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Vasundhara Raje hails BJP’s victory, credits Modi-Shah for clean sweep

Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for winning the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today said there was no alternative to the party in the country.Raje said it was the victory of Modi’s leadership and Shah’s organisational skills.”The people of Gujarat have once again voted for development. They once again reposed faith in the BJP leadership. It shows there is no alternative to the BJP in the country. “Results in Himachal Pradesh have proved that the country is moving ahead to become Congress-free,” Raje said in a statement.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot said the BJP made tall claims of winning 150 seats in Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi s leadership was accepted by the people of Gujarat, he said.The BJP inched towards a record sixth straight victory in Gujarat assembly polls, and was set to evict the Congress in Himachal Pradesh, tightening the party’s grip over the country’s politics with general elections only 18 months away.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Akhilesh asks Rahul to build opposition unity ahead of 2019 pollsThe Gujarat results proved to be a seesaw, with BJP and Congress running neck and neck in the morning trends. At midday, BJP pulled ahead, but by 5 p.m. it apeared that although the party will emerge victorious it will be with a slim majority. “I assure (people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh) that we will leave no stone unturned in furthering the development journey of these states and serve the people tirelessly,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.According to Election Commission tally at 5 p.m., the BJP had won 70 seats and was leading in 29 for a possible total of 99 in the 182-member Gujarat assembly. At the start of the campaign, the BJP had said it was aiming for 150 seats. In the outgoing assembly it had 115 seats. The Congress won 62 and was leading in 15 for a possible total of 77, compared to 61 previously.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: It is a face-saving win but moral defeat for BJP in Gujarat, says Mamata BanerjeeCongress President Rahul Gandhi virtually conceded defeat, saying the party “accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states.” He thanked his party members for fighting “anger with dignity.” The BJP called the results a vote for development pushed by Modi, who was the tireless star campaigner in both states.The Congress took solace in the fact that it bettered its tally in Gujarat, the home turf of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.Shah expressed satisfaction with the result, saying that the party’s vote share in Gujarat had gone up to 49.10% from 47.85% in 2012. The Congress vote share was 41.5% in Gujarat, compared to 38.93% in 2012 was 38.93%.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: How GST tweak saved the day for BJP

Last ditch efforts to placate businessmen affected by Goods and Services Tax (GST) saved at least 20 seats for the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly polls, a top business leader in state claimed today. Another trade leader in Surat said that traders did not know that the contest would be so close and they did not want to rub the government in the wrong way and hence did not vote for Congress.From the results and trends available till now, the Congress has won 70 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, while the BJP was victorious in 75 seats. The Congress was leading in 7 other constituencies. The BJP was ahead in 24 other seats.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Akhilesh asks Rahul to build opposition unity ahead of 2019 pollsCities like Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot which were major centers of protests by businessmen have voted for BJP as the party won most seats in these cities. BJP’s tally dropped marginally in these trader-dominated cities as Congress made some token inroads in urban areas but failed to make substantial gain in these BJP strongholds.The issue of GST cropped up in Gujarat, right from its rollout in July 2016. High rates of taxation and issues related to compliance caused anger in businessmen and tax practitioner communities. Also readGujarat, Himachal Assembly Elections 2017 Verdict: Nation is ready for reforms, PM Modi saysSevere penal provisions, often because of systemic issues, had caused severe dissent among the traders. As the issue snowballed, the central government rushed in a team of tax officials to Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad. Following the feedback received, the government initiated massive course correction. “After the meeting, businessmen preferred to stay with BJP. If these measures were not taken, BJP would have easily lost 20-22 seats,” said Shailesh Patwari, President of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.On the other hand, a segment of business leaders believe that even though traders were adversely affected because of GST, they did not vote for Congress as they underestimated the support Congress was getting from the masses. “Traders did not imagine in their faintest of dreams that Congress and Rahul Gandhi would be able to garner so much support. If it had occurred to them, then they have voted aggressively in favour of Congress,” said Jaylal, President of Surat Vividh Vepari Mahamandal and was one of the key players to lead the protests by textile traders in Surat. “Businessmen have to face government authorities day in and day out. So they preferred not to antagonize BJP,” said Jaylal. He said that the elections have key takeaways for trading community and Congress has re-emerged as a credible force in the country. “Even Rahul Gandhi has emerged as a leader who could single-handedly challenged Modi and Amit Shah in their den. We can’t say that he failed. Had the Manishankar Aiyar and Kapil Sibal episodes not happened, then results would have been quite different,” he added.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Most rich candidates bite the dust

Billionaires didn’t find it going easy in Gujarat polls. A large number of them had to taste defeat and only two from BJP made it to the hustings.Dhanjibhai Patel from Wadhwan in Surendranagar district defeated his Congress rival Mohan Patel by a margin of over 21,000 votes. Dhanjibhai had assets worth Rs 115 crore.Former Industries Minister and BJP strongman Saurabh Patel won from Botad after a roller coaster ride. Patel, whose assets had doubled in last five years, has declared assets worth Rs 135 crore in in 2017 affidavit.Indranil Rajguru of Congress, with assets worth Rs 141 crore lost to Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani by a margin of 55,000 votes from Rajkot – West constituency. It was one of the most high profile contests in the state as it was matter of do-or-die for ruling BJP. Rajguru had represented Rajkot East earlier.Congress candidate from Daskroi in Ahmedabad, Pankaj Patel, who was the richest candidate with assets worth Rs 231 crore lost to BJP strongman Babu Jamna Patel, who had declared assets worth Rs 48 crore.Ashok Lal, a Congress candidate from Jamnagar – South lost to former BJP state President R C Faldu by a margin of 16,000 votes. Lal had declared assets worth Rs 109 crore.Congress candidate Raghu Desai from Chanasma in north Gujarat lost to outgoing Labour and Employment Minister Dilip Thakor of BJP. Desai had declared assets worth Rs 108 crore.Dharmendra Vaghela, and independent candidate who was challenging BJP strongman Madhu Srivastava from Vaghodia in Vadodara lost by a margin of 21,000 votes. Vaghela was supported by Congress and had declared assets worth Rs 97 crore in his affidavit.

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Delhi court upholds man’s conviction for misusing Pepsi’s name to sell spurious drinks, modifies sentence to 14 days

A Delhi court has refused to set aside the conviction of a man for manufacturing and selling spurious soft drinks using brand names like Pepsi and Limca in 2001.District and Sessions Judge Asha Menon, however, modified the one-year jail term awarded to the man by a magisterial court and modified it to 14 days, the period he had spent behind bars since the onset of a trial in 2001.The order came on the appeal filed by convict Sant Ram against the conviction and sentence order of a metropolitan magistrate given on November 19, 2015, holding him guilty of applying false trademarks under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act.”The analysis of the evidence by the trial court is well reasoned and calls for no interference by this court.”By selling spurious liquid as if they were manufactured by Pepsi, Limca and Campa, thus holding out to the public that the material in the bottles were qualitatively that of the company’s whose bottles were being used, the accused committed the offence punishable under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act,” the district and sessions judge said.However, while modifying his jail term, the court weighed the aggravating and mitigating factors.On the one hand it considered a report of the probation officer which said he was remorseful of his act and that he needed to be with his daughter, who was in class 12 and at a crucial age.On the other hand, the court observed that spurious materials were manufactured for consumption by innocent people which in itself was a serious matter.”Balancing the aggravating and extenuating circumstances, this court is of the view that in the present case a term in jail other than what has been undergone need not be imposed,” the court said.According to the prosecution, Pearl Drinks Ltd, a franchisee of the PepsiCo India for manufacturing and distribution of all beverage brands of the PepsiCo, had received an information that spurious soft drinks were being manufactured at Mandi, Mehrauli here, and a complaint to the deputy commissioner of police (South) was made in this regard.Pursuant to this complaint, on the intervening night of April 30, 2001, and May 5, 2001, a police team, along with an officer of the Pearl Drinks Ltd and other employees of the company, conducted a raid and found Sant Ram engaged in manufacturing of spurious soft drinks.During the raid, spurious drinks filled with six bottles of Pepsi, four bottles of Limca, 16 bottles of Campa and 64 crates of bottles of different drinks were seized besides bottle crowns and other material.In his appeal against the conviction and sentence order, Sant Ram had claimed that he was innocent and there was no independent witness in the matter when the bottles were seized.

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Too early to comment on GST collections, says govt

The government has said that it is too early to comment on GST collections, which slipped about 10 per cent in November – over the previous month – to Rs 85,931 crore.As per the information provided by the finance ministry to the Lok Sabha on Friday, as many as 33.2 lakh new taxpayers have registered themselves under GST till December 11 from the day of roll out on July 1.”It is too early to comment on the changes in the tax collection as a result of changes in the tax base because of factors like overlap of taxpayers pre and post introduction of GST, variation in exemption limits between Centre and States and among States and mechanism of apportionment of fund under IGST,” Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply to a question.He also informed that total number of tax payers who migrated from pre-GST regime was 64.12 lakh as on December 11.The GST collection was Rs 95,132 crore in October. It was over Rs 93,000 crore in September as well as August.In reply to another question, Shukla said that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been smooth so far.The GST Council, he added, had made some changes in the new tax regime based on the representations from stakeholders.

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Chennai: Man forgets Audi in parking, takes ambulance to go home

In a bizarre case, a man who arrived at a city hospital in his high-end car, left it there and drove home in an ambulance.Police suspect that he might have mistook the ambulance for his Audi under the influence of alcohol.Narrating the strange sequence of events, the police said a businessman, who is in his thirties, visited the hospital in Thousand Lights area early yesterday to drop his friend who had sustained some injuries.After leaving him, he drove back in a Maruti Omni ambulance.The driver of the ambulance had left the keys in the vehicle, the police said.The businessman realised his mistake only after reaching home in suburban Palavakkam, about 15 km away when members of his family questioned him about his car, they said.The man immediately asked his driver to take the ambulance back.Meanwhile, hospital personnel found that an ambulance was missing and alerted the police.A local patrol team arrived at the hospital and more or less at the same time the businessman’s driver drove in with the missing ambulance.The driver apologised to the hospital authorities and police on his owner’s behalf and explained that the incident was a case of “mistaken identity.”When hospital personnel found that a rear-view mirror of the ambulance was damaged, the driver agreed to compensate them for it.He then drove away in the Audi.The hospital was not sure if the businessman was drunk and decided not to lodge a police complaint.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Akhilesh asks Rahul to build opposition unity ahead of 2019 polls

As the Congress lost to the BJP in Gujarat Assembly elections despite improving its seat tally, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav today asked AICC President Rahul Gandhi to take along all opposition parties in 2019 Lok Sabha polls to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that it was now the responsibility of the Congress party to take along all opposition parties if it wants to defeat the BJP in 2019.The Samajwadi Party had contested five seats in Gujarat and failed to win any of them. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: It is a face-saving win but moral defeat for BJP in Gujarat, says Mamata BanerjeeAs per the latets trends provided by the Election Commission, the BJP has already bagged 85 seats while it is leading on 14 others. Congress has won in 71 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 6 other seats. In last Assembly elections, the BJP’s tally was 115 seats while the Congress had sent 61 MLAs to the 182-member house. Yadav said that the BJP has lost some ground to the Congress in Gujarat and results would have been in favour of the Rahul-led party had it roped in support of all opposition parties.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Results won’t have any bearing on Karnataka polls, says SiddaramaiahHe alleged that the BJP won as it was successful in distracting attention of the people from the real issues. “Country cannot progress when poor and farmers face plethora of problems and youth unemployment is not addressed. But instead of contesting on real issues, the BJP resorted to aggressive Hindutava to divide the people and distract their attention,” he said.He asked Rahul to start thinking of making a grand alliance of all like-minded opposition parties, including regional ones, to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Saffron sweep for BJP, Shah-Modi hail vote for development“A combine anti-BJP opposition alliance will usher a new era in country’s politics,” he said. The Samajwadi Party and Congress had struck an alliance in 2017 UP Assembly polls but they did not fare well. Both had fought polls separately in Gujarat.

