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WATCH: Congress MLA slaps female cop, gets slapped back

Needless to say this isn’t the first time that the Indian politicians have put their foot in their mouth. To show another example of this, a video of a politician from Himachal Pradesh is doing rounds on Internet where she has slapped a constable. Congress Leader and Himachal Pradesh MLA Asha Kumari is seen slapping a woman constable in the video, only to be slapped back.The video of the incident was shared on Twitter handle of ANI news agency and was presumably shot on Friday.Kumari visibly was stuck in a huge crowd and was trying to make her way and gain entry to a Congress meeting that was being held by Rahul Gandhi to review the party’s loss in recent elections.Asha Kumari is a MLA from Dalhousie, All India Congress Committee secretary and AICC in charge in Punjab. She has also served as the education Minister of the state from 2003-2005.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Cow vigilantism: Don’t ferry cattle at night to avoid misunderstanding, advises Jamiat

Concerned over attacks on people transporting cattle in Alwar, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has asked dairy farmers and cattle owners to not ferry bovines in the night hours to avoid any trouble.The Jamiat leaders, who gathered in Alwar district on Tuesday to discuss the issue, said many dairy farmers and cattle owners from the Mev community transport cattle for dairy farming purpose but get targeted by cow vigilantes or mobs under the impression that the animals were being transported for slaughtering.”We have advised the dairy farmers and owners of the cattle to prefer transportation of the cattle in day time and not in the night because the chances of attack on them are high due to misunderstanding. It creates trouble and disturbs peace and harmony,” Maulana Hakimuddin Qasmi, secretary of the organisation, told PTI over the phone today.Also readSlaughter cow and get killed, BJP MLA warnsHe said that close to 50 leaders of Jamiat and the Mev community were present in the meeting held in Alwar on Tuesday.”Several incidents have taken place in the Mewat region comprising Alwar and parts of Haryana where those transporting animals were targeted and attacked. There should be no illegal transportation but they should also not be targeted,” he said.Also readCow vigilantes murder cattle trader in AlwarHe also said that those transporting cattle should also carry valid documents.Qasmi said to strengthen peace and harmony, both the communities should sit together and ensure that no valid transportation of the cattle is targeted or hampered.A 55-year-old man from Haryana was attacked and killed by a mob in Alwar earlier this year. Besides, several cases of cow smuggling have been detected in Alwar district in the recent past.In reaction to a recent incident of alleged cow smuggling in which a smuggler was beaten by locals. A BJP MLA from Ramgarh, Alwar even gave a controversial statement saying anybody who indulges in cow smuggling or cow slaughtering will be killed.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Himachal CM, 11 ministers take charge

Jai Ram Thakur took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh at the historic Ridge Maidan here on Wednesday. The five-time BJP MLA was sworn in along with 11 Cabinet Ministers in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, veteran party leader LK Advani and a few Chief Ministers, including UP’s Yogi Adityanath.As the number of Cabinet Ministers is capped at 12, the BJP has tried to strike regional balance, giving precedence to Mandi and Kangra districts.The BJP government has the CM and two ministers from Mandi, four from Kangra, besides one each from Una, Kullu, Solan, Shimla and tribal areas. No one from Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Sirmaur and Chamba has been included in the ministry.Former BJP chief and four-time MLA from Shimla, Suresh Bhardwaj, 65, is the eldest among new faces.Three-time MLA from Kasauli, Rajiv Saizal, is the youngest at 46. Insiders have been hinting that RSS has had a bigger say in formalising the new CM’s Cabinet.The new Cabinet has four ministers, including only female minister Sarveen Chaudhary, from the biggest Kangra district. Former Union Minister Pandit Sukh Ram’s son, Anil Sharma, who joined BJP days before the elections, has once again got a Cabinet berth.Dharampur (Mandi) MLA Mahender Singh Thakur took oath as number two after the CM and is the eldest in the government at 67.If sources are to be believed, the name of former Health Minister Rajiv Bindal, who has never lost an election and is a five-time MLA in a row (three times from Solan, twice from Nahan), was struck off at the last minute. He is slated to be elevated as Speaker in the new Assembly.Instead, the name of Dharamshala MLA Kishan Kapoor was, however, added into the council of ministers at the eleventh hour.Third time MLA from Manali Govind Thakur, 49, who is considered a close aide of the new CM, has also been included in the Cabinet. The Son of veteran BJP leader late Kunj Lal Thakur, Govind, is a horticulturist.Others who were administered the oath are: Ram Lal Markanday (Lahaul-Spiti), Virender Kanwar (Kutlehar, Una), Vipin Parmar (Kangra) and Bikram Singh (Jaswan-Pragpur).After the swearing-in ceremony, a large number of people gathered outside the residence of former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and displayed their displeasure over non-inclusion of his supporter and former horticulture minister Narender Bragta in the Cabinet.Having been a minister twice under Dhumal, Bragta has been seen as the BJP’s face in the upper belt, dominated by outgoing CM Virbhadra Singh for so long. The only Dhumal supporter included in the Cabinet was Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj.

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Nobody has right to use government land as burial ground: Delhi HC

No one has the right to indiscriminately use any open land, especially one that belongs to the government, as a burial ground, the Delhi High Court has held.The ruling by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came on a PIL challenging a sub- divisional magistrate’s order questioning use of a government land in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi as a burial ground.The magistrate had issued notice to an Uttam Nagar-based NGO asking it how it came to be in possession of the government land and how it was using it as a burial ground.The court noted that the petitioner NGO, Kabristan Intzamia Association, had started using the government land on the basis of a statement made by an MLA and “no legal right is either pointed out or made out with respect to the subject land”.It held that the sub-divisional magistrate, Dwarka, passed the August 1, 2017 order, which was under challenge, after considering all the matters and there was “no illegality” in the decision.The bench also said that all the parties have to abide by the magistrate’s decision and directed the local authorities to take strict action for violation of the order.”No person has any right to use any open land, especially government land, indiscriminately as a burial ground,” the court said and dismissed the NGO’s plea.

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Jairam Thakur to take oath as Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister today; PM Modi to attend grand ceremony

BJP leader Jairam Thakur is all set to take oath as the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and several Union ministers and chief ministers are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Jai Ram Thakur at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla at 11 AM.Governor Aacharya Devvrat will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Thakur. Along with Thakur, a few MLA will reportedly swear-in as Cabinet Ministers today. The five-time BJP MLA from Seraj constituency of the hilly state was elected to lead the state after the party’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal failed to register a win from his constituency.The BJP have ousted the Congress from power in Himachal Pradesh by winning 44 out of the 68 seats in the recently held Assembly polls.Along with many senior leaders and workers of BJP state unit, thousands of people are expected to witness the swearing-in ceremony.Also readHimachal Elections: After PK Dhumal’s loss, Jairam Thakur summoned to Delhi; likely to be CMFor the first time in the history of the state, Prime Minister will attend an oath taking ceremony.Massive security and other arrangements have been made ahead of the grand function. Besides seating arrangements, eight to ten LED screens have been installed outside the venue. SPG will look after the security arrangements.Also readHimachal CM designate Jai Ram Thakur lists out priorities Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Incharge for Party Affairs Mangal Pandey have reviewed the arrangements in Ridge Maidan.

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New drainage system in the pipeline, vows MLA

Imran Khedawala, the new MLA of Jamalpur-Khadia, hopes that the increased fund that he is to get as an MLA will help him address some problems of his area. Khedawala who has been a councillor from Jamalpur for over 20 years, said that he had just Rs 20 lakh worth of funds at his disposal as councillor. “But now, as an MLA, I will get a grant of Rs1 crore. I can use it improve the water pipeline, gutter line for areas that fall under my constituency,” said Khedawala.As an MLA, his priority will also be to improve the employment opportunities for the youth. “I can demand better schemes for the unemployed youth in the Assembly, something which we could not do as councillors,” said Khedawala. He said he will also look at better implementation of schemes to help the youth start their own small business. He said there was also a need to provide free medicines to the poor. “Many poor people in my constituency are diabetics and the medicines for the same take away a major chunk of their income. As an MLA, I will try to get new schemes for poor diabetic patients so that they don’t spend their life earnings on medicines,” said Khedawala.KNOW YOUR MLA

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Five fresh faces in new Vijay Rupani cabinet

In the 20-member cabinet of Vijay Rupani, there are five new faces. These faces includes a senior leader like RC Faldu and four-time MLA Raman Patkar.Ishwar Parmar, Kishor Kanani and Vibhavari Dave got their second term as MLA.Many senior leaders and ministers lost in the recent Assembly polls with the total tally of 99 members in the house. So, BJP was almost pushed to cherry-pick some fresh faces in the Cabinet. MLA from Jamnagar (South) seat and former Gujarat BJP president RC Faldu were lucky enough to secure the berth in the Cabinet this time. Faldu had lost the polls in 2012 elections but succeeded in winning this time when the Patel community was up in arms against the BJP, especially in the Saurashtra region. Faldu was elected as an MLA twice in the past polls held in 1998 and 2002.Raman Patkar, Scheduled Tribe leader and MLA from Umbergaon seat in Valsad district, is four-time MLA and has been elected again. He waited for a longer time than Ishwar Parmar, Vibhavari Dave and Kishor Kanani. All three have been inducted in Cabinet by Rupani in their second term. Of these three, Parmar was lucky enough to get a cabinet position as no any senior Scheduled Caste leader from BJP could win the polls.

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New Vijay Rupani cabinet: Mix of youth and experience

Vijay RupaniChief MinisterThe 61-year-old who began his second stint as Chief Minister on Tuesday, has had a meteoric rise in Gujarat’s politics. A man of the organisation throughout his political journey, he was nominated as CM after the abrupt resignation of Anandiben Patel in August 2016. There were question marks on his future, especially after BJP won just 99 seats, its lowest tally in the past seven elections, but the party has chosen to maintain a status quo.CABINET MINISTERSNitin PatelA six-term MLA, 61-year-old Patel is the senior-most in the ministry. He was widely seen as the chief ministerial nominee after Anandiben’s resignation, but BJP picked Rupani and appointed Patel as deputy CM.RC FalduFaldu, a former president of Gujarat BJP, was elected to the Assembly for the fourth time in 2017. Faldu was sidelined in the party from some time, but the influential, Patidar leader has made a strong comeback.Bhupendrasinh ChudasamaChudasama is among the senior-most ministers in the Vijay Rupani cabinet having served as one way back in 1990. The soft-speaking Kshatriya leader is in his fifth term in the Assembly.Kaushik PatelPatel had lost in 2007 and had not contested in 2012, which means he is back after 10 years. This is the 63-year-old’s fourth term as MLA. He had held revenue, energy, civil supplies, and other important ministries.Saurabh PatelPatel, who is in his fifth term as MLA, served as minister from 2002 to 2016, handling finance, energy, civil aviation, planning, tourism. He was one of the visible faces of the government during these years.Ganpat VasavaA four-term MLA, he has emerged as the tribal face of the BJP in south Gujarat. Back in 2011, Vasava was appointed as Speaker of the state Assembly, the first from the tribal community to occupy the chair. He was later appointed as a cabinet minister.Jayesh RadadiyaSon of influential Patidar leader Vitthal Radadiya, Jayesh has been elected to the Assembly for the second time in 2017. The 36-year-old is the youngest minister in the 20-member Vijay Rupani cabinet. He had served as minister of state.Dilipsinh ThakorThis is the 58-year-old’s fifth term in the Assembly. A prominent OBC face in north Gujarat, Thakor had served as minister in the first Modi government in 2001, and had remained till 2007. He was brought back in the cabinet by Anandiben Patel.Ishwar ParmarThe 46-year-old, who was elected to the Assembly for just the second time, is a surprise pick as cabinet minister. The loss of its prominent Dalit faces such as Ramanlal Vora and Atmaram Parmar left BJP with little choice but to promote Parmar.MINISTERS OF STATEPradipsinh JadejaJadeja was elected to the assembly from Vatva seat in the just concluded elections for his fourth term as MLA. He was serving as minister of state for home in the previous government, in addition to law, parliamentary affairs.Parbat PatelThe 5-term MLA from north Gujarat was elected to the assembly first time in 1985. The 69-year-old is a prominent Chaudhary leader, a community that is quite dominant in north Gujarat. He has served as minister of state for finance, water supply, health, transport.Parsottam SolankiThe powerful Koli leader has served in all governments since 1998, barring one. In spite of his poor health, and though he barely attends office, the 56-year-old has once again been included in the ministry, because of the influence he has in his community.Bachu KhabadThis is the 62-year-old’s third term as MLA. He first found a place in the ministry when Anandiben Patel became the chief minister in May 2014. He was made minister of state for fisheries, and forests & environment. He was retained in the ministry by Vijay Rupani.Jaydrathsinh ParmarHaving started as a sarpanch in the late 1980s, Parmar first became a minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet in 2011. The four-term MLA was included in the cabinet again in 2013 and has been its part since. The 53-year-old is a qualified lawyer by profession.Ishwarsinh PatelThis is Patel’s fourth term as an MLA. He had first found a place in the ministry in 2011 when the cabinet was expanded. He was dropped from the ministry in 2012, but was inducted again when Rupani took over as CM.Vasan AhirAhir, who has been elected as MLA five times, is among the senior legislators in the cabinet. The 59-year-old had first served as minister of state since 2008 in the second Modi government.Vibhavari DaveThe three-term MLA is the only woman in the Cabinet. She had served as deputy mayor and mayor of Bhavnagar in the mid and late 1990s, and was first elected to the Assembly in 2007.Raman PatkarThis is the first time Patkar has found a place in the ministry. He is a five-term MLA, and was elected from the tribal reserved Umargam seat in Valsad in the latest polls.Kishor KananiThis is the maiden entry of Kanani, a two-term MLA, in the ministry. He had won from Varachha Road seat in Surat. In fact, he was the only Patidar MLA from Surat city who was repeated by BJP.

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Day after Sabang result, SP close to Mamata Banerjee transferred to less important post

A day after the results of Sabang Assembly constituency bypoll, the West Midnapore district superintendent of police, Bharati Ghosh, who was known for her proximity to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was transferred to a comparatively less important and more of an ornamental post.In a government notification on December 25, among other officers, Ghosh, has been posted to Barrackpore as the commandant of the third battalion of state armed police. She had been replaced by Alok Rajoria.Ghosh’s transfer after over five years of being the SP of West Midnapore and Jhargram districts has set speculations afoot especially after the convincing win of Gitarani Bhunia, wife of TMC Rajya Sabha MP Manas Bhunia, as the party MLA from Sabang. There are two theories which are doing the rounds behind the transfer of this IPS officer who had at a recent function at Jhargram referred to Mamata as ‘mother of Junglemahal’. Political analysts said that Manas had engineered the transfer of Ghosh because she had not been in his good books since he was a Congress MLA. Manas, after winning as the Congress-CPI(M) alliance candidate from Sabang in 2016, from the area had been at loggerheads with Ghosh. He had also alleged at that time that Ghosh, on the behest of the ruling dispensation, had implicated him with rape and murder charges.Also readSabang bypoll: Seven-fold increase in vote-share for BJP augurs well for its future Sources also said that Ghosh has been transferred because it had been observed that after the former TMC second-in-command defected to BJP, many vital party information and strategies including those ahead of Sabang by-poll, were being leaked into the opposition camp and it was suspected that Ghosh was one of those responsible. Ghosh, has, however, opted to refrain from making any comment about the transfer. Several phone calls made to her went unanswered.

