68% vote in Phase one Gujarat polls-A look at the Highlights of the Day

Hindu Business Line reported that Gujarat saw a 68% voter turnout in the first phase of voting on Saturday, 9 December. 19 districts with 89 assembly seats were part of this phase. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, BJP state chief Jitu Vaghani, former state Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia, OBC leader Alpesh Thokor and SC/ST leader Jignesh Melvani are some big names from today’s list of contested seats.

NDTV stated that there were certain allegations about the use of mobile jammers at the place of voting. This was denied by the Chief Electoral Officer, BB Swain. It was not used due to policy guidelines. 397 candidates are ‘Crorepatis’. Pankaj Patel, the Congress candidate from Daskroi constituency is the richest with worth 231.93 crores declared assets. Molti Ba, 106-year-old citizen who witnessed the Dandi March and Civil Disobedience Movement during India’s freedom struggle, was one among the many voters.

India Today informed that 1,085 villagers of Gajadi, in Morbi district did not vote this time. They were upset about the lack of delivery of poll promises. The village lacks the basics of bijli, sadak and paani (electricity, roads and water). They complained that neither the BJP nor the Congress paid heed to their plea.  Hardik Patel mentioned, “I will join the Congress if it suites the needs of the Patidar community. I feel Rahul Gandhi has matured as a fine politician.”

The second phase is scheduled for 14 December. Results will be announced on 18 December. Gujarat has been the election laboratory for the country. BJP is eyeing to continue its political reign in Gujarat, while Congress sees it as a litmus test and wants to make a comeback.

Sources – India Today, NDTV

Delhi HC criticised DUSU presidents over defacement case.

On September 20, the presidents of Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) were rebuffed by the Delhi High Court for not being present in front of the court in the defacement of property case. While the newly-elected vice-president, Kunal Sehrawat was personally present in the court, the president, Rocky Tuseed, was represented by his counsel. Both of them belongs to NSUI.

There was scribing of names on the walls, posters were pasted around the college campuses and metro properties during the election process. The court has asked them to file an answer to the same and asked them to suggest ways to clean-up the mess created by them at the public places. According to a report of ANI, the High Court also said, ”We don’t want to take severe action but it can’t go on.”

The High Court also warned them that they can face 10 years of jail term if the FIR would be lodged. The Election Commission of India has been assigned the responsibility to send notices to all the candidates.

An advocate had filed a PIL and asked for a complete ban as the public property is defaced in the process.

Sources: India Legal

 

Pakistani ex-PMs wife to contest elections regardless of sickness

According to a Pakistani official, former PM Nawaz Sharif’s better half will keep running for a seat in the parliament in spite of her sickness. 

Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said Kulsoom Nawaz is being dealt with at a hospital in London and is likely to return to Lahore for the upcoming elections. 

In a conversation with The Associated Press, Aurangzeb said that Kulsoom was diagnosed with an early stage of cancer and termed her as a “courageous woman”. 

Earlier this month, Sharif’s party confirmed Nawaz’s participation for the upcoming elections, running for the same seat left vacant after her husband was precluded from office on account of corruption charges against Sharif and his family. The disqualification came after an investigative panel’s finding which stated that his family possessed disproportionate assets which exceeded their income. These assets were disclosed during the Panama Papers leak in 2016.  

According to the Pakistani military, army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa spoke to Sharif over the telephone, wishing his significant other a fast recuperation. 

Sources – Times of India, Miami Herald

Venezuela election day turns violent, leaves ten dead

In a wave of bloodshed, ten have been killed in the last 24 hours of the Venezuela protests. The protests turned violent during the elections to choose members of the all-powerful new legislative body that is supposed to reform the country’s constitution. According to an Indian Express report, protesters had swarmed the streets and attacked polling stations, which drew fire from the security forces.

