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EVM issue: Mayawati to move court, Kejriwal cries conspiracy

Kejriwal also said that before 2014 Lok Sabha polls even some BJP leaders like L K Advani were not in favour of the EVMs.

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Lucknow/New Delhi, Mar 15 : BSP chief Mayawati today decided to move court over alleged tampering of EVMs in the recent Assembly polls, an issue which led Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal to cry conspiracy.

Kejriwal also said that before 2014 Lok Sabha polls even some BJP leaders like L K Advani were not in favour of the EVMs.

The move by Mayawati and the comments by Kejriwal evoked derision from the BJP and its ally SAD.

As the leaders of BSP and AAP raised their pitch in questioning the reliability of the EVMs, BJP said there are “some defects” in Mayawati and not in the Electronic Voting Machines(EVM).

Kejriwal faced flak from BJP ally Akali Dal whose leader and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal advised the AAP chief to go for ‘vipassana’, a style of meditation, instead of casting aspersions on the reliability of the voting machines.

BSP was decimated in the recent Assembly polls in UP where it finished a distant third winning 19 seats in the 403 -member House while the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) making a debut in Punjab bagged 20 seats in the 117-member Assembly. The ruling SAD-BJP combine was trounced in Punjab.

Mayawati said the BSP has decided to observe a ‘black day’ every month against the “murder of democracy” by the BJP and charged that the saffron victory in UP smacked of “dishonesty” and “fraud”.

“After we did not get a proper reply from the Election Commission on our complaint lodged with them soon after the results were announced on March 11, the party has decided to go to court in this matter so as to save (the country) from such a fraud in the future and save democracy,” she said.

The BSP leader was speaking to mediapersons in Lucknow ahead of addressing partymen at a review meeting on the party’s debacle. BSP had 80 MLAs in the outgoing Assembly.

“Our party has also decided to launch an agitation in Uttar Pradesh and other states to expose this fraud…the party will observe ‘black day’ at all the district headquarters in UP and state headquarters in other states on the 11th of every month, the date on which they murdered democracy, and the first demonstration will be on April 11,” she said.

The BSP leader, who had alleged largescale tampering in the EVMs soon after results were announced on March 11, said that in order to hide its “dishonest victory”, BJP has now taken refuge in saying had that been the case they would have done the same in Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

Kejirwal said EVM tampering may have led to AAP’s poor showing in Punjab, alleging it could be part of a conspiracy to keep the party out of power in the state.

The AAP chief, whose party won 20 seats in the 117-member Assembly with a vote share of 24.9 per cent, claimed that around 20 to 25 per cent of its votes may have been “transferred” to the SAD-BJP coalition.

The poll result is “beyond understanding” and raises a “big question mark” on the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs) as political pundits across the spectrum had “predicted a landslide” for AAP, he told a press conference in Delhi.

Kejriwal claimed that tampering with EVMs could have been done “selectively” in significant states like Punjab, where plans were to “keep AAP out of power”. At the same time, the AAP supremo said he takes the “whole responsibility” of party’s performance in the state.

The BJP ridiculed Mayawati’s allegations of EVM tampering and asked her to “gracefully accept the people’s mandate”.

“When you win, EVMs are right. When you lose, EVMs are wrong. This shows that there are some defects in you (Mayawati),” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.

Harsimrat advised Kejriwal to go for ‘vipassana’ instead of casting aspersions on the reliability of EVMs.

Harsimrat, the wife of SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal, also said the Delhi chief minister may have “lost” his mental balance following AAP’s poor show in Punjab.

“He (Kejriwal) has lost his mental balance so he is saying things like this. He did not say anything when AAP had won 67 seats in Delhi,” she told reporters in Delhi.

She said the people of Punjab have thrown out the AAP and it would be better if Kejriwal focuses his energy to manage the party’s affairs in Delhi. “He should do vipassana.

Election

AAP leader joins SAD ahead of Shahkot bypoll

Welcoming Walia into the party fold, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the youth leader had made a name for himself in a short period of time and would be an asset for the SAD in Jalandhar district.

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HS Walia

Jalandhar, May 20 : In a jolt to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its leader from Doaba region H S Walia today joined the Shiromani Akali Dal along with his supporters ahead of the Shahkot bypoll scheduled to be held on May 28.

