Times of India | 1 week ago | 05-08-2022 | 05:34 am
In the last five years, Nota (None of the Above) has secured nearly 1.3 crore votes in assembly and Lok Sabha elections combined, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch. In the 2019 LS polls alone, just over 65.2lakh (1.06%) Nota votes were cast, with the highest (51,660) in the Gopalganj (SC) constituency of Bihar. The lowest was in Lakshadweep (100). The report also analyses ‘red alert constituencies’ that are categorised as those which have three or more candidates with criminal cases against them. It says that in state assembly elections since 2018, 26.8 lakh Nota votes were cast in red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies in Bihar secured the highest percentage of votes — 6.1 lakh (1.6%) votes in 217 such seats. Nota was introduced in India through a SC judgment of 2013. The SC directed the Election Commission to provide a Nota button in EVMs so that the voters who come to the polling booth and decide not to vote for any of the candidates in fray, are able to exercise their right not to vote while maintaining their right to secrecy. The provision of Nota button was first implemented in the state assembly elections of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in 2013. In the last five years, on an average, Nota has secured 64.5 lakh votes in assembly elections. In assembly elections, Nota secured the highest percentage (almost 1.5%) of votes in 2020 — with Bihar accounting for 7.06 lakh and NCT Delhi for 43,108. The lowest percentage (0.07%) of Nota votes were cast in 2022 — nearly 8.2 lakh in five states polls combined for Goa, Manipur, Punjab, UP and Uttarakhand. Nota secured the highest number of votes in Maharashtra (7.42 lakh) in 2019 assembly elections, and the lowest (2,917) in the Mizoram polls of 2018. It also comes through in the study that Nota secured the highest percentage of vote share (1.98%) in Chhattisgarh assembly polls in 2018 and the lowest (0.46%) in both the Delhi assembly elections of 2020 and the Mizoram polls in 2018. The report recommends that in any constituency, if votes polled for Nota are higher than all the contesting candidates then no one should be declared as elected, fresh election should be conducted.
PUNE: At least 12 lakh voter names with similar photo entries have been deleted from the Maharashtra electoral rolls, said election officials, as part of a drive to ensure clean voter rolls. The move follows Election Commission of India’s (ECI) directive to commence deleting duplicate entries in electoral rolls, under respective state chief electoral officers. Maharashtra chief electoral officer Shrikant Deshpande on Monday told TOI that out of the 40lakh photographically similar entries in the electoral rolls, 16.45lakh were duplicate photo entries. Voter ID cards have also been corrected through elimination of demographically or photographically similar entries. The state’s total voter tally is 9crore. The removal of duplicate entries has been a major focus for the ECI as it seeks to create a comprehensive digital database of voters. After due verification, officials confirmed deletion of 12.03lakh names with similar photos from state electoral rolls. “Deletion forms (Form 7) have been collected so far for 14.02lakh such photo similar entries and we are collecting the same forms from 6.10lakh more such voters,” added Deshpande. Verifications are subsequently done at the booth level, too, and the election department does not delete any entries suo motu. Of the 40lakh names identified, 18lakh have been retained after field verification. Election officials are also carrying out the collection of Form 8 for correcting photos of 5.4lakh names after collecting photos from voters where a mismatch was found. With imminent local body elections set to use electoral data, the cleaning up of the electoral rolls is very important, emphasised officials. Under demographically similar entries, 40,158 entries were identified, out of which 20,000 were deleted, while 1,501 forms are still pending for verification, added election officials.
