After logging a high voter turnout, amid the pandemic, in the first phase of Bihar Assembly Election 2020, the state is all set to witness the second phase. Phase 2 will cover 94 assembly seats in 17 districts is likely to decide the electoral fate of Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)]-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) – the key contenders.
Today, the RJD would be contesting for 56 seats, the BJP for 46 and the JD(U) for 43.
The Congress has pitched candidates in 24 constituencies while the three Left parties are in the fray for 14 seats. The NDA ally Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) will be contesting 5 seats out of total 11 seats allotted to them.
Out of the 56 seats, RJD candidates will be locked in direct contest with BJP nominees in 28 seats, while on 24 seats they will be taking on JD(U) candidates. Congress candidates will be contesting 12 seats each against the JD(U) and BJP nominees. The VIP candidates, in this phase poll, are pitched against RJD candidates on all 5 seats.
The 17 districts going for poll today include: West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Nalanda and Patna.
Maharajganj constituency has the maximum number of 27 candidates in this phase, while the minimum four are from Darauli constituency (SC).
According to the Election Commission (EC), more than 2.85 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of 1,463 candidates — 1316 male, 146 female and one transgender person. As per the poll panel data, out of nearly 3 crore voters, 1.5 crore are male, 1.3 crore female and 980 transgender.
The EC said it has set up a total of 41,362 booths at 18,823 polling stations.
Here are the Key candidates whose fates will be decided in the second phase of the Bihar Assembly Election 2020:
Tejashwi Yadav vs Satish Kumar vs Rakesh Roshan
Tejashwi Yadav in this second phase of election will be contesting in Raghopur in Vaishali districts. The chief ministerial face of the Grand Alliance, is seeking re-election from this seat, where he won the poll in electoral politics in 2015. Tejashwi’s main rival is Satish Kumar of the BJP, who had defeated former chief minister and his mother Rabri Devi from the same seat in the 2010 polls and but lost to RJD’s stronghold in 2015 election.
As RJD’s CM nominee and anointed successor of Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi might appear safe, however locals says it won’t be a cakewalk for him. Satish Kumar is canvassing against the leader of the opposition for neglecting his constituency and doing little on the development front, a critical agenda of the BJP in the polls.
The poll permutation and combination of both the RJD and BJP has experienced a setback due to the Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) bid to field Rakesh Roshan, a Rajput by caste, who is posing a challenge of dividing the crucial Rajput votes.
The tough triangular contest could throw a surprise result.
Tej Pratap Yadav and Rajkumar Rai
The elder son of Lalu Prasad and brother of Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav is the candidate of RJD fighting the Bihar assembly from the Hasanpur constituency this year. Tej Pratap has moved out of his constituency Mahua in Vaishali district to Yadav-dominated Hasanpur in Samastipur and is locked in a tough battle against two-time sitting MLA Rajkumar Rai of JD(U).
The other rivals include Janadhikar Party (JAP) of former Madhepura MP and an influential Yadav politician Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav has also fielded his candidate Arjun Yadav from the seat. LJP has not fielded any candidate on the seat, which could help Tej Pratap.
Nitin Nabin vs Luv Sinha
Among the total 22 candidates, Congress leader and actor Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha, who is fighting his first election from Bankipur seat in Patna is looked upon.
Luv is up against sitting BJP MLA Nitin Nabin. Incumbent Nitin Nabin is aiming a third term from the seat and has been the head of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) till recently and is now appointed as the party’s in charge for Sikkim.
This years election saw two new faces in Bankipur Pushpam Priya (33), is the daughter of the JD(U) leader Vinod Chaudhary and an LSE graduate, who has floated The Plurals Party, a newly formed entity. Manish Barriarr (44), an Oxford University alumnus and academician is also in the race. He is contesting as an Independent candidate.
Gulab Yadav Vs Nitish Mishra
An intense competition will be witnessed between the sitting RJD MLA Gulab Yadav will be facing BJP’s candidate Nitish Mishra in the Jhanjharpur assembly constituency that falls in the Madhubani district. Nitish is the vice president of the BJP’s Bihar unit and the son of Jagannath Mishra who served as the chief minister three times. His strong political background is expected to help him.
