Connect with us

National

'Festival of democracy' ends in Kerala with 67 per cent turnout, voters still in queues

Published

on

Thiruvananthapuram, April 26 (IANS) Voters in Kerala braved the heat to head out to polling stations in the single-day “festival of democracy” in the southern state on Friday, with a 67 per cent turnout recorded for the state’s 20 Lok Sabha seats till the closing of polls at 6 p.m. but long queues of voters still present.

The state’s electorate totals 2,77,49,159 – 1,43,33,499 women, 1,34,15,293 men and 367 transgenders. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, there was a 77.67 per cent turnout.

At the end of the official close of polling time of 6 p.m., a 67 per cent voter turnout was registered, but according to reports, there were a good number of voters waiting in the queue at several polling booths. All voters who arrived in the booths by 6 p.m. were given a separate slip and will be allowed to cast their votes, irrespective of when they would be able to press the button on the EVMs.

ALSO READ:  Lucknow dog owners in dilemma over LMC decision

The day-long poll process started on a high with voters queuing up even before polls opened at 7 a.m. and despite the scorching heat during the daytime, voters, including several elderly people, stood for long hours to cast their votes.

In the afternoon session, the turnout slightly dipped, but in the late evening, it picked up again and reports from election officials indicate that voting may extend till late evening, and it will only be after that the final tally will be known.

While polling was more or less uneventful, there were some incidents which included the deaths of seven people after voting. On the other hand, there were a few newlyweds who exercised their franchise soon after they tied the nuptial knot, while at Kozhikode, a bride-to-be came to cast her vote.

“I feel happy that I was allowed to cast my vote and now I am going straight to the wedding hall as the auspicious time is fast approaching,” she said.

ALSO READ:  CM Sharma on two-day tour to 13 districts of Raj from today; to address canal project thanksgiving meetings

Some “fake voters” were also detected with police registering cases against 12 people across the state for indulging in voting for others.

The three political fronts that are fighting it out are the ruling CPI(M)-led Left, the Congress-led UDF and the BJP-led NDA. In 2019, the UDF won 19 seats, while the Left won the remaining one and the BJP-led NDA finished second at Thiruvananthapuram and a distant third in the remaining seats.

This time, Thiruvananthapuram, where Congress’ Shashi Tharoor faced Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP and of the CPI’s Pannyan Raveendran, and Thrissur, where Congress’s K. Muraleedharan, CPI’s V.S. Sunil Kumar and BJP’s Suresh Gopi were in the fray, witnessed keen triangular fights.

Other key contests in the state included Wayanad, where sitting MP Rahul Gandhi of the Congress faced CPI’s Annie Raja, and state BJP chief K. Sudhakaran, Pathanamthitta, where sitting Congress MP Anto Antony contested against former Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac of the CPI-M and the BJP’s Anil Antony, son of veteran Congress leader A.K. Antony, and Alappuzha, where Congress General Secretary, Organisation, K.C. Venugopal, faced CPI’s A.M. Ariff and BJP’s Sobha Surendran

ALSO READ:  LS polls: CM Mohan Yadav says BJP ready for 'clean sweep' as party names 5 more candidates from MP

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that this time they will register a historic win, while Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said the Congress-led UDF are all set for a clean sweep of winning all the 20 seats. However, both of them said in unison that the BJP-led NDA would only finish third in all the 20 seats, let alone winning.

–IANS

sg/vd

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

National

Goa BJP MLA claims traffic cops prioritising challans over road safety

Published

on

By

Panaji, June 23 (IANS) BJP’s Calangute MLA Michael Lobo on Saturday alleged that the Traffic Police were prioritising targets to issue challan against traffic violations instead of taking measures to stop accidents.

Former Minister Lobo expressed concerns over the rising number of accidents in the coastal state and advocated the need to take measures at accident-prone zones.

“Accidents are taking place due to rash and negligent driving and also because of lack of traffic signage boards, unpainted speed breakers and uneven roads. Officers and local bodies should see that all these things are done properly,” Lobo said, adding people’s lives are more important.

“Strict measures should be taken. They (Traffic Police) are taking these measures to issue challans to traffic violators. They are busy giving challans for violation of seat belts, no entry, etc. They stand in such places, where ‘No Entry’ boards are not properly seen and then take action against the public,” he said.

ALSO READ:  Fire erupts at Mumbai hoarding crash site, doused quickly

“They are trying to show that the order given by authorities has to be obeyed and hence they fulfill a target of 50 challans per day. All traffic cells have been given a target and to accomplish it traffic cells are issuing challans. This can’t be accepted,” Lobo added.

“I will speak about this issue with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and will raise the issue in the Assembly session. Such targets will not reduce the number of accidents,” he said.

