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Indian party chief reinstates sacked son Akhilesh Yadav

Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister is allowed back into his party – a day after his father expelled him.

Akhilesh Yadav chairs meeting with all SP MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expelled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav chaired a meeting of Samajwadi Party MLAs at 9 am on Saturday at his official residence.Mulayam Singh yesterday expelled Akhilesh and National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years over indiscipline late on Friday night. “I solely founded the party, what is their (Akhilesh and Ram Gopal) contribution? They are destroying the party,” he said. “To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party. No one has the right to call for a national executive meeting other than the party chief, and by doing this, you (Akhilesh and Ram Gopal) have hurt the party’s interest,” Mulayam told media here. “I will decide as to who will be the chief ministerial candidate of the party,” he insisted.This move comes after Akhilesh had released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections on Thursday, rejecting the list announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday. “We have declared a list of 325 candidates for the 2017 assembly polls; 78 seats still remain. Names of the candidates for the rest of the 78 seats will be announced soon,” Mulayam had said on Wednesday. Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam said his son being the chief minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to.

DNA Morning Must Reads: ATM withdrawal limit hiked; ‘Yadavi’ in Samajwadi Party continues; PV Sindhu sportsperson of 2016, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Daily ATM withdrawal limit hiked to Rs 4,500 from January 1In a relief to common man, the Reserve Bank tonight said cash withdrawal limit from ATMs will be increased to Rs 4,500 per day from the current Rs 2,500 from January 1. Read more here2. Game UP: Samajwadi Party faces split as Mulayam expels AkhileshAfter 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. Read more here3. One little BHIM set to change India: Your thumb is your bank now, says PM ModiMore than 50 days after announcing his demonetization move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the mobile app BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) which he said would enable easier digital transactions for the common man. Read more here4. DNA poll: Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu voted Sportsperson of the Year, Virat Kohli finishes distant 2ndIn a year when Virat Kohli hit golden form, Dipa Karmakar’s Produnova made global headlines, Olympic silver-winning shuttler gets giant share of votes. Read more here5. The A to Z of music in 2016From Arijit Singh to Zayn Malik, read all about the year’s newsmakers and trends in music, here and elsewhere. Read more here

Mulayam expels UP CM Akhilesh: Here’s a timeline of the Yadav clan Dangal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling Samajawadi Party was on Friday on the precipice of a split with party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav expelling his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and cousin general secretary Ramgopal Yadav for six years after they put up candidates against the official nominees and summoned a party meet on Sunday. Ahead of the 2017 UP Elections, Mulayam’s announcement may have been sudden but the feud in the Yadav family have been taking a turn for the worse since the past few months. The latter half of this year has seen the family at constant loggerheads. Here’s a timeline chronicling the disintegration of the Uttar Pradesh’s Samajawadi Party:August 15: Samajwadi Party plans to merge with with gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal(QED). As a result, brother Shivpal Yadav threatens to resign from the party, which is averted by Mulayam Singh Yadav in view of the UP elections.
ALSO READ Yadav vs Yadav Dangal: Mulayam Singh expels Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from SP for six years September 13: Akhilesh steps down from his position in the party as the UP unit chief and Mulayam appoints Shivpal as the Samajwadi Party’s State President. On the same day, Akhilesh strips uncle Shivpal Yadav of key portfolios.September 15: Ramgopal Yadav, another brother of Mulayam and Samajwadi Party general secretary says there is no ‘sankat’ (rift) in the party and it was a wrong decision to remove Akhilesh Yadav as the president of the Samajwadi Party. The day also sees Shivpal resign from the Uttar Pradesh cabinet and quit as the state unit president of Samajwadi Party. This was a result of Akhilesh deciding to sack two ministers from his cabinet – Gayatri Prajapati and Rajkishore Singh over allegations of corruption. Both the leaders were considered close to Shivpal.September 17: Akhilesh Yadav announces that Shivpal will continue as the SP State President. Sacked Mines Minister, Gayatri Prasad Prajapati re-inducted in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet.September 18: Shivpal Yadav expels Ramgopal Yadav and another leader for their alleged involvement in land grabbing. Additionally, Shivpal also expels party MLC Arvind Pratap Yadav, who is a nephew of Ramgopal Yadav and former village head in Etawah.September 19: Shivpal’s firing of seven youth leaders result in a number of youth leaders close to Akhilesh Yadav quitting the party.October 14: “The Chief ministerial candidate will be decided by the elected party legislatures and parliamentary board. This is our job,” Mulayam snubs Akhilesh by saying that the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate will be decided by elected party legislatures after the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. October 17: With much hesitation, Akhilesh is endorsed by Mulayam as the presumptive chief ministerial candidate of the party ahead of state Elections.October 23: Akhilesh sacks Shivpal along with three other ministers from the government.December 25: Akhilesh submits his own list of 403 probable candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections.December 28: Mulayam announces his own list of candidates for 325 of the 403 Assembly seat.December 29: Akhilesh revolts and releases his own list of 235 candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections.December 30: The Yadav feud reached its peak on Friday when Mulayam expelled Akhilesh along with cousin Ramgopal for anti-party activities. “We have to save the party. The party comes first. That is why we are expelling both Akhilesh and Ramgopal,” Mulayam said.(With agency inputs)

Indian politician Akhilesh Yadav sacked by his father Mulayam

The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state is fired by the head of his party – his own father.

Mulayam should explain why he imposed Akhilesh on UP after 2012 polls: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>People of Uttar Pradesh have already “expelled” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav should now answer as to why he “betrayed” the state by imposing his son after 2012 polls, BJP said soon after Akhilesh was expelled for six years from the party.”Akhilesh Yadav has let down the people of Uttar Pradesh with the all-round failures of his government. He has not fulfilled any promise. People are feeling betrayed. Now Mulayam Singh Yadav has expelled him from the party. People have already expelled him due to his governance failures,” BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said.”Mualayam Singh Yadav should answer as to why he imposed his son on the state and betrayed it,” he said.People had voted for SP in 2012 as they were angry with the Mayawati government over poor law and order and development but SP has also let them down, he said, blaming Yadav for “deteriorating law and order” as his portfolios includes the Home department.Voters will not fall in this trap this time, Sharma said, claiming that they have made up their mind to vote for BJP.”There is wave in our support,” he claimed. BJP governments in various states have brought development and ensured double digit growth, he said.

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.

Yadav vs Yadav: Akhilesh puts ‘final’ stamp on his list, asks candidates to prepare for upcoming polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday confirmed the list announced by him as the final one.Akhilesh asked the candidates to go to their constituencies, prepare for the upcoming elections and mark their victory.The decision was announced at the Samajwadi Party core group meet held at Akhilesh’s residence earlier on Friday.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 Mulayam Singh Yadav 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 polls: RLD, ally declare Jayant Chaudhary as CM candidate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RLD leader and former MP Jayant Chaudhary was today projected as chief ministerial candidate for the party and its allies at a rally at Abairani crossing here.”Young RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary would be projected as chief ministerial candidate during the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in the state,” JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav announced amidst applause from the large gathering at the Kisan Adhikar rally.He also said if voted to power, the alliance government would implemenet total prohibition in the state.”People want change since there has been no development during SP or BSP rule in the state,” he claimed.He sarcastically said while the cycle (poll symbol of the Samajwadi Party) has reached a “punctured stage”, elephant (BSP’s poll symbol) is without its ‘mahavat’ (controller).”An elephant without Mahavat would cause heavy destruction to crop,” he said.Calling BJP as ‘Bhartiya Jumla Party’, National President of RLD Ajeet Singh reminded the audience the promises made by Modi during Lok Sabha election campaign.”Modi had allured everybody that 15 lakh would come in his account however the allurement proved otherwise,” he said.Referring to the ongoing inner fight in the SP, he said, “Both the wheels of cycle are moving in different directions.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Rift in SP, fire in Pune bakery, Serena’s engagement & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rift widens in Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh releases list of candidatesThe crisis within the Samajwadi Party (SP) deepened on Thursday, with UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announcing his own list of 325 candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls. Read detailsJharkhand: Coal mine collapses in Lalmatia, at least 50 people trappedAt least 50 people are feared trapped after a coal mine collapsed in Jharkhand’s Lalmatia in Godda district on Thursday night. According to initial information, some machineries of a private company along with around 50 workers are suspected to be trapped inside the debris. Read moreMaharashtra: 6 killed in fire at bakery in PuneSix people were killed after a fire broke out at ‘Bakes and Cakes’ bakery in Maharashtra’s Pune early morning on Friday. Read more Crisis in Arunachal, party suspends CM; Ram Madhav says BJP will stand by Pema KhanduThe newly formed People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) is in crisis. The newly formed outfit has suspended its own chief minister Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister Dorji Khandu, who died in a helicopter crash four years back. Read moreSerena Williams is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian!World number two tennis player Serena Williams has become engaged to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the social media company Reddit. Read details

