SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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I N D I A     V O T E S

In MP, Cong bets on ‘chronic losers’ again
Bhopal, April 8
Examining the reasons for party’s poor performance in November 2008 Assembly elections in the state, the Congress top brass had attributed it to intense factionalism and wrong choice of candidates. Four months on, the grand old party seems to be repeating the fatal mistakes.

BJP behind rejection of my papers, says Patel
Senior Congress leader Rajkumar Patel on Wednesday claimed that the rejection of his nomination papers from the Vidisha Parliamentary constituency in Madhya Pradesh was part of a conspiracy by the state BJP government.

From my side, I did not commit any mistake in filing the nomination papers

Canvassers give cold shoulder to Jewish Street
Kochi, April 8
Activists campaigning for their respective candidates for the Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat give a go-by to Jewish Street on the island of Fort Cochin near this port city.




Bioscope

ON THE BACKSEAT: Ram Vilas Paswan campaigning in Patna on Wednesday. — PTI
BJP media coordinator Ambalal Koshti displays a Nano penstand featuring pictures of party leaders at the BJP headquarters in Ahmedabad on Tuesday — AFP
Former Indian cricketer and BJP candidate from East Delhi Chetan Chauhan campaigns in New Delhi. — AFP

A rickshaw puller goes past a flag of the CPM in Kolkata on Wednesday. — Reuters

Congress candidate Milind Murali Deora on the way to file his nomination papers in South Mumbai on Wednesday. — PTI

Forget fever, there’s barely any poll activity in Jammu
Jammu, April 8
The only sign of any political activity here is the slight increase in the patrolling by the security forces following a threat from the Taliban. The totally lacklustre political campaign has been further subdued by the inclement weather.

Tea territory’s chief plank: Gorkhaland
Kolkata, April 8
Darjeeling has always been a tourist’s attraction. It gained political importance after the independence.

Assam-Nagaland border dispute in focus
Udaipur Notun Gaon (Assam), April 8
As the general election draws closer, the border dispute between Assam and Nagaland has come to the fore again and has become a poll issue.The border near Jorhat and Mokokchung has been on the boil for the past two decades.

Pressure on Vaiko to quit AIADMK front
Chennai, April 8
Students from various colleges of Tamil Nadu, conducting a campaign to lift the ban on the LTTE, raised slogans against pro-Tiger leader Vaiko’s continuance in the AIADMK front, terming the alliance as “opportunistic”.

For ‘Lady Amitabh,’ screen image comes in handy
Medak (AP), April 8
In several of her action flicks, popular actress Vijayashanthi bashes up bad guys with ease. Facing her maiden electoral battle in this backward constituency in Telangana, the gutsy heroine makes fiery speeches asking people to fight against exploitation of the Telangana region.

New fronts may sting Cong, BJP
Ranchi, April 8
New fronts and smaller parties may play spoilsport for the Congress and also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand in the Lok Sabha elections.

Actor Ambareesh to contest
Bangalore, April 8
Kannada film actor and MP Ambareesh has cleared all doubts about his contesting the elections. He has agreed to be the Congress candidate from Karnataka's Mandya constituency.

Mithun to campaign for Pranab
Kolkata, April 8
Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty will be campaigning for Pranab Mukherjee in Jangipur on April 17, Mukherjee’s close aide Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said today. He said the superstar, now on shooting in Rajasthan, phoned up the External Affairs Minister yesterday , expressing his willingness to participate in the campaigning in his favour, which the minister had welcomed.





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In MP, Cong bets on ‘chronic losers’ again
Amrish Herdenia
Tribune News Service

Bhopal, April 8
Examining the reasons for party’s poor performance in November 2008 Assembly elections in the state, the Congress top brass had attributed it to intense factionalism and wrong choice of candidates. Four months on, the grand old party seems to be repeating the fatal mistakes.

Congress has announced candidates for all the 29 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state and strangely, this time too, several heavyweights, including former CM Digvijay Singh and PCC chief Suresh Pachauri, have chosen to stay clear of the electoral arena. And again, like in the assembly elections, chronic losers have been fielded from most of the segments. Out of 29 nominees, 18 have bitten the dust either in the assembly polls or in the general election earlier. And there is hardly any reason to expect that they will suddenly transform into winners. The party’s list of woes does not end here.

