BJP approaches CEO over ‘sabotage’ of BJP rallies in West Bengal
Kolkata: A BJP delegation approached the Election Commission (EC) on Monday seeking strong action against the district magistrate of South 24 Parganas for sabotaging their party’s rallies and also accused the CEO office of favouring Trinamool.
Party’s national secretary Sunil V. Deodhar accused the DM Ratnakar Rao of sabotaging the BJP meetings and “working as an agent of Trinamool Congress”. “It is common that political leaders will come, address the public and return for which everyone seeks permission from the commission. The way they cancelled BJP president Amit Shah’s rally, has caused confusion among the people. State administration of Bengal has sabotaged our party’s meetings,” Deodhar told media persons here.
He said that they have demanded Rao’s removal. Also, apart from Shah’s rally they haven’t got the permission for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s rally and even Smriti Irani’s meeting was called off at the last moment. “Is this any kind joke? This way Mamata Banerjee is ruining Bengal’s name across the country ant this is not the state’s culture,” Deodhar said.
State BJP Vice President Jayprakash Majumdar, party leader Mukul Roy and Jadavpur Lok Sabha candidate Anupam Hazra were also a part of the delegation. They held a sit-in protest outside the CEO office, but withdrew it after getting an assurance from the commission. “We all have strongly demanded an inquiry of the role played by District Electoral Officer of South 24 Parganas. He is not giving permissions for our rallies,” Roy said.
“Chief Minister moves around with a convoy of 26 vehicles and there is cash in all of them. Even Abhishek Banerjee moves in a convoy of 16 vehicles, each carrying cash that is later distributed,” Roy said. According to him, they have never been stopped during the Naka checking. “If the chief Minister can speak of searching the Prime Minister’s car, why should she be spared? The CEO office has turned into a Trinamool office,” Roy said.
Lok Sabha elections 2019: PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi to address marathon rallies today
New Delhi: In the run-up to the final phase of polling in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will address multiple rallies on Tuesday in a bid to woo voters.
The Prime Minister will hold public meetings at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, Buxer and Sasaram in Bihar, and Chandigarh in Punjab, all of which will witness polling in the last phase of elections on May 19. Meanwhile, Gandhi will be speaking at election meetings in Neemuch, Khandwa and Tarana districts of Madhya Pradesh. Polling in these regions will also be held in the final phase.
As campaigning for Lok Sabha polls has entered its last leg, political parties have stepped up their attack against each other in a bid to outdo one another. The penultimate phase of election campaigning saw Modi hit out at Gandhi citing references of his late father Rajiv Gandhi, while Congress continued to question the Prime Minister and the BJP on job creation, demonetisation and alleged irregularities in the Rafale fighter jet deal. Seven-phase elections began on April 11, and 59 Lok Sabha seats will vote in the final phase on May 19. Results will be announced on May 23.
Delhi: AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, supporters booked for ‘assaulting’ man
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan and his supporters were booked for allegedly assaulting and threatening a man in Jamia Nagar here, police said Monday.
A complaint was received from a man alleging that AAP supporters assaulted him because he was not supporting Khan and the party, a senior police officer said. The man told police that Khan was present at the time of the incident, he said. The incident took place Sunday evening after the polling concluded in the city, the officer said. A case has been registered and police is probing the allegations, he said.
Employment opportunities top list of voters’ priorities; government performance ‘below average’: ADR survey
New Delhi: Better employment opportunities, healthcare and drinking water were the top three issues on which voters want the government of the day to work on, a national survey conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has claimed.
As per the survey, conducted between October and December in 2018, the performance of the government has been rated “below-average”, Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member, National Election Watch, ADR, told reporters here on Monday. The survey covered 534 Lok Sabha constituencies with 2,73,487 voters participating in the exercise. It was spread across various demographics such as voters’ priorities on specific governance issues; voters’ ratings of the government’s performance on those issues, and factors affecting voting behaviour.