SP’s feud out in the open again, Akhilesh conveys displeasure to Mulayam over candidates list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Mulayam Singh Yadav’s public snub to his son in announcement of candidates’ list for UP polls leaving bitterness in the ruling camp, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday spoke to the SP supremo to convey his displeasure over the choice of names.The factional feud in the Samajwadi Party was again in the open, a day after Mulayam Singh Yadav declared candidates for 325 of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the Chief Ministerial candidate.A clearly upset Akhilesh met his supporters at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence here and later spoke to his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh to convey his displeasure over the list of candidates from which names of his close confidants were missing, party sources said.Hectic political activities began right from the morning with party leaders gathering outside the residences of Akhilesh and Mulayam. A big crowd also assembled outside Shivpal’s residence.Party sources said the Chief Minister, before meeting Mulayam, met legislators and office bearers who do not figure in the list of nominees.The list, which includes 176 sitting MLAs, announced by Mulayam and Shivpal in the absence of Akhilesh, has left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, including Ram Govind Chaudhary, Pawan Pandey and Arvind Singh Gope, and does not carry names of over 50 sitting MLAs.Besides, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, sacked by the chief minister over the past few months have got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it paid off.Within hours after release of the list, which clearly bore the stamp of Mulayam and Shivpal, Akhilesh who was away in Bundelkhand yesterday, had said he would take up the choice of candidates with the party chief.”The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets,” an upset Akhilesh had said last night.In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister struck back sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.Soon after returning to the state capital from Bundelkhand yesterday, Akhilesh had decided to convene a meeting of party leaders to listen to their “grievances”.Mulayam clearly ignored Akhilesh’s objections to certain names, like Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including of murder.The list also included tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, whose sacking and re-induction as minister exposed factional fight in the ruling party.The SP supremo also made very clear his differene with Akhilesh on the issue of pre-poll alliance by ruling out any pact for a gathbandhan or maha-gathbandhan and even refused to project a chief ministerial candidate, dealing a serious blow to his son at a time when polls are to be announced very soon.Out of the 325 names announced by Mulayam, 218 tally with the panel submitted by Akhilesh to the SP chief, but 107 names do not match with the list given by the chief minister, indicating their sharp differences.The list of candidates announced by Mulayam included those from 176 seats represented by SP in the outgoing Assembly, while 149 candidates were declared from constituencies where the party did not have an MLA.Candidates for the remaining 78 constituencies are to be announced later leaving a small window for some adjustments to avoid perhaps the final showdown between father-son duo before the elections, a party insider said.

Rs 104 cr deposited in BSP accounts after note recall, blow to Mayawati as ED investigates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati came under Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner on Friday, as the agency detected cash deposits totalling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the party and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Anand Kumar, Mayawati’s brother, on Friday.ED sources said that the accounts had been detected in a branch of the United Bank of India (UBI) in the capital.Officials said they visited the Karol Bagh branch of the bank as part of their routine survey and enquiry operations to check huge cash deposits, and found that huge deposits were made in these two accounts after demonetization.The agency found that while Rs 102 crore had been deposited in Rs 1,000 notes, the remaining Rs 3 crore had been deposited in old Rs 500 notes. Officials said that about Rs 15-17 crore were being deposited into these accounts every other day. In Anand’s account, ED officials found old notes worth Rs 18.98 lakh.The ED has sought details about the accounts from the bank. It has been understood that the agency will write to the Income-Tax (I-T) department. The ED has also asked the bank to provide it some CCTV footage and the KYC documents used to open the accounts.This is not the first time that the BSP’s supremo’s brother has come under the radar of probe agencies. In April 2015, the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) started investigating Kumar for alleged dubious transactions, running into crores. The FIU had coordinated with the CBDT and I-T department for a further probe.Currently, the agency has been carrying out enquiry operations at over 50 bank branches to check possible instances of hawala dealings and money- laundering after the demonetization drive.BSP spokespersons and senior leaders refused to comment. Interestingly, the party’s arch rivals, the Samajwadi Party (SP), came to their defence on this issue. A senior SP leader said: “This was not an amount which was found stashed away in homes or lockers. This was an amount deposited in the bank after demonetization. It should not be made a political issue.”

Yadav vs Yadav: Fresh power play by Akhilesh, Shivpal over ticket distribution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contentious issue of ticket distribution today again exposed the rift in Samajwadi Party with state party chief Shivpal Yadav attacking Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav over his reported parallel list of candidates.The choice of candidates for 175 seats by Shivpal has apparently not gone down well with his defiant nephew Akhilesh who, according to party insiders, is understood to have prepared his own list of preferred candidates for all the 403 UP Assembly seats and sent it to his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.This is Akhilesh’s second power play in the last three days. On December 24, Akhilesh had met first-time MLAs at his residence and promised to give them party tickets.Chinks in the ruling party’s armour once again came to the fore when Shivpal sent out a series of tweets virtually suggesting that he was the boss when it came to distributing tickets for the assembly elections due in few months.Shivpal said the name of 175 candidates were already finalised and warned that any indiscipline would not be tolerated as it may harm the party’s image. He asserted that distribution of party tickets was done on on the basis of winnability.”Tickets will be distributed based on wins. So far 175 people have been given tickets. The Chief Minister will be selected by the legislature party which is according to the party’s constitution. No indiscipline will be tolerated in the party,” he tweeted in Hindi.While party sources maintained that Mulayam will take the final call on candidates, UP minister Juhi Singh sought to downplay any controversy over ticket distribution saying it was a non-issue.During their recent public turf war after Akhilesh was replaced with Shivpal as party chief by Mulayam, the former had insisted that he should have a say in the ticket distribution as the election was a test of his government’s performance.The latest development comes after Mulayam had brokered a fragile peace between Shivpal and Akhilesh as the infighting threatened to damage SP’s poll prospects.As differences over ticket distribution cropped up, opposition parties took a swipe at the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh.”This is a sign that the party (SP) is in total disarray and they talk about giving a fight to the BJP,” UP BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.The tussle in Samajwadi Party will prove to be its nemesis in the coming polls, Pathak said.Congress termed the development as SP’s “internal matter”.

UP: BJP mocks ‘Mahabharat’ in first family of Samajwadi Party over poll tickets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday taunted the ongoing feud between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his bete noire uncle Shivpal Yadav, saying the first family of the Samajwadi Party should resolve the ‘mahabharat’ and focus on law and order, corruption and lack of administration in the politically crucial state.BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli also used the occasion to take a jibe at reports suggesting about the possibility of a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the run up to next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. “However, in the first family of the Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh a ‘Mahabharat’ is already on for quite some time. Now, it appears that there are multiple lists – one by the uncle, one by the nephew who is the Chief Minister and there are all sorts of disputes. They should resolve that,” Kohli said.”As far as the people of Uttar Pradesh are concerned, they are obviously going to vote on the track record of the Samajwadi Party. The substantial issues are law and order, corruption and the lack of administration,” he added.The tussle in Uttar Pradesh’s ruling family reignited yesterday after Akhilesh drew up his own list of poll candidates and submitted it to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, bypassing his uncle and state president Shivpal Yadav.The Chief Minister’s surprise move angered Shivpal, who is officially in-charge of ticket distribution in consultation with the party president.Shivpal tweeted that ticket distribution would be decided by ‘victory potential’. “The party will not tolerate any indiscipline that might hurt the party’s image,” he tweeted.According to sources, Akhilesh while reviewing the list of candidates for 403 assembly seats expressed concern over the party giving 181 tickets to ‘tainted’ persons.This is not the first time that Akhilesh and his uncle have clashed over tickets distribution. The Chief Minister, who is of the view that his image and record is party’s strength, had earlier this month expressed displeasure over the decision to field don-turned politicians Atiq Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibaqtullah Ansari for next year’s elections.The Ansari brothers belong to Quami Ekta Dal, which recently merged with the party despite opposition from Akhilesh.Mulayam has so far made all attempts to engineer a truce between his son and brother, but seat allotment has remained a thorny issue in the Samajwadi Party.

Double standard over Dalit icons: Mayawati slams BJP over Rs 3600 crore Shivaji statue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Sunday alleged the Narendra Modi government of double standards, saying that at one end Shivaji statue is getting worth Rs. 3,600 whereas statues of schedule caste and OBC are being criticised for being waste of expenditure. BSP supremo Mayawati in a statement said the double standards of the saffron party exposes the caste discriminatory attitude ‘Not against Shivaji Memorial worth Rs. 3,600 crore, but why are memorials of great OBC and Dalit leaders constructed by us being criticised” it added. According to the statement, the work done by the BSP government for great poets and writers have always been criticised by the past governments including Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party.’These tactics used by BJP and Samajwadi Party will not be able to woo the people of Uttar Pradesh as they have exposed themselves,’ the statement added.This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday laid the foundation stone for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on board a hovercraft in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast.The main feature of the Shivaji memorial is that it costs Rs. 3,600 crore.The Maharashtra Government will fund the entire project and has already set aside Rs. 2,300 crore for the first phase of construction.