Rajkumar Patel, whom the Congress had relied upon to take on the BJP bigwig Sushma Swaraj in the Vidisha constituency, conveniently forgot to submit a crucial document (Form A), while filing his monination. The result was as expected: His nomination was rejected and now Swaraj is sans a Congress rival.

Patel’s forgetfulness could have been forgiven but for the fact that he is a veteran when it comes to contesting elections. He has fought eight of them. He has also been a minister. What’s more, Patel had displayed a similar forgetfulness in attending the hearings of an election petition he had filed against the CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the Jabalpur High Court. Patel had lost an assembly bypoll to Chauhan and had proffered a petition. However, the petition was dismissed in default - for neither the petitioner nor his counsel appeared in three consecutive hearings. The uncharitable say Patel has struck a deal with the BJP. The charitable say he had committed an unpardonable mistake.

In both the cases, party sources say, he would be penalised once the elections are over.

Party veteran Arjun Singh’s daughter Beena Singh has jumped into the fray as an Independent from Sidhi. That would not have been much of a problem but for the fact that Congress’ official candidate from Sidhi, Indrajit Kumar Patel is an Arjun Singh acolyte. There are apprehensions that Patel may soft-pedal his candidature to aid Beena.

Then, there is the case of the Hoshangabad constituency from where the state Congress chief Suresh Pachauri was supposed to contest. His ticket was held-up at the last moment.

The reason is not clear but Rameshwar Neekhra, the candidate chosen to replace him, is a non-entity in the area, his only qualification being his proximity to Pachauri.

Neekhra has the distinction of losing all the four elections he has contested.

A political greenhorn has been put up to face AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh’s brother Laxman Singh, a BJP nominee, in the Rajgarh constituency. Digvijay’s detractors say it is only to facilitate Laxman Singh’s victory. Such tales abound, the long and short of these being that the Congress is ‘working pretty hard’ to ensure that it does not increase its tally (a measly 4 in the last Lok Sabha polls) this time.

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BJP behind rejection of my papers, says Patel

Senior Congress leader Rajkumar Patel on Wednesday claimed that the rejection of his nomination papers from the Vidisha Parliamentary constituency in Madhya Pradesh was part of a conspiracy by the state BJP government. Patel told PTI here that fearing a defeat in Vidisha, the BJP had, through the Returning Officer used undemocratic methods to keep him away from elections. In reply to a question, Patel described all allegations being levelled against him as baseless adding he would answer them at the proper forum. "From my side, I did not commit any mistake in filing the nomination papers," he said. — PTI

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Canvassers give cold shoulder to Jewish Street
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Kochi, April 8
Activists campaigning for their respective candidates for the Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat give a go-by to Jewish Street on the island of Fort Cochin near this port city.

The fight in this seat is primarily between Congress candidate K V Thomas and CPM nominee Sindhu Joy, a 31-year-old woman leader who is the national vice-president of the Student Federation of India. In view of the presence of a strong Christian population in Ernakulam, both the Congress and the CPM have put up Christian candidates in the seat like they have always done before. “It is minority-dominated seat”, says local journalist Sreekumar.

Even though the first mayor of Kochi was a Jew, over time the Jews have become a miniscule minority here who are not in a position to “dominate” any more. With only 11 members of the once flourishing community --- descendants of the Spanish, Dutch and other European Jews--- remaining in the locality, election canvassers do not consider it worthwhile to visit the street.

The scene is different in Bazaar Street located within walking distance of Jewish Street. CPM supporters aboard a vehicle were blaring out their opposition to the Indo-Israel missile deal hoping that the stand would endear them to the voters in the Muslim-dominated area.

“Nobody has come to Jewish Street yet for campaigning”, Sebastian Joseph, police inspector in charge of the security of the synagogue located at the end of the road, says. The police has been deployed to look after the synagogue after the attack by terrorists on Mumbai’s Chabad House in November.

Built in 1568, the synagogue is still functional, though the service, supposed to be held on Friday and Saturday, has been affected. A quorum of 10 men (minyan) is required for the Friday and Saturday meetings. Only three out of the 11 persons living in Jewish Street being men, service could be held only when Jews from outside join the local inhabitants for the worship.

