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Assam Assembly Polls: Election Commission issues notification for 1st phase polling

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Notification for the first phase of the elections in 47 Assembly constituencies of Assam has been issued by the Election Commission on Tuesday, officials said.

The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to elections in three phases and the counting for all phases will take place on May 2.

Phase one will see polling for 47 constituencies on March 27 while in the second phase polling would be held for 39 seats on April 1 and the remaining 40 constituencies will go to the polls on April 6.

In all 2,32,44,454 voters are eligible to cast their votes in three phases this time while the number of eligible voters was 1,98,66,496 in the last Assembly polls in 2016.

A little over 80 lakh voters can exercise their franchise in the first phase said the Election officials.

According to the officials, with the issuance of the notification, the process of filing nomination papers has begun and the last date of filing of nominations for the 47 Assembly constituencies is March 9 and the scrutiny of the candidatures would take place the next day. The last date for withdrawal is March 12.

The first phase of polling on March 27 would be held in 12 districts mostly covering eastern Assam. Though no parties have announced the names of candidates yet, hectic discussions and parleys are on by all political parties on seat sharing and selection of candidates.

The ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress-led alliance parties indicated that the candidates for the first phase of polling would be announced by March 5.

The BJP, after the Bodoland Territorial Council polls in December last year, had forged an alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) after discarding then partner Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

The BJP has decided to fight the polls in western Assam’s tribal-dominated Bodoland area in alliance with new ally UPPL besides Asom Gana Parishad.

The Congress, which was in power in the state for 15 years (2001-2016) until the BJP-led alliance came to power in Assam in 2016, had formed the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) with three Left parties – CPI (M), CPI and CPI (ML) — as well as the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Anchalik Gana Morcha and BPF, three regional parties having a political base among the Muslims and indigenous people, respectively.

The BPF on Sunday joined the Congress-led grand alliance a day after snapping its ties with the ruling BJP.

Another regional alliance comprising Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), Raijor Dal and a few other local parties formed a third front to take on both the BJP and the Congress-led alliance.

(With IANS inputs)

source: The Statesman

Politics

MCD school teachers are getting affected by COVID-19 due to the ‘severe negligence’ by BJP: AAP leader

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Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader and MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak on Friday said that the MCD school teachers are getting affected by COVID-19 due to severe negligence by BJP ruled MCD. He said that MCD teachers sought sanitization of schools but the BJP ruled MCD is not paying attention.

Pathak said that the BJP ruled MCD is neither paying the salaries of their employees nor giving any medical facility. He said that the AAP demands that the BJP ruled MCD should immediately fulfill the demands of the teachers.

“BJP ruled MCD cannot take care of their own employees how will they take care of the citizens of Delhi,” he added.

In his statement on Friday, Pathak said that MCD is not sanitizing the schools which put their teachers in a vulnerable spot against coronavirus.

He also alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party has inconvenienced the employees of MCD through its non-payment of salaries, bonus, not providing medical facilities and now not sanitizing schools even in the face of the rising cases of coronavirus.

“Neither are the employees taken care of, nor is any work completed. The people of Delhi and employees of the MCD suffer the negligence and incompetence of the BJP ruled MCD,” he said.

In the face of the rising cases and negligence by the BJP ruled MCD, teachers have become increasingly vulnerable and are falling prey to corona. The entire family of a teacher from Wazirpur school got infected by corona even as teachers continue to demand proper sanitation in schools, Durgesh Pathak added.

Demanding sanitisation of schools, Durgesh Pathak said, “I want to urge MCD incharge and BJP Delhi President Adesh Gupta ji not to endanger the health of teachers and children due to their own negligence.”

“It is clear that the BJP-ruled MCD cannot take care of its own employees, let alone the people of Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party urges the BJP ruled MCD to fulfill the demand of their teachers and sanitize schools as soon as possible. The BJP ruled MCD is unable to take care of the people of Delhi, the least it can do is take care of its own employees,” he added.

source: The Statesman

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Winning Kerala is significant for Rahul

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The outcome of the Kerala Assembly polls will go a long way in deciding Congress scion Rahul Gandhi’s leadership sweepstakes. Of the four Assembly polls being held this month stakes are highest for Rahul Gandhi in Kerala

The May 2 result of Kerala polls will determine Rahul’s decision whether to take up the Congress president post again or not. The party is set to elect a new head in June and Rahul has decided not to run for the post.

The Congress is not in power in any of the four poll bound states-Kerala ,Tamil Nadu,West Bengal and Assam. It was in power in Puducherry till two months back.Yet, Kerala case is distinct for Rahul as he is an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad. So,winning Kerala is a matter of prestige for both Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Like Kerala, none of the four other poll-bound states, has seen alternate governments. The LDF had won the 2016 Assembly elections. Now,it is the turn of the Congress- led UDF to win in the 6 April polls. If the LDF under Pinarayi Vijayan succeeds in breaking the jinx and winning the polls, it will be an embarrassment for the Congress and in such a situation Congress will get weakened in the state.

Political observers say the BJP is waiting to emerge such a situation Rahul Gandhi knows the need and significance of Congress and UDF winning the Kerala polls.Keeping this in mind he has actively campaigned for the Congress-led UDF candidates in the state till the last lap of the campaign.

He attacked the ruling LDF government in the state , alleging that it was steeped into politics of vendetta, nepotism and corruption. In order to woo the poor,Rahul Gandhi on Sunday gave a further push to his ‘Nyuntam Aay Yojana’ to reach out to the voters, promising that every poor person in the state is going to get Rs 6,000 a month into his bank account, if UDF comes to power.

The public campaign for the 6 April Assembly polls in Kerala ended on Sunday evening with the leading political parties and fronts conducting roadshows and rallies. The Election Commission has banned Kottikalasam— the final campaign celebration in the state, due to Covid situation.

source: The Statesman

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All parties need to do ‘serious re-evaluation of EVMs’: Priyanka Gandhi

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday said the Election Commission (EC) needs to start acting decisively on reports of private vehicles transporting electronic voting machines (EVMs) and a “serious re-evaluation of the use of EVMs needs to be carried out by all national parties”.

Her remarks came over a video that surfaced on social media allegedly showing electronic voting machines (EVMs) in what was claimed to be the car of a BJP candidate in Assam.

Tagging the tweet which carried the video, Priyanka Gandhi said every time there is an election, videos of private vehicles caught transporting EVMs show up.

“Unsurprisingly they have the following things in common: 1. The vehicles usually belong to BJP candidates or their associates. 2. The videos are taken as one off incidents and dismissed as aberrations 3. The BJP uses its media machinery to accuse those who exposed the videos as sore losers,” the Congress general secretary said.

“The EC needs to start acting decisively on these complaints and a serious re-evaluation of the use of EVMs needs to be carried out by all national parties,” she said in a series of tweets.

The fact is that too many such incidents are being reported and nothing is being done about them, she said.

After the conclusion of the second phase of polling in the Assam assembly elections on Thursday, Election Commission polling staff reportedly used a private vehicle belonging to a BJP candidate to transport an electronic voting machine (EVM) in the Barak valley region in Karimganj district.

According to media reports, the EVM was allegedly being taken to a strong room after the voting ended, however, a huge mob comprised mainly of opposition supporters surrounded the car and started attacking it. The police had to intervene, resorting to baton-charging, and firing in the air to disperse the crowd gathered there. The video of the incident was widely shared on social media.

According to sources close to ANI, the car, Election Commission polling team was riding on, had broken down, and then they took a lift in a passing private vehicle that was later identified as belonging to a BJP MLA named Krishnendu Paul, a candidate in the assembly election.

source: The Statesman

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