PIB Pulls Up YouTube Channel For Spreading Fake News Against Modi, CJI | Lokmarg

PIB Pulls Up YouTube Channel For Spreading Fake News Against Modi, CJI

The government has accused a YouTube channel called ‘News Headlines’ of spreading fake news against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court of India, the Chief Justice of India, and the Election Commission.

According to the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the YouTube channel reportedly has 10 lakh subscribers and 32 crore views.
“A #YouTube channel ‘News Headlines’ with almost 10 lakh subscribers and 32 crore views has been found to be propagating #FakeNews about the Prime Minister, Supreme Court of India, Chief Justice of India, and the Election Commission of India,” the PIB Fact check handle tweeted.

The YouTube channel has been accused of spreading fake news like “elections would be held on ballot paper following the orders of the Chief Justice of India.” It has also spread fake news like re-election will be held for 131 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

Earlier, it had also claimed that Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has resigned from the BJP and has joined the Congress.

The fact-checking team of the nodal agency communicates to the media on behalf of the Government of India. It works to identify fake news by doing rounds on social media and the channels associated with them to warn people against believing them. (ANI)

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Gujarat Polls

Gujarat Polls: 19.13% Voter Turnout Till 11 am

Gujarat in its first phase of polling on Thursday recorded around 19.13 percent voter turnout till 11 am.

The polling was brisk to moderate in different places in the state.
As per the Election Commission of India (ECI), Tapi recorded the highest voter turnout at 26.47 percent while Devbhumi Dwaraka recorded the lowest voter turnout at 15.86 percent.

The voter turnout in Amreli was 19 percent, Bharuch recorded 17.57 percent, Bhavnagar was 18.84 percent, Botad at 18.50 percent, Dangs at 24.99 percent, Gir Somnath at 20.75 percent, Jamnagar was at 17.85 percent, Junagadh at 18.85 percent, Kachchh was at 17.62 percent and Morbi at 22.27 percent.

Meanwhile, the voter turnout at Narmada was 23.73 percent, Navsari was at 21.79 percent, Porbandar was at 16.49 percent, Rajkot was at 18.98 percent, Surat was at 17.92 percent, Surendranagar was at 20.67 percent and Valsad was at 19.57 percent.

The polling is underway in 89 constituencies spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra, and South Gujarat.

A total of 2,39,76,670 voters who will cast their votes by 5 pm today will decide the fate of 788 candidates who are in the fray for the first phase.

Out of the total number of electorates, 1,24,33,362 are males, 1,1,5,42,811 females and 497 are from the third gender. Over 4 lakh PWD voters are eligible to cast their votes. Nearly 9.8 lakh senior citizen voters (80+) and nearly 10,000 voters who are 100 and above are eligible to vote.

According to the EC, there are 5,74,560 voters who are between 18 to 19 years of age while 4,945 voters are above 99 years of age. There are 163 NRI voters, of which 125 are men and 38 are women.

There are 14,382 voting centres, out of which 3,311 are in the urban areas and 11,071 in the rural areas.

Among prominent candidates, Gujarat Chief Minster Bhupendra Patel is contesting from Ghatlodia, AAP Chief Ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi from Khambhaliya, former Congress leader and BJP candidate Hardik Patel from Viramgam, former Congress leader and now BJP candidate Alpesh Thakor from Gandhinagar South.

AAP state president Gopal Italia is contesting from Katargam constituency, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi from Majura, Rivaba Jadeja from Jamnagar North, former Gujarat minister Parshottam Solanki from Bhavnagar Rural, Kunwarji Bavaliya from Jasdan, Kantilal Amrutiya from Morbi and Jayesh Radadiya from Jetpur.

The counting of votes will be done on December 8. Results of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election will also be declared on the same day. (ANI)

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Congress Delegation Meets Election Commission

Cong Delegation Meets EC, Seeks Ban On Opinion Polls

A Congress party delegation on Wednesday met the Election Commission seeking a ban on the opinion polls before the elections.

Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, who was a part of the delegation, said that the opinion polls try to predict the results of the elections in a biased way.
He said that the party has also asked for proper security of ballot papers, especially in Gujarat.

Congress also alleged that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any other big BJP leader comes for election campaigning in a state, the opposition leaders aren’t allowed to enter with their helicopters.

