Lok Sabha Election to be held from April 11 to May 19

17th General Election to be held in 7 phases from April 11 to May 19; counting on May 23

PM Modi wishes the best to Election Commission and seeks blessings of people

Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and will be held over seven phases followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission has announced on 10 March, 2019.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the model code of conduct would come into immediate effect from March 10 and 10 lakh polling stations would be set up this time as against about 9 lakh in 2014.

Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora addressing media to announce the dates for the General Elections 2019.Announcing the schedule for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission said the ‘voter verifiable paper audit trail’ (VVPAT) will be used in all polling stations this time. The first phase will be held on April 11, second on April 18, third on April 23 and fourth on April 29, fifth on May 6, sixth on May 12 and seventh phase on May 19. Counting of votes for all seven phases would be done on May 23, the EC said. Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in J&K would vote in three phases due to security reasons, the ECI said.

Among other things, the model code of conduct bars the government from announcing any policy move that may impact voters’ decision. The ECI said all political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given best wishes to the Election Commission, all those officials and security personnel who will be on the field, across the length and breadth of India assuring smooth elections. India is very proud of the ECI for assiduously organizing elections for several years, he said.

PM Shri Modi said, “The festival of democracy, Elections are here. I urge my fellow Indians to enrich the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with their active participation. I hope this election witnesses a historic turnout. I particularly call upon first time voters to vote in record numbers.

Photo: Twitter/@PIB_India

The PM further said, “Guided by ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, NDA seeks your blessings again. We spent the last five years fulfilling basic necessities that were left unfulfilled for 70 long years. Now, time has come to build on that and create a strong, prosperous & secure India. #PhirEkBaarModiSarkar”.

Assembly polls

Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha will be held simultaneously with the respective Lok Sabha constituencies.

President’s rule to continue in J&K

On J&K, the ECI said security situation is being monitored. Regarding holding elections ECI has sought info from the State administration. EC has assessed the ground situation and preparedness for the polls, also considering recent developments, sought comments from MHA and also visited the State, had meeting with all political parties and administration officials, based on the findings and availability of forces, EC has decided to announce only the parliamentary elections in the State, decision on holding Assembly elections to be taken soon, he says. So, Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir not to be held along with Lok Sabha polls.

-MARCH 10, 2019

Nitish backs Naidu’s demand for special status to AP

Nitish backs Naidu’s demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday backed the demand of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for special category status to the southern state. Supporting the demand of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief over the demand at the Niti Aayog Governing Council meeting, the Janata Dal United (JDU) leader demanded the same status for Bihar, where he is in power in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Naidu also got the backing of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue of 2011 census being adopted by the 15th Finance Commission. The TDP chief also made a request to the Centre to “not penalise the performing states”.

NitishNotably, the TDP chief had walked out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre over special category status to Andhra Pradesh. He had accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of not fulfilling its promise of providing the status to the state.

Inaugurating Mahanadu, the TDP’s annual conclave, Naidu had said that the Centre had reneged on its promise to grant Andhra Pradesh Special Category status and to implement the AP Reorganisation Act. Naidu accused the BJP of betraying the people of AP and trying to create law and order problems in the state in collusion with the YSRCP.

The TDP had in March 2018 withdrawn support from the NDA government over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to the state.

Naidu also got the backing of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue of 2011 census being adopted by the 15th Finance Commission. The TDP chief also made a request to the Centre to “not penalise the performing states”. Notably, the TDP chief had walked out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre over special category status to Andhra Pradesh. He had accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of not fulfilling its promise of providing the status to the state.

-Jun 17, 2018

TDP cuts ties with NDA at the centre

TDP cuts ties with NDA, to move its own no-confidence motion against Modi govt.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday decided to pull out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The decision was announced by TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu during a teleconference with party polit bureau members in Amaravati in the morning.

The polit bureau also took a decision to move its own no-confidence motion against the Union government in the Lok Sabha instead of supporting the one to be moved by rival YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). A polit bureau member told the media that it was an unanimous decision.

The party changed its decision overnight to deny YSRCP taking the credit for moving a no-trust motion

The formal announcement of leaving the NDA was done hurriedly to facilitate party MPs to move this motion, for denying Special Category Status and for not implementing the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act.

