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.