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Election

PAAS members meet Cong’s Kapil Sibal over quota issue

The polling for the two-phase elections in the state will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.

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Ahmedabad, Nov 8 : After conducting a marathon meeting with top Congress leaders including senior party leader and a Supreme court lawyer, members of Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) said that the meeting was satisfactory and stressed that the final decision on quota will be taken after having consultation with Hardik, legal experts and office-bearers of key religious and social organisations- Umiyadham of Unjha and Khodaldham of Kagwad.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Top Congress leaders met with leaders of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti to discuss poll alliance.

  • The meeting did not reach to any conclusion over the politically crucial issue of the OBC quota to Patidars.

  • Patidar leader Bambhania said that Congress shows political will to provide quota, unlike BJP.

Though the meeting did not reach to any conclusion over the politically crucial issue of the OBC quota to Patidars, but the PAAS leaders claimed that the main opposition party showed political will while the ruling BJP never called the community leaders to discuss the issue.

“Meeting with Congress was satosfactory. Congress shows political will to provide us quota,” says Bambhania after holding a four-hour long meeting with Sibal and top Gujarat Congress leaders including party chief in the state Bharatsinh Solanki.

“Congress provides us constitutional options to give the quota which will not intervene into existing 49 per cent quota,” said Bambhania adding that the formula given by the Congress will remain confidential.

“Other states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan has provided quota to the agitating communities. Congress assured to provide quota as per the quota given in those states,” said Bambhania hinting at separate provision of quota for Patidars.

“After holding the discussions on the options given by Congress with Hardik, legal experts and two key organisations Khodaldham and Umiyadham, we will hold a final meeting with Congress leaders on our demand of quota,” said Bambhania.

After PAAS addressed the reporters at Gujarat Congress Bhavan in Paldi area of the city, Sibal too did not disclose his party’s card over quota.

“It was a long discussion and we exchanged several things. But it cannot be discussed with the media,” said Sibal.

When asked if the quota can be given to Patidars under the constitutional ambit which is constantly being denied by the BJP, Sibal said, ” BJP has a very little understanding about the constitution. But as far as the question of quota is concerned, we will try to find out some possible way.”

PAAS members have been agitating since their leader, Hardik, organized a huge public gathering of the community at GMDC ground in August 2015. This was followed by widespread violence in the state that had claimed nine lives.

The polling for the two-phase elections in the state will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.

Election

Recount of presidential votes in Wisconsin ends, reaffirms Biden’s win

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Joe Biden

Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin has been reaffirmed after two of the state’s largest counties completed the recount of the ballots cast in the November 3 presidential election, with just a little change in the tally.

The Democratic former Vice President’s lead over incumbent President Donald Trump in the key swing state grew by 87 votes, after the latter gained 45 votes in the Dane County recount and Biden got a 132-vote net gain in the Milwaukee county recount, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statewide tally showed Biden won Wisconsin by over 20,000 votes.

The Trump campaign has, as required by state law, paid $3 million for the recount, only to see his defeat more apparent.

A day before the recount results, Trump had tweeted on Saturday that he would file a lawsuit “Monday or Tuesday” to continue challenging the results.

“The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally,” he said.

“We have found many illegal votes.”

Wisconsin is set to certify the results on Tuesday.

Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative voter group, has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, asking the state’s Supreme Court to prevent the certification.

But Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ attorneys filed a response to the lawsuit on November 27, calling the group’s effort a “brazen attack on democracy itself” and asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss it.

The Democratic Governor said the lawsuit was a “mishmash of legal distortions” that attempted to disenfranchise millions of Wisconsin residents.

He said failing to certify the election results would alter other election results across the state, throwing the government into chaos.

Trump also suffered consecutive legal defeats in Pennsylvania, as the state’s Supreme Court on Saturday ruled against a Republican-filed case alleging voting irregularities, after a federal appeals court denied his re-election campaign’s effort to appeal its own case that was rejected by a lower court.

Trump told Fox News on Sunday that he “would like to file one nice big beautiful lawsuit” in the US Supreme Court, complaining that “it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court”.

He said the high court needs to be “willing to make a real big decision”, adding he’s got “the best Supreme Court advocates, lawyers that want to argue the case if it gets there”.

Last week, US District Judge Matthew Brann rejected the Trump campaign’s lawsuit accusing Pennsylvania of allowing voters to fix errors in the mail-in ballots and seeking to prevent the state from certifying the results.

The judge also refused the campaign to file an amended complaint.

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Election

Around 52% Polling recorded in 1st phase of DDC Polls in Jammu and Kashmir

The SEC said that the DDC elections will play a decisive role for development at the grass-roots level.

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Jammu: State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma said on Saturday that the first phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir has been conducted successfully with a voter turnout of 51.76%.

The polling was by and large peaceful in the 43 constituencies of DDC that went to the polls on Saturday in which 3,62,766 voters, including 1,93,375 males and 1,69,391 females, out of 7,00,842 voters, exercised their franchise to choose their representatives in their respective councils, the SEC said in a press conference.

Sharma said that Reasi district recorded the highest polling at 74.62 per cent, followed by Rajouri (70.52 per cent), Poonch (68.69 per cent), Samba (68.61 per cent), Doda (64.49 per cent), Kathua (62.82 per cent), Jammu (61.49 per cent), Ramban (64.21 per cent), Udhampur (57.13 per cent) and Kishtwar (55.16 per cent) — all in Jammu division.

In the Kashmir division, Budgam district recorded the highest polling at 56.96 per cent, followed by Kupwara (50.74 per cent), Ganderbal (48.62 per cent), Bandipora (43.57 per cent), Anantnag 43.32 (per cent), Shopian (42.58 per cent), Kulgam (34.35 per cent), Srinagar (33.76 per cent) and Baramulla (32.51 per cent).

The SEC further said that large number of people came out to cast their votes in the first phase of DDC polls and panch/sarpanch bypolls. Long queues could be seen despite severe cold conditions in the Kashmir division and the hilly areas of the Jammu division, Sharma added.

The SEC said that the DDC elections will play a decisive role for development at the grass-roots level.

He also appreciated all the stakeholders for their tireless efforts for the successful conduct of the polling process. Adequate security personnel were deployed at all the polling stations to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls, he said.

The SEC further informed that arrangements for the second phase of polling — to be held in 43 constituencies, 25 in Kashmir division and 18 in Jammu division — have been put in place.

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Ahead of DDC polls, BJP targets Abdullahs over ‘land grab’

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Farooq Abdullah

New Delhi: Ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir beginning Saturday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad trained his guns on the Abdullahs for their alleged role in the Roshni scam.

Prasad alleged that the key leaders of the erstwhile state, including Farooq Abdullah, used their “influence and power for land grabbing”.

“In 1998, Farooq Abdullah had purchased 3 kanals of land but he encroached upon 7 kanals of land which were double the size of the purchase,” Prasad alleged while speaking to the media. He further said that under the Roshni scam, the name of Farooq Abdullah’s sister Suraiya Mattu has also appeared, who, the minister alleged, is also a beneficiary of 3 kanals of land.

“There was a conscious land loot by the powerful people of J&K who were getting benefits under the Roshni Act which was declared unconstitutional by the J&K High Court. This is low level politics by the powerful people of J&K and we condemn it,” alleged Prasad.

Prasad said the J&K High Court has declared the Roshni Act as unconstitutional and has stated that the names of people who have acquired land under this Act should be listed and made public.

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