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Srinagar bypoll: 8 killed, several injured as securitymen fire on mobs

Almost 70 per cent of the polling booths in Budgam district were abandoned by the polling staff due to the spate of violent protests in several areas, officials said.

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rinagar, Apr 9 : Eight people were killed in firing by security forces as unprecedented election-day violence marred the by-poll for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat today which saw the voter turnout plunge to an all-time low of 7.14 per cent.

Rampaging mobs took to streets in scores of places across the Lok Sabha constituency straddling Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, perpetrating wanton violence and arson, even setting ablaze a polling station and attempting to set on fire two others, amid a boycott called by the separatists.

“The tentative voter turnout for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency is 6.5 per cent,” Jammu and Kashmir s Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu told reporters at the conclusion of polling. However, the revised figure issued later in the evening put the voter turnout at 7.14 per cent of the 12.61 lakh electorate.

The seat had recorded 26 per cent polling in the 2014 general elections.

In the 1989 election, National Conference s Mohammad Shafi Bhat had won the seat uncontested.

The previous lowest turnout in the prestigious seat was 11.93 per cent in 1999 when Omar Abdullah had defeated Mehbooba Mufti in a straight contest.

The state’s former chief minister and National Conference stalwart Farooq Abdullah, who had lost the seat in the 2014 election, is locked in a straight fight with ruling PDP s Nazir Ahmad Khan even though there are seven other candidates in the fray.

“There were more than 200 incidents of violence in the constituency, mostly in Budgam district, which included stone-pelting, petrol bomb attacks, setting ablaze of a polling station, some vehicles and attempt to burn two other polling stations,” Shantmanu said.

“It was not a good day as you know. Six lives were lost in these incidents of violence… 17 civilians were injured, while over 100 paramilitary and police personnel also sustained injuries,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, 17-year-old Amir Manzoor was killed when security personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in Chadoora area of the constituency, taking the death toll to seven.

The CEO said a decision on repoll in violence-hit areas will be taken after examining the diaries of presiding officers.

“I cannot tell you exactly how many polling stations will go to repolls…it can be anywhere between 50 and 100. It is a wild guess,” he said.

While two people each were killed Pakherpora in Chrar-e- Sharief and Beerwah areas of Budgam district, two more deaths were reported from Chadoora area of the same district and another in Magam town, which is known as the gateway to Gulmarg.

Almost 70 per cent of the polling booths in Budgam district were abandoned by the polling staff due to the spate of violent protests in several areas, officials said.

Army was called out to help security forces quell a rampaging mob which threw stones and hurled petrol bombs to set a polling booth ablaze in the Ganderbal district of the constituency.

Hundreds of protestors stormed a polling station at Pakherpora in Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district and ransacked a building housing a polling booth, officials said, adding the security forces fired several warning rounds to disperse the mob, which did not relent.

Six persons were injured in the firing, of whom two, 20- year-old Mohammad Abbas and 15-year-old Faizaan Ahmad Rather, succumbed to bullet wounds.

In another incident, security forces opened fire to quell a stone-pelting mob in Ratxuna Beerwah area, leaving one Nissar Ahmed dead. At the Daulatpura in Chadoora assembly segment of Budgam district, one person, identified as Shabir Ahmed, was killed in firing by security personnel.

A youth, Adil Farooq, succumbed to multiple pellet injuries in the Magam town, about 20 kms from here. One Aqib Wani was shot dead as police opened fire on a crowd of protestors in the Beerwah area in the afternoon.

National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said in his 20 year political career he had never seen such a bad enviroment for elections.

“I am talking about having fought my first election in 1998 at the peak of militancy. Even then the enviroment for campaigning and voting was not as bad as it is today. That may itself tell you just how mismanaged this state is under Mehbooba Mufti,” he said.

“Have contested six elections over 20 years and have never seen his kind of violence in elections in Kashmir.

“5PM- polling booths close for an election that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons,” Omar tweeted.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed distress over the civilian killings, saying she was pained that most of them were teenagers who were yet to understand the intricacies of the issues.

“I am distressed to know that many of those killed were young or teenagers who were yet to understand the intricacies of the issues,” Mehbooba said in an official statement..

The Chief Minister said she has consistently held that peaceful means and not violence are the only way ahead in getting state out of the present difficulties.

Meanwhile, separatists have called for a two-day shutdown against the killing of civilians in firing by security forces, saying it was the only way for them to express solidarity with the families of those killed and the cause for which they laid down their lives.

“We know hartal would not affect government policy towards us but it is the only option to express our collective grief,” separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a joint statement.

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Election

In poll-bound MP, Modi accuses Congress of spreading lies, ignoring cities

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Rajgarh/Indore, June 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong attack on Congress in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, accusing it of spreading lies about his government, not being concerned about states BIMARU tag and of ignoring urban infrastructure in cities.

