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HP Polls 2017: 158 crorepati, 61 candidates with criminal cases in fray

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wealth of hp assembly elections candidates

Shimla: As per a report released by the Himachal Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), out of total 338 candidates contesting the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, 158 are crorepati.

Out of total, 61 (18%) have declared criminal cases against them including 31 (9%) with serious criminal cases.

HP Polls 2017: 158 crorepati and 61 candidates with criminal cases in fray

Info: ADR

 The average assets per candidate is Rs 4.07 crore. There are 59 crorepatis among 68 Congress candidates , 47  among BJP, 6 among Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 3 among (CPI-M), 1 among CPI.  Out of total 112 independent candidates, 36 have declared assets worth more than Rs1 crore. 

Per candidate assets for Congress is Rs8.56 crore, Rs5.31 crore for BJP, 46.78 lakh for BSP,  31 crore for CPI(M), 74.64 lakh for CPI, and 3.20 crore for independent candidates.

Richest candidates in HP assembly polls 2017

Info: ADR

Balvir Singh Verma of BJP has highest total assets of over Rs90 crore followed by Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress with over Rs84 crore. Five candidates have declared self-annual income of more than Rs1 crore.

With an annual income of Rs. 3.42 crores, G.S. Bali has declared the highest annual self-income.

As per the report, 71 out of 338 candidates have not declared their sources of income and 20 have not declared their PAN details.

If the candidates with criminal cases are seen party wise, the Congress, BJP, BSP, CPI (M) and independent candidates have six, 23, three, 10 and 16 cases respectively.

Richest candidates in HP assembly polls 2017

Info: ADR

Out of total, 120 candidates are between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 214 have a qualification of graduate or above.

One candidate who is illiterate, while one has not given his educational details.

In terms of age, 155 candidates are between 25 and 50 years and 179 between 51 and 80 years.  There are nine women candidates in the fray.

 

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EC Orders Removal of Anurag Thakur from BJP’s Star Campaigner List for Provocative Sloganeering

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Anurag Thakur Removed from BJP Star Campaigner list

Shimla– Ahead of elections to the Delhi Assembly in February 2020, the Election Commission of India has ordered the removal of Union Minister Anurag Thakur’s removal from the list of BJP’s star campaigners after he was caught on camera raising shockingly incendiary slogan. It is an embarrassment that Thakur has brought upon for Himachal Pradesh and his party.

His act was criticized by majority of people, especially because Thakur holds a constitutional post with the Union Ministry and is expected to not act according to the office he holds. People from his home-state also expressed shock and condemned his act.

The order came a day after a notice was served to Anurag seeking an explanation over his slogan. The EC found the comments made as prima facie violative of Model Code of Conduct (MCC).  The EC clearly mentioned that the removal should be done with “immediate effect and until further orders.”

In its notice, the EC said that it was prima facie of the view that the comments made by Anurag “have the potential of disturbing communal harmony and aggravating existing social and religious communities.” The EC said, thereby, it is a violation of MCC which is in effect since January 6.

In the notice, the EC referred to Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, dealing with attempts to promote enmity or hatred between different classes of citizens on the grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language.

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Along with Anurag Thakur, EC also ordered the removal of Lok Sabha member Parvesh Singh Sahib from BJP’s star campaigner list. Parvesh had made a shocking remark in which he said, “lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh), they will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them.” It was followed by an appeal to elect Modi (BJP to power) to remain safe.

This statement in a speech while campaigning for BJP’s candidate from Rithala on January 27 had attracted widespread criticism.

Footage of Thakur was shown by media widely and circulated on social media quickly. Targeting anti-CAA/NRC protests at Shaheen Bagh, which is going on for over 40 days now, Anurag can be seen shouting “Desh ke gaddaron ko”, which is completed by party workers by shouting “goli maro sa**on ko.” (Gun down the traitors).

Also Read: CAA and NRC – A Dissent on Grounds of Equality and Fraternity

However, the removal of Anurag from campaigner list doesn’t imply that he would not be able to campaign anymore. It just implies that expanses of his travel for campaigning would be added to the expanses of the candidate he campaigns for. Political analysts are calling it merely a slap on the wrist of BJP. The trick appears to keep media and people distracted from real issues such as the economic slumber haunting the nation.

