Today Current Affairs In Hindi
News of the Day Voting in world’s largest poll battle begins April 11, counting on May 23
- March 11, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the Day Voting in world’s largest poll battle begins April 11, counting on May 23
More than 900 million people will vote at one million polling booths spread across 29 states and seven union territories to elect 543 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha, the Election Commission announced on Sunday, kicking off the world’s largest democratic exercise that will be staggered in seven phases stretching from April 11 to May 19.
Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora announced the nearly six-week-long exercise will be manned by at least 11 million election personnel. He said that the counting of votes will take place on May 23 — 11 days before the term of the 16th Lok Sabha ends on June 3.
“The festival of democracy, elections are here,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “I urge my fellow Indians to enrich the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with their active participation. I hope this election witnesses a historic turnout. I particularly call upon first time voters to vote in record numbers.”
The number of eligible voters is almost four times the number of voters in the next largest democracy, the United States, and is also more than the entire population of Europe. About 84.3 million people — more than the entire population of Germany — have joined the electoral rolls since the 2014 general election, and 15 million are between the ages of 18 and 19, the election commission announced.
“The Election Commission has attempted a very comprehensive preparation for the conduct of the election,” Arora said. “The panel believes that purity of electoral roll is the foundation of fair elections.”
He also announced that the model code of conduct – which bars governments from announcing major policy decisions or projects – came into effect from Sunday.
The polls will take place in seven phases — on April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6, 12 and 19 – a testament to the daunting logistical and security challenges in overseeing an electorate stretching from the Himalayas in the north to deserts in the west, insurgent-infested tropical jungles in the centre and the coastal plains in the south. Along with the elections to the Lok Sabha, assembly elections will be held in four states – Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Elections in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under President’s Rule and on the boil following heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, will be announced at a later date, Arora said. By-elections to 74 assembly constituencies across India will also be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.
Twenty-two states and UTs will go to the polls in a single phase and three of the biggest states — Bihar (40 seats), West Bengal (42 seats) and Uttar Pradesh (80 seats) — will be voting across seven phases. Delhi will vote in the penultimate phase on May 12.
The EC announced a raft of new measures, such as Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails in all voting machines to end any doubts about the veracity of vote cast and photographs of the candidates in the electronic voting machines (EVM) in an apparent attempt to end confusion between nominees with similar names. Contestants with criminal antecedents would be required to “publish information” in newspapers and through television channels and the EC announced a new app for voters to report violations of the model code. “Any violation will be dealt in the strictest manner,” he said.
The model code of conduct was extended to social media this time, with the poll panel saying all political advertisements would have to be vetted by a media commission set up by the EC, and all social media expenditure accounted for.
Elections in independent India were first held in 1951 but the months-long effort spilled over into 1952 as the Election Commission struggled to reach remote areas in a country where the vast majority of the electorate was illiterate at the time.
To facilitate universal adult franchise as mandated in the Constitution, the EC devised the idea of prominently using election symbols for parties and used elephants to transport ballot boxes in rugged terrain. Since then, the independent poll panel has become a model for major democracies, extending its expertise to help conduct polls in countries such as Cameroon, Afghanistan and the Philippines. EVMs were first used in India in the general elections held in 2004.
Lok Sabha elections in India are a mind-boggling affair where leaders wrestle to weave narratives that bridge deep and complex divisions of caste, class, religion and region. In the last general election in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rode on a wave of prime ministerial candidate Modi’s pan-Indian popularity to a once-in-a-generation majority. The party won 282 seats, and along with its allies comprising the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) captured 334 seats in the 545-member Lower House. The Congress, saddled by the weight of corruption scandals, was reduced to its lowest tally of 44 seats since Independence.
But a lot has changed in the past five years.
A resurgent Congress, buoyed by victories in three key heartland states in December, is attempting to corner the BJP on issues of corruption, agrarian distress and jobs. A number of other key regional players — such as Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party and Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party, who have stitched an alliance in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh — are also trying to challenge the dominance of the BJP.
The saffron party, under its chief Amit Shah, continues to take pole position in almost every opinion poll, and is banking on nationalism, PM Modi’s personal charisma, and its governance record to carry it to a second term in power.
