The Hindu Important Articles 15 May 2018

The Hindu Important Articles 15 May 2018

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# Karnataka’s 72% turnout is a record
All major parties trash exit polls, claim voter support; not averse to a Dalit CM, says Siddaramaiah
The 72.36% turnout in Saturday’s Karnataka Assembly election is a new record for the State, surpassing the 71.90% polling in 1978. The 2013 Assembly election recorded a turnout of 71.45%.

However, the low voter turnout in the 28 Assembly constituencies in Bengaluru city has caused concern in the Election Commission. The turnout in different constituencies remained in the range of 48% to 60%.

Reading the numbers

The high voter turnout has triggered a political debate, even as both the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that it was an indication of the voters’ mood in their favour.

While the Congress is interpreting the high turnout as demonstration of support for its administration, the BJP reads the numbers as an urge for a change.

Though several exit polls have predicted a hung Assembly, the three major parties — the Congress, the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) — have rubbished them. While the Congress and the BJP vociferously claim that they would form the government on their own, the JD(S) has maintained that it would get many more seats than forecast by the exit polls.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah even tweeted, asking party supporters not to worry about exit polls. “So, Dear party workers, supporters & well wishers, don’t worry about exit polls. Relax & enjoy your weekend. Exit opinion polls are entertainment for the next 2 days,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in the Chamundeshwari constituency, one of the two seats from where he contested, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “This will be my last election.”

A Dalit CM?

To a question on the possibility of a Dalit Chief Minister, he said, “It is fine if the party decides to have a Dalit Chief Minister.” However, he made a strong pitch for retaining the top post, emphasising the absence of dissidence in the party during his five-year tenure at the helm.

“There is no dissatisfaction among the party MLAs,” he said, recalling that dissidence had affected the regimes of his predecessors like D. Devaraj Urs, Veerendra Patil, S. Bangarappa, and M. Veerappa Moily.

Mr. Siddaramaiah also ruled out the possibility of shifting to national politics. Responding to a question on a possible move if the party high command wanted him to play a larger role ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha election, he said, “I will not go to national politics. I will restrict myself to Karnataka politics.”

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara, meanwhile, said there were a dozen of aspirants for the top post, including himself, and ultimately the Congress Legislature Party would elect its leader and the party high command would take a final decision.

BSY heads to Delhi

BJP State president and chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa maintained that the party was bound to form the government on its own and he would visit New Delhi on Monday, ahead of the counting on May 15, to consult central leaders on the process of government formation.

JD(S) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy left for Singapore, along with his son Nikhil, on Sunday morning.

He is expected to return to Bengaluru on Tuesday morning.

# Security tight at counting centres
Tight security is in place at two centres in the city where the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from the 11 constituencies of the district are kept in strongrooms before they are taken out for counting on Tuesday.

The centres are at NIE Institute of Technology(NIE-IT) at Koorgalli, on the outskirts of the city, and Maharani’s College for Commerce and Management on Valmiki Road.

While armed personnel from the Central Industrial Security Force have formed a cordon inside the centre, personnel from the Karnataka State Reserve Police and civil police have formed outer cordons to prevent unauthorised access to the counting centres.

Both the centres are under intense CCTV camera surveillance. While the votes of Krishnaraja Nagar, Varuna, Periyapatna, and Chamaraja constituencies will be counted at NIE-IT, the counting of the remaining seven constituencies, including Chamundeshwari, will be held at Maharani’s College.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr. PC will be in place from 6 a.m. on May 15 for 24 hours around 200 metres from the counting centres. The police have also banned victory processions, bursting of crackers in public places or in front of residences, and taking out bike rallies etc. Similar arrangements are in Kodagu where the counting of votes for Madikeri and Virajpet Assembly constituencies will take place at St. Joseph’s School premises. The EVMs will be brought out from the strongrooms in the presence of authorised personnel and party agents, and counting will commence at 8 a.m.

# Faiz’s daughter dropped as speaker
Last-minute decision at media meet
In a last-minute change, eminent Pakistani television and media personality Moneeza Hashmi was withdrawn as a speaker at the 15th Asia Media Summit which concluded here on Saturday.

She is the daughter of Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who is celebrated on both sides of the border for his stirring Urdu poetry.

Ms. Hashmi was supposed to speak at the inaugural day of the two-day summit, on May 10, at a session on ‘Should all good stories be commercially successful?’, along with three other speakers, including popular actor-writer Twinkle Khanna.

Her name, however, was missing from the final list of the speakers released by the Government of India.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was one of the the co-hosts of the summit, along with the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). The organisers denied any knowledge of this change.

# One more Kasauli shooting victim dies
Gulab Singh was wounded on May 1
Gulab Singh, 46, the Himachal Pradesh government employee who was critically injured after being shot at during a drive to demolish unauthorised constructions near Kasauli, died at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here.

Mr. Singh, who worked with the Public Works Department (PWD), had been battling bullet injuries for nearly two weeks, and was put on ventilator support on May 10 after he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest.

“Gulab Singh died on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday,” a PGIMR official said.

He was part of a team that was razing down illegal constructions in the Kasauli area on May 1.

The team was led by Assistant Town and Country Planner Shail Bala.

During the sealing process at the Narayani Guest House on the Dharampur-Kasauli Road, the son of the guesthouse owner, Vijay Singh, after a heated altercation with members of the demolition team, opened fire.

Ms. Bala died on the spot, while Mr. Singh was critically wounded in the chest and the abdomen.

Police criticised

The Himachal Pradesh Police were severely criticised when the accused managed to escape in broad daylight. He was later arrested at Vrindavan (Mathura) in Uttar Pradesh.

Congress leaders and workers staged a State-wide protest last week.

“Two government officials have lost their life while they were implementing the Supreme Court’s order on demolishing an illegal construction.

“It is shameful that the administration was not able to provide them with adequate police security,” said Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, president of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC).

# Girl mauled to death by dogs in Sitapur
A pack of dogs mauled a 12-year-old girl to death in a village here on Sunday, taking the toll in such attacks in the district to 13 in the past six months, the police said. This is the seventh such death this month, they said.

# COMEDK: 25,405 take the test in State
Students aspiring for seats in engineering colleges in the State appeared for the entrance examination conducted by COMEDK on Sunday. In Karnataka, 25,405 students appeared for the three-hour exam that was conducted in 108 centers.

Source:- The Hindu

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