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Election

Voting ends in HP with record voter turnout

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Polling in HP
Kinnaur: A voter after casting her vote during Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh on Nov 9, 2017. (Photo: IANS)

Shimla, Nov 9 : Voting closed today in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP is seeking to dislodge the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government on the issue of corruption while deflecting attacks by rivals on demonetisation and GST.

Sixty sitting MLAs were among the 337 candidates fighting for a seat in the 68-member legislative assembly of Himachal Pradesh, one of few states under Congress rule.

The results along with those of the BJP-ruled Gujarat will be a bellwether of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity.

Voters wait in a queue

Kinnaur: Voters wait in a queue to cast their votes during Himachal Pradesh assembly elections outside a polling booth in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh on Nov 9, 2017. (Photo: IANS)

As many as 7,525 polling booths were set up and 37,605 personnel deputed for poll duty in the state, which has a total of 50,25,941 voters.

Voting for the Assembly, which started at 8am, came to an end at 5pm, but continued in some booths were people were still waiting to cast their votes.

A total of 17,850 personnel of police and Home Guards and 65 companies of central paramilitary force had also been deployed.

To ensure free and fair polls, other officials, including 29 general, three police and 22 expenditure observers as well as 1,561 micro observers were believed to have been deployed across the state.

Chief Minister and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh, 10 ministers, eight chief parliamentary secretaries, Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi, former chief minister and BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal and over a dozen former ministers are among those who have thrown their hat in the ring.

Voters cast their votes

Kinnaur: Voters cast their votes during Himachal Pradesh assembly elections outside a polling booth in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh on Nov 9, 2017. (Photo: IANS)

The ruling Congress and the BJP, led by Dhumal, contested all 68 seats. The BSP fought for 42 seats, the CPI(M) 14, Swabhiman Party and Lok Gathbandhan Party six each and the CPI three. There are also 112 independents in the fray.

Dharamsala has the maximum number of candidates at 12.

Both Virbhadra Singh and Dhumal have moved out of their old constituencies. While the Congress leader contested from Arki, the BJP leader chose Sujanpur.

The 12-day high-voltage campaign, which ended on Tuesday, saw over 450 rallies by star campaigners of the BJP and the Congress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed seven rallies and BJP president Amit Shah, six.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed three rallies.

Corruption was the main focus of the BJP campaign with the party training its guns on the chief minister while the Congress hit out at the BJP over GST and demonetisation.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mansa Ram, who was elected for the first time in 1967 from Karsog (SC), fought for the eleventh time.

The election saw 19 women — six from the BJP and three from the Congress. Seven rebels each from the two parties also contested the polls.

At present, the Congress has 35 and the BJP 28 MLAs in the House. There are four independents while one seat is vacant.

Web-casting was used in 2,307 polling stations for live monitoring of polling activities.

Officials said 7,525 electronic voting machines (EVMs) and VVPAT paper trail machines were used. The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were used for the first time in this election.

An estimated 10 per cent of the total number of EVMs and VVPATs had been kept in reserve.

IANS

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.

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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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Election

UP, Bihar LS by-elections on March 11

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New Delhi, Feb 9: By-Polls in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur and Bihar’s Araira Lok Sabha constituencies will take place on March 11, the Election Commission announced today. 

The counting of votes will be held on March 14.

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.

Meanwhile, Araria seat fell vacant after the death of Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Mohammad Taslimuddin.

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