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Election

Brisk polling for Jharkhand Assembly in Phase-I

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Voters in queue during election

Ranchi, Nov 30 : Brisk polling is being registered in the first phase of the five-phase election to the Jharkhand Assembly, where in the first four hours, poll panel officials said 27.41 per cent polling was completed, said an official of election commission.

The highest polling has been witnessed at Bhavanathpur Aassembly seat with 30.38 and lowest at Lohardagga with 21.27 per cent.

Polling began at 7 a.m. for 13 seats of Jharkhand Assembly polls, said officials.

In the first phase, polling is taking place in Maoist affected area amid heavy security arrangements. The polling will continue till 3 p.m.

Minor clashes have been reported between BJP and Congress art Daltanganj assembly seat.

The 13 seats included Chatra (SC) Gumla (ST) Bishunpur (ST) Lohardaga (ST) Manika (ST) Latehar (SC) Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chattarpur (SC) Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawnathpur.

The total number of eligible voters are 37,78,963, which include 19,79,991 male, 17,98,966 women voters and five from the third gender.

A total of 189 candidates are in the race, including 15 women out of which a maximum of 28 candidates were in Bhawnathpur Seat and a minimum of nine were fighting from the Chatra seat.

According to election commission official there are 4,892 booths out of which 4,585 are location in rural areas and another 307 in urban areas.

In the first phase webcasting facility has been provided at 1,262 booths while the number of ‘Sakhi Booths’ are 121 and model polling booths 417.

This time polling booths have been divided into Maoist and non-Maoist areas on the basis of which 1,097 polling stations are hyper sensitive and 461 are sensitive.

Heavy security arrangements have bee made for peaceful polling. Helicopters are being used for airlifting and dropping of the poll officials in difficult terrain and Maoist hit areas.

The important candidates, whose fate will be decided in first phase polling, include Jharkhand Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi, Congress state chief Rameshwar Oraon and former Minister and BJP candidate Bhanu PRatap Shahi.

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

On nine seats the fight is directly between BJP and JMM, Congress and RJD alliance.

The fight is triangular on three seats — one being Lohardagga, where the fight is between Congress state president Rameshwar Oraon, former state Congress president sitting legislator and now BJP candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat and All Jharkhand Students Union candidate Niru Bhagat.

For the Hussainabad Assembly seat the fight is four-cornered. Here former Minister and NCP candidate Kamlesh is drawing attention of the voters. He was minister in the Madhu Koda Cabinet and went to jail in different scam cases.

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

Election

Congress ropes in Prashant Kishor for Madhya Pradesh bypolls

By-elections are due in 24 seats following the demise of two MLAs and rebellion by 22 MLAs from the Congress.

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Prashant-Kishor

Gwalior, May 22 : The Congress has roped in political strategist Prashant Kishor to lend edge to its by-election campaign in Madhya Pradesh. The state will witness by-polls to 24 seats in the next four months due to the rebellion by former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia who bolted with 22 MLAs into the BJP.

The unprecedented situation has put doubts in the minds of both Congress and BJP supporters

It took the Kamal Nath-led government just 15 months to spill the power it earned through 15 years’ struggle. Prashant Kishor played a crucial role even during 2018 assembly elections to help the party return to power. The Congress is weighing the proposal from three advertising and image-building firms to take charge of its campaign.

First thing, the party plans to take the battle to the Scindia stronghold of Gwalior-Chambal region by setting up the war-room in Gwalior. This is to overcome logistic issues during the lockdown. Some former close associates of the Gwalior scion like Ramniwas Rawat and Anil Singh who have stayed back in the Congress will lead the charge. They believe Scindia’s desertion has not gone down well with his constituents and he is no longer invincible given his miserable failure to retain the Guna Lok Sabha seat in May 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Former Leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh, is likely to be fielded in Surkhi against Govind Singh Rajput whom Shivraj Singh Chouhan had included in the first lot of ministers.