Mumbai: The hearing in the Supreme Court on the issue of power over Shiv Sena and disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs has been postponed. The matter will now come up for hearing on August 12. Should the matter be referred to a five-judge bench or not? Arguments in this regard will also be heard. On the last hearing four days ago, the CJI had told the counsel for the Election Commission that both the parties can give an affidavit in the Election Commission on Monday i.e. August 8. If any party demands time, the Commission shall consider it.Also Read - Maharashtra Weather: Moderate To Intense Rainfall, Gusty Winds Forecast At Isolated Places In StateDuring the hearing, Eknath Shinde said that the allegation of disqualification has been wrongly leveled against us. We are still Shiv Sainiks. On the other hand, in the Supreme Court, advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray faction, said that MLAs going to the Shinde faction can avoid disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution only if they merge the separated faction with another party. Also Read - Maharashtra Cabinet Expansion Tomorrow, Devendra Fadnavis Likely To Get Home MinistryThe Election Commission had sought evidence from both the parties that they have authority over the Shiv Sena party. These documents were to be handed over by Monday, August 8 by 1 pm. After this, the Election Commission start the hearing. The Supreme Court has also called the counsel for the Election Commission. Also Read - Gold Rate Today: Check Price of Yellow Metal on August 08 in Your City Here
Ayodhya city Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay, sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from the district’s Sadar constituency Ved Prakash Gupta and former party legislator from Milkipur Gorakhnath Baba are among the 40 persons named by the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA) as “illegal colonisers” of land plots building infrastructure in such land in the temple town.Mayor Upadhyay and MLA Gupta have, however, denied the allegations and charged “foul play” in the list of land deal “offenders” released by the Authority.Upadhyay and Gupta were among more than a dozen buyers of land parcels in Ayodhya investigated by The Indian Express on December 22 last year, who included local MLAs, close relatives of bureaucrats who served in the district, and local revenue officials whose job was to authenticate land transactions.Ved Prakash GuptaThe second-term BJP MLA from Ayodhya, Ved Prakash Gupta, 74, belongs to Khurja in Bulandshahr but moved to Ayodhya several years back and set up a business there. He has been a franchised dealer of a motor manufacturing giant that makes heavy vehicles like trucks and tractors. He also has commercial properties in Ayodhya. Gupta had been associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. In Ayodhya, he held the position of the city president of the Vyapar Mandal (traders association) and later became its state president.Gupta started his political innings with the BJP but later joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) and contested his first Assembly election in 2002 as the SP nominee from the Ayodhya constituency but finished third. Sources in the BJP said that when Gupta was with the SP, he was the national president of the Samajwadi Vyapar Sabha. In 2012, he contested from the constituency on the BSP ticket but lost again.Ahead of the 2017 UP Assembly elections, Gupta joined the BJP. As the BJP candidate, he again contested from Ayodhya and finally won. Despite a perceived anti-incumbency against him, the saffron party trusted him in the 2022 Assembly polls too and gave him ticket – and he won garnering 49.04 per cent votes polled as compared to his 49.56 per cent vote share in the 2017 polls. Gupta also runs Jaipuria School in Ayodhya.Rishikesh UpadhyayThe 43-year-old BJP leader, Rishikesh Upadhyay, is Ayodhya’s first Mayor elected in December 2017. He had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became an active member of the Sangh in Ayodhya. Upadhyay had also been associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the RSS’ students wing. In 1995, the Sangh deputed him to the BJP, where he worked for the establishment and expansion of the party’s youth wing BJYM. In the 2017 Assembly polls, he had sought the BJP ticket for the Ayodhya seat and sources said that his name was also considered among the probables, but finally the party picked Ved Prakash Gupta who had then defected to it fold from the BSP. The saffron party however assured Upadhyay of a “respectable political position in future”. After a few months, on the suggestion of local RSS functionaries, the BJP fielded Upadhyay in the Mayoral election, which he won by securing 44,642 votes. His rival and SP nominee Gulsan Bindu, a transgender, got 41,041 votes in this poll.Upadhyay runs a post-graduate college in Ayodhya and is known as an educationist. He is also known in BJP circles for his keen interest in astrology.Gorakhnath BabaFormer BJP MLA from the Milkipur (SC-reserved) in Ayodhya district, Gorakhnath Baba, 37, started his political career with the BJP and was elected as the party MLA in the 2017 Assembly polls. In the 2022 elections, the BJP again fielded him from Milkipur but he lost against veteran SP leader Awadhesh Prasad, registering a two per cent decline in his vote share as compared to 2017.An arts graduate, Gorakhnath has been engaged in the property business, according to local BJP sources. Two days before his name appeared in the list of “illegal colonisers” released by the ADA, Gorakhnath had met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with the proposal of setting up of power sub-stations and other development projects in Milkipur.A day before the Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as his Deputy CM on June 30, Gorakhnath had on his Twitter handle run an online poll on the reasons behind the formation of a BJP government in Maharashtra.
