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Manmohan to file nomination for RS on Aug 13

Manmohan Singh has represented Assam in Rajya Sabha for 28 years.

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Manmohan singh

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose tenure as Rajya Sabha member ended in June this year is set to return to the Upper House from Rajasthan, party sources said.

A Congress source said Manmohan Singh will be the party’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha.

He said the former Prime Minister will file his nomination on August 13.

Manmohan Singh has represented Assam in Rajya Sabha for 28 years.

The Rajya Sabha elections in Rajasthan was necessitated after the death of BJP MP Madan Lal Saini, who passed away in a Delhi hospital.

Saini was elected to the Upper House last year when the BJP was in power in the state. The Congress has majority in the 200-member Assembly.

Election

BJP becomes the principal Opposition in Sikkim by SDF defections

The BJP’s immediate challenge in the state will be the by-elections to the three seats.

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BJP

New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Bharatiya Janata Party, which did not win any seat in the Sikkim Assembly election, has become the main opposition party after 10 of the 13 MLAs of the Sikkim Democratic Front — which ruled the northeastern state for 25 years — joined the saffron party on Tuesday.

BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav officially welcomed the MLAs, including Narendra Kumar Subba, Dilli Ram Thapa, Karma Sonam Lepcha, Pintso Namgyal Lepcha, Raj Kumari Thapa, Tashi Thendup Bhutia and Krishna Bahadur Rai, at the party headquarters here.

BJP President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Working President J.P. Nadda had already given their nod for the MLAs’ entry into the party, Madhav said.

In the Assembly polls held along with the Lok Sabha polls in April, of the state’s total 32 seats, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) won 17 seats and formed the government overthrowing the 25-year rule of the SDF, which bagged 15 seats.

Two of the SDF MLAs and one from SKM won from two seats and so, three seats fell vacant in the Assembly. Thus, the SDF was left with 13 members and SKM with 16.

Speaking to the media, Madhav said the SDF ruled Sikkim for 25 years and the BJP welcomed the MLAs.

“With 10 of the 13 MLAs joining the BJP, we will fulfil the responsibilities of a constructive opposition in Sikkim and strengthen the party’s base in the state,” Madhav said.

Local leader Dorjee Tshering Lepcha, who also joined the BJP, said that it is happening for the first time that so many MLAs in the state have changed parties.

“Sikkim is a small state with three international borders. We want BJP to win in Sikkim. The youths from the state are with the BJP. We want the BJP leaders should take reformative steps in Sikkim too like in rest of the country,” he said.

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Election

CEC rules out return to ballot paper system

Recently, Maharashtra Navnirman Senachief Raj Thackeray met Banerjee and invited her for a massive campaign against using EVMs in Indian elections in which several opposition leaders, including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will be present.

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Sunil Arora

Kolkata, Aug 9 (IANS) Rejecting the demand of bringing back the ballot paper system of voting, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday said that there is no question of going back to the bygone era.

“We are not going back to the era of ballot papers. The Honourable Supreme Court has more than once said that ballot paper is a thing of the past,” Arora, who is in the city to attend an event at an educational institute, told reporters.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the most vocal critics of electronic voting machines (EVMs), herself gave a call to shun the voting machines and return to ballot papers during Trinamool Congress’ Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21.

Recently, Maharashtra Navnirman Senachief Raj Thackeray met Banerjee and invited her for a massive campaign against using EVMs in Indian elections in which several opposition leaders, including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will be present.

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Election

DMK’s Kathir Anand wins Vellore Lok Sabha bypoll

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DMK Kathir Anand

Chennai, Aug 9 (IANS) The DMK on Friday won the Vellore Lok Sabha seat with its candidate D.M. Kathir Anand defeating his AIADMK rival.

According to the Election Commission, Anand had polled about 4.85 lakh votes as against AIADMK’s candidate A.C. Shanmugam who had polled about 4.77 lakh votes.

With this victory, the DMK has now increased its number of members in Lok Sabha to 24, while the party-led front has gathered 38 of the state’s total 39 seats.

In a statement issued here, DMK President M.K.Stalin said the DMK is now the third largest party in the Lok Sabha.

Saying ‘victory could be delayed but not denied’, he thanked the Vellore voters.

Counting of votes for the Vellore seat began on Friday morning. The poll was held on August 5.

Throughout the counting, Shanmugam and Anand took leads alternately.

DMK spokesman T.K.S. Elangovan said the low victory margin may be due to the announcements made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami “which were in violation of the model code of conduct”. The CM had even made a promise to bifurcate the Vellore district, he added.

Elections to the Vellore parliamentary seat was due on April 18 during the polling in the state for the Lok Sabha elections but was rescinded after Rs 10 crore were seized allegedly from DMK leaders in the district.

The AIADMK campaign was led by Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, while Stalin led the campaign for Anand.

DMK activists on Friday celebrated the victory by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.

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