Unfazed by BJP’s attack, the Election Commission on Thursday rejected its accusations of bias in denying permission to Narendra Modi’s rally in Varanasi and made it clear that it was “not afraid of anyone, any political party or any entity” in doing its job.
At a hurriedly-called press conference in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath strongly defended the action of Varanasi Returning Officer Pranjal Yadav, saying his decision was based on “professional advice” and ruled out his removal as demanded by the BJP.
Flanked by other two Election Commissioners, Sampath expressed disappointment over BJP’s attack, saying “certain harsh and sweeping statements” were made and political parties to “show greater maturity”.
Sampath said the Returning Office, who is the District Magistrate of Varanasi, had denied permission to the rally proposed to be held today on the “basis of professional advice” and there was no need for the EC to “deviate” from it.
“When the security and suitability issues are involved, the Election Commission naturally will go by the professional advice taken at the district level,” the CEC said responding to attacks by BJP which staged protests here and in Varanasi.
“The competent local authority, the DM and his team, took the decision taking into consideration relevant professional advice on security,” he said.
“There is no reason to deviate from the decision taken at the district level, specially when the issue of life and security are concerned,” Sampath said.
Effectively rejecting BJP’s demand for removal of the DM who was accused of being partisan, he said, “as of today, we do not find the action faultworthy”.
He asserted that the Commission is “not afraid of anyone, any political party or any entity in discharging its duties”.
Media interaction of Election Commissioner H S Brahma at Indian Women Press Corps wherein he answered to various question directed by women journalist and Sr Journalist to Q on why this time Hate Politics is on rise due to various hate speeches by leaders of branded parties which were contained in last elections after strict action on Varun Gandhi hate speech were taken.EC HS Brahma replied that if you want us to send them show cause notice we shall do the same.Election Commissioner was more comfortable and happier in organizing this mega event rather than injecting discipline in political outfits and thus quotes that there are more than 1600 registered political parties but hardly two doz to be in active politics. Thus his stance perception is let the political parties evolve to their level and our action is to conduct free and fair elections.
Election Commissioner H S Brahma said the exit polls cannot be telecast before May 16.
“You are not supposed to conduct exit polls before May 16th– the counting day… We will not allow you to open your mouth before 16th evening,” he said during an interaction with Indian Women Press Corps.
“On the evening of 16th you can openly telecast the exit polls… Exit poll is only after counting. What is the hurry? Hardly, there are 150 hours (between May 12 and May 16),” he added.
Asked why the exit polls cannot be telecast before May 16, Brahma argued that there could be repoll in several places.
“What is the guarantee that you will have no repolling or countermanding of polls on 13th or 14th,” he said.
“The law is very clear. The exit poll is banned as per the law of the land. In 2010, we banned exit polls. As per the law of the land…No exit poll before 16th,” the Election Commissioner said.
A Gujarat police official, who was part of the Advance Security Liasion team of BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, had indicated that the chosen ground for holding the rally was not a desirable place for the VIP to attend, Election Commissioner H S Brahma said in New Delhi on Friday.
The Gujarat police official said it would not be possible to hold a rally at the venue as it was highly congested and complicated, Brahma said during an interaction with Indian Women Press Corps.
Modi, who is contesting from Varanasi, was to address the rally in Benia Bagh area of the city on Thursday but the district authorities denied permission citing security reasons.
Describing the permission issue as “purely an operational problem”, Brahma said, “You are entitled to take a decision under law. You have a right and duty to take a decision.”
However, at the same time, he said, “the person has a right to know yes or no… It should be communicated in an appropriate time. My only point is that there should be no delay in saying a yes or no.”
Terming the entire episode as unfortunate, the Commissioner said things should not have escalated to a level that it comes to the central poll Brahma said that since Varanasi was a VIP constituency and the authorities were dealing with a very important personality, the decisions should have been conveyed fast so that issues do not crop up.
The authorities should be prompt and quicken the process, he said, adding “if you take 20 minutes normally, you should, may be take 10 mins or 5 mins.”
“BJP leader Narendra Modi in his recent interview had claimed that if needed he might seek support of AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, TMC’s Mamata Banerjee and BSP national president…
“I want to make it clear that BSP will not extend any kind of support to Modi or NDA to form the government at any cost,” Mayawati told reporters in Lucknow on Friday.
Rejecting the possibility of a tie up with BJP, Trinamool Congress also said “if he says BJP’s doors are open for a Modi-led government, then we will use the same analogy to say that our doors are shut and the keys have been thrown away”.
Both were reacting to Modi’s comments in a television interview on Thursday night hinting at keeping the doors open for doing business with leaders like Jayalalithaa, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati, notwithstanding strong attacks on them during the campaign.
