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Tue, 11 February 2020
AAP MLAs to meet at Kejri's residence tomorrow

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23:33   AAP MLAs to meet at Kejri's residence tomorrow
Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal has called a meeting of the party's newly-elected MLAs at his residence here on Wednesday, senior party leader Gopal Rai said.

At the meeting scheduled at 11.30 am, the MLAs will choose the AAP's Legislature Party leader, Rai told PTI on Tuesday.

Another AAP leader said the party was considering two dates for the chief minister's oath-taking ceremony -- February 14 and 16.

The Ramlila Maidan was being considered as the probable venue for the ceremony, he said, adding that a grand event was being planned.

However, the final call regarding the venue was yet to be taken, the AAP leader said.

After the selection of the Legislature Party leader, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal will be apprised of it.

Thereafter, a notification will be issued. -- PTI
23:27   44 sitting MLAs in Delhi retain seats
As many as 44 sitting MLAs including two from the Bharatiya Janata Party retained their seats in the high-stakes Assembly elections.

The two BJP MLAs -- Vijender Gupta from Rohini and O P Sharma from Vishwas Nagar -- retained their seats with comfortable margins of over 12,000 and over 16,000 votes respectively.

Anil Kumar Bajpai, former AAP MLA from Gandhi Nagar, retained his seat not from AAP but BJP. AAP's prominent faces Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Gopal Rai, Imran Hussain, Kailash Gahlot and Rajendra Pal Gautam, retained the New Delhi, Patparganj, Shakur Basti, Babarpur, Ballimaran, Najafgarh and Seemapuri constituencies respectively.

AAP's Pawan Sharma kept his Adarsh Nagar seat, defeating BJP's Raj Kumar Bhatia by over 1500 votes.

Ambedkar Nagar, a reserved constituency, was retained by AAP's Ajay Dutt by a margin of over 28,000 votes.

Chatarpur's Kartar Singh Tanwar, Deoli's Prakash Jarwal, Saurabh Bhardwaj from Greater Kailash, Nangloi's Raghuvinder Shokeen and Mangolpuri's Rakhi Birla also retained their seats.  -- PTI
23:16   WHO names coronavirus as 'COVID-19'
The new coronavirus that has killed over 1,000 people in China and sickened more than 43,000 others globally has been named 'COVID-19', the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

"We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted by the official Chinese media as saying at a media conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, announced Tuesday at a news conference at the agency's headquarters in Geneva.

The death toll from the virus in China on Monday rose to 1,017 with confirmed cases totalling to 42,708, Chinese health officials said on Monday.

The confirmed cases abroad have gone up to 390.

"Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks," state-run People's Daily quoted Dr Tedros as saying.

The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late December.  --  PTI
22:47   People reward work: BJP ally Chirag Paswan on AAP win
National Democratic Alliance member Lok Janshakti Party on Tuesday said the results of Delhi assembly elections prove that people reward those who work.

LJP president Chirag Paswan was reacting after the Aam Aadmi Party swept the February 8 elections.

He said poll results have 'proved that people reward on the basis of work'.

'Just as in the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi ji got vote, today Arvind Kejriwal ji got the blessings of the people on the basis of his work. Lots of best wishes,' Chirag, son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, tweeted.

The AAP is set to form government in Delhi for the third consecutive term.  -- PTI
22:13   My future role party's internal matter: Tiwari
Taking full responsibility of his party's poor show in the Delhi Assembly polls, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday said his future role in the party is an internal matter.

Tiwari, who led the Delhi BJP through its impressive victories in civic body polls in 2017 and Lok Sabha elections last year, failed to pass the test of fire as his party suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party managing to win just eight of the 70 assembly seats.

On being asked if he considered stepping down after the BJP's defeat in the assembly polls, he said, "It is an internal party matter. I will let you know if anything like that happens."

Out of the eight assembly seats the BJP won, three were under Tiwari's Lok Sabha constituency North East Delhi.

The party won four seats in East Delhi constituency represented by BJP MP Gautam Gambhir and one in South Delhi represented by party MP Ramesh Bidhuri.

In the remaining four Lok Sabha constituencies, the party was routed by the AAP.

Each of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi comprise 10 assembly segments.

Tiwari, who fought the Lok Sabha elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate in 2009 against Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur, joined the BJP ahead of assembly polls in 2013.

In 2014, he was fielded by the BJP from North East Delhi which he won.

In November 2016, he was given responsibility to head the Delhi BJP owning to his Purvanchali background.

The term of Delhi BJP president is for three years, and Tiwari has already completed his stipulated tenure and is currently on extension, a BJP leader said.

Party sources claimed that Tiwari could be replaced with a new face and he might be given some other responsibility in the party or the government at the Centre.

Leading the BJP that was out of power in Delhi for over two decades, Tiwari had tweeted earlier that the party will form government by winning 48 seats, and dared his critics to save his tweet.

Tiwari laughed off his tweet saying he had tried to boost the morale of the party workers through his assertion.

"I am state president, so I take the responsibility for this defeat. My estimate based on some factors has proved wrong but what possibly could you do with my tweet, just keep it saved," the Delhi BJP chief said when asked about his tweet.

The BJP, which is out of power in Delhi for more than two decades, won just three seats in the 2015 Assembly elections.  -- PTI
22:03   Ex-Arunachal CM Kalikho Pul's son found dead in UK
A 20-year-old man, believed to be the son of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul, has been found dead in the bedroom of his flat in the coastal town of Brighton in south-east England.

Shubanso Pul was found dead by the local police officials on Sunday, who said there were no suspicious circumstances around the death which seems to imply a possible suicide.

'At 3.41pm on Sunday (February 9) police were called to an address in Falmer where a 20-year-old man was found dead in a bedroom,' an East Sussex Police statement said.

'There were no suspicious circumstances. The coroner for Brighton and Hove has been informed,' the statement added.

The coroner will now open an inquest into the death, which is when the cause of death will be confirmed.

Shubanso, the son of Pul with his first wife Dangwimsai Pul, was reportedly a student at the University of Sussex.

Meanwhile, his family in Itanagar is trying to get in touch with the Indian High Commission in the UK to bring Shubanso's body to India.

With the support of a few elected members of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Pul became the chief minister for a brief period in 2016.

However, the Supreme Court ruled against the appointment, leading to his ouster. He himself was found dead in his official chief ministerial residence in Itanagar on August 9, 2016, with an alleged suicide note.

While Dangwimsai Pul, the first wife, had moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into the death and allegations of massive corruption mentioned in her husband's suicide note, the BJP gave a ticket to his third wife, Dasanglu Pul to contest the by-elections from Hayuliang, which she won.  -- PTI
21:54   Delhi Congress chief offers to resign
Subhash Chopra on Tuesday offered to resign from the post of Delhi Congress chief in a letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.

Chopra's offer of resignation comes soon after the declaration of Delhi assembly poll results in which Congress failed to make any mark and could not win even single seat.

As per the latest trend, out of the 70 seats in total, AAP has won 59 and is leading on three others, while the Bharatiya Janata Party has won the remaining eight seats.  -- ANI
21:52   Bhim Army chief seeks review of SC verdict on reservation
Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court seeking review of its recent verdict on reservation in jobs for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The apex court on February 7 had delivered its verdict while dealing with the pleas regarding the Uttarakhand government's September 5, 2012 decision to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservations to the SCs and the STs.

