Tag Archives: – ELECTIONS

New Delhi : With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) set to return to power in Gujarat, a state it has ruled continuously for 22 years, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday taunted the Congress and asked it to prepare for the "2024 general elections" as a BJP win in 2019 polls was a "certainty".

Talking to reporters, ahead of the day's proceedings at the ongoing winter session of the state assembly, Adityanath said that people have rejected the Congress and its leadership one after another and that they should now mull a strategy for 2024 Lok Sabha elections.


He also observed that people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh had proved beyond a point that they are for positive and development oriented politics.

"The results have shown that the people of Gujarat and Himachal are strongly with the economic initiatives taken by Prime Minister Modi and will continue to support him to see India emerge as a global economic superpower," he added. The monk-turned-Chief Minister also advised opposition leaders to accept the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Adityanath had campaigned extensively in Gujarat, often spending nights there and hopping through the length and breadth of the state. As a star campaigner, he spoke of the development politics that the BJP perused in Uttar Pradesh and also spoke for an end to the politics of appeasement.

Many of his Ministers and state BJP office bearers had camped in Gujarat cities to campaign, specially in areas with a large population of 'poorvanchalis' (natives of eastern Uttar Pradesh), now settled in Gujarat.


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New Delhi: Dancing to the tune of the assembly poll results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, key Indian equity indices provisionally closed in the green on Monday after swinging from the extreme negative to the positive.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provisionally closed (at 3.30 p.m.) higher by 55.50 points or 0.54 per cent at 10,388.75 points.


The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,364.52 points, closed at 33,601.68 points -- up 138.71 points or 0.41 per cent -- from its previous close.

The Sensex touched a high of 33,801.90 points and a low of 32,595.63 points during the intra-day trade so far.

The BSE market breadth was bullish -- 1,472 advances and 1,182 declines.

"Sectorally, pharma, PSU bank, auto, telecom and metals indices have gained the most, while Realty has slipped marginally into red," Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research for HDFC Securities, told to news agency IANS.




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New Delhi : India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars 2018, "Newton", is out of the race for the honour.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday announced that nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 90th Academy Awards, according to the official website of the Oscars.


"Newton", directed by Amit V. Masurkar and starring the stellar Rajkummar Rao in a story set against the backdrop of elections in the world's largest democracy, was not a part of it.

The shortlisted films have been selected from 92 titles that had originally been considered in the category.

"A Fantastic Woman" (Chile), "In the Fade" (Germany), "On Body and Soula (Hungary), "Foxtrot" (Israel), "The Insult" (Lebanon), "Loveless" (Russia), "Felicite" (Senegal), "The Wound" (South Africa) and "The Square" (Sweden) have made the cut to the shortlist.

Nominations for all categories of the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on January 23.

The Oscars ceremony will be held on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre here.

So far, "Mother India", "Salaam Bombay!" and "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India" are the only Indian films that made it to the top five in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards, but none have won the honour.



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New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was admitted to Sri Ganga Ram Hospital yesterday after she complained an upset stomach, was discharged today at 4 pm.

Hospital chairman (board of management) Dr D. S. Rana said, "Sonia Gandhi has recovered from upset stomach and has been discharged. Her condition at the time of discharge was stable and she has been advised to rest."


In May, the Congress chief was admitted to the same hospital due to food poisoning.

Congress Vice President and her son Rahul Gandhi tweeted to say Mrs Gandhi had caught a stomach bug and was doing better now."

Himachal Pradesh, one of the few states governed by her party, will choose its next government on November 9. Mrs Gandhi has been listed by her party as one its star campaigners for the hill state. Results will be counted along with Gujarat on December 18.

Mrs Gandhi has been unwell for several years and travels to the US intermittently for treatment, though her party has refused to disclose the nature of her ailment. Rahul Gandhi will replace Sonia Gandhi soon as top boss in the party, she told reporters just weeks ago. Though Mr Gandhi's promotion has been urged by the Congress for several years, it is expected to materialize this year along with overdue internal elections for the party's top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee. 


Last year, while campaigning in Varanasi, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, Mrs Gandhi fell sick and aborted a road trip. She then fractured her shoulder and was moved to hospital for several weeks in the capital.



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Bhopal: The Election Commission today launched a web-based application, Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) network, aimed at efficient conduct of elections and said it would be "logistically equipped" by September 2018 to hold simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and assemblies.

