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Polling, security staff reach polling stations in Srinagar LS constituency for Monday's vote

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Srinagar, May 12 (IANS) All polling staff and security personnel have reached their places of duty for voting in J&K’s Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, elections officials said on Sunday.

Srinagar District Magistrate and returning officer, Dr Bilal Mohi-ud-Din Bhat said that “adequate arrangements for their comfortable stay at the polling stations including food, bedding, drinking water, toilet etc” have been made.

“I would appeal to the voters to come out in large numbers and use their democratic right to vote tomorrow so that the hard work that has gone into making arrangements for tomorrow’s voting becomes a real success,” he said at a press conference here.

The Election Commission has set up 2,135 polling stations – 1,004 urban and 1,131 rural – for the 17,44,027 voters, which comprise 8,74,048 males, 8,69,916 females and 63 third-genders.

The constituency is spread over the districts of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Pulwama, and Shopian, comprising 8 Assembly segments in Srinagar, four in Pulwama, three in Budgam, and two each in Ganderbal and Shopian.

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A total of 24 candidates are in the race in this constituency, but the main battle is between Syed Ruhullah Mehdi of the National Conference, Waheed ur Rehman Para of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Mohd Ashraf Mir of J&K Apni Party.

Voting will start at 7 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

–IANS

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'Na khaunga, na khaane dunga': PM Modi warns action against corrupt leaders will accelerate after June 4

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) From Barasat in West Bengal to Dumka in Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday vowed to launch a thorough investigation against corrupt leaders once the results of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are out on June 4.

This, he promised, was a “Modi ki guarantee” and an “X-ray so powerful” that it will deter future generations from indulging in corruption.

“Ten years ago, I pledged to eradicate corruption, and I’ve upheld that promise. Now, I assure the nation that ‘na khaunga, na khaane dunga’! The mountains of notes that have been recovered from TMC leaders will be accounted for, every single penny of it. Legal measures are being implemented to ensure justice,” said Prime Minister Modi during the election rally in Barasat.

In Dumka, as he slammed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress of “looting Jharkhand from all sides”, the Prime Minister said that the resource-rich state is now infamous for its mountains of currency notes.

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“After June 4, action against corrupt leaders will accelerate, and this is the Modi ki guarantee,” he said while reiterating his commitment to combating corruption in the country.

On Monday, while speaking exclusively to IANS, Prime Minister Modi elaborated on how his government has been working tirelessly to weed out rampant corruption from the system.

“Today, when the big fish are being caught, questions are being raised by vested interests. It’s difficult to understand what is the motive of the Khan Market Gang and why it is framing such narratives to save the criminals from facing the law,” he said.

He had also made it clear that the independent agencies take action based on facts which are gathered after a lot of hard work.

“It is the Independent investigative agency which apprehends the accused and the judiciary which decides on their conviction or trial. The Prime Minister has no role in this,” said Prime Minister Modi.

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While addressing multiple election meetings in different parts of the country over the past many weeks, the Prime Minister has emphasised that the next five years will prove to be extremely important in the country’s fight against corruption.

Last August, while speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Modi had mentioned that corruption, nepotism and appeasement are the three major challenges that have suppressed the aspirations of people in the country.

“Freedom from corruption, fight against corruption in every area and in every sector is the need of the hour. And countrymen, my dear family members, this is Modi’s commitment; it is my personal commitment that I will continue to fight against corruption,” said the Prime Minister on August 15, 2023.

–IANS

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61-day fishing ban implemented in Goa from June 1

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Panaji, May 28 (IANS) The annual 61-day fishing ban in the coastal state will be implemented from June 1, a Minister said.

Goa Fisheries Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar told IANS that the ban will be enforced from June 1.

“The ban is for 61 days, which is from June 1 to July 31,” Halarnkar said.

The Minister added that action would be taken against those who are involved in illegal fishing during the banned season.

“Due to the rough weather conditions in the sea, nobody goes for fishing. All the boats are anchored at jetties. However, we will take action if anyone is found fishing during the ban period,” he said.

During this period mechanised fishing is prohibited along the sea coast and territorial waters of Goa.

There are around 897 fishing trawlers in Goa.

The workers from trawlers leave for their hometowns during the ban season and come back to the coastal state at the end of July to begin with operations in August.

