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Game UP: Samajwadi Party faces split as Mulayam expels Akhilesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav dropped a bombshell, expelling his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday evening, all eyes are now on the party’s one-day national convention on Sunday.Mulayam also expelled his cousin and party general secretary Ramgopal Yadav for calling the emergency session of delegates, and accused him of “spoiling the career of the chief minister.” The SP chief said both Akhilesh and Ramgopal have been sacked for weakening the party and stated that his son didn’t even consulted him on state matters.In a fight to the finish, Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav have summoned a meeting of party MLAs on Saturday and those named as candidates. Both factions of the Yadav family are vying to entice as many MLAs as they can to strengthen the party. “This expulsion is unconstitutional,” said Ramgopal, alleging that of late, the SP has made a practice of ignoring its playbook. “Half an hour after we were given notice, we were expelled. Even a criminal is given a chance to explain,” said a disgruntled Ramgopal.Party sources from Lucknow told DNA that the convention will appeal to Mulayam to continue to lead the party, but relook the list of candidates he had announced unilaterally on Wednesday and also revoke the decision to expel the Chief Minister. The list, announced by Mulayam, has several candidates backed by Shivpal whose candidacy had been fiercely opposed by Akhilesh. This included gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, who faces 44 serious criminal charges — including murder.Defying the party and his father, Akhilesh released his own rebel list on Thursday of 235 candidates. One of them included Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Formerly with the Congress before she switched to the BJP, Joshi is the MLA from Lucknow Cantt constituency.The party’s senior leader Madhukar Jaitley described the situation as “unfortunate”. He said a situation was unprecedented where a father, also the founder of the party, was compelled to expel his son. SP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said there was still room for reconciliation, but expressed concern at the move coming at a time when the state was on the verge of elections.Saturday will be a crucial day for the Mulayam and Shivpal camps, party sources said. The majority of MLAs have so far reposed their faith in the Chief Minister.On October 28, Akhilesh had mustered the support of 190 MLAs out of SP’s 229 against his uncle Shivpal. Besides legislators, the majority of party leaders as well owe allegiance to the Chief Minister, as they see him as the future of the party. Immediately after the decision, reports from Lucknow said workers thronged Akhilesh’s official residence, shouting slogans against Shivpal. Over 100 MLAs reached Akhilesh’s house to express support. There were also shouts of self-immolation as the crowds turned emotional.With elections now so close, there is hardly any possibility of the party replacing the Chief Minister now. In case of a majority of MLAs expressing a no-confidence motion, Akhilesh may be allowed to continue as caretaker. Otherwise, the state will move towards the imposition of President’s rule. Sources in Raj Bhawan said Governor Ram Naik is keeping a close eye on the developments, but, so far, no communication has been made to him from either the Mulayam or Akhilesh camp.Denying speculations that Akhilesh will resign, his loyalist Gomti Yadav said the CM will stay on till his last day in power.Already other parties are moving in to align forces. West Bengal CM and Trinamul Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee called up Akhilesh and offered support, saying “you are like my brother.” Congress leader Jayanta Prasad is already mediating between Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh for a possible electoral tie-up.While UP’s ruling party has been headed for a split for some time now, the break point came after Ramgopal called an emergency convention of the party in defiance of the party chief. This came after Mulayam issued a show-cause notice to his son, asking him why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for releasing a parallel list of candidates, which include several party leaders close to him and who did not make it to the official list released by his father a day before. Akhilesh’s list include 187 candidates who have also featured in his father’s list.The Chief Minister’s defiant move was seen as a last-ditch effort to pressure his father into reconsidering the candidacy of his key aides after they failed to reach common ground at a meeting in Lucknow. In recent months, Akhilesh has engaged in a bitter power tussle with Shivpal, who is the party’s UP chief. Notably, Shivpal was present next to Mulayam, when he announced the expulsion of Akhilesh.The SP’s internal battle gives an added advantage to the BJP and Mayawati’s BSP in the mega battle being touted as the semi-final before the general elections in 2019. Elections to UP’s 403 assembly seats are expected to be announced by the Election Commission any day now.The battle, which had been festering for over a year, had been triggered by Shivpal to control the party. This was resisted by Akhilesh, mentored by Ramgopal, his father’s cousin. Akhilesh has contended with a constant undermining of his decisions by Mulayam, under the alleged influence of Shivpal. Among the initiatives which his father thwarted include the lobbying for an alliance with the Congress for state elections, and a request to shun politicians with criminal backgrounds as candidates.Battle between the bahusIt is not just the father and son who are locked in a political battle. It is also a battle between the daughters-in-law. Aparna, wife of Mulayam’s second son Prateek, has stood by uncle Shivpal against Akhilesh’s wife Dimple, who is also an MP. Aparna had recently been handed a ticket from Lucknow Cantt. With the situation getting uglier between the father and the son, theories about the rift continue to emerge. Akhilesh’s supporters allege that Sadhna Gupta, the party chief’s second wife, and the Chief Minister’s stepmother, has instigated him against his eldest son. Now, with his expulsion, Akhilesh, Aparna and Sadhna are vying to become the youth face of the SP. Who will win the political games now remains to be seen.UP Caste Composition in 2016OBC 44%Dalits (Scs) 21.1%Tribals (Sts) 0.8%Forward Caste 16%Muslims 19.3%Christians 0.18%Out of OBCsYadavs -9%Lodhi -7%Jats -1.7%KUSHWAHA (MAURYA, SHAKYA, KOERI, KACHHI, SAINI) 4%Kurmi – 3%Other OBCs (including Sunars, few Muslim OBCs) -20%Jatavs Dalits -9%Non-Jatav Dalits (includes Pasis, Mallah and Valmikis) -11%

Yadav vs Yadav Dangal: Mulayam Singh expels Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from SP for six years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav came down hard on dissidence by suspending his brother Ram Gopal Yadav for ‘indiscipline’ and son Akhilesh Yadav for six years.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Ram Gopal Yadav suspended from the party for six years for indiscipline. No one has the right to call for a national executive meet other than party Chief; by doing this you have hurt the party’s interest. CM Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t understand, Ram Gopal is trying to weaken him How can he (Ram Gopal) call for emergency national executive meet without my permission’ Normally at least 10-15 days’ notice is given.”He added: “For us party is the most important and our priority is to save the party. To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party.” He added: “I have worked really hard to make this party, what was their role in this? I work hard and they reap the fruits? Mukhyamantri main tay karunga kaun hoga. Maine akele hi party banaya thi; Inka kya yogdaan hain? Ram Gopal aur Akhilesh Yadav party khatam kar rahe hain.” On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming state assembly elections, a day after his father and party supremo had released the official list, hinting at a deepening crisis within the party. Intense political activities continued at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and at the official residence of the chief minister yesterday. Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make changes in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Wednesday.According to reports, Akhilesh has removed the name of his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav from the list of candidates that will contest next year’s state assembly polls. She was earlier given a ticket by Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest from the Lucknow Cantt seat.

UP IAS officer Sanjeev Dubey allegedly commits suicide in Lucknow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IAS officer Sanjeev Dubey on Thursday committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Lucknow, police said.His body was found by his family members at his 14, Gautampalli residence in Lucknow.The 1987-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre officer was posted as Principal Secretary in the Home Guard department and had held several important posts.Dubey has left behind a suicide note highlighting health problems as a reason behind his extreme step, police sources said, adding he was suffering from several painful health conditions like osteoporosis Sources close to him said he was under depression for past several months due to illness.Police said the matter came to light when he did not open the door of his residence till late in the day. Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav condoled Dubey’s demise even as senior officials, including DGP Javeed Ahmed and Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar visited his house.

Mixing locations by Air Traffic Controller led to planes’ near collision at Delhi: AAI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Air Traffic Controller inadvertently gave instructions to one aircraft to continue taxiing through a particular taxiway mixing its location with that of another plane that led to a near collision at Delhi airport on Tuesday, according to AAI.In a major safety lapse, two aircraft of IndiGo and SpiceJet came face-to-face barely 40 metres away on the same taxiway on Tuesday but providentially a disaster was averted after commanders of both the planes alerted the air traffic control and switched off their engines. Following the incident, the air traffic controller has been derostered pending investigation.While acknowledging that an air traffic controller mixed the locations of the two flights, AAI (Airports Authority of India) today also said SpiceJet flight did not question the incomplete ATC instruction for taxiing, adding that these human errors resulted in “traffic conflict situation”. In a detailed statement, AAI said IndiGo flight (6E-769) from Lucknow to Delhi after landing on runway-28 was taxiing via taxiway ‘E2’ for parking stand 12 as advised by ATC.The departing flight of SpiceJet (SG123) was not able to take off from runway 28 due to poor visibility and waiting to return to apron for parking, it said.Accordingly, the controller instructed SG123 to taxi via taxiway C and hold short of the taxiway ‘E2’ so that the two flights were not in conflict with each other. “The traffic density being high and complex, the controller inadvertently gave instructions to SG123 to continue taxi via E to stand 130, mixing its location with the location of SG263 which was holding on another taxiway ‘E’ for departure.”However, SG123 also did not question the incomplete ATC instruction for taxiing. These human errors resulted into traffic conflict situation. However, both aircraft stopped at safe distance and there was no risk to aircraft or passengers,” AAI said.Noting that the statement is being issued to avoid any fear among air passengers after yesterday’s incident, AAI said at times it may not be possible to eliminate human error. “At times it may not be possible to eliminate human error whether it is aviation or other industries but continuous efforts are being made by AAI to offset such human errors through Standard Operating Procedures, recurrent training to the controllers and introducing technology,” it said. Further, AAI said various reports appearing in the media are giving exaggerated version stating that the passengers had close shave, indicating a distorted interpretation that may create fear in the minds of air passengers. Safety record of ATC provided by AAI at Indian airports has been very good and comparable to best in the world, it added. PTI

Akhilesh Yadav announces financial assistance to Ajmer-Sealdah Express victims

Wed, 28 Dec 2016-02:10pm , Lucknow , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced financial assistance of Rs 50,000 on Wednesday, to those seriously injured in the Kanpur train mishap and Rs 25,000 to those who suffered minor wounds.The chief minister wished speedy recovery to the passengers injured after 15 coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailed early on Wednesday morning near Rura Railway Station in Kanpur Dehat district when the train was crossing a bridge over a dry canal. He directed officials to take adequate measures for the treatment of the injured and said there should be no laxity in this regard, an official release said here.The chief minister also asked officials to extend all assistance to railway authorities in providing succour to the passengers. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Shivkant Ojha ordered cancellation of leave of all doctors in government-run hospitals in Kanpur division.

Rajnath Singh expresses confidence about BJP sweeping UP polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday expressed confidence about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sweeping the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year with an absolute majority.BJP will win the Uttar Pradesh election with an absolute majority, Singh said while en route to Lucknow.Singh, who will address parivartan rally in Lucknow, added, ‘BJP’s parivartan rally has laid the foundation of change in Uttar Pradesh and people of the state also believe that change is certain.”Speaking on demonetisation, Singh said the decision to impose a ban on Rs 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes should not be seen as an election issue.”Demonetization is not about electoral loss or victory. The demonetization decision has been taken keeping national interest in mind, and therefore, it should not be associated with the election,” Singh said, adding that the demonetization decision has been taken to curb corruption, black money and to strengthen the economy of the country.He further said that the demonetisation also helped fight terrorism as many accounts of the Naxalites have been seized post the announcement of the drive.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Explosion in Mexico fireworks market, India’s longest road tunnel & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mexico: At least 27 killed, 70 injured in fireworks market explosionAt least 27 people died and 70 were injured in a massive, multi-colored explosion that leveled a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital on Tuesday, leaving it a charred wasteland. Read moreModi hits right electoral notes: Chandigarh, Maharashtra shrug off note recall woesThose who were surprised that despite long queues, there had been no popular backlash against demonetization may have received some answers from the results of the recent civic body elections. Held in Maharashtra and Chandigarh, the comfortable victories acquired by the BJP in these two places, and the hostile reception accorded to UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav by spectators, who had come to cheer the junior hockey team in Lucknow on Friday, summed up the positive mood amidst the public for the saffron party. Read detailsBuilt at a cost of Rs 3,720 crore, India’s longest road tunnel ready to be commissionedIndia has joined the league of extraordinary nations by constructing the longest road tunnel in the country on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Built at the cost of Rs 3720 crores, the nine-kilometre long Nashri road tunnel is expected to be commissioned early next year. Read moreNo scrutiny on deposit of old notes if total amount paid in one go: JaitleyAfter a flip-flop over rules for depositing illegal old high-value currency notes amounting to more than Rs 5,000 in banks, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assured that there were sufficient new notes with Reserve Bank of India to replenish the demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency bills. Read moreHong Kong to withdraw visa free entry facility for Indians from JanuaryIn a setback to Indian travellers, the Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians and they will now have to complete a pre arrival registration from January. Read more

Modi defeats fog by addressing rally on cell phone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The foggy weather condition which forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abandon his visit to Bahraich—which is close to the Terai region of Nepal—on Sunday, however, couldn’t deter him from addressing the crowd over cell phone from Lucknow.The IAF chopper carrying the Prime Minister had to return to Lucknow after it failed to land there due to poor visibility. The Prime Minister was scheduled to address the rally at 1 pm, but finally addressed it around 3 pm through his cell phone.Talking about the removal of poverty and ‘goonda raj’ from Uttar Pradesh, Modi said the BJP is committed to empowerment poor. “Today there is gundaraj in the state. Everyone is fed up of this lawlessness. Even the police is unable to stop the goondas (goons),” Modi said.Targeting the Samajwadi Party (SP), Modi said: “If you have to take your state forward, you will have to throw out those backing these goondas. And the BJP will do that.”“I can’t understand the discomfort of the ruling SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) at the Central government’s fight against black money,” Modi said in connection with his demonetization move.“They (SP and BSP) are seldom on the same page on an issue. But nowadays, they are speaking in one voice,” said Modi, adding that the fight against black money and graft would go on and all those hoarding unaccounted money would be caught in the coming days.BSP supremo Mayawati, meanwhile, hit out at Modi for his remarks, saying the leader of a party with absolute majority should not be making such allegations and his “emotional blackmail” would not work.Agencies

Pot calling the kettle black: Mayawati says Modi running away from responsibility by blaming oppn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged opposition parties with trying to “suppress” truth by blocking debate in Parliament on the note ban issue, BSP supremo Mayawati said it was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. “By blaming opposition parties, the prime minister is running away from government’s responsibility and answerability…But his remarks are totally wrong. ‘yeh ulta chor kotwal to dantey jaisa hai’ (it is like pot calling kettle black),” she said in a statement.Mayawati said Modi was harping on the same tune and his speech at BJP’s Parivartan Yatra in Bahraich, addressed through mobile phone from Lucknow, was no different. The BSP chief was referring to Modi’s remark that since he was not allowed to speak in Parliament by opposition parties, he was compelled to speak outside on demonetization. “It is absolutely wrong on the part of the prime minister to say like this,” she said. “This is a wrong statement and does not behove the leader of the party in majority in Parliament to speak like this and mislead people,” she said.Mayawati said when the prime minister of a country accuses the opposition of not allowing him to speak in Parliament, it is a charge against him and not against the opposition. As Parliament remained deadlocked over demonetization, Modi came down heavily on opposition on Sunday, describing them as “discarded” parties trying to “suppress” truth. “Parliament is not being allowed to function for 20 days. We are ready for debate (on demonetization), but we are not being allowed to present our view point by those very parties that have been discarded by the electorate,” he said.”They (opposition) come to the Well of the House…throw paper at the Speaker, we want to put forth government’s view point…by they are not allowing us to do so…in a way they are trying to suppress the truth,” Modi said, and also accused rival parties SP and BSP of talking in similar refrain against note ban.

