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“Voter should punish those who breach democratic rights”



“Voter should punish those who breach democratic rights”

Karnataka election outcome hotly debated as Mudda speakers analyze how it will impact coming contests and the future of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi

The Karnataka elections will be followed by four more state elections this year to be held in the Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. A win by the Congress is sure to boost the opposition parties while a defeat would bolster central policies and programmes. Also, how will these polls impact the 2019 general election?

Saturday’s edition of Mudda took up these questions and tried to answer them. Participants included senior journalists Piyush Pant and Govind Pant Raju, Congress spokesperson Hilal Naqvi, BJP spokesperson Ashok Thakur and former election commissioner SK Verma. The talk was moderated by Anant Tyagi.

“The Karnataka election is being seen as a fight between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. This is the first election in a big state fought from the scratch by the Congress after Rahul became the party president. No doubt, he did well in Gujarat but this time he has given more than enough indicators that he is ready to take on the mantle of the PM which has helped inspire his supporters and mobilized cadres. So the results of this election will definitely have a nationwide impact,” Raju said.

Naqvi noted that Rahul has successfully broken the mould of the overprotected, immature dynasty kid and it is all to his credit that he has done so. He is a good leader, he said.

“Our party has good organisational strength and we are fighting the election on that basis. We have campaigned very methodically. Speaking of Rahul, we had asked him to speak on the Congress government’s achievements in Karnataka without reading from any piece of paper, and he failed to do so,” Thakur interjected.

Verma observed that the team conducting the elections is performing poorly compared to the one that conducted the previous elections as enough preventive measures have not been taken.

Raju raised the point that if the Janata Dal (Secular) does not do well in this election, it will perish just like Chaudhary Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal. So for them, it is a battle for survival. Pant objected, saying the JD(S) had not performed too badly the last time around winning 40 of the assembly’s 225 seats.

When Naqvi enquired what the BJP’s strategy was vis-à-vis JD(S), Thakur said the election was being fought on the plank of development. The talk shifted to BS Yeddyurappa and corruption. Thakur declared, “Siddaramaiah will lose in both his seats just as Harish rawat did in Uttarakhand. The BJP will get a clear majority and form government in the state.”

Speaking on Yogi Adityanath campaigning in Karnataka, Raju said it may not be as effective as the people there are not too overtly religious and even though the UP chief minister keeps harping on his acche din plans, the reality tells its own story.

“Yogiji is the Congress’ poster boy. His face is seen more in posters and less in offices,” Naqvi quipped.

On Yeddyurappa’s exhortation to bring people bound hand and foot to the booth and ask them to vote, Pant said it was a breach of their democratic right and mentioned another leader, Chandrasekhar, inciting communal sentiments through his speeches. “Why is the EC quiet?” he asked pertinently.

Verma has a good answer. “Should EC interfere when campaigns get communal, there is hate speech thrown about, unethical behaviour is sought of the voter and unparliamentary language used? It will then have too much on its plate. Let the voter punish the wrongdoer through their ballot,” he said.

—Compiled by Sucheta Dasgupta 

India News

Mizoram election result: Chief Minister Zoramthanga resigns after defeat

MNF leader Zoramthanga has not only lost the state but also his assembly seat.



After MNF’s crushing defeat, Zoramthanga tendered his resignation to Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati at Raj Bhavan. ZPM has clinched a landslide victory in the northeastern state, winning 27 out of the 40 assembly seats. 

MNF leader Zoramthanga has not only lost the state but also his seat. The incumbent Chief Minister was defeated by the opposition ZPM candidate, Lalthansanga in Aizawl East. The ZPM candidate won by a margin of 2101 votes.

On the other hand, the ZPM’s chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma won in Serchhip, defeating the MNF candidate by a comfortable margin of 2982 votes. According to the Election Commission of India, the ruling MNF has managed 10 seats in the 40 member assembly. Meanwhile, the BJP has secured two wins and the Congress gained one seat. 

