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123 Karnataka Assembly poll winners get less than 50% votes: Report

The report, by the ADR and Karnataka Election Watch, said five of the 222 winners registered victory with less than 1,000 votes.



Karnataka Election

New Delhi, June 1 : The Karnataka Assembly polls saw 55 per cent of the winners getting less than 50 per cent of the votes while five winners registered victory with margin of less than 1,000 votes, a report prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said on Friday.

It said 123 of 222 winners secured victory with less than 50 per cent of votes polled in their constituency in the May 12 assembly elections. The elections in two constituencies namely Jayanagar and Rajarajeshwari Nagar were then deferred/countermanded.

Out of these 123, 53 are from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 48 from Congress, 19 from Janata Dal-Secular and one each from Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), while one is an independent candidate.

The top three winners who attained the least vote share during the elections are Anjali Hemant Nimbalkar and Yashvantharaygouda Vittalagouda Patil (both Congress) and D.S. Suresh (BJP) with 24, 30 and 30 per cent vote share respectively.

As per the report, 99 (45 per cent) winners won with 50 per cent and above of the total votes polled in their constituency. Three of the top winners who attained the highest vote shares in the elections are R. Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, D.K. Shivakumar (bothe Congress) and Ashwath Narayan (BJP) who get 77, 69 and 67 per cent vote share, respectively.

The report, by the ADR and Karnataka Election Watch, said five of the 222 winners registered victory with less than 1,000 votes.

Pratap Gowda Patil won with 213 votes, Venkataramanappa with 409, Basanagouda Patil with 555, Channabasappa Satyappa Shivalli with 634 and Guttedar Subhash Jemmayya with 697 votes.

It said there has been 41 per cent increase in the number of political parties compared to those contesting in 2013. A number of 83 political parties — including six national, eight state and 69 registered unrecognised — participated in 2018 Karnataka Assembly polls while 59 political parties were in the fray in 2013.

The voter turnout this year was 74 per cent against 71 per cent in 2013.

The report said 44 (57 per cent) out of 77 winners with declared criminal cases have won with a vote share of 50 per cent and above while 95 (44 per cent) out 215 crorepati winners have won with a vote share of 50 per cent and above. It said 18 out of 215 crorepati winners have won against a non-crorepati runner-up.

All the winners of the Karnataka Assembly elections won with an average of 36 per cent of the total registered voters. This implies that the winners represent on an average, 36 per cent of the total electorate. In 2013, the figure was 32 per cent.

Out of 104 winners of BJP, 69 (66 per cent) have won less than 40 per cent of votes of the total registered voters in the constituency. Sixty-one (78 per cent) out of 78 winners from Congress, 15 (39 per cent) out of 38 winners from JD(S), 1 (100 per cent) winner each from KPJP and BSP have won less than 40 per cent of votes of the total registered voters in the constituency.

Out of total 94 re-elected winners, none have won with less than 32 per cent of vote share in their respective constituency while 45 (48 per cent) have won with more than 50 per cent of vote share. A number of 21 (22 per cent) re-elected winners have won with less than 5 per cent of margin of victory whereas seven have won with more than 30 per cent of margin of victory.

The NOTA button initiated by the Election Commission in 2013 gave the voters an option of rejecting all the candidates in their constituency. The total number of votes polled for none-of-the-above option were 3,22,841 during the elections.

Out of total votes polled for NOTA, 22 per cent (70,941 votes) of votes were polled in 55 red alert constituencies where three or more candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.


‘Operation Shakti’ in the vanguard of Congress march to LS polls




New Delhi, Jan 21 : To understand what was at the core of Operation Shakti, IANS caught up with its centrifuge Praveen Chakravarty to understand what the Congress was attempting for the BJP had them on the run till recently.

As he says, “I was quite sanguine initially on this whole metamorphosis but when I saw the Congress President calling a worker by name and talking to him and the response that he was getting, I realised that the wisdom of the crowds could not be faulted, involve the people in everything which is the real offshoot of true democracy or peoplecracy.

“That is how 30,000 people were surveyed in Delhi to find out who should be Congress President for Delhi.

“In fact every candidate was selected in the three north and middle India states using this interface, including the Chief Ministers. The template being ‘Wisdom of the Crowds’, a seminal book by James Surowiecki, New Yorker business columnist with boundless erudition explores the simple idea of large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant and better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions and even predicting the future.

“Data is available, my experience and expertise as a political scientist helped and one found over a six month period that data is pure gold and that is what one needed to plug and play into.”

Apparently, the Congress President is an extraordinary believer in the objectivity of data and the primacy of this being the gold standard to crack the election code.

Chakravarty, a former Goldman Sachs Wall Street banker — who worked with Nandan Nilekani in the past in UIDAI and then in Manmohan Singh’s PMO — the Wharton-educated data scientist known as ‘Chucky’ says, “We have learned a lot from these state elections — what worked, what didn’t — and have started transposing this learning for the Lok Sabha elections.