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Most of the workers working on trawlers are from other states, who get a break during the fishing ban period.

The ban is imposed annually in the coastal state to facilitate sufficient time for fish breeding.

–IANS

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4 killed as rains lash Kerala, cause havoc in state

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 28 (IANS) Heavy rains across Kerala, including a suspected cloud burst at Kochi, on Tuesday left four people dead and caused large destruction across the state.

Kottayam and Ernakulam districts have been the worst-hit and the IMD has announced a Red alert in these two districts. Likewise, an Orange alert has been announced for Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Idukki.

According to S. Abhilash, Associate Professor at the Cochin University of Science and Technology, a record 98.4 mm of rainfall was recorded in a matter of 90 minutes at the rain gauge on their campus.

The Infopark IT park at Kakkanadu in Kochi was another place badly hit by the heavy rains.

Several areas in Kochi, the commercial capital of the state, were left waterlogged and water entered numerous houses in some low-lying areas.

A Class 10 student, who had ventured out for a swim at Vengoor near Kochi, was drowned, while Aravind, who was standing outside his house in Alappuzha, died when a coconut tree got uprooted and fell on him.

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Fisherman Abraham, out on his fishing boat off the capital city’s Muthalapozhi suburbs, lost his life after it overturned in the rough seas while a death was reported in north Kerala.

Water entered the ground floor of the home of 97-year-old award-winning writer and literary critic M. Leelavathy at Kochi and destroyed her awards and her collection of books.

Authorities have closed down Ponmudi, a popular hill station in Thiruvananthapuram district besides destinations in high-altitude areas in the Kottayam district, where landslides and landslips have also been reported.

Relief camps have started functioning at a few places in central Kerala where the rain waters played havoc.

Meanwhile, with the southwest monsoon expected later this week, more rains are predicted by the IMD.

–IANS

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Why waste votes by supporting Trinamool when formation of Modi govt is inevitable: PM

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Kolkata, May 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that when the formation of a Modi government at the Centre is inevitable, why waste votes by casting them for the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal?

Addressing an election meeting in Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency in support of BJP candidate Anirban Ganguly, the Prime Minister said, “If you ask anyone in West Bengal who will form the government at the Centre, everyone will say that it is going to be a Modi government again. If that is the case, why waste your votes by casting them in favour of Trinamool Congress?”

He also said that casting votes for the Left parties will only help the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced her support for the opposition INDI Alliance.

Stating that the CPI-M and Trinamool are two different parties with the same goal, PM Modi said: “Their shops are different. But the products displayed at both the shops are the same. Whatever they do or say are similar.”

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Referring to the recent order of the Calcutta High Court cancelling all OBC certificates issued in the state after 2010, the Prime Minister said the Trinamool first tried to ensure backdoor entry for Muslims under the reservation quota meant for OBCs.

“Now, when the Calcutta High Court has foiled that plot, the Trinamool leaders are saying they do not accept the verdict only to satisfy its dedicated vote bank,” the Prime Minister said.

He also said that Trinamool should be punished because of its failure to prevent events like what happened in Sandeshkhali.

“On the contrary, the Trinamool government is trying to shield the accused. It only pursues the politics of violence, corruption, and appeasement,” the Prime Minister said.

–IANS

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Bomb threat at Telangana Dy CM’s residence Praja Bhavan

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Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) Hyderabad Police on Tuesday received a threatening call regarding a bomb at the Jyotirao Phule Praja Bhavan, which is serving as the residence of Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

Police teams carried out searches at Praja Bhavan, formerly Pragati Bhavan, in Begumpet area after an unknown person called the Police Control Room to say that a bomb had been planted at Praja Bhavan, which may go off anytime.

Special police teams including the Bomb Disposal Squad, Dog Squad and the disaster response force of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were pressed into action.

However, police did not find anything suspicious during the searches.

Praja Bhavan was the official residence of Telangana Chief Minister till November when the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) was in power.

After the Congress came to power, it is now serving as the official residence of Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

The Congress government is also using part of the premises for receiving petitions from the people.

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Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, state minister Seethakka said many people come to Praja Bhavan to submit petitions about their problems and everyone was being allowed to enter the complex. She added that they don’t suspect anyone.

–IANS

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