Reacting to the election results, ZPM’s Lalduhoma said that he is not at all surprised and this is what they expected. He added that the ZPM is likely to be the single largest party with an absolute majority. 

More than 80 per cent of the state’s 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise in Mizoram. Nearly, 174 candidates, including 18 women, were in the fray in the 40-member state assembly. A political party had to cross the halfway mark of 21 to form the government in the northeastern state. 

The key players of the election were the Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and the Congress who contested 40 seats each. In Mizoram, the BJP fielded candidates in 13 seats. The AAP which contested the assembly polls in Mizoram for the first time, fought in four seats. Furthermore, there were 17 Independent candidates.

In the 2018 assembly elections, the MNF, a constituent of the BJP-led NDA, won 26 seats, dislodging the Congress from power. The ZPM emerged victorious in eight seats. 

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PM Modi, Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath approve Baba Balak Nath’s name as Rajasthan CM

Baba Balak Nath is seen as the mirror image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reportedly approved Baba Balak Nath’s name as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. The RSS has also accepted his name as the state’s leader. On Sunday, the BJP returned to power in the state, winning 115 seats among 199 Assembly constituencies. The Congress has secured 68 seats. 

Baba Balak Nath is seen as the mirror image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath. Though former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been a strong candidate for many decades, she was not projected as the face of the Chief Minister position for the 2023 Rajasthan state election. Reports said that the name of the Rajasthan Chief Minister can be announced anytime soon.

The potential Chief Minister, Baba Balak Nath is the mutt head selected by the BJP to contest against Congress’s Imran Khan in the Muslim dominated Tijara Assembly constituency. He won from the constituency with a significant margin. Baba Balak Nath, fondly known as Rajasthan’s Yogi, hails from Alwar and is the Chancellor of Baba Mast Nath University in Haryana’s Rohtak city. He is also the eighth mahant of Baba Mast Nath Nath, which is the national headquarters of the Nath yogi’s sect. 

Notably, Baba Balak Nath and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath share closeness and the former treats the UP Chief Minister as his big brother. Moreover, Baba Balak Nath has often praised Yogi Adityanath in the past for his popular bulldozers politics, that involves using bulldozers to demolish illegal encroachments in the state. 

Furthermore, the closeness between the two and their identical saffron robes, has helped Baba Balak Nath to build an image similar to that of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the northern state ahead of the assembly election. 

The assembly election in Rajasthan was conducted on November 25. 

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Cyclone Michaung claims 2 lives in Chennai, no flights till 11 pm

The Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday on Monday and Tuesday in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, and Chengalpattu districts.



As Cyclone Michaung intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, two people were killed and another was injured after a newly constructed wall collapsed in Chennai’s Kanathur. With continuous heavy rain and gusty winds, flight operations at Chennai airport were affected as the runway was flooded. Multiple flights have been cancelled and others diverted in view of heavy rain and have been suspended till 11 pm.

The Indian Meteorological Department said that Cyclone Michaung intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Monday. In addition, heavy rain lashed Chennai through the night on Monday as Cyclone Michaung inched closer to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coasts.  Reports said that heavy rain led to severe waterlogging and due to the increase of water levels in low-lying areas.

In view of the weather condition, the Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday on Monday and Tuesday in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, and Chengalpattu districts. The government also urged private companies employees to ‘work from home’ in the wake of Michaung. Furthermore, essential services such as milk supply and healthcare facilities would be operational.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 21 teams in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and eight additional teams have been kept in reserve in view of Michaung.

Reports stated that the effect of Cyclone Michuang may be felt in the southern districts of West Bengal, including Kolkata. Further, light to moderate rainfall is also predicted on December 6 and 7 in Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly, the Met Department said on Sunday.

On the other hand, the Odisha government has put all the coastal and southern district collectors on alert and cancelled the leave of field workers under the Agriculture department. Reportedly, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has cancelled 60 trains and set up a round-the-clock helpline for providing information and assistance to passengers.

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