The exodus to Israel is primarily the reason for the decline of the population of Jews in Fort Cochin. “Ironically, those who migrated to Israel would have been much better off if they had stayed back”, Adi Azad, an Israeli woman married to reputed Fort Cochin-based art phographer Abul Kalam Azad, said.

People of Portugese descent are another small minority community living in Fort Cochin. Desmond Rebeirro, who lives close by the house where once Vasco Da Gama used to live, said only 15 families of people of Portugese decesent were still living in Fort Cochin. The rest of them had migrated to the West.

Rebeirro said election canvassers did come to him for his vote. But being a staunch sympathiser of the extreme Left variety of politics, he had decided not to vote for any of the candidates.

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Forget fever, there’s barely any poll activity in Jammu
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 8
The only sign of any political activity here is the slight increase in the patrolling by the security forces following a threat from the Taliban. The totally lacklustre political campaign has been further subdued by the inclement weather. With barely a week left for polling to the first of the five- phase election in Jammu and Kashmir, most of the candidates are yet to launch their campaign.

Jammu division --- south of the Banihal Pass has only two parliamentary constituencies, Jammu and Udhampur. While, Jammu will see polling on Thursday next (April 16), Udhampur will go to poll during the second phase, April 23. Overall, people are yet to recoup, both financially and physically, from the fatigue of the Assembly elections last winter.

The Jammu Parliamentary segment starts from the Samba sector along the international border with Pakistan — (opposite Pakistan’s Punjab province) and travels north to Poonch, along the Line of Control (LOC) touching Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The constituency comprises 20 assembly segments (2 in Samba, 11 in Jammu, 4 in Rajouri and 3 in Poonch).

It’s plain terrain in Jammu and Samba districts, with agriculture as their main source of income. A sizeable number of the population is in the defence forces.

The people are predominantly Dogras. Mostly comprising of Hindu population, the area has remained free of militant activity, baring sporadic incidents. The international border runs between Samba and Akhnoor with the LoC starting from Manawar Tawi (Akhnoor) in Chamb Sector, going all the way up to Rawlakot (in PoK). Poonch and Rajouri are Muslim-dominated hilly regions.

Support from important towns like Samba, Vijaypur, Bishnah, R.S Pura, Jammu, Akhnoor, Sunderbani, Kalakote, Nowshera, Rajouri, Thana Mandi, Surankote, Mendhar and Poonch is important for any aspirant here. In all these areas, lack of development and discrimination with the Jammu division continues to be an important issue. The people here argue that the Jammu region has a much larger area and population as compared to Kashmir, but has only two seats. The Assembly segments are also fewer in comparison to the Valley.

Each area of the division has local issues also. In Poonch and Rajouri it is the ethnic divide between the Gujjar and Paharis, with the latter demanding reservation similar to that given to Gujjars (ST status). The people living in Samba want more time to go across the fence on the international border for cultivation of their land. Similarly, in areas adjoining PoK, families living on either side of the LoC want less strict travel rules.

Jammu parliamentary seat will see an interesting contest between the sitting MP Madan Lal Sharma of the Congress, Lila Karan Sharma of the BJP, Tirlok Singh Bajwa of the PDP and Hussain Ali Waffa of the BSP.

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Tea territory’s chief plank: Gorkhaland
Subhrangshu Gupta

Tribune News Service


Jaswant Singh, BJP candidate for the Darjeeling LS seat, waves to his supporters at Bagdogra airport in Siliguri. — PTI

Kolkata, April 8
Darjeeling has always been a tourist’s attraction. It gained political importance after the independence.

The constituency with over 15 lakh electorate comprises four subdivisions - Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the hills and Siliguri in the plains. In the last elections, 8,88,320 voters exercised their franchise in electing Congress candidate Dawa Norbulla, whom the party has once again fielded as candidate in these elections.

It was the Congress, after its victory in the 1957 Lok Sabha elections over the Communist candidate, which first established its political supremacy in the hills. In 1962 elections also, sitting Congress MP T Manen won by defeating his communist rival Ratanlal Bhraman.

However, subsequently, hill leaders became the main factor in deciding the political fate of the people residing there - first the GNLF supremo Subhas Ghising and now DJMM president Bimal Gurung.