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If Ravi Shastri would be commenting, he would say EVMs has won: Twitter reacts to Assembly Election verdict

BJP assumed power in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, much to the joy of its followers who are active on Twitter. The Gujarat win, albeit with a smaller margin, still showed that the party leadership and organisational skills are some of the best in the business.Here is how people on Twitter reactedPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the assembly election results in Gujarat and Himachal Prades indicate BJP’s effort for development in the state.Also readAssembly elections 2017 results​: Nitish Kumar congratulates PM Modi, Amit Shah on Gujarat, Himachal victory”Election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh indicate a strong support for politics of good governance and development. I salute the hardworking BJP Karyakartas in these states for their hardwork which has led to these impressive victories,” PM Modi said on Twitter.”I bow to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for their affection and trust in BJP. I assure them that we will leave no stone unturned in furthering the development journey of these states and serve the people tirelessly,” he said in a series of tweets.Also readAssembly elections 2017 result: ‘I salute hardworking BJP Karyakartas,’ PM Modi’s victory tweetThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form a government in the state of Gujarat for the sixth time and end Congress’ reign in Himachal Pradesh.Union Minister Smriti Irani also hailed BJP’s win saying, “It’s a matter of happiness for us, this is the victory of development.””Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. It is a victory of every booth worker’s hard work and the people who trusted development,” she added.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: It is a face-saving win but moral defeat for BJP in Gujarat, says Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said it was a moral defeat for the BJP in Gujarat and the people of the state have “belled the cat for 2019”.Congratulating the people of Gujarat for their “very balanced verdict at this hour”, Banerjee said it was a face- saving win for the ruling party.”It is a temporary and face-saving win, but it shows a moral defeat for BJP. Gujarat voted against atrocities, anxiety and injustice caused to the common people. Gujarat belled the cat for 2019,” Banerjee tweeted.The TMC chief had recently hailed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “putting the BJP on the backfoot”.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Results won’t have any bearing on Karnataka polls, says Siddaramaiah

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said the results of the Gujarat Assembly polls would not have any impact on the Assembly election in the state, which is due early next year.”The election results of one state will not have an effect on the election of another state. The issues will be different. Whatever may the Gujarat poll results be, it will have no impact on Karnataka,” he told reporters at Yadgir in the northern parts of the state.The Congress leader also claimed that by ensuring the party’s victory in the Assembly polls, Karnataka would give the “first gift” to newly-appointed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his leadership.Also readAssembly Elections 2017: Gujarat, HP results lesson to parties indulging in caste-politics and dynasty, says Amit ShahClaiming that there was no anti-incumbency against his government, Siddaramaiah said if it was there, the Congress would have got to know about it in the Nanjangud and Gundlupet bypolls, which the party won by big margins.”I am sure that in 2018, we will come back to power hundred per cent,” he added.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Rahul’s campaign reminded us of Indira Gandhi, ‘moral win’ for Congress, says Ashok GehlotThe Congress has already announced that Siddaramaiah will be its face in the Karnataka Assembly polls.Expressing doubts about the BJP’s performance in Gujarat, despite anti-incumbency and a strong undercurrent against it, the chief minister said the poll results lent credence to the doubts regarding the electronic voting machines (EVMs).Raising apprehensions that the EVMs could be tampered with, Siddaramaiah had recently demanded the use of ballot papers in the next Assembly polls in the state.Suggesting that in Himachal Pradesh, the BJP was expected to win because of the anti-incumbency factor against the Congress, he pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were from Gujarat and claimed that the duo had taken the Gujarat election as a “prestige issue”.He also acknowledged that the strategy of Modi and Shah of using the “Gujarati pride” card had effectively worked in the saffron party’s favour.Though there was an undercurrent and a strong anti- incumbency factor against the Gujarat government, Modi had asked for votes pointing out that he was from the state, Siddaramaiah said, adding, “Most probably, this worked.” Noting that the trends of the results showed an improved performance of the Congress, the chief minister gave the credit for that to Rahul Gandhi.”I feel, in Gujarat, we have won despite losing. The people have shown their support to Rahul Gandhi’s leadership,” he said.Pointing at Modi and Shah’s Gujarati origin and the fact that the BJP was in power both in Gujarat and at the Centre as factors behind the saffron party’s performance, the Congress leader accused it of polarising the voters by systematically playing the communal card.”They (BJP) are playing it in Karnataka also by triggering communal tensions with an intention to polarise the voters. But it will not happen here,” he said.The BJP is headed for a record sixth straight victory in the Gujarat Assembly polls today. The party is also set to evict the Congress from Himachal Pradesh.

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Sunburn Music Festival: Bombay HC asks state govt to ensure ‘no alcohol’ for underage youth

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit listing the steps it proposes to take to ensure that those underage do not consume alcohol at the upcoming ‘Sunburn music festival’ in Pune.A bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Rajesh Ketkar also directed the government to take an undertaking from the organisers of the festival stating that they will pay all pending entertainment and related taxes from last year’s festival as well as the dues for this year’s event.The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Ratan Luth, a resident of Pune seeking that the organisers of the event were not granted a liquor license.Also readConcerned about poor air quality, organisers cancel Sunburn festival in DelhiAccording to his plea, the Festival was scheduled to take place from December 28 this year to January 1 next year, and around three lakh people expected to attend it.Several of those who attend the festival will be minors, school students etc and thus, the organisers must not serve liquor to ensure that no under-age drinking takes place, the petitioner sought.Also readSunburn Festival 2017: DJ Snake, Martin Garrix to headline EDM extravaganzaThe petitioner also cited several news reports claiming that in 2013, when the festival was organised at Goa, several instances of under-age drinking and consumption of illegal drugs was reported.However, Percept India, the organisers of the event told the court on Monday that the event had music that “appealed to 15- year-olds too.”The organisers also said that they had already sold several tickets, and booked international artistes for the event, and that they will ensure no laws are broken.The state’s counsel Abhinandan Vagyani meanwhile, told the court that the organisers had agreed to have a segregated and colour coded entry based on age groups.”Those below 20 years will be given green bands, those above 21 but under 25 will have yellow bands, and those guests who are above 25 will have red bands to identify them,” Vagyani said.”Also, the liquor counter will be at a distance from the stage and the main ground so that our police officials deployed at the spot can keep a check,” he said.Vagyani also said police will be deployed at the entry and exit points. “Our police will ensure that what happened in Goa does not happen here,”Vagyani said.While the bench directed Vagyani to put all his submissions in the affidavit, it also said the police must ensure that there was enough staff to maintain daily and law and order in the city as well.”The timing of the event is such that you’ll have to not just keep a watch on the event, but also across the city.Ensure that your entire staff does not happily go to the event,” it said.The state has been directed to file the affidavit by December 20.

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Assembly Elections 2017: You fought with dignity, you made me proud, says Rahul Gandhi after twin loss

The Congress accepts the people’s verdict in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, party president Rahul Gandhi said today and thanked his party workers for fighting “anger with dignity” in the polls.He also expressed gratitude to the people of the two states for the love they showered on him. “The Congress party accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states. I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me,” Gandhi tweeted.”My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress’ greatest strength is its decency and courage,” he added.Also readAssembly elections 2017 results: People rejected caste politics for Gujarat Model of development, says Yogi AdityanathFrom the results and trends available till now, the Congress won 73 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, while the BJP was victorious in 82 seats. The Congress was leading in nine other constituencies. The BJP was ahead in 18 other seats.In Himachal Pradesh, BJP has won 23 seats, 10 more than that of the Congress. The saffron party was ahead in 21 seats, while the Congress was leading in eight other segments.The state has a 68-member Assembly.

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Gujarat Election Results: Did NOTA cost Congress the state?

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) will end up forming the government for the sixth term, but in some constituencies the elections saw NOTA as a key player.NOTA or None of The Above is exercised by a voter when s/he does not wish to choose any of the candidates on the ballot.The vote share of NOTA stands at 1.8%, higher than that of parties such as the BSP and the NCP. In essence, if NOTA was a party, it would have been the third most polled beside Congress and BJP. In all, 5,40,566 NOTA votes were recorded in Gujarat, the Election Commission shared on its website. According to the constitutional body, 1.8% of the voters didn’t vote for any party. BJP so far has won 49% of the vote, while the Congress has won 41% of the vote.But the question arises: given how close this election has turned out to be, has the NOTA votes cost the Congress? Data suggests that the margin of victory for the BJP was less than 10% in 33 constituencies. Porbunder was one of the seats that witnessed this. The winning margin of the BJP’s Babubhai Bokhriya is 1,855, while NOTA received 3,433 votes. There are 15 seats where the difference between winner and loser is less than 1000 votes. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: No longer a cakewalk for BJP in 2019 LS poll, says TRS leaderThus it can well be said NOTA and the fact that Gujarat witnessed a sharp drop in voting, finally helped BJP bunk the anti-incumbency trend. Interestingly, the Supreme Court said that a re-election was out of the question if NOTA was ever a majority in a general, assembly or civic election. The landmark judgment that was passed last month debunked a petition and said that conducting polls was an expensive exercise.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th timeA bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra further observed that to entertain the plea, the court would have to declare that a candidate should compulsorily get 51 per cent of the votes to be declared winner.The top court termed the suggestion “unworkable” and said, “we cannot destroy our democracy just like that… holding an election in our country is a very serious and expensive business. Today we cannot say that unless a person gets 51 per cent of votes, he cannot be declared elected.”

