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LIVE! Israel to suspend talks over Palestinian unity deal

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April 24, 2014


22:13  Israel to suspend talks over Palestinian unity deal:  Israel has suspended its peace talks with the Palestinians in response to a unity deal between Hamas and Fatah.

The decision came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chaired a six-hour meeting of Israel's security cabinet.

The Palestinian factions announced the reconciliation deal on Wednesday, saying they would attempt to form a unity government in the coming weeks.Mr Netanyahu told the BBC the Palestinian leader must abandon the deal if he wanted peace with Israel.
22:12  Kejriwal holds silent protest against attack on Somnath Bharti:  AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal today held a "silent prayer" at Assi ghat on the bank of Ganges here to pray for "wisdom and good sense" to those allegedly involved in last night's assault on Somnath Bharti. Kejriwal, accompanied by his party colleagues Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, sat near Assi Ghat for over one-and-half hour.
21:10  Manmohan govt weakened the Army: V K Singh:  Former Army Chief and BJP candidate from Ghaziabad seat V K Singh today accused Manmohan Singh government of making the Army weak in the last 10 years of his regime. 

Singh, who was here to campaign for party candidate Smriti Irani contesting against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, said that there were several shortcomings but he being a former army chief was not in a position to speak more about it.
20:09  53 pc voter turnout in Mumbai, breaks 2009 record of 41.5 pc:  The voter turnout in Mumbai may be dismal as compared to other metros that went to polls today or earlier. But the last minute surge in voters registered a turnout of 53 per cent in its six seats, as polling ended in the sixth phase of the general elections.

The city improved on the 41.5 per cent voter turnout per cent in 2009.

Mumbai North Central and Mumbai South Central saw 55 per cent voting, and in a late surge, Mumbai South registered a 54 per cent turnout after lagging through the day. Mumbai North-West was the lowest at 50 per cent, reports NDTV.

The 19 Maharashtra seats averaged 56.26 per cent voter turnout.

Image: Actor Shah Rukh Khan shows his inked finger after he cast his ballot in Mumbai

Photograph: Twitter
19:20  This is how Mumbai voted:  Mumbai North - 52 %
Mumbai North-West-50%
Mumbai North-East -53%
Mumbai North-Central - 55%
Mumbai South-Central - 55 %
Mumbai South - 54%
19:19  SP, BSP, Cong will be decimated in UP by 'Modi tsunami': Amit Shah:   Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah today said BJP will decimate Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP in Uttar Pradesh as the Modi wave has turned into a tsunami which was sweeping the whole country.

Shah, who is party in-charge of  Uttar Pradesh, said the groundswell of support for Modi in Varanasi has left no doubt about forming of government at the Centre under the leadership of the Gujarat Chief Minister.

"Till now there was a Modi wave in Uttar Pradesh. But now, as he has filed his nomination, this wave has turned into a Tsunami. It will help the party in Uttar Pradesh as well as Bihar and in other states," said Shah after Modi filed his nomination.

"Because of this tsunami, Congress, SP and the BSP will be wiped out in Uttar Pradesh. It is all but certain that the next government will be formed by Narendra Modi," he said.

Earlier, Modi held a massive show of strength with tens of thousands of people greeting and cheering him on the roads of this spiritual temple town on the banks of sacred Ganges. The entire city revelled in saffron as a sea of people wearing Modi T-shirt and masks and holding BJP flags lined up along the arterial roads in sweltering heat to have a glimpse of the party's prime ministerial candidate.
19:03  Mumbai voter turnout: 53 per cent till 6 pm
18:54  Major fire at Maker Chambers in south Mumbai:  A major fire broke out on the seventh floor of 13-storey Maker Chambers at Nariman Point in south Mumbai this evening, fire officials said. The fire broke around 6 pm at building number 6 in the complex. It was a 'level 2' fire, which means a major one, the official said. Fire engines and ambulances have been rushed to the spot.
18:48  As Modi comes calling, Varanasi comes to a halt:  Varanasi reeled under massive traffic snarls today due to Narendra Modi's massive road show in the heart of the city causing inconvenience to a large number of commuters Police had put barricade in almost all arterial roads to ensure fool-proof security to Modi, who filed his nomination today.

