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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.



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.


KC Tyagi says, Cambridge Analytica has no links with JD(U) nor his son



New Delhi, March 22: Senior Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi on Thursday rejected any links with the Cambridge Analytica (CA).

Speaking to Media, he stated that JDU has no relation with Cambridge Analytics, neither has its CEO ever met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish nor me. In any case, JDU is a Socialist outfit and we stay away from such things, except for maybe Prashant Kishore ji helping us during last assembly polls.

There was only a work relation between my son Amrish’s company and Cambridge Analytics , there is no financial transaction or shareholding, everything is open to probe. JDU also has no links with this, neither did they promote us in 2010 polls”, he added.

KC Tyagi’s son Amrish Tyagi owns Ovelina Business Intelligence (OBI), which was Cambridge Analytica’s associate in the country.

OBI in association with CA parent company SCL Group had formed a firm, SCL India.

Meanwhile hitting out at Janata Dal (United), RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, said the name of the company coming out in this matter is in the BJP client list, run by KC Tyagi’s son.

“JD(U) General Secretary’s son is involved and JD(U) is saying that we do not know anything”, he further asserted.

The alleged involvement of the data analytics company and Facebook has erupted a massive political debate across the world as well as in India with a big war-of-words breaking out between the ruling BJP and main Congress.


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Congress hits out at BJP, says Sabse bade data chor macha rahe hai zyada shor




New Delhi, March 22: Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for levelling charges over the alleged data theft, Congress on Thursday said the ruling government has become a manufacturer of fake news.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the BJP Govt has become a manufacturer of fake news. Sabse bade data chor macha rahe hain sabse zyada shor”.

Taking a jibe the BJP-led government, he said, “Hitler had an associate called Goebbels, Narendra Modi has an associate called Ravi Shankar Prasad.”

His reaction comes soon after, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad retaliated his allegations of Congress’s links to political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) and claimed that the firm was involved in Rahul Gandhi’s social media campaign and there had been meetings too in this regard.

The minister, accepting full responsibility, said that CA had been managing the social media campaign for Rahul Gandhi and there had been meetings also in this connection.

“The Congress cannot run away from this fact. If the Congress maintains a conspicuous silence on such an important news of the involvement of a dubious social media company and does not counter it, then I am sorry. They don’t have any right to run the country,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday also, the Congress denied links to CA that has been accused of data theft to allegedly influence the electoral process.


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Death of 39 Indians in Iraq: Congress to move Privilege Motion against Swaraj



New Delhi, March 22: The Congress will move a Privilege Motion against EAM Sushma Swaraj for misleading the kin of the Indians killed in Iraq by the Islamic State.

Speaking to media, Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said: “We are going to bring a Privilege Motion against the External Affairs Minister for misleading the families of the 39 Indians as well as the House”.

EAM on Tuesday confirmed the death of missing 39 Indians who were abducted by ISIS in June 2014.

Former MoS for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, too, had cornered the ruling government for giving false hope to the families of the hostages all these years.

“Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack transparency on part of the government, Tharoor asserted.

Echoing on similar views, another Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday asked the Central and State governments to provide financial assistance to the families of deceased and job opportunities in government sector.

The thirty-nine persons, most of them hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were abducted during their evacuation.


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