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KNOW YOUR MLA: Ellisbridge soon to be clear of traffic woes, says Rakesh Shah

Ellisbridge MLA Rakesh Shah has always said his priority is to make his constituency free of traffic snarls. Shah takes a jan sampark every Sunday in his constituency to keep touch with his voters.”The areas that fall under my constituency sees a lot of traffic problems. If need be, we will build more underbridges and overbridges to ease the problem,” said Shah. He said the constituency has its roads, gutters and water systems in place. “So, I don’t think we need to concentrate much on them,” said Shah.He said some of the demands that have come from voters include construction of more parks and areas for senior citizens to mingle with and interact. “We will look at building more parks and open areas for senior citizens and children,” said Shah. He said they are also looking at creating multi-level parking places in the Navrangpura area,” said Shah.

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Congress meet to elect CLP leader in January first week

Even as the new government is set to be sworn-in on Tuesday, the Congress meeting to elect the Leader of Opposition (LOP) in the state assembly is likely to take place in the first week of January.Shailesh Parmar, MLA from Danilimda (SC) seat in Ahmedabad, and Congress’s chief whip in the assembly said that the Congress MLAs are likely to meet in the first week of 2018 to elect their leader. “The date of the legislators’ meeting to elect the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader is yet to be finalised, but it likely to take place in the first week of January,” Parmar said.While the loss of senior leaders such as Shaktisinh Gohil, Arjun Modhwadia and Siddharth Patel in the elections has thrown open the race for CLP leader, Paresh Dhanani, the Congress MLA from Amreli, is believed to be the front-runner for the post.Dhanani, who was elected to the assembly for the third time in these elections, is a young and emerging face in the party. He is a Patidar, the community that threw its weight behind Congress in rural areas. Moreover, he is from Saurashtra, the region where the party improved its tally from 11 in 2012 to 27 in 2017. Incidentally, BJP was blanked in Amreli district, as Congress won all five seats.Another claimant for the post of CLP leader is Mohansinh Rathwa, who was elected as MLA for a record tenth time, making him the senior-most legislator in the House. Rathwa has been a member of every Gujarat assembly since 1972, barring the 11th due to his loss in 2002. He was appointed Leader of Opposition in the assembly after Shankersinh Vaghela quit the party. However, Rathwa is 73, and this may go against him. He is also not very aggressive in the House. Shailesh Parmar, a four-term MLA, is another potential candidate as CLP leader. He is a prominent Dalit face and is well-versed with the functioning of the assembly. Moreover, Parmar is one of the handful of Congress MLAs from urban areas, and one of the even fewer ones who has been elected more than once.WHAT MLA SAYSThe date of the legislators’ meeting to elect the Congress Legislature Party leader is yet to be finalised, but it is likely to take place in the first week of January, said Shailesh Parmar, MLA from Danilimda (SC) seat in Ahmedabad.

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Slaughter cow and get killed, BJP MLA warns

BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja has once again courted controversy by warning that those who smuggle and slaughter cows will be beaten up and killed. Ahuja was responding to a query about an alleged cow smuggling incident on Saturday, wherein villagers in Ramgarh, his constituency in Alwar district, thrashed a suspected cow smuggler.Ahuja’s threat came a day after he denied Saturday’s attack, insisting that the suspected cow smuggler suffered injuries after the vehicle he was travelling in overturned.Talking about his favourite topic, cows, Ahuja said, “Gautaskari karte hain, isliye maar khate hain. Maar khaane ke liye gaye hi kyon? Gautaskari karoge aur gaukashi karoge to yun hi maroge kyonki janta mein gay ke prati aastha hai.” (They get beaten up because they smuggle cows. Why did they do it?. People who smuggle and slaughter cows will get killed because people revere cows.)This is not the first time Ahuja has kicked up a storm.His statement against JNU students — that 3,000 used condoms, 2,000 empty liquor bottles, 10,000 cigarette butts and 4,000 beedi stubs are found in JNU every day — had created a major controversy, leaving his party red-faced and subject to severe ire, especially from JNU students.In another instance, Ahuja went on record to say that Pahlu Khan, who was lynched by cow vigilantes, had died of heart attack, even before his postmortem report was out. He had also claimed he was a ‘gaurakshak’ and his ‘men’ patrolled highways at night to ‘catch’ cow smugglers.Ahuja put his party men in another embarrassing situation when, during an interaction of BJP MLAs with national party president Amit Shah in Jaipur, he had asked Shah when the Ram temple would be constructed.

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BJP picks Jai Ram Thakur as new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

Five-time BJP MLA Jairam Thakur will be the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh after he was elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party on Sunday. The decision was taken in the Legislative Party’s meet in Shimla . Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, and state party in-charge Mangal Pandey were present at the meeting. Jairam Thakur thanked the central leadership and senior party leaders after being made legislative party leader in Himachal Pradesh.Earlier, top state leaders, including former CM Shanta Kumar and Virender Kashyap, had categorically told Sitharaman that “only elected member should be made the Chief Minister”.Seraj MLA Jai Ram Thakur, 52, is the real representative of the young generation, maintain many party leaders in Madhya Pradesh. Thakur is a five-time elected MLA and had been seen as a Chief Minister-in-waiting for a long time. Also readHow BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal will impact Bengal political equationsWhile former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had last night opted out of the race, Thakur, a MLA from Seraj in Mandi district, and Union minister J P Nadda were the frontrunners for the chief minister’s office.A lack of consensus among the newly elected MLAs had resulted in the two central observers — Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar — returning to Delhi from Shimla yesterday to hold fresh consultation with the central leadership.A two-member team of central observers, which was in the state on December 21 and 22, had taken feedback from members of the state BJP’s core committee, MPs and some MLAs. The BJP ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 out of the 68 seats.Related Photos
7 Pics
In Pics: BJP celebrates its wins in Gujarat and Himachal(With PTI inputs)

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Thakur vs Dhumal battle heats up in Himachal Pradesh

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gearing up to announce the name of the new Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister on Sunday, a sharp rift has emerged between former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Seraj MLA Jai Ram Thakur.It is believed that central observers Nirmala Sitharaman will reach Shimla on Sunday morning to formally announce the name after consultation with top party leaders. Following the announcement, it is believed that the new Chief Minister will take an oath at the Ridge Ground in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.With top state leaders, including former CM Shanta Kumar and Virender Kashyap, categorically telling Sitharaman that “only elected member should be made the Chief Minister”, the Dhumal faction is reportedly now trying to project Anurag Thakur’s name as deputy Chief Minister as a compromise formula.On Friday, a large number of youth BJP supporters shouted slogans in favour of Dhumal at Hotel Peterhoff where central observers were meeting state party leaders. With most of the newly-elected MLAs endorsing the name of Jai Ram Thakur, Dhumal supporters continued to push for the Anurag as deputy to the new leader.It is another thing that there is no taker for Anurag’s name in the Thakur camp. All this while, Anurag was not in the picture. This made veteran BJP leader Kumar lose his cool and calling for suspension of any such elements in the party.The dhumal group is citing offers made by at least three elected MLAs announcing to vacate their seat for him to seek re-election.But this is also a fact that most of his supporters including close aide Ravinder Ravi and his MP son Anurag’s father-in-law Gulab Singh Thakur have lost elections this time around. And that’s the reason why majority of the total number of 44 newly-elected legislators are of the view that 52-year-old Jai Ram Thakur is the real representative of the young generation.Thakur is a five-time elected MLA and has been seen as a Chief Minister-in-waiting for a long time. And not to forget, he was also the first one to hit the ground running and took a flight to Delhi as soon as news of Dhumal’s came on the counting day.Last but not the least, it has been learnt that Dhumal could well be offered a place in the Rajya Sabha in an apparent move to reward him for being leader of the party in last elections.The scheduleObservers Nirmala Sitharaman will reach Shimla on Sunday morning to formally announce the name of the CM after consultation with top party leaders. The new Chief Minister will take an oath at the Ridge Ground in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Thakkarbapa Nagar MLA to withdraw cases against PAAS

There is some good news for Patidars of Saurashtrian Patel dominated seat, Thakkarbapa Nagar, that witnessed Patidar wrath in 2015 over reservation row. The new MLA, elected for the second time in a row, Vallabhbhai Kakadiya, has decided to withdraw all 12 cases registered against Patidars. Kakadia is a Patel and is involved in diamond business and had defeated Gita Patel of Congress last time.While listing developments that took place in past five years, Kakadiya is prompt enough to name a new crematorium, flyover, library, RCC road, etc. While Kakadiya garnered 88214 votes, he defeated Babubhai Mangukiya with 34088 votes. In 2012, he had defeated Gitaben Patel of Congress with 49251 votes.Quick to respond when asked about his priorities, Kakadiya, who himself is a Patidar says, “One of my main priority will be to withdraw cases against all Patidar’s. There are about 12 such cases registered so I will get them released. Another big issue in my constituency is illegal settlements on government land and others. In many places, the construction do not have proper documents and because of which for example even if a house is for 1 crore, a person does not get loan of even 2 lakhs. We will legalize all such sites.Since Patel will be representing the constituency for next five years, this is an endeavour of DNA to help you know your MLA.BACK TRACKNew MLA, elected for the second time in a row, Vallabhbhai Kakadiya, has decided to withdraw all 12 cases registered against Patidars. While listing developments that took place in past five years, Kakadiya is prompt enough to name a new crematorium, flyover, library, RCC road, etc.

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West Bengal: Voting continues for Sabang bypoll amid tight security

Amidst heavy security arrangement, bypolls to Sabang Assembly constituency in West Midnapore district of West Bengal began at 7 am on Thursday.The voting process began in 306 booths where 2,45,259 electors will exercise their franchise. Of them, 2,01,142 are in Sabang block and 44,117 are in Pingla.Eight companies of Central force had already arrived in Sabang to take care of law and order situation. Sabang Assembly comprises 16 panchayats. Of these Sabang block has 13 and Pingla block has three.Officials at the office of Chief Electoral Official in Kolkata said that all the booths would be equipped with VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) which means voters would be able to verify that their votes have been cast for their choice of candidate.The by-poll has been necessitated owing to the defection of Congress MLA Manas Bhunia to TMC, who had been later made the party’s Rajya Sabha MP. Interestingly his wife, Gitarani Bhunia has been pitched as the TMC candidate where as Chiranjeeb Bhowmik of Congress, Rita Mondal of CPI(M), and BJP’s Antara Bhattacharya are also in the fray.Also readSabang bypoll | Four-cornered battle for this traditional Congress bastion in BengalManas, who had been the MLA from Sabang since 1982 is confident about his wife’s win from the place. In the last Assembly election in 2016, he was the Cong-CPI(M) alliance candidate and had secured 1,45,259 votes, registering a convincing victory against Nirmal Ghosh of TMC who received 77,820 votes. “TMC is the real Congress which had been formed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the real tension is whether Gitarani Bhunia would be able to defeat Manas Bhunia in terms of winning margin,” he said.Congress and CPI(M) candidates have, however, have been campaigning by referring to Manas as a ‘turncoat’ while BJP said that if there was a free and fair election, BJP would win.Also readLitmus test for Mukul Roy in West Midnapore’s Sabang seatThe result would be announced on December 24.

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KNOW YOUR MLA: Maninagar MLA promises LED streetlights, cardiac dept

Traditionally a BJP bastion and a seat from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested thrice, it was very difficult for MLA Suresh Patel, who has won the second time in a row, to look at areas that needed development. Two years, and now Patel, who won with a margin of 75199 votes, has charted out plans for his constituency.Quick enough to respond when asked his priorities, he said, “Modification of LG hospital by setting up a department of cardiology, completion of work to ensure no waterlogging during monsoon and LED lights on streets are my priorities. Since the PM used to represent this constituency, the place has seen much development work. Since I took over this seat over the last two years, we have installed machines and improved roads to reduce waterlogging. Over 50% of work has been done. The remaining work will be finished in a year.”Suresh Patel of BJP took over the seat in 2014 after Modi quit as the legislative assembly member of Maninagar.

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BJP rebels who contested could not fare in polls

The Gujarat BJP’s rebels have to bite the dust who contested assembly polls going against the party’s mandate. There were four such members who contested the polls but none of them could win. Even their effectiveness also could not be proved as baring one, BJP candidates won on two seats, while Congress won over other two.The Gujarat BJP had suspended as many as 24 members of party including several influential leaders following to their rebelious activities against the party candidates. The party chief in Gujarat Jitu Vaghani had suspended them all on December 02. These 24 leaders were not happy after they did not get the tickets in different constituencies, although only four contested the polls.Former Ahmedabad district president and former Viramgam MLA Kama Rathod had expressed his delinquency as he did not get the ticket from Sanand seat in the latest polls. He had lost from the same seat in assembly polls held in 2012 agaisnt Congress’ Karamshi Patel. Patel, however, defected to BJP before the polls and party gave ticket to his seat Kanu Karamshi Patel. Rathod contested as an independent candidate and claimed that he would defeat Kanu but failed.The same was the incident with former minister in Keshubhai Patel’s government and leader from central Gujarat Bimal Shah. He expected ticket from Kapadvanj but party did not gave him ticket. He contested the polls as independent and lost too. Shah received more than 46,000 votes and Congress candidate won with the margin of more than 27,000 votes against BJP candidate. Shah had expressed his displeasure in 2012 polls too when did not get the ticket and had reached BJP’s state office but then was placated by other leaders.The BJP district president in Panchmahals Dr Jaswantsinh Parmar also wan not happy after BJP gave ticket to Congress’ turncoat and former MLA from Godhra CK Raulji. Parmar contested as independent but Raulji won with thin margin of 258 votes and is likely to get berth in Gujarat government’s cabinet now.The BJP worker in Gandhinagar city Rohit Nayani, who was believed to be very close to CM Vijay Rupani was expecting a ticket. However, Nayani got the indication that he would not get the ticket and contested polls under the banner of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) from Gandhinagar North seat. Unfortunately, he got only 772 votes and Congress candidate CJ Chavda won here.Sanand Seat :Kanu Karamshi Patel (BJP)- 67,692Pushpa Dabhi (Congress)- 59971Kama Rathod – 37,795Kapadvanj Seat:Dabhi Kalabhai (Congress)- 85195Kanu Dabhi (BJP)- 57969Bimal Shah- 46,928Godhra Seat:CK Raulhi (BJP) : 75,149Rajendra Parmar (Congress)- 74,891Dr Jaswantsinh Parmar Independent – 18856Gandhinagar North Seat :CJ Chavda (Congress)- 80,142Ashok Patel (BJP)- 74,406Rohit Nayani – 772

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Who will be next HP CM? BJP central observers to meet newly elected MLAs on Thursday

As Himachal Pradesh awaits its new chief minister, BJP central observers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar are likely to arriver here on Thursday and meet newly-elected party MLAs.In-charge of party affairs in the state, Mangal Pandey, would also arrive here tomorrow morning, state BJP vice- president Ganesh Dutt said in Shimla on Wednesday. The shock defeat of the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal from Sujanpur has opened up the race for the top post in Himachal Pradesh. Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda and five-time MLA Jairam Thakur were being seen as front-runners for the chief minister’s post.Some other senior BJP lawmakers in the state, including Mohinder Singh, who won for a seventh time, five-term MLA Rajiv Bindal, former state BJP chief Suresh Bharadwaj, and Krishan Kapoor, both elected for a fourth term, could also be considered, party sources said. The BJP has 44 members in the 68-member Assembly. When contacted, several BJP MLAs said they had no official intimation about tomorrow’s meeting but added that most of them already reached Shimla.Also readHimachal Elections 2017 | Standing tall: The lone victor from the communist partyThe central observers would elicit the view of the members and submit a report to the party top brass, Dutt said. Meanwhile, clamour for making Dhumal the chief minister was gaining momentum and three BJP MLAs reported to have offered to vacate their seats for him. Dhumal was still in Samirpur and many party leaders visited him today. The Congress managed to bag only 21 seats in the 68- member assembly. The BJP won the polls by sweeping 44 seats. The CPI(M) bagged one seat while two seats were won by Independent candidates. Assembly polls in the state were held on November 9 and the results were announced in December 18.

