Times of India | 2 weeks ago | 22-07-2022 | 05:17 am
GANDHINAGAR: Seven Congress MLAs from Gujarat appear to have defied the party line and voted for National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Droupadi Murmu in the presidential election, the results revealed on Thursday. The non-compliance from the legislators comes ahead of the assembly polls scheduled to be held later this year. Congress has begun an internal inquiry to identify the MLAs who cross-voted in the July 18 election. The Congress has 63 MLAs in the assembly and support from the lone independent MLA. When the results of the presidential election were announced, it was found that only 57 MLAs voted for Congress-supported candidate Yashwant Sinha. This means that seven MLAs voted against the party line. In contrast, the NDA presidential nominee received 121 votes, while there are only 111 BJP MLAs in the Gujarat assembly. Apart from the seven Congress MLAs who voted for Murmu, two BTP MLAs and an NCP MLA also voted for her, ensuring her votes from 10 non-BJP MLAs. GPCC president Jagdish Thakor said that cross-voting by seven party MLAs was quite “shocking”. “I am astounded by the breach of trust by our own MLAs. The BJP has been indulging in unfair means to win over our MLAs, but this is shocking. We will certainly conduct an inquiry into the matter to identify and take strict action against them. They will be removed from the party.” BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas said, “Yet again, Congress MLAs have acted in the interest of the nation. “Many Congress MLAs were in support of a tribal woman being nominated as the presidential candidate and voted for Droupadi Murmu. Congress needs to understand the sentiments of its MLAs.” Of the total 182 seats in the Gujarat assembly, two have been vacated following the demise of two MLAs — Asha Patel and Anil Joshiyara — and one has been vacated following the recent resignation of Congress MLA Ashwin Kotwal. The High court has set aside the election of Dwarka MLA Pabhubha Manek.
Prior to the Assembly elections, the Election Commission will conduct a camp on four consecutive Sundays to do any sort of corrections in the voter id card.Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Officer PP Bharti said the camps will be held on four consecutive Sundays between August 21 and September 11. Those who intend to make changes in their voter id can do so by visiting the camps between 10 am and 5pm.And if someone intends to check whether their names arethere in the voter list or not,then it can be checked on the websites www.nsvp.in and www.ceo.gujarat.gov.in. Citizens can visitthe election department inthe Collectors’ office and canalso call on the helpline number 1950.Currently there are 4.83 crores registered voters in the state out of which around 2.50 crores are male and around 2.33 crore are female voters. A total of 1,291 voters belong to the third gender.
AHMEDABAD: If you are turning 18 on or before October 1, you will be eligible to vote in the state scheduled to be held later this year. P Bharathi, Gujarat's chief electoral officer, made the announcement while speaking to mediapersons on Monday. She said that people can register to vote online or at voting booths in their areas. Booth-level officers (BLOs) will visit the booths on four Sundays from August 21 to facilitate the process. "With the enrollment of first-time voters who turn 18 on October 1, the Election Commission is expecting to increase the number of first-time voters by 3-4 lakh," Bharathi said. "At present, there are 4.84 crore registered voters, of whom 2.50 crore are male and 2.34 crore are female. Moreover, 1,291 registered voters are from the third gender." A state election commission official said: "Even if a person is turning 18 on October 1 this year, he or she can register to vote." The official added: "The final and updated electoral roll will be declared on October 10." The official said that earlier turning 18 on January 1 was considered the cut-off point for voting eligibility. There has been a 16% decrease in the number of first-time voters, the 18-19 age group, in 2022 compared to 2012. The data from the electoral rolls shows there were 1.34 lakh first-time voters of the 18-19 age group in the year 2012, which dropped to 1.12 lakh in 2022. Over the past five years - from 2017 to 2022 - the decline in first-time voters has been 9.6%, from 1.24 lakh to 1.12 lakh this year. As for the current drive to update the electoral roll, officials said even those who want to get their names deleted from the voters' list or have an objection to the inclusion of any person's name in the list can raise the matter with the BLOs. Also, changes can be done on any of the four Sunday beginning from August 21, officials said. The state has decided to set up 51,782 polling booths for the forthcoming assembly elections.
Prime Minister candidate and Conservative Party leadership contender Rishi Sunak has claimed polls indicate that he is in the “best place” to win over the United Kingdom in the upcoming election.Speaking to the BBC, Rishi Sunak said that people have responded well to his message during campaigning.“Everywhere I go, there’s a lot of people who have not made up their minds. People are very receptive to the message I have got about how to restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite our country,” he said.Sunak said he is the “best person” to get to grips with all the issues that his country is facing.“I know what our members are ultimately focused on is who is best placed to beat Keir Starmer and the Labour Party in the next general election and I am the best person to do that as well as take on the job as prime minister, to get to grips with all the issues that we face,” he said.“As people saw me act during the pandemic, I will bring that same sense of urgency and grip to the government, restore trust and I am confident that I can make good progress in this race,” he added.Sunak will be up against Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the election. Ms Truss is widely considered to be the favourite to become the next Conservative Party leader, and as a result, the next British Prime Minister.Asked if he would concede given the polls suggest that Ms Truss is leading the race, Mr Sunak said: “We have to remember I did lead the parliamentary stage of this process at every round, topped the ballot at every round, have the broader support of my parliamentary colleagues and the polls show that I am the best placed to win in the general election.”“So I am going to keep going out and about on fighting hard for every vote,” he said.
AHMEDABAD: The All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Gujarat, Raghu Sharma, on Thursday said that the coming assembly election will be a direct contest between the Congress and BJP, and all other parties in the fray will be playing the role of 'B teams' of the BJP. The party observers T S Singh Deo and Milind Deora held a series of meetings with office-bearers and MLAs here. The party announced that yatras will be held across the state, after which a manifesto for the state will be announced. "The observers held several meetings with leaders and MLAs. Our focus will be on booth management through the 'Maru Booth, Maru Gaurav' programme and public outreach through yatras." Sharma said. Sharma asserted, "It will be a straight fight between the Congress and BJP. Any other party in the fray is a B-team of the BJP."
Elections to the Gujarat Assembly are likely to be held in the third week of November. The State Election Commission (SEC) has started preparations forthe polls.The announcement is likely to come soon after Diwali in October, a top-ranking official told Mirror. Earlier, there was talk of elections in the first week of December, but they are likely to be preponed.The SEC has begun revision of electoral list and registration of first-time voters. The commission is also organising camps and seminars for the staff about poll procedures and related work.This will leave very little time for the government, with just three months left. With revenue records mentioning monsoon season till September 15, no major projects can be taken up.Senior BJP leaders are quite anxious as the Bhupendra Patel government will go to polls with just one year to show its achievement. The results of the polls would also indicate if the decision of the BJP high command to change the entire ministry has worked well.Though the new government, which faced hiccups in the initial 4-5 months, has now gained pace. The image of a stop-gap government is slowly changing and many new policies and projects have been announced in the recent past.For the BJP, that the Gujarat elections are crucial is evident from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making a visit to the state every month. For the past three months, Modi has visited Gujarat more than half-a-dozen times, which has brought the state into election mode.The PM has launched several projects worth crores of rupees in the state, including the latest and most ambitious India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX), India’s first International Bullion Exchange in GIFT-IFSC. He also launched the NSE IFSC-SGX Connect. The CM is also on a launching spree laying foundations of many projects that focus on urban areas.Party programmes are being held at the district level and MLAs have been asked to focus on their constituencies. However, there are chances that many of the present MLAs would not be repeated.