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Amid UP landslide, BJP discusses CM probables

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Lucknow, March 11: With the BJP set for a landslide in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, speculations are rife within and outside party circles about the new Chief Minister.

For some, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also a probable candidate for the top post in the state. The names of state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, Union Minister Manoj Sinha and even Yogi Adityanath are doing the rounds.

Rajnath Singh has been the Chief Minister for a little over one year between 2001 and 2002. The Thakur leader, however, may not be a favourite since he is not seen as “too cosily” by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah team.

Maurya is from a Most Backward Caste and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha MP from Phoolpur in Allahabad.

Maurya led from the front in the 2017 assembly polls in the most populous and politically significant state in the country. He criss-crossed the state in the last one year and is credited to have brought the most backward castes to the BJP camp.

BJP President Amit Shah, sources say, “designed the poll strategy in such a way that Maurya’s naming as the state unit chief pepped up the MBC voters”.

Maurya came up to the expectations and is indeed a front runner, a senior party leader told IANS.

The Phoolpur MP, however, refused to bite the bait and said the BJP is a “democratic party where things such as these are discussed by the Parliamentary Board”.

“Till now, I was given charge of the state unit and marshalling the forces for an electoral win. I have discharged that job to the best of my abilities,” he added.

Another name doing the rounds is of Manoj Sinha, the Union Minister of State for Railways. He is from Poorvanchal, where the BJP is focussing big time.

Known as “amicable” and a quiet worker, he has endeared himself to the party leadership. But many insiders feel he may not make it to the finishing line, since the BJP high command’s tilt is towards an MBC or Other Backward Class.

Having decimated the Bahujan Samaj Party and hugely dented the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the OBC vote bank, the BJP is now trying to strike a balance between the Dalits, OBCs and MBCs as well as the Brahmin-Thakur voters who have long supported the party.

Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani’s name has often cropped up in drawing room discussions. Being a good orator and a woman, she stands some chance, many in the BJP feel. But a section says this seems unlikely as “Modi and his team will not like to suffer for her failures in future”

Firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath, a vocal section of the party feels, should be the next Chief Minister. But his style of politics — speaking of ‘ghar wapasi’, ‘love jihad’ and its kind — don’t make him a favourite beyond the Gorakhpur belt.

Dinesh Sharma, the Lucknow mayor and party’s national Vice-President, many feel also is in the reckoning. A Brahmin face is something the party needs, a state office- bearer said.

The name of BJP National Spokesman Srikant Sharma, who contested from Mathura, is also being thrown up by some. However, there is also a feeling that “after the Akhilesh disaster for a big state like Uttar Pradesh”, the BJP will not toy with a young person, who has not even held any office so far apart from having experience in party organisation.

The BJP Parliamentary Board is slated to meet in New Delhi later on Saturday to discuss the issue of Chief Minister. A final decision is, however, likely to be taken after Holi on March 13 when the state BJP legislature party meets. Till then, rumour mills will keep working overtime in the land of Awadh.
By Mohit Dubey

IANS

Election

Jayanagar By Poll Results: Congress’ Sowmya Reddy wins

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Bengaluru, June 13: The Congress on Wednesday won the election in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar constituency. 

Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy defeated BJP’s BN Prahlad by nearly 3000 votes.

With this victory, the Congress now has 79 seats in the Karnataka assembly.

The election was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate B.N. Vijayakumar.

BJP has fielded his brother B.N. Prahalad. Former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy is the Congress candidate.

On the related note, although Karnataka went to polls on May 12, elections in Jayanagar constituency was postponed to June 11.

Counting of votes for the 222 of the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka held on May 15.

In the state assembly election, though the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, the Congress party with 78 seats and JD(S) with 37 seats, along with two independent candidates, stitched up a post-poll alliance with a total strength of 117 MLAs.

Even though the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invited the saffron party  to form the government with a time period of 15 days to prove their majority on the floor of the house, the Supreme Court in an interim order directed the floor test to be held in just two days, even after Yeddyurappa had sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state.

Failed to garner the required number of votes to form Government in the state, Yeddyurappa resigned as the Chief Minister ahead top court-ordered floor test on May 19.

Following this, ending the 10-day political turmoil in the southern state, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy won the floor test after 117 MLAs voted in his favour May 26.

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Jayanagar By Election: 51% voter turnout recorded till 5 PM

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Elections

Bengaluru, June 11: Around 51% voter turnout recorded till 5 PM in the Jayanagar assembly constituency on Monday. 

The election was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate B.N. Vijayakumar.

“34.05% voter turnout recorded till 1 PM in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar assembly constituency”, ANI reported.

BJP has fielded his brother B.N. Prahalad. Former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy is the Congress candidate.

According to news PTI, 10 per cent voting recorded till 9 am.

On the related note, Voting for the Karnataka assembly elections had taken place on May 12.

Counting of votes for the 222 of the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka held on May 15.

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Maharashtra CM violated poll codes: Congress complains to EC

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Congress

Mumbai/New Delhi, June 5: The Maharashtra Congress on Tuesday filed a formal complaint alleging violations of the Model Code of Conduct by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the recently held Lok Sabha by-elections in Palghar.

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Tuesday said a three-page plea has been handed over to Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat in the Election Commission headquarters in New Delhi.

According to news agency IANS report, the complaint details various incidents whereby Fadnavis allegedly violated the Model Code of Conduct in force during the by-poll, making announcements of various schemes, missing voters names and other discrepancies.

The plea has been sent in the name of Congress candidate in Palghar, Damodar Shingada, Former-MP, seeking a strong action against Fadnavis and other concerned officials.

Shingada noted that during the election, the Congress complained to the Returning Officers several times regarding these violations but no action was taken against them by the poll panel.

The Congress leader highlighted Fadnavis’ announcements promising waiver of ‘khavati’ loans and disbursal of new ‘khavati’ loans for tribals, a new medical college in the district, excluding 29 villages from the jurisdiction of Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation.

Then came Fadnavis’ hugely controversial remarks exhorting BJP workers to use “Saam Daam, Dand Bhed” to clinch victory in Palghar elections at any cost, which Shingada described as a threat to ‘the people and opposition parties’, the instances of the saffron party workers caught distributing cash at the behest of local district party chief, and violation of the Rs 70 lakh spending limit by the winning BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit.

The plea also pointed out how a large number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) — 282 in Palghar and 250 in Bhandara-Gondiya — were down due to technical glitches for hours.

The Congress complaint came six days after the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray described the Palghar Lok Sabha by-elections as “a farce”.

On May 31, Thackeray had charged that large-scale manipulations were made in the EVMs with the knowledge of the EC officials.

In the two Lok Sabha bypolls in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party retained the Palghar seat, but it lost the Bhandara-Gondiya seat to the Nationalist Congress Party.

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