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Fire breaks out in Nariman Point building in Mumbai

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 24 April 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A major fire broke out on the seventh floor of the 13-storey Jolly Maker building at Nariman Point in south Mumbai.

The fire broke around 6 pm at building number 6 in the complex. It was a 'level 2' fire, which means a major one, the official said.

The fire brigade is at the spot.

Two firemen were injured after a glass pane fell on them during the rescue operations.

Details are awaited.


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State mantris, netas’ relatives in fray today

MUMBAI: Public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal, controversial water resources minister Sunil Tatkare, veteran Congress MP Manikrao Gavit, former medical education minister Vijaykumar Gavit's daughter Heena and leader of the opposition Eknath Khadse's daughter-in-law Raksha are among the prominent candidates in the fray for the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections in the state on Thursday.

Predictably, both the Congress and the BJP claimed they would emerge the winners in this round. State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said the outcome of the polls will show up the pre-poll surveys as pro-BJP and false while Khadse said the BJP will emerge a clear winner in all the 19 seats going to the polls on Thursday. "It will be the biggest-ever setback for the Congress-NCP front,'' Khadse said.

Thakre countered by saying that prominent saffron combine candidates will bite the dust.

Bhujbal is locked a quadrangular contest in Nashik. Pitted against him are Shiv Sena's Hemant Godse, who joined the organization recently; Pradeep Pawar of the MNS, and AAP's anti-corruption crusader Vijay Pandhare. The campaign in Nashik was marked by allegations and counter-allegations levelled by the various parties. While the Shiv Sena and MNS targeted Bhujbal over the properties he owned, the NCP leader hit back saying senior Shiv Sena and MNS leaders did not have a clean record either.

In adjoining tribal Nandurbar district, Manikrao Gavit is contesting against Heena. If elected, Gavit will become the senior-most Lok Sabha member. However, the octogenarian leader himself is doubtful of his success against Heena, who has given up a career in medical education to contest the polls.

In Raver in Jalgaon district, Khadse's daughter-in-law Raksha is in the fray against NCP's Manish Jain and independent nominee Ulhas Patil. In coastal Raigad, the NCP has fielded Tatkare against the Shiv Sena's sitting MP Anant Geete, former police officer and AAP nominee Sanjay Apranti, and Peasants and Workers Party nominee Ramesh Kadam. It will be a litmus test for Tatkare who himself had volunteered to contest against Geete, a third term Lok Sabha member. In Aurangabad, Shiv Sena has fielded veteran MP Chandrakant Khaire against Congress nominee Nitin Patil, who has stepped in for state education minister Rajendra Darda who declined to contest. Along with Nandurbar, Nashik, Raver, Aurangabad, Dhule, Jalgaon, Jalna, Dindori, Palghar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane and six Mumbai constituencies are also going to the polls on Thursday.


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Will city make up for lowest turnout in 2009? 

In 2009, Mumbai hit rock-bottom when it came to engaging with electoral democracy. At 41.4%, not only was the city's voter turnout in the previous Lok Sabha election well below any other metropolitan city in India, it was also the worst voting percentage in Mumbai's history. However, given the unprecedented voter turnout across much of India this year, there is hope that Mumbaikars will cast the ballot in larger numbers on Thursday morning.

From 1991 to 2009, the voting percentage in Mumbai has largely remained under 50%, barely topping the half-way mark on only one occasion. Before 1991 the voter turnout never fell below 50%, and from 1962 to 1977, it crossed 60% for every election.

A look at the voting percentages for the city over the years (see box), shows that before 2009, the low point in Mumbai's electoral history was 1991. In emphasis, Mumbai South constituency clocked the lowest voter turnout for any constituency in Mumbai's history that year, falling below 40%.

On the bright side, the highest turnout in Mumbai was in 1967, when over 68% of the city's electorate came out to vote. That year, Mumbai's (then) Central South constituency recorded the highest voter turnout for any constituency in Mumbai's history, with over 70% of the population getting inked. The seat was won by veteran socialist S A Dange of the Communist Party of India. Trade union leader George Fernandes won from the Mumbai South constituency that year on a ticket from the Samyukta Socialist Party. Over 67% of South Mumbai came out to vote that year.

If Mumbai had such a high voter turnout in the first couple of decades after independence, why has one of India's most important cities stopped voting in the last 20 years?

Political analysts and social scientists believe this may have to do with the impact of economic liberalization on the country's financial capital, a decline in working class movements and the collapse of Mumbai's mills.

Jose George, political scientist at Mumbai University, pointed at the decimation of the communist party in Mumbai at the hands of the right-wing Shiv Sena and its brand of identity politics which leaves little space for dialogue as a factor in Mumbai's progressively declining engagement with electoral democracy. "Genuine grassroots politics was replaced by communal, identity politics," said George.

