At his first news conference in India, PM Modi declines questions

The big news Election Commission cuts short campaigning time in Bengal and nine other top stories

The big news Election Commission cuts short campaigning time in Bengal and nine other top stories

Campaigning in the bitterly fought marathon Lok Sabha elections spread over 38 days drew to a close on Friday as top leaders made a final push in the seventh and concluding phase for the remaining 59 seats that included Varanasi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to retain the seat.

Addressing a press conference here with the PM by his side, Mr Shah praised PM Modi for braving scorching temperatures which went up to 46 degrees Celsius.

Hitting back at BSP supremo Mayawati, who had attacked him over violence in West Bengal, Modi said, "The manner in which the West Bengal government has been targeting people from UP, Biharis and those from Purvanchal, I thought Behenji will give a befitting reply, but she is more concerned about power".

Amit Shah, to another question, said, "I have answered your question". PM Modi also spoke about the election campaign but did not answer any questions that were asked by the media.

In today's featured cartoon, Satish Acharaya takes a jibe at BJP president Amit Shah for his comments on the Election Commission.

The three-member body said in the order on Thursday that "growing incidents of disruption and violence" were creating a "fear psychosis" among voters, and ordered campaigning to cease by 10pm on Thursday, a day before it had been scheduled to end.

"Showing up is half the battle".

Mr Shah also said, that he himself visited 312 Lok Sabha constituencies and addressed 161 public rallies.

"Congratulations Modi Ji. Excellent Press Conference!"

He responded to the very first question saying: "I am a disciplined soldier, the party president is everything for me".

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