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Assembly Elections 2017

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0815 HRS




  • Counting of votes for Assembly Elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh begins; results expected by noon.
  • Election Commission withdraws show cause notice issued to Congress president Rahul Gandhi for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct; Also decides to set up a panel to suggest amendments in the election law in the wake of changing communication technology.
  • In Punjab, Congress sweeps local body polls.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeals to the people to share positive experiences from this year on MYGOV portal to bring in the new year with positivity and happiness.
  • National Investigation Agency to file a fresh request before the Interpol for Red Corner Notice to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
  • Cold wave conditions prevail in several northern states.
  • In wrestling, India clinch 20 medals including nine gold on the second day of the Commonwealth Championship in Johannesburg.


The counting of votes for assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh has begun. It started at 8 AM and results are expected by noon. In Gujarat, polling was held in two phases on December 9 and 14, Himachal Pradesh went to polls in a single phase on November 9.

In Gujarat, counting is taking place at 37 centres amidst tight security. Our correspondent reports 33 control rooms have been set up and more than 30,000 personnel have been deployed to monitor the counting process.

"The counting of votes will be held at 37 centres across the state's 33 districts, amidst tight security. The much-awaited result of the assembly polls is expected to be clear by noon. The political fate of a total of 1,828 candidates including CM Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitin Patel, senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, young leaders Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani will be decided today. While the BJP is seeking a sixth straight term in office in the state, the Congress is aiming to stage a comeback in power after being in the opposition for over two decades. The results are expected to have a bearing on the 2019 parliamentary polls as well. With Yogesh Pandya, Aparna Khunt, AIR NEWS, AHMEDABAD."

In Himachal Pradesh, counting for all 68 assembly seats is being held at 42 centres. 2,820 officers including 940 micro-observers have been deployed for the purpose. Web-casting, videography and CCTVs are being used at all counting stations.

Our correspondent reports, one polling booth from each constituency is being selected by draw of lots for counting of VVPAT slips.

"Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will be at his residence in Shimla while BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal will be in his home town Hamirpur to keep watch on election results. The election department has made three-tier security arrangements at counting centers and no one will be allowed to carry mobile phones there. Highest ever polling of 75.28 percent was recorded to elect 13th state assembly and the women outnumbered their men counterpart in polling by about one lakh votes.  Meanwhile the met office has predicted clear weather in the state today but the current cold wave will continued as minimum temperatures would stay two to three degree below normal. With Shishu Sharma Shantal, Arti Rana, AIR News, Shimla.


The Election Commission has withdrawn the show cause notice it issued to the Congress president Rahul Gandhi for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct during Gujarat elections. It said yesterday, the provision under which the notice was issued is now under review. The poll body also decided to set up a panel to suggest amendments to a provision in the election law barring campaigning 48 hours ahead of polling, following complaints that the commission failed to keep pace with information technology.

The order comes in the wake of controversies over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's FICCI meeting, Rahul Gandhi's TV interviews and the release of BJP manifesto in Gujarat -- all after campaigning had ended in the state.

On the issue of release of Election Manifesto, the Commission said that there is no time limit prescribed in the Model Code of Conduct for release of the manifesto by the political parties. The Commission observed that it has also not issued any instructions in this regard. The poll panel, however, advised the BJP not to make mention of election matter pertaining to the area going for poll during the last 48 hours of the closing of the voting in future. The Commission delivered this order on the Congress' complaint that BJP violated the poll code by releasing its election manifesto on 8th December, a day before the first phase of polling for Gujarat Assembly elections.


In Punjab, Congress has made a clean sweep while Shiromini Akali Dal and BJP blamed booth capturing and inaction on the part of State Election Commission for defeat in the Civic polls.  More from our correspondent:

"The congress emerged as a clear cut winner in Civic polls.The party won all the three Municipal Corporation s polls and 20bout of 29vMunicipal Councils and Municipal Panchayats polls.Surprisingly, in Balachaur Municipal Council, Independents won all the 15 seats. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and State Congress President Sunil Jakhar have hailed the results as a clear vindication of policies of the state government.The opposition parties Shiromini Akali Dal and Bharitya Janta Party has alleged large scale rigging at Patiala and misuse of government machinery in the polls.  Ashwani Kumar Sharma, AIR News Chandigarh."

The State Election Commission has ordered repoll at booth number three of ward number 37 due to damage to EVM in polls.


The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is scheduled to be introduced in the Lok Sabha today. The lower house will also take up the The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill.

Rajya Sabha is scheduled to take up The Companies (Amendment) Bill, The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, and The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the people to bring in the new year 2018 by spreading the message of positivity, gratitude and happiness. He urged them to share 5 positive experiences from the year 2017 in the form of short stories, videos or photographs to inspire other fellow-citizens. He said, let us welcome the new year with hashtag PositiveIndia. People can  share their experiences on <<<>>> portal till the 25th of this month.

