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View: Election Wheel Starts Rolling, Surprise factor, Minimum guarantee

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The countdown for yearend assembly elections has begun. Deputy election commissioners have already started heading to states to assess preparedness. Maharashtra is the first stop. An election panel team is already in the pollbound state and other teams will soon visit Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir. CECled ECI brass is also likely to conduct field checks in August or September.

After becoming Lok Sabha Speaker for the second time, Om Birla visited his Lok Sabha constituency KotaBundi. A huge roadshow was carried out and the skyline of the twintown of KotaBundi was dotted with BJP posters welcoming Birla. Besides BJP national leaders, Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s face was prominently displayed on these posters. A BJP leader pointed out that this region has a substantial population of Kirars, Chouhan’s caste.

Karnataka Dy CM DK Shivakumar has demanded an explanation from BJP for alleged distribution of liquor at an event near Bengaluru — organised to celebrate a BJP leader’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls. Looking at the pictures of people waiting patiently in long queues to collect their bottles of booze, chief minister Siddaramaiah must be secretly smiling. The event at least ‘guaranteed’ inflow of taxes to his cashstrapped regime.