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Election

Violence mars Srinagar LS by-poll, assembly by-polls in 8 states peaceful

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New Delhi, April 9

Massive violence and a very poor turnout marred the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-poll on Sunday, while by-elections for 10 assembly constituencies across eight states, including in the national capital, saw average to enthusiastic polling.

The assembly constituencies where by-polls were held on Sunday are Rajouri Garden in Delhi, Littipara in Jharkhand, Nanjangud and Gundlupet in Karnataka, Dholpur in Rajasthan, Kanthi Dakshin in West Bengal, Ater and Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, Bhoranj in Himachal Pradesh and Dhemaji in Assam.

Counting for the Lok Sabha seat will be held on April 15, and for the assembly seats on April 13.

In Kashmir, eight civilians were killed and scores injured in clashes with security forces as mobs tried to attack polling stations in the Srinagar parliamentary constituency that recorded a poor seven per cent voting — the lowest in the state in three decades.

The violence in the Lok Sabha constituency — spread across the districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal — left seven persons dead in three places in Budgam and one in Ganderbal. Opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s Nazir Ahmed Khan are the main contestants. The seat fell vacant after then PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra resigned to protest alleged atrocities on people during the 2016 agitation.

Karnataka’s Gundlupet saw a record 80 per cent turnout while 76 per cent was registered in Nanjangud (reserved) assembly constituency.

In the April 2013 assembly elections, polling percentatge in Gundlupet was also a record 87.05 and in Nanjungud, it was 77.59.

Barring stray incidents like voting being held up due to EVM glitches and poll boycott in a village in the Nanjangud segment, the bye-polls were peaceful in both the segments.

The by-poll for Nanjangud (Scheduled Caste) in Myusuru district was necessitated by the resignation of former Congress lawmaker and Revenue Minister Srinviasa Prasad, who is re-contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket.

The ruling Congress has fielded K. Keshavamurthy.

The bye-poll for Gundlupet in adjacent Chamarajanagar district was caused due to the death of Congress lawmaker and Cooperation Minister H.S. Mahadeva Prasad on January 2.

The ruling party has fielded his widow Geetha against C.S. Niranjan Kumar of the opposition BJP.

Delhi’s Rajouri Garden assembly by-poll saw disinterested voting, registering just 47 per cent.

In the 2015 assembly elections, when the Aam Aadmi Party swept to power, the constituency had witnessed 72 per cent.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Harjeet Singh, Congress’ Meenakshi Chandela and BJP-SAD’s Manjinder Singh Sirsa are in the fray from the seat. The seat fell vacant as AAP’s Jarnail Singh resigned to contest the Punjab assembly polls.

Jharkhand’s Littipara bypoll saw 72.15 per cent voting. Ten candidates were in the fray for the seat, the contest for which was a prestige issue for both the ruling BJP and opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

The seat fell vacant after JMM legislator Anil Murmu died in January following a heart attack.

Around 82 per cent voting was seen in West Bengal’s Kanthi Dakshin assembly by-poll.

The ruling Trinamool Congress nominated former Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya as its candidate for the constituency in East Midnapore district. The seat had fallen vacant after the party’s sitting legislator Dibyendu Adhikari was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Tamluk seat in a by-poll last year.

In Himachal Pradesh, bypoll for the Bhoranj seat saw over 63 percent voting.

The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used in the state for the first time. There were technical snags at a few places but the machines were subsequently replaced, an official said.

The main contest was between the ruling Congress and the BJP.

The by-poll was necessitated following the death of two-time former cabinet minister I.D. Dhiman, who had won six consecutive elections from this constituency.

His son Anil Dhiman, a physician by profession, was in the fray from the BJP. He was pitted against Promila Devi of the Congress.

Assam’s Dhemaji constituency saw 66.97 per cent voting.

The by-election was necessitated as BJP lawmaker Pradan Baruah contested and won the byelection to the Lok Sabha from the Lakhimpur constituency. Sarbananda Sonowal vacated the seat after winning from the Majuli assembly constituency on becoming the Chief Minister.

VVPAT machines were used in polls for the first time in the state.

Amid reports of violence and allegations of booth capturing, over 60 per cent ballotting was recorded in bypolls for Ater in Bhind district and 65 per cent in Bandhavgarh in Umaria district.

Several incidents of violence, including clashes between the Congress and BJP activists, were reported from Ater.

There were also instances of stone pelting and reports of alleged firing in Ater. Congress candidate Hemant Katare accused the BJP of attacking his car and of booth capturing.

State Congress chief Arun Yadav accused the BJP and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of using the state machinery to influence the voting.

The Ater assembly seat fell vacant following the death of sitting legislator Satyadev Katare of the Congress, while the by-poll in Bandhavgarh was necessitated after its lawmaker Gyan Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha in November by-election last year.

IANS

Election

Tripura Election 2018: Around 79% turnout in Tripura Assembly polls: CEO

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People after casting their votes (Photo-ANI)

Over 78 per cent of Tripura’s 2,536,589 voters had cast their votes on Sunday in a peaceful manner to elect a new Assembly, said state chief electoral officer Sriram Taranikanti.

However, he said that the polling percentage might go up as huge numbers of voters were still in queues at 10 p.m. on Sunday night in around 100 of the 3,174 polling stations across the state.

“Over 78.56 per cent of the 2,536,589 voters in Tripura had cast their votes. The polling percentage will go up when the final figures come after completion of the remaining around 100 polling stations,” Taranikanti told the media.

He said that 191 (6 per cent) VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) and 89 (5 per cent) EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) malfunctioned causing delay in balloting.

“We have decided to conduct re-poll in a polling station under Karamchara assembly constituency even as the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) demanded re-polling in some polling stations,” Taranikanti said adding that there is no incident during the polling throughout the state.

In a separate media briefing, the BJP demanded a re-poll in eight polling stations and the CPI-M demanded re-poll in three polling stations.

Ruling Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar alleged that at least five election agents of Left Front candidates were injured and shifted to hospitals when workers of BJP and its electoral ally IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) attacked on them in different places of Tripura.

“Forward Bloc candidate Biswanath Saha and some women were injured when the central para-military forces carried out a baton charge in two separate places in western Tripura,” he said, demanding action against the attackers.

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Election

Lok Sabha By-Polls: Congress announces candidates for Gorakhpur, Phulpur seats

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Congress

Lucknow, Feb 17: The state Congress on Friday announced faces for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, where by-elections are scheduled to be held on March 11.

The party named Dr Surheeta Chatterjee Kareem, a gynaecologist, as its candidate from Gorakhpur, while it chose Manish Mishra, son of former IAS officer J N Mishra, for the Phulpur seat.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

The by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were necessitated after Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister, while Phulpur MP Kehsav Prasad Maurya was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

WeForNews 

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America

US intelligence chiefs say Russia still meddling, threatening 2018 elections

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

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Dan Coats

WASHINGTON — Russia and other adversaries will continue to engage in cyber warfare to “degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances,” the nation’s top intelligence official said Tuesday.

“Frankly, the United States is under attack,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee, adding that every facet of society is being targeted with cyber intrusions.

In strong language, Coats said Russia President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by Russia’s successful interference in the 2016 elections and is targeting the 2018 election cycle.

“There should be no doubt that (Putin) views the past effort as successful,” Coats said.

The national intelligence director’s comments come against the backdrop of continuing congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Kremlin coordinated their activities with President Trump’s campaign.

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