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Election Watch

Political drama getting high in poll-bound Himachal



Yesterday, the PM shuffled the cabinet a bit and introduced 7 new faces and three-time legislator and two-time MP from Himachal Pradesh, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, is one of them. However, she represents Rajasthan and not Himachal. A few weeks ago she was expressing her wish to come back to Himachal Politics, but the sacrifice now seems to have turned out as a reward for her.As the date of polling for the assembly election of Himachal Pradesh gets closer, the political activity has gained a great momentum and star campaigners are reigning Himachal to promote the candidates of their respective parties. Here are a few updates

Enjoy the Blame Game

The political drama inspired from the assembly election in Himachal is almost at peak as the polling date is nearing. This time, the corruption dominates as a weapon for the the ruling BJP government and the opposition, which is being used for distracting the people and balancing their own acts of corruption by dragging the other one in the mud pit. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal claims that the BJP government has been nearer to the common man and the people identifies itself with the government. On the other hand, Congress leader Virbhadra Singh accuses Mr. Dhumal of selling the state land to outsiders and private owners on the name of promoting educational institutes and mismanagement in spending 10,000 crore rupees granted to the state of Himachal Pradesh during last four years. This year only, the BJP government has been granted 3000 crore rupees from the center. Moreover, the happy faces of BJP, backed up by RSS, have received a great jolt due to the allegations Nitin Gadkari, the BJP Chief, is facing. Creating fake companies and then make them invest in his Purti Group sounds embarrassing, but not for Gadkari as he agrees to a proper probe into the matter.

The Congress is targeting Anurag Thakur, the dear son of Prof. Dhumal, who is the current president of the HPCA. The congress points out that although, the BJP boasts of the appreciable work done by Anurag for the promotion of cricket in the state, but at the same time Dhumal has been showing favorable attitude towards his son. Although, Anurag is being credited for the construction of 600 crore international cricket stadium in Dharamshala, but the allotment of land to HPCA for the construction of a luxurious hotel and a few other issues such as the expenditure of 64 lack that was shown officially to the government during the league matches at Dharamshala are a few questions being raised by the opposition. Moreover, Shanta Kumar, former chief minister of Himachal and present Vice President of BJP, accepted that corruption had infected his party (BJP) too and Dhumal failed to take any hard measures to prevent it. As a return fire, every BJP leader is targeting Singh for the Ispat-pay off and demanding explanations regarding the money transfers.

The Congress also found some relief as the attention of the public has been diverted by the media towards the Gadkari Scandal. This keeps the issue of their retaliation to the fair judicial inquiries into the Robert Vadra land deals, Colgate Scam and recent allegations on Salman Khurshid, less in focus for the time being. Rajaji already being targeted by the ruling party in the CD case and DLF land deals in Solan district. If you are not sheep than you couldn’t resist wondering what’s the difference between these two political parties.

What do the affidavits released by candidates for the assembly elections of Himachal say

We hope the voters of Himachal are observing the drama closely this time. The affidavits released by the candidates for the assembly elections of Himachal provides relevant information about the candidates. Here are some of the facts that you must know.

As per the analysis of the Himachal Pradesh Election Watch along with think-tank National Election Watch, 37% (163 of 445) of the candidates contesting for the assembly elections in Himachal admitted that they never filed income tax return. Marxist leader Rakesh Singh, Vijay Jayoti, an independent candidate,and CPM candidate Tikender Panwar are the main highlights of the list.

Out of the total 459 candidates, 146 candidates own assets of more than a crore. 16 % (69 of 429) candidates are facing criminal cases and the majority of them are involved in crimes like kidnapping, theft and dacoity. Out of the total 459 candidates, 38 are under matriculate.

Candidates Fielded By Various Parties

Arch rivals Pandit Sukh Ram and Virbhadra Singh joins hand once again

The Congress chief Virbhadra Singh is going with the flow and actually looking to get the power back at any cost. First VS Mankoita, who had released the audio CD against Rajaji, became friends suddenly after a long rivalry and now he is sharing the stage with Pandit Sukh Ram, who had become Singh’s rival after he had supported the BJP in 1998. The scene was set in Dehar area under Balh segment, where these two rivals joined hands again during an electoral rally campaigning for Prakash Chaudhary – the congress candidate from the segment. Well, it’s a nice move and it adds to the advantage of the Congress.

Do you still mind ‘Cash for Query’ Scandal?