CM intervenes, Samajwadi Party ‘goons’ held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finally, the Lucknow police on Saturday arrested two youths for intercepting a bus carrying Japan’s junior hockey team and threatening its driver with a rifle on Friday for overtaking their SUV. The SUV had the ruling Samajwadi Party’s flag.Luv Kush and Pramod were arrested after the intervention of the UP chief minister. After DNA published the report on Friday, the Japanese team complained with their embassy. The UP police had on Friday let the two off the hook saying “no arms were found in the car (UP 32 GP 8850),” despite eyewitnesses saying that one of the two was carrying a rifle. “Extra security has ben provided to the team,” an official said.

UP elections 2017: Akhilesh claims will scipt history by retaining power through development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asserted on Saturday that he will script history by retaining power on his development plank and took a jibe at BJP over note ban, saying those who put the people to hardships could be running away from polls. “Everyone is waiting for the poll dates and if there is anyone who is waiting the most for elections, it is me… I am ready for elections ever since I flagged off the Lucknow metro (trial run),” he said while addressing the police officials at IPS week here.”Though people say that governments are never repeated in Uttar Pradesh, ever since I have started working, I have been making history in all spheres and I’m confident that it will be made this time and I will be sitting along with you all once again, formulating future strategies,” Yadav said.In an apparent reference to the Centre’s demonetization move and the problems faced by people after it, the chief minister said, “those who have put the people to hardships could be running away from elections” and that he had been forced to act against police officials who had to bear the brunt for the wrongs of others. Yadav had suspended the concerned SP and SHO after a video clip showing a policeman baton charging people standing in queue outside a bank in Fatehpur district went viral on social media.Talking about the incident he said, “I had told the DGP to prepare the force so that they do not have to resort to lathi charge on people standing in the queues as the anger aimed at others could be redirected towards us”. Speculations are rife that election dates will be announced soon with the Election Commission asking the governments in five poll bound states to consult it before announcing examination dates in their respective states. The EC asked the UP government to reschedule next year’s state board examination dates in consultation with it so as to ensure that it does not clash with the Assembly polls which are due early next year. Stressing that he wants the upcoming elections to be free and fair as he is himself “fair”, Yadav said he will, however, see how fair others are. “It has to be seen whether the DGP stays or is removed as it is often seen that the first attack is on the senior most police official (appointed by the government in office)..”, he said.”Political parties will resort to every trick..it is a mela of democracy and people will have to decide ..there are many boundaries of castes and religion but they can all be broken through development,” the chief minister said.Yadav said that SP has adopted the path of development and the the metro service in Lucknow has been started for the benefit of people. “…people are today talking about digital India but in the real sense we have encouraged digital, technology has been used the most by us and perhaps that is why we have often been criticised,” he said.”All departments have done good work and I want that the works of police department are also seen. Police has the maximum responsibility, when all political parties fail on all fronts they said law and order is bad, I feel that they are not commenting on me but on the police,” Yadav said.

Dense fog blankets Delhi, trains, flights affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dense fog engulfed the national capital on Thursday morning leading to biting cold and poor visibility.Several railway passengers had a tough time with at least 94 trains running late. Two trains were cancelled and over 16 were rescheduled due to poor visibility.Over six international and seven domestic flights operating from the Indira Gandhi International Airport have also been delayed. As of now, one domestic flight has been cancelled.The Delhi-NCR region, Amritsar and Lucknow also witnessed thick blanket of fog disrupting normal lives. The MeT department has forecasted dense to very dense fog at few places over Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and dense fog at isolated places over South Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. “It is very cold here, passengers can’t travel and it is difficult for us to drive as we can’t see anything due to fog.” Sonu Yadav, an auto-driver from Gorakhpur said.Another auto-driver, Rajesh Gupta said, “The number of passengers has reduced because of cold and fog. We are facing problems in driving.”Rail and air traffic have been badly hit due to dense fog in Bihar. Several trains including Rajdhani Express and Garib Rath are running late by 10-15 hours. Delhi-bound Jansadharan Express train has been cancelled.The flights from Delhi and Lucknow have been cancelled due to low visibility at the Patna airport.The state government has ordered to open all government and private schools from nine in the morning in view of severe cold.

Demonetisation: UP CM Akhilesh announces 5 lakh aid for kin of woman who committed suicide

Lucknow: Taking note of the suicide by a woman allegedly after failing to exchange old notes in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for her family and Rs 2 lakh each to those who died in similar incidents.

File image of Akhilesh Yadav. PTIFile image of Akhilesh Yadav. PTI

File image of Akhilesh Yadav. PTI

“The CM has announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of Razia, who committed suicide in Aligarh. He has also announced assistance of Rs 2 lakh each to families of victims who died while exchanging notes or in ATM queues after verification,” an official spokesman said in Lucknow.

Akhilesh said it was unfortunate that people are losing lives to withdraw their own money.

Razia, a 45-year-old daily wage labourer died on 4 December at a Delhi hospital after she immolated herself on the evening of 20 November allegedly due to “failing to exchange six notes of Rs 500 despite attempts at different branches of banks in the old city area for five days”.

Razia was a resident of Shahjamal locality in Delhi Gate area of Aligarh. On the night of 20 November when she was rushed to the district hospital in a critical condition she told mediapersons that she took the extreme step “out of total helplessness as her four children had not eaten any thing for three days”.

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 15:08 IST

UP polls: BJP, RSS want to impose Hindutva, alleges Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) want to impose Hindutva in the nation as the Indian Constitution, based on secularism, drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar is not acceptable to them.”Dalits, Adivasis, backward communities and minorities have struggled in India. To make these people safe, Dr Ambedkar drafted our Constitution on the basis of religious equality which isn’t acceptable to the BJP and RSS. They want to impose Hindutva. The BJP and the RSS do not like the Constitution,” she said.The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who was speaking on the 61st death anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, also used the occasion to lambast the Congress Party. “These people want to change it and you need to be careful with them. Dr Ambedkar said the Congress and BJP tried to divide the society,” she said.The BSP supremo further said the people will not be influenced by BJP’s tactics. “In the name of Babasaheb, the opposition parties have spread confusion. These parties have made differences between Dalits and backward classes. The people got their rights during the BSP regime,” she added.Eyeing upon the throne of Lucknow, Mayawati also trained guns at the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party while alleging that public money is wasted in the name of “Saifai Mahotsav”.

Battling radicalism with Sufism: Is Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind using Ajmer Sharif for political gains?

In March this year, a Firstpost article had noted that the World Sufi Forum, an initiative by an apex body representing Sufi Muslims in India, was an effort showcasing the community’s resilience against extremism and as “an effective antidote” to terrorism masked as “religious ideology”.

Explaining this “religious ideology”, Syed Muhammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi, key organiser of the World Sufi Forum and founder-president of All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), had told Firstpost: “A specific ideology which is not part of Islamic tradition is motivating radicals who are wrongly interpreting the Quran and its narrative from their own ego pursuits and politics.”

Ajmer_PTI_380

A file image of Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan. PTI

He went on to say, “Any extremist organisation waving Islamic flags and misusing the holy Quran such as Daesh (Islamic State) have actually no endorsement in the ambit of Islam…” and, “this is an extremist ideology which spreads hatred if someone does not subscribe to it. Enormous resources are invested in perpetrating violence. Therefore, it is important to realise and unearth the propaganda of such people and organisations that are funded by foreign entities to spread hatred and intolerance to disrupt peace and harmony in a country such as India”.

The World Sufi Forum, held in March 2016, was slated as the first-ever mega Sufi event of counter-extremism with more than 200 international dignitaries from 20 countries. Though seen as the first and last event as such, it, however, seems to have begun an unending onslaught on the particular ideology which the Sufi forum believes is a grave threat to the country’s pluralistic ethos.

According to a front-page news report in the leading Urdu newspaper Inquilab, World Sufi Forum held a similar conclave entitled, “Sufism and Humanity” in Lucknow on 4 December. Sufi Sunni ulema and intellectuals with various backgrounds spelled-out their opinions on the current ongoings. Several Indian Sufi clerics, who run some of the largest Sunni Islamic seminaries in India, seemed worried about the growing phenomenon of pseudo-Sufism or “neo-Sufism” dressed in diametrically different political forms.

A systematic research on the mystical strain of Islam reveals that the origin of Sufism has its roots in a spiritually-inclined notion of “close personal relationship with the Divine”. Therefore, meditation has been exhorted by Sufi saints as an inner spiritual channel to attain this exalted relationship. But today, this spiritual path to eternal salvation is being turned into a phenomenon of political dominion.

Recently, the largest Sufi shrine in the country, Ajmer Dargah — perhaps for the first time in the Indian history — was dragged into a well-worked-out political campaign by Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), an avowed supporter of the Congress party. The key members of the JUH whose ideologues have clearly and categorically declared Sufism as “anti-Islamic”, chose to hold their 33rd annual conference in the prime Sufi Dargah in India, Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan. It was an out-and-out political attempt to woo the mainstream Indian Muslims anchored in age-old Sufi traditions.

Going by the media reports, more than one lakh Muslims of a certain religious faction from across the country assembled at the shrine of the Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Moinuddin Chishti. The JUH invited Deobandi leaders and a few Barelvi clerics who theologically endorse its political motives, with a view to debating the burning political issues of the Muslim community, ranging from the Uniform Civil Code to Triple Talaq to the upcoming UP Elections.

Given the fact that Maulana Mahmood Madani, the JUH general secretary has been a Rajya Sabha member with support from Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal and has dabbled in electoral politics, the 33rd annual conference of the JUH held in Ajmer cannot be seen apolitical. With the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election around the corner, the JUH leaders and other religio-politicians are trying to forge a new narrative to woo the gullible Indian Muslims.

But, by any stretch of the imagination, the JUH Ajmer conference will not be able to garner the support of the Sufi-oriented Indian Muslims to achieve its ulterior motives. Tellingly, while the JUH has celebrated Sufism as an effective channel for “unity of the ummah” or “Islamic unity” (note that only Muslims are included in it), it maintained deafening silence over the pernicious “religious ideology” which the World Sufi Forum accuses to be playing havoc across the Muslim world, particularly striking the non-Muslims, Shia and Sufi Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It was distressing to note that the JUH did not even castigate the radical Islamist ideology of bigotry in its so-called “Sufi conference” in Ajmer.

Isn’t it ironical that the same leaders of the JUH who organised the Ajmer conference lambasted the World Sufi Forum as a political ploy of the Indian government to divide the Muslim community over “Sufism vs Wahhabism”? The JUH chief Maulana Madani went to the extent of loudly claiming that “Sufism is nothing” while branding the World Sufi Forum as an NDA bid to “divide the Muslims”. In the wake of the three-day World Sufi Forum which came crashing down hardcore philosophies in Islam, Maulana Arshad Madani blatantly stated: “Sufism is no sect of Islam and is not found in the Quran”. He also accused the Modi government of trying to create animosity among the Muslims.

While the World Sufi Forum’s key participants — mostly global leaders of Sufism — exhibited great zeal in strengthening the foundations of Sufism to combat all the forms of violent extremism, the JUH and the ilk disparaged these Sufi practitioners as “pseudo-Sufis”. So, how would the JUH like to brand itself now when it has held its 33rd largest annual conference in Ajmer using the prime Sufi shrine in India for its own political ends?

Remarkably, while the World Sufi Forum stressed on composite nationalism (muttahida qaumiyat), inclusive democracy (jumhuriat) and pluralism (qaumi yakjehati) in its final-day declaration, the Sufi conclave of the JUH in Ajmer promoted the religionist and sectarian narratives.

The JUH Ajmer conference mainly discussed three points: first, the unity of ummah (ittehad-e-ummat), a JUH unification proposal for Muslims in India which actually calls for a truce between the Deobandis and Barelvis — the two largest Islamic sects in India opposing each other in the foundational religious principles. Second, it called for social condemnation of the practice of Triple Talaq while at the same time strongly theorising its Islamic legality and thus opposing any proposals for a uniform civil code; and third, it called for Dalit-Muslim unity.

