Af­ter high-volt­age cam­paign, it’s over to vot­ers in Raj & T’gana

Millennium Post - - Front Page - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NEW DELHI: All ar­range­ments have been put in place for Fri­day's Assem­bly elec­tions in Te­lan­gana and Ra­jasthan.

Over 2,000 can­di­dates are in the fray for 199 assem­bly seats in Ra­jasthan, where polling will de­ter­mine whether the BJP bucks anti-in­cum­bency and in­creas­ingly ag­gres­sive op­po­si­tion to re­turn to power.

Votes will be cast at 51,687 polling booths, 259 of them man­aged ex­clu­sively by women of­fi­cials and se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

It is a seen as a straight fight be­tween the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress for about 130 seats.

In other con­stituen­cies, groups like the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party and rebels who are con­test­ing against of­fi­cial party can­di­dates may queer the pitch.

Va­sund­hara Raje hopes to re­turn as the state's chief min­is­ter.

If the Congress wins, it is ex­pected to pick be­tween for­mer chief min­is­ter Ashok Gehlot and state party pres­i­dent Sachin Pi­lot for the top post in the state.

In the cur­rent House, the BJP has 160 seats and the Congress 25.

Raje is con­test­ing from Jhal­ra­p­atan con­stituency, con­sid­ered her bas­tion.

This time she faces BJP vet­eran Jaswant Singh's son Man­ven­dra Singh who has de­fected to the Congress, com­plain­ing that his old party had hurt the pride of the Ra­jputs by ig­nor­ing his fa­ther in the last Lok Sabha elec­tion.

In Tonk, Sachin Pi­lot and Ra­jasthan Trans­port Min­is­ter and BJP can­di­date Yoonus Khan are face to face. Khan is the only Mus­lim can­di­date fielded by his party. Ashok Gehlot is fight­ing for the Sar­darpura seat.

The polling caps a hard-fought cam­paign be­tween the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi ad­dressed 12 ma­jor ral­lies and Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi nine in the state. Both sides fielded their top lead­ers in the cam­paign.

Af­ter a high-volt­age cam­paign that wit­nessed a shrill war of words by con­test­ing par­ties, Te­lan­gana is set for Assem­bly polls with the Congress-led al­liance, the TRS and the BJP locked in a tri­an­gu­lar con­test.more than 1.50

lakh polling of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing re­serve staff, are in the process of giv­ing fi­nal touches Thurs­day to make the elec­tion to the 119-mem­ber House a smooth af­fair.

A se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial said se­cu­rity was beefed up at bor­der­ing ar­eas which were iden­ti­fied as Left Wing Ex­trem­ist af­fected re­gions.

The assem­bly polls in Te­lan­gana were ini­tially sched­uled to be held si­mul­ta­ne­ously with the Lok Sabha elec­tions next year, but the House was dis­solved on Septem­ber 6 as per a rec­om­men­da­tion of the state cab­i­net.

It is to be seen if TRS chief K Chan­drasekhar Rao's gam­ble to opt for early elec­tions pays off.

The Congress has stitched to­gether the 'Pra­jaku­tami' (Peo­ple's Front) along with the Tel­ugu De­sam Party (TDP), the Te­lan­gana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia (CPI), to take on the rul­ing TRS.

The TRS, seek­ing a se­cond term in of­fice, is go­ing alone, as also the BJP.

While KCR was, without doubt, the star cam­paigner for the TRS, the Congress and the BJP fielded their big­wigs for the cam­paign.

Count­ing of votes in both states will be taken up on Tues­day along with Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mad­hya Pradesh and Mi­zo­ram.

NEW DELHI: Re­tal­i­at­ing to the BJP'S al­le­ga­tions of “links with Agus­tawest­land mid­dle­man James Chris­tian Michel”, the Congress on Thurs­day raked up Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley's daugh­ter's law firm be­ing en­gaged by fraud­ster Me­hul Choksi and al­leged a “Bjp-agusta nexus” claim­ing it pro­moted the con­tro­ver­sial Ital­ian de­fence com­pany.

