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Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as Sri Lanka PM

The development comes a day after his predecessor and leader of the former ruling United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe resigned from the post.

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Mahinda Rajapaksa

Colombo, Nov 21 : Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the island country’s 23rd Prime Minister in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat here on Thursday.

Rajapaksa, who served as the Sri Lankan President from 2005 to 2015, will lead the government’s caretaker cabinet until the general election, the Sunday Times reported.

The development comes a day after his predecessor and leader of the former ruling United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe resigned from the post.

Wickremesinghe tendered his resignation after his party’s presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa lost last Saturday’s presidential election.

Election

Discrepancies in 347 LS seats poll data: SC issues notice to EC

Citing the data of a research conducted by a team of its experts, ADR said there were serious discrepancies between voter turnout data collated and provided by EC and number of votes counted

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Supreme Court on EVM

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the pleas of two NGOs seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies between voter turnout and the number of votes counted in 347 constituencies during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde tagged the plea of the two NGOs along with the pending matters and listed it for hearing in February 2020.

The plea filed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Common Cause sought a direction to the Election Commission to formulate a robust procedure to investigate discrepancies in the data in all future elections.

Citing the data of a research conducted by a team of its experts, the ADR said there were serious discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies, that is the voter turnout data collated and provided by the EC and the number of votes counted.

It claimed that findings of the research revealed several discrepancies, including those in the master summary of 542 constituencies. Discrepancies were found in 347 seats.

The ADR said discrepancies ranged from 1 vote to 1,01,323 votes, which is equal to 10.49 per cent of the total votes. The plea further said there were six seats where the discrepancy in votes was higher than the winning margin.

The petition has sought accurate reconciliation of data before declaration of results for any election and a direction to the EC to bring in public domain the information in statutory forms — 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E — for this year’s Lok Sabha polls and all future elections.

The petitioners said that in order to uphold and preserve the sanctity of elections, it is imperative that poll results are accurate and the discrepancies in the parliamentary polls cannot be set aside without a satisfactory resolution.

They said the current statute allows for resolution of a dispute through an election petition but there is no provision available for resolution of doubts arising out of discrepancies in constituencies all over the country.

The EC has not laid down any prescribed system for “compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data and therefore, has been evading placing the methodology followed by it in public domain”, the plea said.

It claimed that the poll panel neither shared the quantum of discrepancies encountered in the entire election process nor the methodology adopted by it for resolution of the same.

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Election

Jharkhand poll: Voting for 12 seats ends, 57.96% votes cast

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Jharkhand Assembly Election-min

Ranchi, Dec 12 : Voting ended for 12 of the 17 assembly seats at 3 p.m. in the third phase of the polls with 57.96 per cent votes being cast on Thursday.

The voting will end at 5 p.m. for the Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha assembly seats.

There are a total of 309 candidates including 32 females whose fate will be decided by 56,06,743 voters including 26,73,991 women and 95 third gender. These 17 seats are spread across Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro, Koderma and Saraikela. More than 35000 security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.

Jharkahnd Governor Draupdi Murmu cast her vote at ATI Ranchi while AJSU president Sudesh Mahtyo cast his vote along with his wife at Silli. Jayant Sinha cast his vote in Hazaribagh.

A newly married couple cast their votes at polling booth number 225 of Hazaribagh. Priyanka was married on Wednesday night and she came with her husband for voting on Thursday morning. Maoist leader Maharaja Parmanik’s parents cast their votes at Ichagarh.

In the third phase the key candidates are three ministers — CP Singh, Ramchandra Sahis and Neera Yadav, Former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi and former Deputy Chief Minister and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) president Sudesh Mahto.

Of the 17 seats, BJP, JMM and Congress had won 10, three and two seats respectively in the 2014 Assembly elections.

There is a direct fight on between the BJP, Congress and JMM candidates on seven seats. For the Silli seat the fight is between AJSU president Sudesh Mahto and JMM sitting legislator Seema Devi. There is a triangular fight on six seats. For some seats the fight is four-cornered or multi-cornered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jharkahnd Chief Minister Raghubar Das have appealed to the voters to cast their votes.

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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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