TDPTDP sees conspiracy

Apparently, the party changed its decision overnight to deny YSRCP taking the credit for moving a no-trust motion. The party also suspects that the BJP was conspiring with YSRCP and Jana Sena Party of actor Pawan Kalyan to weaken the TDP.

Sixteen TDP MPs would now submit a notice on moving a no-confidence motion to the Lok Sabha Secretary General.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is believed to have told the polit bureau members that he would write a letter to BJP president Amit Shah, explaining why the party is leaving the NDA and the developments in the last four years when the Union government’s support to the State was not to the level expected by Telangana people. He would also inform other NDA partners the circumstances that forced the TDP to come out of the NDA.


Telugu Desam Party Ministers to quit Modi Cabinet

Telugu Desam Party Ministers to quit Modi Cabinet at the Centre

Telugu Desam party of Andhra Pradesh pulled out its ministers from being part of the NDA cabinet late on Wednesday night, just a couple of hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ruled out the possibility of grant of Special Category Status (SCS) for the State.

TDP Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State Y.S. Chowdary will resign from the government on Thursday, TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced.

However, Mr. Naidu clarified that TDP will not be quitting NDA just yet.

Telugu Desam Party“The Centre has been taking one sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the union cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now,” Mr. Naidu tweeted after announcing the decision, adding that he had tried reaching out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the latter had been “unavailable”. “It’s a crucial time. We have to stand, we have to fight, we have to get it done,” he added.

Continuing agitation

TDP has been agitating both inside and outside Parliament since the union budget was announced on February 1, claiming that none of the State’s demands were met. Things came to a head on Wednesday after Mr. Jaitley, in a press conference in the capital, shifted the blame on the Andhra Pradesh government and TDP. Without mincing words, he said that the Centre was “committed”  to giving financial assistance to Andhra government, but said they had been modifying their demands.

Soon after Mr. Jaitley’s press conference wrapped up, the party went into a huddle. Mr. Naidu had a teleconference with TDP MPs who were in Delhi for the ongoing Parliament session, in addition to consulting legislators in Andhra Pradesh. The overwhelming view was to pull out of NDA.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajpathi Raju who was attending council of ministers meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was kept out of loop. “He was told only after he came out of the meeting,” a senior TDP MP said.

“We are committed to give monetary equivalent of a special status to Andhra Pradesh. We are awaiting response from Andhra Pradesh government,” Mr. Jaitley said in his briefing, adding that just because it was a political issue, the quantum of assistance could not be increased.

The move came just hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ruled out the possibility of grant of Special Category Status (SCS) for the State.

Citing the 14th Finance Commission, the Finance Minister said that category of “special status” no longer existed. Therefore Andhra Pradesh could no longer be categorised as such.

He also cited technical reasons for the delay in the releasing assistance to the State. The AP government, Mr. Jaitley said, initially wanted the assistance to be routed as loans through external agencies like World Bank, Asian Development Bank and so on. Under this, the Union government would have paid 90% of the loans.

“This year [in] January they modified the request; instead of externally aided projects, they asked us to provide it through NABARD loan,” Mr. Jaitley said, adding that it was almost as if union government was waiting to pay the funds but was waiting for a bank account number.

Uneasy equation

For over a year, the two allies have shared an uneasy equation. In January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Mr. Naidu after a gap of a year.  Mr Naidu, in his speech in Andhra assembly, said that he visited the capital 29 times with no results to show.

As a last ditch effort, on Monday evening a delegations led by TDP minister Y.S. Chowdary had scheduled a meeting with BJP President Amit Shah.  Mr. Shah however left for Guwahati before the meeting. The delegation which included Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu had to leave without any concrete assurances.

Storm clouds over the alliance

BJP leaders who had seen the storm clouds over the alliance building were watching the developments with an air of resignation. Senior office bearers of the party said that the BJP had “tried till the last minute” to salvage the alliance and added that they “knew” that TDP Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu did not “really” want to break the alliance.

“He (Mr. Naidu) is under a lot of pressure as YSR Congress Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy is exerting great pressure on the implementation of the Special Category Status and TDP’s continuance in the government is a sign that he is not putting enough pressure on the Centre,” said the source. YSRCP MPs have threatened to resign their seats in Parliament on April 6 if the SCS is not granted.