Vehicular movement on major roads was not allowed and motorists had to wait for long hours to cross major intersections in the city. Even on roads which were open, there were huge traffic jams.

"I could not reach my school as there was huge traffic jams at Lahurabeer," said Rajiv Kesri, a 12th standard student at a city school.

Some schools around Modi's road show route were closed as authorities felt students will not be able to come due to vehicular restrictions. In some areas, traders shut their shops to attend Modi's rally.

Prayer meetings and 'hawans' were also organised in some areas for Modi's victory in the constituency causing traffic snarls.

"The city virtually came to a halt because of Modi's road show," said Govardhan Rai, a Paan shop owner. Modi held a massive road show before filing his nomination for the May 12 contest in which AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal is also in the fray. Kejriwal slammed the local administration for "closing the city" for just "one man".
18:39  Rahul slams Modi on snoopgate, Gujarat model:  Slamming Narendra Modi over snoopgate controversy, Rahul Gandhi today said Gujarat government has no regard for women as it gets their phones tapped and cautioned that giving him the key of power would not be good for the country.

Addressing election rallies in Jalaun and Sitapur, the Congress Vice President said Modi gave 45,000 acre of land belonging to farmers to Adani group at the rate of Rupee one per square metre, but not a single industry was set up.

He said that in turn Adani sold the land at the rate of Rupees eight per sq metre.

"This is Modi's Gujarat model," he said. "Modi says make him the guard of the country, hand him the key of the country. But if the key is handed over to him, he will again promote an industrialist like Adani, whereas Congress thinks that not one, but several industrialists should be produced," he said.
18:22  59.04% vote in Madhya Pradesh till 5 pm:  A total of 59.04 per cent voting was recorded till 5 pm in Madhya Pradesh, where polling is underway for 10 Lok Sabha seats in the final phase amid reports of poll boycott from a village in Khargone district.
18:21  West Bengal turnout till 5 pm: Raiganj 79.78%; Jangipur: 79% Murshidabad: 82.24%; Malda North: 80.67; Malda South: 80.16%; Balurghat: 82.84%
17:37  LIVE! Voted? He did! Just 35.92 pc polling in Maharashtra till 3 pm:  Nineteen Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra where polling is underway in the final phase of elections recorded an average of 35.92 per cent voter turnout till 3 pm today.

Following are the constituency-wise voting figures: Nandurbar-ST (46.10%), Dhule (38.37%), Jalgaon 36.77%), Raver (38.528%), Jalna (41.86%), Aurangabad (34.88%), Dindori (ST) 45.24%, Nashik (39.24%), Palghar ( 30.25%), Bhivandi (25.28%), Kalyan (27.35%) Thane (27.35%) Mumbai North (40.07%), Mumbai North West (37.35%), Mumbai North East (35%), Mumbai North Central (36%), Mumbai South Central (32.06%), Mumbai South (29%) and Raigad (43%).

Pic: Nikhil Ghanekar tweets this picture of Shrikrishna Upadhye, 97, voting at the Allana school in Lokhandwala. The polling station did not have wheelchairs.
17:08  Subramanian Swamy hopes NDA to fare well in south:  Expressing confidence that the NDA would get an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha elections, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today hoped that the coalition would do well in southern states including Tamil Nadu.

"I think Modi wave is there in every part of India. The question is whether the organization is strong enough to take advantage of it. Therefore, I would say in Tamil Nadu also, we will get more seats than we ever got before," he said.

He felt that the BJP would do well in the future in Tamil Nadu too with the younger generation reportedly taking pride in being Indians first.

