The Bidhannagar municipal election turned into a virtual battlefield since morning with several incidents of booth capturing, rigging, brick batting and hurling bombs reported from Karunamoyee, Baishakhi and several other places of Bidhannagar.
Former finance minister and Karunamoyee candidate Ashim Dasgupta said their agents were beaten at various places in Karunamoyee.
CPI (M) agent Amit Ghosh received a severe head injury and was admitted to a nearby hospital.
“We contacted the State Election Commission as well as the police several times. But every such attempt went futile as the police acted as Trinamool cadre. However we will fight till the end. It’s the people who will win in the end, not the hooligans,” said Dasgupta to the media.
An ABP reporter was manhandled by the TMCP goons in Rajarhat.
This is surely not the kind of change people are voting for.
IRAN, May 26, 2017: Iran’s sprawling southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province is notorious for insecurity, poverty, drug trafficking, and deadly clashes between security forces and militants.
More recently, however, it made headlines this month for sweeping a record number of women onto city and village councils.
Officials say the number of women elected to local councils in the Sunni-majority province, which shares borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, more than doubled.
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“Four hundred and fifteen women have been elected to the city councils in the province,” Governor Ali Osat Hashemi was quoted by Iranian media as saying on May 23, up from just 185.
In one village, Afzalabad, in the district of Khash, all 10 candidates on the council ballot on May 19 were women.
The numbers remain low nationally. Of the more than 287,000 candidates registered for last week’s elections, just 6 percent were women, according to official figures.
But moderates and reformists, bolstered by the rise to power of President Hassan Rohani and their success in the 2016 parliamentary elections, have aimed at ending the tight grip of conservatives on local politics.
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Rohani, a veteran politician who has risked crossing Iran’s powerful unelected establishment with calls for modest reform inside the country and on the international scene, was reelected on May 19 with 57 percent of the vote. The victory was widely seen as a blow to political and cultural hard-liners and an expression of Iranians’ desire for interaction with the world.
“Despite having university educations, [women] don’t have freedom of speech. I want to defend them,” Esmat Irandagani told the Iranian daily Shahrvand. She said she did very little campaigning and owed her victory to the women in her village who encouraged her to run “to help them” get their handicrafts more recognition.
“I was a volunteer for the Red Crescent. I also worked one year as a reporter. Now I want to do work for the women in my village,” Irandagani said, adding that men had not successfully developed the village.
Women Taking Charge
Gains on city councils follow the appointment in recent years of more women to senior posts in the region, including as governors, mayors, and prefects.
Khash Governor Mohammad Chakerzehi credited Rohani’s administration with advancing the political role of women, saying the government in Tehran’s effort to increase the number of women in decision-making positions across the province contributed to women’s success in the city-council elections.
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“One-third of women who had registered to run were elected to city councils,” Chakerzehi said. “Many of these educated women registered to run in order to strengthen the position of women in society.”
Abdol Sattar Doshoki, a Baluchi political analyst who heads the U.K.-based Center for Baluchistan Studies, says the high-level appointments have inspired women to seek a greater role in the society. “The [city-council election] has provided Baluch women, many of whom have obtained university degrees in past years, with an opportunity to show themselves and play a role in political and social life,” Doshoki explains.
Baluch make up a majority in the province, which is said to be one of Iran’s poorest.
Doshoki says he believes that the high participation of women also helps combat discrimination in the province, which is among Iran’s poorest. “Baluchi people suffer from different types of discrimination, including ethnic discrimination, religious discrimination, and also gender discrimination, which is common for [other regions] in the country,” he says.
“In places where women stood, men and women had the power to say no to gender discrimination,” Doshoki says.
Setting An Example
Afzalabad Mayor Maryam Ahmadzehi, a woman, has been held up in local media coverage as a successful example of a woman in a senior post and, presumably, a key factor encouraging men to vote for women when they step into the voting booth. Roads have been paved, new parks have been created, and the village has been connected to the electricity grid.
“The day Ahmadzehi became mayor, the village was in ruins, but things have changed significantly since then,” a local school principal told the daily Etemad in April. “We’re satisfied with our mayor, so we reached the conclusion that women can also do good work in the council.”
The principal added that since many local men are out in the field farming or on duty guarding Iran’s border, they are happy to cede “care of the village issues” to women.
