Monday, May 3, 2010

15 th Lok Sabha General Elections

Phase I

India had witness phase1

of the general elections for the

15th Lok Sabha election on April 16 covering 124

parliamentary constituencies in 17 States and Union


Former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami had

supervised this phase.

Andhra Pradesh and Orissa voters had cast two votes —

one for their Lok Sabha candidates and the other to elect their MLAs as the Assembly

elections are also being held simultaneously. In Andhra Pradesh 154 (out of 294)

Assembly constituencies and in Orissa 70 (out of 147) are going to the polls. Altogether

1,715 candidates, including 122 women, contested for Lok Sabha seats. The Election

Commission has set up 185552 polling stations. This phase had covered Andhra Pradesh

(22 Lok Sabha seats), Assam (3), Bihar (13), Kerala (20), Maharashtra (13), Orissa

(10), Uttar Pradesh (16), Chhattisgarh (11), Jharkhand (6), Arunachal Pradesh and

Meghalaya (two each), and Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, the

Andaman and Nicobar Island and Lakshadweep (one each).

Among the national parties, the Congress and the BSP had fielded the highest number of

111 candidates in this phase, followed by the BJP – 102 and the CPI (M) – 23. For the

Assembly seats, there are 1,833 contestants in A.P. and 599, including Chief Minister

Naveen Patnaik (from Hinjili), in Orissa.

Phase II

Phase II polls general elections held on 22 April in 140 constituencies in 12 States. This

phase, had covered the highest number of Lok Sabha constituencies, and decide the

political future of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi (contesting from Amethi,

U.P.), Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar (Madha, Maharashtra),

Bharatiya Janata Party Leader Sushma Swaraj (Vidisha, M.P.), Lok Jan Shakti Party

President Ram Vilas Paswan (Hajipur, Bihar) and Union Minister Kamal Nath

(Chhindwara, M.P.).

In this phase of elections States in which the polling take place are Andhra Pradesh 20,

Assam 11, Bihar 13, Goa 2, J&K 1, Karnataka 17, Madhya Pradesh 13, Maharashtra 25,

Orissa 11, Tripura 2, U.P. 17 and Jharkhand 8.

In Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, voters had choosen Assembly candidates in 140 and 77

constituencies respectively.



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Phase III

Around 50 per cent of the 14.40 crore voters exercised their franchise in 107

constituencies in nine States and two Union Territories in the third phase of the general


The polling percentage coming down from 60 per cent in Phase I (April 16) to 55 per

cent in Phase II (April 23) and now to 50 per cent; and was it related to heat conditions,

Mr. Balakrishnan said: "The percentage we give is only tentative and it may vary.

Regarding hot weather, it is beyond anybody's control and the elections have to take


The tentative polling percentage State wise: Uttar Pradesh (45); Madhya Pradesh (4445)

; Karnataka (57); Maharashtra (4345)

; Gujarat (4950)

; Daman and Diu (60);

Dadra and Nagar Haveli (60); Jammu and Kashmir (25); Bihar (48); West Bengal (64)

and Sikkim (65).

Phase IV

Voting across eight states and union territories, including Delhi, to elect 85 MPs in the

fourth and penultimate round of Lok Sabha elections.

Since the polls began on April 16, election has been completed to 372 seats of the 545member

of the Lok Sabha. Elections are held only to 543 seats, as two members are

nominated from the AngloIndian


57% voter turnout in phase IV, Bengal tops with 75%. Haryana recorded 63% polling,

turnout in the Rajasthan was 50%, 65% in Punjab, 37% in Bihar, 50% in UP and 24% in

Srinagar. Though voting in Srinagar was low, it was better than 18.7% and 11.93% in

2004 and 1999.

After fourth phase of polling, only 86 seats spread over TN (39), West Bengal (25),

Punjab (9), Uttarakhand (5) and Himachal Pradesh (4) remain to be voted for.

