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Bihar: RJD files complaint after people ‘not allowed’ to vote in Munger

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Patna May 13 (IANS) RJD leaders on Monday filed a complaint before the Election Commission claiming that scores of voters were “not allowed” to exercise their franchise in Bihar’s Munger Lok Sabha constituency.

The fourth phase of polling for the five seats including Munger, Darbhanga, Begusarai, Samastipur and Ujiarpur ended at 6 pm on Monday.

A delegation of RJD leaders led by Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha filed the complaint before the election commission. They pointed out irregularities allegedly which took place during voting in the Munger Lok Sabha constituency.

The RJD leaders claimed voters were not allowed to vote in Lakhisarai, Mokama and Barahia in the Munger Lok Sabha constituency and district administrations of Patna and Lakhisarai did not help them.

They have urged the Election Commission to take cognisance of the matter and take appropriate action. So that people who are deprived of voting can cast their vote peacefully.

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The RJD leaders pointed out irregularities at booth numbers 200, 201, 202, 205, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236 of Mokama assembly constituency.

Booth numbers 236, 237, 238, 265, 266, 349, 392 in Lakhisarai assembly constituency.

They said that booth number 29 of Badhiya Municipal Council and 157 and 179 of Suryagarh Assembly Constituency were taken over by JDU supporters.

–IANS

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Shashi Tharoor claims BJP has lost the national security narrative

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Patna May 24 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday slammed the Central government over national security, claiming that it did not take any action on the border issues involving China.

“The BJP contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections making national security an issue, but what happened after that? China came to the borders and destroyed the understanding that the two countries developed over the years. They (China) knew that the Narendra Modi government only talks, but doesn’t take any action,” Tharoor said while interacting with mediapersons here.

“If the BJP is contesting the ongoing elections on national security, I would like to say that we had 65 patrolling points on the India-China border where the armies of both countries had the authority to do patrolling for 45 years. Now, the Chinese army has occupied 26 of them and they are not allowing the Indian Army to go there.

“The Modi government has not done anything in this matter. Twenty of our soldiers were martyred in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh,” Tharoor said.

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Tharoor’s remarks came after senior BJP leaders pointed out that PoK belongs to India, and it will be taken back from Pakistan at any cost.

Tharoor added: “The national security narrative of the BJP failed during this election and hence its leaders raised issues of Ram Temple and Hindutva. Now, we have set the narrative for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

“We asked people if there was any change in their lifestyle in the 10 years of Narendra Modi’s rule. Do common people get jobs? Has their purchasing power increased? But people are saying that nothing like this happened in their lives. We also asked people why we should give the BJP a third chance,” Tharoor said.

–IANS

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Political slugfest continues in Telangana over farmers' problems

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Hyderabad, May 24 (IANS) The slugfest between Telangana’s opposition and ruling parties continues over farmers’ problems and the promise of bonus on paddy.

Stepping up the pressure on the Congress government, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader T. Harish Rao on Friday said farmers would organise a ‘Chalo Assembly’ protest in July when a full-fledged Budget session will be held.

“Farmers will lay siege to the Assembly and inside the House, we will take the government to task,” he said.

Harish Rao visited a village in Khammam district and met a group of farmers who had declared a crop holiday. The former minister claimed that farmers have declared a crop holiday as they are not getting adequate water for irrigation, and the Congress government has failed to come to their rescue.

“This government has failed in providing water for irrigation, ensuring uninterrupted power supply and in providing seeds,” he said, alleging that during the last six months of Congress rule, farmers have suffered on every front. He reiterated the demand that the government should pay a bonus of Rs 500 per quintal for all varieties of paddy as promised by the Congress during the Assembly elections while slamming the government for putting a rider that a bonus will be paid only for fine varieties from the next year.

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“We will not leave this government till it implements all the promises made to farmers,” he said.

Harish Rao demanded that the government provide Rs 7,500 per acre for farmers for the coming crop season as per the promise made to extend financial assistance of Rs 15,000 annually under the Rythu Bharosa scheme. He also slammed the government for failing to implement the promise of farm loan waivers to the tune of Rs 2 lakh. He also wanted to know from the government as to when agriculture labourers will get Rs 12,000 financial assistance as promised by it.

Harish Rao had Thursday visited paddy procurement centres in Jagtial and Jayashankar Bhupalpally districts and alleged that the government failed to procure paddy on time, causing losses to farmers.

The BJP is also targeting the Congress government over the farmers’ issues.

Union Minister and state BJP President G. Kishan Reddy visited some paddy procurement centres and interacted with farmers to learn about their problems. He alleged that paddy farmers were suffering losses due to the indifferent attitude of the Congress government, quipping that the previous BRS government earned the wrath of farmers in 10 years but for Congress, it took only five months.

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The BJP leader claimed that farmers brought their paddy to procurement centres 45 days ago but the government failed to procure it. He said despite the Centre agreeing to procure the coarse variety of rice, the state government is reluctant to procure it from farmers.