It’s of little surprise that the leading contenders are all Yadavs in the Maner. The RJD has fielded the two-time sitting MLA Bhai Virendra Yadav while the BJP ticket is with Nikhil Anand, another Yadav who left his 17 years of journalist career before he joined the party. He is the state BJP spokesperson and close confidant of Union minister of state Nityanand Rai.
Making it a three-way contest is Shrikant Nirala Yadav, a BJP rebel who is fighting as an independent after being refused the party ticket. Nirala is no pushover as he is a three-time MLA of Maner, having first won the constituency under various parties tickets.
Amit Bhushan vs Kundan Singh
Sitting MLA Amita Bhushan and the BJP’s Kundan Singh will contest for the Begusarai assembly constituency. The CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNU students’ union president, competed in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 from Begusarai. Kundan Singh of BJP is notably one of the wealthiest candidates from the seats going to the polls in the second phase.
Raju Tiwari vs Brajesh Kumar vs Sunil Mani Tiwari
The Govindganj will witness a triangular fight between sitting MLA and the LJP’s Raju Tiwari, Congress leader Brajesh Kumar and Sunil Mani Tiwari of BJP. The seat is very crucial for BJP as the last time they won this seat was 10 years ago.
Haranut (Nalanda) constituency, which houses Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s village, is also going to vote in this phase. JD(U) lawmaker and Rural Development Minister Sharvan Kumar and Ram Sewak Singh, of JD (U), are contesting from Nalanda and Hathua, respectively.
Meanwhile, Congress has fielded Gunjan Patel in Nalanda against Kumar. In Hathua RJD’s nominee Rajesh Kushwaha and JD(U) leader and state minister Ramsevak Singh will compete.
Other notable candidates include:
BJP leader and Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), BJP MLA and Cooperative Minister Rana Randhir Singh (Madhuban).
Also in the fray is Chandrika Roy (JDU), the father of Tej Pratap Yadavs estranged wife Aishwarya Rai, who in her campaign has been highlighting the alleged “ill-treatment” meted out to her by RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s family. This phase is also very crucial for Chirag Paswan- led LJP, which has fielded 52 candidates.
LJP’s performance in this phase will show if the issues raised by Paswan during his campaign — corruption charges against Nitish Kumar, lack of proper facility for education, lack of jobs, and migration for livelihood — found resonance among the people.
The third phase of election is slated on November 7 following by announcement of results on November 10.
LLP Amendment Bill Passed
The Limited Liability Partnership(Amendment) Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha(Upper House) on July 29, 2021, after the approval of the Union Cabinet on July 28, 2021. Before understanding the LLP Amendment Bill let’s first understand what is LLP.
What is LLP?
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is an alternative corporate business form that gives the benefits of limited liability of a company and the flexibility in a partnership. It is a separate legal entity, which is liable to the full extent of its assets but the liability of the partners is limited to their agreed contribution in Limited Liability Partnership. One of the advantages of LLP is that it can continue its validity irrespective of changes in partners. It is capable of joining into new contracts and holding equity in its name.
In this corporate business form, no partner is liable on account of the independent or unauthorised actions of other partners, thus individual partners are shielded from joint liability created by another partner’s illicit business decisions or misbehaviour. Common rights and duties of the partners within a Limited Liability Partnership are governed by an agreement between the partners. However, the LLP is not reassured of the liability for its other obligations as a separate entity. As it contains components of both a ‘corporate structure’ as well as a ‘partnership firm structure’, LLP is called a hybrid between a company and a partnership.
Which are the countries where the LLP form is functional?
Countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, various Gulf countries and Singapore are the nations where the LLP structure is functional. As per the advice of experts who have studied LLP legislations in various countries, the LLP Act is extensively based on the UK LLP Act of 2000 and the Singapore LLP Act 2005. Both the Acts allow the creation of LLP in a corporate body form which means as a separate legal entity, separate from its partners.
What is the LLP Amendment Bill & what are the key highlights of the bill?