Octogenarian Sharad Pawar is seen as the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi allianceMumbai: The BJP has sounded the pitch for 2024 general election in Maharashtra and first on the target seems to Baramati - NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule's constituency. Octogenarian Sharad Pawar is seen as the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress that ruled Maharashtra from December 2019 to June 2022. The Uddhav Thackeray-led government was brought down by the rebellion led by Sena MLA Eknath Shinde -- now Chief Minister. The announcement came from Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis after he said that the much delayed cabinet expansion will take place in Maharashtra "sooner than expected".While Mr Fadnavis's comments have created some worry for rebel Sena MPs, his follow-up statement was a message to ensure that the rebels firmly remain in the BJP's good books. The comments came in response to a query that the BJP was working hard in constituencies held by the Sena rebels, including that of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's son and MP Dr Shrikant Shinde.Speaking to reporters, Mr Fadnavis said, "It is true that the BJP has been concentrating on 16 Parliamentary seats for the last six months. Shrikant Shinde's Parliamentary seat is among those. But now those people who are with us in an alliance, in the next election we are going to fight together in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. For those who are with us, we will try and get them elected as well. Even if we make our party stronger, we will use all that strength to get the Shiv Sena MPs who are with us re-elected."Setting up a Sharad Pawar vs BJP battle, he said, "In these 16 parliamentary seats, Baramati is also there and in the recent elections, we have got decent votes in Baramati. We have fought well there and that constituency is also on the list of 16. For these seats, some central leaders have been appointed as in-charge and Nirmalaji has been given Baramati. She will be in Baramati in September."PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comNationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule has been taking swipes at the BJP for not being able to form a proper Cabinet in Maharashtra. Last week, she said a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP has described the Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra as "Ek Duje Ke Liye" -- a wordplay on the title of the famous 1981 Bollywood film.Ms Sule's swipe came against the backdrop of the delay in expanding the cabinet even a month after the new government of Mr Shinde backed by the BJP came to power. She had also alleged that confusion prevails in the new government in the absence of ministers and even senior officials are clueless.
NCP LEADER Ajit Pawar, who is the Opposition leader in State Legislative Assembly, on Saturday urged his party members to remain in preparatory mode as the civic elections are likely to be declared any moment.“The Supreme Court had directed the State Election Commission to hold elections. Despite this, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadavis scrapped the three-member ward system. But the changed ward system has been challenged in the Supreme Court. If the court is convinced about the way the government went in for the change, then the civic elections will be held any time. That’s why we should not remain negligent or take it lightly. If the elections are declared, we should be prepared,” Pawar said, while addressing a party rally in Chinchwad.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxPawar urged party workers to take NCP ideology, policy and its work for the masses door-to-door. “We have to start laying the foundation for winning the PCMC elections. We should take our policies, our ideology and our work for the masses door to door,” he said.Pawar urged party leaders to plan for the elections. “The election trend has changed. We will have to plan for every ward. We have located our strength and weakness. We will have to work on our weakness. While giving candidature, I will decide the priority list,” he said.Pawar said as for alliance with Congres and Shiv Sena, local NCP leaders will have to take the decision. “They will have to hold discussions with Shiv Sena and Congress leaders,” he said.Attacking BJP, Pawar said, “In last five years, BJP has looted the public money in PCMC…they indulged in defamation campaign. It is only the NCP which is capable of carrying out development which it did during its 15-year tenure. Even MNS chief Raj Thackeray had said so.”