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Paresh Dhanani ahead in race for CLP leader’s post

With most of Congress’s senior leaders biting the dust in the Gujarat assembly elections, Paresh Dhanani, who was elected as MLA for the third time, is seen as the front-runner for the post of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Gujarat. A couple of other MLAs are seen as Dhanani’s contenders but he is clearly ahead in the race.Dhanani is a Patidar, a community which strongly supported the Congress in the rural belt. What tilts the scale in his favour is that he comes from Saurashtra, a region where Congress nearly doubled its tally from 16 to 30. In fact, in Dhanani’s hometown Amreli, the Congress won all five seats. The firebrand leader is perceived to be close to newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “Paresh Dhanani’s appointment as CLP leader would be a good move to woo Patidars ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He is also quite vocal and that would help in cornering the government during the assembly proceedings,” said party officials.Dhanani is seen as a giant killer, having defeated senior BJP leaders in each of his election victories. In 2002, he had defeated Parshottam Rupala, in 2012 Dileep Sanghani, and Bavku Undhad in the latest elections.Another potential contender as CLP leader is senior leader Mohansinh Rathwa, who was elected to the state assembly for a record 10th time. Rathwa was appointed leader of opposition after Shankersinh Vaghela quit the Congress in August. His elevation could be seen as an attempt to reach out to tribals, a community where the party’s support base has steadily eroded over the years.Shailesh Parmar, who was elected as MLA from Danilimda (SC) seat in Ahmedabad for the third straight time, is also seen as a potential contender as CLP leader. Parmar was appointed as the Congress’s chief whip in the assembly after Balvantsinh Rajput’s exit from the party in July.

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Even as MLA, Jignesh Mevani won’t give up on agitation, says family

Around 100 people gathered around the crossroads leading to Chuvaad 2 society in Meghaninagar, trying to catch a glimpse of Jignesh Mevani, the local lad and newly minted MLA. Some remember him as the boy next door, others say they knew him only after he gained prominence for leading an agitation against the government following the Una incident.They were all waiting for the Dalit leader to reach his family home for the first team after being elected to the Gujarat assembly. But Mevani’s political plunge and success has come as a surprise even to his family. ” We had no clue he was going to contest the elections. In fact, he told us only after filing the nomination,” said Darshan Mevani, his brother.The family says they knew of Jignesh’s work. ” Following the Una agitation his supporters would meet at our house. Sometimes the meeting would go late into the night,” said his mother Chandrikaben Parmar who is a retired teacher. She says Jignesh has often been involved with social causes. His mother recalls him as a extremely naughty kid who constantly picked fights with his brother. “He was never a picky eater but loved cricket,” says Chandrikaben. She admits they were a little apprehensive about his entry into politics.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani wins as an independent in Vadgam”He has been demanding the rights of Dalits on the streets. It was time to take it to the power corridors,” sad Govind Mehariya who had been with him for two years since the agitation. Mehariya said Mevani was a reluctant entrant into politics. ” But now that he is in it, he will ensure that the voice of Dalits reach the power corridors,” said Mehariya.A society member days she never knew of him until now, another says she has known him since he was a kid. Incidentally, the Mevani’s shifted to their present residence 17 years ago. The Mevani family is already experiencing the perks of having an MLA in the family. People are thronging to their house, a well furnished bungalow in the Chuvand2 society, in Meghaninagar area of the city.The Mevani family finds it ironical that the Gujarat police that often tailed him during his agitation days is now honour bound to protect him. “We were worried about him then. We are worried about him now,” said Darshan. The family does not know how their life will change by virtue of having an MLA in the family. But they know one thing for sure, “Jignesh won’t give up on agitation.”

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Gujarat Elections 2017- 47 newly elected MLAs have criminal cases, 25 from Congress: ADR

Of the 182 newly-elected Gujarat MLAs, 47 have declared criminal cases against them, while 141 are crorepatis, says a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).”Out of the 182 MLAs analysed, 47 (26 per cent) MLAs have declared criminal cases against them. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, 57 (31 per cent) MLAs had declared criminal cases against them,” the report by ADR said today. Gujarat Election Watch and ADR have analysed the self- sworn affidavits of all 182 newly-elected MLAs in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections. Among MLAs with serious criminal cases, 33 have declared serious cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery etc. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, 24 MLAs had declared serious criminal cases against them.ADR, which works for electoral and political reforms, said that among party wise MLAs with criminal cases, 18 out of 99 MLAs from BJP, 25 out of 77 MLAs from INC, one of the two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party, one MLA from NCP and two out of three independents have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits. Besides, 12 MLAs from BJP, 17 from INC, one from Bhartiya Tribal Party, one from NCP and two independents have declared serious criminal cases against them in their affidavits.Also readHow Yogi Adityanath delivered the Hindu votes for BJP in South Gujarat “Out of the 182 newly-elected MLAs, 141 (77 per cent) are crorepatis. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat 2012 assembly elections, 134 (74 per cent) MLAs were crorepatis,” the report said. Among partywise crorepati MLAs, 84 MLAs from BJP, 54 from INC, two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party and one MLA from NCP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore. The average assets per MLA in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections is Rs 8.46 crore, while the same was Rs 8.03 crore in 2012. The average assets per MLA for 99 BJP MLAs analysed is Rs 10.64 crore, 77 INC MLAs (5.85 crore), 2 Bhartiya Tribal Party MLAs (Rs 2.71 crore) and 3 Independents (Rs 53.86 lakh).Also readKey indices close at record high over BJP’s win in Gujarat, Himachal PradeshThe top three MLAs with high assets are Saurabh Yashvantbhai Dalal Patel of BJP with total assets of over Rs 123 crore, followed by Dhanjibhai Patel (Makson) also from BJP (over Rs 113 crore) and Chavda Jawaharbhai Pethaljibhai from INC (over Rs 103 crore), the report by ADR said. Three MLAs in Gujarat with lowest assets have their assets valued less than Rs 13 lakh led by independent Jigneshkumar Natvarlal Mevani with total assets of over Rs 10 lakh.The report said that 13 out of 182 MLAs have not declared their sources of income. The average assets of re-elected MLAs in 2017 is Rs 10.71 crore, while in 2012 it was Rs 7.41 crore, ADR added. “The growth in average assets of re-elected MLAs is Rs 3.30 crore ie by 45 per cent,” it said.On their education details, the report said that 96 MLAs have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 69 have declared having a qualification of graduate or above. There are seven MLAs who are just literates while there is one who is illiterate. As per the findings of the report, 21 MLAs have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 121 between 41 and 60 years. There are 40 MLAs who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years. Out of the 182 MLAs, 13 are women against 16 in 2012.

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Two arrested for ex-BJP MLA son’s murder; issue rocks UP Council

Two people were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly killing the 36-year-old son of a former BJP MLA from Domariyaganj, police said.The incident on Tuesday rocked the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council with the Samajwadi Party (SP) staging a walkout from the Council.Vaibhav Tiwari, the son of Prem Prakash Tiwari alias Gippy Tiwari, was shot dead outside Kasmanda apartment in Hazratanj area, barely 300 metres from the UP legislature building and the state BJP headquarters here on the night of December 16.The main accused, Suraj Shukla and Vikram Singh, who were absconding since then, were arrested by the city police on Tuesday, ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said.Over the killing of the only son of the former MLA, the SP members raised concern over the “deteriorating” Law and Order situation in the state.Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, SP members including Naresh Uttam, Anand Bhadauria, Madhu Gupta, said the incident, which happened in a posh area of the city, reflected the situation in the state.Ahmed Hasan, the leader of the opposition, accused the government of turning a blind eye to the Law and Order.Responding to the opposition, UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, “Police is working very swiftly in this case.”Gippy Tiwari was BJP MLA from Domariyaganj in 1989, 1991 and 1993. Then in 2014 he went to the Samajwadi Party. In this year’s Assembly elections, however, he campaigned for the BJP.

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Gujarat poll results a wake up call for BJP in Rajasthan

Gujarat results may be reckoned as the wake up alarm for the BJP government in Rajasthan. Internal party conflicts, caste conflicts, reservation issues, resentment of various government employees, angst of the youth and farmers, rise in women related crimes coupled with a work system of bureaucracy dominating legislative representatives have created a potent mix that could spell trouble for the governnment next year. These problems are not just for chief minister Vasundhara Raje but for BJP in totality. It cannot be refuted that for BJP, the 2019 route to Delhi passes through Rajasthan and it needs to clear hurdle 2018, the state elections.The state government is already skating on thin ice. The issues that prove to be contentious are plenty.The most crucial problem is the widespread resentment among the party cadre on various factors. Dominance of bureaucracy and neglect of legislators is a major factor, “We connect to the people and for that we need to have rights,” said an anguished MLA of BJP. Their inaccessibility to CM and party chief, coupled with total centralisation of decisions spells big trouble in the coming assembly polls. “I am the state head of a party cell and I do not have the liberty to decide my team,” said a party functionary on condition of anonymity.Government employees and doctors who are present in the remotest areas are an angry lot. Rajputs, Brahmins, Gurjars and Jats are at war with the government for various reasons including reservation. Farmers seek loan waivers, a burning political issue constantly being put on back burner.Incidents of communal violence and hate crimes are creating communal unrest. Add to it the slack handling of cases related to cow vigilantism. These are problems from its own fold, add to it the opposition that is baying for blood and all set to claim the state. Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who has had a dress rehearsal for poll campaign in Gujarat, BJP’s woes automatically multiply.It is an irrefutable fact that the war of 2019 to capture Delhi cannot be won if the battle of 2018 in Rajasthan is lost. The state having a history of never repeating a government. This creates a situation for the BJP, at all levels to use all resources at hand to win the state.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Out of 112 female candidates, only 11 chosen in these polls

In a democracy a woman has the Right to Vote, and as a sign of progressive democracy there should be equal representation by them in the House as well. Sadly, the scene will be different in the Gujarat Assembly these elections.A total of 112 women candidates were in fray for the state Assembly election, but only 11 candidates are now going to make their way to the House. Only 11 per cent of the total fielded candidates have won people’s mandate.This is the lowest number as compared the last three Assembly elections. After 2002 election, there were 12 women candidates in the House. In 1995, there were two female candidates; in 1998, four women representatives were elected as Member of State Legislative Assembly (MLA). However, in 2007, there were 15 members and in 2012 elections there were 16 MLAs.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Six of three Congress’ Muslim candidates win

Three out of six Muslim candidates fielded by the Congress party in the Assembly elections have emerged as the winners in the electoral battle. The number of Muslim MLAs in the previous Assembly was two.Gayasuddin Sheikh, MLA from Dariapur seat in Ahmedabad seat, defeated former minister and BJP candidate Bharat Barot by 6,187 votes. While Sheikh secured 63,712 votes, Barot was second with 57,525 votes. The contest was a repeat of the 2012 polls when Barot had lost with a margin of 2,600 votes.Congress MLA and the party’s candidate from Wankaner seat, Mohammed Javid Pirzada, defeated BJP candidate Jitu Somani with a margin of over 1,300 votes. Pirzada got 72,588 votes, while Somani secured 71,227 votes.Imran Khedawala, Congress candidate from Jamalpur-Khadia seat in Ahmedabad, defeated two-term sitting MLA and BJP candidate Bhushan Bhatt by over 29,300 votes. Khedawala got 75,346 votes, as compared with 46,007 votes for Bhatt. Khedawala was seen as having the upper hand in the contest after former MLA Sabir Kabliwala’s withdrawal from the contest.The three losing Muslim candidates of the Congress include Suleman Patel, the nominee from Vagra seat in Bharuch. Patel lost with a margin of 2,370 votes in a close contest against sitting MLA and BJP candidate Arunsinh Rana.Congress nominee Adam Chaki gave a tough fight from Bhuj seat to BJP MLA Nimaben Acharya, but fell short. Chaki had a big lead against the sitting MLA in the initial rounds, but fell behind in the race in later stages to lose with a margin of over 14,000 votes.Iqbal Patel, the Congress’s nominee from Surat West seat, suffered the biggest defeat among the minority candidates, losing with a margin of 77,800 votes to BJP MLA Purnesh Modi.

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Gujarat elections 2017: BJP, Congress undecided on CM face

While several exit polls are predicting a clear victory for BJP in the Gujarat Assembly elections, not many are betting on who will be the next CM. There are many who believe that there may be a change of guard even if the BJP comes back to power. The race is also wide open in case the Congress pulls off a surprise win.Rupani was a surprise pick as CM after Anandiben Patel’s abrupt resignation last year. Rupani has done fairly well, and his tenure has largely been controversy-free, but in spite of the party showing faith in him, it is not certain that he will be leading the government once the results are announced.”If BJP wins more than 150 seats, it would mean that Patel community has strongly supported the party. In such a situation, the party is likely to install a Patel leader as the CM. This would tip the scale in favour of someone like (deputy CM) Nitin Patel or Bhikhubhai Dalsania, another non-controversial leader,” said a BJP leader requesting anonymity.Some others see Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who too is a Patel, as one of the contenders.CM Vijay Rupani’s comments in an exclusive interview with DNA before the elections that he would be happy with the role assigned to him also sparked off speculations. “I never expected any position. I have been saying since the day I was appointed CM that I am here to play a 20-20 match. Our high command will take a call on the issue,” Rupani had said.However, what could work in Rupani’s favour is that he remains grounded, and his tenure has been free of controversies.”Our national president Amit Shah has repeatedly said that Vijay Rupani will be CM and Nitin Patel deputy CM. The BJP has absolute clarity on this,” BJP’s Gujarat in-charge Bhupender Yadav, said.In case the Congress wins, a host of party leaders would be in the race for the CM’s post.Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki is seen as a contender for the post even though he did not contest in the elections. The fact that he had served as Union minister in the UPA government, and comes from a political family, hands him the advantage.Senior Congress leader and son of former CM Chimanbhai Patel, Siddharth Patel, who contested from Dabhoi seat, is also seen as a potential candidate for the top post. He is a Patidar, and if Congress wins, it would be to a great extent to support from the Patidar community.Two-term MLA Paresh Dhanani, who too belongs to the Patidar community, and one of the vocal critics of BJP government, could be a pick for CM if the party wins.Senior MLA Shaktisinh Gohil, who had served as minister in an earlier Congress government in the state, too seen by many as a potential chief ministerial candidate. He is the Congress’s national spokesperson, and had served as leader of opposition.

