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LIVE! Muslim woman names newborn 'Narendra Modi'

May 25, 2019

22:32  Muslim woman names newborn 'Narendra Modi':  
Impressed with the prime minister, a Muslim woman has decided to name her newborn 'Narendra Damodardas Modi'.
After failing to convince the mother Mainaz Begum against it, the family in Parsapur Mahraur village has filed an affidavit seeking the registration of the name.
Mainaz Begum came up with the idea while names for the boy were being discussed on May 23, the day the Lok Sabha results came in and Narendra Modi won a massive mandate.
People around her tried to make her change her mind, but she was adamant, her father-in-law Idrees told PTI.
When her husband Mushtaq Ahmed, who works in Dubai, was informed, he too tried to make her drop the idea.
But he ended up agreeing to his wife's wish.
The family then filed an affidavit addressed to the district magistrate and submitted it to Assistant Development Officer (panchayat) Ghanshyam Pandey.
When contacted, Pandey said he received the affidavit on Friday.
He said the application has been forwarded to the village panchayat secretary, who deals with the registration of births and deaths.
Action will be taken as per the law," he said.
In the affidavit, Mainaz Begum lavished praise on Modi and his government's welfare schemes, including free cooking gas connection to the poor and financial help to construct toilets. -- PTI
21:50  Modi appointed PM-elect:  
BJP leader Narendra Modi was on Saturday appointed prime minister-elect by President Ram Nath Kovind, who also asked him to form the new government.
After the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance unanimously elected him as their leader, Modi reached the Rashtrapati Bhavan Saturday night to stake claim to form the next government.
Modi later told reporters at the forecourts of Rashtrapati Bhavan that President Kovind has appointed him prime minister-elect and asked him to form the new government.
The outgoing Union council of ministers had tendered its resignation on Friday night and Kovind had asked Modi to continue as caretaker PM.
After the NDA returned to power with a massive majority, Modi becoming the prime minister again was a foregone conclusion. -- PTI
21:22  President Kovind invites Modi to form govt :  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Kovind to formally stake claim and pick up his invite to form the next government.

"Exercising powers vested in him under Article 75 (1) of the Constitution of India, President Kovind, today appointed @narendramodi to the office of Prime Minister of India," the President of India tweeted.

The President requested Modi to:

i) advise him about the names of others to be appointed members of the Union Council of Ministers; and

ii) indicate the date and time of the swearing-in-ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
21:16  BJP chief Amit Shah leads NDA delegation to meet President Kovind, gives him letters of support from parliamentarians.
20:27  PM Modi likely to take oath on May 30: Report :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take oath, along with his new ministry in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, on May 30, news agency ANI has reported. 

With speculation rife over who will join his Council of Ministers, Modi, after being elected the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, said he was yet to go through details of all the NDA MPs and asked them to not trust media reports in this regard, adding they are aimed at creating confusion and often put out with "bad intentions".
19:56  Naresh Goyal, wife denied permission to travel abroad: Sources:  
Former chairman of Jet Airways Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal were denied permission to travel abroad Saturday by the immigration authority at Mumbai airport, sources said.
The couple was to travel by Dubai-bound Emirates flight EK 507 when the immigration authority denied them permission to fly, they said.
The checked in baggage, which was in the name of Anita Goyal, was also offloaded from the flight. The flight was scheduled to depart at 3.35 pm.
Naresh Goyal could not be reached for comments. Response to a query sent to Emirates was also awaited.
Last month, Jet Airways officers and staff association president Kiran Pawaskar had written to the Mumbai police commissioner that the passports of Goyal and other directors and senior members of the Jet Airways management be impounded as the airline had not paid salaries to its employees for several months.
Naresh Goyal, along with Anita Goyal, had resigned from the board of Jet Airways, which he founded 26 years ago, in March following a debt restructuring plan. He had also resigned as the airline chairman. -- PTI
19:28  Modi to meet Prez to stake claim to form new govt:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call on President Ram Nath Kovind to stake his claim to form the government. 

Modi is expected to take oath early next week after visiting his home state Gujarat to seek his mothers blessings and then fly down for a quick thanksgiving trip to his constituency Varanasi where he received 64 per cent of all votes.

Earlier, he was unanimously elected leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance at a meeting attended by its newly elected MPs and senior leaders in Parliament's Central Hall.

Modi's election was a mere formality as the NDA had already declared him the alliance's prime ministerial candidate.
He has led the NDA to a landslide win in the general election, with the BJP winning 303 seats, its highest ever, and its allies 50. 
19:08  People accepted us due to our 'seva bhaav': PM:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing the NDA Parliamentary board meeting at Central Hall of Parliament.

