Times of India | 5 days ago | 24-11-2022 | 08:43 am
Here, booths record near-100% voter turnout — state prisons are getting ready to provide ballots to 390 persons detained under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act. Voting at prisons is likely to take place next week, ahead of the first round of voting on December 1 for the general public. One of the detainees, Abdul Kadir Mehboob Saiyed, 40, currently lodged at Rajkot Central Jail, had filled up the form to contest for the Navsari constituency as a Social Democratic Party of India candidate. However, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website, his form was rejected. State prisons department officials said that as of Tuesday evening, jails had 390 persons , including 381 men and nine women, were detained under PASA. These detainees will cast their votes if they remain behind bars next week. Prison officials said thatmore often than not, the category records almost 100% voting. K L N Rao, ADGP (prisons), said that all preparations have been made to ensure that prisoners eligible to vote can do so. The department’s officials said that according to the procedure, the names of the detainees are sent to the ECI along with their names and constituencies they belong to. “After verification, the ECI issues sealed postal ballots which are given to the detainees. They tick the name and the symbol of the candidate they have chosen after which the envelope is sealed again and sent to the returning officer,” said an official. “These ballots are tallied first when the counting starts. ” Experts said that convicts and undertrials are not allowed to vote in line with the election commission’s directive. State prisons have their own system of organizing elections to form internal committees of inmates to run the administration in prisons. This exercise also involves canvassing for candidates.
Mr Kharge made the comments while addressing a rally in Ahmedabad ahead of polls next month.New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's comment calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi "Ravan" has triggered a political row in the middle of the Gujarat election campaign.The BJP has accused Mr Kharge of "insulting Gujarat's son" repeatedly.Mr Kharge made the comments while addressing a rally in Ahmedabad ahead of polls next month."Modi ji is Prime Minister. Forgetting his work, he keeps campaigning in corporation elections, MLA elections, MP elections, everywhere... All the time he's talking about himself - 'You don't have to see anyone else, just look at Modi and vote'. How many times do we see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 100 heads like Ravan?" Mr Kharge said, drawing laughter and applause from his audience.The Congress chief said in every election, candidates sought votes in the name of PM Modi.मोदी जी प्रधानमंत्री हैं। वह काम छोड़कर नगर निगम का चुनाव, MLA का चुनाव, MP के चुनाव में प्रचार करते रहते हैं।हर वक्त अपनी ही बात करते हैं - 'आप किसी को मत देखो, मोदी को देखकर वोट दो।'आपकी सूरत कितनी बार देखें? आपके कितने रूप हैं? क्या रावण की तरह 100 मुख हैं?- @kharge जी pic.twitter.com/Iy6hYQfuhc— Congress (@INCIndia) November 29, 2022"I've been seeing that votes are sought in the name of Modiji, be it municipality elections, corporation elections or state elections...Ask for votes in the name of the candidate. Is Modi going to come and work at the municipality? Is he going to help you in times of your need," the Congress veteran asked.Amit Malviya, who heads the BJP's IT Cell, shared the video with a sharp comment.Unable to take the heat of Gujarat election, pushed to the fringe, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge loses control over his words, calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Ravan”.From “Maut ka Saudagar” to “Ravan”, Congress continues to insult Gujarat and it's son… pic.twitter.com/je5lkU4HBw— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 29, 2022"Unable to take the heat of Gujarat election, pushed to the fringe, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge loses control over his words, calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ravan. From "Maut ka Saudagar" to "Ravan", Congress continues to insult Gujarat and its son...," Mr Malviya wrote.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe tweet referred to former Congress president Sonia Gandhi's controversial "Maut ka Saudagar (merchant of death)" comment during the 2007 Gujarat election, targeting PM Modi - who was Chief Minister - over the 2002 riots.Gujarat will vote on December 1 and 5 and the results will be declared on December 8.