"I think we have a very big scope for the future  because the younger generation now is openly saying that we are Indians first and Tamils afterwards.
17:01  Polling touches 62 per cent in Tamil Nadu by 3 pm:  Maintaining a brisk pace from the start, the polling percentage crossed the 60 per cent mark by 3 pm in the single-phase Lok Sabha elections to 39 constituencies in Tamil Nadu today.
16:59  Pakistan must return to the county circuit:  "The young lad called the captain and coach to the dressing room. Opened the zip of his kit bag, picked up an AK-47 and put it back in," a former Pakistani Test cricketer recalls while describing the morning of a First-Class match in Karachi some fifteen odd years ago. Read
16:50  Aaditya Thackeray explains low voter turnout in Mumbai: Let's not blame Mumbaikars this time for low voting. I can see lines of people, eager to vote. But many have been deleted frm the list!!

Aaditya is the son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and heads the Yuva Sena. The voter turnout in Mumbai till 3 pm is a dismal 35 per cent. 
16:41   Nearly 70 per cent polling recorded till 3 pm in West Bengal:   Nearly 70 per cent votes were cast till 3 pm in West Bengal, where polling is underway in six parliamentary constituencies in the second phase of the five-phase elections to decide the fate of 78 candidates.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
16:27  Modi's Varanasi roadshow a poll violation, says Congress:   The Congress has complained to the Election Commission against Narendra Modi's grand roadshow in Varanasi today, coinciding with the sixth round of voting for the national election.

The party has called for an FIR or First Information Report against the roadshow, calling it illegal.

In its complaint, the Congress said visuals of Modi's roadshow were aired by TV channels, even in parts of the country that are voting today, which they said was a violation of the election code.

"117 seats are going to polls but the sanctity of these polls have been violated," union minister Anand Sharma said.

"Why was the Election Commission not alert to this and why didn't it instruct the media? We want an FIR and notice against the BJP leaders who were present."-- NDTV
15:51  The Hamid Mir case: 'In Pakistan, they used to censor journalists now they shoot us':  On Saturday in Karachi, one of Pakistan's most famous journalists survived being shot six times. Soon after, the TV news channel he works for blamed the feared Inter-Services Intelligence agency for the attack. Author Mohammed Hanif reports on a fourth estate under siege. Read
15:46  Mumbai South Congress party candidate Milind Deora on Narendra Modi filing his nomination from Varanasi: I wish him all the best.
15:42  An ode to travel writer Mark Shand. Read
15:23  LIVE! Sonia in Gujarat: BJP does not believe in Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb:  Earlier today, Sonia Gandhi addressed a rally in Valsad, Gujarat. She said, "Kuch logon ko yeh lagta hai ki unke satta pe aane se dharti pe swarg utar ayega. Nation cannot be build within a day. We have worked hard for a long time to have created this nation.  On the other hand there is BJP who works according to such an organization which doesn't believe in Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb. Congress believes in a strong democracy, takes every one along & thinks of all as equals."
15:18  UP CM Akhilesh Yadav says that the SP has done a lot of work in Benares, "I am sure people will vote for secular leaders."
15:17  Khushwant Singh's dying wish honoured as his ashes return to his ancestral village in Pak :  Break from elections to tell you this: Even in death, Khushwant Singh did his bit to maintain the ties between India and Pakistan. On Tuesday, a handful of his ashes were placed in a memorial at the Government Boys High School in Hadali, the village in Pakistani Punjab where Singh was born in 1915. Read
15:08  37 pc polling in Bihar till 1 pm:  Around 37 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar where voting is underway in the third phase today.
15:07  35 pc polling in Chhattisgarh till 1 pm:   A moderate 35 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm in seven parliamentary constituencies of Chhattisgarh during the third and final phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state today.
15:06  Mumbaikars, ink your finger and grab these deals:   Dismal turnout in Mumbai, just 23 per cent till 1 pm! If you haven't got your finger inked, may be these will tempt you to step outside the cozy confines of your home and press the button.

