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Kirron Kher faces fight from Congress and within BJP – Dangal 2019

Hailing from Chandigarh itself, the 63-year-old Kirron not only faces a tough challenge from the Congress but also from within the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Kirron Kher BJP

Chandigarh, March 17 : The quintessential ‘Mummyji’ of Bollywood movies is donning her motherly avatar as she has begun her over two-month long electoral campaign to retain the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

Having been elected from here in the 2014 general election by a margin of nearly 70,000 votes and defeating four-time Member of Parliament (MP) and former Union Railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, actor-turned-politician Kirron Kher did well for her first political outing as the BJP candidate.

Hailing from Chandigarh itself, the 63-year-old Kirron not only faces a tough challenge from the Congress but also from within the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Chandigarh BJP President Sanjay Tandon and former MP from the Union Territory, Satya Pal Jain, are breathing down her neck as claimants for the BJP ticket. Both were ticket aspirants last time also but Kirron managed to beat them down.

Taking a cue from the popular TV chat show ‘Cofee with Karan’ (of director Karan Johar), in whose final episode she came as a jury member, Kirron has launched her own localised version in Chandigarh with ‘#CofeeWithKirron’.

“#NamoAgain is the future of India. So is this lovely kid. And all such sweethearts. When you come for #CoffeeWithKirron, don’t leave your kids behind 🙂 #MyCityMyPeople,” Kirron’s Twitter handle states as she banks on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her own celebrity status to impress voters.

“None of the local top leaders have so far been seen campaigning with her. Till the ticket is decided, no one is ready to project her as the candidate even though she is the sitting MP,” a BJP insider in the city told IANS. Kher is campaigning at her own level – meeting advocates, industrialists, housewives, youth, children, businessmen and several others.

“Her star status definitely gives her an edge but that might not essentially convert into votes. Many people just come to see her and get selfies clicked,” Anjali, a homemaker who attended one of Kher’s events, told IANS.

Besides the city’s sectors, Kher will have to focus specially on colonies and rehabilitation houses where a big chunk of city voters live in the 114-square km Union Territory.

“#Bazurgon ke #pyar aur #aashirwaad se badi koi jeet nahi hoti. #MomentOfTheDay with #MyCityMyPeople,” Kher tweeted recently.

She is posting photos with local residents, especially elderly voters and even with children to drive home the family-type feeling. There are nearly 84,000 elderly voters in the city.

Tandon, whose group does not get along with Kher politically, is holding his own ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ at different venues.

Both leaders are not seen at each other’s functions. Kher claims that she has done a lot of things for Chandigarh in the last nearly five years. These include the recently sanctioned flyover from Tribune Chowk to Zirakpur to ease traffic, allowing need-based changes in housing board flats and conversion of residential leasehold properties to freehold, among other things.

The nearly 6.2 lakh electorate of Chandigarh (population of over 11 lakh) will decide its next MP on May 18. Approximately 40,000 new voters have been added since the 2014 elections.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at [email protected])

Election

Jharkhand polls: Voting ends in 18 seats amid violence

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Ranchi, Dec 7 : Around 61 per cent polling has been recorded on 20 Assembly seats amid a few incidents of violence in the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly polls on Saturday.

According to Election Commission data, 60.56 per cent voting took place in the second phase. The highest polling was recorded at Bharagora assembly seat with 74.44 per cent turnout and lowest at Jamshedpur West with 46.65 per cent turnout. The voting percentage at Chief Minister Raghubar Das’ Assembly seat Jamshedpur East was only 49.12 per cent.

The polling which started at 7 a.m., ended at 3 p.m. on 18 Assembly seats. The voting in Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West concluded at 5 p.m.

A 95-year-old woman Kaushlaya Devi and eighty year old Sukurmani cast their votes in Jamshedpur.

In poll related violence, one youth was killed in police firing and six including three policemen were injured in the Sisai constituency of Gumla district. The polling was cancelled at booth number 36 after the firing incident. The polling officials and security personnel left the polling centre with EVM machines after the incident of violence.

The Election Commission has sought detailed report from the Gumla district administration.

Maoist Guerrillas also set ablaze a polling bus in West Singhbhum district.

The fate of 260 candidates fighting in the 20 Assembly seats has been sealed in EVMs.

Police sources said that more than 40,000 security forces were deployed for the second phase of voting which largely took place in Maoist-infested areas.

Of the 20 seats, 16 are reserved for the Schedule Tribe (ST) and one for the Schedule Caste (SC).

Chief Minister Raghubar Das is contesting from the Jamshedpur East seat, where he is pitted against former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress spokesperson Gaurabh Vallabh.

Also in the fray in this phase are Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Urban Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis, former cabinet minister Saryu Rai and state BJP President Laxman Giluwa.

Jailed Maoist commander Kunadan Pahan is fighting from the Tamar Assembly seat. Kundan Pahan is locked in a triangular fight with AJSU candidate Vikas Munda and former jailed Minister Gopal Krishna alias Raja Peter.

Of the 20 constituencies, the fight is triangular on at least seven Assembly seats and the rest of the seats will see direct fight between the BJP and Congress-JMM-RJD alliance.

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Jharkhand polls: One dead in clashes in Gumla

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Ranchi: Two incidents of violence have been reported in Jharkhand on Saturday where polling for the second phase on 20 Assembly seats is underway.

At least one person was killed and six others including policemen were injured in clashes and subsequent police firing in Jharkhand’s Gumla district.

The problem began at booth no 36 of Sisai constituency of Gumla district when people got angry due to delay in voting. They started pelting stones on the police, who retaliated with firing in which one youth sustained bullet injuries who later died in the hospital. He has been identified as Mohammad Geelani (28).

In the clashes at Sisai, an officer in-charge Vishnu Deo Chauhdray and two policemen sustained injuries.

The Election Commission has sought an explanation from the Gumla district administration.

In another incident, Maoist Guerrillas set on fire a bus which was going to a polling booth in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.

According to the Police, Maoist Guerrillas set the bus on fire at Jojohatu of West Singhbhum district.

The polling is underway for 20 assembly seats of Jharkhand on Saturday.

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‘Delhi Assembly poll schedule to be announced by Jan 10’

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Delhi Assembly

New Delhi, Dec 6 : Soon the ongoing Jharkhand Assembly election ends with the counting of votes on December 23, the Election Commission plans to set in motion the process for the Delhi Assembly elections, slated for early next year.

According to sources in the polls, the election schedule for the Delhi polls could be announced by January 10. The Model Code of Conduct would come in place simultaneously with the announcement.

Sensing the poll announcement could come by early next month, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in the city is seeking to announce the start of pending projects before the code of conduct is in place. The announcement of 11,000 wifi hotspots by December 16 is being seen as an example.

The Kejriwal government will complete five years by February 14 and the elections are slated to be held before this date. The Election Commission will have to allot a month for the entire election process, which will include sufficient time for parties to campaign as well as the polling and counting process.

According to the sources, the EC, this time, wants to complete the entire process well before the deadline. For the 2015 elections, the elections were announced on January 12 and the voting held on February 7.

The sources stressed that this time, the poll panel is likely to announce the poll schedule much before January 10. In view of the impending announcement, the ruling AAP as well as the opposition BJP and Congress have started their electoral preparations.

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