Voting begins for 13 LS seats in Uttar Pradesh fourth phase

As the election juggernaut entered the Bundelkhand and central region of Uttar Pradesh, the politically sensitive state on Monday saw Kanpur, Shahjahanpur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Hardoi, Mishrikh, Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Kannauj, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Jhansi and Hamirpur vote in the fourth phase.

Barring Kannauj, Bharatiya Janata Party had won all the seats in 2014 elections.

Former Union Ministers and Congress leaders Salman Khurshid is contesting from Farrukhabd and Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur, while Dimple Yadav is seeking re-election from Kannauj.

BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj is fighting from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh Minister Satyadev Pachauri is also contesting from Kanpur after the party dropped sitting MP and veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

A total electorate of 2.38 crore is eligible to exercise their franchise at 27,513 polling booths where polling has been underway since 7 a.m. and will continue till 6 p.m.

The BJP has dropped four of its sitting MPs from Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Mishrikh and Etawah.

The SP-BSP alliance has fielded six BSP candidates and seven SP candidates. The Congress has fielded candidates from 12 parliamentary constituencies, and it is not in the fray from Kannauj.



BJP faces tough MGB challenge in 7 out of 13 seats in phase-IV in UP

Out of the 13 phase-IV seats in Uttar Pradesh going to the polls on April 29, the Bharatiya Janata Party faces tough challenge from the Samajwadi Party- Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) grand alliance or ‘mahagathbandhan'(MGB) on seven seats.

Six of these seven seats were won by the BJP in 2014. If the votes polled by SP and BSP in last Lok Sabha elections are taken into account, the BJP falls short of numbers in Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Hardoi, Misrikh, Etawah and Jhansi. Kannauj — the seventh seat dominated by MGB — is already in the SP’s kitty as Dimple Yadav won from here with narrow margin but with the BSP’s support, the SP can widen its lead.

The BJP, on the other, is placed comfortably beyond the opposition alliance’s striking range in Unnao, Farrukhabad, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun and Hamirpur. If the support base of SP and BSP remains intact, the BJP can lose six seats in Phase-IV from its impressive tally of 71 out of 80 in 2014.

The battle for central Uttar Pradesh was comprehensively won by the BJP in 2014 winning 12 out of these 13 seats. With the Congress and SP’s breakaway Shivpal Yadav’s Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) in fray separately, the fight becomes multi-cornered.

A detailed constituency analysis of Phase IV UP seats:

Shahjahanpur in 2014

Winner: Krishna Raj (BJP); votes polled 525,132
Umed Singh Kshyap (BSP); 289,603
Mithilesh Kumar (SP); 242,913

(SP+BSP = 532,516)

Candidates in 2019

Arun Kumar Sagar: BJP
Brahm Swaroop Sagar: UPA
Amar Chandra Jauhar: MGB
Narveer Fauji: PDA (Shivpal Yadav’s alliance)

Kheri in 2014

Winner: Ajay Kumar (BJP); 398,578
Arvind Giri (BSP); 288304
Ravi Prakash Verma (SP), 160,112
(SP+BSP) = 4,48,426

Candidates in 2019
Ajay Kumar Mishara: BJP
Zafar Ali Naqvi: UPA
Dr. Purvi Verma: MGB
Shri Krishna Verma: PDA

Hardoi in 2014

Winner: Anshul Verma (BJP) 360,501
Usha Verma (SP) 276,543
Shive Prasad Verma (BSP) 279,158
(SP+BSP)= 555,701

Candidates in 2019
Jai Prakash: BJP
Virendra Kumar Verma: UPA
Usha Verma: MGB
Sanjay Bhartiya: PDA

Misrikh in 2014

Winner: Anju Bala (BJP); 412,575
Ashok Kumar Rawat (BSP); 325,212
Jai Prakash (SP); 194,759
(SP+BSP) = 519971

Candidates in 2019
Ashok Kumar Rawat: BJP
Manjari Rahi: UPA
Dr. Neelu Satyarthi: MGB
Arun Kumar Kori: PDA

