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LIVE! First ever FIR, won't forget this day: Modi

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April 30, 2014


23:14  First ever FIR, won't forget this day: Modi:  Reacting to the case registered against him by Gujarat police on Election Commission's order for addressing the media after casting his vote in Ahmedabad and displaying BJP's symbol, Narendra Modi today said it was the first FIR of his life which he will never forget. 

He also lashed out at Congress, saying it was facing defeat and was worried that "a person who (once) eked out his livelihood by selling tea" was challenging it.
23:12  Israel returns remains of Hamas militants killed in 1998:  More than 1,000 people gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah today for the funerals of two Hamas militants Israel killed in 1998, whose remains had just been returned. 

Israel transferred the remains of Imad Awadallah, 48, and his 46-year-old brother Adel, to Palestinian officials at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank overnight, Palestinian activists said.
23:11  Syrian airstrike on school in Aleppo kills 19:  A Syrian government airstrike hit a school today in an opposition-held district of the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 19 people, including 10 children, activists reported. 

A missile slammed into the Ein Jalout school in eastern part of Aleppo as teachers and students were preparing an exhibit of children's drawings depicting Syria at war, activists said.
21:55  Mulayam has lost mental balance: Mayawati:  Alleging that Mulayam Singh Yadav has lost his mental balance, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati today asked family members of the Samajwadi Party supremo to admit him to a mental asylum in Agra.

"He (Mulayam) has lost his mental balance due to fear of defeat in Lok Sabha elections. Such type of person in his family can term his grandson and granddaughter as 'Sriman and Srimati' (Mr and Mrs) in place of brothers and sisters," the BSP head told mediapersons.

"I suggest his family members to admit him to a mental asylum in Agra for treatment," she said. Mayawati's comments came in reaction to Mulayam's remarks against her at a rally in Faizabad district today.

"Mai use kunwari kahun, srimati kahun, ya behen kahun (should I term her (Mayawati) Miss, Mrs or sister," Yadav had said at the rally.
20:06  Indian seeks memorial in US for cows killed in accident:   In an unusual demand, an Indian American has asked for permission from local authorities in upstate New York to erect a temporary roadside memorial in honour of 11 cows killed in an accident last week.

"Following last week's truck crash in Albany, which resulted in the deaths of at least 11 cows, I am writing as an Albany resident to ask that you permit me to place a 10-foot tombstone memorial for one month on the right-of-way on Rock Road at Switzkill Road to commemorate the lives lost in this deadly crash," Amrit Singh wrote in a letter to Albany commissioner.
19:55  Priyanka takes jibe at Modi for 'yeh dil maange more' slogan:  Priyanka Gandhi today took a dig at Narendra Modi for invoking a Kargil martyr's slogan of 'Yeh dil maange more' to pitch for 300 seats for the NDA, saying while the BJP leader does not get tired of asking for votes from people, the Congress seeks to empower them.

Sitting among women while campaigning for her brother Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka said, "I read in newspapers there is a leader from a political party who says 'yeh dil mange more'. He is asking for it again and again. He does not get tired."

As her remarks drew laughter from the women, she said, "But we are saying we do not want anything from you. We want you to become vigilant, realise your potential and be empowered."
19:38  Telangana registers 70 pc voting, Gujarat 62 pc:  Around 62 per cent voters exercised their  franchise until 6 pm today for all 26 LS seats. here is the tally until now:

Telangana: 72%

Srinagar: 25.6%

Uttar Pradesh: 57.1%

West Bengal: 81.35%

Punjab: 73%

Bihar: 60%


18:57  Modi is a habitual offender, says AAP:  Welcoming the FIR registered against Narendra Modi for violating the election law, the Aam Aadmi Party today called the BJP's prime ministerial candidate a habitual offender who has been consistently violating poll norms and model code of conduct.

"Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP candidate from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, Narendra Modi has been consistently violating the election laws and the model code of conduct during the ongoing campaigning.

"The Election Commission's direction to the Gujarat government for registration of an FIR against him on Wednesday is only an indication of the habitual offences being committed by Mr Modi and the BJP," AAP said a statement.

