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ECI issues notification for B’la, Jammu seats

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Jammu, Mar 18: The Election Commission of India (ECI) Monday issued notification for General Elections to Baramulla and Jammu Parliamentary Constituencies.
As per the notification, last date of filing nominations has been fixed on March 25, while the scrutiny of papers will be held on March 26 and the last date of withdrawal of candidature is March 28 up to 3 PM.
Similarly, as per the notification polling for the two seats will be held on April 11, 2019. The voting hours has been fixed from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.
Meanwhile, notification for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections was issued for other constituencies in the country as well setting in motion the high-voltage electoral battle where the BJP seeks to return to power amid opposition’s efforts to present a united fight to unseat it.
Polling would be held in 91 parliamentary constituencies spread across 20 states on April 11 under the first of the seven-phase general elections.
The Election Commission Monday issued a notification signed by President Ram Nath Kovind for the first phase of the election.
With the issuance of the notification, the nomination process has begun which would continue till March 25. Scrutiny of the nomination papers will be held on March 26 and the last day of withdrawing nomination is March 28.
By the evening of March 28, a clear picture on the number of candidates in each of the 91 constituencies will emerge.
All parliamentary constituencies in 10 states and Union Territories will go for polling in the first phase.
These include, Andhra Pradesh (25 seats), Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya (two seats each), Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep (one seat each), Telangana (17 seats) and Uttarakhand (five seats).
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will see polling in all the seven phases.
In the first phase, eight west UP constituencies, two in West Bengal and four in Bihar will go for polls. UP has 80 seats, while West Bengal and Bihar have 42 and 40 Lok Sabha seats respectively.
The Jammu and Baramulla seats in Jammu and Kashmir will also go for polling in the first phase.
The election will pit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance against mostly different opposition groupings in various states, including of Congress, the Left and regional forces who are continuing to work out a grand alliance to minimise a division of votes against the saffron party.
The BJP has worked out a seat-sharing formula with some new allies and several old partners, by even making concessions in states such as Bihar. However, opposition parties are yet to do so in several states.
While the NDA hopes to make history by coming back to power for a second full term, the Opposition wants to unseat the Modi dispensation by raising questions on its performance on a host of issues, including economic growth, unemployment, corruption and social harmony.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had led the NDA to back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999 general elections but he was at the helm for only one full term.
The BJP, which lost three state polls last year, believes its Lok Sabha campaign is back on track following decisions such as 10 per cent quota for the general category poor, money transfer to farmers and a populist budget.
What has injected further confidence into the NDA fold is the fronting of the nationalist plank in the poll campaign after the Indian Air Force’s strikes in Pakistan following the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Modi has launched an aggressive campaign accusing the opposition of coming together for the sole purpose of removing him from power, when he is working to “remove poverty, corruption and terrorism”.
He had led the NDA to a sweeping victory in 2014 as it won 336 seats, reducing then incumbent Congress to its lowest total of 44 seats.


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Danish billionaire’s 3 kids among killed

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Copenhagen, Apr 22: Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for Povlsen’s fashion firm said on Monday.
The spokesman declined to give any further details but Danish media said the family had been on holiday in Sri Lanka.
A string of bombings at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka killed 290 people and wounded about 500 in Sunday’s attacks. A senior investigator said on Monday that seven suicide bombers had taken part in the attacks.
Povlsen is the owner of fashion firm Bestseller, which includes brands like Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, and is the majority stakeholder in online retailer Asos while also holding a big stake in Zalando.
He owns more than 1 percent of all the land in Scotland, according to Forbes.

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We took bold steps to counter ‘terror’, Congress response timid: Modi

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Pimpalgaon (Maharashtra): Targeting the UPA regime on national security issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said his government took bold steps to counter ‘terror’, compared to the timid approach adopted by the Congress-led regime.

Modi’s remarks at a poll rally here in Nashik district of Maharashtra came a day after a terror attack in Sri Lanka killed 290 people in a series of eight blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in the island country.

The prime minister said that due to the bold approach adopted by his government, ‘terrorism’ has been curbed in India and is confined only to some parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Under attack from the Congress for not letting the Rafale contract go to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Modi accused the opposition party of destroying the state-run enterprise.

