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Congress, a laughing club out on bail for corruption: Modi



PM Modi in Kangra HP
PM Narendra Modi Photo tweeted by ANI

Kangra, Nov 2 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday tore into the Congress government in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, saying the party leadership had made itself a “laughing club” that vows zero tolerance towards graft but was out on bail on corruption charges.

“We all need to look at the Congress. We should appreciate their courage. Yesterday, they released a manifesto vowing zero tolerance on corruption if the Congress returns to power. They have a gall to claim there will be zero tolerance against corruption,” Modi told an election rally in this town ahead of Himachal’s November 8 Assembly polls.

He targeted Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who has been charged by the CBI of holding assets disproportionate to his known sources of income: “Singh ‘saheb’ is claiming there will be zero tolerance against corruption. Can anyone believe him? Can you digest it?”

Modi asked this to the crowd repeatedly.

“The Congress has become a laughing club. Their Chief Minister has a corruption case against him. He is out on a bail. Nothing is left for them and they have lost their hold from every part of the country.”

He said this was not the Congress of Mahatma Gandhi or of freedom fighters “but of corruption, dynasty politics and casteism.

“The Congress is an epitome of rotten thought. When we say we want the country rid of the Congress, we mean to rid the country of this rotten thought.”

Modi said the Congress needed to introspect why a “forgiving country like India” was out to punish its leaders “by turning away from them one by one”.

Donning a Himachali cap, the Prime Minister called the state a land of “martyrs and soldiers” and said the Congress government had patronised “mafias in the Devbhoomi”.

“There are five monsters in Himachal Pradesh – mining mafia, forest mafia, drug mafia, tender mafia and transfer mafia.

“These five monsters are looting your resources, future, spreading corruption and nepotism and snatching away the future of the youth.”

The BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal and former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar were present at Modi’s rally.

Trying to reconnect with voters, the Prime Minister said: “I have worked extensively in Himachal Pradesh, am familiar with its cities and know each and every street here. On November 9 you have the opportunity to bid farewell to the people who have looted the state.

“The lotus will bloom in Himachal and there will be an end to corruption,” he said.

He also took a dig at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for meeting the Chinese Ambassador at the height of a military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam.

He alleged that Gandhi sought Doklam details from the Chinese envoy but didn’t believe what the government had to say about the disputed plateau.

“Instead of asking Indian diplomats and the foreign ministry, you go and ask the Chinese envoy. Isn’t it insulting when these people talked to Chinese on Doklam instead of asking the elected government?

“Sorry to say, this shows lack of primary understanding. The country knows how the Doklam issue was dealt with, but the Congress even questioned that,” he added.



Recount of presidential votes in Wisconsin ends, reaffirms Biden’s win




Joe Biden

Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin has been reaffirmed after two of the state’s largest counties completed the recount of the ballots cast in the November 3 presidential election, with just a little change in the tally.

The Democratic former Vice President’s lead over incumbent President Donald Trump in the key swing state grew by 87 votes, after the latter gained 45 votes in the Dane County recount and Biden got a 132-vote net gain in the Milwaukee county recount, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statewide tally showed Biden won Wisconsin by over 20,000 votes.

The Trump campaign has, as required by state law, paid $3 million for the recount, only to see his defeat more apparent.

A day before the recount results, Trump had tweeted on Saturday that he would file a lawsuit “Monday or Tuesday” to continue challenging the results.

“The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally,” he said.

“We have found many illegal votes.”

Wisconsin is set to certify the results on Tuesday.

Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative voter group, has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, asking the state’s Supreme Court to prevent the certification.

But Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ attorneys filed a response to the lawsuit on November 27, calling the group’s effort a “brazen attack on democracy itself” and asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss it.

The Democratic Governor said the lawsuit was a “mishmash of legal distortions” that attempted to disenfranchise millions of Wisconsin residents.

He said failing to certify the election results would alter other election results across the state, throwing the government into chaos.

