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Election Commission appointment committee: Centre to introduce bill that would replace chief justice with Cabinet minister

The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Services and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, proposes to replace the chief justice with a member of the Cabinet, who will be nominated by the Prime Minister. 

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Election Commission of India

The Centre will introduce a bill in Rajya Sabha on Thursday that will exclude the chief justice of India from a panel that was constituted to advise the president regarding the appointments of the election commissioners, according to reports. The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Services and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, proposes to replace the chief justice with a member of the Cabinet, who will be nominated by the Prime Minister. 

As far as reports are concerned, in March, a five judge bench of the Supreme Court had held in a landmark judgement that appointments of election commissioners of India must be made on the advice of a committee that would have the prime minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice as its member. The poll panel includes the chief election commissioner and the two election commissions. Earlier the court had asserted that this arrangement will carry on until Parliament enacts a law on the appointment process. 

Earlier to the top court’s ruling, election commissioners were appointed solely by the Union government. Nonetheless, opposition parties and some non-governmental organisations had approached the court claiming that the poll body was acting in a biased manner and that the appointment process of the election commissioners was not transparent. The opposition parties sought an independent mechanism for the appointment of election commissioners. 

In its ruling, the apex court had noted that the poll panel has to be aloof from all kinds of subjugation from the executive. One of the ways it can interfere is cutting of financial support, the judges then noted. They added that a vulnerable Election Commission would result in an insidious situation and detract from its efficient functioning. 

The court also underlined that the successive governments have completely destroyed the independence of the Election Commission by ascertaining that no chief election commissioner since 1996 has got the full six-year term. On the other hand, the Centre had argued that the earlier system of appointing election commissioners was in consonance with constitutional provisions. It claimed that the process had ensured that the commission was working in a free and fair manner. 

According to reports, a vacancy will arise in the poll panel in February when Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey demits office on attaining the age of 65 years. Notably, his retirement will take place just few days before the poll body would declare the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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Priyanka Gandhi joins Rahul Gandhi on last leg of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Uttar Pradesh

Gandhi slammed BJP government and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells people that India belongs to everyone. He added 90% of the people don’t get any participation as a result there is a need for caste census. He said the BJP system works by diverting the people of India by talking about Bollywood and surgical strike.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday took out the final leg of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra In Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad. Congress said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra  will accompany Rahul Gandhi as the yatra passes through Amroha, Sambhal, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Agra and will conclude at Fatehpur Sikri on Sunday.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were seen waving to people from an open jeep. People raised slogans such as Rahul Gandhi Zindabad, Priyanka Gandhi zindabad and Congress party zindabad as the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra passed through different areas of Moradabad. The padyatra started from Jama Masjid Chauraha in Moradabad to Sambhal Chauraha.

Gandhi slammed BJP government and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells people that India belongs to everyone. He added 90% of the people don’t get any participation as a result there is a need for caste census. He said the BJP system works by diverting the people of India by talking about Bollywood and surgical strike.

Gandhi said 50% people in the country are backward, 15% minorities, 15% Dalit and 8% Adivasi. He wanted to ask about the participation of 90% of India’s population. He said none of these people are represented in the media. He said the common man of India can be seen in the list of MGNREGA but not in the big companies, the high court and the media.

Gandhi said PM Modi says Hindostan sabka hai. He asked ye sabka kaise hai? If 90% are not getting any participation. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over paper leaks and said 28 lakh students wrote the exam for UP Police but the exam was leaked. She said the unemployment rates have increased after the formation of BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre.

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Andhra Pradesh elections: TDP, Jana Sena release first joint list of 118 candidates

There are 175 assembly segments in Andhra Pradesh, in which Chandrababu Naidu’s party will fight for 151 seats in the assembly polls while Jana Sena will contest on the rest 24.

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For the upcoming Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Jana Sena Party, Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan, announced the first list of candidates on Saturday, which included 118 names.

In the assembly polls, Chandrababu Naidu’s party will compete for 151 seats, with Jana Sena taking up the remaining 24 seats. In Andhra Pradesh, there are 175 assembly segments.

TDP’s son Naga Lokesh, will contest from the Mangalagiri seat, while the TDP supremo will represent Kuppam.

However, the two leaders stated that the BJP’s seat requirement has been taken into consideration in case the party chooses to join the coalition.

Addressing a press conference on TDP-Jana Sena alliacnce in Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu said, this union is for the state’s future. This is the first step towards a great effort, he added.

Naidu also said, they have given more opportunities to the youth and BC candidates. Quoting the exact figure, the TDP chief said, there are 23 people, who are contesting as MLAs for the first time and there are 28 post graduates in the list. YCP announces Red Sandalwood traders as candidates. They have selected candidates who are accountable to the people, Chandrababu Naidu said. According to TDP insiders, negotiations with the BJP about a potential pre-election alliance were presently taking place.

There are 118 nominees on the first list, in which TDP leads with 94 candidates, while coalition partner Jana Sena has been allotted 24 Assembly tickets, which will be announce shortly.

Twenty-three of the 94 newbies on TDP’s list have been included.

Meanwhile, the JSP has declared candidates for five of the 24 seats including Lokam Madhavi in Nellimarla, Anakapalli in Konathala Ramakrishna, Rajanagaram in Battula Balaramakrishna, Nanaji in Kakinda Rural, and Tenali in Nadendla Manohar. Soon, the remaining 19 names will be revealed.

This year, Andhra Pradesh will have simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and Assembly.

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NCP (SCP) launches its party’s new symbol ‘man blowing tura’ in presence of Sharad Pawar

Pawar said to establish a people’s government, they need to struggle and hence have to strengthen the trumpet symbol. He said it is an inspiration to launch a new struggle for people’s welfare and a government which works for their upliftment.

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NCP (SCP) launched its party’s new symbol ‘man blowing tura’ in presence of party Sharad Pawar at the Raigad fort on Saturday. The NCP (SCP) chief said he sought the support of the party workers in bringing a government that works for the welfare and progress of the common man. He added the trumpet will bring happiness to the people.

Pawar said to establish a people’s government, they need to struggle and hence have to strengthen the trumpet symbol. He said it is an inspiration to launch a new struggle for people’s welfare and a government which works for their upliftment.

Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil said the trumpet is a symbol of bravery, victory and inspiration to fight. He said they are seeking the blessings from Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj from the fort where his coronation was performed and the place where he spent the last days of his life and where his Samadhi is situated.

The symbol was allotted to the party by the Election Commision of India on Thursday. The trumpet refers to tutari in Marathi and is sounded to mark the entry of important persons. The NCP(SCP) took to X and wrote the Tutari in the form of great valour of Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj had once deafened the emperor of Delhi. He said it is a great honour for his party to get Tutari (Man Blowing Turha) as the symbol for the upcoming elections.

He said Tutari is now ready to shake Delhi’s throne under the leadership of Sharadchandra Pawar. He quoted lines from popular poem Tutari written by Jnanpith awardee Kusumagraj. The NCP which was founded by Sharad Pawar, split in July when Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government. The election commission assigned the party name and clock symbol to Ajit Pawar’s faction.

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