"Economic liberalization has seen the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer in Mumbai. The institutions of governance work for the rich irrespective of which government is in power, and so they do not feel the need to cast their vote. The poor, for whom the government matters most, find themselves ignored by the government, and so increasingly do not feel the need to vote, particularly during a general election. Their engagement is more with municipal elections," said S Parasuraman, director of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

As for the healthy voter turnout in 1967, Parasuraman points to the massive working class movement around the time that voted for leaders with a strong ideology who fought for the rights of their electorate. He talks of the decimation of the organized sector in Mumbai, with people flung towards caste- and class-based voting.

Mumbai's progressively low voter turnout may also have to do with the death of the city's student unions, once vibrant in the 1960s and '70s. Student politics was banned after the murder of a student on a Mumbai campus in the 1990s.


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Cop injured as Shiv Sena, MNS supporters clash in Mumbai

MUMBAI: A police constable sustained serious injury here on Thursday as Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supporters clashed at Trombay as polling started.

The Shiv Sena supporters alleged that a local MNS worker was distributing money among the people who were casting their votes which led to the incident.

The constable sustained serious injury on his neck and is critical said the police.

The police registered an attempt to murder case along with other relevant sections against 18 political activist, including Shiv Sena candidate Rahul Shewale's wife.

The police arrested three Shiv Sena supporters in the case.

They are inquiring about Shewale's wife. Shewale is contesting Lok Sabha election from Mumbai south central constituency.

The police stated that on early Thursday, the MNS local officer bearer was moving in her car when Shewale's wife along with her supporters had stopped the car.

The Shiv Sena activists alleged that the the office bearer was distributing money among the voters and attacked her. They demanded the office bearer's car with the help of stones and also assaulted the police constable who was present there. The policemen from nearby area rushed to the spot and control the situation. They took both the party supporters to the police station and after inquiring the details they booked Shiv Sena supporters.


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Voting percentage for 19 constituencies of Maharashtra till 11am

MUMBAI: Following is the detail the polling percentage in 19 constituencies of Maharashtra, that went to polls on Thursday.
Time: 11am

Nandurbar (ST): 20.60%

Dhule: 16%

Jalna: 16.27%

Aurangabad: 13.69%

Dindori (ST): 19%

Nashik - 18.40%

Palghar (ST): 9.32%

Bhiwandi: 10.25%

Kalyan: 9.50%

Thane: 9.13%

Mumbai North: 18%

Mumbai North-West: 16.70%

Mumbai North-East: 15.20%

Mumbai North-Central: 15.50%

Mumbai South-Central: 12.50%

Mumbai South: 13.20%

Raigad: 19%


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Mumbaikars cast off some poll-time sloth, 53% vote

MUMBAI: Mumbaikars on Thursday shed some of their infamous polling-day sloth with 53 per cent turning up to vote in the six constituencies of the city in the third and last phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Overall, around 56 per cent of 3.18 crore voters exercised their franchise to decide the fate of 338 candidates in 19 seats across Maharashtra, including Union minister Milind Deora, sitting MPs Priya Dutt and Sanjay Nirupam of Congress, social activist Medha Patkar and ministers in Prithviraj Chavan government Chhagan Bhujbal and Sunil Tatkare.

The turnout in Mumbai saw a significant improvement from the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when only 41.43 per cent electorate exercised their franchise.

The Maximum City appeared ready to cast off its poll-day apathy since early morning with Bollywood celebrities and industry captains turning up at polling stations. As the day wore on and temperature rose, queues dwindled to a trickle. But voting picked up momentum towards the evening.

Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Dharmendra, Rekha, Vidya Balan, Sunny Deol, Sonam Kapoor, and Prasoon Joshi cast their votes; so did Adi Godrej, Anil Ambani, SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya among others.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar cast his vote along with wife Anjali around noon at a polling booth near their residence in suburban Bandra.

The sports legend posted a selfie showing his inked finger on Twitter and said, "I have voted..Have U? A wonderful start to my birthday as a responsible citizen of our great nation."

"It's my responsibility to vote. To point fingers at others and (if) I face a problem, I need to have this on my finger," Balan said displaying her inked finger outside a booth in suburban Chembur.

Actor Aamir Khan, who voted in suburban Bandra, said, "Voting is an important process in democracy. It is my duty as an Indian to vote."

Actress Sonam Kapoor, who was among early-morning voters, said, "It is good to vote for those who make legitimate promises."

Among corporates, Anil Ambani walked into a polling booth at upscale Cuffe Parade locality, not far from his residence 'Sea Wind'.

However, many Bollywood celebrities including Anupam Kher, whose wife Kirron is BJP nominee from Chandigarh, script writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar and his actress wife Shabana Azmi, known for their activism, kept away. So did Sonakshi Sinha, daughter of yesteryear actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha, who is locked in an electoral tussle to retain his Patna Saheb seat.

