Maharashtra Election News

Elections In 6 States: Telangana's Munugode Records 77% Voter Turnout, Andheri Lowest With 31%
Ndtv | 2 months ago | |
Ndtv
2 months ago | |

The counting of votes will take place on November 6. (File)New Delhi: By-elections to seven assembly constituencies spread across six states were held on Thursday with the voter turnout ranging from 31.74 per cent in Andheri (East) of Maharashtra to 77.55 per cent in Telangana's Munugode seat.Till last reports came in, the polling percentages in the five other seats were Mokama (53.45) and Gopalganj (51.48) of Bihar, Adampur (75.25) of Haryana, Gola Gokarannath (55.68) of Uttar Pradesh, and Dhamnagar (66.63) of Odisha. These figures are likely to change.Officials said the bypolls were by and large peaceful barring some minor incidents.Among the seven seats where bypolls are being held, the BJP held three seats and the Congress two, while the Shiv Sena and the RJD had one each. The contest is symbolic of the fierce turf war between the BJP and the regional parties.For the bypolls in Bihar, the main contest is between the BJP and the RJD, and the saffron party's main contenders in Haryana are the Congress, INLD and the AAP. In Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, the main contests are between the BJP and the TRS, SP and the BJD respectively.While a victory in the bypolls will be inconsequential to their position in the assemblies, the parties have not taken the contest lightly and carried out a high-pitched campaign.The counting of votes will take place on November 6.In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party alleged that some polling centres were captured by workers of the ruling BJP. However, District Magistrate Mahendra Bahadur Singh ruled out the allegations, saying he personally visited the polling centres but found no such thing.Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav alleged that police unnecessarily indulged in baton charge at some booths disrupting voting and at some places SP and Muslim voters were driven away. He also demanded an investigation into "why a BJP MLA kept roaming around with envelopes full of money in their car".There were reports of clashes between BJD and BJP in two polling booths in Odisha's Rameswarpur when voting was underway, resulting in injuries to two persons.The BJP is seeking to retain the Gola Gokarannath seat in Uttar Pradesh and Dhamnagar in the BJD-ruled Odisha, banking on sympathy votes as it has fielded the sons of sitting MLAs whose death necessitated the bypolls.The BJP and the ruling TRS had been campaigning aggressively in Munugode in Telangana, where the Congress MLA had resigned and is fighting on the saffron party's ticket.The Election Commission made elaborate arrangements for polling, including the deployment of 3,366 state police and 15 companies of central security personnel in Munugode. Webcasting was done from all the polling stations, officials said.In Adampur, the by-election was necessitated after former chief minister Bhajan Lal's younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned as MLA from the seat and switched from the Congress to the BJP in August. Bishnoi's son Bhavya is now contesting as the BJP candidate.The Adampur seat has been held by the Bhajan Lal family since 1968, with the late ex-chief minister representing it on nine occasions, his wife Jasma Devi once, and Kuldeep on four occasions.The Congress, Indian National Lok Dal, and Aam Aadmi Party are among the key parties contesting the bypolls.The Congress fielded former Union minister Jai Prakash, a three-time MP from Hisar and two-time MLA, as well.The INLD picked Congress rebel Kurda Ram Nambardar as its candidate. The AAP fielded Satender Singh, who switched over from the BJP.Bihar saw the first electoral test for the Nitish Kumar-led 'Mahagathbandhan' government, formed less than three months ago after the JD(U) parted ways with the BJP.The Mokama and Gopalganj seats in Bihar were earlier held by the RJD and the BJP respectively.The BJP is contesting from the Mokama constituency for the first time as the saffron party had, on previous occasions, left the seat to its allies. Both the BJP and the RJD have fielded the wives of local musclemen in the bypolls.BJP nominee Sonam Devi is up against RJD's Neelam Devi, whose husband Anant Singh's disqualification has necessitated the by-election.Mokama is the stronghold of Anant Singh since 2005. He won the seat twice on JD(U) tickets and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has appealed to voters to support him.Sonam Devi, the wife of local muscleman Lalan Singh who has been opposed to Anant Singh, is a greenhorn. Lalan is known to be a confidant of Suraj Bhan Singh, a dreaded gangster-turned-politician, who in the 2000 assembly election defeated Anant Singh's elder brother Dilip Singh who was a minister in the Rabri Devi government.In Gopalganj, BJP fielded Kusum Devi, the wife of deceased party MLA Subhash Singh. The RJD fielded Mohan Gupta, while Indira Yadav, wife of Lalu Yadav's brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav, is contesting as Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.Shiv Sena's Rutuja Latke is expected to comfortably win Andheri East Assembly constituency in Mumbai after the BJP withdrew from the contest which is the first after the recent split in the Shiv Sena following a rebellion by Eknath Shinde, who replaced Thackeray as the Maharashtra chief minister.The NCP and Congress have supported her candidature.The by-election was necessitated due to the death of Latke's husband and Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke in May.The Gola Gokarannath seat in Uttar Pradesh fell vacant after the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6. With the BSP and the Congress keeping away from the bypolls, there seems to be a direct fight between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party.The BJP has fielded Aman Giri, son of Arvind Giri, while the SP candidate is former Gola MLA Vinay Tiwari.The BJD has fielded Abanti Das, the lone woman among the total five candidates in Dhamnagar. BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi's death necessitated the bypoll. The saffron party, banking on sympathy votes, has fielded Sethi's son Suryabanshi Suraj.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe BJD's official candidate is facing a rebel as its former MLA Rajendra Das is in the fray as an Independent.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayWatch: The Moment Imran Khan Was Attacked At Pak Rally

Elections In 6 States: Telangana's Munugode Records 77% Voter Turnout, Andheri Lowest With 31%
  • Highlights: Polling Held In Seven Constituencies In Six States
  • Ndtv

    The counting of votes will take place on November 6.New Delhi: Voting was held today in the by-election to seven assembly constituencies in six states - a contest symbolic of the fierce turf war between the BJP and regional parties.Polling was in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies of Bihar, Andheri (East) of Maharashtra, Adampur of Haryana, Munugode of Telangana, Gola Gorakhnath of Uttar Pradesh, and Dhamnagar of Odisha. Here are the Highlights on the bypolls:Get NDTV UpdatesTurn on notifications to receive alerts as this story develops.Nov 03, 2022 15:54 (IST)Maharashtra Bypoll, Andheri, Uddhav Shiv Sena: First on new symbol, has symbolic valueBypoll voting today: Uddhav Thackeray's faction sees BJP's withdrawal as part of "a script to save face" ahead of the election for the Brihanmumbai Municipal CorporationNov 03, 2022 15:22 (IST)Andheri East Assembly bypoll: Nearly 17% voter turnout recorded till 1 pmA voter turnout of 16.89 per cent was recorded in the Andheri East Assembly byelection in Mumbai till 1 pm on Thursday, an official said.Polling for the byelection, which started at 7 am, will continue till 6 pm. The process is underway at 256 polling booths in the constituency.Nov 03, 2022 14:31 (IST)38.75% Turnout At Dhamnagar Till 1 PM, 2 Injured In ClashA total 38.75 per cent voters cast their votes in the Dhamnagar assembly by-poll till 1 pm on Thursday, an Election Commission official said.Despite the strict security for the day, there were reports of clashes between BJD and BJP workers in polling booths 169 and 170 at Rameswarpur in the constituency while voting was on and two persons were injured.The local police said the clash occurred when workers of one party tried to put up posters inside the prohibited 100 m distance from the polling booth and were resisted by supporters of the other party.A case was registered at the local police station on the basis of allegations of the two sides and the injured were taken to a nearby hospital, the police said.Nov 03, 2022 13:55 (IST)31.90% Voter Turnout Recorded Till 11 AM In Bihar BypollA voter turnout of 31.90 per cent was recorded till 1 pm in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies in Bihar where polling was underway for by-elections on Thursday, officials said.While Mokama recorded 34.26 per cent voter turnout, Gopalganj saw 29.90 per cent turnout till 1 pm, they said.The bypolls to the two seats are the first election in the state after the formation of the 'Mahagthabandhan' government around three months back. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de-facto leader of the JD(U), dumped the BJP and formed a new coalition government with the RJD, Congress and Left parties in early August.The polling began at 7 am, and will continue till 6 pm, election officials said.Nov 03, 2022 12:47 (IST)Over 25% Polling In Munugode Till 11 AMOver 25 per cent polling was reported till 11 AM in the by-poll to the Munugode Assembly constituency in Telangana on Thursday.The polling had been peaceful with no major law and order issue being reported.Officials rectified technical issues in EVMs at a couple of places.Nov 03, 2022 12:46 (IST)Gujarat Polls : Gujarat Votes On December 1, 5; Result On 8th Along With Himachal'sThe high-voltage Assembly election in Gujarat will be held in two phases, on December 1 and December 5, the Election Commission announced today.Nov 03, 2022 12:18 (IST)Adampur Bypoll: 22.51 Per Cent Votes Polled Till 11 AMA poll percentage of 22.51 was recorded in the first four hours after polling began in Haryana's Adampur Assembly segment where bypolls are underway on Thursday.The outcome of the bypoll will decide if the Bhajan Lal family will retain the family bastion of five decades.Polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. Nearly 1.71 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.A poll percentage of 22.51 was recorded as of 11 am, according to Election Commission of India data.Nov 03, 2022 12:16 (IST)#JustIn | "We are deputing one additional special observer at polling stations for accessibility and inclusion": Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar #AssemblyElections2022#ElectionsWithNDTVpic.twitter.com/uA7SKq62V6- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 12:16 (IST)#GujaratElections2022 | Total electors: 4.90 crore Male: 2.53 croreFemale: 2.37 crore Third Gender: 1,417#ElectionsWithNDTV- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 12:15 (IST)22.36 Per Cent Votes Cast Till 11 AM In Dhamnagar A total 22.36 per cent votes were cast till 11 am in the by-poll being held in Dhamnagar assembly seat on Thursday, an EC official said.Election in the rural constituency is being held under tight security and long queues were seen in front of the polling stations even before voting began at 7 am."Voting is underway in all the 252 polling stations of the constituencies," he said. A 110 booths have been declared as sensitive and there will be webcasting in 126 booths. Some initial EVM glitches were reported and were immediately solved, he said.Nov 03, 2022 11:55 (IST)24.17% Voter Turnout In Bihar Bypolls Till 11 AMA voter turnout of 24.17 per cent was recorded till 11 am in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies in Bihar where polling was underway for by-elections on Thursday, officials said.While Mokama recorded 27.30 per cent voter turnout, Gopalganj saw 21.76 per cent turnout till 11 am, they said.Long queues were seen outside many booths as people turned up early to exercise their franchise, officials said.The bypolls to the two seats are the first election in the state after the formation of the 'Mahagthabandhan' government around three months back. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de-facto leader of the JD(U), dumped the BJP and formed a new coalition government with the RJD, Congress and Left parties in early August.Nov 03, 2022 11:36 (IST)Over 23 Per Cent Votes Polled Till 11 AM, Samajwadi Party Alleges Booth Capture By BJPAn average voter turnout of over 23 per cent has been recorded in the first two hours of polling in the Gola Gokarannath constituency of Uttar Pradesh where bypolls are underway on Thursday.While a senior official said voting was going on peacefully, the Samajwadi Party (SP) alleged that some polling centres have been captured by workers of the ruling BJP."Polling centres in Lalahapur, Madanpur and Lakshmanjati in Gola Gokarannath assembly have been captured by BJP workers. SP voters, booth in-charges and agents have been driven away. The Election Commission should take cognisance of this and ensure fair polls," the SP tweeted in Hindi.The senior official said, "Polling is going on peacefully. In the initial four hours, 23.56 per cent votes were polled." Over 3.90 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of seven contestants in the fray. Polling started at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.Nov 03, 2022 11:34 (IST)10.25 Per Cent Polling In First 2 Hours In Dhamnagar BypollAn average 10.25 per cent votes cast in the first two hours of polling in Odisha's Dhamnagar assembly constituency, where the by-election exercise began at 7 am on Thursday, an EC official said.Long queues were seen in front of the polling stations even before the voting started.The voting process, which is being held under tight security, will continue till 6 PM."An average 10,25 per cent polling was witnessed in the by-poll for Dhamnagar assembly segment in the first two hours from 7 am. Voting is underway in all the 252 polling stations," an Election Commission official said.Nov 03, 2022 10:24 (IST)Gokarannath Bypoll: Over 10 Per Cent Votes Polled In First Two HoursAn average voter turnout of over 10 per cent has been recorded in the first two hours of polling in Gola Gokarannath constituency of Uttar Pradesh where bypolls are underway on Thursday."The polling is going on peacefully. In the initial two hours, over 10 per cent votes were polled", a senior official said here.Over 3.90 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of seven contestants in the fray.The polling started at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6.Nov 03, 2022 10:17 (IST)#ElectionsWithNDTV | Polling Begins In Seven Constituencies In Six States https://t.co/GA7mdSFLShNDTV's Sohit Mishra and Manish Kumar report pic.twitter.com/Qaj5UksyNJ- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:53 (IST)Voting Begins For Andheri (East) Assembly By-ElectionPolling started for by-election to the Andheri East Assembly constituency here at 7 am on Thursday.This is the first Assembly election in Maharashtra after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in June following a revolt by Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.Shinde subsequently became chief minister in alliance with the BJP.Rutuja Latke, the candidate of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, is expected to win comfortably in the by-election after the BJP withdrew its nominee.Nov 03, 2022 08:46 (IST)Odisha | People cast their votes for the #DhamnagarBypoll; visuals from polling booth number 8Voting is underway for assembly by-elections in seven vacant seats across six states. pic.twitter.com/Kc41sXNlqi- ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:15 (IST)Telangana's Munugode Bypoll Will Be Most-watched: Chief Electoral OfficerIn exclusive chat with NDTV, Telangana's Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj says they have made special arrangements in Munugode that will make it the most-watched election ever, with CCTVs deployed around the constituency and also webcasting from every poll booth, monitored at the district, state and central levels.Nov 03, 2022 08:10 (IST)Telangana | People queue up to cast their votes for Munugodu by-elections; visuals from Tangadapally polling station in Munugodu Assembly Constituency pic.twitter.com/WDejl6nhhv- ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:06 (IST)Uttar Pradesh | People cast their votes at Guru Nanak Girls Inter College polling booth for Gola Gokarannath by-elections pic.twitter.com/muIjlt35N0- ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:01 (IST)#Bihar | People cast their votes for the by-elections in Mokama Assembly Constituency; visuals from polling booth number 3. | reported by news agency ANI pic.twitter.com/Y7sylfYAza- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:00 (IST)Gujarat Election : Gujarat Election Dates To Be Announced At Noon TodayThe dates for the Gujarat Assembly election will be announced by the Election Commission at noon today.Nov 03, 2022 07:56 (IST)Election Commission To Announce Gujarat Poll Schedule TodayThe Election Commission will announce the schedule for the Gujarat assembly polls at 12 noon on Thursday.   The poll panel has convened a press conference to announce the schedule.The term of Gujarat assembly ends on February 18 next year. Nov 03, 2022 07:48 (IST)Telangana BJP President Bandi Sanjay DetainedTelangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay staged a protest demanding that non-locals and TRS leaders should be sent out of the Munugodu constituency, where the bypolls are being conducted today.Mr Sanjay, who was on the way to Munugode as Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders were not leaving the by-polls constituency in Munugodu, was stopped by the police on the Vijaywada Highway in Abdullapurmet on Wednesday night.Initially, police stopped Bandi Sanjay's convoy at Malakpet then at Vanasthalipuram and finally, he was shifted to Abdullapurmet Police Station.Nov 03, 2022 07:37 (IST)Polling Underway In Telangana's Munugode Polling was underway amid tight security in the bypoll to Munugode Assembly constituency in Telangana on Thursday. Voting began at 7 am and will continue till 6 am.Over 2.41 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in the bypoll.Nov 03, 2022 07:31 (IST)Polling Begins For Adampur Bypoll In HaryanaPolling began on Thursday for bypolls in Haryana's Adampur assembly constituency, whose outcome will decide if the Bhajan Lal family holds on to its bastion of five decades.Polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. Nearly 1.71 lakh voters are eligible to cast vote. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.Twenty-two candidates, all men, are in the fray. The main parties contesting are the BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal, and the Aam Aadmi Party.Nov 03, 2022 07:24 (IST)Polling Begins For Dhamnagar By-Election In OdishaPolling began on Thursday morning for by-election to the Dhamnagar assembly constituency in Odisha amid tight security, officials said.The voting began in all the 252 polling stations of the constituency in Bhadrak district at 7 am, and will continue till 6 pm, they said.A total of 2.38 lakh voters -- 1.23 lakh males and 1.15 lakh females -- are eligible to exercise their franchise in this election.Nov 03, 2022 07:21 (IST)Polling Begins For Mokama, Gopalganj By-Elections In BiharPolling began on Thursday morning for by-elections to the Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies in Bihar under tight security, officials said.The by-polls to the two seats are the first election in the state after the formation of the 'Mahagthabandhan' government around three months back. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de-facto leader of the JD(U), dumped the BJP and formed a new coalition government with the RJD, Congress and Left parties in early August.The polling began at 7 am, and will continue till 6 pm, election officials said.Nov 03, 2022 07:20 (IST)BJP leader Kuldeep Bishnoi casts his vote for Assembly by-elections in Haryana's Adampur Assembly ConstituencyVoting for Assembly by-elections in seven vacant seats across six states has begun. pic.twitter.com/c8S37v08A4- ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 07:19 (IST)Telangana, Bihar, Haryana Among Big Bypoll Battles Today: 10 PointsIn contests symbolic of the fierce turf war between the BJP and regional parties, seven assembly constituencies in six states will elect new legislators in bypolls on Thursday, with Telangana and Bihar hosting two of the more closely watched clashes.Featured Video Of The Day'Have Received Endless Love From Gujarat': AAP's Chief Minister Candidate