Japan PM unveils $150 billion stimulus

Japan has formally unveiled its record $150 billion stimulus

package as it seeks to revive its flagging economy.

Japan had been worsthit

among advanced nations by the global

economic downturn. Its exports had halved amid an

unprecedented collapse in worldwide demand for the cars and

electronic gadgets the country produces.

Prime Minister Taro Aso said the plan worth about 3% of its Gross

Domestic Product aimed to protect livelihoods and to foster future growth.

The $150 billion package includes measures to boost fuelefficient

vehicles and consumer

electronics. Japan's economy has been battered by a collapse in exports and is facing its

deepest recession since World War II.



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Mr Aso said "we are implementing a resolute policy in the form of economic crisis

measures in order to protect the livelihoods of the people". "The first of our objectives is

to prevent the economy from falling through the floor and another objective is to give a

sense of security to the people," he said.

US troops 'might stay in Northern Iraq'

US combat troops may stay in Northern Iraq after a deadline

for them to pull back by the end of June has passed, the top

US commander in the area has said.

Colonel Gary Volesky said his soldiers would stay in Mosul

and other nearby cities where AlQaeda

remained a threat, if

the Iraqi government asked them to.

Barack Obama has said he wants all US troops out of Iraq

by the end of 2011. "If the Iraqi government wants us to stay we will stay," said Colonel

Volesky in a teleconference.

He said the US military was conducting an assessment of the situation in Mosul after five

US soldiers were killed in a suicide lorry bombing there on April 10.

In January, Ryan Crocker, the outgoing US ambassador to Iraq, warned that a hasty

withdrawal of US troops from the country would create "severe risks".

He said AlQaeda

remained a threat and that an overly rapid departure would have a

"chilling effect" on Iraqis.

The US currently has more than 140,000 troops in Iraq, and combat troops are due to

pull out of Iraq's cities by the end of June.

UN kicks Jews, Iranians out of racism meeting

The United Nations expelled three groups from its conference on

global racism for unacceptable behaviour related to the opening

speech that Iran's President gave denouncing Israel.

The disciplinary action was the latest sign of the rancour at the

weeklong conference caused by Iranian President Mahmoud

Ahmadinajad's claim that the West used the Holocaust as a

"pretext" to harm the Palestinians. But it did not prevent officials

from around the world from achieving their main goal: a consensus

document calling for action against racism and xenophobia.



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The groups whose passes were withdrawn are the French Union of Jewish Students;

Coexist, a related Frenchbased

organization that fights racism and antiSemitism;


the TehranBased

Neda Institute for Political and Scientific Research, said Rupert

Colville, a spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Some campaigners say the conference's focus on the Middle East occurred at the expense

of other urgent cases of racism, such as plight of "untouchables," the social outcasts

at the bottom of India's complex caste system.

"Caste discrimination is one of the most important issues being left out of this

conference and because of the predominant attention to one specific issue, all other

concerns within the field of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and racial intolerance, are

being excluded," said Peter Prove of the Lutheran World Federation.

South African General Election

South Africa held national and provincial elections to elect a

new National Assembly as well as the provincial legislature

in each province on 22 April 2009.

The National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by

proportional representation with a closed list approach. Two

hundred members are elected from national party lists; the

other 200 are elected from provincial party lists in each of

the nine provinces. The President of South Africa is chosen

by the National Assembly after each election; in 2009, the presidential election held on 6

May. The premiers of each province are chosen by the winning majority in each

provincial legislature.

This was the fourth general election held since the end of the apartheid era.

African National Congress – Ruling Party had won the election

The ruling African National Congress had win the 2009 General Elections by a

comfortable margin over opposition parties. However, the ANC had failed to clinch a two

thirds majority but the ANC's leader, Jacob Zuma, was formally elected as President of

South Africa by the country's MPs.

