11032019-TT-01.qxd 10-03-2019 23:09 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.139 no.69 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | monday, march 11,2019 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: PM ON TERROR PAGE 7 IN-FOCUS: GOING THE ECO-FRIENDLY WAY PAGE 12 /thetribunechd ! himachal pradesh PRADHAN SEEKS SAUDI HELP AS OIL PRICES RISE PAGE 16 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com India votes in 7phases from April11 LS election results on May 23, 5 dates for 6 seats, no Polling in Haryana on May12, Assembly polls in 4 states too Assembly poll in J&K in Punjab, Himachal on May19 New Delhi, March 10 The Election Commission today announced a sevenphase poll schedule for the Lok Sabha and four state Assemblies. The first phase of polling would be held on April 11, while May 19 would witness the last phase. The counting of votes would take place on May 23. Announcing that the model code of conduct kicks in with immediate effect, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said 10 lakh polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakh in 2014. Around 90 crore persons would be eligible to vote for the 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country. In 2014, the LS elections were held in nine phases — April 7 to May 9. This time, the first phase would be held on April 11, second on April 18, third on April 23, fourth on April 29, fifth on May 6, sixth on May 12 and seventh on May 19. The poll panel announced that the “voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT)” would be used at all polling stations. But the matching of VVPAT slips would be done for randomly selected one polling station in every Arun Joshi Tribune News Service DATE WITH BALLOT PHASE 1 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 PHASE 4 PHASE 5 PHASE 6 PHASE 7 APRIL 11 APRIL 18 APRIL 23 APRIL 29 MAY 6 MAY 12 MAY 19 91 SEATS 97 SEATS 115 SEATS 71 SEATS 51 SEATS 59 SEATS 59 SEATS Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim along with LS polls on April 11 Parliamentary, Assembly polls in Odisha in four phases VVPAT (‘voter verifiable paper audit trail’) to be used in all polling stations Assembly segment. With the coming into force of the code of conduct, the Centre or state governments would not be able to announce new policy decisions. The stage has been set for an absorbing electoral battle between the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Opposition block comprising the Congress, Left Social media sites to have fact checkers New Delhi, March 10 Social media platforms will deploy “appropriate fact checkers” to scan fake news and use of abusive language ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission said. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said each of the social media platforms had created a mechanism to accept only pre-certified political advertisements during the election process and would share the expenditure incurred in this regard with the election authorities. He said election management-related news on all major national and regional news channels would be monitored vigorously during the election. “If any untoward incident or violation of any law is noticed, action would be taken immediately,” Arora said. All platforms have agreed to establish priority channels for EC for a quick response. They have also appointed grievance officers for the election. “(The) VOTERS 90 CRORE CONSTITUENCIES 543 1ST-TIME VOTERS (18 TO 19 YRS) 1.5 CRORE POLLING STATIONS 10 LAKH and regional outfits. Even as the ruling NDA, led by PM Modi, is trying to retain power banking on its development plank and the government’s muscular policy against terrorism and a hostile Pakistan, the Opposition is striving hard to unseat the BJP by raising questions on economic growth, jobs, corruption and social harmony. — TNS Jammu, March 10 The Election Commission’s categorical no to simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir — it will have fivephase polls for the six Lok Sabha seats — triggered sharp criticism from political parties, which termed it a deliberate attempt to deny an elected government. The state has been under Central rule for months now. The ECI’s argument that the security situation was not conducive for Assembly polls did not cut much ice with the parties, which questioned how then were Lok Sabha polls being held. “Bizarre logic,” exclaimed National Conference vicepresident Omar Abdullah. His political rival and also a former Chief Minister like him, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said it “confirms the sinister designs of GoI. Not letting people elect a government is antithetical to the very idea of democracy”. It is for the first time since the 1996 Assembly polls, which broke a seven-year spell of Central rule, that the Assembly polls are not being held on Tribune News Service ANANTNAG LS POLL IN THREE PHASES The parliamentary election for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat is going to be held in three phases, the CEC said, underscoring the security challenge. The