Trump also suffered consecutive legal defeats in Pennsylvania, as the state’s Supreme Court on Saturday ruled against a Republican-filed case alleging voting irregularities, after a federal appeals court denied his re-election campaign’s effort to appeal its own case that was rejected by a lower court.

Trump told Fox News on Sunday that he “would like to file one nice big beautiful lawsuit” in the US Supreme Court, complaining that “it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court”.

He said the high court needs to be “willing to make a real big decision”, adding he’s got “the best Supreme Court advocates, lawyers that want to argue the case if it gets there”.

Last week, US District Judge Matthew Brann rejected the Trump campaign’s lawsuit accusing Pennsylvania of allowing voters to fix errors in the mail-in ballots and seeking to prevent the state from certifying the results.

The judge also refused the campaign to file an amended complaint.

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Around 52% Polling recorded in 1st phase of DDC Polls in Jammu and Kashmir

The SEC said that the DDC elections will play a decisive role for development at the grass-roots level.





Jammu: State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma said on Saturday that the first phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir has been conducted successfully with a voter turnout of 51.76%.

The polling was by and large peaceful in the 43 constituencies of DDC that went to the polls on Saturday in which 3,62,766 voters, including 1,93,375 males and 1,69,391 females, out of 7,00,842 voters, exercised their franchise to choose their representatives in their respective councils, the SEC said in a press conference.

Sharma said that Reasi district recorded the highest polling at 74.62 per cent, followed by Rajouri (70.52 per cent), Poonch (68.69 per cent), Samba (68.61 per cent), Doda (64.49 per cent), Kathua (62.82 per cent), Jammu (61.49 per cent), Ramban (64.21 per cent), Udhampur (57.13 per cent) and Kishtwar (55.16 per cent) — all in Jammu division.

In the Kashmir division, Budgam district recorded the highest polling at 56.96 per cent, followed by Kupwara (50.74 per cent), Ganderbal (48.62 per cent), Bandipora (43.57 per cent), Anantnag 43.32 (per cent), Shopian (42.58 per cent), Kulgam (34.35 per cent), Srinagar (33.76 per cent) and Baramulla (32.51 per cent).

The SEC further said that large number of people came out to cast their votes in the first phase of DDC polls and panch/sarpanch bypolls. Long queues could be seen despite severe cold conditions in the Kashmir division and the hilly areas of the Jammu division, Sharma added.

The SEC said that the DDC elections will play a decisive role for development at the grass-roots level.

He also appreciated all the stakeholders for their tireless efforts for the successful conduct of the polling process. Adequate security personnel were deployed at all the polling stations to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls, he said.

The SEC further informed that arrangements for the second phase of polling — to be held in 43 constituencies, 25 in Kashmir division and 18 in Jammu division — have been put in place.

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Ahead of DDC polls, BJP targets Abdullahs over ‘land grab’




Farooq Abdullah

New Delhi: Ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir beginning Saturday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad trained his guns on the Abdullahs for their alleged role in the Roshni scam.

Prasad alleged that the key leaders of the erstwhile state, including Farooq Abdullah, used their “influence and power for land grabbing”.

“In 1998, Farooq Abdullah had purchased 3 kanals of land but he encroached upon 7 kanals of land which were double the size of the purchase,” Prasad alleged while speaking to the media. He further said that under the Roshni scam, the name of Farooq Abdullah’s sister Suraiya Mattu has also appeared, who, the minister alleged, is also a beneficiary of 3 kanals of land.

“There was a conscious land loot by the powerful people of J&K who were getting benefits under the Roshni Act which was declared unconstitutional by the J&K High Court. This is low level politics by the powerful people of J&K and we condemn it,” alleged Prasad.

Prasad said the J&K High Court has declared the Roshni Act as unconstitutional and has stated that the names of people who have acquired land under this Act should be listed and made public.

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