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Chhattisgarh

Maoists kill 15 CRPF personnel, 5 policemen in ambush in Chhattisgarh

At least 20 security personnel, including 15 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five local policemen, were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

 
At least 20 security personnel, including 15 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five policemen, were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh today.
 
Official sources said the joint team of CRPF and local policemen were escorting a road construction party when they were ambushed at a spot between Jhiram Ghati in Bastar and Tongpal in Sukma, about 400 km south of Raipur, around 10 am today.
 
They said about 200 Maoists were involved in the ambush and the 45-odd security personnel not only found themselves outnumbered but were also at a disadvantage because of the topography.
 
"Twenty personnel including 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans and five state policemen were killed in the attack. At least three others were injured," officials said.
 
Today's ambush took place about 10 km from the spot where Maoists had, on May 25 last year, attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in Sukma district, in which 28 peole were killed and about 30 others suffered injuries.
 
Those killed in that incident included state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites and Congress MLA Uday Mudaliar. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who was among those who suffered injuries in the incident, succumbed to his injuries later.
 
Officials said the encounter that followed today's ambush lasted about half an hour. The Maoists managed to escape with weapons from the security personnel, they said.
 
Senior police officials have left for the scene in a helicopter.
 
In Delhi, senior officials said there were contradictory reports about the casualty figures and they were reconciling them.
 
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Modi says Centre has neglected NE region, alienated its people

Manipur suffering due to lack of political vision in Congress: Modi
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), today accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre of neglecting the development of the North-Eastern States, leading to a lack of infrastructure in the region and a feeling of alienation among its people.
 
Addressing rallies in Imphal, Manipur and Guwahati, Assam, Mr Modi contrasted this with the efforts made by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government headed by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee to develop the region.
 
In this context, he referred to the creation of the Department of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), a special package for the economic development of the region and a 20-point programme for the economic growth of the eight States.
 
Stressing the tremendous potential of the eight States, he promised at Imphal that, if voted to power, he and his party would bring the region on par with the rest of the country.
 
"Yeh Bharat ke bhagya ko badalne ki ashta lakshmi hain," he said, referring to the eight States of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim.
 
He said the party would also help develop other states in Eastern India, including West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
 
Mr Modi said the lack of development had helped divisive forces to spread havoc in the region.
 
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"Extremism and infiltration are big threats and Manipur has seen bad governance under the Congress. Drug trafficking is also a very big problem. Not only has the Congress failed to stop that but also their leaders are complicit.” 
 
“Congress feels that the only solution to insurgency is fake encounters but they do not know such steps will further spoil the atmosphere," he said.
 
Mr Modi said corruption was rampant at the Centre and in Manipur. "When the BJP comes to power, we will seek the accounts of every rupee,” he said.
 
He asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has represented Assam in the Rajya Sabha for more than 20 years, had failed to do anything for the region.
 
He said both the State Government and the Centre had a lackadaisical attitude towards national security.
 
At both Imphal and Guwahati, Mr Modi spoke about the lack of basic facilities such as power and water supply in large parts of the region. He said the much-hyped Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme had failed to generate jobs in the region.
 
“So many boys and girls from Manipur are in the Army. This state gives colour and vibrancy to our life and adds to India’s diversity,” he said. “India will only gain if the North East gains.”
 
He talked about the need to develop agriculture, horticultue, tourism and agro-exports in the region. He mentioned the example of his government's efforts in Gujarat to mobilise all the state's reserves.
 
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Mr Modi condemned the recent attack on a student from Arunachal Pradesh student in Delhi and his death a day later. He said the incident pointed to the collapse of governance in Delhi and the lack of safety for women and other sections.
 
At Guwahati, the BJP leader urged the people of the region to give him "just 60 months" after trying out the Congress for 60 years.
 
He wondered why Assam, which had tea, timber and all kinds of other natural resources, was still backward and why such a peace-loving people had to suffer so much violence and bloodshed.
 
“Assam has the Brahmaputra but Guwahati does not have water to drink,” he remrked.
 
Mr Modi also spoke about the illegal migrants from Bangladesh and called for proper verification processes to ensure they could be identified.
 
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Two Additional Judges appointed to High court of Chhattisgarh

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The President has appointed Mr Inder Singh Uboweja and Mr Chandra Bhushan Bajpai as Additional Judges of the High Court of Chhattisgarh.
 
An official press release said that the appointments, in that order of seniority, were for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 
 
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Railway doctor sentenced to two years in jail in bribery case in Chhattisgarh

 
The Special Judge, CBI cases, Raipur has convicted Dr. Anupam Biswas, the then Divisional Medical Officer, Railway Hospital, Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sentenced him to two years of rigorous imprisonment and fine in a bribery ase.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a case against the doctor on the allegation by a railway employee that he had demanded and accepted an illegal gratification of Rs 5000 from him to issue a fitness certificate in order to enable him to rejoin duty.
 
After investigation, a charge sheet was filed against the doctor in the court of Special Judge (CBI Cases) at Raipur. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him, a press release from the agency added.
 
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Arvinder Singh Lovely new PCC chief in Delhi, Bhupesh Bhagel in Chhattisgarh

Arvinder Singh Lovely appointed new PCC chief in Delhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today appointed Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, who was a Minister in the Sheila Dikshit government, as the president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC).
 
Mr Lovely, 46, succeeds Mr Jai Prakash Agarwal, who had stepped down after the Congress was routed in the December 4 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, winning just eight seats in the 70-member house, after being in power for 15 years.
 
Mr Lovely retained his Gandhi Nagar seat by a margin of nearly 16,000 seats.
 
A press release from the All India Congress Committee said Ms Gandhi had also appointed Mr Bhupesh Baghel, MLA and former Minister, as the president of the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee.
 
The Congress had lost the elections in Chhattisgarh, too, as well as in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It returned to power in Mizoram.
 