One of the female candidates for the village council in Afzalabad told Etemad that Ahmadzehi was indeed a role model. “Her efforts motivated all of us to study and work,” she said.
Across the country, initial election results suggest that reformists and moderates ousted conservatives and took control of councils in at least six major cities.
In the capital, Tehran, where all 21 seats went to reformists in this month’s vote, women doubled their presence on the city council from three to six.
The hard-line election supervisor, the Guardians Council, imposes an effective ban on women running for the Iranian presidency, but parliament vets those running for city-council seats.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently accused Iran of systemic discrimination and other obstacles in the workplace, saying Iran lags in gender equality.
Local media report that there are around 150 women in managerial positions in Sistan-Baluchistan, a province of around 2.5 million people. (RFE/RL)
New Delhi, March 22, 2017: Ahead of municipal elections in the national capital, the Delhi Election Commission has directed the AAP government in the capital to remove “Aam Aadmi” words from all forms of display of its schemes.
The commission through a letter on Monday directed the Delhi Chief Secretary and all the three city municipal commissioners to remove the words “Aam Aadmi” from all forms of display, including hoardings, banners, name plates, billboards, in Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic and Aam Aadmi Bypass Express Service or anywhere within the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.
The letter became public on Tuesday.
The commission also demanded a “compliance report” within 48 hours.
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The action comes after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta on March 18 submitted a memorandum to the state Election Commission seeking removal of words “Aam Aadmi” from the names of the government-run schemes, including Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic and Aam Aadmi Bypass Express Service and others.
Elections for the North, East and South Delhi Municipal Corporations are scheduled to be held on April 22 and the results will be announced on April 25.
The model code of conduct is in force from March 14.
March 5, 2017: This is part 2 of our exclusive story on how Women Wing of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that has been supporting the cause of “Clean Politics” now feels betrayed and cheated by the opportunist and corrupt practices by the party leadership.
The fight is not for the ticket but for the gratitude of these women who not only strengthened Aam Aadmi Party but gave in their spirit for the nation.
In the earlier story (part 1), NewsGram had revealed how the tickets are being sold. Read the story.
As the Delhi Municipal election is round the corner, it seems that degeneration of value based volunteer party is at full pace. AAP Mahila wing has already started to feel exploited and used over.
Following the apprehensions on unjust distribution of tickets for upcoming MCD elections on reserved seats for women, a few women volunteers from AAP Mahila Wing gathered in front of Delhi CM’s residence on March 4 to have a word with him regarding the ticket nominations. It was a peaceful gathering by these women who wanted to speak to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and put forward their grievances.
The sole purpose of the gathering was to question the basis of selection of the respective candidates and what is it about them that sets them apart. However, the CM was busy in a meeting and could not turn up to their woes. Later, when these women approached Mr. Kapil Mishra, an MLA, and minister of Aam Aadmi Party, he reprimanded one of the women volunteer by saying “hath hata yaha se, peeche hat” (remove your hand from here, back off), as told by Sapna Banswal.
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“We elected these people, we have voted for them and this is how they are treating us now. We are going to show the real power of a commoner. If we can come on roads to support Aam Aadmi Party, we can fight for our rights on the same path as well”, said Sapna Banswal, Vidhan Sabha Secretary, women wing, of Karol Bagh Vidhan sabha.
“I was attached with all my heart and soul with this party. I do not know what will be the consequence but is certain that the women power in the country is weak and brittle,” told Renu Thakur of Gondha Vidhan Sabha.
“I am from a backward background and have been a part of every protest and rallies. I am myself an Asha worker and have been into social service for a very long time. We want to firm the very existence of a woman, the existence which has been deteriorated here. We will not let the existence of a woman fade away whether we stay in the party or shall be excluded from the party” said Seema Bhardwaj of Karawal Nagar Vidhan sabha.
Whatsoever be the repercussion of this trepidation, one thing absolutely clear in mind’s of commoners is that the there is no respect for women in our society. The fight is not for the ticket but for the gratitude of these women who not only strengthened Aam Aadmi Party but gave in their spirit for the nation. Now the question is – For how long will the women sacrifice for the sake of the hidden political agendas?
– reporting by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94