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1.2 Mn Tweets Recorded For Assembly Elections in India

Voting in the five state will take place between November 12 and December 7

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The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

As the nation gears up for the Assembly polls in Chattisgarh, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana, conversations and debates on Twitter in the past week alone recorded 1.2 million tweets related to #AssemblyElections2018, the microblogging site said.

Among the initiatives that Twitter launched for the state elections include special emoji, #ElectionOnTwitter events, as well as live Q&As on the platform.

From now until December 23, citizens can activate a special Twitter #AssemblyElections2018, Twitter said on Saturday.

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The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California. VOA

To activate the emoji, users can use hashtags such as #AssemblyElections2018, #IndiaElections2018, #IndiaDecides, among others.

These initiatives are aimed at supporting citizens in having their say in the public conversation leading up to voting day and engaging with political candidates and political leaders directly, Twitter said.

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Voting in the five state will take place between November 12 and December 7, while counting of votes for all the five states will be held on December 11. (IANS)

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IOC Cancels Places for 2020 Tokyo Games from India after it Refused Visas to Pakistan

India has accused Pakistan of involvement in a suicide bombing in Kashmir last week that killed 40 paramilitary soldiers and has vowed to "isolate" its arch-rival neighbor over the attack.

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IOC, Olympic, India, tokyo games, pakistan
FILE - Shimaa Hashad of Egypt takes part in a pratice session with an air rifle at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, in New Delhi, Feb. 20, 2019. VOA

The International Olympic Committee on Thursday canceled places for the 2020 Tokyo Games shooting competition to be awarded at an event in India after the host country refused to give visas to Pakistani shooters, the head of the sport’s governing body said.

India has accused Pakistan of involvement in a suicide bombing in Kashmir last week that killed 40 paramilitary soldiers and has vowed to “isolate” its arch-rival neighbor over the attack.

Sixteen qualifying places for the Tokyo Games were to be decided at the opening shooting World Cup event in New Delhi. But Vladimir Lisin, president of the ISSF world body, said these would now go to other qualifying events.

“The International Olympic Committee informed us this World Cup will not be included in the competitions for Olympic quotas,” Lisin, himself an IOC executive member, told the tournament opening ceremony late Thursday.

“The quotas will be distributed at another World Cup. No one can be discriminated against and we have to follow the IOC decision as part of the IOC family,” he added.

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FILE – Indian paramilitary soldiers stand by the wreckage of a bus after an explosion in Pampore, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

The IOC said it was deliberating on the controversy and would soon announce a decision.

Over 500 shooters are taking part in the Indian event, for which competition starts Saturday.

Pakistan, which has denied any role in the Kashmir attack, says two shooters and a coach were denied visas to attend the contest.

Lisin said the International Shooting Sport Federation and the Indian organizing committee had done everything possible to get the shooters to the contest.

But National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh said he could not go against the Indian government’s decision.

Singh also insisted no final decision on the Olympic places had been taken.

“Nothing is canceled as of now. The status as of now is we don’t know,” Singh told reporters. “There are meetings that are going on where the position is being assessed by the IOC and the government.”

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Amid widespread anger over last week’s Kashmir attack, some calls have also been made for India’s cricket team to boycott its scheduled World Cup game against Pakistan in England later this year.

Media reports said Indian cricket’s governing body, the BCCI, had prepared a letter calling for Pakistan to be banned from the cricket World Cup. (VOA)