The party has already approached the EC for another alleged poll violation in Varanasi when Modi undertook a roadshow before filing his nomination from the temple town on April 24.
18:57  Actor Bob Hoskins dies at 71:  The actor has died of pneumonia after quitting acting two years ago when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Read the full story here
18:35  Election Commission censures BJP leader Giriraj Singh:  Election Commission has censured BJP leader Giriraj Singh for his Pakistan remarks during Lok Sabha poll campaign in Bihar.
18:34  Direct Guj govt to act neutrally against Modi: Congress:  ith an aim of ensuring that Narendra Modi is not let off, the Congress today asked the Election Commission to direct Gujarat government to act neutrally on the alleged election model code of conduct violation by him.

Modi has "shred into pieces" the model code, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken told reporters. He said displaying BJP's election symbol 'Lotus' and making a speech after casting his vote in Gandhinagar is a "big violation" of electoral law.

Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, landed in a soup with the Election Commission ordering the Gujarat administration to file a complaint or FIR against him for violating poll laws. It wanted compliance report by 6 pm today.

Another General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said that Modi is a "habitual and serial violator" of the model code. He said that a wrong impression will go around if the Commission failed to take action against the BJP's PM candidate.
18:32  Nearly 54 per cent polling recorded in UP till 5 pm:  Nearly 54 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 1700 hours in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is underway in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates.

UP Governor B L Joshi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Congress candidate from Lucknow Rita Bahuguna Joshi, BJP National President Rajnath Singh and party leader Kalraj Mishra were among those who exercised their franchise. Dhaurahra witnessed 62.8 per cent polling till 1700 hours while Sitapur and Mishrikh recorded 59.4 and 53.96 per cent polling respectively. Unnao recorded 50.94 per cent polling, Mohanlalganj 56 per cent, Lucknow 50.5 per cent, Rae Bareli 48.1 per cent, Kanpur 50.2 per cent, Jalaun 52 per cent, Jhansi 63 per cent, Hamirpur 49.1 per cent, Banda 47.52 per cent, Fatehpur 54.58 per cent and Barabanki recorded 58.19 per cent polling.

In Sitapur an FIR has been lodged against SP MLA Rampal Yadav after he entered into an altercation with CRPF jawan Dharampal Singh at Nauabehad polling booth in Biswan area.
18:26  Blast rocks railway station in China's Xinjiang:  An explosion today rocked a railway station in Urumqi, capital of China's volatile Muslim-majority Xinjiang province. Details about the blast and casualties are unclear, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing officials.

Ambulances and police cars have rushed to the scene. The blast came days after the first visit of President Xi Jinping to Xinjiang which in recent years witnessed a spurt in attacks by Islamic militants as province experienced ethnic tensions between native Uygur Muslims and Han Chinese settlers from other provinces.

Xi visited an armed police team in Kashgar, the border town close to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, on Sunday where he acknowledged the complicated situation and the hardship the soldiers have endured.
18:25  Two FIRs filed against Modi for poll code violation:  

The Election Commission has lodged two FIRs against the BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi for flashing party symbol after casting his vote in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, NDTV reports.  

"It is evident from Modi's tone and tenor that he made a political speech. He intended, calculated to influence voting today," the commission said, adding that it also wants television channels to be penalised.    

Ahmedabad Crime Branch will investigate the matter.

Click here to read more about the incident
17:52  NDA govt may go for three new states:  Our correspondent in New Delhi reports: NDA's new slogan -- If Modi assumes office as prime minister, there shall be certainly three more new smaller states -- Gorkhaland, Vidarbha and Bundelkhand.
17:51  Andhra governor to swear-in two CMs:  

Our correspondent in New Delhi reports: E S L Narasimhan, the governor of Andhra Pradesh, has a unique act to perform. He will swear-in two chief ministers on June 2, 2014, the foundation day of Telangana.  

