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Mamata launches campaign for 2021 Bengal Assembly polls

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday took on the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, saying it had deprived Bengal in every possible way.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief also launched her party’s election campaign for the 2021 Assembly elections.

“They are playing dirty game of politics. The BJP is trying to break Bengal. The Centre has not given anything to us. The BJP is purchasing MLAs in different states to topple governments,” Banerjee said addressing a virtual meeting on the occasion of July 21 Martyrs’ Day celebration.

She said the BJP thought they could rule all the states, but that won’t be possible in Bengal. “They are maligning our government. The Centre has insulted us by not giving anything even after the devastating Cyclone Amphan. But they will not be able to capture Bengal,” Banerjee said.

She asked party members to take a pledge to defeat the BJP in the Assembly polls, scheduled next year. “I urge everyone to gear up for the next’s Assembly polls so that we can again assemble here on July 21 next year and celebrate our electoral victory. We will defeat them in such a way that all BJP candidates will lose their poll deposits,” she said, pointing out that a wounded tigress was even more ferocious.

Banerjee said she was not scared of the Centre and urged people to keep faith in the TMC. “I know they (BJP) will start fresh conspiracy against me after this. But I am not scared. I know how to fight and I will not budge. They might torture me also, but I am not scared,” she said and added the TMC would form the government in West Bengal in 2021 defeating the BJP and other political formations.

“If you trust the BJP, you will suffer and finally end up losing everything. I welcome everyone from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Congress and the BJP to come and join the TMC. They might have made mistakes, but it’s still not too late. The TMC is the only political alternative in Bengal,” she said.

Reacting to Banerjee’s attack, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “She has understood that the people of Bengal don’t trust her government any more. That’s why she has targeted the BJP. This is our political success. Earlier in 2019, she had claimed the TMC would secure all 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. But the BJP bagged 18 seats.”

Senior CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said the people of Bengal had come to know that the TMC was a platform for political extortionists. “She is lying. Whatever she is saying is absolutely false. People will give her a befitting reply at the right time,” he said.

Election

Facebook plans drastic measures if US polls descend into chaos: Report

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San Francisco, Sep 22 : Facebook is bracing for tough measures to restrict content in case the November elections in the US descend into chaos or violent protests, according to a report in the Financial Times on Tuesday.

The plans were revealed by Facebook’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, in an interview to the newspaper.

“There are some break-glass options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances,” Clegg was quoted as saying.

Facebook is under pressure to help maintain the integrity of the elections as it has faced criticism for failing to contain the spread of disinformation and hate speech on the platform.

It was even accused of failing to prevent attempts to create divisions in American society through disinformation campaigns by foreign players during the 2016 presidential election.

The stakes appear to be even higher this time with reports of similar attempts to influence the US presidential elections by groups operating from Russia, China and Iran.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month announced additional steps it is taking to help secure the integrity of the US elections by encouraging voting, connecting people to authoritative information, and reducing the risks of post-election confusion.

These include measures to attach an informational label to content that seeks to delegitimise the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods, for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud.

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Wrong policies led to failure of Cong-RJD govts in Bihar: Owaisi

People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

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asaduddin owaisi

Patna, Sep 19 — All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday claimed that wrong policies led to the failure of the Congress and RJD governments in Bihar.

Owaisi was in Patna as the AIMIM entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic (SJDD) ahead of the Bihar polls.

“We will fight the election under the leadership of Devendra Prasad Yadav, the president of SJDD. We welcome all those parties who want to fight against communalism and communal parties,” the AIMIM chief said.

“We are not scared of any political party. Our party had contested the election in 2015 from Kishanganj, but the Congress won. Today the BJP is riding high in Bihar due to the failure of the RJD. I have defeated the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Hyderabad,” Owaisi said.

“In Maharashtra, the Congress party is sitting on the Shiv Sena’s lap. The former is presented as a secular party in the country but I would believe that its thinking promotes feudalism. People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

The AIMIM has already declared it will contest on 50 seats in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar.

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Bihar Assembly Polls : Separate queue for Covid patients at polling booths

An ECI officer said that different political parties have urged that the expenditure limit be raised to Rs 2 lakh owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Patna, Sep 18 : The Election Commission of India (ECI) has has asked authorities to prepare a separate voters list for Corona-positive patients.

The decision was taken on Friday amid campaigning for the Bihar elections, expected to be held in October or November this year.

The idea is to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus, while allowing patients to exercise their right to vote.

As per the Commission’s strategy, there would be separate queues for Covid patients at polling stations.

The ECI has also made it mandatory for polling officers, presiding officers and polling agents of different political parties to be equipped with proper safety gear.

In another development, the ECI is expected to raise the limit for expenses which can be incurred by individual candidates on the election campaign.

An ECI officer said that different political parties have urged that the expenditure limit be raised to Rs 2 lakh owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The earlier limit was set at Rs 26 lakh.

The officer said that ECI may consult the law ministry on the issue.

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