However, there was no reaction from Chennai either from the Tamil Nadu chief minister or her party AIADMK.
In his interview, Modi said “Whatever I wanted to explain, I have. This can also be a tactic to keep the door open….I won’t explain it now but will do so after May 12.”
Mayawati told reporters that Modi’s statement betrayed nervousness on his part as the BJP has realised that it might not be able to form the government.
“When elections started, Modi was claiming that NDA will not require support of any other party. No party talks about taking support of any other party unless it is unsure of its victory…. The interview of Modi is a ploy to create confusion in the minds of minority community which is voting for us,” she said.
Trinamool spokesman Derek O’Brien said in Kolkata, “if the doors are open, then our doors are shut and the keys have been thrown away.”
He said the BJP’s claim of 372 was a “hallucination” and suggested the party may get 180 to 190 seats.
“The Congress can fit into a railway compartment with 72 seasts. The results are going to be very different. One thing is that Trinamool Congress will be third largest party in Lok Sabha,” he said.
O’Brien said leaders like Jayalalitha, Naveen Patnaik and Banerjee and “many like us will be the engine. It is time to wait till May 16.”
On Wednesday, Banerjee had ruled out supporting BJP or Modi in forming the government.
“The BJP will not get more than 160 seats and will not be able to form the government in Delhi. There is no question of backing you (the BJP) even if you beg,” she told a public meeting on the outskirts of Kolkata.
Mamata Banerjee on Friday continued her attack on Modi saying she would have sent Narendra Modi to jail had she been in Delhi.
The Congress, she claimed, was ‘cocooned in fear’ and did not have the guts to act against the BJP.
“They (Congress) have no guts. It is a party cocooned in fear. They survive through understanding and play got-up matches and indulge in match-fixing. Not a single word against Narendra Modi. It (Congress) is in head over heels in love with Narendra Modi,” Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief, told an election rally in Murshidabad district.
“Had I been in Delhi in place of Congress, I would have sent Narendra Modi to jail by tying a rope around his waist,” she said hitting out again at the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate for his remark that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants would be sent packing after 16th May.
Picking on what Modi said, his party leader Amit Shah said it does not believe in “political untouchability” and is open to support from any party.
“All parties are welcome to join the NDA if they want to give their support for development of this country,” he told reporters in Varanasi when asked to comment on Mayawati dismissing the possibility of backing BJP or Modi in government formation.
In that rally Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said that if BJP comes to power it will lead to massacre of about 22 thousand innocents.The commission said that he prima facie violated the Model Code of Conduct and has asked him to respond to the notice by 12th May morning.
The show cause notice also referred to the provision which refrains parties and candidates making distorted or unverified allegations and limit their criticism to policies and programmes of rival parties.
The BJP had moved the EC against Gandhi for his remarks.
The Election Commission has also ordered further probe to ascertain whether Rahul Gandhi violated electoral law by entering the EVM area of polling booths during balloting in his constituency Amethi on Wednesday.
In another related news the election commission has sent a special observer for Varanasi till the electoral process gets over.
The Election Commission has appointed Pravin Kumar as special Observer for Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency with immediate effect.
Senior IAS officer Praveen Kumar from the Tamil Nadu cadre has been asked to reach Varanasi immediately to keep a close watch on election related preparedness and electoral process.
April exports grows at 5.26%
India’s exports for the month of April 2014 stands at USD 25.63 billion as compared to USD 24.35 billion in April 2013 registering a growth of 5.26%. During April 2014, the imports were USD 35.72 billion as compared to USD 42.02 billion in April 2013, registering a growth of (-) 15%. The balance of trade stands at around USD (-) 10.08 billion during April 2014 as compared to USD (-) 17.67 billion for April 2013.
Value of foreign trade USD billion
|Growth (%)||(-) 15|
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India
Exports growth have picked up while imports growth have declined, during April 2014.
Trend in Exports and Imports (%)
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India
Dr. S P Sharma
Pratap Bhanu Mehta
May 9 at 5:16 PM
The Indian Development Cooperation Research (IDCR) group at the Centre for Policy Research announces the launch of it’s new website: idcr.cprindia.org.
With a grant from the Asia Foundation, over the past two years, IDCR has been collating data and disseminating narratives on India’s growing development assistance program.
Indian development assistance has changed remarkably since its inception, shortly after India’s independence. Yet despite a large and rapidly growing development assistance program, there is little public understanding of the different grants and loans of which it is comprised.
With the launch of its new website, IDCR hopes to reach a wider audience and contribute to the public discourse surrounding India’s burgeoning development partnerships.
To learn more about the new website, browse through the attached flyer.
Officiating as Chief Executive