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Assembly elections 2017 results: People rejected caste politics for Gujarat Model of development, says Yogi Adityanath

Reacting to the BJP victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that it was a lesson for those who indulged in “divisive and caste politics” to reject the Gujarat Model of development.“People all over the world have lauded the Gujarat Model except for the Congress. BJP’s win should serve them as a lesson for the Congress,” reacted Chief Minister.“BJP not only retained Gujarat but wrested Himachal Pradesh from the Congress. People have rejected their caste and divisive policies and voted for BJP’s agenda for development,” pointed Yogi Adityanath.He attributed the Gujarat and Himachal win to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “It is the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister and party workers’ hard work that enabled the BJP to win at both places,” said the Chief Minister.He said that people of both states has given a befitting reply to the Congress for using unparliamentary language against the Prime Minister and stooping to a new low in politics by forgetting political courtesy.He did not forget to take a dig at the new AICC President Rahul Gandhi saying that he had predicted a few days ago that change of leadership in the Congress will be a good sign for the BJP and beginning of an end for the Congress.The Uttar Pradesh chief minister also said that the BJP win in Gujarat and Himachal has set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”It is time for the Congress to do some serious introspection whether or not it should contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We will win all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2019,” said Adityanath giving credit to party President Amit Shah’s poll strategy.

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Assembly elections 2017 results?: Nitish Kumar congratulates PM Modi, Amit Shah on Gujarat, Himachal victory

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for winning the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.The Janata Dal (United) president also took a dig at the Congress, saying that while the party was aiming to defeat the BJP in Gujarat, it “ended up losing even in Himachal Pradesh”, where it was in power.”Congratulations to honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party for the victory in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. The Congress, which had claimed it would wrest power from the BJP in Gujarat, has ended up losing even Himachal Pradesh,” Kumar tweeted in Hindi.An official release issued here said the chief minister spoke to Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the morning over phone and extended his greetings on the poll victory to them.Once considered a potential political rival of Modi, Kumar now maintains a cordial relationship with the prime minister, following the formation of a JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar in July.The Grand Alliance, comprising the RJD, JD(U) and Congress, had come to power in Bihar after the 2015 Assembly polls. The anti-BJP coalition had, however, collapsed over corruption charges surfaced against the then deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, the son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.The reunion of the JD(U) and the BJP came four years after Kumar had severed ties with the saffron party in June, 2013 over the elevation of Modi as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul’s campaign reminded us of Indira Gandhi, ‘moral win’ for Congress, says Ashok Gehlot

Expressing satisfaction over the “moral win” in Gujarat Assembly elections, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the party, under the leadership of its president Rahul Gandhi, ran a very good campaign in the state. “Congress had a very good campaign in Gujarat, Rahul ji’s campaign reminded us of Indira ji,” Gehlot, who was the Congress election in-charge for Gujarat, said. The former Rajasthan Chief Minister said it was a win for Rahul’s issue based campaign. Also readAssembly Elections 2017: Amit Shah hails BJP win in Gujarat, HP as ‘victory of development over dynasty and polarisation”Whatever the results, it was moral win for Congress. It was a win for Rahul ji’s issue based campaign. BJP in home state of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi ji and (BJP President) Amit Shah ji is struggling to cross even 100,” Gehlot said. As per the official trends provided by the Election Commission at 4:12 pm, the BJP has already bagged 66 seats while it is leading on 33 others. Congress has won in 57 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 20 other seats.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th timeCongress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Congress and its allies are poised to win 84 seats. He counted two independents”Two Independents who won support Congress and so does the NCP. So the Congress+ tally right now is 84 and BJP is 98-99,” Surjewala said.

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Assembly Elections 2017: Amit Shah hails BJP win in Gujarat, HP as ‘victory of development over dynasty and polarisation

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Monday hailed the party’s win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections as a “victory of development over dynasty and polarisation.”Talking to reporters at the party headquarters in Delhi, Shah said, “We have once again emerged triumphant. I offer heartfelt gratitude to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh that they gave us anther opportunity to serve them.”This is a victory of development over dynasty and polarisation, he said.Also readSensex cheers over BJP win in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh polls”The two-third lead in Himachal Pradesh shows that people there want to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the journey to development,” the BJP chief who arrived at the party office to a rousing welcome said.”We are confident that when we go into 2019 elections under the leadership of PM Modi we will once again get people’s support and Modi ji’s aim for the youth in 2022 will become a reality,” he added.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: No longer a cakewalk for BJP in 2019 LS poll, says TRS leader

The lower-than-expected poll performance of the BJP in Gujarat suggests that the 2019 general elections are not going to be a cakewalk to the NDA lead party, a senior TRS leader said today.”The key takeaway (of Gujarat Assembly elections) is it’s not (going to be) a cakewalk for the BJP any more in 2019 election,” Telangana Rashtra Samiti Floor Leader in Lok Sabha, A P Jithender Reddy told PTI.”They (BJP) have to basically again check their administration,” he said.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th timeThough the BJP is set to return to power in the western state, Reddy saw the electoral verdict as being a setback to the party.”Definitely (it’s a setback). 103 seats (the projected BJP tally this afternoon) is not coming back to power (it should have been bigger number of seats),” he said.On the Gujarat Assembly election results, Reddy said, “This is what I think is the demonetisation and GST effect.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Hardik Patel puts blame on EVMs, vows to continue ‘struggle’People have not really liked what has been done by the BJP government, and this is a ballot result they have given.” He claimed that businessmen have been “suffering” due to the introduction of GST, and said the trading community in the state has seen “very bad times in the last three months”.”So this is a reflection of that, and also anti-incumbency,” Reddy added.Meanwhile, Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his party’s “victory” in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.He also appreciated the Congress party for putting up a strong fight in Gujarat Assembly elections.”Congrats to BJP & @narendramodi Ji on retaining Gujarat & being victorious in Himachal Pradesh. Congrats INC on putting up a spirited fight. Democracy needs both a stable Government & a vibrant opposition. Let’s hope Good Governance takes centre stage & politics the backseat,” Rao tweeted.The BJP workers in the state celebrated the victory of the BJP in both the states by distributing sweets.Telangana BJP chief K Laxman said the victory in both the states is a result of faith that the people have reposed in Modi.”People of Gujarat did not believe in the negative campaign undertook by the Congress on GST and demonetisation.People there did not forget the development that the state witnessed in BJP and Modi’s rule,” Laxman said.He exuded confidence that BJP will win in Telangana in future.

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5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th time

As predicted by exit polls, it’s a saffron sweep again, with BJP retaining Gujarat and wresting Himachal from Congress. Sure it had a bit of a shock, when Congress pulled away once and both its CM and deputy CM trailing at one point, but as they say the party with superior organisation and the better leader finally prevailed. As trends indicate, BJP will end up just short of 100, less than what it got in 2012 and much short of Amit Shah’s 150 seats target prediction. But after 22 years of anti-incumbency and battling resentment from Patidars , one suspects the saffron party will be more or less happy with this electoral win. Here are the major factors that lead to BJP’s win in Gujarat.The NaMo factor:Also readAs trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebratesIt may not be tsu-Namo any longer, but it’s sufficient to get BJP across the line. PM Modi did close to 40 rallies in Gujarat, criss-crossing his home state where his party was stuck on a rut. But what showed his great leadership quality truly was the ability to understand that people are veering away from BJP during the closing stages of the election. Thus came the changed narrative in the last phase of the polls bringing the Pakistan conspiracy theory and fully using the Mani Shankar Aiyar gaffe. He managed to be proactive and got Congress in the defensive. Naysayers will call it cynical politics not proper for the PM of world’s largest democracy, but he got the job done for his party, and that’s what all matters in electoral politics. BJP’s urban fortress remains intact:Also readHimachal Assembly Election 2017: What cost Congress the electionsStruggling with triple whammy of demonetization, GST and Patidar agitation, many thought BJP would fare poorly in its urban centres. As it turns out, the voters may be unhappy with BJP, but the love affair continues. A cursory look at Gujarat map shows giant cluster of saffron surrounding all the major cities. It is leading in 13 out of 16 in Surat and 17 out of 21 in Ahmedabad. BJP is down 6% from 2012 in vote share in urban seats, but Congress still lags behind. BJP has won 43 out of the 55 urban constituencies. In many places vote percentage has fallen sharply from 2012 and 2014. It’s plausible to guess that BJP supporters who are unhappy with the party but don’t want to reward the Congress, stayed away and saved Modi’s team from blushes. Hardik factor worked but only just..:The Patel factor reigned supreme in Saurashtra and North Gujarat, where the agitation started originally. In Saurashtra, BJP is set to lose around 13 seats. It is ahead only in 22, whereas it won 35 in 2012. However, in North Gujarat, the party has done decently well just dropping 2-3 seats from 2012. It has done reasonably well even in districts like Mehsana, Patan, Banaskantha. For Congress to win, Hardik’s clout needed to carry crucial seats in these district. But somehow the saffron party managed to hold on to many of the bellweather seats, thanks to older Patels voting for BJP and Hardik, who is a Kadwa Patel not getting support from Leuva Patels. Infact of the total 25 Patel dominated seats, BJP and Congress won 12 each. The state government’s good performance during the floods managed to give them brownie points in districts like Banaskantha. The party has lost only three seats in Central Gujarat, which has been a major Congress bastion. Congress couldn’t reap dividends from agrarian distress:With crops failing for two successive times, and poor MSP for cotton and groundnuts, many pundits expected the Congress to virtually sweep the rural seats. In the rural centres, in 2012, Congress was only a percentage point behind BJP in vote share. So the grand old party really had the chance to surge ahead in rural Gujarat, where the famed Gujarat model hasn’t really reached. However, the party couldn’t exactly latch on to the loose balls given by BJP and out of the 128 rural or semi-rural seats, it is leading only in 65 odd. In short, Congress needed to sweep rural Gujarat to fill the deficit of their weakness in urban pockets. But it failed in that account. Congress couldn’t decode the caste calculus:Congress before the elections had assurance of support from two of the largest caste groups, the Thakors and Patils. This along with Jignesh Mevani bringing the dalit vote should have been game-set-match for Congress. But on ground, owing to presence of rebels, poor selection of candidates and lack of proper coordination between PAAS and Congress workers, the caste advantage couldn’t be leveraged. While Mevani and Thakor both pulled through, they have some way to go before becoming cult leaders like Lalu or Mulayam, who can get the support of their entire caste group enmasse. But for Congress, the most disappointing thing would be loss of their several tall leaders. The likes of Arjun Modhwadia, Shaktisinh Gohil, Indranil Rajguru means the party is bereft of credible leaders who can tap on to popular resentment against ruling government. The Congress wanted to win this election by outsourcing it to caste leaders from outside. The gamble worked partially but failed in its core purpose, thus giving Rahul Gandhi many things to ponder upon. In the end, it was a case of a missed opportunity for Congress. It can pat on its back for winning more seats and giving BJP a real scare, but considering the anti-incumbency of 22 years , an ineffective state leadership of the saffron party and massive resentment till recently among the Patels, the Congress should and could have won easily. But BJP’s superior ground game and the Modi factor, finally got BJP home. Modi like in many of the past elections is truly the man of the match. When the dust settles, Rahul and rest will be just sideshows of the 2017 Gujarat election history.