Earlier, MLA Lobo had said that Traffic Police harass tourists by imposing fines, which should be stopped or the wrong message will be sent by the state.

Lobo is the third BJP MLA, who has openly alleged that Traffic Police harass tourists visiting the coastal state.

Earlier, Goa Revenue Minister Atanasio Monserrate and Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte had also alleged that tourists were being harassed by the Traffic Police.

–IANS

sbk/khz

ALSO READ:  UP govt to open breeding farms for Jamunapari goats
Continue Reading

National

Centre orders CBI probe into allegations of irregularities in NEET-UG

Published

on

By

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Centre on Saturday ordered a CBI investigation into the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG 2024.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted the NEET-UG on May 5 in the offline OMR mode.

“Certain cases of alleged irregularities/cheating/impersonation/malpractices have been reported. For transparency on the conduct of the examination process, the Ministry of Education, Government of India after a review has decided to entrust the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for comprehensive investigation,” the Centre said in a statement.

“Central government has also enacted the Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, to prevent unfair means in the public examinations and to provide for matter connected therewith or incidental thereto,” it added.

The NEET-UG, an abbreviation for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate), is conducted by the NTA for admission in undergraduate medical programs.

–IANS

gcb/sha

ALSO READ:  Congress came to power in Telangana with false promises: Assam CM
Continue Reading

National

Bihar EOU submits NEET paper leak probe report to Education Ministry

Published

on

By

Patna June 22 (IANS) The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police probing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) paper leak case submitted its report to the Union Education Ministry on Saturday.

Nearly 24 lakh students appeared for NEET-UG 2024 for undergraduate medical programmes on May 5. The results were released ahead of schedule on June 4. However, controversy arose with claims of question paper leak and the awarding of grace marks to more than 1,500 students, leading to widespread protests and legal actions, particularly in Bihar.

Nayyar Hasnain Khan, the Additional Director General of EOU, met the officials of the Education Ministry in Delhi on Saturday and submitted the report, which includes the statements of 13 arrested persons, admit cards, partially burnt question papers, booklets, and booking records of the NHAI guest house where the aspirants memorised the answers after the papers were allegedly leaked a day before the test.

As per sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is likely to do a hold review meeting with the officials, including Khan, on Monday.

ALSO READ:  UP govt to open breeding farms for Jamunapari goats

–IANS

ajk/arm

Continue Reading

National

Union Minister Kumaraswamy holds meeting with HMT officials in B'luru

Published

on

By

Bengaluru, June 22 (IANS) Union Heavy Industries and Steel Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday held a meeting with the top officials of the ailing PSU Hindustan Machine and Tools (HMT) in Bengaluru.

During the meeting, the Minister had discussions with the company’s Chairman and Managing Director Rajesh Kohli, along with other senior officials.

The officials observed demonstrations and received comprehensive information about the company’s activities.

Chairman Rajesh Kohli outlined the various problems HMT was facing, including financial crises, lawsuits, and overall losses.

He stressed the need for the Union government’s intervention to resolve these issues.

In response, Minister Kumaraswamy promised to address these challenges.

Minister Kumaraswamy reviewed details on turnover, net profit, and other key metrics.

He discussed the financial, production, and operational conditions of the company with the officials.

The once-glorious HMT is currently facing significant challenges.

The Minister emphasised the need to strengthen the company and instructed Rajesh Kohli to submit a proposal to the Union government for necessary support.

ALSO READ:  Congress came to power in Telangana with false promises: Assam CM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India) initiative was highlighted as a framework for HMT’s revival.

Minister Kumaraswamy encouraged the officials to adopt this vision and lead the recovery efforts, assuring them of the Union government’s assistance.

The Minister noted that HMT produces tools for the Department of Defence and space programmes, and has manufacturing units across the country.

He suggested that the company should enhance its capacity.

–IANS

mka/khz

Continue Reading

National

Nine Bangladeshi nationals including 6 women held in Tripura

Published

on

By

Agartala, June 22 (IANS) A total of nine Bangladeshi nationals including six women have been apprehended at the Agartala railway station while they were trying to board trains destined to different parts of the country, including the national capital, the police said on Saturday.

An official of the Government Railway Police (GRP) said that all the nine Bangladeshi nationals, aged between 20 and 45 years, illegally entered Tripura and came to Agartala.

The detained individuals told the GRP officials that they intended to go to Delhi and Bengaluru in search of jobs.

Including the fresh detainees, a total of 55 Bangladeshi nationals have so far been arrested in Tripura in less than two months.

All of them had entered India through clandestine routes, in search of jobs in various parts of the country.

–IANS

sc/pgh

ALSO READ:  UP govt to open breeding farms for Jamunapari goats
Continue Reading

Trending