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Weak campaign led to party’s loss, local leaders to blame: Dikshit

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sheila dikshit

New Delhi, April 26, 2017: Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said that her party did not campaign aggressively enough to win the civic polls but exonerated the party high command from any blame for the loss, putting the defeat squarely on local leaders.

She also said that despite being elected thrice in a row to be the Chief Minister of Delhi, she had not been invited to campaign for party candidates for the municipal polls.

“Congress did not campaign in an aggressive way. It did not do what it should have done to win the Delhi civic polls,” Dikshit told reporters.

“Responsibility of the MCD elections rests with local leaders (Ajay Maken, the Delhi Congress chief). The high command cannot be pulled into this. It is the Pradesh Congress Committee which should bear the blame,” Dikshit said while speaking to India Today TV.

Her comments came as Maken announced his resignation from the party post following the party’s rout.

Asked why she did not campaign for Congress candidates, Dikshit said: “I was not invited for any of the campaign programmes. If I would have been informed, I would have certainly done so.”

Her remarks came as counting trends showed the BJP heading for a clean sweep in all three MCD bodies.

On Congress leaders Arvinder Singh Lovely and Barkha Singh Shukla leaving the party to join the BJP and pointing fingers at a weak leadership for the grand old party’s downfall, Dikshit said: “No blame can rest on one person, a party is a collective responsibility.”

Asked why Delhi’s middle class which once voted for her for years has now come out to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP, Dikshit said: “This vote is neither for Modi nor myself.”

Dikshit said the media should ask the “right people in the party” the question why she was not engaged in the campaign process despite the fact that the party fought the election on the work that she had done in the city during her 15 years in power.

On allegations by the AAP of tampering with EVMs, and on the Arvind Kejriwal-led party’s future, Dikshit said: “It is the way they function that has caused their votes to vanish.”

“There is a question mark on the kind of work the Aam Aadmi Party does.”

“There has been no work done in Delhi since AAP came to power. They need to introspect,” Dikshit added.

Asked whether the AAP’s loss signalled an end to the “AAP kind” of politics, Dikshit said: “Well, they have no kind of politics. All they do is blame…AAP’s future is obvious from today’s results.”

“Winners and losers have different versions to the problem (of EVM tampering). But in a case like this, the government and the Election Commission should come up with a solution.”

She pointed to the Punjab elections, in which the Congress won, saying the party never raised any issue over the EVMs.

She also said the Congress will bounce back. “The Congress is going through a bad phase. The BJP also did for a long time. We will also come back. Congress’ soul resides in India, people will understand.”

IANS

Election

United States Presidential Election on Nov 3 as planned: WH officials

Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as determined by federal law. Moving the date would require an act of Congress.

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Washington, Aug 3 : White House officials have confirmed that the upcoming US presidential election will be held as planned on November 3 after President Donald Trump raised the possibility of delaying it.

Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the President was only raising concerns about mail-in ballots when he floated the idea of delaying election in a tweet last week.

“We’re going to hold an election on November 3 and the President is going to win,” Xinhua news agency quoted Meadows as saying to CBS News.

The Chief of Staff added that Trump “has not looked at delaying any election”.

Meadows’s remarks were echoed by presidential campaign adviser Jason Miller, who told Fox News on Sunday that “the election is going to be on November 3 and President Trump wants the election to be on November 3”.

In his tweet on July 29, Trump claimed — without providing any proof or evidence — that “universal mail-in voting” would make November’s vote “the most inaccurate & fraudulent election in history”.

“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he said.

“Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

But later in the day, Trump said that he did not want to delay the election, saying: “I don’t want a delay. I want to have the election… But I don’t want to see a crooked election.

“But I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything. That’s what’s going to happen… that’s common sense. Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud.”

Trump’s delay tweet immediately ignited a political firestorm and drew bipartisan pushback from Capitol Hill, as legal analysts agreed that Trump has no authority to delay the election as the US Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date.

Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as determined by federal law. Moving the date would require an act of Congress.

Top Republicans — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — both dismissed the idea.

Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham meanwhile said a delay was “not a good idea”.

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Pompeo urges HK to reverse decision to suspend polls

“If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China.

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Washington/Hong Kong, Aug 2 : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday urged Hong Kong to reverse a decision to suspend its legislative elections amid a resurgence of the coronavirus, saying the delay would be another blow to its autonomy from Beijing, the media reported.

In a statement published on Sunday morning, Pompeo condemned the decision by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to invoke her emergency powers to postpone the Legislative Council elections, scheduled for September 6, until September 5, 2021, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

“We urge Hong Kong authorities to reconsider their decision,” he said.

The elections should be held as close to the September 6 date as possible and in a manner that reflects the will and aspirations of the Hong Kong people.

“If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China.

“There is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay… It is likely, therefore, that Hong Kong will never again be able to vote – for anything or anyone,” the SCMP newspaper quoted Pompeo as saying in the statement.

As relations between Washington and Beijing remain tense, the US has moved to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong over what it sees as an erosion of its autonomy and freedoms.

Besides Pompeo, Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers have also decried the election delay as a political move, with pro-democracy candidates expected to secure an unprecedented majority in the 70-seat legislature after dominating in the district council elections last November.

A day before the postponement was announced, election officials barred 12 opposition candidates from running, in some cases on the grounds of them previously supporting US sanctions on Hong Kong – which can now be considered an offence under the national security law imposed by China on the city.

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Hong Kong postpones elections for a year ‘over virus concerns’

On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would invoke emergency powers to postpone the elections, calling it the most difficult decision I’ve made over the past seven months .

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam

Kowloon: The Hong Kong government has postponed September’s parliamentary elections by a year, saying it is necessary amid a rise in coronavirus infections.

Hong Kong is currently experiencing a spike in Covid-19 infections, and reported 121 new cases on Friday.

However, the opposition has accused the government of using the pandemic as a pretext to stop people from voting, the BBC reported.

On Thursday, the government banned 12 pro-democracy candidates from running in the elections.

Opposition activists had hoped to obtain a majority in the Legislative Council (LegCo) in September’s poll, capitalising on anger at Beijing’s imposition of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong, and fears that the territory’s freedoms are being eroded.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997 under an agreement meant to guarantee a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

Pro-democracy candidates had made unprecedented gains in last year’s district council elections, winning 17 out of 18 councils.

On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would invoke emergency powers to postpone the elections, calling it the “most difficult decision I’ve made over the past seven months”.

“This postponement is entirely made based on public safety reasons, there were no political considerations,” she said.

Separately on Friday, Hong Kong police put six overseas activists on a wanted list on suspicion of violating the new national security law, media reports, including from Chinese state TV, said.

Reported to be among them are high-profile activist Nathan Law, who has fled to the UK, and Simon Cheng, a former employee of the UK’s Hong Kong consulate who alleges he was tortured in China and was recently granted political asylum in Britain.

But Hong Kong police have refused to comment.

Cheng told the BBC that an arrest warrant would not stop him speaking out about issues in Hong Kong. “The totalitarian regime now criminalises me, and I would take that not as a shame but an honour,” he said.

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