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Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Elections 2022 News Highlights: As Himachal Pradesh votes tomorrow, all eyes on voter turnout, rebels

Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2022 Highlights: In Himachal Pradesh, both the BJP and Congress had the big guns blazing as an intense campaign by for the 68 seats came to end on Thursday

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: November 11, 2022 23:20 IST
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Jairam Thakur waves at supporters during an election campaign rally ahead of Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, in Karsog. (PTI Photo)

Gujarat, Himachal Legislative Assembly Elections 2022 Highlights, November 11: In the Himachal Pradesh polls scheduled for tomorrow (November 11), as many as 412 candidates will be contesting from 68 constituencies. The Election Commission has set up 7,881 polling stations. A total of 28.5 lakh male voters, 27 lakh women voters and 38 voters belonging to the third gender will decide which party will form the government for the next five years. With the maximum Assembly seats at 15, Kangra district is crucial in deciding the direction of the elections.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Friday said if his party forms government in Himachal Pradesh, a decision would be taken on providing one lakh jobs and return of the old pension scheme in the first cabinet meeting. In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said the Himachal Congress has resolved to provide five lakh jobs to the youth, Rs 1,500 per month to women and return to the old pension scheme (OPS).

In other news, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) entered into a pre-poll alliance for the next month’s Gujarat Assembly elections, as part of which the Sharad Pawar-led party will contest three of the total 182 seats in the state, the leaders of the two parties announced on Friday. In the 2017 Assembly elections, the two parties had contested the Gujarat elections separately.

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Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022: Congress, NCP form pre-poll alliance in Gujarat; NCP to contest three seats; Hardik Patel, cricketer Ravindra Jadeja's wife feature in BJP's first list for Gujarat polls; Congress releases names of 46 more candidates in Gujarat; Follow this space for live updates

22:30 (IST)11 Nov 2022
If Cong is elected in HP, decision on 1 lakh govt jobs, pension scheme in 1st cabinet meet: Rahul

A day before the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said if his party forms government, a decision would be taken on providing one lakh jobs and return of the old pension scheme in the first cabinet meeting.

In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said the Himachal Congress has resolved to provide five lakh jobs to the youth, Rs 1,500 per month to women and return to the old pension scheme (OPS).

"In the first meeting of the cabinet, a decision will be taken on 1 lakh government jobs and OPS," Gandhi said. "Congress's pledge is - progress of Himachal Pradesh, 'har ghar mein Lakshmi', empowerment of every section," the former Congress chief said. (PTI)

21:16 (IST)11 Nov 2022
As Himachal Pradesh votes tomorrow, all eyes on voter turnout, rebels

In the Himachal Pradesh polls scheduled for tomorrow (November 11), as many as 412 candidates will be contesting from 68 constituencies. The Election Commission has set up 7,881 polling stations. 

A total of 28.5 lakh male voters, 27 lakh women voters and 38 voters belonging to the third gender will decide which party will form the government for the next five years. With the maximum Assembly seats at 15, Kangra district is crucial in deciding the direction of the elections. Read more

20:55 (IST)11 Nov 2022
HP polls: In Bhattiyat constituency ravaged by flash floods, voters unenthusiastic

With the walls of her home developing deep cracks and floor sunk-in during flash floods and heavy monsoon rains in August this year, Kamla Devi, from Trimat village of Bhattiyat, a backward constituency in Chamba district, is still waiting for promised compensation to start repair work.

In this Bhattiyat constituency of Chamba, ravaged by flash floods and landslides due to heavy monsoon rains in August this year, an independent candidate might dent vote share of both Congress and BJP candidates in Himachal Pradesh assembly polls slated for November 12.

With several houses and local infrastructure destroyed in flash floods mostly in Trimat and Banet areas, many families are still waiting for compensation and due to lack of basic infrastructure, roads and internet connectivity; daily life has become a struggle. Divya Goyal reports

20:38 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Tomorrow on test in Himachal, BJP’s Modi, national card vs Congress’s hope that local issues will matter

As Himachal Pradesh votes Saturday, it is the culmination of a heated campaign, with expectations of a close contest. A confident BJP hit a speed-breaker with multiple rebellions, while the Congress faces the problem of multiple CM faces and their respective lobby of supporters.