The party leader said that “neither of us wants to break the alliance but the pressure on Naidu to take precipitate action is great, with elections just a year away.”

-MARCH 07, 2018

Indian doctor rescued from ISIS: Sushma Swaraj

Indian doctor rescued from ISIS captivity in Libya: Sushma Swaraj

indian doctor

An Indian doctor, who was kidnapped by the Islamic State group in Libya, has been rescued, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.

Dr. Ramamurthy Kosanam, a native of Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district, reportedly sustained bullet injury while he was being rescued.

Sushma said that Dr Kosanam will be brought home soon.

Kosanam was abducted by ISIS in Libya about 18 months ago.

“We have rescued Dr. Ramamurthy Kosanam in Libya. Dr. Kosanam has suffered a bullet injury. We are bringing him to India shortly.

“With this, we have rescued all the six Indians abducted there. I appreciate the good work done by our mission there,” Sushma said in a series of tweet messages.

She has also asked Indian citizens to register with madad.gov.in in case of emergency.

– February 25, 2017, New Delhi


ISRO successfully launching 104 satellites in single mission

ISRO sets world record by successfully launching 104 satellites in single missionISRO sets world record by successfully launching 104 satellites in single mission

Indian space agency ISRO on Wednesday morning scripted history by successfully launching a record 104 satellites, including country’s Cartosat-2 earth observation satellite, in a single mission from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Exactly at 9:28 am, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 carrying 104 satellites blasted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

About 28 minutes into the flight, PSLV first injected Cartosat-2 series satellite into orbit, followed by the other 103 nano satellites, including 96 from the US, in a gap of about 30 minutes.

This is the highest number of satellites ever launched in a single mission.

As the scientists at the Mission Control centre broke into cheers, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar announced: “All 104 satellites successfully placed in orbit. My hearty congratulations to the entire ISRO team for the wonderful job they have done.”

ISRO’s new feat beat superpowers like Russia, which had launched 37 satellites in one go in 2014, and the US, which orbited 29 satellites in 2013.

Last year, ISRO had sucessfully launched 23 satellites in a single mission in June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated team ISRO for the successful launch.

In today’s complex mission after the end of 28-hour countdown, the PSLV-C37 injected the 714 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite followed by ISRO’s nano satellites INS-1A and INS-1B in an 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

This was followed by launch of the other 101 nano satellites of overseas customers in blocks in a series of separations.

INS-1A and INS-1B will carry a total of four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO for conducting various experiments, ISRO said

Cartosat-2 series satellite, with a mission life of five years, will send images that would cater to coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water, creation of land use maps among others.

Of the 101 co-passenger foreign satellites, 96 belong to USA, five from international customers of ISRO including Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates.

Kiran Kumar also said that ISRO was enabling the MARS Orbiter Mission to survive a long eclipse duration after which it would function for at least 2-3 years unless “we encounter any more difficulties”.

“Now we are targeting GSLV MkII and then Mk III…A series of launch activities planned to ensure like last year this year also we have many exciting events coming,” he added.

PSLV-C37 Project Director B Jayakumar said it was a “great moment for each and everyone of us. It is confirmed all 104 satellites have been successfully deployed in the orbit.

“Launching 104 satellites onboard a single rocket was a complex mission. “But our teams came up with very good solutions. The integration part are also done very well by our team. It is enjoyable mission and excellent team work,” he said.

Satish Dhawan Space Centre Director P Kunhi Krishnan said the launch clearly reiterated ISRO’s capability in handling complex missions very professionally.

ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Director K Sivan said it was a matter of national pride that the country had launched 104 satellites in one go using PSLV.

“It is one of the toughest missions we have handled,” he added.

So far the Indian space agency has launched 226 satellites, out of which 179 are from foreign nations.