Limited Liability Partnership Amendment Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on August 4, 2021. All the members of the Upper House had agreed to pass this bill and have been working towards it since July 29, 2021. The Amendment Bill aims to boost greater ease of living to law-abiding corporates and to legitimize certain provisions of the Act.
Some of the important highlights of the bill are:
- Decriminalize certain offences: As per the Bill, it defines the way of operating the LLP’s provided that violation of these requirements will lead to punishment with a fine varying from 25,000 INR to five lakh INR. The requirements consist of changes in partners of the LLP, change in registered office, filing declaration of account and annual returns & agreement between the partners and an LLP. The bill exacts a monetary fine.
- Punishment on fraud: Under the Act, if a partner or an LLP carry out any forgery activities to their creditors and every individual who is involved in the hoax will be punished with up to two years of imprisonment, along with the 50,000 INR to five lakh INR of fine. The Bill increases the term of imprisonment from two to five years.
- Compounding of offences: The bill amends to provide an officer who will be appointed by the central government, may compound the offences and impose a punishable fine. If the offence was compounded by an LLP or its partners, then in this case a similar offence cannot be compounded within three years.
- Institution of Special Court: This bill enables the central government to establish special courts for assuring active trail of offences under the Act. The special court consists of a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge. They will adjudicate offences punishable with three or more years of imprisonment and a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate for other offences. They will be selected with the accord of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
- Opening of Small LLP’s: This Bill contributes to the formation of small LLP’s in which the partners contribute up to 25 lakh INR, turnover for the coming year is up to 40 lakh INR. The government can declare certain LLP as start-up LLP.
- Non-compliance with tribunal orders: As per the Act, non-compliance with an ordinance of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a punishable offence of up to six months imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 INR. This bill removes such offences.
- Adjudicating Officers: As per the bill, the central government may assign adjudicating officers for allotting penalties under the Act. These officers will be central government officers only. Appeals against the orders of the Adjudicating officer will lie in the hand of the Regional Director.
- Institution of Appellate Tribunal: As per the bill, the appeals cannot be made against an order that he’s passed along with the permission of the parties. The Appeals should be filed within the time frame of 60 days of order.
- Standards of accounting: According to the bill, the central government may specify the criteria of accounting and auditing for groups of LLP in meeting with the National Financial Reporting Authority.
These are the salient parts of the amended bill.
India-Bangladesh: Reopen Cross-Border Rail Lines After 56 years
On August 1, 2021, Indian Railways sent the first stone-filled freight train to Bangladesh from Damdim Station of the Northeast Frontier Railway, resuming activity on the Haldibari Chilahati route. The network between Bangladesh and India will improve due to the continuing rail course that snapped in 1965.
After the partition in 1947, seven rail joins were functional among India and then East Pakistan till 1965. The Haldibari-Chilahati rail interface is one of those courses. As indicated by the railway authorities, the main products train to convey stone chips left from Damdim station of Jalpaiguri area in West Bengal on Sunday morning.
It came to a halt at Chilahati station in the Nilphamari region in the early evening. Aside from the Haldibari-Chilahati rail connect, at present, there are four working rail routes between India and Bangladesh. The current operational rail routes are – Petrapole (India)- Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India)– Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)- Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India)– Birol (Bangladesh).
This railway interface between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh) was initiated by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh during the PM level virtual summit on December 17, 2020. Things that can be transported from India to Bangladesh via this railway combining rocks and boulders, food grains, fresh fruits, chemical fertilizers, onions, chilli, garlic, ginger, fly ash, clay, limestone, wood, and lumber, etcetera. From Bangladesh to India, everything is allowed which exported.
“The commissioning of this rail interface will establish the India-Bangladesh rail connection and future trade. Likewise, the revamped rail network to key ports and dry docks will help boost neighbourhood trade and improve the monetary and social well-being of the space,” the high commission said.