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Assembly elections 2017 result: ‘I salute hardworking BJP Karyakartas,’ PM Modi’s victory tweet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the assembly election results in Gujarat and Himachal Prades indicate BJP’s effort for development in the state.”Election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh indicate a strong support for politics of good governance and development. I salute the hardworking BJP Karyakartas in these states for their hardwork which has led to these impressive victories,” PM Modi said on Twitter.”I bow to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for their affection and trust in BJP. I assure them that we will leave no stone unturned in furthering the development journey of these states and serve the people tirelessly,” he said in a series of tweets.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form a government in the state of Gujarat for the sixth time and end Congress’ reign in Himachal Pradesh.Union Minister Smriti Irani also hailed BJP’s win saying, “It’s a matter of happiness for us, this is the victory of development.””Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. It is a victory of every booth worker’s hard work and the people who trusted development,” she added.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Hardik Patel puts blame on EVMs, vows to continue ‘struggle’

Young Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Monday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been able to win in Gujarat Assembly elections only because of money and EVM tampering.Talking to reporters as trends showed BJP’s win in the Assembly polls, the 24-year leader said, “There has been tampering in EVMs in Surat,Rajkot and Ahmedabad, hence the gap is very less wherever tampering happened. EVMs are hackable.”He also vowed to continue his “struggle” for the people of Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Key candidates and their fateAs per the official trends provided by the Election Commission at 3:30 pm, the BJP has already bagged 46 seats while it is leading on 63 others. Congress has won in 42 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 35 other seats.Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor urged all opposition parties to take this concern against EVMs forward. Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Rajnath Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’ “If ATMs can be hacked, why can’t the EVMs,” he repeated his earlier remarks. Patel also congratulated the BJP for the win in a sarcastic tone. “I congratulate the BJP which wins the elections by tampering with the EVMs,” he said. On Saturday, Patel had also questioned Supreme Court’s decision to reject Congress’ plea, seeking cross-verification of Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails with votes cast with Electronic Voting Machines and asked why they were used in the Gujarat elections.He had also said if EVMs were not tampered with then the exit polls’ results, which showed BJPs’ victory, would be proven wrong.Hardik Patel, who led the Patidar quota agitation last year, had extened his support to the Congress and had extensively campaigned against the ruling BJP.

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Himachal Assembly Election 2017: What cost Congress the elections

The results are out and the BJP has clinched Himachal Pradesh, primarily due to the anti-incumbency wave.The state witnessed a record voter turnout at 74.61%. Around 49.05 lakh voters chose 338 candidates for 68 Assembly seats. Going by trends, the BJP is expected to win 44 out of the 68 seats – a clear majority.Corruption was the main focus of the BJP campaign with the party training its guns at Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. In 2015, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a disproportionate assets case against Singh and carried out raids at 11 places in the state, including at his residence in Shimla, and in Delhi.The developments came on a day when Singh’s daughter was getting married.The sources said it is alleged that he got an unexplained income of Rs 6.1 crore during the period 2009-11 when he was serving as the Minister of Steel in the UPA Government, the sources said. They said it is alleged that Singh while serving as the Union Minister invested Rs 6.1 crore in life insurance policies in his and his family members’ name through LIC agent Chauhan.Two years earlier, when UPA II was still at the Centre, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was at the time the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making various corruption allegations against the Himachal Chief Minister including that he received pay offs of over Rs two crore from a private steel firm during his tenure as Union Steel Minister.During the Assembly election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attacked the Congress for promising “zero tolerance” on corruption when its own chief minister was facing allegations of graft and said the state’s ruling party had become a “laughing club”. Addressing an election rally in Kangra, PM Modi said it was time to rid “Devbhoomi”, or the land of the gods as Himachal Pradesh is known, of monsters. Chief minister Virabhadra Singh, Modi said, was “out on bail” on graft charges.Also readElection Results: Will form govt in both Himachal and Gujarat with clear majority, says Rajnath SinghLAW AND ORDER PROBLEMThe corruption allegations are just the beginning for the Congress government. The gang-rape and murder of a minor girl sent shock-waves across the country and the opposition BJP slammed the government for failing to maintain law and order in the state. The matter got out of hand after the CBI took over the case and even arrested a top cop after one of the accused, who was arrested, was killed, allegedly while in police custody.In September 2016, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, and the current CM candidate for BJP Prem Kumar Dhumal said that according to National Crime Record Bureau in 2012, Himachal Pradesh was ranked 20th in terms of crime rate and now in the last four years, the state has been ranked 15th in the country which shows crime rate has increased under the government’s regime.HEALTHWhile Himachal Pradesh has ranked well when it comes to its public health system (500 primary healthcare centres, 78 community health centres), 75 allopathic dispensaries and hospitals, and 141 beds for 1,00,000 patients in government hospitals), there have been incidences of epidemic s breaking out.In 2016, the state was plagued with scrub typhus in which 700 people were affected, and 20 people died. Scrub typhus, which is caused by a group of microorganisms called rickettsiae, is usually transmitted by mites that are found in the shrubs in hilly areas. It can also be transmitted by lice, ticks and fleas. It may progress on to respiratory distress, pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), kidney failure and then multi-organ failure. If untreated, it can kill.While Himachal Pradesh has also adhered to the Centre’s ‘Eradicate tuberculosis’ mission, and given itself a 2023 deadline, one of the primary concerns that has been raised is the amount of money shelled out by the state’s citizens for public healthcare. While the government spends Rs 2,000 per person per year in the state, households are expected to pay Rs 2,274, as per data provided by the National Health Accounts 2014-15.There are several other factors that cost the Congress, but these factors certainly played a role in the party’s defeat. In 2014, BJP played the corruption and development card and people played heed to oust UPA II. The same game was played in Himachal and the results speak for themselves.

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Lok Sabha adjourned after Congress disruption, govt introduces five bills

Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the second day today amid Congress protests over insinuations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his predecessor Manmohan Singh even as the government managed to introduce five Bills in the ruckus.Members from the Congress and the Left, who also sought to raise certain issues, trooped into the Well during the Zero Hour. Amid the uproar by the Opposition, five Bills were introduced after the papers listed for the day were laid. Various standing committee reports and statements by ministers were also tabled. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the ‘Supplementary Demand for Grants – Second Batch for 2017-18’. Congress members raised slogans against the Prime Minister and demanded an apology for his remarks against Singh. Left members were trying to raise certain issues which could not be heard in the din.As the protests continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the proceedings for the day. The five Bills which were introduced are ‘The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill’, ‘The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill’, The Dentists (Amendment) Bill’, ‘The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill’ and ‘The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill’. Earlier soon after the House assembled for the day, the proceedings were adjourned till noon following noisy scenes amid sloganeering from both sides of the House.Also readCongress to raise ‘Pakistan interference’ remark in ParliamentWhile BJP members raised slogans hailing the Prime Minister and the party, the opposition raked up the remarks made by him against Singh. Some other opposition members raised the issue of floods in Odisha.As soon as the House met, Mahajan referred to the death of people in a boat accident in Andhra Pradesh, the devastation caused by the Ockhi cyclone, earthquakes in Mexico and Iran-Iraq border and terror attacks in various parts of the world, including the US, the UK, Afghanistan and Egypt. The Speaker also congratulated Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams, boxer Mary Kom and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu for their “outstanding achievements” as well as wished them success. When the House met for the day, it stood in silence in the memory of the departed souls.

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Gujarat Election 2017: Remember Alpesh Thakore’s mushroom remark? BJP has ‘sweet’ comeback for the jibe

Celebrations kicked in for the Bhartiya Janata Party as numbers in Gujarat started moving in its direction. After putting Himachal Pradesh in its kitty, BJP is all set to rule Gujarat once again. While party workers across the nation are celebrating with fire crackers and sweets, BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson Tajinder Singh Bagga has found out his own unique way to join the festivities. Referring to Congress leader Alpesh Thakor’s jibe on PM Modi, Bagga brought a cake with pictures of mushrooms on it.Bagga, displaying the cake, in front of the cameras said, “This is a simple, inexpensive cake but it is a befitting reply to those who brought politics to this level.”Also readAs BJP heads for win, here are 5 Gujarat-based stocks to keep an eye on”We will cut the cake here and distribute it here, everyone is invited. Every citizen is invited,” he further added.Also readGujarat Election 2017: As BJP gets back in business, Adani Group gains after initial lossOn the last day for campaign in Gujarat, prominent OBC leader and Congress candidate Alpesh Thakor levelled a bizarre allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that PM’s complexion has turned fair after eating mushrooms imported from Taiwan, each of which cost Rs 80,000. “Someone told me that you can’t eat what Modi ji eats, because it’s not a food for the poor,” Thakor said during an election rally. He further said, “One mushroom costs Rs 80,000, and he eats five mushrooms a day. That is why I wonder how he turned so fair. He was as dark as me,” Thakor added.Also readApple increases iPhone prices in India over 5% increase in import duty on mobiles”The Prime Minister who eats mushrooms worth Rs 1.20 crore in a month, you can imagine how many crores of money his workers must be eating up,” said the OBC leader.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Rajnath Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday took a direct dig at newly appointed Congress President Rahul Gandhi after the assembly elections verdict in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.”Won’t say anything now as he has recently been made party president, ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’ (Abhi toh kuch nahi bolunga kyunki woh haal hi mein adhyaksh bane hain lekin),” Rajnath Singh told ANI.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form a government in the state of Gujarat for the sixth time and wrest power from Congress in Himachal Pradesh.However, Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he is not disappointed with the party’s loss in the state assembly elections.According to ABP News, the Congress President reportedly made the statement while interacting with party MPs inside Parliament in New Delhi.Rahul Gandhi had personally spearheaded the Congress’ campaign in Gujarat, which is home to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. He raised issues such as lack of jobs, Goods and Service Tax, and Demonetization. The Congress President, however, did not focus his energy on the Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Key candidates and their fate

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to retain power in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which the party has ruled for 22 years, although it is likely to lose some seats in the new Assembly.As per the trends of the Election Commission at 3 pm, the BJP has already bagged 35 seats while it is leading on 63 others. Congress has won in 26 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 52 other seats.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has won by defeated Congress’ Indranil Rajguru from Rajkot West while his deputy Nitin Patel is leading by nearly 10,000 votes from Mahesana after early scare.Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Rajnath Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’ Congress-backed independent candidate Jignesh Mevani has also won from Vadgam Assembly seat.Follow updates on key candidates of Gujarat Assembly election here.

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Assembly Elections 2017: Manohar Parrikar takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘he scored zero in his opening innings’

Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi over the impending defeat in the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Goa Chief Minister Manohhar Parrikar on Monday said the newly-elected Congress President “scored zero in his opening innings.” “In his opening innings he scored zero” Parrikar said. He was commenting on the results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh where the poll trends are hugely in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to official trends of the Election Commission at 2:42 pm, the BJP has 28 seats and leading on 70 others in Gujarat. The Congress, on the other hand, has won 21 and is leading 57 other seats. The BJP has ruled the state for the last 22 years. In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has won 5 seats while leading in 39 other constituencies. The Congress, which ruled the state for 5 years, has won one seat and is leading on 18 seats.

