DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES FINAL RESULTS ON 23 MAY 3 DAYS TO GO BJP+ CONGRESS+ OTHERS CLEAR MAJORITY FOR NDA in seven of nine polls `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 INDIA TODAY AXIS MY INDIA 339-365 77-108 69-95 REPUBLIC TV CVOTER 287 128 127 NEWS 18 IPSOS 336 82 124 PROJECTIONS FOR BENGAL, UP show wide difference TIMES NOW VMR 306 132 104 REPUBLIC BHARAT JAN KI BAAT 305 124 113 NEWS X NETA 242 164 135 CONGRESS BELOW 100; DIP IN MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh ABP NEWS NIELSEN 267 127 148 INDIA TV CNX 300 120 122 NEWS 24 TODAY’S CHANAKYA 350 95 97 TRS IN TELANGANA, TDP & YSRCP close in Andhra All exit polls point to return of NDA Highest overall turnout, big jump in women voters EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 19 AS VOTING concluded for the last of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections of 2019, a series of exit polls predicted a clear majority for the BJP-led NDA. SevenseparateexitpollsestimatedthattheNDAgovernment would return to power after a bitterlyfoughtelections, withan overall tally ranging from 287-365 seats in the 543member Lok Sabha. However, only two surveys predictedthattheBJP,whichwon 282 seats in the 2014 elections, wouldclaimamajorityonitsown this time. India Today-AxisMyIndiaforecast286seatsforthe party while News18-IPSOS estimated that it would win 276. Two polls predicted that the NDA would fall short of a majority: NewsX-Neta (242) and ABP News-Nielsen (267). Most of the polls suggested that the Congress, which had registereditsworstperformance in 2014 with 44 seats, would fall below the 100 mark, with News18-IPSOS projecting only 46 seats for the party. All the polls predicted that the BJP would retain its dominanceintheHindiheartlandand make considerable gains in the east while failing to claim much ground in the south, except in Karnataka. However, there was a wide divergence in the predictions for two key states — UP and Bengal. In UP, with 80 seats, most polls predicted that the SP-BSP gathbandhan could bring down the BJP’s all time-high tally of 72 to less than 50. Here, the polls CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY PM Narendra Modi at the Badrinath temple on Sunday. ANI REPORT,PAGE8 BJP and TMC workers clashed in Kankinara, under Bhatpara Assembly constituency where bypoll was held, in North 24 Parganas of West Bengal on Sunday. PTI FULLCOVERAGE,PAGES3,5 UP and Bengal holdthe key ALL THE exit polls converge on the broad theme that the BJP-led NDA holds a clear edge. But the two states where they differ widely are UP and Bengal, which together account for 122 Lok Sabha seats. On May 23, this could be the X factor. EXPLAINED DECISION 2019 FINAL PHASE 64% TURNOUT in final phase of Lok Sabha polls in 59 seats across 7 states and 1 UT. SPORADIC VIOLENCE in West Bengal as BJP and TMC workers clash. CLASHES BETWEEN SIMPLY PUT HOW TO READ THE EXIT POLLS PAGE 9 Congress and Akali Dal workers in Punjab, and between BJP and SP workers in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh. Projections vary widely for three states that hold key to BJP show KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, MAY 19 WITH 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradeshplaysacrucialroleindetermining who forms the government at the Centre. In the 2014generalelection,theBJP-led alliance won 73 out of the 80 seatsinthestate.Whilemostexit polls project that the NDA will comfortably cross the magic mark of 272 seats to form the government, the projections widely vary with regard to the BJP’s performance in three key states — Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha — which ac- count for 143 seats. The projections for the performance of the alliance of SP, BSP and the RLD by different agencies vary considerably. According to the Republic TV-Cvoter survey, the Mahagathbandhan will win 40 seats in UP, the BJP will bag 38 seats and the Congress will win two. But most of the other pollsters appear to have given BJP a strong edge in the state. The Times Now-VMR poll predicts a tally of 58 for the BJP and its allies and 20 for the Mahagathbandhan.Theexitpoll byToday’sChanakyaforNews24 givesMahagathbandhan13seats and predicts that the BJP will sweepUP,winningasmanyas65 seats.ProjectionsbyAajTak-Axis My India data predict that the NDA will win 62-68 seats in UP. None of the pollsters predict more than two seats for the Congress in the state. In this election, West Bengal is witnessing a fierce fight between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP. Exit poll projections predictthattheBJPissettomake significant gains in the state that has 42 seats. Aaj Tak’s poll has given both Trinamool and the BJP equal number of seats — 1922toTrinamooland19-23toBJP. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Outside a polling booth in Varanasi on Sunday. Anand Singh EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 19 THE SEVEN-PHASE Lok Sabha elections, which ended Sunday, saw a marginal increase in the overall turnout, even as women participation touched yet another high, virtually closing the gender gap in voting. About 67% of the electorate cameouttovotethistime—marginally higher than the 66.44% turnout in 2014, but the highest since independence. Election Commission officials said the final figure is likely to increase. The provisional turnout on Sunday — the final phase of voting covered 59 seats across Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — was 64.15%. The last nine seats of West Bengal, for which campaigning was curtailed by 20 hours by the EC following violence between TMC and BJP supporters last week, witnessed a turnout of 73.51%. The most keenlywatched constituency, Varanasi, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting for asecondterm,saw57.8%polling. Withthis,542of the543parliamentary seats have completedpolling.In Vellore,theLok Sabha polls were countermanded on the ground of abuse of money power. Last week, the EC sent two of its senior officers to gauge the ground situation. A call on polling in Vellore will be CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At Ground Zero of TMC-BJP conflict, Nitish slams Pragya’s Jharkhand to J&K, Delhi mohalla clinics fear casts long shadow over polling Godse remark, says become