Karnataka election on May 12, Amit Malviya under EC lens, EC to use VVPATs

The Election Commission is set to announce dates and the entire polling schedule of Karnataka Assembly Elections for the 224-member Karnataka assembly today

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat

Karnataka Assembly Elections will be held on May 12 and the result will be declared on May 15, 2018, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday. Karnataka elections will be held in a single phase. Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said that the model code of conduct has come into effect in the poll-bound state | Today’s Paper

The elections are being held to choose the 224 members of the Karnataka Assembly whose tenure ends in May 2018. The polls are being seen politically crucial for the ruling Congress, as well as the BJP, as Karnataka is the only big state where the former is in power after losing a string of Assembly elections to the saffron party in the past few years. The BJP is making a concerted bid to unseat the Congress. Besides, the Congress and the BJP, another player in the fray is former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s JD(S).

Also Read : Karnataka Elections 2018: Fresh Faces To Lead Congress

Important dates for Karnataka Assembly Election 2018
17 April: Issue of notification 24 April: Last date of nomination 25 April: Date of scrutiny

27 April: Last date of withdrawal of candidates 12 May: Date of Polling 15 May: Counting of votes/ Result day

* Date of notification is April 17 and nominations should be filed by April 24. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is April 27. Counting of votes will take place on May 15.

* It will be investigated. Be assured that actions legally and administratively befitting will be taken: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on the question of how BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya had put dates of Karnataka elections on social media.

* Certain things may have leaked for which Election Commission will take appropriate action: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on the question how BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya had put dates of Karnataka elections on social media.

* Voting in Karnataka to be held on 12 May, counting on 15 May, announces Election Commission.

* Last date of nomination 24th April, 2018

* CEC to announce the polling schedule soon.

* No ceiling on expenditure for political parties, says Election Commission: CEC Rawat said per candidate has been allotted Rs 28 lakh for expenditure. “I urge my media friends to ensure that any wrongdoings or aberrations are highlighted,” Rawat said.

Click here to read → Karnataka Assembly Election 2018


TDP says BJP means ‘Break Janata Promise’, quits NDA; top 10 developments

Congress will support the no-confidence motion moved against the Centre by Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and the Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party

N Chandrababu Naidu

N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday formally decided to exit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), days after two of its ministers quit the Narendra Modi government protesting the denial of a special-category status to Andhra Pradesh. Further, the TDP moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over what it sees as injustice meted out to Andhra Pradesh.
The decision to pull out of the NDA was taken after Chandrababu Naidu’s teleconference with TDP members. TDP’s politburo unanimously took the decision to exit the alliance. The Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party also issued the notice to move a no-trust motion on Friday.

TDP’s pullout comes on a day when its rival in the state, the Y S Jagnamohan Reddy-led Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSR Congress), moved a motion of no-confidence against the council of ministers in the Lok Sabha.

On March 8, after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the TDP’s Union ministers — P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y S Chowdary — had quit the Cabinet. Raju had held the Union civil aviation ministry while Chowdary was the Minister of State for Science and Technology.

With the decision made, the TDP will write to BJP President Amit Shah and the other constituents of the NDA, informing them of its decision and the reasons for it, a TDP communique added. The decision comes against the backdrop of the Centre not only refusing to grant a special-category status to Andhra Pradesh, but Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley going on to categorically rule out any such possibility.

Here are the top 10 developments in the TDP’s exit from the NDA:
1) In unanimous decision, TDP walks out of NDA: Andhra Pradesh’s TDP on Friday pulled out of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, a party leader said. TDP Rajya Sabha MP Y S Chowdary told news agencies: “Yes, our party (TDP) has pulled out of the alliance with the NDA.”

The TDP politburo unanimously took the decision to walk out of the alliance during a teleconference with party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday morning. While the party politburo meeting to decide about snapping ties with the NDA was planned for Friday evening, the formality was completed during the daily teleconference Chandrababu holds with party leaders in the morning.

ALSO READ: TDP pulling out of Modi govt harks back to permafrost problem of coalitions

2) TDP moves no-confidence motion against Modi govt: The TDP on Friday moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over what it sees as injustice meted out to Andhra Pradesh over the special-status category demand.

Naidu directed TDP MP Thota Narasimham to submit a notice to the Lok Sabha Secretariat in this regard, informed sources said. “This House expresses No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers,” Narsimhan later said in a letter to the Lok Sabha Secretary Snehlata Shrivastava. He also wrote: “Under Rule 198 (B) of Chapter XVII of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, I hereby give notice to move the following motion in the House on today dated March 16.”