In his Mann Ki Baat address on the 26th of last month, Mr Modi said let us begin 2018 with a message of positivity.


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that all parties should reach a consensus to clear the long-pending Women's Reservation Bill. The bill seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and state legislatures. At a state-level convention of women's self-help groups (SHGs) in Bhopal yesterday, the Vice President said, Women are given reservation in local government bodies and efforts are on for women's reservation in Parliament. Stressing that women's empowerment could create a new India, he said the focus should be on "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" programme of the Modi led government at the Centre.


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that it will file a fresh request before the Interpol for issuing Red Corner Notice against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. An NIA official said, its previous plea was rejected on the grounds that it has not filed any charge sheet against Naik. The agency said that since a charge sheet has now been filed in a special court in Mumbai, it will move the Interpol for a Red Corner Notice against Zakir Naik.

The controversial preacher is being probed on terror and money laundering charges. He fled from India in July last year after one of the terrorists involved in an attack on a cafe in Dhaka claimed he was inspired by his speeches on waging jihad.


North India continued to reel under cold wave conditions with most places recording the minimum temperature below the freezing point yesterday.

Cold wave further intensified in most parts of Himachal Pradesh as mercury dipped, despite a sunny day yesterday. Local MeT office said, the high altitude tribal areas and mountain passes realed under arctic conditions. Keylong recorded the maximum temperature at zero degree Celsius. All natural sources of water such as lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of major snow-fed rivers have frozen. The local MeT office has predicted a dry spell in the region for the next six days.

In Jammu and Kashmir, weather was dry and shallow fog occurred at isolated places. Normal life came to a virtual standstill in Pahalgam where the mercury was recorded at minus 9.2 deg C. The Mughal road remained closed for vehicular movement for the eight consecutive day. The minimum temperature has dipped further. More from our Leh correspondent:

"Despite dry weather for the past two day, this landlocked area is continued to reel under bone biting cold wave conditions. Yesterday at Leh town, the minimum temperature has stayed at Minus 10.4 Degree Celsius. Normal lives remain affected for most of the time in all parts of Ladakh. Water bodies including River, Streams and Lakes have started to form a thick layer of ice sheets. WITH Yangchan Dolma IN LEH SUPARNA SAIKIA AIR NEWS DELHI."

In Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi, despite a sunny day, icy winds pushed the minimum temperature below the normal level.

In Punjab, Bathinda recorded the lowest temperature at 2.7 deg C while, Chandigarh recorded a minimum of 7 deg C. Hisar recorded the lowest at 4 deg C in Haryana.

In Uttar Pradesh, temperatures dropped overnight across the state  with Muzaffarnagar recording 5.1 deg C, the lowest in the state.

In Rajasthan, minimum temperature in the capital Jaipur dipped to 8 degrees Celsius while Fatahpur of Sikar district quivered at minus 1.8 degrees Celsius.


India clinched nine gold, seven silver and four bronze medals on the second day of the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in Johannesburg yesterday. A report:

Sushil Kumar, who returned to international wrestling after more than three years, defeated New Zealand's Akash Khullar via a pinfall in the final of the 74kg freestyle category to clinch the yellow metal. Another Olympic medalist, Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze in the 2016 Rio Games, clinched a gold medal defeating New Zealand's Tayla Tuahine Ford in the final of the 62kg women's freestyle category. The Indian women won a medal in each of the 10 weight categories in the tournament. The gold medallists included Kiran, Divya Kakran and Ritu Malik among others. Pooja and Ravita were among the silver medallists while Kavita and Manu Tomar took the bronze medals. India swept the greco roman category winning 10 gold medals and as many silver medals on the opening day of the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in Johannesburg on Saturday. ABHISHEK KUMAR SPORTS DESK.


Newspapers Headlines

  • "Heavy Bandobast for Gujarat counting" headlines the Pioneer. Election Commission takes no chances, 40,000 deployed across State today says the report. 
  • The Economic Times reports of the government's direction to halt the current process of linking DBT accounts with aadhaar for 10 days from today till the software is amended.
  • More than 180 girls were abducted daily in India last year is a scary data revealed by National Crime Records Bureau - makes for front page news in the DNA.
  • The Hindu carries a colourful picture of an illuminated TAKHAT SHRI HARMINDER SAHEB GURUDWARA on the occasion of 350th PRAKASH PARV SHUKRANA SAMAROH in Patna, Yesterday.
  • The other stories covered by newspapers are - DTC losing 9 crores a month due to congestion/ a UP based paper company making tableware from sugarcane waste bagasse/ Women company directors at 30 Sensex companies being paid 46 per cent less than men/ IIT Madras beating IIT Bombay in placements this year/ Many Palledars or coolies who lift grains sacks taking pain killers before going to bed and Rohit Jigyasu first Indian to be elected to International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) board, a heritage body.


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