  • Live Updates: Polling Begins In Seven Constituencies In Six States
  • Ndtv

    The counting of votes will take place on November 6.New Delhi: Voting began on Thursday in the by-election to seven assembly constituencies in six states - a contest symbolic of the fierce turf war between the BJP and regional parties.The polling is being held in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies of Bihar, Andheri (East) of Maharashtra, Adampur of Haryana, Munugode of Telangana, Gola Gorakhnath of Uttar Pradesh, and Dhamnagar of Odisha. Here are the LIVE updates on the bypolls:Get NDTV UpdatesTurn on notifications to receive alerts as this story develops.Nov 03, 2022 15:22 (IST)Andheri East Assembly bypoll: Nearly 17% voter turnout recorded till 1 pmA voter turnout of 16.89 per cent was recorded in the Andheri East Assembly byelection in Mumbai till 1 pm on Thursday, an official said.Polling for the byelection, which started at 7 am, will continue till 6 pm. The process is underway at 256 polling booths in the constituency.Nov 03, 2022 14:31 (IST)38.75% Turnout At Dhamnagar Till 1 PM, 2 Injured In ClashA total 38.75 per cent voters cast their votes in the Dhamnagar assembly by-poll till 1 pm on Thursday, an Election Commission official said.Despite the strict security for the day, there were reports of clashes between BJD and BJP workers in polling booths 169 and 170 at Rameswarpur in the constituency while voting was on and two persons were injured.The local police said the clash occurred when workers of one party tried to put up posters inside the prohibited 100 m distance from the polling booth and were resisted by supporters of the other party.A case was registered at the local police station on the basis of allegations of the two sides and the injured were taken to a nearby hospital, the police said.Nov 03, 2022 13:55 (IST)31.90% Voter Turnout Recorded Till 11 AM In Bihar BypollA voter turnout of 31.90 per cent was recorded till 1 pm in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies in Bihar where polling was underway for by-elections on Thursday, officials said.While Mokama recorded 34.26 per cent voter turnout, Gopalganj saw 29.90 per cent turnout till 1 pm, they said.The bypolls to the two seats are the first election in the state after the formation of the 'Mahagthabandhan' government around three months back. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de-facto leader of the JD(U), dumped the BJP and formed a new coalition government with the RJD, Congress and Left parties in early August.The polling began at 7 am, and will continue till 6 pm, election officials said.Nov 03, 2022 12:47 (IST)Over 25% Polling In Munugode Till 11 AMOver 25 per cent polling was reported till 11 AM in the by-poll to the Munugode Assembly constituency in Telangana on Thursday.The polling had been peaceful with no major law and order issue being reported.Officials rectified technical issues in EVMs at a couple of places.Nov 03, 2022 12:46 (IST)Gujarat Polls : Gujarat Votes On December 1, 5; Result On 8th Along With Himachal'sThe high-voltage Assembly election in Gujarat will be held in two phases, on December 1 and December 5, the Election Commission announced today.Nov 03, 2022 12:18 (IST)Adampur Bypoll: 22.51 Per Cent Votes Polled Till 11 AMA poll percentage of 22.51 was recorded in the first four hours after polling began in Haryana's Adampur Assembly segment where bypolls are underway on Thursday.The outcome of the bypoll will decide if the Bhajan Lal family will retain the family bastion of five decades.Polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. Nearly 1.71 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.A poll percentage of 22.51 was recorded as of 11 am, according to Election Commission of India data.Nov 03, 2022 12:16 (IST)#JustIn | "We are deputing one additional special observer at polling stations for accessibility and inclusion": Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar #AssemblyElections2022#ElectionsWithNDTVpic.twitter.com/uA7SKq62V6- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 12:16 (IST)#GujaratElections2022 | Total electors: 4.90 crore Male: 2.53 croreFemale: 2.37 crore Third Gender: 1,417#ElectionsWithNDTV- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 12:15 (IST)22.36 Per Cent Votes Cast Till 11 AM In Dhamnagar A total 22.36 per cent votes were cast till 11 am in the by-poll being held in Dhamnagar assembly seat on Thursday, an EC official said.Election in the rural constituency is being held under tight security and long queues were seen in front of the polling stations even before voting began at 7 am."Voting is underway in all the 252 polling stations of the constituencies," he said. A 110 booths have been declared as sensitive and there will be webcasting in 126 booths. Some initial EVM glitches were reported and were immediately solved, he said.Nov 03, 2022 11:55 (IST)24.17% Voter Turnout In Bihar Bypolls Till 11 AMA voter turnout of 24.17 per cent was recorded till 11 am in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies in Bihar where polling was underway for by-elections on Thursday, officials said.While Mokama recorded 27.30 per cent voter turnout, Gopalganj saw 21.76 per cent turnout till 11 am, they said.Long queues were seen outside many booths as people turned up early to exercise their franchise, officials said.The bypolls to the two seats are the first election in the state after the formation of the 'Mahagthabandhan' government around three months back. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de-facto leader of the JD(U), dumped the BJP and formed a new coalition government with the RJD, Congress and Left parties in early August.Nov 03, 2022 11:36 (IST)Over 23 Per Cent Votes Polled Till 11 AM, Samajwadi Party Alleges Booth Capture By BJPAn average voter turnout of over 23 per cent has been recorded in the first two hours of polling in the Gola Gokarannath constituency of Uttar Pradesh where bypolls are underway on Thursday.While a senior official said voting was going on peacefully, the Samajwadi Party (SP) alleged that some polling centres have been captured by workers of the ruling BJP."Polling centres in Lalahapur, Madanpur and Lakshmanjati in Gola Gokarannath assembly have been captured by BJP workers. SP voters, booth in-charges and agents have been driven away. The Election Commission should take cognisance of this and ensure fair polls," the SP tweeted in Hindi.The senior official said, "Polling is going on peacefully. In the initial four hours, 23.56 per cent votes were polled." Over 3.90 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of seven contestants in the fray. Polling started at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.Nov 03, 2022 11:34 (IST)10.25 Per Cent Polling In First 2 Hours In Dhamnagar BypollAn average 10.25 per cent votes cast in the first two hours of polling in Odisha's Dhamnagar assembly constituency, where the by-election exercise began at 7 am on Thursday, an EC official said.Long queues were seen in front of the polling stations even before the voting started.The voting process, which is being held under tight security, will continue till 6 PM."An average 10,25 per cent polling was witnessed in the by-poll for Dhamnagar assembly segment in the first two hours from 7 am. Voting is underway in all the 252 polling stations," an Election Commission official said.Nov 03, 2022 10:24 (IST)Gokarannath Bypoll: Over 10 Per Cent Votes Polled In First Two HoursAn average voter turnout of over 10 per cent has been recorded in the first two hours of polling in Gola Gokarannath constituency of Uttar Pradesh where bypolls are underway on Thursday."The polling is going on peacefully. In the initial two hours, over 10 per cent votes were polled", a senior official said here.Over 3.90 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of seven contestants in the fray.The polling started at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6.Nov 03, 2022 10:17 (IST)#ElectionsWithNDTV | Polling Begins In Seven Constituencies In Six States https://t.co/GA7mdSFLShNDTV's Sohit Mishra and Manish Kumar report pic.twitter.com/Qaj5UksyNJ- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:53 (IST)Voting Begins For Andheri (East) Assembly By-ElectionPolling started for by-election to the Andheri East Assembly constituency here at 7 am on Thursday.This is the first Assembly election in Maharashtra after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in June following a revolt by Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.Shinde subsequently became chief minister in alliance with the BJP.Rutuja Latke, the candidate of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, is expected to win comfortably in the by-election after the BJP withdrew its nominee.Nov 03, 2022 08:46 (IST)Odisha | People cast their votes for the #DhamnagarBypoll; visuals from polling booth number 8Voting is underway for assembly by-elections in seven vacant seats across six states. pic.twitter.com/Kc41sXNlqi- ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:15 (IST)Telangana's Munugode Bypoll Will Be Most-watched: Chief Electoral OfficerIn exclusive chat with NDTV, Telangana's Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj says they have made special arrangements in Munugode that will make it the most-watched election ever, with CCTVs deployed around the constituency and also webcasting from every poll booth, monitored at the district, state and central levels.Nov 03, 2022 08:10 (IST)Telangana | People queue up to cast their votes for Munugodu by-elections; visuals from Tangadapally polling station in Munugodu Assembly Constituency pic.twitter.com/WDejl6nhhv- ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:06 (IST)Uttar Pradesh | People cast their votes at Guru Nanak Girls Inter College polling booth for Gola Gokarannath by-elections pic.twitter.com/muIjlt35N0- ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:01 (IST)#Bihar | People cast their votes for the by-elections in Mokama Assembly Constituency; visuals from polling booth number 3. | reported by news agency ANI pic.twitter.com/Y7sylfYAza- NDTV (@ndtv) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 08:00 (IST)Gujarat Election : Gujarat Election Dates To Be Announced At Noon TodayThe dates for the Gujarat Assembly election will be announced by the Election Commission at noon today.Nov 03, 2022 07:56 (IST)Election Commission To Announce Gujarat Poll Schedule TodayThe Election Commission will announce the schedule for the Gujarat assembly polls at 12 noon on Thursday.   The poll panel has convened a press conference to announce the schedule.The term of Gujarat assembly ends on February 18 next year. Nov 03, 2022 07:48 (IST)Telangana BJP President Bandi Sanjay DetainedTelangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay staged a protest demanding that non-locals and TRS leaders should be sent out of the Munugodu constituency, where the bypolls are being conducted today.Mr Sanjay, who was on the way to Munugode as Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders were not leaving the by-polls constituency in Munugodu, was stopped by the police on the Vijaywada Highway in Abdullapurmet on Wednesday night.Initially, police stopped Bandi Sanjay's convoy at Malakpet then at Vanasthalipuram and finally, he was shifted to Abdullapurmet Police Station.Nov 03, 2022 07:37 (IST)Polling Underway In Telangana's Munugode Polling was underway amid tight security in the bypoll to Munugode Assembly constituency in Telangana on Thursday. Voting began at 7 am and will continue till 6 am.Over 2.41 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in the bypoll.Nov 03, 2022 07:31 (IST)Polling Begins For Adampur Bypoll In HaryanaPolling began on Thursday for bypolls in Haryana's Adampur assembly constituency, whose outcome will decide if the Bhajan Lal family holds on to its bastion of five decades.Polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. Nearly 1.71 lakh voters are eligible to cast vote. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.Twenty-two candidates, all men, are in the fray. The main parties contesting are the BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal, and the Aam Aadmi Party.Nov 03, 2022 07:24 (IST)Polling Begins For Dhamnagar By-Election In OdishaPolling began on Thursday morning for by-election to the Dhamnagar assembly constituency in Odisha amid tight security, officials said.The voting began in all the 252 polling stations of the constituency in Bhadrak district at 7 am, and will continue till 6 pm, they said.A total of 2.38 lakh voters -- 1.23 lakh males and 1.15 lakh females -- are eligible to exercise their franchise in this election.Nov 03, 2022 07:21 (IST)Polling Begins For Mokama, Gopalganj By-Elections In BiharPolling began on Thursday morning for by-elections to the Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies in Bihar under tight security, officials said.The by-polls to the two seats are the first election in the state after the formation of the 'Mahagthabandhan' government around three months back. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de-facto leader of the JD(U), dumped the BJP and formed a new coalition government with the RJD, Congress and Left parties in early August.The polling began at 7 am, and will continue till 6 pm, election officials said.Nov 03, 2022 07:20 (IST)BJP leader Kuldeep Bishnoi casts his vote for Assembly by-elections in Haryana's Adampur Assembly ConstituencyVoting for Assembly by-elections in seven vacant seats across six states has begun. pic.twitter.com/c8S37v08A4- ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2022Nov 03, 2022 07:19 (IST)Telangana, Bihar, Haryana Among Big Bypoll Battles Today: 10 PointsIn contests symbolic of the fierce turf war between the BJP and regional parties, seven assembly constituencies in six states will elect new legislators in bypolls on Thursday, with Telangana and Bihar hosting two of the more closely watched clashes.Featured Video Of The DayGujarat Bridge Tragedy: Search Teams Mourn The Victims At Site

