Lok Sabha election live | Narendra Modi tags Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee to encourage voting

Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with students; BJP, AGP resume ties in Assam; and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on his son joining BJP. Today’s election-related developments at a glance.


No Lok Sabha poll duty for SSC, HSC teachers in Maha

Over 50,000 teachers of class 10 and class 12 in Maharashtra will no longer be enrolled for Lok Sabha election duties, as per the Election Commission.

Assistant Chief Electoral Officer A.N. Walvi on Wednesday issued a circular excluding teachers of class 10 (SSC) and class 12 (HSC), whose number is estimated to be over 50,000, from poll duties.

The exams are conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education.

Flagging the issue before state Chief Electoral Officer, Shikshak Bharati, an organisation of primary and secondary teachers, had feared delay in declaration of results, in case the teachers are drafted in for poll duty.

After holding talks with various departments, the electoral office decided to exclude these teachers from election duties.

Teachers of other classes will, however, are not excluded from this task.


PM urges personalities from various fields to encourage people to vote in large numbers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi describesg voting as a “prime” duty and urges personalities, including Pranab Mukherjee, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Ratan Tata and P V Sindhu, to encourage people to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha election beginning April 11.

In a series of tweets and a blog post, he says voting is among a citizen’s prime duties.

“I appeal to @RahulGandhi, @MamataOfficial, @PawarSpeaks, @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @yadavtejashwi and @mkstalin to encourage increased voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric,” Mr. Modi wrote on his personal Twitter handle.

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Rahul Gandhi interacts with college students in Chennai

Congress president Rahul Gandhi interacts with students of Stella Maris College in Chennai. The meeting, is being live streamed by the party’s official Youtube handle. Mr. Gandhi takes questions from students on various issues, including about his brother-in-law Robert Vadra, who is being interrogated by the CBI and the ED in a money laundering and land grab cases. "Law must apply to everybody, not be applied selectively," he replies.

Mr. Gandhi went on to say the Congress will change the mood of the country, make people feel happy and empowered, if voted to power. He also says his mother Sonia Gandhi taught him humility and love.

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26 teachers in Maharashtra booked for refusing election work

At least 26 teachers from Palghar district in Maharashtra have been booked for allegedly refusing to do election duty, say police.

The teachers from a school in Nallasopara area were last year appointed as booth-level officers to update the voters’ list and undertake other poll-related works, Palghar police spokesperson Hemant Kumar Katkar says.

They were supposed to carry out works between June 2018 and February this year, he says.

However, since the 26 teachers did not turn up for the work, an electoral registration officer in-charge of the area complained to the police, he says.

Based on the complaint, the teachers were on March 12 booked under Section 32(1) (breach of official duty in connection with preparation of electoral rolls) of the Representation of People Act, Mr. Katkar says.

Leave of U.P. police personnel stopped

The leave of all Uttar Pradesh police personnel have been stopped by the State authorities due to the Lok Sabha election.

According to a directive from the Director General of Police O.P. Singh to all the district police chiefs, leave of all types of police personnel is stopped from March 15 till further order in view of the general election.

Leave may be sanctioned by the officers concerned in special cases, says the directive.

BJP-AGP alliance back on track in Assam

BJP leader Ram Madhav. File

BJP leader Ram Madhav. File
| Photo Credit: PTI


Two months after breaking off over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bharatiya Janata Party are back as allies in Assam.

“After a prolonged discussion with senior AGP leaders, we have decided to work together for the Lok Sabha election in Assam to defeat the Congress. The Bodoland People’s Front will be the third partner in the alliance,” senior BJP leader Ram Madhav says.

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Reports of quitting Cong. not true: Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. File

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. File
| Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini


Amid speculations that he may resign after his son Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the BJP, Maharashtra senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, tells The Hindu that such reports are not true.

In a clarification, he denies that no such decision has been taken by him. “No, it is not true,” he says when asked whether he will submit his resignation today. He does not reply to a query on whether the Congress leadership has asked him to resign.

Ever since his son joined the BJP to contest from the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha constituency, rumours about Mr. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s resignation had been rife.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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