The HAL has a unit in Nashik.

The prime minister said his government has increased defence production under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Campaigning for BJP-Shiv Sena alliance candidates from Nashik, Dindori and Dhule Lok Sabha constituencies, Modi said the Lanka blasts took place on Easter when people were sharing the message of peace.

“What was the condition in India before 2014? Bomb explosions would take place in corners of the country every now and then in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kashi (Varanasi), Ayodhya, Jammu,” Modi said.

“What did the then Congress-NCP government do? Held condolence meeting, expressed grief. They went about crying in the world, saying Pakistan did this and that in our country,” he said.

“But what did your chowkidar do? Your chowkidar changed this timid approach of the Congress-NCP government,” Modi said.

In an apparent reference to the 2016 surgical strike and Balakot air strike carried out in February this year, Modi said the security forces barged into the “factory of terror and cleaned everything without any discrimination”.

Modi said every “terrorist” is aware that “Modi would trace him even if he is hiding in the netherworld.”

Without naming any leader from the opposition, Modi said “some” experience electric current the moment I talk about dynasty and national security.

He said the opposition was restless given the response the BJP got in the first two phases of the Lok Sabha polls across the country.

Addressing the rally in a region known for onion production, Modi said his government is trying to increase onion storage capacity and reduce tax on their transportation.

He claimed that the Congress tweaked crop prices to benefit middlemen.

“I have fought a battle against these middlemen,” he added.

“Our government working to end the rule of middlemen,” Modi said.

Speaking at a poll rally at Nandurbar later, Modi said accused the opposition parties of spreading rumours that reservations will modified if he returns to power.

Modi said he will ensure that the quota quantum is not disturbed.

“Till Modi is here, nobody can touch reservations, given to us by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he said.

Modi also assured people in the tribal dominated constituencies in north Maharashtra that his government will ensure they would not face eviction from their land.

“As long as Modi is there, reservation for adivasis will not be removed. No one can lay hand on your agricultural land you are cultivating now,” he said.

The adivasis are currently struggling to keep their land with themselves as some provisions of the Forest Rights Act are being challenged.

“In Maharashtra alone, 1.25 crore farmers’ families are benefiting from Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Yojana. If voted to power again, we will remove the upper land holding limit of five acre,” Modi said.

“My government is also going to introduce a pension scheme for farmers in coming years,” he said.

North Maharashtra produces sugarcane which can be used for ethanol production, Modi said.

It will create jobs for locals but the Congress-NCP leaders never allowed it to happen, he said.

“These leaders used to get kickbacks for importing fuel.

If fuel imports are reduced due to ethanol blending, they fear of losing their income,” Modi said.

Recalling that it was in Nandurbar that the Aadhar scheme was launched in 2010, Modi said his government ensured its wider impact.

“But and now the Congress has approached the Supreme Court against Aadhar card,” he said.

Funds meant for pregnant women and children were “looted” by Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh and were seized from residences of some of their leaders, he said.

“They (Congress) are unrelenting in abusing me as I targeted their corruption,” Modi said.

The prime minister also attacked Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for his alleged remark that those who don’t get a square meal join the army and become jawans. Modi said that according to Kumaraswamy, people who guard our borders are not children of the rich and join the armed forces because they don’t have food to eat.

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JK Cong rings Delhi even for minor decisions: Omar

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Srinagar, Apr 21: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah Sunday said Congress leaders from Jammu and Kashmir are not allowed to take decisions on their own.
“When we were in an alliance with Congress, I noticed it myself that even for minor decisions they have to seek permission from party leadership in New Delhi,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a party function in South Kashmir.
However, Omar said, NC candidates for Parliamentary Elections if elected will not have to take “dictation” from New Delhi.
“Not only New Delhi but even National Conference top leadership. Our Parliamentarians will just have to represent the voice of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Omar said people should come out to vote as boycotting elections will only help the BJP and RSS.
He said it was unfortunate that Election Commision of India was ignoring repeated violations of Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendara Modi and top BJP leadership.

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