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Supreme Court moved over discrepancies in 2019 Lok Sabha poll data

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Lok Sabha Election 2019

New Delhi, Nov 20 : Two non-government organisations (NGOs) have moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in the voter turnout data and votes counted in 347 constituencies in the 2019 general election.

“There have been serious discrepancies in the number of voters in different constituencies (i.e. the voter turnout data collated and provided by the Election Commission) and the number of votes counted,” said the plea filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Common Cause.

The NGOs have clarified that the plea didn’t challenge the Lok Sabha election results, or the process adopted to conduct polls.

They contended that the EC declared results of the election on provisional figures and without determining the exact vote count and without due reconciliation of the discrepancies in various constituencies.

“The EC has not laid down any prescribed system for compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data and therefore, has been evading placing the methodology followed by it, in public domain”, the petition stated.

It sought a direction to the EC to place the information in statutory forms — 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E — for the general elections and all future elections, in public domain.

The discrepancies between the actual voter turnout and provisional data in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as pointed out were significant and couldn’t be set aside without a satisfactory resolution of the same, it said.

“The current statute has a procedure for resolution of a dispute through an election petition, but no provision for resolution of the doubts arising out of discrepancies in a large number of constituencies all over the country,” it said.

The plea highlighted the dereliction of duty by the EC in declaring results of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies through electronic voting machines (EVMs) based on accurate and indisputable data which is put in public domain.

The petitioners said, the discrepancies ranged from 1 to 1,01,323 votes, which was 10.49 per cent of the total votes.

However, there was no particular co-relation with any party regarding discrepancies found in its research, the ADR added.

Election

Jharkhand polls: Voting ends in 18 seats amid violence

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Ranchi, Dec 7 : Around 61 per cent polling has been recorded on 20 Assembly seats amid a few incidents of violence in the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly polls on Saturday.

According to Election Commission data, 60.56 per cent voting took place in the second phase. The highest polling was recorded at Bharagora assembly seat with 74.44 per cent turnout and lowest at Jamshedpur West with 46.65 per cent turnout. The voting percentage at Chief Minister Raghubar Das’ Assembly seat Jamshedpur East was only 49.12 per cent.

The polling which started at 7 a.m., ended at 3 p.m. on 18 Assembly seats. The voting in Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West concluded at 5 p.m.

A 95-year-old woman Kaushlaya Devi and eighty year old Sukurmani cast their votes in Jamshedpur.

In poll related violence, one youth was killed in police firing and six including three policemen were injured in the Sisai constituency of Gumla district. The polling was cancelled at booth number 36 after the firing incident. The polling officials and security personnel left the polling centre with EVM machines after the incident of violence.

The Election Commission has sought detailed report from the Gumla district administration.

Maoist Guerrillas also set ablaze a polling bus in West Singhbhum district.

The fate of 260 candidates fighting in the 20 Assembly seats has been sealed in EVMs.

Police sources said that more than 40,000 security forces were deployed for the second phase of voting which largely took place in Maoist-infested areas.

Of the 20 seats, 16 are reserved for the Schedule Tribe (ST) and one for the Schedule Caste (SC).

Chief Minister Raghubar Das is contesting from the Jamshedpur East seat, where he is pitted against former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress spokesperson Gaurabh Vallabh.

Also in the fray in this phase are Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Urban Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis, former cabinet minister Saryu Rai and state BJP President Laxman Giluwa.

Jailed Maoist commander Kunadan Pahan is fighting from the Tamar Assembly seat. Kundan Pahan is locked in a triangular fight with AJSU candidate Vikas Munda and former jailed Minister Gopal Krishna alias Raja Peter.

Of the 20 constituencies, the fight is triangular on at least seven Assembly seats and the rest of the seats will see direct fight between the BJP and Congress-JMM-RJD alliance.

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Election

Jharkhand polls: One dead in clashes in Gumla

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Ranchi: Two incidents of violence have been reported in Jharkhand on Saturday where polling for the second phase on 20 Assembly seats is underway.

At least one person was killed and six others including policemen were injured in clashes and subsequent police firing in Jharkhand’s Gumla district.

The problem began at booth no 36 of Sisai constituency of Gumla district when people got angry due to delay in voting. They started pelting stones on the police, who retaliated with firing in which one youth sustained bullet injuries who later died in the hospital. He has been identified as Mohammad Geelani (28).

In the clashes at Sisai, an officer in-charge Vishnu Deo Chauhdray and two policemen sustained injuries.

The Election Commission has sought an explanation from the Gumla district administration.

In another incident, Maoist Guerrillas set on fire a bus which was going to a polling booth in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.

According to the Police, Maoist Guerrillas set the bus on fire at Jojohatu of West Singhbhum district.

The polling is underway for 20 assembly seats of Jharkhand on Saturday.

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‘Delhi Assembly poll schedule to be announced by Jan 10’

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Delhi Assembly

New Delhi, Dec 6 : Soon the ongoing Jharkhand Assembly election ends with the counting of votes on December 23, the Election Commission plans to set in motion the process for the Delhi Assembly elections, slated for early next year.

According to sources in the polls, the election schedule for the Delhi polls could be announced by January 10. The Model Code of Conduct would come in place simultaneously with the announcement.

Sensing the poll announcement could come by early next month, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in the city is seeking to announce the start of pending projects before the code of conduct is in place. The announcement of 11,000 wifi hotspots by December 16 is being seen as an example.

The Kejriwal government will complete five years by February 14 and the elections are slated to be held before this date. The Election Commission will have to allot a month for the entire election process, which will include sufficient time for parties to campaign as well as the polling and counting process.

According to the sources, the EC, this time, wants to complete the entire process well before the deadline. For the 2015 elections, the elections were announced on January 12 and the voting held on February 7.

The sources stressed that this time, the poll panel is likely to announce the poll schedule much before January 10. In view of the impending announcement, the ruling AAP as well as the opposition BJP and Congress have started their electoral preparations.

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