BJP MLA Harish Poonja released on station bail after he appears for inquiry

News Network
May 23, 2024

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Mangaluru, May 23: BJP leader and Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja who appeared before the police station for an enquiry last night in connection with a case a case of threatening police, was released on station bail.

According to the police, the MLA was served notices in connection with a case registered for staging a protest without seeking permission and for allegedly declaring that he was ready to hold the collar of the police for the sake of 'karyakartas'.

On completion of the enquiry, he was released on station bail. He was booked under Sections 143, 147, 341, 504, 506 and 149 of IPC.

Drama at residence 

There was high drama at the home of Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja when police reached on Wednesday, requesting the former to come to the police station for an inquiry, but with the MLA staying put at his residence without yielding to police request, and with members of the BJP legal cell at his house mulling options to avoid his imminent arrest, the situation was fluid with a large number of party workers gathering near the MLA’s residence.

Belthangady police had booked MLA Poonja after he attempted to pressurise the station officer to release a BJP worker, who was arrested in an illegal quarrying case and stocking of explosives at the site, at Moodala in Melanthabettu village of Belthangady last week.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat for a third time. Mr Modi has beaten the Congress' Ajay Rai by over 1.5 lakh votes. In third place was the Bahujan Samaj Party's Ather Jamal Lari, who finished nearly 5.8 lakh behind the Prime Minister.

The party has won this seat nine times since 1991, with only RK Mishra of the Congress, in 2004, breaking that streak. And it was, for some time, another Congressman who raised opposition hopes.

Earlier today Mr Rai - who has contested and lost each of the past three general elections from the temple town - threatened (briefly) to cause, perhaps, the biggest shock in Indian electoral history.

Initially Mr Rai was leading the Prime Minister by 6,223 votes. As the day wore on, though, the PM stretched his legs and disappeared into the distance, finishing with over 6.12 lakh votes.

However, delight over the Prime Minister's win is likely to be tempered by the BJP's less-than-stellar performance across the state in this election, despite having dominated its electoral politics since 2014, when a 'Modi wave' swept UP (and the country) and corralled 61 of its 80 Lok Sabha seats.

Since then the BJP has been nearly unbeatable in UP.

That was followed by a Yogi Adityanath-led BJP scripting a stunning revival at the state level - by winning 312 of the state's 403 Assembly seats. In 2012 the BJP had won only 47 seats.

Yogi Adityanath claimed a second term in 2022, despite the party being heavily criticised over the farmers' protests. And, before that, the BJP amassed 62 seats in the 2019 general election.

The 2024 Lok Sabha election in UP was expected to be no different, at least according to exit pollsters, who handed Mr Modi's party a big win. A poll of exit polls gave the BJP 68 seats.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc was only expected to get 12 seats.

The reality, though, has been starkly different.

Driven by Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, the INDIA group has gone head-to-head with the BJP in UP and will, most likely, finish a distant second - an unthinkable result before today.

The SP is set to win 38 seats - a record haul for the party in Lok Sabha polls - if the numbers hold, while the Congress will win seven. Crucially, the Congress is set to win back the Amethi bastion it lost to the BJP's Smriti Irani five years ago; the outgoing Union Minister had beaten Rahul Gandhi.

However, it is not Mr Gandhi who will gain revenge for the Congress.

It will be Kishor Lal Sharma, after Rahul Gandhi opted to contest the Raebareli seat - in addition to defending his Wayanad seat - left vacant by his mother Sonia Gandhi's shift to the Rajya Sabha.

Mr Gandhi is en route to massive wins from both seats.

The turnaround in UP is the story of the day and underlines the INDIA bloc's surprising challenge to the BJP, which includes tight contests in two other battleground states - Bengal and Maharashtra.

In Bengal Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool fought off an early surge from the BJP and is likely to improve on its haul of 22 (of 42) seats from the 2019 election. More importantly, it will knock back the BJP in the eastern state, from which much was expected after a record haul of 18 last time.

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra the Maha Vikas Aghadi, despite being rocked by splits within the Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar's NCP, has dominated. The MVA, which also includes the Congress, is on course to win 29 of 48 seats in a state in which the BJP was hoping to make big gains.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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Mangaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party has retained Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency for the ninth consecutive term with Capt Brijesh Chowta winning the segment by a margin of 1,49,208 votes.