 

Narasimhan is sure to find a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, because the swearing-in ceremony for the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh will not be held at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad, as the Seemandhra people would want their  government sworn in either in Vijayawada or Vizag.   Similarly, swearing in of the Telangana chief minister will be held in Karimnagar or elsewhere.

17:51  Union Cabinet to tender resignation on May 17:  

Our correspondent in New Delhi reports: "Please attend the last Union Cabinet meeting at 11 am on May 17, 2014 Tuesday, which will tender resignation to the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee.' This one-line message is from Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth who phoned up Union ministers and personally requested them to attend the meeting.  

 

The convention has been that the prime minister will submit the resignation of the council of ministers. Hence, attendance of this meeting is essential to each of the ministers.

17:50  What Jaya would gain if she backs Modi:  

Our correspondent in New Delhi reports: If the All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam prefers to join the NDA government, Jayalalithaa will seek the same portfolios which it enjoyed during former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure.   

 

She would either be given the Union railway ministry or the post of deputy prime minister, if she wants to leave state politics and move to New Delhi. The buzz in political circles is that the AIADMK will get three Cabinet and two ministers of state if Modi invites them to join the government.

17:32  Complaint filed against Ramdev for 'anti-Dalit remarks':  

A complaint was today filed against yoga guru Ramdev in a local court in Barmer for his controversial remark that Rahul Gandhi visited Dalits' homes for honeymoon at a poll meeting in Uttar Pradesh.        

 

One Bharamal Ram Meghwal filed the complaint with the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, sources said.        

 

The court would take up the complaint on May 5. 

 

Ramdev, a supporter of BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi, made the remark in Lucknow on April 25 and has drawn flak from all quarters since then. He has been booked by Uttar Pradesh police in this regard.  

17:01  Pakistan's secret santa:  

Did Saudi Arabia really feel obliged to bribe Pakistan with US$ 1.5 billion in order to dissuade Islamabad from selling weapons to the Syrian government? Was it a tip for services rendered '" or yet to be called upon?

 

Or was the ostensible act of charity intended to distance Pakistan from Iran, whose influence in the region has long been a source of irritation '" and fear '" for Riyadh? It isn't particularly hard to sympathise with the parliamentary opposition's suspicion that there is more to it than meets the eye.

 

For instance, Pakistani officials have declared that there will be no more arms sales to Syria, while parallel reports suggest that, in fact, the Saudis will supply weapons purchased from Pakistan to Syrian opposition groups via Jordan.

 

Read more on Newsline

16:11  What often comes out of Afghanistan, an ancient land of immensely proud people, is negative news. Terrorism, explosions, suicide attacks and such. So we thought it fit to post what Bashir Ahmed Gwakh tweeted, a photograph of 1st Lieutenant Fatima Sadat, the Afghanistan National Army's female officer. Here's to more!
15:54   India asks European Union to lift ban on mangoes:  Reuters reports: India has asked the European Union to lift a on mangoes, as the country has already addressed the issue cited by the 28-nation bloc in a clampdown on shipments from next month.

The EU informed India in March that shipments of premium Alphonso mangoes would be blocked from May until December 2015 after authorities in Brussels found consignments infested with fruit flies.

Read the full report here



15:40  Modi's mum takes a rickshaw to polling booth in Gandhinagar:  Actor Paresh Rawal, who, is contest from a BJP seat in Ahmedabad east tweets this picture on Modi's mum travelling in a rickshaw to cast her vote in Gandhinagar.

The actor tweeted: 3 time CM & Future PM's mother going to cast her vote in an auto...Lagata hai ab iss desh ka kuchh bhala hoga...

Pic courtesy: @Babu_Bhiayya   
15:35  No doubt 'Ab ki baar Modi sarkar', says Amit Shah after casting his vote :  Key aide of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, today said people were seeing a ray of hope in the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

Addressing the media after casting his vote in Naranpura area of the city, Shah expressed confidence about BJP's win.

"There is no doubt in saying that 'Ab ki baar Modi sarkar'. People are fed up with the Congress. They are seeing a ray of hope in Modi," he said.
15:28  Since everyone is talking about the new couple on the block, Digvijaya Singh-Amrita Rai, here's a piece of interesting titbit about them.