When asked if national security was one of the issues listed in the survey, Chhokar said, “terrorism was one of the 31 listed issues, and it figured on the 30th position in the survey”. Better employment opportunities figured as the highest priority among voters (46.80 per cent), followed by better healthcare (34.60 per cent) and drinking water (30.50 per cent), better roads (28.34 per cent) and better public transport (27.35 per cent), as per the national survey. Chhokar claimed that as per the report, the performance of the government, measured on a scale of 1 to 5, was rated “below average” on top 10 governance issues.
He said as the survey was conducted last year, “Balakot airstrike, national security issue was not included in the list”. “It is important to note that agriculture-related governance issues featured predominantly in the top 10 list of voters’ priorities, e.g. availability of water for agriculture (26.40 per cent) that was ranked sixth, agriculture loan availability (25.62 per cent) at seventh, higher price realisation for farm products (25.41 per cent) at eighth, and agriculture subsidy for seeds/fertilsers (25.06 per cent) at ninth,” he said.
At the press conference, Chhokar said ADR has also analysed affidavits of candidates fighting the 2019 polls. Out of the 7,928 candidates analysed for Lok Sabha 2019, 1,500 (19 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, the ADR said. Out of 8,205 candidates analysed during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 1,404 (17 per cent) candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves, and out of 7,810 candidates analysed during the 2009 elections, 1158 (15 per cent) candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves, it stated.
The ADR claimed that as many as 1,070 (13 per cent) candidates contesting in the 2019 polls have declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women. Out of 8.205 candidates analysed during the 2014 polls, 908 (11 per cent) candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves, and out of 7,810 candidates analysed during the 2009 elections, 608 (8 per cent) candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves. As many as “56 candidates have declared convicted cases against themselves,” according to ADR.
Lok Sabha elections 2019: Polling agent caught on camera for trying to influence voters inside Faridabad booth, arrested
A polling agent in Faridabad near Delhi was arrested after a video of him allegedly trying to influence voters in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections went viral on social media.
In the video, a man was seen in a blue t-shirt sitting at his table inside a polling booth and women voters were standing in a queue inside the room. The man walked up to the voting compartment, appeared to press a button on the voting machine before returning to his seat. He repeated the act with other women as well. After the video went viral, multiple people tagged the Election Commission on Twitter asking for action to be taken against the man.
According to Indian Express, election commissioner, Ashok Lavasa confirmed that the polling agent was arrested on Sunday afternoon and a report on the issue will be examined by the Election Commission. Lavasa said the polling agent was arrested on Sunday afternoon and an FIR has been lodged. “DEO Faridabad reported that the observer, Sanjay Kumar investigated the entire matter. Report of the observer will be examined by ECI and action will be taken against those found wanting in their duty,” he tweeted. “Prompt action taken. FIR lodged. Person behind bars. Observer enquired the matter personally and is satisfied that polling was never vitiated (sic),” the District Election Office in Faridabad tweeted after the Haryana election body instructed them to take action. The man has been charged for alleged booth capturing.
The local election office told NDTV that the polling agent was trying to influence “at least 3 lady voters”. Based on the election body’s complaint, the man was arrested by the police on Sunday evening. Polling agents are appointed by the candidates standing in the election to oversee the process in the station. The arrested man’s political party has not been made known as yet.
Lok Sabha elections 2019: FIR against BJP MLA for thrashing polling officer in Uttar Pradesh
Bhadohi (Uttar Pradesh): An FIR was registered against BJP MLA Dinanath Bhaskar for allegedly thrashing the presiding Officer of booth no.359 in Aurai assembly constituency under Bhadohi Lok Sabha constituency.
Bhadohi went to polls in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha election held on Sunday. “MLA and three others thrashed him alleging voting being held at a slow pace. An FIR has been registered and action is being taken,” Police told ANI. BJP has fielded Ramesh Bind from this seat while the SP-BSP alliance has fielded Rangnath Mishra. Ramakanth Yadav is contesting from the seat on a Congress ticket. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.
Cyclone Fani: Death toll in Odisha rises to 64, CM Naveen Patnaik orders house damage assessment
Bhubaneswar: The death toll due to cyclone Fani rose to 64 with 21 fresh deaths confirmed on Sunday, nine days after the ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm devastated coastal Odisha.
