BJP wins Arunachal, SKM in Sikkim, Hassan MP Revanna’s arrest, Trump convicted in hush money trial, and more: The week in five charts

Here are five charts that will help you understand some of the key stories from last week

Published - June 02, 2024 05:58 pm IST

(Left) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Pema Khandu after party’s victory in the State Assembly elections. (Centre) Former U.S. President Donald Trump. (Right) Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna. 

(Left) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Pema Khandu after party’s victory in the State Assembly elections. (Centre) Former U.S. President Donald Trump. (Right) Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna. 

(1) BJP retains Arunachal, SKM wins Sikkim

Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, two of the four states that held simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections, re-elected their respective incumbent governments. The counting of votes was held on June 2, two days before the Lok Sabha results.

In Arunachal Pradesh, which voted on April 19, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National People’s Party (NPP) together won 51 seats in the 60-member assembly. As many as 10 party candidates, including Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Deputy CM Chowna Mein, had won unopposed in March itself.

Among the opposition parties, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won three seats, People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) won two, and the Congress won one seat respectively, while three independent candidates were victorious too.

In Sikkim, the Sikkim Karantikari Morcha (SKM), which had eked out a narrow victory in 2019 with 17 seats in the 32-member assembly, scored a resounding win this time. They won 31 seats. The opposition Sikkim Democratic Front’s (SDF) tally, meanwhile, crashed to one, a loss of 14 seats.

Sikkim, too, held simultaneous polls on April 19, co-incinding with the first round of voting of the seven-leg Lok Sabha elections, which concluded on Saturday.

(2) SIT arrests Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna

Suspended Janata Dal (Secular) MP Prajwal Revanna, who was accused of sexually abusing several women, was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the wee hours of May 31, Friday, as soon as he arrived at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from Germany. He returned to India from Germany nearly a month after he fled the country.

The 33-year-old Member of Parliament (MP) from Hassan was taken into custody from the airport by an all-women police team. They took him to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru for medical examination, before producing him in the Special Court for People’s Representatives. The court sent him in police custody till June 6.

Prajwal, the grandson of JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, contested the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 as an NDA candidate from Hassan Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka that he won in 2019 too. H.D. Kumaraswamy, JD(S) president and former chief minister of Karnataka, is Prajwal’s uncle. His father H.D. Revanna, an MLA from Holenarasipur, is also facing sexual assault and kidnapping charges from their former house help.

He is facing charges of sexually abusing multiple women. The cases came to light after several pen drives allegedly containing explicit videos involving Prajwal were circulated in Hassan ahead of polling in the second phase of general elections on April 26.

The matter has also morphed into a huge political row, with the BJP in alliance with Mr Deve Gowda’s JD(S) in Karnataka. The state leaders of the BJP have distanced themselves from the matter and the Hasan MP has been suspended by his party.

(3) Donald Trump convicted in hush money trial

Donald Trump became the first former American President to be convicted of felony crimes on Thursday as a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 charges in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to a porn actor who said the two had sex.

Trump sat stone-faced while the verdict was read as cheering from the street below could be heard in the hallway on the courthouse’s 15th floor where the decision was revealed after more than nine hours of deliberations.

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial,” an angry Trump told reporters after leaving the courtroom. “The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people. They know what happened, and everyone knows what happened here.”

Judge Juan Merchan set sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where GOP leaders, who remained resolute in their support in the immediate aftermath of the verdict, are expected to formally make him their nominee.

The verdict is a stunning legal reckoning for Trump and exposes him to potential prison time in the city where his manipulations of the tabloid press helped catapult him from a real estate tycoon to reality television star and ultimately President. As he seeks to reclaim the White House in this year’s election, the judgment presents voters with another test of their willingness to accept Trump’s boundary-breaking behaviour.

The conviction, and even imprisonment, will not bar Trump from continuing his pursuit of the White House.

(4) Voting concludes for 18th Lok Sabha polls

After six weeks, voting for the 2024 Lok Sabha election, which began on April 19, concluded with a nearly 63% voter turnout in the seventh and last phase on June 1. Voting for the last phase was held in 57 seats amid a severe heat wave in northern India. A total of 906 candidates were in the fray and 10.06 crore electors were registered to exercise their franchise.

West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout at 73.79%. The lowest voting percentage was recorded in Bihar at 51.92%. The turnout in Himachal Pradesh was 70.05%, 70.66% in Jharkhand, 70.67% in Odisha, 62.06% in Punjab, 55.62% in Uttar Pradesh and 67.90% in Chandigarh.

In West Bengal, where nine seats went to the polls, violence was reported from Sandeshkhali (Basirhat constituency) and Bhangar (Jadavpur seat).

“Through their emphatic participation, the voters have risen to the trust reposed by the founders of the Indian Constitution, when they handed over the power of suffrage to the ordinary Indian. The massive participation in the democratic exercise reaffirms the democratic ethos and spirit of India,” the Election Commission of India said in a statement. The poll body expressed its gratitude to the election machinery, including the security forces, the political parties and the candidates.

Votes cast in the Lok Sabha election and Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha will be counted on June 4 from 8 a.m.

(5) Ireland, Spain, Norway formally recognise Palestine

Norway, Spain and Ireland on May 28 became the latest countries to recognise a state of Palestine, breaking with the long-held view of Western powers that Palestinians can only gain statehood as part of a negotiated peace with Israel.

Their move, which has infuriated Israel, brings to 145 out of the 193 UN member states that have recognised a Palestinian state. They include many Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries, but not the United States, Canada, most of western Europe, Australia, Japan or South Korea.

In April, the United States used its veto at the UN Security Council to prevent a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member state.

Israel denounced the decisions and recalled its ambassadors to the three countries.

The timing of the move was a surprise, but discussions have been underway for weeks in some European Union countries about possibly recognizing a Palestinian state. Proponents have argued that the war has shown the need for a new push toward a two-state solution, 15 years after negotiations collapsed between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government opposes Palestinian statehood.

It was the second blow to Israel’s international reputation this week after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said he would seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and his defense minister. The International Court of Justice is also considering allegations of genocide that Israel has strenuously denied.

In that assault, Hamas-led militants stormed across the border, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 hostage. The ICC prosecutor is also seeking arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders. Israel’s ensuing offensive has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, and has caused a humanitarian crisis and a near-famine.

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