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Election

Stage set for high-stakes Delhi municipal polls

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MCD Polls

New Delhi, Apr 22 : With battlelines drawn, the stage is now set for high-octane Delhi municipal polls, the verdict of which will have political ramifications beyond the capital’s borders.

The campaigning involving the three main players — the AAP, the BJP and the Congress — was intense, marked by rancour, and the verdict will reshape the political equations in the country’s power capital.

It will determine whether the sway of Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP – which had stunned all by bagging 67 seats out of 70 in the 2015 assembly polls – still holds and if the Rajouri Garden defeat was due to hostile constituency dynamics.

The BJP, which is seeking to retain the turf it has held for the last 10 years, has fielded all fresh faces in the contest — 267 wards. It had expelled it’s Narela ward candidate from the party for allegedly allowing sacked AAP minster Sandeep Kumar to campaign for her.

The Congress, which finished second in the Rajouri Garden bypoll, is hoping for a resurgence and banked on its big guns during campaigns to shore up its fortune, despite unabated infighting. It has fielded 271 candidates.

The AAP, which suffered a humiliating defeat in the recent bypolls and still smarting under its poor performance in Punjab and Goa polls, has refused to acknowledge the results as a “trailer of MCD polls”.

While the BJP’s move to field new candidates was seen as a strategy to counter anti-incumbency, the party claims it was to “give opportunity to the next generation”.

The BJP is betting big on the contest. Addressing booth-level workers during campaigning, party chief Amit Shah had said a favourable verdict in the MCD polls could be a stepping stone to victory in the next Assembly elections in the city.

The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into North, South and East Municipal Corporations. While NDMC and SDMC have 104 wards each, EDMC has 64.

There are 1,004 candidates vying in the NDMC area, 985 in SDMC’s and 548 in EDMC’s.

The BSP and the JD(U) have fielded 211 and 95 candidates while the SP has entered the fray with 28.

The SP today said it has 30 candidates altogether but two of them have died.

Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India is also in the fray.

The run-up to the polls have also been dominated by allegations of tampered EVMs, made by Kejriwal, a charge rejected by the Election Commission.

The Generation-1 electronic voting machines (EVMs) are to be used for the MCD elections, which the Commission has described as “foolproof”.

The State Election Commission is gearing up to carry out the electoral exercise that will be spread over 13,000 booths spanning 272 wards.

Over 1.3 crore people are eligible to vote in the polls and of them more than 1.1 lakh are first-time voters.

Out of the 13,022 polling stations, police authorities have declared 3,284 as sensitive and 1,464 as hypersensitive.

For the first time in MCD elections, None Of The Above (NOTA) option will be available.

The total number of electorate for the civic polls stands at 1,32,10,206 which include 73,15,915 men, 58,93,418 women and 793 voters in the other category.

This would be the first civic poll after the latest delimitation which has redrawn the civic wards.

As per the new delimitation exercise, based on the 2011 Census, each ward now has an average of 60,000 people with an estimated 40,000 voters.

Delhi has 70 Assembly seats and before the delimitation, every constituency had four wards, but, now it ranges from 3- 7.

Election

Gujarat election: EC orders repolling in 6 booths of 2nd phase on December 17

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Election
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New Delhi, 16 December: Election Commission on Saturday (16th December) announced repolling in 6 polling stations of Gujarat on Sunday. The polling stations include Vadgam, Viramgam, Daskroi, and Savli.

The Election Commission also informed that the counting of votes of 10 polling stations would be done through counting of slips in VVPAT. As the Presiding officers in 10 polling stations in Visnagar, Becharaji, Modasa, Vejalpur, Vatva, Jamalpur-Khadia, Savli & Sankheda didn’t clear from the Control units the votes cast during mock poll.

In the second phase of Gujarat election two of the booths where repolling will be conducted fall under the Vadgam seat where polling was suspended after ink marks were found on the election symbol of Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani on the EVM and a BJP candidate raised an objection.

WeForNews

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Punjab municipal polls on Sunday, all arrangements made

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Chandigarh, Dec 16: Punjab’s State Election Commission has made all arrangements for the smooth conduct of municipal polls on Sunday.

The ruling Congress, main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance are contesting the polls December 17.

It would be the first big electoral outing for all three after the assembly elections in March.

“The process of voting to elect representatives to three municipal corporations and 29 municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats would begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.,” a spokesman of the State Election Commission said on Saturday.

The results will be declared on Sunday evening.

Polling would be held for the municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala.

The election for the municipal corporation of Punjab’s largest city, Ludhiana, was not being held as the electoral rolls were not updated.

Polling would also be held for 327 wards of the 29 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats.

Candidates in 90 wards have won unopposed, the spokesman said.

There would be a total of 873 polling stations in the state, having 1,938 polling booths. A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel would perform duties at these polling stations.

The Akali Dal-BJP and AAP have accused the ruling Congress of misusing its power in the run-up to the municipal polls.

A total of 413 candidates are in the fray in 85 wards of Amritsar where 769,153 voters will exercise their franchise.

In Jalandhar, 305 candidates are in the fray from 80 wards. The number of voters there is 560,261. In Patiala, election will be held in 57 wards in which 260,664 voters can exercise their franchise.

This is the first big election in the state after the Congress government, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, came to power after assembly poll results in March.

The Congress won 77 out of 117 seats in the assembly. The AAP finished second with 20 seats.

IANS

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Election

Looking into Congress complaint against PM: EC

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Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha
Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha

New Delhi : The Election Commission on Thursday said it is looking into the Congress’ complaint of violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad, and also clarified that it has not filed an FIR against Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress has accused the Prime Minister of breaking the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by taking out a ‘road show’ after casting his vote on Thursday.

“We have received this complaint in the afternoon, this is being examined and we will let you know,” Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said in response to a question.

After coming out of the polling booth at Ranip, in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister stood on the steps of the vehicle in which he was travelling and waved to the crowd on the road and showed his inked finger. He continued to do so for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sinha also clarified that the poll panel did not register any FIR against Rahul Gandhi for his TV interviews, and has only sent him a notice, seeking his response in five days.

“I would like to inform that yesterday morning a complaint had come about the interview being shown repeatedly on some channels. Due diligence was done. First of all no FIR has been filed against Rahul Gandhi,” Sinha said.

He said other complaints made by the Congress are also being examined.

He said the poll panel gave representatives of the Congress party time for a meeting, and heard the allegations that they had to make.

“Till about midnight, the Commission deliberated and even in the thick of elections, we immediately sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer,” he said.

Sinha said the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat sent a report by around mid-day on Thursday on “all points and allegations made by the delegation of Congress”.

“Based on that the matter is under examination. Commission will soon brief on that,” he said.

“Commission has to put in due diligence before taking a decision. The report had been received at mid-day, the entire Election Commission has been busy. The Commission is still doing deliberation on the report received from the Chief Electoral Officer. We will let you know as the Commission takes a decision on it,” he said.

IANS

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