The ruling party, however, has denied any delay in procuring paddy. Its leaders accused BRS and BJP of politicising the issue to draw mileage.

Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka claimed that the government is procuring even the soaked and wet paddy. He assured paddy farmers that the government would continue procurement of paddy till the last grain.

He said that compared to the previous year, the procurement started 15 days early and the number of procurement centres also increased.

“We are committed to purchasing the entire paddy. Perhaps this commitment is not digestible to the opposition parties,” he said.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the government was crediting the amount to farmers’ bank accounts within three days, claiming that no government in the past paid the amount within three days. He also brushed aside the criticism by the opposition parties over the paddy bonus issue. He said the government initiated the process to pay a bonus of Rs.500 per quintal with fine varieties of paddy.

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The government says that it has so far procured 37.59 lakh tonnes of paddy so far against 33.97 lakh tonnes procured during the Rabi season of 2022-23.

Paddy procurement this year began on March 25 against April 9 last year. This time, the government has opened 7,171 paddy procurement centres against 6,889 last year.

–IANS

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35,000 cops deployed for third phase of polling n Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, May 24 (IANS) Odisha Police has made adequate security arrangements to ensure a smooth and peaceful voting during the third phase of polling in the state on Saturday (May 25).

A top police officer said that 35,000 police personnel have been deployed for the third phase of voting.

Six Parliamentary constituencies — Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Keonjhar and Puri — and 42 Assembly constituencies of the state will go to polls on Saturday.

The number of polling stations in the six Lok Sabha constituencies is 10,551 of which around 20 per cent have been designated as “sensitive booths”.

Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, DGP Arun Kumar Sarangi said: “As many as 35,000 police personnel including 121 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), 106 platoons of Special Armed Police force of Odisha Police and 19,865 civil police personnel will be deployed in this phase of polling.”

Sarangi further said that the police department has deployed 43 Additional Superintendents of Police, 95 Deputy Superintendents of Police, 238 Inspectors and 2,160 Sub Inspectors in the six Parliamentary constituencies of the state.

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“The Election Commission of India has sent an additional 20 companies of CAPFs to Odisha for the sixth and seventh phases of polling as the voting has ended in other states of the country,” the senior police officer added.

The Odisha Police has also deployed 763 mobile parties, 331 Flying Squad Teams and 343 Static Surveillance Teams to check any violence and illegal activities during the third phase of polling in Odisha.

Notably, voting for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections is being held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from May 13 to June 1.

–IANS

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Man arrested on charges of kidnapping commits suicide in police custody

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Jaipur, May 24 (IANS) A man arrested on charges of kidnapping a girl in Rajasthan’s Pali district allegedly committed suicide on Friday in police custody by hanging himself in the lockup with a blanket.

The deceased — Rakesh Seervi (30) — a resident of Chanvadiya Kalan village, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly kidnapping a girl.

His family members, meanwhile, accused the police of torturing him, resulting in his death.

An official said that the body was shifted to a mortuary.

It was alleged that Rakesh had kidnapped a girl from her house and taken her to a house in Balada village.

The girl, however, somehow managed to call and inform the police about the “kidnapping” following which Rakesh was apprehended.

–IANS

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K'taka govt didn't spend a single penny for Bengaluru's development: BJP leader Ashoka

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Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS) The leader of the opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, R. Ashoka, said on Friday that not a single penny has been released by the Congress government for the development of state capital Bengaluru.

The senior BJP leader also dared the state government to declare how much funds it has allotted for the development of Bengaluru since it came to power last year.

Speaking to reporters here, Ashoka said, “During the tenure of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa, Rs 7,000 crore in special grants was released for the development of Bengaluru in one year. Ex-CM Basavaraj Bommai, during his tenure, released Rs 6,700 crore. Let the Congress come out with figures.”

He also asked the Congress government to give an account of the money allotted for filling up ‘lakhs of potholes’ on the streets of Bengaluru.

“Nothing is happening here other than the Chief Minister’s photoshoots. The Commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) claimed that all necessary measures were taken to handle the rainy season a month ago. If the preparedness was adequate, why would the CM conduct a city tour,” Ashoka questioned.

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“The contractors are ready to commit suicide as the government has not paid them due to a shortage of funds. What is the role of the state government? When will the government release funds to fill up the potholes? The worst water crisis faced by Bengaluru has dented the reputation of the city on the global stage,” Ashoka claimed.

He also said that the state government should provide an account of the funds released in the name of ‘Brand Bengaluru’.

“The garbage collectors are under pressure as their bills are not cleared. People are questioning what they are getting in return for the taxes they pay. Is ‘Brand Bengaluru’ still in existence, or has it disappeared? The Congress government must answer. The BJP will stage a protest on May 28 at the Freedom Park to condemn this,” he said.

–IANS

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