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Raman Singh sworn in for third straight term as Chhattisgarh CM

Raman Singh takes oath as Chhattisgarh CM
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Raman Singh was sworn in for a third consecutive term as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh at a ceremony here today.
 
Dr Singh, 61, an ayurvedic doctor-turned-politician, was administered the oath of office and secrecy at a ceremony held at the Police Parade Ground here amidst tight security.
 
The ruling BJP won 49 seats, one lower than in 2008, in the elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly to return to power for a third straight term.
 
The Congress ended up with 39 seats, while one seat each went to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and an independent.
 
The results of the polling, held in two phases on November 11 and 19, were announced on December 8.
 
Those present at the ceremony included BJP president Rajnath Singh and other senior party leaders such as Narendra Modi, its Prime Ministerial candidate, Lal Krishna Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, the Goa Chief Minister, and Vasundhara Raje, who will take office as Rajasthan Chief Minister tomorrow.
 
Dr Sngh had retained his Rajnandgaon seat in the Chhattisgarh Assembly by defeating Ms Alka Mudliyar, the wife of former Congress MLA Uday Mudliyar, who was killed in the deadly Maoist attack in the state in May this year.
 
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List of winning candidates in Chhattisgarh Assembly elections

 
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 49 seats in the elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly to return to power for the third consecutive term.
 
The Congress ended up with 39 seats, while one seat each went to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and an independent.
 
The following is the list of winning candidates:
 
Abhanpur: DHANENDRA SAHU (Congress)
Ahiwara:  RAJMAHNT SANWLA RAM DAHRE (BJP)
Akaltara: CHUNNILAL SAHU (Congress)
Ambikapur: T.S.BABA (Congress) 
Antagarh: VIKRAM USENDI (BJP)
Arang: NAVEEN MARKANDEY (BJP)
Baikunthpur: BHAIYALAL RAJWADE (BJP) 
Baloda Bazar: JANAK RAM VERMA (Congress)
Basna: RUPKUMARI CHOUDHARY (BJP)
Bastar : BAGHEL LAKHESHWAR (Congress)
Beltara: BADRIDHAR DIWAN (BJP)
Bemetara: AWADHESH SINGH CHANDEL (BJP)
Bhanupratappur: MANOJ SINGH MANDAVI (Congress)
Bharatpur-Sonhat: CHAMPA DEVI PAWLE (BJP)
Bhatapara: SHIVRATAN SHARMA (BJP)
Bhatgaon: PARAS NATH RAJWADE (Congress)
Bhilai Nagar: PREM PRAKASH PANDEY (BJP)
Bijapur: MAHESH GAGDA (BJP)
Bilaigarh:  SANAM JANGRE (BJP) 
Bilaspur: AMAR AGRAWAL (BJP)
Bilha: SIYARAM KAUSHIK (Congress)
Bindranawagarh: GOVARDHAN SINGH MANJHI (BJP)
Chandrapur: YUDHVIR SINGH JUDEV (BJP)
Chitrakot: DEEPAK KUMAR BAIJ (Congress)
Dantewara: DEVATI KARMA (Congress)
Dhamtari: GURUMUKH SINGH HORA (Congress)
Dharamjaigarh: LALJEET SINGH RATHIA (Congress)
Dharsiwa: DEVJI BHAI PATEL (BJP)
Dondi Lahara: ANILA BHENDIA (Congress)
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Dongargaon: DALESHWAR SAHU (Congress)
Dongargarh: SAROJANI BANJARE (BJP)
Durg City: ARUN VORA (Congress) 
Durg Gramin: RAMSHILA SAHU (BJP)
Gunderdehi: RAJENDRA KUMAR RAI (Congress)
Jagdalpur: SANTOSH BAFNA (BJP)
Jaijaipur: KESHAV CHANDRA (BSP) 
Janjgir-Champa: MOTI LAL DEVANGAN (Congress)
Jashpur: RAJSHARAN BHAGAT (BJP)
Kanker: SHANKER DHRUWA (Congress) 
Kasdol: GAURI SHANKAR AGRAWAL (BJP)
Katghora: LAKHAN DEWANGAN (BJP)
Kawardha: ASHOK SAHU (BJP)
Keshkal: SANTRAM NETAM (Congress)
Khairagarh: GIRWAR JANGHEL (Congress)
Khallari: CHUNNI LAL SAHU
Kharsia: UMESH PATEL (Congress)
Khujji: BHOLARAM SAHU (Congress)
Kondagaon: MOHAN MARKAM (Congress)
Konta: KAWASI LAKHMA (Congress)
Korba: JAI SINGH AGRAWAL (JAI SINGH BHAIYYA)(Congress)
Kota: RENU JOGI (Congress)
Kunkuri: ROHIT KUMAR SAI (BJP)
Kurud: AJAY CHANDRAKAR (BJP)
Lailunga: SUNITI SATYANAND RATHIA (BJP)
Lormi: TOKHAN SAHU (BJP) 
Lundra: CHINTAMANI MAHARAJ (Congress)
Mahasamund: VIMAL CHOPRA (Independent)
Manendragarh: SHYAM BIHARI JAISWAL (BJP)
Marwahi: AMIT AJIT JOGI (Congress)
Masturi: DILIP LAHARIYA (Congress)
Mohala-Manpur: TEJ KUNWAR GOWARDHAN NETAM (Congress)
Mungeli: PUNNULAL MOHLE (BJP)
Narainpur: KEDAR KASHYAP (BJP)
Navagarh: DAYALDAS BAGHEL (BJP)
Pali-tanakhar: UIKE RAMDAYAL (Congress)
Pamgarh: AMBESH JANGRE (BJP) 
Pandariya: MOTI RAM CHANDRAVANSHI (BJP) 
Patan: BHUPESH BAGHEL (Congress)
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Pathalgaon: SHIVSHANKAR PAINKRA (BJP)
Pratappur: RAMSEVAK PAIKRA (BJP)
Premnagar:  KHELSAI SINGH (Congress)
Raigarh: ROSHAN LAL (BJP)
Raipur City Gramin: SATYANARAYAN SHARMA (Congress)
Raipur City North: SHRICHAND SUNDRANI (BJP)
Raipur City South: BRIJMOHAN AGRAWAL (BJP)
Raipur City West: RAJESH MUNAT (BJP)
Rajim: SANTOSH UPADHYAY (BJP)
Rajnandgaon: RAMAN SINGH (BJP)
Ramanujganj: BRIHASPAT SINGH (Congress)
Rampur: SHYAM LAL KANWAR (Congress)
Saja: LABH CHAND BAFNA (BJP)
Sakti: DOCTOR KHILAWAN SAHU (BJP)
Samri: PREETAM RAM (Congress)
Sanjari Balod: BHAIYA RAM SINHA (Congress)
Saraipali: RAMLAL CHOUHAN (BJP)
Sarangarh: KERABAI MANHAR (BJP)
Sihawa: SHRAVAN MARKAM (BJP)
Sitapur: AMARJEET BHAGAT (Congress)
Takhatpur: RAJU SINGH KSHATRI (BJP)
Vaishali Nagar: VIDYARATAN BHASIN (BJP)
 
