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Congress slams EC over Ashok Lavasa dropping out of meets; calls poll panel 'Election Omission'
Congress slams EC over Ashok Lavasa dropping out of meets; calls poll panel 'Election Omission'

New Delhi, May 18 (TIWN): Lok Sabha Election 2019 LATEST Updates; (National Pollsters To Release Lok Sabha Exit Poll Results Tomorrow): Responding on media reports of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recusing himself from the panel's meetings to discuss poll code violations, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday said the "erosion of institutional integrity" was "the hallmark" of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. In a tweet, he dubbed the poll panel the "Election Omission."

Reports have said that Election Commission member Ashok Lavasa had allegedly sent three letters and several notes over the last 10 days, asking for his dissent to be recorded. These were allegedly ignored by the Election Commission, leading to a final letter sent by him, in which he said he will skip the poll panel meetings. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora described these reports as "unsavory" and "avoidable".

A day after making an appearance at his first-ever press conference as prime minister, and with Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha election all wrapped up, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to Uttarakhand's pilgrimage sites of Kedarnath and Badrinath. Modi arrived at the hill shrine of Kedarnath in a chopper and walked from the helipad to the Himalayan shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

On the way, he also greeted people who were standing at a distance to get a glimpse of the prime minister.

In the temple, Modi sat on the floor in front of the deity and performed rituals.

He also took rounds of the sanctum-sanctorum as per Hindu practice of worship. He also stepped out of the temple premises and greeted the crowd. People gathered around the temple also greeted the Prime Minister with loud chants of "Har Har Mahadev".

This is Modi's fourth visit in three years.

Modi flew 1.5 lakh kilometres and addressed 142 public rallies during the most extensive campaign for a Lok Sabha election since Independence, BJP president Amit Shah said Friday.

In what is rumoured to be some heavy duty post-campaign strategising, Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday morning. He is also scheduled to meet Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, and Uttar Pradesh alliance partners Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday. Yesterday, Naidu had met Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi.

Opposition parties have lost no time in taking swipes at Narendra Modi's maiden press conference on Friday, where he did not entertain even a single impromptu question. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the presser seemed "like last episode of Mann ki Baat aired on TV instead of radio".

Loktantrik Janata Dal party chief Sharad Yadav, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot and party chief Rahul Gandhi too made fun of the fact that Modi was not asked any questions in the meet.

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