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National issues dominate University polls in Delhi



Voting underway for JNUSU elections

New Delhi, Sep 13 These may have been elections just to elect the students union of a university but the issues that dominated the campaigning were of national level.

Abolition of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, mob lynching and alleged “saffronisation”, along with the “tukde tukde” episode, took the centre stage this time in the high profile elections to the Jawaharlal Nehru Univeristy Students Union (JNUSU).

Voting for JNUSU elections, which are seen as proxy polls for the national parties, was held on September 6. The results were expected to be out by September 8 but a dispute erupted and reached the Delhi High Court, which ordered a stay on declaration of results till September 17.

The HC stay came after two students from the university approached it alleging that the Lyngdoh Committee Rules were being flouted in the conduct of the polls. Hence, the counting of votes was halted midway.

During the campaign, BJP-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) raked up the issue of nationalism.

It focussed on telling students that ‘tukde-tukde’ episode of 2016 on the campus was the worst in JNU history and only ABVP can help the varsity to get rid of the ‘anti-national’ tag.

In 2016, it was alleged that a group of students gathered in JNU and raised anti-national slogans. Delhi police booked Left-backed students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and office bearer Umar Khalid, alleging that they had organised the programme and actively participated in it.

Kumar contested the last Lok Sabha elections in Bihar’s Begusarai, where he was defeated by BJP’s Giriraj Singh.

“The Left parties and their leader (Kumar) played major part in giving JNU anti-national tag. Only ABVP can help them get rid of it,” said Siddharth Yadav, state secretary of ABVP.

Students from Left-oriented political groups raked up the issue of abolition of special status of J&K granted under Article 370 and the communication blackout in valley.

Left-affiliated candidates also tried to use cases of mob lynching to garner votes in their favour. Most of them contended that such cases increased in the country since 2015.

“The central government has failed to safeguard minorities and if ABVP wins, then the same will be repeated in varsity,” leaders of left alliance were seen saying during campaign.

Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) raised the issue of communication blackout in J&K, while maintaining that it will always remain a part of India.
In Delhi University, where the students union elections will take place on Thursday, the issues ranged from Kashmir to “saffronisation”.

Student leaders spoke about issues like removal of ‘Gujarat riot’ chapter from syllabus and installation of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s bust, which was later blackened by NSUI.

The ABVP here tried to replicate BJP’s model of election campaigning and appointed “Panna Pramukhs” to increase influence among voters. The RSS’ student wing focused more on the work done by the outgoing DUSU, which was dominated by ABVP.

NSUI raised issues like economic slowdown, communication blackout in valley and referred to last year’s forged degree debacle, which had left ABVP embarrassed.

ABVP’s presidential candidate Ankiv Baisoya was found to have submitted forged degree for admission in DU. Though he won the elections, he had to step down from the post of president, after NSUI aggressively fought for his disqualification.

Baisoya’s admission in Delhi University was cancelled upon which had to resign from the post of DUSU president.


Congress ropes in Prashant Kishor for Madhya Pradesh bypolls

By-elections are due in 24 seats following the demise of two MLAs and rebellion by 22 MLAs from the Congress.





Gwalior, May 22 : The Congress has roped in political strategist Prashant Kishor to lend edge to its by-election campaign in Madhya Pradesh. The state will witness by-polls to 24 seats in the next four months due to the rebellion by former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia who bolted with 22 MLAs into the BJP.

The unprecedented situation has put doubts in the minds of both Congress and BJP supporters

It took the Kamal Nath-led government just 15 months to spill the power it earned through 15 years’ struggle. Prashant Kishor played a crucial role even during 2018 assembly elections to help the party return to power. The Congress is weighing the proposal from three advertising and image-building firms to take charge of its campaign.

First thing, the party plans to take the battle to the Scindia stronghold of Gwalior-Chambal region by setting up the war-room in Gwalior. This is to overcome logistic issues during the lockdown. Some former close associates of the Gwalior scion like Ramniwas Rawat and Anil Singh who have stayed back in the Congress will lead the charge. They believe Scindia’s desertion has not gone down well with his constituents and he is no longer invincible given his miserable failure to retain the Guna Lok Sabha seat in May 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Former Leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh, is likely to be fielded in Surkhi against Govind Singh Rajput whom Shivraj Singh Chouhan had included in the first lot of ministers.