For the BJP, the momentum was set by Prime Minister Modi’s multiple visits over a one-week period last month. The PM inaugurated a Vande Bharat train and the AIIMS at Bilaspur as key projects. This was in line with the party’s campaign in the run-up to the polls, even as the incumbent Chief Minister visited several constituencies to announce development projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore. Amil Bhatnagar writes

18:36 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Relief for Hardik Patel: Gujarat HC temporarily relaxes bail condition, permits him to enter Mehsana

BJP’s candidate for Viramgam, Hardik Patel, for the upcoming Gujarat polls, Friday, was granted temporary relaxation of a bail condition that barred him from entering the limits of Mehsana by the Gujarat high court. The condition now stands relaxed for Hardik for a period of one year, until November 2023.

Hardik had submitted before the court that when the bail condition was imposed, the trial was pending before the court and has since been convicted, sentenced to two years' of imprisonment in July 2018 by a Visnagar court for rioting and arson in relation to a 2015 FIR. Read more

18:24 (IST)11 Nov 2022
In poll-bound Gujarat’s Udhna, a residential society with 8k voters has shown the door to campaigners

A residential society in Gujarat’s Surat district has put up banners opposing the entry of political parties seeking votes in the run-up to the Assembly elections in the state. Around 8,000 voters reside in Udhna’s Vijayanagar society which has erected the banners at its gates.

The large society, which has 700 plots mostly occupied by joint families, comprises people from Maharashtra who settled in Gujarat in 1985 and continue to work as labourers in Surat’s textile and diamond markets. In fact, Udhna is one of the most populated areas in Surat.

According to the residents, they have been demanding clean water, cheaper electricity and, most importantly, registration of the land under non-agriculture category, instead of the present kabja rasid or possession slip that has been issued to the residents. Read more

16:43 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Will AAP be stretched thin due to Gujarat, MCD polls? BJP bets on it

The BJP is banking on its usual narrative of welfare politics and corruption allegations against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to win the coming Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls. It is also hoping that its efforts to retain control of the civic body in the national capital will be aided by the overlapping schedules of the MCD polls and the Gujarat elections.

The MCD elections will be held on December 4 and votes will be counted on December 7. The Gujarat Assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The results will be declared on December 8.

The BJP, a three-time consecutive winner of the MCD elections, feels the schedule “will give it an edge” over the AAP, a smaller party that will have to divide its attention between Delhi and Gujarat, where it is pulling out all the stops to make a mark. Abhinav Rajput writes

14:39 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Cong, NCP forge pre-poll alliance in Gujarat; Sharad Pawar-led party to contest three seats

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) entered into a pre-poll alliance for the next month's Gujarat Assembly elections, as part of which the Sharad Pawar-led party will contest three of the total 182 seats in the state, the leaders of the two parties announced here on Friday.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the two parties had contested the Gujarat elections separately. 

Making an announcement about the alliance, Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor said, "NCP will fight the upcoming Assembly polls in the state in alliance with the Congress. The NCP will contest three seats - Umreth (Anand district), Naroda (Ahmedabad) and Devgadh Baria (Dahod district) as part of the alliance." These three seats are currently held by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). (PTI)

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14:37 (IST)11 Nov 2022
BJP expels executive committee member in HP Shimla

Ahead of polling in Himachal Pradesh, the BJP on Friday expelled its state executive committee member Anu Thakur for "anti-party" activities.

According to a statement from the party, the BJP state president has expelled Thakur for a period of six years as she was indulging in anti-party activities and working against the party's official candidate. Thakur hails from Anni assembly constituency of Kullu district.

The BJP had earlier expelled five of its leaders from the party including state Vice president Kirpal Parmar. The BJP is grappling with rebels in 21 seats of the state. (PTI)

13:48 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Toys, accessories worth Rs 64 crore seized from Gujarat’s Mundra port ahead of polls: EC

The Election Commission on Friday said seizures of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals and other freebies ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls had already reached record levels, with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence detecting smuggling of toys and accessories worth Rs 64 crore at Mundra port.

In Gujarat, where polls are scheduled on December 1 and December 5, the EC said the seizures had already reached Rs 71.88 crore within days of the announcement of polls. In 2017, the total seizures were of Rs 27.21 crore, the EC said.

