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In Uttarakhand, Trivendra Rawat, Satpal Maharaj front runners for CM post

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New Delhi, March 11 : Former state BJP chief Trivendra Singh Rawat and party National Executive member Satpal Maharaj have emerged front runners for the Chief Minister’s post in Uttarakhand following the BJP’s landslide win, informed sources said on Saturday.

Rawat, an organisational man of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttarakhand and party in-charge in Jharkhand, won his traditional Doiwala seat by defeating Congress’ Hira Singh Bisht with a margin of over 24,000 votes.

Rawat, a swayamsewak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), is considered close to BJP President Amit Shah. He was in close touch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter was a General Secretary (Organisation) of the BJP and in charge of Uttarakhand.

During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rawat was given responsibility of regional election in-charge in Uttar Pradesh under Shah where the BJP emerged victorious. He is also credited for the BJP’s win in Jharkhand.

“Rawat is a man of the organisation and has a clean image. He is close to RSS, PM Modi and Shah too,” a senior BJP leader from Uttarakhand told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Asked about Satpal Maharaj’s prospects, the BJP leader said: “Maharajji is very popular and has lakhs of followers. But one factor working against him is that he came into the BJP fold after leaving Congress.”

Maharaj, the head of the Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti, teaches meditation techniques called “Knowledge” and has a huge following across the state and other parts of the country.

He is considered a good administrator and has served as Union Minister of State for Railways.

In February 2014, Satpal Majaraj openly criticised Harish Rawat’s elevation as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and a month later quit the Indian National Congress and joined the BJP.

Maharaj won Chaubattakhal constituency by defeating Congress’ Rajpal Singh Bisht with a margin of over 5,000 votes.

Besides these two leaders, state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt is also a likely contender, but he lost his own election from Ranikhet assembly seat.

He was defeated by Karan Mahara of Congress by a margin of 4,981 votes.

Sources in the BJP say that if Bhatt had won, he would have been a strong contender for the post.

Other senior leaders, including former Chief Ministers B.C. Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Vijay Bahuguna, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank are also lobbying to become Chief Minister of the state.

According to BJP sources, none of these are likely to be considered for Chief Minister.

“Khanduri is almost unlikely because of his age (82). Bahuguna switched to BJP after a long career in Congress. Nishank is a Brahmin face but he is an MP and is likely to work in national politics. Koshyari has also very little chance,” another BJP leader said.

BJP President Amit Shah said on Saturday that the Chief Minister candidate will be “decided on the basis of merit. We will elect the best”.

The BJP has convened its Parliamentary Board, the highest decision making body of the party, on Sunday to decide the name of the Chief Ministerial candidates of the states where it has emerged victorious.

The BJP is headed for a landslide in Uttarakhand, leading on 57 seats against the Congress’ 11 in the 70-member assembly.

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Jayanagar By Poll Results: Congress’ Sowmya Reddy wins

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Bengaluru, June 13: The Congress on Wednesday won the election in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar constituency. 

Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy defeated BJP’s BN Prahlad by nearly 3000 votes.

With this victory, the Congress now has 79 seats in the Karnataka assembly.

The election was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate B.N. Vijayakumar.

BJP has fielded his brother B.N. Prahalad. Former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy is the Congress candidate.

On the related note, although Karnataka went to polls on May 12, elections in Jayanagar constituency was postponed to June 11.

Counting of votes for the 222 of the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka held on May 15.

In the state assembly election, though the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, the Congress party with 78 seats and JD(S) with 37 seats, along with two independent candidates, stitched up a post-poll alliance with a total strength of 117 MLAs.

Even though the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invited the saffron party  to form the government with a time period of 15 days to prove their majority on the floor of the house, the Supreme Court in an interim order directed the floor test to be held in just two days, even after Yeddyurappa had sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state.

Failed to garner the required number of votes to form Government in the state, Yeddyurappa resigned as the Chief Minister ahead top court-ordered floor test on May 19.

Following this, ending the 10-day political turmoil in the southern state, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy won the floor test after 117 MLAs voted in his favour May 26.

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Jayanagar By Election: 51% voter turnout recorded till 5 PM

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Bengaluru, June 11: Around 51% voter turnout recorded till 5 PM in the Jayanagar assembly constituency on Monday. 

The election was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate B.N. Vijayakumar.

“34.05% voter turnout recorded till 1 PM in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar assembly constituency”, ANI reported.

BJP has fielded his brother B.N. Prahalad. Former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy is the Congress candidate.

According to news PTI, 10 per cent voting recorded till 9 am.

On the related note, Voting for the Karnataka assembly elections had taken place on May 12.

Counting of votes for the 222 of the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka held on May 15.

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Maharashtra CM violated poll codes: Congress complains to EC

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Congress

Mumbai/New Delhi, June 5: The Maharashtra Congress on Tuesday filed a formal complaint alleging violations of the Model Code of Conduct by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the recently held Lok Sabha by-elections in Palghar.

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Tuesday said a three-page plea has been handed over to Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat in the Election Commission headquarters in New Delhi.

According to news agency IANS report, the complaint details various incidents whereby Fadnavis allegedly violated the Model Code of Conduct in force during the by-poll, making announcements of various schemes, missing voters names and other discrepancies.

The plea has been sent in the name of Congress candidate in Palghar, Damodar Shingada, Former-MP, seeking a strong action against Fadnavis and other concerned officials.

Shingada noted that during the election, the Congress complained to the Returning Officers several times regarding these violations but no action was taken against them by the poll panel.

The Congress leader highlighted Fadnavis’ announcements promising waiver of ‘khavati’ loans and disbursal of new ‘khavati’ loans for tribals, a new medical college in the district, excluding 29 villages from the jurisdiction of Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation.

Then came Fadnavis’ hugely controversial remarks exhorting BJP workers to use “Saam Daam, Dand Bhed” to clinch victory in Palghar elections at any cost, which Shingada described as a threat to ‘the people and opposition parties’, the instances of the saffron party workers caught distributing cash at the behest of local district party chief, and violation of the Rs 70 lakh spending limit by the winning BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit.

The plea also pointed out how a large number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) — 282 in Palghar and 250 in Bhandara-Gondiya — were down due to technical glitches for hours.

The Congress complaint came six days after the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray described the Palghar Lok Sabha by-elections as “a farce”.

On May 31, Thackeray had charged that large-scale manipulations were made in the EVMs with the knowledge of the EC officials.

In the two Lok Sabha bypolls in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party retained the Palghar seat, but it lost the Bhandara-Gondiya seat to the Nationalist Congress Party.

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