The Congressman is 67 years old, while Ms Rai will turn 43 on May 5.
15:07  EC directs FIR against Modi, TV channels:  The Election Commssion has directed an FIR against Modi for violating the model code of conduct my flashing the BJP symbol, lotus, during a press gathering after he cast his vote in Ahmedabad today.

The EC has also said that an FIR should be filed against TV channels for carrying the images of Modi.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
     
15:04  Diggy, Amrita Rai affair trends on Twitter:  And Twitter is buzzing of course as Diggy admits to his relationship.

Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja tweets: @SirJadeja: That awkward moment when you realise even Digvijay Singh has a girlfriend but you don't.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections   



14:50  Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh's admission of a relationship with Rajya Sabha TV journalist Amrita Rai has, expectedly, set Twitter afire, with witticisms flowing like water during Mumbai monsoons, and here are a couple that caught our eye.

Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja tweeted this: That awkward moment when you realise even Digvijay Singh has a girlfriend but you don't.

And Suhel Seth said: 'Karan JOHAR announces: Diggiwale Dulhaniya Le Gaye Hain'.
14:47  Journalists have many bizarre moments while out covering the elections, but Barkha Dutt's experience, which she has tweeted about here, takes the cake! 
14:45  First Look: Waiting for Modi in Chhapra, Bihar:  The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is about to address an election rally in Chhapra, Bihar, now, and here's a first look of the scene at the venue of the rally. Photograph by Rediff.com's Archana Masih.
14:42  Diggy, Amrita Rai affair trends on Twitter:  And Twitter is buzzing of course as Diggy admits to his relationship.

Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja tweets: @SirJadeja: That awkward moment when you realise even Digvijay Singh has a girlfriend but you don't.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections   



14:38  Digvijaya Singh admits to his relationship with TV journalist :  Congress General Secretary admitted to his relationship with TV journalist Amrita Rai.

Intimate pictures of the two were leaked recently on the Internet and these went viral.

"I have no hesitation in accepting my relationship with Amrita Rai. She and her husband have already filed a mutual consent divorce case," Singh tweeted on today.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections   



14:12  Post-Godhra riots in 2002: Myths vs facts:  For those who have developed "selective and motivated' amnesia about the truths of 2002 riots in Gujarat and are suddenly buying into the myths being perpetrated by Narendra Modi's PR machinery, here are a few myth-busters to refresh your memory and perhaps your conscience, writes Shehzad Poonwala in the DNA, here.
14:11  EC takes action against Modi for flashing BJP symbol :  The Election Commission takes action against Narendra Modi for flashing the BJP symbol after he cast his vote in Ahmedabad today.

Action will be taken against him under section 126 (1B) of the Representation of People's Act. The EC has asked authorities in Gujarat to take necessary steps against Modi.    
14:09  EC takes action against Modi for flashing BJP symbol :  The Election Commission takes action against Narendra Modi for flashing the BJP symbol after he cast his vote in Ahmedabad today.

Action will be taken against him under section 126 (1B) of the Representation of People's Act. The EC has asked authorities in Gujarat to take necessary steps against Modi.    
13:54  In the Boko Haram's clutches:  'Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, kidnapped Sanya and at least two hundred of her classmates from a girls' secondary school in Chibok more than two weeks ago. Sanya, along with two friends, escaped. So did forty others. The rest have vanished, and their families have not heard any word of them since,' posts Alexis Okeowo in newyorker.com.

Deborah Sanya, one of the escaped girls, speaks to Okeowo about the ordeal and after, on the terror that Boko Haram has been unleashing in Nigeria.
13:53  Pakistan slams Modi's comments on Dawood:  Slamming Narendra Modi's recent comments on Dawood Ibrahim as "provocative", Pakistan has claimed that if the BJP leader becomes India's prime minister he would "destabilise" regional peace.   

In a statement, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that first Modi should "decide where Dawood is living". The statement came against the backdrop of assertions by Modi that he will bring back Dawood from Pakistan if he comes to power.   