Actor couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, besides Deepika Padukone too gave the polls a miss. All these actors were said to be attending IIFA awards in the US.

However, actor Arjun Rampal flew down from Dubai to cast his vote.

"Made it back on time from Dubai to cast my vote. Go vote and vote right. Every vote counts. Inked cast my vote now hope that we all can make sure the country moves in the right direction," he tweeted to his followers.

Multi-talented Farhan Akhtar, who has to host the IIFA awards ceremony, made it a point to exercise his franchise too and received praise for that.

"I am sure you are nominated in IIFA, but must appreciate you for voting 1st n then going for awards...good luck...The actual IIFA awards ceremony is on 26th April, stars cud hv voted n thn gone. Even ppl like Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar didn't bother," actor Anup Soni tweeted.

Even as several Bollywood bigwigs preferred going to the US for IIFA awards, many people could not cast their ballots as their names had been struck off the electoral rolls and were seen voicing their anger in front of TV cameras. Among them was HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh.

"Every time I cast my vote at this booth but don't know why my name is not in the voters list this time. We made attempts to find out yesterday as well but in vain," a dejected Parekh said.

Tribal-dominated Nandurbar constituency recorded almost 62 per cent turnout despite mercury soaring 42 degrees Celsius.

Barring a stray incident of clash between Shiv Sena and MNS workers at suburban Trombay which left a constable injured polling was largely peaceful.


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Police assure safe poll with over 30k cops

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 23 April 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The police have said they are geared up for election bandobast and hope for a peaceful poll day. The deployment will include 19 companies of the state reserve police force, 38 deputy police commissioners, 46 assistant commissioners, 477 inspectors, 1,915 sub-inspectors, 30,025 constables, 5,275 home guards, 250 civil defense personnel and 108 flying squads.

Preventive action taken till now include detention and currency seizures. Since February 22, over 4,700 drug addicts and peddlers have been arrested, another 18,816 persons detained or arrested and Rs 5.36 crore in currency notes seized (the Election Commission is verifying if the money had any connection with the elections).

Also, 1,564 gun licenses have been deposited with the police and 50 illegal weapons seized. The number of non-bailable warrants issued is 4,401, normal warrants 5,571 and summons 10,226. In addition, 151 absconders and 301 wanted accused have been arrested.


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Boats too will ferry staff to poll booths

MUMBAI: In the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency, a section of poll officials and staff will undertake a gruelling boat ride to travel to polling stations.

From 11 am onwards on Wednesday, poll staff and police personnel assigned to centres in Arnala Fort and Panju village in the Vasai assembly segment and Vadhiv-Saravali villages in the Boisar assembly segment will be ferried by boat, the only means of transport there. Eight boats have been made pressed into service for carrying both people and poll material.

Two boats will travel from Vasai creek to Panju village, where 1,029 voters are registered. Two more will serve Arnala Fort, where 870 voters are registered. For booths in Vadhiv and Saravali, four boats have been arranged. Vadhiv has 516 registered voters, while Saravali has 1,061.


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‘Togadia tirade sign of dire times ahead’

MUMBAI: The Urdu press has used the provocative speeches of VHP leader Pravin Togadia as warning signals of "horrible" times for minorities, especially Muslims, if Narendra Modi becomes PM. Urdu dailies have told their readers to vote intelligently and defeat "divisive forces" if they want a peaceful existence in India.

In a front-page piece titled 'If Modi becomes PM, Togadia's threats can become reality', Urdu Times columnist Shakeel Rashid has said that Togadia and Giriraj Singh have only articulated the scenario that would surface under Modi raj. He said minorities, especially Muslims, might lose their rights as citizens. In its editorial, the Inquilab slammed the BJP for its "double standards". It also criticized the EC and the police for not acting swiftly and strongly against hate mongers.


22.23 | 0 komentar | Read More

Togadia tirade sign of dire times ahead: Urdu dailies

MUMBAI: The Urdu press has used the provocative speeches of VHP leader Pravin Togadia as warning signals of "horrible" times for minorities, especially Muslims, if Narendra Modi becomes PM. Urdu dailies have told their readers to vote intelligently and defeat "divisive forces" if they want a peaceful existence in India.

In a front-page piece titled 'If Modi becomes PM, Togadia's threats can become reality', Urdu Times columnist Shakeel Rashid has said that Togadia and Giriraj Singh have only articulated the scenario that would surface under Modi raj. He said minorities, especially Muslims, might lose their rights as citizens. In its editorial, the Inquilab slammed the BJP for its "double standards". It also criticized the EC and the police for not acting swiftly and strongly against hate mongers.


22.23 | 0 komentar | Read More
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