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Dec 13, 2019, 08.21 AM IST

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Karnataka bypolls: Congress leaders spring into action as JD(S) pact looms post polls

Several senior Congress leaders had taken a backseat in campaigning, giving an impression that the party’s victory or loss would be the sole responsibility of the former CM. But with speculations of the coming together of the former allies once again, hopes have sprouted among some leaders of giving a shot at the CM’s post in the event the BJP was reduced to a minority.

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  • The influential Jajpur MLA, Pranab Prakash Das has been appointed General Secretary (Organisation) a position that the regional party, in power since the last 19 years, did not have until now.

    A total of 37,83,055 electorate, including 18,01,356 women and five third-gender voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the first phase of polling across six districts, which began at 7 am, EC officials said. Additional DGP Murari Lal Meena said Naxalites exploded a bomb near a culvert in the forests of Gumla district, but there was no casualty.

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved the candidature of Yogendra Baitha from Simaria (SC) seat, Basudev Verma from Bagodar, and Sweta Singh from Bokaro replacing Sanjay Singh, a party statement said. With this, the Congress has named candidates on the 31 seats it is contesting in the polls to the 81-member Assembly.

    A total of 37,83,055 voters of Chatra (SC), Gumla (ST), Bishunpur (ST), Lohardaga (ST), Manika (SC), Latehar (SC), Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur (SC), Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur constituencies will decide the fate of 189 candidates in the first phase of the polls, which will be held on Saturday.

    Upset over political developments in Maharashtra, the Congress and other opposition parties boycotted Constitution Day celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament and held a joint protest in front of the Ambedkar statue inside Parliament complex.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said in Rajya Sabha that people's hearts can be won by political parties even without rushing to the Well of the House to register their protest on various issues.

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved the candidature of Sona Ram Sinku from Jaganathpur (ST), Suresh Baitha in place of Rajiv Kumar from Kanke (SC) and Sunny Toppo from Mandar. The Jarkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress and Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal had recently announced a pre-poll tie-up for the state with former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren.

    Soren is leading the opposition alliance comprising the JMM, the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). According to the alliance's seat-sharing arrangement, the JMM will contest 43 seats, Congress 31 and RJD in seven constituencies.

    Besides the loan waiver assurance, the manifesto - released by AICC in-charge RPN Singh - pledged to free farmers from the clutches of money lenders and make the process of institutional loans easier.

    According to NCP leaders, Pawar will meet Modi in Parliament at 12.30 p.m. to discuss several issues related to the state, especially the agrarian crisis following unprecedented rainfall.

    Jharkhand will vote in five phases, with the first on November 30 and the last on December 20. Results will be declared on December 23. The five candidates are from seats that will go to polls in the first phase on November 30. November 13 is the last date of filing nominations.

    "The Rajya Sabha is about checks and balances. This is absolutely essential for our democracy. Debates have to be many and effective. But, there is also a difference between checking and clogging (and between) balance and blocking," he said. Modi also lauded NCP and the BJD for never rushing to the well of the House to raise their issues.

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