Shortly af­ter BJP spokesper­son Sam­bit Pa­tra ac­cused the Congress of try­ing to save Michel by pro­vid­ing “three Congress lawyers”, Congress

leader Jaiveer Shergill hit back cit­ing in­stances of Jait

ley pro­vid­ing le­gal ser­vices to scam­ster Ke­tan Parekh and his daugh­ter's law firm be­ing en­gaged by now ab­scond­ing Choksi, a prime ac­cused in the Pun­jab Na­tional Bank (PNB) fraud case.

Ques­tion­ing the Modi gov­ern­ment's in­ten­tion be­hind al­low­ing “black­listed Agus­tawest­land to be part of Make in In­dia and bid for 100 Naval Util­ity He­li­copters, the Congress ques­tioned why the Modi gov­ern­ment did not ap­peal against Ital­ian courts ac­quit­ting two prime ac­cused in the bribery scan­dal.

“Will the CBI probe the Bjp-agusta nexus of quid pro quo, of ac­com­mo­dat­ing and wel­com­ing Agus­tawest­land in In­dia and ag­gres­sively pro­mot­ing a black­listed com­pany? The CBI will never in­ves­ti­gate this an­gle be­cause it is a re­mote­con­trolled hawk of the Modi gov­ern­ment,” Shergill told the me­dia here.

The Congress leader ridiculed the BJP for try­ing to es­tab­lish Congress' links with Agusta through the now ex­pelled youth Congress leader and ad­vo­cate Aljo K. Joseph who rep­re­sented Michel in a Delhi court af­ter he was ex­tra­dited to In­dia on Tues­day night from the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).

“The BJP bid to link Congress with Agusta on the ba­sis of an ex­pelled ad­vo­cate (Joseph) is a clas­sic case of the pot call­ing the ket­tle black. In that case, we would

like to know why Arun Jait

ley's daugh­ter's law firm took money from Choksi to de­fend him,” he said.

“Will the BJP an­swer as to why (Ra­jasthan Chief Min­is­ter) Va­sund­hara Raje helped for­mer cricket ad­min­is­tra­tor Lalit Modi or ex­plain why (Union Min­is­ter) Ravi Shankar Prasad was an ad­vo­cate of Sa­hara chief Subroto Roy,” asked Shergill.

Cit­ing Jait­ley as an ad­vo­cate “rep­re­sent­ing stock bro­ker Ke­tan Parekh and giv­ing

le­gal ad­vice to Dow Chem­i­cals”, Shergill said: “If Congress is linked to Agusta, then BJP is

linked to Parekh, Choksi and the Bhopal gas tragedy.”

The Congress leader also ques­tioned the Cen­tre's move to not ap­peal against two Ital­ian courts ear­lier in the year ac­quit­ting two prime ac­cused – Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spag­no­lini – in the VVIP chop­per deal case.

“The BJP is a one-stop shop which pro­vides ser­vices to scam­sters and fraud­sters by act­ing as their ad­vi­sors, lawyers, board­ing pass agents and po­lice pro­tec­tion agents,” added Shergill.

Ear­lier, Pa­tra, without tak­ing names, tar­geted Congress Pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi and UPA chair­per­son So­nia Gandhi say­ing the “Congress fam­ily was rat­tled and spend­ing sleep­less nights af­ter Michel's ex­tra­di­tion”.

Pa­tra claimed that the Congress in its bid to save Michel has de­puted three ad­vo­cates, Joseph, Vishnu Shankar, son of a Ker­ala Congress leader, and Sri­ram Parakkat, who was ear

lier as­so­ci­ated with the Congress stu­dent wing.

BJP is a on­estop shop which pro­vides ser­vices to scam­sters and fraud­sters by act­ing as their ad­vi­sors, lawyers, board­ing pass agents and po­lice pro­tec­tion agents, says Congress

PTI

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, for­mer prime min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh and Congress Pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi dur­ing the oc­ca­sion of ‘Ma­ha­parinir­van Di­was', to pay trib­ute to Bhim­rao Ramji Ambed­kar, at Par­lia­ment House Lawns in New Delhi, Thurs­day

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