Walia said he was joining the SAD due to its “pro-people” policies as well as the party’s desire to take all sections of society with it.

“I earlier joined AAP because it professed idealism. However I slowly realised that the party had become thoroughly corrupt and was not concerned about Punjabis and their problems. Moreover, AAP is being run from Delhi by Arvind Kejriwal who does not give any weightage to the local leadership,” Walia alleged.

Welcoming Walia into the party fold, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the youth leader had made a name for himself in a short period of time and would be an asset for the SAD in Jalandhar district.

Walia would be duly adjusted in the party organisation and would be given important duties, he was quoted as saying in a release.

The SAD president said the manner in which both the Congress and the AAP leaders were joining the SAD was indicative of the functioning of the Congress government as well as complete disillusionment with the Aam Aadmi Party.

Badal said political leaders usually changed parties towards the fag end of any government’s tenure, but presently leaders were “leaving the Congress in droves” because the party had “lost all appeal among the masses” after reneging on promises made to the people.

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Politics

Floor test within 24 hours after swearing in : Kumaraswamy

Senior congress leader and AICC spokesperson Gulam Nabi Azad had indicated that the alliance with the JD(S) would continue in the 2019 lok sabha elections and beyond.

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H D Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru, May20 : Janta Dal (Secualr) leader and Chief Minister designate H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday indicated that he woul prove his majority on the floor of the house within 24 hours after swearing in. Mr Kumaraswamy would be sworn in by Governor Vajubhai Vala on May 23 at the Sri Kanteerava Stadium.

He had invited senior Party leader, including Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh besides BSP supremo Mayawati for the swearing in. He will be visiting New Delhi to personally meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to invite them to participate in the swearing in ceremony. He would also be discussing about the formation of the new ministry in alliance with the Congress. The congress which had won 78 seats had extended support to Mr Kumaraswamy to form the Government.

He had been invited to form the government after former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa tendered his resignation without pressing for the vote of confidence in the newly constituted State Assembly on Saturday as he could not muster additional votes to prove his majority. The party which had won 104 seats was seven votes short to prove the majority.

Mr Kumaraswamy held discussions with the senior Congress leaders last night about the modalities for the formation of the Government. He had also called upon his father and former Prime Minister H D Devegowda at his residence this morning to seek his blessings and also about the formation of the new government.

Mr Kumaraswamy would also be visiting the famous vaishnavite pilgrimage centre Sri Ranganatha temple in Srirangam, located on an island of the river Cauvery to seeking his blessings. His brother and former Minister H D Revanna would accompany him. On his return he would hod a meeting with the party legislators.

Senior congress leader and AICC spokesperson Gulam Nabi Azad had indicated that the alliance with the JD(S) would continue in the 2019 lok sabha elections and beyond.

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Election

Kumaraswamy to be sworn in as chief minister on Wednesday

HD Kumaraswamy, the JD(S) CM candidate will be sworn in as next chief minister of Karnataka on Monday morning. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have been invited.

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siddaramaiah kumaraswamy

This paved the way for JD (S)’ H D Kumaraswamy to be sworn in as chief minister and for the hastily-formed Congress-JDS alliance to form the government. Kumaraswamy’s oath ceremony was initially slated for Monday (between 12 noon and 1.05pm, apparently on the advice of his father Deve Gowda’s astrologer). However, he later deferred it to Wednesday as May 21 is the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.

Earlier, Yeddyurappa resigns as the chief minister of Karnataka. Congress president Rahul Gandhi says BJP MLAs disrespected the National Anthem and walked out of the Assembly after Yeddyurappa stepped back. JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy will meet with the Governor of Karnakata Vajubhai Vala at 7.30 pm. The duo will meet to stake claim for forming the government. Ahead of Karnataka floor test on Saturday, Congress had accused the newly-elected Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa of bribing one of its MLAs.

The grand old party shared an audio clip of the alleged conversation between the two leaders on Twitter. This was followed by the allegation that two of its missing MLAs – Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda have been kept at the Goldfinch Hotel which is just 1 km away from the state Assembly.

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