Daily wrap: Oppn leaders slam exit polls; Dal Lake’s floating market stays afloat

Modi, dressed in a grey Pahari attire, spent around 17 hours at a holy cave near the shrine. Photo: PTI

Opposition leaders slam exit polls, see it as attempt to set false narrative

With many of the exit polls throwing up a surprisingly large majority for the BJP-led NDA, opposition leaders have expressed serious doubts about the polls. West Bengal Mamata Banerjee was among the first to rubbish the exit polls as gossip. “The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together,” she tweeted.

NDA majority to hung — what exit polls say about 2019 LS election

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democartic Alliance (NDA) is set to sweep the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, if we go by the exit polls released by agencies and news organisations. Pollsters such as Times Now-VMR, Republic Bharat-Jan ki Baat, TV9 Bharat-Varsh C-Voter, Republic TV – C-Voter and News Nation has predicted that the NDA will cross the magic number – 272 seats in the lower house. Meanwhile, the UPA alliance will manage to win about 126-132 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Shoe beating politics takes centre stage in Uttar Pradesh

BJP’s election slogan ‘Mera Booth – Sabse Majboot’ seems to have transformed into ‘Mera Boot – Sabse Majboot’ in Uttar Pradesh. This time, there are reports from Deoria district of the state where the BJP’s IT Cell in-charge has written to party president Amit Shah saying that he was assaulted by a party MLA with a shoe. The incident reportedly was on May 16.

Also read: Bengal: Can cash-strapped Left Front prevent its whitewash by rationing resources?

Mary Kom and co aim to pack a punch in India Open

All eyes will be on six-time world champion Mary Kom as 72 Indian boxers vie for honours against 200 pugilists from 16 nations in the second edition of India Open beginning here Monday (May 20). Having opted out of the Asian Championships last month in order to prepare for the World Championships, 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Mary Kom will make her competitive debut at home in 51kg in the USD 70,000 five-day meet at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here.

Yuvraj mulls retirement, may seek BCCI nod to compete in pvt T20 leagues

Yuvraj Singh, one of India’s greatest limited overs cricketer’s, is seriously contemplating retirement from international cricket and pursue a freelance career in ICC approved foreign Twenty20 leagues. The Punjab left-hander would make a final decision only if he gets permission from the BCCI. It has been learnt that Yuvraj has come to terms with the fact that he is unlikely to play for India.

BJP tops political advertisement spend on social media in Feb-May

Political parties have spent more than ₹53 crore on digital platforms like Google and Facebook between February and May, with the BJP accounting for a lion’s share of the spending. According to Facebook’s Ad Library Report, there were 1.21 lakh political ads with a total spending of more than ₹26.5 crore between February and May 15 this year. Similarly, advertisements spend on Google, YouTube, and partner properties since February 19 stood at ₹27.36 crore with 14,837 advertisements.

Djokovic to meet Nadal for 54th time with Rome title at stake

Novak Djokovic said he was relishing locking horns with his “greatest rival” Rafael Nadal as the pair set up the 54th clash of their careers in the Italian Open final. Djokovic battled past Argentinas Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 and meets defending champion Nadal on Sunday after the Spaniard earlier swept past Greeces Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to reach his 50th Masters final.

Despite unrest in Kashmir, Dal Lake’s floating market stays afloat

As dawn breaks, 28-year-old Javeed Ahmed Bhat paddles his wooden canoe (shikara), to the interiors of the Dal Lake in Srinagar. Soon, two other vendors join him. Bhat and the others — vegetable farmers and vendors — go past the lake’s touristy house boats and picturesque water lily and lotus farms to reach the floating vegetable market in the midst of the lake.

Also read: Ground report: Paying the price for ‘free-and-fair’ polls at Pulwama

With no signboards and no shelter, the floating market is just a designated place where about 40-50 vendors on small boats sell vegetables and flowers to wholesale traders, who then then sell them to hoteliers and residents in Srinagar. The century-old market comes alive for two hours and ends by the time the sun rises.

Pattachitra artists in Odisha look at bleak future post cyclone Fani

The famous Pattachitra paintings of Odisha’s Raghurajpur village may have embellished the walls of several houses and edifices across the world. But closer home they have become a faded reality for many ‘chitrakars’ (painters), who having lost a chunk of their work — some even worth lakhs — to cyclone Fani, now look at a bleak future. One of the oldest art forms of the state, Pattachitra, a portmanteau of ‘patta’ (canvas) and ‘chitra’ (picture), are scroll paintings mostly based on mythological themes from the Puranas, epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana and stories from the Jagannath cult. With the art handed down from one generation to the other, the paintings, are extremely intricate in nature and a product of years of training, reading and delicate strokes.

After Kedarnath visit, Modi thanks EC for granting nod

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday thanked the Election Commission of India (ECI) for granting him permission to visit the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand at a time when the model code of conduct is in force. Modi, dressed in a grey Pahari attire, spent around 17 hours at a holy cave near the shrine. He offered prayers and performed puja at the temple. He told reporters he did not ask for anything while praying as it was not his nature. “God has given us capacity to give and not demand,” he said.

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