The death toll which stood at 43 till Saturday, rose after 18 more casualties reported from the worst-hit Puri and four more from Khurda district. At 39, the maximum deaths were reported from Puri, followed by Khurda (9), Cuttack (6), Mayurbhanj (4), Kendrapara (3) and Jajpur (3), an official at the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the officials to start assessment of houses damaged in cyclone Fani which made landfall in Puri with wind speed of up to 240 kmph on May 3 and has left at least 241 people injured.
Patnaik also directed that the house damage assessment be completed within one week from May 15. “I have lost my thatched house in the cyclone. No one from government has come to see my damaged house. I am waiting for the assessment since May 4. I do not know when they will assess the damage and give me assistance to construct my house,” said Shantilata Mishra, a widow at Biraramchandrapur village in Puri district.
Mishra is among the many poor people who have lost their houses and not sure when they will get assistance from the state government. “How long we should wait for the assessment? If we start construction, they may not give us assistance,” Mishra said as she wondered where she would stay in the meantime. The cyclone affected people are gradually losing hope as the house assessment order was given on the tenth day since the calamity hit their villages with the exercise beginning 12 days after the disaster.
However, the Naveen Patnaik regime took full credit for the “efficient” evacuation before the calamity. Promising full assistance for house construction, Patnaik said: “I assure that all out efforts will be put so that not a single eligible person will be left out.” Patnaik further said that all families whose houses are completely or substantially damaged due to extremely severe cyclone will be sanctioned pucca houses. “In all the severely affected blocks, senior officers will be appointed to supervise the assessment process,” Patnaik said adding work order distribution to the beneficiaries will begin from June 1.
According to sources in the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), 15,26,877 houses have been damaged in the state in different calamities in last 12 years. However, the damage caused by cyclone Fani was the most severe with as it left 5,08,467 houses damaged. The state government has demanded Rs 7,000 crore from the Centre for construction of disaster resilient houses in cyclone prone areas of Odisha.
While people are already on the streets, unable to get power and water nine days after the disaster, the house rebuilding exercise has come as an additional problem for them. A large number of affected people as well as opposition parties have also accused the state government of being inadequately prepared to deal with post-cyclone situation. The delay in start of house assessment may cause a lot of hardship for the people, said Suresh Panigrahi, a CPI(M) leader.
Speaking in similar vein, Congress leader Narasingha Mishra accused the state government of having failed to handle the post-cyclone situation. Meanwhile, angry people continued to blocked roads at many places, including state capital Bhubaneswar, on Sunday, demanding that the authorities address their problems quickly. At several places, demonstrators alleged that the restoration work was hampered by lack of management and coordination among various government agencies, thereby compounding the miseries of the cyclone-affected people.
The state government said it is trying to speed up efforts to restore electricity, water supply and telecom facilities even as large number of areas remained in the dark for the tenth day since May 3. The state government claimed it has restored electricity and drinking water supply in Bhubaneswar and urban areas of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack districts, but people blocked roads in Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack and Khurda districts, besides the state capital.
As Bhubaneswar witnessed protests in Samantrapur, Nuagaon and Lingipur areas, traffic on Bhubaneswar-Puri highway was hit for some time, police said. “We are forced to hit the road as the government has failed to provide basic necessities such as water and power despite having promised to restore power supply by Sunday, May 12,” said a woman who joined a road blockade at Nuagaon. “There is a limit to our patience. We are made to spend sleepless nights. We have to purchase drinking water at exorbitant prices,” said another protester.
Aggrieved people also staged similar road blockades on Jagatsinghpur-Machagaon road and at some places in Cuttack and Khurda districts. In the pilgrim town of Puri, worst hit by the cyclone, locals were moving out of the place temporarily. In almost all electricity offices in coastal districts, police personnel have been deployed to tackle people attempting to attack officials, a state government official said. Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Singh maintained that electricity will be restored in all areas of Bhubaneswar by Sunday midnight. He also claimed that drinking water has been made available in all parts of the state capital.
