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Congress accuses Madhya Pradesh CM of luring voters; BJP denies allegations

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Bhopal/New Delhi: The Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission (EC) demanding action against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for allegedly inducing a local BJP leader to muster support for Saturday’s by-poll in Garoth assembly constituency after promising him favours.

An audio tape containing a purported conversation between the Chief Minister and local BJP leader Rajendra Choudhary has gone viral on various social websites.

In the tape, given to the EC by the Congress, Chouhan is heard asking BJP leader Rajendra Choudhary to support the party’s nominee for the Garoth assembly by-poll in Mandsaur district. He is also heard offering Choudhary a position in the government in return for the task.

“We must not lose. Everybody’s prestige, including yours and mine, would go down … I would make you. I know you were also equally eligible (to get the ticket for the seat). After election, I will look after your interests,” the chief minister is heard telling Choudhary.

The chief minister is also heard as saying that he knew about the local leader’s aspiration to contest the election for the seat for which he could not secure the official nod.

The BJP, however, denied the allegations, saying the audio tape was just part of Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh’s dirty politics.

“It is a non-issue, just a part of Digvijaya Singh’s dirty politics. Congress makes efforts to malign image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan before every election,” BJP leader Vishwas Sarang told reporters in Bhopal.

Speaking on the issue, Digvijaya Singh said that he would want the EC to send the tape to a forensic lab to get its authenticity checked.

“The BJP has said the tape is fake. I want that the Election Commission should send it to a forensic lab and see whether it is fake. I take full responsibility of this tape if it is found fake,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

“This is how the BJP works. Accusations against them are wrong and against us are right … This shows their mentality,” he said.

“This is against the electoral code of conduct. We have demanded an Election Commission probe. They have assured us that they will probe the matter,” he said.

A delegation comprising senior leaders Digvijay Singh and Mohan Prakash and Congress legal cell secretary K.C. Mittal met the Election Commission on Friday afternoon.

Congress candidate Subhash Sojatia also filed a complaint on Friday at Bhanpur police station of Mandsaur district after the audio clip went viral on social media.

Mandsaur SP Manoj Sharma told IANS that the complaint has been forwarded to the Election Commission.

Chouhan has addressed many public meetings in support of party candidate Chandar Singh Sisodia. (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)