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Assembly elections 2017 results: Spectacular win for BJP, have proved PM Modi’s hard work, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan

The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Monday expressed confidence on the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) sweeping Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, adding this would be a spectacular victory for the party.While speaking to media here, Chouhan said, “This country will progress towards development only because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The spectacular victory in Gujarat and the way Himachal Pradesh has been snatched away from the Congress party has proved our the prime minister’s hard work and dedication for the country.””Not forgetting Amit Shah, who is another idol in the BJP we all look up to. I would also like to thank him for his loyalty and for being an inspiration in the party,” he added.Further thanking the people for their trust, Chouhan said, “I promise we will never fail on our endeavours and continue ‘vikas’ (development) of the state.”The Election Commission official trends for Gujarat polls show BJP winning on 10 seats and leading on 83 seats while Congress has won 7 seats and is leading on 69, at the time of filing this report.The BJP is also leading in Himachal Pradesh as it has won on 3 seats and leads on 40 seats, while Congress has won on one seat and is leading on 20.The counting of votes for 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh and 182 constituencies in Gujarat began on Monday morning.The hill state went to polls on November 9 while elections were held in two phases in Gujarat on November 9 and 14 respectively.

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Assembly elections 2017 results: Not disappointed with results, says Rahul Gandhi in Parliament

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that he was not disappointed with the verdict in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.According to ABP News, the Congress President reportedly made the statement while interacting with party MPs inside Parliament in New Delhi.Rahul Gandhi had personally spearheaded the Congress’ campaign in Gujarat, which is home to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. He raised issues such as lack of jobs, Goods and Service Tax, and Demonetization. The Congress President, however, did not focus his energy on the Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh.Earlier, Union Minister Smriti Irani said, ” Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.” On Monday, ​I&B Minister hailed BJP’s win, “It’s a matter of happiness for us, this is the victory of development.”She continued, “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. It is a victory of every booth worker’s hard work and the people who trusted development.”Also readHimachal Elections: BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal trailing; who will be chief minister?BJP MP Madhya Pradesh unit president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said the workers are excited by the increase in the party in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. “Anti-incumbency is not working there. The prime minister’s popularity is intact. Amit Shah’s strategy has worked,” BJP vice president Shyam Jaju said.BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also said, “There is nothing to worry. We will form government in Gujarat with comfortable majority.”Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Good news for Congress as Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani wins in VadgamHome Minister Rajnath Singh, too, had expressed confidence in BJP. “Will form Government in both Himachal and Gujarat with a clear majority,” he told news agency ANI. Singh later took a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’

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Himachal Elections: After PK Dhumal’s loss, Jairam Thakur summoned to Delhi; likely to be CM

The BJP high command has called in Jairam Thakur to Delhi this evening. He’s likely to take over as Himachal Pradesh CM since the party’s CM candidate PK Dhumal and state chief Satpal Singh Satti have lost, say party sources.Thakur was a cabinet minister in Bharatiya Janata Party ministry in Himachal Pradesh. He was minister of rural development and panchayati raj. He was elected to Himachal Pradesh Assembly from Mandi. He had won his first election in the year of 1998.Dhumal, the original chief ministerial candidate, lost to Congress’ Rajinder Rana, said he had expected to win the seat in Sujanpur. He won 18,559 votes as opposed to Rana who won 21,492.“Personal loss is not of much importance. The gain that victory has brought to state BJP is important. Thankful to people of the state for voting for BJP. In politics, sometimes one wins, sometimes one loses. I was not expecting to lose, I will do an analysis,” Dhumal was quoted speaking to ANI.Prem Kumar Dhumal, popularly known as PK Dhumal, was born into a strict Brahmin family on April 10, 1944, in Samirpur Village of Hamirpur district.During his two stints as chief minister, the hill state saw significant infrastructure developments, particularly of roads. He also oversaw the development of new railway lines as well.This gave rise to Dhumal being called as the ‘sadak walla mukhyamantri’.Congress candidate Anirudh Singh won the Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti by a margin of 9,397 votes. Also readAs trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebratesIn Lahaul and Spiti, Dr Ram Lal Markanda of BJP defeated Ravi Thakur of Congress by more than 1500 votes.Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla (Rural) respectively.Since the past 24 years, Himachal Pradesh has had alternative governments between the BJP and the Congress.Main rivals BJP and Congress contested all the 68 seats at stake. The hill state witnessed a record 75.28% turnout.The Congress and the BJP had 36 and 26 seats respectively in the outgoing House.

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Himachal Elections: BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal trailing; who will be Chief Minister?

The BJP looks set to wrest power from the Congress in Himachal Pradesh as it has won three seats and leading in 40 seats, however, the party’s Chief Minister candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is staring at loss.The ruling party candidate Rajinder Rana is ahead of Dhumal with Congress leading in 21 seats.So far, Rana has received 21492 votes and with 18559 votes Dhumal is trailing.On November 1, just before the polls, Dhumal was unexpectedly announced as the chief ministerial candidate. The health minister, JP Nadda, emerged as a strong contender, initially, but it was Dhumal at the end.Prem Kumar Dhumal, popularly known as PK Dhumal, was born into a strict Brahmin family on April 10, 1944, in Samirpur Village of Hamirpur district.During his two stints as chief minister, the hill state saw significant infrastructure developments, particularly of roads. He also oversaw the development of new railway lines as well.This gave rise to Dhumal being called as the ‘sadak walla mukhyamantri’.Congress candidate Anirudh Singh won the Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti by a margin of 9,397 votes. Also readAs trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebratesIn Lahaul and Spiti, Dr Ram Lal Markanda of BJP defeated Ravi Thakur of Congress by more than 1500 votes.Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla (Rural) respectively.Since the past 24 years, Himachal Pradesh has had alternative governments between the BJP and the Congress.Main rivals BJP and Congress contested all the 68 seats at stake. The hill state witnessed a record 75.28% turnout.The Congress and the BJP had 36 and 26 seats respectively in the outgoing House.

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Nepal Police confirms arrest of six Indian robbers

Police in Nepal have confirmed the arrest of six Indian robbers. According to the Kathmandu Post, the thiefs, known as the Challa Samuha gang, were arrested after crossing into Nepal on the pretext of collecting scrap.The Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) was quoted, as saying that the gang came from Samastipur, Bihar. The MPCD said that the gang members used to visit house-to-house for collecting scrap and steal anything valuable, including cash, jewellery, mobile phones and electronic devices. They have been identified as Dinesh Podar, Mukesh Kumar Podar, Ketalu Podar, Chandan Podar, Suraj Podar and Bikash Podar. Five of these thieves are below 20 years. A Nepali is identified as Raj Kumar Adhikari of Bara, who used to work in Pashupati Temple, has also been placed under arrest.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Good news for Congress as Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani wins in Vadgam

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani won the Vadgam constituency in the pretigious Gujarat Assembly Elections on Monday.Vadgam, a reserved Assembly seat, saw a contest between Mevani and BJP’s Vijay Chakravarti.Popular among the Dalit youth, Mevani won the seat with more than 18,000 votes.Mevani came to limelight after he started organised protests against the Una killing in July, where four Dalits were beaten publicly for skinning a dead cow by vigilantes. ‘We want to overthrow the 22 years of BJP rule. But we are not endorsing Congress either… People of Gujarat are smart enough to choose whom to cast their vote to. We don’t have to tell them,’ Mevani had said during one of his campaign rallies.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar,’ Union Minister Smriti Irani tells Congress

After a mid-morning scare, it seems the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form a government in the state of Gujarat for the sixth time. The party may be slightly shaken by the fact that these elections have been more uncomfortable than it may have expected – with Congress making significant gains from the 61 seats it won in 2012 and run the BJP close.But Union Minister Smriti Irani said, ” Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.” On Monday, ​I&B Minister hailed BJP’s win, “It’s a matter of happiness for us, this is the victory of development.”She continued, “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. It is a victory of every booth worker’s hard work and the people who trusted development.”BJP MP Madhya Pradesh unit president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said the workers are excited by the increase in the party in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. “Anti-incumbency is not working there. The prime minister’s popularity is intact. Amit Shah’s strategy has worked,” BJP vice president Shyam Jaju said.BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also said, “There is nothing to worry. We will form government in Gujarat with comfortable majority.”

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Congress to raise ‘Pakistan interference’ remark in Parliament

Congress sources said on Monday that they would raise ‘Pakistan-interference-in-Gujarat-polls’ remark in both houses of Parliament, as the Winter Session resumes after the weekend.During the last phase of electioneering in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, quoting media reports, on December 10, said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Army General Deepak Kapoor had secretly discussed Gujarat elections with ex-Pakistani diplomats at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence in Delhi.The allegation has sparked a political furore.Congress, since then, has been demanding an apology from the prime minister.Last week, on the first day of the session, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue in Rajya Sabha.

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As trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebrates

The trends have started emerging and as they move in the favour of the Bhartiya Janata Party recorded, party workers had already started celebrating. BJP recorded its first official win Gujarat and festivity at party offices across the country have begun. Party workers in Madhya Pradesh are already distributing sweets as the trends show the BJP winning both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.Fire crackers and sweets have made entry in the BJP headquarters in New Delhi too. Bucking the initial trends, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani won the Rajkot West Assembly seat in the Gujarat Election results on Monday.The early trends had shown Rupani trailing to Congress’ Indranil Rajguru.Ahead of the Gujarat verdict, Rupani sounded confident and had said that the BJP will form the government in the state again.”The results are going to be in BJP’s favour and the party will form Government in Gujarat; people of the state have chosen development” Rupani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.On Sunday, his supporters also started a ‘Havan’ for his victory.Pitted against Rajguru, one of the wealthiest leader in the fray, Rupani bucked the anti- incumbency factor and the Patel agitation that could have tilted the balance.Gujarat has 26 parliamentary constituencies and 182 assembly constituencies.A total of 977 candidates were in the fray in the first phase of elections, out of which 57 were women candidates and over 2.22 crore people took part in the election to decide their fate. While in the second phase, 851 candidates fought, out of which 69 women candidates contested.