-February 15, 2017,New Delhi

Gujarat, Andhra first States to become Open Defecation Free

Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh first States to become Open Defecation Free in urban areas

Porbandar among districts declared ODF on 147th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma

‘It is an interim gift to Mahatma; Swachh Bharat as final gift in 2019’ 

‘Mood of Developing India (MODI)’ for sanitation building a people’s movement-

Credit for making Swachh Bharat will go to people and all stakeholders-Minister


Postal Stamp on Swachhata released; Short film makers on Swachhata felicitated


The Swachh Bharat Week that began on the 25th of this month concludes today with Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh becoming the first States to declare all cities and towns in respective States as Open Defecation Free (ODF) and a few districts including Porbandar also declared ODF, on the 147th Birth Anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi which is also the second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission.

Porbandar, the native district of Mahatma and all the 180 cities and towns in Gujarat were today declared ODF in the presence of Union Minister of Drinking Water & Sanitation Shri Naredra Singh Tomar, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Vijay Rupani at a special programme in Porbandar.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Shri N.Chandrababu Naidu declared all 110 cities and towns in the State as ODF at a programme in Tirupati.

Addressing the participants of the Porbandar programme through a video-link, Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said “Declaration of Porbandar district and other areas as Open Defecation Free today is an interim gift to Mahatma on the occasion of his birth anniversary today and the final gift of Swachh Bharat would be presented to Gandhiji on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,2019. The Mood of Developing India (MODI) being strongly for sanitation, Swachh Bharat Mission is becoming a people’s movement and Swachh Bharat will be realized with people leading the grand India Sanitation Alliance of all stakeholders”.

In a similar address to Tirupati programme, Shri Naidu urged the people to become ‘Swachhagrahis’ to make the country free from poor hygiene in the spirit of ‘Satyagrahis’ who won political freedom for the country under the leadership of Gandhiji. He said that Rs.186 cr has been sanctioned today for Andhra Pradesh for focusing on solid waste management in urban areas.

Shri Naidu complimented Chief Ministers, concerned Ministers, Mayors, Councilors, Municipal Commissioners, the people and all others concerned for making urban areas of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh Open Defecation Free.

Speaking at a Short Film Festival on Sanitation, organized by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and National Film Development Corporation, Shri Naidu said “While Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi triggered interest of the people in Swachh Bharat, the Mission is a people’s movement and the credit for building Swachh Bharat would go to the people and all stakeholders including Chief Ministers, elected representatives of the people and others. Mind and body are inseparable like the Advaita. A clean mind resides only in a clean body. Clean individuals make clean environment. Individual actions result in collective effort needed for Swachh Bharat.”. He complimented young film makers who made 120 for making thought provoking short films on sanitation.

Shri Naidu also released a book ‘In the Footsteps of Mahatma : Gandhi and Sanitation’ published by the Publications Division of the Ministry of I&B. The book was authored by Prof. Sudarshan Iyangar, a veteran Gandhian.

On the last day of Swachh Bharat Week today, Shri Naidu also flagged off a Swachh Awareness Rally organized by NDMC. At a function, also organized by NDMC, Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh administered Swachhata Pledge at Connaught Place.

A Postal Stamp on Swachhat was released today by Shri Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha in New Delhi.

405 cities and towns have so far claimed to have become Open Defecation Free along with 20,000 of the 82,000 urban wards in the country. Another 334 cities and towns would become ODF by March next year.

Maharashtra, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and other North-Eastern States are on course to declare all urban areas as ODF soon.

-Ministry of Urban Development, 02-October, 2016

At 99% Telangana has maximum non-vegetarians in country

At 99%, Telangana has maximum non-vegetarians in the country

Telangana has the highest proportion of meat-eaters in the country with almost 99% of its residents being non-vegetarians, a Registrar General of India survey of people aged 15 years and above has revealed. An almost equal percentage of men (98.8) and women (98.6) are non-vegetarians in the state.

