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Election

BJP expels Savita Khatri, its Narela candidate of MCD elections

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Delhi, 18 April: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday has expelled Savita Khatri, who was the candidate in MCD elections from Narela ward No.1-N and withdraws her as the party candidate.

The BJP’s move comes after former Aam Aadmi Party minister Sandeep Kumar allegedly ‘campaigned’ for Khatri.

However, she will continue to contest for the Delhi civic polls as the time limit to change the candidate has been over.

Sandeep Kumar, a former minister in the AAP government in Delhi, was sacked from the party last year over a sex tape purportedly featuring him.

The saffron party had yesterday denied that Kumar has campaigned for one of its candidates.

A video clip had recently surfaced purportedly showing Kumar slamming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and extending his support to the BJP candidate from Narela, Savita Khatri.

On Sunday, the Sultanpur Majra MLA was allegedly present in person at Khatri’s rally.

“It’s a well-planned conspiracy of AAP to harm the BJP’s poll prospects at Narela,” Delhi BJP vice-president Rajiv Babbar had said, adding that Kumar was not invited to the rally and he went away after talking to the media.

“AAP volunteers are running a social media campaign to defame our party,” Delhi BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar added.

 Wefornews Bureau

Election

BJP ally JD-U favours simultaneous Lok Sabha, assembly polls

Our party has been a supporter of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha and we are ready for it.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Wednesday said the party is in favour of holding simultaneous elections to parliament and state assemblies in 2019.

JD-U state President Bashistha Narain Singh said his party was ready for mid-term assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

“Our party has been a supporter of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha and we are ready for it,” Singh told the media here.

The JD-U’s remarks come at a time when speculations are rife that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may go for early Lok Sabha polls along with assembly elections in 20 states.

After the JD-U joined hands with the BJP and formed the government in Bihar last year, Singh had said the party was ready for mid-term assembly polls along with parliamentary elections.

Later, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also supported Modi’s stand on simultaneous polls.

“I favour and support in principle a synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the country,” Nitish Kumar had said.

Going a step further, he said that elections to Panchayats and urban local bodies should also be conducted along with the two-phase polls. “It will save unnecessary expenditure.”

Singh, considered close to Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD-U president, said his party had no problems if the Election Commission also held Bihar Assembly polls in 2019.

“We are in favour of simultaneous elections to Bihar Assembly and Lok Sabha,” Singh said.

Next assembly polls in Bihar are due in 2020.

Last assembly elections in the state were held in 2015 when the Grand Alliance of the JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress defeated the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

A Grand Alliance government led by Nitish Kumar was formed then.

However, in July 2017, Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance to form a government with the BJP.

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Election

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to be BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate from UP

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New Delhi, Dec 29: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday named Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Uttar Pradesh.

An IFS officer of 1974 batch, Puri has served as India’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. He was also a Chairman of United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee.

The seat had fallen vacant after Goa Chief Minister and the then Defence Minister Manohar Parikar had quit his membership of the upper house and shifted back to his home state.

BJP general secretary JP Nadda announced Puri’s name, saying the central election committee of the party cleared the name of former diplomat-turned-politician.

By-election to fill up the Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh will take place on January 16.

WeForNews 

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Alabama officials certify Democrat Doug Jones’ U.S. Senate win over Roy Moore

Jones was officially declared the winner of the Dec. 12 special election. Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick denied Moore’s request for a restraining order to stop Alabama’s canvassing board from certifying Jones’ victory on Thursday.

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MONTGOMERY,  —Democrat Doug Jones’ historic victory over Republican Roy Moore was declared official Thursday as Alabama election officials certified him the winner of the special Senate election earlier this month, despite claims of voter irregularities from his opponent.

Jones defeated Moore on Dec. 12 by about 22,000 votes in a stunning victory in a deeply red state. It was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama. Moore was dogged by accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls that occurred decades ago.

The state’s former chief justice refused to concede and even filed a last-ditch lawsuit hours before the certification, but a judge rejected his claims. Alabama election officials also found no evidence of voting irregularities.

A spokesperson for Jones earlier called Moore’s lawsuit a “desperate attempt … to subvert the will of the people.”

“The election is over. It’s time to move on,” Sam Coleman wrote in an email.

Jones will be sworn in on Jan. 3, narrowing the GOP’s advantage in the U.S. Senate to 51-49. He takes over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The term expires in January 2021.

Jones is a former U.S. attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for Birmingham’s infamous 1963 church bombing.

Moore’s campaign was deeply wounded by the sexual misconduct accusations. Moore denied the accusations and said in the lawsuit that he had passed a polygraph test to prove they are false.

Moore’s attorney wrote in the wide-ranging complaint that he believed there were irregularities during the election, including that voters may have been brought in from other states. He attached a statement from a poll worker that she had noticed licenses from Georgia and North Carolina as people signed in to vote.

The complaint also noted the higher-than-expected turnout in the race, particularly in Jefferson County, and said Moore’s numbers were suspiciously lower than straight-ticket Republican voting in about 20 Jefferson County precincts. The complaint asked for a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue as election integrity should matter to everyone,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said he had not found any evidence of voter fraud, but that his office will investigate any complaint Moore submits.

Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine, said Moore’s complaint did not raise the sort of issues that lead courts to overturn an election. He said Moore’s complaint might just be a way for him to fundraise and throw “red meat to his loyal supporters.”

Moore has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud.

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