BJP MAKES A CLEAN SWEEP, WINS ALL 8 SEATS IN GUJARAT - The Daily Guardian
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BJP MAKES A CLEAN SWEEP, WINS ALL 8 SEATS IN GUJARAT

Abhijit Bhatt

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The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has bagged all eight Assembly seats in the Gujarat by-elections, as per the Election Commission. The Congress, hoping to do well this time, drew an embarrassing blank.

All these seats—Dang, Kaprada, Limbdi, Morbi, Karjan, Gadhada and Abdasa—were held by the Congress. These seats fell vacant after Congress MLAs resigned in the Rajya Sabha elections.

Following this performance, the BJP office saw a victory-like atmosphere, while the Congress office was somber and silent on Tuesday.

In terms of vote sharing, the BJP got 55 percent of the votes in these eight seats, while the Congress could manage only 34.4 percent.

In these seats, 8.46 percent of votes went to other candidates while 2.16 percent votes went to Nota.

According to political pundits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy has worked behind this grand victory of the BJP in the Gujarat by-elections. Meanwhile, the Congress held a press conference, conceding its defeat. Congress state president Amit Chavda said that there has been betrayal with the people of 8 Assembly constituencies. “Let’s study why people’s anger did not turn into votes.”

Chavda said, “Congress workers need not despair, hoping people would respond to defectors. We will continue to fight to save democracy and the constitution. I salute the Congress workers. Thank you for all the help that voters have given. Congress never works for power. Congress only works for principles. We accept the mandate given by the people. Congratulations to the winning MLAs. Let’s consider the strategy next time. We will study the reasons for the defeat in detail.”

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Tejashwi meets Mamata Banerjee, offers full support of RJD in Bengal Assembly polls

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Howrah (West Bengal) [India], March 1 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Monday met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and offered his full support to her in the coming assembly polls in the state.
Addressing the media after meeting the TMC supremo at Nabanna, the state secretariat here, Tejashwi told reporters, “It is Lalu ji’s decision to provide full support to Mamata Ji. Our first priority is to stop BJP from coming to power in Bengal.”
He also took a jibe at the “baraat” of BJP leaders in the recent weeks arriving in West Bengal to campaign for the party and questioned their ability to run the government in the state better than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“BJP is such a big party. The BJP has brought a “Baarat” (procession) of all the union ministers to West Bengal. Who is their groom? Name a single BJP leader who is more experienced than Mamta Banerjee in running the government. Will you hand over power to a leader who does not have any experience?” Tejashwi Yadav asked while speaking to ANI.
“The biggest thing is support to courage, Tejashwi bhai is fighting, so we are fighting and vice versa, said the West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee speaking to reporters after the meeting here at Nabanna, the state secretariat.
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Tejashwi Yadav was also scheduled to to chair election committee’s meeting today at her residence in Kalighat.
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Yadav had not attended the brigade ground meeting called by the left, Congress and ISF in Kolkata on Sunday.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)

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Plea filed in SC to establish Transgender Welfare Board to address social welfare issues of trans-people

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): A petition was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre and state governments to establish a Transgender Welfare Board to address the social welfare issues of transgender persons.
The petition filed by Kinner Maa Ek Samajik Sanstha Trust through its President, Salma Umar Khan Sakerker, also sought direction to appoint a standing committee comprising Station House Officers and human rights and social activists to promptly investigate reports of gross abuses by the police against transgender person.
Transgender people should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else and be able to live, and be respected, according to their gender identity, but these people often face serious discrimination and mistreatment at work, school, and in their families and communities, stated the plea filed through advocates CR JayaSukin and Narender Verma.
The petition said that transgender people are deprived of social and cultural participation and hence they have restricted access to education, health care and public places which further deprives them of the Constitutional guarantee of equality before law and equal protection of laws. The community is facing neglect, isolation, insult, social ostracisation are due to transprejudice that runs deeps in the society and transgenders are still considered “untouchable” in India, the plea said.
It added that the main problems that are being faced by the transgender community are of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, lack of medical facilities, depression, hormone pill abuse, tobacco and alcohol abuse, penectomy, and problems related to marriage and adoption, the it added.
“The right to recognition as a person before the law is guaranteed in numerous international human rights conventions, and is a fundamental aspect of affirming the dignity and worth of each person. Legal gender recognition is also an essential element of other fundamental rights – including to privacy, to freedom of expression, to be free from arbitrary arrest, and rights related to employment, education, health, security, access to justice, and the ability to move freely,” it stressed.
The petitioner further said that in 2014 the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India case in which it recognised the rights of transgender people in India and laid down a series of measures for securing transgender people’s rights by mandating the prohibition of discrimination, recommending the creation of welfare policies.
The Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in 2019 and the statutory provisions of the Act prohibit discrimination against transgender people. But the act violates the NALSA judgment on various fronts, the plea stated.
It said the act violates the NALSA judgement by failing to provide reservations in admissions to educational institutions and public appointments by treating the transgender community as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.
The act gives the District Magistrate (DM) the power to recognise a person as trans, while the NALSA judgment of the Supreme Court allowed self identification of gender, it noted
The petitioner stated that the NALSA judgment had further said that any insistence on SRS (sex reconstruction surgery) was illegal and stressed that self-determination of gender is integral to one’s personality and dignity. However, the 2019 Act specifies that to identify as male or as female, one must supply proof of surgery to the magistrate. Activists say this gives immense power to the DM, leading to the possibility of arbitrariness and misuse. (ANI)