The announcement by the poll panel came days after it issued a formal direction that VVPAT or paper trail machines will be used at polling stations in all future elections where polls are held using EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines).


"The Election Commission was asked by the Centre as what it would require for becoming capable of holding the parliamentary and assembly polls together. In response, the EC had asked for funds to purchase new EVMs and VVPAT machines. The commission would be logistically equipped by September, 2018, to hold parliamentary and assembly polls together," Election Commissioner OP Rawat said at a press conference.

At the press conference, the Election Commission unveiled the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) network.

Mr Rawat said the commission has already placed the order for the purchase of new EVMs and VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) machines after receiving funds from the Centre.


He said the poll body would get 40 lakh VVPAT machines by September 2018.

VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home. It has only been used on trial basis in some places.

Several parties have been pressing for the use of these machines to dispel doubts about the possibility of EVM tampering. Sixteen parties had recently petitioned the Election Commission to revert to paper ballot system for greater transparency. The BSP, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress had attacked the Election Commission over the issue of alleged tampering of EVMs.

Responding to a query, Mr Rawat said the Election Commission had received Rs. 3,400 crore for VVPAT machines and Rs. 12,000 crore for EVMs.


"We would be logistically ready to hold simultaneous polls by September 2018, but it is up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it," the election commissioner said.

Mr Rawat said the officers involved in the election process, right from the booth level to the national level, would be connected through the ERO network. Besides this, the facility can also be used for online registration by voters.

"The ERO network would automatically detect duplicate registration of voters. Besides, officers from the booth level to the national level would be under one network and would be able to communicate with each other," he said.

Explaining the utility of the app, he said the ERO network would effectively keep a check on duplication. "At times, voters migrate and get themselves registered at new places. However, they fail to get their name deleted from the previous place, which results in duplication," he added.

Mr Rawat said an error-free electoral roll is the basis for conducting a smooth, free and fair election.

He informed that the poll panel had carried out the "electoral roll purification process" earlier and deleted duplicate registrations of voters. "ERO would make this work more easy," he said.

When asked about the feasibility of an e-voting facility in future, Mr Rawat said, "This (ERO) and the electronically transmitted postal ballot for service voters are the first and second steps towards it (e-voting)".

Mr Rawat also confirmed that they had used VVPAT machines in all the recent elections on the directive of the Supreme Court.




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New Delhi: Calling for a new era of public participation in governance to improve quality of life, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the BJP must think and act beyond elections. "While traditional politics will go on, with the mandate that we have got, we are taking democracy beyond elections," the Prime Minister said while addressing his party's national executive in the capital today. Political representatives, PM Modi said, must adhere to public participation.

"If people don't participate, no drive can succeed," the Prime Minister said, also stating that his battle against corruption would remain uncompromising. "The fight will go on till corruption has been wiped out... country first, party second," he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who briefed reporters on the Prime Minister's speech, quoted the PM as saying that the party came second to the nation. He also observed that there is no political organisation as active as the BJP in the country today.

The Prime Ministers' speech came at the end of a day-long meeting of about 2,500 members of the BJP at the capital's Talkatora stadium. The PM attended the entire event.

Thanked by BJP chief Amit Shah for his government's handling of the Doklam standoff with China, the Prime Minister said many people are surprised it was resolved peacefully. "We did it peacefully. Many people remain surprised how we did it," sources quoted the Prime Minister as saying about the lengthy standoff which began in mid-June and saw Chinese and Indian troops eyeball-to-eyeball for weeks at the Sikkim border. Both sides withdrew troops from the remote Doklam Plateau, a region that both China and Bhutan claim, at the end of last month.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Amit Shah said the BJP government led by PM Modi had demonstrated patience, perseverance and confident politics in its resolution of the Doklam standoff. He also praised Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for her speech attacking Pakistan over terrorism at the United Nations General Assembly on the weekend, as he highlighted the BJP government's achievements, including its handling of Naxalism and terrorism in its three years of rule.

The Prime Minister left it to his party to defend his economic policies, under attack from the opposition, which has blamed last year's notes ban and what it alleges is faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the current economic slowdown. At the meeting, the BJP adopted a resolution that said the GST is the nation's biggest reform since Independence, union minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters.

Amit Shah cited data to state that the economy is stronger under the BJP-led NDA government, than it was under the previous Congress-led UPA government.