1. Flash your inked finger and get 20% off on dinner buffet and unlimited drinks at Aqua Coffee Shop, Sun-N-Sand, Juhu.
2. Show that inked finger tomorrow and get 50% off on a haircut at all Lakme Salon outlets in the city .
3. Get a free haircut at all Trinity Salon outlets in Mumbai by flaunting that indelible ink mark tomorrow.
4. Get a complimentary glass of Myra Wines if you cast your vote at *The Table (Colaba), Salt Water Cafe (Churchgate & Bandra) and Smoke-
House Deli (Bandra (W) & Lower Parel)*. From 6 pm to 11 pm tomorrow.
5. Hard Rock Cafe (Andheri) is organising a voters-only party on April 25. Entry free. Flaunting inked finger is a must. 8 pm onwards.
6. Flaunt your ink to get a 25% discount on all products at It's Our Studio .
7. Show your inked finger and get a 15% discount on stay, food and soft drinks at Sahara Star.
8. Cast your vote and get 15% discount on food & non-alcoholic beverages at Spaghetti Kitchen on April 24 and 25.
9. Le 15 Patisserie is offering a 10% off on all in-store treats tomorrow. The offer is open at all their outlets.
10. Show up at Bistro 1 Cafe (Andheri West) with your inked finger on April 25 and get a hot or cold coffee for free .
11. Get 50% at the Chowpatty, Shivaji Park and Goregaon outlets of Ice Cream Works tomorrow!
12. Complimentary dessert for every inked finger at Ramada Powai. Valid on April 24 and 25.
13. 15% off on food at Boveda (Andheri West), Vicinia, Zouk, Sahara Star and La Patio . Valid from April 24 to 28 to all voters!
14. Vote for a healthier future. Tweet a pic of your inked finger to Samskara Wellness (@samskara01) and 20% off on their products.
15. Complimentary dessert for every inked finger at SKKY (Powai) . Valid on April 24 and 25 only.
16. Send *Party Hard Drivers * (@PartyHarDrivers) a picture of your inked finger on FB or Twitter. 5 lucky people get a free PDH
service.
17. Show your inked finger and get a food voucher worth Rs 100 for Adlabs Imagica, Khopoli. Valid from: April 24 to May 24!
18. Show your voters' ink and get Rs 300 off on your bill at the Mahim and Andheri outlets of
Goa Portuguesa on April 24, 12 pm onwards.
19. On April 24, walk into a Taj Salon outlet at any Taj property in the city, flash your inked finger and get a 15% discount.
20. Purchase any flavour of WOW Popcorn , show your inked finger and get a mini tub free on April 24.
21. At 6th Street Yogurt, your age defines your discount. Show your inked finger to avail of it. Age proof a must.
22. bYSI is giving away vouchers worth Rs 500 to voters. Details in the image.
23. Show your vote mark at SmileBar to get a free consultation and 25% discount on teeth whitening. From April 24 to May 5.
24. Cream Centre offers a 50% discount on April 24 at their outlets in Chowpatty and Oberoi Mall in Goregaon.
25. Valino a pub in Malad is offering a free drink to all those who come in after voting. Do note though, the dry day restrictions end at 6pm. So if you vote too early in the day, you'll still have to wait to claim your drink.
26. Spaghetti Kitchen, Bombay Blue, Noodle and Copper Chimney are also offering a 15% discount on food and non alcoholic beverages.
27. Woodside Inn, at both their branches are offering a buy one get one free deal on all their pizzas (same or lesser values). They also have a
specials menu which you could check out at the venue.
28. Go vote and The Little Door (Andheri West) will reward you with a 15% discount on the bill.
29. Cast your vote tomorrow and get free pizza pop at Debonairs Pizza .
30. Visit Sun N Sand hotel on the elections day, show them your symbol of voter's pride to get a 20% discount on a dinner buffet at the Aqua 24 hours coffee shop and unlimited soft drink.
31. Walk into the Grain & Bagel Cafe tomorrow and show us that you have voted to get a free Iced Tea!
15:04  Over 36 pc voter turnout recorded in UP till 1 pm:  Over 36.62 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first six hours in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is going on in 12 seats in the third phase to decide fate of 188 candidates.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
15:03  EC issues notice to Beni, Katiyar for model code violation:  Taking cognizance of their alleged controversial remarks against Narendra Modi and Azam Khan respectively in election speeches, the Election Commission today issued show cause notice to Union minister Beni Prasad Verma and BJP leader Vinay Katiyar for prima facie violating the Model Code of Conduct. They have been asked to put forth their stands on the charges by Saturday morning failing which the EC will take action without further referring the matter to them.
14:45  Modi wave is now a tsunami: Amit Shah:  Narendra Modi aide and former Gujarat home minister tweets on the massive turnout in Varanasi to watch Modi file his nomination: The Modi wave has now become a tsunami, will overwhelm SP, BSP and Cong in UP. 