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Assembly Elections 2017: Congress leader Ashok Gehlot says results depict victory for Rahul Gandhi’s campaign

As the BJP appears to be on its way to retain power in Gujarat, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot today said he saw the results as a “victory” for the party due to the response its chief Rahul Gandhi’s campaign got from the people.Gehlot, the Congress election in-charge for Gujarat, said Gandhi ran a nice campaign in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trends from 181 seats in the state, gave the BJP a lead in over a 107 seats while the Congress was following with 65.The simple majority mark in the 182-member Assembly is 92. The Congress, however, appears to be on its way to improve its 2012 tally.”The way the Congress campaigned and the way Rahul Gandhi did bus trips, we put up a very nice campaign. Whatever the results, the country will see this as the Congress’ victory,” Gehlot said.”Through the campaigning and manifesto, we have been successful in reflecting the feelings of the people of Gujarat and we believe we have been successful in that,” he said.To a question, Gehlot said the saffron party tried to turn the direction of the campaign by raising the ‘son of the soil’ issue. “The BJP tried to turn the campaign in another direction by its ‘son of the soil’ comments and saying that he (Modi) is a prime minister from Gujarat. We have given a very nice message to the people of Gujarat,” he said.He said it is not the culture of the Congress to make such comments.”Rahulji (Gandhi) had said that Congress people will not make such commments against the prime minister. The manner in which the prime minister made comments against Manmohan Singhji, Soniaji and Rahulji, we did not want to respond to them in the same language,” he said.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Vijay Rupani wins prestige battle in Rajkot West

Bucking the initial trends, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani won the Rajkot West Assembly seat in the Gujarat Election results on Monday.The early trends had shown Rupani trailing to Congress’ Indranil Rajguru.Ahead of the Gujarat verdict, Rupani sounded confident and had said that the BJP will form the government in the state again.”The results are going to be in BJP’s favour and the party will form Government in Gujarat; people of the state have chosen development” Rupani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.On Sunday, his supporters also started a ‘Havan’ for his victory.Pitted against Rajguru, one of the wealthiest leader in the fray, Rupani bucked the anti- incumbency factor and the Patel agitation that could have tilted the balance.

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Himachal Election: Here’s a status of key candidates – Virbhadra Singh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, Anil Sharma and others

The BJP looks set to wrest power from the Congress in Himachal Pradesh as it was leading in 40 seats while the ruling party bagged one seat and was leading in 21 others, according to Election Commission trends.Congress candidate Anirudh Singh won the Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti by a margin of 9,397 votes.Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, is trailing behind Congress’s Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur, Out of 67 sitting MLAs, 60 MLAS, nine cabinet minister and eight Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS) contested the poll along with a dozen former ministers.Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla(Rural) respectively.Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Himachal Pradesh, was trailing behind Congress’s Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur, according to early trends.Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Vijay Rupani wins prestige battle in Rajkot WestHere’s a status of Key CandidatesThe BJP ousted the Congress in 1990 and the Congress avenged defeat in 1993. The BJP formed the government with the help of Himachal Vikas Congress in 1998 and the Congress was back in power in 2003. The BJP made a comeback in 2007.

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Himachal Pradesh Election Results 2017: BJP ahead in 45; Congress wins one seat

The BJP looks set to wrest power from the Congress in Himachal Pradesh as it was leading in 40 seats while the ruling party bagged one seat and was leading in 21 others, according to Election Commission trends.Congress candidate Anirudh Singh won the Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti by a margin of 9,397 votes.Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla(Rural) respectively, according to trends available for 65 of the 68 seats. Independents are leading in two constituencies while the CPI(M) is ahead in one.Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Himachal Pradesh, was trailing behind Congress’s Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur, according to early trends.Main rivals BJP and Congress contested all the 68 seats at stake. The hill state witnessed a record 75.28% turnout.The Congress and the BJP had 36 and 26 seats respectively in the outgoing House.Himachal Pradesh has a tradition of change in government after every elections and going by the trend, this time it appears to be the turn of the BJP which is upbeat after the exit polls predicted a victory for the saffron party.Also readHimachal Pradesh Election Results 2017 LIVE: BJP leads in 45 seats, set for a sweepThe BJP ousted the Congress in 1990 and the Congress avenged defeat in 1993. The BJP formed the government with the help of Himachal Vikas Congress in 1998 and the Congress was back in power in 2003. The BJP made a comeback in 2007.

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BJP set to form govt in Gujarat with ‘comfortable majority’, party says PM Modi’s popularity intact

The BJP today said the poll trends in its favour indicated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity was intact in his home state Gujarat and it was on its way to form government with a “comfortable majority”.BJP leaders said their party would “retain” power notwithstanding the opposition and the aggressive campaign by the Congress, particularly its new president Rahul Gandhi.It attributed the favourable trends to its Gujarat development model as the anti-incumbency factor had “failed”.Also readWatch: PM Modi flashes victory sign as BJP gets unassailable lead in GujaratThe saffron party, however, said it will analyse the trends in detail later.”We have set a record in the history of the BJP by winning six consecutive polls: four assembly and two general elections.Also readGujarat Election 2017: As BJP gets back in business, Adani Group gains after initial loss”Anti-incumbency is not working there. The prime minister’s popularity is intact. Amit Shah’s strategy has worked,” BJP vice-president Shyam Jaju said.BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya seconded Jaju.”There is nothing to worry. We will form a government in Gujarat with comfortable majority,” Vijayvargiya added.According to trends available on the Election Commission’s website, the BJP was leading in 101 of the 182 assembly segments in Gujarat. The Congress was leading in 74 constituencies.

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Mumbai sweet shop fire kills 12 in India

The victims were reported to be workers who were employed at the shop and were also living there.

Development is the mantra of today’s polity, people are with Modiji: Prakash Javadekar

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that the development is the mantra of today’s polity as the BJP headed for a victory in Gujarat and was set to retain power and also stayed on course to oust the Congress in Himachal Pradesh.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped out of his car, greeted the media with a ‘namastey’ and flashed a victory sign, while entering the Parliament.Also readWatch: PM Modi flashes victory sign as BJP gets unassailable lead in GujaratWith poll trends favouring the BJP in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the results were an approval of the Modi government’s policies.Asked if the results were an approval of the Modi government’s policies, the former party president said, “Of course. It is an approval of the government.” Seeking a sixth straight term, the BJP was ahead in 100 seats while the opposition Congress is leading in 70 seats, the Election Commission (EC) trends available for 175 of the 182 seats at stake showed.The BJP has been in power in the state since 1995, winning consecutive elections in the home state of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP was ahead in 42 seats while the ruling Congress is leading in 22.

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Watch: PM Modi flashes victory sign as BJP gets unassailable lead in Gujarat

As the trends show BJP getting solid lead in Gujarat Assembly Elections results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen jubilantly flashing victory sign outside Parliament.The stakes are high as the BJP looks for straight fifth victory in the Prime Minister’s home state.Though the initial trends showed a tough fight between the Congress and the BJP, the post-11 am leads show BJP topping the game.Top BJP leaders have already started reacting to the trends with many showing confidence in forming government both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.”We will form government in both Himachal and Gujarat with clear majority,” Union Hom Minister Rajnath Singh said as election leads started trickling in.”The result is as per our expectations. BJP is leading in both the states. BJP will form a government with clear majority in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh,” the Home Minister added.The elections for 182-seat Assembly were held on December 9 and 14, after an acrimonious campaign, which was dominated by a face-off between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.In the 2012 elections, the BJP had won 115 seats while the Congress emerged victorious on 61 seats.The BJP has been in power in the state since 1995, winning consecutive elections in the home state of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

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Assembly Elections 2017: Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti asssures EVMs cannot be tampered with

After the Congress, the AAP and Patidar leader Hardik Patel expressed apprehension that the EVMs may have been tampered, the Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti on Monday assured that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) cannot be tampered with.The CEC said, “Questions being raised about EVMs have already been answered by us in the media. VVPATs were there in every polling stations in Gujarat, which enabled voters to see whom they voted for, so issues being raised aren’t right. I assure that EVMS cannot be tampered with.” Joti added that the Gujarat Chief Electoral officer had made all arrangements at all places in counting halls in the state.Former Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla also asserted that political parties or candidate tended to cry foul and blame the electronic voting machines (EVMs) when they are losing the elections. “I have observed that when a political party or a candidate lose, they tend to blame the machine and I think that’s unfair,” Naveen Chawla told ANI.He added that people should have faith not only in the Election Commission (EC) but also the courts, who have called the EVM has one of the technological wonders.”We must have faith in the EC and also in the courts as all of them have examined different aspects of EVM as well,” said the former CEC.Even Bihar CM Nitish Kumar mocked at Opposition for criticising EVMs. “Some may criticise the EVMs out of fear of defeat, but the EVMs have made elections transparent and impartial. Now, nobody can deprive anybody of the right to cast votes,” Kumar, who has predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP in Gujarat, tweeted in Hindi. According to early trends, the Congress was giving tough fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in both the states.The counting of votes for 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh and 182 constituencies in Gujarat began at 8 am today.The hill state went to polls on November 9 while elections were held in two phases in Gujarat on November 9 and 14 respectively.(With ANI inputs)

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Mumbai: 12 killed as fire breaks out at shop in Sakinaka

At least 12 people were killed and four others critically injured after fire broke out at a shop in Mumbai in the wee hours of Monday.As per primary information, more people are feared trapped in the fire.The shop was located on Khairani road in the Sakinaka area of Mumbai suburban.The fire brigade removed 12 people from the shop gutted in fire and they were taken to Rajawadi hospital where they were declared dead on arrival itself.The disaster management unit has informed that the deceased are not yet identified. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Three fire engines and 4 jumbo water tankers and ambulances are rushed on the spot.The search and rescue operation is in progress.

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Election Results: Will form govt in both Himachal and Gujarat with clear majority, says Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will form the government in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat with a clear majority as the party took leads in both states.”Trends very clear, we will form the government in both states,” he said.The BJP is leading in over 100 seats while the Congress nominees are ahead in 70 seats, as per the latest trends.Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: PM flashes victory sign as BJP tops trending gameChief Minister Vijay Rupani, who earlier trailed behind his Congress rival Indranil Rajyaguru after the counting of postal ballots, is now leading in Rajkot West seat.In the 2012 elections, the BJP had won 115 seats while the Congress emerged victorious on 61 seats.In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has crossed the halfway mark and is ahead in 42 seats while the ruling Congress is leading in 23 seats.However, Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla (Rural) respectively.Independents are leading in two constituencies while the CPI(M) is ahead in one.

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar mocks at Opposition: criticism of EVMs out of fear of defeat

After the Congress, the AAP and Patidar leader Hardik Patel expressed apprehension that the EVMs may have been tampered, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar didn’t let go of the opportunity to mock at the opposition. He tweeted on Sunday night that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have helped making elections “transparent and impartial” and those criticising them were doing so out of the fear of defeat. Kumar’s observation came a day before the counting of votes for the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, and in the backdrop of allegations of EVM tampering in Gujarat to favour the BJP. “Some may criticize the EVMs out of fear of defeat, but the EVMs have made elections transparent and impartial. Now, nobody can deprive anybody of the right to cast votes,” Kumar, who has predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP in Gujarat, tweeted in Hindi. The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and Patidar leader Hardik Patel have expressed apprehension that the EVMs may have been tampered with in Gujarat where the BJP has been in power for 22 years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had served as the Chief Minister for over a decade.(With PTI inputs)

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LIVE: Gujarat Election Results 2017 – BJP crosses 100-seat mark, Congress trailing?

Link:  LIVE: Gujarat Election Results 2017 – BJP crosses 100-seat mark, Congress trailing?

Gujarat: Counting of votes starts in India PM’s home state

Counting of votes in underway in Gujarat, which Narendra Modi’s party has governed for 22 years.

