Ashwani Sharma

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Ashwani Sharma covers Himachal Pradesh for the Indian Express

Shimla rape-murder case: CBI arrests former Shimla SP DW Negi
Fri, Nov 17, 2017

Negi was Superintendent of Police, Shimla when the case came to light and he had camped at Kotkhai for three to four days for investigations.

NGT bans new construction in ‘core’ Shimla
Fri, Nov 17, 2017

The NGT also imposed a ban on regularisation of illegal and unauthorised construction, which both political parties - Congress and BJP - had been backing to gain votes.

Time for people-centric, responsive govt, days of Rajashahi over: Prem Kumar Dhumal
Sun, Nov 12, 2017

Saying he was confident of forming the government, Dhumal claimed that the high polling that happened in Himachal on November 9 shows the “anger of the people and their resolve to dump the non-performing government, which looted public resources.”

Virbhadra Singh confident, says will return with renewed energy
Sun, Nov 12, 2017

"PM Modi spoke intemperate language, he called us all as parasites, it hurt every Himachali," says Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh.

Himachal Pradesh elections 2017: Fate of Congress, BJP sealed for next 39 days
Sat, Nov 11, 2017

This year's high voter turnout broke the 2003 record of 74.5 per cent, a positive signal for the BJP which the party has been seeking by making anti-incumbency as poll issue, apart from corruption and mafia raj.

Himachal Pradesh elections: Women voters outnumbered men, EC data shows
Sat, Nov 11, 2017

Another factor was the fact that the model polling stations, which numbered 231, saw 95 per cent polling, said Chief Electoral Officer Pushendra Rajput Of total 37,21,647 who went to cast their vote at 7,525 polling stations, 19,10,582 were women and 18,11,061 men.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections: Want change, clean govt and jobs, say first-time voters
Fri, Nov 10, 2017

Outside the booths in Theog and Matiayna, men and women standing in queues were seen debating rise in the prices of pulses and LGP.

Himachal Pradesh polls: At 75 per cent, state records its highest voter turnout
Fri, Nov 10, 2017

Himachal Pradesh polls: Polling was peaceful, with no violence or disruption of the poll process being reported, even as the weather played the perfect host.

Himachal Pradesh records its highest voter turnout at 74 per cent
Thu, Nov 09, 2017

The state’s Chief Electoral Officer, Pushpendra Rajput, said later in the day that though broadly they estimate a polling percentage of 74 per cent but voters were waiting at 435 polling stations even after 5 pm. Thus, there are chances of polling percentage going higher.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls today: EC to webcast live from 2,300 polling stations
Thu, Nov 09, 2017

The ruling Congress and BJP are contesting all 68 seats with Virbhadra Singh and Prem Kumar Dhumal as CM candidates for their respective parties. BSP is contesting 42 seats, followed by CPM — 14.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections: No clear wave, BJP bets on parivartan, Congress on Virbhadra magic
Thu, Nov 09, 2017

With the state having a trend of power changing hands between the two top political contenders, Congress and BJP, since 1985, the BJP claims to be in a position of advantage in a battle which is primarily a fight of two veterans.

Himachal elections: Dhumal and BJP’s ‘parivartan’ campaign signal winds of change in hill state
Tue, Nov 07, 2017

By naming Prem Kumar Dhumal as BJP’s CM candidate, Amit Shah has upset the Congress's applecart. Till that time, the BJP's campaign remained mired in confusion

Himachal campaigning ends, Virbhadra says ‘Congress will repeat’ as Dhumal declares ‘end of mafia raj is certain’
Tue, Nov 07, 2017

The polling in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 9 while counting of votes would take place on December 18.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi to reach tomorrow, Virbhadra Singh carries Congress campaign
Sun, Nov 05, 2017

Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Himachal for only one day: on November 6, when he addresses rallies in Paonta Sahib, Chamba, and Nagrota (in Kangra district).

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017: Poll buzz revolves around pattas, not apple economy or environment
Sun, Nov 05, 2017

As debate on development has become a focus of the poll campaign, locals say it is clear that ‘sadak’ was a basic need in the tribal villages.

Himachal Pradesh assembly elections 2017: Warning Congress on benami properties, PM Modi vows action
Sun, Nov 05, 2017

PM Modi claimed that Congress leaders had told him they were worried about the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016, brought by his government, and that he may start exposing their partymen.

Rahul Gandhi arriving on penultimate Himachal day, Virbhadra Singh shoulders Congress campaign
Sun, Nov 05, 2017

The BJP, which is flowing in and out many Central ministers and top leaders from Delhi for campaigning in the state, has six helicopters,two sent by the national unit, and a huge fleet of vehicles for campaign and mobility.