a model won’t be tolerated RAVIK BHATTACHARYA BASIRHAT, MAY 19 TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com THE EDITORIAL PAGE NEWGOVTMUST FIGHTMISTRUST BY ABDUL KHALIQ PAGE 6 WORLD ASTHA SAXENA NEW DELHI, MAY 19 STARTED INSIDE a two-room portacabininPeeragarhiin2015, Delhi’s mohalla clinic initiative is set to be extended to several states, with Telangana, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir expressing interest in adopting the flagship project. Inspired by the ambitious SAUDI, IRAN SPEAK AGAINST WAR PAGE 1 ANCHOR PAK ARMY TO RAISE DIVISION TO PROTECT CPEC PROJECTS PAGE 10 UTTAR PRADESH 13 CONSTITUENCIES RECORD OVER 56% TURNOUT PAGE 3 A mohalla clinic in Sangam Vihar, New Delhi. File health scheme launched by the Aam Aadmi Party government, the Jharkhand government has announcedthatitwillsetupsuch clinicsinurbanslums.Stickingto the ‘mohalla clinic’ name, state authoritiessaidtheywillprovide free treatment and diagnostic services at the centres. “Once the model code of CONTINUEDONPAGE2 INJULY2017,Basirhat,atownbordering Bangladesh in West Bengal’s North Parganas district, saw communal clashes over a 17-year-old’s Facebook post in adjoining Baduria. Following the clashes,publicangerwasdirected attheTrinamoolCongress(TMC), whose offices were vandalised. Thecommunalfaultlinesran deeponSundayasBasirhatwent topolls.Amidsporadic incidents of violence, the BJP alleged that Hindu voters were being prevented from voting, while the TMC alleged that central forces were harassing voters and asking them to vote for the BJP. Around 10.30 am, villagers of Mouli, under Malancha block, complained that they were not beingallowedtogotothepolling booth at the local primary EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PATNA, MAY 19 At a polling booth in Basirhat on Sunday. Ravik Bhattacharya school. After central forces, accompanied by state police, rushed to the spot, the villagers started coming out to vote. “Last night, they came to our neighbourhood and warned us not to go near the polling booth. In the morning, my husband tried to go to the booth, but he wasbeatenup.Theentireneighbourhood got scared then. Now, sincethe centralforcesaswellas the media are here, we have come to vote,” said Lakkhi Mondol, a villager. “The central forces are at the polling station, but they are not there in our village. When we tried to reach the polling booth, the goons standing on the road threatened us. They said we CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONDEMNING BJP’S Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur’s statement describing Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a “deshbhakt (patriot)”, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Sunday that the BJP should “consider” expelling her from the party. Nitish, whose JD(U) is an ally of the BJP, was speaking to reportersafter castinghisvote at aboothinPatnaSahibLokSabha constituency. Asked about Thakur’s statement, he said: “It is condemnable... Bapu is the father of the nation and if anybody talks about him in this manner, it will Nitish Kumar after casting his vote on Sunday. PTI not be tolerated”. Responding to a question on whethertheBJPshouldconsider her expulsion from the party, he said: “BJP ko jaroor vichar karna chahiye (BJP must consider it)”. While saying that this “is an internal matter of the BJP”, he added that “so far as we are concerned, there is no question of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Kerala village where virus struck, reason fights faith over grave SHAJU PHILIP SOOPPIKKADA (KERALA), MAY 19 AYEARafterKeralawagedasuccessful battle to contain the Nipahvirusthatclaimed17lives, an old grave at Ground Zero of the outbreak is slowly emerging as a “pilgrim centre”. The grave, of an unknown person, is now being called a “dargah” by a section of residents at the Muslim-majority Sooppikkada village in Kozhikode district. They claim the virus targeted the village because the grave was “neglected over the years”. However, other residents have questioned “such superstition”andexpressedconcern that the grave, located on private land, could turn out to be a “money-making venture”. A local mosque committee, meanwhile, has adopted a “neutralstand”andiswaitingfor the findings of a probe ordered by the Samastha Kerala JamiyyathulUlema,anumbrella organisation that controls the majority of such panels in the state. An imam says the dargah came up with contributions from “outside the village”. Theoutbreakwasreportedin May-June last year after the first suspected case, Muhammed Sabith from the Valachukettil family in Sooppikkada, died on May 10. Later, a studyconducted by Dr G Arunkumar of Manipal Centre for Virus Research, and supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), found that the virus was transmittedfromfruitbatsseeninthe village. Sabith’s death, however, is not officially recognised as Nipah-linked as his samples were never tested and he was buried before the infection was diagnosed. Apart from 22-yearoldSabith,threeotherswhosuccumbed to the virus hailed from The dargah at Sooppikkada in Kozhikode. Shaju Philip the Valachukettil family: his father Moosa, elder brother Salih and aunt Mariyam. The grave, which is located about 100 metres from Sabith’s house, was first referred to as a “dargah or makham” by a group of local residents about two months ago. Today, a roofed structure has come up over the grave,withasmallhallattheentrance and a flag post outside. Residents say visitors from as far as Kozhikode city, nearly 50 km away, have started arriving to pay their respects. Says Moitheen Kunhi, a relative of the Valachukettil family: “A group of people here believe that Nipah came to the village as the grave was left in an abandoned condition. But the belief thatthevirusclaimedlivesatthe villagebecauseweneglectedthe graveisnothingbutsuperstition. We haven’t contributed anything to develop the grave into a dargah.Ihadmingledwithsome of those who succumbed to the virus, but I was not affected,’’ says Kunhi, a trader. “In my childhood, I had visitedthegravetwoorthreetimes. Nobody knows who has been buried at that spot. Some people want to make money. We don’t agree with that,’’ says Kunhi, 61. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.
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