Modi, who inaugurated Rs 4,000 crore Mohanpura irrigation Project at Rajgarh and unveiled urban development projects worth over Rs 4,000 crore at Indore, said the country was on its way to achieving the target of total cleanliness by Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary next year.

Seeking to set the tone for the BJP’s campaign for the assembly polls later this year, he compared the performance of his government as also of the state’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to that of Congress.

Addressing a rally at Rajgarh, Modi took several digs at the Congress.

“Those who are engaged in spreading misinformation, lies and pessimism, how far removed they are from the reality… you are a picture of it,” he told the gathering.

Accusing the Congress of not caring for Madhya Pradesh’s future and not feeling insulted over the state’s earlier “BIMARU” tag, he said BJP has made the state a major participant in the country’s development process.

“The Congress, which ruled Madhya Pradesh for long time, did not see or feel the insult (over Madhya Pradesh being counted among the sick states). They treated the common people as their subjects and got them to sing their praises. They did not care for Madhya Pradesh’s future.”

The acronym BIMARU was coined in the 1980s for the economic condition of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Remembering Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his death anniversary, he said Mookerjee’s vision was reflected in policies of BJP governments, while accusing the Congress of glorifying one family while ignoring contribution of other nation-builders.

The Prime Minister said that his government is making sure that every village has a gas connection, every household has electricity connection, everybody has bank accounts, everybody gets a shield of security insurance and every pregnant woman and child is immunised.

Noting this work could have been done by the Congress or previous governments also, he said: “It was unfortunate on the part of this country that Congress which has ruled this country for so many years never had trust in you and your hard work.”

Referring to completion of Mohanpura project in about four years, he said it was not only an example of rapid growth but also the way in which BJP governments work.

Taking a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his criticism of government over job creation, Modi said: “Some people’s attitude towards labour may not be positive, they make fun of employment, but the efforts of this government are in front of everyone today. More than 85 lakh people of Madhya Pradesh have taken benefit of Mudra Yojna.”

He said “state has written a new saga of development” under Chouhan. “Agriculture growth rate had been 18 per cent for the last five years. In 2007 area under irrigation schemes in the state was 7.5 lakh hectares. It has gone up to 40 lakh hectares,” he said.

At Indore, he accused the Congress of ignoring urban infrastructure during its rule at the Centre.

“Shortage of water, disorder in power supply, leaking sewage system, traffic jams on roads, widespread dirt and filth, this is the identity that Congress has given to our cities after its long rule but our government has taken upon itself to bring urban infrastructure to the levels of 21st century,” Modi said.

Describing Indore as the country’s “cleanest city”, he said cities were “energy centres” and the BJP-led government has spent Rs 2.30 lakh crores on urban renewal in the last four years compared to Rs 95,000 crore spent by Congress-led UPA in 10 years.

Expressing optimism about his government achieving its cleanliness target, he said: “This dream will be fulfilled and we will collectively do it. We have constructed more than eight crore toilets in the last four years”.

Modi inaugurated urban projects including houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects at Indore, which has retained its position as India cleanest city for second consecutive year.

He also distributed the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2018.

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Jayanagar By Poll Results: Congress’ Sowmya Reddy wins

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Bengaluru, June 13: The Congress on Wednesday won the election in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar constituency. 

Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy defeated BJP’s BN Prahlad by nearly 3000 votes.

With this victory, the Congress now has 79 seats in the Karnataka assembly.

The election was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate B.N. Vijayakumar.

BJP has fielded his brother B.N. Prahalad. Former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy is the Congress candidate.

On the related note, although Karnataka went to polls on May 12, elections in Jayanagar constituency was postponed to June 11.

Counting of votes for the 222 of the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka held on May 15.

In the state assembly election, though the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, the Congress party with 78 seats and JD(S) with 37 seats, along with two independent candidates, stitched up a post-poll alliance with a total strength of 117 MLAs.

Even though the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invited the saffron party  to form the government with a time period of 15 days to prove their majority on the floor of the house, the Supreme Court in an interim order directed the floor test to be held in just two days, even after Yeddyurappa had sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state.

Failed to garner the required number of votes to form Government in the state, Yeddyurappa resigned as the Chief Minister ahead top court-ordered floor test on May 19.

Following this, ending the 10-day political turmoil in the southern state, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy won the floor test after 117 MLAs voted in his favour May 26.

WeForNews 

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Jayanagar By Election: 51% voter turnout recorded till 5 PM

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Bengaluru, June 11: Around 51% voter turnout recorded till 5 PM in the Jayanagar assembly constituency on Monday. 

The election was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate B.N. Vijayakumar.

“34.05% voter turnout recorded till 1 PM in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar assembly constituency”, ANI reported.

BJP has fielded his brother B.N. Prahalad. Former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy is the Congress candidate.

According to news PTI, 10 per cent voting recorded till 9 am.

On the related note, Voting for the Karnataka assembly elections had taken place on May 12.

Counting of votes for the 222 of the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka held on May 15.

WeForNews 

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