The pressure on the BJP campus is so high that it decided to field former MP Suresh Chandel, who was suspended in the ‘cash for query’ sting operation in 2005 and was denied ticket for 2007 assembly elections. He had admitted accepting money for raising questions in Lok Sabha. However, the voters also seem to have forgotten the past sins of a tainted minister. That just helped Suresh Chandel receive a ticket from Bilaspur this time.We guess, he must have displayed a great number of supporters on his side. After all, everything is fair in love and war

Himachal Flooded with star party campaigners

Nitin Gadkari
The BJP chief Nitin Gadkari visited Rikong Peo and interiors of Chopal for his party campaign. Gadkari is bold enough to go out for party campaigns when his character is in question due to the allegations framed against him.While RSS hurried to distance with the alleged Gadkari, BJP came out in support of him and allowed him to continue his position for another session. It’s not hard to understand why BJP did not force him to resign. Is it? Well, at the present moment Himachal and Gujarat voters have been watching everything going on since last couple of months. A resignation would mean admitting or taking responsibility for something and moreover, our respected prime minister, Manmohan Singh, has already set an idol and a reason for the other parties to neither resign or go for a fair investigation. Gadkari didn’t speak anything regarding the corruption charges levelled against him, but he emphasized on the development of tourism and, of course, he didn’t forget to blame the Congress for the present face of corruption through which the state has been going through.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Yesterday, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh campaigned for the Congress in Una, while the opposition leader L.K. Advani too did the same at Amb, very close to Mr. Singh. The PM showered words in appreciation for UPA and for all the development work that took place during last the last 7 years in Himachal. Contrary to this, L.K. Advani blamed the UPA for not being fair to BJP government and treating it like a step –mother in Himachal. Manmohan Singh also added that the condition of Himachal has degraded in the last 5 years and if elected to power, the Congress would do anything to put the state back on track. Other than these, Mayawati, the BSP Chief has started campaigning a bit earlier.

Upcoming Campaigns
Campaign rallies by Narender Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, are scheduled for the today. Moreover, Shimla and Kangra would be getting crowded on October 30 as Sonia Gandhi will visit Himachal again after launching the party campaign earlier this month from Mandi. Surprises are predictable as the fight is getting tougher among the two major political parties in Himachal. Unfortunately, TMC received a blow as its list of 20 member campaigning team for Himachal including Mamata Banerjee was rejected by EC.The list was submitted after the due date decided for the submission, hence, was not approved by EC.

CPI(M) Blames MC Shimla for biased behavior

CPI(M) leader Balbir Prashar wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner complaining regarding the false statements of MC Shimla, which it has been giving to protect the BJP and TMC. He said that these parties did not seek any prior permission from MC Shimla for placement of their party hoarding and at the same time CPI(M) has been denied the permission to place its hoardings. It sounds like the victory of CPI(M) leaders on two important seats of Mayor and Deputy Mayor in MC elections has added a bit more material to the fear of the present government.

Certainly, the drama will continue for the whole next week. If you have been observing the statements and actions of both, Congress and BJP, then you might have realized that BJP is losing grip in the state. On the other hand, the scams and scandal are coming out in bundles and both the major rivals are forced to deviate the public using the blame game. Worst of all dreams, the strong hold of Left in the capital city Shimla is the biggest nightmare for these parties. The saffron and tricolor must not underestimate the consistent efforts of the red. We guess, RTI has a good role behind bringing out information regarding these scams and violations of laws. However, the major part of the population is still not aware of the power of questioning the government. As HW already mentioned, the Democratic form of the government is useless for the public that doesn’t dare to question their representatives.

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 9 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 the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Election Watch

In Himachal, Over 50 Lakh Voters to Cast Vote in 7730 Polling Stations on May 19



Polling in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla– Over fifty lakh voters are set to vote in 7730 polling stations in four parliamentary constituencies of Himachal Pradesh in the last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election on May 19.

Talking about the poll preparations, Additional Chief Electoral Officer DK Rattan said, “53,30,154 voters will vote in 7730 polling stations on May 19. 373 polling stations are critical, 47 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed there.

It’s being ensured that voting takes place peacefully at all polling stations. Rattan said that polling agents have either reached their respective polling stations or are on their way

“Polling party for the remote, tribal polling station at Bara Bhangal in Kangra district was sent on May 15. In Shimla’s Dodra Kawar, teams and material were sent for seven polling stations on May 16,”

he said

“In Lahaul Spiti district, the polling station has been set at an altitude of 15,256 feet at Tashigang. This is the world’s highest polling station,”

he added. (ANI)

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Election Watch

Himachal BJP Chief Satti Barred from Campaigning by EC for MCC Violation



Satpal Singh Satti Barred from Campaigning 1

Shimla-The Election Commission of India has barred Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti from campaigning for 48 hours. This prohibition would begin from 10 am tomorrow onwards for two days for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

This makes him the first such leader from Himachal Pradesh who was barred from campaigning for violating MCC.