Khan said "this provocative and condemnable statement of expected Prime Minister of India and leader of major political party is touching last limit of enmity towards Pakistan," state-run APP news agency reported.
13:43  35.04 per cent polling in Gujarat till 1 pm :  In Narendra Modi's Gujarat 35.04 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 1 pm.   
13:42  Not declaring Rahul as PM nominee a right strategy: Congress:  Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of running a person-centric campaign projecting Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, the Congress today claimed that not declaring party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's name for the country's top post was a "right strategy".

"Indian elections are not personality clashes. It's the party system. Our politics runs on party system," Union Minister and senior party leader Jairam Ramesh told PTI today.

When asked if the Congress should have projected Rahul as the party's PM nominee, he said, "Absolutely not."
13:36  50 pc polling in Telangana in its first assembly :  Telangana votes in its first assembly election today. Fifty per cent polling has been recorded in the region till 1 pm. Hyderabad has recorded 33 pc polling.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections      
13:32  Only 5.4 pc polling in Srinagar till 11 am :  Polling started picking up in most parts of the central Kashmir's Srinagar parliamentary constituency, but remained sluggish in the city here which recorded 5.14 per cent in the first four hours.

The constituency spread over three districts of Budgam, Srinagar and Ganderbal comprises of 15 assembly constituencies. Srinagar recorded a poll percentage of 5.14 till 11 am, an official spokesman said here.
13:16  Modis name appears on more times than Rahuls on Cong homepage!:  How many times do you think Rahul Gandhi's name appeared on the Congress website homepage yesterday?

Two times. 

And Modi's name on the Congress homepage?

Eight times.

This information has been shared by the website Quartz

You'd think the least the BJP can do is pay back in kind, but no. Rahul's name did not appear even once on the BJP's homepage yesterday.   

Though the party did make amends of sorts. Quartz writes that Robert Vadra's name appeared on the BJP homepage five times.
12:39  EC asks for report of Modi's presser :  The Election Commission seeks report from Ahmedabad collector on Narendra Modi's press conference held his morning after he cast his vote.

Modi was holding the party symbol, the lotus, as he addressed the media. His political rivals cried foul saying it was a violation of poll code.

The Gujarat Congress immediately complained to the EC demanding action.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections         
12:08  Rahul too has a foresight like our father: Priyanka in Amethi:   Priyanka Gandhi continues her campaign in Amethi. Invoking Rajiv Gandhi she says, "Rahul too has a foresight like our father." 
11:42  Veteran BJP leader L K Advani casts his vote from the Gandhinagar constituency.  
11:21  Chiranjeevi jumps queue, voters not amused:  An embarrassed Union Minister K Chiranjeevi beat a hasty retreat today after a youth objected to his jumping the queue to cast his vote in a polling booth in Hyderabad.   

Chiranjeevi, who came with his family, was escorted towards the polling booth sidestepping a long queue of voters.

An agitated youth confronted Chiranjeevi asking him howhe has bypassed the queue, saying that people have been waiting for more than 90 minutes for their turn.

"Why do you expect special treatment on a day like this," the youth asked.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections   
11:19  Congress files complain against Modi for violation of poll code :  The Congress has complained to the Election Commission, demanding that an FIR be filed against Narendra Modi for displaying election symbol and making a speech after casting vote.
11:07  Pujara flies down from Abu Dhabi to Rajkot to cast his vote:  Haresh Pandya reports: India's star cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara, who is also Election Commission's Brand Ambassador in Gujarat, flew down from Abu Dhabi, where he has been playing for Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing Indian Premier League, to cast his vote in Rajkot.

Accompanied by his wife Puja, he arrived at the city's Sahjanand School and the couple cast their votes around 7.45 am.

"We had decided to reach as early as possible at the polling booth and cast our votes," a smiling Pujara told rediff.com.

"I had decided not to miss polling this time around. Not only because I am the Election Commission's brand ambassador, but also because I really wanted to
experience it. Luckily, there was no scheduled match for my team today, which made it quite easy for me to come to Rajkot."