The government's decision was challenged in the Uttarakhand high court, which struck it down.

In his plea, Aazad and co-petitioner Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, have claimed that the top court's verdict has given a 'free hand' to the states to completely abolish reservations to the SCs, STs, Other Backward Castes and economically weaker sections of society.

The plea seeking review of the verdict said the apex court's ruling that state government is not required to collect data on inadequate representation if it has decided not to provide reservation 'will not only lead to further inequality but is also unconstitutional'.

'The impugned judgment is not only sweeping in its scope, but has intermingled various propositions and laid down principles that are erroneous on the face of the record and severely detrimental to the interests of the SCs/STs,' the plea said.

The petitioners claimed that the judgment will act as a 'tool to exploit SCs, STs, OBCs and the economically weaker sections, causing further marginalisation within the society' and is against the Constitution which safeguards interests of these communities.

'The impugned judgment is against Article 46 of the Constitution which provide for promotion of the interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections of the society,' it said, adding that 'the question in the impugned judgment could only have been considered after being referred to a larger bench if this court was of the view that the judgments of the Constitution Bench required reconsideration'.

While upholding the Uttarakhand dispensation's September 2012 notification, the apex court had said in its verdict that since the government was not bound to provide reservation in promotions, the high court should not have declared the state's decision as illegal.

Referring to constitutional provision about reservation, the apex court had said, "It is for the state government to decide whether reservations are required in the matter of appointment and promotions to public posts."       

"In view of the law laid down by this court, there is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions," the court had said, adding, "No mandamus can be issued by the court directing the state government to provide reservations."   -- PTI
21:00   Respect mandate, best wishes to Kejri: Javadekar
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party respects the mandate given by people in the Delhi Assembly elections and extended best wishes to the Aam Aadmi Party and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

"We respect the mandate given by people of Delhi in the Assembly election and give best wishes to Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party. Being in Opposition, BJP will keep raising the issues faced by people," Javadekar said.

Stating that BJP's vote share and seats have increased in comparison with last Delhi Assembly elections, Javadekar said that the party will analyse the results.

By 9 pm on Tuesday, the AAP had won 56 seats and was leading on six others, while BJP had won seven seats and leading on one.   -- ANI
20:56   Pakistani national arrested by BSF in Punjab
The Border Security Force on Tuesday arrested a Pakistani national who was roaming near a Border Outpost in Mamdot area along the Indo-Pakistan border in the Ferozepur Sector in Ferozepur under mysterious circumstances, officials said.

The foreign national was identified as Sadiq, 50, a resident of village Ukara in Pakistan.

During the frisking of the intruder, Pakistani currency of Rs 170 besides his identity card was found.

After the preliminary interrogation, the national was handed over to the police following which a first information report under relevant provisions of the law was registered against him.

The security agencies are trying to ascertain the exact reasons behind his venturing across the border, sources said.   --  PTI
20:26   Delhi chose 'progressive politics': Kamal Haasan
Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan on Tuesday greeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party's victory in the Assembly elections there, saying the voters have chosen 'progressive politics'.

The actor expressed confidence that Tamil Nadu will 'follow suit next year', apparently hinting at the assembly polls due in the state in 2021.

'Congratulations @ArvindKejriwal Ji on winning Delhi again. The righteous people of Delhi have embraced progressive politics and have shown the way by voting AAP to victory,' the actor-politician said in a tweet.

Tamil Nadu 'will follow suit next year', he said, adding, 'Lets march towards honesty and growth. #ReImagineThamizhNadu.'

Kejriwal and Haasan are said to share close ties and the AAP supremo was present at the launch of the MNM in Madurai in 2018.

The two leaders have also had a couple of meetings in the past in Delhi and here. -- PTI
20:00   Don't get disheartened by defeat, reads poster at BJP office
As the Aam Aadmi Party swept the Delhi assembly elections restricting the BJP to a single digit, posters were seen at the saffron party office in  New Delhi featuring its leader Amit Shah's pictures with a message that the party neither becomes arrogant with victory nor gets disheartened with defeat.

The posters at the BJP's Delhi unit office carried the message 'Vijay se hum anhakari nahi hote, haar se hum hatash nahi hote (Victory doesn't make us arrogant, and defeat doesn't dishearten us)'.

Shah was the force behind the BJP's high octane campaign in the national capital, where the party had deployed more than 200 of its MPs, Union ministers and many chief ministers.

The BJP's entire campaign revolved around the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests at Shaheen Bagh, with Shah in the forefront.

This is perhaps one of the rare posters in which the BJP has mentioned about defeat, that too on an election result day, with the picture of one of its most prominent leaders.

As per the latest election commission data, the AAP has won 53 seats and is leading in nine out of total 70 seats.

The BJP has won six and is leading in two.  -- PTI
19:28   Look forward to working together: Kejriwal to PM
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tweet congratulating him for the landslide victory of the AAP in the Delhi Assembly polls and said that he was looking forward to working "closely" with the Centre.

Kejriwal said, "Thank u so much sir. I look forward to working closely wid Centre to make our capital city into a truly world class city."

Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too tweeted a congratulatory message to the winning Aam Aadmi Party.
19:04   Divisive agenda of BJP defeated: Cong's Anand Sharma on Delhi results
Acknowledging his party's defeat and Aam Aadmi Party's remarkable victory in Delhi polls, Congress leader Anand Sharma on Tuesday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party stating that a divisive agenda of the ruling party at the Center has been defeated.

"A divisive agenda of BJP has been defeated. Yes, Congress has not done well, that is true," Sharma told ANI while responding to a question about Delhi poll results. 

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge took a jibe at BJP and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned during Delhi Assembly elections and yet the BJP lost the poll to AAP.

"The BJP had Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, MLAs and Chief Ministers to campaign for Delhi elections and yet they lost," Kharge told ANI.

He said that this election was not about who won the election but was about "defeating the BJP's move to divide the community."

-- ANI
18:56   'Wishing very best': PM Modi to Kejriwal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Arvind Kejriwal for his party's victory in Delhi assembly election. 

The PM "wished the AAP the very best in fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Delhi."

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda too congratulated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over AAP's "splendid third victory" in the assembly polls and said this win assures the rest of India yet again that "desperate acts of communal polarisation has limited currency".

"You richly deserved this win. It is also a remarkably good sign in Indian politics that your focus on development has paid off immensely," Gowda said in a letter to the Delhi CM.
18:24   Rahul congratulates Kejriwal on Delhi win
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi congratulates AAP on its victory in Delhi assembly election. In a tweet, he said, My best wishes & congratulations to Mr Kejriwal and the AAP on winning the Delhi Assembly elections.

The Congress has once again failed to win any seat in this election, a repetition of the 2015 polls.

In fact, 63 out of the 66 candidates lost their deposits. Most of Congress candidates got less than 5 per cent of the total votes polled in their respective constituencies.
18:13   My best birthday gift ever: Kejriwal's wife on AAP's victory
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal said she could not have asked for a better gift on her birthday than the mandate given by the people of Delhi in the assembly polls.
 
Speaking at the party office, Sunita, a former IRS officer, said the campaigning saw several "ups and downs" but the party members had complete faith in their work.