Congress is also seriously considering pitting former MP Premchand Guddu against another minister Tulsi Silavat. Guddu has been an MLA in the past, from the Sanwer seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes. He had joined the BJP in the last elections, but claims to have left it in February while the party served a notice on him for anti-party activities.

Congress leaders are also persuading former MP Meenakshi Natarajan to contest the by-elections from Suwasra against her former supporter Hardeep Singh Dung, who left the Congress to join the BJP.

The Congress is also considering former minister Ramnivas Rawat, Ashok Singh or a Brahmin leader from Badnawar against Pradyuman Singh Tomar in Gwalior.

The Congress has made strategic organisational changes to take on the twin challenge of Scindia supporting ex-members of Congress as also the BJP rivals. It appointed 11 district Presidents on Wednesday. The party hopes to harness the anger among the people over the way the BJP has handled the recent Corona crisis and its aftermath among the workers.

By-elections are due in 24 seats following the demise of two MLAs and rebellion by 22 MLAs from the Congress.

Of these, 16 seats are Gwalior-Chambal division. These by-elections will decide the political future of the Chouhan government and Congress.

In Gwalior Rural, Congress has appointed Ashok Singh as district President. Ashok Singh, once an ardent supporter of Scindias, believes the royalty lost much of its influence by submitting before the BJP. The party has also appointed a new district President in Guna district, a stronghold of Scindia.

Chief Minister Chouhan has the unenviable task of balancing the aspirations of old BJP hands who will have to make sacrifices for the recent arrivals from the Congress. They would also have to seek support for the former adversaries.

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Election

Governor’s rule in Tripura autonomous tribal body

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Ramesh Bais

Agartala/Guwahati, May 18 : After the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam, Governor’s rule was imposed in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) on Monday as the polls have been postponed indefinitely due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of novel coronavirus, officials said.

Chief Executive Officer of the TTAADC Balin Debbarma said that G.K. Rao, former Tripura Chief Secretary and a retired IAS officer, has been appointed as the Administrator of the autonomous body. Tripura Governor Ramesh Bais appointed Rao, who of late was the member of the Tripura Police Accountability Commission, to run the politically important tribal autonomous body on his behalf.

The 30-member TTAADC, until Sunday, was governed by the opposition CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and its five-year term expired on May 17. An official of the TTAADC said that within the next six months, the elections to the council would have to be conducted as per the mandate of the Constitution.

Opposition CPI-M state Secretary Gautam Das and Tripura Pradesh Congress President Pijush Biswas separately asked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government to conduct the elections of the TTAADC within the stipulated period. The politically important TTAADC, which was constituted under the sixth Schedule of the Constitution in June, 1985, has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km are, home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.

In Assam, on the recommendations of the state government, the State Election Commission recently put off the 40-member BTC polls for an indefinite period. Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi, who is the constitutional head of the Sixth Schedule areas like that of BTC, had also earlier suggested postponement of the council polls.

Mukhi on April 27 appointed Rajesh Prasad, a 1995-batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, as the administrator of the BTC following the promulgation of Governor’s Rule.

The politically important BTC, which started functioning in December 2003, comprises four districts of western Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri and is home to over 31,00,000 people, the majority of whom are tribals. Before the Governor’s rule in BTC, since 2003 it was governed by the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), a local party and an ally of the BJP-led Assam government.

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Election

Supreme Court’s relief for Gujarat minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, High Court order stayed

Supreme Court issues notice in the matter. Justice Shantanagoudar says that the Gujarat High Court order has to be stayed.

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Bhupendrasinh Chudasama

New Delhi: Supreme Court stays Gujarat High Court order which had nullified the election of BJP leader Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on the grounds of malpractice and manipulation.

Supreme Court issues notice in the matter. Justice Shantanagoudar says that the Gujarat High Court order has to be stayed.

Senior Lawyer Kapil Sibal, “When have your Lordships stayed matter’s like this which are based on corrupt practices?”

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