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Non-bailable warrants against ex-Union Minister, BJP MP and MLA

A former Union minister, BJP MP and MLA are among 15 accused who have been issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) by a Court in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots in which about 62 people, including 42 Muslims were killed.The BJP MP Sanjeev Baliyan, who was former Union Minister for State for Agriculture and Food Processing and later moved to MoS for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is among the accused who have been issued NBWs by a Muzffarnagar Court.Prominent among others included BJP MP from Bijnore Kunwar Bhartendu Singh, BJP MLA from Budhana Umesh Malik, Sadhvi Prachi etc. Taking a serious view of their non-appearance in person, the Court has issued NBWs against them. The court has fixed January 19 as the next date for hearing the case.Also readNo ban on movie ‘Muzaffarnagar the Burning Love’ in UP: SC told In his defense, the former Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan stated that he could not attend personally before the court as Lok Sabha session was on. “I have no intention to disrespect the court. I could not attend the hearing due to Lok Sabha session. My counsel will reply to the Court,” said Baliyan in a statement.Baliyan alleged that cases against him were politically-motivated. “I was not even present in the village and did not give any speech despite that Akhilesh government slapped fake cases against me other BJP leaders,” he charged.Also readHope floats for 18-year-old Muzaffarnagar riots survivorIn another case related to Muzaffarnagar riots, 11 accused including BJP Cabinet Minister for Sugarcane in Yogi Adityanath government Suresh Rana, BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som and Sadhvi Prachi are facing charges under different sections of the IPC.Described as the worst communal riots in recent times in the country, violent clashes took place between Hindus and Muslims over an alleged eve-teasing incident. The riots flared up following provocative and hate speeches by BJP MLAs and leaders on August 31, 2013, and September 7.Also readSangeet Som seeks ban on Jimmy Shergill-starrer ‘Shorgul’ based on Muzaffarnagar riotsHundreds of Muslims fled Mangla Nagaud and adjoining villages and have not returned home till date fearing a backlash. About 62 people, including 42 Muslims, were killed in the riots that broke out in the village.The Supreme Court had prima facie blamed the then Akhilesh government for its failure to curb riots which rendered hundreds of people homeless. When the communal riots broke out in Muzaffaranagar, then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his ministers were enjoying Saifai Mahotasav in their village in Etawah district.

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Shiv Sena MLA’s name figures in farm loan-waiver beneficiary list

Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Abitkar has claimed he was named as a beneficiary of the farm loan waiver in the Kolhapur District Central Cooperative Bank, even though he had not applied for it. He has got a loan waiver of Rs 25,000 from the bank.This has come just a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the scheme was being implemented smoothly. He told the state legislative assembly on Thursday that his government had committed some ‘mistakes’ while implementing the Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme, but has fixed all these issues.Abitkar, an MLA from Radhanagari in Kolhapur district, has got the benefit of Maharashtra Government’s loan waiver scheme for drought-affected farmers.Also readOver 1200 farmers committed suicide in 5 months: Maharashtra govtThe Shiv Sena MLA has raised the issue citing faulty implementation of the loan waiver scheme and demanded an inquiry into this flawed inclusion as the rules bar any existing or former elected representative from getting benefit under the scheme.He said, “I was stunned when I came to know that my name appeared in the green list of loan waiver beneficiaries. I was shocked again when I got more details about the list of my (Kolhapur) area. I had not even applied or registered my name anywhere to get the waiver.”The Opposition is directly blaming Fadnavis for this as the Chief Minister Office (CMO) had been working on the data of the beneficiaries of this scheme through information and technology department of Maharashtra.Also readMadhya Pradesh farmer ends life after notice for power bill of over Rs 9,000

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Ex-Delhi Cong MLA Rajesh Jain routed Rs 8 crore black money post demonetization: ED

A former Congress MLA allegedly routed and laundered black money to the tune of over Rs 8 crore post demonetization as part of his purported nexus with Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon and others, an ED investigation has found.The MLA, Rajesh Jain, was arrested by the Delhi Police crime branch last month in a post-demonetization illegal funds case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) now will soon seek his remand from a court and question him at length, official sources said. He is at present in judicial custody.Investigation revealed that Jain and his son Prateek are proprietors of firms named Jai Jinendra Sales and Srinivas Sales and “during demonetization these firms received money to the tune of Rs 8.71 crore (Rs 8.56 crore by RTGS and Rs 15 lakh in cash) from firms where the demonetised cash of Rohit Tandon was deposited,” an ED report said. This amount, it said, was allegedly transferred and laundered to various other firms in a very “short duration.” Agency sources said a detailed questioning of Jain is required to “unravel the entire conspiracy that was chalked out to illegally convert black funds into white in the wake of demonetization.”The agency had also conducted searches at the premises of Jain in Delhi in May as part of its probe against Tandon and few others, whom it had booked and arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).The ED had alleged that Tandon and the other accused in the case “conspired so that demonetised currency would be collected and deposited in various accounts of the firms which have huge cash in hand, and from those accounts demand drafts in fictitious names would be issued.” The probe also found, the report said, that Jain and Mittal were “instrumental in picking demonetised cash of Tandon between November 14-19 last year from various place at evening and night and the same cash was transported and deposited in various bank accounts of shell companies.” The Enforcement Directorate took over the case and registered an FIR under PMLA after taking cognisance of Delhi Police crime branch FIR on alleged fake accounts with deposits worth Rs 34 crore.Last year, the Crime Branch had registered a case of cheating and forgery against lawyer Tandon, Ashish, a bank manager, Kamal Jain, Dinesh Bhola, Raj Kumar Goel, R C Sharma, Yogesh Mittal and Jain. They had allegedly conspired to exchange the demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes for new notes that were introduced and to earn a huge profit by illegal means. The case was registered to unearth the organised rackets that were exchanging old currency.In a raid conducted on December 10 last year, Rs 13.5 crore was seized from a law firm’s office in southeast Delhi’s GK-I area, of which Rs 2.6 crore was in new currency released after demonetization.The raid was carried out at the office of T&T law firm owned by Tandon. Jain, the crime branch had said, was arrested for allegedly conspiring with Tandon to make illegal money transactions by using fake bank accounts worth Rs 50 crore. It was found during investigation that the forged documents and shell company accounts were used to carry out huge transactions to earn huge profits, they had said.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Independents brew trouble for BJP, Congress in Panchmahal

Independents keep both BJP and Congress on toes in a number of constituencies in Panchmahal, which has seven Assembly seats Thasra, Balasinor, Lunawada, Shehra, Morva Hadaf (ST), Godhra, and Kalol.The most curious case here in Morva Hadaf, where BJP replaced its sitting MLA and Congress gave up the seat for an ally.Determined to wrest the seat, which her mother won in 2012 but did not live to know of it, Bhupendrasinh Khant is in fray as an independent candidate as the seat Congress, which had fielded him in 2013 bye-poll is contesting the seat.Under an alliance with Chhotubhai Vasava, Congress gave this seat to Vasava’s Bhartiya Tribal Party, which has fielded Alpeshbhai Damor from the seat.Only MLA from JDU, who turned rebel and is now backing Sharad Yadav faction of the party, Chhotubhai has been agitating in favour of demand for Bhilistan, a separate state comprising of tribal dominated parts of Guajrat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharasthra.While Chhotubhai has his influence in few seats in Bharuch, the BTP has not much of presence in Panchamahal region. Besides its candidate is also not a much known personality.Chhotubhai Vasva, the JDU MLA from Jhagadia had bargained hard for seats and Congress which was about to field Khant here, gave the seat to BTP at the last moment.The seat was won by Bhupendrasinh’s mother Savita Khant in 2012 by a margin of 11,289 votes. She had defeated BJP’s Bijalbhai Damor. While Savita Khant had got 56,886 votes, Damor had got 45,597 votes. But Savita Khant died on the day results were declared days after having passed into coma on the day of the elections.In 2013 bye-election, Congress fielded Savita’s son Bhupendrasinh Khant in the hope of winning back the seat on sympathy wave but lost it. BJP won the seat with a new candidate Nimisha Suthar, who got 64,840 votes and Khant 47,126 votes.This time again, the BJP changed its sitting MLA and uthar and fielded Vikramsingh Dindor in her place in the wake of a controversy over the non-tribal origin of Suthar’s husband. Dindor was earlier in Congress and his nomination has not gone down well with the local BJP leaders.In Godhra, the headquarter of Panchmahal, an Independent candidate with long time BJP connection Jaswant Parmar, a surgeon by profession has already turned the contest triangular and could upset many a political calculations in both Congress and BJP owing to his association with the dominant Bakshi Panch community in the seat.In Lunawada, two independent candidates are making quite a wave. Two-term sitting MLA from Congress Heerabhai Patel was denied a ticket with the party fielding Paranjayadityasinhji Parmar, the son-in-law of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. Parmar belongs to Santrampur, 40 kilometers away from Lunawada and faces an outsider tag.In this seat, BJP earlier planned to field Jawan Singh Chauhan but finally the ticket went to Manoj Patel. Former BJP MP Bhupendra Singh Solanki was also a strong contender for the seat. Earlier the BJP District President J P Patel wanted to contest the seat but he was asked not to do so because he was not a resident of Lunawada. Hence the ticket went to Manoj Patel, a Patidar, closely related to him.In Lunawala seat, it’s Patidar Brahmin Bania versus the OBC all the time.Ratan Sinh Rathod, an OBC candidate with erswhile Congress roots is contesting the seat as an independent, who is being backed by Jawan Singh Chauhan. OBC groups in the constituency have now collected a “Fada” (community fund) to finance the electioneering of Rathod.Both Bhupendra Sinh Solanki and and Ratan Sinh Rathod are giving sleepless nights to BJP and Congress candidates.

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Jharkhand govt orders probe after JMM MLAs organise ‘kissing competition’

Two Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLAs have courted controversy by organising a “kissing competition” for tribal couples during a traditional village fair in Pakur district, with the BJP demanding that they be suspended from the Assembly as they had “insulted” the local culture. Now, the state government has constituted a two-member committee to probe the incident. However, JMM MLA Simon Marandi, who was the organiser, said the “kissing competition” was held to stop the increasing number of divorce in the tribal society. Simon Marandi is JMM MLA from Littipara in Santhal Pargana. Party MLA Stephen Marandi was also present in the fair. A video of the “kissing competition” last night during the fair in Jhumaria village in Santhal Pargana, around 400 km from the state capital, went viral on social media recently. In the video tribal couples are seen locked in a kiss while the crowd cheered. BJP’s Jharkhand unit vice president Hemlal Murmu demanded suspension of Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi from the state Assembly over the issue. “JMM MLAs Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi have insulted the culture of Santhal Pargana in the name of Hul Mela and organised kissing competition . We demand their suspension from the House and not allowing them to attend the winter session starting tomorrow,” state BJP Vice President Hemlal Murmu told reporters at Ranchi.Also readJharkhand: JMM legislator organises kissing contest, BJP cries foulNow, the state government which is ruled by BJP has ordered a probe in the entire matter. According to a Hindustan times report, the state government has formed a two member committee to probe the incident. The committee went to the village on Tuesday and enquired about the entire incident. One of the committee members told the newspaper, that they are identifying couples who took part in the competition. The organisers may also land into trouble. According to Pakur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Jitendra Kumar Deo who is part of the probe, “Prima facie it seems a case of indecent behaviour in public place, which is a violation of sections 292, 293 and 294 of Indian Penal Code. If it is established, the offenders would be prosecuted accordingly”. The final report is likely to be submitted soon. With PTI inputs

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Gujarat Elections 2017: MLAs’ assets rise by as much as 13 times in five years

Assets of Gujarat MLAs have gone up sharply in the last five years, including more than 13 times in the case of one and over 12 times in the case of another, an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch (GEW) shows.The NGOs analysed the poll affidavits of 121 sitting MLAs, who are re-contesting in the ongoing assembly elections.”The average assets of these 121 MLAs from various parties, including independents, were at Rs7.56 crore in 2012. The average assets as per the 2017 election affidavits have gone up to Rs10.54 crore, which is an increase of Rs2.98 crore or 39% in five years,” ADR and GEW said in the analysis.The average assets of 81 re-contesting BJP MLAs increased by 57% from Rs6.82 crore to Rs10.70 crore. Similarly, average assets of 37 Congress MLAs went up by 14% from Rs8.88 crore to Rs10.12 crore, while that of two NCP MLAs rose by 3% from Rs15.61 crore to Rs16.04 crore.Strongman Chhotu Vasava, who is contesting on Bhartiya Tribal Party symbol, saw his assets decline 17% from Rs2.70 crore to Rs2.24 crore, as per his election affidavits.Saurabh Patel on topFormer finance and energy minister Saurabh Patel saw the highest rise in his assets in absolute terms. In 2012, the BJP MLA had declared assets worth Rs56.60 crore, which have gone up to Rs123.78 crore in these elections – an increase of 119%.He is followed by BJP MLA from Dwarka, Pabubha Manek, whose assets have gone up from Rs31.86 crore to Rs88.42 crore, a rise of 178%.The assets of Dinesh Patel, BJP MLA from Padra seat in Vadodara, increased by 56% from Rs39.41 crore as per the 2012 poll affidavit to Rs61.30 crore in 2017.First-time MLA sees 1,348% riseAs far as percentage rise is concerned, Manisha Vakil, BJP MLA from Vadodara City seat, saw the highest rise. In 2012, her maiden election as MLA, she had declared assets of Rs7.12 lakh, which have surged 1,348% to Rs1.03 crore.BJP MLA from Fatepura (ST) seat Ramesh Katara’s assets have surged by 1,205% from Rs6 lakh in 2012 to Rs78.32 lakh in 2017, according to his election affidavits.Minister Ganpat Vasava, who is seeking a fourth term from Mangrol (ST) seat saw his assets jump by more than four times since the last elections. From Rs60.15 lakh in 2012, he declared assets of Rs3.11 crore in 2017.The analysis reveals that three sitting MLAs, Amit Chaudhary (BJP: Mansa seat), Sangita Patil (BJP: Limbayat) and Gendal Damor (Congress: Santrampur ST), saw their assets rise by over 300%.There are six other re-contesting MLAs whose assets saw an increase of more than 200% since 2012, and 14 others whose assets rose by over 100%.The analysis reveals that 76 other re-contesting MLAs saw their assets rise by up to 100%. However, 21 others also saw their assets decline since 2012.