UP polls | Problems faced by people due to demonetization will lead us to victory: Akhilesh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav feels the days of caste-based politics in the state are over and now the two Ds — development and demonetization problems — will work in favour of the Samajwadi Party in the upcoming assembly polls.According to him, his family feud is no more a factor and all issues have been changed post demonetization. “That is a thing of past now. We are working together to win the elections. Issues have changed and post demonetization nobody remembers that (family feud) now. All the other issues have been left behind and demonetization has emerged as the key issue,” he said.He asserted that Uttar Pradesh will vote for his work, image and not on caste equations. “Our work in last five years and the problems people are facing due to demonetization will lead us to victory in upcoming elections. Jo kataarein ATM ke bahar lagi hai wo polling booth ke bahar lagegi (polling booths will see long queues like ones outside ATMs now),” Akhilesh.When asked who he considers the bigger rival — BJP or BSP, he said people of Uttar Pradesh have lost faith in both of them. “BJP has done nothing for Uttar Pradesh in last two and a half years. The Prime Minister was elected from UP, home minister and defence minister are also representing UP. They have maximum number of MPs from UP but they have given nothing to the state apart from Adarsh Gaon Yojna and nothing is happening on that front also,” he said.”As far as BSP is concerned, people are not interested in getting elephants installed everywhere,” he added.His father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has already ruled out any pre-poll alliance with Congress but Akhilesh said it will be premature to predict anything as of now. “Of course the party president will take a call on that but I believe that we will get 300 plus seats if we enter into a pre-poll alliance with Congress. I know that netaji (Mulayam) has said there will be merger, no alliances but there is still time for the elections and you must wait and watch. Politics is full of surprises and you never know what will happen tomorrow,” he said.”I do not have any doubt on getting an absolute majority but we can get 300 plus seats if we fight together. Samajwadis believe that Congress is their best friend when it is weak,” he said.

Maharashtra local polls: BJP continues good run, Congress emerges as leader in third phase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition Congress won 122 seats and bagged eight municipal president’s post in the third round of municipal council and nagar panchayat polls in Maharashtra while the ruling BJP won 116 seats, taking its tally in three phases to 1061 councillors.Polling was yesterday for the third phase of elections in 19 municipal councils and two nagar panchayats in Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhandara and Gadchiroli districts, the results of which were announced today.BJP retained its overall top position. In the third phase it won 116 seats, taking its tally in three phases to 1061 councillors. The ruling party also won eight posts of municipal council president in the third phase, taking the tally of its council presidents to 64.At the end of three phases, BJP continued to remain the single largest party while Congress finished second with 894 seats, followed by NCP at 786 and Shiv Sena at 598.NCP and an independent candidate bagged one post of council president each.The break-up of council presidents’ tally at the end of phase 3 is: BJP 64, Congress 33, NCP 21. Sena had won 26 council chief posts earlier but drew blank in the third phase.Independents bagged two council president posts.Elections were held in Aurangabad, Bhandara, Gadchiroli and Nanded districts in the third phase.Fourth and last phase will be conducted on January 8, 2017.Apart from BJP and Congress, NCP won 78 municipal council seats in the third phase, independents 28, Lok Bharati five, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha two, Samajwadi Party one and Shiv Sena 38.In Nanded district, MIM bagged five seats while BSP won two. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan managed to defend the Congress bastion in his home district of Nanded to some extent, where the party won 72 of the 197 seats. Congress also won six municipal council president’s posts in the district.BJP did well in Bhandara and Gadchiroli, winning 70 of the total 132 seats in the two districts.In Umari municipal council in Nanded district, NCP swept all the 17 seats.Reacting to the third phase poll results, BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve said they showed that BJP had maintained its numero uno position.”In the third phase, 116 BJP nominees won the polls as members of the civic bodies,” he said. “This is a significant rise compared to the last poll figures of 25 in these bodies,” he said. “BJP has taken a decisive lead and is on top spot,” he added.This was an endorsement of the change at the Centre and in Maharashtra in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in 2014, and of development agenda of BJP governments, he claimed.Ashok Chavan expressed satisfaction over results, noting that in Nanded district, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addressed five rallies on a single day, people still backed Congress.

Rahul sabotages chance to lead Opposition, blame game in Congress over timing of meet with PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that fractured the Opposition unity, none in his party was ready to take up the responsibility for the timing as well as on the issue of keeping other parties in dark about such meeting. Major opposition parties, including the Left and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), went on record to express resentment at the Congress move that sent fractures wide open— something the government had been seeking in vain throughout the Winter Session of Parliament. Many believe that Gandhi has shot in his foot by sabotaging his chances to lead the Opposition.Party insiders say, an appointment had been sought with the Prime Minister about two weeks ago to hand over a list of demands Rahul Gandhi had collected from farmers. During his arduous 2,500-km-long door-to-door padyatra from Deoria in eastern UP to Delhi, the party had sought signatures of farmers on a memorandum demanding loan waiver. “The memorandum was supposed to be handed over to the PM,” said a Congress leader. After speaking to a maze of sources in the party, it became quite evident that the old guard and those close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi were in favour of taking the entire Opposition along at a time when the government was feeling the pinch in the wake of its decision of demonetization. They believe that Gandhi has once again lost a golden political opportunity to continue as face of the entire Opposition, which he had unwittingly become over past 20 days.The Congress leader, however, questioned the timing, saying those who arranged the meeting should have waited for a day or two to the conclusion of the Parliament session. The leader, however, agreed that there was room for taking other parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) along, as the padyatra was a Congress initiative. “We are after all a political party in competition vying for a space in UP, where both the parties are our competitors,” the leader added.But Rahul Gandhi’s close aides defended the decision, saying they had authentic information that the PM was going to announce a package for farmers soon. “The meeting was timed well to prevent the BJP to steal credit for the package. We can now very well go around to claim that they announced it because of our campaign,” he said.Meanwhile, in a sarcastic take on Gandhi’s claim that there would be an earthquake if he speaks on “personal corruption” of the PM, the NCP president Sharad Pawar said the MPs were worried what would be their fate in case that happened. “Members of Parliament were scared and worried how they would get out of the Parliament building after the quake. But, since there was no earthquake, there is a feeling that we can sleep peacefully,” the veteran politician said.Congress MP and Gandhi’s confidante Jyotiraditya Scindia emphatically denied reports that he had sought the appointment with the PM. Many old guard leaders had put blame on him. Senior party leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who lead the Congress strategy in parliament, also denied that they had sought Gandhi’s presence in such a meeting. Hours before the meeting, Congress party had emphatically stated that the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will lead a delegation that would include UP and Punjab state chiefs to apprise the PM about plight of farmers. Sources said that early Friday morning, when news flashed about Gandhi joining the delegation, other Opposition parties had requested the Congress to postpone the meeting. “The Congress decided to go to the Prime Minister unilaterally, that is not the way,” said Praful Patel of the Nationalist Congress Party. “Are we not concerned about the plight of farmers?” asked a leader of BSP.

Split in opposition? Some parties pull out out of Cong-led meeting with President

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaders of some opposition parties led by Congress met President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday, apprised him of the problems caused by demonetization and complained that the government did not allow Parliament to function and “stifled” the opposition voice. While leaders of Trinamool Congress, RJD, JD(U) and AIUDF and some other parties joined the Congress-led delegation, NCP, DMK, Left parties, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party stayed away.The fissures in the opposition unity cropped up at the last minute after a Congress delegation met the Prime Minister separately in Parliament House on farmers’ issues and demanded loan waiver for farmers. The delegation, led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with a host of leaders from various opposition parties being part of it, later handed over a memorandum to the President. “We are extremely pained by this trampling of our democratic rights and the suppression of our right to present our views and make our voices heard in Parliament. We are deeply concerned that our parliamentary democratic system itself is under severe threat.”The demonetization decision has brought about a disastrous situation in the nation. We beseech you, as the protector of the Constitution, to kindly intervene to save the people from economic disaster,” the memorandum said.Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the leaders apprised the President of the situation arising out of demonetization and the problems being faced by them. “We told President that we wanted a discussion on demonetization in Parliament and on problems faced by farmers, small traders. We wanted debate in Parliament but the government flouted all democratic values and blocked it,” he said.Speaking on the manner in which the winter session of Parliament functioned, he said, “The government completely failed in running the proceedings in Parliament. Ministers holding placards did not allow Parliament to function.”

Uttar Pradesh: Samajwadi Party leader booked for allegedly assaulting college staff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mafia don-turned-politician and SP candidate for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh polls, Atiq Ahmed, has been booked for allegedly assaulting the staff of an educational institute on the outskirts of the city, police said on Thursday.As per the complaint, Ahmed along with scores of his supporters, barged inside the premises of Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS) on Wednesday and assaulted its staff members who had opposed the unlawful entry, they said.”A case has been registered against Ahmed and four of his supporters under IPC sections pertaining to rioting, unlawful assembly, dacoity and criminal intimidation, at Naini police station in the district’s trans-Yamuna region on the basis of the complaint by Public Relations Officer of the institute,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad, Shalabh Mathur said. Fifty other unnamed persons have also been named in the FIR, the SSP said.According to SHIATS PRO Ramakant Dubey, Ahmed and his supporters barged into the premises of the institute saying they wanted to meet Vice Chancellor RB Lal. The security official on duty told them that Lal was not in his chamber and requested them to come later after getting an appointment, Dubey alleged. This enraged Ahmed and he and his supporters began beating up the security official. They also thrashed other staff members who tried to intervene, the PRO said.Ahmed, who was named as the ruling Samajwadi Party’s candidate from Kanpur Cantt seat last week, denied the allegation.The SP leader claimed that he had gone to the institute “to meet the Vice-chancellor with a request to reconsider the expulsion of students — Mohd Saif and Shaqip, who were recently rusticated for allegedly misbehaving with a faculty member”.Meanwhile, CCTV footage of the alleged assault by the SP leader and his supporters was shared with the police and media. Named in dozens of criminal cases, Ahmed hogged limelight when his name cropped up in the murder of young BSP MLA Raju Pal, who was gunned down in broad daylight in one of the city’s most crowded localities on January 25, 2005.The murder case was handed over to CBI following a Supreme Court order passed in January this year.

