Archive for ‘Rajiv Gandhi’

21/05/2019

EVM allegations: India poll officials deny ‘vote fraud’

EVMsImage copyright AFP
Image caption More than 1.5 million e-voting machines will be used in the summer elections

India’s election is nearly over: voting began on 11 April, and the final ballot was cast on 19 May with results out on 23 May. Every day, the BBC will be bringing you all the latest updates on the twists and turns of the world’s largest democracy.

What happened?

India’s Election Commission has denied allegations that voting machines had been tampered with in parts of India.

India’s opposition parties are meeting the election watchdog on Tuesday to demand more transparency in counting of votes on 23 May (Thursday).

Opposition leaders said the EC had to ensure that there was no possibility of anybody manipulating the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which were used to record votes in the general election that concluded on Sunday.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur constituency, a candidate belonging to the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party held a protest outside a room where the machines have been stored ahead of the counting. The candidate alleged that attempts were being made to take out the machines from the storage room.

Local officials have said the allegations are baseless.

Electronic Voting Machine

The Supreme Court has ordered the EC to tally the results from five EVMs with VVPAT receipts in at least five polling stations in every assembly seat. A parliamentary constituency comprises several assembly seats.

But opposition parties say that the tally should done for the entire constituency in case of a mismatch.

“On VVPATs and the EVM tally, the EC is yet to come out with a procedure in case there is a mismatch. Even if there is one mismatch in the EVMs or VVPAT samples picked for counting, to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, all VVPATs in that Assembly segment must be counted. This is important to maintain integrity of the electoral process,” Mr Yechury said.

If this were to happen however, it would considerably slow down the counting process and declaration of results.

Presentational grey line

PM Modi tweets tribute to former PM Rajiv Gandhi

What happened?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted on the occasion of the death anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

Mr Modi has repeatedly attacked Mr Gandhi on the campaign trail and his slurs have prompted widespread criticism.

He called Mr Gandhi the “number one corrupt man in the country” at a rally earlier this month in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. A few days later, he went after Mr Gandhi again – accusing him of using a naval aircraft carrier to take him and his family to an island for a “family holiday”.

Mr Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in 1991 during a campaign rally.

Why does this matter?

Mr Modi’s tweet marking Mr Gandhi’s death anniversary is customary – but it has garnered attention because he attacked the former prime minister repeatedly while campaigning and didn’t back down when challenged.

Many were taken aback by Mr Modi’s criticism of Mr Gandhi. It elicited condemnation not just from the main opposition Congress party, but other regional opposition leaders, political commentators and even former political opponents of Mr Gandhi.

Analysts said the comments were a sign of “desperation” and showed that Mr Modi “knew” his party was not going to perform as well as expected in the election.

Now that campaigning is over and the election is nearly at an end, Mr Modi seems to be abandoning acerbic rhetoric for something more conciliatory.

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On Monday, opposition rejects exit poll results

BJP supportersImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

What happened?

Opposition leaders have dismissed the exit polls, which suggest that the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on course to win the general election.

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12/05/2019

Indians vote in penultimate phase of seven-round general election

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Voters in north India lined up early on Sunday to cast their ballots in the second-to-last round of a seven-phase general election, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi facing a diverse group of opposition parties seeking to deny him a second term.

More than 100 million people across seven states are eligible to vote in the sixth phase of the 39-day-long poll, which Modi began on April 11 as front-runner after an escalation of tension with neighbouring Pakistan.

But opposition parties have recently taken heart at what they see as signs Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be losing ground and have begun negotiations over a post-election alliance even before polling ends on May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23.

The president of the main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, said the main issues in the election were unemployment, distress in the countryside, the demonetisation of bank notes and a new sales tax.

“It was a good fight,” Gandhi said after he cast his vote.

“Narendra Modi used hatred, we used love. And I think love is going to win.”

A lack of new jobs – despite annual economic growth of about 7% – and the plight of farmers struggling with falling crop prices have been major worries for voters.