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BJP MLA writes to CM Fadnavis over unemployment, lack of industrial growth

BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh has appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take steps to carve out a separate Vidarbha state.The MLA from Katol in Nagpur district has written a letter to Fadnavis, urging him to be a “torch bearer” for the cause of separate Vidarbha.Deshmukh, a strong Vidarbha statehood supporter, wrote the letter on December 6 and made it public, a day before the winter session of the state legislature starts here from Monday.Deshmukh told Fadnavis, who hails from Nagpur, that the BJP is in power at the Centre and also in Maharashtra.Also readMaha BJP MP Nana Patole resigns, denounces BJP over farmer’s distress Hence, he should put forth with much vigour the demand for a separate Vidarbha before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, he added.In the letter, the ruling party lawmaker pointed out that the region in eastern Maharashtra is rich in natural resources but still remains impoverished.”Ninety per cent of natural resources in Maharashtra fall in Vidarbha. Besides, 70% of the power in state is generated in Vidarbha. These factors can be a huge booster for the development of Vidarbha,” claimed Deshmukh.Deshmukh lamented the lack of industrial growth and unemployment in the cotton-growing belt, which comprises 11 districts.Also readDevendra Fadnavis cracks whip on babus, sets key goals for Dec 2019″The MIDCs in Vidarbha are not creating enough jobs.Besides, new industries are not clicking in Vidarbha. Even the ambitious projects like MIHAN (a cargo hub and airport venture) have proved to be non-starters,” he said.Many of the small-scale industries in the region have closed down in the last few years, resulting in job losses in thousands, Deshmukh said.Also readAttempt to defame me: Maha BJP MP Nana Patole denies saying PM Modi doesn’t ‘like questions’The BJP is a supporter of smaller states, but its ally, the Shiv Sena, is vehemently opposed to any division of Maharashtra.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Amidst water crisis & tourism, Kutch records 63% voter turnout

Kutch, one of the constituencies where the first phase of polling took place on Saturday recorded 63% voter turnout, which is just three percent more than Porbandar and Botad that recorded lowest turn out across the state. District wise glitches were not shared till late evening.The voter turnout since morning in Kutch remained on an average with 12.87% voting in first two hours, 30.57% till 12 pm, 44.6 % till 2 pm and 63% till 5 pm.All eyes are on two seats of Kutch – Mandvi and Bhuj. This time, the Congress attempted to breach the BJPs traditional bastion – Mandvi seat by wooing a cross section of voters. The Congress pitched Shaktisinh Gohil who locked horns with BJP’s new face Virendrasinh Jadeja, who is also a Rajput, in the Muslim-dominated Mandvi Assembly constituency.Gohil is a sitting MLA from Abdasa seat of Kutch, but the Congress decided to field him from Mandvi this time. In an attempt to avoid the anti-incumbency factor, the BJP dropped its sitting sittinig MLA Tarachand Chheda and chose Jadeja who faced a defeat from Rapar seat in 2007.Mandvi seat has a total voter base of 2.24 lakh out of which the Muslims are in a dominating position with over 50,000 voter population, followed by around 31,000 Dalits, 25,000 Patidars and 21,000 Rajputs.Amidst water crisis and tourism that brought income opportunities, whether Kutchis continue to back Saffron or vote for change is yet to be seen. Another seat to watch out for will be Bhuj where while Congress has pitched a minority candidate Adam Chaki against BJP’s Nima Acharya who has been winning since 2007. It is also interesting to note that Nima had defected from Congress and joined BJP in 2007.There are lot of issues faced by people of Bhuj and since Chaki is a known face, he may benefit from the unrest caused due to Nima in Bhuj this year.During previous election, BJP had won five seats. Post delimitation the number of seats in the two regions had come down to 56.Seats:Mandvi, Rapar, Anjar, Bhuj, Abdasa and GandhidhamIssues:Drinking water supplyLand acquisition by industries

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Trash to manure: Kandivli society shows how

Residential societies across the city should take a leaf out of Gokul Heaven Housing Society’s book in dealing with its own garbage. The society in Kandivli on Friday installed a three-tonne waste segregation machine to manage its own garbage.The society, located in Kandivli’s Thakur Complex, has spent Rs 8 lakh on the machine. While the price seems steep, it has turned out to be economic for the society that has 285 committee members of which each member contributes Rs 200 per month. This also includes maintenance cost of the machine.The machine was inaugurated by local MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar who said he would promote it in other societies in the locality as well.”Apart from the machine cost, there is expenditure on providing a separate shed for it, and providing underground electricity supply. So the approximate per month cost that a resident will bear would be Rs 200,” said R Sawant, secretary, Gokul Heaven Housing Society.The society generates around 100 kg of waste every day. The machine can churn out 30 kg of manure from the decomposed garbage. The manure will then be used by the society at its garden.

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BJP’s Prasad Lad wins MLC bypoll, beats Oppn by 15 votes

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday proved that their claim of 15-20 MLAs from Opposition being in touch with them was not hot air as the BJP candidate Prasad Lad won bye-election for legislative council seat with at least 15 more votes from Opposition MLAs.The bye-election was due after Narayan Rane resigned as MLC and also left Congress party. Dilip Mane, the congress candidate got 73 votes despite the fact that Congress and NCP together had 83 votes. Two votes were invalid while two AIMIM MLAs Waris Pathan and Imtiaz Zaleel did not vote.BJP has 122 MLAs while Shiv Sena has 62, Congress 42 and NCP has 41 MLAs. The Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) has three MLAs while Bahujan Vikas Aghadi has 3 MLAs. AIMIM has two while Samajwadi Party has one MLA in Abu Azami.MNS has one MLA, Rashtriya Samaj Party has one mla, RPI has one MLA and Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh and CPI (M) has one mla while there are seven independents. Lad was expected to get 194, but got 209 votes, which means at least 15 MLAs cross-voted in favour of BJP. If claim by Congress leader Sharad Ranpise that two invalid votes are of BJP MLAs is true, then two more votes from Opposition have gone in Lad’s favour.VOTES ON THE CARDSLad won at least 15 more votes from Opposition MLAs, suggesting support for the BJP The election was due after Narayan Rane resigned Cong’s Dilip Mane got 73 votes although his party and NCP had 83 votes BJP has 122 MLAs while Shiv Sena has 62, Congress 42 and NCP has 41 MLAs
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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Godhra, where locals are back to basics of life even as scars remain

It’s 6 PM in Godhra. A power cut has plunged the road that stretches out in front of the railway station into darkness. This is the same stretch that earned infamy around 15 years ago after a coach full of kar sevaks was burnt down in Godhra on the other side of the railway station. Fifty-nine people had died in the incident.The rains that poured under the impact of cyclone Ockhi makes the ride on the rundown road tougher.At a time when ‘Janeudhaari Brahmin’ and ‘Babar bhakt’ remarks are back in the political discourse in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Gujarat, Godhra is trying hard to keep pace.The election fight this time is between two leaders with Janata Dal roots — C K Raulji and Rajendra Patel — who are contesting on BJP and Congress tickets, respectively.Muslims are clearly inclined towards the Congress, but what can trouble the BJP more is the rebel factor from within. However, the BJP has made good inroads into the backward Bakshi Panch community, which has 90,000 votes as against the 55,000 Muslim votes in the seat.Local Muslims are angry with five-term MLA C K Raulji, who had won the seat on Congress ticketon two consecutive previous elections but has now shifted gear and joined the BJP.In Muslim areas, there is a hesitance to talk about Godhra. They have other important issues to worry about.At Nala Baharpura, where the famous washerman of Godhra, Chand Dobhi, lived, residents dread rains, as in every rainy season, their dwellings on the embankment rather than on the river course get submerged with rising water table.Chand Mohammad, who died in October this year, had shot into limelight in 2008 when the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi sent emissaries to meet him during a meeting in Godhra, recalling how he had served him as a laundry man for a decade in 1970s, when he lived in Godhra as RSS pracharak.While his family has yet to get the promised land, more than 250 families living in the area look for respite from the water submergence issue.”We have to leave our homes for days and take shelter in highlands during the rainy season. No one cares about our problem. We simply don’t matter,” says sexagenarian Ibrahim, who has been living in the area since 1980.At Signal Falia, where many of the convicts of the 2002 burning of the Sabarmati Express live, an interesting story has played out. Maria, the Pakistani wife of a Godhra carnage convict Irfan Pada, is fighting a court battle to continue her stay in India after the birth of their daughter Savera here in 2015. In January last year, the Gujarat High Court asked her to apply for an Indian citizenship. She is still battling the issue.Pada was convicted in the Godhra train burning incident and sentenced to life along with 19 others. A special trial court had on March 1, 2011, convicted 31 people, awarding the death penalty to 11 of them and acquitting 63. The High Court in October this year, reduced the death sentence of the 11 convicts to ‘life in prison.’There were a total of 134 accused in the case, out of which 14 were released due to lack of evidence, five were juveniles, five died during court proceedings of over nine years, 16 are absconding, and the trial was conducted against 94 accused.One of the 63 acquitted is Abdul Assu Mistri, who sells tea at Gondra Mohalla on Indore Baroda Highway in Godhra. A resident of Idgah Mohalla, Mistri says he has to spend nine years in jail from 2002 to 2011, which has wrecked his family. He is now worried about the future of his two sons and daughters.Over a thousand garages are lined up in Godhra. Muslim youths are considered expert mechanics and vehicles are brought here from far away places for repair work. But there is no industry in the region and youth from both communities migrate in larger numbers in search of employment. Sitting MLA Raulji, after joining the BJP, impressed upon the party leadership the need to create jobs in the area.The nearby Halol is an auto hub, but Godhra is not a beneficiary as locals are not employed, says Mehfooz Patel.Vipul Soni, a swarnkar from Ahmedbad, however, says the road between Ahmedabad and Godhra was a narrow one and the connectivity improved a lot under the Modi regime in Gujarat. “Development has happened under Modi and people will still vote in Modi’s name,” he says confidently.Considered a veteran from Godhra, Raulji who is from the Kshatriya community and a close confidante of former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela, did not vote for Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the keenly fought Rajya Sabha elections this year and was subsequently expelled from the Congress for cross-voting.After Raulji joined the BJP, party’s state chief Jitu Vaghani went to town declaring it was the beginning of the annihilation of the Congress. Raulji has even if he did not get minority votes, it will not affect his chances of winning the seat.Raulji, who first won the seat in 1990 on a Janata Dal ticket, won from Godhra on a BJP ticket in the 1991 bypoll and again in 1995.Besides antagonising around 55,000 Muslim voters in the city, Raulji’s second sojourn with the BJP has also ruffled feathers in the party.A popular face in the area, Jaswant Parmar, who heads his party’s Bakshi Panch (an OBC caste) Morcha in the state and was a key contender for the ticket, has now entered the fray as an independent.The Bakshi Panch community, who is mostly engaged in agriculture, has around 90,000 members in the rural part of the constituency.Rural Godhra has around 25,000 tribals and 12,000 Dalits. Patidars, Sindhis, Baniyas, Sonis (swarnkar), Rajputs, Brahmins and others put together make around 50,000, a little less than Muslims in urban centres.Parmar, who is a surgeon by profession and runs a clinic in Godhra town, can also cut into some city votes. Parmar was associated with RSS for long and his mother is a senior leader in BJP.Congress candidate Rajendra Patel had won the seat once in 1998 on a Janata Dal ticket, defeating Congress’s Abdulrahim Khalpa, the last Muslim MLA from the region — he had won the seat for three consecutive terms in 1975, 1980 and 1985.Patel, a leader from the Bakshi Panch community, has the image of a rabble-rouser and believes in aggressive backward politics. With a Kshatriya canidate from from BJP and a Bakshi Panch candidate from Congress, the role of independent Jaswant Parmar, who also belongs to Bakshi Panch community could turn crucial in election outcome.
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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Former CM Chimanbhai’s son against Balkrushna Patel

Dabhoi seat of Vadodara district has the high profile candidate from Congress, Siddharth Patel who is son of former late CM Chimanbhai Patel. BJP has repeated the sitting MLA Balkrushna Patel. Siddharth lost with more than 5,000 votes to Balkrushna Patel in last Assembly polls, but a sitting MLA has never won Dabhoi.After tribal voters, Patel community, most of them farmers, has great dominance and with the polarisation of votes among Tribal community, there are subcastes like Rathwa, Tadvi, Vasava and Bhil.The Patel community had showed faith in BJP in last polls but this time the situation may be different taking the issues like agriculture, civic facilities and water supply for drinking and irrigation.Several BJP workers are not happy with Balkrushna Patel’s work during last term and several have resigned after he was given a ticket. He had earlier warned that if he is not given a ticket, he would contest as an independent.People are not happy with the performance of Congress candidate Siddharth Patel either. He was elected to the Assembly in 2007. He is an influential leader of Congress but is in Ahmedabad most of the time. As he was less connected to the voters, he lost last polls.Total Voters : 2,01,849Male- 1,03,875Female – 97,974Caste Combination :Patel- 43,886Baniya- 6,513Kshatriya- 9,943Schedule caste(weavers)- 10,413Muslims – 22, 321Other general – 1,500Rabari(nomadic)- 6,637Vasava(ST)- 32,432Tadvi(ST)- 12,238Rathwa(ST)- 1,145Bhil(ST)- 1,236Thakor(OBC)- 21,735Other- 32,210Poll results :2002 : Chandrakant Patel (BJP)2007 : Siddharth Patel (Congress)2012 : Balkrushna Patel (BJP)
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Gujarat Elections 2017 | First tribal CM’s son Tushar Chaudhary against Mohan Dhodiya

For Tushar Chaudhary, son of Gujarat’s first tribal CM late Amarsinh Chaudhary, the Assembly election is a battle for remaining politically relevant.Tushar, a doctor by qualification, is contesting as the Congress candidate from the tribal reserved Mahuva seat in Surat. He is pitted against sitting MLA and BJP candidate Mohan Dhodiya, who is seeking a second straight win, and third overall.Though just 52, Tushar is quite a seasoned politician having been elected MLA once, and twice to the Lok Sabha. He served as minister in the UPA II government, and is one of the four working presidents of Gujarat Congress at present. However, his political graph has waned over the past few years, mainly due to his failure to prevent BJP from making serious inroads in the tribal belt, Congress’s traditional stronghold.His popularity among party workers has also taken a hit due to the tendency to push his family members’ names for tickets.The caste politics in Mahuva do not make his job any easier. The seat is dominated by Dhodiya Patels, while Chaudharys, the community that Tushar belongs to, are the second largest constituent.”Unemployment is the key issue I am raising this election,” Tushar said.Mahuva (ST)2002: BJP2007: INC2012: BJPVoters: 2,14,604Male: 1,06,052Female: 1,08,552
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Gujarat Elections 2017: In Patidar-dominated Amreli, farm issues take centre-stage

The Patidar-dominated Amreli is gearing up for a fight between two strong Patel candidates in the assembly segment, where farm issues are dominating the campaign discourse.Sitting Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani is pitted against BJP heavyweight Bavkubhai Undhad, the legislator from the nearby Lathi seat who has been fielded from Amreli this time.There is a talk in political circles here that Dhanani could emerge as a strong contender for the chief minister’s post if he retains his seat and the Congress dislodges the BJP from power in Gandhinagar.Dhanani, 41, is considered close to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and had accompanied the latter during his campaign tours.In the 2012 Assembly elections, Dhanani had registered a resounding victory – he won by a margin of more than 18 per cent votes over his nearest rival Dilip Sanghavi, a senior BJP leader and prominent cooperative leader.Also readGujarat Election 2017: BJP, Cong go all out to lure diamond industry in AmreliThe most important issue in this agriculture-dominated constituency, known for cotton cultivation, is farm distress, and the Congress seems to be cashing in on this.The Patidars form 60 per cent of the population in the Amreli assembly segment followed by Kolis at 15 per cent.Also readGujarat Assembly Elections: Patidars to play a decisive role in AmreliBesides farm matters, issues like the impact of the Centre’s demonetisation move and effects of GST on the diamond polishing industry are being raised aggressively by the candidates.A section of farmers believes that the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding minimum support price (MSP) for farm produce and tackling issues related to agriculture have not been fulfilled.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress manifesto promises farm loan, Patidar quota “Modiji had promised us (MSP of) Rs 2,000 per 20 kg on cotton against Rs 1,500 given by the UPA government. But we are getting Rs 800-900, which is causing us a huge loss. Many of us have not got crop insurance money,” said a cotton farmer, Pankaj Chavda.Chavda added that the PM’s pre-Lok Sabha election promise of giving farmers a support price that is 50 per cent more than production cost of a crop, too, remains a pipe dream.In Amreli, where farmers mainly grow cotton, the crop has seen a sharp decline in prices this year, fuelling anger against the state government.Amreli district Congress president Pankaj Kanabar said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani recently announced his government would purchase cotton at Rs 100 per 20 kg over and above the MSP.However, Kanabar alleged only the farmers who were close to the BJP were getting this benefit. “It is a scam in which BJP’s commission agents have made a lot of money while genuine farmers have been left out,” he said.The BJP candidate Undhad is trying to douse the anger of the Patidars against the ruling party by listing the efforts made by the Rupani government to address the grievances of the community.Patidar quota stir spearhead Hardik Patel is expected to address an election rally in Amreli on December 6.Undhad is battling the image of a politician who has switched sides. He started out as a BJP leader and later joined the Congress and became its MLA from Lathi in 2012.He came back to the BJP fold in 2014 and was made a minister.The BJP said it is on a strong wicket in Amreli as its candidate has developed strong links with the constituency, while the sitting MLA is hardly seen here.”The BJP is strong because Bavkubhai lives here most of the time, while Congress candidate Paresh Dhanani mostly remains outside the constituency and is rarely seen here,” said district BJP president Hiren Hilpara.”As far as farmer issues are concerned, we are making sure all farmers get higher rate than MSP for their produce. The government is making purchases of groundnut and cotton which will continue till March next year,” he said.Voting in Amreli will take place on December 9.There are a total of nine candidates in the fray, including four independents, but the fight is likely to be between Dhanani and Undhad. The NCP and the BSP have also fielded their nominees.
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Sushil Kumar Modi ready to play cupid for Lalu’s son but has three conditions!