But one can find the JUH’s duplicity on the above two points distressing in many ways. Just as theorising the narrowed concept of the unity of ummah, which includes only Muslims in the common perception, is akin to promoting an exclusivist ideology among Indian Muslims. Similarly, publicising dubious views on a daily-life issue of paramount importance — Tripple Talaq — is celery misleading.

As for the truce between the Deobandis and Barelvis, it cannot be simply overlooked that the Ajmer conclave was led by Maulana Mahmood Madni, the third generation of Deobandi cleric Maulana Hussein Ahmed Madni who could not reconcile with the Barelvi ulema on religious grounds. So, the JUH could very well bring together a few known faces of the Barelvi and Deobandi ulema on its stages without which it would be merely a mirage to form the unity on the ground level.

A noted scholar on the Barelvi and Deobandi sects in India, Dr Arshad Alam has pointed it out: “The demand for sectarian unity is nothing new among Indian Muslims. We know that the community is divided internally among Shias and Sunnis. Among the Sunnis, there are divisions like the Deobandis, the Barelvis and the Ahl-e-Hadith. These are not just superficial divisions but their ideological roots run deep and have a history of nearly 150 years on the Indian subcontinent. Curiously enough, the initiators of schism within the community were the Deobandis themselves who through their various publications and sermons decided in their wisdom that the Barelvis were something of a lesser Muslims”.

In the latest event of the World Sufi Forum held in Lucknow on 4 December, it was buttressed that the sole purpose of organising Sufi conclaves is the promotion of an ideology which calls for unity in multiplicity, tolerance and acceptance and respect for all humanity. Sufi clerics like Shaikh Anwar Ahmad, a senior scholar at Baghdad University in Iraq who now runs a female-oriented Islamic seminary in UP, proclaimed: “the aim is to help the people build a peaceful, progressive and pluralistic nation through the Sufi teachings”.

Despite the vehement opposition from the leading Islamic organisations like the JUH, these Sufis claim that they do not believe in opposing others, but rather engaging actively in peace activism. A Firstpost article has also noted that Sufis are now trying to come out of their conclaves to tackle the ideological extremism stemming from the hardcore philosophies in Islam.

It was also stressed in the Lucknow conclave that Sufism belies all the notions which Salafism stands for. Traversing from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent, Sufism incorporates harmonious local practices like music and qawwali which are rejected by the radicals in Islam.

The author is a scholar of comparative religion, classical Arabic and Islamic sciences, cultural analyst and researcher in media and communication Studies. Views are personal. He tweets at @GRDehlvi.

First Published On : Dec 6, 2016 13:09 IST

Arrested Axis bank managers sent to remand by Delhi court

Mon, 5 Dec 2016-08:20pm , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi court on Monday sent two Axis bank managers, who were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case into a week’s remand. The accused officials were produced before the Tis Hazari court at around 2 PM on Monday and were interrogated for about 38 hours.They were asked to present themselves before the court on December 12. Lawyer of Shobit Sinha, one of the accused, said that they opposed the 7-day police custody adding his client cooperated during investigation.Earlier in the day, Axis Bank suspended the accused officials. Both managers had allegedly taken gold bricks as bribe to convert Rs 40 crore black money into white. One of the gold bricks was recovered from Lucknow.
ALSO READ Axis Bank suspends two managers arrested by ED under PMLA ActMoney from the three bank accounts was transferred to jewellers via RTGS mode of payment to buy gold. The jewellers sold the gold at 45,000 rupees per tola whereas the market price was much lower. The ED is probing the case and has initiated an investigation into the matter to unmask the other people involved.

Demonetization: ED arrests two Axis bank officers for money laundering

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate has arrested two officials of a private bank here in connection with its money laundering probe for alleged irregularities in the conversion of old currency and supply of new notes leading to blackmoney generation.Officials identified the two managers as Shobit Sinha and Vineet Sinha, working as managers in the Kashmere Gate branch of Axis bank here, and said they were arrested late night on Sunday under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They will be produced in a court today for further custody, they said.A gold bar, part of alleged kickbacks payment given to the bankers, has been seized by the agency from a location in Lucknow, they said.The Axis Bank issued a statement in this regard saying: “The bank is committed to following the highest standards of corporate governance and has zero tolerance towards any deviation on the part of any of its employees from the set model code of conduct.In this particular case, the bank has suspended the erring employee and is cooperating with the investigating agencies.”ED sources said the duo were allegedly indulging in converting black money into white by reportedly misusing banking transfer systems like RTGS and NEFT in the wake of the demonetization of the two large currencies of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. A number of bank accounts of various people and traders are under the scanner of the agency in this case, they said.The ED had registered a criminal complaint against the duo and others based on a Delhi Police FIR after the latter agency first got into the case after intercepting two people with Rs 3.5 crore cash in new currency sometime back. The Income Tax department too had carried out its action in this case and had surveyed the bank branch and later searched the residential premises of the two.

Modi no ‘fakir’, ‘bahut bade maldar’, Mayawati attacks PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Narendra Modi claimed he is a “fakir”, BSP supremo Mayawati reacted saying the Prime Minister is “bahut bade maldar” (very wealthy) and wondered how a “well-wisher of the affluent” can be a hermit.”Woh dhannasetho ko sanrakshan dene wale hain, woh fakir nahi, bahut bade maldar hain (He protects affluents people. he is not a hermit. He is very wealthy),” she told newspersons in Lucknow.Earlier in the day on Saturday, at BJP’s Parivartan Rally in Moradabad, Modi had said, “What can my opponents do to me? I am a fakir (hermit)…jhola ley kar chaley jayenge (I will exit with my little belongings).” The BSP chief also attacked Modi for claiming demonetization was aimed at ending corruption and said “90% commoners” have been subjected to immense hardships because of the “dictatorial attitude” of the PM.”BSP will oppose tooth and nail all wrong decisions of the Modi government both inside and outside Parliament,” Mayawati said. She also alleged non-BJP-ruled states are being discriminated against in supply of new notes. Mayawati said had the BJP government been so earnest in its desire to fight corruption, it would have appointed Lokpal in the two-and-a-half years of its power. She alleged the Gujarat Lokayukta, when Modi was the chief minister of the state, was “rendered ineffective”.Intentions of BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi appear to be very “non-serious”, she said, adding their claims on rooting out corruption appear to be “mere eyewash”. On the central government amending the I-T rules, she alleged the Modi government is “tinkering with IT Act to facilitate conversion of black money into white”. Alleging that Uttar Pradesh police is using force on people standing in queues, she said voters will rid the state of BJP in the coming elections while in the 2019 (Lok Sabha polls), they (people) will send “him back to Gujarat”.

Uttar Pradesh: Akhilesh flags of fLucknow metro’s trial run; Mayawati says it’s cheap popularity

Lucknow: The trial run of the Uttar Pradesh government’s much publicised Lucknow Metro was flagged off today by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav even as BSP chief Mayawati alleged the project was completed in haste to gain cheap popularity ahead of polls.

The function was held at Transport Nagar depot for the trial run up to Charbagh railway station, a distance of 8.5 km.

Representational image. Pradesh18Representational image. Pradesh18

Representational image. Pradesh18

Addressing the gathering, Akhilesh said it was a challenge to start the project on time, and added that adding that they have “set an example before the country”.

“Metro was not in our manifesto but we initiated the project. The work for the same has also been started in Ghaziabad, between Greater Nodia and Noida, and also in Kanpur. If we come to power again, we will start work in
Varanasi too,” he said. Asserting that the ruling Samajwadi Party did not play politics on the issue of development, Akhilesh said his government gave land for establishment of Aiims in Raebareli and in Gorakhpur as well so that people could avail the best medical facilities.

“We don’t believe in blame game. We are for development and support every move initiated for it,” he said.

The trial run, however, evoked strong criticism from BSP supremo Mayawati, who said it was a decision taken in haste by the ruling SP, “as it knew very well that it would not return to power” in the upcoming UP Assembly elections.

“It was done in haste to gain cheap popularity and smacks of ‘bachkani zid’ (childish stubbornness) of the chief minister,” she said.

SP supremo Mulayam said he was glad the project was completed in a timely fashion.

“When I was asked to lay foundation for the project, I wanted to know how much time it will take and refused when I was told it will take four years. Them they said it will be completed in three years, but I again declined. When I was told it will be completed in 2 years, I agreed,” he said.

Terming it as “historic day”, Mulayam said he would be happy if metro will also be started in Varanasi and appealed to people to vote for SP so that it could form government again to resume developmental work.

“The work done in UP during present SP regime are historic and have set an example before the country. UP’s work is being appreciated everywhere,” he said.

“We have done good work but we don’t discuss it,” Mulayam said, asking party workers to propagate it.

The entire 23-km long North-South corridor will have 21 stations including eight elevated ones, and the estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 6,800 crore.

The primary section (between Transport Nagar to Charbagh) would be open for public on March 26 next year after three months of rigorous trial.

At the function, SP state president Shivpal Yadav was also present.

LMRC, a special purpose vehicle, was registered under the Companies Act by the state government in 2013 to execute metro-rail project in city. Padma Vibhushan E Sreedharan, who has successfully handled many mega projects in country, like Konkan railway and Delhi metro, is principal advisor of LMRC.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 16:53 IST

Uttar Pradesh: Akhilesh flags of Lucknow metro’s trial run; Mayawati says move for cheap popularity

Lucknow: The trial run of the Uttar Pradesh government’s much publicised Lucknow Metro was flagged off today by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav even as BSP chief Mayawati alleged the project was completed in haste to gain cheap popularity ahead of polls.

The function was held at Transport Nagar depot for the trial run up to Charbagh railway station, a distance of 8.5 km.

Representational image. Pradesh18Representational image. Pradesh18

Representational image. Pradesh18

Addressing the gathering, Akhilesh said it was a challenge to start the project on time, and added that adding that they have “set an example before the country”.

“Metro was not in our manifesto but we initiated the project. The work for the same has also been started in Ghaziabad, between Greater Nodia and Noida, and also in Kanpur. If we come to power again, we will start work in
Varanasi too,” he said. Asserting that the ruling Samajwadi Party did not play politics on the issue of development, Akhilesh said his government gave land for establishment of Aiims in Raebareli and in Gorakhpur as well so that people could avail the best medical facilities.

“We don’t believe in blame game. We are for development and support every move initiated for it,” he said.

The trial run, however, evoked strong criticism from BSP supremo Mayawati, who said it was a decision taken in haste by the ruling SP, “as it knew very well that it would not return to power” in the upcoming UP Assembly elections.

“It was done in haste to gain cheap popularity and smacks of ‘bachkani zid’ (childish stubbornness) of the chief minister,” she said.

SP supremo Mulayam said he was glad the project was completed in a timely fashion.

“When I was asked to lay foundation for the project, I wanted to know how much time it will take and refused when I was told it will take four years. Them they said it will be completed in three years, but I again declined. When I was told it will be completed in 2 years, I agreed,” he said.

Terming it as “historic day”, Mulayam said he would be happy if metro will also be started in Varanasi and appealed to people to vote for SP so that it could form government again to resume developmental work.

“The work done in UP during present SP regime are historic and have set an example before the country. UP’s work is being appreciated everywhere,” he said.

“We have done good work but we don’t discuss it,” Mulayam said, asking party workers to propagate it.

The entire 23-km long North-South corridor will have 21 stations including eight elevated ones, and the estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 6,800 crore.

The primary section (between Transport Nagar to Charbagh) would be open for public on March 26 next year after three months of rigorous trial.

At the function, SP state president Shivpal Yadav was also present.

LMRC, a special purpose vehicle, was registered under the Companies Act by the state government in 2013 to execute metro-rail project in city. Padma Vibhushan E Sreedharan, who has successfully handled many mega projects in country, like Konkan railway and Delhi metro, is principal advisor of LMRC.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 16:53 IST

Mission Possible: How to save a life, the ‘official’ way

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mostly dismissed as lethargic, casual and callous, the bureaucratic and political establishment can sometimes radically alter the script. As it happened with Dr Pooja Bhakoni, who was critically injured in last fortnight’s train accident near Kanpur and is now recovering in a Delhi hospital thanks to various departments that came together to choreograph a story of survival and solicitude.The 36-year-old assistant professor at Indore’s St Paul Management Institute was headed to Kanpur for a family wedding with her husband and two sons, aged 11 and three, when the Indore-Patna Express derailed on November 20. More than 140 people were killed, including her husband, and 200 injured. While her younger son Ritwick escaped relatively unscathed, elder son Tanishq received multiple fractures. Both are now back home in Indore.Bhakoni, who is now awaiting pelvic surgery at the BLK Hospital here, had multiple fractures in her hands, legs and pelvis and internal bleeding in the abdominal cavity for which she was initially treated at Kanpur Medical College.Soon after the accident, a high powered team of officials from Madhya Pradesh reached Kanpur to provide help to those who belonged to the state. They paid all the bills, including food and medicine, and asked Bhakoni’s family about their choice of hospital.”The officials initially arranged an ICU bed in Kanpur’s Regency Hospital. But I suggested that she be shifted to Delhi. The Madhya Pradesh government authorities arranged for an air ambulance transfer from Kanpur to Delhi. But since Chakeri airport at Kanpur does not operate at night, she was shifted by road in an ambulance to Lucknow’s Amausi Airport,” said Dr Kavita Chauhan, Bhakoni’s sister who works as a paediatrician in BLK Hospital.”The ambulance was accompanied by two pilot cars in front and behind acting as a shield and making way for throughout the journey. Authorities in Kanpur helped in providing a safe and clear corridor from Kanpur to Lucknow,” she recounted.The flight reached Delhi at 10 p.m. that night and an ambulance took her to the BLK Hospital’s ICU within an hour. All the arrangements were made by Madhya Pradesh government’s officials who had full authorization from Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan, the family said.”This shows that such things are possible if there is a political will and all the medical systems are in place. This is unthinkable and unbelievable in India,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar Pande, director and senior consultant, critical care, at BLK Hospital.This was not her sister’s story alone, said Kavita. It was the same for all those from Madhya Pradesh who were taken by air to different hospitals.”All the more commendable is that Ashish Srivastava, the resident commissioner of Madhya Pradesh, visited the patient and gave us his official card for any help any time,” Pande said.Bhakoni was on ventilator support till November 24 and doctors are planning to perform a pelvic fixation surgery this week.The accident in which 14 coaches of the train derailed in the early hours of November 20 in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district is the worst in India in six years.

