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Election Commission rules Ajit Pawar faction the real Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar faction to get temporary symbol

The Commission using its powers has provided Sharad Pawar faction, a one-time option to claim a name to its new political formation and provide three preferences to the Commission. The concession is to be utilised by 3 pm on 7 Feb, 2024.

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The Election Commission on Tuesday settled the dispute in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and ruled in favour of the faction led by Ajit Pawar as the real NCP in a massive setback for party founder Sharad Pawar.

The decision was made after more than 10 hearings spread over six months. The Election Commission has provided a one-time option to Sharad Pawar to claim a name for his political formation and provide three preferences to the Commission by 3pm on February 7, 2024.

Ajit Pawar got the NCP name and symbol, the clock, after more than 10 hearings of distinguished legal teams. The EC said in a release that the decision followed the laid-out tests of maintainability of such a petition which included tests of aims and objectives of the party constitution, test of party constitution and tests of majority both organizational and Legislative. The test of majority in the legislative wing found favour in this circumstance of the case, where both groups have found to be working outside the party constitution and the organizational elections. Thus, the occupants of the post were primarily assessed to be appointed by self-nominated members of electoral college and against the internal party democracy.

Serious inconsistencies in terms of timelines in the claim of the Sharad Pawar group, in support of their claim of having organizational majority, resulted in unreliability of their claim, the EC statement said.

Taking into account, the significant timeline of the elections to the six seats of the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra, the Sharad Pawar faction has been given a special concession to comply with Rule 39AA of Conduct of Elections Rules 1961, which allows authorised agents of political parties to verify as to whom an elector, who is a member of a political party has cast his vote.

This is the second such instance where the party and symbol has been snatched from either the founder (in this case) via the Election Commission or from the successor of the founder (in the case of the Shiv Sena) through the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker. Both the Ajit Pawar-led NCP and the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena are part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra along with the BJP.

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PM Modi greets nation on Ram Navmi, says Ayodhya is in incomparable bliss

PM Modi also recalled the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the country today on the occasion of Ram Navami. He said that Ayodhya is experiencing incomparable bliss as this is the first time the festival is being observed there following the consecration of the Ram temple.

He said in a series of posts on X that this is the result of the nation’s citizens’ years of hard labor and sacrifice.

Ram Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Ram, and a temple was just dedicated in Ayodhya at the place of his purported birth.

Together with a huge number of people, Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude and overwhelm at being present for the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya.

He claimed that the same energy still pulses through his memory of that particular moment.

Indians have a strong emotional attachment to Lord Ram. Ram Navami is also a moment to honour and remember the saints and devotees who gave their lives to build the Ayodhya temple, according to Prime Minister Modi.

Following the official opening of the Ram Mandir, Ayodhya has been decorated to greet worshipers on the first Ram Navami.

Vibrant lights have been used to brighten the entire temple complex. The Janmabhoomi Path has a crimson carpet spread on it to make it easier for devotees to walk about in the intense heat. For the comfort of devotees, carpets have also been installed inside the temple premises.

To shield devotees from the sun, a permanent canopy has been installed on the Janmabhoomi Path, while a temporary cover has also been installed on the Bhakti Path. In addition, the Ayodhya administration has installed assistance booths at 29 locations throughout the Mela region, extending from Tedhi Bazar to Naya Ghat.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., the eagerly awaited Surya Abhishek of Ram Lalla will take place. The celestial event will run for four minutes. The Sun’s rays will create a 75 mm tilak on Ram Lalla’s forehead during this time.

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Gujarat Jain couple donate Rs 200 crore wealth, renounce world

The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners.

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A Gujarat-based businessman and his wife have donated their lifetime earnings of Rs 200 crore and have taken the decision to renounce all materialistic desires to become Jain monks. In February this year, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife donated all their wealth during a ceremony. The Bhandari family, which hails from Himmatnagar, has been in the construction business. The family decided to follow in the footsteps of their 16-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who adopted monkhood in 2022.

Bhavesh Bhandari, who belongs to a Jain family, had been a part of construction business in Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha and was accustomed to a life of luxury and prosperity from a young age. The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners. A short video clip from the event shows the couple wearing regal attire on top of a chariot and making donations. Adorned in rich attire and jewellery, they stood atop a truck adorned to resemble a chariot, tossing garments and banknotes to the people standing below,

After the couple made their pledge on April 22 to adopt monkhood, the couple is going to break all familial relations and renounce any material possessions and desires. Afterwards, they will begin a barefoot journey across India and will sustain themselves solely on alms.

According to reports the couple will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a rajoharan, a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting — a symbol of the non-violent path which they follow. In a similar incident in January, the 8-year-old daughter of a Gujarati diamond merchant renounced material comforts and worldly desires to embrace monkhood. Devanshi Sanghv had participated in a grand procession with camels, elephants, horses and great fanfare before embracing a life of monkhood.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP releases 12th list of candidates, Udayanraje Bhonsle to contest from Satara

The BJP on Tuesday released its 12th list of seven candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

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The 12th list of seven candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled to start on Friday, was announced by the BJP on Tuesday. Among the seven candidates is Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who will contest from Satara, Maharashtra, and Abhijit Das Bobby, who represents Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.

The current MP for the Trinamool Congress, Abhishek Banerjee, has been paired against Abhijit Das Bobby, who contested unsuccessfully for the Diamond Harbour seat in the general elections of 2009 and 2014.

Abhishek Banerjee won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with 40.31 percent of the vote, while Abhijit Das secured 15.92 percent of the vote to finish third. Dr. Abul Hasnat of CPI(M), who received 34.66% of the vote, came in second.

With 7,91,127 votes, the leader of the Trinamool Congress party was able to hold onto the seat in 2019. Nilanjan Roy of the BJP received 4,70,533 votes, while Fuad Halim of the CPI(M) secured third place with 93,941 votes.

The 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, is another prominent figure on the list. He is contesting for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra as a member of the BJP.

In the 2019 by-election, Bhosale—a former leader of the NCP who joined the BJP in 2022—lost the seat. There has been a back-and-forth in the seat on the Lok Sabha election candidate between the BJP and NCP.

Shashikant Shinde has received his ticket from the NCP (SP).

Shashank Mani Tripathi from Deoria and Thakur Vishwadeep Singh from Firozabad are the final candidates on the BJP’s 12th list.

In Uttar Pradesh, there are two seats.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Som Prakash’s wife Anita Som Prakash, who is a resident of Punjab, will contest for the Hoshiarpur seat in lieu of her husband.

Manjeet Singh Manna Miawind from Khadoor Sahib and Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda are the other two candidates, both of whom are from Punjab.

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