"Delhi people have given me a gift, could not have asked for a better gift. There was anxiety, several ups and downs were going on. We trusted our work. Delhi has made 'kaam' (work) victorious," Sunita said. 

She also said the personal attacks on her husband during the campaigning were uncalled for. 

"Fight politics positively," she advised.

Kejriwal's daughter Harshita said she had taken leave from her office to campaign for the party and would join back work in March.

"There are many volunteers like me who have taken leave to work for the party and I will be joining back work," the 24-year-old IITian said. 

-- PTI
17:54   Kejriwal at Hanuman temple in thanksgiving visit
Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal visited a Hanuman temple in Delhi's  Connaught Place to offer prayers after the party's resounding victory in the assembly elections. Kejriwal won the New Delhi seat by over 21,000 votes against his nearest rival BJP's Sunil Kumar Yadav. Kejriwal also invoked Hanuman when he addressed his followers this afternoon when leads showed AAP was headed to a win. 

A beaming Kejriwal began his speech with "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", "Inquilab Zindabad" and "Vande Mataram" and said, "This is the day of Lord Hanuman who has blessed the people of Delhi. We pray that Hanumanji keeps showing the right path to us so that we continue to serve people for the next five years." 

In fact, Hanuman has inadvertently romped through the Delhi election trail. A few days before the Delhi polls, Kejriwal, when asked if he is a "Hanuman bhakt", told a TV channel that he is and even went on to recite the Hanuman Chalisa in front of an audience that cheered him on.

After Kejriwal visited a Hanuman temple before casting his vote, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari attacked him for "touching the idol without washing his hands". Following the attack, Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the BJP has been mocking him ever since he recited the 'Hanuman Chalisa' on a TV channel.
17:43   Sandeep Dixit on why the Cong lost
Sandeep Dikshit, Congress on the party's performance: "Congress' performance is not surprising...We were nowhere there. We tried to showcase the work done by Sheilaji but it was done really late because unfortunately Subhash Chopraji was given the responsibility really late. 

"Some senior leaders of the party only insulted and badmouthed Sheilaji in the last 6-7 years, even when we were in power. If you do this on one hand, playing a role in the defeat of Congress, and later claim credits for her work, then who will believe you?"
17:29   We were zero earlier, are zero now: Cong leader
Congress leader and Punjab cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot on Tuesday said his party was not defeated in the Delhi election as its tally remained at zero like in 2015, and so it was the BJP's loss. 


"We were zero earlier, and this time too we are zero. So it's not our defeat. It's a defeat for the BJP," he told mediapersons here, referring to the election trends which gave the Congress no seat in the Delhi assembly election. 


The Congress had not won even a single seat in the 2015 Assembly polls too. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema hailed the AAP's performance in the Delhi Assembly election as a "victory of agenda of development over that of hatred and dirty politics". 


The Aam Aadmi Party is the second largest party in Punjab with 19 MLAs in the 117-member House. "Congratulations to all the volunteers, n (and) people of Delhi for this massive mandate in favour of @AamAadmiParty. This is the victory of the agenda of development over hatred and Dirty politics," Cheema tweeted in English.  -- PTI


Image: Aam Aadmi Party leader Gopal Rai hugs Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as party leader Raghav Chadha looks on. 
17:15   AAP leader from constituency neighbouring Shaheen Bagh wins
Aam Aadmi Party's Amanatullah Khan won the Okhla seat by over 70,000 votes after defeating BJP's Braham Singh. In the initial trends, Singh was leading by 194 votes, but Khan later took a huge lead and is all set to retain the seat. The city's Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar fall under the Okhla constituency. 


Shaheen Bagh has become the epicentre of protest against the Citizenship (Amendment Act) as women with young children have been on a sit-in protest there for nearly two months. Less than two kilometres away from Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Millia Islamia students with the support of Jamia Nagar locals have been holding protests against the CAA on the road outside the varsity. -- PTI
17:13   BJP doesn't do politics of hate: Tiwari
Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief: "I thank the people of Delhi. I thank our party workers for their hard work, they've done a lot. I accept the mandate of the people of Delhi and congratulate Arvind Kejrwial. I hope he'll perform well as per the expectations of the people. 

"We couldn't perform well, we'll evaluate this. Sometimes we get discouraged when results are not as per our expectations, but I would like to tell our workers to not be disheartened... Compared to 2015 our winning percentage has increased. 

"We don't do politics of hate, we do politics of 'sabka saath sabka vikas'. Lot of things are said during elections but we never wanted that roads should be blocked for 60 days. We opposed that yesterday, we are opposing that today."


Ecstatic over their thumping victory in the Delhi Assembly polls and taking a dig at the BJP which has been riding high on the patriotism wave, AAP candidates asserted that the mandate given to them has proved what true nationalism is.


The people of Delhi have explained the true meaning of nationalism through their mandate, AAP's prominent face Manish Sisodia said as he clinched victory on the Patparganj seat.


Sisodia, who retained his seat for the third time, said the BJP indulged in "politics of hate", but people refused to be divided. "I am happy to have won the Patparganj seat again. The BJP indulged in politics of hate, but I thank the people of Patparganj. Today, Delhi's people have chosen a government which works for them and explained the true meaning of nationalism through their mandate," he told reporters.


Sisodia, who was the Deputy Chief Minister and led the government's education reforms agenda, defeated BJP's Ravinder Singh Negi by a margin of over 3,500 votes.  
16:40   BJP will act as constructive opposition: Nadda
BJP president JP Nadda on Tuesday said his party accepts the mandate given by the people of Delhi and it will play the role of a constructive opposition. Congratulating Arvind Kejriwal and AAP for their victory in the Delhi assembly election, Nadda said in a series of tweets that the BJP hopes the AAP government will work for the overall development of the national capital. He also expressed gratitude towards BJP workers, saying they worked day and night for the party's victory. -- PTI
16:30   'AAP's Delhi win a victory of freebies'
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday described the AAP win in the Delhi Assembly elections as a victory of freebies. The BJP leader took to Twitter as trends indicated that the Aam Aadmi Party would sweep the Delhi polls. 


"Delhi ke chunaav mein muddhay haar gaye, muftkhori jeet gai (in the Delhi elections, issues lost, freebies won)," he wrote on his Twitter handle. The apparent reference was to cheap power and water besides free bus rides for women in the capital. Apart from these, the AAP had highlighted its performance in the education and health sectors during the campaign. Many BJP leaders, however, focused on issues like anti-CAA protests. PTI


Image: A child dressed as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during the counting of votes of the Delhi assembly election, at the AAP office, in New Delhi. The child won hearts on Twitter with people saying he would be the next CM. 
16:25   Mehbooba congratulates Kejriwal
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday congratulated AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on his party's victory in Delhi Assembly elections. 


"On behalf of Ms Mufti, I'd like to congratulate @ArvindKejriwal for his spectacular victory & especially Dilliwallahs for rejecting vitriolic divisive politics & voting on real issues instead," Mehbooba's daughter Iltija Mufti tweeted from her mother's handle on Tuesday. 


Referring to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's statement about Shaheen Bagh protests, she said, "Those exhorting Dilliwallahs to send a current got electrocuted themselves & that too at high voltage." 


The Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party was on course to a landslide victory on Tuesday in the high-stakes Delhi Assembly polls, leaving the main rival BJP way behind and decimating the Congress in a bitterly-fought contest that took place in the midst of massive protests over the new citizenship law. 