Himachal Pradesh elections: With Congress ‘stars’ busy in Gujarat, Virbhadra Singh wages a lonely battle in state
Sat, Nov 04, 2017

"In a typical Haryanvi wrestling match, when the pahalwan is week, his supporters make a lot of noise. But, our pahalwan (Virbhadra Singh) is very strong," says Congress spokeperson Randeep Surjewala

Burning of effigies, candle will not detract me from cleaning corruption, says PM Modi in poll-bound Himachal
Sat, Nov 04, 2017

In the second leg of his campaign in Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi said once he had resolved to clear out corruption, he was not going to be cowed down by Congress’ plan to observe black day on November 8, coinciding one year of demonetisation.

No money for campaign, my accounts sealed by Modi govt: Virbhadra Singh
Fri, Nov 03, 2017

Virbhadra Singh also accused Modi of using indecent language against him at election rallies.

No money for campaign, all bank accounts sealed by Modi govt: Virbhadra Singh
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

The Chief Minister said, “Modi ji, you come to Himachal 100 times, we welcome you. But I can tell you, I haven't seen (in my life) such a public display and misuse of the power and money as you and BJP are doing in Himachal Pradesh polls."

In Himachal, a septuagenarian vs an octogenarian fight for the hot seat
Fri, Nov 03, 2017

Certainly, there’s never a dull day in Himachal politics. Even if Dhumal wins the state, the question is if the BJP will set aside its retirement rule at 75 years for him, when he turns this old in only two years. And if and when that happens, will Dhumal be succeeded by J P Nadda?

Minus Vidya Stokes, Congress challenged from Left & right in Theog constituency of Shimla
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

Theog is the assembly seat relinquished by Congress veteran Vidya Stokes, 90, for the sake of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections 2017: Congress promises 1.5 lakh jobs, interest-free loans to farmers
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

The manifesto, however, is silent on how funds will be raised for promises like raising unemployment allowance from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500.

Virbhadra Singh has amazing connect with people: Sushil Kumar Shinde
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

Congress in-charge of poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, Sushil Kumar Shinde, tells The Indian Express that the party will return to power with more seats than it won in 2012

Congress promises 1.5 lakh jobs, interest-free loans to farmers, free laptops for students
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

It also proposed a series of benefits to government employees, regularisation of contract workers in two years, daily wagers/outsourced employees in three years, along with regularisation of computer, Para and PAT teachers’ jobs.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections 2017: Prem Kumar Dhumal is back as BJP’s CM face
Wed, Nov 01, 2017

Himachal Assembly elections 2017: Prem Kumar Dhumal, also a four-time MP, is credited with having expanded BJP's base in Himachal after the Shanta Kumar government was dismissed in 1992.

Himachal polls: Prem Kumar Dhumal is BJP’s face, he will be Chief Minister, says Amit Shah 
Tue, Oct 31, 2017

The 73-year old Dhumal, besides being Chief Minister in 1998 and 2007, had remained as an MP four times.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017: Amit Shah tears into ‘corrupt’ CM for defaming state
Tue, Oct 31, 2017

Playing up the development card against Virbhadra and claiming that during past five years the CM had only performed ‘bhumi-pujans’, Shah branded him a non-performer who, he said, must be replaced on November 9.

Amit Shah says Virbhadra Singh example of corruption, dented Himachal Pradesh image
Tue, Oct 31, 2017

Amit Shah addressed two rallies in Chamba and Kangra on the first day of his five-day campaign tour.

Wherever there is talk of corruption, Virbhadra Singh’s name crops up: Amit Shah in poll-bound Himachal 
Mon, Oct 30, 2017

The BJP leader said due to corruption involving the state's Chief Minister and his ministers—who also amassed wealth to set-up palatial bungalows and bought luxury cars, Himachal has come number one in the corruption ranking.

Himachal elections 2017: BJP promises to fight crime against women, take steps to check forest mafia
Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Speaking to reporters, Jaitley said 'one of our very experienced leaders will be the chief minister'. However, he said it is a matter of strategy whether the BJP announces it or decides it after the elections.

Arun Jaitley questions Congress understanding of Kashmir
Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Jaitley, who was in Shimla on Sunday to release the BJP’s vision document for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections, accused the Congress of contradictions.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017: In land of legacies, little talk of ‘retired, tired and hired’ calling the shots in state govt
Sun, Oct 29, 2017

Kinnaur was part of the Bushehr state that the Chief Minister’s ancestors ruled, and he is known to have a soft corner of Kinnaur officials, who have a notable presence in the IAS, IPS, Revenue Services and so on.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017: PM Modi to address two rallies on November 2
Sat, Oct 28, 2017

This will be Modi’s second visit to the state in one month. He had visited Bilaspur to lay a foundation stone of Rs 1,400-crore AIIMS project.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections: New voices for women on both sides, 2 sons talk about fathers
Fri, Oct 27, 2017

BJP women outnumber those of Cong 2 to 1, all but 1 of its 6 are first-timers.