Akhilesh Yadav outsmarts Mamata Banerjee, stays away from Lucknow demonetisation rally

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh have a great political allure. Leaders from afar are attracted to this vast state to come here and try their luck. After all, it is said that the path to Delhi goes via Lucknow, and a good show in Lucknow make people in Delhi take notice.

So, it was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who staged a protest rally in Lucknow on 29 November after a shrill campaign against demonetisation initiated by her in Delhi that attracted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in an expression of bonhomie went to the airport to receive her, turning it into a great photo opportunity. It was unofficially given out to the media that Akhilesh had given full support to Mamata’s protest show in Lucknow and he might possibly share the stage with her the next day. Incidentally, Mamta did not meet the Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.

A file image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

A file image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

But the next day was a different story. The venue chosen for Mamta’s protest meeting was a busy road intersection, one that is identified with the office of the Women Helpline (1090) started by the Akhilesh government. The area is splashed with hoardings of Akhilesh Yadav smiling down amidst a description of his government’s achievements. And there is a huge LED screen that displays videos of his government’s schemes and their success. The venue is a little more than a kilometre from the Chief Minister’s official residence as well, and the road intersection is very busy throughout the day as it connects the trans-Gomti part of Lucknow through two bridges.

Any disruption on this roundabout causes huge traffic snarls within minutes and it so happened that day also, creating an impression that the huge crowd was there to listen to the fiery Didi.

Her party’s hoardings lined the roads leading to the venue, on which there was a single line: Notebandi wapas lo (Withdraw demonetisation) with a picture of Mamata with her stern face and an outstretched hand and a raised finger which resembled the famed posture in BR Ambedkar statues.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 10.30 am with Mamata expected to be at the venue around 1 pm and the crowd — some that had come on purpose and some that had to perforce stop there because of the traffic jam — waited patiently for her. In fact, the venue very soon looked more like a Samajwadi Party gathering with SP banners, slogans and SP flag-waving supporters swarming the place. Akhilesh supporters were shouting slogans for him and it was announced that he would be coming there soon.

But Mamata was delayed by nearly an hour and Akhilesh decided to stay away. In his place, one of his ministers Arvind Singh Gope and the party’s senior leader Kiranmoy Nanda graced the stage. Mamata spoke in her typical style, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw demonetisation, but as news of Akhilesh not arriving on the spot spread, SP supporters started moving away in large numbers. Besides accusing Modi of hurting the poor with this move, she said she would continue to oppose the prime minister, and dared him to arrest her.

If Mamata was smart enough to choose a busy road crossing for her meeting so that the traffic disruption could give the impression of a crowd, Akhilesh Yadav proved to be smarter. He not only stayed away from what was essentially a Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee show but also avoided sharing the stage with her, as it would possibly have given a signal that he had accepted her leadership in this anti-BJP movement on the issue of demonetisation. But Akhilesh succeeded in giving a signal that despite reports of him being amenable on the issue he was against demonetisation in principle even though he has so far never called for a rollback as Mamata has been demanding from day one. He has also managed to isolate Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on this issue as no senior opposition leader has sided with Mayawati on her anti-demonetisation stance till now.

Mamata is the second non-BJP and non-Congress chief minister to have marked her political presence in Uttar Pradesh in the last few months. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the first to stage a series of meetings in the state some months ago on total prohibition alcohol. But he has been with Modi on the issue of demonetisation. Mamata, on the other hand, has been on the forefront this time in the anti-demonetisation campaign, demanding nothing less than a rollback. And, she has left Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati far behind in acquiring national opposition leadership on this issue. So, a splash in Lucknow was quite in order.

Incidentally, no leader of the Samajwadi Party owing allegiance to Mulayam Singh Yadav or Shivpal Yadav was present at the Mamata show. Mulayam is not known to be particularly eager on any alliance with Mamata given the past acrimony between the two since the issue of the previous Presidential election in 2012. It would thus appear that Akhilesh’s token support to Mamata and her rally may not be the Samajwadi Party’s stand as far as future alliances are concerned. But Akhilesh could well use Mamta’s support in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 campaign that could begin in the coming weeks even if Trinamool Congress is not going to be in the fray for the game of numbers. Akhilesh would remain the party’s undisputed face for UP, but he could well be won over to support Mamata over Nitish in 2019.

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 13:01 IST

SP leader Amar Mani Tripathi’s son Aman sent to 3-day CBI custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party leader Aman Mani Tripathi, son of jailed politician Amar Mani Tripathi, was on Saturday sent to three days’ CBI custody by a Delhi court in connection with the alleged murder of his wife.Metropolitan Magistrate Arvind Bansal sent the accused to CBI’s custody after the probe agency claimed that he was required for custodial interrogation to unearth the entire conspiracy behind the crime. While seeking 10 days’ custody of Aman, the CBI told the court that he was required to be taken to several places. It also said that he was to be confronted with some witnesses in the case.The plea, however, was opposed by the defence counsel, advocate Khalil Ansari, who said that there no fresh evidence was there against his client. The counsel said that the accused has always joined the probe, whenever he was asked by the agency and there was no need for his being taken into custody.
ALSO READ Arrested for murder, SP leader Aman Tripathi to be produced in court todayAman was on Friday for the alleged murder of his 27-year-old wife Sara, who had reportedly died in a car accident in Firozabad on National Highway 2 in July last year. However, Aman Mani had escaped unhurt.Based on a complaint by Sara’s mother Seema Singh an FIR was registered against Aman Mani in Firozabad district. Singh had alleged that her daughter, who had married Aman Mani at an Arya Samaj temple in Lucknow in July 2013, was murdered. Aman Mani’s parents, Amar Mani and Madhu Mani, were against the marriage, Singh had said.Aman Mani, however, had claimed that Sara died in the road accident when they were on their way to New Delhi for a holiday. After Singh had demanded that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav order a CBI investigation into the incident, the matter was referred to the central agency, which took over the probe from UP Police a few days later. Aman Mani was recently given ticket by the Samajwadi Party to contest Assembly election in the state.

PM Modi is a ‘bad politician and even worse administrator’: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up her attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetization, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today called him “a bad politician and a worse administrator” who is spreading lies and relaxing even as the common people continue to suffer.”Modi ji has lost all credibility. A bad politician and even worse administrator. He is lying,” she said in a statement here. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, who is at the forefront of the opposition attack against the Modi government on the issue, said, “All opposition is united, and you are divided!” She also claimed that Rs 1.28 lakh crore had been lost forever due to the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.”Shocking that Rs 1.28 lakh crore has been lost forever due to note-ban only in ‘transactions’ in the country, according to CMIE, a top research body. World-famous Moody’s says ‘note ban will badly disrupt economic activity’,” she said. “Common people are suffering miserably while Modi ji is relaxing and spreading lies,” she said. , who had staged dharna in Delhi on November 23, also met President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday on the issue.TMC would organise a rally in the city on November 28.The TMC supremo is scheduled to address a meeting in Lucknow on November 29 and in Patna the next day.

CBI arrest SP leader Amanmani Tripathi arrested in wife’s mysterious murder case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Samajwadi Party leader and an eastern Uttar Pradesh strongman Amanmani Tripathi in a case involving the mysterious death of his wife Sara Tripathi. Sara had died in a car crash on National Highway-2 when the couple were on their way to the National Capital last year. Amanmani had come out unscathed in the car accident prompting Sara’s mother t suspect the death, Sara’s mother, Seema Singh, had lodged an FIR against Amanmani and his family members, which included his parents, for murdering her daughter. Subsequently the case was taken over by CBI. The agency on Friday confirmed that Amanmani had been arrested and would be produced in front of a court to face murder charges.Tripathi’s father, former UP minister Amar Mani Tripathi, too is serving a life sentence for the murder of a Lucknow poetess, Madhumita, 12 years ago. Amanmani was also arrested in connection with another case of kidnapping lodged against him in Lucknow last year.According to officials , Sara had married Amanmani at an Arya Samaj temple in Aliganj area of Lucknow in July 2013.Her mother has alleged that Amarmani and his wife Madhumani, who are serving life terms for the murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla, were against the marriage. She has accused the couple of conspiring to kill Sara. Following the death of her daughter, Seema Singh had petitioned Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav seeking the transfer of investigation to CBI. After which the UP government had sent its recommendation to the Centre for a CBI inquiry into the case.The arrested accused was in news when Shivpal Yadav, during a feud with UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, announced the candidature of Amanmani from Nautanwa assembly constituency in Maharajganj. In October, Akhilesh in a statement had said that he had “no idea” about a new list of Samajwadi Party candidates for the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections which included the name of Amanmani.

Modi’s cash crackdown hits Indian rivals’ election campaign coffers | Reuters

By Rupam Jain and Tommy Wilkes
| NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s shock ban on high-value banknotes will hit the war chests of his rivals before a key state election next year, sparking accusations that his strike against “black cash” will unfairly boost his party’s chances.That is despite widespread anger among millions of Indians forced to queue outside banks to change small amounts of old money for legal tender, possibly denting support for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at least in the short term.Opposition politicians are scrambling to redraft campaign plans ahead of the ballot expected early next year in Uttar Pradesh, a state of more than 200 million people which will be crucial to Modi’s long-term plan for re-election in 2019.The prime minister last week outlawed 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in a drive to rein in corruption and a shadow economy that accounts for a fifth of India’s $2.1 trillion gross domestic product.With no state election funding, illicit cash is the lifeblood for political parties that collect money from candidates and businessmen, and then spend it to stage rallies, hire helicopters and hand out “gifts” to win votes.Spending on the Uttar Pradesh election is forecast to hit a record 40 billion rupees ($590 million), despite the cancellation of big notes.MIXED REVIEWS
Modi’s demonetisation drive has so far proven popular among increasingly aspirational voters who are tired of corruption, although views among the broader population and economists are divided over the efficacy and fairness of the move.Opposition politicians have united to decry it.”We will have to plan the entire election strategy all over again,” said Pradeep Mathur, a senior Uttar Pradesh leader of the Congress opposition party that was trounced by the BJP in 2014 national elections.His concerns reflect a view that the BJP, with more members than its rivals and close ties to big corporate donors, can survive the cash crunch better, helping Modi win Uttar Pradesh and four other territories heading to the polls early in 2017.For Modi, winning India’s main battleground state is vital to strengthen his party’s position in the upper house of parliament, where it is still in the minority, before seeking a second term in the 2019 general election.”Their calculation is that this is going to hurt everybody, but in relative terms the BJP is going to come out stronger,” said Milan Vaishnav, a South Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

According to the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS), which tracks campaign financing, the BJP relies on cash for less than two-thirds of its funding in a state like Uttar Pradesh.Its regional rivals use cash to cover 80 to 95 percent of campaign spending.   
SCALING BACK
Demonetisation will force Congress to hold smaller rallies, said Mathur, and there will be fewer “freebies” for voters.Other parties are also adjusting plans in Uttar Pradesh. Ashok Agarwal, a politician with the incumbent Samajwadi Party in the city of Mathura, will have to rely more on his team of 1,000 volunteers to connect with voters.In a bid to limit the squeeze, parties are paying workers to queue at banks and swap old notes for new ones and evade scrutiny from tax inspectors, said party activists in Mathura.

Event managers, whose businesses usually boom at election time, are worried.”No political party except the BJP wants to organise big rallies before January. All of them depend on cash,” said Rajesh Pratap, who has provided loudspeakers, outdoor air conditioners and security to party rallies for over a decade.Mayawati, a powerful former leader of Uttar Pradesh who Modi’s aides view as his biggest electoral threat in the state, says the demonetisation timing appeared highly political. BJP officials accuse Mayawati of hoarding “black” money garnered from selling tickets to candidates to fund her campaign.One senior official and a close aide to Mayawati said some of her party’s rallies would be axed and replaced by more door-to-door campaigning.”Last month … we had to bring over 300,000 villagers from across UP (Uttar Pradesh) to Lucknow city for a day … It’s not just us, but every political party spends money at grassroots level to win votes,” the official said.Modi has not explicitly linked demonetisation to a clean-up of electoral funding, but officials in his party say rivals should have heeded his warnings earlier this year that he was serious about clamping down on “black” cash.

“You cannot call it a bolt from the blue because Modi … had dropped sufficient hints that he will take strict action,” said a close aide.”MOTHER OF ALL CORRUPTION”
While an immediate liquidity crunch for parties is clear, the longer-term impact on funding is less so.The symbiosis between businessmen seeking favours and parties needing cash has sent campaign funding soaring.In southern Andhra Pradesh state, three in four voters reported receiving money from parties during the last general election, according to research by CMS.The group’s chairman N. Bhaskara Rao describes electoral corruption as “the mother of all corruption” in India.  In the 2014 election, when Modi swept to power with an electrifying campaign that included 3D holograms of him giving speeches in villages across India, parties spent a record 370 billion rupees ($5.4 billion), CMS estimated.They have also long circumvented rules and learned to avoid using cash – parties get donors to acquire equipment for rallies directly, or local traders to buy gifts for would-be voters, such as mobile phone credits. ($1 = 68.0221 Indian rupees) (Additional reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj in MATHURA, Sharat Pradhan in LUCKNOW and Subrata Nagchoudhury in KOLKATA; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 23:12 IST

Owaisi draws govt’s attention to currency ink, silver thread, says Pakistan has same supplier

Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday claimed that the supplier of ink and silver threads used in currency notes is the same for India and Pakistan and sought to know what was government’s strategy to deal with it.

