individual of Odisha as one of its leaders claimed that Lord Jagannath is a devotee of PM Modi," Gandhi said.

BJP's Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra had recently made the remark.

Embroiled in a controversy over his "slip of the tongue" on Lord Jagannath, Patra apologised and announced that he would undertake a penance by observing fast for three days. (PTI)

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Unhappy Himachal Apple Growers May Upset BJP Apple Cart As SKM Extends Support To Cong

Apple growers, who constitute a considerable chunk of the electorate in Himachal Pradesh, may upset the BJP's apple cart this time with many alleging their plight was not addressed in the past 10 years, and an influential farmers' union extending its support to the Congress.

Apple is cultivated on a 1,15,680-hectare area spread across 21 assembly segments mainly in Shimla, Mandi, Kullu and Kinnaur districts and a few pockets of Chamba, Sirmaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Kangra and Solan districts. Major apple growing areas fall under the Shimla and Mandi parliamentary constituencies.

Over three lakh families are directly involved in apple production.

According to official data, apple production was 3.5 crore boxes in 2022 and 2 crore boxes in 2023, Joint Director (Horticulture) Hem Chand told PTI, adding though dependent on production and market price, the apple economy in the state was over about Rs 4,000 crore. (PTI)

'Had He Read About Gandhi...': Kharge Slams PM Modi Over Gandhi Remarks

While addressing a press conference on Thursday, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said, "Yesterday, PM Modi told the world that he got to know about Mahatma Gandhi after watching the film by Richard Attenborough. I feel like laughing when I listen from the prime minister that he came to know about Mahatma after watching a film. Had he read about Mahatma Gandhi, he wouldn't have said so."

Elections 2024 Live: Yogi Adityanath Addresses Rally In Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on Thursday addressed a rally in Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur in support of BJP candidate Anurag Thakur.

Lok Sabha Polls Live: TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee Holds 'Padyatra' In Jadavpur

West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday held a padyatra in Jadavpur, Kolkata.

Elections 2024 Live: BJP's Ravi Kishan Claims 'People Have Blessed Lotus, We Are Thanking Them'

BJP leader Ravi Kishan who is contesting from Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat during a roadshow on Thursday said, "People of Gorakhpur have already made Yogi Adityanath and Modiji victorious. We are thanking them. People have blessed the lotus (BJP's symbol)."

Lok Sabha News Live: BJP Workers Protest Outside AAP Minister Atishi's House Over Water Crisis In Delhi

Women workers of BJP on Thursday staged a protest outside AAP minister Atishi's residence, against the Arvind Kejriwal government over the water crisis issue in national capital Delhi.

Elections 2024 Live: Farooq Abdullah Terms FIR Against Mehbooba Mufti As 'Tragedy Of This Govt'

In his reaction on FIR against former CM and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti for staging protest against the arrest of her workers in Kashmir on May 25, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said, "I think it is a tragedy of this government. By Constitution, you have the right to protest. She didn’t do anything wrong."

Lok Sabha Updates Live: PM Modi In His Message For Varanasi Voters Calls 'Kashi' 'Land Of Music'

Ahead of the 7th phase of Lok Sabha Polls on June 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his message for voters of Varanasi on Thursday said, "For me, Kashi is a city of devotion, power and detachment. Kashi is the cultural capital of the world, the land of music. Being the representative of this city is possible only with the immense grace of Baba Vishwanath and the blessings of you Kashi residents."

He aslo said, "This time's election for Kashi is an election for the creation of not only 'Navkashi' but also a developed India. The people of Kashi have to make a new record on 1st June. Kashi has become the capital of youth welfare and development in the last 10 years. I remember, on the day of my nomination, the youths were very excited. Now this enthusiasm should be seen at every booth, this is my request."

Lok Sabha News Live: Congress Leader Priyanka Gandhi Holds Roadshow In Solan

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday held a roadshow in Himachal Pradesh's Solan.

Elections 2024 Live: BJP's Arjun Munda Reacts Over Opposition's Criticism To Modi's 'Spiritual Retreat', Says 'All Congress Can See Is Vote Politics'

Union Minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda on Thursday said, "This is their (Congress') biggest problem that they attack someone's faith and belief, because all they can see is vote politics."

Elections 2024 Live: Arvind Kejriwal Alongwith Bhagwant Mann Hold Roadshow In Punjab

Delhi CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann hold a roadshow in Patiala on Thursday.

Lok Sabha Polls Live: 'World Is Praising India,' Says Rajnath Singh

Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Chandauli, Defence Minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh on Thursday said, "The world is praising India... A month ago, the US Ambassador to India said, "If you want to see the future, come to India. If you want to feel the future, come to India. If you want to work on future, come to India." It hurts to see the kind of lies being spread among the people..."

Lok Sabha Election Live: 'BJP's Only Agenda In This Election Is To Create Communal Division,' Congress Leader KC Venugopal

Congress MP KC Venugopal on Thursday said, "They (BJP) created a situation that they are going to win hands down without any opposition. They designed their campaign in a separate manner, which has never been done by a political party. They were totally dependent on Ram Mandir, their only agenda in this election is to to create communal division."

Elections 2024 Live: BJP Chief JP Nadda Campaigns In Punjab's Anandpur Sahib

Ahead of the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections on June 1, BJP National President JP Nadda campaigned in Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency on Thursday.