“Plans are now afoot to craft our campaign accordingly, this is work in progress and it it will be done after collecting ground zero feedback from multiple locations.

“It will be ground up in terms of choice of candidate, mediums of communication, issues at hand, the whole ball of wax. All my output goes directly to the Congress President only. He then gives direction on the way forward.”

The battle of 2019 will be fought across 2,00,000 polling booths and the issues will vary from place to place.

For instance in the state elections, just to give a flavour, the Congress found that landless farmers and youth were livid over in DeMo in Bhopal. Upper caste wanted reservation somewhere else etc.

Chucky studied at BITS Pilani and worked with IBM in Japan and at Microsoft on Windows 95 and did his Masters from Wharton before plunging into the high jinks world of investment banking only to move back to India in 2005.

His belief is that there is no general election in India, it is a sum of parts as 29 states go to the polls at the same time.

As he added, “National election is a myth. Our approach is to attack each state differently for every state has myriad problems. Our incessant surveys and people inputs have shown us that Notebandi resulted in a scarcity of jobs, it transcended across class, gender, economic strata. It’s overnight announcement in that it became law as of midnight November 8, broke the back of the people in this country.”

The Congress is buoyant on its Gabbar Singh Tax stratagem which it claims has worked. They will take on an incumbent in Narendra Modi but a defiant Prime Minister whose people connect skills are unquestionable. Somewhere in this convoluted narrative, the Congress is expected to focus on the economy for it reckons that the economy is resembling a shipwreck.

At the vanguard of the Congress electioneering campaign will be “scarcity of jobs, pricing erosion for farmers, ever-lowering demand for MSMES, another casualty of ‘notebandi’, which will bring the focus back on the economy and how it is hurting people of all hues”.

Chucky also confirmed that another imperative was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which worked consistently with the voter as the GOP tried to pinpoint areas of economic weakness which included the emasculation of the venerable institution.

The Congress morale is upbeat as if it has been given an adrenaline shot, winning helps and three states are like ‘sone pe suhaga’. New elements have been introduced in the Congress campaign, there is freshness in its approach in the main people connect.

The BJP won 62 out of 65 LS seats in the 2014 general elections in Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh. Empirical data from these state polls reveals that they have lost 50 of these if LS polls were to take place today. Of course, state polls, by polls and general hustings are fought on different issues.

In parallel with the general elections, three important states will go to the polls — Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and possibly Jammu and Kashmir.

Immediately after the national polls, Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand will go to polls.

The Congress won 206 seats in the 2009 polls to romp home as the single largest party, but by December 2013, after various state polls, the total had been reduced to 106 if one was to collate assembly poll data.

So, if the Congress ended up with 44 in May 2014, it was no surprise, for the erosion was rapid and severe. Not a similar litmus test awaits the BJP besieged by incumbency.

(The first part of the story was carried on Sunday by IANS)

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Congress, opposition doing negative politics over EVMs sensing defeat in 2019 elections: BJP

His remarks came soon after a person named Syed Suja, who claimed that he was part of the team which designed EVMs in India.



New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Accusing the Congress and other opposition parties of indulging in ‘negative politics’ over the electreonic voting machines (EVMs), the BJP on Monday hit out at them, saying that sensing defeat in the coming elections, they have started spreading such rumours.

“There are a few powers behind the hacking, which has hacked the brain of Congress and Congress is working with that mindset,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters here.

His remarks came soon after a person named Syed Suja, who claimed that he was part of the team which designed EVMs in India.

Defending the EVMs, Naqvi said the Election Commission (EC) has number of times asked the political parties to approach it and give evidence over the issue of hacking EVMs. “But they never approached the Commission,” Naqvi said.

“Before elections they (opposition) have started blaming EVMs as they have realised their defeat in the coming elections. They have realised the mood of the people and nation ahead of elections,” he said.

“Congress and a few of its friends are doing negative politics over EVMs,” he alleged.

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EC rejects claims of EVMs rigging in 2014, says its examining legal action



Election Commission

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The Election Commission on Monday firmly rejected claims by a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja that the 2014 elections were rigged, saying it was examining legal action over the “motivated slugfest”.

Soon after Shuja claimed that the 2014 elections were rigged, the Election Commission in statement said, “It has come to the notice of Election Commission that an event claiming to demonstrate EVMs used by EC can be tampered with, has been organised in London.”

“Whereas, ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest, ECI firmly stands by the empirical facts about foolproof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India,” it said.

The Commission said that it needs to be reiterated that these EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under very strict supervisory and security conditions.

“And there are rigorous Standard Operating Procedures meticulously observed at all stages under the supervision of a Committee of eminent technical experts constituted way back in 2010,” it said.

“It is being separately examined as to what legal action can and should be taken in the matter,” the Commission added.


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