Most parties oppose remote voting plan, EC puts off demo

The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 17-01-2023 | 05:45 am

Most parties oppose remote voting plan, EC puts off demo

NEARLY ALL political parties that attended a meeting called by the Election Commission Monday to discuss remote voting were opposed to the EC’s proposal to allow migrants to cast their votes from outside their home constituencies, sources told The Indian Express.With parties demanding more in-depth discussion on the matter, the EC put off the demonstration of a prototype Remote Voting Machine (RVM), which was scheduled after remarks by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and a presentation on remote voting.According to an EC official, 16 representatives from the eight national parties — BJP, Congress, NCP, TMC, BSP, CPI(M), CPI and NPP, which is heading the ruling alliance in Meghalaya — were in attendance. A total of 67 participants representing 40 state parties also attended the discussion held at the Constitution Club in New Delhi.The official said the political leaders agreed with the broad objective of increasing voter turnout, while some asked for the demonstration of the RVM to be done in states. Others wanted the concept of domestic migrants to be defined before going ahead with the proposal.As a result, the EC decided to extend the date of submission of written views on the matter by the parties to February 28 from January 31. The EC had on December 28, 2022, written to all recognised national and state parties about its proposal to increase turnout among migrants.Except the BJP and to an extent the BJD, all other parties opposed the proposal, sources said. Even the BJP, which was represented by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, said it would give its views in writing. Yadav said the BJP agreed in principle that turnout should be increased and “missing voters” should get a chance to vote but the procedure to be adopted was a matter for discussion, and the Election Commission would decide after that.The leaders raised several issues — from electoral bonds to hate speeches and working of EVMs. They argued that electoral bonds lack transparency and kill the level playing field.Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who represented his party along with Praveen Chakravarty, told reporters after the meeting that the concept note prepared by the EC and the presentation given to the leaders showed the Commission was “confused”.“When there is no survey of migrant labour, they are providing facilities to migrant labour,” he said, raising concerns on how a remote voter would be identified.RJD’s Manoj Kumar Jha raised the issue of hate speeches. Without taking names, he said people have become Chief Ministers after delivering hate speeches while the EC has remained a mute spectator.AAP MP Sanjay Singh told The Indian Express that he raised questions on how the Model Code of Conduct would be followed for remote voters outside an election-bound state — and how parties, particularly smaller ones, would be able to appoint polling agents for multiple locations.“It is not practical. I suggested that the EC should give people four days of leave instead of one day to travel to their hometowns to vote. They can make travel on buses and trains free (for them),” he said.Among those who attended were Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, and TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee and Mahua Moitra.In its concept note sent to parties in December, the EC had said that the RVM had been developed by Electronics Corporation of India, a company under the Department of Atomic Energy, as a modified version of the existing Electronic Voting Machine.The RVM would be a stand-alone device, not connected to the internet. At one time, it would be able to handle 72 constituencies, and voters would be able to see the candidates for their home constituency using a code. Special remote voting polling stations would be set up in locations outside the constituency after the eligible voters register with the Returning Officer.Explaining the reason behind its proposal, the EC said that voter turnout had stagnated over the past few election cycles — 67.40 per cent in 2019 and 66.44 per cent in 2014. It said it was concerned that about 30 crore registered electors were choosing to skip the polls.

Google Follow Image

Similar News

Votes cast for 5 MLC seats in Maharashtra after Congress rebellion row
Times of India | 1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 07:09 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 07:09 am