  • Elections In 6 States Today, See What's At Stake: 10 Facts
  • Ndtv

    Election 2022: The results of the elections are set to be announced on Sunday.New Delhi: In contests symbolic of the fierce turf war between the BJP and regional parties, seven assembly constituencies in six states will elect new legislators in bypolls on Thursday, with Telangana and Bihar hosting two of the more closely watched clashes. Here is your 10-point guide to the by-elections today:Telangana has been primed for a high-stakes battle between the BJP and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's party TRS following allegations by the latter of attempts to poach its MLAs with eye-popping amounts of cash.The bypoll in Telangana's Manugode was called after the Congress MLA resigned and joined the BJP. The contest is largely between RK Rajagopal Reddy of the BJP, former MLA Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy of the TRS and Congress's Palvai Sravanthi.The TRS, recently renamed Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), aims to demonstrate its dominance in state politics and go national with a big win. A loss would dampen not only its plans, but also embolden the opposition ahead of the assembly polls.Bihar will see the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's latest "Grand Alliance", formed less than three months ago after his party ditched the BJP and partnered with Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress. Bypolls in the state are being held in Mokama and Gopalganj, earlier held by the RJD and the BJP respectively.In Haryana's Adampur, former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal's family will be trying to hold on to its bastion of five decades after his younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned as MLA from the seat and switched from the Congress to the BJP in August.Mr Bishnoi's son Bhavya is now contesting as a candidate for the ruling BJP against former Union Minister Jai Prakash, a three-time MP and two-time MLA, of the Congress.In a prestige battle, the BJP will hope to retain the Gola Gorakhnath seat in Uttar Pradesh, which fell vacant after the death of MLA Arvind Giri. With Mayawati's party BSP and the Congress staying out of the contest, the fight will be between the BJP and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party.The BJP will also hope to retain Dhamnagar in Odisha, where the death of the party's MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi necessitated the by-poll. The son of the former MLA is running for the party against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal which has strengthened its hold on the region since the last elections.In Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena is expected to comfortably win the Andheri East Assembly constituency in Mumbai after the BJP pulled out of the contest, which is the first after the party's recent split.While these by-elections are not expected to have any bearing on who governs the states, most parties have gone all-in on the campaigning to avoid a defeat in the prestige battles. The results of the elections are set to be announced on Sunday.Post a comment

  • Overall analysis of by-polls in 6 states; whose stakes are high and who is going to form government?
  • The Economic Times

    By-election for seven assembly constituencies in six states namely Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, UP and Odisha is underway and result will be out by November 6. Voting is under way in the by-election in Mokama and Gopalganj assembly constituencies of Bihar, Andheri (East) of Maharashtra, Adampur of Haryana, Munugode of Telangana, Gola Gokarannath of Uttar Pradesh, and Dhamnagar of Odisha.Among these seven states three are BJP turf where regional parties are seen giving tough competition. While, Congress hold two while the Shiv Sena and the RJD had one each.The BJP biggest challenge is to sustained the momentum from the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The three states in which BJP is ruling party namely Haryana, UP and Maharashtra, the government is at stake — either as the single largest party or as a coalition partner.The opposition parties will try to dominate the election and break the government gauge. BJP has to come up as most credible party on the national political landscape.In today's bypolls at Andheri (E), Maharashtra pressure is high as it is the first major election in Maharashtra since the change of guard at Mantralaya and the "split" in the Shiv Sena.However, In a strategic step-back, BJP decides to skip Andheri polls and thus nullifying the contest between the two Sena factions. The BJP candidate (also supported by the Shinde faction) withdrew his nomination, giving a virtual walkover to Rutuja Latke of the Thackeray faction. But the Thackeray-led camp in Sena has also been alleging that its political opponents are trying to influence voters to choose NOTA.In Bihar too, this is the first major polls after the political "realignment" that saw JD(U) parting ways with the BJP and joining hands with RJD, Congress and some other parties to form a Grand Alliance government.In Mokama district RJD's Anant Singh convicted in a criminal case and has to leave the seat. The Grand Alliance has fielded his wife this time, to which BJP is trying to use the "criminal nexus" allegation and win the seat.Whereas in Gopalganj seat former BJP MLA Subhash Singh wife is running for the polls after his demise from BJP side and likely to win the by-polls.In Telangana after Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy quit the Congress and also as MLA in August, and joined the BJP the seat in Munugode seat was vacant. Congress, BJP and KCR's TRS all three major political parties are contesting the by-polls and giving high competition to each other.The Gola Gokrannath, UP the by-polls was necessitated after the death of BJP's Arvind Giri.With Congress and BSP not fielding candidates, it will be a direct fight between the BJP and SP. For the former, it seems to be more about its ego in terms of reinforcing its supremacy. For the latter, it can be more of a morale booster that can potentially make up for the loss faced in the assembly polls earlier this year.Both parties will hope to ride the sympathy wave — BJP has fielded the late Giri's 26-year-old son Aman. SP, that recently lost its patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, has fielded Vinay Tewari who unsuccessfully contested the polls from the seat in 2017 and 2022.In Haryana Former CM Bhajan Lal's family has never lost the Adampur seat since the creation of the state in 1966.Now, Bhajan Lal's grandson, Bhavya Bishnoi, is contesting as a BJP candidate.The bypoll was necessitated after Bhajan Lal's son Kuldeep Bishnoi (Bhavya's father) switched from the Congress to BJP, resigning from the seat. He was expelled from Congress for "anti-party activities."With the Congress fielding Jai Prakash, who is close to former CM Bhupinder Hooda, the seat is likely to witness a fresh episode of the decades-old battle between Bhajan Lal and Hooda families.AAP, that registered a stellar performance in neighbouring Punjab, will hope to make it a three-way contest with the Congress. In Dhamnagar, Odisha the bypoll was necessitated by the death of BJP MLA Bishu Charan Sethi in September. The party has give ticket to his son Suryabanshi Suraj Sthitaprajna.Rival BJD has fielded a female candidate - Abanti Das. The Congress has fielded Harekrushna Sethi in Dhamnagar.This contest can be a reality check.The ruling BJD seemed to have lost steam with its below-par performance in the 2019 Odisha assembly elections but in the panchayat polls, earlier this year, it decimated the opposition.On the other hand, the BJP, which won eight of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha in 2019, seems to have recalibrated its strategy to regain the ground it has lost over the last three years.

'Flood' of announcements under Shinde govt, but 'drought' on execution front: Uddhav Thackeray camp
The Economic Times | 2 months ago | |
The Economic Times
2 months ago | |

Mumbai, The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena on Thursday slammed the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra for what it claimed handing over only 2,000 recruitment letters at an event here and said under the current dispensation, there is a "flood" of announcements, but "drought" when it comes to their implementation. Addressing a press conference here, Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant, a spokesperson for the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), said major projects were "taken away" to Gujarat keeping in mind the next month's Assembly polls in the adjoining state ruled by the BJP. This, he alleged, clearly implies that the Centre was behind Vedanta-Foxconn and Tata-Airbus projects choosing Gujarat over Maharashtra. "It was announced (by the state government) that 75,000 recruitment letters will be handed over to job aspirants. However, in reality, only 2,000 appointment letters were handed over (at an event in Mumbai). There is a flood of announcements, but drought when it comes to implementation (under Shinde govt)," said the Member of Parliament from South Mumbai. Sawant said it was the first time that a Prime Minister handed over recruitment letters of any state government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's video message was aired during the event organised in Mumbai on Thursday to distribute appointment letters as part of the Maharashtra government's aim to provide employment to 75,000 people. The Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson also attacked the Election Commission (EC) for not simultaneously declaring Assembly poll schedules for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The EC on Thursday announced that polling in Gujarat will take place on December 1 and 5, while votes will be counted on December 8. On October 15, the poll panel had announced that voting in Himachal Pradesh will take place on November 12 and counting on December 8. "The Election Commission usually declares the Assembly polls of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat simultaneously, but they did not do so this time since they (the Centre) wanted to take away (project) proposals (to Gujarat) ahead of the state polls," Sawant alleged. He claimed now that investment projects were being announced for Maharashtra, there is a strong possibility that the state, too, could see face polls. The Shinde-led government was spreading "lies and misinformation" over investment proposals in the state, said the Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson.

'Flood' of announcements under Shinde govt, but 'drought' on execution front: Uddhav Thackeray camp
Andheri East Bypoll: Litmus Test For Team Uddhav As BJP Bows Out Of The Electoral Battle
India | 2 months ago | |
India
2 months ago | |

Andheri East Constituency Watch: The byelection to the Andheri East Assembly constituency in Mumbai, which began at 7 am on Thursday is just a mere formality following the withdrawal of the BJP’s candidate from the fray last month. Rutuja Latke, the nominee of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction, is expected to register a comfortable win. She is pitted against six candidates- four of them Independents. The NCP and Congress have supported her candidature.Also Read - High Stake Bypolls In 7 Assembly Seats Across 6 States Begins; 1st Electoral Test For Nitish's 'Mahagathbandhan'The bypoll was necessitated due to death of Rutuja Latke’s husband and Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke in May this year. Also Read - Diwali Cheer! This State to Credit Employees’ Salary by October 22. Deets HereIt is the first election after the revolt in the Shiv Sena by Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators led to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Also Read - Maharashtra: Massive Fire Breaks Out At Godown in Thane's Mumbra Area, Fire Tenders Rushed To SpotNationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray had pitched for an unopposed contest and withdrawal of the saffron party’s candidate as per ”political traditions” in the state.Before the BJP pulled out its candidate Murji Patel from the bypoll race last month, it was being seen as a litmus test for former chief minister Thackeray and an opportunity to assess the general mood of the electorate.The contest was also being seen as a trial to set the tone for the crucial BMC polls. Conventionally in Maharashtra politics, the electoral contest is generally avoided if bypolls necessitated by the death of sitting MLAs or MPs are contested by their kin, though there are exceptions.After the MVA government collapsed, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister with the BJP’s support on June 30.The Thackeray and Shinde factions of the Sena are fighting a legal battle to claim the party’s name and the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, which have been frozen by the Election Commission of India. The EC has allotted ‘mashaal’ (flaming torch) symbol to the Thackeray-led faction and the ‘shield and sword’ symbol to the Shinde group.The run up to the bypoll saw much political drama as the acceptance of Rutuja Latke’s resignation from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was delayed.The Thackeray faction had alleged that she was being pressured to contest as the Shinde group candidate.Rutuja Latke later approached the Bombay High Court, which asked the BMC to accept her resignation, saying the use or non-use of discretion by the civic commissioner in taking a decision on the resignation in this case was ”arbitrary”.The Thackeray faction on Tuesday claimed that voters were being paid to choose None Of The Above or NOTA option.Ramesh Latke, the Shiv Sena MLA who died in May this year, bagged 62,680 votes in the 2019 Assembly poll. Murji Patel, who had then contested as an independent, polled 45,680 votes while Congress nominee Amin Kutty stood third with 27,925 votes.There are 2,71,502 voters and 256 polling booths in the Andheri East Assembly constituency. Polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on Thursday the counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.The constituency approximately comprises 38 per cent Maharashtrians, 21 per cent North Indians, 14 per cent Muslims, 12 per cent Gujaratis and Rajasthanis, 7 per cent South Indians, 5 per cent Christians and 2 per cent others.The constituency has a total of 2.74 lakh electors and during the 2019 election, the voting was around 53.82 per cent, which is 1.48 lakh.(With inputs from agencies)

Andheri East Bypoll: Litmus Test For Team Uddhav As BJP Bows Out Of The Electoral Battle
Bombay HC permits liquor sale in Andheri (East) post 6 pm or after declaration of bypoll results on Nov 6
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

The Bombay High Court Wednesday allowed hotels and liquor stores in the Andheri (East) Assembly constituency to sell liquor after the declaration of results or by 6 pm, whichever is earlier on the counting day (November 6) of the upcoming by-polls.The association of hotels and restaurants had approached the high court challenging a notification issued by the state excise department which prohibited the sale of liquor in the area starting 48 hours from the voting day (November 3) and also included the entire counting day of November 6. After the state government made a statement that the sale of liquor may be permitted on the counting day after results are declared or by 6 pm, whichever is earlier, the bench accepted the same.A vacation bench of Justice Nitin R Borkar and Justice Kamal R Khata Wednesday heard pleas by the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (popularly known as AHAR) as well as the Association of Progressive Retail Liquor Vendors which challenged a notification issued by the state Excise Department on October 18.The pleas claimed that the decision was “contrary to and ultra vires” of the provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act, 1949 and the Rules framed under it including Foreign Liquor Rules and Cash Register Rules. The petitioners contended that the authorities cannot simultaneously apply the provisions of the Representation of People Act, which is a central legislation, in respect of the same election.As per the notification, the sale of liquor within the Andheri (East) constituency area for which by-polls are being held is prohibited starting 48-hour prior to voting day. The prohibition period began on November 1 and would continue till November 3, the date of polling. The notification also prohibited the sale of liquor on November 6, when the votes will be counted.On Monday, another bench had sought to know from the state why the sale of liquor cannot take place after 6 pm on November 6.On Wednesday, advocates RD Soni and Sameer Pandit for the petitioners submitted that the prohibition on the sale of liquor on the entire counting day was arbitrary and unnecessary and the circular be modified.Additional government pleader Milind More for the state government said the courts had earlier allowed the sale of alcohol post 6 pm on counting day in specific cases. He said notification of ‘dry-day’ was issued by the excise department in compliance with rules stipulated by the Election Commission of India and provisions of the Representation of the People Act.More, on instructions from the official from the state excise department made a statement in court that the sale of liquor may be permitted on the counting day in Andheri (East) after results are declared or by 6 pm, whichever is earlier. The bench took the statement on record and accepted the same.It said that the issue is pending before the court for final decision, it would be appropriate to place the plea for further consideration before the Regular court.

Bombay HC permits liquor sale in Andheri (East) post 6 pm or after declaration of bypoll results on Nov 6
No confirmation of death: Missing TV former executive’s brother
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

MUMBAI: The brother of missing Balaji Telefilms' former executive Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan says the Kenyan authorities have no confirmation about whether he is alive or dead. Iftikhar Khan, a retired Unilever employee who lives in Dubai, is in India to be with his family at this trying time. Zulfiqar along with his friend Zaid Kidwai and their local driver were abducted from Nairobi in July. An aide of Kenyan President William Ruto claimed the three had been killed by the Special Services Unit police force for aiding the president's election campaign. Speaking to TOI from New Delhi, Iftikhar said, "The director of investigations has rubbished all the reports that are appearing in Kenyan media about my brother's death. In fact, they are willing to accept Indian investigators to join the probe there. The Indian high commission in that country is helping us. We are also requesting the Indian government here in India to actively pursue the matter." The family hails from UP but lived in Asansol, West Bengal. Zulfiqar was the youngest of the six siblings. Iftikhar is the eldest. He said, "I last spoke to him on July 19, after which my brother-in-law called him on July 22. He was abducted on the night of July 22-23. We failed to connect with him for days afterward and then approached his friends and the police, courts and government for help to trace him." Zulfiqar did not inform his family or acquaintances that he was visiting Kenya to assist President Ruto's election campaign. "We have no knowledge of that. He resigned his job at Balaji Telefilms on July 15, and informed us that he was headed to the Masai Mara sanctuary for a sabbatical from work in India," said Iftikhar. After he went missing, family members travelled to Kenya where authorities asked them to identify cloth scraps and remains which local newspapers speculated could belong to the missing men, including Zulfiqar. "None of the three families identified the articles as belonging to their missing person," said Iftikhar. "They were old and moth-eaten. No less than 170 officials joined the search. The good thing is that the Kenyan authorities have admitted their search is inconclusive. They have detained SSU members for investigation. The Indian high commission has clearly enunciated that the probe should be based on evidence not hearsay."

