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Over 900 Million People Spreading Across 29 States And Seven UTs To Elect 543 Lawmakers To The Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Election Commission of India announced kicking off the world’s largest democratic exercise that will be staggered in seven phases stretching from April 11 to May 19 and more than 900 million people will vote at one million polling booths spreading across 29 states and seven Union territories to elect 543 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.

Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora announced the nearly six-week-long exercise will be manned by at least 11 million election personnel. He said that the counting of votes will take place on May 23 — 11 days before the term of the 16th Lok Sabha ends on June 3.

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Former Naval Chief Ramdas Protests Use of Matters Military For Political Battle

New Delhi: Former navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (Retd) has urged immediate intervention of the Election Commission in stopping political parties from using incidents like the Pulwama attack, Balakot strike and Wing Commander AbhinandanVarthaman's operations to influence the electorate. In an open letter to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Admiral L Ramdas (Retd) expressed concerns on "recent instances" of parties using armed forces' heroics for political gains.

"With elections due in a few weeks from now, it is particularly important that there should not be any misuse of these recent events by any political party to send triumphalist or jingoistic messages which can influence the electorate," he said. In his two-page letter, the former navy chief said the armed forces have always prided themselves on belonging to a structure, an ethos and an environment which have been both apolitical and secular.

151

Rahul Gandhi Says, Women Reservation Bill Will Be Passed If Congress Comes To Power In 2019

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has promised to make every effort to get the women’s reservation bill passed in Parliament if his party came to power after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This was announced by the Congress president in a special gesture on International Women’s Day.

“We brought reservations for women in panchayats and women greatly benefitted. Now there is an urgent need to provide the same in state assemblies and the Lok Sabha. Look at Odisha. There are just two women ministers,” Gandhi said Friday at an interaction with women.

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Congress Announces Its First List Of 15 Lok Sabha Candidates For The Forthcoming Elections

New Delhi: The Congress has come out with its first list of candidates for 15 seats for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The list includes names of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi as the party’s candidate from Rae Bareli and Rahul from Amethi.

The list comprises 4 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and 11 in Uttar Pradesh where a formal alliance with the three-party combine led by Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Ajit Singh did not work out.

SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and BSP’s Mayawati have, however, already announced that their front would not contest elections from Rae Bareli or Amethi to ensure that they did not cut into the anti-BJP votes in seats represented by the Congress president and his mother.

101

Government Urges SC To Exercise Restraint In Observations On The Procurement Of Rafale Jets

New Delhi: The Government has urged the Supreme Court to “exercise restraint” in observations on the procurement of Rafale fighter jets, underlining that every statement by the Supreme Court will be used to target either the government or the opposition.

“Why should the court become a party to such an exercise,” the government’s top lawyer KK Venugopal told the bench that is to decide pleas to review its December ruling that did not find anything amiss in the deal.

Venugopal’s cautionary note to the judges comes at a time the Rafale deal is at the heart of the opposition campaign against government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress-led opposition alleges malfeasance in the purchase to buy 36 fighter jets in an overpriced deal, a charge that the government denies.