Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO -

Mon­day’s first phase of polling in Ch­hat­tis­garh, which will be held amid tight se­cu­rity as­sured by thou­sands of po­lice and para­mil­i­tary troop­ers, will cover 18 of the 90 assem­bly seats in the state, where the re­main­ing will vote on November 20. Twelve of the 18 are lo­cated in the Bas­tar re­gion, a Maoist hot­bed.

The Congress won 12 and BJP six seats in the re­gion, where polling was less than the statewide aver­age of 77.12%, in the 2013 elec­tions. Over­all, the BJP got 49 seats and Congress 39 with one each to Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party and an in­de­pen­dent. This time around, Modi has vis­ited Ch­hat­tis­garh twice since the elec­tion was an­nounced on Oc­to­ber 6; Gandhi has been there three times.

“The first phase of polling is very im­por­tant for both the par­ties. The pat­tern and polling will re­flect the po­lit­i­cal wave in Ch­hat­tis­garh,” said Ashok To­mar, a po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor based in Raipur.

Polling in Bas­tar will also raise the cur­tain on the elec­tions that will take place over the next month in the Hindi heart­land states of Mad­hya Pradesh and Ra­jasthan, be­sides Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mi­zo­ram in the north­east and Te­lan­gana in the south. The polls are cru­cial as a pointer to what could lie in store in next year’s gen­eral elec­tions.

Shah praised chief min­is­ter Ra­man Singh for the so­cial wel­fare schemes he has in­tro­duced and for at­tract­ing in­dus­tries to the state, and ex­pressed con­fi­dence that the BJP will win a fourth con­sec­u­tive term in Ch­hat­tis­garh.

Gandhi ac­cused Ra­man Singh of in­volve­ment in a ₹5,000 crore chit fund scam and a ₹36,000 crore fraud in the state sub­sidised pub­lic dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem — al­le­ga­tions de­nied by the BJP.

BJP spokesper­son Sac­chi­danand Upasana termed the al­le­ga­tions a bunch of lies. Congress spokesper­son RP Singh said Shah and Ra­man Singh had noth­ing new to of­fer the elec­torate and were re­peat­ing “bo­gus” claims.

Subrat Sa­hoo, Ch­hat­tis­garh’s chief elec­toral of­fi­cer, ex­pressed con­fi­dence that polling in the first phase in ar­eas where Maoists hold in­flu­ence will be peace­ful. “We have de­ployed ad­e­quate se­cu­rity forces to en­sure vi­o­lence-free polling,” he said.

The Cen­tre has pro­vided an ad­di­tional 65,000 se­cu­rity per­son­nel, drones and he­li­copters ahead of the polling in the state , where three ma­jor at­tacks by Maoists have been re­ported since the elec­tions were an­nounced on Oc­to­ber 6. “We have got 650 com­pa­nies for the first time for elec­tions in the state,” said spe­cial di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice (Naxal), DM Awasthi.

On Thurs­day, the Maoists blew up a bus with an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice in Dan­te­wada, killing four civil­ians and a Cen­tral In­dus­trial Se­cu­rity Force jawan. On Oc­to­ber 30, three po­lice­men and Do­or­dar­shan cam­era­man, Achyu­tanand Sahu, were killed in a Maoist at­tack in Dan­te­wada. Three days be­fore that, four Cen­tral Re­serve Po­lice Force per­son­nel were killed and two in­jured when the rebels blew up a bul­let proof bunker ve­hi­cle in Bi­japur. the ini­tia­tive. A plan of ac­tion will be drafted to fight the NDA govern­ment over its al­leged use of agen­cies such as the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) and the in­come tax depart­ment to set­tle scores with po­lit­i­cal ri­vals, dis­man­tling of demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions for po­lit­i­cal gains and the lin­ger­ing “ill-ef­fects” of the 2016 ban on high-value ban­knotes, Naidu and Gehlot said.

The out­come of assem­bly elec­tions due in five states -- Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mad­hya Pradesh, Mi­zo­ram, Ra­jasthan and Te­lan­gana -- will help crys­tallise a re­align­ment of po­lit­i­cal par­ties in favour of the al­ter­na­tive front, Naidu said.