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It's 0-4 against Congress as it loses in Delhi, Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh

In a major setback ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, the Congress on Sunday was handed out a 0-4 rout in the Assembly elections in four states -- Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- that also saw the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) make a stunning electoral debut in the capital.

 
Common people changed politics: Kejriwal
In a major setback ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, the Congress was today handed out a 0-4 rout in the Assembly elections in four states -- Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- that also saw the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) make a stunning electoral debut in the capital.
 
As counting of votes progressed in the four states, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Ms Vasundhara Raje scored wrested power from the Congress with a spectacular win in Rajasthan and returned to power for the third successive term in Madhya Pradesh under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivrajsingh Chauhan.
 
The BJP also emerged as the single largest party, five short of a majority in Delhi, but drew immense satisfaction from the fact that the Congress had been pushed back to a poor third, behind AAP, led by bureaucrat-turned-RTI activisit-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, whose tally was 28, seen as amazing for a party making its maiden foray into electoral politics.
 
In Chhattisgarh, the BJP led by Chief Minister Raman Singh, made it a hat-trick, outperforming the Congress in a close contest.
 
For the Congress, it was bad news all the way. It fell behind right at the start of the counting in Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, and could never make up as the day progressed. In Chhattisgarh, it appeared in with a chance in the early stages of the counting, but the BJP pulled away into the lead towards the end and stayed there.
 
In Mizoram, the fifth state that went to the polls, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
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Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
In Rajasthan, where results of all 199 seats for which elections were held are out, the BJP ended with 162 seats in the 200-member house, while the Congress was way behind with just 21 seats, its worst showing in the desert state ever.
 
The National People's Party won four seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) three, the National Unionist Zamindara Party two and independents seven.
 
In Delhi, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the 70-member house with 31 seats. AAP won 28 seats, while the Congress was a distant third with just eight. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP, the Janata Dal (United) and an independent won one each.
 
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP won 165 seats, while the Congress bagged 58. The BSP won four seats and independent candidates picked up three.
 
In Chhattisgarh, the ruling BJP had won 48 seats and was ahead in the lone seat for which the results were pending. The Congress ended up with 39 seats, while the BSP and an independent took one seat each.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
In bye-elections, the BJP retained the Surat West Assembly seat in Gujarat, with is candidate Purnesh Modi defeating the Congress nominee D L Patel by more than 66,000 votes.
 
In Tamil Nadu, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) nominee P Saroja won the bye-election for the Yercaud assembly seat, defeating the DMK candidate V Maran by more than 78,000 votes.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
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For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
In Delhi, Ms Dikshit, who lost to Mr Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency by a huge margin, tendered her resignation to the Lt. Governor and told newspersons that the party would have to analyse what went wrong.
 
The mood at the AAP office in the capital was celebratory, with thousands of party workers, donning their trademark caps, converging there as the results started coming in.
 
In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Gehlot said his party had not been able to showcase the work it had done for the development of the state.
 
Ms Raje, who will return to the Chief Minister's office after a gap of five years, said, "We dedicate this win to the people of Rajasthan and workers who toiled hard."
 
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Congress decimated in Delhi, Rajasthan; BJP retains MP; close race in Chhattisgarh

In what can only be bad news for it ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, the Congress was decimated in Delhi and Rajasthan even as the BJP not only added the two states to its kitty but also retained Madhya Pradesh and had a slight edge in Chhattisgarh as votes were counted on Sunday in the crucial Assembly polls held recently.

Electoral officials counting votes for the Delhi Assembly elections at a centre in New Delhi on December 8, 2013.
Electoral officials counting votes for the Delhi Assembly elections at a centre in New Delhi on December 8, 2013.
In what can only be bad news for it ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, the Congress was decimated in Delhi and Rajasthan even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not only added the two states to its kitty but also retained Madhya Pradesh and had a slight edge in Chhattisgarh as votes were counted today in the crucial Assembly polls held recently.
 
In Delhi, the big story was the stunning display put up by the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by bureaucrat-turned-RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal in its electoral debut.
 
For the Congress, it was bad news all the way. It lost in Delhi, where its Sheila Dikshit had held sway for three consecutive terms as Chief Minister, and in Rajasthan, where the Ashok Gehlot government was routed by the BJP led by Ms Vasundhara Raje.
 
In Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shivrajsingh Chauhan led the BJP to its third consecutive win.
 
In Chhattisgarh, it was a close race, with the BJP, led by Dr Raman Singh, having a slight edge as the counting of votes progressed.
 
In Mizoram, the fifth state that went to the polls, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
In Delhi, where counting trends were available for all 70 seats, the BJP had won 20 seats and was ahead in 12 more, while the AAP has put up an impressive display, wining 12 and leading in 14 more.
 
The Congress was placed a poor third, winning four and leading in five more. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP, won one seat and the Janata Dal (United) was leading in one constituency. An independent was ahead in one seat.
 