Here are some of the highlights of his speech.

- We will now begin new journey to build new India with new energy

- People have accepted us due to our 'seva bhav'. One has to prepare oneself to be always ready to help people even when you move through the lanes of politics and power.

- 2019 elections have worked towards breaking down walls and connecting hearts. In a way they had become a way to unite the society...This gave a new height to these elections. The people have started a new era and all of us are a witness to it.

- You all have elected me as the leader, I think of it as a part of the system, I'm one of you, equal to you.

- These elections were pro-incumbency. This pro-incumbency wave is tied with the thread of trust...The trust was not only between people and govt but also among people themselves. This gave birth to that trust.

- We are here for those who trusted us today. We are here for those too whose trust we are yet to win.
18:21  PM Modi unanimously elected leader of NDA:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was unanimously elected leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance on Saturday at a meeting attended by its newly elected MPs and senior leaders in Parliament's Central Hall.
Modi will now call on President Ram Nath Kovind to stake his claim to form the government, following which he will be sworn in as the next prime minister, likely next week.

"Modi is elected the leader of the parliamentary party of 353 MPs unanimously," BJP president Amit Shah announced after the election as Modi acknowledged the support and cheers from MPs.

Top alliance leaders, including JD(U)'s Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray and Akali Dal's Parkash Singh Badal, extended their party's support after Modi was elected as the leader of the BJP parliamentary party at first.

Senior BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were present on the dais with other alliance leaders.

Shah proposed Modi's name and former party presidents Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari seconded the proposal.

Modi's election was a mere formality as the NDA had already declared him the alliance's prime ministerial candidate.

He has led the NDA to a landslide win in the general election, with the BJP winning 303 seats, its highest ever, and its allies 50. 

-- PTI
17:56  Don't want to continue as CM: Mamata Banerjee:  
Mamata Banerjee, addressing her first press conference after her party's national election setback in Bengal, said she did not want to continue as chief minister and had told her Trinamool Congress that.

"I have told my party, for six months I have been unable to work. I was a powerless chief minister. I cannot accept that. I don't want to continue as chief minister. The chair is nothing for me. Party symbol is most important for me," Mamata Banerjee told reporters.

The BJP achieved a remarkable score in West Bengal, a long-term left stronghold turned Trinamool territory. It won 18 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats, in a massive improvement over its 2014 tally of two seats. Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool won 22. 
17:38  Patnaik to be sworn-in as Odisha CM on May 29:  
Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik will be sworn-in as Odisha chief minister on May 29 for a fifth consecutive term after an emphatic win in the state assembly elections, the party said on Saturday.

Patnaik has continued his grip over Odisha with his party, BJD, winning 112 assembly seats in the 147-member House.

Bharatiya Janata Party has overtaken Congress as the main opposition party by winning 23 seats. Congress has been able to bag only nine seats. In the 2014 assembly elections, BJD had got 117 seats while BJP 10. Congress had won 16 seats.

The vote share of BJD in the assembly polls has been pegged at 44.7 per cent while that of BJP at 32.5 per cent. Congress polled 16.12 per cent votes.

Patnaik, who defeated Pitambar Acharya of BJP by a margin of 60,160 votes from Hinjili assembly constituency, became the chief minister for the first time in 2000. Since then, he has been winning all successive Assembly polls.

In the Lok Sabha polls, BJD won 12 seats, BJP 8 and Congress one. 

-- ANI
17:11  Sri Lankan President Sirisena to be at Modi's swearing-in? :  Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is likely to attend Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi's swearing in ceremony scheduled to be held in New Delhi on May 30. 

For Modi's 2014 swearing in ceremony heads of government from all SAARC nations were invited. 

The ceremony was the first swearing-in of an Indian prime minister where all SAARC heads were invited.
16:57  Look who dropped by to meet Sheila Dikshit :  Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari met Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit today and sought her blessings.

Tiwari contested the Lok Sabha elections from the North East Delhi constituency and defeated Congress candidate Sheila Dikshit by a margin of 3,66,102.

Photograph: ANI/Twitter
16:35  Rahul's offer to resign was unanimously rejected:  
Rahul Gandhi today addressed top Congress leaders at a post-mortem of a national election debacle which, many say, exposes an existential crisis for the grand old party. 

During the high-level meeting that went for over three hours, the Congress president kept insisting that he should resign as party president, but it was unanimously rejected, sources say. 