SC accepts Azam Khan’s ‘unconditional apology’ for remarks on Bulandshahr gangrape case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has accepted Azam Khan’s affidavit, saying he has expressed ‘sincere and heartful remorse’ for his comments on the Bulandshahr gangrape case on Thursday.The Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan tendered unconditional apology in Supreme Court for his remarks in November pertaining to the gangrape case.The Supreme Court had earlier this month rejected Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s ‘unconditional apology’ for his alleged remarks on the Bulandshahr gangrape case.The apex court had earlier on December 7 asked Khan to submit a fresh affidavit. An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had asked the Samajwadi Party leader to file a fresh affidavit after noting that the earlier one filed by him has errors in it.The Attorney General also raised questions about the draft copy submitted by Khan in connection with the apology given by him.Earlier on November 18, the Samajwadi Party leader had told the apex court that he was ready to unconditionally apologise for describing as “political conspiracy” the gangrape of two women near Bulandshahr in July.Appearing for Khan, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that his client had made a general remark which was not targeted at the family of the victim. However, the judges were not convinced and they asked Sibal as to how a public figure like Khan could make such a comment.The apex court had earlier directed media organisations to submit the video clip of the press conference in which Khan had made this statement.The Uttar Pradesh Minister created a controversy after he alleged that a “political conspiracy” is involved in the gangrape of a minor girl and her mother on the highway in Bulandshahr on July 29.On August 29, the apex court issued a notice to Khan for his reported comment. The case was subsequently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). With agency inputs.

Bulandshahr gangrape: Supreme Court to hear Azam Khan’s ‘unconditional apology’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court, which had earlier this month rejected Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s ‘unconditional apology’ for his alleged remarks on the Bulandshahr gang rape case, will hear the matter afresh on Thursday.The apex court had earlier on December 7 asked Khan to submit a fresh affidavit. An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had asked the Samajwadi Party leader to file a fresh affidavit after noting that the earlier one filed by him has errors in it.The Attorney General also raised questions about the draft copy submitted by Khan in connection with the apology given by him. Earlier on November 18, the Samajwadi Party leader had told the apex court that he was ready to unconditionally apologise for describing as “political conspiracy” the gang-rape of two women near Bulandshahr in July.Appearing for Khan, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that his client had made a general remark which was not targeted at the family of the victim. However, the judges were not convinced and they asked Sibal as to how a public figure like Khan could make such a comment.The apex court had earlier directed media organisations to submit the video clip of the press conference in which Khan had made this statement.The Uttar Pradesh Minister created a controversy after he alleged that a “political conspiracy” is involved in the gang-rape of a minor girl and her mother on the highway in Bulandshahr on July 29.On August 29, the apex court issued a notice to Khan for his reported comment. The case was subsequently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Seventh pay commission: UP govt approves recommendations, 24 lakh employees to benefit

The Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh has approved the recommendations of the seventh pay commission, and said it will be implemented from 17 January. According to a report on CNN News18, the entry salary of a person joining at the lowest rung will be around Rs 18,000, while pay for highest office of chief second will be around Rs 2.25 lakh.

The move comes just months before the key political state goes in for Assembly elections, and Yadav was confident of electoral success. “We will win, and if the alliance happens, we will cross 300 plus seats,” he said, referring to a possible alliance with the Congress party.

The decision to hike salaries was taken after a committee, headed by retired bureaucrat GB Pattnaik, submitted its interim report to Yadav on 7 December, reported The Pioneer.

File image of Akhilesh Yadav. PTI

File image of Akhilesh Yadav. PTI

It could mean that state government employees will get at least a 20 percent hike in their salaries, which would bring about parity between state and central government employees.

As per statistics, the state government will incur an additional burden of Rs 26,573 crore annually in the first year of implementation while in the second year, the expenditure would come down to Rs 22,778 crore annually. Presently, the state government spends around Rs 95,000 crore annually on salary and perks for state employees, the publication noted.

Yadav, while speaking to CNN-News18, claimed that the pay hike is a people friendly move and will help more than 24 lakh employees.

The Central Cabinet gave its nod to the seventh pay commission recommendations in June 2016, allowing an overall 23.55 percent hike in salaries, allowances and pensions of central government employees. The pay panel, in November last year, had recommended a 14.27 percent hike in basic pay at junior levels — the lowest in 70 years. The previous 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 percent hike, which the government doubled while implementing it in 2008.

The seventh pay commission’s recommendations will have bearing on the remuneration of nearly 50 lakh central government employees and 58 lakh pensioners. This is estimated to put an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore, or nearly 0.7 percent of the GDP, on the central government.

The process to introduce the latest pay commission began in January this year, when the central government set up a high-powered panel headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to process the recommendations.

However, after the government approved the recommendations, there were widespread protests by employees, with many unions threatening to go on strike. Even RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and other trade unions rejected the recommendations, contending that it would increase disparity between the minimum and maximum pay. To placate the grievances, the central government promised to set up a high level committee to look into the issues.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 17:14 IST

SP-Cong alliance to fetch 300 seats in UP polls: Akhilesh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said if such a tie-up takes place in the upcoming state assembly polls it would win over 300 seats.”Though samajwadis are going to form majority government in the state, but if alliance takes place, it will win over 300 (of the 403) seats. The final decision in this regard will be taken by party National president (Mulayam Singh Yadav),” he said when asked about possibility of his party’s alliance with Congress.Expecting a note-ban backlash against BJP, Congress has kept a back channel open for striking a pre-poll alliance or an understanding with Samajwadi Party for next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, sources in the party said.Desperate to be counted in the power stakes in Uttar Pradesh where it ruled 27 years back, Congress leaders might settle for anything between 60-70 seats, including the 20 sitting MLAs it has in the state Assembly, the sources said. Swept away to a distant fourth position, Congress leaders feel that its chances in the crucial state had dipped after the Narendra Modi government went public with the September 29 surgical strikes inside Pak-occupied Kashmir. They, however, feel that post demonetization the popularity of the BJP has declined.Downplaying controversy over ticket distribution in the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh said, “Tickets are changed till last moment. We will only field those who can win elections. I will give my suggestions and advice on assembly tickets to the party president.”To a specific query on tickets to gangster-turned- politician Mukhtar Ansari’s brother and another mafia don Ateeq Ahmad, the chief minister parried a directly reply, saying hardships because of note ban was a bigger issue at present.On reports that he had allegedly pushed Ahmad at a public programme, Akhilesh said, “Such act is not in my behaviour… It’s the media, which says so. I might have asked him to speak later.”

Ahead of assembly polls, pay hike for UP govt employees gets cabinet nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a New Year bonanza for state government employees ahead of UP Assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday decided to implement recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.The decision is likely to benefit 16 lakh state government employees and six lakh pensioners.”Wetan samiti ka faisla liya hai. Aaney waley samay mey lakhon karmchairyon ko laabh hoga. Issey kai crore ka bhaar aayega (We have taken decision of pay committee recommendations. It will benefit lakhs of government employees. It will put additional burden of crores of rupees on the state exchequer,” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said.He was briefing reporters after a meeting of the state cabinet charied by him.The pay recommendations will be implemented from January 1, he said, adding in the days to come these employees will help Samajwadi Party form government in the state again.

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.

Unhappy with demonetization, SP leader announces reward for beheading PM Modi, Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Samajwadi Party leader from Baghpat has promised reward for beheading Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for creating an emergency-like situation in the country following demonetization. In the video below, Tarun Deo reads out a letter from what seems to be youth wing meeting, saying that people have been badly affected by the demonetization move taken by Modi and Shah. Deo blamed Modi and Shah for creating an emergency-like situation in the country and also for the 2002 Godhra riots. He said that an appropriate reward for beheading Modi and Amit Shah would be given. Though Deo calls himself party’s Baghpat district youth wing president, SP president Shivpal Yadav had reportedly dismissed all district units, including frontal organisations in December, as per Financial Express report.

