Monsoon is wreaking havoc in Uttarakhand. Seven people have been reported killed in rain-related incidents in the state capital of Dehradun alone. Schools have been ordered shut as a precaution. Heavy rains over the past two days has caused rivers to swell, and wash away bridges in some places. A heavy rain warning remains in place across the state over the next three days.
Of the seven people who have been killed, four died when a building collapsed in Dehradun’s Seemadwar. Three others were washed away in Dalanwala, Sahaspur and Balliwala.
Some off the highways in the state have been blocked by landslides. National Highway-94, which connects Chamba with Rishikesh, has been blocked by landslides near Fakot and Bhinnu. Efforts are underway to clear the blockages and re-open the roads.
Heavy rain lashed southern Himachal Pradesh and most parts Uttarakhand, causing a massive run-off of rain water into streams and rivers. Pictures (see above) emerged on Wednesday morning showing a bridge washed away in Pithoragarh, close to the border with Nepal.
The alert for heavy rain over Chamoli, Pauri and Rudraprayag districts remains in place for Wednesday. Reports say Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has cancelled the leaves and holidays of all officers. They have been asked to stay at their respective posts in a bid to shave off response time to the extent possible
The rising water levels in the many rivers in the hll state is a particular cause for concern. The state had witnessed widespread destruction because of flash floods and landslides in 2013. The floods had killed 5,478 people and left thousands displaced. Over a lakh pilgrims were also left stranded by the landslides and bridge collapses.
The destruction caused by the floods was magnified manifold since the early spell of rain had caused debris to choke up some points of the rivers. When the flow further increased because of the higher-than-normal rain, the blockages caused by the debris was washed away with force, to devastating effect downstream.
The Indian Air Force, Navy and Army had been pressed into rescue services. They airlifted thousands of people to safety. Other major agencies involved in the rescue operations were the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Border Security Force (BSF).
The floods had also revealed the extent of destruction caused by the wide scale of illegal construction in the state. Unauthorised overdevelopment had weakened the soil at a number of places, leading to ground collapses and more landslides.
Naveen Patnaik-led BJD sweeps Odisha assembly polls
Mumbai: Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) clinches a clean sweep in the Odisha assembly elections. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has tried to increase the vote margin than the previous elections.
The BJD has secured 94 seats. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has joined the race with 28 seats, the Indian National Congress (INC) managed to attain 12 seats and the Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM) with 1 seat.
The counting of votes began at 8 am. The Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha took place simultaneously in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
In 2014 Odisha assembly election, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had won 117 seats out of the total 147. The Congress had won 16 seats while the BJP, on the other hand, 10 of the 147 assembly seats.
An Odisha-centric exit poll jointly done by Sambad, the most circulated regional daily in the state, and Kanak News, its group-owned TV channel, gives BJD a massive lead over its closest rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sampling a survey of over 100,000 respondents, the exit poll forecasts BJD winning 85-95 of the 147 Assembly seats, where outcomes were polled till this report was filed. The BJP is seen contending with a distant second spot with 25-34 seats, while for the Congress, the poll trend is a reprisal of its mortifying electoral performance in 2014. Congress party’s presence is seen diminishing to 12-15 seats.
A collective prediction of Kanak News and News18 Odia for the Odisha Assembly Election 2019 projects BJD’s win. On the other hand, the BJP may add more to its 2014 tally by 16 seats, which comes up to 26 of the 147-seat assembly. Congress, on the other hand, may manage to win only 12 seats, a drop of four seats less than what it had won in the 2014 polls. The other parties will collectively win 24 seats in Odisha.
Among the main candidates in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik contested in two seats – Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh. Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra contested from Bolangir assembly seat, while BJP’s legislature party leader KV Singhdeo is contested from Patnagarh.
Before the gradual rise of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) – formed by Biju Patnaik and his son Naveen Patnaik, the political arena was dominated by the Congress.
The upsurge of Congress party in the state as the only secular, progressive force in Odisha was countered by the BJD, which has managed to gain a majority for the last three consecutive terms. The BJP has also made its presence felt in the state, and is considered an important political party in Odisha.
The regional parties apart from BJD in the state are Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Janata Dal(United), Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Samajwadi Party (SP).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM), Indian National Congress (INC) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are the national parties in Odisha at present.?
Odisha, earlier known as Orissa, has a rich and varied political tradition. From the ancient times, the state has remained politically active. However, Odisha’s political prominence was heightened after it was granted complete statehood in 1950. Odisha has a 147-member strong Vidhan Sabha.
‘Was expected, it is people’s victory,’ says Jaganmohan Reddy
Amaravati: With his YSR Congress heading for a landslide victory in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh, party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy Thursday termed it as people’s victory.
He also said the YSRC’s victory was expected. “I sincerely thank the people who overwhelmingly voted for YSRC and blessed it. I also thank them for exercising their franchise in large numbers and enhanced the value of democracy,” Jaganmohan Reddy said in a Facebook post.
“I will live up to the expectations of the people,” he promised.
According to the trends, YSRC is leading in over 150 seats of the total 175 in the State.
The party is leading in 23 Lok Sabha seats, while the TDP in two.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called Reddy over phone and congratulated him over the YSRC’s thumping win in the general elections. Wishing Reddy all the best, Rao hoped he would lead Andhra Pradesh further on the path of progress.
Later, talking to the media at his residence here, the YSRC chief congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP’s stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
Reddy asserted that his fight for securing special category status for Andhra Pradesh would continue. He declined to speak about Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the YSRC Legislature Party will meet here on May 25 to formally elect Jaganmohan Reddy as its leader, party sources said. The sources said Reddy will take oath as Chief Minister in the temple-town of Tirupati on May 30.
BJP loses Parrikar’s Panaji Assembly seat to Congress
Panaji: Congress’ Atanasio Monserratte on Thursday wrested Panaji Assembly seat, held by the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, from the BJP and with a margin of over 1,775 votes in the by-poll held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.
The Panaji Assembly seat became vacant after the demise of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who held the seat for nearly two-and-a-half decades since 1994.
The BJP had fielded Siddharth Kunkolienkar to retain the seat.
Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which BJP currently has 12 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three independents. GFP and MGP each have three MLAs.
Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house till now.