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Election

Mamata meets Sonia, favours consensus candidate for presidential poll

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Sonia Mamata

New Delhi, May 16 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and conveyed that her party was in favour of a consensus candidate for the presidential election.

“We want a consensus candidate. This is good for the country,” Banerjee told reporters here.

She is also learnt to have backed another term for President Pranab Mukherjee if the government proposes his name, sources said.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was also present in the meeting.

Banerjee said Sonia Gandhi, who has been holding talks with opposition parties to decide a common candidate, will hold further consultations and she would again meet her in about a week after the process is completed.

Banerjee is expected to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday.

The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends in July. The ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, which has clear edge in the presidential election, has not given any inkling so far on its choice of candidate.

Sonia Gandhi has been contacting leaders opposed to the ruling BJP to evolve a consensus.

She has spoken to Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad and met JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

The Congress chief is also expected to meet Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.

Answering queries from media persons, Congress media incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Congress was proud that President Mukherjee came from the pedigree of thought process and an ideology that has been a centre-point of this country since its formation.

He said the names of the candidate would be announced once a consensus is reached.

Among the names doing the rounds as consensus candidates of opposition are of former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Election

Tripura Election 2018: Around 79% turnout in Tripura Assembly polls: CEO

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People after casting their votes (Photo-ANI)

Over 78 per cent of Tripura’s 2,536,589 voters had cast their votes on Sunday in a peaceful manner to elect a new Assembly, said state chief electoral officer Sriram Taranikanti.

However, he said that the polling percentage might go up as huge numbers of voters were still in queues at 10 p.m. on Sunday night in around 100 of the 3,174 polling stations across the state.

“Over 78.56 per cent of the 2,536,589 voters in Tripura had cast their votes. The polling percentage will go up when the final figures come after completion of the remaining around 100 polling stations,” Taranikanti told the media.

He said that 191 (6 per cent) VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) and 89 (5 per cent) EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) malfunctioned causing delay in balloting.

“We have decided to conduct re-poll in a polling station under Karamchara assembly constituency even as the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) demanded re-polling in some polling stations,” Taranikanti said adding that there is no incident during the polling throughout the state.

In a separate media briefing, the BJP demanded a re-poll in eight polling stations and the CPI-M demanded re-poll in three polling stations.

Ruling Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar alleged that at least five election agents of Left Front candidates were injured and shifted to hospitals when workers of BJP and its electoral ally IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) attacked on them in different places of Tripura.

“Forward Bloc candidate Biswanath Saha and some women were injured when the central para-military forces carried out a baton charge in two separate places in western Tripura,” he said, demanding action against the attackers.

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Election

Lok Sabha By-Polls: Congress announces candidates for Gorakhpur, Phulpur seats

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Congress

Lucknow, Feb 17: The state Congress on Friday announced faces for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, where by-elections are scheduled to be held on March 11.

The party named Dr Surheeta Chatterjee Kareem, a gynaecologist, as its candidate from Gorakhpur, while it chose Manish Mishra, son of former IAS officer J N Mishra, for the Phulpur seat.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

The by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were necessitated after Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister, while Phulpur MP Kehsav Prasad Maurya was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

WeForNews 

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US intelligence chiefs say Russia still meddling, threatening 2018 elections

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

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Dan Coats

WASHINGTON — Russia and other adversaries will continue to engage in cyber warfare to “degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances,” the nation’s top intelligence official said Tuesday.

“Frankly, the United States is under attack,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee, adding that every facet of society is being targeted with cyber intrusions.

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

“There should be no doubt that (Putin) views the past effort as successful,” Coats said.

The national intelligence director’s comments come against the backdrop of continuing congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Kremlin coordinated their activities with President Trump’s campaign.

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