EC has appointed three special poll observers: former IAS officer Noor Mohammad, former IPS officer AS Gill and former tourism secretary Vinod Zutshi. time. All the subsequent polls in the most difficult of situations were held on time. The J&K Assembly has a tenure of six years unlike five years in other states. The House was dissolved by the Governor on November 21 last year when he was flooded with contesting claims to form the government. The Assembly was in suspended animation that time. It was a constitutional obligation to hold the polls within six months of dissolution of the Assembly. The post-Pulwama narrative that terror has been tamed and the situation was improving seems belied. Any prolonged delay in holding polls would add to uncertainties. MEASURES TO CHECK MONEY AND ILLEGAL PRACTICES platforms are already taking action against fake accounts, spam by deploying fact checkers,” he said. On action EC could take against the platforms, he said social media and print media were not covered under the election law. — PTI Police observers A number of IPS officers will be deployed as police observers at the state and district levels, depending upon the sensitivity of the constituency. They would oversee force deployment, law and order situation and co-ordinate Election to Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat to be conducted on May19, while all seven LS seats in Delhi will go to the polls on May 12 Punjab has only 393 NRI voters.The state will have a total of 23,213 polling stations at 14,460 locations. As many as 16,394 polling stations are in the rural areas. Dr Raju said Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Bathinda have been declared as expenditure sensitive constituencies. These will be under special watch. In Himachal, more than 51.54 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to elect four Lok Sabha members. There has been an increase of more than 4.5 lakh voters during the past five years since 2014 polls. A total of 7,723 polling booths will be set up, with the maximum 2,079 for Mandi Lok Sabha seat. The BJP had won all four seats in 2014. Elections to the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12, the sixth stage of the seven-phase poll exercise. The seven seats were won by the BJP in the last polls. There are over 1.36 crore voters in Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party has already announced its candidates for six of the seven Lok Sabha seats. INSIDE APP FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITY For the first time, Election Commission has launched a citizen-centric mobile app for quick reporting of cases of violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC), intimidation, inducement at a pan-India level. District election authorities have to revert to complainants within 100 minutes of receiving complaints about the status of the case. All eligible voters in the category of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) can request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application. By simply entering their contact details, the Booth Level Officer is assigned to provide doorstep facility. PwDs can also request for a wheelchair during polling. The app is available at google play store. Expenditure observers All political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification and candidates will have to give details of their social media accounts to the Election Commission. Sunil Arora, CEC FACILITATING VOTERS cVIGIL — Report code violation There will be an adequate number of such observers, who will exclusively monitor the election expenditure of contesting candidates. Control room and Complaint Monitoring Centre with 24-hour toll-free numbers shall be operative during the entire election process. Banks and Financial Intelligence Units of Government of India have been asked to forward suspicious cash withdrawal reports to the election officials. Chandigarh, March 10 Over 1.74 crore voters, 80.51 lakh of them women, will cast their votes in the May 12 election (sixth phase) for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana. Elections to 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab and four in Himachal Pradesh will be held in the seventh and the final phase on May 19. The results will be declared on May 23. Haryana’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajiv Ranjan said photo electoral rolls prepared on the basis of January 1, 2019, as the qualifying date will be used. The state will have 19,425 polling stations, including 13,931 in the rural areas. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won seven parliamentary seats, the INLD two and the Congress one seat. Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, Dr S Karuna Raju said a total of 2.03 crore voters can cast their ballot in the state. As many as 96.2 lakh, out of the total, are female voters. Of the total 9.48 lakh youngsters in the age group of 18-19, as many as 2.56 lakh have registered themselves with the election office. between the civil and police administration to ensure free and fair election. Candidates with criminal cases They would be required to publish information on their criminal records in newspapers and publicise through television channels on three occasions during the campaign period. VVPAT slip verification must It is mandated to count VVPAT slips of one randomly selected polling station in each Assembly constituency in case of Assembly elections and one randomly selected polling station of each Assembly segment of parliamentary constituency. VOTER HELPLINE CONTACT CENTRE 157 KILLED IN ETHIOPIAN AIR CRASH An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from the capital Addis Ababa on Sunday morning, killing all 157 thought to be on board, among them four from India. PAGE 13 Citizens can call universal toll-free helpline number of Election Commission of India — 1950 — to connect directly to District Contact Centre. BRAILLE PHOTO VOTER SLIPS This is aimed at ensuring wholesome and constructive participation and active engagement of persons with visual impairment in the election process. SAMADHAN WEB PORTAL It is a single integrated web portal for registering and resolving citizen information, suggestion, feedback and complaints (IFSC). The website can be accessed at eci-citizenservices.eci.nic.in AUSTRALIA BEAT INDIA, LEVEL ODI SERIES Australia rode a powerful batting effort to defeat India by four wickets in the fourth ODI and level the five-match series at 2-2, in Mohali on Sunday. PAGE 15 ‘Dummy posts’ created for 150 promoted DSPs Woman killed in stampede at ration camp No infra, staff, vehicles at disposal, Punjab officers told to join immediately Aman Sood Tribune News Service Patiala, March 10 To adjust over 150 DSP-level officers promoted recently, the Punjab Police today created “dummy postings”, asking them to join at the earliest. The posts were non-existent till last week and there is no clarity on the nature of work. Majority of these officers are posted against posts created hours ahead of the Lok Sabha poll date announcement. As per recent ECI directions, the officials who are “posted in functional departments” like computerisation, special branch, training, etc, in a district or if they are on extension can be allowed to stay put. The recent promotion orders of around 150 inspectors as DSPs has created another set of problems, with many districts facing shortage of “experienced” inspector-level officers to be posted as Station House Officers. Yesterday, the government ordered fresh postings for 269 DSPs, majority of them on promotion, against newly created wings. Interestingly, many of these DSPs have now been posted in haste “without any infrastructure or defined duties” and some “dummy postings created” even without an office to operate from. The state will now have a DSP for posts like Crime against Property, Crime against Women and Children, Major Crimes, Criminal Groups, Emergency Response System, Command Centre, Special Branch and Criminal Intelligence, Cyber and Forensic, Financial, Technical Support, etc. “I talked to a batchmate in the district where I will be joining. There is no vehicle, office or staff against my post. I do not know what duty I will perform during the polls,” said a DSP A few other officers pro. moted and posted yesterday said they would have to approach the SSP to get some work as no work has been specified. “We do not know what our role at the posting is.” continued on page 7 Members of the deceased woman’s family wailing in Rohtak on Sunday. PHOTO: MANOJ DHAKA Rohtak, March 10 A 60-year-old woman, Guddi Devi of Kathmandi, was killed and some others were injured in a stampede at Jhang Colony here today. The incident occurred while food items were being distributed at cheaper rates. Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda was the chief guest of the event, organised by local Congress leader Mohit Dhanwantri. Hooda had, however, left the venue when the stampede occurred. Sources say Dhanwantri often provides flour, pulses, rice, grams and tea leaf, etc., at cheaper than market rates at Lord Dhanwantri Hospital in Jhang Colony. He had invited people in large numbers for today’s event. “A tent was pitched on a road outside the hospital for the event. A massive crowd was present when Hooda arrived,” said a local resident. Sources said Guddi suffered serious injuries, but no one came to her rescue as the people continued to vie for food items. She died on the spot. Civil Lines Police Station incharge Naresh Kumar said a criminal case had been registered against Dhanwantri on the complaint of the deceased’s kin. “An investigation is underway,” he added. Meanwhile, Hooda said Dhanwantri, who joined the Congress recently, used to distribute ration at cheaper rates every month. “Since I had some programme in the constituency, I went to the event and left after sometime. The stampede occurred two-three hours later.” Terming the incident unfortunate, he said the local administration should have made proper arrangements and demanded a probe and financial aid. — TNS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).