Adding to the chorus favouring simultaneous polls for Parliament and State Assemblies, Lok Jan Shakti Party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said the time was ripe to introduce the process to save time and money.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating simultaneous polls since March 2016. Phased moveThe AIADMK, which has not officially joined the NDA yet, has also been making positive noises. Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai wrote a three-page letter to Mr. Modi proposing that by 2019, 20 States should go for polls and by 2024, all Parliamentary and Assembly elections could be fully synced. Mr. Paswan also said his party had been proposing simultaneous elections since 1989. The counter-argument that the arrangement would reduce accountability to the voters was fallacious, he said. Turmoil in Tamil NaduAsked how the changed system would handle political turmoil as currently seen in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Paswan said the answer lies within the Assembly. “If, say, a Chief Minister or a party loses the confidence of the House, instead of going back to the people, the members of the House should vote to pick the alternate leader or party,” he said. The Lok Jan Shakti Party also strongly opposed proportional representation. It informed the parliamentary panel discussing the electoral reforms that this would increase caste-based politics. “Look at the election posters put up today; we will be representatives of all castes and communities. If we bring in proportional representation, no one will work for an entire constituency. The social equations will be disrupted and the schisms will grow deeper,” he said.However, the Opposition parties have remained unconvinced of the advantages of the system. In the Standing Committee of Law and Justice’s December 2015 report on the subject, both the Trinamool Congress and the Congress rejected it as anti-democratic and unconstitutional. The CPI and the NCP have said the process is “not feasible.”
The Indian cricket team suffered an injury scare as Sachin Tendulkar escaped unhurt after he was hit on the helmet by a rising delivery from fast bowler Umesh Yadav during pre-series training at coach Gary Kirsten’s academy in Cape Town.A delivery from the uncapped right-arm paceman caught Tendulkar by surprise as it hit the left side of his helmet as he ducked, expecting the ball to rear up higher and pass overhead during the morning training session at Claremont Cricket Club last evening.Tendulkar, who was among the second batch of players who reached here, took the very audible whack with great calmness, even as colleagues in both his and the other nets swiftly turned heads out of concern for his well-being.The 37-year-old veteran of 174 Tests simply stooped a little, removed the helmet and inspected it, while Yadav rushed in but heaved a sigh of relief after laying his hands on Tendulkar’s head which apparently did not have any signs of taking the blow.Tendulkar then carried on serenely as if nothing had happened and shortly afterwards S Sreesanth sent him a shortish ball that barely climbed knee height, which caused some amusement.He was batting on a strip which was with some up-and-down sort of bounce apparently prepared by Kirsten as part of preparations for the three-match Tests series against South Africa starting at Centurion on December 16.”You can’t control these sorts of situations in a net environment. It even happens in India; guys get hit on the glove and so on. You just have to hope nothing too serious occurs,” said Kirsten afterwards of Tendulkar’s minor scare.advertisement”Interestingly enough the one net here is pretty flat and low and the other is going around a bit. The guys wanted to use the one that was more (spicy). I’m pretty excited about that; we’ll use the one that?s going around a bit again tomorrow,” he said.Kirsten wanted to simulate the South African pitch conditions as best as possible as India are not having any warm-up game before the Test series.The Indian squad will reach Centurion on Monday.
Maruti S-CrossIndia’s largest car maker Maruti has never really tasted phenomenal success with its Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Neither the Grand Vitara nor the Gypsy have been able to set the sales chart on fire. In order to capitalise on the SUV segment, Maruti plans to launch two new products by 2016, which includes the highly anticipated XA Alpha.Seen at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, the XA Alpha Concept is a futuristic compact SUV, expected to be launched sometime this year. The Maruti SX4 S-Cross is a crossover SUV, which should be launched before the XA Alpha. Testing of the S-Cross has already started in the country and at present, it is on offer in global markets. In its segment, this vehicle will compete against the likes of Volkswagen Cross Polo, Toyota Etios Cross and the Fiat Avventura. XA Alpha, in turn, will primarily rival the hugely successful Ford EcoSport. At the recent Tata Zest launch, it was revealed that Tata Motors also plans to bring in a new compact SUV called Nexon. In addition, Maruti will also be closely monitoring Renault Duster AWD to understand the demand for a 4?4 SUV.
Lionel Messi is a one-off and football will not see a player like the Barcelona and Argentina star again, says Erik Lamela.Messi struck a hat-trick against PSV to get Barca’s Champions League campaign off to a flying start this week, while he has hit four goals in four LaLiga games.Even Messi could not inspire Argentina to success at the World Cup, though, as Jorge Sampaoli’s side crashed out at the round of 16 stage to eventual winners France. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! International disappointment has plagued Messi’s career, with the 31-year-old on the losing side in three Copa America finals, as well as at the 2014 World Cup.Messi missed Argentina’s matches against Guatemala and Colombia in the September international break but team-mate Lamela is in no doubt as to the Barca captain’s quality.”Leo is obviously a very important player for us, for all the things he can give as a player and a team-mate,” Lamela told Omnisport at the launch of EA Sports’ FIFA19. “Having him is very important for the group. We all know he is the best inside the pitch and he is always a plus to win a game.”What I saw when I played and trained with him, he is by far the best player I have ever seen since I play football.”Game after game, people can see the things he does, how easy is for him to score goals, assist, and make what he wants inside the pitch. Sincerely, there won’t be anyone like him.” Although his time at Tottenham has been severely disrupted by injury, Lamela is now setting in under fellow Argentine Mauricio Pochettino.”First year I was here, he helped me because my English wasn’t really good,” Lamela said of his compatriot. “It was important for me to have a manager speaking Spanish, and other South American players, because there are many young players at the team who speak Spanish.”But in the end, my relationship with him is like the one he has with other team-mates, it is the same for all of us.”
APTN National NewsThe Lake St. Martin First Nation in Manitoba was forced to evacuate due to flooding last spring.Since then, the number of evacuees has inexplicably risen.This has raised concerns in Ottawa.However, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs say it’s much ado about nothing.APTN National News reporter Matt Thordarson has this story.