Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Congress Bengal shutdown evokes partial response

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Kolkata: Government and commercial establishments were functioning normally in most parts of West Bengal as a Congress sponsored 12 hour shutdown on Tuesday against the “anarchy and lawlessness” in the state evoked partial response.
While the shutdown was largely effective in Congress strongholds of Murshidabad and Malda districts, it evoked little response in others parts of the state including the state capital Kolkata.

Photo credit: www.sify.com
Photo credit: www.sify.com

Train movement particularly the suburban train services on the Sealdah section was disrupted with Congress activists resorting to demonstrations on the tracks.

“Train services were temporarily disrupted on the Sealdah section due to demonstrations. But now the services are running normal. No such disruptions, so far has been reported on the Howrah route,” an Eastern Railway spokesperson said.

In the city, public transport system including the buses and the metro train services operated normally.

Many Congress activists have been arrested across the state for attempting to forcibly enforce the shutdown called by the party against the “growing anarchy and lawlessness”, including the lynching of a college student in Sabang of West Midnapore district.

There were also reports of vandalism in some parts of the state by the shutdown enforcers.

While a bus was attacked and its wind shields broken in Howrah, the block development officer in Sabang alleged Congress activists ransacked his office and assaulted him.

In Murshidabad and Malda, educational institutions and commercial establishments remained shut although government offices were open.

While the Congress termed the shutdown successful, the ruling Trinamool has ridiculed it, dubbing the call “completely ineffective”.

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the administration of resorting to violence to foil the shutdown after his party supporters were baton charged by the police in Baharampur of Murshidabad disyrict for allegedly preventing employees from entering the land revenue office.

“The police have not even spared women and are raining batons on us for participating in a democratic protest. If this government thinks it can deter us with violence then we are ready even to receive bullets,” said Chowdhury.

Congress legislator and former state minister Manas Bhuniya claimed the shutdown was successful.

“People have wholeheartedly supported the shutdown, markets are closed, schools and colleges are closed and the attendance in government offices is negligible. The government is forcibly operating buses and trains but they are deserted,” said Bhuniya.

But Trinamool leader and state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee dubbed the shutdown as “completely ineffective”.

(IANS)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)

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