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EC bars Telangana from distributing sarees during Bathukamma

The TRS government dissolved the Assembly on September 6, paving the way for early elections. The elections are expected to be held in November-December.

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Telangana CM KC Rao

Hyderabad, Oct 3 : The Election Commission of India (EC) on Wednesday barred TRS government in Telangana from distributing free sarees among poor women on the occasion of Bathukamma festival.

The poll panel communicated to the state Chief Electoral Officer that the state government is not permitted to distribute the sarees on the occasion of the festival from October 12.

The EC secretariat communicated this in response to a letter sent last week by Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, who wanted to know if the state government could go ahead with the distribution of sarees.

The poll panel’s directive has come as a setback to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which was keen on the annual programme in the run-up to the ensuing elections. The opposition parties had urged the Election Commission not to allow the programme.

The EC had last week clarified that the Election Code of Conduct (ECC) came into effect with the dissolution of the Assembly. It also made it clear that the TRS government is only a caretaker government.

The TRS government dissolved the Assembly on September 6, paving the way for early elections. The elections are expected to be held in November-December.

Bathukamma, a popular folk festival of Telangana, is celebrated by women during Dussehra festival time. After Telangana state was formed in 2014, the TRS government had declared it a state festival.

The government had last year started distribution of free sarees among women belonging to weaker sections on the occasion of Bathukamma. The programme was also aimed at providing work to the weavers in the state.

Under the ambitious scheme, the state government had this year given orders to wavers’ societies for making 95 lakh sarees and blouses to handloom units. The government had made arrangements for distribution of sarees from October 12. More than half of the sarees were already sent to the districts for distribution.

The government had ordered manufacturing of these polyester sarees in 80 colours and designs at a cost of Rs 280 crore.

Election

Congress will celebrate Diwali with people after bypolls: Kamal Nath

“We waived loans of 27 lakh farmers and the BJP government admitted it on the floor of Assembly. After coming back to power, we will waive the loans of remaining farmers too,” he said.

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Kamal Nath

Bhopal, Sep 30 : Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath on Wednesday expressed confidence that his party will regain power in the state after the byelections to 28 Assembly seats.

The former chief minister was addressing a poll rally in Sitamau in Suvasara assembly constituency in Mandsaur district.

“They (BJP) have toyed with the Constitution framed by Babasaheb Ambedkar. They have formed government through horse-trading, but people of the state will give them a befitting reply and they (Congress and people) will celebrate Diwali together,” Nath said.

Bypolls in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 3, while counting will take place on November 10.

“Whenever you talk about employment and farmers, BJP leaders start talking about Pakistan and China to divert attention from core issues,” Nath said.

“We waived loans of 27 lakh farmers and the BJP government admitted it on the floor of Assembly. After coming back to power, we will waive the loans of remaining farmers too,” he said.

“I am openly challenging chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to have a public debate on the issue (of loan waiver),” the Congress leader added.

“What kind of future you want, a government formed with vote or one formed with notes?…. If their will prevails, they will not even conduct panchayat polls,” he alleged.

The 15-month-old Congress government led by Nath fell in March this year after Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 MLAs loyal to him quit the party and joined the BJP.

Later three more Congress MLAs resigned. Three other seats got vacant due to the death of sitting MLAs.

TheCongress has fielded Rakesh Patidar from the Suvasara seat for the by-poll.

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Election

Madhya Pradesh: Task cut out for Kamal Nath and Congress in, Gujarat bypolls

Besides, one parliamentary seat in Bihar and two Assembly seats in Manipur will also go for bypolls on November 7. The counting of votes will be take place on November 10.

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Congress protest Flag

Political stakes are high for former Chief Minister Kamal Nath in the bypolls for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh and for the Congress in neighbouring Gujarat, where eight seats are vacant.

