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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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Congress Rally in Shimla (Video): Shukla Mimics PM Modi’s Signature Dialogue While Mocking at Promises of ‘Achhe Din’

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Shimla Congress Rally march 2021

Shimla-Congress Jan Akrosh Rally held in Shimla on March 10, 2021, witnessed a huge gathering and was attended by veteran leader Virbhadra Singh, Rajeev Shukla, in charge and member of Working Committee of Indian National Congress and party representatives from various districts.

The rally was held to express anguish over price hikes in LPG and petroleum fuels, unemployment which is at an all-time high, rampant privatization by putting government resources on a sale for the benefit of corporate, corruption, and the promise of “Achhe Din” made by BJP before 2014 elections.   

At the same time, the rally was a desperate attempt to revive Congress which is on the verge of extinction in context to role and power of an opposition. The leaders tried to send out a message to stand united and leave all sorts of differences behind to bring back the party to power ahead of elections to Municipal Corporations and 2022 polls in Himachal Pradesh.

rajeev shukla in himachal pradesh

This extinction is worsened by internal politics – the reason the party has failed to show unity and fight as one unit for a long time now.

The scenes of Natti being performed by workers on the beats of traditional instruments being played by local artists cheered the crowd. Others had arranged Punjabi dhol to mark their presence more loudly .

Shimla Police on duty

On reaching the stage to address the rally, former Chief Minister and Congress’s face in the State, Virbhadra Singh, also took a small moment to dance on Pahari music before proceeding to his speech. This was perhaps the only moment where workers actually felt most excited and tried to get glimpses of the veteran leader.

He advised the party leaders to establish and maintain the discipline to strengthen the party.

Shukla referred to Virbhadra Singh as “Shere-Himachal” while addressing him.

Shukla targeted Prime Minister Narender Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party Government by taking a jibe at them. He mimicked the signature dialogue of PM “Bhayion aur Behno” and asked the party workers to identify it.

“PM Modi is putting on sale everything Congress has built for the nation,” Shukla said while referring to rampant privatization of government organizations, services, infrastructure and resources.

In his address, the leader of the opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, highlighted rising debt on the state. He gave an estimate of the debt ( Rs 85,000 crores) on the state at the end of current BJP government tenure.

You can get glimpses of the rally and listen to Shukla’s complete address in the video below:

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Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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Himachal: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in.

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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