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Election Watch

The election fever gains heat in Himachal

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A few glimpses of Congress leader Virbhadra Singh’s visit to the Boileauganj party office yesterday evening.

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Yesterday, the party office of Congress at Boileaugnaj, a small station in Shimla, witnessed some turbulence as the Congress leader Virbhadra Singh approached Shimla for the party campaign, which he started from Sunni. The traffic jam, fire crackers, slogan shouting and an ignorant crowd headed by a few leaders were the scenes to watch. Flags, posters and garlands could be seen above the crowd. The congested road that crosses through the Boileauganj market got too crowded for a while.

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The congress leader appeared on the scene accompanied by his son, Suddenly,the party workers transformed into devotees on seeing Raja Ji, like they saw a god at some market. A few Muslims held Congress flags, but mostly they appeared to be either standing at a distance from the crowd in a group. Then a leader said some real heavy words of appreciation for the Congress and Virbhadra Singh. He opposed the allegations put on Raja Ji, cursing the opposition. There are only 2% Muslims in Himachal Pradesh, therefore, the great tool of religion is not much exploited by the political parties. However, the power demonstration strategies and other promotional measures are on full throttle. Here are a few pictures and a video depicting the scene at Boileauganj, which HW captured yesterday evening.

The rallies, party campaigns, public meetings with the representatives of the parties, smiling faces followed by promotional slogan shines on huge billboard all over every city, and you would see leaders approaching the common man with their hands joined in a request to vote for them. Election times are the only times when the common man is considered somewhere. Anyways, the election fever for the assembly elections in Himachal has picked up heat. The election is not just elections in India, it’s a war of the world, created by the political parties. It’s apparent that in Himachal the war of the worlds is to be fought mainly between two giants – Congress and BJP.

The blame game, which these two parties are playing by putting allegations on each other, has always been a great tool to get voters’ attention. The Congress blames BJP for the high rate of ‘Ration’ in the state, while on the other hand BJP is assaulting Congress leader Virbhadra Sing with the charges of violating the provisions of section 118 of the Tenancy and Land Reforms Act and section 6 and 6A of the Ceiling on Land Holdings Act in case of the deal of the 4 hectares of tea estate in Palampur with a trust linked to Prashant Bhushan. One more factor that would be a great concern for a section of the voters is FDI in Retail, which is facing an opposition from BJP government. However, the Congress is supporting it on economical grounds.

Another factor that interferes with the chances of both, Congress and BJP, is the rebellion from Himachal Lokehit Party (HLP) headed by Maheshwar Singh, four times former MP. The alliance of HLP with the CPI and CIM would sure snatch a good enough number of voters from the two main parties. Inner party politics do matter when there is so much uncertainty among both, the public and the parties themselves. Mostly, it happens in the bid to get a ticket by influential people, who are beneficial for the party in any way. There is sometimes a truth behind these revolts deserving candidates are denied a ticket even at the last moment of the nomination period. The state which has a literacy rate of above 90%, the youth voters bank could prove to be a game changer in the elections to be held on 4 November next month. The victories that the left register for two important positions, in Shimla, Mayor and Dy. Mayor, hint at a wind of change.

As the elections are nearing, the supply of alcohol has also seen an increase. Last night, Nalagarh police caught a vehicle carrying 4 crates of Desi Sharab.The sticker of Congress on the vehicle has created a little problem for Raja Ji. Well, that’s the best temptation for the fourth class government employees and below poverty line laborers. A bottle of Desi can change a mind and our politicians knows it well enough.

Near about 45.9 lakh voters will cast their vote on November 4 at 7,253 polling stations across the state. The counting for the same would be done on 20 December. Well, the period in between
the day the election will be held and the day results will be announced, would be interesting enough to witness as the common man would be needed no more, at least before the results are out

Image Credit:Madan,

Congress leader Virbhadra Singh’s visit to the Boileauganj party office

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

Election Watch

HP CEO asks DCs to ensure cashless transactions during electoral process, issues helpline number

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Code of conduct in Himachal Pradesh

HP Election Department issued a toll-free number 0177-2620551 (Shimla) to attend to queries of the people and provide them with information related to elections in the state and various issues related election.