Polling for 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh was held on November 12, with the state recording a 75.6 percent turnout, breaking the 2017 record, whose results are scheduled to be declared on December 8

Meanwhile, the Assembly elections in Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5, whose results will be declared on December 8, coinciding with that of the Himachal Assembly polls. (ANI)

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EC, Now A Branch Of BJP: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday lashed out at the Election Commission alleging that the poll body has “become a branch of the BJP”, while also accusing it of conducting elections on the saffron party’s “signals”.

The PDP chief alleged that the Election Commission is “no longer independent”.
“The Election Commission of India has now become a branch of the BJP. It stays silent, like when BJP campaigned on the basis of religious propaganda in Himachal Pradesh. ECI is no longer independent like it used to be. ECI conducts election on BJP’s signals,” Mufti said.

Himachal Pradesh recorded a voter turnout of 73.23 per cent in the assembly polls, according to data from the Election Commission till 11.30 pm on Saturday.

Solan recorded the highest voter turnout with 76.82 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise. Shimla logged a voter turnout of 69.88 per cent, according to the latest data.

Una recorded a 76.69 per cent voting percentage followed by Kullu with 76.15 per cent. Polling began at 8 am on Saturday to elect members of the assembly. The polling concluded at 5 pm.

Mufti, further slamming the Centre over the issue of Kashmiri Pandits, said that the government is there to “disrupt everything”.

She also accused the BJP of gaining votes “using their (Pandits’) struggles”.

“The current government is here to disrupt everything. Kashmiri Pandits have been demanding for so long to get relocated to Jammu till the time things get better in Kashmir, but they (the government) stop their incomes, and rations. BJP uses their struggle to gain votes,” Mufti alleged.

Earlier last month, Mufti hit out at the Centre over the recent targeted killings in the region and said Kashmiri Pandits are compelled to migrate despite the fact that the BJP is at the helm of affairs at the Centre.

“Targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits are taking place, whose government is there? The Kashmiri Pandits have been protesting in Jammu for the past six months. Today, Farooq Abdullah nor I am in power. There is a BJP government at the Centre. Why are the Kashmiri Pandits compelled to migrate?” Mufti said. (ANI)

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Himachal elections

Himachal Elections: Voter Turnout Recorded At 17.98% Till 11 am

As the polling for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections is currently underway, the state has recorded only 17.98 percent voter turnout till 11 am.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Mandi recorded the highest voter turnout at 21.92 percent while Lahaul and Spiti recorded the lowest voter turnout at 5 percent.
A voter turnout was 13.84 percent in Bilaspur, in Chamba it was at 12.07 percent, Hamirpur recorded 19.40 percent, Kangra recorded 15.49 percent, Kinnaur was at 20 percent, in Kullu 14.54 percent people turned out, Mandi at 21.92 percent, in Shimla it was at 17.73 percent, Sirmour recorded 21.66 percent, Solan at 20.28 percent and Una recorded 19.92 percent turnout.

Voters across the state queued up outside polling booths on Saturday to elect a new state government.

While Sirmaur witnessed a 6.26 percent voter turnout, Lahaul recorded just 1.56 percent.

Notably, there are 55,92,828 electors who can cast their votes till 5 pm today will decide the fate of 412 candidates who are in the fray.

Out of the total number of electorates, 27,37,845 are women, 28,54,945 are men and 38 are third-gender. This time, the representation of woman candidates is 24.

According to the Election Commission, a total of 7,881 polling stations have been set up for today’s polls. The Kangra district has a maximum of 1,625 polling stations while the Lahaul-Spiti district has the lowest 92. There are 7,235 polling stations in rural and 646 polling stations in urban areas. Besides, three auxiliary polling stations have also been set up at Sidhbari (Dharamshala), Bara Bhangal (Baijnath), and Dhillon (Kasauli).

The fight is in between the ruling BJP in the state which is looking to retain power and Congress which is banking on its ’10 guarantees’ that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home. Aam Aadmi Party is in line looking to leave a mark in the state and is contesting on all 68 seats.

The key contests include Seraj where Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is contesting against Congress’ Chetram Thakur and AAP candidate Gita Nand Thakur. Mahinder Rana is the CPI-M candidate.

Congress has fielded Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from Shimla Rural against BJP’s Ravi Mehta and AAP’s Prem Thakur.

Shimla Assembly constituency is set to witness a close fight between BJP, AAP, Congress, and CPIM.

The counting of votes will be done on December 8.

