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Remove hoardings with PM’s photo from petrol pumps: Congress

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Mumbai, Sep 23 : The Maharashtra Congress on Monday demanded that the Election Commission (EC) should immediately remove all the hoardings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from petrol pumps as the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has been enforced in the state, which will go to the polls on October 21.

“After the MCC was implemented last Saturday, the Election Commission has promptly removed all hoardings and advertisements of various political parties, including those of the Opposition.

“However, hoardings and advertisements bearing images of the Prime Minister and government ads are still untouched at various petrol pumps in the state,” said Congress General Secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

In a letter to the EC, Sawant said that while no political party has objected to the removal of their publicity materials, the EC is also expected to eject the huge hoardings with Modi’s pictures which are installed in most petrol stations in the state.

“It is surprising that the EC and the state administration are reluctant to implement the MCC when the rule applies uniformly to all the parties. As per the MCC, the EC and the government must immediately take out all such material displaying pictures of the ruling and opposition politicians, but the PM’s ads are still visible,” Sawant pointed out.

Besides petrol pumps, he said that departments like the Maharashtra State Transport Corporation, buses and bus stations, railways and vehicles of various municipal transport bodies also display official government ads and photos of politicians.

Since the rules are common for all, he called upon the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra to instruct the concerned officials and get all such publicity materials removed forthwith.

In Mumbai and other cities, such publicity hoardings which could give an undue advantage to the ruling and opposition parties or their candidates, are either being removed or have already been knocked off, and on permanent hoardings, white or black paint has been applied to cover the names or photographs or party symbols.

The MCC was implemented in the state last Saturday for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra scheduled for October 21. The results will be declared on October 24.

Election

PM Modi doesn’t understand economy: Rahul in Haryana

Citing the lack of jobs and the rising farmers distress, he said: “The fate of country is known to you… unemployment is highest in the country in last 45 years.

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Rahul Gandhi

Mahendergarh (Haryana), Oct 18 : Hitting out the BJP-led Central government over the slowdown, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “does not know anything about economics”.

Addressing his second rally in Haryana, in the Ahirwal region – seen as a BJP citadel, ahead of the October 21 Assembly elections, the former Congress President warned that the economic situation will become worse and “big corporates will run away like Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi”.

Citing the lack of jobs and the rising farmers distress, he said: “The fate of country is known to you… unemployment is highest in the country in last 45 years.

If you ask business men, either small or medium, everybody will say that demonetisation and GST has ruined them.”

“If Nyay (the Congress proposal for a universal basic income in the 2019 polls) had been implemented, then the things would have been better, but Haryana has a chance to vote for the Congress,” Gandhi added.

He said that Modi had assured that farmers’ loans would be written off but it has not happened, but the government has “written off loans of corporates to tune of Rs 5.5 lakh crore”.

“More than Rs 1 lakh crore have been given as tax rebate to corporates. But he (Modi) will not give money to the poor,” he added.

Gandhi said that under the Congress-led UPA, India was competing with the US and China, but “now India’s image has been dented due to the BJP’s policies”.

“Their sole aim is to divide people and fight each other,” he said, stressing that a “divided India can’t march ahead”.

Gandhi also criticised the media, saying that they “do not give the real picture to the people”.

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Election

Despite Article 370, Local Unemployment and Business remains topmost issues in ensuing Haryana, Maha polls

Significantly, the BJP’s main poll plank of abolition of special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 did not figure among the biggest issues for the voters.

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BJP Election Flag

New Delhi, Oct 18 : Notwithstanding the BJP’s high-decibel pitch for Article 370, local employment and business is the topmost issue for the electorate of Maharashtra and Haryana in the October 21 Assembly elections, according to a IANS-CVoter poll survey.

At the same time, there is a big chunk of voters in the “Others/Can’t say” category, as reflected in the survey conducted between September 16 and October 16.

Both Haryana and Maharashtra are currently ruled by the BJP.

In Haryana, 28 per cent of those asked about the “Biggest issue for you at the moment” opted for the “Status of local employment/business”.

In Maharashtra, 23.1 per cent identified this as the biggest issue for them.

The status of water supply was second biggest issue for the voters in both the states. While in Haryana, 12.4 per cent of those surveyed said so, 18.4 per cent stated this in Maharashtra.

Condition of local roads stood third in the sample survey in these states, with 8.6 per cent identifying it as one of the biggest issues in Haryana and 14.1 per cent doing so in Maharashtra.

The issue of “condition of social/caste/religious harmony” figured very poorly in the survey, with only 0.9 per cent identifying it as one of the biggest issues in Haryana and a similar number doing so in Maharashtra.

In Haryana, only 0.4 per cent saw women security as one of the biggest issues while in Maharashtra, the issue had only 0.3 per cent votaries.

Status of law and order was found to be a big issue only by 0.9 per cent in Haryana and 0.3 per cent in Maharashtra.

Control on corruption in government was one of the biggest issues only for 3.1 per cent in Haryana and merely 1.4 per cent in Maharashtra.

The status of economy, which is the main poll plank of Opposition Congress in both the states, was a big issue only for 0.3 per cent in Haryana and 0.2 per cent in Maharashtra.

Control on price rise was a major issue for 4.3 per cent in Haryana and 4.1 in Maharashtra.

Significantly, the BJP’s main poll plank of abolition of special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 did not figure among the biggest issues for the voters.

The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been making a big pitch about the issue, saying that such a “bold” step could be taken only by a strong and decisive government.

The Congress, which is on a defensive on this issue, has been raking up the status of economy, which has been slowing down lately, to counter the BJP. The Congress has been particularly highlighting the job losses witnessed over the last several months.

In the survey, 30.3 per cent in Haryana and 19.1 per cent in Maharashtra opted for “Others/Can’t Say”.

Among other issues, status of electricity supply was big for 5.7 per cent in Haryana and 2.7 per cent Maharashtra.

The sample size of the survey in Haryana was 10,061 and 19,489 in Maharashtra.

Haryana has 90-member Assembly while the strength of the Maharashtra Assembly is 288.

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Election

Election Commission notice to Mumbai BJP chief on communal speech

He apparently referred to the Dongri and Nagpada areas, inhabited mostly by minorities, while referring to “lanes”.

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Mangal Prabhat Lodha

Mumbai, Oct 18 : The Election Commission on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Mumbai chief of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Mangal Prabhat Lodha for his alleged communal remarks during the ongoing poll campaign.

Lodha had recenly at an election rally in Mumbadevi constituency, which has a sizeable Muslim population, hinted that the explosives used for blasts in the early nineties in Mumbai were “manufactured in the lanes within 5 km.”

He apparently referred to the Dongri and Nagpada areas, inhabited mostly by minorities, while referring to “lanes”.

The EC has taken cognizance of his speech and asked him to explain. According to a report, an EC team present at the meeting had recorded his speech.

Mumbai goes to the polls on October 21.

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