Modi welcomed the efforts of the EC, and said the country was proud of the poll panel, and hit out at his opponents. “Guided by ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, NDA seeks your blessings again. We spent the last five years fulfilling basic necessities that were left unfulfilled for 70 long years. Now, time has come to build on that and create a strong, prosperous & secure India,” he tweeted.
The Congress, however, hit out at the government, saying it will be best remembered for “wasting” its historic mandate and that all its promises remained “unfulfilled”. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati termed the government as “anti-poor and pro-capitalist”.
Four Indians among 157 killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash
A Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed six minutes after an early-morning takeoff from Addis Ababa Sunday, killing all 149 passengers, including four Indians, and eight crew on board, Ethiopian Airlines said as world leaders offered condolences to distraught next-of-kin.
People holding passports from 32 countries and the UN were on board the plane which ploughed into a field just 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Addis Ababa, the carrier’s CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told journalists in the capital, lamenting this “very sad and tragic day.” The crash came on the eve of a major, annual assembly in Nairobi of the UN Environment Programme, which learnt of the crash with “deep regret” but did not say whether any delegates were on the plane.
“We can only hope that she is not on that flight,” Peter Kimani, who had come to fetch his sister at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), told AFP shortly after news of the crash reached those waiting in the arrivals hall.
State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, said the ill-fated Boeing 737-800MAX had taken off at 8:38 am (local time) from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later.
Scheduled to land in Nairobi at 10:25 am (0725 GMT), it came down instead near the village of Tulu Fara outside Bishoftu.
An AFP reporter said there was a massive crater at the crash site, with belongings and airplane parts scattered widely.
Rescue crews were retrieving human remains from the wreckage.
Ethiopian Airlines confirmed “there are no survivors.” Police and troops were on the scene, as well as a crash investigation team from Ethiopia’s civil aviation agency.
In the Kenyan capital, family members, friends, and colleagues of passengers were frantically waiting for news at the airport.
“I am waiting for my colleague, I just hope for the best,” added Hannah, a Chinese national.
Ethiopian Airlines said Kenya had the largest number of casualties with 32, followed by Canada with 18, Ethiopia with nine, then Italy, China, and the United States with eight each.
Britain and France each had seven people on board, Egypt six, the Netherlands five and India four.
Four were UN passport-holders.
Eleven countries in Africa, and 13 in Europe had citizens among the victims.
African Union commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat said he had learnt of the crash “with utter shock and immense sadness”, while Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office tweeted it “would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones.” Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said he was “saddened” by the news, and Mahboub Maalim, executive secretary of the IGAD East African bloc, said the region and the world were in mourning.
“I cannot seem to find words comforting enough to the families and friends of those who might have lost their lives in this tragedy,” Maalim said in a statement.
For its part, the plane’s maker, US giant Boeing, said it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team.” GebreMariam said the plane, delivered to Ethiopia on November 15, had flown in from Johannesburg early Sunday, and spent three hours in Addis before it was “despatched with no remark”, meaning no problems were flagged.
Asked if the pilot had made a distress call, the CEO said “the pilot mentioned that he had difficulties and he wants to return. He was given clearance” to turn around.
Ethiopian and American investigators will probe the crash, said GebreMariam.
The Boeing 737-800MAX is the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
The last major accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was a Boeing 737-800 that exploded after taking off from Lebanon in 2010, killing 83 passengers and seven crew.
For one family member waiting in Nairobi there was a happy ending.
“I arrived here shortly after 10:00 am and as I waited, a security person approached me and asked me which flight are you waiting for. I answered him quickly because I wanted him to direct me to the arrivals, so I told him Ethiopia, and then he said: ‘Sorry, that one has crashed’,” said Khalid Ali Abdulrahman, waiting for his son who works in Dubai.
“I was shocked, but shortly after, my son contacted me and told me he is still in Addis and did not board that flight, he is waiting for the second one which has been delayed.”
Source – The Hindustan Times
Important Tags : Gktoday 2019 & Current affairs in Hindi & English / Today Current affairs / Daily Gk Update / Daily Current affairs / Today Current affairs in Hindi 2019 / Today GK updates /28 February 2019/ Banking Online Classes