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
14:35  Senior journalist, columnist Tavleen Singh tweets from Varanasi: Have covered elections since 1977 and never seen the sort of hysterical enthusiasm as I saw for Modi in Benares today.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
14:13   Narendra Modi files his nomination from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.
14:10  Mumbaikars gherao ECO:  Around 350 people, who have been denied the right to vote, have gathered in protest outside the Election Returning Officers office in Wadala (a central Mumbai suburb).

The ERO has expressed his inability to help them. An elderly couple, who were amongst the crowd, said that they had been waiting to vote since 7 am.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
14:03  LIVE! Mother Ganga has called me to Varanasi, says Modi before nomination:   Narendra Modi speaking in Varanasi. Wearing the BJP colours, Modi speaks before filing his nomination papers, says he hasn't been called to Varanasi nor has he come here on his own steam, but the Ganga (Ma Ganga) has called him (Ganga ne bulaya hai).  He says he wants to make Varanasi the spiritual capital of the world.

He also said that the Chinese traveller, monk, scholar Hiuen Tsang, had visited the place of his birth Vadnagar in Gujarat.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 

Pic: PTI
13:40  Narendra Modi meets Pt. Channu Lal Mishra, his proposer for nomination at the collector's office.
13:16  In India, election officials brave hungry crocodiles to reach voters:  The midday sun was blazing when Biswajit Roy, a middle-aged Indian high-school teacher, gingerly pulled himself, and two voting machines, into a modified dugout canoe. His mission: Traverse crocodile-infested mangrove swamps, cross a stretch of open sea and then hike through a jungle to the remote village of Hanspuri so its 261 voters could cast ballots in India's national elections. Read

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
13:14  LIVE! NO Narendra Modi wave, says PM after voting in Guwahati:   Narendra Modi wave is a creation of the media, says PM Manmohan Singh after voting in Guwahati.
13:09  Dismal voting in Mumbai so far -- till 11 am:  Mumbai North: 18%
North-West: 16.70%
North-East:15.20%
North-Central: 15.50%
South-Central:12.50%
South: 13.20%
13:09  Voters find names missing in North West Mumbai:  Rediff.com's Aslam Hunani says the names of many voters were missing at despair at the Mumbai North-West constituency of Versova. At the Azad Nagar polling station, polling officers could offer no solutions. A Nasreen Mohammed was surprised that her name has been deleted in the list though she had voted in earlier elections.
13:03  `BJPs politics is one of hubris and anger':   On Wednesday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had a day's break from campaign rallies but that did not mean rest. Numerous issues and people had been waiting for his attention, but Mr Gandhi, in a white kurta and black jeans, appeared relaxed as he sat smiling at his 12, Tughlak Lane residence in New Delhi.

He answered a range of questions -- on his personality, ideology, influences and the 2014 elections and of course, his principal rival, Narendra Modi.

He had already dictated part of these answers to his aides a day earlier during his campaign tour, when he sat down with The Hindu. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with The Hindu's Political Editor, Varghese K. George. Read
12:52  LIVE! 2-km-long rally as Modi showered with flowers from Varanasi's balconies :  Still a long way to go for Modi to file his nomination. So far, he has paid tribute to Sardar Patel's statue, Madan Mohan Malviya's statue and Swami Vivekananda's statue. Modi drives in an open truck draped in the BJP's colours, waving and bowing. There is a a carnival-like atmosphere in the two-km trail behind the truck. Along the way, people line up on terraces, trees, balconies and shower him with flowers.
12:31  29 pc voter turnout in Rajasthan in initial hours:  An average of 29 per cent voting was registered during the initial hours today on the second polling day of Lok Sabha election in 5 parliamentary constituencies in Rajasthan.

