Tag Archives: Elections

Asian Politicians you will hear of soon

Varun Gandhi - BJP Secretary

Politicians and Politics in some way or the other, touch each one of our lives daily.  We can love or hate them but we cannot ignore them. The Diplomat, an international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region recently brought out a series of publications on politicians to watch out for.

The Indian fire band leader and Secretary of India’s main opposition party The Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP), Mr. Varun Gandhi featured as one of the leaders to watch out for. Already making headlines due to his comments on various issues and being accused of professing a politics of “hate“, Varun is being seen as one of the leading figures in the BJP’s youth stable.

Other politicians figuring on the list are:

The Diplomat states:

In 2009, 29-year-old Varun Gandhi was elected to parliament by the biggest margin (nearly 400,000 votes) of any other new member of his party—main opposition group the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The emphatic win quickly marked him out as one to watch on the Indian political scene.
Despite being a member of India’s foremost political family, Varun—cousin to fellow ‘new generation’ politician Rahul Gandhi and the grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi—broke the mould by joining the BJP in 2004, instead of the Indian National Congress, with which his family has traditionally been aligned. He has stated that the BJP’s recent values better reflect his and the original ones held by the Congress on issues such as nationalism, for which he is a strong proponent.
Often portrayed as more direct and confrontational than his cousin Rahul, Varun Gandhi has emerged as the hero of the ‘Hindutva’ forces, or those seeking to ensure that Hindus in India get the same status as presently enjoyed by Muslims in Pakistan. The cousins may well end up competing head-on with each other at some point in the future as they try to persuade the Indian electorate to choose between their societal visions.

In 2009, 29-year-old Varun Gandhi was elected to parliament by the biggest margin (nearly 400,000 votes) of any other new member of his party—main opposition group the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The emphatic win quickly marked him out as one to watch on the Indian political scene.Despite being a member of India’s foremost political family, Varun—cousin to fellow ‘new generation’ politician Rahul Gandhi and the grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi—broke the mould by joining the BJP in 2004, instead of the Indian National Congress, with which his family has traditionally been aligned. He has stated that the BJP’s recent values better reflect his and the original ones held by the Congress on issues such as nationalism, for which he is a strong proponent.Often portrayed as more direct and confrontational than his cousin Rahul, Varun Gandhi has emerged as the hero of the ‘Hindutva’ forces, or those seeking to ensure that Hindus in India get the same status as presently enjoyed by Muslims in Pakistan. The cousins may well end up competing head-on with each other at some point in the future as they try to persuade the Indian electorate to choose between their societal visions.

Source: the-diplomat.com

Indian the largest democracy of the world faces deep rooted issues ranging from Corruption to Crime, from Poverty to Population. While this new breed of politicians surely are looked upon as hope for a new India, the politics of family itself raises concerns about the agenda that they may profess.

Hopefully while following Nationalism, Varun will put “Nation” first.

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Philippines: 21 Killed in pre-poll violence

Maguindanao_map

Maguindanao, Philippines

In a deadly attack that is being seen as one of the worst incidents of election-related violence in the Philippines, 21 people have been killed after a group of about 100 gunmen took a group of 36 people hostage. Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, a military spokesman in Manila, said 21 bodies had been recovered in Maguindanao, a province in the southern Philippines that has often been wracked by violence during elections. The gunmen are believed to be followers of a local politician, who wanted to prevent a rival from filing a nomination for upcoming elections. Authorities believe other bodies have been buried.

Sources said that Genalyn Tiamzon-Mangudadatu, wife of Esmael Mangudadatu, the deputy mayor of Buluan, was on her way to file nomination papers in lieu her husband, for the election of provincial governor. She was accompanied by and several journalists and lawyers, who were among those taken in a mountainous area in Maguindanao province on the southern island of Mindanao. While Maj. Gen. Alfredo Cayton, a security spokesman said that the abducted people were shot, relatives of the people killed in the incident said that many had been beheaded.

Mr. Mangudadatu said the female relatives including his wife and sister were filing his candidacy papers with hope that women would not be attacked. His uncle, Pax Mangudadatu, who is the governor of Sultan Kudarat Province, said the deputy mayor’s supporters had been targeted by backers of Andal Ampatuan, the current governor of Maguindanao. The families are reportedly bitter political enemies.

Philippines usually faces spates of violence during elections, especially in the southern parts of the nation, where security forces are battling communist rebels, Islamic radicals and the clan rivalries. Armed criminal groups and mercenaries hired by political warlords have worsened the situation. Elections are scheduled to be held for local and national elections in May’ 2010 for which the filing of documents began Nov. 20.

Update 1:

The death toll has crossed 40 as per latest reports from CNN. The Government has also imposed a state of emergency in the troubled southern parts of the country on Tuesday.

The Philippine government declared a state of emergency in southern parts of the country Tuesday after gunmen kidnapped and killed more than 40 people, according to state-run media.

The military was deployed Tuesday in parts of Maguindanao to prevent more violence in the province, according to the Philippines News Agency.

Source: cnn.com

News agencies also reported that the government was placing survivors of the Monday attack into witness protection.

The area where these killings occurred, Maguindanao, is a province in Mindanao, a Muslim autonomous region out of the control of the central government.

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Neglecting Terror Threats, India Votes

Neglecting Terror Threats, India Votes | Voters waiting to Vote

As voting for the elections to state assembly of three Indian states drew to a close, the largest democracy of the world proved it’s faith in the democratic process once again. Even as grave threats ranging from Naxalite threats to local miscreants loomed large the three states witnessed an average of 66% voter turnout. Arunachal Pradesh saw the highest voter turnout among the three states pegged at around 72% of the electorate. One person was reported dead due to cardiac arrest in Haryana.

In the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra where the naxalites had recently killed 17 cops and beheaded an informer, the voter turnout was pegged at 55% amidst naxal threats that they would chop off the fingers of those who violated the naxal poll-boycott call. Reports said that they had even mobilized cadres from neighboring states of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to disrupt the poll process. The naxals did manage to obstruct the polling parties from reaching 22 polling stations in Aheri, Gadchiroli and Armori. Naxals also opened fire at two separate locations at patrol parties. No one is reported killed or injured in the incidents. Reinforcement was sent to the location including commandos by an Air Force chopper.

Gadchiroli, barring some stray incidents of firing on polling stations, witnessed around 55 per cent voting. “Gadchiroli always surprises us; this time, too, it was good turnout,” Chawla told reporters.

Haryana witnessed minor clashes between the workers of political parties and precautionary police firing in some places. Arunachal Pradesh witnessed stray incidents of miscreants damaged Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in 16 polling stations. The process in Arunachal gains significance in light of the fact that large parts of the state are claimed by China and border tensions following reports of Chinese “incursions” have dominated the campaign.

In Arunachal, the polling parties faced hardships in reaching polling station even after using choppers, in 32 booths, the polling parties had to walk for a day to reach the spot, while in 13 booth, they had to walk through the jungles for almost 48 hours to reach the venues.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, briefing journalists, along with Election Commissioners S.Y. Quraishi and V.S. Sampath, described the elections as “very satisfactory.”

The counting of votes will be done on October 22.

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