Elections 2024 Highlights | May 31: Congress To Not Participate In Exit Poll Debates; Heatwave Kills 10 Out Of 14 Polling Workers In Bihar

Elections 2024 News: With just one day left for the seventh phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the nation is gearing up for the final lap of the seven-phase-long electoral marathon scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 1 with 57 constituencies across eight States/Union Territories in the fray. Results will be announced on June 4.

Officials at a polling booth during Lok Sabha elections | PTI

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Key Points

  • The seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections will take place on June 1 with 57 constituencies across eight States/Union Territories in the fray.

  • Polling will take place at Bihar, Himachal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, and Chandigarh.

  • The States of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab will see voting for all of their 4 and 13 constituencies respectively in this phase. The Union Territory of Chandigarh will also be voting in this phase. 

BJP Finds Ex-PM Manmohan Singh's Remark On PM Modi 'Laughable'

The BJP on Thursday termed Manmohan Singh's remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi "laughable" and said that despite having quit active politics, the former PM has not given up his habit of misleading the people of the country.

In a letter to voters of Punjab ahead of the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha polls on June 1, Manmohan Singh accused Modi of lowering the dignity of public discourse and the gravity of the office of the prime minister by giving "hateful speeches" during the election campaign.

Hitting back, BJP national spokesperson R P Singh said in a post on X, "The nonsense that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stated suddenly in his letter on the last day of the Lok Sabha election campaign is not only laughable but it also does not suit the person who held the post of country's prime minister."

Lok Saba Elections 2024 LIVE: LS polls: Congress Placed New Vision For Country, Says Rahul Gandhi

The Congress controlled the narrative during the Lok Sabha polls and placed a new vision for the country before the people, former party chief Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday, exuding confidence that the INDIA bloc will form the next government.

In his message to the people and Congress workers at the end of the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi said, "We were successful in fighting the elections on real issues related to the people and despite the repeated attempts of the Prime Minister to mislead, we raised the voice of farmers, workers, youth, women and the deprived."

(PTI Inputs)

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: 'Everyone Has The Right To Dream', Scindia Mocks Kharge

Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday mocked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's statement on change of guard in the country after Lok Sabha poll results are declared on June 4 by claiming that everyone had the right to see dreams.

"Every person and every party has the full right to see dreams. People have given their mandate. 140 crore people of the country have expressed their unwavering faith in the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Scindia told reporters.

Scindia's remark came on the backdrop of Kharge's confidence that people will give a mandate to an alternative government on June 4 and said the INDIA bloc will form an inclusive and nationalistic government by securing a clear majority.

Lok Sabha Elections  2024 LIVE: Kharge, Rahul, Priyanka Each Takes Part In Over 100 Poll Rallies

In a bid to boost the Congress' chances of emerging victorious in the Lok Sabha polls, party president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra notched up more than 100 public outreach programmes each.

According to PTI, Kharge participated in 100-plus rallies, over 20 press conferences and more than 70 interviews and media interactions. Rahul Gandhi participated in 107 rallies, roadshows, interactions and major campaign events while Priyanka Gandhi also ran a spirited campaign by taking part in 108 public meetings and roadshows.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 West Bengal LIVE: 'Police Acted Like TMC Cadre', Says BJP's Suvendu Adhikary

Senior West Bengal BJP leader Suendu Adhikari on Thursday met officials of the state CEO and complained that the state police are harassing his party workers to help the ruling Trinamool Congress. According to him, both in the city and districts, police were acting as the "party cadre of ruling TMC" and working under the instruction of the ruling party.

"In the last sixth phase of the polls, 50 election agents of BJP were stopped from performing their roles by the state police. They have become hyper-active against BJP. Certain police officers have threatened our workers and local leaders to prevent the BJP getting a level playing field. We have urged the chief electoral officer to see this does not recur in the seventh phase polls," the Nandigram MLA said.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Bihar LIVE: Patna's 'Berozgar Chaiwala' Sends Out Message On Unemployment

Patna native Sahil Kumar, a graduate from a city-based college, has channelised his frustration about not getting a job into a tea-selling venture with a quirky name, 'Berozgar Chaiwala', more to serve a social message than the popular beverage.

Pointing out the irony of the situation, Sahil and his brother Suura says loudspeaker-mounted campaign vehicles run by various candidates blare out their list of promises including jobs.