The AAP was leading in 63 seats, the BJP in seven constituencies while the Congress drew a blank in the 70-member assembly, according to the latest vote tally. 


Mehbooba, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, has been under detention since August 5 last year when the Centre revoked the erstwhile state's special status and bifurcated it into union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. She was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act last week. -- PTI
16:22   'Jan Ki Baat' won over 'Mann Ki Baat' in Delhi: Maha CM
As the vote counting trends indicated a huge win for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi Assembly polls, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said "Jan Ki Baat" won over 'Mann Ki Baat', an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The AAP appeared to be heading back to power in Delhi, with the party leading in 62 of the total 70 seats, and the BJP ahead in eight seats, according to the latest Election Commission figures.


Reacting to it, Thackeray said, "The people of Delhi have chosen 'Jan Ki Baat' over 'Mann Ki Baat'. There is a (BJP-led central) government in Delhi with so called nationalistic views, which used the entire machinery and force in the Delhi Assembly polls but failed before the broom."  
16:00   Muzaffarpur shelter home: Lifer for Brajesh Thakur
In other news, a Delhi court Tuesday sentenced Brajesh Thakur to imprisonment till his last breath for sexually and physically assaulting several girls in a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. Additional Sessions Judge Saurabh Kulshreshtha also sent 11 others to jail for life in the case.


The court on January 20 convicted Thakur, who once unsuccessfully contested assembly polls on Bihar People's Party (BPP) ticket, of several offences including aggravated penetrative sexual assault under section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and offences of rape and gang rape under the Indian Penal code.
15:53   I love you, Kejriwal tells a cheering Delhi
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal addresses his followers as the AAP heads to a resounding victory (63 seats) in the assembly polls. 

Standing next to his beaming wife Sunita, who celebrates her birthday today, he told the cheering crowd, "I love you."

He said he prays that God blesses the party for the next five years as well. Raising a cry of 'Bharat mata ki jai', (borrowed from BJP rallies), Kejriwal said it was a new dawn in Delhi. 

He said today was Tuesday and it Hanuman's day and the god has indeed blessed him. "Hanumanji ke aashirwad se hum jeet gaye hain," he said. 

He said the mandate has given birth to a new kind of politics. He said the AAP win is a victory for entire India. "It is a victory of the people of Delhi who considered me their son," he said.

Kejriwal is headed to a temple visit next.
15:26   Reactions: Delhi polls indicate winds of change in India
NCP chief Sharad Pawar: Delhi Assembly poll results not surprising. I don't think BJP's series of defeat will stop soon. Delhi poll results indicate 'winds of change' blowing in the country.
  

Atishi Marlena (AAP candidate who won from the Kalkaji seat): Thank you to all the people of Delhi for putting their faith in @AamAadmiParty
and voting for politics of development. In the last 5 years we have endeavoured to make Delhis Govt. Schools the best in the country and now well make Kalkaji the best constituency in Delhi!


Sharmistha Mukherjee (Congress leader): BJP playing divisive politics,Kejriwal playing smart politicsand what r we doing? Can we honestly say that weve done all 2 put our house in order? We r busy capturing Congress whereas other parties are capturing India. If we r 2 survive, time 2 come out of exalted echo chambers!


P Chidambaram: AAP won, bluff and bluster lost. The people of Delhi, who are from all parts of India, have defeated the polarising, divisive and dangerous agenda of the BJP. I salute the people of Delhi who have set an example to other states that will hold their elections in 2021 and 2022


Yogendra Yadav: Congratulations @AamAadmiParty for a well deserved victory in the face of dirty tricks of the regime and a docile EC.
Congratulations to people of Delhi for defeating the most vitriolic campaign of communal hatred in recent times and stopping it from becoming a national template.


Amit Malviya (BJP spokesperson): Hate politics of anti CAA protestors won. But our ideological opposition to politics of Shaheen Bagh is uncompromising, our commitment to civilisational issues like CAA, abrogating 370, abolishing Triple Talaq and facilitating Ram Mandir unwavering... We will emerge stronger...


Raghav Chadha, (AAP's winning candidate from Rajinder Nagar): People of Delhi have proven that Delhi's son Arvind Kejriwal isn't a terrorist but a true patriot. He's working for nation building, the work he's doing is what constitutes patriotism. What BJP is doing, isn't patriotism.


Image: Manish Sisodia, AAP's winning candidate from Patparganj begins a road show.
15:02   Delhi refused to chose politics of hate: Sisodia
Aam Aadmi Party's Manish Sisodia wins his seat after an initial scare where he was trailing against the BJP's Ravinder Singh Negi. "I am happy to become the MLA from Patparganj assembly constituency again. BJP tried to do politics of hate but people of Delhi chose a government that works for the people." 

AAP: 63, BJP: 07
14:52   Reactions from AAP candidated
Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Rajinder Nagar constituency, Raghav Chadha: Today, Arvind Kejriwal's model of governance has won.
14:49   AAP touches 62, BJP down to single digits
Up, up and away! Kejriwal's AAP leads in 62 seats, BJP down to 8. Congress is the only constant at zero. Will they meet their 2015 tally of 67? Wait and watch. 


Arvind Kejriwal will address the media at 3:30 pm. 
14:36   Kejri's lesson: Only a 'Hinduised' Hindu can stop Modi
"In Kejriwal's re-election, we are finally seeing someone who has successfully bridged his Hindu identity with ground-level development triumphing over the BJP," notes Saisuresh Sivaswamy/Rediff.com.

Read the column here 
14:33   Sweet 60! AAP set to form govt in Delhi
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has crossed the 60 mark, while the BJP is on 10, as per the trends for all 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections by the Election Commission of India. 


According to the data compiled by the ECI, Congress is yet to register its lead on any seat, while AAP has also has been able to maintain a sizeable lead of over 14 per cent in vote share over BJP.


Prominent among those who are leading in their respective constituencies include Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has taken a lead of 14,227 votes over BJP's Sunil Kumar Yadav from New Delhi constituency.


AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan has also taken a sizeable lead of over 36,000 votes over Braham Singh of BJP from the Okhla Assembly seat.


However, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia is trailing behind BJP's Ravi Negi, by 1223 votes, after 10th round of counting, from the Patparganj Assembly constituency. The counting of votes for 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly began amid tight security at 8 am today. Delhi went to polls in a single-phase on February 8. -- ANI


Image: Cutting the cake and eating it too: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal celebrates his wife Sunita's birthday today. 
14:28   DMK greets Kejriwal, says 'growth' trumps communal politics
DMK president M K Stalin on Tuesday greeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the Aam Aadmi Party's massive win in the Assembly elections in the national capital and said it was a vindication of development politics. 


Taking to twitter to congratulate Kejriwal, Stalin said: "I congratulate @ArvindKejriwal and @AamAadmiParty for forming government yet again in Delhi, on a massive mandate. This is a clear vindication that development trumps communal politics. Federal rights and regional aspirations must be strengthened in the interest of our country." Riding on its development agenda, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party was set for a resounding victory in the Delhi assembly elections to retain power for a third term. -- PTI
14:20   Cong will rebuild, revive: Surjewala
The Congress on Tuesday accepted defeat in the Delhi Assembly polls and vowed to rebuild and revive itself at the grassroots level in the national capital. It said the poll results also had a message for the BJP that the "most toxic campaign" unleashed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah has been defeated. 