Himachal Pradesh Election Results 2017 LIVE: BJP takes early lead

The counting of votes for 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh that went to polls on November 9 began at 8 am on Monday.The results are expected to come out by afternoon.As many as 50,25,941 voters were eligible to cast their votes and 37,605 polling personnel were deployed at 7,525 polling booths. 983 polling stations were declared vulnerable and 399 critical to ensure free and fair elections in the state.The fate of 337 candidates including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal will be known. Both – the ruling Congress Party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – are confident of their victory.Himachal has a tradition of change in government after every elections and going by the trend, this time it is the turn of the BJP which is upbeat after exit poll results.Security personnel have been deployed outside the counting centres to avoid any untoward situation.8:39 IST Monday, 18 December 2017Counting has begun for Himachal Pradesh. BJP is leading in 9 constituencies, Congress in 4.

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Assembly elections 2017: Will Himachal Pradesh results throw up a surprise?

While exit polls have already given a sweeping victory to BJP in Himachal Pradesh, locals are keeping their fingers crossed in the hilly state, which has in last 24 years never re-elected an incumbent government.BJP, which made an impressive comeback in adjoining hill state of Uttarakhand early this year replacing the Harish Rawat-led Congress government, is confident to romp home in Himachal as well where Congress’ Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been battling age and corruption charges.Singh, called Raja by locals is a popular face and it was his popularity, which apparently forced BJP to declare Prem Singh Dhumal its CM face towards the end of the election even as it has earlier decided not to project any face and had in fact given more prominence to Union Minister J P Nadda.While exit polls suggest, Dhumal forming the next government in the state with huge margin, for the locals the outcome will be more based on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Many feel that it could be close contest this time and Virbhadra Singh may not just sink into oblivion with as poor results as being predicted by the exit polls.While Congress is striving hard for ‘Mission Repeat’ in the hill state this time, BJP is confident that the swing state will live up to its tradition of not returning the ruling party to power. It has also taken steps to check dissension. It’s confidence is also due to the fact that it had won all the four Lok Sabha seats in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.Supporters of Singh say that exit polls had also predicted win for BJP in the last assembly elections in 2012, where Congress won 36 seats in comparison to BJP’s 26.Ask anyone to give two reasons to ousts Singh’s govt and the answers would come on predictable lines… One, no govt has ever been repeated since eighties.Two, the corruption case against sitting chief minister where he could be arrested soon.The Congress government had not rubbed the government employees the wrong way in Singh’s five-year-tenure, which could be the reasons its supporters feel that the employees will back it.Singh led Himachal campaign single-handedly despite falling health and that has also struck a chord with voters to bring him back for one last time before he calls it quits, his supporters argue.They argue that there is no such sympathy wave for Dhumal on the other side who is fighting a tough battle to win own seat Sujanpur, where the former Chief Minister is locked into a tough battle against Rajinder Rana, who has nurtured it for many years. Rana, a protege turned rival of Dhumal had contested the 2012 election as an Independent and defeated his nearest Congress rival Anita Verma by 14,155 votes.It’s an open secret in the state unit that Dhumal, who contested the last assembly polls from Hamirpur assembly segment, was not willing to contest from Sujanpur.BJP had projected Dhumal as its CM face, hoping it could give a boost to the party’s campaign in all five assembly segments in Hamirpur.An old slogan, which does rounds in Himachal is that whosoever wins Kangra valley forms a government in Himachal.Congress had 10 seats from this region while BJP had just three in the last assembly. This time around, the Congress has strong presence in this region and it could be a neck to neck results. BJP state Mahila Morcha chief Indu Goswami, who has openly faced backlash from party workers, is pitted against politically-established Butail family’s son, Ashish Butail.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Modi wave all over again? BJP leads on 53 seats

All eyes are set on Gujarat as the much-awaited results of the bitterly fought Assembly polls, which saw a political Mahabharat contest between the two leading parties – the BJP and Congress, will be announced today.The counting for the two phase Gujarat Assembly elections has begun and the results are expected to come out by afternoon.Gujarat has 26 parliamentary constituencies and 182 assembly constituencies.A total of 977 candidates were in the fray in the first phase of elections, out of which 57 were women candidates and over 2.22 crore people took part in the election to decide their fate. While in the second phase, 851 candidates fought, out of which 69 women candidates contested.8:00 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: Counting begins at the 37 centres that will decide the future course of Indian politics. 8:19 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: Early leads for BJP, the ruling party leads in 15 seats, whereas Congress is ahead on 4 seats. BJP had predicted 150 seats in the state. If initial trends are anything to go by, BJP may be heading for fifth straight win in PM Modi’s home state. 8:25 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: Visuals from Vadodara show the the buzz. There are seven seats in Vadodara district. The BJP had won 6 out of 7 seats in 2012. 8:35 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: The morning leads are showing strong position for BJP. Looks like the ‘Modi magic’ is working again. The ruling party is leading on 53 seats, whereas the Congress comes at distant second on 35.

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The China-India row that spells disaster for flood victims

China is accused of withholding crucial river data that is essential to prepare for floods.

Picture perfect: the effectiveness of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products

The Karnataka high court on Friday struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85% of tobacco product packaging space on all tobacco products sold in India. It is worth mentioning that the pictorial warnings on both sides of packages of tobacco products came into effect in April 2016 following the direction of the Rajasthan High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court too made it mandatory. After the decision of Karnataka High Court, health activists and doctors in Rajasthan have expressed their worries about the adverse effects of diluting the pictorial warning.“The second edition of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) says that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and 60.5% of smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting smokeless tobacco use because of warning label on the packets. These figures show that the bigger pictorial warning on pack is critical to protect our youth from the dangers of tobacco and the government’s earlier decision of 85% pictorial warnings on all tobacco packages should be defended,” said Jayesh Joshi, Secretary of Vaagdhara, an NGO working for tobacco control in Rajasthan. Highlighting the severity of tobacco triggered cancer, Dr Naresh Somani, senior consultant, Medical Oncology Department at Bhagwan Mahavir Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur said that in Rajasthan 30% of total cancers patients suffer from the cancer caused by tobacco use. “It is estimated that 30,000 new cancer patients every year reach to the hospital due to tobacco generated cancer. Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India,” he added.Raj takes the first step:Bigger pictorial warnings were first mandated by a notification issued in October 2014. Followed by the removal of the then Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan and the then Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, the notification was then taken up suo motu by the Lok Sabha Committee on Subordinate Legislation, which asked the government to put the implementation on hold. While the implementation was then stayed, Rajasthan HC in July 2015 asked the government to implement it.Bigger the picture, bigger the impact:As per GATS-2, there has been a change in perception. 92% of adults surveyed under GATS-2 believed smoking caused serious illness, and 96% said use of smokeless tobacco causes serious illness. It was also found in survey that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and .60.5% of smokeless tobacco users were planning or thinking of quitting tobacco use.Pictorial warning impact across IndiaIn India, more and more people of those still consuming tobacco are thinking of quitting on seeing pictorial warnings. AS PER GATS-262% feetcigarette smokers…54% feetbeedi users…46% feetsmokeless tobacco… …users are thinking of quitting because of pictorial warnings, compared with 38%, 29% & 34%, respectively during GATS-1

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Less populated villages to have ‘smooth’ infra

Ensuring basic amenity of roads in even least populated rural areas, the chief minister Vasundhara Raje has made a big announcement. Now, villages across the state where the population is 250 or more will all be connected with roads to Panchayat headquarters.Raje made the announcement during a ‘CM Jan Samvad program’ held in a public school on Sunday. The poor infra in less populated areas drew her attention when some rural folks raised the issue during the program. She promptly asked the senior officials to shoot a letter to the Central government to connect left out small villages with roads to the Panchayat headquarters.“A list of revenue villages where the population is 250 or more but left out from connectivity under ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna’ since 2001 will be prepared so these could have roads. The list will be sent to Union ministry of rural development for roadworks,” said Raje directing PWD engineers to draft list of roads which need repairing and send a proposal for the same.Local issues which were pending for a long time were addressed by Raje on the spot during the program. She instructed officials to earmark forest land for sheltering stray bulls to avoid damage of crops, to probe into alleged irregularity in saplings distribution to farmers and to video graph repairing of drinking water pipelines which were reported broken and unrepaired keeping the rural people thirsty.Once again Raje expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of administration at grass root level and she asked the officials to be concerned towards complaints of the commoners. “Officials need to understand grievances of the people and dispose them off with full seriousness. How will you feel facing such problems after the retirement from the service? So, you should show complete sincerity to their problem and issues,” Raje said.Meanwhile, Raje has made a big announcement to provide adequate water supply to Fatehpur Shekhawati area. She has instructed officials of LSG (local self-governance) to draft a detailed project report of Rs125 crores to lay drinking water lines and sewerage lines in the area.WHAT’S MOREMeanwhile, Raje has made a big announcement to provide adequate water supply to Fatehpur Shekhawati area. She has instructed to draft a detailed project report of Rs125 crore.

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2 dead, 4 injured in road mishap

A speeding car flipped over at Mandia Road in Pali on Saturday. A young woman from Jaipur and her friend died in the car accident while 4 others were seriously injured. The accident took place when all of them were coming heading towards Jodhpur after visiting Mount Abu and Udaipur.According to information, Jaipur resident Sonia Rathore (35), Ashi Sharma (18), Deepak (29), Tarun Bansal (26) and Nisha Negi (26) are friends. Tarun Bansal and Deepak Kumar are share traders. Deepak has an office in Jodhpur. Five days ago, they went to Mount Abu from Jaipur and after staying there one day, they reached Udaipur and were on their way to Jodhpur by car. The car was at high speed and due to this, it flipped over at the turn of the industrial zone on the Mandia Road at Jodhpur bypass. The other drivers passing through this route pulled them out of the car.On receiving information, a team of Sadar police station reached the spot. All the injured were taken to Bangar Hospital. Nisha Negi died during the treatment. At the same time, Tarun Bansal was referred to Jodhpur in critical condition, where he too died. Ashi is a student of Class 12 and his father is a sub-inspector. The police handed both the dead bodies to their families after post-mortem.

