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North East Election 2018

Rahul Gandhi promises to defend cultural diversity of Meghalaya

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Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his speech in Shillong said that the people of Meghalaya should be proud of their diverse culture and Congress will defend the diversity.

 

Congress President Rahul Gandhi started his election campaigning in full swing from Tuesday in a poll-bound North-East. Ahead of assembly polls, Rahul Gandhi headed a State Congress Committee meeting in Shillong. After his visit to the state, he tweeted, “Huge crowds, excitement and energy here in Meghalaya, where we launched our campaign today for the assembly elections. My family and I have had a special bond with the people of the North East and I enjoy renewing and strengthening that bond with every visit.” He posted the tweet with a hashtag #OneMeghalaya.

Rahul Gandhi who is on a visit to the states of North-east also participated in ‘Celebration of Peace’ event. The event rejoices the way of living of people of Meghalaya. Gandhi was then presented with a white rose as a token of peace. He said his family has a special bond with the North-East. “Even though it is slightly cold here, I like Shillong very much,” said Rahul.

Rahul Gandhi took this opportunity to address the youth of the state. He said that his message is not only for the youth of the Meghalaya but also for the youth of the country. Hailing the diversity of India, Rahul Said, “Our nation’s strength is our diverse culture, our different languages, our different ways of thinking and we are strongest when all of us stand together in our diversity.”

Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi takes part in ‘Celebration of Peace’ event

Talking about the opportunities for the people of Meghalaya, Rahul added that the state like every other space has a space in India. He said, “No matter how small the state is, their dreams, their aspirations are equally important.”

Addressing the youths of the state he urged them to hold pride in their diverse culture, language and religion. Rahul Gandhi also assured the people that the Congress will defend this diversity. He said, “We stand with you and we will defend your culture and your way of thinking.”

Talking about the plans in coming future, he said he will be visiting the state soon and will be conversing with youngsters. “I will be back here soon for an extended period,” Rahul assured.

Election Special

Over 1.74 lakh EVMs store fate of 8,500 candidates of five states

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New Delhi | The electoral fate of over 8,500 candidates of five states which went to polls recently is sealed in over 1.74 lakh EVMs which will be opened Tuesday. These electronic voting machines are now stored in over 670 strongrooms across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana.

A total of 1,74,724 EVMs were used at polling stations in the five states. The maximum 65,367 machines were used in Madhya Pradesh. A little over 8,500 candidates were in fray in the five states with 2,907 in Madhya Pradesh. After voting, the EVMs have been stored in strongrooms. According to the Election Commission, there is one strongroom earmarked for every assembly seat. EVMs which were kept as reserve or had developed snag are kept in a separate facility.

A total of 679 assembly seats in the five states were to go for election, but due to the death of a candidate in Rajasthan, polling was countermanded on one seat. The strongrooms will be opened on Tuesday in the presence of candidates or their representatives from where machines will be taken to counting centres. The results will set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

These five Assembly elections would be crucial for the BJP as it gears up for the Lok Sabha election next year and is in power in three of these states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. While the Congress is in power in Mizoram, Telangana Rashtra Samithi ruled Telangana before the Assembly was dissolved.

The BJP is trying for a fourth term in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and to retain power in Rajasthan. The three states also played a significant role for the BJP in the 2014 general election, when it had won 62 out of the 65 Lok Sabha seats in these three states.

The elections also hold significance for the Congress, which is out to challenge the BJP’s rule in the states even while protecting its last bastion in the North-East. Mizoram is the only remaining state in the North-East, which is not under the rule of BJP-led NDA. The eight North-East states together have 25 Lok Sabha seats.

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North East Election 2018

Assam panchayat repoll: 73 per cent voting recorded

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Guwahati | Around 73 per cent voters exercised their franchise in repolling for panchayat election held in 15 polling stations of seven districts of Assam on Friday, Assam State Election Commission sources said. Panchayat polls were held in the first phase on Thursday and the repolling was necessitated due to anomalies found in the ballot papers. “An estimated 73.16 per cent polling was recorded in repolling held in 15 polling stations. Voting was peaceful,” the sources said.

Repolling was held in polling stations in Dhemaji, Kamrup, Bishwanath, Charaideo, Lakhimpur and Jorhat districts. Over 75 per cent people cast their votes in the first phase of panchayat elections held in 16 districts to decide the political fate of 43,515 contestants in 15,899 posts in the three tiers of panchayati raj – Zilla Parishad, Anchalik Panchayat and Gaon Panchayat.

Altogether 442 candidates of various parties have already been declared winners uncontested. The second phase of polling will be held on December 9, when fates of 35,056 candidates will be decided for 10,909 posts by 64,21,518 voters through 9,428 polling booths in 13 districts.

The counting for both the phases will take place on December 12.

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North East Election 2018

BJP ruling for 50 years an exaggeration: MNF chief Zoramthanga

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“Because we are Christians. BJP wants to promote the Hindutva. We cannot be together as far as these things are concerned,” Zoramthanga said.

 

Aizawl| Mizo National Front, a constituent of the BJP-led NEDA, dismissed saffron party chief Amit Shah’s remarks that the party will rule India for the next 50 years if it wins the 2019 general elections, saying he is not a God and the prediction is an exaggeration.

The principal opposition party in Mizoram is, however, confident that the Congress or the UPA will not come to power at the Centre in the next year’s general elections.

Former chief minister and MNF chief Zoramthanga told PTI in an interview that his party and the BJP can never be allies in the hill state because of the saffron party’s Hindutva politics.

“I doubt. He (Shah) is not a God. He cannot predict that in politics. Even Modi cannot predict that. That is his wishful thinking. Nobody can predict that” he said when asked about Shah’s claim of BJP ruling for the next 50 years.

The Congress is not coming to power again in 2019 at the Centre and nobody can predict how many decades it will take to form the next government, the veteran politician from the north-east said.

“For decades, he (Shah) may predict that Congress will not come to power. But to predict for 50 years or 100 years, it is rather an exaggeration,” Zoramthanga said.

In September, Shah had said at the BJP’s National Executive meeting that the party will win the 2019 elections because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hard work and then no one can dethrone it for the next 50 years.

Talking about the relations between the MNF and the BJP, the two-time chief minister said he was completely against the BJP as far as the ideology and other things are concerned.

“Because we are Christians. They want to promote the Hindutva. We cannot be together as far as these things are concerned. We have a different ideology.

“But as far as the country is concerned, the NDA is better than the UPA and that is why we joined them at the Centre. But ideologically, the MNF and the BJP are poles apart. The BJP knows it very well,” he said.

In the recently held Assembly elections in Mizoram, the MNF contested alone against the ruling Congress and the BJP. Both the Congress and the MNF contested in all the 40 constituencies, while the BJP fought in 39 seats.

The Congress has been in power in Mizoram since 2008 and is eyeing a third consecutive term. In the 2013 elections, the Congress had won 34 seats, while the MNF got five and Mizoram People’s Conference one.

Mizoram went to polls on November 28 and counting of votes will be taken up on December 11.

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