Congress leaders praised him and gave him authority to reorganise the party, they added. 

The top leadership of the Congress met to review the party's dismal showing in the national election. The party managed to win only 52 seats, way below the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance which won over 350 seats in the 542 Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls.

Senior leaders Randeep Surjewala, A K Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad addressed the media after the CWC meet. 

AK Antony said:
>> Don't agree it (Congress' election outcome) was a disastrous performance, but it was not as per expectation

>> Today we only had a general discussion, we will have detailed discussion on the results later

>> Not true nothing happened (after 2014 results), some recommendations were adopted

Ghulam Nabi Azad said:
>> A loss is never dissected in detail at the first Working Committee meeting, it will happen in the coming days, there will be introspection

>> Congress president Rahul Gandhi was thanked at the meeting for his extensive campaign across the country

>> He (Rahul Gandhi) led the party well, leadership is not always clear on television

>> He (Rahul Gandhi) effectively raised the shortcomings of the government, win-loss are part of democracy

>> At the meeting, Rahul Gandhi said I am party president, I have an accountability for the loss and insisted that he step down

>> But I have never such unanimity as I saw today in the Working Committee rejecting his (Rahul Gandhi's) offer to resign

>> If anyone can lead the opposition, it is Rahul Gandhi; he has demonstrated this in the past few years
16:00  Defeat a collective responsibility, not Rahul's alone: Chavan:  
The Congress's massive defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was a "collective responsibility" and not that of party chief Rahul Gandhi alone, Maharashtra state unit chief Ashok Chavan said on Saturday.

Chavan added that there was no question of accepting Gandhi's resignation as party chief.

Chavan himself lost from Nanded Lok Sabha seat to BJP's Pratap Chiklikar.

"The campaign was a collective responsibility. Rahul Gandhi worked hard and led from the front. All senior leaders in states who hold positions in the state units should quit, so that a new team can take over. My colleagues and I are ready to resign due to the poor show of the Congress in
Maharashtra," Chavan said.

The Congress was reduced to just one seat in Maharashtra, with Suresh Dhanorkar winning from Chandrapur.

The state has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the highest after Uttar Pradesh's 80.

"There is no dissension in the party. Everyone was taken into confidence while taking decisions regarding the elections. We will act against those responsible for anti- party activities. A report has been sought," Chavan added.

Chavan admitted that the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Agadhi, which has the AIMIM as a constituent, had cost the Congress-NCP alliance "nine to ten seats".

Chavan called the VBA the "B team of the BJP".

Chavan expressed confidence that the assembly polls, scheduled in the state later this year, would be a different story and the Congress would do well.

The party's highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee, meanwhile met in Delhi Saturday to review the party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

-- PTI
15:47  Horrified to see cow vigilantes thrashing innocent men in MP: Mehbooba:  
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday hoped that the Madhya Pradesh government will take swift action against suspected cow vigilantes for allegedly thrashing two persons.
Suspected cow vigilantes allegedly thrashed two persons in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni with sticks, accusing them of carrying beef, following which five accused have been arrested, police said Saturday.

In a purported video clip of the incident, which has been widely circulated on social media, the five accused can be seen beating up the two men. 

"Horrified to see cow vigilantes thrash an innocent muslim with such impunity in MP. Hope @OfficeOfKNath takes swift action against these goons," Mehbooba said in a tweet.
Another former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister,  Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, said it was just the beginning and expressed fear that worse was in the store.
"Ibtedaae ishq hai rota hai kya, Aage Aage dekhiye hota hai kya (this is just the beginning of the affair why are you crying, you will see what is coming as we move ahead)," Abdullah, quoting the 18th century Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir's couplet, wrote on his Twitter handle.
The group of five 'gau rakshaks' also allegedly forced one of the victims to beat up a woman accompanying them with chappals, a police officer said.

Police also said that the three person who were beaten up have been arrested as possession and sale of beef is illegal in Madhya Pradesh.

-- PTI
15:20  CWC meet ends:  The Congress Working Committee meeting concludes. Party president Rahul Gandhi is expected to address the media shortly. 
15:06  PM to stake claim to form government at 8 pm:  
NDA leaders are likely to meet the President Ram Nath Kovind today around 7 pm. Following this, the prime minister will call on the President to stake claim to form the new government around 8 pm. 

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reaches Delhi on Saturday to attend the NDA parliamentary party meet. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the media in the Rastrapati Bhavan campus post his meeting with the President Ram Nath Kovind. The press briefing is expected to be held around 8.30 pm.