So far, Ghising was deciding the election in Darjeeling and now it is Gurung’s turn to elect the hill MP. Like Ghising, his rival group leader Gurung has been now using “Gorkhaland” as a pawn in supporting the candidate and his support to the BJP candidate also followed LK Advani’s positive assistance of granting of a separate Gorkhaland to the people if the NDA government came to power after the elections.

This time while the Congress has fielded the sitting MP, Dawa Nurbulla, the CPM has fielded district party president Jibesh Sarkar, a resident of Siliguri. The BJP officially declared Jaswant Singh, former External Affairs Minister, as their candidate.

In the 1971 elections, CPM candidate Ratanlal Brahman for the first time won the Darjeeling seat, but in 1977 Congress’s KB Chetri won the elections with the help of local Gorkha people. However, in the subsequent elections in 1980 and 84, the CPM won the elections.

In the mid 80s, when people of the hills under the leadership of Subhas Ghising launched massive agitations for a separate statehood, politically both the CPM and the Congress became virtually non-entities. Therefore, for winning the elections, both had to depend on the GNLF and Ghising’s support.

In fact, during the brief tenure of the Vajpayee government in 1989, it was Inderjit, a journalist, who was close to the BJP, somehow managed to win the Darjeeling seat with Ghising’s support. In the subsequent election in 1991, Inderjit retained the seat once again by defeating the CPM candidate, Ananda Pathak. However, in the elections in 1996, 98 and 99, the CPM won the elections. However, in the 2004 elections, Congress candidate Dawa Norbulla had captured the seat by defeating CPM’s Mani Thapa.

Though both the CPM and the Congress have been fighting a tough battle for capturing the Darjeeling seat, two Gorkha leaders Bimal Gurung and Subhas Ghising have adopted two different stands in their selection of the MP candidate.

Ghising says despite positive assurances neither the Congress nor the CPM have so far had brought the Gorkhaland for them and Gurung will learn the same lesson by fielding the BJP candidate in the elections. Hence, Ghising wants to field his own man as a third candidate in the elections.

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Assam-Nagaland border dispute in focus

Udaipur Notun Gaon (Assam), April 8
As the general election draws closer, the border dispute between Assam and Nagaland has come to the fore again and has become a poll issue.The border near Jorhat and Mokokchung has been on the boil for the past two decades.

Both states have been periodically accusing each other of violating the agreement.

While Assam claims that its neighbour has encroached on its land, Nagaland accuses Assam of setting up police outposts in several "disputed areas." "We are living in the Nagajanka area, border of Assam and Nagaland. Our border region is the most neglected area. We are facing a lot of problems.With the elections round the corner,we have decided that we will cast our votes only for the leader who is committed to solving the border issue," said Rupna Sarwa, a resident of Nagajanka.

The All-Assam Students Union on April 4 organised a peaceful protest at Titabor town against the “encroachment” on Assam land by Nagaland during the election campaign.

Leaders of the union criticised the Assam Government for not solving this issue. They also discussed matters pertaining to the solving of the border dispute.

"The government in the past has failed to solve the long-drawn Nagaland-Assam border dispute. We thought the Assam Chief Minister would take important steps to solve the border dispute.We want an answer from the government," said Nilofor Rehman, assistant general secretary, AASU Central Committee.

The first clash between the Nagaland police and Assamese villagers living in the Doyang forest reserve broke out in 1968. A similar incident took place in the Rengma forest reserve of Karbi Anglong on January 5, 1979.

The worst clash occurred on June 4, 1985, when over 100 persons died in firing between Assam and Nagaland police personnel at Merapani.

The two sides later signed an interim agreement to maintain the status quo along the border.

But people continue to live in uncertainty and insecurity due to periodic clashes. They have appealed to the leaders concerned to provide a permanent solution to the dispute. — ANI

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Pressure on Vaiko to quit AIADMK front
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, April 8
Students from various colleges of Tamil Nadu, conducting a campaign to lift the ban on the LTTE, raised slogans against pro-Tiger leader Vaiko’s continuance in the AIADMK front, terming the alliance as “opportunistic”.