AIMIM's head Asaduddin Owaisi. AFPAIMIM's head Asaduddin Owaisi. AFP

AIMIM’s head Asaduddin Owaisi. AFP

“The ink and silver thread supplier is supplying the same thing to Pakistan as well. So, what is the government going to do about it ? (to end counterfeit menace),” the Hyderabad Lok Sabha member asked while talking to PTI in Lucknow.

Maintaining that the demonetisation move has caused “immense problems to everyone”, Owaisi said the government
should give ample time — at least a couple of months — for people to exchange old notes. He said if anyone deposits huge amount of money, it can certainly be tracked.

He said ample time was given to the people when there such a move (demonetisation) in the Philippines, as also in Europe when Euro was introduced. “This (giving ample time for people) has been the norm in various countries”.

Owaisi said he would give a notice for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha, where winter session commences on, to discuss the demonetisation move which, he said, has put farmers, rural and urban economies in distress.

People are finding huge difficulty in usage of newly introduced Rs 2,000 note because “no one has change”, he
claimed.

“Eighty-six percent of our currencies are in the form of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. You (government) have not planned for it, you have not prepared for it. Re-calibration (of ATM machines) would take more than 100 days. The worst part is: my money is in the bank but I cannot take it out,” he said.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 17:48 IST

Rajnath calls for unity against terrorism: ‘Want nothing but silence in Pakistan’

At the  time when most in the country were waiting in queues to withdraw cash, Union Home Minister took the opportunity to take a jibe on Pakistan in Bhojpuri, stating how he wants nothing except silence in Pakistan.

Na aata chahi na tata chahi, humhi ke Pakistan mein sannata chahi (we want nothing except silence in Pakistan),” the minister said on Saturday while speaking to a Bhojpuri-speaking audience in Lucknow, PTI reported.

Singh, also called for unity among all the countries to face the biggest threat to the world posed by terrorism and asserted that the Centre’s move to demonetise high-value currency notes will go a long way in curbing it.

“The biggest threat to the world is posed by terrorism…the entire world will have to unite against it,” he said at a programme organised by Bhojpuri Adhyan Shodh Sansthan in Lucknow.

Replying to a query during an informal interaction with the media, Singh said the decision to scrap the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes should be viewed in the light of terrorism and how it will go a long way in checking it.

“Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI, who were running their terror activities through fake currency, are most troubled because of this decision,” he claimed.

Stressing that the government will make all possible efforts for the promotion of Bhojpuri, the home minister said he has talked to the prime minister about the inclusion of Bhojpuri language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution and the prime minister has agreed to it.

The inclusion of Bhojpuri in the eighth schedule of the Constitution is a long-pending demand of the people of the Purvanchal area of the state.

— With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Nov 12, 2016 23:04 IST

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 banned: Burnt remnants of notes found in Uttar Pradesh

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 banned: Burnt remnants of notes found in Uttar Pradesh

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Lucknow: The burnt remnants of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes were found at a place in Bareilly on Wednesday, police said.

Informed sources said the burnt currency notes were reportedly brought in sacks and then dumped by workers of a company on Parsa Kheda road at CB Ganj in Bareilly.

Police officials said prima facie, the currency notes appeared to have been cut, damaged and then burnt.

The police has since taken over the remains of the currency notes and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials have been informed of the incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes.

Allahabad HC asks UP govt to explore all measures to deal with smog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With alarming levels of pollution due to smog in Lucknow, the Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately explore all measures to deal with the “unprecedented” situation.The Lucknow bench of the court directed the UP chief secretary to instruct the appropriate departments and also inform the court about the outcome of measures that the state intends and proposes to take.The order was passed by a division bench of Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Anil Kumar Srivastava yesterday on two PILs seeking directions for taking appropriate action in the matter. “….. The state government is required to take up immediate remedial measures for the purpose of meeting this unprecedented situation,” the bench observed. The court order came as a blanket of smog engulfed parts of Uttar Pradesh, with state capital Lucknow bearing the brunt of thick haze and air pollution. People in the city are finding it difficult to breathe as smoke emanating from burning of crop and cow dung in the countryside have added to their woes.

Janata Parivar talks: SP’s Mulayam Singh meets Ajit Singh, Sharad Pawar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday held deliberations with RLD chief Ajit Singh and senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav in separate meetings as leaders of ‘Janata Parivar’ outfits look to form an alliance for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls early next year. Yadav’s younger brother and his party’s UP unit chief Shivpal Yadav, a keen votary of the alliance, was also part of the confabulations held at the residence of Mulayam, who later left for Lucknow, the SP sources said.RJD chief Lalu Prasad is also in the capital.In a show of solidarity, all these leaders besides JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had come together for the SP’s silver jubilee celebrations in Lucknow on November 5 after Shivpal Yadav gave a call for unity among erstwhile Janata Dal leaders.The key to any unity will be how many seats Mulayam Singh Yadav is willing to concede to parties like RLD, which has influence in western UP, and JD(U), which has little traction in the state but is making concerted efforts under its president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to carve a niche for itself.

SP rift still evident at large, says Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party on Sunday said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his bete noire Shivpal Yadav still hold grudges against each other, adding this was quite evident during the Samajwadi Party’s silver jubilee celebrations in Lucknow.Congress leader Meem Afzal told ANI though the rift in the Samajwadi Party is its internal matter but unity is still missing in the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh. “The members of the Samajwadi Party might have tried their best to portray harmony but in reality the relationship has gone sour and they still hold grudges against each other,” he said. “It was clearly visible on stage yesterday. Though it is the internal matter of the Samajwadi Party but when things like these happen, we can say that unity is still missing in the party,” he added.”In what may give the opposition parties fresh ammunition to target the Samajwadi Party in the run up to next year’s assembly polls, the infighting within the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party was quite evident at yesterday’s silver jubilee celebrations. The Chief Minister and his uncle stood on the stage together holding swords in their hands.Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was also present on the occasion, attempted to create amity between them as he asked Akhilesh to touch his uncle’s feet. The Chief Minister while addressing the gathering took a dig at his uncle. “You have given me the sword, obviously we will use it,” Akhilesh said.This came after Shivpal’s veiled attack on Akhilesh. “I had recently said that while some are lucky to have things happen for them in life and some get everything in inheritance, there are some who get nothing despite toiling hard,” Shivpal said earlier. “Ask for blood, I shall give blood. Don’t make me the Chief Minister? I know I have done good work,” he added in a scathing attack on Akhilesh.

Even UPA banned FTV, AXN: BJP hits back at ‘second Emergency’ charges over NDTV ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words over the one-day ban on Hindi news channel NDTV India by the Centre escalated with I and B minister Venkaiah Naidu saying it was in the interest of “country’s security” and the opposition asserting the action will lead to “second Emergency”. Naidu while denouncing references to the Emergency in the context of the order for blackout of the channel on November 9 over its coverage of Pathankot attack slammed the opposition parties for “politicisation” of such issues, noting that the Modi government has the highest regard for freedom of media. Listing out the names of some of the channels that were banned in the past, he said, “AXN was banned for two months. FTV was banned for two months. Enter10 for one day. ABN AndhraJyoti seven days. Al Jazeera was banned for five days for showing wrong map of India. “These are all done earlier. Now they are saying it is done for the first time, murder of democracy, Emergency reminiscent and all,” the Information and Broadcasting Minister noted. Official sources gave details of “warnings” issued by the previous UPA regime against the NDTV group over telecast of some of its programmes. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and fellow JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, BSP supremo Mayawati and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav hit out at the Centre, calling the ban an “insult to freedom of expression” and demanded its withdrawal. The CPI(M) politburo said it showed the “authoritarian” attitude of the Modi government. Justifying the government’s decision, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said NDTV India appeared to have violated the guidelines issued by the Centre over live coverage of an anti-terror operation.Addressing a press conference in Chennai, Naidu also slammed Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for “talking about the dark days of Emergency”.”I was surprised, aghast. Some people talked of Emergency-like situation. The action was taken in the interest of the country’s safety and security”, he said, adding, “Politicisation of such issues will affect the safety and security of the country.”Parrikar stressed that it was a security related issue and the channel appeared to have violated guidelines for coverage of terror attacks. “It is not a ban. They have been asked to put off the channel temporarily for a day,” Parrikar told reporters here in response to a query.”When you show the anti-terror operation live, the handlers of terrorists get the information…. It appears that these guidelines were violated by the channel during the Pathakot attack coverage. It appears like that,” he said.The minister added, “The guidelines on airing the live anti-terrorist operations were issued by the UPA government after the (26/11) 2008 Mumbai attack. In last five years, there were 21 such incidents wherein different channels violated the guidelines.””The Central government’s decision to ban NDTV India is condemnable. The decision tantamounts to controlling the freedom of media. It is quite necessary to have a free and impartial media in a country like India,” Nitish Kumar said in a statement in Patna.At a news conference in Lucknow, Mayawati accused the Modi government of throttling Freedom of Press. “If the Central government continues with such activities, it will lead to a second Emergency and those black days will be etched in the minds of people,” Karunanidhi said, adding the action reminded him of the Emergency days when his articles in party mouthpiece ‘Murasoli’ were ‘banned’ then.Lalu Prasad said the government action is an attack on democracy. “Narendra Modi, BJP and RSS is taking country toward emergency and dictatorship”, Lalu said while addressing Samajwadi Party(SP) celebrations in Lucknow.

JD(U), RJD, JD(S) grace Samajwadi Party’s silver jubilee function, mum on Mahagathbandhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Samajwadi Party’s silver jubilee function, aiming to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Uttar Pradesh, witnessed the grand attendance of the Janata family with veteran leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, former prime minister H.D. Devegowda, and JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav partaking in the event on Saturday.Expressing solidarity to the party, Sharad Yadav said , “Janata Dal has always taken part in Samajwadi movements, we have been invited to attend the Silver Jubilee function. We used to belong to one party, so we have had old ties, that is why we came here.” Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Yadav said there is an urgent need to oust the BJP. “Just like in Bihar, BJP will be ousted from Lucknow as well,” Lalu Yadav said.Meanwhile, former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda expressed delight over the Samajwadi Party’s internal truce. We have come for the SP’s silver jubilee function, no talk of alliance as of now,” Gowda told ANI. The ruling Samajwadi Party is celebrating its 25th anniversary of its founding day in Lucknow. The event is being seen as yet another show of strength in SP’s first family barely 48 hours after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav launched his ‘Vikas se Vijay Rath Yatra’. Akhilesh and Shivpal Yadav have asked their supporters to mobilise support for the silver jubilee function. Shivpal Yadav has said nothing tangible has, so far, been achieved in forging an alliance with like-minded parties. He said, Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will take a final call for an alliance with Congress and other parties.

Akhilesh govt has no achievement to share in its ‘rath yatra’: BSP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday downplayed the ‘Vikas rath yatra’ being carried out by the Samajwadi Party, saying such processions are taken out to tell the masses the achievements of the party whereas the Akhilesh Yadav led-Uttar Pradesh government has done nothing in the last five years.BSP leader Sudheendra Bhadauria said that Uttar Pradesh under the governance Akhilesh Yadav has suffered a lot. Speaking to ANI, Bhadauria said the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has nothing to tell the people of the state, while adding that the yatra is an effort to camouflage the real face of the party. “When apolitical person takes out a yatra, it is in order to tell people the achievements of the past few years. The law and order in state is brittle. There have been spates of communal violence and riots and carnages in UP, the most heinous one in Muzaffarnagar riots, and all this has happened under the raj of Akhilesh Yadav,” said Bhadauria.”The liquor mafia, the land mafia, mine mafia all have strengthened under the rule of the ruling SP government. He has nothing to tell to the people of UP. The people of UP know what he has done in his tenure. All this rath yatra is an effort to make over their image,” he added.
ALSO READ Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’ starts today; suspense over presence of Mulayam, ShivpalLaunching his bid for a second term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav will on Thursday started a state-wide rath yatra named ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’. The ‘Vikas Rath Yatra’, which will be flagged off from the state capital, is organised to convey a message of unity in the ruling party and to discuss the agenda of development and other social welfare schemes ahead of the state assembly elections.Akhilesh is all set to travel 75 km in Lucknow and neighbouring Unnao atop a modified Mercedes bus, which can also be called a Mercedes “rath” from Lucknow.All schools in the state capital and Unnao have been shut owing to the “VVIP movement”, which is all set to bring the state capital and the Lucknow-Kanpur highway to a grinding halt.According to report, a cavalcade of over thousands SUVs and trucks will seek to send a message to the party leadership that Akhilesh is the “most acceptable” face of Samajwadi Party.