Alwar registered 30.59 per cent voting till 1130 hrs followed by Dausa at 30 per cent.

Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Bharatpur, and Karauli-Dholpur recorded 29.17, 27.23 and 25.46 per cent respectively.

Altogether 81 candidates including 10 women are in the fray in the 5 constituencies in the second phase. Polling in 20 constituencies out of total 25 seats took place in the first phase on April 17.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections       
12:26  HDFC's chairman Deepak Parekh was reportedly not able to vote as his name did not figure in the voters' list in Mumbai.

South Mumbai witnesses a dismal 13.20 per cent turnout till 11 am.
12:20  Not just Xaviers principal, 75 other academics dread Modi coming to power:  Around 75 professors and other academics of Indian origin working at some of Britain's prestigious institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford universities and London School of Economics today issued an open letter, sharply attacking Narendra Modi and saying, "The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread".  Read

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections       
12:17  TN records 20 per cent turnout in initial phase of polling:   About 20 per cent of an estimated 5.50 crore voters today excercised their franchise in 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry by 10 am. Brisk voting was witnessed in parts of the city, Karur, Cuddalore, Salem and Tiruvannamalai constituencies as voters queued to cast their votes during the early hours. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry is having single-phase polling today.

Follow latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections       
12:07  LIVE! After Malviya, statue-hopping Modi pays tribute to Vivekananda:   Narendra Modi pays tribute at the Swami Vivekananda statue in Varanasi. He paid his tribute before freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malviya's statue.  The Modi road show snaking through Varanasi; the road show is very much intact. 
12:01  'Travels with my Elephant' author Mark Shand passes on:  In the world outside elections, Travels with my Elephant author, Mark Shand, was organising fundraising for his conservation charity when he fell and seriously injured head. Read
11:56  Vizzy of Varanasi:  This is a picture tweeted by historian Ramchandra Guha of a statue of the Maharaja of Vizianagram, better known as Vizzy, in Varanasi. A great patron of cricket in the late twenties and thirties, Vizzy used his personal wealth to get legendary cricketers like Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe to play in India, often at the ground he had built inside his palace grounds. His immense wealth and interest in the game saw him rise to be an influential figure in Indian cricket circles in the 1930s.
11:43  'Modi partial to some corporates; no govt has favoured Robert Vadra' :  In his first interview in this election season and a rare media interaction, Ahmed Patel, the all powerful and reclusive political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, spoke to ET on everything from how Congress will perform to why India Inc is betting on BJP. In a freewheeling chat with ET, Patel defended Robert Vadra and asked for investigation into Modi government's industry policy. Excerpts.
11:35  Rediff.com's Sumit Bhattacharya reporting from Varanasi says there is no sign of Narendra Modi outside the Kashi Vidyapeeth where his roadshow is to start. Varanasi, meanwhile, is a sea of saffron.
11:30  388 candidates in the fray in 19 constituencies in Maha:  Three-hundred and thirty eight candidates are in the fray for the third and final phase of polling in 19 constituencies across Mumbai, Thane, North Maharashtra, Marathwada and Konkan regions.

In Aurangabad, a first-time voter, a middle-aged couple and senior citizens were among the early voters.

In Mumbai, prominent among the early voters were candidates Gurudas Kamat (Congress), Poonam Mahajan , Gopal Shetty (both BJP) Arvind Sawant, Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena), Adtiya Shirodkar (MNS) and Meera Sanyal (AAP).

The Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde also cast his vote.
11:17  Polling briefly stopped at booth in Pulwama:   Polling was briefly stopped today at a polling station in Pulwama district in south Kashmir's Anantnag Parliamentary constituency after some persons pelted stones on the booth, prompting police to fire warning shots.

A group of persons pelted stones on a polling station in Koil in Pulwama this morning but they were chased away by the security forces who fired warning shots, police said. Polling at the station has resumed now, they said, adding no one was injured in the clashes.
11:16  Varanasi vignettes: Modi, Modi everywhere:  Har har Modi, ghar ghar Modi,' shout a cabal of cabbies outside Varanasi's Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport. Yogesh Dubey, 18, is among them.