When Vaiko received the students, who arrived in Chennai, amid their campaign on trains, some of them angrily shouted at him, demanding that the MDMK should part company with AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, describing her as an “anti-Tamil”. As soon as they disembarked from the train, Vaiko began to address them. But some of the students asked him to leave while others asked him: "Why are you continuing in the company of Jayalalithaa?" But Vaiko said: "I have also been through your age and I understand your feelings." The MDMK leader reminded them that he was detained for 19 months under POTA for expressing support to the Tigers. But the students again asked why he had joined hands with Jayalalithaa, who imprisoned him.

MDMK functionaries later said it was a conspiracy by the ruling DMK and those students who shouted slogans against continuance in the AIADMK front were students with DMK leanings. But the students denied that they were opposed to the MDMK and pointed out that one of their campaign agendas was creating awareness about the detention of MDMK propaganda secretary Nanjil Sampath under the NSA. They said they would not indulge in such a campaign if they had DMK leanings. But the MDMK functionaries said the DMK was trying to wean leaders of the MDMK so that it would reduce the party’s bargaining capacity with the AIADMK in seat sharing. The DMK was hoping to drive a wedge between the MDMK and the AIADMK by encouraging the latter to underestimate the MDMK and offer fewer number of seats to the party. If the MDMK quit the alliance, the DMK-Congress alliance could win more than 30 seats, the functionaries said. However, pro-Tamil groups and a section of the youths within the party want the MDMK to join the BJP front, which had promised to solve the Sri Lankan Tamil crisis within six months of assuming office.

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For ‘Lady Amitabh,’ screen image comes in handy
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Medak (AP), April 8
In several of her action flicks, popular actress Vijayashanthi bashes up bad guys with ease. Facing her maiden electoral battle in this backward constituency in Telangana, the gutsy heroine makes fiery speeches asking people to fight against exploitation of the Telangana region.

“Did you ever see me surrender to bad guys on screen? In the same way, I will never allow exploitation of resources and people of Telangana to continue,” she tells people at her road shows in the region.

Vijayashanthi (45), who has earned the sobriquet “Lady Amitabh” for her action roles, is the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) candidate for the Medak Lok Sabha seat, which was once represented by former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi.

A strong protagonist of separate Telangana state, Vijayashanthi had quit the BJP three years ago and floated her own party Talli Telangana. She merged her outfit with the TRS recently and was made the party’s general secretary.

A star campaigner for the party, she has been addressing a series of roadside meetings in the constituency focusing on how Telangana’s resources were being “plundered” by people from other regions.

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New fronts may sting Cong, BJP

Ranchi, April 8
New fronts and smaller parties may play spoilsport for the Congress and also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand in the Lok Sabha elections.

By now it is well known that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) have formed an alliance and fielded candidates on 11 of the state’s 14 seats. The combine has announced support in the other three seats for candidates not allied to the Congress or BJP.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) will contest from four seats. The Jharkhand Front, made up of four regional groups, has put up candidates in all 14 Lok Sabha seats.

“The RJD-LJP alliance will emerge as a strong front in the Lok Sabha election,” said Gautam Sagar Rana, the RJD state president.

The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) of former chief minister Babulal Marandi and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are contesting in all 14 seats. The JVM-P is expected to give the Congress- and BJP-led fronts a tough fight in at least three to four seats. — IANS

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Actor Ambareesh to contest

Bangalore, April 8
Kannada film actor and MP Ambareesh has cleared all doubts about his contesting the elections. He has agreed to be the Congress candidate from Karnataka's Mandya constituency.

"I am confident of a big win even this time too," Ambreesh, who won the Mandya seat with a margin of over 2,00,000 votes, told IANS.

"My fight is not with the BJP's Shivarame Gowda, who is showing his lack of political decency in criticising me. My contest is with former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy who have a great influence in this constituency. — IANS

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Mithun to campaign for Pranab
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, April 8
Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty will be campaigning for Pranab Mukherjee in Jangipur on April 17, Mukherjee’s close aide Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said today.

He said the superstar, now on shooting in Rajasthan, phoned up the External Affairs Minister yesterday , expressing his willingness to participate in the campaigning in his favour, which the minister had welcomed. Some other film starts also volunteered to campaign in favour of the minister.In the 2004 poll, Mukherjee needed the help of Adhir Chowdhury, an uncrowned party leader in the district. But in this poll, he is placed much better.