ANC received a 65.90 percent votes of the total 17,680,729 valid votes cast, which is

equal to the support of 11,650,748 voters.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) official opposition party received a 16.66 percent of votes

with 2,945,829 South Africans backing the party.

Newcomer Congress of the People received 7.42 percent votes which is equal out to

1,311,027 votes in there favour.



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The ANC, based on the high number of its votes, secured 264 seats in the national

assembly and 126 on the national provincial list.

The Democratic Alliance received 67 seats in the National Assembly and 16 provincially.

New kid on the block Congress of the People took 30 seats in the larger legislature and

16 provincially.

The Inkatha Freedom Party received 18 seats in the national assembly and nine in the

provincial legislature.

The United Democratic Movement, the Freedom Front Plus and the Independent

Democrats each received four seats in the national assembly and three spots on the

provincial list.

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania received one seat in parliament and one on the

provincial list.

The United Christian Democratic Party received two in the national house and one in the

provincial one.

The African Christian Democratic Party received three seats in Parliament and three in

the national provincial list.

The Azanian People's Organisation, the Azanian People's Convention and the Minority

Front received one seat in each house.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has put the final voter turn out at 77.3

percent, one the highest voter turn out in the world.

Speaking at the IEC Results Operation Centre (ROC), IEC Chairperson Brigalia Bam

congratulated the South African public and the political parties for the political tolerance

displayed and for a peaceful elections. She said this attested to the political maturity of

the country's democracy.

International observers overseeing the elections have unanimously declared the

elections free and fair. Dr Bam said: "All the parties are winners today, but democracy in

the country is the ultimate winner."

Nasscom identifies new areas for growth

The Indian technology and business services industry has the potential to

achieve $225 billion in revenues, including exports, by 2020 and the

country can emerge as one of the top three global IT innovation hubs

driven by opportunities arising in new areas of climate change, clinical

research and mobile applications, the National Association of Software and

Service Companies (Nasscom) said .



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In its latest report titled 'Perspective 2020: Transform business, transform India,'

Nasscom said by 2020, 80 per cent of the industry's incremental growth and 50 per cent

of the total opportunity would come from untapped verticals — public sector, healthcare,

media, utilities, customer segments.

The report, based on extensive research conducted by McKinsey & Company over a year,

outlines specific measures that the industry, Nasscom and the government need to

undertake over the next 12 years to realise these opportunities.

According to Nasscom Chairman Pramod Bhasin, "The Indian IT industry has grown from

$2 billion in export revenues in 1998 to $47 billion today, employing over 20lakh


Commenting on the opportunities for the industry, Nasscom President Som Mittal said

"The Indian IT industry is in the midst of unprecedented times because of the current

economic environment."

'1.9 lakh killed in China's nuclear tests'

The nuclear test grounds in the wastes of the

Gobi desert have fallen silent but veterans of

those lonely places are speaking out for the first

time about the terrible price exacted by China's

zealous pursuit of the atomic bomb.

They talk of picking up radioactive debris with

their bare hands, of sluicing down bombers that

had flown through mushroom clouds, of soldiers

dying before their time of rare diseases, and

children born with mysterious cancers.

These were the men and women of Unit 8023, a

special detachment charged with conducting

atomic tests at Lop Nur in Xinjiang province, a

place of utter desolation and — until now —

complete secrecy. "I was a member of Unit 8023

for 23 years," said one old soldier in an interview. "My job was to go into the blast zone

to retrieve test objects and monitoring equipment after the explosion."

"When my daughter was born she was diagnosed with a huge tumour on her spinal cord.

The doctors blame nuclear fallout. She had two major operations and has lived a life of

indescribable hardship."