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections   




10:54  14 pc polling in Punjab till 10 am, minor clashes in Moga:  Around 14 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 10 am in 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab where minor clashes broke out between Akali Dal and Congress workers in Moga and Amritsar.

The polling process started on a sedate note, but gradually picked up as the day progressed with voters lining up outside several polling booths, including in Patiala and Amritsar, to cast their vote, an election office spokesman said.

Ten persons were involved in a clash at Sangatpura in Moga while Putlighar area in Amritsar witnessed a scuffle between activists of the Congress and Akali Dal. However, no one was seriously injured in the clash as police intervened to restore peace.
10:33  Nearly 12 per cent polling in Uttar Pradesh in initial hours:  Nearly 12 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is underway in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates.

Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, Congress candidate from Lucknow Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalraj Mishra were among those who exercised their franchise.

Dhaurahra witnessed 15.6 per cent polling in the first two hours while Sitapur and Mishrikh recorded 14.8 and 10.82 per cent polling respectively.

Unnao recorded 9.58 per cent polling, Mohanlalganj 8.6 per cent, Lucknow 9.9 per cent, Rae Bareli 10.4 per cent, Kanpur 9.6 per cent, Jalaun 10.8 per cent, Jhansi 15.2 per cent, Hamirpur 11.6 per cent, Banda 13.54 per cent, Fatehpur and Akbarpur had 11.62 and 14.1 per cent respectively.
09:52  Congress alleges Modi violated poll code, to move EC:  The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party will complain to the Election Commission against Narendra Modi for holding the BJP symbol, the lotus, in his hand after he cast his vote earlier in the day.

Modi holding a symbol is a violation of poll code, the Congress said. 

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections   
09:36  Modi selfie all set to go viral:  Twitter beware! This Narendra Modi selfie may just lead to yet another crash.

Pic courtesy: @apbnewstv


09:28  Modi takes a selfie after casting his vote :  BJP's PM nominee takes a selfie after casting his ballot. This one is definitely, going viral! Awaiting the picture... 

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
09:19  Modi casts his vote, then addresses voters :  BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi casts his ballot from Gujarat's Gandhinagar constituency.

Addressing a press conference, he said, "Election is a celebration of democracy. Vote and strengthen our democracy. Everyone must vote."

He apologised for giving less time to Gujarat. "I have given only 18 hours to Gujarat."

He said, "I am confident that the mother-son govt has been ousted."

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
08:55  Modi on his way to vote in Gandhinagar:   BJP's PM hopeful Narendra Modi is on his way to vote in Gandhinagar. He tweeted. "On my way to vote. I consider myself extremely blessed & fortunate to be a voter in Advani ji's Parliamentary Constituency."

"Urging all those voting in 89 Lok Sabha seats across India to vote in record numbers today! Hope my young friends show the way in doing so."

"I request all those voting in 119 Assembly seats in Telangana region & in by-polls in Bihar, Gujarat, UP & WB to turnout in large numbers," he tweeted.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections

08:52  BSP chief Mayawati casts her ballot in Lucknow:  Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati is among the early voters in Lucknow.

"I appeal to the Dalits and the weaker sections of society to come out and vote. Dalits have got their voting rights after a long struggle by Ambedkar," she said after casting her ballot.

"People will vote for change," she added. "The Modi wave has been created by the media." 
08:36  Jaitley eyes Lok Sabha debut as Amritsar goes to polls:  Bharatiya Janata Party's Arun Jaitley to contest his first elections today. He is up against former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in Amritsar.

"I appeal to the people to come out and vote," said Jaitley.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
04:00  Bombs at markets, police kill 24 people in Iraq:  Back-to-back bombs ripped through an outdoor market northeast of Baghdad today, the deadliest in separate attacks that officials said killed 24 people on the eve of the first nationwide elections since the 2011 withdrawal of US forces. 