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Pollscape

Blast from the past

A 95-year-old former MP, who campaigned for veteran Gandhian Gulzarilal Nanda when he fought Lok Sabha elections from Sabakantha in 1957, reminiscences the days terming it the golden years of Indian democracy.

“In those days the Indian National Congress was the big wig. Assembly and Lok Sabha elections were held simultaneously. Probably it was February, which was considered as ideal period from weather point of view,” Maganbhai Patel, who won the Lok Sabha elections from Sabarkantha in 1991 on a Congress ticket, said. “Those were the golden years of Indian democracy. The propaganda was simple, there was nothing like deafening noises of hustle and bustle, no one dared to woo the voters on the strength of money, muscle or manpower. Much of the winning chances depended on the name of Mahatma (Gandhiji),” he said. — PTI

Wheel deals


Illustation Sandeep Joshi

Call it the election drive! Indian automobile makers are looking forward to the elections to rev up sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) as politicians and supporters hit the campaign trail. Companies like Toyota Kirloskar, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ford India, Tata Motors, General Motors and Maruti Suzuki had already fine-tuned their production lines in the run-up to the five-phase elections, industry watchers said. Now, they hope their sales would make up for what was otherwise an uphill climb this season in the wake of the slowdown that has seen sales of SUVs decline 7.9 percent during the first 11 months of the previous fiscal, they added. — IANS

Tribal pride

Winning elections has become a habit for nine-time Lok Sabha member and former Union minister Giridhar Gamang who is all set to carve a niche for himself in politics if he retains the Koraput (ST) seat for the tenth time.

If he retains the seat this time, which he is confident of doing, Gamang would equal the maximum number of wins in the Lok Sabha polls ---10 achieved by former Prime Minister and BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Congress veteran PM Sayeed. Though Congress candidates in the state’s 20 other parliamentary seats have been highlighting the achievements of the UPA government and the party's manifesto promising rice at Re 1 a kg, Gamang has charted his own course. “Tribal pride is my poll plank,” says Gamang. — PTI

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Voter’s guide

Are there any guidelines for setting up election booths by candidates / political parties near polling stations on the day of the polling?

An election booth can be set up beyond a distance of 200 metres from the polling stations, only with one table and two chairs with an umbrella or a piece of tarpaulin or cloth to protect the two occupants with one banner (3 X 4 1/2 feet) to display the name of the candidate/ party/ election symbol at the booth. No crowd is allowed.

Is it necessary to obtain the written permission of the authorities concerned for setting up the election booth?

Yes

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Pollspeak

Television debates don't make election results. Had that been the case, Narendra Modi would not have won any election because you will hardly see any favourable report about him on any channel.

– Former Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad

In 2004, people voted out the BJP and now it’s the turn of the Congress

– CPI national secy AB Bardhan

The “outsider” tag will not hurt me during the elections as a lot of people come from outside and do very good work and I hope to do the same

– Former Indian skipper Mohd Azharuddin, who is contesting from Moradabad on the Cong ticket

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BRIEFLY

Poster trouble
Itanagar
: Both ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have been fined Rs 5000 each by the Deputy Commissioner of the Arunachal Pradesh state capital Padmini Singla as charges incurred for removing their poll campaign posters. According to an official release the action was taken under Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1997 for gross violation of the model code of conduct. The DC directed an ADC to collect the fine and warned the political parties that violating the order would force the authorities to imprison the office bearers. – PTI


Behenji Brigade: Supporters of the BSP during a rally of Mayawati in Mumbai on Wednesday. — PTI

Mizo border
Aizawl:
In a bid to ensure free and fair polls and prevent insurgency of unwanted elements, election authorities have decided that the borders of Mizoram with Myanmar, Bangladesh and neighbouring states would be sealed during the upcoming elections to the lone Lok Sabha seat Assembly by-poll to South Tuipui seat. “Instructions (in this regard) have been sent to Deputy Commissioners of the districts adjoining Myanmar and Bangladesh and also the states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura,” said State Chief Electoral Officer, Lalmalsawma. — PTI

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