"People's mandate is against us, we accept it. We have resolved to revive and rebuild the party," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference. 


Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra said, "Attempts to polarise were made by both parties (BJP and AAP) and they were successful to an extent." 


However, he added, the results also showed that the people of Delhi were not with the communal forces. AICC Delhi in-charge P C Chacko said the message of Delhi polls is that the "most toxic campaign" unleashed by Modi and Shah has been defeated by the people of the national capital.
-- PTI
14:10   Cong knew how it would perform: Kamal Nath
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday said the Congress was aware of its performance in Delhi Assembly elections but the big claims by the BJP have turned out to be false.


"The Congress was already aware of its results in Delhi Assembly polls. However, I want to ask the BJP -- what happened to the BJP which was making big claims," Kamal Nath told reporters.


He also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the Central government works in Delhi and yet the Delhiites could not connect themselves with the party.


"In recent times, neither PM Modi nor any Central minister talked about unemployment. They only talked about nationalism, Pakistan, and CAA," he said.


"On CAA, I want to ask the BJP whether India is going for any war or if refugees were entering the country. What was the need to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the middle of the night," asked Nath. --ANI
14:07   The CA from Rajinder Nagar notches a lead
AAP candidate from Rajinder Nagar constituency Raghav Chadha celebrates with party workers as trends show he is leading by more than 18,000 votes.
14:05   Mamata congrats Kejriwal, slams BJP for 'vendetta politics'
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday congratulated AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who appears set for a massive win as per official trends of the Delhi Assembly elections.


CM Banerjee also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not doing enough for development and accused the party of "political vendetta."


"I have congratulated Arvind Kekriwal. People at present want roti (food), kapda (clothes) and makan (house). The BJP lost in Maharashtra and Jharkhand. The trend is very clear. They are doing vendetta politics.


"BJP says garbage of lies. They use the money to spread rumors and propaganda. At present, important issues are unemployment and the economy. I am also sure that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will be rejected by people. These things do not work in elections. After Delhi poll results, I hope that the Centre will withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens and focus on the economy."


As per the recent trends by Election Commission at 1.20 pm, the AAP is leading on 57 seats and BJP is far behind at 13.The counting of votes for 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly began amid tight security at 8 am today. Delhi went to polls in a single-phase on February 8. -- ANI
13:55   I hope Delhi develops under Kejriwal: Gambhir
BJP MP from East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir reacts: We accept the Delhi election results and congratulate Arvind Kejriwal and the people of Delhi. We tried our best but, probably, we could not convince the people of the state. I hope Delhi develops under the chief ministership of Arvind Kejriwal.

Gambhir had fought a bitter, vituperative Lok Sabha campaign and won from the East Delhi seat against AAP's Atishi Marlena. Atishi is hanging on to a slim lead against the BJP from the Kalkaji seat. 
13:45   Lt Governor dissolves Delhi Assembly
Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday dissolved the Delhi Assembly. An official said. "Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday dissolved the Sixth Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi with effect from February 11." 


A new order will be issued for the formation of the Seventh Legislative Assembly after the final results come. With the early trends suggesting a third term for the AAP in Delhi, senior party leader Sanjay Singh said by giving a "massive mandate", people of the national capital have said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not a terrorist but a staunch nationalist. Despite the BJP using all its might to wrest power in the national capital, the "son of Delhi" won, he said. 


The ruling Aam Aadmi Party is leading on 57 seats while the BJP on 13, according to Election Commission. "The two crore families of Delhi have now said that their son Arvind Kejriwal is not a terrorist but a staunch nationalist. I salute the people of Delhi from (for) giving AAP such a massive mandate," Singh said in a tweet.


The AAP leader was referring to remarks made by BJP MP Parvesh Verma at a poll rally. Verma had called Kejriwal a "terrorist" over his alleged support to an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest in south Delhi's Shaheen Bagh.


"Despite BJP leaders putting all their force behind it (election campaign), the son of Delhi won. Amit Shah has been shown that the son of Delhi has won and people of Delhi have voted for development and progress," said Singh, referring to Kejriwal. Singh was addressing party workers at the AAP headquarters in Delhi.


Image: Riding with Kejriwal: AAP supporters travel in an auto with AAP posters as they celebrate the party's victory in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Election.
13:36   Sharmistha Mukherjee says Congress 'decimated again'
With the Congress set to draw a blank in Delhi, party leader Sharmistha Mukherjee on Tuesday said 'inordinate delay in decision making at the top' is among the reasons for the dismal performance.


"We are again decimated in Delhi. Enough of introspection, time for action now. Inordinate delay in decision making at the top, lack of strategy and unity at the state level, demotivated workers, no grassroots connect - all are factors. Being part of the system, I too take my share of responsibility," she tweeted.

The Congress scored a cipher in the polls. 

13:17   AAP set for hat-trick in Delhi
Riding on its development agenda, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party was on Tuesday set for a resounding victory in the Delhi assembly elections to retain power for a third term. As votes for the February 8 elections were counted, the AAP was leading in 58 of 70 seats and the BJP in 12, leaving the Congress virtually decimated in a city it had ruled for three consecutive terms under Sheila Dikshit, according to Election Commission figures. 


The elections in the national capital took place in the midst of massive protests in the city and elsewhere over the new citizenship law, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. 


The BJP faced charges of carrying out a "divisive" campaign to polarise the voters by consistently highlighting the over 50-day demonstration by a group of women in Shaheen Bagh area.


Though BJP's campaign focused on national security issues, the AAP mainly focused on its achievements in the fields of education, healthcare and infrastructure. 


The AAP had registered a sensational victory in 2015 by winning 67 seats in a hurricane march that almost wiped out the BJP and the Congress. According to latest trends, Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service officer, was leading in his New Delhi constituency by over 6,300 votes, while his deputy Manish Sisodia was 754 votes behind BJP's Ravinder Singh Negi in Patparganj. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot was leading by 1,115 votes from Najafgarh constituency. Health Minister Satyendar Jain was leading by 309 votes in Shakur Basti constituency and BJP's S C Vats was second. Labour Minister Gopal Rai was leading in Babarpur and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain in Ballimaran. Kejriwal is expected to address party workers and the media later in the day. 


AAP's Preeti Tomar won the Tri Nagar seat by 12,000 votes, while Bandana Kumari emerged victorious on the Shalimar Bagh seat by a margin of 800 votes, the officials said.
13:08   BJP's sitting MLAs lead in their constituencies
Early vote-counting trends for the Delhi Assembly polls showed that the three sitting BJP MLAs -- Vijender Gupta, Om Prakash Sharma and Jagdish Pradhan -- are leading in their respective constituencies. 


According to the Election Commission (EC), Pradhan is leading by 29,780 votes from Mustafabad constituency, while the ruling Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Haji Yunus is trailing. Gupta, who is also the Opposition Leader in the Delhi Assembly, is leading by over 2,000 votes from Rohini constituency. In Vishwas Nagar, Sharma is leading by 8,770 votes. 


