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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - April 2019

Apr 2019

Apr 30, 2019

Left Front Demands Fresh Polls in West Tripura

  • The Opposition Left Front in Tripura took out rallies across the West Tripura constituency demanding that the Election Commission order fresh election in the Lok Sabha seat.
  • The Left Front alleged that large-scale rigging and violence had taken place during the April 11 election in the constituency.

Supreme Court Seeks Response from Election Commission

  • The Supreme Court sought a response from the Election Commission to a plea to decriminalise the act of reporting "deviant behaviour" manifested in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) sytems during polling.
  • A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the Commission to explain the requirement for Rule 49 MA of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 read with Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises the reporting of malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPATs.

Mumbai Records a Turnout of 55.11%

  • Mumbaikars maintained their track record of a low turnout in general elections with an estimated 55.11% voting registered for its six Lok Sabha seats. This however, is the highest since 1991, and nearly 4% more than 51.59% in 2014.
  • Mumbai's polling percentage has been consistently low with 41.41% turnout in 2009, 47.15% in 2004, 44.86% in 1999, 50.26% in 1998, 45.10% in 1996, and 41.60% in 1991.

Apr 29, 2019

Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 4

  • Seventy-two Lok Sabha seats across nine states will vote in the fourth phase of the General Elections. More than 12 crore voters will decide the fate of 961 candidates in this phase.
  • Three phases of voting have already taken place – on April 11, April 18and April 23. The first phase had a final voter turnout of 69.5%, while the second phase recorded an overall voting percentage of 69.44%. The estimated turnout in phase three was 67.99%. All phases were marked by glitches in electronic voting machines and sporadic incidents of violence.

Apr 28, 2019

Better PM Options than Rahul

  • Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has junked the idea of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition in the Lok Sabha election 2019 which is currently underway. The 78-year-old political veteran thinks that West Bengal chief minister (CM) and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati are better contenders for the top post than Rahul.

Apr 27, 2019

Prominent Leaders in Punjab File Papers

  • Prominent leaders of the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance filed their nomination papers for the Lok Sabha poll in Punjab, slated for May 19.
  • Former Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal filed his nomination papers for the Ferozepur constituency, while his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal filed her nomination for the Bathinda seat.
  • Congress candidate Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also filed his nomination for Bathinda.
  • Congress Punjab unit president and sitting MP Sunil Jakhar filed his nomination for the Gurdaspur seat.

Apr 25, 2019

Perform or Perish in Punjab

  • Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that the Congress has decided to raise the bar by fixing responsibility for the victory of its candidates on Ministers and MLAs. The decision has been taken by the high command under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi to achieving Mission 13 in the Lok Sabha election. The Ministers who do not succeed in ensuring victory, especially in constituencies they represent, would be dropped. The MLAs will not be given ticket again.

Karnataka Registers Highest-ever Turnout

  • Karnataka recorded its highest ever voter turnout of 68.62%, 1.42% more than 2014, as voting for 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state ended.
  • The state has seen a pitched battle between the Congress Janata Dal (Secular) alliance, currently in power, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
  • The saffron party has won more than half the seats in the state in the past three general elections.

Parties File Review Petition for VVPAT Verification

  • Citing issues with electronic voting machines (EVM) in the first few phases of polling for the Lok Sabha election, 21 opposition parties filed a review petition in the Supreme Court reiterating their demand for verification of 50% EVMs using voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips.
  • The petition claims that after the first phase of polling, in many cases, EVMs were found to be defective and faulty. It has been reported that in some cases where voters would vote for one party, EVMs would record their vote having been cast for another party.
  • The Election Commission of India (EC) has consistently maintained that the glitches experienced in the first three phases of the seven-phase election are within acceptable limits in terms of number of defects.

Release Malik Says PDP Chief

  • Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti asked the Centre to shift JKLF chief Yasin Malik to Srinagar.
  • She said that JKLF chief Yasin Malik should be released immediately as he is unwell. In case of any eventuality, the situation in Kashmir will worsen and may go out of hand.
  • The candidate from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, Ms. Mufti also sought an end to the ban on the highway for civilian movement and asked the Centre to revoke the decision to stop the cross-Line of Control trade.
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