Polling to elect about 2,100 ward councillors is underway in all 49 municipal bodies across Rajasthan on Saturday. According to that state election department, the polling started at 7 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. The election has been peaceful so far, an official of the department said. A total of 7,944 candidates are in the fray in 49 civic bodies of the State. The election department said that a total of 33.69 lakh voters, including 17.05 lakh men and 16.01 lakh women, will exercise their franchise on Saturday. Counting of votes will be done on November 19. Election for chairman and deputy chairman of local bodies will be held on November 26 and 27 respectively.
An Australian politician has questioned Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to award an Order of Australia to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for his contribution to sport.Federal Independent MP Rob Oakshott, who expressed his love for Little Master, said the special award should not be used for diplomatic gain, the ABC news reported.”I love Sachin Tendulkar, I love cricket. But I just have a problem with soft diplomacy as you call it,” he said, adding “Getting in on the act of the Australian honours.” Oakeshott said the Order should be focused on recognising Australians doing community work instead.”I’m not going to die in a ditch over it…but it’s about the integrity of the honours list which should be for Australians,” he said.He said that Tendulkar was an “obvious diplomatic touch point”, and further suggested setting up an inter-nation gong, such as an “Australia-India award”.