Image: EC officials at a counting centre in Delhi
12:49   Kejriwal relaxes after a bitter election battle
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders at the party office are all smiles as it heads for a hat-trick. AAP is leading on 56 seats as per official EC trends. The half-way mark in the 70-seat assembly is 36. The lady in the red dupatta to the extreme right of the picture is Kejriwal's wife. It's a special day for her not just because of the party's victory, but also because it's her birthday. Read: AAP victory is Kejriwal's gift to wife on birthday 
12:44   Celebrate victory without firecrackers: Kejriwal
As AAP is set to register a massive victory in the assembly polls, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday asked party volunteers to not burst firecrackers during celebrations to prevent air pollution.


AAP volunteers grooved to party anthem "Lage Raho Kejriwal" and hugged each other and maintained they will strictly abide by the direction of Kejriwal. They said other preparations, including ordering sweets and namkeens and even "band baja", were underway at the party's ITO headquarters. 


The AAP was leading on 56 seats while the BJP on 14, according to the latest election trends. In 2015, AAP secured a landslide victory when it bagged 67 seats, reducing the BJP to three. Congress drew a blank. Reducing air pollution was one of the main promises made by the AAP in its manifesto and "guarantee card". PTI
12:20   Thanks Delhi for protecting India's soul: Kishor
AAP's election strategist Prashant Kishor tweets, "Thank you Delhi for standing up to protect the soul of India!"


A day after the exit polls in Delhi predicting a comfortable win for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had called a meeting of senior leaders of the party and its election strategist to discuss the security of Electronic Voting Machines ahead of counting day on Tuesday, sources said.


Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Gopal Rai were among the AAP leaders present at the meeting.


The leads so far indicate AAP is set to form government with a lead in 57 seats over the BJP's 13. Congress has maintained status quo with its numbers in the last assembly polls: zero. 
11:37   Atishi leads
Heartening to note that AAP stalwart Atishi Marlena is now leading from her constituency of Kalkaji, which is adjacent to Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of the BJP's vitriolic poll campaign. She is leading by 111 votes after the fifth round of counting of votes.


Atishi, who single-handedly steered the party's primary education drive to international success, stated that the people had already made up their minds about voting for AAP. "Delhi just speaks one name -- Arvind Kejriwal," she had said in an interview just ahead of the polls. 
11:22   Everyone knew AAP will win 3rd term: Cong
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury congratulates AAP: "Everyone knew that Aam Aadmi Party will return to power for the third time. Congress's defeat will not send a good message, but the victory of AAP against the Bharatiya Janata Party AND its communal agenda is significant."
11:16   AAP shocker! Manish Sisodia trails
Even as TV screens are beaming that the Aam Aadmi Party is sweeping the Delhi polls, a closer look at the results on the Election Commission's website shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party can still turn around the results. 

That's because the lead margin of AAP candidates is very small compared to that of the BJP's candidates. And with 28 rounds of counting that need to be done before the final elections are announced, it could go down to the wire.


Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is trailing behind BJP's Ravi Negi by 1427 votes, in Patparganj assembly constituency, after the third round of counting.


Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf brings you 10 seats where the AAP is leading by a wafer-thin margin.


Ajesh Yadav
Constituency: Badli 
Margin: 591


Kartar Singh Tanwar  
Constituency:  Chhatarpur  
Margin: 105


Vinay Mishra  
Constituency:  Dwarka       
Margin: 476


Raj Kumari Dhillon   
Constituency:  Hari Nagar 
Margin: 56


Rituraj Govind
Constituency:  Kirari
Margin: 178


Somnath Bharti 
Constituency:  Malviya Nagar
Margin: 617


Rakhi Birla    
Constituency:  Mangol Puri(SC) 
Margin: 785


Kailash Gahlot  
Constituency:  Najafgarh   
Margin: 85


Manish Sisodia 
Constituency:  Patparganj 
Margin: 1427


Naresh Balyan 
Constituency:  Uttam Nagar
Margin: 249


Image: Delhi Deputy CM and Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Patparganj Assembly constituency, Manish Sisodia and his wife Seema Sisodia after casting their vote during the Delhi Assembly election, on Saturday. Sisodia is barely hanging on to his seat by a margin of 74 votes. 
11:13   Don't lose hope: BJP Delhi chief
BJP's Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari asked his party supporters not to lose hope. "There are 27 seats where the difference of votes is between 700 to 1,000," Tiwari told reporters. Looking ahead at victory, he said he was not nervous and was ready to take on the responsibilities that a win would bring. "All talk is over. We have to wait for the blessings of the people. I am confident it will be a good day for BJP. We are coming to power in Delhi today. Don't be surprised if we win 55 seats," Tiwari said.
11:02   Sound of silence at BJP HQ
Q. How do you tell which the results are going when the votes are being counted without reading the news?

A. A look at the party's headquarters. 

This is an image of the BJP HQ in Delhi as the assembly poll results are being counted. The BJP has gained in 14 seats but at 17 leads, is way behind the AAP (53).  Not a single person, not a balloon or a streamer or fireworks or drums... you get the picture. But remember, these are just leads. 
10:53   Who leads, who trails
Labour Minister Gopal Rai leading from Babarpur constituency by 1,994 votes.


Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot leading by 85 seats on Najafgarh constituency.


AAP's Durgesh Pathak trailing by over 2,800 votes from Karawal Nagar seat, BJP's Mohan Singh Bisht in the lead.


AAP's Shoaib Iqbal leading by over 9,500 votes on Matia Mahal seat, BJP's Ravinder Gupta second.


Trinagar constituency: AAP's Preeti Tomar trailing by 1,500 votes. 


Congress' Alka Lamba trailing by over 5,800 votes from Chandni Chowk constituency


AAP's Imran Hussain leading from Ballimaran constituency by over 1,400 votes


Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain trailing by 51 votes from Shakur Basti; BJP's S C Vats leading.


BJP candidate Anil Goyal leading in Krishna Nagar by 2,867 votes, AAP's S K Bagga trailing.


Trinagar constituency: AAP's Preeti Tomar trailing by 1,500 votes


AAP candidate Sanjeev Jha leading by 6,988 votes from Burari constituency.


The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is leading in 54 seats while the BJP is leading in 17 seats.


Image: Labour Minister Gopal Rai leading from Babarpur constituency by 1,994 votes.
10:45   Whatever outcome, I'm responsible: Manoj Tiwari
With the early trends hinting a win for the Aam Aadmi Party this assembly election, the BJP state unit chief Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday said that he will take the onus of the final results.


"Trends indicate that there is a gap between AAP-BJP, but there is still some time. We are hopeful. Whatever the outcome, being the State Chief I am responsible," Tiwari said while speaking to media in New Delhi.


The counting of votes for 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly began amid tight security at 8 am today.


Delhi went to polls in a single-phase on February 8. The Delhi Assembly Election results 2020 will be announced today to determine the fate of the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government.AAP, BJP, Congress, JDU are the main political parties in the fray. 


The primary fight is between the ruling AAP and the BJP which is seeking to make reentry into the state politics in the national capital after over 20 years. -- ANI


Leads: BJP: 17, AAP: 53, CONG: 0
10:39   Priority is ensuring accuracy in counting: EC
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh on Tuesday said the focus of the poll commission is to ensure accuracy in the counting process for the Assembly elections in the national capital.


"We have made all the needed arrangements for security. The counting had begun on time with the postal ballots and all the work is being done as per the Election Commission guidelines," Singh told ANI.


"Followed by counting of the postal ballots, the EVMs counting will begin in each round. Our priority is to ensure accuracy in counting with all checks," Singh said.


