Overall 81.78 pc polling took place in four phases, says Andhra Election Commissioner - The Daily Guardian
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Overall 81.78 pc polling took place in four phases, says Andhra Election Commissioner

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Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 22 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Monday said that overall 81.78 per cent polling took place in all four phases in the gram panchayat elections.
The elections were held for 13,097 sarpanch posts and 1,31,023 ward members, while 2,197 sarpanches and 47,459 ward members witnessed unanimous elections.
The State Election Commissioner said that the four phases of gram panchayat elections concluded peacefully and no untoward incidents took place.
“This is reasonable as compared to unanimous elections during the elections held in 2013. Government officials and police have taken utmost care to make the election process a success. I thank them all,” Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar.
He also said that the people came out in huge numbers and exercised their voting rights and added that the awareness of the public is praiseworthy.
“Health department and district officials made COVID-19 precautions. Election Commission is fully satisfied with the arrangements. CS and DGP have guided the officials and workers to participate in the polling process,” the SEC said.
He also thanked all political parties and stakeholders for extending their cooperation.
“There are a few legal hurdles for Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) elections. Once they are cleared, we will restart the process,” he added.
He further informed that elections will be held for 75 municipalities and 12 corporations on March 10 as there are no legal issues.
“In case anybody appeals that they could not file nominations due to unwarranted reasons, they can approach district collectors. They will verify such appeals and refer to SEC who in turn will take a decision,” he added. (ANI)

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88th Mahila Battalion: CRPF women continue to inspire people across the country

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Just weeks after Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) inducted women commandos in its anti-Naxal Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) unit, several CRPF women came forward to share their experience that continues to inspire women across the country.
“I joined as head constable in 1986. There were a lot of family woes initially but now they are proud of me,” Deputy Commandant of CRPF’s 88th Mahila battalion, Krishna told ANI.
“I have served in Naxalite areas like Bijapur and Dantewada. I did not face any sort of problem because of my gender. Women’s induction in the CoBRA unit is surely a positive step,” she said.
Another CRPF commandant, Neeraj Bala told ANI, “Out of 1200, 1100 are women here for operational duty, signal, medical and other administrative duties. They are deployed in sensitive regions such as Srinagar for counter-insurgency, Naxalite areas, and static parts.”
“I also applaud induction of women in CoBRA,” she said.
This information comes just days before the International Women’s Day celebration that is held annually on March 8.
CRPF had informed on February 6: “On the occasion of the 88th all-women battalion Raising Day, women commandos have been inducted along with the introduction of all Mahila brass band which will make CRPF the first force to have a women brass band.”
“Mahila personnel of CRPF forming the first all-women brass band will also undergo a training course to acquire the requisite skills on the musical instruments. It deserves pertinent to mention that the force already has an all-women pipe band,” CRPF said in a press release.
Taking another step towards women empowerment, the 88th Mahila battalion of CRPF has the distinction of being the first all-Mahila battalion in the world.
“CRPF has taken another step towards women empowerment by inducting women commandos on the celebrations of 88th all-women battalion. Notably, 88th Mahila Battalion of CRPF has the distinction of being the first all-Mahila battalion in the world,” the CRPF had said. (ANI)

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2 UP men held with pistol, ammunition in J-K’s Kulgam

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Kulgam (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 6 (ANI): Two men were on Saturday arrested with a pistol and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
As per the police, the accused have been identified as Mohammad Danish and Nawshad, both residents of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. A pistol and 20 rounds of ammunition were recovered from their possession, informed the police.
According to the police, on the intervening night of March 5 and March 6, 2021, specific information was received by the Kulgam Police from reliable sources that illegal arms and ammunition were being transported in a car coming from Banihal towards Qazigund.
On receipt of this information, a joint checkpoint was established near Jawahar Tunnel by the Kulgam Police, 9RR and 24Bn of CRPF and the said car was intercepted, stated the police.
A statement released by the police said that both the accused persons were arrested and the vehicle they were travelling by was also seized.
A case under relevant sections of law stands registered in the Qazigund Police Station and further investigation is in progress, the police said. (ANI)

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Pragya Thakur complains of problem in breathing, taken to Mumbai hospital

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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pragya Singh Thakur has complained of a problem in breathing and is being admitted to a hospital in Mumbai.
According to Thakur’s office, she will be admitted to Kokilaben hospital in Mumbai.
Pragya Singh Thakur is MP from Bhopal. (ANI)

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Assam polls: Sushmita Dev annoyed with seat allocation, Congress denies rumours of her resignation

