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Showing posts with the label state elections

North East: Ambit Of AFSPA Reduced In Three States, Final Triumph For Irom Sharmila!

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In a historic move today the Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has announced a reduction in the ambit of the dreaded Armed Forces Special Powers Act-1958 (AFSPA) in three North Eastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. As per the details of the announcement the AFSPA has been removed in 23 districts of Assam, in 7 in Nagaland and in 6 districts of Manipur (under 20 police stations). The home minister said that this decision is made following a drastic improvement in the security situation of the insurgency-infested states and a palpable progress in moving toward peace and development. He claims the move as a credit for the devoted commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. No doubt, the present Chief Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, after defecting from the Congress, had led BJP (ruling Bharatiya Janata Party) to victory in Assam in 2016 and in 2021, and has contributed immensely in establishing dominance of the BJP in nearly all states of the region. So then, some credit

Assembly Elections-2022 Results: BJP Set To Win The Semi-Finals 4-1, A Decimated Congress Confirmed As The Cause Of Split Opposition!

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has created history in the volatile state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), interspersed with President’s Rule on many an occasion over the past decades, by overriding the anti-incumbency factor that has been in operation in the last 25 years to retain power, and Yogi Adityanath is set to become the first ever Chief Minister of UP to have two consecutive terms. Although the election battle in the state had been fought with open polarization tactics with the Hindutva campaign in full flow the victory with a comfortable majority is still an unprecedented achievement in light of the hurdles of the last two years—the woes of the migrant workers in the COVID-19 pandemic first wave; the abysmal management in the COVID-19 second wave with the rain of deaths and bodies floating the river Ganga; the farmers’ agitation and violence; the uncontrollably high unemployment rate; and the palpable anger of the citizens felt on almost every locality of the state.   As per the

ECI Extends Ban On Public Election Rallies Till February 11: Economic Survey Tabled And Budget-2022 Tomorrow!

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We must commend the constitutionally autonomous body of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for sticking to its strong resolve to make the upcoming 7-phase state assembly elections COVID-safe for all by extending the pandemic ban on rallies/roadshows till February 11 following a review for the second time today which is quite effectively done as the first phase of the elections begins on 10 th February. While announcing the dates for assembly elections in five states on 8 th January the ECI banned all public rallies, roadshows and bike or cycle marches till 15 th of that month subject to a review on 15 th January and in that review the ECI stuck to its ban, only allowing physical rallies subject to a maximum of 500 persons for the political party candidates to contest in the first phase from January 28, a date when all formalities of nominations for that phase are completed. Similarly, for the second phase the relaxed rallies to commence from 31 st January with the same restri

Assembly Election Dates Announced By The ECI: Step Aside, Omicron!

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has today, a day when the country logged 1,41,986 new COVID-19 cases, announced the dates for assembly elections in 5 states of India, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, starting from February 10, 2022. The polling in all five states will be completed between 10 th February and 7 th March in seven phases while the counting is to take place on 10 th March for all five states. UP election will be spread over all the seven phases till 7 th March; Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa will have single phase polls on 14 th February; and Manipur will have two-phase polling due to security concerns in the state on 27 th February and March 3, 2022. More than 180 million citizens are set to exercise their voting rights during this what is often referred as festival of democracy.   The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sushil Chandra, assured while addressing a press conference in the national capital Delhi that the elections would b

The Indian Ironies With The Courts Finally Trying To Iron Out!

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  Yesterday, the 23 rd of December 2021, I, and perhaps millions of citizens of India, had been eagerly waiting for the emergency meet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on COVID-19 situation in view of the fast-spreading Omicron scare, expecting some major steps; however, nearly the  whole day the honorable PM had been busy addressing rallies in the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh with thousands of citizens or voters cheering him in mostly mask-less fascination, while the social distancing was reduced to an absurdity as always. And then, in the evening the PM, back in the capital, found the time to chair the important meeting, and sounded a pan-India alert announcing the precautions to be taken. We have no option but to wonder: why doesn’t the beloved leader of millions lead by examples like bringing the mass rallies into the ambit of the restrictions. During the second wave early this year too we witnessed the same cardinal mistake of going ahead with the assembly elections, and we a

Omicron Vs Maharashtra Vs Centre: What’s Wrong In Taking Stronger Safety Measures?

