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EC cancels Chennai RK Nagar bypoll over use of money power

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Election Commission-wefornews

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

Tripura Election 2018: Around 79% turnout in Tripura Assembly polls: CEO

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People after casting their votes (Photo-ANI)

Over 78 per cent of Tripura’s 2,536,589 voters had cast their votes on Sunday in a peaceful manner to elect a new Assembly, said state chief electoral officer Sriram Taranikanti.

However, he said that the polling percentage might go up as huge numbers of voters were still in queues at 10 p.m. on Sunday night in around 100 of the 3,174 polling stations across the state.

“Over 78.56 per cent of the 2,536,589 voters in Tripura had cast their votes. The polling percentage will go up when the final figures come after completion of the remaining around 100 polling stations,” Taranikanti told the media.

He said that 191 (6 per cent) VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) and 89 (5 per cent) EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) malfunctioned causing delay in balloting.

“We have decided to conduct re-poll in a polling station under Karamchara assembly constituency even as the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) demanded re-polling in some polling stations,” Taranikanti said adding that there is no incident during the polling throughout the state.

In a separate media briefing, the BJP demanded a re-poll in eight polling stations and the CPI-M demanded re-poll in three polling stations.

Ruling Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar alleged that at least five election agents of Left Front candidates were injured and shifted to hospitals when workers of BJP and its electoral ally IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) attacked on them in different places of Tripura.

“Forward Bloc candidate Biswanath Saha and some women were injured when the central para-military forces carried out a baton charge in two separate places in western Tripura,” he said, demanding action against the attackers.

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Election

Lok Sabha By-Polls: Congress announces candidates for Gorakhpur, Phulpur seats

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Congress

Lucknow, Feb 17: The state Congress on Friday announced faces for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, where by-elections are scheduled to be held on March 11.

The party named Dr Surheeta Chatterjee Kareem, a gynaecologist, as its candidate from Gorakhpur, while it chose Manish Mishra, son of former IAS officer J N Mishra, for the Phulpur seat.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

The by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were necessitated after Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister, while Phulpur MP Kehsav Prasad Maurya was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

WeForNews 

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US intelligence chiefs say Russia still meddling, threatening 2018 elections

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

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Dan Coats

WASHINGTON — Russia and other adversaries will continue to engage in cyber warfare to “degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances,” the nation’s top intelligence official said Tuesday.

“Frankly, the United States is under attack,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee, adding that every facet of society is being targeted with cyber intrusions.

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

“There should be no doubt that (Putin) views the past effort as successful,” Coats said.

The national intelligence director’s comments come against the backdrop of continuing congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Kremlin coordinated their activities with President Trump’s campaign.

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