12:53 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Himachal votes tomorrow: A reading list of dispatches, analyses, and interviews

Himachal Pradesh votes on Saturday after a few weeks of intense political campaigning that illustrated the dependence of the ruling party on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the enormity of the task before the Congress that has not won a state election on its own since 2018. But the Congress will draw hope from the hill state’s almost three-decade tradition of voting out the incumbent government. The result is a compendium of ground reports, analyses, and interviews of the key political players in the battle for Himachal. Here are 10 articles you must read

12:04 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Election Commission makes record seizure in Himachal, Gujarat

The Election Commission, since the announcement of polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, have made record seizure of cash, liquor, drugs etc in the two states. In Himachal, the seizure by the poll body amounted to Rs 50.28 crore as compared to Rs 9.03 crore during the previous polls. In Gujarat, too, the amount shot up to Rs 71.88 crore as against Rs 27.21 crore during the 2017 polls.

11:27 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Shankersinh Vaghela: ‘What is this 300 units free electricity? Kisiki baap ki Diwali hai?'

Shankersinh Vaghela, 82, was the last political leader to experiment with a third force in Gujarat, launching the Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) from a breakaway group of BJP rebels in 1996. It went on to form the government under his chief ministership, but could win only four seats in the one election it contested. Vaghela later merged his party with the Congress, only to quit the party as Leader of Opposition in 2017. He formed the Jan Vikalp Morcha, which failed to win any seats in the 2017 elections. He then joined the NCP, quitting it in a few months, and launched the Praja Shakti Democratic Party. Dismissive of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Vaghela is back to campaigning for the Congress. Read More

10:05 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Gujarat polls: Denied ticket by BJP, two-time MLA joins AAP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA representing the Matar Assembly constituency in Gujarat's Kheda district has joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after the ruling party denied a ticket to him from his seat for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Kesarisinh Solanki, who had won the election twice from the seat, joined the AAP, said the Arvind Kejriwal-led party's state unit president Gopal Italia on Twitter. "Kesarisinh Solanki ji, a popular, hardworking, fearless MLA of Matar Vidhan Sabha, has joined the Aam Aadmi Party today after getting inspired by the honest politics of Arvind Kejriwal. I heartily welcome Shri Kesari Sinh ji to the Aam Aadmi Party. Together we will form an honest government in Gujarat," Italia said in a tweet late Thursday night. The tweet carried a photograph, which showed Italia welcoming Solanki.

09:54 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Nand Lal: Former Sonia Gandhi commando hopes to be fourth time lucky

The fight for the Rampur (SC) seat in Shimla district is shaping up to a photo finish. The Congress nominee from this seat is its sitting MLA, who has been the winner for the past three elections. The one-time commando, who was deputed to the security detail of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Nand Lal will face off against debutant Kaul Negi, 34, of the BJP.

Nand Lal won his first election in 2007 by a margin of 7,470 votes. He won again in 2012, by 9,471 votes. In 2017, the BJP fielded bureaucrat P S Draik from here, but he again lost to Nand Lal by 4,137 votes. Rampur has been a Congress stronghold for 40 years, as Padam Palace, the residence of former CM Virbhadra Singh, is located here. It is due to the influence of the heir to the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr that the Congress hasn’t lost the seat since 1982. Read More

09:32 (IST)11 Nov 2022
Gujarat polls: Cong plays balancing act, second list a mix of old and new faces

The Congress, late on Thursday, released its second list of 46 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat polls. The list, a mix of experience and youth, included names of 21 sitting MLAs and 18 new faces.

Sitting MLAs Punja Vansh (Una) and Puna Gamit (Vyara) — whose names appeared in the second list — had already filed their nominations Thursday even before the party went public. Former Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani, Virji Thummar and Vikram Maadam also feature on the second list. The party has so far announced names of 89 candidates for the 182-seat Assembly. The first list had names of 43 candidates. Read More

21:25 (IST)10 Nov 2022
Gujarat BJP first list: Seniors pulling out, BJP talks ‘generational shift’, fields 17 Cong rebels

Unveiling its first list of 160 names for the Gujarat Assembly elections Thursday, state BJP president C R Paatil called it a “generational shift”. But while 38 sitting MLAs were dropped, including six senior leaders who were part of the Vijay Rupani Cabinet, the list was more notable for the additions it made – including a leader whose name came up during the row over the remission of sentences of Bilkis Bano convicts, Hardik Patel and at least 30 other Patidar candidates, the wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, and many leaders who just crossed over from the Congress, some as recently as Wednesday.