No confirmation of death: Missing TV former executive’s brother
Maharashtra Minister Challenges Aaditya Thackeray To Resign, Face Bypoll
Ndtv | 2 months ago | |
Ndtv
2 months ago | |

Abdul Sattar challenged Aaditya Thackeray to face election by resigning from his constituencyPune: Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray daring him to face an election by resigning from his constituency.Sattar said he is ready to tender his resignation within a week if Chief Minister Eknath Shinde allows him and face byelection from the Sillod constituency in Aurangabad district, days after Aaditya said that MLAs loyal to CM Shinde will realise their standing in public in the 2024 elections.Aaditya and other leaders of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) had been daring the 40 MLAs of the Shinde camp to resign and face elections."My challenge still stands. Even if he (Aaditya) does not tender his resignation and if the CM permits me, I can resign within one week and face election," Sattar told reporters in Pune.He said not a single farmer who suffered losses due to heavy rains will be left out of the government aid."I had already spoken to the Chief Minister and Deputy CM over the issue of giving help to farmers. Once we receive all panchnamas, the Cabinet will approve the financial assistance," he said.Sattar criticised former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's "two-and-a-half hour" visit to rain-hit farmers in Aurangabad district. He also targeted Aaditya over his visit to farms of rain-hit farmers.Sattar said Uddhav Thackeray had visited farms for just 24 minutes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"What did he see in 24 minutes? I do not know. When he was the chief minister, he had said affected farmers should be paid Rs 50,000 per hectare but he seems to have forgotten his words," he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayWatch: Team NDTV Escorted Out Of Gujarat Hospital By Police

Maharashtra Minister Challenges Aaditya Thackeray To Resign, Face Bypoll
  • Tata-Airbus project: Shinde should resign the way British PM Truss did, says NCP, Uddhav Sena seeks Samant’s exit
  • The Indian Express

    With the Tata-Airbus military transport aircraft manufacturing unit project going to Gujarat, the Opposition parties in the state have pressed for resignation of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Industries Minister Uday Samant.While the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has demanded resignation of Shinde for another key development project going to the neighbouring state, stating that the CM should take moral responsibility for the development and resign the way British Prime Minister Liz Truss did, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena has asked Samant to resign for “misleading the state” over the Tata-Airbus project.Alleging that the Shinde-(Devendra) Fadnavis government was installed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take away all key projects from Maharashtra to Gujarat, NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase told The Indian Express on Sunday: “One after another, key projects which could further push the development of Maharashtra and provide jobs to lakhs of youths are being taken away from the state. Every other project seem to be heading for Gujarat. This only highlights the fact that the BJP installed the Shinde-Fadnavis government to play its dirty political game.”Tapase further stated: “The Chief Minister should take the responsibility of Maharashtra being hit economically. British PM resigned after 45 days in power over the economic crisis faced by her country. Similarly, Chief Minister Shinde should quit owning moral responsibility over the failure of his government to stop crucial development projects being spirited away to Gujarat. The Maharashtra Government led by Eknath Shinde has repeatedly failed to stop the projects from going to Gujarat. His government has failed to protect the interest of Maharashtra and the people of Maharashtra.”Stating that Gujarat was committing “surgical strikes,” Tapase said, “The way the BJP has launched an attack on Maharashtra shows that a surgical strike was underway. The surgical strike is coming from Gujarat through BJP. Even as the strike has hit Maharashtra, the CM has remained a mere spectator and is doing nothing to alleviate the state’s sufferings. After Vedanta project went to Gujarat, the Chief Minister had said that Tata-Airbus project will come to Nagpur. Now his lie has been exposed and he should quit his office,” he said.Seeking Industries Minister Samant’s resignation, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Aaditya Thackeray said, “At least four major projects which were supposed to come to Maharashtra have gone elsewhere. The Shinde-Fadnavis government is pulling Maharashtra back. The Industry Ministry has no clue about the way his department is functioning. The project has already gone to Gujarat and he is busy harping on bringing it back. He should instead resign….”Addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday, Thackeray questioned Samant’s claim that the Tata-Airbus project went to Gujarat a year ago. “If the Tata-Airbus contract had been signed a year ago, why would Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari write a letter to the Tata Group asking for the project to be located in Nagpur? The Industries Minister knows nothing about his own ministry.”State Congress spokesperson Gopal Tiwari said, “We are not demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister. This is because the government itself is an illegal and unconstitutional one. Its fate is in the hands of the Supreme Court where its constitutional validity has been challenged. Every day is a bonus day for the government. Unfortunately, each new day is bringing bad news for Maharashtra as the state is losing key economic development projects. The latest project, Tata-Airbus, only highlights the fact that the government installed by the BJP in the state is a puppet government meant to deprive the people of Maharashtra of development.”The Congress said the Shinde-Fadnavis government has no right to stay in power. “Already it is an illegal government. And now, its dubious role as one working against the interest of Maharashtra has been exposed. This government should be dismissed forthwith,” Tiwari added.

  • Tata-Airbus: NCP, Sena demand resignation of Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, Industries Minister Uday Samant
  • The Indian Express

    Opposition parties in Maharashtra have demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Industries Minister Uday Samant for letting the proposed Rs 21,935-crore Tata-Airbus military transport aircraft manufacturing facility go to Gujarat.Alleging that the BJP installed the Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government to take away all the key projects from Maharashtra to Gujarat, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase told The Indian Express Sunday, “One after another, key projects which could further push the development of Maharashtra and provide jobs to lakhs of youths are being taken away from the state. Every other project seems to be heading for Gujarat. This only highlights the fact that the BJP installed the Shinde-Fadnavis government to play its dirty political game.”The NCP said Shinde should own moral responsibility for key projects going to Gujarat and resign the way British prime minister Liz Truss did. “The chief minister should take responsibility for Maharashtra getting hit economically. The British PM resigned after 45 days in power over the economic crisis. Similarly, Chief Minister Shinde should quit owning moral responsibility for the failure of his government. The Maharashtra government led by Shinde has failed to protect the interests of the state and its people,” Tapase said.“A surgical strike is coming from Gujarat through the BJP and even as the strike hit Maharashtra, the chief minister remained a mere spectator and did nothing to reduce the state’s sufferings, Tapase said. “After the Vedanta project went to Gujarat, the chief minister said the Tata-Airbus project will come to Nagpur. Now his lie has been exposed and he should quit his office,” he added alluding to Gujarat beating Maharashtra to land a joint venture of mining conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn.Meanwhile, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction asked Samant to quit. “At least four major projects have gone elsewhere. The Shinde-Fadnavis government is pulling Maharashtra back. The industries minister has no clue about the way his department functions. The project has already gone to Gujarat and he is busy harping on bringing it back. He should instead resign,” said Sena MLA and former minister Aditya Thackeray at a press conference in Mumbai Saturday.“If the Tata-Airbus contract was signed a year ago, then why would Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari write a letter to the Tata Group asking for the location of its project in Nagpur? The industries minister knows nothing about his ministry,” added Aditya Thackeray.State Congress spokesperson Gopal Tiwari, however, said his party was not demanding the resignation of the ministers because it thinks the government itself is “illegal and unconstitutional”. Tiwari said, “The government’s fate is in the hands of the Supreme Court, where its constitutional validity has been challenged. Every day is a bonus for the government. Unfortunately, every day is bringing a bad day for Maharashtra as the state is losing key economic development projects. The latest project, Tata-Airbus, only highlights the fact that the government installed by the BJP in the state is a puppet government meant to deprive the people of Maharashtra of a development agenda.”“Already it is an illegal government. And now, its dubious role as the one working against the interest of Maharashtra has been exposed. This government should be dismissed forthwith,” he said.

  • Maharashtra industry minister must resign: Aaditya Thackeray
  • The Economic Times

    Former Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday continued his tirade against the Eknath Shinde government over investments going to Gujarat, asking if that was due to the impending assembly elections in the neighbouring state and demanded the resignation of industries minister Uday Samant.The latest trigger for this attack was Gujarat getting the Tata-Airbus aircraft project, which Maharashtra was also vying for."Projects are going from the state, whether it is due to the assembly polls in Gujarat or whether it is due to more facilities being offered by that state as compared to Maharashtra. Investors seem to have lost faith in the state government here and are moving away from the state. All this is happening because those who have come to power are doing politics instead of governance," said Aaditya Thackeray.The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) leader demanded the resignation of Samant, claiming that the minister was clueless about the functioning of his department. "If the project had already gone out of the state, why was Samant talking of getting it in the state," he asked.

"New Licence-Permit Raj": Congress's Dig As Maharashtra Loses Project
Ndtv | 2 months ago | |
Ndtv
2 months ago | |

Pune: Amid controversy over Maharashtra losing some big-ticket industrial projects, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said the country was heading towards a new license-permit raj.Political instability makes investors nervous, the former chief minister told reporters."The current Maharashtra government is not even able to form a full cabinet. That is not a good sign. The reasons (for instability) are change in the government, interference by Delhi and hijacking of the projects which should have come to Maharashtra," he said.During the infamous license-permit raj of the pre-1991 era, the Union government could tell investors where they should invest, he said."When in 1991 new economic policies were brought in, the license-permit raj was abolished and no such power was left with the Centre," Mr Chavan said."But now what is happening is that due to concessions given by the centre, we are unwittingly moving towards a (new) license-permit raj," he said, implying that the Centre was inducing investors to choose a particular location by offering concessions.The alliance government of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction and BJP in Maharashtra is under fire after Gujarat bagged some mega-investment projects, allegedly at Maharashtra's expense.Recently, a Tata-led consortium and Airbus announced a military aircraft manufacturing facility in Gujarat.Mr Chavan, meanwhile, also said that the election of Mallikarjun Kharge as Congress president would strengthen the party.Mr Chavan was a member of the so-called G-23 group of Congress leaders who had pressed for elections."For several years and because of several reasons, the election of Congress president could not take place but we requested Sonia Gandhi to hold an election within the party and she accepted the demand," he said."This (holding of election) was a very welcome move as barring Congress, there is no such internal democracy in any party," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comElections were unheard of in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP's parent organization, the Congress leader said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The Day"Gujarat Chief Minister Should Resign": Arvind Kejriwal On Bridge Collapse

"New Licence-Permit Raj": Congress's Dig As Maharashtra Loses Project
Why an election in Jammu and Kashmir is urgently needed, for India and Pakistan
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s speech at the UN pleading for neighbourhood peace last month was delivered while his army intelligence reportedly approved a heavily-funded plan to disrupt next year’s J&K elections. This duplicity between words and deeds hasn’t changed in 35 years. Sharif merely parroted a Pakistani President’s 1987 quip to an Indian President at a cricket match in Jaipur, “Hum Hindustan ke saath sirf aman chahte hain.” Giani Zail Singh responded (in a politically incorrect manner) to Ziaul Haq, “General Sahib, ek kudi do gaal ni kar sakdi; aankh bhi maare te ghunghat bhi kade” (a girl can’t wink and cover her face at the same time). Unfortunately, the Pakistan army’s incompetence — losing every war it has fought — is irrelevant because its wealth and power are purchased by exporting terror to India. The prospect of J&K elections next year — the first under the Indian constitution — is a unique opportunity for Pakistan’s awaam to liberate themselves from their army.Farooq Abdullah once told us that Pakistan’s fitrat — nature or spirit — changed with the “three As” of America, Army, and Allah. America used Pakistan for Cold War spying, Afghan Mujahideen hospitality, and Nixon’s 1972 detente with Mao. Henry Kissinger cheekily told Yahya Khan that for a dictator, he ran a lousy election. Pakistan’s Army has not read Samuel Huntington’s 1957 book The Soldier and the State, which suggests “a highly professional officer corps stands ready to carry out the wishes of any civilian group which secures legitimate authority”. Pakistani politics have been sabotaged by Generals Iskander Mirza (1958), Ayub Khan (1958), Yahya Khan (1969), Ziaul Haq (1977), Pervez Musharraf (1999), and Qamar Bajwa (2022). The army’s wealth — skilfully investigated in Military Inc. by Ayesha Siddiqa — is symbolised by the 90-acre prime land allotment to former Army Chief Raheel Sharif. Civilian outrage at the allotment received the terse military response that “every four-star general gets a similar allotment under a constitutional provision with the decision made by Army General Headquarters”. To paraphrase Voltaire, many countries have an army, but Pakistan is the only army that has a country.General Zia combined Army and Allah by unleashing the ISI, allowing the Tablighi Jamaat to operate freely within the military, requiring comments on an officer’s religious sincerity in evaluation forms, and embracing the Ghazwa-E-Hind (holy raid) propagated by Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI). In 1987, Pakistan’s army raised terrorist funding, set a Nizam-i-Mustafa deadline, and introduced Afghan Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to Hizbul Mujahideen co-founder Mohammad Abdullah Bangroo. Since then, the export has continued. Terrorists used a +92 phone number for conveying threats in the Hazratbal siege, Norwegian Hans Christian Ostro’s beheading, and American John Child’s kidnapping. We underestimate that since 1990, Pakistan has exported one lakh handguns and AK-47s, misled one lakh youth, and hurt 75,000 families. As Foreign Minister Jaishankar told the UN, “no rhetoric, however sanctimonious, can ever cover up the blood stains”.Pakistan and Kashmir are hardly similar in monoclonal religiosity and gun violence. Kashmir’s Shaivism dates to 850, Hari Singh carried the title of Tibetpadi, the first Christians arrived in 1854, Sheikh Abdullah’s great grandfather was a Sapru, there is a large peaceful Shia population, there was a large peaceful Pandit population, and most Sunnis are moderate Ahle-Aitquad (believers in saints and shrines). There were no gunshot deaths before 1987. Many Kashmiris participate in Zaba (the Bakra-Eid goat sacrifice) by touching the knives to their foreheads before turning their backs to the actual slaughter. Unlike Pakistan’s persecution of Ahmadiyyas, Abdul Salam Deva was an MLA from Anantnag for a decade. When Zia hung Bhutto, angry mobs targeted JEI supporters by burning the bridge connecting Arwani village and cutting the apple orchard of legislator Abdul Razak Bachru. When JEI “rukuns” later remonstrated to Sheikh Sahib, he suggested the damage was Khuda Ka Keher and urged them to mend their ways. Pakistan’s use-and-throw mentality doesn’t value loyalty; an ISI proxy later murdered Bachru after dragging him in handcuffs through the market in Kulgam.The amusingly titled book 5000 years of Pakistan in 1950 reflected the need to convert Indian Muslims into Pakistanis via what historian Eric Hobsbawm called the “invention of tradition.” But a normal sovereign identity is sabotaged by selfishness (the army wants to roll back the 18th Pakistani constitutional amendment that decentralised government spending), and the Chinese all-weather friendship that, in theory, is “higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the Indian Ocean, and sweeter than honey” but in practice is taking Pakistan the Sri Lanka way. Pakistan’s Army is stuck in a doom loop where patronage networks destroy productive ones, faith replaces realism, and purists rout pragmatists.Elections are invisible threads that tie Sheikh Abdullah’s frequent distinction between Siyasat (politics), Riyasat (government), and Awaam (citizens). Harvard Professor Pippa Norris suggests that electoral thresholds influence whether parties adopt bridging or bonding strategies; ballot structures shape how far parties adopt diverse or homogenous candidates, and context affects the emphasis on programmatic or particularistic campaigning. An election next year in J&K would have exciting new electoral thresholds, ballot structures, and context. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s economy is now smaller than Maharashtra, and the army is refurbishing F-16s. Pakistan needs new politicians that replace Jihad (war) with Ittihad (friendship). J&K’s current renewal is an opportunity.In 1975, Sheikh Abdullah silenced party detractors who suggested his accord with Indira Gandhi and the Plebiscite Front merger was a surrender to Siyasat Suleh Hai Aur Suleh Siyasat Hai (politics is compromise, and compromise is politics). Election compromises, statehood restoration and new local politicians are the paths to peace. Some people — especially entitled dynasts who brandish soft separatism in their self-interest — suggest the next J&K elections will fail because fear is holding back talented local candidates from forming new parties, forging coalitions, and forgetting the past. But we know too many fearless academics, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and civil servants in J&K to believe that is true. As Ghalib said, Gumrah to woh hain jo ghar se hi nahi nikle.The writers are a former Director General of J&K Police and a J&K-born entrepreneur

