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Ballot paper for Sri Lanka presidential election finalised

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SRI LANKA ELECTION PREPARATION

Colombo, Oct 15 : The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has finalised the symbols for all 35 candidates contesting the November 16 presidential election and has also released a sample of the ballot paper which places name of candidates in alphabetical order, it was reported on Tuesday.

The first name on the list is of Aparekkhe Pannananda Thera who is contesting as an Independent candidate while former Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake who is the National People’s Party (NPP) candidate is last on the list, reports the Colombo-based Daily Financial Times newspaper.

The most important candidates, the ruling United National Party’s (UNP) Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa who is contesting as the National Democratic Front (NDF) candidate features on the 19th spot, while Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate and former Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s number is 25.

The Commission had said last week that the ballot paper for this election will be 26 inches long with the record number of candidates vying for the top job and this is would push the election bill close to 5 billion Sri Lankan rupees.

It added that bigger ballot boxes would be needed to enable people to cast their votes without inconvenience.

Meanwhile with the election campaign in full swing, the Commission also urged candidates to abide by the Code of Conduct which specially focuses on hate speech or speech prejudicial to national harmony.

It has also urged political parties, candidates and their supporters to abstain from hate speech of any form including speech that threatens or insults communities or social groups, especially women, persons with special needs or disabled, those of different sexual orientation and other religious or ethnic groups.

This will be the island nation’s eighth presidential election, with incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena’s term coming to an end on January 2020.

Election

Former Unnao MP Annu Tandon Resigns From Congress

In a statement released to the media, Annu Tandon said that she has sent her resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi and requested her to accept it immediately.

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Annu Tandon

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Congress removed senior leader Annu Tandon from the party on Thursday shortly after she announced her resignation citing “misalignment with the state-level leadership”.

Training her gun on the state leaders, Ms Tandon said she has sent her resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi.

When asked about it, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said she “has been expelled from the party for six years on charges of anti-party activities”.

She had “not been taking interest in party programmes for a long time” and the disciplinary committee of the party looked into these charges, Mr Lallu added.

The development comes days ahead of the November 3 by-election in Bangarmau Assembly seat under Unnao, once represented by Tandon in Lok Sabha.

In a statement released to the media in the morning, Ms Tandon said that she has requested Sonia Gandhi to accept her resignation immediately.

While stating that she had continuously received warmth and guidance of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during her 15-year association with the party, Ms Tandon said there is a “misalignment between the state-level leadership” and she did not see their support coming her way since the past several months.

“The state leadership of the party has focused only on social media management and self branding and is oblivious to the deep divisions in the party and the voters it has thus caused,” Ms Tandon said.

She said canards were being spread about her and her associates by the local, irrelevant, and chosen few.

Terming it both “painful and disgusting”, she said there was no attempt by the party leadership to stem this.

Ms Tandon said she had raised the matter with in-charge of UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had assured that the Congress president is fully apprised of the situation. However, the matter had remained unresolved.

“My ideology and principles have been aligned with the senior leadership of the party and my resignation does not change this,” she said, adding she would be consulting her workers on the future path.

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Election

Did PM Modi have tea with you all? Rahul Gandhi asks at Champaran rally

Blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for migrant crisis, Rahul Gandhi asked why PM Modi has stopped talking about creating employment opportunities.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Addressing his election rally at Champaran, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday doubled down on BJP-JD(U) for “destroying” Bihar as polling is underway in 71 constituencies of the state in the first phase of Bihar Assembly Election 2020.

“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came here last time he promised that a sugar factory will be set up here and he will have tea with you all. Do you remember? Did he have tea with you?” Rahul Gandhi said. The Congress leader said he was surprised to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigies getting burnt in Dussehra in Punjab. This is sad and should not happen as he is the prime minister of the country, but this how Punjab farmers feel about him, Rahul Gandhi added.

WATCH: ‘Did PM Modi have tea with you?’: Rahul Gandhi’s jibe in Bihar

“What Nitish Kumar did to Bihar in 2006, PM Modi is doing the same to Punjab and to the rest of the country,” Rahul Gandhi said referring to the three farm laws recently passed by Parliament.

Talking about Bihar’s unemployment, Rahul Gandhi said, “ Nowadays, PM Modi does not talk about jobs. Because Bihar people won’t believe in his lies anymore. Congress has been in Centre for decades. We know how to rule. But of course, we have some shortcomings. We can’t lie through our teeth.”

“Why do Bihar people have to go to other states for jobs? Do our Bihar brothers and sisters lack in anything? No, your CM and PM lack,” Rahul Gandhi said.

On Covid-19-induced lockdown, the Congress leader said, “Noteban and lockdown followed similar trends. PM Modi announced both at the last moment. Middle class and lower middle class people suffered the most, while the industrialists were cushioned.”

Rahul Gandhi will address another rally on Wednesday at Kuseshwar Sthan in Darbhanga. Earlier, he addressed two election rallies, at Hisua in Nawada and Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur, to boost the electioneering for the first phase polls.

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Bihar Election: 53.54% vote in ‘peaceful’ first phase

Due to security and logistical reasons, polling was held in some areas till 3 pm and in some areas till 4 pm while 36 seats were held till 6 pm.

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2019 Election India

Patna: A total 53.54 per cent voters exercised their franchise as polling was conducted peacefully on Wednesday in 71 assembly constituencies in Bihar for the first phase of assembly elections.

H.R. Srinivas, Chief electoral officer of Bihar said elections for the first phase were held across 16 districts including the four Naxal-affected districts of Gaya, Aurangabad, Lakhisarai and Shekhpura.

“The polling was conducted in Naxal-affected constituencies till 4 pm and 37 constituencies till 6 PM. We have allowed voters to cast their votes beyond 6 pm as they entered the polling premises. We have also extended time for some of the booths where polling was started late due to technical errors in EVM and VVPATs,” added Srinivas.

Srinivas pointed out that the polling percentage was almost similar to 2015 when the turnout was 54.57 per cent.

An official of the state Election Commission said that the first phase of polling was peaceful, with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere so far.

In the first phase of elections, 53.54 per cent voters exercised their franchise. The voter turnout was 59.57 per cent in Banka, 54.2 per cent in Bhagalpur, 47.36 in Munger, 55.44 in Lakhisarai, 55.96 per cent in Sheikhpura, 52.51 per cent in Patna and 48.29 per cent in Bhojpur.

In addition, 54.07 per cent people exercised their franchise in Buxar, 56.20 per cent in Kaimur, 49.59 per cent in Rohtas, 53.85 per cent in Arwal, 53.93 per cent in Jahanabad, 52.85 per cent in Aurangabad, 57.05 per cent in Gaya, 52.34 per cent in Nawada and 57.41 per cent in Jamui.

In the first phase, polling was held in 71 assembly constituencies spread over 16 districts of the state. According to the state election commission, 31,371 polling booths were set up for 2.14 crore voters In the first phase, 1066 candidates including 114 women are in the fray.

According to the Commission, EVMs were initially reported to have malfunctioned in several polling booths, but the glitch was later corrected. Paramilitary forces were deployed at all polling booths for the first phase of polling and special preparations were made for the corona.

Due to security and logistical reasons, polling was held in some areas till 3 pm and in some areas till 4 pm while 36 seats were held till 6 pm.

In the first phase, international shooter Shreyasi Singh from Jamui, contesting on a BJP ticket, was one of the prominent faces in the electoral fray. Other prominent candidates include BJP’s Prem Kumar, former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Krishnandan Prasad Verma, Jai Kumar Singh, Ramnarayan Mandal, Vijay Kumar Sinha and Brij Kishore Bind, among other ministers.

Out of these 71 seats, the RJD has 25 seats while the JD(U) has 23 seats. In addition, the BJP has 13 and the Congress eight.

In Bihar, elections are being held in three phases for 243 assembly seats. Counting of votes will be held on 10th November.

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