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Election

Himachal’s 68 Assembly seats all set for polls on Nov 9

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Shimla, Nov 8: Sixty-eight Assembly seats all set for polls on Thursday in a single phase in Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh.  Officials said everything was in place for a smooth conduct of the polling in 7,525 booths.

A total of 50.25 lakh voters, including 19 lakh women and 14 transgenders, will decide the fate of 338 candidates. The counting of votes will take place on December 18 along with those of Gujarat.

The CPI-M has fielded candidates on 14 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which made its debut in the hilly state in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, has preferred to stay away.

The major battle is between two strongest contestants, one is veteran Congress leader and incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, who is pushing hard to get to the helm for a seventh time, while on other hand is the BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal, 73, who is also trying to ensure the party’s win.

However, for  almost two decades, both the parties in the state have fought almost every assembly and Lok Sabha polls under their leadership.

“This time, Virbhadra Singh is fighting on two fronts — one is to establish his son Vikramaditya Singh, who is contesting his maiden assembly election, and the second is to ensure the party’s repeat as he forced the Congress to announce him as the Chief Ministerial candidate despite all odds,” a political observer told IANS.

For Dhumal, it’s simply the battle for “self-survival” after facing a humiliating defeat in the 2012 assembly polls. Since then, he was almost marginalised by the BJP faction led by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda.

After thwarting foes within, Virbhadra Singh donned the battle gear much ahead of his arch rival Dhumal, whose name was cleared by the BJP as its Chief Ministerial candidate recently.

 

In the campaigning, Virbhadra Singh, who is known as ‘Raja Saab’ as he was born into the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr, has no qualms about folding his hands and bowing his head before commoners when it comes to seeking votes.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi held only three election meetings in a single day just a day before the campaigning ended.

From the Congress, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is known for his “royal ways” owing to his erstwhile Patiala royalty and related to ‘Raja Saab’, campaigned in the state for two days.

On other hand, for BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi along accompanied with President Amit Shah and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, J.P. Nadda, Smriti Irani and Thaawar Chand Gehlot campaigned to woo the electorate.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also campaigned for the elections in the hilly state.

Wefornews Bureau 

Election

Lok Sabha By-Polls: Congress announces candidates for Gorakhpur, Phulpur seats

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Congress

Lucknow, Feb 17: The state Congress on Friday announced faces for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, where by-elections are scheduled to be held on March 11.

The party named Dr Surheeta Chatterjee Kareem, a gynaecologist, as its candidate from Gorakhpur, while it chose Manish Mishra, son of former IAS officer J N Mishra, for the Phulpur seat.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

The by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were necessitated after Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister, while Phulpur MP Kehsav Prasad Maurya was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

WeForNews 

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US intelligence chiefs say Russia still meddling, threatening 2018 elections

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

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Dan Coats

WASHINGTON — Russia and other adversaries will continue to engage in cyber warfare to “degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances,” the nation’s top intelligence official said Tuesday.

“Frankly, the United States is under attack,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee, adding that every facet of society is being targeted with cyber intrusions.

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

“There should be no doubt that (Putin) views the past effort as successful,” Coats said.

The national intelligence director’s comments come against the backdrop of continuing congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Kremlin coordinated their activities with President Trump’s campaign.

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Election

UP, Bihar LS by-elections on March 11

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New Delhi, Feb 9: By-Polls in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur and Bihar’s Araira Lok Sabha constituencies will take place on March 11, the Election Commission announced today. 

The counting of votes will be held on March 14.

The by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were necessitated after Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister, while Phulpur MP Kehsav Prasad Maurya was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Araria seat fell vacant after the death of Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Mohammad Taslimuddin.

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