The postponed local body polls in Kerala in all likelihood are going to be held during the first week of December, according to sources.
The election will be held to elect new representatives to 941 village councils, 152 block Panchayats, 14 district Panchayats, 86 municipalities and six municipal corporations.
This poll is being seen as the curtain raiser of the Assembly polls, which may be held in May 2021.
According to the earlier planned schedule, the newly elected members of the local bodies had to be in office by November 12, but following the sudden spike in the Covid cases, all the political parties agreed to postpone the polls.
According to the present scheme of things, the Kerala State Election Commission has zeroed down on likely dates. Sources say that the poll is likely to be held in two phases in the first week of December and the newly elected office bearers are likely to take charge by December 11.
The voters list, numbering 2.63 crore, is also getting finalised. The number of new voters is around 15 lakh and the poll timing would be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The current voter list, which is getting finalised, consists of 1,25,40,302 men, 1,36,84,019 women and 180 trans genders. This includes the new voters — 6,78,147 men, 8,01,328 women and 66 trans genders.
Forgery case: Allahabad High Court rejects bail pleas of Azam Khan, son
The Allahabad High Court has denied bail to senior Samajwadi Party leader and MP Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam Khan in two cases relating to alleged cheating and forgery.
The allegations against the applicants were that they had forged PAN to show the wrong date of birth of Abdullah to enable him to contest the UP Assembly elections from the Suar constituency in Rampur in 2017.
Justice Suneet Kumar, who rejected the bail plea on Thursday, asked the trial court to expedite the trial.
He said that the applicants are at a liberty to approach the high court again for bail after the witnesses are examined in the trial.
The court observed, “Having regard to the allegations that the applicants did not cooperate with the investigation and court proceedings, consequently, coercive measures had to be adopted against them.”
“Further, having regard to the position and status of the accused persons, the repetition of the offences, and the deep-rooted and pervasive influence, applicants exercise in the various departments of the state, there is reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, and danger to the course of justice being thwarted. In the circumstances, grant of bail at this stage would not be in public interest,” the court added.
It may be recalled that FIRs were lodged against the Azam Khan and Abdullah Azam in 2019 alleging that on January 24, 2017, Abdullah had filed nomination papers for contesting from Suar Assembly constituency.
In the nomination papers, Abdullah Azam’s date of birth was wrongly mentioned as September 30, 1990, to make him eligible for contesting elections, and in support of it, a forged PAN card was also obtained with the help of Azam Khan.
Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam and wife Tanzeen Fatima are lodged in Sitapur jail since February this year.
Voice of dissent can’t be muzzled indefinitely, says Punjab CM
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday once again reiterated that voices of the protesting farmers “cannot be muzzled indefinitely” and the “Centre should initiate talks”.
“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders.
“Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?” a tweet by Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral quoting Amarinder Singh said.
In a series of tweets, the Chief Minister said the central government “needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured MSP (minimum support price), which is the basic right of every farmer”.
“If they can give verbal assurance I fail to understand why they can’t make it a legal obligation of the Government of India.”
“Those claiming it’s the Congress that’s instigating the farmers are blind not to see the lakhs of farmers trying to enter Delhi from across the country. It’s a fight for their lives and livelihoods and they don’t need any backing or provocation,” the Chief Minister added.
Sidhu had boiled veggies, I had missi roti, says Amarinder Singh
A day after meeting his former Cabinet colleague Navjot Sidhu over luncheon after over a year of ‘political differences’, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said his former colleague had boiled vegetables and he himself partook a lunch.
Taking a dig at the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) over its remark on him hosting a banquet for Sidhu, the Chief Minister said while his former cabinet colleague had boiled vegetables, he himself partook a ‘missi roti with dahi’ during the lunch.
“Does that look like a banquet to the Akalis?” he remarked.
Amarinder Singh hoped that he and Sidhu would continue to have cordial meetings like the one they had yesterday, where they spoke a lot about cricket, apart from a host of other things.
Both were in a good mood during the one-hour luncheon meeting, to which he had invited Sidhu after the latter expressed interest in meeting him, said Amarinder Singh.
“I was satisfied and happy with the meeting, and so was Sidhu,” he added.
Quashing media speculation of serious discussions between the two, the Chief Minister quipped contrary to what was being suggested, “We did not make any plans for Punjab or India or the world”.
“We just had some simple talks, during which Sidhu shared a lot of his cricketing experiences,” said Amarinder Singh, adding unfortunately the media was making a mountain out of a molehill.
The two leaders had not been seeing eye to eye for quite some time and the meeting was seen in political circles as a bid to bury the hatchet.
Sidhu had been lying low ever since his resignation from the state Cabinet in July last year.
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