Newly elected MPs of the BJP-led NDA will meet on Saturday to formally elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their leader, setting in motion the process of government formation. The BJP said the meeting will take place in Parliament's Central Hall at 5 pm. Prior to this, BJP MPs will meet separately at Parliament House. Modi is expected to address the MPs following his election as their leader.
14:46  Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted in support of party president Rahul Gandhi, crediting him for standing up to the "gargantuan political party".

"If it was one mass leader with national credentials who stood tall and fought the gargantuan political party that BJP has become (financially and otherwise), it was Rahul Gandhi. Important for us to stand with him when India needs a strong Opposition. #IStandWithRahulGandhi," the senior Congress leader wrote on Twitter.
14:35  Congress Working committee is expected to end soon.
14:22  President Kovind dissolves 16th Lok Sabha:  
President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha with immediate effect on recommendation of the Union cabinet, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement.
A communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said the President dissolved the Lok Sabha after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi made such a recommendation on Friday.

"The President has accepted the advice of the Cabinet on 24.05.2019 and signed the Order dissolving the 16th Lok Sabha," it said.

The president had on Friday accepted the resignation of Modi and his council of ministers but asked them to continue as caretaker until formation of a new government.

Modi is expected to take oath as a new prime minister next week. 

In the just-concluded parliamentary polls, the BJP scored a resounding victory, bagging 303 out of 542 seats. Its arch rival, the Congress, was way behind at 52.

-- PTI
13:25  Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora submits the list of winners of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 to President Ram Nath Kovind.

Photograph: ANI/Twitter
13:21  CWC meets, reports of Rahul's resignation wrong:  
The Congress Working Committee chaired by party president Rahul Gandhi, is holding its first review meeting after its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. 

The meeting is being attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, chief ministers of party-ruled states and other top leaders from across the country. Congress won just 52 seats in the 542-member lower house, up from 44 seats it had secured in its worst-ever performance in the 2014 general elections. 

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala rubbishes reports of Gandhi offering his resignation, says it's incorrect.

Earlier it was reported that Rahul Gandhi offered to resign over the election debacle and the party rejected in the time-honoured tradition of an organisation that has rarely looked beyond the Nehru-Gandhi family against all reason.

The Congress, shell-shocked with its 52-seat haul - only a few more than its historic low of 44 in 2014 - stuck to the template as it responded to Rahul Gandhi's mea culpa in a post-mortem by the party's top decision-making body.
13:16  Congress's Randeep Singh Surjewala clarifies reports of Congress president offering his resignation are incorrect. CWC meeting going on.
12:57  Rahul Gandhi's resignation rejected at CWC meet:   Here's the latest from the Congress Working Committee meet. 

According to reports, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has offered his resignation, but it has not been accepted. 

After the election results, in which the Congress performed dismally -- it increased its 2014 tally by just 8 to a measly 52 seats -- Rahul, addressing a press conference, accepted responsibility, saying, "I accept 100 per cent responsibility."

Congress's which hoped for a revival in these Lok Sabha elections and pegged its campaign on Rahul Gandhi's 'Chowkidar chor hai' jibe against the Prime Minister in the Rafale deal failed to resonate with the people and couldn't even gain in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where it came to power recently in the state elections. 
12:27  Jaganmohan Reddy elected leader of YSRC legislature party.
12:26  MP CM Kamal Nath skips important CWC:  Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath skips the Congress Working Committee meeting. 

The Congress's performance in Madhya Pradesh has been even more dismal than 2014 when it managed to win only two seats - Chhindwara and Guna. 

This time Congress's tally stands at a dismal one (Chhindwara), a figure no one could imagine was possible after the party's resurgence in 2018 which had seemingly halted BJP's 15 years of rule in the state.
12:22  Cow vigilantes thrash 3 youths for possessing beef, 5 arrested:  
Three youths were allegedly thrashed on suspicion of possessing beef by some cow vigilantes in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni city on Friday.

The police said that they have arrested all the five accused who mercilessly had beaten up the victims with sticks.

The police have named Ram Sena Leader Shubham Baghel as one of the accused. "We came to know that Shubham Baghel had stopped one woman and two men yesterday. Baghel along with his four to five friends had beaten up the men. The video of the incident had gone viral on social media. We have registered a case against all the accused and five people have been arrested. They all will be sent to judicial remand soon," GS Uikey, the local police official said.

The investigation into the matter is underway.

The official also said that Baghel had earlier been booked for his involvement in similar cases.

