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Congress fields Romesh Sabharwal against Kejriwal

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Romesh Sabharwal

New Jan 21: The Congress on Monday released a list of seven candidates for the Delhi Assembly polls, fielding Romesh Sabharwal against Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi constituency.

A former NSUI head of Delhi, Sabharwal was missing the party ticket for the past several years.

Talking to IANS, Sabharwal said, “I am thankful to Sonia Gandhi and all the members of the Congress election committee who have given chance to the son of a retired government employee. Outsiders used to contest from this seat earlier, but this time a local has got the ticket.”

On January 16, IANS had reported that Sabharwal was the likely Congress candidate to contest against Kejriwal.

Apart from Sabharwal, the Congress has fielded former Deputy Speaker Amrish Gautam, who has rejoined the party from the BJP, from Kondli. Youth leader Rocky Tuseed will contest from Rajinder Nagar, while Bhishm Sharma has been fielded from Ghonda.

S. Rajender Singh Bamrah will contest from Tilak Nagar, Pramod Yadav from Badarpur and Arbind from Karawal Nagar.

The Congress is yet name candidates for five seats, including Okhla which is a Muslim dominated seat. The party had earlier announced the names of 54 candidates, leaving four seats for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Election

55 Rajya Sabha seats to go to polls on March 26

The prominent leaders whose term will end in April are Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ramdas Athawale, Delhi BJP leader Vijay Goel, Congress veteran leader Digvijay Singh and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

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Parliament of India

New Delhi, Feb 25 : The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that polling for 55 Rajya Sabha seats set to be vacated in April will be held on March 26.

According to the election schedule announced by the Election Commission, 55 Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant from 17 states. Voting will be conducted between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 26 and the counting of votes will take place at 5 p.m. on the same day.

The seats going to polls include seven seats from Maharashtra, five from Bihar, four in Odisha, six in Tamil Nadu, five in West Bengal, four in Andhra Pradesh, two in Telangana, three in Assam, two in Chhattisgarh, four in Gujarat, two in Haryana, one in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jharkhand, three in Madhya Pradesh, one in Manipur, three in Rajasthan and one in Meghalaya.

According to the election schedule, the last date for filing nomination is March 13. While the scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on March 16. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 18.

The Rajya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant include Home Minister Amit Shah and late BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s seats. After being elected the Lok Sabha MP, Shah resigned from the Rajya Sabha membership.

The Rajya Sabha MPs, whose tenure will end later this year, include BJP leader R.K. Sinha, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, JDU leader Kahkashan Parveen, Ram Nath Thakur, BJP MP Prabhat Jha among others.

The prominent leaders whose term will end in April are Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ramdas Athawale, Delhi BJP leader Vijay Goel, Congress veteran leader Digvijay Singh and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

At present, in the upper house of the Parliament, BJP-led NDA and other allies is 106 BJP has only 82 membersthe strength of the BJP-led NDA and other allies have 106 MPs, including BJP’s 82 members, well-short of the half-way mark in the 425-member Rajya Sabha.

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Election

VVPAT data destroyed before stipulated period, NGOs tell SC

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGOs, submitted before the court that “shocking fact” had emerged in an RTI response, and the parties will file application on this matter.

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EVM VVPAT

New Delhi, Feb 24 : Two NGOs — the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Common Cause – Monday alleged in the Supreme Court that the Election Commission has violated election rules by destroying data pertaining to VVPAT of the last general election, while the statutory one-year period for this process to conclude is yet to get over.

Citing the poll panel’s response received through an RTI application, the NGOs contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant that it is mandatory to retain the VVPAT data for a period of one year — under the Election Rules.

The court replied that at this moment it is not willing to examine the matter.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGOs, submitted before the court that “shocking fact” had emerged in an RTI response, and the parties will file application on this matter.

The top court had earlier issued notice to the poll body on the plea seeking a probe to examine the alleged discrepancies between the voter turnout figure and the number of votes counted in 347 constituencies. The poll body is yet to file response on this matter. The court has scheduled this matter for further hearing after four weeks.

The ADR, backing its claim on the research conducted by experts, said serious discrepancies apparently appear between the number of voters in different constituencies, which involves voter turnout data collated and provided by the poll body and the number of votes counted.

The NGOs, in the plea, seek direction to the poll body to develop a robust procedure to probe these discrepancies in future elections. “The Master summary of 542 constituencies shows discrepancies in 347 seats. 195 seats are without discrepancies whatsoever. The discrepancies range from 1 vote (lowest) to 101,323 votes @ 10.49 per cent of the total votes (highest),” said the NGO in the plea.

The plea also claims there were six seats where the discrepancy in the number of votes was higher than the winning margin. The petition has sought accurate reconciliation of data before poll results are declared and seek direction to the EC to bring in public domain the information in the statutory forms — 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E — for general election held last year and all future elections.

“That in order to uphold and preserve the sanctity of elections, it is undeniably imperative that election results are accurate. It is not only sufficient that election results are accurate; the public must also know that the results are accurate. The entire electoral process is damaged if elections are not credible even in the absence of a demonstrable scam,” said the plea.

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Election

India trip to benefit Trump in re-election: IPSOS survey

The poll was conducted by IPSOS online, among 602 respondents, both male and female from Sec A & B households.

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Trump Melania Modi

New Delhi, Feb 24 : According to the latest IPSOS survey findings, 78 per cent urban Indians feel that US President Donald Trump’s India visit in an election year will help galvanise Indian-origin voters in the US to vote in his favour.

The snap poll conducted on February 21-22, ahead of Trump’s two-day state visit to India on February 24-25, shows that 65 per cent of Indians expect a landmark trade agreement being signed between the two countries during the visit while 72 per cent of the respondents were confident of a defence pact.

“President Trump’s landmark first visit to the Indian subcontinent will be significant in forging greater ties and leveraging opportunities between the two large democracies. There are minor hurdles in terms of trade irritants, which can be easily resolved. The visit is likely to have geo political implications. Religion remark of Trump though could eclipse the bonhomie between the two nations,” said Amit Adarkar, CEO, IPSOS India.

58 per cent consider Trump as India’s friend and a strategic thinker, who sees opportunity in grabbing a larger pie of the lucrative Indian market for US goods. Interestingly, 40 per cent of the respondents felt that Trump’s sole interest lies in India’s consumer market.

The poll was conducted by IPSOS online, among 602 respondents, both male and female from Sec A & B households.

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