He said this after visiting a counting centre in Akshardham area.Earlier, the Delhi CEO had said that 21 centres for counting of votes had been set up in the national capital.

The  Aam Aadmi Party (is leading on 50 seats, while the BJP is ahead on 20 seats. -- ANI


Image: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a roadshow ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls, in New Delhi on Saturday.
10:33   AAP will register massive win: Sanjay Singh
AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Tuesday said his party will register a "massive win" in the high-stakes Delhi Assembly election, counting for which began amid tight security at various centres set up to carry out the exercise. Initial trends suggested the ruling Aam Aadmi Party marching ahead, but the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders maintained that their party would win. 


The counting began at 8 am and will be held in multiple rounds, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said. "We have been saying since the beginning that the upcoming polls will be fought on the basis of work done by us and it is too early. You wait and watch we will register a massive win," Singh told reporters outside his residence. -- PTI 


Leads: AAP: 49, BJP: 21, CONG: 0 (no change is the only constant here) 
10:03   Digvijaya Singh raises doubts on EVMs
As the counting of votes for the Delhi Assembly polls began, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday raised doubts on EVMs, alleging that no machine having a chip is tamper-proof. He called upon the Election Commission and the Supreme Court to take a fresh look at the use of EVMs in the country.


"No machine (which) has a chip is tamper proof. Also please do for a moment think, why no developed country uses EVM," Singh said in a tweet. 


"Would CEC and Hon Supreme Court please have a fresh look on EVM voting in India? We are the largest democracy in the world, we can't allow some unscrupulous people to hack results and steal the mandate of 1.3 billion people.


"If they match the votes in the counting unit. Declare the result. If they don't match then count the ballots of all polling booths in the assembly. It would convince every one and save time also as this has been the consistent argument of CEC in favour of EVM," the Congress leader said. 


Polling for the 70-member Delhi Assembly polls was held on Saturday. The Election Commission on Sunday announced that the final voter turnout was 62.59 per cent, five per cent less than 2015. -- PTI
09:58   'Kejriwal is not Rahul Gandhi'
If Kejriwal wins the Delhi election, then most regional parties will copy Kejriwal's do's and don'ts of jugaad to win an election against the Modi-Shah juggernaut, reports Sheela Bhatt. Read the column here. 
09:48   Face of AAP's education drive, Atishi, trails
The AAP is well past the halfway mark of 36 with leads in 51 seats over the BJP which is leading in 19 seats in Delhi, polls for which were held on February 8. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is at his party office as the counting got underway. Please note that these numbers are just leads and not results. Not a single seat has been declared as yet. 

Surprisingly, Atishi Marlena, the face of AAP's successful education drive is trailing from her seat in Kalkaji. Ironically, education was one of the major planks on which the party sought votes.  

Counting centres are spread across 21 locations, spanning 70 constituencies. The counting centres are located across 11 districts, including at CWG Sports Complex in east Delhi, NSIT Dwarka in west Delhi, Meerabai Institute of Technology and G B Pant Institute of Technology in southeast Delhi, Sir CV Raman ITI, Dheerpur in central Delhi, and Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana in north Delhi. The Assembly elections were held on Saturday last. A total of 672 candidates including 593 men and 79 women contested the polls. PTI
09:29   AAP's chick magnet leads
Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Rajinder Nagar Raghav Chadha at a counting center in Gole Market. He has been leading from the seat. 


Chadha has been getting a lot of attention in the run up to the polls not just because he's all of 31 years old, but because of the many marriage proposals he has received. 


The 31-year-old chartered accountant has received at least 12 marriage proposals on social media, according to his social media team. "Recently, a woman tagged him on Twitter, asking him to marry her. Chadha said the economy was not doing good so it was not the right time to get married," his social media manager said.
09:22   Celebrations begin at AAP HQ
Celebrations begin at the Aam Aadmi Party office in Delhi after reports that party is leading in early trends. 

Leads so far: AAP: 57, BJP: 13, CONG: ZERO

Counting of votes for Delhi Assembly elections is underway at Delhi's Gole Market counting centre where the Electronic Voting Machines used in five constituencies, including those of New Delhi where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal contested from, have been kept.


The EVMs, since polling got over on February 08, had been kept under tight security in the strongroom at Atal Adarsh Bengali Balika Vidyalaya in Gole Market until the counting began in the morning today. 
09:01   Kejriwal, Sisodia, Bagga lead; Lamba trails
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has taken an early lead, while the BJP too has opened its account. Among the key candidates who are leading from their respective seats are: AAP's Arvind Kejriwal, Raghav Chadha and Manish Sisodia, and Aatishi, Congress party's Haroon Yusuf and BJP's Tejinder Singh Bagga and Kapil Mishra. The Congress party's Alka Lamba is trailing. The ruling AAP is eyeing a third consecutive term in Delhi. 

LEADS: AAP: 53, BJP:15, CONG:1


Image: Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia along with Aam Aadmi Party MP from Punjab, Bhagwant Mann during an election rally ahead of the Delhi assembly polls, at Patparganj. Pic: ANI

08:47   BJP whip to RS MPs to 'support stand of govt'
The BJP on Monday issued a three-line whip to all its Rajya Sabha members, asking them to be present in the House today and "support the stand of the government". Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will reply in the House on Budget 2020 at 4 pm today.


Earlier, it was announced that there would be no lunch break in the upper House on Tuesday. The first part of Parliament's Budget Session will conclude today. Parliament will resume from March 2 after a recess. 
-- ANI


Image: The postal ballot papers 
08:46   AAP leads as postal ballots are counted
Leads so far: AAP: 53, BJP: 16, CONG: 1


The counting began at 8 am and will be held in multiple rounds, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh said. "Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place. The exercise is being carried out as per the laid-down procedures of the Election Commission," Singh said. 


Tight security arrangements have been put in place at various centres across Delhi, he said.


"The postal ballots will be counted first till around 8.30 am and then the votes cast through electronic voting machines will be counted," the senior official said. 


"The counting centres are spread across 21 locations, spanning the 70 constituencies. Each centre has several counting halls, equal to the number of constituencies falling in that district," he said. 


Each EVM consists of a ballot unit (BU), a controls units (CU) and a voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT.) After counting of votes through CUs from every assembly constituency, five VVPATs will be randomly selected and they will be counted, the official said. 


The counting centres are located across 11 districts, including at CWG Sports Complex in east Delhi, NSIT Dwarka in west Delhi, Meerabai Institute of Technology and G B Pant Institute of Technology in southeast Delhi, Sir CV Raman ITI, Dheerpur in central Delhi, and Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana in north Delhi.


Image: Making it count: Delhi Deputy CM and Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Patparganj assembly constituency Manish Sisodia and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Ravi Negi at the Akshardham counting centre.
08:37   Traffic restrictions in place as counting of votes begins in Delhi
As the counting for 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly begins, Delhi Traffic Police on Tuesday imposed certain restrictions on the movement of traffic in the national capital.


"Traffic movement is closed from Maharani Bagh to C.V. Raman Marg and Mata Mandir to C.V. Raman Marg (both carriageways) due to counting of votes. Motorists are advised to take an alternate route," Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.