In Rajasthan, trends available for 197 of the 199 seats for which polling was held showed that the BJP was headed for a spectacular win as it won 64 seats and was ahead in 91 others.
 
The Congress was way behind, winning seven and leading in 15 others, its worst-ever showing in the desert state.
 
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was leading in three seats, the National People's Party in six, the National Unionist Zamindra Party in two and the Samajwadi Party in one. Independents had won one seat and were leading in seven more.
 
In Madhya Pradesh, with trends available from all but one of the 230 constituencies, the BJP had won 23 seats and was ahead in 131, while the Congress had won seven and was leading in 59.
 
Must analyze defeat: Sheila Dikshit on Delhi Polls
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was leading in five, the Samajwadi Party In one and independents in three.
 
In Chhattisgarh, as counting trends became available for 89 of the 90 seats, the ruling BJP had won two and was leading in 43 more. The Congress was leading in 43, while the BSP was ahead in one.
 
In Delhi, Ms Dikshit, who was trailing behind Mr Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency by a huge margin, tendered her resignation to the Lt. Governor and told newspersons that the party would have to analyse what went wrong.
 
The mood at the AAP office in the capital was celebratory, with thousands of party workers, donning their trademark caps, converging there as the results started coming in.
 
In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Gehlot said his party had not been able to showcase the work it had done for the development of the state.
 
Ms Raje, who will return to the Chief Minister's office after a gap of five years, said, "We dedicate this win to the people of Rajasthan and workers who toiled hard."
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
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The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
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Congress routed in Delhi, Rajasthan; BJP retains MP; close race in Chhattisgarh

The Congress was voted out in Delhi and Rajasthan, while the BJP retained Madhya Pradesh and the two parties were locked in a close race in Chhattisgarh as counting of votes progressed on Sunday in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
 
The Congress, the main constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, was voted out in Delhi and Rajasthan, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained Madhya Pradesh and the two parties were locked in a close race in Chhattisgarh as counting of votes progressed today in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
 
In Delhi, the big story was the impressive show put up by the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by bureaucrat-turned-RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal in its first electoral outing.
 
The only comfort that the Congress, the main constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, could draw was that it was engaged in a neck-and-neck contest in Chhattisgarh, where the BJP has been ruling for the past 10 years.
 
In the fifth state, Mizoram, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
In Delhi, where counting trends were available for all 70 seats, the BJP had won one and was ahead in 35, while the AAP has made a stunning debut, leading in 25 seats. The Congress was placed a poor third, ahead in just seven seats. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP, and an independent were leading in one seat each.
 
In Rajasthan, trends available for 189 of the 199 seats for which polling was held showed that the BJP was heading for a specatcular win as it bagged three seats and was ahead in 138 others.
 
The Congress was way behind, leading in just 27 seats, its worst-ever showing in the desert state.
 
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was leading in three seats, the National People's Party in seven, the National Unionist Zamindra Party in two and independents in nine.
 
In Madhya Pradesh, with trends available from all but one of the 230 constituencies, the BJP was leading in 154, the Congress in 65, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in six and the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Sangharshh Dal in one each. Independents were leading in two seats.
 
In Chhattisgarh, as counting trends became available for 77 of the 90 constituencies, the Congress was ahead in 40 while the ruling BJP was leading in 35. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and an independent were leading in one seat each.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
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The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
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Assembly polls: BJP leads in Delhi, MP, Rajasthan; Congress slightly ahead in Chhattisgarh

The Bharatiya Janata Party was on Sunday set to sweep Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and was leading in Delhi as counting of votes progressed in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was today set to sweep Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and was leading in Delhi as counting of votes progressed in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
 
In Delhi, the big story was the impressive show put up by the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by bureaucrat-turned-RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal, in its first ever electoral outing.
 
The only comfort that the Congress, the main constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, could draw was that it was slightly ahead in Chhattisgarh where a neck-and-neck race was on.
 
In the fifth state, Mizoram, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
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Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
In Delhi, where counting trends were available for all 70 seats, the BJP was leading in 33, while the AAP has made a stunning debut, leading in 24. The Congress was placed a poor third, ahead in just 9 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were ahead in one seat each, and an independent in one.
 
In Rajasthan, trends available for 175 of the 199 seats for which polling was held showed that the BJP was heading for a spectacular win, leading in 126 seats, while the Congress was ahead only in 30, its worst-ever showing in the state. 
 
The National People's Party was leading in eight seats, the National Unionist Zamindara Party in three, the BSP in two and independents in six.
 
In Madhya Pradesh, with trends available from 199 out of the 230 constituencies, the BJP was leading in 135, the Congress in 56, the BSP in five and the Akhil Bhartiya Gondwana Party and the Bahujan Sangharshh Dal in one each. An independent was leading in one seat.
 
In Chhattisgarh, as counting trends became available for 49 of the 90 constituencies, the Congress was ahead in 26 while the ruling BJP was leading in 23.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
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Assembly polls: BJP leads in Delhi, MP, Rajasthan; Congress ahead in Chhattisgarh

The Bharatiya Janata Party appeared set to sweep Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and was ahead in Delhi as counting of votes progressed on Sunday in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared set to sweep Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and was ahead in Delhi as counting of votes progressed today in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
 
In Delhi, the big story was the impressive show put up by the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by bureaucrat-turned-RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal in its first electoral outing.
 
The only comfort that the Congress, the main constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, could draw was that it was ahead in Chhattisgarh.
 
In the fifth state, Mizoram, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
In Delhi, where counting trends were available for 68 of the 70 seats, the BJP was leading in 32, AAP in as many as 24 and the Congress in just 10. Others were leading in two seats.
 
In Rajasthan, trends available for 161 of the 199 seats for which polling was held on December 1, the BJP appeared headed for a spectacular win, leading in 121 seats, while the Congress was ahead in only 20.
 
The BJP was ahead in 102 of the 156 seats for which counting trends were available in the elections to the 230-member Madhya Pradesh legislative assemby. The Congress was leading in 44 and others in 10.
 