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There are going to be new, exciting faces in Congress: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that major changes will be undertaken in Congress under his leadershipIn his first exclusive interview since taking over as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi told NH that he would help the party embark on a path of greater democratisation & bring in interesting facesNewly-elected Congress President Rahul Gandhi says that the party will undergo major changes under his leadership, with more exciting people being projected in key positions.In his first exclusive interview since taking over as party president, Rahul Gandhi told National Herald that he would help Congress embark on a path of greater democratisation and bring interesting and young faces within the party fold.The 47-year old leader also rubbishes BJP’s claims that his party fought the recently held Gujarat state elections of casteist lines, instead highlighting that Congress brought the OBC, Dalit and the Patidar communities together on a Congress platform.Edited excerpts from Rahul’s interaction with National Herald’s Editor-in-Chief Neelabh Mishra and Qaumi Awaz’s Editor-in-Chief Zafar Agha. DNA present excerpts.Neelabh Mishra: Congratulations to you on being elected as President of the Congress Party. Thank you for giving this interview, which is the first since your appointment as party head.Rahul Gandhi: Thank you very much.NM: So, where do you go from here, in the Congress party as well as for the country?RG: I liked very much Mr Manmohan Singh’s formulations today, which is the politics of hope versus the politics of fear, or you can say the politics of anger. The BJP has divided the society. And they have created a false animosity between our people. I think Congress party’s role is to create a bridge between our people, start a conversation, where we can once again start to say that we all are Indian. Not a particular class, caste or religion, but our first identity is that of an Indian. And after that, come all other identities. And that is something that the Congress ideology can do.Zafar Agha: The problem is that Congress’ ideology of secularism and harmony is itself threatened now. There is tremendous fear and insecurity among the people. Isn’t this a great challenge before the country and the Congress?RG: Yes, periodically — look at Indian history — this has happened. A sort of polarisation you saw in the 1990s as well. But I primarily think that this country stands together, and we believe very deeply in love and affection. This country does not believe in hatred. And of course there has also been a large organised defamation campaign against the Congress party, carried out by the BJP and the RSS. Very organised, systematic, against its leaders, against its workers, against its ideas, against its past. I really felt this in Gujarat, that certain myths have been created, which are just lies. I mean, in Gujarat, the myth is that Sardar Patel and Jawahar Lal Nehru didn’t get along. It’s a lie. Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sardar Patel were friends. They spent time in jail together. They disagreed on certain things, but they were friends, and Sardar Patel had strong views against the RSS. He had also banned the RSS.As I said in my talk in the US and also during my campaign speeches in Gujarat, there is a central problem that India is facing, which is, India is simply not producing enough jobs, for the number of youngsters of this country.ZA: People say that Congress is not ready organisationally to take on the challenge posed by the RSS-BJP combine. Do you feel this is a problem for Congress?RG: There is lot of work that Congress has to do. There are a large number of new people that we have to bring forward. There is tremendous talent in the Congress party that we have to utilise. But one has to realise that there is a systematic campaign against the Congress party, and we are going to show to the country, the true face of the Congress Party. You are going to see a change in the Congress party, you are going to see more of people who excite you, people about whom you can say that they are somebody very interesting who have been put there by the Congress party. We would like to be associated with decent persons.NM: Will the Congress democratize itself more?RG: That is certainly my intention. We have done a lot of work in the Youth Congress and NSUI, and very successful work at that. We would like to bring in as many new faces, young faces, exciting faces and dynamic faces (as we could). That’s not to say that people who are experienced or older should not have space.

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Another ‘Shocker’: One killed in transformer blast

A month and a half later, after the death of nearly 22 people in a transformer blast at Khatloai in Viratnagar Tehsil area, the eyes of Jaipur Discom officers still seems to be shut. Due to JVVNL’s ignorance, frequent incidents of same nature are happening in the area. A 55-year-old woman was killed on Sunday morning due to 11 KV current in consumer’s service line at Gulab Bari village in Shahpura Tehsil area. The villagers had alleged that the power line of 11 KV was connected directly to the transformer of the single phase. This led to an accident due to the flowing current of the Hi-Tension line. The angry villagers refused to accept the body of the woman and jammed Ajitgarh-Chomu State highway. Villagers were demanding to remove transformers from the residential areas, Rs 50 lakh compensation and government jobs for the dependent. After talks with SDM (Shahpura), the situation was a bit mild and the funeral was done.As per the villagers, in the electric line of Gulab Badi village, suddenly a Hi Tension current was flowing at 7 in the morning. During this period, Suraj Devi, who was churning curd for butter in her house, got electrocuted, which burnt her severely. The victim was alone at home when the incident took place. Villagers rushed to the spot and informed the cops after which a team reached Gulab Bari and took the body to the government hospital at Shahpura. After the post-mortem, the body was handed over to the family members. Agitated locals protested and blocked the Ajitgarh-Chomu state highway near Gula Bari bus stand. The villagers staged a dharna on the road under the leadership of Kisan Parishad’s State President Harinarayan Gathala, former District Council Member Mahendra Chaudhary and Youth Congress leader Praveen Vyas. The villagers refused to take the dead body and asked for the financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh to the relatives of the deceased, a government job, removing the transformer from the residential area, including the involvement of the deceased’s family in the BPL category. Later, SDM (Shahpura) Ravi Vijay assured to forward the report of the matter to the District Collector. The villagers handed over a memorandum to the SDM in connection with the six-point demands.TWO BLASTS IN A DAYOn same day, another transformer blast occurred in the Khori village of Shahpura on Sunday morning. There was no loss of life due to as the three-phase transformer was kept in a field in Khori village, but the incident has revealed the negligence of JVVNL officials. On hearing the blast noise, the villagers got gathered. and reported the matter to JVVN officials. They have alleged that despite repeated complaints, the authorities did not change the transformer.

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A dialogue with JC: Hapless Cong prays for a miracle as BJP set to wrest power in Guj and Himachal

Will results of Exit Polls be proved right in Himachal and Gujarat?The Exit Poll results of Himachal are 100% right. BJP is getting absolute majority there…Dhumal will be the chief minister and Modi-Amit Shah will also be present there…there is a tried trend in Himachal …it’s 5-year term for Virbhadra, 5 year for Dhumal…now it’s Dhumal’s turn.Will Amit Shah’s forecast of 15-year rule of BJP stand true in Himachal or will Congress come back after 5 years?Amit Shah has declared in election rallies that this time Himachal is not voting for 5 years , it is voting for 15 years. But how far this forecast is going to be true, it can’t be ascertained…after 5 years Dhumal will be 78…I think he is playing last innings…I think both the leaders are in their last leg due to their age…new generation is coming. How the pair of J P Nadda in Delhi and Dhumal in Shimla work together? Will they become two different centres of power?Nadda was a contender of chief minister…But when his name was ruled out and name of Dhumal was announced then he withdrew himself and dedicated entire focus on elections but going forward it can’t be denied that Nadda and Dhumal will be two different power centres. One will be Delhi and other will be in Shimla. High Command will have its task cut out to maintain coordination between them. Eventually what is the political future of Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur and Virbhandra’s son Vikramaditya?As far as Anurag Thakur is concerned, he is an MP and close to Arun Jaitley. On the other hand, Vikramaditya is contesting election this time…his future is in time wrap.Will Gujarat again see the reemergence of Jodi No : Narendra-Modi-Amit Shah? Will there be absolute majority for BJP or will it be the single largest party?Jodi is Super Hit…as far as election results are concerned, I believe that BJP is getting 112 seats and Congress 70. These days public gives decisive mandate…in 2014 polls BJP had led in 162 constituencies out of 165 and in this elections, the polling percentage was 68% and if we look at it, the vote looks even more decisive. Whichever party wins, it will get 125-130 seats. But it is believed that BJP will form government will 105-107 seats.Who besides Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi emerged as the hero of poll campaign in Gujarat?If we look at heroes of Gujarat campaign then only three are there – Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi…in second category we may keep Yogi, Smriti Irani, Jaitley, Hardik Patel and his two partners.Was the agenda of Gujarat Pride and Hindu-Muslim related issues came again into picture during last days of electioneering? Was there once again polarisation of Gujarati voters?Narendra Modi smartly raised the issue of Gujarat Pride…The word Neech which Manishankar uttered, Modi encashed that sensibly. Modi also raised the issue of Hindu-Muslim when he said that Manmohan Singh was present in a meeting with people of Pakistan to stall BJP from forming government Gujarat. This people believed to some extent. In the last leg of elections, what would be the impact of negative campaign carried out by Modi and BJP against Congress?Negative campaign is the strategy of Modi. But this should not have happened. Maximum people believed that campaigning should not stoop down to this level. When permission for roadshow in Ahmedabad was turned down, Modi campaigned from Sea-Plane. Was it Modi’s poll branding exercise? It was a masterstroke of Narendra Modi…people of Gujarat was hooked to the Plane. It was 100% a branding exercise.In this situation of Gujarat election, what would be the scenario in 2019? Will Rahul be able to give straight fight to Modi? How much impact would Gujarat and Himachal result will have on the outcome of 2019 elections?The 2019 scenario is absolutely clear which is showing Modi on seat. A Times of India survey say that 79% people want to see Modi as prime minister while Rahul Gandhi has only 16% vote for PM.In the second leg, a day before the polling, Rahul has given interview to Gujarat’s regional channel, what would be the impact on this?It was a mastermind move on Congress part…there is anxiety in BJP. That interview of Rahul was a big challenge for media managers of BJP, it was a failure. Interview came into light of election commission, sent notice to the channel and talks about filing FIR against Rahul also came into being. Later Election Commission retreated following uproar over this issue. Is Election Commission favouring BJP in case of violation of Code of Conduct and how much the independence of EC getting affected?It can’t be said that EC is favouring BJP or not but that goes as an impression among people, questions have been raised on the sanctity of EC. BJP has suffered from this.What would be the national agenda of Narendra Modi after winning elections in Gujarat and Himachal? Will he focus on governance or remain in election mode till 2019 elections? Modi is a man of passion. He has his own style of working. Whether he wins elections or not, it doesn’t affect him because he feels whatever he is doing is right. Whether it’s demonetisation or GST. But in coming days, he will have an agenda of conducting assembly and parliamentary elections simultaneously. Second agenda would be to make GST successful, third would be to have a crack down on shell companies and fourth would be to eradicate corruption. What would be the agenda of Narendra Modi’s one man army – Amit Shah? Will he again come into electioneering mode after forming cabinets in Gujarat and Himachal?If BJP forms government in Gujarat then his entire focus would be on Karnataka and then he will concentrate on Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and MP. He is completely immersed making political strategy 24X7. What is the political fallout of entry of Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha? Has remote control of BJP in Rajya Sabha gone to Amit Shah? This is Modi’s strategy not to merely send Amit Shah to Rajya Sabha but to establish him there. With Shah in RS, BJP MPs will be present in full strengthen with aggression. Definitely, the remote control will be with Amit Shah.Do you see any difference in the personality of Rahul Gandhi pre and post Gujarat elections?There is a big difference in both the situations. Earlier people used to make fun of Rahul Gandhi…now two major personality traits have been visible during Gujarat elections. Now he doesn’t hesitate and speak the language of people. His image has also seen a turnaround. Whether he wins election or not, he has emerged as a leader.Who will be Ahmed Patel of Rahul Gandhi? Or will core group of 4-5 leaders keep taking trivial decisions? Ahmed Patel has been in force as an advisor for last 20-25 years…there is no alternate to him in Congress…I don’t feel there can be any Ahmed Patel in the life of Rahul Gandhi Jagdeeshji, if I ask you to summarise this analysis in one sentence, what would you say?BJP is forming government in both the states but in Gujarat possibility of a miracle can’t be ruled out.

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