Gujarat records 58.14% voter turnout, CM Rupani hopeful of BJP sweep - The Daily Guardian
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Gujarat records 58.14% voter turnout, CM Rupani hopeful of BJP sweep

Abhijit Bhatt

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The eight assembly seats of Gujarat where bypolls were held on Tuesday saw a voter turnout of 58.14 percent. The highest voter turnout of 74.71 per cent was recorded in Dang constituency while the lowest was 45.74 per cent in the Dhari constituency. The results of bypolls will be announced on 10 November.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani thanked the voters of Gujarat for the overwhelming turnout in the Assembly by-elections. He told the media that the victory of the BJP was determined by the sincere efforts of each and every party worker, even in the midst of the Corona epidemic. There is confidence in the Modi-led government at the Centre, he added. Rupani claimed that the BJP would sweep all eight seats. The CM visited Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat at Hedgewar Bhawan in Maninagar

These bypolls were the first political test of BJP state president C. R. Patil. These polls were also a challenge for Congress state president Amit Chavda, as he was given the task of saving all the seats. Eight assembly constituencies together have 18.75 lakh voters who were to decide the fate of 80 candidates. The eight seats which went to bypolls are Abdasa, Limdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada (ST), Karjan, Dangs (ST) and Kaprada (ST). The seats fell vacant after sitting Congress MLAs quit before the Rajya Sabha elections in June.

Tight police arrangements were made at all polling stations to ensure a peaceful polling as per the guidelines of Covid-19. In Morbi, BJP candidate Brijesh Merja cast his vote at the Hanuman Temple in Chamanpar. In the Morbi Assembly constituency, Congress alleged that Anjaliben Rupani, wife of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, was campaigning with BJP workers.

In Dhari, Congress candidate Suresh Kotdia’s wife was seen wearing a party-marked mask. However, she immediately changed the mask. There were complaints about malfunctioning EVMs at several places, following which machines were fixed.

Voting was boycotted in Morbi’s New Navlakhi village. The women-run polling booth in Morbi was named ‘Shakti Booth’ The issue of ‘note for vote’ also came up at Goshindra and Itola villages. The video went viral in the morning pertaining to this. Police lodged a complaint and took further action.

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TMC destroyed democracy in Darjeeling, Kalimpong districts since 2017: Raju Bista

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Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): After the TMC announced the names of 291 candidates contesting the Assembly election in West Bengal, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista released a statement accusing TMC of destroying democracy in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts since 2017.
Bista said he has written to Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora stating: “TMC has killed democracy in the hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts since 2017.”
In his letter, the Member of Parliament alleged that the TMC had allowed non-elected political appointees to continue running the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC is blatantly trying to influence voters in the state, he added.
“I have received many complaints about those running GTA of luring voters with employment, the offer of contracts, making employment permanent, and even intimidating many individuals. Our Constitution does not permit such subversion of democracy,” Bista wrote.
I believe non-elected political appointees should not have any authority or power during the election period. This is why I have written to the Governor and the Chief Election Commissioner requesting them to remove these Political appointees from GTA and let the body be run by bureaucrats under the supervision of the Governor directly.
Across West Bengal, our party has demanded that the control of all Municipalities and rural bodies that are currently being run by unelected TMC nominees be taken over by the Election Commission.
Subversion of democratic norms will not be tolerated and I most hopeful that the Election Commission will take due cognizance and initiate necessary actions in this regard, he said. (ANI)

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Police burst arms manufacturing unit of Naxals in Gadchiroli district

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Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) [India], March 6 (ANI): Police and security forces have busted an arms manufacturing unit of Naxals in Gadchiroli district in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
Addressing media, Home Minister of the state, Anil Deshmukh said that Gadchiroli police conducted operation under Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign.
“70 of our officials were involved. The operation lasted for 48 hours and was completed. One police personnel suffered a gunshot injury and was immediately shifted to the hospital for treatment,” the Home Minister said.
The raid was held on March 4, at an arms manufacturing factory in Abujhmad. “We conducted the raid and destroyed the factor in a 48-hour-long operation. During the search, we found many objectionable articles apart from Naxal accessories. However, they shot one of our jawans and fled,” Superintendent of Police Ankit Tyagi said.
Gadchiroli is a remote district affected by Naxal activities in the state. (ANI)

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Sex tape case: 6 Karnataka ministers move court to restrain media

