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EC rules out bringing back ballot papers for elections

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Election Commission

Kolkata, June 2: Ruling out any possibility of bringing back ballot papers for elections, Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat on Saturday said the EVMs were being made a ‘scapegoat’ as the machines cannot speak and political parties needed to blame someone or something for their defeat.

“There is absolutely nothing about the integrity of the system… However, time and again whenever there are eruptions on this, we clarify the issue,” Rawat said at an interactive session on “Electoral Integrity and Role of Money in Elections” organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here.

He said the panel had last July announced at an all-party meeting that all elections henceforth would be conducted using EVMs coupled with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.

VVPAT is also being used along with EVMs for enhanced transparency and credibility in the voting process, he said.

“EVM has been made an easy ‘scapegoat’ by political parties because it cannot speak and political parties need to blame someone for their defeat,” he said, and claimed that India’s conduct of free and fair elections was admired all across the world.

“It is creditworthy that despite such a large electorate, the Election Commission is able to publish results in just a few hours.”

Referring to a survey conducted in 2014 by Harvard University and Sydney University on elections held across the world, he said it found that India did well in nine out of 11 indicators and it ended with an overall score of 59 out of 100.

India’s position slipped somewhat due to its performance on just two indicators, namely money and media-based news (including fake news and social media).

“Comprehensive measures were being taken to eliminate use of money and muscle power in the elections,” he said.

IANS

Election

Wrong policies led to failure of Cong-RJD govts in Bihar: Owaisi

People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

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asaduddin owaisi

Patna, Sep 19 — All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday claimed that wrong policies led to the failure of the Congress and RJD governments in Bihar.

Owaisi was in Patna as the AIMIM entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic (SJDD) ahead of the Bihar polls.

“We will fight the election under the leadership of Devendra Prasad Yadav, the president of SJDD. We welcome all those parties who want to fight against communalism and communal parties,” the AIMIM chief said.

“We are not scared of any political party. Our party had contested the election in 2015 from Kishanganj, but the Congress won. Today the BJP is riding high in Bihar due to the failure of the RJD. I have defeated the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Hyderabad,” Owaisi said.

“In Maharashtra, the Congress party is sitting on the Shiv Sena’s lap. The former is presented as a secular party in the country but I would believe that its thinking promotes feudalism. People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

The AIMIM has already declared it will contest on 50 seats in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar.

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Election

Bihar Assembly Polls : Separate queue for Covid patients at polling booths

An ECI officer said that different political parties have urged that the expenditure limit be raised to Rs 2 lakh owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Patna, Sep 18 : The Election Commission of India (ECI) has has asked authorities to prepare a separate voters list for Corona-positive patients.

The decision was taken on Friday amid campaigning for the Bihar elections, expected to be held in October or November this year.

The idea is to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus, while allowing patients to exercise their right to vote.

As per the Commission’s strategy, there would be separate queues for Covid patients at polling stations.

The ECI has also made it mandatory for polling officers, presiding officers and polling agents of different political parties to be equipped with proper safety gear.

In another development, the ECI is expected to raise the limit for expenses which can be incurred by individual candidates on the election campaign.

An ECI officer said that different political parties have urged that the expenditure limit be raised to Rs 2 lakh owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The earlier limit was set at Rs 26 lakh.

The officer said that ECI may consult the law ministry on the issue.

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Election

NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh re-elected as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman

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Harivansh Narayan Singh

New Delhi, Sept 14 : Rajya Sabha on Monday re-elected Janata Dal (United) parliamentarian Harivansh Narayan Singh as deputy chairman of the Upper House by voice vote.

Harivansh’s name was proposed by BJP president and party MP Jagat Prakash Nadda. Leader of the House Thavarchand Gehlot seconded it.

The opposition had fielded Manoj Jha, an RJD member.

Soon after the election, MPs from various political parties congratulated Harivansh.

In 2018, Harivansh had defeated Congress’ BK Hariprasad in the election to the post.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated him for being re-elected.

The election was necessitated as Harivansh completed his term as a member of Rajya Sabha this year.

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