Unnao in 2014
Winner: Sakshi Maharaj (BJP); 518,834
Arun Shankar Shukla (SP); 208,661
Brajesh Pathak (BSP) 200,176
(SP+ BSP)= 408837

Candidates in 2019
Swami Sachhichidanand Hari Sakshi: BJP
Anu Tandon: UPA
Arun Kumar Shukla: MGB
Satish Kumar Shukla: PDA

Farrukhabad in 2014
Winner: Mukesh Rajput (BJP); 406,195
Rameshwar Singh Yadav (SP); 255,693
Jaiveer Singh (BSP); 114,521
(SP+BSP= 370,214)

Candidates in 2019
Mukesh Rajput: BJP
Salman Khurshid: UPA
Manoj Agarwal: MGB
Uday Pal Singh: PDA

Etawah in 2014

Winner: Ashok Kumar Doharey (BJP); 439,646
Prem Das Katheriya (SP); 266,700
Ajay Pal Singh Jatav (BSP); 192,804
(SP+BSP) = 459,504

Candidates in 2019
Dr. Ram Shankar Katheriya: BJP
Ashok Kumar Doharey: UPA
Kamlesh Katheriya — MGB
Shambhu Dayal Dohare: PDA

Kannauj in 2014

Winner: Dimple Yadav (SP); 489,164
Nirmal Tiwari (BSP); 127,785
Subrat Pathak (BJP); 469,257
(SP+BSP) = 616949

Contestants in 2019
Subrat Pathak: BJP
UPA: No candidate
Dimple Yadav: MGB
PDA: No candidate

Kanpur in 2014

Winner: MM Joshi (BJP); 474,712
Saleem Ahmad (BSP); 53,218
Surendra Mohan Agarwal (SP); 25,723
(SP+BSP) = 78941

Candidates in 2019
Satyadev Pachauri: BJP
Sriprakash Jaiswal: UPA
Ram Kumar: MGB
PDA: No candidate

Akbarpur in 2014

Winner: Devendra Singh (BJP); 481,584
Anil Shukla Warsi (BSP); 202,587
Lal Singh Tomar (SP); 147,002
(SP+BSP) = 349,589

Contestants in 2019
Devendra Singh Bhole: BJP
Raja Ram Pal: UPA
Nisha Sachan: MGB
Mahendra Singh Yadav: PDA

Jalaun in 2014
Winner: Bhanu Pratap Singh (BJP); 548,631
Brijlal Khabri (BSP); 261,429
Ghanshyam Anuragi (SP); 180,921

(SP+BSP)= 442,350

Contestants in 2019
Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma: BJP
Brijlal Khabri: UPA
Pankaj Singh: MGB
PDA: No candidate

Jhansi in 2014
Winner: Uma Bharti (BJP); 575,889
Dr. Chandrapal Singh Yadav (SP) 385,422
Anuradha Sharma (BSP); 213,792
(SP+BSP)= 599,214

Contestants in 2019
Anurag Sharma: BJP
Shiv Sharan Singh: UPA
Shyam Sundar Singh Yadav: MGB
Jagat Vikram Singh Rajput: PDA

Hamirpur in 2014
Kunwar Pushpendra Singh (BJP); 543,884
Bishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP); 187,096
Rakesh Kumar Goswami(BSP); 176,356
(SP+BSP) = 363,452

Contestants in 2019
Pushpendra Singh Chandel: BJP
Pritam Lodhi: UPA
Dilip Kumar Singh: MGB
Arvind Kumar Prajapati: PDA



Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s 13 luxury cars on auction

Thirteen luxury cars owned by fugitive diamantaires Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi went on online auction by the Metals & Scrap Trading Corporation, here on Thursday.

The auction is being carried out on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which had seized these vehicles from Modi and Choksi last year.

The vehicles include a silver Rolls Royce with a reserve price of Rs 1,33,00,000, a Porsche worth Rs 54,60,000, a red Mercedes Benz Rs 14,00,000, a white Mercedes Benz Rs 37,80,000 and a BMW Rs 9,80,000.