-- ANI
11:53  Rumours of Rahul's resignation baseless, says Ashok Gehlot:  
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took to Twitter to address rumours of Congress President Rahul Gandhi's resignation after the party's abysmal defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. 

"After the 2019 mandate, rumours of Congress president's resignation are baseless and irrelevant. We shall never forget that it was because of Rahul Gandhi's tireless efforts and fighting spirit that Congress was able to put a strong challenge to NDA government," he said. 

Praising Gandhi's leadership, Gehlot said that the grand old party is sure to bounce back soon. "We fought hard for a cause. Under Rahul Gandhi's exemplary leadership, we will bounce back and will continue to serve the nation," he said.
11:20  All eyes on CWC as Rahul's fate to be decided:  
The top leadership of the Congress is meeting today to discuss to analyse the party dismal showing in the national election after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won over 350 seats in the 542 Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls.

The Congress Working Committee, which includes general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the chief ministers of all Congress-ruled states - Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh is meeting currently.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has taken "100 per cent responsibility" for the defeat. Gandhi had centred his election campaign around PM Modi, accusing him of corruption in the Rafale deal, unemployment and weak economy. He also ran "chowkidar chor hai" campaign against PM Modi. The meeting is being held a day after three state chiefs of the party sent their resignations to their boss who himself could not keep his traditional seat Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to offer his resignation accepting moral resonsibility for the debacle.

Though there was no official word on the agenda for the meeting, sources said Gandhi's offer may not be accepted and the party may reaffirm its faith to work under his leadership.

Gandhi apparently wants to send a signal that he was also accountable for the party's performance which was not any better than the 2014 results.
10:37  PM Modi in Gujarat tomorrow to seek mother's blessings:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Gujarat on Sunday evening to seek the blessings of his mother after his Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance returned to power with a massive majority in the Lok Sabha elections.
On Monday, he will be in Varanasi, the LS seat he retained in the elections  by a margin of 4.79 lakh votes.

"Will be going to Gujarat tomorrow evening, to seek blessings of my Mother. Day after tomorrow morning, I will be in Kashi to thank the people of this great land for reposing their faith in me," the prime minister tweeted. 

-- PTI
10:19  Modi won power, not the battle of ideas:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a major victory in the countrys general elections, winning more than 300 of the 543 parliamentary seats and five more years to run the country.

This is an impressive achievement, but how has Mr Modi been able to do it? And why has the Indian National Congress, the old national party, been restricted to a mere 52 seats? In attempting to answer these questions, some have been tempted to seek explanations in the realm of ideas and ideology, in particular in the dominance of Hindu identity in India.

Read Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's column in The New York Times HERE
10:10  Mamata calls Trinamool meet today:  
Forty-eight hours after the election results that brought Trinamool Congress's tally in the Lok Sabha down from 34 to 22, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will meet party leaders and all candidates who fought the polls at her home at 3:30 pm today.

Banerjee has not spoken a word after the results, barring a tweet and two poems she put into circulation on social media. At today's meeting, the Trinamool Congress is likely to begin a review of its dismal performance and the challenge ahead for the assembly elections 2021.

A few leaders who have spoken on the results have said this was a temporary setback and people will be back with the Trinamool Congress by the time assembly elections come around.

"This is an aberration. Things will go back to normal by 2021," said Firhad Hakim, Urban Affairs Minister and Mayor of Kolkata.

Subrata Mukherjee, Trinamool Congress leader who was defeated in Bankura seat, accused the Left of voting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in exchange for money. "This low level politics has to be exposed," Mukherjee said.
10:07  Macron makes congratulatory phone call to PM Modi:  
Following BJP-led NDA's emphatic victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, French President Emmanuel Macron made a congratulatory phone call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the spokesperson of the ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs France said on Saturday.

The French foreign ministry remarked that both India and France would continue to work together with an aim to bolster the security of the two nations.

"France and India have a steadfast partnership. We will continue to work together to consolidate the security of our nations, secure stability in the world, and promote sustainable development as well as exchanges between our youth," the statement by the spokesperson read.

"India can rely on France's continued friendship,' it added.

Congratulating the Indian people and the authorities for the successful completion of the general elections, the statement remarked that the "immense voter participation in the electoral process illustrates the vibrancy of the largest democracy in the world."

Meanwhile, on Saturday morning, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also congratulated the Indian Prime Minister on the electoral victory and hoped that the two countries would continue to strive towards an even more productive partnership, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

-- ANI
09:51  Modi can't remove 370, 35A despite huge victory: Farooq Abdullah:  
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said that no matter how powerful the electoral mandate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have been, he cannot remove Article 370 and 35A. 

