Morning Digest | Phase 1 of Lok Sabha election registers 62.37% polling; India delivers first batch of BrahMos to Philippines, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

Updated - April 20, 2024 08:16 am IST

Published - April 20, 2024 08:14 am IST

Unidentified miscreants destroyed the EVMs at the Khongman polling booth during the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Imphal East, Manipur on April 19, 2024

Unidentified miscreants destroyed the EVMs at the Khongman polling booth during the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Imphal East, Manipur on April 19, 2024 | Photo Credit: ANI

Despite heatwave, Phase I of Lok Sabha polls registers 62.37% polling

The voter turnout in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 19, which sealed the fate of candidates in 102 constituencies across 21 States, was 62.37%. The voting percentage is likely to go upwards when reports from all polling stations are obtained, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a statement. The poll body also commended the “high” voter turnout “despite the heatwave”.

T.N. registers 69.46% as polling passes off largely incident-free

The fate of 950 candidates in 39 Lok Sabha constituencies of Tamil Nadu was sealed on April 19, with 69.46% of the electorate turning up to exercise their franchise in a four-cornered contest. Except for a few minor incidents, there was no major untoward incident during the polling, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo told journalists. 

Manipur Lok Sabha elections | Over 72% votes cast as violence mars polling; 3 arrested

Amid complaints of voter intimidation, booth-capturing, and violence across several polling booths, the first phase of the Lok Sabha election in Manipur concluded on April 19 evening, with officials pegging the average turnout of the State’s two constituencies at 72.17%. Three persons were arrested in connection with the violence.

Donald Trump’s hush money trial | Full jury of 12 people and 6 alternates is seated in New York

A full jury of 12 people and six alternates was seated on April 19 in Donald Trump’s hush money case, drawing the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president a step closer to opening statements. Lawyers spent days quizzing dozens of New Yorkers to choose the panel that has vowed to put their personal views aside and impartially judge whether the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is guilty or not.

Congress wants EC to take note of BJP’s use of “one issue” to seek votes

The Congress on Friday accused the BJP of using “one particular issue” on social media to attract voters, and urged the Election Commission (EC) to take note of it. “The BJP is using one particular issue on social media as an appeal to voters. This is a flagrant and blatant violation of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct, and also of numerous judgments of the Supreme Court,” Congress general secretary (communication) Jairam Ramesh said.

Congress leaders should advise Rahul Gandhi to withdraw statement urging ED to arrest Pinarayi Vijayan, says Brinda Karat

Congress leaders of Kerala should advise Rahul Gandhi to withdraw his statement inviting the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to arrest Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has said. Ms. Karat termed Mr. Gandhi’s statement shocking and added that he was strengthening the cause of the BJP by demanding the arrest of the foremost Opposition leader who was fighting the BJP and the Union government on all issues.

Fossils of massive prehistoric snake found in lignite mine in Gujarat

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee have reported the discovery of fossils of one of the largest snakes that ever existed and likely lived 47 million years ago during a period called the Middle Eocene. The fossils were found in Kutch, Gujarat, and the reptile, named Vasuki Indicus, could have been anywhere between 10 metres and 15 metres long, or as big as a modern-day school bus.

Great Nicobar’s particularly vulnerable tribal group, Shompen, cast their vote for the first time

For the first time, members of the Shompen, one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the country and who reside in the dense tropical rain forests of the Great Nicobar island, on Friday took part in the election process by casting their votes in the Andaman and Nicobar Lok Sabha constituency.

Left a safer bet than Congress, its leaders not turncoats: Sitaram Yechury

Before hurling allegations at the CPI(M) in Kerala, the Congress will do well to ask itself why a large number of people joining the BJP are Congress leaders, said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in an interaction with The Hindu at Parakkandy early this week. “In Kerala, too, people think it’s a safer bet to have the Left which is unlikely to defect to the BJP. In West Bengal and Tripura, we are getting killed. But our leaders don’t become turncoats. That sort of character you require in the party, which the Congress doesn’t have,” Mr. Yechury said.

India delivers first batch of BrahMos to Philippines

India delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to Philippines on Friday. In January 2022, Philippines concluded a $375-million deal with India for three batteries of shore-based, anti-ship variant of the BrahMos becoming the first export customer for the joint venture missile between India and Russia.

China sets up powerful information warfare force to support ‘military struggles’

China’s military helmed by President Xi Jinping on April 19 unveiled a powerful information warfare support force in a major overhaul of a largely opaque structure of strategic units with the aim of supporting “military struggles” in all areas.

IPL-17: LSG vs CSK | Rahul, De Kock fifties propel Lucknow Super Giants to 8-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings

Openers KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock, who made classy fifties on a slow pitch, produced a chasing masterclass to power Lucknow Super Giants to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in their IPL match in Lucknow on April 19.

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