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In Chhattisgarh, counting trends were available for 47 of the 90 seats, with the Congress ahead in 27 and the BJP in 20.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
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Assembly elections: Counting of votes begins in four states

Counting of votes began on Sunday morning in four of the five states -- Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- where crucial Assemly polls were held recently just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Counting of votes began this morning in four of the five states -- Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- where crucial Assemly polls were held recently just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
 
In the fifth state, Mizoram, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
Early counting trends are expected to be available within an hour or two of the beginning of counting and all the results in the four states are expected to be known by this evening.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
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The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had led his party's campaign in the elections and a big win this time is expected to boost his and his party's prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.
 
Similarly, the results will show how effective Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has been as a campaigner.
 
Today's results will also show how much impact the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by bureaucrat-turned RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal, has been able to make on its debut in Delhi.
 
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Assembly elections: Votes to be counted in four states on Sunday

Counting of votes will be taken up on Sunday morning in four of the five states -- Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- where crucial Assembly polls were held recently just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Voters standing in queues to cast their vote for the Delhi Assembly election, at a polling booth, in New Delhi on December 4, 2013.
Counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow morning in four of the five states -- Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- where crucial Assembly polls were held recently just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
 
In the fifth state, Mizoram, counting of votes will be taken up on December 9.
 
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
 
Early counting trends are expected to be available within an hour or two of the beginning of counting and all the results are expected to be known by the evening of the same day.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
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Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
 
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
 
Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had led his party's campaign in the elections and a big win this time is expected to boost his and his party's prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.
 
Similarly, the results will show how effective Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has been as a campaigner.
 
Tomorrow's results will also show how much impact the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by bureaucrat-turned RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal, has been able to make on its debut in Delhi.
 
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EC raps Modi for "Khooni Panja", "Zalim Haath" remarks

The Election Commission has rapped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the knuckles for the use of expressions such as "Khooni Panja" and "Zalim Haath" while referring to the Congress in an election campaign speech in Chhattisgarh on November 7.

File photo of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
File photo of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The Election Commission has rapped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the knuckles for the use of expressions such as "Khooni Panja" and "Zalim Haath" while referring to the Congress in an election campaign speech in Chhattisgarh on November 7.
 
In an order issued yesterday, the Commission said it was not satisfied with the explanation furnished by Mr Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
"The Commission expresses its disapprobation in the matter, and expects that you will stand by your ... commitment and to be more careful in your public discourse in future," the order said.
 
The Commission had on November 13 issued a notice to Mr Modi for the use of the remarks against the Congress and gave him time until 5 pm of November 16 to show cause as to why action should not be taken against him for violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
 
The Commission had said that it had received a complaint from the Congress against his remarks during an election meeting held on November 7 at Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon.
 
In his speech, Mr Modi noted that the Congress had ruled Chhattisgarh in the initial years after the formation of the state and asked the crowd if they wanted that "khooni panja" again, in a reference to the Congress election symbol of "hand".
 
He went on to ask the audience if they wanted to entrust the state to the "hands" that had destroyed its social fabric.
 
Mr Modi said that people of the state had the foresight to to elect BJP leader Raman Singh and save the state from such "cruel hands".
 
"Do not make any mistake, by mistake also do not vote for the 'khooni panja' in Chhattisgarh again," he added.
 
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"...it has been, prima facie, observed that by making the aforesaid statements, you have violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct..", the notice had added.
 
In his reply to the notice, Mr Modi denied the allegations and contended that he had only criticized the policies and programmes of the Congress and had not made any personal attacks on the leaders of that party.
 
He said he had used the words "Khooni Panja" colloquially and was not referring to the Congress election symbol.
 
He said he had a fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution to attack the policies and programmes of the rival party as also its past record and works.
 
The Commission said that, while it recognized the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression underArticle 19(1) (a) of the Constitution guaranteed to citizens of India, it also needed to pointed out that such right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute and is to be exercised in such a manner that it does not transcend, inter alia, the boundaries of decency and morality or disturb public order or cause defamation or give incitement to an offence as ordained in clause (2) of that Article 19.
 
It also said that the Model Code of Conduct aims and seeks to achieve that very
objective by its various provisions.
 
"... the Commission has noted your consciousness of the Commission's concern about the language of public discourse in cases of personal attacks on leaders and your stand that 'we need to adhere to stricter standards', the Commission, however, does not accept your stand that the same standards cannot be enforced for remarks against political parties, as the Commission considers that while criticizing the policies, programmes and past records of political parties also, the expressions and utterances, even when used colloquially, have to be couched in such terms that the same conform to dignity, decorum and public morality," the order said.
 
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"... the tone, tenor and content of your impugned speech and the use of expressions 'Khooni Panja'and'Zalim Haath' when read in the context of your whole speech, pariicutarly the portions of your speech preceding and following the use of these expressions, leave no scope for doubt that the same refer to the complainant party and its reserved symbol and are violative of the above-mentioned avowed object underlying the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct; and further that the reference to political adversaries with expressions such as 'Khooni Panja' and 'Zalim Haath' cannot but be construed as injurious to the cause of decorous political discourse" it said.
 
"... having regard to the above, the Commission is not satisfied with the explanation furnished by you in reply to the Commission's above referred notice," it said.
 
"Now, therefore, having regard to the totality of facts and circumstances of the case and submissions and contentions made by you in your reply under reference, the Commission expresses its disapprobation in the matter, and expects that you will stand by your above referred commitment and to be more careful in your public discourse in future," it added.
 
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Chattisgarh Assembly elections: Second phase of polling begins

Polling began on Tuesday morning amidst tight security in 72 of the 90 constituencies in Chhattisgarh in the second and final phase of the elections to the State Legislative Assembly.

Chhattisgarh polls: Voting for second phase underway
Polling began this morning amidst tight security in 72 of the 90 constituencies in Chhattisgarh in the second and final phase of the elections to the State Legislative Assembly.
 