MUMBAI: Polling for five MLC seats for the teachers (Nagpur, Aurangabad and Konkan) and graduates (Nashik and Amravati) constituencies, marked by a controversy over the suspension of a father-son duo from the Congress for anti-party activities and utter confusion over selection of official nominees by political parties, took place on Monday.Though there are several candidates in the fray, it appears that there will be a straight contest between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the BJP candidates. Counting will be held on February 2.The polling percentage in Nashik was 49.3; in Amravati it was 49.7, in Aurangabad 86, in Nagpur 86.2 and in Konkan it was 91 (figures rounded off).Such elections are barely controversial. But high drama was witnessed over the Nashik division graduates seat after Congress nominee Sudhir Tambe failed to submit his nomination form before the deadline and his son Satyajeet filed his instead as an independent canddiate.Sudhir Tambe is the brother-in-law of Congress legislature party leader and former revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat. The Congress high command had approved Sudhir Tambe's nomination, while he was keen on his son Satyajeet, a former state youth Congress president, getting nominated.According to former chief minister Ashok Chavan, the AICC had given Sudhir Tambe a blank authorization form so that either he or his son could file the nomination. On the last day of filing nominations, both the father and son reached the election office, but Satyajeet Tambe filed papers. MPCC president Nana Patole reacted sharply, alleging the Tambe family had ditched the Congress. According to reports, Satyajeet Tambe was vying for the BJP's support, but it did not take any decision.On the other hand, BJP activist Shubhangi Patil too was vying for the BJP's nomination, and when she failed to get it, she approached Uddhav Thackeray for the MVA's support. After several rounds of talks, the MVA alliance supported the candidature of Patil. As a result, Nashik will witness a straight between the BJP and the Congress rebel.Satyajeet' Tambe's presence in the fray is being viewed as a major embarrassment for Thorat. Patole claimed that the MVA nominees will win all five seats. "Teachers and graduates in these constituencies are with the MVA," he said. Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had toured extensively to campaign for the MVA and BJP nominees respectively for these five council constituencies.

Votes cast for 5 MLC seats in Maharashtra after Congress rebellion row
Maharashtra Minister Compared To Jyotiba Phule, Months After Ink Attack
Ndtv | 1 day ago | 30-01-2023 | 03:13 pm
Ndtv
1 day ago | 30-01-2023 | 03:13 pm

The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance

Maharashtra Minister Compared To Jyotiba Phule, Months After Ink Attack
Kingpin who stitched almost perfect passports arrested in Mumbai
Times of India | 2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 07:14 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 07:14 am

MUMBAI: The city crime branch investigating the fake passport and visa racket on Friday arrested a key accused of the gang from Chunabhatti. Fifty-nine-year-old Sanjay Dattaram Chavan is an expert in making alterations to the original passports and would add or remove pages from passports to help his customers avail European visas. Police have identified 10 people who got European visas and have flown abroad using passports and visas made by this gang. Sources said they will soon intimate the embassy concerned and issue Look Out Circulars (LOC) against them. Chavan is the third accused to be arrested in the case. He was earlier linked with the Delhi gang headed by mastermind Chandrakant Rahate, who died of Covid-19 in 2021. Chavan was produced before the 37th Metropolitan Magistrate on Friday and was remanded to police custody.Police said Chavan's arrest assumes significance as he is an expert in stitching passport pages, and it is nearly impossible for any immigration official to tell the difference between the fake and original. "The modus operandi of the gang is very unique. It would look for aspiring candidates whose portfolios for European visas are weak and whose visa application it suspects can get rejected. The accused would use their old passports to add/remove pages to show the customer's travel to countries that would help him acquire a European visa. They would also forge bank statements for the purpose," said Shyam Nair, senior inspector of crime branch unit 5. Police said the accused would charge anywhere between Rs one lakh to Rs 5 lakh depending on the customer's need and emergency.Police had last week arrested conmen Imtiaz Shaikh and Sudhir Sawant, and seized huge quantity of fake passports, visas, and rubber stamps of immigration of various countries such as the UAE, Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, Roissy, Maldives, Canada, Istanbul, France, Athens and Republic De Guatemala.Police on Tuesday raided a flat in D N Nagar in Andheri, and seized huge quantity of fake documents, including 28 fake passports, 16 colour pages of front page pictures of passports, 24 visas of various countries and rubber stamps of immigration of various countries and rubber stamps of deputy passport officer, fake rubber stamps of State Bank of India, Punjab National bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, Central Bank of India, and other materials used to make key documents.