Robert Vadra posts Paraguay flag instead of tricolour, trolled on social media
New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra on Sunday was trolled on social media after he wrongly posted a Paraguay flag emoji with a picture showing his inked finger after voting here.
Though he later replaced the Paraguayan flag with the Indian tricolour and admitted his mistake, Robert Vadra could not escape criticism from Twitterati. “Our right our strength !! Everyone must step out n vote… we need all support, to create a combined future for our loved ones, n for a secular, safe, productive future for our country (sic),” he posted on Facebook with a photograph of him holding up his inked index finger.
However, with the post he had emoji of the red, white and blue Paraguayan flag. A few hours later, he edited his Facebook post and put another one with an Indian flag. “India lives in my heart and I salute Tiranga. Using a Paraguay flag in my post was just an aberration. I very well know that ‘You all know it was posted by mistake” but you decided to ‘play up my mistake’, when there are such glaring issues to be discussed.
“It saddens me, but never mind!! My best wishes…,” he said in his fresh post after admitting the mistake. Earlier in the day, Robert Vadra voted along with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at a polling booth next to their residence. Robert Vadra’s mother-in-law and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were among others from his family who voted separately in the sixth round of polling for all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.
Naxalites scared with this new move of police, now targeted by common people
In Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, the police changed strategy against the Maoists seems to prove to be effective. Since January 2019, Maoists have not been able to cause big damage to the jawans in the district. On the other hand, the Maoists scared of the continuous successes of the security forces on the Naxal front, are now in the forefront of spreading panic in the district by making the target of the common citizens.
With this changed strategy of police, Naxalite has come back to Bijapur in Bijapur. The jawans are constantly getting success on the Naxal front. Bawled Maoists are now targeting their citizens. Since Bijapur in the year 2019, the police are continuously working on the Naxal morchas. In addition to one or two small incidents, the Maoists in the district are not able to face any major damage.
Within a few days of changing the government in the state, the police captain of the district also changed. At the same time, the police has also changed their strategy. The police has started using the security of the security forces as a direct benefit to the changed strategy. The angry Maoists now target the common citizen and want to keep their horror alive in the heart and mind of the people.
How did the security forces get success in the last 5 months
In the last 5 months, in 8 different encounters, the jawans killed 12 Maoists. During the area domination, patrolling-and anti-Naxal operations, security forces claimed to arrest 1-2 Maoists instead of 1-2 permanent warranties. Due to the increasing pressure of the police, 24 Maoists, filled with red terror, surrendered.
With 22 IEDs of different mechanisms, 28 of the Maoists have also recovered the jawans. Attacked by the police, the Maoists attacked civilians and killed 3 civilians, while 10 civilians were injured in Maoist attack. Bijapur SP Govardhan Thakur says that in the case of police loss, two Maoists were killed in the attack while 1 in the second attack was injured.
Committees constituted to investigate the fire at SMS Hospital
Jaipur . State Medical and Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma visited the Savai Mansingh Hospital on Friday to see the fire space in the Life Line Drug Store. Taking this incident very seriously, he instructed the 3-member committee to conduct a week's inquiry and register an FIR in the police.
Dr. Sharma instructed to ensure all necessary safeguards in relation to not having recurrence of such incidents. Dr. Minister of Health and Health, Dr. Sharma with Dr. Subhash Garg and Government Secretary Medical Education Hemant Gera and Divisional Commissioner K.C. Verma also observed the spot.
There was a fire in the light-line drug store early on Friday. Immediately after the fire, the patients of nearby warders were shifted elsewhere and now the security arrangements are being shifted to the wards again.
The Medical Minister said that instructions have been given to the Government Secretaries Medical Education to constitute 3-member committees to look into the incident and prevent recurrence of such incidents. In this committee, Mission Director NHM Dr. Samit Sharma, Additional Director of Medical Education Rajarayan Sharma and Principal of SMS Medical College Dr. Sudhir Bhandari has been included. Instructions have been given to submit the report to the committee within one week.