The BJP's national executive is usually attended by about 120 top leaders. Today's meeting, however, was called an "extended" National Executive as the party wraps up year-long celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of its founder Deendayal Upadhyaya. It was for the first time that the BJP's lawmakers were invited.

About 2,500 members of the ruling party, including 13 Chief Ministers and all its elected lawmakers - 1,400 legislators and 280 parliamentarians - are attending the meeting.





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VARANASI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, today said that by 2022, "every poor, whether in urban or rural area, will get a home". Stressing that his government's prime agenda is development, he said, "Governance is not about politics or winning elections. The priority is the well-being of the nation." He was addressing a rally in Varanasi's Shahanshahpur after inaugurating the Pashudhan Arogya Mela, a mega animal fair and laying the foundation stone for toilet units under his pet project, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. He said that "swachhatahas to become swabhavand it is our collective responsibility to keep our nation clean".




Here's the 10 Points Of Your Story:



  1. While praising the Uttar Pradesh government and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his development efforts in the state since taking charge in March, PM Modi said, "I want to congratulate the chief minister for organising the Pashudhan Arogya Mela. This fair will benefit the farmers across the state."



  1. "Doubling of farmers' income is an area in which significant work is being done," he said and added, "Let us build on the strides we have made in the dairy sector. Cooperatives can help in this regard, as they have in parts of the nation."



  1. Going forward with his "Clean India" message, PM Modi said he is happy to have got the "opportunity to help in construction of toilets for the poor" and said,




  1. "Swachhata is puja for me. Cleanliness is a way to serve the poor of India." He also encouraged all to keep their surroundings clean.




  1. He distributed Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana certificates among beneficiaries in the morning.



  1. PM Modi yesterday launched several infrastructure projects, flagged off the Mahamana Express between Varanasi and Vadodara and released a postage stamp on different aspects of Lord Ram's life at the historic Tulsi Manas Mandir.



  1. As he dedicated schemes worth Rs. 1,000 crore to his Lok Sabha constituency, he remarked that "unlike previous governments who were driven by political calculations, this government not only launches but completes its projects".



  1. While addressing a public meeting on Friday, PM Modi said, "Development is solution to all our problems.They (previous governments) seemed to hate development and the national exchequer was "destroyed" to win elections."



  1. PM Modi spoke about his dream to wipe out poverty in the country and his government's efforts to empower the poor by offering them opportunities to change their lives. "No poor person wants to give their children their poverty in inheritance," he said.




  1. During the inauguration of the 300-crore Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts and crafts museum, he spoke about the importance of showcasing the weavers' works at global platforms to enhance their economic prospects.




  1. "Our weavers need a global market which will enhance their economic prospects significantly," he said.




(With inputs from agencies)





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In Raids on Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar and his family and associated more than Rs 300 crore in undisclosed income has been found, on Saturday, to NDTV sources of Income Tax Department told as they ountered charges that the action against the leader of the Congress party, which sits in the opposition at the Centre, was politically motivated. From Mr Shivakumar, about Rs 100 crore was found, or DKS as he is known and his family, they said.


On Wednesday, at the home of Mr Shivakumar the tax raid began and continued till the this morning has ended, said by the official. To the Minister in Karnataka over 60 related locations were searched in span of four day even in Delhi.

In Bengaluru, from a luxury Resort where Mr Shivakumar was picked up, there is he staying with 43 lawmaker flown in from Gujarat by the Congress to check a rash of defections ahead of Rajya Sabha Election.

Mr Shivkumar told reporters after emerging from his home at a posh locality in Bengaluru, "I'm not the kind of person that violates the law and the Constitution... the truth will come out."

On Saturday, search at Mr Shivkumar’s in-law place was also conducted by the Tax Officials.

Over Rs 15 crore in cash and jewellery to have seized as claimed by Taxmen that too from more than 60 locations linked to Mr Shivakumar.


Congress, the state ruling party hasn't commented on the huge amount of cash that has been recovered said by the officials, accused the Centre of "misusing" Central agencies, questioning the timing of raids on Mr Shivakumar in a tax evasion case. They said there was no need to have used the central police forces in the raids. "This is a politically motivated raid," said Karnataka's Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah. The tax officials have denied charges and said the timing had nothing to do with the presence of the MLAs from Gujarat.



