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Voting ends in HP with record voter turnout

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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

130 candidates facing criminal cases in fray for Chhattisgarh polls

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New Delhi, Nov 13 : As many as 130 candidates facing declared criminal cases, 90 of them involving serious charges like attempt to murder, are among the 1,079 candidates in the fray for the second phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls in 72 constituencies.

A total of 239 crorepati (multi-millionaire) candidates are contesting the second phase of polls to be held on Nov 20 in 19 districts.

According to an analysis by election watchdog the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Congress with 18 such candidates leads the list of those with criminal antecedents followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with 17 and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) with 15. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 6 such candidates.

Of the 90 candidates facing serious criminal charges, 11 are from the Congress, 13 from the AAP and 14 from the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J).

Congress’ Jaisingh Agrawal, vying for Korba seat, is among the candidates with the most number of criminal charges that include forgery, criminal conspiracy and obscene act. Another Congress nominee, Ashish Kumar Chhabra for the Bemetara seat is among those facing charges of attempt to murder.

Among the multimillionaires, 53 are from the Congress, 61 from the BJP and 35 from Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J).

Congress veteran T.S. Singh Deo, contesting from Ambikapur, is the richest nominee with assets in excess of Rs 500 crore. While 19 candidates have declared nil assets, independent nominee Rubeena Anjum from the Raipur City South possesses “assets” of just Rs 104.

599 candidates are school dropouts while 9 are illiterate. Only 111 female candidates are contesting in the second phase.

The first phase of polling in 18 constituencies spread across eight Maoist-affected district was held on Monday.

The results of the election to the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly will be declared on December 11.

IANS

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Telangana Assembly Elections: Congress-TDP candidates list out

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Hyderabad, Nov 13: After keeping all waiting, the main opposition Congress and its TDP ally in Telangana have finally released their first lists of candidates for the December 7 assembly elections.

Both constituents of ‘Mahakutami’ or the grand alliance announced their candidates late on Monday.

While Congress released a list of 65 candidates, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) named nine.

The process of filing of nominations for the elections to 119-seat assembly that began on Monday, will continue till November 18.

The Congress, which is leading the four-party ‘Mahakutami’, plans to contest 95 seats, leaving the remaining for TDP, Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI).

However, a formal agreement over seat sharing was yet to be reached.

Former union ministers, former state ministers, former MPs, sitting legislators and those who crossed over to the Congress from other parties have been included in the list of 65 candidates.

State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy would be seeking re-election from Huzurnagar constituency, while his wife Padmavati Reddy would again contest from Kodad.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader K. Jana Reddy (Nagarjunasagar) while its campaign committee chairman and working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka (Madhira), working presidents Ponnam Prabhakar and A. Revanth Reddy would be in the fray from Karimnagar and Kodangal seats.

Among former union ministers Sarve Satyanarayana (Secunderabad Cantonment), while P. Balram Naik (Mahabubabad). Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council, Mohammed Ali Shabbir is Congress candidate from Kamareddy.

Former Deputy Chief Minister and chairman of manifesto committee C. Damodar Rajanarasimha has been fielded from Andole.

Congress has named V. Pratap Reddy as its candidate against Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrashekhar Rao in Gajwel.

Pratap Reddy who had contested on a TDP ticket against Rao and finished runners up in 2014. He has just joined the Congress.

The TDP has also announced its first list of candidates. Prominent among them are former MP and senior leader Nama Nageswara Rao (Khammam), R. Prakash Reddy (Warangal West) and S. Venkat Verraiah (Sattupalli).

Former minister T. Devender Goud’s son Virender Goud will contest from Uppal constituency. The lone Muslim candidate in the list is Muzaffar Ali, who will contest from Malakpet constituency in Hyderabad.

IANS

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Locals threaten to boycott Madhya Pradesh elections

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Bhopal, Nov 13: As Madhya Pradesh assembly elections are nearing, the residents of seven unauthorised colonies in Neemuch’s Baghana have threatened to boycott the polls.

They have pasted posters outside their houses stating they will boycott the forthcoming elections.

The locals are also opposing the entry of any political leader in the area, saying that till the time their colonies are not declared authorized and they are not provided with basic facilities, they would neither allow anyone to campaign in the area nor will exercise their franchise, news agency ANI reported.

” Five years back they promised us they’ll declare our colony authorised. But nothing happened. It’s been 30 years since the colony was established.  Won’t let any political leader come here. We won’t cast votes”, Mukesh Rao a resident told media.

The black flag was also seen outside their house as a sign of protest.

Madhya Pradesh will go to polls on November 28 and counting of votes will take place on December 11.

WeForNews 

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