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Election results 2019: Guns and gaalis ahead of counting day

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Ramchander Yadav, a candidate from Buxar LS seat, brandishing gun in a press meet

Are Opposition parties gearing up for violent protests if Lok Sabha result goes in favour of the NDA alliance? The Ministry of Home Affairs on May 22 alerted the states and Union territories on the possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country. The Ministry has asked them to bolster security of strong rooms (where EVMS are stored) and counting venues.

The alert comes in the wake warnings of bloodshed and taking up of arms from Opposition quarters, “if EVMs are found tampered with”. In Bihar, RSLP chief Upendra Kushwah, whose party is in alliance with the Congress and RJD is reported as saying, “There is tremendous public anger and blood may spill on the streets, for which we shall not be held responsible.”

At the same time, former RJD leader and Independent candidate from Buxar Lok Sabah seat, Ramchander Yadav brandished a gun before media, threatening bloodshed if results go against them.

Such elements are apparently encouraged by veteran leaders from major political parties. Look at Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s response to Election Commission’s decision to stick with the laid out procedures on EVM counting.

His statement accuses the Election Commission of eradicating the credibility of EVM, and making the device as BJP’s victory machinery. His party colleague Udit Raj, a recent import from the BJP, has asked if the Supreme Court is part of poll rigging in favour of the ruling party, after the apex court rejected yet another plea over EVM

To make the matter worse, a section of media is engaged in spirited campaigns against the Election Commission. Is there a sinister plan to instigate people to protest against the results as Exit Polls predicted a BJP-led NDA victory?

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SC vacates interim protection to Mamata’s favourite cop in Sardha scam probe

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Inset images: Rajeev Kumar and Mamata Banerjee

The Supreme Court today vacated the interim protection to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in relation with the ongoing Saradha scam investigation. However, the court allowed him seven days to seek legal remedy.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna directed the CBI to pursue the case in accordance with law.

The interim protection was granted to Kumar on February 12, against arrest by the CBI over his role in tampering with evidence in the Saradha Chit fund scam and the Rose Valley ponzi scam. He was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the scams.

The CBI had summoned Kumar for questioning on a few occasions claiming some documents relating to the scams found missing. On February 3, Kolkata Police detained a team of CBI officers who had gone to his residence to question him. Subsequently, he sat along West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on a Dharna (sit out protest) against the “misuse” of the CBI from the central government.

The next day, the CBI moved the Supreme Court, which directed Kumar to co-operate with the probe.

The Court had, however, barred the Central investigative agency from taking any coercive steps against Kumar and granted him protection from arrest. Now, the top court withdrawing the protection is seen as a huge set back to the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal.