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Patna, Sep 18 : The Election Commission of India (ECI) has has asked authorities to prepare a separate voters list for Corona-positive patients.

The decision was taken on Friday amid campaigning for the Bihar elections, expected to be held in October or November this year.

The idea is to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus, while allowing patients to exercise their right to vote.

As per the Commission’s strategy, there would be separate queues for Covid patients at polling stations.

The ECI has also made it mandatory for polling officers, presiding officers and polling agents of different political parties to be equipped with proper safety gear.

In another development, the ECI is expected to raise the limit for expenses which can be incurred by individual candidates on the election campaign.

An ECI officer said that different political parties have urged that the expenditure limit be raised to Rs 2 lakh owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The earlier limit was set at Rs 26 lakh.

The officer said that ECI may consult the law ministry on the issue.


Congress’s Digvijaya Singh Demands Postal Ballots Be Cancelled In Madhya Pradesh

MP Bypolls 2020: Earlier in the day, Congress workers staged a protest outside the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer in Bhopal.




digvijay singh

Bhopal: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday demanded that the Election Commission cancel the postal ballots polled so far for the November 3 Madhya Pradesh by-elections as candidates have yet not been given the list of such voters.

Earlier in the day, Congress workers staged a protest outside the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer in Bhopal.

Later, a three-member delegation led by Mr Singh met the Election Commission (EC) officials.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Singh said, “Our main demands were that postal ballots polled so far be cancelled and a list of such voters be provided to all candidates.”

The Congress leader said the officials informed that the EC is going to hold a meeting on the issue on Tuesday.

He also said the transfers of government officials in the bypoll-bound districts should be stopped and only those officials, against whom a complaint was lodged and was verified, should be removed.

Mr Singh alleged that some police officials were influencing voters in favour of the ruling BJP.

He thanked the EC for removing some police officials against whom complaints were made.

“We are keeping an eye on the police officers against whom complaints are reaching to us. We warn them that Congress leaders know how to deal with such elements whether we stay in the government or not, though we are returning to power,” the Congress veteran said.

Alleging that police officers in the Gwalior-Chambal region were doing “netagiri” (leadership), he said the Congress has been taking it seriously.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused state Congress president Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh of threatening the government officers and employees.

“Kamal Nath ji and Digvijay Singh ji are threatening the officers and employees nowadays after anticipating their possible defeat. Words like we will see, we will deal with it are being used,” Chouhan said in a tweet.

“We appeal to the Election Commission to take suo motu cognisance on this issue,” he added.

By-elections to 28 Assembly seats in the state are scheduled on November 3.

Twenty-five of these seats fell vacant after sitting Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP, leading to the collapse of the Kamal Nath-led state government.

Besides, three seats fell vacant due to the death of their sitting MLAs.

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Sonia Gandhi: JDU-BJP govt deviated from its path, high on power and ego

“A serious crisis has befallen the farmers of India. The lives of Dalits and Mahadalits have been destroyed and similar is the fate of the backward sections of society,” Sonia Gandhi said.



Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

A day before the first phase of voting for Bihar elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday alleged the JDU-BJP government has deviated from its path and was “high on power and ego”, saying the time has come for ushering in a change in the state.

In a four-minute video shared on the Congress’ Twitter handle, Gandhi said the Nitish Kumar-led government is “neither saying good nor doing good” and labourers are helpless, farmers are upset and youth disappointed with it.

“Drunk on power and arrogance, the government in Bihar has deviated from its path. Their words and deeds are suspect. The labourers are helpless, the farmers are upset and the youth are disappointed. People are bearing the brunt of the fragile state of the economy.

“A serious crisis has befallen the farmers of India. The lives of Dalits and Mahadalits have been destroyed and similar is the fate of the backward sections of society,” she charged.

“The people of Bihar are with the Congress Mahagathbandhan and this is the call of Bihar,” she also said.

She alleged that the NDA governments in Delhi and Bihar have brought demonetisation, Covid-19 lockdown, economic shutdown which affected employments in the state. She also called upon people of the state to build a “new Bihar” for the next generation and crop.

“Time has come for ushering in change in the state,” she said, noting that governments cannot be formed on fear and crime.

In its manifesto, the Congress has promised to review the decision to ban the sale and consumption of liquor in the state, saying it has hurt the exchequer. The party, which is contesting polls with Left parties and RJD, has also promised Rs 1500 monthly allowance to the unemployed youth.

Voting for the first phase of Bihar assembly elections is tomorrow with 71 constituencies going to vote in six districts, including some of the Naxal-hit areas. The second and third phase of polling will be held on November 3 and November 7 and the counting on November 10.

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Here are 11 questions Tejashwi has asked Modi ahead of his rallies in Bihar




Tejashwi Yadav

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday sought to corner the BJP by putting 11 questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his election rallies in Bihar during the day.

Modi will address several rallies on Wednesday in Assembly seats where elections will be held in the second phase.

“AIIMS at Darbhanga was announced in the 2015 Assembly elections. Why has its construction started just before the 2020 Assembly elections despite the ‘double engine’ government in Bihar?” Tejashwi asked.

“Since PM Modi will address a rally in Muzaffarpur, I want to ask him to speak up on the most heinous gang rape of 34 minor girls in a government shelter home. Moreover, the Chief Minister was involved in the protection of the main accused. He went to the birthday party of the main accused, gave financial aid and also party ticket to her to contest these Assembly elections,” Tejashwi said while referring to former Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma who had to resign after the case surfaced.

“The ‘double engine’ government had promised to set up super multispeciality hospitals in Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur. Why are these two projects not completed yet?

“The ‘double engine’ government also promised to build a university for skilling in Bihar. Why has it not been established yet?

“When massive waterlogging occurred in Patna, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi left a person to die and fled the spot. Can he talk about the pathetic situation of the Patna Municipal Corporation?

“The PM should also talk about the 10 dirtiest cities of the country. Why six of these cities are in Bihar?” asked Tejashwi, who is the chief ministerial face of the Mahagathbandhan.

“Nitish Kumar is the weakest Chief Minister in the country who was unable to convert the Patna University into a central university despite having good political backing, including 39 out of 40 MPs of Bihar who belong to the NDA.

“Why are large number of youths unemployed in Bihar? How many jobs have the Centre and the state created in the last six and 15 years respectively?

“Why is labour migration taking place on such a large scale during the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar?

“Why did the Bihar government not allow migrant workers to enter Bihar during the nationwide lockdown? Why did it not rescue thousands of Bihari students from Kota in Rajasthan?

“The PM himself pointed out 33 scams during the 2015 Assembly election campaign in Bihar to counter Nitish Kumar. Now, 27 more scams have been added to the tally. Moreover, the culprits are roaming freely in the state,” Tejashwi said.

The RJD leader said that he expected Modi replies on these 11 posers.

The elections for 243 Assembly seats will be held in three phases – for 71 seats on October 28, for 94 seats on November 3, and remaining 78 on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.

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