SAMBALPUR l THURSDAY l APRIL 18, 2019 l `6.00 l PAGES 16 l CITY EDITION ? THE CLOCK IS TICKING FOR DELHI MAHAGATHBANDAN With less than a week left for filing nomination papers, the Congress-AAP alliance drama continued on Wednesday SQUABBLES AND A MARRIAGE OF NECESSITY After a meeting with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, the AAP’s Sanjay Singh said the tie-up has been called off as the grand old party wants an alliance only in Delhi, and not Haryana. But the marriage is a necessity for both the parties to take on the BJP, and with April 23 the last day to enter the poll fray in both states, talks will likely go on ■ If Wait & Watch ■ THE BJP IS KEENLY LOOKING AT THE DRAMA AS IT FINALISES CANDIDATES POLITICS OF BRINKSMANSHIP Congress wants a tie-up only in Delhi, then it will be given just two out of seven seats, AAP sources said. The Delhi ruling party is open to giving away three seats if there is a Haryana deal The AAP is driving a hard bargain, but the Congress is not buying it as losing in Delhi would hurt the former more CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ATTEMPT TO CHECK PM’S CONVOY NAXAL VIOLENCE AHEAD OF 2ND PHASE Woman poll official shot dead by Maoists Red rebels intercept a vehicle carrying poll officials and set it on fire after asking the staff to get down Karnataka IAS officer suspended E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhubaneswar IT’S HARD HINDUTVA FOR BJP IN BHOPAL MANISH ANAND, ANURAAG S I N G H @ New Delhi/Bhopal A vehicle carrying poll officials torched by Maoists in Phiringia on Wednesday (inset:Sanjukta Digal) E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhubaneswar HOURS before the second phase polls, Maoist violence rocked Kandhamal district where Left Wing extremists allegedly gunned down a woman polling supervisor and set ablaze a vehicle on Wednesday . Polling supervisor Sanjukta Digal, a Gram Rojgar Sevak, was shot in the head near Barahala village under Gochhapada police limits when their vehicle had stopped following a landmine explosion. Assistant sector officer Prakash Chandra Dash, who was accompanying the team, said the Maoists started firing indiscriminately when the driver was trying to reverse the vehicle from the spot after hearing the explosion. There were five polling supervisors inside the vehicle. “The landmine exploded just before our vehicle reached the spot. The whole area was covered in dust and smoke after the blast and we were unable to see one another. Sanjukta was hit by a bullet in the head. We suspect they were targeting our vehicle. Fortunately, four of us managed to escape unhurt,” Dash said. Though a grievously injured Sanjukta was immediately rushed to nearby hospital, she was declared brought dead. As the news spread, her relatives and locals thronged the hospital only P8 to find that she is no more. BODES ILL Indisposition worry for BJD from Patkura but the party supremo did not relent. Compelled to file nomination papers, Bed Prakash could not WITH little over 10 days remaining even climb the stairs of the Collecfor the polls in the crucial coastal dis- tor’s office. Three days after nominatricts of Kendrapara and Jagastsintion, he was shifted to the hospital ghpur, the BJD seems to have in the State Capital. been left dealing with serious The BJD campaigning in illness of two of its seniorthe crucial seat has thus most leaders. been seriously impeded with Sitting MLA and party the wife, son and daughter candidate from Patkura Ashaving to switch their time sembly seat Bed Prakash from canvassing on his beAgrawalla is battling for life half and attending to him in in a private hospital in Bhu- Bed Prakash Agrawalla the hospital. baneswar. The 84-year-old While political observers former minister and State deem it to be a setback for the Planning Board de puty BJD, the party workers are chairman, who was to take expressing commitment to on senior BJP leader and not let the situation affect Naveen’s bête noire Bijay Mothem. A BJD leader of Pathapatra, has been admitted to kura, Utkal Keshari Parida the ICU and reportedly put said, “Bed Prakash is seriBishnu Das under life-support system. ously ill. But BJP and ConBed Prakash’s candidagress candidates cannot take ture, in fact, had raised eyebrows as any benefit from the situation as we he was seriously ill and under treat- are vigorously campaigning for him.” ment since last month. His wife had The opposition BJP on the other approached Naveen Patnaik to give h a n d i s m a k i n g h ay o f t h e P8 party ticket to Sanjay Agrawalla (54) development. A S H I S S E N A PAT I & A M A R N AT H PA R I D A @ Kendrapara/Jagatsinghpur AIMING to pin down the ruling Congress in Madhya Pradesh with the hard Hindutva card, the BJP fielded Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast terror case, from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat to take on Congress’ Digvijaya Singh. Amit Shah, BJP president, said she was chosen to get even with the former CM, who coined the “saffron terrorism” term to defame Hindus. “The Congress claimed ‘Hindu terrorists’ were involved in the Samjhauta blast case. Saints were jailed. The court has ruled that Hindu terror was a fiction,” Shah said minutes after her candidature was announced. The BJP was searching for a formidable nominee from Bhopal—a saffron bastion since 1989—to help counter the recent soft Hindutva of the Congress in the state. The ploy of fielding the firebrand sanyasin, after two exchief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharti refused to contest from the seat, is an attempt to capitalise on perceived Hindu anger against the saffron terror label and also polarise the electorate in a constituency that has 4.5 lakh Muslim voters. PHASE II FACEOFF LOK SABHA ELECTION 2019 The second of the seven-phase LS elections takes place today, with 15.8 crore people eligible to vote 95 Seats go to polls in Phase 2 WHERE ALL l Tamil Nadu 38 l Odisha 5 l Karnataka 14 l Puducherry 1 l Maharashtra 10 l Manipur 1 l Assam 5 l Chhattisgarh 3 l J&K 2 l Uttar Pradesh 8 l Bihar 5 l West Bengal 3 HEAVYWEIGHTS Bhubaneswar: Elections in the second phase will be held in five parliamentary constituencies - Aska, Balangir, Bargarh, Kandhamal and Sundargarh and their 35 Assembly segments spread over 11 districts across Odisha on Thursday. The second phase polls will decide the fate of several heavyweights. A purported attempt to inspect Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy cost an IAS officer dear as the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday placed him under suspension for not acting in conformity with the panel’s instructions. Karnataka cadre officer Mohammad Mohsin, who was deputed to Sambalpur to perform election duties as a general observer, has been suspended and he will be in the dis- trict headquarters until further instructions, an order issued by ECI’s secretary Rakesh Kumar stated. Sources said Mohsin had allegedly attempted to check the convoy of the Prime Minister after he landed at Sambalpur to address a public meeting for the second phase elections in the region. Though as per the instructions of the ECI, a protocol should be maintained before checking the protectees of Special Protection Group (SPG) during the electioneering, the officer, who happens to be the Secretary of Backward Classes Welfare Department, reportedly did not adhere to the guidelines. A senior official of ECI said the disciplinary action has been initiated against Mohsin for dereliction of duty following a report submitted by Odisha’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar. On Tuesday Kumar had reported , that Mohsin did not act in conformity with ECI instructions concerning P8 SPG protectees.
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