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 6 (ANI): A total of six ministers in the B S Yediyurappa government on Friday moved a Bengaluru court seeking a stay against media outlets from publishing or broadcasting anything defamatory against them.
The ministers include B Basavaraj, Dr K Sudhakar, BC Patil, Shivram Hebbar, H T Somashekar and K C Narayana Gowda moved a city court moved the Bengaluru court and demanded the media to stop broadcasting/printing/publishing any defamatory or unauthenticated content about them.
The six Karnataka ministers have moved to Civil Court here in connection with a sex tape case allegedly involving Ramesh Jarkiholi, who recently resigned as minister.
The six ministers are among the 17 MLAs who had rebelled and led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in July 2019, which paved the way for the BJP to come to power.
He was reacting to the recent allegation of sexual harassment against former Karnataka Major and Medium Water Resources Minister Jarkiholi by social activist Dinesh Kallahalli on March 2. Jarakiholi resigned within 24 hours of the release of a purported sex tape.
There was an uproar following Jarkiholi’s resignation with former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday stating that persons who claimed to be in possession of obscene CDs and who were using them to blackmail politicians should be arrested. “These blackmailers” are a threat to the society, the JD(S) leader said.
Refusing to take any names, the JD(S) leader alleged that the entire episode took place in the past two to three months and many high profile people were involved in the case.
“It is the responsibility of the government to get to the bottom of the case and bring out the truth,” Kumaraswamy urged the Karnataka government. (ANI)

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Eminent Shia cleric appeals to people to get COVID-19 vaccination

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Eminent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad on Friday sought to dispel rumours and doubts about the Covid-19 vaccine among the Muslim community and appealed to people to get inoculated.
“When the many senior leaders of the country including Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Home Minister have taken the Made in India vaccine for coronavirus, we should also get our elders and needy people vaccinated against the virus,” the cleric told ANI.
After offering special prayers on Friday, he made an appeal to people not to heed any rumours about the vaccine and said that even he is waiting for his turn to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and many other senior leaders of the country have received the first doses of the vaccine during the nationwide vaccination drive.
Appealing to people to take the vaccine, PM tweeted, “I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!”
PM Modi flagged-off the first phase of the pan-India rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. (ANI)

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Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu gets Covid vaccine dose

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Mohali (Punjab) [India], March 6 (ANI): Punjab Health and Family Welfare minister Balbir Singh Sidhu got his first Covid vaccine shot at a district hospital in Mohali on Friday.
After receiving the jab, the minister said he felt fit and fine and urged people to come forward and receive the vaccination and not pay heed to rumours.
“I feel fit and fine and people must come forward for the vaccination without giving any attention to rumors,” the Health Minister said after taking his shot yesterday.
Sidhu also said that the vaccine is safe and so far no adverse effect of vaccination has been reported from anywhere.
Lauding the efforts of Health care workers and front-line workers for working tirelessly in curbing the spread of the coronavirus, he said that even though the vaccine is being given the world over, caution is still needed.
“People should cover their faces with masks while moving out, and keep the necessary distance from each other. It is also important to wash hands frequently with soap and water,” he said. (ANI)

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Chennai-based company launches app to educate children on healthy food choices

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 6 (ANI): With rising numbers of obese and overweight children becoming a concern in India, a Chennai-based company has launched a pediatric dietary mobile game app to educate children on healthy food choices.
“We have been working on this mobile application for the past 11 years. We decided to engage children in a fun manner in this important topic,” said Bhargav Shri Prakash, founder of FriendsLearn, which has developed the mobile app.
The company which has an R&D office in San Francisco recently reported results from a trial that showed that it’s fooya! app was able to induce healthy food and lifestyle habits among a group of 104 children aged 10 to 11.
Shri Prakash said he hit up on the idea after he became a parent and saw the food habits of his children were influenced by advertisements. “I noticed that they are making decisions about food which is not in the best interest of their health,” he said.

“We are teaching children about how to avoid processed food. We are doing it with our neuroscience approach,” Shriprakash said, adding that “we need to engage children in a fun way about the very important topic without them feeling bored.”
He further said that after eleven years working with John Hopkins University, and several other universities, his company reached a milestone that nobody was able to achieve.
“We have published our findings in a prestigious medical journal which shows evidence that children can become healthy by playing with this application,” says FriendsLearn company’s founder and chief executive Bhargav.
The clinical study, published in the journal JMIR mHealth and uHealth, showed that just 20 minutes of gaming time a week had a strong positive impact on children’s food choices when polled immediately following the game.
In fooya!, an avatar fights against robots that represent unhealthy/bad foods, with the aim of maintaining a good body shape for the avatar and earning enough coins to win the level and unlock the next stage. Avatars perform better if they eat healthy foods and move a lot, and are slower and heavier as they consume more calories.
Arathi, mother of a daughter who used the FriendsLearn mobile application said: “As a parent, we have to care about children’s health and the Fooya game is very useful for them. I think this is the best game for kids’ healthcare. I am so happy that my daughter is playing it.” (ANI)

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