Click here to read → Chandrababu Naidu

UP, Bihar bypolls: Gorakhpur loss start of BJP’s worry? Top 10 developments

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said over-confidence and inability to understand the understanding between SP and BSP were the prime reasons for the BJP’s shocking loss

akhilesh yadav

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received a severe setback in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections, losing four of the five seats in the bypolls, including the all-important Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in Uttar Pradesh. Especially worrisome for the BJP was the fact that it was trounced by the BSP-backed Samajwadi Party in the high-stakes Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls which could boost the chances of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ of anti-BJP parties before the 2019 general elections.
After sweeping the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year, the BJP faced a last-minute alliance stitched by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the bypolls. BSP supremo Mayawati had announced her party’s backing for SP candidates in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur in return for the SP’s support for her party’s candidate in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.
The BJP lost the Gorakhpur seat to the SP by a margin of 21,961 votes. SP candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad got 456,437 more votes than his nearest rival, BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla, who secured 434,476 votes. In the Phulpur constituency, SP candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated BJP candidate Kaushalendra Singh by a margin of 59,613 votes. The winner polled 342,796 votes, while the BJP candidate secured 283,183.
Significantly, Gorakhpur was earlier held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had held the Phulpur seat.
Meanwhile, in Bihar, the BJP also lost the Araria Lok Sabha constituency and the Jehanabad Assembly seat while scoring a consolation win in the Bhabua Assembly seat. The results in both the states triggered calls for a Grand Alliance — a la Bihar — all across India to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. |Phulpur bypolls results
Once the outcome of the Uttar Pradesh 2018 bypolls was known, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that “over-confidence and the inability to understand the understanding between SP and BSP” were the prime reasons for the BJP’s defeat.
Here are the top 10 developments in the shock defeat for BJP in UP and Bihar bypolls:
1) SP victory boosts chances of an anti-BJP coalition in UP: With the tacit understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the BSP in the Lok Sabha bye-elections for two seats paying off, chances of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ of anti-BJP parties before the 2019 general elections got a boost in Uttar Pradesh. These results are the beginning of the formation of a broadest possible alliance of Opposition forces before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, senior political analyst and retired head of the political science department of the Lucknow University Ramesh Dixit said.
“The Congress will also be forced to come into this fold with all the major players,” Dixit said, adding that all these parties were working to oust the BJP. “This showing has come as a silver lining for all the other parties and, notwithstanding their inner contradictions, their major concern of maintaining their political relevance, which is under challenge, will guide them to fall in line,” Dixit said.
Click here to read → Gorakhpur bypoll results

UP, Bihar bypoll results 2018 LIVE: SP leading in Adityanath’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur

Lok Sabha by-elections 2018 in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Bihar’s Araria being viewed as yet another test for BJP ahead of 2019 general elections

Uttar Pradesh Lok sabha bypolls 2018

The Samajwadi Party was leading in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-polls late in the morning. The counting of votes for the Lok Sabha by-election 2018 for the two Assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh — Gorakhpur and Phulpur — and Bihar’s Jahanabad and Bhabua, besides the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, commenced on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements. The results are expected to be declared by Thursday afternoon, according to an Election Commission official.

Meanwhile, the initial counting of votes today showed that the BJP-led NDA was leading in the Araria Lok Sabha and Jahanabad and Bhabua Assembly by-elections in Bihar. The candidates of the Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress and HAM were trailing in all three seats.

Uttar Pradesh by-elections 2018

The voter turnout was 47.45 per cent in Gorakhpur and 37.39 per cent in Phulpur in Sunday’s polling. Ten candidates were in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates contested from Phulpur. According to the Election Commission, there are 1.96 million (19.61 lakh) voters in Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has a 1.95 million (19.49 lakh) electorate.

Uttar Pradesh by-polls 2018 were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, respectively, following their election to the state legislative council.

Bihar by-elections 2018

Fifty-seven per cent polling was registered in Araria, Bihar’s Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said. In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies in Bihar, where by-polls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively, he said.

Bihar by-polls 2018 for the Araria seat was necessitated by the death of RJD MP Mohd Taslimuddin.

Click here to read → Phulpur by poll results

Meghalaya, Nagaland polls see 22% and 17% voting: Top 10 developments

Voting underway in Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections 2018; BJP and Congress slug it out for the Northeast

Meghalaya and Nagaland 2018 Assembly polls

Voting in the crucial Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections began on Tuesday at 7 am amid tight security, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress slugging it out to see who would emerge as the more dominant party in the Northeast. Despite security being beefed up, one person was injured in a bomb blast at a polling station in Mon District’s Tizit in Nagaland. | Today’s Paper

According to the Election Commission, 22 per cent voting was recorded in Meghalaya till 9:30 am. While 17 per cent voting was recorded in Nagaland till 9 am.
Nagaland CM TR Zeliang has said that he will move towards a Naga political solution after the state polls are concluded.

The two states have a 60-member House each. However, voting will be held only for 59 constituencies in each. Voting for the 60-member Assemblies will commence from 7 am and conclude by 4 pm, except at some polling stations in Nagaland’s interior districts where the process is scheduled to be completed at 3 pm.

The results of the polls in the two states, along with that of Tripura, will be declared on Saturday, March 3. The high-octane Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections campaign, during which barbs flew thick and fast among parties, ended on Sunday.