Why an election in Jammu and Kashmir is urgently needed, for India and Pakistan
Akali Dal backs EC on poll promise curbs, but party shaped ‘freebie politics’ in Punjab
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is the only non-BJP political party to have backed the Election Commission’s proposal to amend the Model Code of Conduct and pave the way for the disclosure of how parties plan to finance promises made during elections and assess their impact on fiscal sustainability.In its response to the move, Akali Dal said EC should elaborate on its mechanism to check the “veracity” of figures given by parties, adding that some parties “will try to mislead the electorate by quoting imaginary figures of raising additional resources”.The SAD’s stand on the matter, however, raised eyebrows in political circles, given that the party itself has had a history of introducing a wide-ranging set of schemes for all sections of society when it was in power between 2007 and 2017.In 2007, the party rolled out its wheat and dal distribution scheme, Atta-Dal, and the Shagun scheme under which Rs 15,000 was given to women from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities and the economically weaker sections at the time of their marriage.The SAD has often listed the reach of the Atta-Dal as an “achievement”. The scheme has 1.41 beneficiaries – out of the three crore population in Punjab – and provides wheat at Rs 2 per kg and dal at Rs 30 per kg to the oldest woman in a family.The free-power scheme, which was initially rolled out in 1997 for agriculture tube wells, went on to be expanded to farmers during their tenure. The party has also repeatedly stressed that it gave Rs 32,667.75 crore worth of free power to farmers between 2007 and 2017 in comparison to free power worth Rs 5,571 crore that the Congress gave during its time in power from 2002 to 2007.That the Akali Dal wanted to reach out to every section of society can be gauged from the fact that the Parkash Singh Badal-led government introduced free pilgrimage services for people of all religions in 2016 despite objections from alliance partner BJP.Under the Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra scheme, free travel was arranged for the devotees to visit religious shrines such as the Hazur Sahib Gurdwara in Maharashtra’s Nanded, Varanasi, Vaishno Devi, and Ajmer Sharif. Speaking in the Vidhan Sabha in June 2017, Manpreet Singh Badal, the finance minister of the Congress government that came to power that year, said Rs 139 crore was spent on the scheme in the 2016-’17 fiscal year, leaving public transport undertakings such as Punjab Road Transport Commission and Punjab Roadways with an unpaid amount of more than Rs 13 crore. Manpreet announced that no further budgetary provisions would be made for the scheme and scrapped it.During its second term (2012-’17), the SAD government also promised to provide free utensils to Panchayats, Mahila Mandals, and youth clubs for social and religious purposes; 200 units of free power to SC families, and doubled the pension of all categories. Besides building gyms in rural areas, it provided sports kits to village youth. Most of these schemes were implemented across the state, except for the free utensils initiative that was rolled out only in certain areas of the state.During the Assembly election campaign earlier this year, the SAD partnered with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Its joint poll manifesto – called “Gall raj di nahi, gall Punjab di (It is not about ruling, but about Punjab)” – contained a long list of promises.The party said it would give 400 units of free power to all households; Rs 10 lakh worth of free annual health insurance; Rs 2,000 per month to all women of blue card-holding families (BPL beneficiaries); and houses worth Rs 5 lakh, along with plots measuring five marlas (approximately, 1,361.25 square feet) to the homeless poor.It also promised to increase the amount of the Shagun scheme – rechristened by the subsequent Congress government as the Ashirvad scheme – from Rs 51, 000 to Rs 75,000. The Badal-led party also said it would give Rs 5 lakh interest-free loan to the youth, especially women, to start their own business, a Rs 10-lakh student education card, and an “interest-free, no guarantee” long-term loan for education.Along with wheat and dal of the Atta Dal scheme, the Akalis said they would give free potatoes and jaggery as well if voted to power. The SAD also promised 1 GB of free Internet data daily to every student along with video lectures.SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema told The Indian Express, “The Akali Dal fulfilled all the promises made to the electorate. We back the EC proposal since political parties need to comply with the promises they make to electorates. The previous Congress government and incumbent AAP ditched the voters with false promises.”

Akali Dal backs EC on poll promise curbs, but party shaped ‘freebie politics’ in Punjab
Why the election in Gujarat is catching more and more of our attention
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

Dear Express Reader,The Election Commission has yet to announce the dates, but the impending assembly election in Gujarat is already laying claim to more and more of our attention. In many ways, that is unsurprising.This was the stage that incubated and nurtured the phenomenon of Narendra Modi, as chief minister from 2001 to 2014. From here, he first started addressing the nation, making agile use of emerging technologies to widen his stage, create a national audience, and perform to it. In Gujarat 2002, a brutal communal violence that had raged under Modi’s watch had shattered a country’s complacency, that large-scale Hindu-Muslim riots were an affliction of the past.The moment of that 2002 violence in Gujarat, like the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya before it, became a defining motif of the BJP campaign ever since, in stated and then, more and more, unstated ways. The Modi-BJP, which, from 2014, rules India and a lengthening list of states, has added several layers to its repertoire of appeals. But if its political arc had to be pinned down to a location, given a distinct address, it would be apt to say that it took off from Gujarat.In Gujarat, then, where this time the AAP could lend another edge to the long-running bi-polar contest, the question can be framed best: In 2022, and ahead of the bigger parliamentary battle in 2024, BJP versus Who? And: BJP versus What?The campaign is still to formally begin, but some indications are already in. Broadly, they point to a shift that has been taking place over time, one that seems more clear now: The non-BJP parties, which in the immediate aftermath of the Modi-BJP’s electoral successes had pronounced secularism in danger, and relied, perhaps excessively, on civil society/activists to take their agenda forward, even outsourced it to them, have decided to step back, backtrack and to altogether evade the secular-communal theme.They appear to have made a decision — that to defeat the BJP, they will also have to take the fight to its “Hindu” vote, alongside their other gambits so far, be it cobbling an anti-BJP arithmetic/front (the Mahagathbandhan), or concentrating on local issues (as the Congress did in the last assembly election in Gujarat), or countering the BJP with the “regional pride” or “pro-women” platforms (Priyanka Gandhi’s pointed appeal to UP’s betis in the last election in that state was an example of the last). More significantly, they seem to have concluded, also, that they must appeal to the “Hindu” vote in ways that mimic the BJP.This decision of the non-BJP party is set in a context of its successive electoral defeats by a BJP that uses its vast agenda-setting power and formidable machine to lay a trap: You are with the Hindus or against them.The non-BJP party’s decision to sidestep the BJP trap by mimicking the BJP is illustrated, among other things, by the reticence of the Congress and AAP, in the run-up to the Gujarat election, on the early release of convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape and murder case — Rahul Gandhi put out only a perfunctory tweet and it is not yet clear whether his ‘Bharat Jodo’ Yatra carries forward the evasion and euphemism or breaks it. And the silence of both Congress and AAP on the public flogging of Muslim men by policemen after a Garba event in Kheda more recently.The AAP’s reticence on the Bilkis case and Kheda floggings must be seen alongside its rhetorical plunge on other issues — it sought to blame Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi immigrants for the communal violence in Northeast Delhi, and a few days ago, Arvind Kejriwal requested the PM to include pictures of the gods, Lakshmi and Ganesh, on currency notes, ostensibly for the sake of India’s economic prosperity.In effect, what this means is that if there is any exhaustion of the BJP’s project in a bastion like Gujarat, its recipient will be a BJP-like party. That is, the non-BJP party, be it the Congress or AAP, is no longer, if it ever was, staking the ground for a genuinely alternative politics.Of course, there is a large area of politics outside of the Hindu-Muslim question and cleavage. It could also be argued that by assuming such a stance on issues of the religious majority and minority, the Opposition party is not just denying the BJP a critical weapon but also freeing up valuable public-political space for those other issues. The AAP, in particular, has worked at a “Delhi model” for which it is also given credit — it focuses on a more locally-grounded bijli-paani-padhai-sehat solutionism. Kejriwal’s party is engaging the Modi-BJP on the “revadi” debate, which involves questions of welfare and freebies.By all accounts, then, in Gujarat and elsewhere, the non-BJP parties are searching, still, for the most effective way to take on BJP dominance. It may be that a strategic silence/reticence/evasion on “minority” issues yields political-electoral dividends. But it is also true that the costs are adding up too — a pessimistic picture is being entrenched, of who is a “Hindu”. And crucial possibilities are being surrendered — of imagining a politics that does not give in to that pessimism and is winnable too.Till next week,Vandita*Editorial, “AAP as currency”, October 29*Fahad Zuberi, “Building a better architect”, October 27*Vijay Gokhale, “Of, by and for Zi”, October 26*Avinash Paliwal, “Accidental Prime Minister”, October 26*Andrew Fidel Fernando, “Writing Sri Lanka”, October 24

Why the election in Gujarat is catching more and more of our attention
Opinion: Has It Turned Into Fadnavis vs Shinde Already? Telling Signs
Ndtv | 3 months ago | |
Ndtv
3 months ago | |

The egg on the faces of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his Deputy, Devendra Fadnavis, is worth Rs 1.79 lakh crore. That is the cumulative value of the four deals that Maharashtra has lost to Gujarat, two of them since the Shinde-Fadnavis combo took charge of the state.The losses: the Vedanta Foxconn chip-making project, a bulk drug-manufacturing project, a medical park and, as of this week, a Tata-Airbus plan that will manufacture military transport planes.The timing is portentous. Gujarat is due to vote for its next government and the announcement of securing some of the biggest investments in the country will pump up the BJP's campaign to demolish Arvind Kejriwal in the Prime Minister's home state.Maharashtra, meanwhile, has to lick its wounds. The three main opposition parties there - whose joint government was dismantled by Shinde and Fadnavis - say the couple must explain what allows them to sit by and watch as Mumbai comes within spitting distance of losing its status as the financial capital. Maharashtra is India's second-most industrialised state (behind Tamil Nadu). But it is Gujarat that really seems to be doing business.Shinde and leaders from the BJP in Maharashtra are trying to placate those within their party as well as voters. But the Shinde-BJP government seems to be a little unsteady on its feet.Tata and Airbus will make the C295 plane in Gujarat.I spoke to several leaders from the Shiv Sena (the Uddhav Thackeray faction), the Shinde faction, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the BJP and the Congress for this column.Including union ministers, BJP representatives have no difference with this opinion: "Gujarati favouritism at the cost of Maharashtra must stop or we will face a grave crisis of Maharashtrian anger, first in the long-delayed Mumbai civic polls and then in the 2024 Lok Sabha and assembly elections". Remember that Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, had made a huge pitch for the Tata project to come to Nagpur, his constituency, after Vedanta Foxconn exited Maharashtra for Gujarat. Despite the Gadkari hard scrabble, which included letters to Tata Sons Chairperson N Chandrasekaran, the Gujarat election trumped the Nagpur pitch.The anger within Team Thackeray is palpable. A close Thackeray aide said, "The BJP and its central leaders should thank their lucky stars that Uddhav-ji is mild (mannered); if Balasaheb had been here, he would have made sure that 'street strength' ensured that those favouring Gujarat could not stay in Mumbai."Mild or not, Thackeray is capitalising on the narrative of Gujarat being the favourite of the centre at the expense of Maharashtra. A competitive sub-regional sentiment has always existed between the two states, and the Sena and the NCP, both parties that have positioned themselves as "Maratha sons of the soil", are now seeding the narrative of Maharashtra and the "manoos" being fooled.Uddhav Thackeray has been fighting court battles against the Eknath Shinde faction over who represents the real Shiv SenaThackeray also knows that he has the opportunity to build on the perception of him as a man betrayed by his own party and forced out of government. He was a popular Chief Minister whose fireside chats during the pandemic when it was at its highest intensity did much to endear him to people. Most Maharashtra leaders say that the sympathy for him would have been showcased in the Andheri by-election and that the BJP yanked its candidate because it did not want to risk a loss ahead of the crucial elections for the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai.The Prime Minister and senior leaders of the BJP emphasise during every state election that voters will benefit from choosing their party so that the central and state leadership can work in effectual tandem. But the "double engine" that is promised is in fact traitorous, alleged Aditya Thackeray, pointing out that the state government in Maharashtra is now being routinely trampled on by a centre for whom Gujarat is first priority.The Shinde government is in a crisis with a total lack of trust between the two allies. Fadnavis is impatient that the Shinde faction merge with the BJP so that he can call the shots. Shinde is paranoid about the BJP annexing his party and reducing him to a bystander in his own government. Sources tell me that 10 days ago, Shinde wanted to sequester all his MLAs at a resort in Rajasthan. Many of his MLAs claim that officials take orders from Fadnavis, and don't allow them to do any work in their ministries and constituencies.When Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' enters Maharashtra, leaders of the Shiv Sena and the NCP are also expected to walk with him in a show of unityA senior NCP leader told me that Shinde has been calling at least one top billionaire industrialist regularly in the hope of landing a mega project for Maharashtra to reverse at least part of the recent losses.Meanwhile, a group of Shinde MLAs are in talks with Uddhav Thackeray to return to his team because they feel the Shinde-BJP alliance is coming unglued. Fadnavis had assured the central BJP that the Congress and NCP would dump Thackeray when he lost office, but this has not happened. In fact, when Rahul Gandhi's "Bharat Jodo Yatra" enters Maharashtra, the three allies are expected to have their senior leaders join his walk in a show of unity.For Shinde and Fadnavis, meanwhile, the show of unity seems to have fizzled out within four months of taking charge of Maharashtra. The BJP is practised at steadying its governments when they show signs of wobbling. The healing touch it will exercise in this case is not likely to be gentle for Shinde. The election may be in Gujarat, but Maharashtra is hyperactive as well.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(Swati Chaturvedi is an author and a journalist who has worked with The Indian Express, The Statesman and The Hindustan Times.)Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.Featured Video Of The Day

Opinion: Has It Turned Into Fadnavis vs Shinde Already? Telling Signs
Maharashtra: Shiv Sena reminds BJP of 3 ‘post-MLA’s death’ bypolls
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

Mumbai: Questioning the BJP’s decision to pull out of the Andheri East assembly by-election keeping in mind Maharashtra’s political culture and tradition of not contesting bypolls against kin of deceased MLAs, the Shiv Sena recently asked why the BJP had not shown love for the same culture in the other by-elections held in the last two-and-a-half years. The Sena in an editorial in Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece earlier this week, said that while BJP had pulled out, there were seven other candidates in the fray and the election wasn’t being held unopposed. The Sena listed out three by-elections held from 2019 onwards, in which the BJP had fielded candidates against kin of deceased MLAs. “Kolhapur North MLA Chandrakant Jadhav passed away. His wife Jayashree Jadhav contested the byelection from Congress. That seat was contested by BJP. But Jadhav won. Before that, Pandharpur MLA Bharat Bhalke passed away. His son fought the bypoll. There, BJP won the election by fielding Samadhan Autade. Raosaheb Antapurkar, Congress MLA of Nanded’s Degalur constituency, passed away. There too, Antapurkar’s son Jitesh stood in the by-election and won. This seat was also contested by BJP. Thetradition of unopposed election on a seat vacated by someone’s death could have been maintained here as well. But it didn’t happen. Anyway BJP maintained this tradition in the by-elections in Mumbai. But why did thishappen? How did it happen? Why did BJP show such a heart for the Shiv Sena? We need not answer these questions. Maharashtra and the people know everything,” Saamna stated. The Sena said if BJP real-ly wanted to have the bypoll unopposed, they should have called all parties before and held a discussion. “In fact, such an election should be avoided because the wife or son of the candidate who has passed away is contesting in his place. Secondly, it is also a consideration to see if waste of government labour and money can be avoided. But for this, as a ‘tradition,’ everyone has to sit together and take decisions from the beginning. In case of Andheri East, there was delay in taking a decision and even with withdrawal of BJP, the by-election will now take place. A senior leader like Sharad Pawar had already called for the election to be unopposed,” Saamna noted.