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today offered to find a bride for RJD MLA Tej Pratap Yadav provided he gave an undertaking never to threaten to disrupt any wedding. Yadav, who is also the son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, had recently threatened to disrupt the wedding of Sushil Kumar Modi’s son following which the venue of the function was changed.The wedding took place yesterday and Yadav had sought to make light of his comments saying “Sushil Modi is like my father. I offer my best wishes to his son and request Modi uncle to find a bride for me as well.”In response, Sushil Modi today tweeted “ready to find bride for Tej Pratap but 3 shartein (conditions). No dowry, pledge organ donation and no threatening to disrupt any marriage”.His son’s wedding had taken place amidst extraordinary austerity in keeping with the thrust of the Nitish Kumar government on fighting dowry and child marriage. Visitors were asked not to bring any gifts and they were offered simple refreshments instead of lavish meals.Also readLalu Prasad puts aside political hositility to attend Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi’s son’s weddingAlso, at the wedding function venue, a stall was put up where forms were distributed among visitors to pledge to donate their organs. At another stall people were given forms to take the pledge not to give or accept dowry and not be a part of any child marriage.Sushil Kumar Modi issued a statement saying “The entire money received through shagun envelopes from Lalu Prasad and some other visitors will be donated to the Dadhichi Dehdaan Samiti”.A controversy erupted today with JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh alleging that Prasad had handed over the envelope to the bride by way of a “publicity stunt” and BJP MLA Nitin Nabin saying the RJD supremo had done so to hog limelight.RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari retorted saying “Handing over of envelopes, containing shagun, to newly-wed couples is an age-old tradition”.Also readNot a criminal, don’t take my words literally: Tej Pratap Yadav tells Sushil Modi to go ahead with son’s weddingIn his statement, Sushil Modi also urged the people to take a leaf out of his book and do away with extravagant weddings by avoiding musical bands, expensive lightings and use whatsapp and email for sending invitations.
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Azam Khan redux: UP Police launches search operation to recover BJP MLA’s missing buffaloes

It seems some things don’t change in Uttar Pradesh irrespective of which party is in power. In an incident similar to past when UP Police searched desperately for SP leader Azam Khan’s lost buffaloes, now police in Sitapur district have launched a search operation to trace buffaloes of a BJP MLA. The police is looking for a pair of buffaloes missing from the farmhouse of of a BJP MLA Suresh Rahi, son of former Congress Union Minister Ram Lal Rahi.A complaint was lodged by the caretaker of BJP MLA’s farmhouse that a buffalo and her calf was stolen by someone on Saturday night. The farm-house is situated about 90 kms from Lucknow near Sitapur district jail. Suresh Rahi is BJP MLA from Hargaon Assembly constituency in the district and his father Ram Lal Rahi was a former Congress Union minister in the PVNarsimha Rao government.Since the complaint was from the BJP MLA’s caretaker, the police swung into action promptly and lodged an FIR against unidentified miscreants at Sitapur Police Kotwali. Two teams were formed and several places in adjoining areas were raided in search of the BJP MLA’s buffaloes.Also readUP: After Azam Khan’s buffaloes, police called in to locate Ram Shanker Katheria’s missing dog“Like in other such cases, we have registered a theft case and formed teams to recover the cattle,” said Yogendra Singh, the Circe Officer (CO). The Sitapur Police is under tremendous pressure from the BJP MLA Suresh Rahi to recover his buffaloes at the earliest.Earlier, in a similar case, Rampur Police had launched a massive search operation when senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s buffaloes went missing. Under tremendous pressure from Azam Khan, the police search operation went till stolen cattle were recovered and handed it back to the former minister. The issue had made national headlines and then Akhilesh government had drawn flak for allowing police to search of Azam’s buffaloes instead of nabbing criminals to check ever-rising crime incidents in the state. To ridicule the police action, a Congress leader from Rampur had written a letter to then Governor requesting him to direct the police to locate his stolen rooster. Also readMan claims he stole Azam Khan’s buffaloes, police claim they caught culprits months agoSince then there have been several instances where police have launched investigation to locate missing animals belonging to influential people. A senior police officer in Kanpur district had pressed the entire police station to look-out for his missing German Shepherd.
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Congress party office attacked by MNS

On Friday morning, the Congress party office, situated near Azad Maidan, was vandalised by eight unidentified men, suspected to be Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists. While no one was injured in the attack — it took place when the housekeeping staff was cleaning — Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam has vowed a befitting reply to MNS in their ‘own style’.The attackers smashed the glass cabins inside the office and left within minutes after launching the attack. The police has now beefed up the security around the office.Over the last few weeks, there had been increasing tension between the two political parties over the hawkers’ issue where the MNS had been vocal against ‘outsiders’, while the Congress had backed their right to livelihood. Days ago, an MNS officebearer was beaten up in Vikhroli.Following the incident, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had told his party that he didn’t like his followers getting beaten up.Meanwhile, escalating the feud, Nirupam, who is campaigning in Gujarat for the local assembly polls, claimed that the attack couldn’t have taken place without the blessings of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the Home ministry. “Azad Maidan police station is barely 25 metres away from our office. Yet, the MNS goons had the audacity to come and vandalise. There is round-the-clock vigil in this area; what were the police officers doing?” he said.He also termed the MNS ‘goons’ as impotent, who attacked the Congress party office in a cowardly manner. “If the CM fails to take proper action in this, our party will give a befitting reply to MNS in the coming days,” Nirupam warned.After the attack, former Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh, ex-Union minister Milind Deora and Congress MLA Amin Patel visited the party office. Leader of Opposition in the state assembly and Congress MLA Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil also condemned the attack said the MNS had done this for publicity. “They have lost their political relevance and want to stay in limelight using these cheap tactics,” he said.
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ISI forcing J&K Gujjars into militancy: Eshfaq-ur Rehman Posawal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujjar community is facing a serious threat from Pakistan’s ISI and its sponsored terrorists. Gujjar leader from J&K and BJP contestant from Karnah in state assembly election in 2014, Eshfaq-ur Rehman Posawal, who is in Kota these days, said conditions are being created in J&K to force Gujjars to join militancy and added that this threat has been further intensified after the recent release of Hafiz Saeed.“It is unfortunate the in last two years since 1947, the militant weapons have been recovered from the people of Gujjar community in J&K and it is the sign of forced conversion into militancy, Poswal said.He has been garnering support from Gujjar community from across the country to counter the threat and to give a suitable reply, he said and added he held interaction with Gujjar leaders in Jhalawar on Sunday and held a meeting with BJP MLA from Kota North Phralad Gunjal. Poswal said to counter the threat and to seek support from the Gujjar community of other states, he is set to organise anti-terrorist conference in Kota next month. Poswal said he held a meeting with army chief Lt General Bipin Rawat last month and requested him to set up up a Gujjar regiment to take on the Pak sponsored terrorism along the Line of Control (LoC).Poswal further said BJP MLA from Kota North and Gujjar leader Prahlad Gunjal has assured him to extend all kind of support to Gujjars in J&K.

In final list of 34, BJP drops 4 MLAs, repeats a dozen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its final list of 34 candidates announced on Monday morning, just hours before the deadline for filing of nominations expired, the ruling BJP repeated a dozen MLAs, while dropping four others, including a minister.According to the list, BJP’s sixth and final one, former minister Kaushik Patel will contest from Naranpura. The seat had fallen vacant recently after party president Amit Shah’s resignation following his election to Rajya Sabha.The BJP has nominated Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) chairman Bhupendra Patel as the candidate from Ghatlodia seat, which former CM Anandiben Patel had won with a record margin of 1.10 lakh votes in 2012. Anandiben is not contesting the elections. Patel is seen as her loyalist.Six sitting MLAs from Ahmedabad city also figure in the list. They are Kishor Chauhan from Vejalpur, Rakesh Shah (Ellisbridge), Jagrupsinh Rajput (Bapunagar), Hasmukh Patel (Amraiwadi), Suresh Patel (Maninagar) and Arvind Patel (Sabarmati).Earlier, the BJP renominated Pradipsinh Jadeja (Vatva), Bhushan Bhatt (Jamalpur Khadia) and Jagdish Panchal (Nikol) from their existing seats.Nagarji Thakor, MLA from Radhanpur, and Limkheda (ST) MLA Vichhiya Bhuriya, were the other two MLAs who missed out.Former home minister Rajni Patel, who was dropped from the ministry last year, is among the repeated MLAs. He will contest from Becharaji seat of Mehsana. Rushikesh Patel (Visnagar), Ashok Patel (Gandhinagar North), Shambhuji Thakor (Gandhinagar South), Madhubhai Shrivastav (Waghodia) and Jitu Sukhadiya (Sayajigunj) are some of the other MLAs who have been repeated.

Gujarat elections 2017: Tug of war between two BJP camps for 11 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Excitement over the names for the remaining 11 seats in Ahmedabad city remains at its peak as this will be a prestige issue for two big leaders in the BJP. National president Amit Shah’s camp and supporters of former CM Anandiben Patel have come in direct confrontation for these seats, where the party is yet to announce the names of candidates. Monday will be the last day for filing nominations and the party is likely to announce the names on Sunday.The tug of war will be more intense in Ghatlodia where Anandiben Patel is the sitting MLA, and Naranpur, from where Amit Shah resigned after being elected as a Rajya Sabha member. Adding to the list, aspirants are eagerly waiting for the names in Sabarmati, Ellisbridge, Maninagar, Bapunagar, Vejalpur, and Amraiwadi seats.A senior leader from BJP said, “Anandiben Patel has been making full efforts to have candidates from her camp for Ghatlodia, Sabarmati and Maninagar seat where Amit Shah camp is fully prepared to pose her a challenge. Amit Shah will have the upper hand in seats like Naranpura, Vejalpur, Bapunagar, Ellisbridge and Maninagar.”Where Anandiben loyalist Bhupendra Patel has been trying for a Ghatlodia seat, BJP high command can give him a shock by fielding a surprising name. Gujarat BJP Yuva Morcha president Dr Rutvij Patel or a big name from the party in state are also under consideration. Anandiben Patel’s daughter Anar Patel and son Shwetank Patel are eyeing the Sabarmati seat, but senior leader Narhari Amin or Amit Shah loyalist Harshad Patel alias Dadhi may become a challenge for them. Sitting MLA Arvind Patel’s name is not under consideration at all.Amit Shah could chose Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank chairman Ajay Patel or Ahmedabad mayor Gautam Shah as his successor for the Naranpura seat, but Ajay Patel has the upper hand here. Vejalpur seat, where the OBC community dominates, could see the change as Kishorsinh Chauhan failed to gain popularity in last five years. BJP could give a ticket to a young BJP leader from the OBC community who is in the realty business. Another name for this seat is Amit Shah’s close confidante Hitesh Barot.Ellisbridge has a flip flop condition as Anandiben wishes sitting MLA Rakesh Shah to be repeated but the party could give a ticket to a daughter of a senior RSS leader. Maninagar seat, from where Narendra Modi contested polls thrice in 2002, 2007 and 2012, also will have BJP’s young face as a candidate and possibly a woman, while sitting MLA Suresh Patel may not be repeated. The names leading the race are Mona Raval and Nisha Jha. Amraiwadi seat also can go to OBC leader of BJP and sitting MLA Hasmukh Patel may be dropped.The non-Gujarati speaking community has been demanding representation from Bapunagar seat but former Home Minister Gordhan Zadafia may contest from the BJP banner again from this seat after he parted ways with the party in 2007 and returned in 2014. Former revenue minister Kaushik Patel may be given a ticket from Dariapur-Shahpur seat, from which he had been elected in 1995, 1998 and 2002, but lost in 2007 against the Congress MLA. Kaushik has been trying for Ghatlodia constituency too, as caste equations in Dariapur-Shahpur constituency changed after delimitation in 2009 and Muslim community dominates here. Former MLA Bharat Barot also is another name for this seat.The Scheduled Caste reserved seats Asarva and Danilimda would see the change and the party may give tickets to a young woman leader and former deputy mayor of city Darshna Vaghela from Asarva seat and sitting MLA and retired bureaucrat in Gujarat government RM Patel may be dropped while former MLA from Shaherkotda constituency Jitu Vaghela can be fielded from Danilimda constituency.

Porbandar heavyweights face off again, development, anti-corruption in play

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“As long as Arjunbhai and I remain active in politics, it seems we are destined to stand face-to-face…that’s how deep our love is for each other,” quips sitting Porbandar MLA Babu Bokhiria of the BJP, as supporters seated around him at the local party office laugh in agreement.The contest for Porbandar between heavyweight candidates fielded by the BJP and the Congress is one that is all-too familiar for the voters here. Former GPCC president Arjun Modhwadia is, for the third time, pitted against his old foe Bokhiria, who is the state minister for animal husbandry and fisheries.While Modhwadia won the seat in 2002 by defeating Bokhiria, and was re-elected in 2007, his bid to win a third consecutive term failed when Bokhiria defeated him by around 17,000 votes in the last election.Bokhiria claims he hopes to get re-elected on the basis of “major development works” carried out during his tenure, and speaks of the introduction of the Amul pattern of milk cooperatives to Porbandar with the formation of the Sudama Dairy, a cow sanctuary that is being developed at Dharampur, improved drinking water supply and irrigation in his constituency, and tenders for sand-dredging floated to address the concerns of fishermen. He also cites plans of developing eight new harbours and 19 landing centres.Modhwadia, on the other hand, is campaigning primarily on the anti-corruption plank, launching scathing attacks against Bokhiria and focusing on the criminal case that was registered against his rival for illegal limestone mining. The case was registered in 2006, when one Umesh Bhavsar, a manager of Saurashtra Chemical Company, filed a complaint against Bokhiria and others, alleging they had illegally mined limestone worth Rs 54 crore from land where the company held mining rights. In June 2013, Bokhiria and three others were convicted for three years by the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court. The Porbandar Sessions Court stayed their conviction till it heard Bokhiria’s appeal. In November 2014, the Sessions Court overturned the conviction and acquitted him.“The biggest issue I am raising before voters is that of corruption. The rival candidate is part of the mining mafia, and was even sentenced to a jail term of three years,” Modhwadia alleged, while speaking to DNA.“Over these five years, only new pipelines have been laid, but roads in the city are now lying in atrocious condition. Meanwhile, farmers are suffering because MSP has not been hiked. No new new industries have come to Porbandar, and even the existing ones shut down during the BJP government’s tenure. Benefits granted to fishermen under the Congress government were withdrawn. Education and health has been completely commercialized. There are no opportunities at all here. Youngsters have to go elsewhere for education and employment,” he added.Bokhiria, however, accused his Congress rival of running a negative campaign. “When you do not have any work to show of your own, you end up running a negative campaignMy work towards development of Porbandar speaks for itself.”Many local voters, however, said that while Modhwadia may seem to be a ‘cleaner’ and ‘better’ candidate compared to Bokhiria, people would be wary of voting for him if they feel the BJP will retain power in the state and Centre.“BJP is in power at the Centre, and if they retain power in the state, how will a Congress MLA be able to get our demands met?” said Vijay Bhayanim, owner of a stationary shop at Sudama Chowk market area.“People here will cast their votes keeping in mind Narendra Modi. We did suffer a bit due to GST, but things have stabilized now as we are getting familiar with the tax,” said Hitesh Bhatijia, a general store owner.

