While the Punjab State Election Commission on Thursday ordered re-polling for the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samitis in 53 polling booths of eight districts across the State, the Shiromani Akali Dal termed the elections as “murder of democracy”, alleging that the government machinery functioned as extension counters of the ruling Congress party during the entire poll process.‘Murder of democracy’Veteran Akali leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that the way the Zila Parishad and Panchayat polls held on September 19 were rigged in Punjab, it was “a daylight murder of democracy”.“September 19, 2018 will be remembered as one of the darkest days for democracy in Punjab when the state machinery functioned as extension counters of the Congress party during the entire poll process,” alleged Mr. Badal.According to the spokesperson of the State Election Commission, re-polling has been ordered in 36 polling booths of Muktsar Sahib, 8 polling booths in Amritsar, one booth each in Moga, Fazilka and Faridkot districts and two booths each in Patiala and Bathinda and Ludhiana districts. Repolling todayVoters can recast their votes on September 21 in these polling stations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.Shiromani Akali Dal leaders Bikram Singh Majithia and Daljeet Cheema alleged that the State government had decided to register a case against party president Sukhbir Badal as part of the political vendetta drive unleashed by it against political opponents.“Mr. Sukhbir Badal would not file for anticipatory bail in the political vendetta case registered against him. We, on our part, will not be cowed down by such tactics and will continue to fight for peace and communal harmony in Punjab,” said Mr. Majithia.The police had registered a case against Mr. Sukhbir Badal and few party workers on Wednesday for allegedly thrashing a Congress worker at Killianwali village in Muktsar district during the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti polls. A case under Sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) under the IPC was registered.
New Delhi: Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang has requested the Election Commission to waive off his disqualification from contesting polls, sources said on Monday. Tamang, whose Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party won in the recently held assembly elections, took over as chief minister on May 27 but he cannot contest elections as he was convicted in a corruption case and stands disqualified. He has to contest assembly polls within six months of becoming the chief minister to hold the office. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ In a letter, Tamang has requested the poll panel to use Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act to waive off his disqualification, the sources said. He was convicted in a corruption case in the 1990s and was in jail for one year beginning 2017 and was released in August 2018. Under the provisions, the EC can reduce or remove a person’s disqualification. The section states, “The Election Commission may, for reasons to be recorded, remove any disqualification under this Chapter 1(except under section 8A) or reduce the period of any such disqualification.” As per the Representation of the People Act, Tamang cannot contest elections for seven years, this includes one year of jail term and six more years after it. An EC official said the matter is under consideration and no decision has been taken as yet.
Usually, it’s Canadians who are quick to say sorry.But United States President Donald Trump’s recent bashing of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has prompted some Americans to reach over the border, apologize, and tell Canadians the two countries remain friends and allies.And it’s not just celebrities such as actor Robert De Niro.A group of friends in California wrote letters this week to 20 daily newspapers across Canada — a sort of carpet-bombing of kindness.“Carpet-bombing with remorse and apology,” Robert Pierce, a retired college teacher, said with a chuckle from his home in Portola Valley, Calif., on Thursday.“The vast majority of Americans do not hold any ill will towards Canada. We have no idea why we’re supposedly in a trade war.”Pierce, his wife Frances and four friends were prompted to write letters to the editor after Trump said Trudeau had made “false statements” at a G7 summit news conference last Saturday and went on to call the prime minister “very dishonest and weak.”Trump threatened to go after Canada’s auto industry, a mainstay of the Ontario economy, in the same way he has already targeted the country’s steel and aluminum sectors.Two days later, De Niro told a crowd in Toronto he wanted to apologize for the “idiotic” behaviour of the president.The day after that, legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon told the crowd at his concert in Toronto to not pay heed to Trump’s remarks.“That does not speak from the heart and soul of Americans,” Simon is seen telling the crowd in fan-shot video that has surfaced on social media.“The idea that anyone could possibly say that Canada stabbed us in the back over tariffs, over milk, is simply ludicrous.”In recent days, letters from U.S. residents apologizing for Trump’s behaviour have been appearing in Canadian newspapers.“Please know that we suffer with shame when these episodes happen, and are trying not to get used to them, as we are subjected to them every day. We love you,” wrote Elizabeth Marshall McClure of Norfolk, Va., to the Edmonton Journal.“Please know that the boorish behaviour, bullying and ignorance of Donald Trump is appalling, not only to Canadians, but to many Americans,” Jennifer Rihn of Mountain View, Calif., wrote to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.The letter from Pierce and his friends urges Canadians to view the Trump administration as a temporary aberration in the relationship between the two countries.“In the meantime, we hold our collective breath and pray that our valued relationships with friends and neighbours will not be irreparably damaged,” the letter states.Pierce, who has travelled in Canada and has friends here, said Thursday he and his friends felt the letters were the best way to reach out directly to Canadians.“What can we do? We write our Congress people and we try to get a hold of our senators and whatever.”And his advice to Canadians?“Just try and be the wonderful people that you’ve always been as neighbours, and try and help us get through this by turning the other cheek.”
Belgian telco Belgacom reported a 26,000 increase in TV subscriptions in the first quarter, taking its total TV customer base to 1.4 million. This increase, along with increased average per-user spend, saw TV revenues grow by 16.9% year-on-year in the quarter to €64 million, partially helping to offset a decrease in mobile and fixed voice revenue.Belgacom said TV ARPU showed a 4.5% growth year-over-year to €18.3, supported by a price increase for rented set-top boxes.However, group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation came in at €441 million, 6.1% lower than for the same period of 2012, while group revenues remained stable €1.59 billion, down 0.1% compared to last year.