Thursday November 15, 2018
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Gujarat HC declines to intervene in deletion of voters issue

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Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court rejected two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) seeking a judicial inquiry into the controversy of deletion of the names from the voters list in recently concluded municipal corporation elections. The demand for the actions against officials responsible for this mishap was also rejected.

The bench led by Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel said that it is inappropriate to intervene in the election process as this point. However, the bench directed State Election Commission to follow the rules.

One of the litigation had said almost one lakh people missed the voting because of this fiasco. State Election Commission lawyer Mihir Thakor in their defense said that it was not their fault. The Election Commission of India had given the list after the update and revision. State Election Commission just published it.

The Court said that the issue must not be more than 1000 odd names and as State Election Commission had followed all the rules, there is no need for an inquiry.

The opposition had called it a conspiracy, but the ruling BJP government said they are not to be blamed for this.

With the Court rejecting PILs, the issue seems to go in cold now unless it is repeated again. Many people missed out on their democratic right because of this issue and it also resulted in a low turnout.

There are many different explanations for this. One official said that many homes were found locked when officials went to update the voters list.

Rigging is a problem in the India. While the persons involved goes untracked, practices remain unbridled. Transparency needs to be ensured in all polls across India for a smooth running of democracy.

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)