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Process for President’s election begins: Here is all you need to know

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New Delhi, June 13, 2017: As the Election Commission on Wednesday set in motion the process to elect India’s 14th President, the Returning Officer for the Presidential poll issued a notice paving the way for the filing of nominations for the July 17 contest.

Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra, the Returning Officer for the election to the office of President, issued the notice, declaring that the nomination papers may be delivered by a candidate or any of their proposers or seconders not later than June 28.

Each nomination paper shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the candidate in the electoral roll for the Parliamentary constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector, Mishra said in the notice.

Candidates have been told to deposit a sum of Rs 15,000 with their nomination papers.

This amount may be deposited in cash with the Returning Officer at the time of presentation of the nomination paper or deposited earlier in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or in a government treasury and in the latter case a receipt showing that the deposit has been made, Mishra said.

He added the nomination papers, other than those rejected, will be taken up for scrutiny on June 29.

The notice of withdrawal of candidature may be delivered by a candidate or any one of his proposers or seconders, who have been authorized on his behalf in writing by the candidate by July 1.

Here is all you need to know about Presidential elections:

The last date for filing of nominations is June 28. Scrutiny will follow on June 29 and the last date for withdrawal is July 1. The vote count will be on July 20, four days before incumbent Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends. The new President is set to take charge the next day.

The electoral college for choosing the President consists of 4,896 voters. While the Lok Sabha has 543 voters and the Rajya Sabha 233, the overwhelming majority (4,120) come from state assemblies – MLAs.

The total value of votes in the election is 10,98,903 — 5,49,408 for MPs and 5,49,495 for MLAs.

The value of each vote of an MP is 708 but this differs for MLAs from state to state. The value of an MLA’s vote in Uttar Pradesh is the highest (208) and the least (7) in Sikkim.

The NDA is short of the half-way mark by about 18,000 votes. But it expects to gain the support of many smaller parties besides all the factions of the feuding AIADMK which alone has a vote value of over 26,000.

In 2012, Mukherjee, the nominee of the Congress-led UPA, got 7,13,763 votes while his sole rival P.A. Sangma, fielded by the BJP-led NDA, secured 3,15,987 — of the total vote value of 10,29,750. Mukherjee assumed office on July 25, 2012.

The election will see secret ballot and political parties can’t issue a whip to MPs or MLAs.

The Election Commission has said special pens will be provided to voters in view of a row that sorrounded voting for a Rajya Sabha seat in Haryana last year.

“Electors have to mark the ballot only with this pen and not with any other pen. Voting by any other pen may lead to invalidation of the vote,” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has said.

A nomination paper has to be subscribed by at least 50 electors as ‘Proposers’ and by at least another 50 as ‘Seconders’.

The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.

Every elector can have as many preferences as the candidates contesting the election and the winner has to secure the required quota of votes to be declared elected — 50 percent of the valid votes plus one.

Read More: Presidential election on July 17, Counting on July 20

Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra will be the Returning Officer. Votes will be cast in Parliament House and in state assemblies. The vote count will take place in Delhi.

Assistant Returning Officers will be appointed in all state capitals, besides Delhi and Puducherry. Each candidate will be allowed to deploy a representative at the venue of polling.

“MPs are expected to vote in Parliament House in Delhi and the MLAs in their assemblies but they can vote at another polling station in case of exigency,” Zaidi said.

The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) formed a three-member panel on Monday to seek consultations with other political parties over a  consensus candidate for the prestigious post of President.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu are the members of the panel.

Read More: BJP forms 3-member panel to consult parties on Presidential Election

The BJP has not given any indication about its likely nominee but opposition parties including the Congress have held parleys to find a consensus candidate. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and tribal leader Draupadi Murmu’s names are doing the rounds as possible government’s choice for the Presidential election.

The opposition parties will meet on June 14 to formally begin discussions on the presidential and vice presidential elections.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has initiated moves to bring the opposition on a common platform.

She set up a 10-member sub-group of representatives from opposition parties to take forward the deliberations.

The sub-group consists of Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), Shard Yadav (JD-U), Lalu Prasad (RJD), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Derek O’Brien (TMC), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), R.S. Bharathi (DMK) and Praful Patel (NCP).

Earlier, Gandhi hosted a luncheon meeting at Parliament House on Friday to discuss a consensus candidate for the forthcoming Presidential Election which was attended by top Leaders of 17 opposition parties.

The meeting decided to wait for the ruling alliance to reach out to them. The opposition parties have said if a consensual candidate does not emerge, they will field a candidate “who will steadfastly defend the constitutional values”.

The names of former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar are doing the rounds. NCP leader Sharad Pawar, whose name figured initially, has said he is not interested in contesting.

Read More: Opposition leaders unites at Sonia Gandhi’s luncheon meet on presidential candidate

Wefornews Bureau

Cities

Mundka-Bahadurgarh green line launched: PM Modi urges people to opt for metro

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Delhi Metro DMRC

New Delhi, June 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning inaugurated Delhi Metro’s Green Line service between Mundka to Bahadurgarh. Speaking via video-conferencing, the Prime Minister said that commuters should now get rid of private vehicles and opt for metro rail services

Modi inaugurated the facility through a video-conference facility from the PMO on Sunday. Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar attended the function in Bahadurgarh.

The 11.2-km-long corridor will have seven stations and stretch out from existing Delhi Metro Green Line from Inderlok to Mundka.

“Our priority is to build convenient, comfortable and affordable urban transport systems in our cities,” he said.