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Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati's resignation was accepted today after she met Vice President Hamid Ansari, the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, with a second letter, a one-line handwritten note.

Mayawati resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday after walking out of the house angrily and alleging that she was not being allowed to speak on what she called atrocities on Dalits. Her three-page resignation was not accepted, reportedly because it was not in the format required.
A resignation from Parliament must be "unconditional," only stating the lawmaker's intent to quit, explained officials in the Rajya Sabha secretariat. It must not contain explanations.

When cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had resigned from the Lok Sabha in December 2006, his first resignation letter was not accepted - he had written he was resigning on moral grounds.


Resigned from the Lok Sabha over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement by Now Chief Minister of Punjab, Amrinder Singh, he offered a lengthy thesis on why he was compelled to a quit. It was not accepted and he had to replace it with a Resignation of one-line.

From Rajya Sabha, Mayawati stomped out on Tuesday, after she was told to limit her speech on attacks on Dalits all over the country, with particular reference to an incident in Saharanpur, to three minutes.

"I simply wanted the Rajya Sabha Chair to pay attention to atrocities against the less fortunate sections of the society, especially Dalits. And as a representative, I have no choice but to resign, when I'm not being allowed to speak for them, ," she said, unmoved by requests from other opposition leaders to reconsider her decision to resign.

To consolidate her Dalit base and re-establish herself  it is seen as an attempt by Mayawati as the sole leader of the community after her defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections earlier this year, when her party could win only 18 seats. This followed a washout in the general election three years ago, with the BSP winning no seat.



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It's Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar today as Parliamentarians and state lawmakers vote to decide who will be the next President of India. With 63 per cent of the vote pledged to him, former Bihar Governor Mr Kovind, the nominee of the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is set to win today's election against former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, fielded by the opposition, which has pitched the contest as a battle of ideologies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first to vote in Parliament this morning. He has congratulated Mr Kovind in advance and has said that "the presidential poll this time is historic. Probably for the first time no party made any undignified or unwarranted comment on the rival candidate."

Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

1) Leaders of opposition parties met this morning ahead of the presidential elections and the start of the monsoon session of Parliament in which they have decided to launch a united attack on the government on several key issues, including what they call and ill-prepared launch of the mega tax reform GST. 

2) Congress President Sonia Gandhi has sought a "vote of conscience." She acknowledged the numbers are stacked against the opposition, but added, "the battle must be fought and fought hard. We cannot and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision." 

3) From 10 am to 5 pm today, lawmakers of both houses in Parliament and members of legislatures in states, will vote in special booths set up for the Presidential elections. MPs will vote on green paper ballots and state lawmakers on pink. They can't use their own pens to vote and will be given unique serial-numbered special pens with violet ink. 

4) After voting today, ballot boxes from the states will be flown to Delhi and stored in Room 62 in Parliament. Votes will be counted and results will be announced on Thursday, July 20. The new President will take oath on Tuesday, July 25. 

5) Mr Kovind has about 63 per cent of the vote with not just the NDA but also several regional parties like Tamil Nadu's AIADMK backing him. But ruling party sources say they expect enough cross voting in opposition ranks for their candidate to win about 70 per cent of the vote. 

6) A 17-member bloc of opposition parties had announced Meira Kumar's candidacy days after the BJP named its nominee. PM Modi's choice of a Dalit candidate was seen as a masterstroke to divide the opposition and keep allies together as well as a move to consolidate its growing support among politically vital backward castes.

7) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United broke ranks with the opposition to support for Mr Kovind and the BJP's partner Shiv Sena, which has in the last two  Presidential elections voted against its own alliance, too has supported Mr Kovind.  

8) Mr Kumar's support to Mr Kovind came as a big blow to the opposition, which had picked the Presidential elections as an occasion to forge an anti-BJP bloc ahead of the 2019 general elections. His choice also revealed his growing rift with Lalu Yadav, his partner in Bihar, triggering speculation about a split.

9) Ram Nath Kovind, 71, is a lawyer and served twice as a Rajya Sabha member before he took over as Bihar Governor. If elected, he will be India's second Dalit president after KR Narayanan, who served from 1997 to 2002.

10) Meira Kumar, who is from Bihar, is a five-time Lok Sabha member and had been a minister in the UPA government. Later, she was chosen unopposed as the Speaker of the 15th Lok Sabha.



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