The counting of votes will take place at 21 centres. A tight security net has been put in place to ensure the counting of votes takes place in a peaceful manner. Over 670 candidates are in the fray for 70 seats at stake in the country's capital.


Image: Counting of votes underway at the Gole market counting centre
08:25   Lead us from lies to truth: Sisodia sure of win
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said that the party is confident of victory as it has worked for the people in the last five years.


"We are confident of a win today because we have worked for people in the last five years," Sisodia told ANI.


Earlier today, Sisodia offered prayers at his residence ahead of counting. "Oh God! Lead us from untruth to truth. Take us to light from the darkness. Take us to the sense of immortality from death," Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.


The election, largely seen as a battle between the AAP and the BJP, was held on Saturday, sealing the fate of 672 candidates -- 593 men and 79 women. 


Nearly 24 hours after the polling ended in Delhi, the Election Commission on Sunday announced that the final voter turnout was 62.59 per cent, five per cent less than 2015, and asserted that it followed the laid down process to compile data, after the AAP questioned the "delay". 


There were 13,780 polling booths where every vote was accounted for by the presiding officers, which is a time-consuming exercise, Sandeep Saxena, senior deputy election commissioner, said at a press conference on Sunday. 


Over 1.47 crore people were eligible to vote in the Delhi polls, including 2.33 lakh in the age group of 18-19. The turnout in the 2015 Assembly polls stood at 67.47 per cent. The AAP had routed rival parties in the last Assembly polls, bagging 67 seats while the BJP was reduced to mere three seats and the Congress had drawn a blank.
08:17   Delhi polls: Postal votes to be counted till 8:30 am
Counting of votes polled in the high-stakes Delhi Assembly election began on Tuesday morning amid tight security at various centres set up to carry out the exercise.


Exit polls have predicted a big win for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, but the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders maintained that the surveys would fall flat. 


The counting began at 8 am and will be held in multiple rounds, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said. "Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place. The exercise is being carried out as per the laid-down procedures of the Election Commission," Singh said. 


Tight security arrangements have been put in place at various centres across Delhi, he said. "The postal ballots will be counted first till around 8.30 am and then the votes cast through electronic voting machines will be counted," the senior official said.


"The counting centres are spread across 21 locations, spanning the 70 constituencies. Each centre has several counting halls, equal to the number of constituencies falling in that district," he said. 


Each EVM consists of a ballot unit (BU), a controls units (CU) and a voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT.) After counting of votes through CUs from every assembly constituency, five VVPATs will be randomly selected and they will be counted, the official said. -- ANI


Image: The AAP's Delhi office this morning. 
08:12   Congress will put up a poor show in Delhi polls: Sandeep Dixit
Senior Congress leader Sandeep Dixit on Monday said that his party will put up a poor show in the Delhi Assembly elections. The polling was held on February 8.


"I believe that Congress will perform very badly. I knew it from September itself," said Dixit while speaking to ANI.


Dixit blamed it on Delhi Congress leaders and in-charges for the same.


"The laxity shown by Delhi in-charges in the organisation...two-three people from Delhi Congress and AICC are directly responsible for ruining it," he said.


The Congress leader further claimed that Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal too knew that his development plank was not working and hence he started promising freebies.


Image: An AAP supporter prophesies the Lok Sabha polls 


Dixit lamented how "big Delhi Congress leaders and AICC in charges insulted" his mother and late Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit saying: "All these big leaders of Delhi Congress who are sitting on top posts and AICC in charges, the way these people insulted Sheilaji, no one else did it," he said.


He stressed that result will be along the lines of what has been shown in the Exit Polls."No one else is to blame. It is a different thing that after losing tomorrow, different stories will be told and everything will be covered up. As far as I am concerned, what we are seeing in exit polls, the results too will be same," he added. -- ANI
08:09   Delhi polls: Counting of votes begins
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Okhla candidate Amanatullah Khan and Jangpura candidate Praveen Kumar late night on Monday visited outside the designated strongroom to store EVMs at Meerabai Institute of Technology in Maharanibagh.


Earlier on Monday, Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had called a meeting at his residence over the security of EVMs after the elections were concluded.


The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, party's Delhi convenor Gopal Rai, senior leader Sanjay Singh and party strategist Prashant Kishor.


During this meeting, a detailed discussion was held over the measures to be taken to strengthen the security of EVMs stored in the strongrooms. All the leaders present in the meeting shared their views with the Chief Minister regarding the safety of EVMs and also gave him their suggestions following which it was decided to monitor the EVMs by AAP.Polling for Delhi Assembly seats was held on February 8. The counting of votes will take place today. -- ANI


Image: Counting of votes begins; visuals from a counting centre in Maharani Bagh. 
08:06   Will low voter turnout benefit BJP?
The overall voter turnout in Delhi on Saturday registered a drop as compared to the 2015 assembly election due to a lackadaisical response from voters on the polling day. 

According to India's According to the Election Commission of India's voter turnout app, the total turnout in Delhi was recorded at 61% till 10:20 pm, a decline over the 2015 polls when a 67.12 per cent of the voters came out to vote. The turnout data on the app is tentative and the final figures may be marginally different. 

Psephologists say that a lower voter turnout generally favour cadre-based parties, like the BJP, and not necessarily the AAP. 


Image: The Aam Aadmi Party office decked up ahead of the Delhi election results.
07:56   BJP confident of 55 seats
Manoj Tiwari, BJP Delhi Chief: I am not nervous. I am confident that it will be a good day for BJP. We are coming to power in Delhi today. Don't be surprised if we win 55 seats. 
07:55   Sisodia offers prayers
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia offers prayers at his residence ahead of the counting for the assembly elections.

The issues which dominated the campaigning were development, Shaheen Bagh, nationalism, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NPR, NRC, regularisation of unauthorized colonies.
07:54   Will Kejriwal retain Delhi? Counting at 8 am
Good morning and welcome to the counting of votes for the Delhi assembly elections. 

The counting of votes for 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly will begin amid tight security today at 8 am.

According to Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh, the counting of votes will take place at 21 centres. There will be a dedicated hall for every assembly constituency.

A tight security net has been put in place to ensure the counting of votes takes place in a peaceful manner. Over 670 candidates are in the fray for 70 seats at stake in the country's capital.

As much as 62.59 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Delhi on February 8, when the elections were held in a single-phase in Delhi.


Most of the exit polls predicted that Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP will retain the power, winning two-thirds seats while some have even predicted three-fourth majority in the 70-member assembly.


The high octane campaign had seen the heavyweights of different parties leaving nothing unturned to influence the voters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other Union Ministers and Chief Ministers sought votes for the BJP, which has been out of power in Delhi for over 20 years now.


The ruling party -- AAP -- was mainly dependent on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. 


The Congress party had pressed its several leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into campaigning.


Image: AAP workers perform a puja ahead of the counting of votes for the Delhi elections. Pic: ANI
00:19   BJP whip to MPs to be present in House today
The Bharatiya Janata Party has issued a whip asking its members of parliament to be present in their respective Houses on Tuesday when Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to reply to discussions on the Union Budget in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Sitharaman is likely to speak in Lok Sabha first and then in Rajya Sabha. Discussions on the Union budget, which was presented on February 1, has been going on for the last few days in Parliament.

While opposition members have attacked the government over economic slowdown and 'record-high' unemployment, treasury benches have lauded the Centre for various initiatives in the budget.  -- PTI

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