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Tamil Nadu rural civic elections on Dec 27, 30

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EVM VVPAT

Chennai, Dec 2 : Elections to the rural local bodies in Tamil Nadu will be held in two phases – on December 27 and 30, said R. Palanisamy, State Election Commissioner, on Monday.

He, however, said the poll dates for urban local bodies, corporations, municipalities and town panchayats will be announced later.

According to Palanisamy, the poll notification will be issued on December 6 and scrutiny of nominations will be on December 16.

The last date for withdrawal of nominations will be on December 18.

Counting of votes will be held on January 2, the State Election Commissioner added.

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Election

Remove Kapil Mishra’s ‘India Vs Pak’ comment: EC tells Twitter

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Kapil Mishra

New Delhi, Jan 24 : The Election Commission has asked Twitter to remove the comment of BJP’s Model Town Assembly candidate Kapil Mishra from its platform describing Shaheen Bagh’s anti-CAA protest site here as “mini-Pakistan”.

Mishra had also described the upcoming Assembly polls as a contest “on Delhi roads between India and Pakistan”

Officials in the commission told IANS on Friday that a communication has been sent to Twitter in his regard to remove Mishra’s comment.

Earlier, the poll panel issued a show cause notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader for his controversial statement asking him to give a reply to the commission by Friday afternoon.

The Returning Officer (RO) for the Model Town Assembly constituency, Banwari Lal in his letter to Mishra on Thursday said: “It has been observed that there are several news items in the electronic media and social media about your statement on Shaheen Bagh like — ‘Delhi me chote chote Shaheen Bagh Bane’, ‘Shaheen Bagh me Pak ki entry’ and ‘India vs. Pakistan 8th February, Delhi. On February 8, on the streets of Delhi there will be a competition between India and Pakistan’.”

“And, whereas clause 1 (1) of the Model Code of Conduct stipulates as under: No party or candidate shall include in any activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.

“And, whereas Section 123 (3A) of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 defines the corrupt practice as under — the promotion of, or attempt to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of caste, religion, race, community or language by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate,” the notice read.

“Therefore, your act is deemed to be a violation of the aforesaid provision of the model code of conduct and the Representation Act and the same is punishable under provisions of law,” the RO said.

“Hence, you are requested to explain as to why action under the provisions of law should not be initiated against you,” the RO said, adding that his reply should reach to the poll panel officer by 12.30 p.m. on Friday.

Lal also said that if he fails to give his reply or his reply is found unsatisfactory, action against Mishra will be taken without any further notice.

The EC took cognisance against the BJP candidate soon after he tweeted on Thursday: “AAP and Congress have made Shaheen Bagh like Mini Pakistan. In their response entire country will rise on February 8. And whenever Pakistan will raise traitors in India, then every time Patriots will rise.”

Mishra had tweeted in response to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP candidate from Patparganj Assembly seat Manish Sisodia’s comment that he stands with the people of Shaheen Bagh.

In another tweet, Mishra, who was earlier a Minister in AAP government said, “….On February 8 on the streets of Delhi it will be a competition between India and Pakistan.”

The election for the 70-member Delhi Assembly is on February 8 and counting of votes will take place in February 11.

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Polling underway for local body elections in Telangana

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Hyderabad : Polling is underway in the municipal elections in Telangana on Wednesday amid elaborate security arrangements, officials said.

The polling began at 7 a.m. in 120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations across the state and it will continue till 5 p.m.

As many as 53.37 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes to elect 325 corporators for municipal corporations and 2,727 councillors for municipalities.

While the notification was issued for elections in 3,052 municipal wards, polling will not be held in 81 wards, where the candidates were elected unanimously.

A total of 1,746 candidates are in fray in the municipal corporations polls while 11,099 candidates are testing their political fortunes in municipalities.

State Election Commissioner V. Nagi Reddy said 1,438 polling stations in nine municipal corporations and 6,325 polling stations in 120 municipalities have been opened. About 45,000 polling personnel are manning the polling centres.

Authorities have deployed 50,000 policemen as part of elaborate arrangements to ensure free and fair polling.