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Not only on the front of fighting and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, but on every possible issue under the sun that the central government has been finding faults with the Maharashtra government with unfailing regularity since the Shiv Sena moved away from the winning combine with the BJP and formed a coalition government with the NCP and the Congress in 2019. Now, the clash is on a very dangerously suspenseful issue of containing the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and any political rivalry on this may lead to a situation where it is not at all clear who is going to have the last laugh; we better not call it the last laugh, because this is strictly not a laughing matter, if we still remember the catastrophe of the Second Wave that hit the country the hardest due to total neglect, complacency and lack of any kind of preparedness of the central government. Of course, at the moment the situation is much different than in late 2020 and early 2021 with rising vaccination figures and more

Prime Minister Speaks: And Then The Three Farm Laws To Be Repealed!

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In a totally unexpected development, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in an address to the nation early morning today has, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Birth anniversary called Guru Purab or Prakash Parv (a holy festival observed by the Sikhs on the birth/demise anniversaries of the their Saints/Gurus), announced the Government’s decision to repeal the three controversial Farm Laws the constitutional formalities of which are going to be completed in the winter session of the Indian Parliament starting from 29 th November 2021. The Prime Minister, though, stoutly defended the Farm Laws saying that these reforms were brought in favor of the farmers, particularly the small and marginal farmers; however, he admitted that the laws could not convince sections of the farmers and dissatisfied cultivators cannot be left behind. Narendra Modi added that perhaps the government’s ‘dedication’ to uplift the cultivators of the country was not enough. The Prime Minister also promised to

COVID-19 Second Wave: India’s Worst Ever Health Crisis That Nobody Prepared For!

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For the 5 th consecutive day India’s daily new COVID-19 cases have been more than the unbelievable 2, 00,000 or 2 Lakh mark, with over 2.73 Lakh cases in the last 24 hours. Compared to the first pandemic peak of around 97,000 reached in mid-September 2020, we are staring at the mind-boggling fact that the daily numbers have almost tripled and are scared to guess the second peak even if it comes sooner than later, hopefully. Fatalities have also crossed the daily 1000 mark again as more 1600 people perished in the last 24 hours. However, the eternal chest-thumping self-styled ‘saviors’ of our country say that as per the deaths of around 1000 when the daily cases were less than 1 Lakh the fatalities now could have been three times higher, around 3000 per day, the negation of which means that the fatality rates are still low or even lower. Yes, numbers don’t matter for them; it is only their rates that have always been important, and they were boasting of India’s low fatality rate last y

COVID-19 Second Wave In India Threatens To Overtake The First Pandemic Peak!

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The fear has always been there about the Pandemic not saying quits in a hurry, be it in India or in the US or in Europe or anywhere. Yet, people, even governments, everywhere have been loath to carry on with the COVID-19 protocols and appropriate behavior. India, after the United States, has been marked out in this care-a-hoot mentality. And both of these countries are suffering heavily, apart from others where new Corona variants have created more havoc than inappropriate behavior. New daily cases of COVID-19 have been rising exponentially in at least eleven states of India since mid-March 2021. Personally speaking, when I left Mumbai in that period for domestic reasons daily cases in Maharashtra, the worst affected state, were around 6000-8000 and in the financial capital daily cases were hovering around 1000 per day. And now, new cases have reached nearly 50000 in the last twenty-four hours in Maharashtra while in Mumbai daily new cases have crossed 9000 in the last twenty-four hour

Bihar Elections-2020: Was Chirag Paswan BJP’s Conscious Strategy?

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  Defying all exit polls, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) came back to power with a simple majority in the closely fought Bihar Assembly Elections-2020, giving the fourth consecutive CM-term and fifth overall to Nitish Kumar. All of the exit polls gave simple to two-third majority to the MGB (Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance) led by the young energetic face of Bihar, Tejaswi Yadav, son of the Bihar stalwart and former Chief Minister for three terms, Laloo Prasad Yadav, who had been in jail since a long time on corruption cases, and predicted Tejaswi to be the next CM. One or two exit polls indicated, in the worst scenario, a hung assembly.   Various reasons have been ascribed for the incredible comeback of the NDA against all odds. The primary reasons are: the continuing influence of the Modi-factor, the 12 crucial rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar where he warned people against falling for the ‘Jungle Reign’ of the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) led by L