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Congress-led UDF firmly placed to face civic polls

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Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling Congress-led UDF is ready and on a strong wicket to face the upcoming local body elections, a top UDF leader asserted on Tuesday.

photo credit: articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com
photo credit: articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Speaking to reporters here after a United Democratic Front (UDF) meeting, its convenor P.P.Thankachen said the meeting concluded that the UDF was prepared for the polls and confident of performing well.

“Politically, we have found out there is a strong wind in favour of the UDF. This has risen on account of the numerous development activities that the UDF government has done in both towns and cities of the state,” he said.

“In our assessment, the UDF is strongly poised to do well at the polls, similar to what happened last time (2010). The pointer to this came when we won the recent Aruvikara by-election,” said Thankachen.

On the difference of opinion between the State Election Commissioner (SEC) and the state government over the timing of the upcoming local body elections, Thankachen denied any rift between the two.

Stating that Monday’s talks between the two were very cordial and media reports about it were not true, Thankachen said: “At yesterday’s talks, an agreement was reached between the chief minister and the SEC.”

“It was decided that when the affidavit to the high court is going to be filed on the 3rd of next month, the date and the schedule of the polls will be there. The government has assured the SEC that it would lend all support for the smooth conduct of the polls,” he added.

As per the current scheme of things all the new local bodies will have to assume office latest by November 1, but the recent delimitation exercise appears to have derailed this.

While the state government wants the polls to be based on the recent delimitation, the SEC feels that the process is yet to be completed and it would be better to have it based on the 2010 list.

This issue is presently before the Kerala High Court which is expected to give its verdict next month.

Thankachen also said that the UDF was united and all issues which were to be ironed out between the allies, would be done before the next UDF meeting to be held here on September 10.

(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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