He is ferrying people into the temple city, which has emerged as the site for the electoral battle royal of 2014 -- self-anointed prime minister in impatient waiting Narendra Modi versus self-anointed anti-corruption mascot Arvind Kejriwal -- in what he calls the 'Modi taxi'. Read
11:06  LIVE! Singer, weaver, boatman, judge to propose Modi's name during nomination:  Narendra Modi has landed in a Varanasi painted saffron as thousands of BJP workers pour out on the streets of the ancient temple town to welcome the party's prime ministerial candidate.

This morning, a singer, a weaver, a boatman and a retired high court judge will propose Modi's name as he files his nomination papers.

Pic: Sumit Bhattacharya in Varanasi
11:03   Outside the Benaras Hindu University, which Narendra Modi will visit before he files his nomination papers. Rediff.com's Sumit Bhattacharya is where the action is.
10:55  The Vallabhbhai Patel statue in Varanasi decked up for Narendra Modi. The BJP's PM candidate will file his nomination today. Rediff.com's Sumit Bhattacharya is there with the details. 
10:52  Go-to-Pak leader Giriraj Singh lays an egg:  A country egg hatching in a remote poultry pen has become Giriraj Singh's thing of armour against invited assault. But we shall come to the eggs presently; first, the reason why this tale's protagonist is on eggshells.Such a torrent of censure and rejection he never did expect to descend on him for uttering the "undiluted truth of my heart'. Such a clap of overhead thunder it was, resonating from foe and friend, it left the bellicose Giriraj moping in a corner of his west Patna bungalow. The Telegraph's Sankarshan Thakur meets Go-to-Pak leader Giriraj Singh. Read
10:48  In other news: The Centre assures the Supreme Court that it is not going to take any immediate decision on the appointment of Lokpal.
10:21  Modi to file nomination at 11:40 am: BJP sources:  
BJP sources say that Narendra Modi will be filing his nomination from Varanasi at 11:40 am.

A retired high court judge who is the grandson of noted educationist Madan Mohan Malaviya will be among four prominent personalities to Narendra Modi's nomination. 
 
A renowned singer from Benares, a weaver and a boatman will be among other proposers of Modi's candidature. 

Modi will be filing his nomination papers tomorrow, the last date of filing papers. Varanasi will go to polls on May 12, the last phase of polling.

Madan Mohan Malaviya's grandson Giridhar Malaviya, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, will be propose Modi's nomination. Madan Mohan Malaviya, a four-time former president of Indian National Congress, was also the founder of the Benares Hindu University, the largest residential university in Asia. 

Among the other Modi proposers are Padma Vibhushan winner Chhandu Lal Mishra, a noted classical singer of Benaras, boatman Virbhadra Nishad and Ashok, representing the dominant weaver community here, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said
10:18  Chunav tale from Mumbai cabbies...:  
A taxi driver from Mumbai, whose is a native of Varanasi tells rediff.com's Norma Godinho, who was on her way to work this morning, says he believes that Narendra Modi coming to power will help India's growth. 

"Hamne Gujarat ke baare mein jo suna aur padha hai use dekh ke lagta hai ke woh Bharat ka vikas karega. (From what I have heard and read about Gujarat, it seems Modi will boost India's growth)

"Hum use vote is liye nahi de rahe hai ke unka Hindutva ka agenda hai. Hum Muslim aur Hindu mein bhedh nahi karte. Lekin hamein vishwas chahiye aur woh accha karega. (I am not voting for Modi only because he has an Hindutva agenda. I don't differentiate between Hindu or Muslim; I just need to be re-assured that he will perform well)

"Jab hum taxi driver log saath mein baithte hai toh hum sab ko lagta hai ke Modi hamare baare mein sochega. Mujhe pata hai ke woh Brahmin nahi Baniya hai, lekin unnhe UP ke Srivastav logon ka vote pukka milega.
(When we taxi drivers sit together, we think Modi will think about us. He may be a Baniya, but he certainly will get the Srivastav votes in Uttar Pradesh.

