14 March 2014

  • BJP releases third list of 97 candidates for Lok Sabha Polls; Sushma Swaraj to contest from Vidisha; Yaswant Sinha's son, Pramod Mahajan's daughtQer and Former Home Secretary RK Singh also figure in the list.

  • Veerappa Moily, KV Thomas, Shashi Tharoor in 2nd list of Congress .
  • Notification issued for first phase of Lok Sabha polls in six seats in Bihar; Notification for five seats in Assam and one seat in Tripura to be issued today.
  • Syrian Parliament approves new election law allowing multiple candidates to contest for President's post.
  • India wins two gold and a silver in team events of 1st Asian Grand Prix Archery Championships, at Bangkok.
  • Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and P.Kashyap enter singles quarterfinals of Swiss Open Grand Prix Badminton tournament in Switzerland.
The Bhartiya Janta Party, BJP has released the third list of its candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Polls. The list includes 97 names. The decision was taken at the party's Central Committee meeting held in New Delhi last night. Senior party leader Sushma Swaraj will contest from the Vidisha Parliamentary Constituency in Madhya Pradesh. Ram Kripal Yadav, who recently joined the BJP after quitting the RJD, will contest from Patliputra against Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti. The late Pramod Mahajan's daughter Poonam Mahajan and former Home Secretary R K Singh also figure in the list. The sitting MP, Kirti Jha Azad will contest from Darbhanga, while Rajiv Pratap Rudy will fight from Saran constituency in Bihar. Shahnawaz Hussain will be contesting from Bhagalpur. Ramtahal Chaudhary is the candidate from Ranchi while Jayant Sinha, son of former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha will contest from Hazaribagh. Sumitra Mahajan will fight the election from Indore in Madhya Pradesh. S.S. Ahluwalia will be the BJP candidate from Darjeeling in West Bengal.
The Congress also announced the 2nd list of candidates for 71 seats after the central election committee meeting in New Delhi yesterday. Union Ministers Veerappa Moily, K V Thomas, Shashi Tharoor, V Narayanasamy and former ministers Pawan Kumar Bansal and Subodh Kant Sahai are prominent leaders figuring in the second list of the Congress. Moily will fight from the Chikkballapur seat in Karnataka, Thomas from Ernakulam, Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Narayansamy will be the party candidate in Puducherry. On the other hand, Bansal will try his electoral fate from Chandigarh and Sahai from Ranchi. Congress MP, P C Chacko will fight from the Chalakudy seat; Raj Babbar who is currently representing the Firozabad seat will contest  from Ghaziabad while actress turned politician Nagma will be the party candidate from the Meerut Lok Sabha constituency. Former Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi will fight from Lucknow. The list includes 10 candidates for Karnataka, 15 for Kerala, 13 for Uttar Pradesh and 7 for Maharashtra.
In Assam and Tripura notification for the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls will be issued today. Polling for five seats in Assam will be held on the 7th of next month in the first phase, which will cover Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur.
The Election Commission has set up a toll free phone number 1950 to lodge any poll related complaint. On the other hand, the Income Tax Department is also keeping an eye on the movement of cash and other items suspected to be used for bribing voters.
In Tripura, candidates can file their nominations till the 20th of March while scrutiny of nomination forms will be held on the 21st of March. Candidates can withdraw their nominations upto 24th March.    
In Bihar, notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha Election was issued yesterday. Polling for six seats will be held on the 10th of next month in the first phase. It will cover Sasaram, Karakat, Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui. With the issuance of the notification, filing of nomination for these constituencies has also begun. Candidates can file their nominations till the 20th of March while the scrutiny of nomination forms will be held on the 21st of March. Candidates can withdraw their nominations upto 24th March.  Meanwhile, voters in six Lok Sabha constituencies of south Bihar affected by Naxalism will get two hours less to exercise their franchise. Bihar Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told reporters in Patna that  polling in these areas will start at 7 am, but will end at 4 pm instead of 6 pm.
The Chief Electoral Office in Delhi will keep a tab on activities by political parties ahead of the festive season, for any violations of the Model Code of Conduct. Chief Nodal Officer, Ankur Garg said, no political parties can use a festival or a religious occasion to further their political interest or as a means of campaign. Meanwhile, a total of 70 FIRs have been lodged against various political parties and other so far in connection with the violation of the Model Code of Conduct in Delhi. According to the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, these include 10 FIRs each against Congress and BJP and 7 against the Aam Aadmi Party. Official sources also said that so far 527 hoardings and stick bills have been removed from the public property and 62 cases for defacement of property were registered.
The Election Commission has asked the authorities in Andhra Pradesh to initiate special measures to keep a check on election expenditure terming it an Expenditure Sensitive state. Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi yesterday reviewed the poll preparedness with District collectors and SPs in Hyderabad. Speaking to reporters later, Mr Zutshi said, the authorities have seized 16 crore rupees of unaccounted cash in the past one week and an expenditure observer will be appointed for each parliamentary constituency.
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The Convener of the Election Commission of India's Liquor Monitoring Committee, Santosh K. Mishra, has arrived in Nagaland for reviewing measures for preventing illegal distribution of liquor during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The review will be done with all the Administration, Police and Excise authority today over video conferencing.