Maha feud puts spokes in UP’s Mahagathbandhan plans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The fierce family feud in the Samajwadi Party seems to be casting a shadow on the proposed ‘mahagathbandhan’ to counter BJP in next year’s Uttar Pradesh elections. The first sign of unease among the possible allies could surface when Samajwadi Party celebrates its 25th anniversary in Lucknow on November 5.While Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (U) leader Nitish Kumar will be skipping the function, his party was in a dilemma on whether to send a representative to Lucknow. The JD-U, which has been invited by senior SP leader Shivpal Yadav last week amidst his feud with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, was wary of becoming part of the factional politics in the Yadav family, sources said.A party leader said it would be a “painful decision” to take as the JD-U was always in the forefront to fight “communal forces”. At the same time, the JD-U was unsure whether the invite by Shivpal Yadav, who is at loggerheads with his nephew Akhilesh Yadav, had the sanction of his fragmented party.The JD-U is also bitter about the experience of last year when the merger of six parties of Janata Parivar was foiled with Mulayam Singh walking out, after it had agreed to terms of alignment for an alliance which had even stated that the parties would fight under the SP symbol.The party wants SP to spell out the shape of any proposed alliance before it was seen sharing dais with it, sources said. While the JD-U is yet to take a final stand on whether to attend the event, its leaders said Nitish Kumar will be unable to go to Lucknow because of Chhath festival in Bihar.However, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, the JD-U’s ally in Bihar, and JD-S leader HD Deve Gowda, whose parties have no stake in UP, could participate at SP’s silver jubilee celebrations.RLD chief Ajit Singh, a Western UP leader, was reluctant to go unless there was some clarity on the seats, sources said.Congress’s state chief Raj Babbar said he had not got any invite from the SP. Shivpal Yadav, who is organising the show, had invited JD-U, RLD, RJD, INLD and Samjwadi Janata Party, a move which was seen as a bid to showcase “like-minded” parties on a common platform.Akhilesh is planning silver jubilee of the party in his own way by organising ‘Vikas Sey Vijay Tak’ rath yatra, which will begin from Lucknow on Thursday and pass through Unnao en route to Kanpur. A cavalcade of over 5,000 SUVs and trucks will send a message to the party leadership that 43-year-old Akhilesh is the “most acceptable” face of SP. The pro-CM camp, including expelled SP leaders, is working overtime to make it one of the biggest political shows of recent times, coming close on the heels of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s month-long Deoria-to-Delhi ‘kisan yatra’.Congress has ruled out joining any grand alliance in the poll bound state. “Our stand is more than clear..We have been saying ’27 saal, UP behal’. Rahul Gandhi’s yatra …..is not founded on lust for power but to bring new paradigm of politics in the state”, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. He said that the Congress has been holding the SP, BSP and BJP “squarely responsible” for shifting focus from the issue of development through politics of division of different kind.

Uttar Pradesh: 6 injured in stampede at Akhilesh Yadav’s Janata Durbar in Saifai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six people including a Zila Panchayat head were on Sunday injured in a stampede at a Janata Durbar programme of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his ancestral village of Saifai here.Additional SP Ram Kishan Yadav said a large crowd had gathered outside the PWD Guest House where the CM was holding the programme.The main gate had to be closed to keep the crowd away. But when it was opened to allow a VIP car, people rushed inside causing the stampede, he said.Six people, including Kannauj Zila Panchayat head Santosh Yadav, were injured in the melee. One person suffered a head injury.Eyewitnesses said when the chief minister was meeting people and exchanging pleasantries with them, the crowd surged towards him and in the stampede-like situation some fell down and got hurt.Some mediapersons covering the event were also injured, police said. All the injured people were rushed to a hospital in Saifai, they said.This was Akhilesh Yadav’s first visit to Saifai after the recent Samajwadi Party family feud became public. As news of his arrival spread, thousands of people gathered at the venue to wish him on the festive occasion of Diwali.Police had a tough time trying to manage the crowd as the number of people who turned up at the event was far beyond their expectation.Akhilesh also interacted with people and listened to their woes before directing officers to take action. Akhilesh had driven down to his ancestral village Saifai to celebrate Diwali with his extended family.A large number of people greeted the CM along the 200 km route from Lucknow to Safai as he stopped at various places to meet them on the soon-to-be-inaugurated state-of-the-art Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

Espionage links may muddle UP politics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The reverberations of the espionage racket in New Delhi may soon be felt in Lucknow and Rampur.Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Rajya Sabha MP Munawwar Saleem, whose aide Farhat Khan was arrested by the Delhi Police on Saturday, is considered very close to SP heavyweight Azam Khan, eight-time MLA from Rampur and a Cabinet Minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led government. Saleem was specially picked up by the SP, on Azam Khan’s insistence, to fight against BJP stalwart Sushma Swaraj from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Even though Saleem lost badly, his proximity to Azam Khan helped him get the Rajya Sabha berth from UP in 2012.SP sources say that the arrest of Farhat has come at a critical time when the BJP is openly trying to hijack the nationalism and patriotism plank by using surgical strikes. They add that the BJP may use this issue to malign the party’s image, which is already being dented because of the raging family feud.An SP leader, however, said that that if the BJP chooses to take this line, the party won’t hesitate to exploit Shoaib’s, another person caught in the espionage racket, alleged links with the BJP. The BJP has already denied having any links with Shoaib, who reportedly called himself a member of the BJP’s minority front and has posted his pictures on Facebook with several BJP leaders.

Man places bag of explosives in Allahabad High Court and raises alarm, held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A plastic bag full of explosives was found inside the high-security Allahabad High Court premises, sending authorities into a tizzy, even as police claimed on Friday to have arrested a man who had allegedly kept the packet at the spot and later raised an alarm with the hope of getting rewarded with a permanent job for his “alertness”.Addressing a press conference this evening, Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad, Shalabh Mathur said Santosh Kumar Agrahari (38), who had been running errands at the high court on an ad hoc basis for over a decade, was arrested after a perusal of CCTV footage of last night wherein his movements appeared to be “furtive and suspicious”. “We therefore took Agrahari into custody for interrogation though he happened to be the one who had raised an alarm about the plastic bag lying inside a court room. He confessed that he had himself prepared the packet, kept it at the spot and later raised an alarm with the hope that he would be appreciated for his alertness and rewarded with a permanent job at the high court,” Mathur said.”Agrahari, who hails from Amethi and lives here with his family, has claimed that he was badly in need of stable employment. Acting out of desperation, he prepared the packet enclosing a lunch box which contained a plastic ball smeared with gunpowder – to make it look like a menacing bomb. He also placed inside the plastic bag some firecrackers for good measure,” Mathur said.
ALSO READ Bag containing explosives found in Allahabad High Court premises”Besides, Agrahari has confessed to have hidden inside the packet the blade of a small knife which looked like a shrapnel. We are, nevertheless, sending all these items for forensic examination,” the SSP said.Meanwhile, Agrahari has been arrested and booked under the Explosives Act, the SSP added. The sprawling high court campus has an elaborate security system in place with hundreds of police and paramilitary personnel keeping round-the-clock vigil with the help of more than 200 CCTV cameras.No vehicle, four-wheeler or two-wheeler, is permitted inside the premises and though there is no restriction on visiting the branch of a public sector bank and a post office located inside, entry into any of the court rooms warrants a special pass issued by high court authorities.Moreover, security arrangements inside the court are also monitored closely by a special seven-judge bench which was constituted last year with the aim of keeping a tab on safety mechanisms at all judicial bodies across Uttar Pradesh, including the Lucknow Bench of the high court and the district courts.

Ban or no ban, spark goes missing from cracker sales

Lucknow: Ban on import and sale of Chinese crackers has had little or no effect on domestically-made ones as traders across major cities report poor business owing to anti-cracker campaign run by schools, resident welfare associations and others, Assocham said today.

AFPAFP

AFP

It is not just Chinese crackers, but multiple factors like growing environmental awareness, rising cost of living, growing tendency to save hard-earned money, paucity of time and traffic congestions have dented the business over the years. This is what a majority of the 250 traders surveyed said.

There is a sharp sales decline of about 20 per cent year-on-year from the past five years, which have also almost halved.

“Banning Chinese firecrackers was a welcome move which was aimed at strengthening the domestic industry. However, growing criticism of bursting crackers and the negative publicity along with rising pollution have eventually faded the growth of firecracker industry,” said D S Rawat, Assocham Secretary General, while releasing the findings.

“About hundreds of units in Sivakasi have shut their shop owing to intense campaigns and growing sales of China-made crackers over the years.”

Costlier raw materials and inflation have also held back people from buying crackers, a trend for the past few years now, noted the survey. However, many traders nurse hope that last-minute purchase could save the day for them.

The industry body interacted with wholesalers, retailers and traders spread across 10 cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to gauge enthusiasm and demand for crackers together with the ban impact across India.

Major Indian cities report decline in firecrackers sales, finds survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ban on import and sale of Chinese crackers has had little or no effect on domestically-made ones as traders across major cities report poor business owing to anti-cracker campaign run by schools, resident welfare associations and others, Assocham said on Friday.It is not just Chinese crackers, but multiple factors like growing environmental awareness, rising cost of living, growing tendency to save hard-earned money, paucity of time and traffic congestions have dented the business over the years. This is what a majority of the 250 traders surveyed said.There is a sharp sales decline of about 20% year-on-year from the past five years, which have also almost halved. “Banning Chinese firecrackers was a welcome move which was aimed at strengthening the domestic industry. However, growing criticism of bursting crackers and the negative publicity along with rising pollution have eventually faded the growth of firecracker industry,” said D S Rawat, Assocham Secretary General, while releasing the findings.”About hundreds of units in Sivakasi have shut their shop owing to intense campaigns and growing sales of China-made crackers over the years.”Costlier raw materials and inflation have also held back people from buying crackers, a trend for the past few years now, noted the survey. However, many traders nurse hope that last-minute purchase could save the day for them.The industry body interacted with wholesalers, retailers and traders spread across 10 cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to gauge enthusiasm and demand for crackers together with the ban impact across India.

Azam Khan criticises PM Modi over ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raising ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogan at the Dussehra function, saying that the PM belonged to the nation and should have raised slogans of all religions.”He belongs to all…he should also have raised Allah-u- Akbar, Waheguru ji ka Khalsa ….,” Khan told reporters here last night. Modi in his address at the Dussehra function in Lucknow had started his speech with ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogan.Taking exception to Modi’s stance on ‘triple talaq’, Khan said that he will not allow any injustice to Muslim women but “how talaq has to be given, how marriages will be conducted and how namaz has to be offered, are matter which will be decided as per the Personal law”. He also opposed BJP’s move to build a Ramayana museum in Ayodhya.

Security breach at Allahabad High Court: Bag of explosives found in premises

Allahabad: A plastic bag full of explosives was found inside the high security Allahabad High Court premises late last night, sending authorities into a tizzy.

Officials said the bag detected inside a court room was found containing low intensity crude bombs, firecrackers and shrapnels which would not have caused any major damage and were “most likely to have been planted by someone who wished to cause some mischief”.

Allahabad High Court. Photo: allahabad.nic.inAllahabad High Court. Photo: allahabad.nic.in

Allahabad High Court. Photo: allahabad.nic.in

The plastic bag was found inside court room no. 55 by a staff member who informed his superiors following which administrative officials led by District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar and Senior Superintendent of Police Shalabh Mathur rushed to the spot.

Bomb disposal squad was also pressed into service which took the bag away from the court room for defusing the explosives. The officials admitted that it was a major security breach at the sprawling High Court premises where 150 police personnel are supposed to keep a round-the-clock watch with the help of 210 CCTV cameras installed in various corners. A company of the CRPF also remains permanently deployed inside the premises.

The DM and SSP later said “the bag contained two crude bombs which were defused. Besides, it contained firecrackers and shrapnels”. “They said “the bag is most likely to have been planted by someone who wished to cause some mischief.

“It appears to have been kept there after the court was closed down for five days in view of Diwali festivities. “The explosive material will be sent for forensic examination by way of abundant caution though prima facie the crude bombs were of very low intensity and unlikely to cause any major damage to life and property,” they said. Vehicles, both four-wheelers and two-wheelers, are strictly prohibited from entering the premises and while general public is allowed to visit those parts where a branch of the State Bank of India and a Post Office are located, only those carrying special passes are allowed to enter the court rooms.

Yadav PariWar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh was expelled seven years ago, Uttar Pradesh strongman Mulayam Singh Yadav had been convinced that Singh wanted to wrest control of the party from old socialist loyalists and his trusted family members. It was then that Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and other party loyalists who ensured that Singh was shown the door. Shivpal Yadav, however, reportedly stayed in touch with the ousted politician – who had brought Bollywood glamour to the usually dour Samajwadi Party – at a personal level.The peace, like many others in political families, was not meant to hold. Equations in the extended Yadav parivaar began to lose their balance.With the passing away of old loyalists and socialists like Janeshwar Mishra and Mohan Singh, aging of Revati Raman Singh and defection of Beni Prasad Verma to Congress during the UPA’s second five-year reign of power at the Centre, Mulayam’s dependence on his family only grew.The elections of 2012 brought a period of consolidation to the Yadav family. United around a massive electoral victory, areas of influence were divided between three party stalwarts. Ram Gopal Yadav , the Delhi face of the party, was given charge of NOIDA, Greater Noida and western UP, all of which had earlier been handled by Amar Singh. Shivpal Yadav took the lower Doab region and Azam Khan was allowed to have his writ run large in Rohilkhand region. Mulayam, who has long be rumoured to harbour prime ministerial ambitions. set his sights on Delhi.It was under this arrangement that Akhilesh Yadav started his stint as the chief minister of one of India’s most populous – and politically critical – states; what was lacking was the sweeping powers that an office such as this carries.The arrangement started to unravel in only two years. Things changed with 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Mulayam dreams of becoming Prime Minister were crushed under the Modi juggernaut as the SP crashed spectacularly in UP, its home turf. Added to this were legal cases which had been pending.Meanwhile, Akhilesh continued to induct young leaders as he headed the state unit. He introduced changes which were seen as alien to the functioning of the party. Buoyed with the idea of “Umeed ki Cycle”, Akhilesh worked around an administrative system appointed – and controlled – by his father. He introduced his laptop scheme, got advisors from abroad, and also opened a small war room for strategising. Sources close to the young CM admit that all Akhilesh could do was bide his time, knowing that top bureaucrats were direct appointees of Mulayam and Shivpal and that he couldn’t do much.Then came developments which irked the Akhilesh camp. Pratik Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s son from his second marriage to Sadhna Gupta, started acquiring a public profile. Sources close to the family say that Akhilesh had always been opposed to the idea of Pratik or his family being in the spotlight. The family’s proximity to Amar Singh and Shivpal Yadav further complicated matters. Then came the issue of Pratik’s wife Aparna getting into the spotlight in the political arena – she contested on the SP ticket in Lucknow; for Akhilesh, a Lakshman Rekha had been crossed.Mattes came to a head with the re-emergence of the Amar Singh-Shivpal Yadav axis and their continued support to Sadhna Gupta’s family. Largely unnoticed, Akhilesh moved into a separate bungalow allotted to himself next to his father’s official bungalow. Through his tenure he never shifted to the official CM’s residence but quietly shifted out of his father’s house in 2016. It was a quiet acknowledgement of discord within the Yadav parivar.Amar Singh’s re-induction into the party and nomination to Rajya Sabha didn’t help, either. What surprised Akhilesh was Singh’s elevation as General Secretary, since he hadn’t been kept in the loop. Around this time, Shivpal Yadav’s ambitions also soared; the perennial bridesmaid, say sources, felt that this was his only chance of becoming CM.These developments were further complicated by two things. One, that Mulayam became further obliged to Singh for his intervention in his legal matters – and which he admitted to in the recent party meeting. The second, according to party sources is that his memory was no longer what it was, and those close to Akhilesh felt that Shivpal faction was taking undue advantage of this.Sources close to Akhilesh say the tipping point came when Singh, in a private conversation with Mulayam and other senior leaders and bureaucrats, objected to the CM’s functioning. These sources add that Shivpal and other senior bureaucrats did not object to this but just carried along with the conversation.Akhilesh was convinced now that a vendetta campaign was being organised against him. Sources close to him say he resented being branded as an incompetent leader and decided to change that perception, even at the cost of the party’s unity. Meanwhile, Singh’s frustration is being attributed to him not getting work cleared by the CM’s office, an influence he enjoyed liberally during the party’s 2002-2007 stint in government.It was because of this purported conversation that Akhilesh brought the axe down on Shivpal, sacking his uncle and his loyalists from various ministerial and bureaucratic positions. This took Mulayam by surprise and, in turn, confirmed his suspicion that Akhilesh wanted to run the party without consulting him. Mulayam also suspected that Ram Gopal Yadav was acting as the brains behind Akhilesh’s decisions.The result: Akhilesh was sacked as the state party president. Though a truce was called, it remained fragile. Shivpal continued to sack people close to Akhilesh, while the latter became convinced that he needed to wrest control of the party to revive his faltering image.And then Akhilesh Yadav crossed the rubicon, sacking Shivpal and his associates from ministerial and other part posts . In retaliation, Ram Gopal Yadav was sacked by Shivpal.Since then it became a politics of brutal quid pro quo. Shivpal raised the stakes by sacking Pawan Pandey, a sitting minister in Akhilesh’s Cabinet on the grounds that he roughed up Ashu Mallik in the chief ministerial compound.Sources say it is now a naked fight for power and organisation between uncle and son, adding that Akhilesh wants to ease out Shivpal out of Lucknow. Shivpal, too, reportedly doesn’t want to go back to government and has started the process of shifting to his private bungalow.The only thing which remains civil in this uncivil PariWar is that both son and father have not escalated the matter beyond redemption. But if push comes to shove, the future of the Samajwadi Party is at stake.