In 2017, BJP swept the Himachal polls, bagging 44 of the total 68 seats while Congress managed to get just 21 seats. (ANI)

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Himachal Elections 2022: Polling Nov 12, Counting Of Votes On Dec 8

Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on November 12 to elect its next government and the results will be declared on December 8, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.

The ECI did not announce the dates of the Gujarat Assembly polls which were also expected to be held by the end of this year.
The ECI held a press conference for the election schedule announcement of Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh on Friday. “We are committed to conducting free and fair elections,” says the EC commissioner at the press conference.

We are making efforts to increase the participation of people in elections and we also try to manifest women empowerment through elections, he added.

The term of the Gujarat Assembly ends on February 18, 2023, while the term of the Himachal House will end on January 8, 2023.

In the 182-seated Gujarat Assembly, there are 111 BJP and 62 Congress MLAs.

Last month, the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey visited Gujarat and Himachal to review poll preparedness.

The 14th Gujarat Legislative Assembly election was held on December 9 and 14 in 2017 to elect the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). The votes were counted on 18 December.

The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) obtained a simple majority with an increase in the vote share in the last election. Despite a decrease in the number of seats, the BJP retained its simple majority in the house and formed government for the sixth time.

In the results declared for all the 182-seated Gujarat Assembly, BJP won 99 seats, Congress wins 77, 1 seat was won by NCP while Bhartiya Tribal Party and Independent candidate won 2 and 3 seats respectively.

Himachal Pradesh voted to elect its legislative assembly on November 9, 2017.

In the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) defeated the Congress Party and won 44 seats while Congress secured only 21 seats in 2017.

At present, in Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly, the BJP has 45 MLAs, while Congress has 22 and CPIM has 1 MLA.

In the upcoming state elections, The AAP is looking to set foot in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

In Gujarat, AAP could not open its account in the previous Assembly elections. After a massive victory in Punjab, the party is looking to spread its wings to other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, in Himachal Pradesh, the Congress is gearing up to challenge the BJP.

With the announcement of the election schedule in both states, the model code of conduct will come into force. (ANI)

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Uddhav To EC on Poll Symbol

Uddhav To EC on Poll Symbol: ‘Serious Apprehension of Bias’

Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday wrote to the Election Commission raising objections to its recent decisions concerning the two factions ahead of next month’s by-poll in the East Andheri seat.

In a letter, Thackeray’s lawyer said that several communications and actions of ECI have given a rise to a “serious apprehension of bias in the mind of the respondent” (Uddhav Thackeray faction).

Eknath Shinde had taken oath as Chief Minister earlier this year following a split in Shiv Sena. The two groups are contesting over the “bow and arrow” symbol of Shiv Sena which has been frozen by the Election Commission ahead of the East Andheri and has given them new names and new symbols.

The poll panel on Tuesday allotted the ‘two swords and shield symbol’ to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena and allotted ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) as its name ahead of the by-poll.

The faction led by Uddhav Thackeray was allotted the ‘flaming torch’ (Mashaal) election symbol and name of ‘ShivSena – Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’

The poll panel had earlier barred the rival groups from using the symbol “bow and arrow”.

The letter by the Uddhav Thackeray faction raised objections against recent decisions in the matter of allotment of interim election symbol and name to the party.

“The respondent’s apprehension was confirmed when he came to know that the petitioner had also very tellingly given the same first choice of name, and the same first and second choice of the symbol as the respondent, thus, effectively precluding the respondent from being allotted his first choice of name and the first and second choice of symbol.

“This could not have happened but for the fact that the Commission shared a privileged communication from the respondent on its public website. This one-sided and unfair disclosure gave the petitioner information that he immediately used to his advantage by ensuring that his preferences regarding name and symbol blocked the respondent from being allotted his first preference,” the letter said.

“It is also curious that while the letter allocating the symbol of Flaming Torch to the petitioner was uploaded on the website of the Commission without publication of the image of the symbol, the letter allocating a symbol to the Respondent contained a large pictorial representation of the symbol, thus effectively communicating to the voters’ elections. The same is again giving an unfair advantage to the petitioner,” it added. (ANI)

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There Shouldn't Be Any Politics: Shinde On Karnataka Border Issue | Lokmarg

EC Allots Swords & Shield Symbol To Shinde Faction of Shiv Sena

The Election Commission of India on Tuesday alloted the ‘Two Swords and Shield symbol’ to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena a day after the group was alloted ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) as the name for the group of the party.