In the first phase of polling held on November 11, a record 75 per cent of the electorate had come out to vote in 18 constituencies in the Naxalite-affected Bastar and Rajnandgaon regions.
 
A total of 1,39,75,472 voters, including 68,30,179 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in today's polling, which began at 8 am and will end at 5 pm.
 
As many as 843 candidates, including 75 women, are in the fray in the 72 constituencies. Nine of the constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 17 for Scheduld Tribes.
 
Raipur City (South) has the maximum number of candidates at 38, while Saraipali has the lowest number of contestants at five.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been ruling the State for the past ten years, and Chief Minister Raman Singh is seeking a third consecutive term in office.
 
The BJP, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are contesting all 72 seats, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the CPI (Marxist) have fielded candidates in four constituencies each and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 12. There are also 607 others and independents in the fray.
 
The Election Commission has set up 18015 polling stations for the poll.
 
Assembly Speaker Dharamlal Kaushik is among the prominent candidates in today's poll. He is contesting again from Bilha. His rival is Congress candidate Siyaram Kaushik, who had lost against him the last time.
 
Other prominent contestants include State Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar (Rampur), School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal (Raipur City South),  Housing and Environment Minister Rajesh Munat (Raipur city west), Water Resources Minister Ramvichar Netam (Ramanujganj), Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Hemchand Yadav (Durg city), state BJP President Ramsewak Paikra (Pratappur), Leader of Opposition Ravindra Choubey (Saja)and former Chief MIniste Ajit Jogi's wife Renu Jogi (Kota).
 
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Chattisgarh Assembly elections: Second phase of polling on Tuesday

Polling will be held in 72 of the 90 constituencies in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday in the second phase of the elections to the State Legislative Assembly amidst elaborate security arrangements.

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Polling will be held in 72 of the 90 constituencies in Chhattisgarh tomorrow in the second phase of the elections to the State Legislative Assembly amidst elaborate security arrangements.
 
In the first phase of polling held on November 11, a record 75 per cent of the electorate had come out to vote in 18 constituencies in the Naxalite-affected Bastar and Rajnandgaon regions.
 
A total of 1,39,75,472 voters, including 68,30,179 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in tomorrow's polling.
 
As many as 843 candidates, including 75 women, are in the fray in the 72 constituencies going to the polls tomorrow.
 
Nine of the constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 17 for Scheduld Tribes.
 
Raipur City (South) has the maximum number of candidates at 38, while Saraipali has the lowest number of contestants at five.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been ruling the State for the past ten years, and Chief Minister Raman Singh is seeking a third consecutive term.
 
The BJP, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are contesting all 72 seats, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the CPI (Marxist) have fielded candidates in four constituencies each and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 12. There are also 607 others and independents in the fray.
 
The Election Commission has set up 18015 polling stations for tomorrow's polling.
 
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EC issues notice to Narendra Modi for "khooni panja" remark

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The Election Commission today issued a notice to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for his "khooni panja" remark against the Congress during a recent election rally in Chhattisgarh.
 
The Commission gave Mr Modi time until 5 pm of November 16 to show cause as to why action should not be taken against him for violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
 
The Commission said it had received a complaint from the Congress against his remarks during an election meeting held on November 7 at Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon.
 
In his speech, Mr Modi noted that the Congress had ruled Chhattisgarh in the initial years after the formation of the state and asked the crowd if they wanted that "khooni panja" again, in a reference to the Congress election symbol of "hand".
 
He went on to ask the audience if they wanted to entrust the state to the "hands" that had destroyed its social fabric.
 
Mr Modi said that people of the state had the foresight to to elect BJP leader Raman Singh and save the state from such "cruel hands".
 
"Do not make any mistake, by mistake also do not vote for the 'khooni panja' in Chhattisgarh again," he added.
 
"...it has been, prima facie, observed that by making the aforesaid statements, you have violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct..", the notice added.
 
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Tenure of Additional Judges of Chhattisgarh High Court extended

 
The tenure of Chattisgarh High Court Additional Judges Prashant Kumar Mishra and Manindra Mohan Shrivastava has been extended from December 10, 2013 for a period of two more years.
 
An official press release said here today that the President had issued a notification to this effect.
 
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India declares itself free from bird flu

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India has declared itself free from Notifiable Avian Influenza (H5N1), commonly called bird flu, and notified it to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), an official statement said here today.
 
India had notified outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1) at Poultry Production Unit, College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Anjora, Durg and Government Poultry Farm, Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh on 5th August, 2013. 
 
The release said the control measures adopted in the outbreak were stamping out of entire poultry population including destruction of eggs, feed, litters and other infected materials in the radius of 1 k.m. around the outbreak location, restriction on movement of poultry, disinfection and cleaning up of infected premises and subsequently issuing of the Post Operation Surveillance Plan (POSP). The POSP was issued on 12th August, 2013. 
 
"Even though India is free from bird flu, regular surveillance is to be continued throughout the country especially in the vulnerable areas bordering infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds," the statement added.
 
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Chhattisgarh Assembly elections: 67% voting in first phase of polling

 
Chhattisgarh polls commences amidst security
About 67 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in 18 constituencies that went to the polls today in the first phase of the elections to the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly, mainly in Naxalite-infested areas.
 
Today's voting will decide the fate of 143 candidates, including 10 women.
 
Voting will be held in the remaining 72 constituencies of the state assembly in the second phase of polling on November 19.
 
Chhattisgarh is among the five states where assembly elections are being held just months before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
 
The other four states will have one-day polling: Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
The term of the assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014.
 
Counting of votes in all the states will be taken up on December 8 and all the results are expected to be out by that evening.
 
Barring stray cases, today's polling was by and large peaceful, with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere, official sources said.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ruling Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years and the Congress is making a strong bid to wrest power in the state. Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has led his party to handsome victories in the last two elections, is aiming at a hat-trick this time.
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In all, 29,33,200 electors, including 14,78,659 women, were eligible to cast their votes in the 18 constituencies that went to the polls today.
 