Besides, there are two Honda Brio, Toyota Innova, Honda CRV, Toyota Fortuner, Skoda Superb Elegance, Toyota Corolla Altis and Toyota Innova Crysta.

Of these 13 vehicles, the BMW and Toyota Innova Crysta belong to Choksi and the rest belong to Modi, his family and his group companies.

Prior to the auction, the prospective bidders were permitted physical inspection of the vehicles at various locations earlier this week.

A MSTC official said that by 4 p.m. the highest bidders shall be known and communicated to the ED which will take the final decision on awarding the successful bids.

The ED auction follows an order of the Special PMLA court permitting the sale of these cars.


Science & Technology

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds bans users below 13 years in China

Online multi-player battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, popularly known as PUBG, has been imposed with a digital lock and now users under 13 years of age would have to ask their guardians to open the game for them.

The ban has been put in place only in China as of now.

“Tencent is continuing to double down on how it restricts younger players from accessing some of its games in China, this time with a digital lock system that will lock out players under the age of 13,” reported late on Friday.

Tencent has imposed the age restriction to support the Chinese government’s crackdown on gaming addiction among the youth.

The gaming giant is using technologies like facial recognition and player ID checks to ascertain the ages and identities of those playing Honour of Kings and others in China.

In addition, it has already imposed limits on how long young players can play the game, and imposed rules for streaming its game content, prohibiting things like violence, information about gambling or pornography, national politics, or other “damaging behaviour”, the report added.

The Chinese government’s concerns about myopia in children also set off a nine-month-long freeze on new video game approvals in the country in 2018 that ended in December.

Launched in December 2017, PUBG is a multi-player battle game that connects users from around the world in real-time and allows them to fight missions, and is known to indulge players into long hours of gaming.

PUBG bans users below 13 years in China



Google to invest $13 billion in the United States (US) this year

Google will invest $13 billion in building new data centres and offices in over a dozen states in the US in 2019, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai has said.

In a blog post late on Wednesday, Pichai said the investment would create tens of thousands of new jobs.

“Last year, we hired more than 10,000 people in the US and made over $9 billion in investments.

“We’re now announcing over $13 billion in investments throughout 2019 in data centres and offices across the US, with major expansions in 14 states,” Pichai wrote.

This would enable the creation of more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia.

Pichai said Google data centres make a significant economic contribution to local communities, as do the associated $5 billion in energy investments.



Davis Cup; India lose to Italy 1-3 in World Group qualifier tie

India lost their Davis Cup World Group Qualifier tie 1-3 to Italy after Andreas Seppi defeated Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the reverse singles here on Saturday.

After the high of doubles pair Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan getting the better of Simone Bolelli and Matteo Berettini and making it 2-1 earlier in the day, Prajnesh was outplayed 6-1, 6-4 in an 62 minutes.

On the first day, Ramkumar Ramanathan lost to Seppi while Prajnesh was beaten in the second singles rubber by Berrettini.

Italy will now play in the World Group Finals while India will be relegated to the Zonals.





Anti-black money moves brought Rs 1.3 lakh cr income to tax; Goyal

Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the measures taken against black money by the Centre since 2014 have brought income of Rs 1,30,000 crore to tax.

Asserting the Modi government’s commitment to eliminate black money from the economy, he said measures like Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 and demonetisation were taken that have started showing results.

“The measures taken by the government in the last four and a half years have also led to seizure and attachment of assets worth about Rs 50,000 crore.

“During this period, benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore and foreign assets worth Rs 1,600 crore have also been attached,” Goyal said.

“As many as 3,38,000 shell companies have been detected and deregistered and their directors have been disqualified,” he added.

Further, Goyal said the direct tax collections went up by 18 per cent in 2017-18 and the tax base expanded by 1.06 crore with more than one crore filing tax returns in the financial year 2017-18.

Anti-black money moves brought Rs 1.3 lakh cr income to tax: Goyal