Shinde faction had submitted ‘shining sun’, ‘shield and sword’, and ‘Peepul tree’ as its election symbol options to the Election Commission (EC) for the upcoming by-poll in Andheri East assembly constituency next month.

However, the ECI said that the symbols furnished by the Shinde faction are not from the list of free symbols as notified in the Commission.

Giving the reason for not allotting Sun/Surya/Sooraj as a symbol, the Election Commission said, “The Name of the symbol resembles with already reserved symbols ‘Sun (without rays)’ and ‘Rising Sun’ of recognized Political Parties namely ‘Zoram Nationalist Party’ (recognized party in the state of Mizoram) and ‘Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’ (recognized party in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry) respectively.”

“The Commission has decided to declare Do Talwarein Aur Ek Dhal (Two Swords & Shield)’ to be a free symbol and allots it as the symbol to be allotted to the candidate set up, if any, by your group in the current bye-elections and till the final order is passed in the Dispute case number I of 2022,” the EC added in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Whereas the ‘flaming torch’ (Mashaal) election symbol was allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, rejecting their claim to the ‘Trishul’ citing religious connotation.

The Election Commission also allotted ‘ShivSena – Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ as the party name for the Thackeray faction

Meanwhile, the ECI rejected ‘Trishul’ and ‘Gada’ (mace) as election symbols claimed by the two factions of the Shiv Sena, citing their religious connotation.

Moreover, the election body noted that the ‘Rising Sun’ election symbol sought by both factions was reserved for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The poll panel had earlier barred the group led by former Maharastra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and State Chief Minster Eknath Shinde from using the symbol “Bow and Arrow, reserved for “Shiv Sena, in the upcoming Andheri East bye-election on November 3.

A day after the Election Commission froze the ‘Bow and Arrow’ symbol of Shiv Sena barring both the rival factions in the party from using it in the upcoming Andheri East Assembly bypolls, the party president and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray lambasted the rival Shinde camp saying the “40-headed Ravana froze the bow of Lord Sri Ram”.

In a Facebook live, Thackeray said, “I did not expect this decision from the Election Commission. I believe in the judiciary. We will get justice. The 40-headed Ravana froze the bow of Lord Sri Ram. I am sad but angry because you stabbed your mother in the chest. Do not use Balasaheb’s name if you have guts.”

Eknath Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30 earlier this year.

This came after a faction of Shiv Sena under Shinde shifted the alliance to Bharatiya Janata Party BJP from MVA. Since then, Maharashtra has been witnessing a tussle between both the factions of Sena as to who is the real inheritor of the legacy of Bal Thackeray. (ANI)

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Delhi HC Against EC Decision To Freeze Sena

Uddhav Moves Delhi HC Against EC Decision To Freeze Sena Symbol

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday moved the Delhi High Court against the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to freeze the Election Symbol of Bow and Arrow.

The Writ Petition moved by Uddhav Thackeray seeking direction to quash the order passed by the Election Commission of India on October 8, freezing the election symbol of the Shivsena Political Party.

In the alternative, the petition seeks directions to consider and allot the symbol proposed by petitioner Uddhav without restricting the choice of the symbol from the list of free symbols notified by ECI.

After the Election Commission of India (ECI) froze the Shiv Sena’s election symbol of ‘bow and arrow’, the Uddhav Thackeray faction has also submitted the ‘Trishul’, ‘Mashaal’ and ‘Rising Sun’ symbols as their choices in ECI.

The plea stated that “Since bye-elections have been notified in the State of Maharashtra for 166-Andheri East constituency for which the last date of nominations is October 14, and the date of poll is November 3, grave prejudice will be caused to the petitioner and his party if the impugned order is not stayed.”

“While passing the impugned order, the Election Commission of India has failed to consider that from September 19 to October 8, there has been no change in circumstances regarding the claim set up by both the groups in respect of majority and control of the party,” the plea stated.

“Therefore, merely because a bye-election was announced in Andheri East Constituency, wherein admittedly Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde (Present Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra) or his group are not even setting up any candidate, there was no reason for ECI to change the existing status quo regarding the use of name and Symbol by the Petitioner by freezing the symbol of the party,” the plea further stated.

The plea also stated that on January 23, 2018, the Organizational Elections of the Party for the term 2018-2023 were held as per Rule V of the Rules and Regulations of Shiv Sena, which mandates intra-party elections to be conducted once in five years. In the said elections, the Petitioner, Uddhav Thackeray, was unanimously elected as the Shivsena Paksha Pramukh of the Party.