RSS calls for legal hurdles in the path of Ram temple to be removed

Hyderabad: RSS on Tuesday said it is Hindu society’s “desire” that a Ram Temple be built in Ayodhya and called for removing all legal hurdles to fulfil this wish.

“Hindu Samaj desires that there should be a Ram Mandir there (in Ayodhya). Whatever the legal problems are, they need to be sorted out and a Ram temple be constructed…that is what we all desire. The matter is pending before the Supreme Court,” RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi said.

A file image of RSS cadres during a Dussehra rally. PTI

A file image of RSS cadres during a Dussehra rally. PTI

Joshi was talking to reporters at the conclusion of a three-day national executive meeting of the pro-Hindutva organisation in Hyderabad.

He said the Ram Mandir issue has been there for the past over 30 years and it would be wrong to link it to the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

“Since 1984 this movement is going on across the country (for constructing Ram Mandir)…there is nothing new. There is some delay due to court cases,” said Joshi.

The RSS leader said after the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, it is difficult to build any other structure except for a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. (“Lucknow court ke decision ke baad, waha par Ram Mandir ke alava aur kuch bhi hona mushkil hain).”

The Lucknow bench of HC had then ruled the 2.77 acre disputed land in Ayodhya be divided into three parts among Hindus and Muslims. It also held the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram currently exists belongs to Hindus.

On ‘gau raksha‘ issue, Joshi said the RSS has been stressing on cow protection since long.

“It is not an emotional issue but associated with the country’s economic growth,” he said, adding “cow protectors” should also be given protection.

The government should take necessary steps to save and develop indigenous cow breeds, Joshi said.

Asked if the meeting discussed the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh and BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate, Joshi said, “We (RSS) don’t have any role in this. It is the work of BJP and they have to decide because it is they who have to win elections.”

On whether the conclave discussed performance of the Modi Government, the RSS leader said, “We do discuss and assess, but one thing is clear that it is up to the government to do assessment of its works.

“At times, we openly express our views (on issues related to governance), but RSS does not have any role in execution…it is the duty of the government. As a responsible social-cultural organisation, we bring important matters to the notice of the government.”

On genetically modified (GM) crops, Joshi said, “A rethinking process is on across the globe on this issue and scientists are divided on it in the world and also India.”

“This is a scientific issue…any policy decision should be taken considering the tradition of Indian agriculture.”

“One should not think only about increasing crop production, but also take note of soil damage. Scientists should think long term and not short term.”

Joshi said the Sangh now has presence in 44,000 villages across the country and has 70,000 working units. This number is expected to surge to 75,000 by March next year.

He called upon society to end discrimination based on caste and create an environment where women feel safe and empowered to determine their own destiny.

Joshi urged people to respond positively to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s call to make India a clean and healthy nation.

Case against Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas: Delhi HC dismisses petition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed a petition by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas challenging summons issued by a lower court in connection with a criminal case.Passing the order, Justice Aditya Nath Mittal of the Lucknow bench said, “For the facts and circumstances mentioned above, I do not find any sufficient ground to interfere in the present matter. I also do not find any sufficient ground to quash the entire criminal proceedings of case No.216 of 2016. The petition lacks merit, deserves to be dismissed. The petition is, therefore, dismissed.” On October 21, the court had reserved its order.Petitioner’s counsel Onkar Pandey said during the Lok Sabha elections, an FIR was lodged by the assistant election officer on April 20, 2014, against Kejriwal and Vishwas for allegedly making provocative speeches in Gauriganj area of Amethi district.The charge sheet was filed on April 13, 2016 and on October 7, the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Sultanpur, issued summons against them. Both the petitioners challenged the proceedings of this case.On behalf of the state government, additional government advocate Shivanath Tilahari opposed the petition.

RSS men should guard borders instead of jawans: Cong MP mocks Parrikar’s comment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking exception to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar giving credit of the army’s surgical strikes in PoK to RSS teachings, the Congress on Wednesday said if that was the case, RSS workers should be guarding the borders instead of the jawans.”The Defence Minister has given credit of the surgical strikes to RSS teachings instead of the army…if this army action was really an outcome of RSS teachings, then its activists should be deployed on the borders to guard the country instead of the jawans,” Congress observer of the Lucknow district unit of the party Husain Dalvi said.The Rajya Sabha MP said it would be better if the RSS activists, “indulging in divisive activities” in the country, faced the “enemy”. Dalvi criticised the Defence Minister saying in spite of holding a “sensitive” post, he was making such “frivolous” statements.Speaking at a programme in Ahmedabad on Monday, Parrikar had appeared to have given credit for the decision to carry out surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to RSS teachings. Dalvi was confident about his party’s prospects in the upcoming Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh and said it would emerge as the “kingmaker” and no government will be formed without its “help”.The Congress leader dropped a hint of an alliance with the Janata Dal (United) and Peace Party for the polls but did not elaborate further. He claimed that the recently-concluded ‘Kisan Yatra’ of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had given a “new life” to the party and it had been strengthened further.

UP Elections 2017: Nitish Kumar holds strategic meet of JD(U) leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the JD(U) national council meeting which ratified his election as the new party president, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday met senior party leaders to draw strategy for the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.The meeting was attended by Kumar, former party chief Sharad Yadav, party secretary general K C Tyagi, Bihar party president Basistha Narayan Singh, Rajya Sabha member and Kumar’s close aide R C P Singh and two senior state ministers, Bijendra Prasad Yadav and Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan. Tyagi told PTI that the JD(U) chief of Uttar Pradesh Dr Ayub was also present at the meeting to draw strategy for the UP polls and said the meeting also deliberated on expansion programme of the party in other states.Tyagi said JD(U)’s main focus in UP would be to checkmate the BJP as it did successfully getting into an alliance with RJD and Congress in Bihar last year. “Our party chief will play a crucial role in uniting all secular parties to defeat BJP and RSS in UP,” he said. Kumar, in his speech on Monday at Rajgir, had talked about how BJP was trying to rake up its old bogey of Ram temple to reap benefits in the UP Assembly polls.He alleged that ahead of UP election, BJP was talking about construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya in Lucknow. “Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chanted ‘Jai Sri Ram’ at Vijaya Dashmi day in Lucknow, VHP chief Pravin Togadia talked about construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya, an issue which is pending before the Supreme Court,” he said.”BJP and other outfits of RSS are becoming aggressive on Ayodhya in view of the UP poll. We will make all efforts to foil their designs by forging unity among non-BJP secular parties,” Tyagi said.During his recent trips to UP, Kumar had shared dais with RLD leader Ajit Singh, BSP rebel R K Chaudhary and was also in contact with Apna Dal. Yesterday at the plenary session of JD(U) at Rajgir, Kumar had made an overture to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Akhilesh Yadav, who is locked in a family feud, to enforce prohibition which he said would help him come out of the “family shadow” and win the UP Assembly electionsKumar had also come down heavily on Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and said, “We had offered him the post of president in the reunited Janata Parivar and also the head of the group in Parliament. But, he walked out and the role he played in Bihar elections, it seems brought a curse, which has been manifested in the intense feud in his party.”

Make in India push: Samsung to invest Rs 1,970 cr in Noida unit to double capacity

Lucknow: Samsung will invest Rs 1,970 crore over the next three years to double manufacturing capacity of its Noida facility, a move that will help the Korean company start exporting from India.

APAP

AP

The Uttar Pradesh government has approved Samsung’s investment under Super Mega A by the state’s Cabinet Committee in Lucknow today.

“In line with our commitment to ‘Make in India’, we are pleased to receive the UP government’s approval to invest in the state and expand our manufacturing base here in India,” Samsung India President and CEO HC Hong.

While the company did not disclose details, sources said the investment will help Samsung ramp up its manufacturing capacities across product lines like refrigerators, mobile phones and LED TVs.

They added that Samsung will get an additional 1.3 lakh sqm for the expansion, a move that will generate additional employment for 2,200 people.

Samsung’s mobile phone manufacturing capacity alone will be doubled from 6 million units a month now to 12 million over the course of time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar said.

“…we are witnessing an increase in the adoption of electronic devices, appliances and mobile phones. A bigger and more robust manufacturing facility will help us address the needs and demands of our growing customer base across the country and the region,” he said.

Interestingly, the announcement comes within week of Samsung permanently shutting production and sales of its flagship device, Galaxy Note 7, globally.

While the company had not started sales of the Note 7 but analysts expect its smartphone revenues in India to be hit. However, Samsung has has vehemently refuted the claims. Samsung started its Noida plant in 1996 and in 1997 the television was manufactured. The company has two factories, three R&D centres and a design centre, employing over 40,000 people in India.

“Today’s MoU is yet another step in converting Noida into the electronics hub of India. I am happy Samsung is pioneering this transformation yet again,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said.

BJP ‘selling’ Lord Ram’s name to win UP polls: Congress

Tue, 18 Oct 2016-10:30am , Lucknow , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Tuesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is selling the name of Lord Ram to siphon off a victory in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. Congress leader DP Singh said that the Congress has nothing to do with the BJP’s plan of constructing the Ram museum. “The Congress has nothing to do with the BJP constructing a museum there (Ayodhya), or the Samajwadi party organising things for the Ramayan mela. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is selling the name of Ram in the wake of coming UP polls,” said Singh. According to some reports, the BJP government is planning to build a Lord Rama museum in Ayodhya. Both, Lord Rama and Ayodhya, have a dominant influence in the politics of Uttar Pradesh. The union ministry of culture is also learnt to have increased the museum grant from Rs 175 crore to Rs 225 crore so that a state of the art museum can come up in the ancient town celebrated in Hindu epics as the seat of Ram?s birthplace and kingdom.

Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi likely to join BJP: Reports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi is likely to join Bharatiya Janata Party, ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.According to reports, Joshi, who is currently the MLA from Lucknow Cantonment constituency has met BJP president Amit Shah and other senior leaders.However, BJP leader and Joshi’s brother Vijay Bahuguna has rejected speculations. He said, “These are just rumours, no truth in them.”Joshi was the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee from 2007 to 2012. She is daughter of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, a former Chief Minister of the UPElections in Uttar Pradesh are to be held early next year and former Delhi CM Sheila Diksht has been projected as CM candidate by Congress.

Ahead of UP elections, Modi govt identifies 25 acre plot for Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government’s plan to set up a Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh has gathered steam with a 25 acre plot having been identified for it some 15 km away from the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex.Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma is expected to visit Ayodhya on October 18 to inspect the proposed site where the government plans to build the museum, which would be part of Ramayana Circuit, a government source said.Sharma is also expected to hold a meeting with Ramayana Circuit Advisory Board during the visit. The meeting would discuss routes for connecting Ramayana-related sites in Nepal and Sri Lanka with the proposed museum. Besides, the minister is likely to hold meetings with religious leaders on building the museum which would portray the epic journey of Lord Rama.Sharma would also deliberate on plans for an International Ramayana Conclave, which would be held either in Ayodhya or Chitrakoot district. The conference is likely to be attended by delegates from about 12 countries, sources said.Though the BJP has been insisting that Ram temple will not be an electoral plank in the UP elections to be held early next year, the proposed Ramayana museum and related activities are being seen as an attempt to keep pro-Hindutva elements in good humour.On Dusshera, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in a departure from tradition, participated in the festivities in Lucknow where he started and concluded his speech with chants of “Jai Shri Ram, Jai Jai Shri Ram”.