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By Siddharth Sharma
Dispur (Assam) [India], March 6 (ANI): Congress leader and former Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev has been left annoyed with the seat-sharing method employed in the party’s alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam ahead of the assembly polls.
According to sources, Sushmita, who is the president of the All India Mahila Congress (AIMC), is upset with the seat allocation to AIUDF in Silchar, her own constituency and also about the selection of candidates in Silchar.
She has also expressed her objection regarding the consideration of an ex-MLA from one of the assembly seats. Sushmita also approached Congress state in-charge Bhawar Jitendra Singh over the issue, as per sources.
However, the process of candidate finalisation is still underway by the Central Election Committee for the first two phases of the assembly polls to be held from March 27 to April 6.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala has denied the reports of Sushmita’s resignation from the party.
Speaking to ANI, Surjewala on Saturday said, “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is fearing a defeat in Assam and that’s why they are spreading the news of Dev leaving the party.”
“The news of Sushmita Dev’s resignation is wrong and baseless,” he added.
In a press statement, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee’s (APCC) Media Department Chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma said, “It has been brought to the notice of APCC that speculative news about the resignation of President of All India Mahila Congress, Sushmita Dev is doing the rounds on television and web portals. We want to make it clear that she has not resigned from the party.”
Congress is expected to announce the first list of candidates soon, whereas the BJP has declared names of candidates for 70 seats ahead of the state assembly polls.
A total of 2,32,44,454 electors will elect the candidates in Assam for the 15th legislative assembly of Assam. (ANI)

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Goa police nabs 3 in connection with robbery in Dabolim

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South Goa (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Goa police has arrested three men in connection with a robbery case in Goa’s Dabolim.
“After receiving a phone call on Friday, informing about theft being committed in a house in Fatima colony, we immediately alerted our patrolling staff and they rushed to the said house. The staff reached the spot and detained one person namely Sunil More, a member of the gang of four,” said the Superintendent of Police (SP), South Goa Pankaj Kumar Singh.
Sunil is a resident of Ullhas Nagar in Thane.
“After a massive manhunt, the second accused, Suraj Maruti Kambli, also a resident of Ulhasnagar, was traced at Panjim bus stand on Friday evening while he was trying to board a bus for Mumbai,” the SP added.
Around six in the morning on Saturday, the third accused, Vishal Ahuja, was nabbed near one of the casinos in Panaji.
The victim revealed that a gang of four persons led by one person namely Sanjay Verma, a known to the complainant, entered his house, tied him and forcefully demanded money. When the complainant said he didn’t have cash, they demanded other valuables.
Having not found any valuables, Sanjay Verma forcibly took the signature of the complainant on four cheques and also took the credit card along with the pin number from the complainant.
“They also ransacked the entire house and took away five imported wristwatches, around Rs 7000 cash, and a mobile handset,” the officer further informed.
Most of the robbed articles have been recovered. Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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Poll fever goes high with wall paintings in Kolkata streets

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By Syeda Shabana Parveen
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): Soon after the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) announced candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, the wall paintings and flexes are all set to intensify the poll fever in the city.
Be it TMC candidate Aroop Biswas from Tollygunj or Jawed Khan from Kasba, the walls in south Kolkata have been adorned with party’s ‘joda phool’ (double flower) symbol and candidate names.
The flexes across the city are dominated by TMC slogan “Bangla nijer meyekei chaye” (Bengal wants its own daughter) featuring Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Some of the graffiti also has catchy lines, like “Jokhon daki tokhon payi, Arup da ke abar chai” (Whenever we call Arup Biswas is accessible). Arup Biswas is TMC’s candidate from Tollygunj.

Elections also bring employment opportunities for painters and flex makers who give expression to all political parties’ messages, be it Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Sonar Bangla’ or TMC’s ‘Khela hobe’.
“In Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is going to make a come back again. We were benefitted from her schemes like Swasthya Sathi, Kanyashree and others. Most importantly, she has been with us whenever we need her,” said Subrata Mukherjee, a local resident from South Kolkata.
Another local resident Ranjit Ghatak said, “Bengal believes in development which we have seen in the past 10 years.”

On Friday, Mamata Banerjee released the list of 291 TMC candidates for the elections and said she will contest from Nandigram instead of Bhawanipore, her current constituency, where she has been the sitting MLA since 2011.
“We are the first political party to announce the candidate list. Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates, which includes 50 women, 79 SCs, 17 STs and 42 Muslim candidates. On three seats of north Bengal, we are not putting up our candidates. In three seats — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will contest the elections and whoever wins will support us,” she said.
The TMC chief said the party was not able to provide seats to many because they have to bring new candidates forward.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting on April 29. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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