Students of Zakir Naik’s Islamic International School are under mental stress: Abu Azmi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging that the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) run by controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik was banned on wrong grounds, Samajwadi Party legislator and Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi demanded that the state must ensure that the students in the organisation’s school were not adversely affected. Last month, the Centre banned the IRF under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for five years. Naik has been accused of allegedly making hate speeches aimed at other faiths and indulging in the propagation of terror. “For the last 25 years, he has held rallies attended by lakhs of people, not just in India but also abroad and enlightened people about religion and helped dispel wrong notions about Islam with evidence. These speeches were held in open grounds and on television. For the last 25 years, no reference to terrorism was seen in his speeches. Since this is an Islamic body, it was banned on wrong grounds,” said Azmi, who was speaking in the state legislative assembly on Thursday. The legislator from the Mankhurd- Shivajinagar constituency said that the Islamic International School run by the preacher had a staff of 100 and the NIA had sealed its bank accounts. This had led to staff members being deprived of salaries and students of their breakfast. “Parents and children are under mental stress,” said Azmi. “Their studies must continue… any organisation must be banned on the basis of evidence and not hatred,” said Azmi.

Rahul Gandhi: Demonetisation a foolish decision,has devastated the country

New Delhi: Opposition leaders on Thursday observed a ‘Black Day’ in Parliament premises to mark one month of the announcement of demonetisation, with Rahul Gandhi launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his “foolish decision” has “devastated” the country.

Leading the protest, Gandhi accused Modi of shying away from having a discussion on the issue in Parliament, but stressed that opposition parties will “not let him run away” from both Houses, where “everything will become clear” once the Prime Minister takes part in debate.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Speaking to reporters in Parliament premises, he said the Prime Minister is “having nice time” and has over the past one month “changed his narrative” on the issue while people are reeling under hardships.

Besides Congress, leaders of all opposition parties including TMC, CPI(M), CPI, JD(U), Samajwadi Party joined the protest wearing black band on their arms.

“The Prime Minister took this so-called bold decision. The bold decision can also be a foolish decision. And this was a foolish decision, it has devastated the country. More than 100 people have died. Farmers, fishermen, daily wage earners have been hit hard.

“He (the Prime Minister) is laughing. He is having a nice time, while the people of the country are suffering,” Gandhi said.

“So, he is switching from one issue to another. And we are going to catch him inside the House. He is not going to be able to run inside the House,” he said.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s cashless economy talk, Gandhi said, “There is this concept of PayTM. Pay to Modi, that’s the idea behind cashless economy. That’s few people should get maximum benefit from cash transactions.”

Gandhi once again demanded a debate in Lok Sabha on demonetisation under a rule which entails voting and claimed some BJP MPs too will support the opposition’s demand.

“We know people in BJP will vote in our favour if such debate is allowed. If he (Modi) speaks inside…doodh ka doodh aur pani ka pani ho jayega (everything will become clear),” he said.

On his “Pay to Modi” jibe, Gandhi said he will explain on his allegation inside Lok Sabha if allowed to speak.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 13:52 IST

Disruption in Lok Sabha continues for 16th consecutive day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Proceedings in the Lok Sabha were disrupted for the 15th consecutive day on Thursday as Opposition continued to engage in sloganeering demanding a debate on demonetization under a rule that entails voting.As soon as the House assembled, leader of Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge wanted to raise some issue but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow him and started the Question Hour.This prompted members belonging to the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Left parties to rush into the Well demanding discussion on demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes under Rule 184 which entails division.As Mahajan refused to concede to the demand, the Opposition members raised slogans to press for it. Apart from usual English and Hindi slogans, the members also raised slogans in regional languages like Malayalam and Bengali.As the din continued, an upset Speaker warned the protesting MPs not to disturb the entire House through their protests. “What is this? I am warning you. Please, please, I am repeatedly telling you if you want to debate, debate. But don’t disturb the whole House,” she said.Members belonging to Samajwadi Party and NCP extended their support to their opposition counterparts by standing in the aisles along their seats. Amidst continued din, the Speaker took up five questions before adjourning the House for nearly 20 minutes till noon.The Congress and Left members were seen wearing black bands on their right arm as a mark of protest against demonetization, which was announced exactly a month ago.Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, who was recently hospitalised, was present in the House. She was seen engaged in intimate discussions with her son and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotirditya Scindia and Deepender Singh Hooda.

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

Demonetisation: Mulayam Singh Yadav says farmers, lower class families worst hit

New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s statement on demonetisation in the Lok Sabha, saying that the farmers and the weaker sections of the society were worst affected by the cash crisis caused by the move.

File photo of Mulayam Singh Yadav. PTI

File photo of Mulayam Singh Yadav. PTI

“Prime Minister should come to Lok Sabha and give his statement on the government’s demonetisation move which has led a cash crisis across the country,” Yadav said in the lower house of Parliament.

He added that the farmers and the weaker section of the society were badly affected by the 8 November demonetisation.

“Farmers are not able to purchase seeds because they do not have cash with them and that is why they are not able to sow the seeds in the fields.”

“Poor and labour class people also facing lots of hardships as they do not have cash with them,” Yadav said.

The central government demonetised RS 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to put a curb on black money and counterfeit currency.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 14:23 IST

Rajnath Singh to lead Indian team at Fidel Castro’s funeral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the Indian delegation at the funeral of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.The delegation is likely to include leaders from various political parties like Congress, CPI(M), CPI and Samajwadi Party.The team will leave for Havana tomorrow and is expected to return on Thursday evening, official sources said The composition of the delegation is still being worked out by the Prime Minister’s Office in consultation with the Ministries of the External Affairs and Home.After two days of commemorations in Cuba’s capital Havana, Castro’s ashes will go on a four-day island-wide procession starting Wednesday before being buried in the southeastern city of Santiago de Cuba on December 4.Castro died on November 25 at the age 90, after defying the United States during a half-century of iron-fisted rule and surviving the eclipse of global communism.Castro, whose 1959 revolution toppled a dictatorship with the promise of bringing justice and equality to his Caribbean island, was a major 20th century figure.

Should there be ‘Bharat Bandh’ or should the route of corruption be blocked: Modi hits out at Opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at opposition parties for their ‘Bharat Bandh’ call against demonetization, saying they are organising the strike at a time when he is trying to root out corruption and black money.”I am stopping black money and corruption and some are giving call for Bharat Bandh,” he said at BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ rally here in eastern Uttar Pradesh.Without naming any opposition party, Modi said, “We are trying to curb corruption and they are organising ‘Bharat Bandh’. Should there be ‘Bharat Bandh’ or should the route of corruption be blocked?” Several opposition parties have given a call for ‘Akrosh Diwas’ tomorrow to protest against the Centre’s demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. The Prime Minister said the decision on demonetisation was tough, “but (the) future will be bright”.Referring to the problems being faced by the common man including villagers in withdrawing money, he advised them to take the e-wallet route. “Era of wallet has gone, you can use your mobile phone as your bank branch with the same ease with which you take snaps and send them to friends,” Modi said. Modi said just as people did not have to attend classes to learn how to use mobile phones, they can now use the device in the same way to carry out monetary transactions. “I have already said problems do come. I have sought 50 days from you. Of these, 30 days are still left and the government is taking all efforts to assuage the sufferings of people,” he said.”Have you learnt how to charge your mobile by going to school? You have learnt to operate WhatsApp. Technology has become easy. If you have (a) bank account, you can purchase whatever you want,” he added. Amid the opposition parties creating uproar over poor implementation of demonetization and stalling Parliament for days, Modi said he is aware that people are facing inconvenience.”The NDA govt at the Centre is fully dedicated to the poor, farmers, villagers and dalits,” he said amid applause from the crowd. A united opposition has been attacking the Centre in Parliament over the demonetization issue, with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh terming the move a “monumental management failure” and a case of “organised loot and legalised plunder” which would lead to dip in GDP growth by at least 2 per cent. Modi also attacked the Samajwadi Party government in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, saying it was not interested in implementing central schemes for farmers.Thanking the people attending his rally, he said that in 2014 elections when he was himself contesting from Varanasi, he visited many areas of the state but the crowd was not as big. “As compared to today, only half of people used to come. Now a huge crowd, including women, has come to give me blessings,” he said, adding, “I bow before you for the trust you have on me… I will not betray you.”

Uttar Pradesh govt not interested in welfare of its farmers: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged that the Samajwadi Party-led Uttar Pradesh Government is not interested in the welfare of the farmers and urged it to implement the Prime Minister Fasal Beema Yojana.Prime Minister Modi asserted that his government is dedicated to the poor, farmers, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. “If we would have brought change in lives of farmers, India wouldn’t have been facing problems. Strong farmers and villages add strength to India. My government is dedicated to the poor, to the farmers and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the BJP’s Parivartan rally in Kushinagar.Urging Akhilesh Yadav-led government to implement the Prime Minister Fasal Beema Yojana, Prime Minister Modi said the scheme ensures minimum premium and maximum insurance. “Want to tell Uttar Pradesh Government that if they have time and are concerned about the farmers of the state, then implement Prime Minister Fasal Beema Yojana. This ensures minimum premium and maximum insurance. But I don’t think the Uttar Pradesh Government will be able to do anything as they are not interested,” he added.”The people here have gone through many troubles. They say, if the person who gives is powerful then why the need to ask? We are not powerful, we are sevaks. You, the people are givers, I have come here to pay the debts. The people of sugar mills came to me to ask for a package (financial). This is an old habit, but Modi is new. I told them I will give them whatever they need. Then sent my officers to inquire the debts these sugar mill owners owe the farmers. I told the money will not be given to mill owners, but directly to the farmers, in their bank accounts,” the Prime Minister said.Asserting that when his government took charge the cane farmers were owed Rs 12,000 crore, Prime Minister Modi said it made efforts to ensure they got paid in time, adding that their dues have been cleared to an extent.