At his last rally in Rajkot for the first phase of Gujarat elections, for which campaigning ends Tuesday 5 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Rajkot that this election is to “make our Gujarat developed, prosperous and touch new heights”.“Now, we can’t afford to tread slowly. We have completed 75 years of Independence and whatever capital we have accumulated and strength we have gained, whatever difficulties we have overcome, we can’t afford to walk for another 75 years. Whatever we want to do, we must do in just 25 years. This election is to resolve that we want to take Hindustan and Gujarat to that height, come what may,” he said.Addressing a rally on Race Course ground in Rajkot, Modi said his government trusts the people and added that after he became the prime minister in 2015, his government repealed 5,000 archaic laws and had done away with 40,000 compliance requirements. He also said that his government did away with the requirement of getting attested photocopies of documents and also started becoming guarantors of small time traders and even vegetable vendors so that they can get bank loans through Mudra and PM Swanidhi schemes.“During the Congress era, there was no trust in people. It didn’t trust the people. Government used to function in its own way even as people would struggle. We have changed this situation and there is a huge difference…,” Modi said adding that the Congress had the the mentality that used to prevail during the days of gulami (foreign rule).“Britishers had decided to not trust anyone in the country. This British trait was later transferred to Congress to not to trust citizens… Congress, during its rule, entangled the common man in such a way that he started believing that government was maa-baap (the provider) and that not a step can be taken without the concurrence of the government. Congress wanted that the country’s poor, middle class, trader, businessmen continue making rounds of (offices of) of Congress leaders and government,” Modi said.Adding that the BJP runs the government in a way in which those who need government shouldn’t feel the absence of it and those who don’t need it shouldn’t find it blocking their way unnecessarily, he said, “We have always believed in trusting the people of this country as they love the country as much as we do and mean good to the country.” He cited it as the reason behind the government doing away with the requirement of interviews for filling Class III and Class IV positions.In Jamnagar, the PM said, “I have got one more opportunity to seek blessings of Lord Dwarikadhis and darshan of you all.”
With one day to go before campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat election ends, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge were among a plethora of political heavyweights to address rallies in the state on Monday.Modi, who held four rallies in the Saurashtra region, said Gujarat had suffered under the Congress’s “divide and rule” policy until the people of the state united against “divisive forces” more than 20 years ago.“Our mantra is peace, unity and harmony. The root cause of Gujarat’s progress is the unity here. On the other hand, Congress’s core ideology is to divide and rule — making people fight among themselves so that its interests are protected. This was Congress’s trick,” Modi said at a rally for the BJP at Palitana in Bhavnagar district. He said that the Congress made Marathas and Gujaratis fight each other before Gujarat became a separate state, and added that after the state was formed, the party caused rifts among various regions, communities and sects.Seeing through the Congress’s “trick”, he said, the people of Gujarat went on to adopt a path of unity and choose the BJP to govern the state. “Thanks to walking the path of unity, Gujarat has been progressing constantly for the past 20 years unlike in the times when bombs used to explode in markets and temples, and when an atmosphere of insecurity prevailed,” the Prime Minister said. The BJP formed a government in Gujarat for the first time in 1995, and Narendra Modi became chief minister of the state in 2001, staying on in the post until he became Prime Minister in 2014.Shah addressed rallies in Mehsana, Aravalli, Ahmedabad and Vadodara, and accused the Congress of “disrupting peace”. He alleged that during Congress rule, the state saw communal riots and curfews. In Ahmedabad, Shah said the BJP converted it from a city of “badshahs and begums” to “Karnavati”. Changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati, after the legendary king Karnadev Solanki, has been on the BJP’s agenda since the 1990s.“They (Congress) orchestrated Hindu-Muslim riots and ensured that there was a curfew for 250 of the 365 days… Bombs used to be found from homes of their Cabinet ministers and 200 people would get stabbed daily in Ahmedabad jail. In 2001, when Narendrabhai became the chief minister, noone had the courage to cast an evil eye on the rath yatra of Lord Jagannath… The Congress had backed rioters always and so in 2002, they (miscreants) made another attempt to create a riot. But they were taught such a lesson that they never lifted their heads again,” Shah said.Also appearing at rallies in the state for the BJP on Monday were Union ministers Smriti Irani and Parshottam Rupala, as well as Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and actor-turned-politician Paresh Rawal.Kejriwal held a townhall with diamond workers in Surat, and also addressed a roadshow in Katargam, which was hit by stone-pelting, according to the AAP. Kejriwal appealed to the people to vote the AAP to power for five years and said that even to those who pelted stones, he would give “free electricity and education to your children”.The AAP, which is fighting on 182 seats, saw two of its candidates withdraw their nominations, of which the Abdasa candidate Vasant Khetani joined BJP on Monday.Addressing a public rally at Behrampura on Monday, Congress president Kharge targeted the BJP for failing to provide jobs in Gujarat and for paper leaks, while also taking a dig at the party for deploying PM Modi, Union ministers and chief ministers at the Gujarat election campaign.“If the BJP believed it was winning in Gujarat, then Modiji, who should have been in Delhi working for the central government, would not have left it to tour the alleys of the state, visiting every Assembly segment of Gujarat. He is going to every ward of Gujarat. He is going, Shah is going, four-five other chief ministers are going, more than 40 Union ministers are going…Because they got to know people are against them and they can see it…I’ve been seeing that votes are sought in the name of Modiji, be it municipality elections, corporation elections (or Assembly elections)…Ask for vote in the name of the candidate…is Modi going to come and work at the municipality? Is he going to help you in times of your need?” Kharge said.Sarma again brought up the Shraddha Walkar murder case on Monday in Ahmedabad. “So, it is my clear allegation that Congress has given the country an ecosystem where such incidents of ‘love jihad’ have become very easy. And people like Aaftab were under the impression that there is still a Congress government… Therefore, I believe that the country needs a law against ‘love jihad’. And it can be possible only in the BJP government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.”