He said: "No matter how powerful Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become after winning the Lok Sabha elections, he cannot remove Article 35A and Article 370 from the state of Jammu and Kashmir." 

Commenting on the abysmally bad performance of the Congress in the general elections, Abdullah said Congress president Rahul Gandhi will win the Amethi seat after five years and stage a come back. 

"In elections, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It is part of the game," he said. 
09:00  NDA meets today, PM swearing-in next week:  
A day after the BJP-led NDA was swept back to power in a landslide, the process for the formation of a new government began Friday with the Union Cabinet recommending dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the BJP to a historic victory, met President Ram Nath Kovind and handed his resignation which was accepted.

The newly elected NDA MPs will meet Saturday to formally elect Modi as their leader, allowing him to approach the President to stake claim to government formation.

The MPs will meet in the Central Hall of Parliament at 5 pm where Modi is likely to address them. BJP leaders said the re-election will be a mere formality since Modi had been declared as the coalitions prime ministerial candidate.

The Cabinet meeting was followed by a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers at the Parliament Annexe building. The ministers passed a resolution thanking Modi for leading the coalition to a massive win.

Sources indicated that the swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place May 30 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Prime Minister may also visit his constituency, Varanasi, to thank voters. He won with a margin of 4.79 lakh votes.
08:43  Suspended TMC MLA Subhrangshu Roy to join BJP:  
Suspended TMC MLA Subhrangshu Roy said he would join the BJP within a few days, a "new innings" in which he will be able to "breathe freely".

The Trinamool Congress earlier in the day suspended Roy for six years for anti-party comments.

Subhrangshu, the TMC legislator from Bijpur, is the son of BJP leader Mukul Roy.

"Now, I will breathe freely. Many in the TMC feel suffocated," he said, claiming that several others from the party will "follow his footsteps".

"My father has advised me to be careful, as I may be implicated in a false criminal case, or may be attacked... I will join the BJP within two to three days," Subhrangshu said.

At an earlier press conference, he said he was keen to start a new innings.

Subhrangshu also said he did not get due respect in the TMC.

"Now, I only want peace in Bengal," the two-time MLA from Bijpur assembly constituency, which is part of the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, said.

He hailed his father's organisational skills and said he had tried to give a lead to his party from his assembly segment, but failed to do so as his father was a better organisational player than him.

Mukul Roy, once considered to be the second-in-command of the Trinamool Congress, joined the BJP in November 2017 after a fallout with party supremo Mamata Banerjee. He is being credited for the stellar show of the BJP in Bengal in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

-- PTI
08:09  Indians lucky to have Modi, says Trump:  
US President Donald Trump said the people of India are lucky to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he went on to describe as a great man and leader.

Trump wrote on Twitter, Just spoke to Prime Minister @NarendraModi where I congratulated him on his big political victory. He is a great man and leader for the people of India - they are lucky to have him!.

Just few minutes before, he told reporters of the phone call. And said, I just conveyed congratulations on behalf of our country, myself and everybody. He had a great election when hes a (friend, pool transcript of the remarks not clear) of mine, we have a good relationship with India.

On Thursday, the US president had joined other world leaders to congratulate the Indian leader, with a post on Twitter. Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the presidents daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump followed with their own congratulatory tweets.

The state department issued a statement subsequently. Indias elections are the largest exercise in democracy in human history and serve as an inspiration to democracies and individuals around the world, spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.

She added: The United States and India enjoy a strong strategic partnership that stands on a foundation of shared values, extensive people-to-people ties, and a commitment to a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to working with the newly-elected government on a range of important issues, including expanding economic and energy ties, enhancing defense and security cooperation, countering the threat of terrorism, and enhanced collaboration in space.
01:05  EC to meet today to finalise list of winners:  
With the last of the Lok Sabha election results pouring in Friday, the Election Commission is likely to meet on Saturday to finalise the list of winning candidates to be handed over to President Ram Nath Kovind, sources said.

Polls were held in 542 of the 543 seats and the election in Vellore parliamentary seat was cancelled by the EC citing excessive use of money power.

A fresh date for it is yet to be announced. Once the list is finalised, the three commissioners will seek an appointment with the President, the EC sources said.

With the handing over of the list, the process to form the 17th Lok Sabha will be set in motion.

The term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3.

The Union Cabinet had on Friday recommended the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

The new House has to be constituted before June 3.   -- PTI

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