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Beginning of end of BJP’s ‘jumla raj’ in Goa: Kamat after HC sets aside DMA notification on municipal reservation

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Margao (Goa) [India], March 1 (ANI): Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat on Monday said that the High Court striking down notification dated February 4, 2021, issued by Director of Municipal Administration is beginning of “end of BJP Jumla Raj” in Goa.
Reacting to the decision of the High Court ordering the authorities to issue fresh notification within ten days to complete the process by April 15, 2021, Kamat alleged that the hidden agenda of the BJP Government not to give proper representation to SC, ST and OBC and depriving Women and Bhahujan Samaj from emerging as leaders stood completely exposed.
The Urban Development Department, last month issued the notification reserving 102 wards for women, Schedule Tribes, Schedule Caste and Other Backward Classes in 11 municipal councils, for which elections are likely to take place this month.
The Opposition had slammed the government for the haphazard process which was undertaken without following proper criteria. Sitting councillors, across municipal councils, too have expressed their complete displeasure over the reservations and delimitation.
Accusing the BJP government of always trying to face the Polls with electoral manipulation, he said: “The dictatorial BJP Government has always tried to bulldoze the democratic process of electioneering with high handedness using the Government machinery. It is unfortunate that the people have to go to courts to seek justice against the gross violations of electoral process by the BJP Government.”
“Today, the power has gone to the head of the BJP functionaries. They are least bothered about upholding the Principals of Democracy. I appeal to the people of Goa to teach the insensitive BJP Government a lesson in the forthcoming Municipal Elections,” he added. (ANI)

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No decision taken without party’s permission, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury over Anand Sharma’s remarks

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By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 1 (ANI): West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury on Monday reacted to Anand Sharma’s remarks over party’s alliance with Furfura Sharif’s Indian Secular Front (ISF), saying, “No decision is being taken without the permission of the party.”
With this, the crack within Indian National Congress (INC) is out in the open.
Earlier, Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted, “Congress’ alliance with parties like Indian Secular Front (ISF) and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Sharma also tweeted that, “Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour. The presence and endorsement West Bengal PCC President is painful and shameful, he must clarify.”
Congress and the Left front allaince sat for a meeting today to discuss seat sharing for the upcoming assembly polls.
Till now, 92 seats have been finalised for Congress to contest the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election.
The list of candidates for these seats will be announced in two days’ time, Choudhury informed.
West Bengal is scheduled to see elections in eight phases starting from March 27 and concluding in April 29 for its 294 assembly seats. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guideline. (ANI)

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Assam polls: Prithviraj Chavan appointed as chairman of Congress’ screening panel

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Indian National Congress (INC) interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday constituted a screening committee for the forthcoming assembly elections in Assam.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been appointed as the chairman of the screening panel.
“The Congress president has constituted a screening committee for the forthcoming assembly elections in Assam with immediate effect with Prithviraj Chavan as the chairman and Kamleshwar Patel and Dipika Pandey Singh as members,” a party statement said.
The other six members of the committee are ex-officio. They include, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary In-Charge Jitendra Singh, PCC President Ripan Bora, CLP leader Debabrata Saikia, AICC Secretary Anirudh Singh, AICC Secretary Prithviraj Prabhakar Sathe, and AICC Secretary Vikas Upadhyay.
In Assam, the assembly elections shall be held in three phases. The first phase of notification is March 2 and 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls. The last date of nomination March 9 and the date of poll is March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to the polls on April 1. Forty Assembly constituencies in 12 districts to go on polls on April 6. Votes will be counted on May 2. (ANI)

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India sees highest number of domestic passengers since May 2020

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Monday informed that the number of domestic passengers on February 28 has risen to 3,13,668 and is the highest since the resumption of domestic flights on May 25 last year.
“Number of domestic passengers on February 28, 2021, rose to 3,13,668 on 2,353 flights. This is the highest since the resumption of domestic flights on May 25, 2020,” said Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today.
“Total flight movements on February 28, 2021, were 4,699. The total number of footfalls on airports was 6,17,824,” read the press release by MoCA.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, domestic flight operations were ceased with effect from midnight (11:59 pm) of March 24, 2020. The operation resumed after two months on May 25, 2020. (ANI)

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