With this line, Bahadurgarh has become third Haryana city to have DMRC services. Metro lines were already operational in Gurgaon (Yellow Line) and Faridabad (Violet Line).

“The process of making Metro systems is also linked to cooperative federalism. Wherever Metros are being built in India, the Centre and the respective state Governments are working together,” he added.

The Prime Minister also emphasised on Make in India by suggesting that metro coaches should be built indigenously. “We also want to boost make in India by making coaches of the Metro in India itself. Several nations helped us in the making of the Delhi Metro and other Metros, and now, we are helping other nations by designing coaches for their Metro systems,” he said.

Speaking on Bahadurgarh, the PM said, ” Bahadurgarh is witnessing tremendous economic growth, there are several educational centres there, students from there even travel to Delhi. The Metro will bring convenience to this part, which is considered the gateway to Haryana.”

“There is a direct link between connectivity and development. The Metro will bring more colonies, more people coming to Bahadurgarh. It will also mean more employment opportunities for local people,” he added.

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Mann Ki Baat : Will PM Modi talk about Kashmir

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New Delhi , June 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation through the 45th episode of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme at 11 am today.It will be seen whether Modi will clarify on the latest political development in Jammu and Kashmir after Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir where it was in power with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 2016.

The programme will be broadcasted on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan.
It will also be streamed on the YouTube channels of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, AIR and DD News. And will be simultaneously broadcast on AIR’s website – www.allindiaradio.gov.in.

With the world having celebrated the 4th International Yoga Day on Thursday, it is likely the prime minister will talk about it during his radio address. In a speech in Dehradun, Modi had highlighted the benefits of yoga and said it has become a positive influence in the lives of millions across the world.

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NABARD figures misleading: Gujarat DCCBs collected highest average banned notes among states

According to RTI information secured by Mumbai activist Manoranjan S. Roy, Maharashtra’s 30 DCCBs (out of total 370) secured deposits of Rs 3,985 crore worth of banned notes averaging to Rs 132.83 crore per bank.

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currency notes

Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) The National Bank for Agiculture & Rural Development (NABARD) had said in a statement on Friday that demonetised notes presented to district cooperative central banks (DCCBs) in Maharashtra were higher than those deposited in Gujarat, followed by Kerala. This statement, in essence, may be misleading.

According to RTI information secured by Mumbai activist Manoranjan S. Roy, Maharashtra’s 30 DCCBs (out of total 370) secured deposits of Rs 3,985 crore worth of banned notes averaging to Rs 132.83 crore per bank.

But, neighbouring Gujarat’s 18 DCCBs were way ahead in average terms in securing deposits of old notes worth Rs 3,640 crore — or an average of Rs 202 crore per DCCB.

What is important is the average amount garnered by each DCCB, not the total amount in the state. In average terms, Gujarat tops the list followed by Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India, as per the RTI documents released earlier by NABARD.

Next to Gujarat in the list is Kerala with 13 DCCBs getting deposits of Rs 2,094 crore, averaging to Rs 161 crore per DCCB.

It is followed by Karnataka’s 20 DCCBs which got deposits of Rs 1,849 crore, averaging to Rs 92 crore per DCCB.

Tamil Nadu’s 22 DCCBs collected total deposits of Rs 1,514 crore, averaging to Rs 69 crore per DCCB.

On Thursday, IANS had released a story, based on RTI replies to Roy, on how the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) — which has BJP President Amit Shah as one of its directors — collected the highest amount of Rs 745.59 crore among DCCBs in the country.

This amount was collected within five days after the prime minister announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8, 2016. The DCCBs were banned from depositing or changing old notes after the initial five-day window on fears that black money may be laundered through this route.

On Friday, the NABARD had defended ADCB saying that only 9.37 per cent or 1.6 lakh customers of the bank had deposited the total amount and the average deposit amounted to Rs 46,795 crore.

Roy and others have expressed surprise at why NABARD was acting as “a spokesperson” for the Ahmedabad DCCB. “At this rate, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may be compelled to justify objectionable goings-on in big banks like Punjab National Bank or ICICI Bank. This is not a healthy trend for the country,” Roy said.

The RTI replies to queries by Roy were send by NABARD.

On Saturday, the Congress accused Finance Minister Piyush Goyal of “forcing” NABARD to issue the statement on Friday, which the party alleged was “intended to hide the demonetisation scam perpetrated by the BJP chief”. The party demanded a thorough probe.

On Saturday, BJP ally Shiv Sena came down heavily on the government and sought a probe into how the DCCBs in Gujarat could managed to secure huge deposits within five days after demonetisation.

“How many bank chairmen who gave fraudulent loans have been sent to jail?” it asked adding “how could so much money be deposited in just one (ADCB) bank? This is a serious issue and must be probed in depth,” the Sena said in editorial comments in the party mouthpieces ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’.

While the DCCBs raked in huge amounts of cash, in sharp contrast a majority of the 32 apex state cooperative banks have come across as their poor cousins for the meager deposits of old notes they collected.

The Maharashtra SCB got Rs 1,128.44 crore, Tamil Nadu (Rs 382 crore), Delhi (Rs 375.28 crore), Karnataka (Rs 371.22 crore), Goa (Rs 344.62 crore), Kerala (Rs 349.63 crore), Meghalaya (Rs 335.15 crore), Assam (Rs 301.47 crore) and the apex Gujarat SCB at Rs 110.85 crore (earlier wrongly mentioned as Rs 1.10 crore), according to the NABARD figures.

(Quaid Najmi can be reached at [email protected])

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