The TDP and Congress lead­ers said it has be­come a demo­cratic com­pul­sion for all the re­spon­si­ble par­ties to come to­gether to op­pose the NDA led by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. “Af­ter all, it is a call of the na­tion to save the coun­try from the despotic rule of Naren­dra Modi, who will never pay heed to oth­ers,” Naidu said.

Asked whether his bit­ter ri­val K Chan­drasekhar Rao’s Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) will be a part of the pro­posed al­ter­na­tive front, Naidu said the whole po­lit­i­cal sce­nario had been po­larised be­tween par­ties sup­port­ing the NDA and op­pos­ing it. He ap­pealed to the TRS and the All In­dia Anna Dravida Mun­netra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu to de­cide on which side of the fence they would choose to re­main.

Sa­ma­jwadi Party spokesper­son Ra­jen­dra Chaud­hary said, “I can’t say if our party will at­tend it or not. But SP pres­i­dent Akhilesh Ya­dav has no Delhi visit around November 22”. Two weeks ago, Akhilesh Ya­dav met Naidu in Delhi in the pres­ence of SP pa­tri­arch Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav.

Tri­namool Congress sec­re­tary gen­eral and West Ben­gal ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Partha Chat­ter­jee said only chief min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee could speak on the is­sue.

At her party’s an­nual rally on July 21, Ban­er­jee an­nounced that the TMC would or­gan­ise a pub­lic rally in Kolkata’s Bri­gade Pa­rade grounds on Jan­uary 19, 2019.with lead­ers of all non-bjp par­ties at­tend­ing.

Nawab Ma­lik, spokesper­son of the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party, said, “Pawarsaab has been talk­ing about the non-bjp al­liance at na­tional level for long and we sup­port the move by Andhra Pradesh chief min­is­ter Chan­drababu Naidu. We will be part of the meet­ing con­vened by him.”

The BJP has,in the past, rub­bished ef­forts to cob­ble to­gether an op­po­si­tion al­liance, claim­ing the party’s de­vel­op­ment agenda will trump any coali­tion. room) call was then made and the po­lice as in­formed,” said a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Po­lice said there were eight peo­ple in the Quanto. “While Poonam, Vi­mal’s wife, and their daugh­ter Chetanya sus­tained crit­i­cal in­juries, their son De­vik sus­tained mi­nor in­juries. Sud­hir, his wife Van­dana and their chil­dren Muskan and Dhruv also man­aged to es­cape un­hurt. Both Chetanya and Poonam were rushed to a nearby hospi­tal where Poonam was de­clared brought dead while her 13-year-old daugh­ter, who sus­tained mul­ti­ple frac­tures and head in­jury, was ad­mit­ted for treat­ment,” the po­lice of­fi­cer said.

Po­lice said Poonam and Chetanya were sit­ting right be­hind the driver’s seat, ex­actly where the other car hit the Quanto.

The fam­ily lives in In­dra Nagar so­ci­ety in Adarsh Nagar in north Delhi.

Deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (west) Monika Bhard­waj said that Shivani Ma­lik, a res­i­dent of Mo­han Nagar in Ghazi­abad, Ut­tar Pradesh, was found to be drunk at the time of the ac­ci­dent.

“Ma­lik was ine­bri­ated at the time of ac­ci­dent. While Ma­lik was caught from the spot, her friend Damini and two other men man­aged to es­cape. A case of caus­ing death due to neg­li­gence, for rash and neg­li­gent driv­ing, cul­pa­ble homi­cide not amount­ing to mur­der, and un­der other rel­e­vant sec­tions has been reg­is­tered at Pun­jabi Bagh po­lice sta­tion. The mat­ter is fur­ther be­ing probed,” the DCP said. it was the pace at which In­dia has to grow at least for the next 10-15 years.

The coun­try, he added, ac­cord­ing to PTI, needs to cre­ate 1 mil­lion jobs a month for the peo­ple join­ing the labour force.

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