The name was chosen by his brother out of "sheer frustration and anger" as he could not get a job. A poster put up on the stall reads that there are two kinds of rates for tea, Rs 15 for the employed (Rozgar rate) and Rs 10 for the jobless (Berozgar rate).

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: Phase-Wise Voter Turnout Data

Phase 1: The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections held on April 19 in 102 seats across 21 states recorded a turnout of 66.14 percent.

Phase 2: In the second phase, held on April 26 in 88 seats across 13 states, the turnout was recorded at 66.71 percent, marginally higher than the first phase.

Phase 3: In the third phase, 94 seats across 11 states went to polls on May 7 and recorded a turnout of 65.68 percent.

Phase 4: A total of 86 constituencies in 10 states went to polls in the fourth phase on May 13 and recorded a turnout of 69.16 per cent, the highest among the six phases.

Phase 5: The fifth phase of the polls held on May 20 recorded a turnout of 62.20 per cent, the lowest among the phases in percentage terms.

Phase 6: The sixth phase of polls held on May 25 recorded a turnout of 63.37 percent. As many as 58 constituencies spread across eight states went to polls in phase 6.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Himachal Pradesh LIVE: Social Media Is The New Weapon For BJP, Congress

With only one day left for the final phase of voting, politicians in Himachal Pradesh are leaving no stone unturned to troll their rivals.

For instance, the BJP has uploaded a video showing Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge mispronouncing the name of the town where he was addressing a rally, as well as the names of the party colleagues from the state.

Congress, in return, ran with a video of BJP's Mandi Lok Sabha candidate Kangana Ranaut, which shows her saying "jab hathi chalta hai to kutte bhonkte hain" (the elephant keeps walking as the dogs keeps barking), when she was asked if it bothers her that some of her party mates were not comfortable with her.

PM Modi Medidates At Kanniyakumari

Amid row, PM Narendra Modi is meditating at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu. PM Modi will meditate till June 1 at the same place where Swami Vivekananda meditated.

PM Modi's this decision has sparked a row with several politicians reacting against it. Citing the possibility of a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, "We will complain. He can meditate, but it cannot be aired on television. Does anyone have to get cameras for doing meditation? "

Lok Sabha Election Phase 7 Voting News LIVE: Eyes On WB's Sandeshkhali

As south Bengal, a traditional TMC stronghold, votes on Saturday in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024, the region faces a significant electoral battle testing the party's dominance amid an 'old versus new' power struggle, with the national spotlight on Sandeshkhali in Basirhat due to allegations of atrocities on women and land grabs.

The seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal will cover Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jayanagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin, and Kolkata Uttar, where the TMC secured victories in the 2019 elections.

The minority-dominated Basirhat Lok Sabha seat, and specifically the Sandeshkhali segment, has been a field of a big electoral battle as it garnered national attention due to allegations of atrocities on women and land grabs by local TMC leaders like Shahjahan Sheikh.

(via PTI)

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Bihar LIVE: Heatwave Kills 4 Polling Officers In Arrah

Commenting on the death of polling workers from the extreme heatwave in Bihar's Arrah, Bhojpur District Magistrate Mahendra Kumar said, "So far, four polling officials have died. Although facilities for drinking water, shed and others were available at every dispatch centre, this unfortunate incident happened."

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Odisha LIVE: Poll Preparations Underway In Balasore

A day ahead of the final phase of Lok Sabha elections, poll parties collect EVMs in Balasore. The seventh and last phase of voting for Lok Sabha Elections 2024 is scheduled for June 1.

Voting will take place in 57 constituencies from eight states and Union Territories.

Last phase of voting for Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 will also be held tomorrow.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Bihar LIVE: Medical Team, Ambulance Kept Ready As Heatwave Affects Poll Workers

Answering questions on the measures taken to treat those affected by heatwave, Bihar's Bhojpur District Magistrate Mahendra Kumar said, "Right now, a severe heatwave is affecting the entire district which claimed the lives of five polling workers yesterday. In view of the heatwave, we have deployed medical teams in every dispatch centre, ambulance and a dedicated ward in hospital to treat heatwave cases. We are trying our best to dispatch polling parties with EVMs as soon as possible."

Voting is scheduled in Patna Sahib, Patliputra, Arrah, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Buxar, Sasaram and Karakat on June 1 (tomorrow).

