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Washington/Hong Kong, Aug 2 : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday urged Hong Kong to reverse a decision to suspend its legislative elections amid a resurgence of the coronavirus, saying the delay would be another blow to its autonomy from Beijing, the media reported.

In a statement published on Sunday morning, Pompeo condemned the decision by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to invoke her emergency powers to postpone the Legislative Council elections, scheduled for September 6, until September 5, 2021, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

“We urge Hong Kong authorities to reconsider their decision,” he said.

The elections should be held as close to the September 6 date as possible and in a manner that reflects the will and aspirations of the Hong Kong people.

“If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China.

“There is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay… It is likely, therefore, that Hong Kong will never again be able to vote – for anything or anyone,” the SCMP newspaper quoted Pompeo as saying in the statement.

As relations between Washington and Beijing remain tense, the US has moved to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong over what it sees as an erosion of its autonomy and freedoms.

Besides Pompeo, Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers have also decried the election delay as a political move, with pro-democracy candidates expected to secure an unprecedented majority in the 70-seat legislature after dominating in the district council elections last November.

A day before the postponement was announced, election officials barred 12 opposition candidates from running, in some cases on the grounds of them previously supporting US sanctions on Hong Kong – which can now be considered an offence under the national security law imposed by China on the city.

Election

Bihar assembly election 2020: BJP does not warm up to RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha

BJP leaders dismissed the speculation that in the event the LJP quits the NDA, the RLSP could replace it

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upendra kushwaha

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has dismissed speculation that it is on the verge of an agreement with Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) for the elections in Bihar in late October and November.

“The BJP does not need the RLSP. The coalition that we have with the JDU [Janata Dal-United], the LJP [Lok Janshakti Party], and the HAM [Hindustani Awam Morcha] will get a majority and we will form the government again in Bihar,” said a BJP functionary.

There has been speculation that the LJP, which continues to push for more seats, will put up candidates against the JDU and walk out of the NDA if the party’s demands are not met. The RLSP has also indicated that it is keen to re-join the NDA after quitting the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).

BJP leaders dismissed the speculation that in the event the LJP quits the NDA, the RLSP could replace it.

The party leader quoted above said the LJP continues to be a part of the NDA and its concerns would be addressed at the formal seat sharing discussions over the next few days.

HAM, which counts Maha Dalits among its core support base, has re-joined the NDA and is expected to offset the losses if the LJP breaks ties with the NDA. Dalits account for 18% of Bihar’s population.

The functionary quoted above said the RLSP will be a “political liability” for the BJP as it does not have support on the ground and is considered “unreliable”.

“Going by our past experience, the RLSP has not been faithful. They were given a ministerial berth but the party switched loyalties. Even in the Mahagathbandhan, they did not make any value additions so had to exit that alliance as well.”

Kushwaha quit as Union minister in 2018 accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying Bihar amid speculation that the RLSP would not be given more than two seats to contest the 2019 national elections.

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Election

Bihar Poll: Will Fill 10 Lakh Vacancies Soon After Returning To Power: Tejashwi Yadav

“Neighbouring Jharkhand has a domicile law; Madhya Pradesh has 100 per cent domicile law, and so do others. Why has he not implemented this law in Bihar? Does he have any explanation?”

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Tejashwi Yadav

Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday promised that if his party returned to power after the Bihar Assembly elections, over 10 lakh government vacancies in different departments would be filled within two months.

He also accused the Nitish Kumar government of neglecting the youths of Bihar.

“As a result, job scarcity is at its highest in state. He is unable to fill 4.5 lakh vacancies in different departments. Besides, vacant posts of supporting staffs are even more,” the Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly told the media here.

“If we calculate, over 10 lakh posts are lying vacant in various departments. Besides, opportunities to create jobs in industries and unorganised sectors are also possible,” Tejashwi said.

“As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), one doctor is required for every 1,000 people. Accordingly, 1.25 lakh doctors are required for 12 crore people of the state. Besides, around 2 lakh support staff like nurses, lab technicians and Group D employees are needed. As many as 50,000 posts of teachers and 75,000 Junior Engineers will be filled. In Bihar police, over 50,000 posts are vacant,” he added.

He also claimed that law and order in Bihar was at its worse. “When the RJD was part of the state government for 15 months, I was the Deputy CM… the crime graph had gone down during that period.”

Playing the regional card, Tejashwi said that he had earlier advocated the implementation of the domicile law in Bihar but the Chief Minister did not agree.

“Neighbouring Jharkhand has a domicile law; Madhya Pradesh has 100 per cent domicile law, and so do others. Why has he not implemented this law in Bihar? Does he have any explanation?”

The RJD leader also took a dig at Nitish Kumar’s claims on ‘sushasan’ (good governance), asking if he was denying that 60 scams had taken place during his rule. “Srijan scam, paddy scam, Saat Nischay scam etc took place… I want to ask Nitishji about the recovery of money from offenders. How much money did he manage to recover from scamsters? Does he have the guts to reveal the amount in public domain?” Tejashwi said.

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Election

Congress names two candidates for Uttar Pradesh Assembly bypolls

The dates for the by-elections to the eight assembly seats have not yet been announced but it is believed that they would be held around the same time as the Bihar Assembly elections.

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Priyanka at Rajghat

Lucknow, Sep 27 : The Congress has announced candidates for two of the total eight Uttar Pradesh Assembly seats where by-elections are due.

The party has named Aarti Vajpayee as its candidate from the Bangarmau assembly seat. The seat fell vacant following the disqualification of sitting BJP member Kuldeep Sengar who was convicted in a rape case last year.

The Congress has named Haider Ali Khan on the Suar assembly seat in Rampur district. This seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Samajwadi Party’s sitting member Abdullah Azam who had allegedly forged his birth documents.

The Congress is the first party to announce candidates on two assembly seats.

The dates for the by-elections to the eight assembly seats have not yet been announced but it is believed that they would be held around the same time as the Bihar Assembly elections.

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