War on black money: Amar Singh hails PM Modi’s ‘courageous’ experiment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demonetization decision has received praise from an unexpected quarter, with Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh terming it as a “courageous” experiment to eliminate black money and corruption and saying that he was “proud” to have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.Singh, whose party has slammed Modi for demonetization, claimed the step has reduced the gap between rich and the poor and now people would pay taxes instead of evading them.Though it was implemented without “proper arrangements”, the sudden implementation of the move helped prevent “adjustment” of black money and unaccounted cash by hoarders, the Rajya Sabha member said here yesterday.Describing the decision as “courageous” experiment to eliminate black money, corruption and fake currency, Singh said he as “a countryman is proud to have such a Prime Minister who is so dedicated and adamant to root out corruption.”According to him, now the black money hoarders are getting “sleepless nights”.”The people standing in queues outside banks are saying that the Prime Minister has punished all who have amassed huge wealth, whether they are from his party (BJP) or others,” he said.Even people who are facing problems and suffering are saying that they can bear the hardship for some days but will support the Modi-led government’s demonetization scheme to curb corruption, black money and terrorism, Singh said.”I am not a BJP spokesperson but a SP Rajya Sabha member, whatever the opinion of my party might be on the issue but I have shared my personal view on it,” he said.However, he registered his protest against the “mismanagement” in implementing the demonetizationmove, saying he was pained to the see people suffering due to it.”I am not against this scheme, but the government’s failure in making proper arrangement before implementing the scheme has only brought sufferings in the lives of common people which has pained each one of us,” Singh said.”What is the purpose of implementing a scheme due to which poor, farmers, small traders and common people have to suffer?” he said.Singh claimed that due to demonetization many companies have started reducing their staff to cut their cost.Raising questions over the app-based survey by the Modi government over demonetization, in which allegedly majority people have supported the move, the Rajya Sabha member said there were “doubts” on the survey.

Arrested for murder, SP leader Aman Tripathi to be produced in court today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party leader Aman Mani Tripathi, son of jailed politician Amar Mani Tripathi, was arrested by CBI on Friday in connection with the alleged murder of his wife. Sara, the 27-year-old wife of Aman Mani Tripathi had died in a car accident in Firozabad on National Highway 2 in July last year. However, Aman Mani had escaped unhurt.Tripathi will be produced in Saket court at 3 pm on Saturday.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 elections in the state.

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.

Demonetization: Samajwadi Party invites Shiv Sena to join Nov 28 shutdown for ‘national protest’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Appreciating Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for supporting former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh over demonetization of high-value currency, Samajwadi Party on Friday urged the former to take part in the shutdown being observed by the opposition party on November 28.”Manmohan Singh is an intellectual man, he is a well known economist and senior politician. If he saying that the step taken by the Prime Minister will affect the economy of the nation then one should have taken his advice. I laud Uddhav Thackeray for supporting him,” Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi said.Azmi said that the entire Maharashtra should observe shutdown on Monday in the wake of the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes adding that Thackeray should take some serious steps over this issue.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi is following a Hitler policy. The change in demonetization norms everyday shows that they have not done any preparation on it,” he said.On Thursday, Thackeray asserted Prime Minister Modi should have prior to implementation of the scheme taken the views of his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh seriously as he is an eminent economist. “Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is an eminent economist. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take his viewpoint seriously before implementation of demonetization,” said Thackeray.Thackeray said there is no meaning of the Prime Minister getting emotional and shedding tears during his speeches, adding the latter should have instead made efforts to wipe out the tears of the general public.Later in the day, the Centre announced that there will be no counter exchange of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes after the midnight today.However, certain exemptions relating to cancellation of legal tender character of old currency notes has been extended up to December 15, including for the payment of current and arrears dues to utilities which will be limited to only water and electricity.

UP Elections 2017: Shun groupism and ensure unity, Mulayam tells SP leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Warning partymen against groupism and back-biting, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday asked its youth leaders to maintain discipline as they have to take the party forward.”Shun groupism…instead of being supporters of any individual, you should back Samajwadi Party…the (true) wellwishers of the party have been identified as well as who all are wellwishers of those indulging in wrong practices. “I want unity in the party and a government with clear majority…this is my target,” Yadav said as the ruling party geared up for the do-or-die Assembly polls few months later.Addressing party workers in the bastion of Ansari brothers who have since merged their Quami Ekta Dal (QED) with SP, he said this will further strengthen the party in Purvanchal and ensure impressive victory in the coming elections. “Afzal Ansari and his brother have come at a time that it has strengthened the SP…althougth some within the party had opposed it, but Shivpal cooperated and I got the Ansari brothers into the party,” he said.In an apparent reference to youth-wing workers leading a campaign during the recent family fued in SP, Yadav said, “Workers should tell him and other office bearers about the shortcomings and wrong doings in the government and party in a disciplined manner as this it their right but still people are indulging in groupism and back biting…back biting never improves anyone’s image.””I have said it several times that they (youth leaders) have to take care of the government and party in times to come …they should prepare themselves for it by maintaining discipline and reading socialist literature,” he said. “As far as SP is concerned, it faces many challenges… some want to weaken the party by back biting…will say something on my face and something else on my back,” he said.The SP chief who kicked off his election campaign here said, “This rally is taking place at a time when elections are round the corner…some people want that SP gets weak but the people of Ghazipur and nearby places have proved that no one can compete with SP.”SP government is working for the poor, farmers and traders…take a resolve in this historic meeting before going to work for bringing the party back to power with a big mandate,” he said. On the importance of the area for the party, the SP chief said, “Ghazipur has a historic importance for socialists…not many people know that Socialist Party was formed here.” It was perhaps the sizable influence of the Ansari brothers, two of whom Mukhtar Ansari and Sigbatullah Ansari are MLAs, in Mau, Ghazipur and surrounding areas especially among the Muslims, that Mulayam brushed aside all opposition, including from his son Akhilesh, and formalised the merger.Incidentally, the QED merger was the first development which brought to the fore differences among members of the first family of the SP but after a flip-flop for months, the merger was done with the condition of keeping Mukhtar out. Mulayam’s preference of Ghazipur over his parliamentary constituency Azamgarh to launch his electioneering also proved the importance he has attached to the region and his faith in the Ansari brothers. Before the start of Yadav’s speech, leaders of two factions of SP clashed and hurled chairs at each other but police intervened to bring them under control.

#DNAInUP: In Bundelkhand, BSP and BJP vie for supremacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2012, all of Uttar Pradesh’s four main parties could claim to have done fairly well in the sprawling Bundelkhand region with the BSP heading the tally with seven seats, the BJP at the bottom with three seats and the SP and the Congress in the middle. Five years later, as the state readies for another election, the poll-scape is not much different with no single party in the position to claim a decisive edge.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was first off the block promising a farm loan waiver scheme for the region that spans both Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, where it comprises seven districts that send 19 legislators to the state assembly and four MPs to the Lok Sabha. Considering that years of successive droughts had virtually broken the backs of farmers in Bundelkhand, the loan waiver scheme or “karza maaf” was an attractive slogan. However, with the party’s weak grassroots presence, the Congress has failed to adequately take this message to the people. The party’s failure to address Bundelkhand statehood during the ten years it was in power at the Centre is another sticking point.The importance given to poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who is considered one of the architects of Nitish Kumar’s win in Bihar and is now advising the Congress, has also rubbed many Congress leaders the wrong way. “Each ticket seeker was told to bring 25 Congress workers to Rahulji’s Lucknow rally by PK’s team if we are to get the party ticket to contest. When did this become the criteria to assess a candidate’s winnability?” said a miffed Congress leader in Jhansi. He also attributed Kishor’s meetings with other parties to probe the possibility of alliances as a giveaway of his loss of confidence.In terms of visibility, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have marched ahead of its rivals and is also struggling from an embarrassment of riches with several ticket seekers in every constituency. The BJP’s strong showing in 2014 when it swept all four Lok Sabha seats in Bundelkhand has swelled the line of ticket seekers, most of whom are from the upper castes. The party had flagged off one of the legs of the four-pronged Parivartan Yatra from Jhansi on November 5. Along the route of the campaign rally for change and across Jhansi, Jalaun, Hamirpur and Mahoba districts, banners and hoardings of BJP ticket seekers competed for attention on road sides and busy intersections.Mukesh Mishra, a BJP office-bearer in Jhansi district, claimed the electoral mood was in favour of the party because the Uttar Pradesh electorate had tried and tested both the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He rejected the contention that the Muslim vote gravitating towards the BSP would make it an unbeatable force. “The Samajwadi Party has done considerable work for Muslims and they will not desert it so quickly,” said Mishra. He said the failure to implement the Bundelkhand package – a Rs.7,266 crore package announced in 2009 with Rs.3,506 crore for Uttar Pradesh and Rs.3,760 crore for Madhya Pradesh — would haunt both the SP and the BSP in the coming elections.Statehood for the region is another potent issue. Though the BJP is yet to explicitly state its support for it, Jhansi MP and union minister Uma Bharti demanded statehood in presence of BJP president Amit Shah at the start of the Parivartan Yatra. However, a BSP leader in Jhansi, Brijendra Kushwaha, whose uncle Sitaram Kushwaha is expected to get the party ticket, said the large number of ticket-seekers will boomerang on the BJP because those disappointed may work against the official candidate. Mayawati’s November 2011 proposal to divide UP in four parts with statehood for Bundelkhand will go in the BSP’s favour, he added.In Jhansi and much of Bundelkhand, the BSP is counting on the coming together of Dalit, Muslim and non-Yadav OBC votes in its favour. “The Jatav and non-Jatav divide in the BSP has been effaced by the Samajwadi Party’s stance on reservation for scheduled castes in promotions,” said Sanjay Gautam, a local journalist.In Jhansi, which has a significant number of Kushwaha votes, BSP chief Mayawati is seeking to win back Kushwaha votes that she lost in the aftermath of former aide Babu Singh Kushwaha’s expulsion. The BJP has also been reaching out to Kushwaha voters and may offer Bihar leader and union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP at least a couple of seats in Bundelkhand.The ruling SP, which has five legislators from Bundelkhand and has been facing a critical leadership crisis with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav ranged against each other, is clearly on a weak wicket. While even Dalit activists grudgingly admit that roads and power supply have improved, all parties are unanimous in their criticism that the SP government has done little to alleviate the drought conditions. The party’s opposition to Bundelkhand statehood will also go against it.