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In Syria, the parliament has unanimously approved a new election law which allows multiple candidates to run for President. The move has opened the door to other potential contenders besides President Bashar Assad. The opposition Syrian National Coalition has rejected the move and held the election law adopted by parliament as illegitimate.
The Presidential election law in Syria is significant since the seven year term of President Assad comes to an end on 17th of July. Syrian officials have said that the Presidential elections will be held  between 60 to 90 days before the expiry of the term.  President Assad has suggested he would run again, though he has not confirmed whether he will seek re-election. Under the new law, only Syrian nationals and those who lived in Syria for 10 consecutive years can run for President. The new law is based on the new constitution which was passed in a  referendum in March 2012 in Syria which allowed for a multiparty political system in Syria and multiple Presidential candidates. Atul Tiwary, AIR News.
The massive international search for the missing Malaysian Airliner MH370 is likely to widen into the Indian Ocean with the US deploying a ship to the Andaman Sea to locate the airliner. The move came after the US' defence and aviation experts noted that there was a significant probability of the plane to be at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. India along with US Navy's P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft with long-range radar and communication capabilities will search in the Andaman Sea west of the Malacca Strait.
A Sri Lankan court in Mannar has ordered the release of 24 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line. Earlier on Wednesday, 116 fishermen were released by a Jaffna court. Our correspondent reports that the case of 32 fishermen is likely to be taken up by Kytes Island court today.           
The process of release of Indian fishermen from Sri Lanka continues. Of the 177 fishermen caught since the last round of talks in Chennai in January, order of release for 140 have been issued by courts in various parts of the country. Cases of 32 more are likely to be taken up today. The matter of remaining 5 may take a little longer as there are some additional charges slapped against them. The release comes ahead of the crucial second round of talks between the fishermen, who are trying to come to an understanding over how to share the scarce fishing resources in an ecologically fragile region. Options like joint ventures into fishing and deep sea fishing will be looked into by the two sides when they meet again on the 25th in Colombo.
Following the Supreme Court order, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has asked 137 judicial officers, serving in various capacities in the state, not to use red or blue beacon atop their vehicles. In compliance with the Supreme Court order, the Transport department of Himachal Pradesh had issued a notification on March 5th about the use of red/blue or multi-coloured flashing lights on the top of vehicles.
Indian archers have bagged two gold and a silver in the team events of the ongoing 1st Asian Grand Prix Archery Championships, at Bangkok. In the Compound Women's team event, the trio of Gagandeep Kaur, V Jyothi Surekha and P Lily Chanu defeated Iran, 219 to 204 to take the first gold.
In the Men's Recurve, the team of Jayanta Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai and Kapil clinched the coveted yellow metal by thrashing Taipei, 6-Nil the set system.
In Men's Compound section, the Indian team of Abhishek Verma, Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chouhan missed out on a gold narrowly as they lost to Iran 227 to 232 to settle for a silver.
The Recurve women's team lost to Japan in the bronze medal match.
Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap have reached the singles quarterfinals of the Swiss Open Grand Prix Badminton tournament at Basel. In the women's singles, pre-quarter final match yesterday, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina defeated Sashina Vignes Waran of France 21-7, 21-13 while Seventh seeded PV Sindhu beat Li Michelle of Canada 19-21, 21-16, 21-11.
In the Men's Singles pre -quarter final yesterday, Parupalli Kashyap defeated Berry no Jiann Tze Wong of Malaysia 21-23, 21-9, 21-14 .
Saina Nehwal will take on Yihan Wang of China while PV Sindhu will face another Chinese shuttler Shixian wang in quarter finals today. Parupalli Kashyap will meet Chinese Tapiei player Tien Chen Chou in the Men's Singles quarter final today.
  • Stories relating the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha Polls including seat allocation to aspiring candidates have been allocated front page space in most dailies. ''Bansal Sahai win congress tickets despite speculation", writes the Pioneer. "Differences, ego clashes delaying BJP list for UP", opines the Asian Age. While the Times of India writes, "30,000 crore rupees stimulus to economy expected from poll spending".
  • In an exclusive titled "Missing file may help babus get away in coal scam case", the Hindustan Times writes that Bureaucrats responsible for the Hyderabad based NPPL being allocated two coal blocks in Odisha in 2008 despite misrepresentations in the firm's application could get away as a crucial coal ministry report that could determine their complicity is missing.
  • The Delhi High Court upholding the death penalty awarded to 4 men convicted of the brutal gang rape & murder of Nirbhaya on December 16th 2012 has been reported by all papers.
  • "Spectre of debt stalks Madhya Pradesh again", says the Mail Today. The paper writes that failure of crops & debt are wreaking havoc in the lives of farmers of Madhya Pradesh & nearly 2 dozen farmers have committed suicide this month.
  • The Statesman writes that in a surprise move, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has advocated the dropping of charges against Lalu Prasad Yadav in the 3 pending cases which are offshoots of the infamous fodder scam, in which the RJD leader has been convicted in one of the cases.

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