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Security beefed up in Bengaluru ahead of Karnataka assembly election

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Bengaluru, May 11: Security in the nation’s tech hub Bengaluru has been stepped up ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls on Saturday, Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar said on Friday.

“A total of 10,500 policemen, 4,500 armed police and 2,500 home guards are being deployed ahead of the elections on Saturday,” Kumar told reporters here.

Polling will be held across 27 of the total 28 constituencies in the state capital, after the election in Jayanagar segment was countermanded by the Election Commission due to the death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.

Police personnel would be stationed across 7,477 polling stations where voting would take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We have identified 1,469 polling booths as critical (sensitive),” Kumar added.

Over 150 senior-rank police officers would monitor security across the city.

“Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that prohibits gathering of more than five people at one place at a time has also been imposed across the city till 6 p.m. on Sunday to prevent any untoward incidents,” the police officer said.

Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelamani N. Raju said over 1,40,000 security personnel have so far been deployed across the state to ensure ‘free and fair’ polling.

“A total of 585 companies of paramilitary forces are deployed across over 20,000 polling booths, including nearly 12,000 critical booths,” Raju told reporters here.

The southern state has a total of 58,008 polling stations, across its 224 constituencies.

Polling will be held for 223 constituencies on Saturday after the election to Jayanagar seat in Bengaluru was postponed.

The EC has set up 600 all-women run polling booths to push voter percentage among women. Twenty-eight special polling booths bearing an ethnic look have also been set up in the state to encourage primitive and nomadic tribes to vote.

Over 4.96 crore voters, including 2.52 crore men, 2.44 crore women and over 4,500 people who identify themselves as ‘transgenders’, have registered to vote.

A total of 15.42 lakh voters, aged 18-19, have registered to cast their ballot for the first time.

The voter turnout in the previous Assembly election held in the state in 2013 was 71.45 per cent. The poll panel hopes the voting percentage would surpasses 75 per cent in 2018, after it held several voting awareness programmes across the state.

IANS

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Changing alliances set the tone for Bihar Polls

The BJP’s Bihar unit President Sanjay Jaiswal says the NDA has jumped into the poll fray with full force. The BJP-led NDA parties were contesting on the sole plank of development.

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Patna, Sep 23 : Political parties in Bihar are busy chalking out strategies for the Assembly elections which are likely to be held in October-November this year though the Election Commission (EC) has not yet announced the poll dates.

In many cases, parties which were friends during the last elections will now be seen as opponents while foes in the last polls have joined hands.

In the last assembly elections, the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) fought against each other but in this election they are together in the NDA-fold.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is likely to remain in the NDA this time as well but the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) which was with the NDA during the last elections has severed ties with it. Former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha’s party RLSP is now part of the Opposition Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) for the forthcoming election.

However, the RLSP and the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) are said to be upset as the seat-sharing formula in the Grand Alliance has not yet been decided.

Former MP Pappu Yadav has also announced to contest this year’s election through the Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik). Yadav has not yet aligned with any opposition party.

The BJP is enthused with the JDU coming back to the NDA. The importance of the Bihar elections for the BJP can be gauged from the fact that its National President J.P. Nadda has already reached Patna and is busy reviewing preparations for the polls.

The Left which contested the last elections alone is likely to join the Grand Alliance this time. There have been several rounds of talks between the Left and the RJD on contesting the elections together.

RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said the Opposition grand alliance should expand its outreach. Negotiations were on with many other parties, he added. Asked about the resentment over the seat-sharing formula, he said candidates who could guarantee a win were being selected.

The BJP’s Bihar unit President Sanjay Jaiswal says the NDA has jumped into the poll fray with full force. The BJP-led NDA parties were contesting on the sole plank of development.

In the last Bihar assembly elections, the JDU, the RJD and the Congress had contested together under the Grand Alliance and formed the government with absolute majority. Later, however the JDU broke away from the alliance and formed the government in Bihar by joining hands with the BJP.

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Election

Facebook plans drastic measures if US polls descend into chaos: Report

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San Francisco, Sep 22 : Facebook is bracing for tough measures to restrict content in case the November elections in the US descend into chaos or violent protests, according to a report in the Financial Times on Tuesday.

The plans were revealed by Facebook’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, in an interview to the newspaper.

“There are some break-glass options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances,” Clegg was quoted as saying.

Facebook is under pressure to help maintain the integrity of the elections as it has faced criticism for failing to contain the spread of disinformation and hate speech on the platform.

It was even accused of failing to prevent attempts to create divisions in American society through disinformation campaigns by foreign players during the 2016 presidential election.

The stakes appear to be even higher this time with reports of similar attempts to influence the US presidential elections by groups operating from Russia, China and Iran.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month announced additional steps it is taking to help secure the integrity of the US elections by encouraging voting, connecting people to authoritative information, and reducing the risks of post-election confusion.

These include measures to attach an informational label to content that seeks to delegitimise the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods, for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud.

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Election

Wrong policies led to failure of Cong-RJD govts in Bihar: Owaisi

People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

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asaduddin owaisi

Patna, Sep 19 — All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday claimed that wrong policies led to the failure of the Congress and RJD governments in Bihar.

Owaisi was in Patna as the AIMIM entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic (SJDD) ahead of the Bihar polls.

“We will fight the election under the leadership of Devendra Prasad Yadav, the president of SJDD. We welcome all those parties who want to fight against communalism and communal parties,” the AIMIM chief said.

“We are not scared of any political party. Our party had contested the election in 2015 from Kishanganj, but the Congress won. Today the BJP is riding high in Bihar due to the failure of the RJD. I have defeated the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Hyderabad,” Owaisi said.

“In Maharashtra, the Congress party is sitting on the Shiv Sena’s lap. The former is presented as a secular party in the country but I would believe that its thinking promotes feudalism. People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

The AIMIM has already declared it will contest on 50 seats in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar.

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