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Election

Congress heads for big win in Punjab, AAP ends as opposition

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Chandigarh, March 11 : The Congress was on Saturday headed for a two-third majority in the 117-seat Punjab assembly, with veteran Amarinder Singh set to return as Chief Minister of the border state.

The Congress, which had been out of power in Punjab for a decade, had won 57 seats and was leading on 20 others, paving the way for the next Congress government in Punjab.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Amarinder Singh and congratulated him.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which claimed it could win up to 100 seats, got only 18 and was leading on another three. Its ally, Lok Insaf Party, won two seats.

The saving grace for the AAP is that it will be the main opposition in the new assembly.

The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance, which ruled Punjab since 2007, was set to finish a poor third with 17 seats. The Akalis won 12 seats and led on two. The BJP won three seats.

Ten ministers, including all four from the BJP, were defeated.

Congress candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla led on the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat by over 1.70 lakh votes. A by-election was held along with the assembly polls.

Having won Punjab for his party on his 75th birthday, Amarinder Singh said his first priority would be to eradicate drugs from the state.

“The people of Punjab have given us a big mandate. Our first priority will be to eradicate drugs from Punjab. I have vowed to finish drugs within four weeks,” a visibly happy Amarinder Singh told the media.

A former Chief Minister (2002-07), Amarinder Singh turned 75 years old on Saturday.

He was non-committal on having cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu as Deputy Chief Minister in the next government.

“That will be decided by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. All ministers will be decided by the party leadership.”

In Chandigarh, security was enhanced outside the private bungalow of Amarinder Singh in the upscale Sector 10. A metal detector and more security personnel were deployed as the number of visitors increased.

Outgoing Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal accepted defeat and said he will resign on Sunday.

Badal, 89, the oldest Chief Minister in the country, said: “I am grateful to the people of Punjab for giving me an opportunity to serve them. I am fully satisfied with all the things I was able to do. I seek forgiveness for any mistakes.”

On the Lambi assembly seat, where Amarinder Singh had challenged Badal on his (Badal’s) home turf, Badal won by 22,770 votes. But Amarinder Singh won his traditional Patiala Urban seat by over 52,400 votes.

The Chief Minister’s son Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Akali Dal President, led in Jalalabad over AAP’s Bhagwant Singh Mann.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu dubbed the Congress victory as its “revival” and blamed the Akali rout on its leadership’s “arrogance and turning the treasury into personal property”.

Sidhu, who left the BJP to join the Congress last year, also attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “Kejriwal had wrong intentions. It is a huge defeat for him.”

Prominent AAP winners included Sukhpal Singh Khaira, H.S. Phoolka and Kanwar Sandhu. The AAP also finished second in 26 constituencies.

Election

Madhya Pradesh By-Polls: Set back to BJP, Congress bags 20 wards of 24 in Raghogarh

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Bhopal, Jan 20: The Congress party showcased an enthusiastic fight in the Madhya Pradesh civil polls by clinching nine president posts in 19 civic bodies on Saturday, tying the Bharatiya Janata Party, which too, won nine top posts. 

Meanwhile, giving a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress bagged 20 out of 24 wards in Raghogarh Nagar by-elections. Whereas the BJP won only four wards.

However , the Congress has been in control of the Raghogarh-Vijaypur Municipal Council for the last two decades.

The results are seen as a morale boost for the Congress as the party is planning to go all out against the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections , which slated to held later this year.

Municipal Council elections took place on January 17 in Five districts – Dhar, Barwani, Khandwa, Guna, and Anuppur.

The counting of votes begun at 9 am and ended in the afternoon.

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Election

EVMs to have candidates’ pictures

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evms

Jaipur, Jan 19: The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will carry pictures of candidates along with their names — when by-elections are held in Rajasthan on January 29.

According to Chief Election Officer Ashvini Bhagat, this has been done to ensure there was no confusion if there were two candidates with the same name.

According to the new arrangement, the EVMs will have the name of the candidate, his or her picture and the election symbol.

Bhagat said although this experiment was done in the Dholpur Assembly by-election, it hasn’t been done anywhere in a Lok Sabah election.

Lok Sabha by-polls are scheduled in Ajmer and Alwar on January 29 while Assembly elections will be held the same day in Mandalgarh.

IANS

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Election

Assembly elections: Tripura to vote on Feb 18, Meghalaya, Nagaland on Feb 27; results on March 3

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New Delhi, Jan 18: The Election Commission on Thursday announced  the schedule for Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland assembly elections. 

While addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said Tripura will vote on February 18, 2017. While polling in Meghalaya and Nagaland will take place on February 27 (Tuesday).

Counting for all the three states will be conducted on March 3, 2018. The results will be declared on the same day.

A total strength of  the three assemblies is 60 members each.

Election to the three states to be held in two rounds.

The term of the Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura legislative assemblies will end on March 6, March 13 and March 14 respectively.

Announcing the poll schedule, Chief Election Commissioner informed  VVPATs and EVMs will be used in the three states for the very first time.

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