Gujarat elections 2017: BJP likely to announce fourth list of candidates today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP is likely to release its fourth list of the candidates for the second phase in Gujarat polls on Friday. The party may announce all 93 names on the list. However, the excitement prevails over the names of Ghatlodia and Naranpura constituencies. BJP leader Amit Shah was elected from Naranpura while former CM Anandiben Patel is the sitting MLA over Ghatlodia constituency. The rivalry between Shah and Patel camp would come on upper layer for these two seats and other constituencies.Both the leaders have their following in Ahmedabad city and North Gujarat region as well. A senior leader of party said on condition of anonymity, “We have got the sense that some big name would be landed on Ghatlodia, now it is interesting to know that the candidate comes from which camp. It is heard that someone who is minister or on the important position in organisation would be candidate from Ghatlodia. Anandiben and Amit Bhai, both are trying to have own man on this constituency.””Naranpura is the fort of Amit Shah and, until today, Ajay Patel or Gautam Shah could be given ticket because of the proximity with Shah. There are chances that OBC candidates may get more tickets in Ahmedabad city on this list. Apart from Vejalpur, Amraiwadi constituency also can have OBC candidate,” he said. On the other side, former home minister Gordhan Zadafia may get a ticket from Bapunagar constituency from where he was contesting polls before defecting from BJP. Minister of state for transport Vallabh Kakadia is likely to be repeated from Thakkarbapanagar. A young Patel face can get a ticket in Maninagar seat while there is a suspense over Ellisbridge constituency, as there is a chance that sitting MLA Rakesh Shah may not be repeated and daughter of some RSS leader may get the launching pad for the political career in this constituency.Danilimda and Asarva seats, which are reserved for SC candidates, will see the replacement as party can avoid giving tickets again to sitting MLA from Asarva RM Patel and the losing candidate Girish Parmar from Danilimda seat. Young faces of party from Dalit community will get ticket here, said the party leader.Sabarmati also becomes interesting seat as Shah and Patel camp would again come in front of each other here. Anandiben Patel’s daughter Anar Patel’s name was the talk of the town for this seat but Shah’s close confident Harshad Patel alias Dadhi also has claimed for the same seat.”Looking at the great impact of Patel agitation and dominance of Patel community in North Gujarat, party will change many faces here. For Thakor community dominated seats, party is thinking to field young faces to give a tough fight to community leader Alpesh Thakor who joined hands with Congress and going to contest polls from any of the seats in this region,” the BJP leader further added.WHAT’S THE POLL-ITICAL AGENDAEx-minister Gordhan Zadafia may get a ticket from Bapunagar from where he was contesting polls before defecting from BJP. MoS Vallabh Kakadia may be repeated from Thakkarbapanagar.
A young Patel face can get a ticket in Maninagar seat while there is a suspense over Ellisbridge constituency, as there is a chance that sitting MLA Rakesh Shah may not be repeated.

CM Vijay Rupani to file nomination on Mon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A host of events and celebrations have been planned in Rajkot on Monday when chief minister Vijay Rupani will file his nomination papers for the upcoming assembly election. Rupani has been nominated as the BJP candidate from Rajkot West constituency.The BJP said its candidates from all four seats of Rajkot will file nomination papers under the CM’s leadership during Vijay Muhurat on Monday. Finance minister and BJP’s Gujarat election in-charge Arun Jaitley will also be present.Rupani and the other nominees will proceed for filing their nominations in the form of a procession after paying floral tributes to Sardar Patel’s statue and seeking his blessings.“The filing of nominations from Rajkot will kick off BJP’s Vijayotsav in the upcoming elections,” state BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv, who is from Rajkot, said.Dhruv said it is a matter of pride for Rajkot that the CM is contesting from the city, and said several events have been organised to mark the occasion.“We have organised various programmes near Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue in Rajkot at 10:30am on Monday. The whole area around the venue has been decked up for the occasion. A band from Nashik and a live orchestra will perform and entertain people. Artistes from Tarnetar will remain present in their traditional costumes,” he said.While Congress has not yet announced its list of candidates, it is widely expected that sitting MLA from Rajkot East, Indranil Rajguru, will be its nominee against Rupani from Rajkot West seat.Almost taking a cue from Narendra Modi’s Chai Pe Charcha campaign, the Congress MLA has launched ‘Coffee with Congress’ as a public outreach programme.

Tough battle, tougher task in hand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi’s winter pollution is making headlines all over the country, but for residents of Danilimda, it is a yearly issue, and a major one at that.Danilimda has the city’s own garbage hill — Pirana. Forty years of garbage dumping has made the dumpsite look more like a small range of three hills, each more than 100 feet high. A backward area with a growing population, the area needs a revamp, and breathing space.This is the den for illegal activities with migrants from Bangladesh residing here for a long time.Congress’s Dalit candidate Shailesh Parmar won the people’s mandate in 2012, beating BJP’s Girush Parmar, again a Dalit ledaer. Girish is himself a former Congress leader who had once defeated the BJP. He turned rebel when he was denied the newly formed Danilimda constituency. The battle will be interesting this year, as the area has hardly seen any development.Slum dwellers, illegal migrants, illegal chemical factories, health issues, and garbage plague the people living in this area. It life in the primitive age in a smart, heritage city.Sitting MLA Shailesh Parmar claims that he has done many things for the area, like installing streetlights, RCC roads, and drainage lines, while his opponent said that all this was actually done by the BJPIn 2012, the main battle were between Shailesh and Girish. However, Shailesh won by a margin of 10.37 per cent of votes. The area has mixed population of Muslim, Dalit, Rabari, and few vote shares of Brahmins, Vaniyas and Patels.Shailesh Parmar said that 90 per cent of the societies in his area had RCC roads. Other than the Rs 1 crore he had in his MLA fund, he utilised his MP fund too for developmental work. “We have made RCC roads, streetlights, improved the drainage network. Barel market, which is newly developed, has given basic amenities like street lights, water connection and others,” said Shailesh Parmar, MLA Danilimda.Girish Parmar said that he had plans to develop the area beautify it if he wins. “Many illegal activities are going on around the dumpsite. People need basic amenities,” he said.For 2017, there are 227 polling booths in the area.DANILIMDA (SC)Population: Over 3 lakhVoters: 201451Male: 106412Female: 95039CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSMuslim: 98,000SC: 67,000Patel: 9,000Rabari 5,000mix population: 15,000(all figures are approx)MAJOR AREAS OF THE CONSTITUENCYGomatipurBehrampuraShahalamDanilimdaA part of Narol crossroadsSome parts of JuhapuraA newly made constituency from Shaher Kotda.VOTER TURNOUT IN 201268.47%WHO WON IN THE PREVIOUS ELECTION2012 INC Shailesh Parmar, Victory margin73,573 KEY ISSUESGARBAGEHEALTHPOLLUTED WATERDRAINAGESLUMSLIKELY CANDIDATESGirish Parmar – BJPShailesh Parmar – INCWHAT PARTY LEADERS HAVE TO SAY1) Shailesh Parmar, MLA, INCDanilimda sarwa is made of lower and middle class voters. In the past five years, the area got a police station, an urban health center, an English medium school, and a community hall. With the installation of drainage lines, flooding during monsoon has been under control. We made a water tank in this area to cater to the needs of people.2. Girish Parmar, BJPIn the past five years, Shailesh Parmar has done not done anything for the community or for the area. A solution to Pirana is the first priority. There are many illegal activities, specially illegal chemical factories — around 324 — dumping their affluent into the river. We are working towards a proper solution for Pirana and other pollution issues in the area.WHAT VOTERS HAVE TO SAY1. Girish Parmar, studentGarbage and pollution are the two main issues in this area which are causing other health complications. Also, we don’t have pure drinking water. In terms of infrastructure, some of the pockets of the constituency has roads. But the area is still an underdeveloped one.2. Zaheer Derdiwala, businessmanThis area has a mixed population, with a Muslim majority. We can say that this part of Ahmedabad is excluded from modern infrastructure. There is a constant issue with water, which needs to be addressed. We get the support from local political leaders whenever we ask, but need strong action for a makeover.3. Irfan Sipai, mobile technicianPoliticians and matters of development are only discussed when elections are around. We are satisfied with whatever we have in our area. There is no expectation from the elected people, other than to provide proper basic facilities. Waterlogging during monsoon is a major problem which needs to be fixed. Just because the area is belongs to the poor, their issues go unanswered most of the time.4) Rehana Ansari, home makerI am living in this areas for a long time. All I worry about is my kids’ future. This area has so much pollution, which brings health complications. I am concerned about the living conditions here as there is a perpetua; smog most of the time. The politicians and the system needs to take quick action.5) Nazma Panara, home makerWe have an English medium school in our area, but still need more. We need some vocational training centers so that people can acquire livelihood skills. People need vocational or professional training for overall upliftment.

Gujarat elections: BJP’s first list of candidates shows trust in old war horses, several sitting MLAs get ticket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party put paid to at least some speculation as it came out with its first list of 70 candidates for the Gujarat assembly elections. The list shows both cautions as well as trust in old war horses of the party.Prima facie the list reflects party strategy to come out with its most trusted candidates or such that it feels would be in the safe zone in the polls. As just about half the seats have been taken care of, it also goes on to show that the party is still in the cautious and not a celebratory mood, taking its time to deliberate and read more signs from the ground and taking a last minute feedbacks.A cursory perusal shows that the party has more or less repeated its candidates, at least, on most if the symbolically significant seats.Chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani has been given ticket from the Rajkot West seat. While a couple of other seats in Rajkot have also been declared.Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Bhai Patel has once again given a chance from the hot seat of Mehsana which was one of the most disturbed during the Patidar agitation.Sitting MLA Jayeshbhai Radadiya too has got a ticket from Patidar dominated area of Jetpur. Radadiya is a fairly popular figure in the constituency.Sitting MLAs – Pabubha Virmbha Manek and Jashabhai Banabhai Bar have got tickets from the holy towns of Dwarka and Somnath respectively.In the controversial town of Godhra, the party has poised faith in a sitting BJP MLA and five-time legislator, KC Raulji.From Valsad sitting MLA Bharat Bhai Patel has once again got a chance.The expectant candidates of the party have been on the tenterhooks as sources said the party had decided to axe several sitting and non-performing MLAs, as well as a few sitting ministers. The Patidar question is one of the biggest for the party as there are 45 seats out of 182 that have Patidar majority. Patidars comprise nearly 17% of the population and BJP presently has 44 out of 45 Patidar-dominated seats.

Time for Ashok Parnami to attend to his home turf

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With just one year left for the assembly election, state BJP president Ashok Parnami is now keen to put his house in order. Of late, he is paying more attention to his constituency, Adarsh Nagar.Apart from attending people’s problems and trying to resolve them, Parnami has started ‘chai pe charcha’.From the beginning, Adarsh Nagar has been a tough constituency for the candidates particularly for the BJP, as it has a sizeable number of minority voters. After delimitation, the Congress was convinced of winning this seat.Considering it an easy seat, Congress stalwart Mahir Azad put his foot down to contest from here. However, it turned out to be a huge miscalculation by Azad who had won from Jhunjhunu in the past.The BJP fielded Parnami who was contesting his maiden assembly election. Parnami belongs to Punjabi community and was mayor of Jaipur yet no one had thought that he would win. The betting market gave him no ‘bhav’. His party leaders were even less confident.However, Parnami contrary to popular belief, turned out to be a giant killer. Not just that, he retained the seat in the next assembly election in 2013 but this also raised his political stock as he was chosen to head the party. But, since then he has been unable to give proper time to his constituency, which has been the key factor in his victories. Therefore, Parnami is now taking no chances and testing himself on the tasks he had assigned to other MLAs. Ashok Parnami is active in Jaipur politics for the last 25 years. It wasn’t an easy journey from a ward councillor to the MLA. He got MLA’s ticket on the basis of his splendid work as the mayor and now as a state president he is playing a successful political innings. He has established his identity in the state politics as chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s charioteer.ON a Day, PARnami …Visits slums, backward areasFocuses on door to door networkCovers one colony or mohalla in a dayTries to resolve problems on the spotTakes feedback through discussion on a cuppaPrepares list of core problems to resolve themMotivates BJP workersActive on social media

Gujarat: Lack of education and jobs buried hopes of many village youth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 2,300 odd natives of two backward villages in Nandod constituency of Narmada district are eagerly waiting for the elections to get over.Immediately after exercising their electoral right on December 9, about 35 to 40% men and women of these two villages will migrate to Bharuch and Ankleshwar join work in the construction sector and chemical factories. Their only hope, return home with some savings on Holi. The unfortunate ones will head to nearby Rajpipla to work as labourers in the farms of affluent Patidars. A handful of the fortunate ones will harvest crops of Tuvar and Peanuts, fetching them some respite.”We should be moving now as there is nothing to do here. The farms have dried up. There is no facility to irrigate except rains. But, elections ensure good food and some other benefits for four to five days,” says Suresh Dalsukh Vasava, a marginal farmer in Palsi.However, there are many who stay back in the village to cast their vote.Last Sunday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had addressed a huge gathering of tribals turned Ambarish (devotees of Swaminarayan sect) in Haridham Sokhada near Vododara, where they were told that Hindu Dharma was in danger for which they need to canvass and ensure BJP’s win.”We will ensure good voting. We need to save our religion,” says Haribhai Lalji Vasava, an Ambarish. Early inroads by Swaminarayan sect at the time of constructing Mandir in nearby Netrang, the Christian missionaries were unable to set up schools in these regions and the surrounding villages of Khunta Amba, Moji and Bitada et cetera, thereby reflecting educational backwardness. In stark comparison, the Zankhvav village, located at a distance of 40 odd kilometres, is saturated with graduates.”The difference was brought about by St. Xavier’s High School. It changed our lives,” says Shirish Vasava, a teacher at Palsi primary school. There is only one graduate to boast about in Palsi that has a population of 778 as per 2011 census. Palsi has a primary school where there are only three teachers to educate 77 kids. The two-room school, which is awaiting grant for the past several years, is yet to be covered with syntax walls and brick structures.The malnourished kids, who are suffering from vitamin C and protein deficiencies, look at least two years younger than their urban counterparts.Also, the liquor consumption among the youth is quite high. Many children like Rekha Ramji Vasava, whose mother left her liquor-addict husband, has learnt to do all household chores at the age of 7.There is a middle school two kilometres away at Moti Bhamri, but the children studying in higher secondary (HS) classes have to travel at least 5 kilometres on foot to go to Movi. At times, they have to travel by bus for around 30 kilometres to reach Rajpipla, where there is another HS school. The secondary school in Movi is in shambles with no walls and only covered by a thatched roof. Despite the pathetic condition, the girls prefer going there.These villages also suffer from acute power shortage and poor network connectivity. The transport and irrigation facilities are non-existent.The villages had no power supply for two months after their transformer exploded in August. Finally, it was repaired just before the announcement of elections. The villages get only 15-16 hours of electric supply daily.To solve the irrigation problem, BJP MLA Harshad Vasava had inaugurated a generator and laid pipelines for irrigation on the banks of Karjan river in 2011. It has been seven years since and the term of current BJP MLA Shabdarshan Tadvi is about to end. However, neither the generator has started working, nor there is any water in the pipelines.”Our fields remain dry as the water level is below 400 feet and boring is very costly. We get potable water from hand pumps,” says Jhivar Jeevan Vasava. Among the few graduates of Moti Bhamri, Vasava is trying for a job since last three years, but ends up doing sundry work in factories.”It is a difficult choice. You get a daily wage between Rs 350 and Rs 400 for 12-hour shifts in factories. One ends up spending Rs 100 on conveyance after travelling for 5 hours daily. Earning Rs 250 in 17 hours is hardly worth it. Farm and brick kiln labourers get even less wage,” says Jhivar.