BJP Gujarat in-charge Bhupender Yadav announced the list in New Delhi in the presence of Paatil, Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya and the party’s national general secretary, Tarun Chugh. Yadav underlined that out of the 160 candidates declared, 13 are from Scheduled Castes and 24 from Scheduled Tribes (though all from reserved seats), while 14 are women. On these 160 seats, 69 sitting MLAs have been repeated whereas 38 have been changed, he said. At least 17 are Congress MLAs who defected to the BJP over the past five years, nine of them having won on Congress tickets in 2017. Read more

20:50 (IST)10 Nov 2022
Freebies or welfare? First test for BJP in Himachal, Gujarat

Having taken a “principled position” against freebies following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call against “revdi culture”, the BJP is doing a complicated balancing act in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, in which its rivals have been generous with promises.

In its ‘Sankalp Patra’ for Himachal Pradesh, released last Sunday, the BJP announced that if it returns to power in the state, girl students from classes 6-12 will get cycles while those pursuing higher education will get Scootys. The party also promised free LPG cylinders for women in BPL families, Rs 25,000 for pregnant women, etc. Liz Mathew reports

20:36 (IST)10 Nov 2022
‘Gone in a second’ for a second time: Vijay Rupani

They may be taking solace in the fact that former BJP chief minister Vijay Rupani has proved true to form as an unassuming leader and led the way in announcing that he won’t contest this time. However, among Rupani’s supporters, there is also sadness in the disappearance from the scene of the “approachable, down-to-earth leader”.

Like he did on September 11 last year when he stepped down as CM quietly, after the party decided to change the entire Cabinet, 66-year-old Rupani has this time too stepped back from the limelight. It was after Rupani’s announcement that other senior BJP leaders, including former deputy CM Nitin Patel, Bhupendra Chudasama and Pradipsinh Jadeja, followed and said they too were opting out of the coming Assembly elections. Read more

19:37 (IST)10 Nov 2022
Every vote you cast in favour of lotus will enhance my strength: PM Modi's appeal to HP electorate

Ahead of the November 12 Himachal Pradesh polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a fervent appeal to voters to script history by re-electing the BJP, saying every vote cast for the "lotus" will enhance his strength. While the hustings for the assembly polls in the hill state ended on Thursday, BJP cadre will deliver a letter carrying Modi's appeal along with his photo and signature to every household in Himachal Pradesh in the next two days.

"I have full faith that like last time this time too you will all bless the BJP. Every vote you cast in favour of the lotus (BJP's poll symbol) will enhance my strength," the prime minister said in his letter in Hindi. Modi said at a time when people are about to vote for the future of the state, "I want to offer you gratitude for your blessings and affections." He said the land of Himachal is so spiritual that even after one visit, a person can experience its splendour for a lifetime. (PTI)

Gujarat elections | Gopal Italia in Katargam for AAP, BJP’s worry: too many contenders

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday announced that its Gujarat unit president Gopal Italia would contest the coming Assembly elections from Surat’s Katargam constituency that the BJP has won ever since it was carved out in 2012 following a delimitation exercise. But the ruling party has a lot of claimants for the ticket this time.

Minister of State for Urban Development and Urban Housing Vinod Moradiya, who is also a Patidar like Italia, currently represents Katargam. The BJP has not yet announced its candidate while the Congress has fielded Kaplesh Variya, who belongs to the Prajapati community that is categorised under Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Patidars and the Prajapati community are the dominant communities electorally in Katargam. According to sources, there are 90,000 registered Patidar voters in the constituency while the Prajapati community has 75,000 voters. Since the diamond polishing units and textile powerlooms employ a lot of migrants from UP, Bihar, Odisha, and Rajasthan, the constituency also has a sizable migrant voter base.

Aam Aadmi Party Gujarat state President Gopal Italia during an election campaign rally for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, in Surat, Wednesday. (PTI)

In own seat Seraj, Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur clear winner: ‘Did in 5 years what was not done in 50’

It is not often that the sitting MLA of a constituency wins wholesome praise from constituents in village after village, despite those areas having very poor road infrastructure. But in the case of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s constituency Seraj, villagers say what he has accomplished for the area in 5 years could not have been done in 50 or 100 years.

The road from Pandoh to Kanda is a dusty stretch, strewn with stones in parts and being widened by JCBs in others. It is an excruciating and time-consuming journey up the road, as vehicles can only crawl at a slow speed.

But no blame is being apportioned by voters of the area to the five-time MLA Jai Ram Thakur, who is now seeking re-election for a sixth time — the first as a sitting Chief Minister. He has represented this constituency since 1998 and is the first CM of Himachal from Mandi district.

 

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First published on: 10-11-2022 at 09:08 IST
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