The attacks are an apparent effort by the militants to discourage Iraqi voters from going to the polls tomorrow in the first nationwide balloting since the 2011 withdrawal of US forces.
03:52  New York City imposes strict e-cigarette ban:  A ban on electronic cigarettes went into effect today in New York restaurants, bars, parks, beaches and other public places. A law was passed by the city council on December 19 and signed by former mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

It extends an already strict ban on tobacco smoking in public places in the metropolis, where even some residential buildings do not allow tenants to light up.
03:51  Hungary police oust protesters from WW-II monument site:  Police in Hungary forcibly removed protesters from the site of a planned World War-II monument which Jewish critics say glosses over the country's role in the Holocaust. 

Organisers of the sitdown protest said police physically lifted over 20 people, including a number of Holocaust survivors, from the planned site of the monument in the capital, Budapest, yesterday.
02:12  France's controversial economic programme scrapes through:  France's reshuffled government scraped through its first major test today when parliament's lower house voted through a controversial programme of economic reforms despite a wave of dissent within the ruling Socialist party. 

President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls have made a business-friendly programme of reductions in payroll and income taxes the centrepiece of their plan to lift the country out of the economic mire.
02:12  Twitter sees USD 132 mn loss; revenue, users grow:  Twitter today reported a USD 132 million loss in the first quarter, while revenues rose sharply and the popular messaging platform boosted its user base.
02:09  Jihadists execute seven in Syria, two by crucifixion:  The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced it had executed seven prisoners in its bastion in northeastern Syria today, two of them by crucifixion. 

ISIL, which has been disavowed even by Al-Qaeda, said it held the seven responsible for a grenade attack on one of its fighters earlier this month in the Euphrates Valley city of Raqa, which it rules with an iron fist.
01:25  14-year-old girl charged in fatal Chicago shooting:  Chicago authorities say a 14-year-girl has been charged with murder in the shooting death of another teenager on the city's South Side after the pair fought over a boy. 

Police Chief Garry McCarthy says today that "what would have been, under any other circumstances, probably a fistfight between two 14-year-old girls because of an argument over a boy turned into a murder."
00:36  Violence flares in Ukraine, deepening 'Iron Curtain' crisis:  Fresh violence erupted in eastern Ukraine today as thousands of pro-Russian protesters stormed key buildings, escalating the crisis after Moscow hit back at "Iron Curtain"-style Western sanctions. 

A mob spearheaded by around 30 men carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and grenade-launchers attacked the regional police headquarters in Lugansk, raising the heat in the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War.
00:35  Ukraine president slams police 'inaction', 'treachery' in east:  Ukraine's interim president launched a stinging attack on police forces in the east of the country today, accusing them of "inaction" and "treachery" as pro-Russian militants overrun public buildings. 

Oleksandr Turchynov said in a statement that events in the restive east of the country had "shown the inaction, powerlessness and in some cases criminal treachery of the law enforcement authorities".
00:34  Palestinians risk US aid freeze if Hamas join government:  Palestinian leaders risk forfeiting millions of dollars in US aid if they press ahead with plans to form a unity government including militant Hamas members, US lawmakers and officials warned today. 

"Let me be utterly clear about our policy towards Hamas," Assistant Secretary for the Near East Anne Patterson told a House hearing.
00:34  Chemical watchdog to investigate Syria chlorine gas claims:  The global chemical weapons watchdog overseeing the destruction of Syria's toxic stockpile will send a fact-finding mission to Syriato investigate allegations by rebels and activists of chlorine gas attacks, the organisation said on Tuesday. 

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said President Bashar al-Assad's government had agreed to accept the mission and had promised to provide security in areas under its control.
00:33  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  

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Yesterday's Live Commentary

00:33  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  

Vikram Batra's family unhappy with Modi exploiting his name
Govt discloses names of 18 persons in black money cases to SC
Deora, Nirupam among four found guilty of paid news
Photos: Killer tornadoes rip through US, kill 29 
Phase 7: The 89 seats that will go to polls 
Modi's shehzada, namuna jibes are childish, says Priyanka
Ye dil mange more; give me 300 lotuses: Modi
Blast in Bihar on eve of election; 2 dead 

Yesterday's Live Commentary

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