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64.44% votes cast in Ist phase of Jharkhand polls

Several constituencies in the first phase fall in Naxal-affected areas such as Latehar, Lohardaga, Chatra, Gumla, Manika, Panki and Daltonganj.

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Assembly elections Voter

Ranchi, Nov 30 : Jharkhand witnessed 64.44 per cent polling in the first phase of the vote in the 13 Assembly constituencies on Saturday, which is one per cent more than 63.29 per cent recorded in these seats in the 2014 elections.

Defying the Maoist boycott call, voters queued up in large numbers at polling stations since morning to caste their votes.

According to Election Commission final data, the polling per cent was 64.44. The highest polling 71.47 per cent was recorded at Lohardagga and the lowest 56.59 per cent at the Chatra seat.

There was no major incident reported in the first phase. Maoist rebels tried to create fear among people by triggering four landmine blast in Gumla and blew up a bridge.

Minor clashes were reported between workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in the Daltanganj Assembly seat. Congress candidate K.N. Triptahy waved his licenced revolver in the air after he was stopped from entering a polling booth.

The Election Commission has sought report on the incident and has cancelled his licence.

The 13 seats that went to polls are: Chatra, Latehar and Chattarpur (reserved for SC), Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika (all ST seats), Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawnathpur.

Of the 37,78,963 voters in this phase, 19,79,991 were men, 17,98,966 women and five belonged to the third gender. 189 candidates are in the race, including 15 women. A maximum of 28 candidates were in Bhawnathpur, and a minimum of nine in the Chatra seat.

According to Election Commission, of the 4,892 booths in the first phase, 4,585 were located in rural areas and 307 in urban areas. Of this, 121 were Sakhi booths and 417 model booths. In the first phase, webcasting facility was provided at 1,262 booths.

Heavy security arrangements had been made and helicopters were used for airlifting and dropping of the poll officials in difficult terrain and Maoist-hit areas.

The leading candidates, whose fate had been sealed in the first phase, included Jharkhand Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi, Congress state chief Rameshwar Oraon and former Minister and BJP candidate Bhanu Pratap Shahi.

The BJP is fighting 12 seats and supporting Independent on one seat. The Jharkahnd Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress, the RJD fighting poll in alliance have fielded candidates in four, six and three seats, respectively.

On nine seats, it was direct contest between the BJP and the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance.

Of the triangular on three seats, the contest in Lohardagga where between Congress state president Rameshwar Oraon, former state Congress chief, sitting MLA and now BJP candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat, and the All Jharkhand Students Union candidate Niru Bhagat.

In Hussainabad seat, the fight is four-cornered. Here former Minister and NCP candidate Kamlesh is drawing attention of voters. He was Minister in the Madhu Koda government and have spent time in jail in different cases.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Raghubar Das appealed voters to vote in large number.

Election

After defeat, Dinesh Gundu Rao resigns as KPCC president

The BJP had fielded 11 Congress and 3 JD-S defectors to wrest the seats from the opposition parties.

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Gundu Rao

Bengaluru, Dec 9 : Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday tendered his resignation to the party chief Sonia Gandhi, after the party suffered a massive defeat in the by-elections.

“Taking moral responsibility, I am resigning as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president,” said Rao at the Congress office.

Rao said that the Congress thought people will not favour the defectors, yet the BJP won.

“Operation Kamala has been ratified by the people,” said Rao, describing the way BJP attracted and fielded the disqualified Congress lawmakers.

The BJP had fielded 11 Congress and 3 JD-S defectors to wrest the seats from the opposition parties.

Rao said he will meet Congress president and submit a detailed report about the party’s rout in the bypolls.

Earlier, following a humiliating defeat in the by-elections, Siddaramaiah also resigned as the leader of opposition in state Assembly.

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Election

Rahul Gandhi questions PM’s silence over rape incidents

“Women and farmers are being targeted with bullets. Women cannot step out from their houses without fear,” Rahul said.

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Rahul Gandhi

Ranchi, Dec 9 : Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for maintaining silence over rape incidents in the country.

“India has become rape capital of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintains silence over rape incidents. His MLA in Uttar Pradesh was accused of a woman’s rape, he maintained silence. The women are being burnt, shot down and raped in the country but Modi maintains silence,” said Rahul Gandhi, while addressing a rally at Hazaribagh district’s Barkagao, where five farmers were killed while protesting land acquition by the state government two years ago.

“Women and farmers are being targeted with bullets. Women cannot step out from their houses without fear,” Rahul said.

“Modi claims protecting farmers. Whereas, the farmer’s land is being snatched. When farmers protest, they are killed. We had brought Land Acquisition Act to protect farmers’ land. As per the Act, farmers’ land cannot be acquired without permission of the Panchayat but MOdi opposed it. Modi asked his Chief Minister not to implement the Act,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“MOdi claims to fight against corruption, but his Jharkhand Chief Minister is the most corrupt politician,” he alleged.

He further targeted Modi on political issues such as demonetisation and GST.

“Modi’s face is shown on TV because your (People) money is being handed over to Adani and Ambani. Have you seen MOdi embracing farmers or poor people but you have seen him embracing the industrialists. This government is being run for only 10 to 15 industrialists. The PSUs are being handed over to these companies. The Centre is ending the government employees’ pension,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“Under UPA regime, the economy was growing and world used to learn from India. The economy of the country has worsened under Modi government. There is an environment of hatred in the country,” the former Congress chief said.

“Modi government is waiving loan of rich people but ignoring poor and farmers. This will not be tolerated. There cannot be two form in the country. We need single where loan of both poor, farmers and rich are waived off,” he added.

Rahul promised to increase minimum support price (MSP) of paddy from existing Rs 1300 per quintal to Rs 2500, waiving loan of farmers upto Rs 2 lakh and implementing 27 per cent reservation to back caste people. He also promised to implement the land acquisition Act in Jharkhand if voted to power.

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Modi hails Karnataka results, says Congress taught a lesson

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Ranchi, Dec 9 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the bypoll results in Karnataka and said that those who formed the government through backdoor ignoring people’s mandate have been taught a lesson. The Prime Minister was speaking at a rally in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh on Monday.

“The Karnataka bypoll results is answer to the Congress which grabbed the power through backdoor. It is also answer to all states where mandate of people has been ignored,” said Modi.

He further said, “People have responded through democratic way. Today bypoll results have decided who would rule Karnataka. The BJP was given mandate but Congress hatched a conspiracy and grabbed the power from backdoor. It is the old habit of the Congress to play behind the curtain. People have now punished them. People have chosen a stable and strong government for development of Karnataka”.

The BJP is heading for a landslide victory in Karnataka Assembly by-elections, as it is ahead in 12 of the 15 seats it contested on December 5, as the final result is yet to be declared.

“The people of Jharkhand should also learn from Karnataka. The situation like Karnataka should not crop up in Jharkhand after the polls. The Congress has never believed in coalition politics. They have treated allies like puppets in lieu of support,” Modi further said.

“If there is a hung Assembly, Jharkhand will witness Karnataka like situation”, Modi warned.

He cautioned people that they would not get the benefit of the central government’s schemes if BJP is not voted back to power.

Modi once again targeted the Congress for keeping the issues of Ram temple and Article 370 pending for 70 years. “Now the Constitution of India has been implemented in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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