Capt Brijesh Chowta secured 7,64,132 (53.97%) votes and Congress candidate Padmaraj R Poojary secured 6,14,924 (43.43%) votes. Captain Brijesh Chowta was leading with 8,514 votes in the first round of counting and maintained the lead in all the rounds of counting.

The vote share of other candidates are Kanthappa Alangar (Bahujan Samaj Party 4232 votes (0.3%), Durga Prasad (Karunada Sevakara Paksha 2592 (0.18%), independent candidates Supreeth Kumar Poojary Kateel (1901 votes( 0.13%), Maxim Pinto (1690 votes (0.12%), Deepak Rajesh Coelho (976 votes 0.07%), Prajakeeya Manohara (Uttama Prajaakeeya Party 971 (0.07%) and Ranjini M (Karnataka Rashtra Samithi 776 (0.05%).

Speaking after the victory, Capt Brijesh Chowta said "this is the victory of party workers and Hindutva."

Reiterating his commitment to Hindutva and development, he said “I will work for the comprehensive development of the district. Dakshina Kannada is the land of truth, faith,  and justice. “I consider this as a victory of faith, truth and justice. I will seek  the guidance of party leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the development of the district.

The results has proved that DK is a strong forte of the BJP. “We were more cautious as the Congress and SDPI had come together in the election. It has also proved that the people of the district support development and do not support those engage in dividing the minds.

“I will work towards the nine focus areas that I had mentioned it in my manifesto —Nava yuga nava patha. I will work towards fulfilling the aspirations and dreams of the people in the district,” he added.

To a query on election on the basis of castes, he said “BJP did not seek vote on the basis of caste. We had discussed on Hindutva, social justice, poverty and uplifting the poor. We faced the election on the basis of nationalism,” he clarified.

On decline in the margin, he said," Congress and SDPI had worked together in the election. The party will introspect on the reason for decline in the margin.” Thanking the BJP workers, he said amid scorching sun the party workers have worked for the victory of the BJP.

DK district BJP president Sathish Kumpala said that the party workers and leaders had joined hands and worked continuously during the election campaign.

“The enlightened voters of Dakshina Kannada have given a major contribution to the party by electing our candidate again. As the district president of the party, I extend my sincere thank to all voters as well as party workers. We have a major challenge ahead as an organization. The newly elected MP will work for strengthening the party and also take up development works for the district.”

Inspite of SDPI, CPM, Congress coming together, the voters have given us clear mandate, he said.

The BJP has been winning the DK constituency since 1991. After 1991, the constituency was retained by the BJP with Dhananjay Kumar winning four consecutive terms in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. Later, DV Sadananda Gowda won in 2004 and Nalin Kumar Kateel won hat trick from 2008 till 2019.

In the 2019 election, the vote share of Nalin Kumar Kateel stood at 57.57 per cent (7,74,285 votes) and Mithun Rai of Congress secured 4,99,664 votes (37.15 per cent). In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP’s vote share stood at 53.23 against 41.33 per cent of the Congress. In 2009 election, it was 49.16 per cent for BJP against 45.18 per cent of the Congress.

Capt Chowta managed bag a huge share of postal ballots . Out of 8,773 postal ballots in the constituency, Capt Chowta secured 4,002 votes while 2,821 votes were polled in favour of Poojary. Meanwhile, 1,741 postal ballots were rejected in the constituency.

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News Network
June 3,2024

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Mumbai: The 27-year-old daughter of senior bureaucrats died after jumping off a Mumbai high-rise in the early hours of Monday, the police said.

Lipi Rastogi, the daughter of Maharashtra cadre IAS officers Radhika and Vikas Rastogi, was taken to hospital but died during treatment.

Officials said Lipi, a law student, jumped from the 10th floor of a building near the state secretariat at around 4 am. 

The police recovered note from her room. Officials said the probe is under way to ascertain the reason behind the act.

Lipi was studying law in Haryana's Sonepat. According to police officers, she was believed to be anxious about exams.

Vikas Rastogi is Principal Secretary in Maharashtra's Education Department, while Radhika Rastogi is Principal Secretary in the state's Home Department.

In a similar case in 2017, Maharashtra cadre IAS officers Milind and Manisha Mhaiskar lost their 18-year-old son after he jumped off a Mumbai high-rise.

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