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Karnataka by-polls : Congress-JDS to jointly campaign

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Bengaluru, Oct 20 :Reaffirming its coalition government alliance, the ruling Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) would jointly campaign for the five by-elections in Karnataka on November 3, said leaders of both parties on Saturday.

“As the BJP is our common rival, we have decided to have common candidates for all the 5 by-elections to avoid splitting votes and jointly campaign to defeat the opposition contestants,” said Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah here.

At a joint press conference with JD-S supreme H.D. Deve Gowda, its Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara of the Congress, Siddaramaiah said leaders of both the parties would campaign for the candidates of both the parties to ensure their victory in all the seats.

By-elections are being held in three Lok Sabha constituencies and two assembly segments in the state to fill vacancies caused by the resignation of the sitting lawmakers in four seats and in one due to death of a sitting Congress legislator.

The three Lok Sabha seats are in Ballari (Scheduled Tribes), Mandya and Shimoga and the two assembly seats in Ramanagara and Jamkhandi.

The JD-S is contesting in Mandya and Shimoga and in Ramanagara, while the Congress has fielded candidates in Ballari (reserved) and Jamkhandi in the state’s northwest region. Counting of votes is on November 6.

“Though we fought against each other in the May 12 assembly election, a hung verdict on May 16 forced us to come together and form the coalition government for keeping the BJP out of power,” admitted Siddaramaiah.

Endorsing Siddaramaiah’s view, Gowda said both the parties have decided to extend their alliance to the Lok Sabha elections in early 2019 and field common candidates in all the 28 parliamentary seats in the southern state.

“As the common goal is to defeat the BJP, we will have a seat-sharing agreement to field respective candidates where the parties are stronger across the state,” said Gowda.

BJP’s state unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa and its party’s member B. Sriramulu resigned from Shimoga and Ballari Lok Sabha seats after they were elected to the assembly from Shikaripura in Shimoga district and Molakalmuru (ST) in Chitradurga district.

Similarly, JD-S member S. Puttaraju resigned from Mandya after he was elected to the assembly from Melukote in Mandya district in the old Mysuru region. He is also Minister for Minor Irrigation in the coalition government.

Congress legislator Siddu Nyamagouda died in a road mishap on May 28 in Bagalkot district. He was re-elected from Jamkhandi assembly seat in the state’s northwest.

Kumaraswamy, who contested and won from the adjacent Channapatna and Ramanagara assembly seats, retained the former and resigned from the latter.

Asserting that there was harmony and understanding between the alliance partners on all issues, Kumaraswamy said the coalition government would complete its 5-year term and both the parties would contest assembly and parliamentary elections jointly to protect the secular character of the state and prevent communal forces like the BJP from coming to power.

The Congress has fielded its legislative council member V.S. Ugrappa in Ballari and Nyamagouda’s son Anand Siddu from Jamkhandi, while L.R. Shivarama Gowda is contesting from Mandya, Madhu Bangarappa from Shimoga and Anitha Kumaraswamy from Ramangara.

The BJP has fielded Sriramulu’s sister B. Shanta from Ballari, Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra from Shimoga, Siddaramaiah from Mandya, Srikant Kulkarni from Jamkhandi and L. Chandrashekar from Ramanagara.(IANS)

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2 terrorists killed in encounter with security forces in Shopian

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Shopian Encounter
Photo Credit- ANI

Srinagar, Jan 22: Two terrorists have been killed in an encounter which broke out between terrorists and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday. This is the second encounter is the last 24 hours in the valley.

The encounter is still underway as 4-6 terrorists are believed to be holed up in Shopian’s Zainapora area. The forces are engaging them in a fierce gunbattle.

Firing exchanges were underway in the orchards of Heff Shermal village.

“The area has been sealed off to prevent the militants from escaping,” news agency IANS quoted the informed sources as saying.

Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group (SOG) of state police were involved in the counter insurgency operation.

On Monday, three militants were killed in an encounter that broke out between militants and security forces in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

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Avalanche hits Jawahar tunnel, Jammu-Srinagar highway closed

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JAMMU KASHMIR SNOWFALL Avalanche

Jammu, Jan 22: The Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed on Tuesday following landslides and snowfall and reports of an avalanche hitting the highway in the Jawahar Tunnel area. A team has been rushed to take stock.

Traffic department officials said landslides have hit the strategic highway at some places in the Ramban district, including Digdol, Panthal, Magarkote and Khoni Nallah.

“There has been fresh snowfall in Bannihal sector. Incessant rains are continuing in other parts of the highway. This is the second consecutive day of the highway remaining closed.

“No vehicular movement will be allowed on the highway today. Landslide clearance will be started only after the weather improves,” a traffic official said.

The highway is the lifeline of landlocked Kashmir Valley as all essential supplies are routed into the valley through this road.

IANS

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Heavy rains lash Delhi-NCR, traffic affected

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Traffic

New Delhi, Jan 22: Heavy rains and hailstorms lashed Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Tuesday, causing water-logging and traffic snarls at several areas.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Rain/Thundershowers with gusty winds very likely to occur today in next 3 hrs(valid up to 12:15 hrs IST)at some places over Hardoi, Bahraich, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Meerut, Hapur, Shamli,Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad and adjoining areas.

As per the weather forecast, the city will continue to witness light rain for the upcoming three-four days.

Due to foggy weather conditions/low visibility, around15 trains are running late.

Updates:

Streets waterlogged in parts of the national capital

Visuals of traffic congestion from IP Estate

Rainfall and hailstorm lashes Gurugram

Visuals from Dhaula Kuan and Akbar Road

Delhi’s Subash Nagar

Visuals from Prahladpur area

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