Notably, EC passed the interim order saying in Andheri East bye polls, neither of the two groups shall be permitted to use the symbol “Bow and Arrow”, reserved for “Shiv Sena”.

The Commission’s ruling came amid the ongoing symbol war between the Uddhav Thackeray camp and rival Eknath Shinde camp. (ANI)

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EC Delists 86 Non Existent Unrecognised Political Parties; 253 Declared Inactive

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has delisted 86 “non-existent” Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs), the poll body said on Tuesday.

An additional 253 RUPPs were declared as inactive.
“In continuation of the earlier action initiated on May 25, 2022, for enforcing due compliances by Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs), the Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey today further delisted 86 non-existent RUPPs and declared additional 253 as Inactive RUPPs,” said the press release.

As per statutory requirements under section 29A of the RP Act, every political party has to communicate any change in its name, head office, office bearers, address, and PAN to the Commission without delay.

Eighty Six RUPPs were found to be non-existent either after a physical verification carried out by the respective Chief Electoral Officers of concerned states/UTs or based on the report of undelivered letters/notices from the Postal Authority sent to the registered address of the concerned RUPP.

Significantly, the ECI had delisted 87 RUPPs in May and 111 RUPPs in June earlier this year.

This decision against 253 non-compliant RUPPs has been taken based on reports received from Chief Electoral Officers of seven states namely Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

These 253 RUPPs have been declared inactive, as they have not responded to the letter/notice delivered to them and have not contested a single election either to the General Assembly of a State or the Parliament Election 2014 & 2019. These RUPPs have failed to comply with statutory requirements for more than 16 compliance steps since 2015 and are continuing to default.

It is also noted that of the above 253 parties, 66 RUPPs actually applied for a common symbol as per para 10B of the Symbol’s Order 1968 and did not contest the respective elections. It is pertinent to note that privilege of a common symbol is given to RUPP based upon an undertaking for putting up at least 5 per cent of total candidates with regard to said legislative assembly election of a State.

Possibility of such parties occupying the available pre-election political space by taking benefits of admissible entitlements without contesting elections cannot be ruled out. This also tends to crowd out the political parties actually contesting elections and also creates confusing situations for the voters, the statement said.

The Commission noted that the primary purpose of registration of political parties is contained in Section 29A which lists out privileges and advantages which accrue to an association once it gets registered as a political party and all such advantages and privileges are directly relatable to the said participation in the electoral processes.

Accordingly, the 13 (ii) (e) guidelines for registration of political parties issued by the Commission for the condition of registration, reads as follows: Declares that party must contest an election conducted by the Election Commission within five years of its registration and thereafter should continue to contest. (If the Party does not contest elections continuously for six years, the Party shall be taken off the list of registered parties).

The Commission is cognizant that compliances of the birth conditions, which are a combination of mandated and self-acknowledged provisions, are a sine qua non for maintaining financial discipline, propriety, public accountability, and transparency.

The compliances work as the building blocks of a transparency mechanism for informing the voters of the affairs of the political parties necessary for making informed choices. In the absence of required compliances, the electorate and the Election Commission get blindsided. Further all these stated regulatory requirements have a direct bearing on the Commission’s constitutional mandate of conducting free, fair and transparent elections.

In view of the foregoing, immediate corrective measures are warranted in the larger public interest as well as for the purity of electoral democracy. Therefore, the Commission, in the discharge of its mandate of ensuring a just, free, fair & transparent electoral process hereby directs that the 86 non-existent RUPPs, shall be deleted from the list of register of RUPPs and render themselves liable to be not entitled to have benefits under the Symbols Order, 1968.

253 RUPPs are marked as ‘Inactive RUPPs” in the register of RUPPs maintained by the commission under section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, the statement said.

These 253 RUPPs shall not be eligible to avail of any benefit of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

Any party aggrieved from this may approach the concerned Chief Electoral Officer/Election Commission within 30 days of the issue of this direction, said the ECI.

Of these 253 RUPPS, 66 RUPPs which sought a common symbol under para 10B in various elections but did not set up any candidates for the respective general elections, shall need to further explain, in addition to (point iii above), as to why further action as mandated in “para 10 b of the Symbols Order making them liable for such punitive action as the Commission may consider appropriate” should not be taken. (ANI)