Rajnandgaon and Jagdalpur had the maximum number of candidates at 14 each, while Konta has the least at 4.
 
The BJP, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had fielded candidates for all 18 seats, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) fought in eight, the CPI (Marxist) in one, and the Nationalist Congess Party (NCP) in two. There were 78 independents and others in the fray.
 
The Election Commission had set up 4074 polling stations for today's voting where a total of 4142 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used.
 
The elections are taking place less than six months after the deadly Naxalite attack on May 25 on a convoy of Congress leaders in the Sukma district of the state, in which about 30 people were killed.
 
Those killed included several of the top leaders of the Congress in the state, including then state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites, MLA Uday Mudliyar and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who succumbed to his injuries several days later at a Gurgaon hospital.
 
Dr Raman Singh and three of his ministers as well as relatives of the victims of that attack were among the candidates in today's polling in 12 constituencies in Bastar division and six in Rajnandgaon district.
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The polling, which began at 7 am, ended at 3 pm in Bastar and one constituency in Rajnandgaon. In other places, polling was from 8 am to 5 pm.
 
The Chief Minister contested from Rajnandgaon constituency, where his main rival was Ms Alka Mudliyar, wife of slain MLA Uday Mudliyar.
 
Ms Devati Karma, wife of Mahendra Karma, was the Congress nominee for the Dantewada ST seat.
 
Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap contested again from Narayanpur, where his rival was Chandan Kashyap of the Congress.
 
Sports Minister Lata Usendi contested from Kondagaon, while Forest Minister sought re-election from Antagarh.
 
The constituencies that went to the polls today are: Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Mohla-Manpur (in Rajnandgaon),  Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker (Uttar Bastar Kanker), Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur (Kondagaon), Bastar, Jagdalpur, Chitrakot (Bastar) (Jagdalpur), Dantewada (Dakshin Bastar Dantewada), Bijapur (Bijapur), Konta (Sukma).
 
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Chhattisgarh assembly polls: 18 constituencies vote in first phase

Polling began on Monday morning amidst elaborate security arrangements in 18 of the 72 constituencies in the Chattisgarh Legislative Assembly, mainly in Naxalite-infested areas, to decide the fate of 143 candidates, including 10 women.

 
Chhattisgarh polls commences amidst security
Polling began this morning amidst elaborate security arrangements in 18 of the 90 constituencies in the Chattisgarh Legislative Assembly, mainly in Naxalite-infested areas, to decide the fate of 143 candidates, including 10 women.
 
Voting will be held in the remaining 72 constituencies of the state assembly in the second phase of polling on November 19.
 
Chhattisgarh is among the five states where assembly elections are being held just months before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
 
The other four states will have one-day polling: Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
 
The term of the assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014.
 
Counting of votes in all the states will be taken up on December 8 and all the results are expected to be out by that evening.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ruling Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years and the Congress is making a strong bid to wrest power in the state. Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has led his party to handsome victories in the last two elections, is aiming at a hat-trick this time.
 
In all, 29,33,200 electors, including 14,78,659 women, are eligible to cast their votes in the 18 constituencies that went to the polls today.
 
Rajnandgaon and Jagdalpur have the maximum number of candidates at 14 each, while Konta has the least at 4.
 
The BJP, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have fielded candidates for all 18 seats, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) is fighting in eight, the CPI (Marxist) in one, and the Nationalist Congess Party in two. There are 78 independents and others in the fray.
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The Election Commission has set up 4074 polling stations for today's voting where a total of 4142 electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used.
 
The elections are taking place less than six months after the deadly Naxalite attack on May 25 on a convoy of Congress leaders in the Sukma district of the state, in which about 30 people were killed.
 
Those killed included several of the top leaders of the Congress in the state, including then state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites, MLA Uday Mudliyar and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who succumbed to his injuries several days later at a Gurgaon hospital.
 
Dr Raman Singh and three of his ministers as well as relatives of the victims of that attack are among the candidates in today's polling in 12 constituencies in Bastar division and six in Rajnandgaon district.
 
The polling, which began at 7 am, will end at 3 pm in Bastar and one constituency in Rajnandgaon. In other places, polling is from 8 am to 5 pm.
 
The Chief Minister is contesting from Rajnandgaon constituency, where his main rival is Ms Alka Mudliyar, wife of slain MLA Uday Mudliyar.
 
Ms Devati Karma, wife of Mahendra Karma, is the Congress nominee for the Dantewada ST seat.
 
Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap is contesting again from Narayanpur, where his rival is Chandan Kashyap of the Congress.
 
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Sports Minister Lata Usendi is fighting from Kondagaon, while Forest Minister is seeking re-election from Antagarh.
 
The constituencies that went to the polls today are: Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Mohla-Manpur (in Rajnandgaon),  Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker (Uttar Bastar Kanker), Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur (Kondagaon), Bastar, Jagdalpur, Chitrakot (Bastar) (Jagdalpur), Dantewada (Dakshin Bastar Dantewada), Bijapur (Bijapur), Konta (Sukma).
 
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Congress releases first list of 17 candidates for Chhattisgarh assembly elections

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The Congress has released a first list of candidates for 17 of the 18 assembly constituencies in Chhattisgarh which will go to the polls in the first phase on November 11.
 
The list includes Umesh Patel, Alka Mudliyar and Devti Karma, members of the families of Congress leaders Nandkumar Patel, Vijay Mudliyar and Mahendra Korma who were killed  by Naxalites in an ambush on May 25 this year.
 
Umesh Patel, son of Mr Patel, who was Pradesh Congress Committee chief, has been fielded from Kharsia. Alka Mudliyar, wife of Mr Mudliyar, a former MLA, has been nominated frm Rajnandgaon, which is currently represented by Chief Minister Raman Singh of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Devti Karma, the wife of late Mahendra Karma, a former state Home Minister and one of the founders of the Salwa Judum movement, is the party's candidate from the Dantewada-ST constituency.
 
