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Amit Shah in Patna, has breakfast and dinner with Nitish (Lead)

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Patna, July 12 (IANS) After breakfast, BJP President Amit Shah met Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar at dinner here on Thursday night, where they reportedly discussed seat sharing between NDA allies in the state for the 2019 general elections.

The meet was seen here as a part of dinner diplomacy to end the days of speculation over rift between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and to send a message to both parties’ rank and file that all is well in the NDA in the state.

According to a senior BJP leader, only few selected top leaders from both parties were invited for the dinner.

“There were 15 leaders including senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state BJP president Nityanand Rai and BJP ministers Nand Kishore Yadav, Mangal Pandey, and Prem Kumar. From the JD-U, state president Vashist Narain Singh and ministers Lalan Singh and Shravan Kumar were present.”

JD-U sources said Shah and Nitish Kumar had one to one talk during dinner at an adjacent room.

Shah and Nitish Kumar were meeting for second time within eight hours.

The BJP chief who is here to interact with party leaders and workers to design strategies leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, met Nitish Kumar soon after his arrival from Ranchi. He headed straight for the state guest house near Raj Bhawan, along with senior party leaders to break bread with Nitish Kumar, a key NDA ally.

During his day’s engagements, Shah made it clear that the BJP and the JD-U would jointly contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and win all 40 seats of Bihar.

“BJP-led NDA’s alliance with Nitish Kumar will not break, it will continue.We are with Nitish Kumar and will continue with him,” he said while addressing the party leaders and workers.

Noting BJP know how to manage its allies and continue with them, Shah attacked the Congress, saying that it was in Bihar that the campaign for a Congress-free India was started and the time has now come to uproot Congress from the country. “End of Congress will take place in Bihar,” he asserted.

Shah said BJP will form a majority government at the centre in 2019 and Narendra Modi will be Prime Minister.

Earlier, at his arrival, a team of BJP leaders, including Union Ministers from Bihar, and Sushil Modi thronged the Patna airport with garlands to welcome Shah.

This is Shah’s first visit after Nitish Kumar’s JD-U joined the National Democratic Alliance in July 2017 after dumping the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress of the Grand Alliance.

Unprecedented security arrangements had been made for Shah’s visit. The state capital has been turned into a fortress with thousands of security personnel deployed and traffic diversions in place.

The entire city was flooded with colourful hoardings, banners, gates and posters highlighting the achievements of four years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

Shah was to hold series of meetings and discussions with the party leaders and workers on preparations leading up to the 2019 general elections.

He will interact with 10,000 ground level party workers, who head the booths in the state. Besides, he will also meet the party’s social media activists to discuss the digital campaign, a BJP leader said.

–IANS
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73.2 percent polling in Telangana

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Hyderabad, Dec 8 (IANS) The Election Commission on Saturday announced that 73.20 percent polling was registered in the Telangana Assembly elections on Friday.

The announcement came more than 24 hours after the polling ended in all 119 constituencies.

Suspense continued throughout the day over the final figure of voter turnout.

Teangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajath Kumar had stated late Friday that 67 percent polling was recorded at 5 p.m. Since those standing in queues were allowed to vote even after 5 and this process continued for four to five hours in some polling centres, the final figure was estimated at 69.1 percent.

Over 2.8 crore people were eligible to vote.

According to a statement released by Election Commission Saturday night, among 31 districts, Yadadri Bhongir recorded the highest turnout of 90.95 percent.

Hyderabad recorded lowest turnout of 48.89 percent. This was earlier estimated at 50 percent. Most constituencies around Hyderabad also recorded low turnout of 50-55 percent.

The rural areas recorded heavy polling with many constituencies witnessing over 80 percent turnout.

According to reports received till Friday evening, Madhira constituency in Khammam district registered the highest turnout of 91.65 percent. The lowest 40.18 percent was recorded in Charminar constituency in Hyderabad.

This was the first Assembly elections in India’s youngest state. The previous elections were held in united Andhra Pradesh in 2014 and Telangana had recorded a turnout of 68.9 percent.

Counting of votes will be taken up on December 11.

–IANS
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