Gujarat polls: The Vyara seat goes to polls in the first phase on December 1. (File)Ahmedabad: The Vyara Assembly seat, which gave Gujarat its first tribal chief minister Amarsinh Chaudhary, will for the first time see a contest between two Christian candidates fielded by the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.While the Congress has given the ticket to its sitting MLA Punabhai Gamit from the seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates, the BJP has for the first time fielded a Christian candidate, Mohan Konkani, to take on the four-time legislator.Mr Gamit says Christian voters will again support the Congress, while Mr Konkani claims people will vote for the BJP because of the development carried out by the party's government in the state.Political analysts say the Congress's approach of taking the marginalised sections together has helped it in winning tribal-dominated seats, while the BJP will have to do a rethinking to win in Vyara, considering the social dynamics in this Assembly segment.Christians account for nearly 40,000, or 20 per cent, of the total 2.20 lakh voters in the seat, considered a stronghold of the Congress and located in tribal-dominated Tapi district of south Gujarat.Most of the Christians have converted from the tribal Gamit, Chaudhary, and Konkani communities. The seat goes to polls in the first phase of Gujarat elections on December 1.Congress veteran Amarsinh Chaudhary won this seat four times between 1972 and 1985 and became the state's first -- and so far the only -- tribal chief minister in 1985.Punabhai Gamit first won the by-election from the seat in 2004, necessitated after sitting MLA and Amarsinh Chaudhary's son Tushar Chaudhary won the Lok Sabha election from Mandvi seat.He was then pitted against BJP's Pratap Gamit, whom he defeated in three subsequent elections. In 2017, Mr Gamit defeated BJP's Arvind Chaudhary.For the 2022 election, the BJP has decided for the first time to field a Christian tribal candidate, Mohan Konkani.Sociologist Gaurang Jani told PTI the Congress's success in tribal seats because of its approach to take marginalised communities together appears to have played an important role in the BJP's rethinking of its strategy.The conversion of tribals to Christianity has been going on in the region for a long time, making its social dynamics "complicated," he claimed.In the last seven Assembly elections since 1990, the Congress has won more ST-reserved seats in the state compared to the BJP, except in 1995 and 2002.Asked about the role the Christian factor played in determining his candidacy for the seat, BJP leader Mohan Konkani told PTI there are other factors at play as well.He said it is his dedication to the party since 1995 and his district panchayat membership from 2002 that have also played a significant role, and people from all communities are with him.At the same time, the fact that Christians account for a sizable number of voters in the seat cannot be overlooked, he said.The BJP is also upbeat following its first victory in the tribal-dominated Tapi district panchayat in the February 2021 election, said Mr Konkani, the sitting panchayat member of the BJP."The seat from where I won the district panchayat election as the BJP candidate has 75 per cent Christian voters, and they have supported me overwhelmingly. There is no reason why Christians should not support the BJP, which has remained in power in the state for nearly three decades," Mr Konkani said.People in the region have also witnessed and are influenced by the development carried out by the state's BJP government, he said."Everybody is impressed by the development work carried out in the state's tribal belt including Vyara. Whatever development the region has witnessed is because of the BJP. Vyara did not witness so much development even when it elected a chief minister," he claimed.This time, a total of seven candidates are in the contest from the Vyara seat.Apart from the BJP and Congress candidates, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) has fielded Sunil Gamit, the Aam Aadmi Party has given its ticket to Bipinchandra Chaudhary, and the Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded Rakesh Gamit.Two independents are also contesting from the seat.Congress candidate Punabhai Gamit asserted that Christians are not likely to vote for the BJP under any circumstances, and the community from the region stands firmly with him and his party. "The Christians are with the Congress. They will never vote for the BJP, even if their local religious leaders appeal to them to do so," he said.There are 88,000 voters from the Gamit community, 67,000 from the Chaudhary community, and 13,000 from the Konkani community. Christians from all three communities account for around 40,000 voters."The Gamit and Chaudhary communities are firm with me. I have taken people from all communities --Hindus, Muslims, and Christians -- together. I converted to Christianity in 1975. I have defeated BJP candidates four times in a row, showing people are not ready to buy into their development claims," he claimed.Sociologist Mr Jani said Christian converts in the region remain wary of the BJP because of the party's attitude toward them and the discourse of "ghar wapsi". To penetrate this Congress stronghold requires different thinking, based on the very different social dynamics at play here, he said."When talking about Vyara, the presence of the Christian community can be felt in every single