Hardship and risk counted for little when China was determined to join the nuclear club

at any cost. Soldiers galloped on horseback towards mushroom clouds, with only gas

masks for protection. Scientists jumped for joy, waving their little red books of Maoist

thought, while atomic debris boiled in the sky. Engineers even replicated a fullscale

Beijing subway station beneath the sands of the Gobi to test who might survive a SinoSoviet




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Independent directors on quitting spree

Post Satyam, independent directors have become

very choosy about the companies they associate

with. Many independent directors of India Inc

have quit boards in the past four months, citing

reasons ranging from illhealth

to work pressures.

PRS Oberoi stepped down from the board of Jet

Airways, Professor Nirmalya Kumar quit the ACC

board, Harsh Mariwala quit Mirc Electronics,

Surinder Kapoor quit Greaves Cotton and Infosys


NS Raghavan quit the board of Shobha Developers.

Leading economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia recently quit Berger Paints. Many promoters

and other dignitaries, who sit on multiple boards, are also restricting their board

engagements for fear of their reputations being tarnished or unnecessarily getting

embroiled in controversies. "I have been on five boards of Indian firms in the past eight

years. On January 1, 2009, I quit the ACC board and now, I am not on any Indian

company board. I like to spend 45

years on a board to understand the company and the

sector. Then I like to move on as there is not much learning left for me," says Professor

Nirmalya Kumar of London Business School.

According to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) website, more than 500 directors have

quit the BSElisted

company boards since January 1 this year. "This trend will not

stabilise in the short term as people are worried about company culture. Independent

directors usually leave if they are not satisfied with growth and performance of the

company and are unable to make any contribution to it. They also leave if meetings held

by companies are not transparent enough for them to have enough confidence in the

company," says Namrata Barua, exregional


for the Conference Board, a

global thinktank

on governance issues.

Telgi sentenced to 7 years rigorous imprisonment

The CBI special sessions court has sentenced Abdul Kareem

Telgi to seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of

Rs.125000 in the fake stamp paper scam.

Telgi and seven others are sentenced in the scam by special

court. Besides Telgi, former Assistant Commissioner of

Police Sangaram Singh has been sentenced to three years.

Earlier, the counsel for Abdul Kareem Telgi, presented the arguments and pleaded that

the sentence be remitted in view of the fact that Telgi had been in judicial custody since




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The fact that he has been ailing from various ailments and also that his wife had been

bedridden should be considered, counsel pleaded.

Microsoft sales plunge for first time in 23 years

Microsoft reported a drop in quarterly revenues for the first time

in the 23 years since it went public. But investors still gave the

world largest software company their approval, sending Microsoft

shares higher in aftermarket

trading as its aggressive cost

cutting measures preserved profitability.

The Seattlebased

company said its revenues dropped six

percent to $13.7 billion, compared to the same quarter yearago.

Profits of $3 billion represented a 32percent

drop from the $4.4 billion it earned

in the same period last year.

The company has been hit hard by a drop in consumer spending, with people

delaying or canceling purchases of new computers. Sales of Microsoft's Windows operating

system were down only for the second time in history, but Microsoft said it saw

signs that the worst may be over.

"While market conditions remained weak during the quarter, I was pleased with the

organization's ability to offset revenue pressures with the swift implementation of


initiatives," Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said in a


GM set to be owned by US government and United Auto Workers


General Motors said it would cut debt, close plants, slash jobs

and drop the Pontiac brand as part of a sweeping

restructuring that would see the automaker emerge under

the ownership control of the US government and its major

union. GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson also said the

automaker would file for bankruptcy protection if an offer to

exchange bonds for shares in the company failed to cut $27

billion in bond debt by about 90% or other changes faltered.

"I am a believer in dealing with reality," Henderson told

reporters, adding that the risk of a Chapter 11 filing by the

automaker was now more likely.

The new GM that would emerge from the restructuring would be 89% owned by US

government and the United Auto Workers unions, provided that workers and officials

approve plans to take an ownership stake in exchange for debt. "The bond exchange

needs to be successful for us to avoid bankruptcy," Henderson said. "It's not impossible,

but bankruptcy is now more probable."



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