The Times of India

MUMBAI: Acting on a Congress complaint alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Madison Square Garden speech was being used by the BJP as a campaign tool in Maharashtra, the Election Commission on Monday called for a report from the state chief electoral officer detailing the facts of the case. NCP chief Sharad Pawar too objected to the telecast, saying, Modi was in New York as a Prime Minister and not BJP leader. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said there was no violation of the code of conduct. It was a public meeting organised by NRIs and the expenses of the convention were paid by them, Bhandari said. Meanwhile, suburban district election officer Shekhar Channe said his office had registered 13 cases of paid news against candidates. Some of the candidates against whom the paid news complaint has been registered included Mohit Kamboj (BJP, Dindoshi), Rajhansa Singh (Congress, Dindoshi), Dr Vinay Jain (Shiv Sena, Malad West), Raees Lashkaria (MNS, Andheri West) and Shashikant Patkar (Sena, Vile Parle). An FIR had been registered in 23 of the 36 code of conduct violation cases too.

NGOs help you to decide in Bandra: A comparative study of candidates contesting has been displayed at housing societies, churches, parks and gymkhanas in Bandra, Khar and Santa Cruz. The study, by the NGO AGNI (Action for good Governance and Networking in India), Association by Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Mumbai Votes, gives voters information on the candidate, party, age, education, total assets, liabilities, convictions/pending cases and whether PAN card details were declared or not. Activist Indrani Malkani has blogged on information on polling day, like timings and identity documents.

Dear mom & dad, vote for our future': Many city schools are urging students to appeal to their parents to exercise their franchise on October 15. At St Stanislaus School, Bandra, students have been given an 'exert poll' card. It reads: "Dear Mum and Dad, please vote for our future on Wednesday, 15th October 2014. This is my venture to empower the electoral process." Over 18,500 cards have been distributed to over 12 schools, which are part of the Bandra Inter-school Republic Day Committee (BIRD). "At Podar Jumbo Kids, students have been told to play the role of 'election inspectors' and check the black dot on their parents' finger.

Fishermen's union shifts vote to Sena: A section of the fishermen's community has pledged support to the Shiv Sena. Damodar Tandel, who heads the Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti, joined the party on September 28. "We earlier supported the Congress-NCP combine but they have done little to improve the lot of the Koli community. The land on which our houses are built still does not belong to us, so we cannot redevelop or repair our homes under the development control rules. We cannot even construct toilets if we need to," he said on Monday.

FIR against MIM leader: A first information report has been registered against Akbaruddin Owaisi, leader of the Majlis-e Ittihad al-Muslimin party for organising an election meeting and procession in Byculla on September 19 without permission. Complaints have also been registered against NCP activists Dilip Kanojia, Ashok Khot in Worli for obstructing the campaign of the Shiv Sena candidate in the area.

Madrassas declare holiday for polling: Most madrassas in the city have declared a holiday on October 15 to enable teachers and students to vote. Madrassas normally have a weekly off on Friday but this week they will have two holidays. Many clerics and community leaders have urged community members to back "strong, secular candidates". "Voting is an important democratic right and to facilitate our students and teachers to exercise this right conveniently, we have decided to keep the madrassa shut on Wednesday," said Maulana Athar Ali, general secretary of the Mohammed Ali Road madrassa Darul Uloom Mohammadiya, which has over 300 students and over a dozen staff. Kandivili-based Jamia Rahmania, which has over 600 students, also declared a holiday. The All-India Milli Council, which works for the community's socio-economic and political empowerment, urged members not to "waste" their votes on Muslim candidates who are in the fray only to eat into sitting Muslim MLAs' votes.

NC lodged over pamphlets: The Goregaon police have lodged a non-cognizable complaint after pamphlets were circulated against the Shiv Sena. The case has been filed for violation of the poll code of conduct.

Welcome to 'model polling station': Voters who are lucky to find their names in the 'Model Polling Station' will be welcomed with smiles and flowers. The city collector has decided to set up a model polling station in each of the 10 assembly constituencies. The returning officers have decided to create the stations by ensuring that the staff is on its best behaviour. *** An Election Commission executive magistrate has filed a complaint against Congress district president Sunil Narsale for building a chamber to provide an illegal water connection in Colaba. *** The BMC has filed a complaint against MNS activists, including Baba Kadam for putting up banners and posters around Shanmukhanand Hall, Sion, on the day the party blueprint was released. *** The EC has appointed 62 micro-observers for critical polling stations in the island city who will report directly to the election observer. The EC has appointed an observer for each of the assembly constituencies.

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