Demonetization | States join chorus, approach Arun Jaitley for impact on state treasuries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A number of states, including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, raised the issue of demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes and its impact on state treasuries with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday. Before the start of informal meeting that was called to end the deadlock over jurisdiction over assessees under the GST regime, sources said, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the ban on old currency notes would trigger recession as industrial activity would be hurt and tax collection would recede.Tamil Nadu too joined the chorus saying that industrial activity is hurt and while Uttar Pradesh said factories in Kanpur and Moradabad have closed operations. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said many states have “reported informally” that they have seen a “significant decline in revenues”.”If 86% of your money disappears, there is a problem for the people. There is a collateral impact on investments sentiments,” Isaac told reporters here.In a major assault on black money and terror financing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and asked holders of such notes to deposit them in bank accounts. As much as Rs 14 lakh crore or 86% of India’s currency has been withdrawn and is getting replaced with new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 rupee notes.Sources said that all states were in agreement that their revenues will get impacted and employment will be hit, but nobody demanded a roll back. While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, have been demanding a roll back of demonetization exercise, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded a short-term roll-back of demonetization move saying that people should be given at least a week’s time before the ban on old currency notes.

Ahead of UP polls, Samajwadi Party may take back all expelled youth leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fearing the repercussions of a divided house, ruling Samajwadi Party is contemplating taking back all its expelled leaders, if Rajya Sabha member Ramgopal Yadav’s reinstatement is any signal.With Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections barely few months away, SP does not want to portray a picture of disunity knowing fully well that dents in its vote bank will help its opponents BSP and BJP in the battle of ballots.Some of the expelled youth leaders, close to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, have already met party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, triggering speculation of their early return to party fold. MLCs Sunil Sajan, Anand Bhadauria and Sanjay Lather, and youth leaders Gaurav Dubey, Digvijay Singh Dev and Brajesh Yadav among others met Mulayam and have reportedly tendered apology for their actions that had led to their expulsion from the party, SP sources said.The youth leaders are said to have pleaded with the party chief to allow them to work for the SP to strengthen it before the assembly polls. Mulayam has assured them that he would look into their request, the sources said.After the return of Ram Gopal, who was expelled from the party for six years, speculation was rife that others too will also brought back.Taking a strong view of the protests and sloganeering on the streets during the feud in the first family of Samajwadi Party, the state unit had expelled a number of youth wing leaders, who were said to be close to Akhilesh.Ram Gopal’s return to SP is widely seen as a victory for the Akhilesh camp, which has been at loggerheads with Shivpal over party control and poll strategy. Party insiders said that Ram Gopal’s return heralded return of expelled youth leaders of Akhilesh camp as the Rajya Sabha member had laid down a condition that all those scaked should be reinducted into the party if his expulsion was revoked.”Talks are going on and it is expected that all expulsions will be revoked after a warning to the youth leaders,” a senior SP leader said, adding that party veterans Beni Prasad Verma and Reoti Raman — close to Mulayam — were working overtime to bring Ram Gopal and others back. Around 20 office bearers of various youth wings in Lucknow and other districts who had either quit or were expelled from the party, could also return to the original party fold.

Mulayam’s decision to reinstate Ramgopal final, we support it, says Shivpal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Reacting to reinstatement of ousted leader Ramgopal Yadav as Samajwadi Party general secretary, party’s Uttar Pradesh president Shivpal Yadav on Thursday said the decision was taken by Netaji and they would always support his decision.”Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) is the top most leader and national president of the party, and he has taken the decision. I have said it earlier as well that Netaji”s decision is the last decision and we will always support his decision,” said Shivpal Yadav, who had announced his cousin brother Ramgopal’s expulsion from the party. Ramgopal Yadav was also reinstated as party’s spokesperson and as a member of the party’s Central Parliamentary Board, announced SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in a press note.”This was bound to happen. It is because of the blessings of Netaji as he was never against me,” Yadav told ANI here. “I was always part of the party; I had never left it, though I was ousted technically,” he added.At the height of the Samajwadi Party family feud, Ram Gopal Yadav was expelled on the instructions of Mulayam Singh on October 23.Ramgopal was expelled from the party by Mulayam Singh. Announcing the decision, Shivpal had levelled serious charges of corruption, manipulation and sabotage against him. He accused Ramgopal of conniving with the BJP to harm the Samajwadi Party.

Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging demonetization today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear several petitions challenging the government’s decision to scrap Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes. Four Public Interest Litigations (PILs) have been filed against the controversial scheme, which has caused massive upheavals across the nation. The PILs were filed in the apex court questioning the government’s rationale and modus operandi behind the implementation of the drive, as it has reportedly caused inconvenience to the general public.A PIL was filed in the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad by advocate Pusala Venkata Krishnaiah, who alleged that a sufficient time frame had not been given for the transition and it would create unprecedented chaos and panic among the people. The PIL filed challenges the provision that is Sub-Section 2 of Section 26 of Reserve Bank of India 1934 Act claiming that there are no guidelines how to exercise the power available under the section. The petitioner said that time for such a huge change should have been given by the government.Another PIL was filed before the Gujarat High Court which seeks to extend the date of validity for exchanging Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and also directs private hospitals to accept old currency notes. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday ordered the government to go full ahead with demonetization and ruled out any chance whatsoever of rolling back the scheme.According to sources, the Prime Minister who was chairing the BJP Parliamentary Party executive meeting, told attendees to not buckle under the opposition?s pressure and go ahead with the Centre’s policy. Stating that the opposition was hard at work to sabotage the process of demonetization, the Prime Minister assured that the nation has welcomed the step.The Prime Minister’s assertion comes in the wake of the all-out attack launched by the opposition today, as the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) joined forces in tearing down the scheme of demonetization.

Roll back demonetisation or face roll back yourselves: Shiv Sena warns Modi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena has warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to roll back the demonetization scheme, or be at the receiving end of an angered public, which has been massively inconvenienced by this tectonic scheme.When told that the Prime Minister had firmly ruled out any possibility of a roll back, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut asserted, “Then the government can face a roll back themselves. The Shiv Sena fully stands in support of the fight against corruption, but if there is so much anger among the masses, then something must be wrong.”Raut further said the scheme has proven costly for the common man, while the rich are not being caught.”Not a single one of them (the rich) has been caught, nor are they standing in long queues. This is not about siding with the opposition, but about being with the masses when they need us. All political parties must join hands and call for a roll back of the scheme,” Raut said.However, calling on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to pay no heed to the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered the government to go full steam ahead with the demonetization drive. The Prime Minister was chairing the BJP Parliamentary Party executive meeting.He said the opposition is working overtime to sabotage the demonetization process, even as the nation has welcomed the step.The Prime Minister’s assertion comes in the wake of the all out attack launched by the opposition today, as the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) joined forces in tearing down the scheme of demonetization.Earlier today, Mayawati asserted that people, who were expecting good days, are now facing bad days because of the government’s strange decision to ban high denomination notes.Attempting to reach out to the poor and middle class ahead of next year’s assembly polls, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said that small and medium businesses have shut down courtesy demonetisation.”In the name of demonetisation, the common people are being made to suffer. Modi ji has brought miseries and pain for the poor which is extremely wrong. I would like to ask why people of the nation are being troubled like this,” said Mayawati.”The economic affairs of the nation has been hampered by this decision, crores of small and medium scale businesses have been shut in the wake of demonetisation. Its seems like a country wide shutdown is being observed. The people, who were expecting ‘achhe din’, are now facing ‘bure din’ and people of the nation want freedom from all this,” she added.On the other hand, holding the Prime Minister responsible for the present cash crunch, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Centre was unprepared in dealing with the crisis.”Today (Monday), the Centre announced that Indian Air Force will be used to carry and distribute currency notes, it shows that government did not have any game plane to tackle the crisis, government was unprepared in executing its plan, it shows that the government is in a precarious situation,” Kejriwal said.He said that despite Prime Minister Modi’s claim that the demonitisation drive would bring sleepless nights to the rich, the aam aadmi (common man), instead, are having sleepless nights standing outside the ATMs.Branding the Prime Minister as a ‘habitual abuser’, the Congress said that arrogance of power should not surpass the problems faced by people.Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala lashed out at the Prime Minister and said that it has become his ‘character and style’ to taunt others.”The Prime Minister is a habitual abuser himself. We respect the Prime Minister and the office he holds. Whatever abuses he may heap, which he continues to do every day on the leaders of the opposition parties, let him mock the entire country. The Prime Minister mocks the entire nation. The other day, he was sitting in Japan and mocked everybody who was getting married, who were not able to arrange their marriages. Such has become the character and style of this minister,” Surjewala said.Prime Minister Modi, who has drawn sharp flak from a united opposition post his decision to scrap 500 and 1,000 rupee currency notes, urged all to support his decision and bless him in his war against black or undeclared money.”There are some political parties that are worried over currency ban. Those against me are strong people. But I will not be scared of them. I will not leave the path of truth and integrity. Some people never say anything on your face, but behind your back they poke other people to oppose and go against you,” he added while addressing a mega rally in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on Monday.