Ghanshyam Tiwari case rests on central leadership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Announcing to pitch candidates at all 200 seats of state in upcoming assembly elections, BJP MLA from Sanganer constituency Ghanshyam Tiwari left a window open for reconciliation by postponing the declaration of the name of the ‘new party’. Tiwari has yet not resigned from BJP and the party leadership at state too is horns of a dilemma on the issue. The party-state leadership has shrugged off a decision on it for the central leadership. “Its democratic right of an individual to decide on contesting the election,” BJP state president Ashok Parnami said in response to media queries on Tiwari issue on Wednesday. “In process of my duty as a party state president, I have to inform the central leadership on all such issues and not just in case of Tiwari, So has been done in case of his recent comments,” said Parnami. “Tiwari has responded to the committee and it’s now it’s on them to take an action,” Parnami said. A senior leader, Tiwari has been associated with BJP since its inception in Rajasthan. Even as he has been sidelined at party politics, the state leaders do not intend to gain him on sympathy points and thus is not in the mood to decide on him in haste. However, as Tiwari has declared to announce the name of his party by ‘Makar Sankranti’ falling in January a decision will have to be reached before the date. New frontAnnouncing to pitch candidates at all 200 seats Tiwari left a window open for reconciliation by postponing the declaration of the name of the ‘new party’.

BJP offered me Rs 5 crore to defect from Shiv Sena: Maharashtra MLA Harshvardhan Jadhav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a startling claim, a Shiv Sena MLA has claimed that his party legislators were being lured with money by senior ministers of their ally, the BJP, to defect to the party. Harshavardhan Jadhav, who represents Kannad in Aurangabad district in the state assembly, charged that revenue minister Chandrakantdada Patil had offered him Rs 5 crore to join the BJP.”Chandrakantdada said that the BJP is upset at the constant bickering by the Shiv Sena in the BJP–Shiv Sena government and is trying to get Shiv Sena MLAs to defect. Each MLA has been offered Rs 5 crore, a (BJP) nomination in the by-elections… (they have been asked to) join the BJP so that it can ditch the Shiv Sena. The same offer was made to me,” said Jadhav, who incidentally is the son-in-law of BJP state unit chief Raosaheb Danve Patil.Jadhav said the “offer” had been made to him by Chandrakantdada Patil at the latter’s official bungalow opposite Mantralaya in Mumbai on October 27- 28. He alleged that Patil had also promised that the BJP would spend money on his re-election after he quit the Shiv Sena. “Similarly, if other Shiv Sena MLAs joined (the BJP), then they would be able to free themselves of trouble (from the Shiv Sena),” said Jadhav, who was elected as a MNS nominee in 2009 and shifted to the Sena before the 2014 elections.He added that the senior BJP leader had promised him that if he (Jadhav) failed to get re-elected, then he would be accommodated in the state legislative council when some seats fell vacant in 2019.Jadhav said Patil had told him that all Shiv Sena MLAs had been approached by the BJP but hastened to add that none of his party colleagues would fall for the temptation.When contacted, Patil denied comment. “I do not want to comment,” he said, when asked about Jadhav’s allegations.In 2015, Jadhav had submitted his resignation to assembly speaker Haribhau Bagade protesting against the state government’s slow pace of working and delays in approving developmental works in his constituency. He was also said to be upset within the Shiv Sena before he was placated by party president Uddhav Thackeray.Jadhav, whose parents Raibhan and Sanjeevani have been legislators from the constituency, shot into the limelight after he was assaulted by policemen in 2011 after an altercation during then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s visit to Aurangabad.

Poor struggle in slum pockets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asarwa, an Ahmedabad constituency, is a reserved seat. The area has largest hospital of Asia, but needs a lot in terms of infrastructure. According to an estimate, there are 240 slum pockets in the constituency. Both major political parties in the state have an eye on it. There is also a strong possibility that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), will rope in its candidate on this seat or may support the strongest candidate.In 2012, three parties contested the elections. Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), whose candidate RM Patel won the people’s mandate. From Indian National Congress (INC), Mangal Surajkar was roped in, who was the then municipal councillor and Gujarat Parivartan Party had fielded Chandravadan Parmar. That election saw a tough fight. RM Patel defeated Surajkar with 27.96 per cent of the votes.This constituency has 202 polling booths, which includes four wards of the city and a part Delhi Chakla made in 2012 as a reserved seat for the schedule caste. In 2007 and 2002, when it was a general seat, BJP’s Pradipsinh Jadeja won both elections, defeating INC candidate Madhu Patni and Chetan Raval, respectively.According to Mangal Surajkar, RM Patel has done nothing but rest in the past five years. He never worked for the people. The area has a major chunk of Dalit and non-Guajrati speakers, which has suffered a lot in terms of demonetization and GST.RM Patel claims that for Asarwa, many roads in societies have been constructed. Four pumping stations and three water tanks have been given to area. Beautification of Asarwa lake has been done in his period.Major areas of the constituency comprise of Shahibaugh Dudheshwar AsarwaIn 2007, Asarwas was partly made up of following constituencies – Dariyapur – Kazipur, Jamaplur and KalupurASARWAPopulation: Over 3 lakhVoters: 1,84,767Male: 98,010Female: 86,757CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSSC: 52,000Pattani: 24,000Hindi Speakers: 18,oooPatel: 18,000Thakor: 17,000ST: 8,000Darbar: 7,000Jain: 5,000(all figures are approx)VOTER TURNOUT IN LAST ELECTION2012- 67.80%WHICH PARTY / MLA HAS WON IN THE PREVIOUS THREE ELECTIONS2012 – BJP- RM Patel, (victory margin :76829 )2007 – BJP – Pradipsinh Jadeja (66201)2002 – BJP – Pradipsinh Jadeja (61877 )KEY ISSUESRoadsPolluted WaterSlum developmentDrainage linesLIKELY CANDIDATESRM Patel – BJPMM Prabhakar – BJPDarshna Vaghela – BJPMangal Surajkar – INCVishal Solanki – INCDipak Sadhu – INCMLA TALKS1)RM Patel, MLA, BJP:Asarwa comprises lower class and middle class voters. It is a developing, constituency, which has Asia’s biggest hospital. In some areas, the water connection was a problem but now it has been solved as we have introduced three water tanks. There are some issues related to infrastructure, like roads but we are making more. The area is a BJP stronghold and people will vote for us again.2) Mangal Surajkar, INCThe area comprises the poor and slum pockets. There is a chunk of Jain merchants also. After demonetisation and GST, the Jains are not in favour of BJP. In this election, I am hopeful for a Congress win because most of the areas in the city have not seen any development in the last five years. I don’t see BJP winning. WHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY1.) Manish Rana, studentIn our area we have had the problem of drinking water for long. I have hardly seen elected members have don’t anything to tackle this. We have roads and other infrastructure. There is a kind of development in terms of better road networks.2) Shilpa Rana, computer engineerLike any other area, this area has a mixed population. The elected people are working for us, sometimes the local councillors do come and visit. They sometimes visit our area – the Councillors, but I haven’t seen our MLA ever visiting. Now, as elections are around, they will come to know of our problems.3. Hasumati BariyaI was working from home in cloth patchwork and stitching. But then the supplier stopped giving raw materials to us since last one year. Demonetisation has affected us badly. Monthly expenses are difficult of meet as I have lost work. Why do I vote for such a government who will not help the majority.4) Ronak Dagra, shop ownerAfter I cleared my Plus Two, i joined my family business. We have a small shop in a chawl. But GST has affected it a lot as things have become costlier and people are now reluctant to buy things that they need. As the area has a poverty-stricken population, the elected come and visit us only during the time of elections, and we don’t exist for them thereafter.5. Tarabe Thakor, senior citizen (photo available)I don’t like this government. When he was here in Gujarat, he did nothing for us. When he is at the Centre, he has literally looted us. I struggled a lot when the currency notes were scrapped. How do I believe in his party now? I wan’t a leader who listens to us and understands our problems and tries to solve them.

Separation from party never successful

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to BJP’s senior legislator Ghanshyam Tiwari’s announcement of forming a new political party, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said that no separation from the party has been successful until today. The organisation and organisation’s ideology is prominent, not a person. State BJP has also urged the central BJP to take action against Tiwari.After the public hearing at the BJP headquarters, Kataria advised Tiwari that he(Tiwari) should remove the party’s flaws by staying in the party. In this, is his (Tiwari) wisdom. No one has succeeded after being separated from the party. Kataria also gave examples of Balraj Madhok of Jana Sangh. Kataria said that the organisation and organisation’s ideology is the main. He (Tiwari) is a very big man.“ My party made me big. The party has made me MLA. If I contest the election by leaving the party, then my security forfeited will be seized. How can I stand against the party which has made me worthy? said home minister. On the other hand, BJP state president, Ashok Parnami told DNA on the issue of Tiwari that a letter was sent to the central BJP earlier for the anti-organisational activities of Tiwari. After which the Central BJP issued the notice to him. Central BJP will act against Tiwari. We keep from giving information about Tiwari’s anti-organisation activities and statements to the central BJP from time to time. In such a situation, the state BJP will not act on Tiwari rather it will be central BJP which will take action.Notably, Sanganer MLA Tiwari had announced the formation of a new political party on Sunday. Tiwari has been making statements against the government and the organisation for the last two years. He is now preparing new political power in the state under the banner of Deendayal vahini.Remove flaws by staying in party: katariaAfter the public hearing at the BJP headquarters, Kataria advised Tiwari that he(Tiwari) should remove the party’s flaws by staying in the party. In this, is his (Tiwari) wisdom. No one has succeeded after being separated from the party. Kataria also gave examples of Balraj Madhok of Jana Sangh.

Hoping for a change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It bore the brunt of the police violence against Patels in August 2015 and decided to root for the Opposition. Power play has no stand here as Bapunagar is looking for a change, and is even convinced if the Congress comes to power.Residents of the lower middle class suburb of Ahmedabad want relief from both BJP and Congress. They need solutions, and fast. Less than a month to elections, they want a change in power.In the municipal election of December 2015, all wards of Bapunagar, including Rakhial and Saraspur voted in favour of the Congress after they suffered from police violence due to a Patidar rally demanding caste-based reservations.While the claims of the Opposition and the residents are on the same lines with the primary problems being water and pollution, the sitting BJP MLA Rajput Jagrupsinh Girdansinh says that most issues have been solved. “To curb pollution, we have made an Oxygen park that has 3,500 trees,” he said. Jagrupsinh had defeated Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai of Congress in 2012 with a margin of 2,603 votes.On the other hand, the opposition and residents have a list of issues to be talked about. One of the residents of India Colony said, “Change is needed. BJP is ruling for 22 years and now should change. We have complained so many times about the water problems but no one responds. Check the list of societies that every water tanker pays a visit to. This shows the actual problem.”BAPUNAGAR NEWLY FORMED CONSTITUENCY IN 2012Population: Over 2.5 lakhVoters: 167009Male: 89535Female: 77473Other: 1CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSMuslims: 50,000SC: 32,000Hindi speakers: 36,000Thakor: 10,000Devipujak: 12,000Patels: 10,000 (all figures are approx)VOTER TURNOUT IN PAST THREE ELECTIONS2012- 67.50%WHICH PARTY / MLA HAS WON IN THE PREVIOUS THREE ELECTIONS2012: BJP- Rajput Jagrupsinh Girdansinh (victory margin 2603 ) Congress: Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai2007: BJP – Barot Bharatkumar Chimanlal (margin 32%)Congress: Shaikh Mohammad Faruk Hussainmiya (margin: 18%)KEY ISSUES:Water
Pollution
Colleges
Gambling, liquor AUTHORITY SPEAKS1. Rajput Jagrupsinh Gidansinh, MLA, BJP:Bapunagar residents were facing a lot of issues due to pollution and to curb the same, we made an Oxygen park with 3500 trees.On an average, nearly 600-700 visitors come to the park. On health front, we have added important facilities like MRI, blood bank, CT scan, etc at Shardaben hospital. To prevent water logging during monsoon, in past five years, we have made stronger network of storm water network and built 4 bore wells and 3 water tanks.2. Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai, CongressI am out of town and I had fought elections in 2012. After that, I have no idea what kind of problems are there. My office gets all sorts of complaints.LIKELY CANDIDATES IN 2017:BJP: Prakash GurjarCongress: Dinesh SharmaWHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY1. Meenaben Gohil, social workerBapunagar is a hub of all kinds of illegal activities like bootlegging, gambling, etc. School students of higher grades are into serious addiction. There is a pan parlour which is a nuisance in our area, that promotes these activities. The most dirty water is released in our area that attracts dangerous insects into our homes. I have been fighting for these issues and will continue for the same. BJP needs to go now.2. Amit Naik, doctorIn all elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took out roadshows in our area and said that he will make this part like West Ahmedabad. While he became PM from CM but Bapunagar still remains the same. The biggest issue is that sports complex opened by the state government does not have qualified coaches. Young children of our area are struggling to learn. We do not have a government college and the place which was reserved for a government college today has an Oxygen park.3. Popatbhai Gajera, retired (I have photo of a water tanker as well that visited the society)Election or no election, biggest problem in my area is water. Women in my area struggle every day due to non availability of water. Despite so many complaints, the issue is never resolved and there is no one to listen to us.4. Mukesh Patel, sells pani-puriI used to rub diamonds earlier but left the work many years ago. Since then, I have been selling pani puri. My business got affected during the Patidar andolan, when the roads were shut for few days. I do not have any issue with the government but just that the fee of schools is too much. I have two children and hence it gets difficult to run the house.”5. Nalin Brambhatt, jewellerTo get season passes for buses, there is no facility available at any depot here. Students especially girls have to travel till Lal-darwaja for the same. Another important aspect is that there is no Anganwadi in Bapunagar. Free medicines are not given to the poor in Shardaben hospital.

TMC to organise rally to counter Mukul Roy’s allegations; son Subhrangshu to be key speaker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thirty-six hours after West Bengal BJP’s newest member Mukul Roy alleged that ‘Biswas Bangla’ was actually a business entity owned by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek, the Trinamool Congress announced that they will organize a counter-rally on Monday where one of the main speakers will be Roy’s son, party MLA Subhrangshu. Through Subhrangshu, the message that TMC leaders would be trying to send out is that Mukul, who had been promising a change in Bengal, was unable to convince his own son to join BJP. Subhrangshu is the TMC MLA from Bijpur in North 24 Parganas and after Mukul’s defection he had maintained that Mukul was his father, but Mamata Banerjee was his leader.Today’s rally has been organised by north Kolkata TMC youth leaders, According to sources, party youth wing president and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee had given instructions that the crowd must be at least twice the size of Mukul’s November 10.Speakers at today’s rally would comprise state urban development minister Firhad Hakim and party national general secretary Subrata Bakshi. The main topics of discussion would be issues such as Hindutva, demonetisation, GST and the newly-added allegation against BJP of attempt to break TMC and other parties.In another development, Mukul had written a letter to West Bengal Home secretary Atri Bhattacharya and principal secretary, mirco, small and medium enterprises Rajiva Sinha for defending Mamata and Abhishek over the allegations he had levelled against them. ‘Your press briefing on 11th November, 2017 was incorrect and false and has largely and absolutely mislead the citizens of West Bengal and the public of this country, thus, unbecoming of an IAS officer bound by the All India Service (Conduct) Rules 1968’, said the opening words of the letter, a copy of which has been served to MoS Dr Jitendra Singh, requesting him to initiate a probe against Bhattacharya and Sinha.

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