Maharashtra: Shiv Sena reminds BJP of 3 ‘post-MLA’s death’ bypolls
In its first Gujarat contest, AIMIM identifies 40 seats, says focus Dalit, Muslim votes
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

Contesting for the first time in the Gujarat Assembly elections, the AIMIM is focusing on Dalit and Muslim votes. Indicating the party’s seriousness about the state, where its only electoral win comprises 26 local body seats in 2021, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has been visiting Gujarat frequently since May.The AIMIM plans to contest 40-45 Assembly seats, of the 182 total in the state. Of these, it has so far nominated candidates for three seats in Ahmedabad and two in Surat. Of the five, four are first-time contestants.In the local body elections held in February 2021, considered the bellwether for the coming Assembly polls, the AIMIM had won in 26 of the 40 seats it contested, including nine in Modasa, six in Godhra, one in Bharuch, and seven in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.Already pushed into a corner by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Congress fears losing the Muslim vote to the AIMIM, and has lashed out with the familiar accusation of the party being “the BJP’s B-team”, looking to divide the Opposition’s vote share. Most of the seats the AIMIM is focusing on fall in Congress strongholds.AIMIM Gujarat chief Sabir Kabliwala, a former Congress MLA, dismisses this, saying if any party is splitting the Opposition vote in the state, it is AAP. Calling AAP “chhota charger”, Kabuliwala says: “AAP has no party-level organisation in the state and neither is it fielding any contestant who can win in the election. They got a few seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation (last year) only because there was dissatisfaction with the BJP among the public.”Kabliwala also says that the AIMIM would not tie up with any other party and that its focus is “mainly on Dalit candidature”. Pointing out that it had fielded a Dalit candidate from a general seat in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections, he says: “We want to protect the Constitution and be a clear voice of Opposition in the Assembly. We shall be raising issues of Muslims as well as Dalits, and increase their representation in the Assembly by fielding Dalit candidates from four general category seats as well (apart from reserved).”Speaking to the media in May, Owaisi had said the party would be taking up the issues of “development and unemployment among youths”, as well as try “to raise an independent political leadership among the Dalits and minority community”.Attacking the Congress and BJP, the AIMIM Gujarat chief said: “They speak in the same voice and no good has come of it. Neither do they raise the issues of the marginalised. That apart, we also want to take other communities — Thakors, Darbars, Patels – along.”While the AIMIM lacks good recognisable leaders, and there is little sign of sustained campaigning by it on the ground, Kabliwala defends: “We will convince people that they should vote for us because the Congress and BJP have not done anything for their welfare till date. We want to break away the votes of Dalits and Muslims which go to the Congress. We will ask them what they have gained from voting for the Congress for so many years.”Of the seats where the AIMIM plans to field candidates, five are in Ahmedabad district. Ahmedabad has a total of 21 Assembly consittuencies. It has already announced candidates for three of the seats – while Kabliwala will contest from Jamalpur-Khadia; Kaushika Parmar is the AIMIM candidate from the Danilimda SC reserved seat; and Shahnawazkhan Pathan from Bapunagar. All three seats have Congress incumbents.Sitting Jamalpur-Khadia MLA Imran Khedawala questioned the AIMIM’s motives in an interview to The Indian Express earlier this month. “My seat has a 60:40 Muslim-Hindu ratio, but I cannot win if I don’t get Hindu community votes. Kabliwala will not win, but will directly benefit the BJP. I have a considerable lead, so it won’t affect me much, but certainly it will damage me somewhere.”Shamshad Pathan, who was formerly the vice-president of the AIMIM in Gujarat and its Ahmedabad city head, before exiting the party in April this year, calls such allegations of “vote-cutting” a facile excuse.“In a democracy, multiple parties contest, and you can see such examples in Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar etc. It cannot be that the Congress does no work throughout the five-year tenure, and at the last moment, before the Assembly elections, complains about its vote share getting cut. Had it worked, this would not happen,” Pathan adds.A practising advocate and a social activist, Pathan adds that in contrast, the BJP has “panna pramukhs (for every page of the voter list)”. “That is the level of ground reach they have. What stops other parties from ensuring that kind of ground presence?”In Surat’s Limbayat seat, the AIMIM candidate is Abdul Bashir Shaikh, a 33-year-old resident of the area who originally belongs to Jalgaon in Maharashtra and is employed in Surat’s textile industry. The party appears to be gambling on the fact that apart from a substantial Muslim population, the seat has a large proportion comprising migrants hailing from Maharashtra, followed by Telangana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.The Limbayat seat is currently held by the BJP’s Sangeeta Patil, who is considered a close aide of the party’s Gujarat chief, C R Paatil. Limbayat is part of Paatil’s parliamentary constituency.Abdul Bashir Shaikh, who was previously in the NCP, joined the AIMIM in 2019 and is fighting his first election, admits he faces a “tough” contest. But, he adds, apart from the Muslim voters, he is banking on the vast group of Hindus who support him due to his “social work”. “We will carry out door-to-door campaigns and work hard.”From Surat North, the AIMIM has announced Wasim Qureshi, its former Surat city president, as the candidate. This seat too has a BJP incumbent.The AIMIM also plans to announce candidates for Dariyapur and Vejalpur in Ahmedabad, currently held by the Congress and BJP respectively.Apart from Ahmedabad and Surat, the AIMIM is eyeing the Vadgam seat in Banaskantha district. This constituency is currently held by Independent MLA-turned-Congress leader Jignesh Mevani.The party’s other candidates are likely to include five in Kutch (three from reserved seats). Of these, two are held by the BJP and one by a Congress MLA. Giving the break-up of Dalit and Muslim voters in these seats, Kabliwala says they together make up around 1 lakh in each.In Saurashtra, the party plans to field candidates in Mangrol in Junagadh (ST reserved seat, held by the BJP) and Somnath (Congress incumbent), apart from fighting Anand (right now with the Congress) and Godhra (it has a BJP MLA).The AIMIM campaign, however, has been plagued by exits. Between April and July, several resigned accusing Kabliwala of taking unilateral decisions, as well as expressing apprehension that its plans would “benefit the BJP” in the Assembly polls. Around 4,000 members of the party, mostly ground-level workers but 68 primary workers, quit in this period.Shamshad Pathan says that while allegations of the AIMIM helping the BJP might have no truth, “the fact is, they have no ground presence… I suspect that some may even lose their deposits in this election”. He also questions the failure of the party to clearly raise points or issues that it wants to address. “What will the voters vote for?”Meanwhile, there is silent campaigning on in Surat, through the social media, to convince people to not vote for AIMIM candidates. Secret group meetings are being held among Muslim pockets by community leaders.Admitting this, Muslim community leader and social worker Salim Ghadiyali says: “They are merely a party which divides the Muslim vote. In Surat, Muslims are in large numbers in the Surat North and Limbayat seats, and it is here that the AIMIM has fielded candidates. They did the same thing in UP, fielding candidates in 100 seats where Muslims dominated.”In UP, the AIMIM formed a “third front”, called the Bhagidari Parivartan Morcha, with the Jan Adhikar Party led by former UP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and the Bharat Mukti Morcha headed by Waman Meshram. The AIMIM contested 100 seats, but could not win any and got only 0.49% of the total votes polled in the state.

In its first Gujarat contest, AIMIM identifies 40 seats, says focus Dalit, Muslim votes
Not just future of Sena but democracy at stake: Uddhav
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is fighting a legal battle to claim the legacy of the Shiv Sena founded by his father late Bal Thackeray, on Thursday claimed that not just the future of party but democracy in the country was at stake.Thackeray was addressing a function at the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar area of Mumbai where he inducted former minister Sanjay Deshmukh from Yavatmal into his faction.Addressing a gathering after the induction, Thackeray said despite claims that the Shiv Sena had split and was finished, people were still coming to him.The Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in June this year after a rebellion led by MLA Eknath Shinde.Shinde was later sworn in as the chief minister with the BJP’s support.The Election Commission earlier this month barred the Shiv Sena factions led by Thackeray and Shinde from using the party name and its election symbol ‘bow and arrow’ in the November 3 Andheri East Assembly bypoll.It allotted ‘ShivSena – Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ as the party name for the Thackeray faction, and ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) as the name for the Shinde group. The EC also allotted new poll symbols to the rival groups.Thackeray on Thursday said, “The common man and especially civilised people of the state are not agreeing with what has happened and are extending their support. They tell me don’t give up, fight, we are with you. We don’t agree with what’s happening.” “People whom I thought would never be politically close are coming out in support. Similarly, people of different religions and regions are extending support. It is not just the future of Shiv Sena but the democracy of the country is at stake,” the former chief minister added.He said people need to ask themselves whether democracy will stay alive or they would go back to slavery.“My future and that of my party will be decided by the people and the party cadre,” he said.Deshmukh, who joined the Thackeray faction on Thursday, was an MLA for two terms from Digras in Yavatmal.He had earlier been with the Shiv Sena and also served as a minister in the Congress-led Democratic Front government between 2002 and 2004. He was also with the BJP for a brief while.

Not just future of Sena but democracy at stake: Uddhav
  • Not Just Shiv Sena's Future, India's Democracy At Stake: Uddhav Thackeray
  • Ndtv

    My future will be decided by the people and the party cadre, Mr Thackeray said. (File)Mumbai: Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is fighting a legal battle to claim the legacy of the Shiv Sena founded by his father late Bal Thackeray, on Thursday claimed that not just the future of party but democracy in the country was at stake.Uddhav Thackeray was addressing a function at the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar area of Mumbai where he inducted former minister Sanjay Deshmukh from Yavatmal into his faction.Addressing a gathering after the induction, Mr Thackeray said despite claims that the Shiv Sena had split and was finished, people were still coming to him.The Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in June this year after a rebellion led by MLA Eknath Shinde.Eknath Shinde was later sworn in as the chief minister with the BJP's support.The Election Commission earlier this month barred the Shiv Sena factions led by Mr Thackeray and Mr Shinde from using the party name and its election symbol 'bow and arrow' in the November 3 Andheri East Assembly bypoll.It allotted 'Shiv Sena - Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray' as the party name for the Thackeray faction, and 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena' (Balasaheb's Shiv Sena) as the name for the Shinde group. The EC also allotted new poll symbols to the rival groups.Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said, "The common man and especially civilised people of the state are not agreeing with what has happened and are extending their support. They tell me don't give up, fight, we are with you. We don't agree with what's happening.""People whom I thought would never be politically close are coming out in support. Similarly, people of different religions and regions are extending support. It is not just the future of Shiv Sena but the democracy of the country is at stake," the former chief minister added.He said people need to ask themselves whether democracy will stay alive or they would go back to slavery. "My future and that of my party will be decided by the people and the party cadre," he said.Sanjay Deshmukh, who joined the Thackeray faction on Thursday, was an MLA for two terms from Digras in Yavatmal.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe had earlier been with the Shiv Sena and also served as a minister in the Congress-led Democratic Front government between 2002 and 2004. He was also with the BJP for a brief while.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • Maharashtra panchayat polls: BJP claims maximum gains, MVA says not so
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: Election results of 1,165 gram panchayats in 17 districts across the state were marked by claims and counter claims by the Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising Uddhav Thackeray's faction of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress on one side and the BJP and the Eknath Shinde-led faction of Sena on the other. These are the first elections to rural bodies since Shinde took over as the CM on June 30, 2022. BJP leader and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has congratulated party BJP workers for securing control over the highest number of gram panchayats, while Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole claimed that it was the MVA which captured the maximum number of gram panchayats. "BJP's claims are misleading, they always claim victory over maximum number of gram panchayats. Congress performance was impressive. In the past too, it had won more gram panchayats than BJP,'' Patole said. As per data released by BJP, of 1,141 gram panchayats, while results have been declared in 946, BJP has won in 397, Shiv Sena's Shinde faction 81, Thackeray's faction 87, Congress 104, NC, CPI 57, independents 95 and others 17. Thackeray faction of Sena has claimed that MVA has gained control over 781 panchayats, while BJP and Shinde faction together have won 361 and others 23. NCP, it claimed, has won 287, BJP 264, Congress 251, Thackeray faction 243 and Shinde faction 97. Fadnavis said BJP's dominance indicates people's faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. People have expressed faith in the new government led by Eknath Shinde and me, we have together gained control over 478 gram panchayats. We are ahead of the combined strength of the MVA,'' he said. A Thackeray spokesperson said in the Konkan region, the party made impressive gains while the Shinde faction was wiped out. The Shinde faction claimed that it won 80% of the seats in Thane district. Thane district is the hometown of chief minister Shinde. BJP and Shinde faction claimed that they have won 121 gram panchayats in the district (Shinde faction 63, BJP 58) while Thackeray-led Sena and MVA have won only 28 gram panchayats. A senior bureaucrat said the claims made by parties have no substance since the elections are not contested on the basis of affiliation to political parties.

  • 97% of Mumbai delegates vote in Congress chief election
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: About 96% of the voters across the state and 97% in Mumbai city exercised their franchise in the election for the Congress president's post held on Monday. In Maharashtra, the MPCC and Mumbai Congress Committee are separate entities, therefore separate voting was held - MPCC voters cast their votes at Tilak Bhavan while Mumbai Congress voters exercised their franchise at Rajeev Gandhi Bhavan. The entire electoral process was supervised by AICC in-charge Pallam Raju, a former union minister. Veteran Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are contesting against each other. "Out of 561 voters of the MPCC, 542 voters exercised their right to vote, which also includes ballot voting,'' Pallam Raju said. Raju said voting took place between 10 am and 4 pm. Among the voters were MPCC president Nana Patole, former CMs Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde and Congress legislature party leader Balasaheb Thorat. In the Mumbai Congress office, out of 237 voters, 229 voters exercised their franchise. Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge and party MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor are in the fray for the top organisational post. Counting will be held on October 19 in New Delhi.

  • Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Polls: BJP Claims To Have Won 397 Seats
  • Ndtv

    Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Polls: The Congress claimed to have won 134 seats. (Representational)Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday claimed to have won a maximum of 397 seats in gram panchayat elections in Maharashtra.The results of the elections held on Sunday for 1,079 Gram Panchayats were declared on Monday. A voter turnout of more than 75 per cent was recorded."The BJP has become the number one party in gram panchayat elections by winning 397 seats. Along with chief minister Eknath Shinde-led 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena', the joint rally has reached 478," the state BJP said in a social media post.The BJP has managed to win the post of Sarpanch or village head in 235 villages. The Congress claimed to have won 134 seats, Nationalist Congress Party 110, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) 128 and the 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena' 114.As many as 300 Independent candidates have also won the gram panchayat elections.Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said voters have given their verdict in favour of 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena'."The step we took (of parting ways with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena) stands vindicated. 'Balsahebanchi Shiv Sena' and the BJP have got tremendous support from the people," he said.Mr Shinde said people have voted with trust which is reflected in the results.He said the state government is committed to ushering in development.Congress candidate Mukta Kokarde was on Monday elected as the president of Nagpur Zill Parishad and Kunda Raut as the vice president.They were elected in the special general meeting body meeting of ZP members.The effective strength of the Zilla Parishad is 57. Incumbent Nagpur ZP president Rashmi Barve of Congress has completed two-and-a-half-year of the five-year term.The BJP had supported Congress rebels Pritam Kawre for the post of Nagpur ZP president and Nana Kambhale as the vice president.Nagpur Congress (rural) president Rajendra Mulak told reporters that this is a historic victory and the BJP is losing its ground.Sangeeta Adhau and Sunil Fatkar of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) were on Monday elected as president and vice president, respectively, of the Akola Zilla Parishad, an official said.Notably, the Congress had dominated the results of elections to the posts of Panchayat Samiti chairpersons and deputy chairpersons in Nagpur district which were declared on Saturday- on the same day of voting.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe BJP could not win even a single post of chairperson and managed to secure only three seats of deputy chairperson in the elections.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • Congress presidential polls: 797 party delegates to vote in Maharashtra
  • The Economic Times

    A total of 797 Congress delegates from Maharashtra will cast their votes here on Monday to elect the new president of the party with veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor in the fray for the top post. Out of these 797 delegates, 561 are from the party's Maharashtra Pradesh unit, while 236 belong to the Mumbai unit. While the Maharashtra delegates will cast their vote at Tilak Bhavan, the grand old party's state unit headquarters here, the Mumbai representatives will vote at its city unit office in south Mumbai. The voting will be held between 10 am and 4 pm. There will be three booths for the delegates to cast their votes, a statement from the state Congress said. Congress's state election returning officers Pallam Raju, Narendra Rawat and Krishna Punia are already in Mumbai with the ballot boxes. The delegates have been given identity cards of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) bar codes. The bar-coded identity card and any other identity proof like voter card, Aadhaar card, Pan card, driving licence, bank passbook will be required to be displayed before voting, the statement said. Raju urged all delegates to participate in the election process. The results of the election will be out on October 19. Country-wide, more than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates form the electoral college to pick the party chief in a secret ballot at over 65 polling booths across the country in an electoral contest which is taking place for the sixth time in the party's 137-year history. Kharge is considered the firm favourite for his perceived proximity to the Gandhis and backing by senior leaders, even as Tharoor has pitched himself as the candidate of change. During the campaign, even though Tharoor has raised issues of uneven playing field, both candidates and the party have maintained that the Gandhis are neutral and that there is no "official candidate". The last electoral contest for the top post of the party took place in 2000 when Jitendra Prasada had suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Sonia Gandhi.

Andheri Assembly Bypoll: BJP's Withdrawal A Strategic Move With Eye On Mumbai Civic Polls
Ndtv | 3 months ago | |
Ndtv
3 months ago | |

If Rutuja Latke wins, it will come as a morale booster for Uddhav Thackeray. (File)Mumbai: The BJP's last-minute decision to pull out of the high-decibel Andheri (east) Assembly bypoll is seen as a strategic step factoring in the "sympathy factor" potentially in favour of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction's nominee Rutuja Latke, say political observers.The BJP leadership must have weighed the odds and concluded that the risk to pit Murji Patel against the wife of late MLA Ramesh Latke is not worth taking for a single bypoll as the main battle is shaping up for the BMC polls, they said."If Rutuja Latke wins, it will come as a morale booster for Uddhav Thackeray. Her victory will mean that voters' sympathy is with Thackeray after the split in the party. The BJP seems wanted to deny Mr Thackeray any chance to claim a high moral ground," they said.Moreover, the Eknath Shinde faction doesn't have much presence in Andheri whereas the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction has loyal Marathi voters.The withdrawal of Mr Patel's nomination handed a virtual walkover to Rutuja Latke though voting will be held on November 3 as six other candidates have not withdrawn their nominations.The bypoll is the first electoral contest after the vertical split in Shiv Sena whose election symbol- bow and arrow- was frozen by the Election Commission.In its interim order, the EC had allotted separate symbols and nomenclatures to the factions led by Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.Ahead of the bypoll, Rutuja Latke had to move the Bombay High Court to make Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) accept her resignation to enable her to file her nomination.Interestingly, MNS leader Raj Thackeray had appealed to Deputy chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis to not field the party candidate.Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had also advised the BJP to ensure that the bypoll is unopposed as per the "political tradition" in Maharashtra."Raj Thackeray's letter to Mr Fadnavis was a strategic move and is as per the wishes of BJP. Raj Thackeray will not do anything which will embarrass him later. This indicates that BJP and MNS are working closely together for the upcoming BMC elections," the observers feel.In Maharashtra, electoral contests are generally avoided if bypolls necessitated by the death of sitting MLAs or MPs are contested by their kin."The BJP had previously also not contested some of the bypolls," state BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule had said while announcing Patel's withdrawal from the fray.The NCP and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said the BJP might have decided to withdraw as they have sensed a defeat in the bypoll."The BJP had conducted a survey which predicted that their candidate (Murji Patel) would lose the bypoll by at least 45,000 votes. This is the reason they decided to withdraw," Mr Raut had said and added that events like Raj Thackeray writing to Mr Fadnavis were all "scripted".Andheri East assembly constituency is one of the 26 constituencies located in the Mumbai Suburban district. It is a part of the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comLate Ramesh Latke snatched this seat from Congress in 2014. In the 2019 elections, LMr atke got 62,680 votes. BJP's Murji Patel, who contested as an independent, got 45,680 votes. Congress's Amin Kutty came third with 27,925 votes.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Andheri Assembly Bypoll: BJP's Withdrawal A Strategic Move With Eye On Mumbai Civic Polls
  • Mumbai: BJP pullout strategic after weighing risk of setback ahead of BMC polls?
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: Political analysts, observers and a section of leaders from within BJP said the party's decision to pull out of the Andheri East by-election was a strategic withdrawal after weighing the risk of a loss ahead of BMC polls. While BJP had drafted a mega plan to fight the bypoll, roping in 13 MLAs and 56 corporators, with the poll turning into a prestige fight, analysts said BJP's loss could have hit the party ahead of civic polls. The withdrawal also indicates CM Eknath Shinde's faction too wasn't confident of a win, they said. Observers said though this was a bypoll, a loss barely months after a split in the Shiv Sena and despite the freezing of Sena's bow and arrow symbol would have raised a question mark on the Shinde faction's impact and support among Sena's voter base. The Shinde faction had little electoral clout in the constituency and essentially BJP was fighting the poll on its own might. A Sena functionary said BJP had expected Uddhav Thackeray or Aaditya Thackeray to reach out and make an appeal that the bypoll be held unopposed. But since no such appeal was made, Raj Thackeray's request, followed by Sharad Pawar's appeal, could have been used by BJP for its 'exit strategy.' For BJP nominee Murji Patel, this has come as a second setback as he wasn't given a ticket for the 2019 assembly polls and ended up fighting as an independent. Political analyst Birju Mundra said BJP would have got a setback if Patel had lost. "There was sympathy for Rutuja. While there was sympathy for Sena following the split and freezing of symbol, the controversy over her resignation not being accepted helped things snowball. Uddhav Sena had the edge and BJP was fighting a tough battle. BJP didn't want to turn it into a prestige poll. Had Uddhav Sena won, it would have set the momentum for BMC polls and damaged political perception about the Shinde faction in Mumbai. Had Latke fought on a Shinde faction ticket, it would have been a different ballgame," Mundra said. "But it's a fact the BJP cadre is disappointed and many are saying this is indirect acceptance of defeat," he added. Latke became MLA in 2014 when he defeated Congress's Suresh Shetty. In 2019 he defeated BJP rebel Patel. In 2019, Congress's Amin Kutty had polled close to 28,000 votes, while Patel polled 45,000 as independent. Latke polled over 62,000 votes. Election data analyst Hitesh Jain said BJP would have found it hard to add another 20,000 votes to its kitty. "Bypolls have low turnout, around 50%. This time Congress and NCP backed Sena, so it was expected Congress' votes would go to Sena. Data from 2014 and 2019 shows Congress has 30,000 voters. Patel would have led in 3 wards but would likely have trailed in 6. To flip 6 wards would have been hard, though given Patel's popularity in 3-4 wards, it could have been a close contest," he said.

Himachal elections: Jairam Thakur to file nomination today
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur will file his nomination papers from the Seraj Assembly constituency in Mandi district on Wednesday for the November 12 Assembly elections, the BJP has said.A five-time MLA, Thakur (57) will submit the papers to the Thunag sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), the returning officer (RO) for Seraj, after taking blessings from his mother and deities “Kuldevta” and “Kuldevi”, the BJP said in a statement on Tuesday. He will be accompanied by his wife Sadhna Thakur and daughters Chandrika and Priyanka, it added.Thakur was scheduled to reach Renglu on Wednesday morning in a helicopter from Delhi, where he attended the first meeting of the party’s newly reconstituted Central Election Committee to finalise candidates for the state polls. The BJP declared its first list of 62 candidates on Wednesday morning. The state Assembly has 68 seats.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda attended the meeting of the CEC in which the party recently brought in several new faces. The 15-member CEC has new entrants such as BS Yediyurappa, Union ministers Bhupender Yadav and Sarbananda Sonowal, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Om Mathur, party’s Other Backward Classes (OBC) Morcha president K Laxman, Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Satyanarayan Jatiya and Sudha Yadav.The BJP core group from the hill state on Monday held extensive deliberations to narrow down the list of probable candidates, with Shah and Nadda also holding discussions on the matter.Meanwhile, two candidates filed their papers in Kangra district on the second day of filing nominations, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said. Ashok Kumar Somal (64) filed his nomination as an Independent candidate from Fatehpur constituency, while Arun Kumar (42) filed his papers from Jawali as a Himachal Jan Kranti Party candidate, he added.No candidate filed the nomination on Monday, the first day of filing papers. The notification for the state elections was issued on October 17 and the last date for the filing of nominations is October 25. Scrutiny of papers will be held on October 27 and the last date for the withdrawal of papers is October 29.The Congress, meanwhile, wrote to the Election Commission, requesting that candidates be allowed to file their nominations during the Diwali holidays between October 23-25. In a letter to the poll panel, the Opposition party said that a similar reprieve was given during the Punjab elections and that the EC should take into consideration the complexities of the hill state.The Congress declared its first list of 46 candidates on Tuesday night. Party leader and former HPCC chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said that he will file his nomination on October 21.Trying its luck for the first time, the Aam Aadmi Party has declared its candidates for four seats. It is likely to name the remaining candidates by Wednesday evening, the party’s state in-charge and Punjab minister Harjot Bains said on Tuesday.In the outgoing Assembly, the BJP has 43 members, followed by 22 of the Congress. There are two Independents and one CPM MLA in the Assembly. As of now, 55,74,793 people are eligible to vote in the polls.

Himachal elections: Jairam Thakur to file nomination today
Cricket and politics are two different things: Pawar on Patole’s MCA-bypoll remark
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

THE ELECTION of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), scheduled on October 20, has strained relations between the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after the former’s Maharashtra unit president Nana Patole linked it with Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) withdrawal from the Andheri East by-poll. NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday advised him to not link cricket and politics.On Monday, Patole said Maharashtra has witnessed three by-polls in the past and despite efforts, none of them were contested by the candidate unopposed. “But only during this by-poll, a BJP leader meets someone and then everybody starts talking about making it unopposed… shows that this is not coincidental but by design,” said Patole.He was referring to the meeting between Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and MNS chief Raj Thackeray, after which Thackeray wrote a letter to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, requesting him to withdraw the BJP candidate in the fray. On the same day, NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a press conference and made the same appeal.Patole had also said the manner in which the BJP was running the country and at the same time, people with different ideologies were joining hands with each other, this was being watched by the voters.He said in the MCA, Pawar and Shelar have joined hands and raised a joint panel.When asked about Patole’s comment, leader of opposition and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said there was no need for such comments. “Cricket and politics are two different things. This is not the first time that people from different ideologies have joined hands to contest the cricket association’s election. These people come together for the betterment of the game and making a comment on this will yield nothing,” he said.

Cricket and politics are two different things: Pawar on Patole’s MCA-bypoll remark
Despite claims, BJP has pitted candidates against family members of deceased MLAs in Maharashtra bypolls
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a moral high ground while announcing the withdrawal of its candidate from Andheri (East) assembly bypoll claiming it was in accordance with Maharashtra political culture of not contesting against the kin of deceased MLA, the party in the past has chosen to fight byelections against the relatives of late MLAs.Since the 2019 assembly polls in Maharashtra, the state has till now witnessed three bypolls in Pandharpur (Solapur district), Deglur (Nanded district), and Kolhapur north (Kolhapur district) and BJP had fielded candidates in all three byelections, and even won in Pandharpur.After the death of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Bharat Bhalke from Pandharpur, the NCP had given ticket to his son Bhagirath Bhalke, while the BJP fielded Samadhan Autade. In a tightly contested election, Autade won the seat by a margin of 3,700 votes.In Nanded district, after the death of Congress MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar, the party fielded his son Jitesh Antapurkar. BJP fielded former Shiv Sena MLA Subhash Sabne to contest against him in Deglur. In an election which had become a prestige issue for the former CM and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan, Antapurkar won by more than 41,000 votes.Lastly, in Kolhapur north after the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, the party had fielded his wife Jayashree Jadhav against whom BJP gave a ticket to Satyajit Kadam. The Congress led by the then minister of state (home), Satej Patil, registered a victory by around 20,000 votes.In Andheri (East), after the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has fielded his wife Rutuja Latke. BJP announced the candidature of Murji Patel who had in 2019 contested as an independent and won second-rank votes.Announcing the decision to withdraw from the bypoll, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule had said that his party could have won the bypoll but in accordance with the state’s rich political culture the decision has been taken to not contest against the wife of a deceased MLA.Earlier, Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had written to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting him to withdraw BJP’s candidature. Later, NCP chief Sharad Pawar too had advised the BJP to not stretch too far and allow bypoll unopposed as barely 18 months remain in the present term of the assembly.The BJP senior leadership held a discussion on the issue Sunday night and finalised the decision to withdraw the candidate.Congress leaders, meanwhile, have taunted the BJP saying its fear of losing the election has led to the party’s decision, while NCP’s Ajit Pawar has appealed to all parties to refrain from making comments on the issue as ‘everything has been sorted.’Sources have hinted that the internal surveys conducted by the BJP indicated that the results would not be in favour of the party.In the past, after the death of senior BJP leader and Beed Lok Sabha MP Gopinath Munde, the NCP chief had decided to not fight the by-election against Munde’s daughter. However, in 2011 after the death of MNS MLA Ramesh Wanjale from Pune’s Khadkwasla constituency, his wife Harshada chose to contest the bypoll from the NCP and BJP’s Bhimrao Tapkir contested against her. Tapkir had won the bypoll by over 3,500 votes.

