UAPA- Tool To Shut Dissent in India

  The death of Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest and activist, India’s oldest political prisoner who died in jail, waiting for bail for nine months, at the age of 84 has brought the spotlight back on the Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA), the primarily counter-terror Law in India.  The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967 is the  primary counter-law in India. The terror law has come under sharp scrutiny recently with various courts finding application of the UAPA (arbitrary). About The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)  Passed in 1967, the law aims at effective prevention of Unlawful activities in India. The ACT assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre (deems) an activity as unlawful then it may by way of an official Gazette, declare it so.  It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments. Under UAPA, both India and foreign nationals can be charged. It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, ev

The Election season - 2021

 The onset of summer will coincide with soaring political temperatures in the country as four states and a Union Territory will see electrol heat in March-end and April. The Election Commission of India had already the election dates for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry in the South and West Bengal , Assam in east, sounding the bugle  for the next big battle  in States politics .


Kerala Assembly Elections:

The Assembly Elections in Kerala is scheduled to be held in a single phase on April 6, 2021. For nearly Four decades, now power over the state legislative has alternately shared between the Left Democratic Front( LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF). Since 2016 BJP led NDA has made a political road into the state and local body elections held in December suggest that a surprise may be on the card. The NDA, in 2016 claimed 15 percent of the votes share turned that into 19% in Municipal elections.

In the last Assembly polls, the LDF comfortably emerged as the winner, managing to claim 91 seats out of 140. In the UDF, which could only manage to win 47 seats. The BJP got only 1 seat.

ABP- C voter Opinion Poll predicts that, Pinarayi Vijayan - led government will win a simple majority in kerala Poll 2021. LDF will win somewhere between 77-85 seats. Meanwhile Congress - led UDF might get restricted to 54-62 seats - higher than its 2016 tally when it won 47 seats. The survey also suggested BJP might fails to make any impact in the state as its finish third with securing 0-2 seats.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections:

Since 1967, the state's politics have been dominated by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) to which the late Jayalalithaa belonged.

 Elections for all 234 seats in Tamil Nadu will take place in a single phase that begins on April 6. In 2016, the AIADMK, then under Jayalalithaa, swept the polls making it the first ruling party to get re-elected in the state since 1984. The DMK, having now allied with the Congress, two Left parties, the MDMK, the VCK, the IUML and the MML, will be hopeful of improving upon its 2016 performance when it won just 89 seats.

 Meanwhile, the BJP, which to date has struggled to gain a foothold in the state, has allied with the AIADMK. The alliance also includes PMK with talks, reportedly, ongoing to bring on board the AMMK as well. 

In Tamil Nadu, the Congress-DMK alliance under MK Stalin is set to return to power after 10 years by defeating the ruling AIADMK. As per the opinion poll, the UPA is predicted to get 158 seats while the NDA will get just 65. In the last election, the AIADMK under then chief minister Jayalalitha had contested the polls alone and won 136 of 234 seats. The DMK had contested 178 and won 89 while its ally Congress contested 41 and bagged 8 seats.

Assam Assembly Elections

Assam's residents will head to the polls from March 27 to vote across 126 constituencies with the election set to be held in three phases. In 2016, the Sarbananda Sonowal led-BJP managed to overthrow the Indian National Congress then headed by Tarun Gogoi. 

However, this time around, Congress has forged a 'Grand Alliance' which includes the AIUDF, CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML), and the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM). More recently, the BPF (Bodoland People's Front), which was an ally of the BJP, has also defected to join the Congress-led alliance. Meanwhile, the BJP has roped in the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) to take on the 'Mahajoot'. 

The BJP under Sarbananda Sonowal is set to form the government in Assam by winning 67 of 126 seats, as per an opinion poll by Times Now-C Voter. The Congress-led UPA, which ruled the state from 2001 to 2016, will up its tally by 18 seats but will fall short of majority and settle at 57. In the 126-member House, one needs to have 64 seats to form the government in Assam. The NDA is predicted to get 42.9 per cent vote share while the UPA is expected to get 40.2 per cent. In 2016, the vote share difference between both the parties was over 10 per cent, the BJP had got 41.9 per cent while the UPA settled at 31 per cent.

Puducherry Assembly Elections

The Assembly elections in the UT of Puducherry will take place in a single phase on April 6. The UT became embroiled in a political crisis in late February when a confidence motion initiated by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy failed, forcing the chief minister to tender his resignation to Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan. As such, the election comes on the heels of the collapse of the Congress-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) alliance. 

Nevertheless, the Congress-DMK alliance will be seeking to clinch power again having allied with a number of regional parties including the Left parties.

In Puducherry, the BJP-led NDA is predicted to win 18 of 30 seats, thus securing the majority to form the government in the Union Territory. The UPA, which was in power till last month, is expected to win just 12 seats. In 2016, the Congress had bagged 15 seats and its ally DMK had got 2. From the opposition, N. Rangaswamy-led All India N.R. Congress had won 8 seats while AIADMK had 4. The BJP had contested 30 seats but could not win any.



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