Another taxi driver told her last week:

Agar Modi aaya bhi toh kya faayda, koi kharcha kam nahi hoga. Aaj ke din mein sab kuch mehenga hai, aur behetar zindagi chahiye toh kharcha kharcha karna hi hoga. Yeh jo bol rahe hai ke Modi change layenge hame sab jhooth lagta hai. Sab log janta ko loote hai, Modi bhi wohi karega.
(Modi coming to power won't reduce expenses. Everything is expensive these days; but to lead a better life one will have to spend. Everybody loots the public; Modi will do so too.
09:56  Snapped! Milind Deora casting his vote:  Sophie N Daniel waited at Activity High School, Peddar Road at 8.30 am to take an early morning photograph of sitting MP from Mumbai South, Milind Deora casting his vote.

He is running for elections from this seat for the third time 
09:41  Chennai: EVM malfunction in Gopalapuram, polling temporarily halted:  
CNN-IBN reports: EVM malfunction has been reported at a polling booth in Gopalapuram in Chennai. Gopalpuram is the polling area where DMK cheif K Karunanidhi and his son and DMK's treasurer MK Stalin usually cast their vote.

Poll officials are working to rectify the error. Polling has been temporarily halted as officials are trying to fix the error.

39 seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry is up for voting on Thursday.
09:36  Chunav tale from Mumbai cabbies...:  
Rediff staffer Seema Pant on her way to office in Mumbai hears this from a cabbie:

Mayawatis carrot to Bhaiyyas: A free bus service from Mumbai to Uttar Pradesh plus he says Rs 3,000, till May 2.

No return service though (The cabbie is from Allahabad)
09:03  Modi to file nomination from Varanasi today:  
Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will on Thursday file his nomination papers from Varanasi. 

The BJP has made hectic preparations for the day when Modi will undertake a "grand road show" before filing his papers for the mega battle in this holy city where he is challenged by Congress leader Ajay Rai, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and others. 

Several hundred kg of rose petals and other flowers have been ordered, party leaders said. 

The Gujarat Chief Minister will be flying in to the temple town in the morning and would attend a string of events, including garlanding of statues of Banaras Hindu University founder Madan Mohan Malviya, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Swami Vivekanand.
 
He would then hold a roadshow ahead of filing his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election at the district collectorate.
09:02  Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan among early voters:  Megastars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan among early voters in Chennai.

All 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state are voting today in what has turned out to be four-cornered contest between the AIADMK, DMK, Congress and the BJP-led NDA alliance. 
09:02  Voting begins in 117 constituencies spread across 11 states:  
Voting began at 7 am in 117 constituencies spread across 11 states and one union territory in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls 2014. 

All seats 39 -in Tamil Nadu, 19 in Maharashtra, 12 in Uttar Pradesh, 10 in Madhya Pradesh, seven each in Bihar and Chhattisgarh, six each in Assam and West Bengal, five in Rajasthan, four in Jharkhand, one in Jammu and Kashmir and one in Puducherry are voting today. 

The largest round of polling for 121 seats was held in April 17. 

Of the 117 seats voting today, the Congress had won 36 in 2009, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 26, the DMK 18, the AIADMK 9 and the Samajwadi Party 5. 

Voting for 349 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats will be completed with the sixth phase today, leaving the last three stages. 
01:41  Coast Guard personnel attack fishermen in Tamil Nadu:  Two fishermen of Idinthakarai village were today allegedly assaulted by Indian Coast Guard personnel in the sea, fishermen association sources said. Tirunelveli District Fishermen Federation Secretary Ram alleged that Thommai, 42, and Rochari, 40, were attacked by the ICG personnel, who also robbed them of their catch at a point one nautical mile from the Idinthakarai coast.

A complaint has been lodged with the district collector in this regard, he said. Both the fishermen were using a country boat and were fishing along with 13 others.

They had their fishing permit and ID cards but were allegedly attacked despite producing them, he alleged. Idinthakarai village has been the focal point of the anti-Kudankulam nuclear stir.
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