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New political equations evolving in Maharashtra politics

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NCP chief Sharad Pawar interacts with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray

New Delhi, Nov 10 : After the official refusal by the BJP on government formation in Maharashtra, a new political situation is arising in state politics wherein a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government supported by the Congress may be a possibility.

The Congress meeting at Jaipur with MLAs has empowered party interim President Sonia Gandhi to take any decision. Sources here said that most of the MLAs are keen to support a Sena-headed government with riders. The party’s state in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge will apprise Sonia Gandhi about the political situation soon.

“A possible scenario could be a Sena-NCP government supported by the Congress with the latter getting the Speaker’s post in the assembly” said a party source close to a former Maharashtra Chief Minister.

The Congress strategy will depend on the counsel of Sharad Pawar who is scheduled to meet Sonia Gandhi after the NCP legislators meet on Tuesday.

Congress sources here say that the party will only consider a dialogue with the Shiv Sena after it announces its departure from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and its lone minister Arvind Sawant resigns from the Union Cabinet.

“Congress should explore all the options available in the state,” Congress leader Hussain Dalwai said.

In a reconciliatory move of sorts, therefore, and to pave the way for a dialogue, the Shiv Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna, has said that the Congress is not an enemy of the state.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackrey on Sunday met his MLAs, who are also holed up in a hotel in Mumbai, to discuss the political situation.

In the meanwhile, all eyes,are on NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who is meeting his party MLAs on Tuesday. “We will take a call on the matter the same day,” said NCP leader Nawab Malik.

“If the BJP-Shiv Sena forms the government, we will sit in the Opposition. Otherwise we will explore options for an alternate government,” Malik said.

Senior Congress leader Milind Deora on Sunday tweeted: “Maharashtra’s Governor should invite NCP-Congress — the second largest alliance — to form the government now that the BJP-Shiv Sena have refused to do so.”

The newly elected Maharashtra Assembly is a hung house where the BJP has 105 MLAs, the Shiv Sena 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44.

Election

Jharkhand Assembly polls: 13.03 per cent voter turnout till 9 am

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Jharkhand witnessed 13.03 per cent polling till 9 a.m. on Saturday for the second phase of the Assembly polls.

The highest polling has been recorded in the Sraikel Assembly seat with 15.66 per cent and lowest at Kolebira with 8.5 per cent

The polling which started at 7 a.m. will end at 3 p.m. Whereas for the two Assembly seats, Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West, it will conclude at 5 p.m.

For the 20 Assembly seats, where voting was underway, the fate of 260 candidates will be decided by 48,25,038 voters including 23,93,437 women. Voting was taking place in 6,066 polling booths of which 1,016 are located in urban areas and the rest in rural areas.

Police sources said that more than 40,000 security forces have been deployed in the second phase, which is taking place in the Maoist affected areas.

Of the 20 seats, 16 are reserved for the Schedule Tribe (ST) and one for the Schedule Caste (SC).

Chief Minister Raghubar Das is contesting from the Jamshedpur East seat, where he is pitted against former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress spokesperson Gaurabh Vallabh.

Also in the fray in this phase are Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Urban Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis, former cabinet minister Saryu Rai and state BJP President Laxman Giluwa.

Jailed Maoist commander Kunadan Pahan is fighting from the Tamar Assembly seat.

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Jharkhand polls: One dead in clashes in Gumla

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Ranchi: Two incidents of violence have been reported in Jharkhand on Saturday where polling for the second phase on 20 Assembly seats is underway.

At least one person was killed and six others including policemen were injured in clashes and subsequent police firing in Jharkhand’s Gumla district.

The problem began at booth no 36 of Sisai constituency of Gumla district when people got angry due to delay in voting. They started pelting stones on the police, who retaliated with firing in which one youth sustained bullet injuries who later died in the hospital. He has been identified as Mohammad Geelani (28).

In the clashes at Sisai, an officer in-charge Vishnu Deo Chauhdray and two policemen sustained injuries.

The Election Commission has sought an explanation from the Gumla district administration.

In another incident, Maoist Guerrillas set on fire a bus which was going to a polling booth in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.

According to the Police, Maoist Guerrillas set the bus on fire at Jojohatu of West Singhbhum district.

The polling is underway for 20 assembly seats of Jharkhand on Saturday.

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‘Delhi Assembly poll schedule to be announced by Jan 10’

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Delhi Assembly

New Delhi, Dec 6 : Soon the ongoing Jharkhand Assembly election ends with the counting of votes on December 23, the Election Commission plans to set in motion the process for the Delhi Assembly elections, slated for early next year.

According to sources in the polls, the election schedule for the Delhi polls could be announced by January 10. The Model Code of Conduct would come in place simultaneously with the announcement.

Sensing the poll announcement could come by early next month, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in the city is seeking to announce the start of pending projects before the code of conduct is in place. The announcement of 11,000 wifi hotspots by December 16 is being seen as an example.

The Kejriwal government will complete five years by February 14 and the elections are slated to be held before this date. The Election Commission will have to allot a month for the entire election process, which will include sufficient time for parties to campaign as well as the polling and counting process.

According to the sources, the EC, this time, wants to complete the entire process well before the deadline. For the 2015 elections, the elections were announced on January 12 and the voting held on February 7.

The sources stressed that this time, the poll panel is likely to announce the poll schedule much before January 10. In view of the impending announcement, the ruling AAP as well as the opposition BJP and Congress have started their electoral preparations.

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