Shimla: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Himachal Pradesh, Pushpendra Rajput, has asked the Deputy Commissioners -cum-District Election Officers of their respective districts to carry out completely cashless transactions after the model code of conduct comes into force.

The measure would help to maintain the transparency in transactions during the electoral process.

The HP Election Department has also issued a toll-free number 0177-2620551 (Shimla) to attend to queries of the people and provide them with information related to elections in the state and various issues related election.

A person can obtain information linked to electoral rolls by pressing 1, pressing 2 for photo identity card, 3 for polling stations, and 4 for info on the EVM or VVPAT. By pressing 5, any person can get answers to their queries related to code of conduct. Any sort of miscellaneous information other than above-mentioned topics can be obtained by pressing 9.

Further, the DCs have been told to complete RONET and booth level planning at the earliest.

The CEO directed the DCs to review preparedness of election machinery, complete the training programme for officers and officials and construct ramps at polling stations to facilitate the specially-abled persons.

All polling stations should be provided with a telephone network, electricity, water, and other basic amenities, directed the CEO.

He asked the DEOs to speed up decisions on final disposal of Form No.6, 7 and 8 received during a special campaign in the state and ensure distribution of photo identity cards to all the electors.

Apart from the SVEEP activities at schools, Mahila Mandals, Yuva Mandals, Panchayati Raj institutions, Anganwari workers, the department claimed that the awareness regarding EVM and VVPAT is being provided to the maximum number of people in their districts to ensure maximum involvement of electors.

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Election Watch

Shimla Ice Skating Club elections on October, 27, 2013

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SHIMLA: Ice Skating Club is among one of the best known places in Shimla. This coming Sunday there is going to be elections. It is allegedly said by Peter Ta Tung one of the lifetime member of Shimla Ice Skating Club that the Annual General Meeting of Skating club is a mockery and an eye wash.

AS per the societies registration act, a minimum of 23 to 46 days notice has to be given before the annual general meeting of any club registered under this act. Infact as per the lce Skating club constitution a minimum of 10 days notice has to be served in the same regard as per (Clause XXXII (b)).

However the fact is that this year the AGM is notified on Oct 22, 2013 with date of Filling nomination on Oct 24, 2013 and taking back of nomination on Oct 25, 2013. The election date has been announced on Oct 27, 2013 along with Annual General Meeting, which makes it a period of 6 days which is not sufficient for conducting healthy and fair elections.
What has been going on in the club definitely needs some serious just scan so that the proud legacy of Himachal does not come to a dreadful end.

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Election Watch

The big day passes peacefully, HP witnesses record turnout

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Today, the state of Himachal Pradesh is done with the polling for the elections for the state legislative assembly. The public of Himachal surpassed the previous records of total polling percentage and at the end of the day; it turned out to be 75%. That’s a distinction. It was 71.2% in 2007 assembly elections. Surprisingly, district wise, the percentage was high in the hilly areas and moderate in lower parts of the state. The polling day witnessed no trouble and the was spent peacefully, if you ignore the dogfight between the members of two parties that took place at a polling booth in Chamba. The security arrangements for the big day were rather very strict. The Election Commission came out with a very tough face. The guards with guns could be seen standing alert as if they were on LOC. The flying squad vehicles could be seen roaming all over. The closed shops and bazaars added to the seriousness of the day. After all, this day would decide the fate of the public and the candidates.

Two major political camps have started to claim the polling to be in thee favor of their specific sides and these claims or say rumors are likely to continue until the day results are declared. This time the suspense would entertain the public until 20 December. Get more details regarding the polling for the HP assembly elections Get more details regarding the polling for the HP assembly elections.

HW talked to a couple of party members at the end of the day.

HW visited various polling booths in Shimla district and captured a few images, which might depict the big day for you.

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Photos: Madan

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