The government has declared a holiday in the areas where elections are being held on Wednesday.

State Election Commission (SEC) officials were monitoring polling through web-casting in 2,406 polling centres while poll process is being videographed in 2,072 centres.

For the first time in the country, SEC is using ‘Face Recognition App’ to prevent fake voting. Ten polling stations under Kompally municipality in Medchal-Malkajgiri district were selected for the pilot project of ‘Face Recognition App’.

Out of 73 new municipalities created in the state last year, 68 are facing elections for the first time. Women will have 50 per cent reservation in all civic bodies.

Elections are not being held in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and 10 other urban local bodies as their tenure is not yet over.

Polling for Karimnagar municipal corporation will be held on January 24.

Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has fielded candidates in all municipal wards. It faces rebel problem in some places. Main opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are also contesting the polls in majority of the wards. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has fielded candidates in 276 wards.

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Sacked DTC staff make it dramatic for AAP

“This is like a job fair for us. We want a job and this is that for us. We are contesting against Kejriwal to save the Constitution and the common man,” Sharma told IANS.

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Kejriwal for Nomination

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The last day of nominations for the February 8 Assembly elections turned dramatic for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party as close to 30 sacked DTC employees filed their candidature ahead of the Delhi Chief Minister, who waited for close to seven hours to file his nomination with token number 45 in hand.

Kejriwal reached the office of the Returning Officer (RO) to file his nomination from the New Delhi Assembly seat around 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday. However, even at 7 p.m. he was still waiting for his turn.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by his wife and parents along with party leaders Pankaj Gupta and Gopal Mohan.

As the clock ticked 3 p.m. — the deadline for the filing nomination — the anxiety prevailed among the party leaders and volunteers as the party’s chief minister face was yet to file the nominations.

Though the deadline for filing nominations was 3 p.m., all those who have been given token, would be allowed to submit their papers.

Party’s spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj went on to call it “nuisance”, adding an organised group of 50 candidates was taking tokens to file nomination at New Delhi every day for the last 4 days. “But they were not filing nominations. They just wanted to harass Kejriwal. This situation was very much in the knowledge of the RO & DM,” said Bhardwaj.

Earlier, he said around 35 candidates sitting at the RO office with CM, “without” proper nomination papers. “They are calling their proposers on phone to come. They are insisting unless their papers are complete and they file their nomination, they won’t allow the CM to file his papers,” Bhardwaj said.

However, this partially turned out to be true as a huge number of those in the list were the sacked DTC contractual employees.

The drivers and conductors of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), who lost their contract jobs, had last year floated a political party, the ‘Mazdoor Ekta Party’. However, just only one among them filed from the party, while close to 30 sacked DTC employees are contesting the election as an Independent against Kejriwal.

Manoj Sharma, one of the members of the DTC Contractual Employees Union, who filed his papers as an Independent, said they do not have any job.

“This is like a job fair for us. We want a job and this is that for us. We are contesting against Kejriwal to save the Constitution and the common man,” Sharma told IANS.

When asked if this is just to trouble the Chief Minister, Sharma said the DTC employees have a strong vote base and will win against Kejriwal.

He said this is not just the only seat where the sacked DTC candidates are filing nominations. “On several other seats as well the sacked employees are filing the papers,” he added.

While the AAP leaders seemed annoyed with the delay, Kejriwal called the other contestants his family.

“Many of them are filing for the first time. They are bound to make mistakes. We also made mistakes the first time. We should hand-hold them. I am enjoying waiting with them. They are all part of my family,” Kejriwal tweeted, in response to Bhardwaj’s tweet.

Delhi Deputy Cheif Minister Manish Sisodia, however, said the other contestants were planted by the BJP.

“The BJP has put 45 candidates before Kejriwal. The Election Commission is deliberately giving a long time to every candidate, whose papers are not complete or even to those whose proposal is not ready so that Kejriwal can be prevented from filling the nominations,” Sisodia tweeted.

He said Kejriwal cannot be stopped.

Delhi goes to the polls on February 8 and Tuesday was the last date for filing nominations.

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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