A new good and services tax (GST), as well as Modi’s shock ban on all high-value currency notes in 2016, hurt small and medium businesses.

Some voters in the capital, New Delhi, said they were backing Modi because they were won over by his tough stand on security.

Indian warplanes attacked what the government said was a terrorist training camp in Pakistan in February, soon after a suicide car bomb attack in the disputed Kashmir region killed 40 police officers.

BIG CHANCE FOR SMALL PARTIES?

The aggressive response stirred nationalist passions that pollsters said could favour Modi in the election.

“I have voted for Modi’s sound foreign policy and national security,” said a 36-year-old first-time voter who declined to be identified.

“The demonetisation has affected jobs growth but over time, the positive effects of GST and demonetisation would take care of jobs,” he said.

But concern about unemployment and crop prices have put the BJP on the back foot, and the opposition has in recent days felt more upbeat about its chances.

Political analysts say state-based and caste-driven parties could be decisive in determining the make-up of the next government.

“Regional parties will play a bigger role compared to the previous 5 years or even 15 years,” said K.C. Suri, a political science professor at the University of Hyderabad. “They will regain their importance in national politics.”

Recent weeks have also been marked by personal attacks between leaders, including comments from Modi about the family of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty.

At a recent rally Modi called Gandhi’s late father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, “corrupt no. 1”. The BJP says Modi was reacting to Rahul Gandhi calling him a thief.

“The political vitriolic has become intense, and negatively intense,” said Ashok Acharya, a political science professor at the University of Delhi.

“It seems as if this particular election is all about a few political personalities. It is not about issues, any kind of an agenda.”

Source: Reuters

07/05/2019

‘Arrogant like Duryodhan’: Priyanka Gandhi jabs PM after ‘corrupt Rajiv’ attack

Over the last few days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party’s top leadership have scaled up attacks on the Gandhi family, particularly on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

LOK SABHA ELECTIONS Updated: May 07, 2019 17:40 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Priyanka Gandhi,Congress,PM Modi
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra(PTI file photo)
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling BJP, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Tuesday that the saffron party’s “arrogance is like that of Duryodhan”, just days after Prime Minister Modi referred to Congress general secretary’s father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi “bhrashtachari no 1”.
Without naming anyone, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said:” This country has never forgiven arrogance. Even Duryodhan had such arrogance, when Lord Krishna tried to make him see sense, he wanted to take him hostage.”
Speaking at a rally in Ambala for party candidate Kumari Selja, Priyanka Gandhi quoted poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar to reinforce her remarks. “Jab naash manuj par chaata hai, pehle vivek mar jata hai (When doom looms, first thing a human loses is the ability to discern right from wrong).”
Priyanka Gandhi slams BJP, says party’s ‘arrogance like that of Duryodhan’
Priyanka Gandhi launched an attack on BJP while addressing a rally in Ambala.
The party incharge of eastern Uttar Pradesh added: “They never fulfil the promises they make at election time, instead they either seek votes in the name of martyrs or insult the martyr members of my family.”
Over the last few days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party’s top leadership have scaled up attacks on the Gandhi family, particularly on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
At a rally in Uttar Pradesh over the weekend, PM Modi had attacked Congress president Rahul Gandhi who has been hammering the BJP-led national coalition alleging corruption in the Rafale deal.
“Your father was termed Mr Clean by his courtiers, but his life ended as corrupt no 1,” PM Modi said, provoking a sharp response from the Congress and other opposition parties.
As she spoke at an election rally in Bengal on Tuesday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said PM Modi’s attack was in bad taste. “Rajiv Gandhi died for the country. You may not like him but you should give respect to a departed leader,” Mamata Banerjee said.
The BJP response came soon after. Amit Shah, the party chief and its master strategist, wondered why PM Modi’s comment was made an issue when the latter spoke only the “truth”. “Is it not true that there was a Bofors scandal,” Shah told a public rally in Bengal insisting that the prime minister had only reminded the Congress about one fact. “It is not an insult to remind someone about the truth,” the BJP chief said.
Source: Hindustan Times
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