Bharatiya Janata Party has apparently run-out of relevant agendas and ammunition against the Aam Adami Party in Delhi ahead of Assembly elections. The best trump card is to create a communal divide and scare people by telling them that the minority is trying to annihilate their society and the nation. The remaining gap is filled by spreading misinformation. There is no socio-economic issue in the speeches of its leaders and even star campaigners. Anti-national, tukde-tukde gang, traitors, and Pakistan are the only phrases that are being used repeatedly to cast opposition AAP and any other anti-CAA/NRC groups as anti-nationals.

Further, it has become a trademark of BJP’s tactic to bully and suppress any voices rising against decisions of its government by branding them anti-nationals and sympathizers of the minority community.

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Anurag Thakur Served EC Notice for Incendiary Sloganeering, Brings Undue Embarrassment to Hill State

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Anurag Thakur goli maro

Shimla-While foul remarks and hate-speeches from political leaders have become common, the standards of political sloganeering dipped to a level where a member of Council of Union Ministers joined the bandwagon. The Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur has stirred another controversy, which is aptly distracting media from real issues. Most of the criticism came considering the fact that nation’s economic health is in tatters and Anurag is the part of the team that is scheduled to present budget for this session since February 1, 2020.  

Anurag Thakur landed in a controversy after, while campaigning for Rithala candidate ahead of impending assembly elections in Delhi, he was seen targeting anti-CAA/NRC protesters and provoking party workers to shout “Desh Ke Gaddaron ko, Goli maro sa**on ko” (gun down the traitors). The video footage is now widely being circulated on social media.

Thakur drew criticism not only from oppositions but also from legal experts. The act was termed as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Faced with pressure from the opposition and people, the Election Commission of Delhi sought a report from the district electoral officer, which was submitted to the Election Commission of India on Monday. Following it Anurag was served a notice by the EC. 

The act fits in the series of branding voices of resistance against government’s controversial decisions as anti-nationals or as tukde-tukde gang. Most resistance came from educated youth, therefore, prestigious institutes like JNU were targeted and no stone was left unturned to brand students as anti-nationals and the institute as a hub of anti-nationals.  

So far, politicians of the ruling party in the peaceful Hill State had refrained from making controversial or incendiary remarks. Therefore, for the State of Himachal Pradesh, its rising leader has brought embarrassment as he showed indifference towards the dignity of his official position. Questions are being raised as to who would be responsible if any of party worker translates this slogan into reality.

The matter becomes more serious considering the fact that a huge protest has been going on in Delhi’s Shaheenbag against the CAA and NRC. These protesting people are being branded as anti-nationals and traitors.

The protest is going on for over a month now as women from almost every age group have come out of their homes to stage an indefinite protest. On January 26, 2020 – on the 71st Republic Day- tricolour was furled at the Shaheenbag with enthusiasm.

This protest is inspiring more such protests in other parts of India and become a headache for the Centre government.

Sources: News Agencies      

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Misc News/Press Release

HPBOSE Chairman Gets EC Notice over Model Code of Conduct Violation in Dharamshala Constituency

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HPBOSE Chairman EC Notice

Dharamshala-The Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education, Suresh Soni, was on October 17, 2019, given a notice by the Returning Officer, Dharamshala, over violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

The complaint was forwarded by ADM cum Nodal Officer (MCC) Kangra. The Chairman was found using his official vehicle for campaigning in Dharamshala despite the MCC being in force due to by-elections in two constituencies.

The Returning Officer (SDM, Dharamshala) has asked the Department to send a detailed inquiry report along with certified copies of the log-book and the statement of the driver of the Chairman, HPBOSE.

The EC has also asked the Board to cite the reasons behind allowing a breach of the directions of the Election Commission of India despite being aware of the MMC norms.

HP Congress Committee has been alleging the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of misusing government machinery for campaigning and influencing voters in violation of MCC norms. Congress has also been alleging that the Election Commission was not taking actions on its complaints. On October 17, 2019, Congress had held a march “Save Democracy” in Pachhad constituency over alleged failure of EC to take action on its complaints.

HPCC President Kuldeep Rathore has also been alleging the EC of working under pressure from the ruling government. He had made a complaint to the EC alleging that the Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur, was working as an agent of BJP instead of discharging his duty in an unbiased manner.

Earlier, the Speaker Rajive Bindal had also received a notice from EC over campaigning for BJP in Pachhad constituency. The current notice strengthens the allegations of Congress regarding foul play and misuse of government machinery by the ruling party for campaigning.

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