Kingpin who stitched almost perfect passports arrested in Mumbai
It’s fake news, Rs 1000 notes not coming back from February 1 in Maharashtra
Times of India | 2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 06:49 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 06:49 am

PUNE: There is a cold wave expected between 1st-4th Feb over Maharashtra, Mumbai will experience temperatures way below 0 degrees for the first time ever." This was among thousands of forwarded messages, including "The reintroduction of Rs 1000 notes into circulation is scheduled for February 1, 2023" and "Crypto currency is now a legal instrument of payment in India " that TOI recently busted as fake.Under the Times Verified campaign, readers send any suspicious messages then see circulating on social media to this paper on the WhatsApp number 9819888887. To verify their credibility, our expert panel - comprising reporters, editors and representatives from the municipality and government - taps into its carefully-cultivated network of trustworthy sources.Launched nationally on November 21 last year, the Times Verified initiative aims to break the chain of viral misinformation and disinformation that has been infecting social media groups. Since the launch, TOI's editorial team has received close to 1.2 lakh messages, half of which turned out to be false. Besides misleading headlines like "The retirement age for all Govt employees increased to 67 from 15th Jan 2023" and "12 passengers of Yeti Airlines that crashed, have survived and are getting treated at a local medical Center in Nepal", the fake news included panic-inducing messages like "Meta announces major down time of 3 days for all its social media platforms starting 3rd Feb 2023, resulting out of scheduled maintenance."Recently, at the Election Commission of India's international conference on the use of technology election integrity in Delhi, Anthony Banbury, president of the US-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems, stated that misinformation was one of the biggest threats to democracy and electoral integrity. Banbury said technological tools were being developed and made available to individuals, candidates, political parties and "malign actors". "More and more companies are willing to sell commercial services to candidates, parties or nefarious actors who want to influence election outcomes to spread misinformation campaigns, to attack political opponents. And where those attacks are coming from are not seen by those consuming the information via social media," Banbury added.In this scenario, the job of our chain-breakers - readers who have been forwarding dubious messages to help identify red flags - is significant. Among these fake news chain-breakers today are readers like Karnataka's Rathnakar Holla, West Bengal's Tapas Das and Maharashtra's Vivek Amonkar, Subhash Bahulekar and Atul Bag. To join them in the war on misinformation, all you have to do is send anxiety-causing headlines doing the rounds of social media networks to our expert panel.

It’s fake news, Rs 1000 notes not coming back from February 1 in Maharashtra
PM Narendra Modi likely to flag off 2 Vande Bharat Express for Maharashtra on February 10
Times of India | 2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 06:03 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 06:03 am

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to flag off two Vande Bharat Express trains - CSMT-Solapur and CSMT-Shirdi - during his visit to Mumbai on February 10. As per a tentative schedule drawn by officials, Modi is expected to visit CSMT to flag off these trains that will provide easy connectivity to popular pilgrimage towns in Maharashtra. The inaugural run is tentatively scheduled at 3pm from CSMT to Shirdi and Solapur to CSMT.Maharashtra will be the first state to have two intra-state Vande Bharat Express. This will be the third Vande Bharat to operate from Mumbai, with the first running between Mumbai Central and Gandhinagar Capital. Sources said CSMT-Solapur train will run 6 days a week, the exceptions being Wednesdays from CSMT, and Thursdays from Solapur. The train is expected to depart from Solapur at 6.05am and arrive at CSMT at 12.35pm. From CSMT, the departure time will be 4.10pm; it will reach Solapur at 10.40pm. The train will take 6 hours and 30 minutes to cover this distance as against 7 hours, 55 minutes by Siddeshwar Express. Enroute, the train will have halts at Dadar, Thane, Lonavala and Kurduwadi.For regular runs, the CSMT-Shirdi will depart from CSMT at 6.15am and arrive at Sai Nagar Shirdi at 12.10pm. On its return journey, the train will leave from Sai Nagar Shirdi at 5.25pm and arrive CSMT at 11.18pm. This train will take 5 hours and 55 minutes to travel between these two destinations as against 6 hours by the existing CSMT-Sai Nagar Shirdi Express, and will halt at Dadar, Thane and Nashik road. It will run 6 days a week, except Tuesdays.Both Vande Bharat Expresses will have 16 coaches that can accommodate 1,128 passengers. Indigenously produced under Atmanirbhar Bharat, Vande Bharat has better ride comfort (Ride Index 3.2 against 3.8 earlier). It has faster acceleration with 160 kmph in 129 second as against 146 second earlier.

PM Narendra Modi likely to flag off 2 Vande Bharat Express for Maharashtra on February 10