Congress is also seriously considering pitting former MP Premchand Guddu against another minister Tulsi Silavat. Guddu has been an MLA in the past, from the Sanwer seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes. He had joined the BJP in the last elections, but claims to have left it in February while the party served a notice on him for anti-party activities.

Congress leaders are also persuading former MP Meenakshi Natarajan to contest the by-elections from Suwasra against her former supporter Hardeep Singh Dung, who left the Congress to join the BJP.

The Congress is also considering former minister Ramnivas Rawat, Ashok Singh or a Brahmin leader from Badnawar against Pradyuman Singh Tomar in Gwalior.

The Congress has made strategic organisational changes to take on the twin challenge of Scindia supporting ex-members of Congress as also the BJP rivals. It appointed 11 district Presidents on Wednesday. The party hopes to harness the anger among the people over the way the BJP has handled the recent Corona crisis and its aftermath among the workers.

By-elections are due in 24 seats following the demise of two MLAs and rebellion by 22 MLAs from the Congress.

Of these, 16 seats are Gwalior-Chambal division. These by-elections will decide the political future of the Chouhan government and Congress.

In Gwalior Rural, Congress has appointed Ashok Singh as district President. Ashok Singh, once an ardent supporter of Scindias, believes the royalty lost much of its influence by submitting before the BJP. The party has also appointed a new district President in Guna district, a stronghold of Scindia.

Chief Minister Chouhan has the unenviable task of balancing the aspirations of old BJP hands who will have to make sacrifices for the recent arrivals from the Congress. They would also have to seek support for the former adversaries.

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Governor’s rule in Tripura autonomous tribal body




Ramesh Bais

Agartala/Guwahati, May 18 : After the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam, Governor’s rule was imposed in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) on Monday as the polls have been postponed indefinitely due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of novel coronavirus, officials said.

Chief Executive Officer of the TTAADC Balin Debbarma said that G.K. Rao, former Tripura Chief Secretary and a retired IAS officer, has been appointed as the Administrator of the autonomous body. Tripura Governor Ramesh Bais appointed Rao, who of late was the member of the Tripura Police Accountability Commission, to run the politically important tribal autonomous body on his behalf.

The 30-member TTAADC, until Sunday, was governed by the opposition CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and its five-year term expired on May 17. An official of the TTAADC said that within the next six months, the elections to the council would have to be conducted as per the mandate of the Constitution.

Opposition CPI-M state Secretary Gautam Das and Tripura Pradesh Congress President Pijush Biswas separately asked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government to conduct the elections of the TTAADC within the stipulated period. The politically important TTAADC, which was constituted under the sixth Schedule of the Constitution in June, 1985, has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km are, home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.

In Assam, on the recommendations of the state government, the State Election Commission recently put off the 40-member BTC polls for an indefinite period. Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi, who is the constitutional head of the Sixth Schedule areas like that of BTC, had also earlier suggested postponement of the council polls.

Mukhi on April 27 appointed Rajesh Prasad, a 1995-batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, as the administrator of the BTC following the promulgation of Governor’s Rule.

The politically important BTC, which started functioning in December 2003, comprises four districts of western Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri and is home to over 31,00,000 people, the majority of whom are tribals. Before the Governor’s rule in BTC, since 2003 it was governed by the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), a local party and an ally of the BJP-led Assam government.

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Supreme Court’s relief for Gujarat minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, High Court order stayed

Supreme Court issues notice in the matter. Justice Shantanagoudar says that the Gujarat High Court order has to be stayed.



Bhupendrasinh Chudasama

New Delhi: Supreme Court stays Gujarat High Court order which had nullified the election of BJP leader Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on the grounds of malpractice and manipulation.

Supreme Court issues notice in the matter. Justice Shantanagoudar says that the Gujarat High Court order has to be stayed.

Senior Lawyer Kapil Sibal, “When have your Lordships stayed matter’s like this which are based on corrupt practices?”

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