village. Not every member of a family is necessarily a Christian. A father can be a Hindu tribal and his son a Christian convert. This makes the social dynamics complicated. Therefore, a party cannot address the head of the household to elicit votes of all the family members," Mr Jani said.Making inroads in this mixed family structure requires different thinking, he said.At the same time, the Congress's approach of keeping the marginalised sections together helped it gain more seats in the tribal areas in 2017 when compared to the BJP, he said."This might have made the BJP think differently by taking into account the local phenomenon. The area has seen the influence of Christianity since the very beginning, and nearly every village has a church which also serves as a meeting point on Sundays," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The BJP has already tapped into the anti-Muslim feelings of Hindu voters, but as far as tribals are concerned, one's tribal status does not go away even when he/she converts to Christianity. One can address him/her with two identities--tribal and Christian, influencing both the communities," he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayJagan Reddy's Sister Arrested After Supporters, KCR Party Workers Clash
This election, the proportion of candidates who have criminal cases against them is up – in fact it’s the highest in the three Gujarat assembly polls at 20. 3%. This figure was 14% and 20% in 2017 and 2012, respectively. Moreover, this is also the wealthiest of the three elections, with the average value of candidates’ assets being Rs 3. 58 crore, up 64% from Rs 2. 22 crore in the 2017 poll. The ‘Rs 100 crore club’ of candidates has nine members this year, compared to seven in the last election. There has been no great enhancement in the educational profiles or youthfulness of candidates from the last assembly election, according to the analysis of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) based on the sworn affidavits of the 1,621 candidates in the fray for the Gujarat assembly election. Even in 2022, 35% of candidates are older than 50 years of age and 69% have a highest qualification of Class 12, according to the analysis. There has been a slight improvement in the representation of women, with 138 candidates or 8. 5% of total candidates, up from 6. 7% in 2017. Partywise, BJP has fielded 17 women candidates, the Congress 13 and AAP 7. The majority of women candidates are fighting as independents. The report states that 85% of BJP candidates are crorepatis, against 79% of Congress and 37. 5% of AAP candidates. These figures for the three parties in 2017 were 81%, 73% and 39%, respectively. Overall, 28% of candidates this election are crorepatis, a 23% increase from 2017. ‘For the major parties contesting Phase II, between 19% and 33 % of candidates given tickets have declared criminal cases against themselves. The Supreme Court had specifically instructed parties to provide reasons for selection. According to these guidelines, the reasons have to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate. During the assembly poll for six states held in 2022, it was observed that parties stated baseless reasons like popularity of the person, good social work, cases are politically motivated etc. ,’ the note from ADR said. Candidates with high income into farming, bizAmong the 1,621 candidates, Rivaba Jadeja declared the highest income of Rs 18.74cr in her I-T returns, followed by Rs 5.61cr by Pabubha Manek and Rs 4.94cr by Balvantsinh Rajput. While Jadeja showed business, rentals and interest as his sources of income in the affidavit, for Manek it was business and rentals, and for Rajput it was business, farming and rentals. The BJP’s Jagdish Vishwakarma from Nikol has shown interest and salary along with business, Shailesh Mehta has shown petrol pump and partnership firm, while Amit Thaker has shown advisor fee and trust salary as their sources of income. Babubhai Patel, the BJP candidate from Daskroi, has mentioned the salary drawn as an MLA as his only income. One in five candidates faces criminal caseOut of 1,621 candidates in the fray in the upcoming poll, 330 or 20.3% have criminal cases against them. Of these, 192 or 11.8% have serious criminal charges against them. Therefore, one in every five candidates faces criminal cases. Among the three major parties, 17.5% of BJP candidates, 33% of Congress and 34% of AAP candidates have cases against them. The percentage of candidates from BJP, Congress and AAP with serious cases against them is 14%, 16% and 24% respectively. To put things in perspective, the 2017 election had 14% and 8% of candidates with criminal and serious criminal cases against them. In 2012, 20% of candidates faced criminal charges and 9% faced serious criminal charges. Average value of BJP candidates’ assets up by 84%Party-wise analysis of the average value of assets declared by candidates indicates that BJP declared Rs 16.6 crore in assets per candidate on average, compared to Rs 9 crore in 2017. It indicates a rise of 84% in the average value of assets in five years. The average value of AAP candidates’ assets increased by 95% from Rs 1.9 crore in 2017 to Rs 3.7 crore in 2022. On the other hand, Congress registered a dip in the average asset value of its candidates — from Rs 9.1 crore in 2017, it fell to Rs 8 crore, a drop of 12%. Overall, the average value of assets of poll contestants increased by 64% — from Rs 2.2 crore in 2017 to Rs 3.6 crore in 2022.