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Jharkhand LIVE: Poll Preparations Underway In Dumka

Polling materials are being distributed to officials in Dumka ahead of the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 scheduled to be held tomorrow (June 1).

Besides Dumka, polling will also take place in Godda and Rajmahal constituencies.

'Vow Of Silence To Repent...': Congress Leader

Commenting on PM Modi's decision to meditate at Vivekananda Rock in Kanniyakumari, Congress leader Vijay Namdevrao Wadettiwar said, "Perhaps he has taken a vow of silence to repent for the way he has deceived people. The country will be happy and thriving if his 'maun vrat' becomes permanent."

No Exit Poll From Between April 19 7 AM To June 1 6:30 PM: EC

The Election Commission has issued a notification banning the conduct, publication or publicising of exit polls between 7.00 am of April 19 and 6.30 pm of June 1 when votes will be cast for the Lok Sabha and four state assembly poll.

The notification issued on Thursday also made it clear that under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the 48-hour period ending with the time fixed for the conclusion of the poll.

(PTI Inputs)

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: Preparations For Voting In Patiala Underway

Preparations in full swing as EVMs are being handed over to poll parties ahead of tomorrow's voting in Patiala, Punjab.

The poll officers are also given medicines and first aids for emergency situations during their duty hours.

"Security has been tightened in the city area based on the directions from the SSP. We have made adequate arrangements to avoid any untoward incident, and have reserve force on standby too," says DSP Mohali Harsimran Singh Bal.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: 10 Poll Personnel Among 14 Dead In Bihar Due To Heatstroke

Fourteen people, including 10 polling personnel, have died due to heatstroke in Bihar in the last 24 hours, officials said on Friday afternoon.

In a statement issued by the Disaster Management Department, most of the fatalities were reported from Bhojpur, where five officials on election duty died of heatstroke.

Three election officials died in Rohtas, and one each died in Kaimur and Aurangabad districts, it said.

Four other people died in different parts of the state, it added.

The process of granting ex-gratia to the families of the deceased has been initiated, said the statement.

The state is reeling under sizzling heat as the mercury crossed 44 degrees Celsius at several places. On Thursday, Buxar was the hottest at 47.1 degrees Celsius.


Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: Akhilesh Yadav asks SP workers to remain 'vigilant' against BJP's 'lies', 'exit polls'

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday asked his party workers, candidates and office-bearers to remain "vigilant" against the "lies" of the BJP and "its exit polls."

In an appeal in Hindi on X, Yadav wrote, "Today I am making an extremely important appeal to you. All of you should remain fully alert, vigilant and cautious during the voting tomorrow and also in the days after the voting, till the counting of votes is over and you receive the certificate of victory. Do not get misled by the BJP."

In the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections, polling will be held in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh on June 1 between 7 am and 6 pm.

Yadav went on to allege that the BJP will start spreading lies once the polling is over on Saturday.

"Actually I am making this appeal because the BJP people have made a plan that as soon as the elections are over tomorrow evening, they will start getting their 'media group (media mandali)' to say on various channels that the BJP has got a lead of around 300 seats, which is completely false," Yadav wrote.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE:  62 Poll Candidates In Fray In Himachal Pradesh On June 1

After a two-month-long campaign, the fate of 37 candidates for four Lok Sabha seats and 25 nominees in six Assembly bypolls in Himachal Pradesh would be sealed in voting machines on June 1.

The high-pitched campaign in the hill state, filled with rancour and insinuations, ended with two rallies of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Badsar and Mandi and a roadshow of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Solan on Thursday. Leaders and workers of political parties swarmed across the state for door-to-door canvassing in a last-ditch attempt to woo the voters.

Besides the elections to the four Lok Sabha seats of Hamirpur, Mandi, Kangra and Shimla, bypolls are being held in six Assembly segments -- Sujanpur, Dharamshala, Lahaul and Spiti, Barsar, Gagret and Kutlehar.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: 70,000 Security Personnel Deployed For Punjab Poll

Around 70,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed in Punjab ahead of polling in 13 Lok Sabha seats on June 1, Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C said here on Friday.

Besides, 1.20 lakh polling staff have been deployed for the polling in the state, he further said on Friday.

Polling for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will take place from 7 am till 6 pm on Saturday.

