Tuesday, March 31, 2009

။ Lok Sabha Vote, 2009

Poll woe looms for West Bengal left
Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, Kolkata, 8 April : The left is expected to lose many seats in its West Bengal heartland. With a fortnight left to the start of India's parliamentary elections, the country's left-wing parties are trying hard to push a "Third Front" in opposition to the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalitions.
The left has tied up with strong lower-caste parties in a number of states and with some regional parties like the ruling BJD, a former BJP ally, in the eastern state of Orissa. But the left's success in stitching together this apparently unwieldy coalition depends greatly on its own performance in its strongest bastion, the state of West Bengal, where a left-wing coalition has now ruled for more than three decades.
Going by current trends, that will not be an easy task. READ MORE
Security beefed up in Purulia district
PTI, Purulia, 8 April : Security measures in Maoist infested Purulia district was beefed up on Wednesday in view of polling on 30 April. In a joint press conference in Purulia, District Magistrate Santanu Bose and Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav said 500 persons were arrested so far. Eleven check posts within 380 km radius between Purulia and Bokaro and Ramgarh in Jharkhand will be sealed ten days before the polls. Police are keeping close watch on the safety and security of villagers in 430 earmarked localities. A helicopter has been kept ready for use in naxal infested areas of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore. High officials are keeping close watch on the movement of maoists.
Earlier, Debasis Sen state’s Chief Electoral Officer visited the Maoist infested areas of Jangalmahal and alerted all concerned about security measures.
Tripura to use helicopter during Lok Sabha election
Agartala, 8 April : The Ministry of Defence has allotted two helicopters to Tripura for five days during general election to be held on 23 April for security surveillance, election officials said here today. Additional Chief Election Officer Dilip Acharjee told mediapersons that with the instruction from Election Commission of India (ECI), the Centre had assured Tripura to provide the aircraft considering the security issue.”
Both the choppers will be made available on 20 April for five days in the state and these will be used for air surveillance on the day of the poll and continue to be used until all the EVMs enter into the strong room,” Acharjee said. Though the helicopters would be provided by the Defence Ministry, the entire expenditure Rs 50,000 per hour if used and Rs 36,000 per day if not used has to be borne by the state government.
Third Front certain to win Lok Sabha polls, asserts Karat in Agartala Poll rally
Agaratala, 5 April : CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat Sunday said it was now “thousand percent confirmed” that the Third Front with the Left parties in the lead would form the government at the centre after the Lok Sabha polls.
“While the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has already broken, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not a single ally in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and many other states,” he said, addressing an election rally in the Tripura capital.
In his 30-minute speech, the CPI-M chief cited the “wrong and anti-people policies” of both the Congress and the BJP and stressed the importance of forming an alternative government at the centre. Karat said as the left parties intervened in the central government’s policies till July last year, the effect of world-wide economic slowdown was yet to impacted on the Indian economy.”
Talking to the newsmen later, the CPI(M) leader, however, refused to predict how many seats the Left parties and other alliance parties of Third Front expected to win. “The Left parties alone are fighting more than 150 seats and if the parties aligned with the Third Front are taken into account, the combine is fighting far more seats than the Congress party,” he said.
Photo Courtesy : Desher Katha

Obama effect : Web-lobbying takes off in Indian Poll
Kolkata, 5 April : With the largest democracy of the world going to polls this month, campaigning for the 15th Lok Sabha election has ventured into a new dimension of web-lobbying. And, the virtual world is not just limited to serious poll business but the fun quotient is also present in the run-up to the election. The trend of using social media to create awareness and promoting candidates and parties is fast catching on in India, this time.
"The trendsetter is definitely Barack Obama. Indian politicians have realized web-lobbying will help them garner more support and a wider base," said Pulak Barua, product development manager of V-empower, regarding the growing acceptance of web-lobbying in India.
Incidentally, his firm has done web-lobbying for politicians in the UK and the US. In India, V-empower has done that for L K Advani, Renuka Chowdhury and Chandrababu Naidu to name a few. "The popularity is such that we are getting offers for web lobbying from various quarters every single day," said Barua.
There is a difference though between international political clients and the Indian leaders. "International politicians know their target audience and have the data in place. Initially, politicians here did not want the site and once they get it, they do not use it. In 2004, too, we created a couple of sites but it never picked up because the response from the politicians was poor," he said.
A French e-lobbying site based on blogs, incidentally, features the forthcoming Indian elections. The website is seeking prospective clients interested in web-lobbying. Shifting from serious election business, many sites have also come up to create awareness through sheer fun. For instance, citizens can write manifestoes and decide them for the government through
http://www.election.lordsofodds.com/! The popular ones get voted by the other members also.
The Hyderabad-based 7Seas Technologies have launched five online games based on the polls. Within a fortnight of its launch, the games have got more than 3 lakh hits. "We had created a game before the US presidential election, which was highly successful. We tried the same this time anticipating similar popularity. Majority of the players are Indian young adults in the age group of 18-20 years," said Maruthi Sanker, managing director of 7Seas.
Though offers have poured in for ads and web lobbying as part of the online games from various parties, Sanker and his team want to keep it fun-based. While national parties are going all out to make the most of the new phenomenon, the regional ones are yet to get off the blocks. "India still has a long way to go for web lobbying," said Barua.

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