The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poll Briefs

Company for Jaya and Rabri

New Delhi (PTI): Women never had it so good in India with two more of them set to assume power in the states in addition to the three already at the helm of affairs.

With Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan and Uma Bharti in Madhya Pradesh set to become chief ministers, in addition to Sheila Dikshit in Delhi, Rabri Devi in Bihar and Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu, it will be the first time that five states would have women chief ministers while consensus is still elusive on 33 per cent reservation for women in state legislatures and Parliament.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh had two women chief ministers in Sucheta Kriplani and Mayavati, Punjab in Rajinder Kumar Bhattal, Assam in Anwara Taimur, Goa in Shashikala Kakodkar, Tamil Nadu in Janki Ramachandran, Orissa in Nandini Satapathy and Delhi in Sushma Swaraj.

Margin master

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi education minister Raj Kumar Chauhan not only retained his Mangolpuri Assembly seat, but also secured the highest margin. Chauhan defeated nearest rival Megh Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party by a record margin of 30,315 votes. The BJP came a poor third with its candidate Raju Balmiki polling 8,670 votes. The BJP candidate from Saket, Vijay Jolly, defeated the Congress’ Rohit Manchanda by the lowest margin of 121 votes.

RSS free hand

New Delhi (PTI): The RSS has remained non-committal about early Lok Sabha polls, saying it was for the BJP to decide. “It is for the BJP to decide. We have no opinion. The present position is favourable to the BJP and it is a good situation,” RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said. “If the time is conducive, they can go ahead.” Congratulating the BJP, he said while in Madhya Pradesh it was a “direct fight” between Digvijay Singh and the Hindutva ideology, in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the victory could be attributed to both the BJP leadership and the Sangh parivar.

Bypoll balm

New Delhi (PTI):The saffron wave has failed to make any dent in Gujarat where the Congress romped home in Jamalpur. The Congress retained the Jamalpur Assembly seat for the second time by a huge margin. In Kerala, the United Democratic Front, led by Congress chief minister A.K. Antony, notched up a morale-boosting win in Thiruvalla, warding off stiff challenges from Opposition LDF and the Karunakaran faction in the party. Kerala Congress (M) candidate Elizabeth Mammen Mathai defeated Verghese George of the Janata Dal (S) by 4,669 votes.

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