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EC cancels Chennai RK Nagar bypoll over use of money power

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Chennai, April 10, 2017: The Election Commission of India on Monday decided to cancel the April 12 by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu over the use of money power to influence voters.

After several rounds of meetings with Tamil Nadu poll officials, the Election Commission decided to rescind the election notification.

It said the by-election would be held in due course when “the vitiating effect created by the distribution of money and gift items to allure the electors…gets removed with the passage of time and the atmosphere in the constituency becomes conducive to the holding of free and fair election.”

The EC in an order said: “The Commission is fully satisfied that the current electoral process…in Tamil Nadu has been seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers by bribing the electors and unlawfully inducing them by offering money and other gifts of consumable items to woo them in their favour.”

The decision of EC comes after the income tax department raided Tamil Nadu health minister Vijayabaskar and reportedly seized evidence of bribing voters.

The searches on premises of an associate of Vijayabaskar has revealed routing of Rs 89 crore for “distribution to voters” in R K Nagar Assembly constituency.

Vijayabaskar belongs to a faction of the AIADMK – called the AIADMK Amma – led by General Secretary VK Sasikala and Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran.

On May 27 last, the EC had recommended to the TN Governor to cancel the notification to hold polls to the Arvakurichi and Thanjavur Assembly constituencies after evidence showed a large sum of money had been used to influence voters there.

Wefornews Bureau

Election

Nitish, Tejashwi to campaign in Karnataka assembly polls

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Tejashwi Yadav and Nitish Kumar

Patna, April 26 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will be the star campaigner for his party Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in the Karnataka assembly polls, a party leader said here on Thursday.

Besides Nitish, Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is one of the star campaigners for the Congress in the Karnataka assembly elections. He will also campaign against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Nitish, also the JD-U President, will campaign for 35 candidates of his party who are contesting the polls.

“Nitish Kumar is the party’s star campaigner in Karnataka polls. He will visit Karnataka either at the end of this month or in first week of May,” Vashisht Narayan Singh, JD-U’s Bihar unit President, said here on Thursday.

According to Singh, JD-U’s Rajya Sabha MP, the party has announced the names of 20 star campaigners for the Karnataka polls. The party has already announced the names of its candidates.

Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, has been made the star campaigner by party ally Congress for the Karnataka polls.

Tejashwi, 27, is likely to visit Karnataka soon to campaign for Congress candidates, RJD spokesperson Shakti Yadav said.

IANS

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Karnataka Election: 3,374 candidates have filed nomination

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Karnataka Election

Bengaluru, April 25 : A whopping 3,374 candidates have filed nominations for the May 12 Karnataka assembly elections, as per the revised figures from the Election Commission released on Wednesday.

According to the ECs data, of the total nominees, 250 were from the ruling Congress, 282 from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 231 from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), 1,673 from Independents and 938 from regional parties and fringe outfits.

Nominations, which began on April 17 after the elections in a single phase across the state was notified, ended on Tuesday.

Congress has fielded a total of 16 women, BJP 17 and JD-S 14. In addition, 90 women have filed their nominations as Independents from various constituencies.

Among the nominees, five belong to the age group of 81-90, the EC said.

Congress leaders Kagodu Thimmappa, 87, who filed his nomination from Sagar in Shivamogga district, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, 86, from Davanagere South assembly segment, A.B. Malakareddy, 82, from Yadgir, JD-S leader Mallappa Channaveerappa M., 82, from Sindgi constituency in Vijayapura district and BJP’s nominee from Hangal in Haveri district C.M. Udasi, 82, are the oldest among the nominees.

As more than 224 candidates have filed from the Congress, BJP and JD-S, their spokesmen told IANS earlier that the additional 26 from the Congress, 58 from the BJP and seven from JD-S would have filed without the mandatory B-Form from their respective parties and hence were likely to be rejected after the EC’s scrutiny on Wednesday or if they pullout by the last date of withdrawal on April 27.

The EC is yet to release the list of accepted nominations after its scrutiny on Wednesday.

Polling will be held in a single phase for all the 224 seats, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 15 for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Votes will be counted on May 15.

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Karnataka polls: Congress names Sonia, Manmohan, others as campaigners

In a letter to the Election Commission (EC) written by senior party leader Motilal Vora on Tuesday, the 40 leaders have been chosen as the “star campaigners” for the Congress.

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Rahul-Sonia-Manmohan

Bengaluru, April 25 : The Congress party will have 40 of its senior leaders including the party’s former chief Sonia Gandhi, senior leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and current President Rahul Gandhi, to campaign ahead of the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls.

In a letter to the Election Commission (EC) written by senior party leader Motilal Vora on Tuesday, the 40 leaders have been chosen as the “star campaigners” for the Congress.

To ensure the ruling Congress’ success in the ensuing polls, the party will also fly in to the southern state its leaders like Lok Sabha lawmaker from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, Rajasthan unit Congress chief Sachin Pilot, the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party’s Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia and former cricketer and party leader Mohammad Azharuddin among others.

In addition, Congress leaders from Karnataka like the state incharge K.C. Venugopal, state unit chief G. Parameshwara, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Lok Sabha lawmaker and former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily and state unit working President Dinesh Gundu Rao, among others, will also be a part of the campaign.

The party said it will also bring in popular faces from the film industry for campaigning like actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, actor and party spokeswoman Kushboo Sundar, renowned Kannada actor and sitting MLA from Mandya M.H. Ambareesh and former Kannada actor and Congress social media incharge Ramya.

In a related development, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is also contesting in a few of Karnataka’s 224 constituencies, has also named its “star campaigners”.

The AAP President and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other party leaders like its Rajya Sabha lawmaker Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and actor and party member Gul Panag among a few others, are expected to visit the poll-bound state in the coming days.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will have Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a host of Union Ministers and senior leaders campaigning for the party in Karnataka.

Besides Modi and BJP national President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Smriti Irani (Information and Broadcasting), Nirmala Sitharaman (Defence), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Law and Justice), Piyush Goyal (Railways) and the party’s Lok Sabha lawmaker and veteran actress Hema Malini will soon be making a beeline to the state for campaigning.

Modi is expected to visit each of the state’s four regions — coastal, north, central and south — besides Bengaluru and Mysuru, starting May 1, addressing two-to-three rallies a day till May 10.

Polling will be held in a single phase on May 12 for 224 Assembly seats, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes. The votes will be counted on May 15.

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