The following is the list of candidates released by the party's headquarters here:
 
KHARSIA: UMESH PATEL
KHAIRAGARH: GIRVAR JANGHEL
RAJNANDGAON: ALKA MUDLIYAR
DONGARGAON: DALESHWAR SAHU
MOHLA-MANPUR - ST: TEZ KUNWAR NETAM
ANTAGARH - ST: MANTURAM PAWAR
BHANUPRATAP PUR - ST: MANOJ SINGH MANDAVI
KANKER - ST: SHANKAR LAL DHRUWA
KESHKAL - ST: SANT NETAM
KONDAGAON - ST: MOHAN MARKAM
NARAYANPUR - ST: CHANDAN KASHYAP
BASTAR - ST: LAKHESHWAR BAGHEL
JAGDALPUR: SHAMU KASHYAP
CHITRAKOT - ST: DEEPAK BAIJ
DANTEWADA - ST: DEVTI KARMA
BIJAPUR - ST: VIKRAM MANDAVI
KONTA - ST: KAWASI LAKHMA
 
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Avantha synchronizes 1st 600 MW unit in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh

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Avantha Power & Infrastructure Limited (APIL) today announced the  synchronization of its first unit of 600 MW in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh through its wholly-owned subsidiary Korba West Power Company Limited (KWPCL). 
 
With this synchronization, the generation capacity of APIL, a part of the Avantha Group, stands at 626.19 MW, a press release from the company.
 
APIL began construction of the plant in August 2010 and successfully executed the project in 38 months. The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has supplied the boiler, turbine and generator (BTG) equipments. 
 
APIL has another 1,860 MW under various stages of construction and an additional 1,320 MW under planning, the release said.
 
Mr. Gautam Thapar- Founder and Chairman of the Avantha Group, stated, “With this milestone, APIL progresses towards our vision of achieving a market position based on solid execution, growth and accomplishment. I am confident that APIL will continue to deliver the best possible results for all stakeholders, today and in the future.”
 
APIL’s subsidiary KWPCL signed the Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) with South Eastern Coal Limited (SECL) in August 2013 for feeding the plant with uninterrupted coal supply. 
 
APIL’s Chief Operating Officer K N Neelkant said: "This marks the commencement of a new phase for APIL and our presence in the IPP segment. The synchronization of our first 600 MW unit in Chhattisgarh reflects our commitment to contribute towards India’s growing energy demand.  We are aggressively progressing with our plans of adding to the installed capacity.”
 
Apart from synchronisation of Unit 1 of 600 MW and Unit 2 of 600 MW under construction through KWPCL in Chattisgarh, APIL has a second thermal power plant of 1260 MW under various stages of construction at Seoni, near Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh through its project Jhabua Power Limited (JPL). 
 
APIL has a plant at Malanpur, Madhya Pradesh with an installed capacity of 26 MW. APIL will have a total installed capacity of 3806 MW once all the projects commence commercial operations.
 
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Assembly elections to be held in five states between Nov 11 and Dec 4

Elections will be held to the legislative assembly of Chattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while there will be single-phase polling for the assemblies in Madhya Pradesh on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi and Mizoram on December 4.


 
Election Commission announces poll schedule for 5 states
Elections will be held to the legislative assembly of Chattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while there will be single-phase polling to the assemblies in Madhya Pradesh on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi and Mizoram on December 4.
 
The schedule for the crucial elections, which come just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, were announced at a press conference here today by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi.
 
Mr Sampath said 18 constituencies in Chhattisgarh, mainly in Naxalite-infested areas, will go to the polls on November 11 and the remaining 72 on November 19.
 
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
 
The Commission has also decided to hold bye-elections in Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly on December 4.
 
Counting of votes in all the States will be taken up on December 8 and all the results are expected to be out by that evening.
 
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
 
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
 
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC,  47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
 
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Mr Sampath said the electoral rolls of all existing Assembly Constituencies in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi on the basis of the electoral rolls revised with reference to 1.1.2013 as the qualifying date and have been finally published on 12.09.2013, 24.07.2013, 16.08.2013, 06.09.2013 and 09.09.2013, respectively. 
 
The number of electors in these States, as on date, are: Chhattisgarh - 1,67,96174, Madhya Pradesh - 4,64,57724, Mizoram - 6,86305, Rajasthan - 4,06,08056 and Delhi- 1,15,07113.
 
Mr Sampath said photo electoral rolls will be used during the elections. According to him, the photo percentages in photo electoral rolls were Chhattisgarh - 99.43%, Madhya Pradesh - 100%, Mizoram - 100%, Rajasthan -  99.27% and Delhi - 100%.
 
The Election Commission will set up 21, 418 polling stations in Chhattisgarh, 53,986 in Madhya Pradesh, 1126 in Mizoram, 45,334 in Rajasthan, and 11,763 in Delhi.
 
Mr Sampath said that, as per the judgement of the Supreme Court of September 27, there will be a button for "None of the Above" option on all electronic voting machines (EVMs), below the name of the last candidate.
 
Electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency can exercise the NOTA option now.
 
"The Commission is taking steps to bring this to the knowledge of voters and all other stakeholders and to train all field level officials including the polling personnel about the NOTA option," he said.
 
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He said that all critical events in the electoral process, including filing of nominations, allotment of symbols, preparation and storage of EVMs, important public meetings, processions, polling, counting of votes and so on, would be videographed.
 
He said Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and State Armed Police (SAP) drawn from other states would be deployed during the elections. They will be used generally for safeguarding the polling stations and for providing security to the electors and polling personnel at the polling stations on the poll day. 
 
Besides, these forces will be used for securing the strong rooms where the EVMs are stored and for securing the counting centers and for other purposes, as required, he said.
 
As in the past, the Commission will deploy General Observers in adequate number to ensure the smooth conduct of elections.
 
The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect immediately in all the five states. In particular, the Commission drew attention to the provision that “there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda.”
 
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