Here are the top 10 developments in the crucial Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly polls:
1) Naga political solution after polls: Speaking to news agencies, Nagaland CM TR Zeliang said, “We expect that polling will finish smoothly and we will get absolute majority according to the voice of the people. We hope peace will prevail in the state and we will move for Naga political solution.”

2) Bomb blast at Nagaland polling station: One person was injured in a bomb blast at a polling station in Mon District’s Tizit, in Nagaland.

According to reports, the bomb was handmade and was hurled at the polling station in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. However, the polling processes are continuing at the station. | Business Standard

3) Voting underway in both states: Citing the Election Commission, Firstpost reported that 22 per cent voting was recorded in Meghalaya till 9:30 am. While 17 per cent voting was recorded in Nagaland till 9 am.

Amid tight security, voting for the Meghalaya Assembly elections 2018 began on Tuesday, an official said. “Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of many polling stations well before polling opened at 7 am in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 pm,” Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said.

According to agency reports, women voters, in their colourful tribal attire, were seen queueing up at polling stations across the state since morning and shops in the vicinity did brisk business.

Click here to read → Nagaland Election 2018

Karnataka polls 2018: Modi blasts Cong’s ‘commission’ govt; top 10 highlights

In the past, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddramaiah has taken strong exception to PM Modi’s remarks and verbal attacks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Karnataka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday continued to press his attack against the Siddramaiah government ahead of the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. Attacking the state’s Congress government, PM Modi asked the assembled people at a rally in Mysuru whether they wanted a government with a “mission” or one that works “only for commission”. | Today’s Paper
PM Modi lashed out at the Karnataka government over alleged corruption, saying that new scams and charges of graft were surfacing “every day” under its watch.
Assembly elections are due in the state in late April or early May.
In the past, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddramaiah has taken strong exception to PM Modi’s remarks and verbal attacks.
The party’s state leaders like B S Yeddyurappa and central ministers Piyush Goel, Prakash Javdekar, Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananada Gowda attended the rally and felicitated Modi with the famous Mysore ‘peta’ (headgear).
Here are the key things PM Modi said in Mysuru and the verbal cross-fire ahead of the Assembly polls:
1) Modi claims BJP will form govt with a ‘mission’: Attacking the Congress government in Karnataka as a “commission” government, PM Modi on Monday said the welfare of the people was never its priority and that the state needed a government with a “mission” under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ensure all-round development.
The Prime Minister was addressing a public rally in Mysuru. Modi also said that as long as there was a Congress government in Karnataka, the state would not be able to progress. Repeating his comment made earlier this month in Bengaluru, where he had said that the Siddramaiah government in Karnataka worked for “10 per cent commission”, Modi said: “You have a choice to elect a party (BJP) which runs a government with a definite mission and reject a party (Congress) that works only for commission.”
“Karnataka does not require a ‘commission’ government but a ‘mission’ government led by the BJP which will ensure all-round progress of the state…,” Modi said.
2) A ‘lesson’ in store for Congress: “Congress has ruined the state and people will teach them a lesson in the elections,” Modi said, while speaking at the Mharaja College ground in the city, after dedicating various railway projects. | Readmore

Delhi air pollution risks children, youth; 8 of 10 with poor lung capacity

27 per cent of deaths in India were caused due to pollution, making it the country with the highest number of pollution-related deaths, followed by China

Air quality tied to lung problems in children

Today’s Paper : In New Delhi, India’s capital and its most polluted city, eight of every 10 children and youth below 20 years of age living in areas with constantly polluted air have poor lung capacity, according to a study by Hazards Center, a Delhi-based advocacy.

These findings come at a time when data on the health effects of air pollution are being denied by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. There were no conclusive data to establish a direct or exclusive correlation between death/disease and air pollution, said Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for environment, in a response to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) on February 5, 2018.

Particulate matter pollution monitored over 15 locations across the capital this winter–between October 10, 2017 and January 10, 2018–along with the peak flow tests conducted on 343 children and youth under 20 living in 11 out of 15 monitored locations revealed that 80% of the sample population had unhealthy or below-normal lung functioning.

Peak flow tests are a simple way to measure lung strength by assessing how fast one can blow air out. Normal values for a paediatric sample of children in the European Union were taken as a base for the test.
That Delhi’s youth do not measure up to a European normal can partly be “due to the demographic differences between the European Union and India, but one would not expect such a large difference in the city with the highest per capita income in the nation”, said the study.

Air quality data from the areas included in the study reveal a base pollution load of about 200 µg/m3 for PM 2.5 and 300 µg/m3 for PM 10, almost three times the national standard.

This pollution can be traced only to sources within Delhi, such as transport and construction, the report said.

Rising air pollution in a metropolis such as Delhi–and even small cities like Ranchi–is leading to rising incidences of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the population, IndiaSpend reported on January 3, 2018.

As many as 27% of deaths in India were caused due to pollution, making it the country with the highest number of pollution-related deaths, followed by China, according to a Lancet study. Low- and middle-income groups are the worst affected by pollution; 92% of deaths due to pollution occurred in that income group, IndiaSpend reported on November 14, 2017. | Readmore…