The shootings left a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old in the western state of Tachira, as well as a soldier and a 30-year old regional leader of a youth opposition party, taking the total death toll over the last four months to 120, reported Al Jazeera. Many more protesters with bullet wounds were moved to Colombia for treatment. The national guard troops were deployed to disperse the protesters and used armoured vehicles, rubber bullets and tear gas.

AFP quoted senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles saying “We do not recognize this fraudulent process,” at the close of voting on Sunday. The opposition has boycotted the elections, calling it a method to consolidate unpopular president Nicolas Maduro’s power. Since his election in 2013, he has faced months of protests of economic crises and food shortages.

The United States has condemned the violence, calling it a sham and urged neighbouring countries to take action against those who “undermine democracy, deny human rights.”

 

Sources: Indian Express, Al Jazeera

 

Goa BJP Chief Vinay Tendulkar triumphs in Rajya Sabha polls

Goa state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar emerged victorious on Friday by winning the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state. The polling and the counting were held on the same day. This is the first time that the BJP has its representatives in the three seats in parliament, two in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha as reported by Business Standard.

“I am happy with the support received from my party legislators along with our alliance partners. I aim to work for the progress of the state. With this win, the party completes its election circle with representatives at the level of panchayats to both the houses of parliament.” Tendulkar said.

The Deccan Herald mentioned that Tendulkar won by a six vote margin and secured 22 votes. He contested the elections against seating Congress MP Shantaram Naik, who secured 16 votes.  Naik was looking forward to a third term in the Rajya Sabha. The strength of the state legislative assembly is 38 at present due to resignations from two MLAs earlier this year. Tendulkar managed to secure 12 votes from his party, ten votes from the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party, NCP and Independents.

“The Congress party appealed to attract secular votes from the BJP allies, but as per the results we see that no ally responded to the appeal”, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Leader of Opposition, told reporters.

Elections for Vice President to be held on August 5

In a press conference, the Election Commission announced that August 5, 2017, will hold elections for Vice President. The results will be announced on the same day. July 18 has been set as the deadline for the contestants to file nominations, while July 21 is the last date for the withdrawal of candidatures.

Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner addressed the press and delivered this announcement. He said, “An election to fill the vacancy to be caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President needs to be completed before the expiration of the term of the present incumbent.”

The tenure of current Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari is going to end on August 10. The electoral college comprising members of both the houses of Parliament, along with the nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, elect the Vice-President through the system of proportional representation. As of now, the electoral college has 790 members in total with 245 Rajya Sabha MPs and 545 Lok Sabha MPs. The voters are required to cast their votes with special pens. Using any other pen renders the vote invalid.

The major eligibility criteria for the post of Vice-President requires a candidate to be a citizen of India, atleast 35-years or above and should be qualified to become a member of the Rajya Sabha.

 

Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindu

NCP and BJP candidates enters into violent clashes

Pune: Chinchwad area of Pune saw election campaign turn unruly after candidates of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) got into clashes with one another, resulting in complaints filed from both ends.

A BJP worker complained that he and his fellow party workers were assaulted by NCP workers in the Anandnagar slums at around 10.45 on Saturday night, reported TOI .

According to the complaint filed at the Chichwad Police station, the members of BJP reached Anandnagar after learning that the NCP workers were distributing cash in order to buy votes for the elections. Four persons from the NCP were booked under the case, Vitthal Kaubade of the Chichwad police told TOI.

In another instance, the sitting woman NCP corporator from Chichwad registered a complaint with the police stating that 15-20 BJP workers hurled stones at her apartment in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

According to the complaint lodged, the BJP workers forced themselves into the house and assaulted the women of the family. They allegedly broke the window panes by hurling stones before leaving the housing complex premises.

The two parties are strong contenders in the Pune Municipal Corporation elections. Chichwad area is set to for the polls on February 21.

SOURCES-

  1. TIMES OF INDIA http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/ncp-bjp-workers-clash-in-chinchwad/articleshow/57240461.cms
  2. PCMC TIMES-http://pcmctimes.com/politicsnews/ncp-bjp-workers-clash-in-chinchwad