Addressing the media here, the Punjab CEO said they are fully prepared to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the state.

He emphasised comprehensive arrangements have been made to provide all necessary facilities to voters and maintain a secure and peaceful voting environment in the state.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: Congress Not To Participate In Lok Sabha Exit Poll Debates

The Congress has decided not to participate in any Lok Sabha exit poll debates on the television channels and said it does not want to indulge in speculation and slugfest for TRP.

Congress spoksperson and media department chairperson Pawan Khera said the voters have cast their votes and their verdict has been secured.

"The results will be out on 4th June. Prior to that, we do not see any reason to indulge in speculation and slugfest for TRP," he said in a statement shared on X.

"The Indian National Congress will not participate in the debates on Exit Polls. The purpose of any debate should be to inform the people. We will happily partake in debates from 4th June onwards," Khera said in a statement.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: 13 Poll Personnel Die In UP's Mirzapur After High Fever, Blood Pressure

Thirteen poll personnel deployed in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur died at a hospital here following high fever and high blood pressure, its principal said on Friday. The exact reason for the deaths is being ascertained, he said.

The deceased include seven home guard jawans, three sanitation workers, one clerk posted at the Chief Medical Officer's office, one chakbandi adhikaari (consolidation officer), and one peon in the home guard team, Dr Raj Bahadur Kamal, the principal of Maa Vindhyavasini Autonomous State Medical College, told PTI.

They had high grade fever and high blood pressure when they were brought to the facility, he said.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: About 60 Drones Recovered Along India-Pakistan Border; Highest In Punjab

About 60 drones have either been brought down or recovered by the BSF along the India-Pakistan border during the two-and-a-half months of the Model Code of Conduct, in force for the ongoing general elections, according to official data.

The Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday said it recovered two China-made drones along with drugs (methamphetamine) from the frontier areas of Punjab's Tarn Taran district.

The unmanned aerial vehicles were recovered on Thursday separately from the farming fields of the district's CB Chand and Kalsian villages, it said.

Punjab's 13 Lok Sabha seats go to the polls on Saturday.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: World's Highest Polling Station In Himachal Pradesh Ready For 7th Phase

Polling preparations completed at the world’s highest polling station located at an altitude of 15,256 feet in Tashigang village in Himachal Pradesh.

“Tashigang in the Spiti Valley is the world’s highest polling station. It is one of our ‘model polling stations’. We have sent a special invite to the voters to cast their vote. We have completed all the arrangements. We will ensure 100 per cent polling,” says Lahaul and Spiti’s District Election Officer, Rahul Kumar.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: BJP Reacts To Congress' Decision On Not Participating In Exit Poll Debates

BJP Chief JP Nadda reacting to Congress' announcement said, "Congress’ decision not to participate in LS exit poll debates an unequivocal confirmation that it has conceded elections."

He added, "Congress has no complaints about either EVMs or poll process when it wins but whines endlessly when it expects a rout."

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: OpenAI Says Stalled Attempts By Israel-Based Company To Interfere In Indian Elections

OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, has said it acted within 24 hours to disrupt deceptive uses of AI in covert operations focused on the Indian elections, leading to no significant audience increase.

In a report on its website, OpenAI said STOIC, a political campaign management firm in Israel, generated some content on Indian elections alongside about the Gaza conflict.

"In May, the network began generating comments that focused on India, criticized the ruling BJP party and praised the opposition Congress party," it said. "In May, we disrupted some activity focused on the Indian elections less than 24 hours after it began."

OpenAI said it banned a cluster of accounts operated from Israel that were being used to generate and edit content for an influence operation that spanned X, Facebook, Instagram, websites, and YouTube. "This operation targeted audiences in Canada, the United States and Israel with content in English and Hebrew. In early May, it began targeting audiences in India with English-language content."


Lok Sabha Elections 2024 LIVE: Who Are The Key Candidates In Fray For 7th Phase Elections?

The seven-week long mammoth election exercise will draw to a close on June 1 as 57 seats in eight states and union territories including Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal are slated to vote in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections.

A total of 904 candidates will be in the fray including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is contesting from Varanasi –  a Lok Sabha constituency he represented since 2014. 

Other prominent names include Kanagna Ranaut (Mandi), Abhishek Banerjee (Diamond Harbour), Misa Bharti (Pataliputra) and Sita Soren (Dumka).