Varanasi stampede: 19 killed, 4 injured; PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to kin of deceased

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>19 people were killed and 4 were injured in a stampede at Rajghat bridge between Varanasi and Chandauli where a large number of people had gathered for a religious event on Saturday afternoon. The incident took place when thousands of followers of religious leader Jai Gurudev were on their way to Domri village on the banks of Ganga to take part in the two-day camp, police said.Out of the 19, 15 were women and 4 were men, said the doctor. “Two injured women are being treated in hospital,” said UP IG (Law and Order) Hari Ram Sharma. “It will be probed as to who is responsible, arrangements for crowd control and the lapses,” he added.Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to next of kin of those killed in Varanasi stampede, Rs 50,000 compensation to those injured in the stampede. Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav announced Rs 2 lakh each for the family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the critically injured.Meanwhile, a government spokesman in Lucknow said that the situation in Chandauli is being monitored and all necessary measures were being taken.(With agency inputs)

PM Modi used Lucknow visit to strengthen BJP’s hold in UP: NCP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday dubbed Prime Minister’s visit to Lucknow for Dussehra celebrations as a politically astute attempt to strengthen the BJP’s hold in Uttar Pradesh before next year’s assembly polls.NCP leader Majid Memon told ANI, “Dussehra is more or less a religious function. But why did the Prime Minister chose Lucknow and not any other place As rightly said, if there would have been elections in Bihar, he would have chosen Bihar.””PM Modi selected Lucknow because there are elections around the corner and this fact cannot be denied. It was a politically motivated movement for the purpose of trying to strengthen the BJP and to garner votes. So, therefore, fundamentally, it is an absolutely political motivated move,” he added.Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday celebrated Dussehra in Lucknow at the historic Aishbagh Ramleela Ground.He was accompanied by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.At the event, he denounced terrorism and in an indirect way attacked Pakistan for supporting terrorism.Dubbing terrorism as an ‘enemy of humanity’, Prime Minister Modi called for combating the menace unitedly.Addressing a gathering, Modi said, “We cannot save humanity unless we fight out terrorism collectively. There is an urgent need to uproot and punish the elements that promote and indulge in terrorist activities.””This festival is about the victory of good over evil and terrorism is an enemy of humanity. Everyone needs to speak in one voice against terrorism. So, when we burn Ravana, we should remember that humanity can’t be saved unless we fight out terrorism together,” he added.”Elements involved in terrorist activities should be uprooted and destroyed. And, at the same time, the powers backing terrorist activities should be punished,” he said.

Modi first PM to hold country’s head high at global level: Rajnath Singh

Lucknow: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday hailed Narendra Modi as the first Prime Minister of independent India who has been able to hold country’s head high at the international level and give the message that “we are not a weak nation”.

A file photo of Rajnath Singh. Reuters

A file photo of Rajnath Singh. Reuters

“I want to welcome Modiji here as for the first time in the history of Independent India he has succeeded in holding country’s head high at international level. He has succeeded in giving the message to the world that Bharat is not weak but it’s a ‘damdar‘ (powerful) nation,” Singh said while welcoming Modi’s in his parliamentary constituency.

Singh represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha.

He said Modi has succeeded in checking “wholesale corruption at the top” and should be congratulated for that.

Giving message of following good values, Singh said Ram had, till the last moment, tried to give message of peace but in the end, killed Ravana, “who was synonymous to terror”.

Mayor Dinesh Sharma in his speech tried to refute the Opposition allegation that the event was organised for taking political mileage sating that the theme — ‘Atank ka samool naash ho‘ (Let Terrorism be finished entirely) of this year’s ‘Ravana Dahan’ was decided last year.

“We have decided the theme last year. Every year Ramlila has a different theme and it’s decided a year in advance. The Ramlila Samiti used to invite presidents, prime ministers and chief ministers every year but no one came. This year also we have sent a routine letter to PM and we came to know that PM has accepted it through news channels,” he said.

War necessary at times, those supporting terror cannot go unpunished: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making his first public address after the surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday started with “Jai Shri Ram” and ended with a note of peace saying “our last refuge should remain with Buddha”.While invoking the symbol of peace, he also said that yudh (war) at times becomes necessary to save humanity. “Hum yudh se Buddh ki ore chale jaaten hain, Yudh bhi kabhi kabhi zaroori hota hai. Yeh desh sudarshan chakradhari ka bhi hai, isi desh me charkha dhari Mohan ki pratigya ko bhi manta hai. Dono tarazuon par balance rakhna hai. (We move from war to Buddha. Sometimes war is also necessary. This country is also Lord Vishnu’s and also revers Mahatma Gandhi. We have to maintain the balance on the weighing scales),” he said addressing the gathering at Ramlila Samiti Maidan at Lucknow.This is the first time that an incumbent prime minister has stepped out of Delhi for Dussehra celebrations and that too in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, at a time when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being accused of politicising the Indian Army’s surgical strikes.Modi had earlier referred to this year’s Vijayadashmi as a “special one”. Drawing parallels between Ravana and modern-day terrorists and their supporters, he said: “We are at a point now where those who support terror or allow it cannot go unpunished.” “Terrorism is an enemy of humanity. Jatayu, in Ramayana, was the first to fight terrorism when he fought Ravana to save Sita’s honour. We should also fight terrorism like Jatayu,” he said.Modi said that earlier the world never recognised terrorism as a problem. After 26/11, they have recognised it as a world problem. Sending a warning across the border, he said: “We can’t spare terrorists and those who support them.” Without naming Pakistan, he said those helping and providing shelter to terrorists cannot be spared, but made no reference to the surgical strikes. Making terrorism the central point of his over 20-minute speech, he said terror was the worst enemy of humanity and called upon the world community to speak in one voice against the menace.Mentioning a TV picture of a Syrian girl which he said brought tears to his eyes, Modi said terrorism is the biggest enemy of humanity. “Terrorism does not have any boundaries. It is bound to destroy all…a need has arisen to root out those who spread terrorism. Those who help terrorists and provide shelter to them can no longer be spared,” he said. The entire world is being destroyed…if you think that we are insulated against terrorism, we are wrong. It is a virus affecting our societies. All forces across the world have to talk in one voice and end it. It will not be possible to save humanity without eradicating terrorism.” The theme of this year’s Dussehra here was ‘destruction of terrorism’. In the run-up to the event on Tuesday, there have been many references to the surgical strikes by characters enacting Ramlila.In a significant gesture, Modi was presented a Sudarshan Chakra, bow and arrow and a mace at the event, symbolising valour.He also highlighted discrimination against the girl child and said it is an evil like Ravan. “We must kill this evil within us. We must not kill ‘Sitas’ of the 21st century. We must save the girl child. Look at how our daughters performed in the Olympics this year.” Before the PM’s speech, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the parliamentarian from Lucknow, told the audience: “The PM has proved to the world that India is not weak.”He was referring to the cross-border strikes. For PM Modi’s visit, the traditional Ramlila in Lucknow’s Aishbagh was revamped. Instead of being open to everybody, 2,000 passes were sent to invitees.

Let’s protect Sitas of our home: PM Modi appeals to people on Dussehra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advocated giving equal rights to women from all faiths and appealed to people to stop discriminating between a girl and a boy and protect “Sitas of our homes”.”The discrimination between daughters and sons signifies the Ravan mentality. Be it educated, uneducated, poor, rich, urban, rural, Hindu, Musilm, Sikh, Christian…They can be from different economic or social backgrounds, but daughters should get equal rights,” he said at a Dussehra event in Lucknow.”Today is the World Girl Child Day. On this day, I want people to stop discriminating against the girl child and protect Sita of our home,” the Prime Minister said.Appealing people to save the girl child, he said, “We burn effigies of Ravan, who took away Goddess Sita, every year and the tradition will continue. We should also protect the Sita of our home by stop discriminating between a girl and a boy. How many Sitas we kill in the womb?…We should celebrate more when a girl child is born.”Acknowledging the feat achieved by sportswomen at Olympics, Modi said, “At the Rio Olympics, our daughters made the country proud. Women of the 21st century should get justice.” Terrorism has no boundaries: PM ModiMaking terrorism the centrepoint of his over 20-minute speech, he said terror was the worst enemy of humanity and called upon the world community to speak in one voice against the menace to put an end to it.”Terrorism does not have any boundaries. It is bound to destroy all…a need has arisen to root out those who spread terrorism. Those who help terrorists and provide shelter to them can no longer be spared,” he said in an obvious reference to Pakistan without taking its name.”Terrorism is against humanity. The entire world is being destroyed…if you think that we are insulated against terrorism, then we are wrong. It is a virus affecting our societies. All forces across the world have to talk in one voice and end it. It will not be possible to save humanity without eradicating terrorism,” the Prime Minister said.”The forces of humanism should unite globally to end the menace,” he said.”No one should have this misunderstanding that they are safe from terrorism as terrorism has no boundary, no morality, it can go anywhere and it is bent upon crushing humanity…it is essential for all to come together against terrorism,” Modi said.”The entire world is being harmed. For the last two days we are seeing the picture of a little girl of Syria….and so today, when we are buring Ravana, all human forces as one will have to resolve to fight terrorism as humanity cannot be saved without bringing an end to it,” he said.

War necessary at times to save humanity: PM Narendra Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making his first public address after the surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday started with “Jai Shri Ram” and ended with a note of peace saying “our last refuge should remain with Buddha”.While invoking the symbol of peace, he also said that yudh (war) at times becomes necessary to save humanity. “Hum yudh se Buddh ki ore chale jaaten hain, Yudh bhi kabhi kabhi zaroori hota hai. Yeh desh sudarshan chakradhari ka bhi hai, isi desh me charkha dhari Mohan ki pratigya ko bhi manta hai. Dono tarazuon par balance rakhna hai.” (We move from war to Buddha. Sometimes war is also necessary. This country is also Lord Vishnu’s and also revers Mahatma Gandhi. We have to maintain the balance on the weighing scales),” he said addressing the gathering at Ramlila Samiti Maidan at Lucknow.This is the first time that an incumbent prime minister has stepped out of Delhi for Dussehra celebrations and that too in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, at a time when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being accused of politicising the Indian Army’s surgical strikes.

PM Modi attends Ramlila festivities in Lucknow, attacks Pakistan on terror

Lucknow: Breaking from tradition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attended the historic Ramlila celebrations here where he launched a veiled attack on Pakistan, saying those who help and provide shelter to terrorists cannot be spared, but made no reference to the surgical strikes.

Making terrorism the centre point of his over 20-minute speech, he said terror was the worst enemy of humanity and called upon the world community to speak in one voice against the menace to put an end to it.

“Terrorism does not have any boundaries. It is bound to destroy all… a need has arisen to root out those who spread terrorism. Those who help terrorists and provide shelter to them can no longer be spared,” he said in an obvious reference to Pakistan without taking its name.

PM Narendra Modi being presented a mace as he is welcomed during Dussehra celebrations at Aishbagh Ram Leela in Lucknow. PTIPM Narendra Modi being presented a mace as he is welcomed during Dussehra celebrations at Aishbagh Ram Leela in Lucknow. PTI

PM Narendra Modi being presented a mace as he is welcomed during Dussehra celebrations at Aishbagh Ram Leela in Lucknow. PTI

“Terrorism is against humanity. The entire world is being destroyed… if you think that we are insulated against terrorism, then we are wrong. It is a virus affecting our societies. All forces across the world have to talk in one voice and end it. It will not be possible to save humanity without eradicating terrorism,” the Prime Minister said.

“The forces of humanism should unite globally to end the menace,” he said.

Modi became the first Prime Minister to attend a Ramlila event outside Delhi and his participation at the Aishbagh celebrations assumes significance in the context of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh early next year.

The theme of this year’s Dussehra here was ‘destruction of terrorism’. In the run up to the event on Tuesday, there have been many references to the surgical strikes by characters enacting Ramlila.

In significant gestures, Modi was presented a Sudarshan Chakra, bow and arrow and a mace at the event, symbolising valour.

At the Delhi event at Ramlila Maidan, as usual, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were present.

Live: PM Modi, Arvind Kejriwal to address Dussehra gathering, attend festivities

Oct 11, 2016

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Security was heightened in Lucknow on Tuesday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s participation in the Dussehra celebrations, police said.

Other than deploying the companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF), traffic was also diverted and security has been set in place for the high profile event in the Aishbagh locality.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Inspector General of Police (Lucknow) A Satish Ganesh said that despite security, efforts are being made to ensure that citizen did not face any problem.

Convenor of the event, city Mayor and BJP national Vice President Dinesh Sharma informed that Modi would be witnessing the ‘Ravan Vadh‘ during the Ram Leela programme.

Modi along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor Ram Naik and the minister representing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would attend the event.

Singh reached Lucknow on Monday evening ahead of Modi’s visit. The prime minister is expected to land in Lucknow at 6 pm and will further head for the venue of the celebrations, reported The Financial Express.

Yadav has been invited but his presence has not yet been confirmed.

Sharma’s disclaimer of “no politics” behind the Modi’s visit to Lucknow on Dussehra, all eyes and ears are on his visit and public address, according to a report by The Times of India.

The Hindustan Times speculates that terror could be the main topic of his speech.

Following an ‘aarti‘ of the actors essaying the mythological characters, Modi and Rajnath Singh would address the gathering.

Organisers informed that Modi would be gifted with a rare portrait of Hindu poet-saint Goswami Tulsidas and a copy of Ram Charit Manas among others.

They also said that the event would be broadcast live.

The Ram Leela in Aishbagh will complete 70 years, but this would be the first time that such a high-profile dignitary will attend the event, Mayor Sharma pointed out.

Apart from Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will also deliver speeches on Tuesday.

Rahul’s speech will be at the Ramlila maidan in New Delhi, which is expected to take place after 5 pm. Kejriwal is also expected to attend the Dussehra festivities at the Luv Kush Ramlila Maidan, reported India.com.

With inputs from agencies.