The Government of India gave over ten-wide-measure diesel trains as an aid to help Bangladesh Railways. The virtual event was attended by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and their Bangladeshi accomplices Md Nurul Islam Sujon and Dr A K Abdul Momen on July 27, 2020. Feni Bridge (Maitree Setu) interfacing LCS Sub room (Tripura) and LCS Ramgarh (Bangladesh) have been introduced on a virtual stage by both the Prime Ministers on March 09, 2021.
This will fundamentally further develop availability with Bangladesh. The preliminary attempt of the parcel of Indian merchandise from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram had led in July 2020, notwithstanding the pandemic. Bangladesh – India, the connection is presently supposed to be at its best.
The year 2021, regardless of the continuous COVID-19 pandemic, has been seeing a significant level of commitment at political and official levels. Prime Minister Modi paid a state visit to Bangladesh from March 26 – 27. He participated in the Golden Jubilee celebration of Independence of Bangladesh, the centenary of the birth of the founding father Benjabandu Sheikh Mujipur Rahman, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of peaceful relations between India and Bangladesh. Both governments are trying different measures to rebuild the railway hub before 1965 and, another connection network existed between India and Bangladesh.
During the visit of PM Hasina to New Delhi in October 2019, the two governments chose to initiate Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka and Dhaka-Siliguri-Darjeeling-Dhaka transport administration to upgrade people to people contact between both the nations. The path run of Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka was likewise held in December 2019.
In May 2020, the second appendix of the Inland Waters Transit and Trade Protocol (PIWTT) approved two new routes in the India-Bangladesh Protocol (Sonamura Daudkandi on the Gomti waterway, and from Dhulia to Godagiri to Aricha in the current Padma), five new ports of call and two extended ports of call. Sonamura-Daudkandi Protocol Route had also operationalized in September 2020.
Haldibari-Chilahati Rail Link – Connectivity benefits:
The Haldibari-Chilahati route will give travel association with Bangladesh from Assam and West Bengal in India. The rail network will connect the prime ports, dry ports, to help the development. It will boost the financial and social advancement of the area.
Businesses and everyday citizens of the two nations will want to receive the rewards of the two merchandise and traveller train administrations when all trains are anticipated procedure on the course. With the new rail route, individuals from Bangladesh can visit tourist destinations like Darjeeling, Sikkim, Dooars in India.
Also, the Karimganj and Mahisashan rail connection between Assam and Bangladesh is to be functional from 2022. The other rail connection between Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Agartala (India) will be operational by the end of the year.
Assam Issues Travel Advisory Due To Safety Concerns
Assam Government on Thursday issued a travel advisory asking its residents not to travel to Mizoram due to safety concerns and asked those already in the state to exercise caution. The travel advisory came after the tension between the neighbouring states, days after the violent border clashes erupted in which seven people were killed.
Advisory issued by MS Manivannan, Commissioner and secretary in Assam’s home and the political department said, “Given the critical prevailing situation, the people of Assam advised not to travel to Mizoram as any threat to the personal safety of people of Assam cannot be accepted”.
A day before the Assam travel advisory, Mizoram issued a public notice stating that “It is hereby notified that there shall be no restrictions on the movement of non-residents of Mizoram traveling through Kolasib district”, followed by the phone numbers of the officers if any problem arises.
Mizoram Police has filed an FIR against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and four police officers, along with two officials connected with the clashes at the inter-state border. On charges of Attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with the violent border clashes.
On the other hand, Assam police Summoned Mizoram Rajya Sabha member K Vanlalvena And six top officials over the alleged role in border tension. K Vanlalvena told reporters on Wednesday, “More than 200 policemen entered a territory and they pushed back our policeman from our own post and they gave firing orders first before we fired. They are lucky that we didn’t kill them all. If they come again, we shall kill them all.”
Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6-km-long border, which has long been a cause of dispute. Three districts in the south of Assam Hailakandi, Cachar, and Karimganj share the border with Mizoram’s Kolasib, Aizawl and Mamit districts.
On 26 July, border tensions erupted between Both the neighbouring States Assam and Mizoram, in which 6 Assam police personnel and a civilian were dead. Both states are blaming each other for the violence on Twitter, asking the centre to intervene and resolve the situation amicably.
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