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Exit polls divided on Uttar Pradesh, most predict BJP’s loss




New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Most exit polls on Sunday predicted that the BJP’s numbers may come down in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but it would not face a major setback in Uttar Pradesh, where it had registered a spectacular victory by winning 71 out of the total 80 seats in 2014.

However, some TV channels gave edge to the alliance of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal over the alliance of BJP and the Apna Dal.

While Times Now predicted that the BJP could win 58 seats along with Apna Dal while the SP-BSP-RLD alliance may get 20 seats and the Congress just 2 seats, India TV predicted that the BJP will suffer losses in but will manage to get 49 seats. It claimed that the opposition alliance may bag 29 seats and the Congress was likely to win only two seats.

India Today predicted a massive majority for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. According to it. the BJP may win 62-68 seats while the alliance of SP-BSP-RLD might win only 10-16 seats. Like others, it too predicted two seats for Congress.

The News 18 survey claimed that yhrr BJP, along with the Apna Dal, may get between 60 to 62 while the SP-BSP-RLD may win between 17 to 19 seats. It also predicted two seats for the Congress.

NDTV’s poll of polls has predicted BJP and Apna Dal winning 46 seats, the SP-BSP-RLD alliance winning 31 seats, and Congress winning three.

However, ABP news predicted that the BJP may face a setback in the state, being curtailed to 33 seats while the SP-BSP-RLD can win 45 seats. The Congress may win three seats.

The Republic-CVOTER exit poll predicted 38 seats for the BJP and Apna Dal and gave 40 seats to the SP-BSP-RLD alliance and two to Congress.

The caste arithmetic of votes in Uttar Pradesh seems to be making a dent on the BJP’s final tally.

The IANS-CVoter Exit Poll revealed that despite the BJP’s 407 rallies in India’s biggest state, the alliance led by the SP and the BSP seems to be taking away a major chunk of seats from the saffron party.

The alliance (gathbandhan), as per the exit poll, could fetch 40 seats, giving a loss of 31 seats to the BJP.

The BJP(NDA) has been given 38 seats in the exit poll, a figure so low that it can disappoint Prime Minister Narendra Modi who spent most time canvassing in the state.

The Congress, scoring just 2, fails again to show any sign of improving its tally in a state where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra made a much hyped debut by being appointed General Secretary, in charge of Eastern UP.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Amethi) and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi(Rae Bareli) are the two possible winners for India’s oldest party in the region dominated by the Nehru-Gandhi family for the past 70 years, according to IANS-CVoter exit poll.


United States Presidential Election on Nov 3 as planned: WH officials

Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as determined by federal law. Moving the date would require an act of Congress.



Trump rally

Washington, Aug 3 : White House officials have confirmed that the upcoming US presidential election will be held as planned on November 3 after President Donald Trump raised the possibility of delaying it.

Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the President was only raising concerns about mail-in ballots when he floated the idea of delaying election in a tweet last week.

“We’re going to hold an election on November 3 and the President is going to win,” Xinhua news agency quoted Meadows as saying to CBS News.

The Chief of Staff added that Trump “has not looked at delaying any election”.

Meadows’s remarks were echoed by presidential campaign adviser Jason Miller, who told Fox News on Sunday that “the election is going to be on November 3 and President Trump wants the election to be on November 3”.

In his tweet on July 29, Trump claimed — without providing any proof or evidence — that “universal mail-in voting” would make November’s vote “the most inaccurate & fraudulent election in history”.

“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he said.

“Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

But later in the day, Trump said that he did not want to delay the election, saying: “I don’t want a delay. I want to have the election… But I don’t want to see a crooked election.

“But I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything. That’s what’s going to happen… that’s common sense. Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud.”

Trump’s delay tweet immediately ignited a political firestorm and drew bipartisan pushback from Capitol Hill, as legal analysts agreed that Trump has no authority to delay the election as the US Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date.

Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as determined by federal law. Moving the date would require an act of Congress.

Top Republicans — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — both dismissed the idea.

Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham meanwhile said a delay was “not a good idea”.

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Pompeo urges HK to reverse decision to suspend polls

“If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China.



mike pompeo

Washington/Hong Kong, Aug 2 : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday urged Hong Kong to reverse a decision to suspend its legislative elections amid a resurgence of the coronavirus, saying the delay would be another blow to its autonomy from Beijing, the media reported.

In a statement published on Sunday morning, Pompeo condemned the decision by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to invoke her emergency powers to postpone the Legislative Council elections, scheduled for September 6, until September 5, 2021, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

“We urge Hong Kong authorities to reconsider their decision,” he said.

The elections should be held as close to the September 6 date as possible and in a manner that reflects the will and aspirations of the Hong Kong people.

“If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China.

“There is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay… It is likely, therefore, that Hong Kong will never again be able to vote – for anything or anyone,” the SCMP newspaper quoted Pompeo as saying in the statement.

As relations between Washington and Beijing remain tense, the US has moved to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong over what it sees as an erosion of its autonomy and freedoms.

Besides Pompeo, Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers have also decried the election delay as a political move, with pro-democracy candidates expected to secure an unprecedented majority in the 70-seat legislature after dominating in the district council elections last November.

A day before the postponement was announced, election officials barred 12 opposition candidates from running, in some cases on the grounds of them previously supporting US sanctions on Hong Kong – which can now be considered an offence under the national security law imposed by China on the city.

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Hong Kong postpones elections for a year ‘over virus concerns’

On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would invoke emergency powers to postpone the elections, calling it the most difficult decision I’ve made over the past seven months .




Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam

Kowloon: The Hong Kong government has postponed September’s parliamentary elections by a year, saying it is necessary amid a rise in coronavirus infections.

Hong Kong is currently experiencing a spike in Covid-19 infections, and reported 121 new cases on Friday.

However, the opposition has accused the government of using the pandemic as a pretext to stop people from voting, the BBC reported.

On Thursday, the government banned 12 pro-democracy candidates from running in the elections.

Opposition activists had hoped to obtain a majority in the Legislative Council (LegCo) in September’s poll, capitalising on anger at Beijing’s imposition of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong, and fears that the territory’s freedoms are being eroded.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997 under an agreement meant to guarantee a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

Pro-democracy candidates had made unprecedented gains in last year’s district council elections, winning 17 out of 18 councils.

On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would invoke emergency powers to postpone the elections, calling it the “most difficult decision I’ve made over the past seven months”.

“This postponement is entirely made based on public safety reasons, there were no political considerations,” she said.

Separately on Friday, Hong Kong police put six overseas activists on a wanted list on suspicion of violating the new national security law, media reports, including from Chinese state TV, said.

Reported to be among them are high-profile activist Nathan Law, who has fled to the UK, and Simon Cheng, a former employee of the UK’s Hong Kong consulate who alleges he was tortured in China and was recently granted political asylum in Britain.

But Hong Kong police have refused to comment.

Cheng told the BBC that an arrest warrant would not stop him speaking out about issues in Hong Kong. “The totalitarian regime now criminalises me, and I would take that not as a shame but an honour,” he said.

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