Satti had used an obscene slur for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while addressing a public meeting in Shimla constituency’s Ramshahar in Nalagarh sub-division on April 14, 2019.  The EC had taken strict note of it and had issued a notice. Satti had filed a reply justifying himself that he was merely narrating a Facebook comment made by some other person. He also alleged media of presenting edited video clip with manipulations. However, this justification failed to appeal to the EC as the word used by Satti was highly derogatory.  

Also, it was alleged that Satti had made objectionable remarks over religious sect Radha Swami, for which he had also apologized.

Here is what Satti Had Said About Rahul Gandhi:

A couple of video clips were shared on social media after someone recorded his address on mobile cameras. 

However, Satti is yet to receive a response to the reply he has filed to a second notice served to him by EC for again making objectionable comments about Priyanka Vadra dressing and Rahul Gandhi’s bachelorhood in public meeting in Una.  The second notice was sent on the basis of video footage recorded by EC’s video surveillance team.

Himachal Pradesh Congress had launched a statewide protest against Satti along with submission of a complaint to the EC. An FIR was also lodged against Satti in relation to his derogatory comments.  Effigies were burnt at various places. Youth wing of the State Congress had smeared black paint on the face of Satti in BJP posters in Shimla. Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had gone to the extent of saying that Satti had lost his mental balance.

State BJP leaders have so far avoided condemning Satti’s remarks, which also drew criticism from the opposition.

BJP leaders like Shanta Kumar, however, defended Satti. Shanta said Satti had apologized for his remarks. However, Satti had only apologized to Radha Swami organization. He had refused to apologize to Rahul Gandhi. He maintained that Rahul had also been addressing PM Modi as Chowkidar Chor or Chore while addressing rallies and public meetings.

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Election Watch

Black Paint Smeared on HP BJP Chief’s Face in Posters, Congress Also Files Police Complaint



Black Paint Smeared on Satpal Satti's Posters in Shimla

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has filed a complaint to police for lodging an FIR against Satpal Singh Satti, President of BJP HP, for making derogatory remarks and statements against INC President Rahul Gandhi. Congress said this news was also published by various newspapers on Monday.

HPCC has already made a call for state-wide protest against Satti on April 16.

At the same time, the obscene remarks have angered the State Youth Congress. Workers of Youth Congress were smearing black paint on Satti’s face on BJP poster in Shimla as a protest. Workers can also be seen in the video writing ‘Besharm Satti’ (Shameless) on BJP posters.

The State President of Youth Congress, Manish Thakur, has made a call do the same with BJP chief’s face on posters across the State. All workers across Himachal should boycott and burn effigies of Satti in their respective constituencies, he said.

In its complaint, HPCC said that on April 14, 2019, Satpal Singh Satti was addressing a public meeting organised at Ramshaher of  Nalagarh Vidhan Sabha Assembly in District Solan. During his address, he allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Rahul Gandhiji and former UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. These remarks were highly defamatory and against women’s dignity, Congress said in its complaint. It also alleged that the objectionable remarks used by Satti are also in gross violation of the guidelines laid down by Election Commission of India.

The unparliamentary language used by Satti while delivering the speech in this meeting tarnishes the image of AICC President Rahul Gandhi, the complaint said.

 The abusive remarks used against Sonia Gandhi are damaging the public image of a woman, who is given the utmost importance in the Social Indian setup, it said.

These remarks would tarnish the image of Congress Party in India as well as in Himachal, the complaint said.  Congress also complained that Satti has committed a criminal offence by passing derogatory remarks and has also violated the guidelines issued by Election Commission of India for smooth conduction of elections.  Some cuttings from today’s Dallies were also attached with the complaint.

Satti, as per a PTI report, refused to apologize for the remarks, and said he was merely reading contents of a comment posted by someone on social media.  Instead, he said Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders should apologise for using ‘chor’ word for PM.

I have narrated an incident while addressing a public meeting in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan district whereby a derogatory remark was made against Rahul in retaliation of using ‘chor’ word for PM in a viral social media message,

he told PTI.

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