All these seats were in Congress’ kitty after the Assembly elections, but slipped out of its hands after the party MLAs resigned — in Madhya Pradesh, they opted to support Jyotiraditya Scindia in March 2020 and walk into the camp of a waiting BJP to ensure the fall of the then government led by Kamal Nath; and in Gujarat, they resigned to ensure the defeat of the Congress nominee in the contest for the second Rajya Sabha seat in June 2020.

The Congress will need to bag all the 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh to again get a majority in the Assembly, which is a tough task. The party has already announced 24 candidates.

On the other hand, the ruling BJP needs only nine seats to reach the magic figures of 116. In case the Congress wins less than 28 seats but manages around 24, it will still be in the game. Otherwise, it will have to depend on Independents, two MLAs of Bahujan Samaj Party and the lone Samajwadi Party MLA.

In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the BJP has 107 MLAs, Congress 88, BSP 2, SP 1 while 4 are Independents.

“The Congress will come back to power again. We will defeat the BJP on these seats. The people will give a befitting reply to those who dishonoured the public mandate and murdered democratic values,” Kamal Nath said.

Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh are visiting each of the 28 Assembly segments to ensure their party’s victory, though it remains to be seen what they can do since most vacant seats are in the Gwalior-Chambal belt — considered a Scindia stronghold.

However, the Congress is banking on the fact that the belt has a sizeable population of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The party is also hopeful of reaping the public goodwill due to waiver of farm loans announced by then Chief Minister Kamal Nath and the ongoing agitation by the farmers over the new farm laws.

In Gujarat, the Congress MLAs had resigned, which led to the defeat of Congress leader Bharat Singh Solanki on one Rajya Sabha seat. Had all these MLAs remained in the Congress, it could have won the second RS seat in Gujarat as well.

Congress leader Rajeev Satav, who is in-charge of Gujarat party affairs, said, “I will meet leaders of various frontal organisations, cells and departments and district presidents of the Congress. Looking forward to having substantial discussions with the party leaders and workers.”

Apart from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, seven Assembly seats are also vacant in Uttar Pradesh, two each in Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Nagaland and Odisha, and one each in Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Telangana.

Besides, one parliamentary seat in Bihar and two Assembly seats in Manipur will also go for bypolls on November 7. The counting of votes will be take place on November 10.

The EC has decided not to hold by-elections in seven constituencies in four states. Polling for these seats will be held early next year.

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Election

Shiv Sena to decide soon on contesting Bihar polls

He reiterated that the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — comprising the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress will complete its full five-year term, despite all effort by the state Opposition to topple the coalition.

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sanjay raut

Mumbai, Sep 29 : The Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena will soon take a decision on contesting the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, party MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut said here on Tuesday.

“There are a lot of demands from our people there. We shall discuss it with party President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and decide on whether to contest the Bihar Assembly polls or not,” Raut told mediapersons.

On the move by ex-top police official of Bihar, former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey’s decision to join politics, the Sena leader said he was free to do whatever he wants since that’s his personal choice.

“Our objection was to the manner in which he painted the Mumbai Police in a bad light in the Sushant Singh Rajput case. He tried to drive a wedge between the police and people of the two states for his advantage when he was the DGP,” Raut said.

To a question whether the Sushant case was a conspiracy to tarnish the image of state Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, Raut replied in the affirmative, but declined to elaborate.

However, he pointed out that the Shiv Sena has emerged unscathed from the entire episode, but those who attempted to throw muck at the party, screaming at the top of their lungs on television channels, will meet a similar fate.

“They were criticising the Mumbai Police probe in the Sushant case. Now, the probe is with the CBI for over a month. The people want to know what’s the outcome. If they (Sena critics) have the guts, then they should be asking questions to the CBI now, just as they demanded answers from Mumbai Police earlier,” Raut dared.

Referring to the fracas surrounding his meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Raut put at rest all speculation and claimed that “it was purely to finalise the interview schedule” between Sena and Fadnavis.

He reiterated that the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — comprising the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress will complete its full five-year term, despite all effort by the state Opposition to topple the coalition.

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