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Election

BJP set to sweep Delhi MCD polls, AAP alleges EVM tampering

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New Delhi, Apr 26 : Steamrolling opposition, the BJP today swept the MCD polls, trouncing the Aam Aadmi Party that rules Delhi and decimating the Congress, in an election which was billed as a referendum on the Arvind Kejriwal government.

Delhi’s overwhelming rejection of the AAP came barely two years into its meteoric rise in the 2015 Assembly polls when it had clinched an unprecedented 67 of the 70 seats.

Today, it was left with just 48 wards in its kitty out of the 272 spread across the three municipal corporations in the national capital.

After its abysmal performance in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls when it could manage to win just three seats, the BJP added muscle to its decade-long domination of the corporations effortlessly bucking anti-incumbency, with the electorate giving a thumbs up to its gamble of fielding all fresh faces.

The results are being seen as a ringing endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and a reflection of his unmatched popularity.

Taking forward its stupendous electoral successes in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP won 181 seats, putting paid to Congress’ hopes of a revival in the national capital which it ruled uninterruptedly for 15 years between 1998 and 2013. Congress could win just 30 seats.

The BJP’s corporation-wise tally is: SDMC – 70, NDMC – 64 and EDMC – 47 as against AAP’s 16, 21 and 11 and Congress’ 12, 15 and 3 wards.

AAP’s abject defeat, which came close on the heels of its abysmal performance in the Assembly polls in Goa, where it failed to open account, and poorer than expected show in Punjab, does not portend well for the party which is bracing itself for a bigger battle in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf Gujarat. Assembly election is Gujarat is due later this year.

As the AAP hit a political low after successive jolts in the Punjab and Goa Assembly polls, and the Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll here, there were murmurs of discontent in the party.

Its Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey resigned while Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba offered to step down owing responsibility for the debacle, pointing towards an impending churning in the party.

Delhi’s Water Resources Minister Kapil Mishra, a popular face, called for “introspection” instead of raking up the issue of alleged manipulation of EVMs.

The ripple effect of AAP’s defeat in Delhi was felt in Punjab where knives were out, with party MP Bhagwant Mann assailing the party leadership for the loss in the assembly election.

Mann alleged that the AAP leadership was behaving like a “mohalla (neighbourhood) cricket team” and said there was no use of finding falut with the EVMs.

There were noises of discontent in Congress, too, with Sheila Dikshit, who led the party’s government for 15 years in Delhi, calling for “introspection”.

“The party was not able top reach out (to voters) the way we should have. Any excuse can be given when you don’t want to do anything. The decision has to be taken by the high command.

The leadership needs to introspect,” she said.

Dikshit, who did not campaign, said Ajay Maken, the party’s state unit chief, did not involve senior leaders in electioneering.

“I was not asked for campaigning then how could have I gone for it,” Dikshit said.

A jubilant Modi, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude to the people of Delhi for reposing faith in the BJP and ensuring its resounding victory.

“I laud the hardwork of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible,” he tweeted.

In his first reaction, Kejriwal promised all cooperation to the civic bodies and refrained from commenting on EVMs, the “manipulation” of which he had identified as the reason behind AAP’s string of poll upsets.

“I congratulate BJP on their victory in all 3 MCDs. My govt looks forward to working wid MCDs for the betterment of Delhi,” Kejriwal, who went into a huddle with top leaders of the AAP as the results trickled in early in the day, tweeted.

The Congress, which was hoping to bounce back in Delhi, has also been consigned to political wilderness, at least for the time being. Ajay Maken, who steered the party’s Delhi unit over the last two years, resigned.

The grand old party did increase its vote share from 9.7 per cent in the 2015 assembly polls to 21.2 per cent in the civic elections, but the scale of the defeat overshadowed whatever little gains it made.

In the 2012 municipal polls, BJP had garnered 36.74 per cent vote share and the Congress 30.50 per cent. The AAP was yet to make its electoral debut then.

The opposition called it a “referendum” on the Kejriwal government and demanded that the CM resign.

Experts credited the BJP’s landslide victory to the “Modi wave”, while the AAP’s debacle was described as the bursting of a political bubble.

Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), was of the view that the AAP’s defeat will “reduce its chances of survival”.

“The way the AAP has been routed, its chances of survival have been reduced. Parties contest elections all the time, they win and they lose as well, it should not be too worrisome for them. But, the AAP’s case is different,” he said.

Election

Gujarat election: EC orders repolling in 6 booths of 2nd phase on December 17

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Election
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New Delhi, 16 December: Election Commission on Saturday (16th December) announced repolling in 6 polling stations of Gujarat on Sunday. The polling stations include Vadgam, Viramgam, Daskroi, and Savli.

The Election Commission also informed that the counting of votes of 10 polling stations would be done through counting of slips in VVPAT. As the Presiding officers in 10 polling stations in Visnagar, Becharaji, Modasa, Vejalpur, Vatva, Jamalpur-Khadia, Savli & Sankheda didn’t clear from the Control units the votes cast during mock poll.

In the second phase of Gujarat election two of the booths where repolling will be conducted fall under the Vadgam seat where polling was suspended after ink marks were found on the election symbol of Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani on the EVM and a BJP candidate raised an objection.

WeForNews

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Punjab municipal polls on Sunday, all arrangements made

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Chandigarh, Dec 16: Punjab’s State Election Commission has made all arrangements for the smooth conduct of municipal polls on Sunday.

The ruling Congress, main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance are contesting the polls December 17.

It would be the first big electoral outing for all three after the assembly elections in March.

“The process of voting to elect representatives to three municipal corporations and 29 municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats would begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.,” a spokesman of the State Election Commission said on Saturday.

The results will be declared on Sunday evening.

Polling would be held for the municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala.

The election for the municipal corporation of Punjab’s largest city, Ludhiana, was not being held as the electoral rolls were not updated.

Polling would also be held for 327 wards of the 29 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats.

Candidates in 90 wards have won unopposed, the spokesman said.

There would be a total of 873 polling stations in the state, having 1,938 polling booths. A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel would perform duties at these polling stations.

The Akali Dal-BJP and AAP have accused the ruling Congress of misusing its power in the run-up to the municipal polls.

A total of 413 candidates are in the fray in 85 wards of Amritsar where 769,153 voters will exercise their franchise.

In Jalandhar, 305 candidates are in the fray from 80 wards. The number of voters there is 560,261. In Patiala, election will be held in 57 wards in which 260,664 voters can exercise their franchise.

This is the first big election in the state after the Congress government, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, came to power after assembly poll results in March.

The Congress won 77 out of 117 seats in the assembly. The AAP finished second with 20 seats.

IANS

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Election

Looking into Congress complaint against PM: EC

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Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha
Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha

New Delhi : The Election Commission on Thursday said it is looking into the Congress’ complaint of violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad, and also clarified that it has not filed an FIR against Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress has accused the Prime Minister of breaking the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by taking out a ‘road show’ after casting his vote on Thursday.

“We have received this complaint in the afternoon, this is being examined and we will let you know,” Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said in response to a question.

After coming out of the polling booth at Ranip, in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister stood on the steps of the vehicle in which he was travelling and waved to the crowd on the road and showed his inked finger. He continued to do so for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sinha also clarified that the poll panel did not register any FIR against Rahul Gandhi for his TV interviews, and has only sent him a notice, seeking his response in five days.

“I would like to inform that yesterday morning a complaint had come about the interview being shown repeatedly on some channels. Due diligence was done. First of all no FIR has been filed against Rahul Gandhi,” Sinha said.

He said other complaints made by the Congress are also being examined.

He said the poll panel gave representatives of the Congress party time for a meeting, and heard the allegations that they had to make.

“Till about midnight, the Commission deliberated and even in the thick of elections, we immediately sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer,” he said.

Sinha said the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat sent a report by around mid-day on Thursday on “all points and allegations made by the delegation of Congress”.

“Based on that the matter is under examination. Commission will soon brief on that,” he said.

“Commission has to put in due diligence before taking a decision. The report had been received at mid-day, the entire Election Commission has been busy. The Commission is still doing deliberation on the report received from the Chief Electoral Officer. We will let you know as the Commission takes a decision on it,” he said.

IANS

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