West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Kerala follow Telangana among the states with the highest nonvegetarian population. Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana top the list of states with the highest vegetarian population. Overall, the percentage of non-vegetarians across the country has dropped from 75% in 2004 to 71% in 2014.
Experts say meat consumption in Telangana reflects traditional eating habits of the state’s people. “People in Telangana consume a lot of lamb and chicken even for breakfast,” said food blogger Sabyasachi Raychaudhuri. “…different body parts of animals such as gurda (kidney), bheja (brain), paya (trotters) among others are consumed.Many people also consume rabbits, emu and quail.” Experts say changing lifestyles could have contributed to the increase in meat consumption in the stavegte besides religion. They add most of those surveyed could be from Hyderabad which has a high percentage of meat-eaters. Vegetarians could probably be in equal numbers in other Telangana districts.
Abundance of livestock in Telangana too contributes to higher consumption of meat in the state. The state has the second highest number of sheep, and the fourth highest poultry count in the country. Telangana produced 505 lakh metric tonnes of meat and 1,061crore eggs in 2014-15. Till November 2015, the state had produced 560 crore eggs and 264 lakh metric tonnes of meat -lamb, goat, chicken, beef and pork.
Chicken and fish are healthier with higher protein levels, but red meat is blamed for several health problems.”Red and lean meat are high on saturated fats resulting in increase in cholesterol level among people. People should have more of tandoor and grilled forms of meat,” said Hyderabad’s Continental Hospital dietician Zeenath Fathima.

-TNN | Jun 11, 2016

The election results 2016 – Arun Jaitley

The election results 2016

By- Arun Jaitley

The results of the five State Assemblies which went to poll in the last two months are on expected lines. The most important political analysis emerging from the results is a significant setback to the Congress party. It lost both the States of Kerala and Assam.

In Kerala, it lost because its government was mired in corruption scams. In Assam, its traditional policy of encouraging illegal immigration as a source of vote bank invited a popular wrath.

The strategic alliance between the BJP, AGP and the BPF highlighted this historical blunder of the Congress. In Tamil Nadu, it was a laggard in the DMK-Congress alliance. Its poor strike rate pulled the DMK alliance down. In West Bengal, the alliance with the Left was an ideological compromise. It proved counter-productive.

Post 2014 General Elections, the Congress has increasingly adopted fringe positions. It didn’t behave as a natural party of governance. Its obstructionism was blended with its leader’s “rent a cause” approach. The Congress is, today, threatened with being pushed increasingly to the margins. Will it be the main challenger to the BJP led NDA in 2019, or will it stand behind a hotchpotch combination of ideologically disparate regional groups? What is the nature of ‘surgery’ the party leaders are now talking about? Will the Congress evolve into a structured party with a galaxy of leaders or will it remain a dynastic party?

For the BJP, this election marks a significant geographical expansion. There were not many takers in 2008 for the idea that BJP can form its own government in Karnataka. Karnataka was then seen as a gateway to the South. We are now on a come-back trail in Karnataka. We have since, a coalition government in Andhra Pradesh and are increasingly pushing the politics of Kerala to a tri-polar position. We are unquestionably the largest party in Bihar.

In our Eastward movement, we will now form a government with a comfortable majority in Assam. We are already a part of the two coalition governments in the North East and have made a sizeable seat and vote presence in West Bengal. We seek to work in cooperation with the Governments of the regional parties.

The Left has ideologically become irrelevant globally. The political and economic models that they espoused have been widely rejected. In India, it is their battle for an ideological survival. Their victory in Kerala is the result of an unpopular government losing an election and an opponent winning by default.

Their marginalization in West Bengal, a State they ruled for 34 years, is significant. Extreme positions espoused by a few in the Universities of Jadhavpur and JNU cannot be a mainstream agenda of India.

For us in the Central Government it will be an opportunity to work closely with all the five elected State Governments for the larger welfare of the people.


Chennai braces up for ’emergency’ as city witnesses record rains in last 48 hours

Chennai braces up for ’emergency’ as city witnesses record rains in last 48 hours

Chennai braces up for 'emergency' as city witnesses record rains in last 48 hours


With the awful memories of the last year’s floods still fresh in their mind, people in Chennai have begun preparations to tackle the worst situation in coming days.

The MeT Department has issued a cyclone alert for north Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh, predicting heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours.

The reports say that the local civic body has deployed over 1000 officials to handle any emergency situation. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been kept on stand-by with boats to handle any flood-like situation.

Heavy rainfall will continue in Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, the weather department had said in a release.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) earlier said that a depression over southwest Bay of Bengal will move 90 km east of Chennai and 70 km of the coast in few hours.

According to the IMD, wind speed reaching 55-65 km per hour gusting to 75 km per hour would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours and south Andhra Pradesh coast during next 48 hours.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea as sea condition will be very rough during the next 48 hours.


-May 18, 2016, New Delhi