Despite claims, BJP has pitted candidates against family members of deceased MLAs in Maharashtra bypolls
  • BJP’s search on for ‘winning’ candidate
  • Times of India

    Aurangabad: The BJP, after coming back to power in Maharashtra, will be aiming to break the jinx associated with its loss in the poll for the Marathwada teachers’ constituency poll. The party, however, is still searching for a candidate to support. On the other hand, the NCP-backed candidate has won the Marathwada teachers’ constituency polls in the three past elections. Sitting NCP supported MLC Vikram Kale has already started his poll preparations assuming that he will be renominated. The BJP is still undecided about the candidate to extend support to. Traditionally, Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad fights Marathwada teachers’ constituency poll and BJP extends support to candidate nominated by it. When contacted, Parishad’s treasurer Kiran Bhawthankar said the candidate for upcoming election would be declared in the next 10 to 12 days. “We have already declared the candidate for the Konkan and Nagpur constituencies,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi Walking More Than Lord Ram Did From...: Congress Leader
Ndtv | 3 months ago | |
Ndtv
3 months ago | |

Mumbai: Backing Rajasthan Minister Parsadi Lal Meena's remark that likened Lord Ram's foot journey from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka to Rahul Gandhi's padyatra, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Tuesday said that it is, however, a "co-incidence" that both of their names begin with "R".The remarks of the Maharasthra Congress chief came after Meena on Monday said that Rahul Gandhi is walking even more than Lord Ram did from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka."Rahul Gandhi's padayatra will be historic. Lord Ram too had gone from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka on foot. Rahul Gandhi is walking even more than that, from Kanniyakumari to Kashmir," Mr Meena had said.Reacting to the statement, Mr Patole said that it is a "coincidence" that both the names Rahul and Ram begin with "R", but the Congress party does not compare Rahul Gandhi with Lord Ram."Even Lord Sri Ram also walked (PadaYatra) from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and even Shankaracharya walked the same way, and so is Rahul Gandhi doing in the form of padayatra. People are joining him, so it's not a comparison with Lord Ram but a coincidence that both Lord Ram and Rahul Gandhi's names begin with "R". But we don't compare Rahul with Lord Ram while BJP leaders compare their leaders with God. God is God and Rahul Gandhi is a human being and he is working for humanity and it can be seen by everyone," Mr Patole told ANI.Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday morning. The yatra is scheduled to carry on for 150 days.On the 41st day of the Yatra, Rahul Gandhi resumed the march from the Halaharvi bus stop in Kurnool."As Bharat Jodo Yatra enters Andhra Pradesh, the excitement has gone to the next level. Massive support to all the Padyatris has energised everyone," the Congress said in a tweet.Mr Patole has organised a meeting today to discuss the Bharat Jodo Yatra which is likely to pass from Maharashtra on November 7. The agenda of the meeting is to prepare for the yatra so that people can join it.Mr Patole took an apparent jibe at his ally and NCP chief Sharad Pawar for supporting Ashish Shelar for the cricketing body polls."BJP knows well with whom they want to be close. There is an election going on in the cricket body also and all are coming together giving a different message. And so we have expressed our view that how there is so much of a difference in the views from the playground to other fields," he said."Everyone can make out what's coming out from the cricket game (Mumbai Cricket Association and the Board of Control for Cricket in India polls)," Mr Patole added.However, the Congress leader added that the party welcomed the decision of the BJP to let the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena's candidate Rutuja Latke win the bypoll unopposed."We welcome the decision of unopposed win in this by-poll election. In today's politics, the sentiments of the people must also be taken into consideration. The tradition must be kept alive," he added.The move was made in support of the Uddhav Thackeray faction's candidate Rutuja Latke, as the party withdrew its candidate Murji Patel from the seat.Andheri East bye-election is slated to take place on November 3, this year."The BJP coalition has decided not to contest Mumbai's Andheri East assembly by-election and our candidate Murji Patel will withdraw the nomination. It is a collective decision by both the central and the state leadership," Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the BJP Maharashtra President had said.Rutuja Latke, the widow of late Ramesh Latke was fielded by the Shiv Sena camp led by Thackeray for the Andheri East bye-elections after the Bombay High court on Thursday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to accept the resignation of Rutuja Latke.Earlier, Maharashtra Navirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray also requested Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis not to field a BJP candidate against Rutuja Latke in the upcoming Andheri East Assembly by-polls out of respect to late MLA Ramesh Latke.In a letter to Fadnavis, the MNS chief said, "I am writing this letter with a special request. After the sudden death of MLA. Ramesh Latke, for the Andheri East, the by-poll election has been announced. His widow, Rujuta Latke has filed candidature for the same."PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Rahul Gandhi Walking More Than Lord Ram Did From...: Congress Leader
Maharashtra: Rutuja Latke says ‘grateful’, Shiv Sena to do ‘soft drive’
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

MUMBAI: Reacting to BJP's decision to pull out of the Andheri East bypoll, Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Rutuja Latke said she was grateful and thankful to all parties. But Sena sources said the party is likely to continue its soft campaign as all other independent candidates have not withdraw from the fray. "I am thankful to all senior leaders who wrote letters and spoke, like Sharad Pawar and Raj Thackeray. This is the goodwill of my husband Ramesh Latke's work that BJP has decided to withdraw. Everyone wanted to have this election unopposed. I am also thankful to all party workers who have stood by me. Senior leaders supported me due to my husband's work. I will work for Andheri East's development," Rutuja said. A Sena functionary said, "We will have to do a soft campaign to test party machinery for the BMC polls. We will also want to try and get our new symbol, 'mashaal,' popularised among voters. The election is virtually unopposed but unless all candidates pull out, there will be an election and we have to get all our voters to the polling booths." Sena leader Anil Parab said the bypoll would have shown the MVA's strength. He said Pawar had spoken about Maharashtra's political culture, and Raj Thackeray had written a letter. "BJP has responded to these appeals and we thank BJP for upholding this tradition to have unopposed elections as the widow of a deceased MLA is contesting," Parab said. Parab said Sena was fully prepared for polls. "We have not analysed why BJP pulled out. Pawar made an appeal and BJP responded. This is our analysis. We have nothing to do with MCA MCA polls, Sena has no role to play in MCA," he added.

Maharashtra: Rutuja Latke says ‘grateful’, Shiv Sena to do ‘soft drive’
Andheri (East) no-contest: The bypoll bonhomie hides many internal tussles
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

AFTER months of political upheaval in Maharashtra, a bypoll for the Andheri East seat has culminated in sudden, unexpected calm. The BJP has withdrawn its candidate, in solidarity with Rutuja Latke of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), leaving her the only contestant in the fray.The BJP took the decision after both the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) of Raj Thackeray and the NCP appealed to the party to not field a candidate against Rutuja, the wife of Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, whose death necessitated the November 3 bypoll.However, apart from courtesy for Ramesh, who died in May, and the fact that a win or loss in the bypoll has little weight when the next Assembly elections are approaching soon, there is more to the development than meets the eye. In 2019, Ramesh was the joint Shiv Sena-BJP candidate.By pulling a surprise and speaking up on behalf of the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate, Raj Thackeray sent two significant messages. One was to cousin Uddhav, about doors being open for rapprochement. Second was to the BJP, which has kept the MNS hanging over an alliance despite Raj’s obvious interest, particularly since the BJP returned to power with the Shiv Sena (Shinde) faction.In his letter to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Raj said: “I have closely watched the politics of the late Ramesh Latke. He was a good worker… It is my ardent appeal, let the by-elections be unopposed. The victory of Rutuja Latke will be a tribute to the late Ramesh Latke,”Highly placed sources in the BJP admitted the party had been giving mixed signals to the MNS, and that while it might court him for covert support, remains reluctant as far as a formal alliance goes. “In the last one year, BJP top leaders hobnobbed with Raj Thackeray. They made a beeline to his residence to greet him. But when Union minister Amit Shah came to Mumbai, there was no meeting with Raj Thackeray,” a leader pointed out.On Raj’s letter to Fadnavis, a senior BJP leader said: “The MNS has indicated that if the BJP does not go for a formal alliance with it, it has other options, including the Shiv Sena (UBT).”The BJP itself may have made good of a bad situation by pulling out of the Andheri East seat. Sources said that Eknath Shinde had asked ally BJP to let their chosen candidate for Andheri East, Murji Patel, stand on the ticket of his Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena. Shinde wanted the by-election to be a contest between his faction of the Sena and Uddhav’s. Sources said while the BJP feared the repercussions of a loss, Patel himself insisted on contesting on a BJP ticket.Meanwhile, many within the BJP were unhappy about the nomination of Patel for the seat. Earlier, Patel had been disqualified as BMC corporator following a Bombay High Court order for failing to furnish valid caste certificate, after having won from a reserved ward in 2017. Moreover, in 2019, Patel had lost from Andheri East to Latke, while contesting as an Independent, after rebelling from the BJP.Those in the party in favour of a contest rather than a walkover to Rutuja Latke, felt that a fight would galvanise the cadre for the coming BMC polls, and that “the party should not worry about electoral results”.Pawar’s appeal to parties to not field a candidate against Rutuja was perhaps the least surprising, with the NCP stand on contests held under similar circumstances in the past being the same. Pawar cited the election after the death of senior BJP leader and Union minister Gopinath Munde. “The NCP did not field any candidate against his daughter Pritam Munde Khade from the Beed Lok Sabha seat.”BJP leaders point out that they too did not field any candidate when the wife of late NCP leader and Deputy CM R R Patil contested a 2015 by-election from Tasgaon-Kavate-Mahakal, following his death.Lately though, the gloves had been off. In 2020, when sitting three-term NCP MLA Bharat Bhalke died due to Covid complications, and the party fielded his son Bhagirath Bhalke, the BJP turned down an appeal for an unopposed contest.At the time, the BJP was keen to test its political standing against the Maha Vikas Aghadi, and fielded Samadhan Autada. After an aggressive campaign, the BJP won the seat.

Andheri (East) no-contest: The bypoll bonhomie hides many internal tussles
‘Chehra kaun hai?’ In centre-heavy BJP, the CMs lose weight
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

In the early 2000s, the BJP chief ministers, including Narendra Modi, were regional satraps, powerful in their own right. Post-2014, that has changed and now, as the party heads for another set of Assembly elections, a question foremost – quite like with its counterparts – is, “chehra kaun hai (who is the face of the polls)”?The BJP’s answer also parallels what the Congress once used to say when CMs were not announced beforehand but decided from Delhi – that this means a “healthy democracy”, with a scope to choose anyone. Like it did then, in the BJP case too, the change is being seen as a centralisation of power in the high command, even as regional leaders lose powers as well as pull, with every election fought in the name of Modi.Between elections too, the BJP has been changing CMs, meeting little or no resistance. For example, since Modi stepped down as CM and moved on to the Centre, Gujarat has had three CMs – Anandiben Patel (2014-2016), Vijay Rupani (2016-2021) and Bhupendra Patel (incumbent).In the BJP’s 2017-22 reign, Uttarakhand too had three CMs – Trivendra Singh Rawat (2017-2021), Tirath Singh Rawat (March 2021-July 2021), followed by Pushkar Singh Dhami.In Karnataka, the party changed its CM in July 2021 from B S Yediyurappa to Basavaraj Bommai; while in May this year, it replaced Biplab Kumar Deb with Manik Saha in Tripura. Post the 2021 state election in Assam, the party had replaced incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma.To be sure, the BJP retained some CMs, such as Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh (extremely popular in the state), Dhami in Uttarakhand (despite him losing his own Assembly seat, on account of his efficiency in governance in the short span he was in the post at the time), N Biren Singh in Manipur (despite the intense internal feud), and Pramod Sawant in Goa (after the BJP surprised naysayers and won a comfortable majority in the state).Now, as Himachal Pradesh goes to polls on November 12, the BJP leadership has not clarified if CM Jai Ram Thakur will remain in the post if it returns to power. In fact, there is a deliberate attempt to underline that Thakur is not the face, as the BJP banks on Modi as the symbol of good governance and hope for the hilly state, to beat the trend of Himachal always voting the incumbent out.In case of the other poll-bound state Gujarat, while BJP state chief C R Paatil has said that Bhupendra Patel would remain the CM if they won again, there is no such signal from the central leadership.Meanwhile, in the case of Karnataka, which goes to polls next year, there is intense speculation in party circles that Bommai could be changed if the BJP comes back to power, depending on the number of seats the party wins.In Madhya Pradesh, where Shivraj Singh Chouhan returned as CM for the fourth time after the Congress government fell, reportedly despite reservations among the top leadership, there is similar speculation. The state too goes for Assembly polls next year. The names doing the rounds as replacement include Union ministers Jyotraditya Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar, and minister Narottam Mishra, among others.If Chouhan is among the former regional straps who has seen their influence wane, there is one other who has proved harder for the BJP to subdue: Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan. Never on very good terms with the current BJP dispensation, but unbowed on account of the popularity she enjoys in Rajasthan, Raje has hit the campaign trail in the state well ahead of the Assembly polls next year, in a clear message to the central leadership.Some of the CM reshuffles have been inevitable, after some of those handpicked by the leadership could not return the party to power – such as Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra and Raghubar Das in Jharkhand. In Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar could only form the government after forging an alliance. Incidentally, in all these cases, the BJP had gambled by picking CMs from other than the dominant castes in the states; it later admitted this did not work as expected.It was wrong though to see the weakening of the CMs as a sign of the party not being as dominant as it would like in states, a top BJP leader argued. The change of guard was due to the “strong and healthy democratic process” in the party, and the BJP giving more leaders a chance at the top than “familial and dynastic parties like the Congress”.However, others admit that the change of CMs – leaving them overdependent on the national leadership – went contrary to the BJP’s constant call of making the party organisation robust and strong. Party leaders admit the uncertainty regarding their post can make CMs incompetent, even lead to mismanagement of affairs at the state level as they do not command power. One leader pointed to the recent disclosure by Rupani that he was asked to resign just the night earlier to when he did.In an aside, some leaders talked of the constant round of activities and programmes planned by the leadership for its state units, causing fatigue to set in among MLAs, lawmakers and leaders. This fatigue has been evident in the absence of MPs in Parliament during proceedings, a leader said, despite repeated warnings and cautioning notes from the leadership, including PM Modi.With the BJP already in Mission 2024 mode, these activities will pick up. However, the gains may not be commensurate as compared to earlier polls.

‘Chehra kaun hai?’ In centre-heavy BJP, the CMs lose weight