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Goa regional parties turn coy as Congress, BJP woo them



Goa Assembly

Panaji, March 12 : With Goa throwing up a fractured mandate, leaders of smaller parties, who have turned kingmakers, have turned cautious even as both the Congress and the BJP desperately woo them.

The Congress won 17 seats in the 40-member assembly and the ruling BJP 13 seats, a gain and loss of eight seats for each party respectively, when compared to their 2012 performance.

But it is the leaders of parties with fewer seats who are being sought by the Congress and the BJP, especially elected representatives of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward, which have three seats each.

Speaking to IANS, MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar said coalition talks would have to wait.

“We will have to strategise. How can we jump into anything? Coalition talks will happen in their own time,” Dhavalikar said, even as political sources told IANS that the MGP leadership, including Dhavalikar, was in touch with both Congress and BJP leaders.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, a former Goa Chief Minister, told the media on Saturday that he was in touch with leaders of regional parties in the hope of cobbling together a coalition.

Sudin Dhavalikar and his brother Deepak were ministers in the BJP-led coalition government for a good part of the last five years but were sacked by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar two months before the February 4 polls were announced after both brothers criticised his leadership.

Goa Forward may have contested the election on an anti-BJP plank but on Thursday its founder member and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai surprised many when he praised the leadership of Parrikar as Chief Minister of Goa.

After the results were announced on Saturday, the party’s President Prabhakar Timble, however, said that all doors were open for Goa Forward as far as being a part of a coalition was concerned.

Interestingly, Timble also claimed that the Congress had backstabbed his party by first promising an alliance with Goa Forward and then backing out from the arrangement on the eve of the polls.

Meanwhile, lone Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao, who has been a part of a Congress-led coalition government from 2007-12, has said he was keen to be a part of a government.

Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Saturday told reporters that Alemao was not averse to joining a Congress-led coalition.

Of the three independent legislators, Rohan Khaunte has said he would back the Congress, if it staked claim to form a government.

“They have supported me during the election. I will go with the Congress,” he said.

Independent Govind Gawde said that since the BJP supported him in his campaign, he would be backing the saffron party.

The third independent, Prasad Gaonkar, has been tight-lipped.


Madhya Pradesh By-Polls: Set back to BJP, Congress bags 20 wards of 24 in Raghogarh



Bhopal, Jan 20: The Congress party showcased an enthusiastic fight in the Madhya Pradesh civil polls by clinching nine president posts in 19 civic bodies on Saturday, tying the Bharatiya Janata Party, which too, won nine top posts. 

Meanwhile, giving a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress bagged 20 out of 24 wards in Raghogarh Nagar by-elections. Whereas the BJP won only four wards.

However , the Congress has been in control of the Raghogarh-Vijaypur Municipal Council for the last two decades.

The results are seen as a morale boost for the Congress as the party is planning to go all out against the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections , which slated to held later this year.

Municipal Council elections took place on January 17 in Five districts – Dhar, Barwani, Khandwa, Guna, and Anuppur.

The counting of votes begun at 9 am and ended in the afternoon.


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EVMs to have candidates’ pictures




Jaipur, Jan 19: The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will carry pictures of candidates along with their names — when by-elections are held in Rajasthan on January 29.

According to Chief Election Officer Ashvini Bhagat, this has been done to ensure there was no confusion if there were two candidates with the same name.

According to the new arrangement, the EVMs will have the name of the candidate, his or her picture and the election symbol.

Bhagat said although this experiment was done in the Dholpur Assembly by-election, it hasn’t been done anywhere in a Lok Sabah election.

Lok Sabha by-polls are scheduled in Ajmer and Alwar on January 29 while Assembly elections will be held the same day in Mandalgarh.


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Assembly elections: Tripura to vote on Feb 18, Meghalaya, Nagaland on Feb 27; results on March 3



New Delhi, Jan 18: The Election Commission on Thursday announced  the schedule for Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland assembly elections. 

While addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said Tripura will vote on February 18, 2017. While polling in Meghalaya and Nagaland will take place on February 27 (Tuesday).

Counting for all the three states will be conducted on March 3, 2018. The results will be declared on the same day.

A total strength of  the three assemblies is 60 members each.

Election to the three states to be held in two rounds.

The term of the Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura legislative assemblies will end on March 6, March 13 and March 14 respectively.

Announcing the poll schedule, Chief Election Commissioner informed  VVPATs and EVMs will be used in the three states for the very first time.


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