Lok Sabha Polls Live: Rahul Gandhi Promises 30 Lakh Govt Jobs In Punjab Rally

During a public meeting in Punjab's Nawanshahr, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said, "We will give 30 lakh govt jobs...first job is assured...this job will be the right of the youths and if a person is asking for his right, govt will have to give. Govt will have to provide Rs 8,500 per month and Rs 1 lakh for year...if Adani and Ambani get money, it is said that development happens but when poor people get the money, it is said that their habits are being spoiled..."

Elections 2024 Live: PM Modi Offers Prayers At Kanniyakumari Temple

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday offered prayers at the Bhagavati Kumari Amman Temple in Tamil Nadu's Kanniyakumari.

Elections 2024 Live: PM Modi Offers Prayers At Kanniyakumari Temple

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday offered prayers at the Bhagavati Kumari Amman Temple in Tamil Nadu's Kanniyakumari.

Elections 2024 Live: BJP's Piyush Goyal Says 'Modinomics Will Steer India To Even Greater Heights In Future'

Union Minister and BJP candidate from Mumbai North, Piyush Goyal on Thursday said, "I am delighted that the Internation Rating Agency 'Standard and Poor' has upgraded India's sovereign rating from stable to positive after 14 years largely due to the successful implementation of several measures over the last 10 years where India has moved from Fragile 5 to world's fastest growing economies among the Top 5 in the world..."

He also said, "Throughout the country, today we see a sense of optimism, a confidence never seen before, self-respect, and a can-do spirit that India aspires to be a world power and is working towards becoming one. In the last ten years, we have seen our country move out of very weak fundamentals... Changing to a country with very strong macroeconomic fundamentals, our Forex reserves at $650 billion are the highest ever. Inflation has been modest at 4.5%... We have low fiscal deficits and high interest rates... We are the drivers of global growth... Modinomics works. Modinomics is successful, and it will steer India to even greater heights in the future."

Lok Sabha Polls Live: 'Opposition Will Be More Shocked In 2024 Than In 2019,' LJP Chief Chirag Paswan

LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan on Thursday said, "Shocking results will come, they (opposition) will be more shocked in 2024 than in 2019... They will have a mutton party because, after June 4, they will have no work left... The Prime Minister is going to become the Prime Minister of the country for the third time. We are winning all 40 seats of Bihar ..."

Elections 2024 Live: TMC's Yusuf Pathan Confident Of Party's Win In Ongoing LS Polls

Former cricketer turned politician Yusuf Pathan, who is TMC's candidate from Baharampur Lok Sabha seat on Thursday said, "Expectations are very high... Good numbers will come here... TMC will win with a good number (of seats) in West Bengal on June 4... "

Elections 2024 Live: PM Modi Begins 'Dhyan' At Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his 45-hour long meditation at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial here on Thursday evening.

After arriving from nearby Thiruvananthapuram by a helicopter, Modi worshipped at the Bhagavathi Amman temple and reached the rock memorial by a ferry service and started meditation that is scheduled to go on till June 1.

Clad in a dhoti and a white shawl, Modi prayed at the temple and circumambulated the 'garbhagriha'. Priests performed a special 'arthi' and he was given temple 'prasad' that included a shawl and a framed photograph of the presiding deity of the temple.

Later, he reached the rock memorial by a ferry service operated by the state government-run shipping corporation and began his meditation at the 'dhyan mandapam.'

Before he embarked on the dhyan exercise, for a while, Modi stood on the stairs leading to the mandapam that offers breathtaking views of the sea that surrounds the memorial from all sides.

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, next to the memorial. Both the memorial and 133 ft statue were built on tiny islets, that are separate and mound-like rocky formations in the sea.

While outfits including Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam staged a black flag demonstration in Madurai opposing Modi, social media platform 'X' also witnessed a flood of #GoBackModi posts, amid political opposition to the broadcast of his meditation in view of the seventh final phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed memorial named after the revered Hindu saint.

This is the first time the Prime Minister will be staying at the memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, who meditated over the rocks inside the sea towards the end of 1892. PTI

Elections 2024 Live: SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav Claims 'BJP Is Losing Everywhere'

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said, “Public knows that one vote can change their lives. So, they are not going to be intimidated or stopped. BJP is losing everywhere."

Elections 2024 Live: 'Congress, INDIA Alliance Will Perform Better This Time,' Says Digvijaya Singh

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday said, “From the news that we are getting from everywhere, it is clear that BJP is not going to win more than 400 Lok Sabha seats, as they were claiming. Congress party and the INDIA alliance will perform better this time."

Elections 2024 Live: 'We Are Going To Win 40 LS Seats In Bihar,' Deputy CM Vijay Kumar

Bihar deputy CM Vijay Kumar Sinha on Thursday said, "I can say this with confidence that we are going to win all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. The opposition parties have already started preparing to blame every institution possible for their loss."

Elections 2024 Live: 'PM Modi Has Gone Kanyakumari For Publicity,' Congress Leader Bhupesh Baghel

In his reaction on PM Narendra Modi’s 45-hour-long meditation in Kanyakumari, former Chhattisgarh CM and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said, “What was the need to remember God? Kangana Ranaut made him God, Sambit Patra says that God is PM Modi’s ‘bhakt’. Since campaigning is not allowed after 6 pm today, PM Modi has gone there for publicity.”

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