News on Elections and Politics
Final Phase of Haryana Panchayat Polls Held
The third and final phase of Haryana Panchayat elections recorded an impressive 86.70% voter turnout on Sunday. It saw more turnout than the first two phases with Sirsa district recording the highest. According to State Election Commissioner Rajeev Sharma, the voter turnout was 91.6% in Sirsa.
Except for a few incidents of violence in Mewat district, polling was largely peaceful, free and fair in the third phase. Repolling was duly conducted at the two booths of Mewat district where miscreants damaged two Electronic Voting Machines.
This was the first election since the controversial amendments to Haryana Panchayati Raj Act. According to the amendments made, the minimum educational qualification necessary for a candidate to contest in general category is Class 10; it is Class 8 for women and scheduled castes (SC) and Class 5 for SC women. Besides, the candidate cannot have any pending electricity bills or be a loan defaulter from a cooperative bank. These criteria have made very few candidates eligible and thereby unanimous elections in many villages.2016-01-25 12:04:30 PM
Amit Shah Re-elected As BJP Chief
Amit Shah was elected unopposed for a second term as Bharatiya Janata Party president on Sunday. His tenure is a full three years. He was first appointed as the party president in July, 2014 to complete Home Minister Rajnath Singh's tenure in that capacity. Shah's re-election was observed amid much fanfare with all major BJP members, ministers, state chief ministers in attendance. Party veterans L.K. Adavani and M.M. Joshi were, however, conspicuous by their absence.
Amit Shah does not seem very popular among party workers who feel he has turned the BJP into a corporate entity. Nonetheless, Shah continues to enjoy the confidence of Narendra Modi who favours him despite the party's loss in Delhi and Bihar. Other party leaders concede that Shah has his strengths and weaknesses but stress that the party has expanded a lot under his leadership.
Shah faces an important challenge in 2016. With some five assembly elections this year and two more next year, Shah has his task cut out. It is now upon him to repair his image and prove that the Delhi and Bihar debacles were just aberrations.2016-01-25 11:25:23 AM
Union Cabinet Proposes President's Rule in Arunachal
The BJP-led union government today recommended president's rule in the border state of Arunachal Pradesh on account of breakdown of law and order. This decision was taken following an unscheduled emergency meeting in which the cabinet held the view that there is lack of governance in the state. The recommendation has been sent to the President for his assent. Arunachal Pradesh is currently under Congress rule. The Opposition has criticised this move in strongest terms and alleged that the BJP government at the Centre is trying to trample democracy. The Congress party said that it will challenge this decision in the Supreme Court.
It must be noted that Arunachal Governor J.P. Rajkhowa's decision to advance an assembly session without the state government’s consent last December is already under scrutiny of the five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court.2016-01-25 10:47:28 AM
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