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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

Polling underway for local body elections in Telangana

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Lok Sabha elections Voter
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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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Election

BJP’s Bagga, AAP’s Dhillon fight over this old BJP bastion

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Jagdeep Singh had won the seat twice in a row — both in 2013 and 2015. But before the AAP came into being, from 1993 to 1998, the seat has been a BJP bastion.

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Jagdeep Singh

New Delhi, Jan 21 : One of the closely fought seats this poll season in Delhi will be Hari Nagar in West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. Both AAP and the BJP have gone for fresh faces. While the BJP has fielded its rabble-rouser Tajinder Bagga, AAP has replaced its two time MLA Jagdeep Singh with Raj Kumari Dhillon.

There are a total of 1,74,463 voters this time from this constituency with 92,731 male and 81,726 female voters. Last time, BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal fought from this seat and lost by more than 15,000 votes to the AAP candidate.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Jagdeep Singh had won the seat twice in a row — both in 2013 and 2015. But before the AAP came into being, from 1993 to 1998, the seat has been a BJP bastion.

This time around, Bagga, who is also the Delhi BJP spokesperson, has been fielded from this Sikh majority constituency. Dhillon was brought in to counter any anti incumbency by AAP.

Soon after Bagga’s name was announced on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, he released a poster that says “Neta nahi, Beta (I am a son, not a leader)”, which appears to be his campaign slogan. However, Dhillon is riding on the Arvind Kejriwal wind and the party’s slogan of “Acche bitey 5 saal (Last 5 years were well spent)”.

Mayapuri, Nanakpura, Paraag Vihar are key areas that encircle the Hari Nagar constituency. Scarcity of clean water and parking space remain top electoral issues even in 2020. Residents often complain of illegal parking. As candidates, both have to convince the electorates here that they have a formidable road plan to address their concerns.

With CAA protests rocking Delhi, it is expected to come up in the discourse during campaign. BJP hopes to capitalise on that, given Sikhs, who form a significant part of the constituency, will be benefiting from the legislation as well.

The Citizenship Amendment Act makes it easier for the non-Muslim immigrants facing religious persecution in Muslim-majority nations — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — to become Indian citizen and reduces the stipulated years one needs to spend in India for applying for citizenship.

Delhi will poll on February 8 and the results will come on February 11.

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