India raises withdrawal limit as rupee anger mounts

The Indian government raises the limit on withdrawals after abolishing the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

Demonetisation: Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley differ on surveillance on bank deposits

Those who thought that they would not incur the liability and need not have fear of any kind in depositing old or demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 beware. Even worse, the long unending queues before banks and ATMs may become a bit thinner in days to come but it is not going to end anytime soon.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah. PTIUnion Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah. PTI

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah. PTI

The war against black money, fake currency, hawala, terror financing, drugs and so on will take its own kind of toll on common men and women. They will have to face their share of short-term hardships. The situation as it prevails now gives a sense that the government overestimated the strength and efficiency of its banking infrastructure. The intentions behind this decisive move were right and praiseworthy. But somewhere while taking this bold and brave decision it misjudged the logistical issues and capacities.

Those who looked up to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s press conference on Saturday to get a clear assurance and a possible date for banking infrastructure to function as in the good old pre-8 November days when cash was available within minutes, would be disappointed. The finance minister said the banks could not be told before the 8 November evening address to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recalibrate their ATMs because of understandable secrecy reasons. Each of the over two lakh ATMs in the country will have to be physically calibrated, two of cash boxes inside the machine changed and the software there synced with the central system for them to function normally. This process according to the finance minister will take two to three weeks time if not more.

His assurance was that there was enough cash in the 4,000 RBI currency chests spread across the country, thus there was no reason to rush. Jaitley said the problem was logistical in some places as notes of higher denominations were available than the currency notes which customers wanted.

But more than what Jaitley said would concern people was the fact that whatever amount was being deposited in the banks was being monitored by the concerned revenue departments — Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate. Cropping up of sudden money from nowhere and the rise in deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are also being factored in. In fact, Jaitley spoke about money deposits in Jan Dhan accounts twice — once on his own and second in response to a query — during the course of the press conference.

Jaitley’s contention was that the revenue departments are keeping a close eye on the deposits in Jan Dhan or any other savings accounts. This is in contravention to the initial assurance given by the government, as also to the assurance given by the BJP president Amit Shah at a specially called media briefing on Friday at the party headquarters. Shah had said, “Those who have currency notes in the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 below Rs 2.5 lakh, would have no issue by putting it in their bank accounts and no one in the process will have to face any inquiry.” Later the party even issued the same statement as a press release.

The BJP has a social constituency. Unnecessary harassment by the income tax and other revenue departments to those who made genuine household savings could turn them against the party. Jaitley, however, maintained that this was being done with the aim of attaining clean transaction, clean money.

The finance minister was also unrelenting on hardships faced by small traders and hawkers, like those fruit and vegetable vendors who wouldn’t get supply from the wholesalers due to the paucity of cash. “Why should wholesale business be transacted in cash? Every exemption is a gateway to corruption.”

It was also time for Jaitley to take to rival political parties — the Congress, Samajwadi Party, and Aam Aadmi Party.

“The political reactions that are coming in, some are most irresponsible. A demand for one week reprieve (by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has been made. This gives the whole game away,” the Union minister said.

Training his guns at the Congress, he said the party said this morning that “it’s our money, so why should we stand in line.” It “could be your money” but the government and the people have a right to know whether “you have paid taxes”. The government will insist on that.

Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal who saw a scam behind the demonetisation move was strongly rebutted by Jaitley. The Delhi chief minister even charged that the deposits in the banks have increased in the last quarter. The finance minister said he had all the deposit figures from RBI and in the last one year there has been a spike in deposit figures only once in September. Jaitley said that Kejriwal should have applied his mind and seen the rationale before pressing the charge. The minister said that due to the pay arrears of Seventh Pay Commission which was released on 31 Agust there was a spurt in bank deposits.

The arrears were deposited in bank accounts between 21 August to 15 September and “on that basis a concocted story was made” by Kejriwal, Jaitley said.

The finance minister and the top brass in the government should, however, note that whatever politically motivated concoction is being made by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal, Mulayam and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawti, would not have any taker if the public at large is not inconvenienced beyond the tolerable limit. But if the hardship persists for weeks to come then there could be some bad publicity which the Modi government will have to guard against.

First Published On : Nov 12, 2016 19:43 IST

Politics adds to currency chaos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A political pandemonium ensued on Friday due to the currency chaos that has hit the country, despite government promising quick replacement of the obsolete Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The ATMs reservedt exclusively for the MPs at the Parliament House also collapsed within hours and the two banks there could not cope up, forcing Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to join the queue at the main State Bank of India branch at the Parliament Street. Sporting a white shirt and jeans, posing for selfies with customers, Gandhi said, “There are no ‘crorepatis’ in this queue. The government should be for these people, not a select 10 or 15 people who are not here.”While BJP president Amit Shah defended the move, taking a swipe on opposition parties for questioning the demonetisation, the Congress spokesman and former minister Anand Sharma said, a financial anarchy has been created by minimising currency flow in the market to less than 14 per cent and forcing crores to queue up at banks across the country. He pointed out that nobody with black money or fake currency were found waiting in the meandering lines, except poor and middle class persons.Shah at a press conference at the BJP headquarters, threw a challenge to the parties to take the issue to the elections and let people decide and assert if the move was purely to curtail the parallel economy, or with an eye on forthcoming elections. He said the people are quite happy with the government crackdown. He also told at a press conference that he can understand, all those with black money, counterfeit currency, or hoarded money, who had not paid taxes, were directly hit by the government masterstroke against black money, but what he can’t fathom is, why parties like the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or Trinamul chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, have a problem with it. When told that the rural people who have habit of keeping their savings at home are the worst hit as there are very few banks in the rural areas, Shah quipped that there are enough post offices to exchange their money. He also appealed to them to open bank or post office accounts, whereby their money will also be safer.Just a mile away, at the Congress party’s Akbar Road headquarters, Sharma said, the dramatic announcement by Prime Minister Modi was in violation of the RBI Act which mandates that people should be forewarned before any demonetisation. He agreed with Jaitley saying the reasoning provided by him was apt and prior information would have alerted the terrorists and black money hoarders to get their money converted, and would have defeated the very purpose of the ruling. “I asked which terrorist or organisation printing and using fake currency take it to the banks for exchange,” Sharma said and cited Jaitley’s own reply to Parliament in August, that the counterfeit currency is just 0.02 per cent of the total currency flow, which comes to not more than Rs 400 crore, as agaisnt Rs 16.5 lakh crore in circulation.He pointed out that the UPA government had also demonetised the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in the series printed before 2005 but after giving a long notice period to people to exchange them with the new series of note. That practice is followed worldwide, he said, adding that the European Union has announced that the higher denominations of the Euro will go out of circulation in January 2018 to prevent the kind of disorder Modi’s government has evoked.He said that people have the right to withdraw their own legitimate money from banks as and when they want and that the government has no legal right to put a ceiling on how much one withdraws, since nobody is allowed to withdraw more than Rs 10,000 a day and that too not more than Rs 20,000 in a week. India has one of the highest saving rates in the world and all these savings are in white money and not black money, according to government diktats.He also took on Amit Shah for asking who is for and against black money and quoted from a BJP press conference on January 23, 2014, to criticise then UPA government’s demonetisation of notes issued before 2005 and claimed that the withdrawal of the old series was to unsettle the black money issue. The BJP had then claimed that 65 per cent of people do not have bank accounts due to which demonetisation would impact their life.

Yadav vs Yadav yet again as replacing Ram Gopal in Rajya Sabha splits clan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The faction-ridden top leadership of the Samajwadi Party is divided again. This time the issue is appointment of a new leader of Samajwadi Party in the Rajya Sabha after incumbent Ram Gopal Yadav was expelled from the party.Party sources said while SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav favours Beni Prasad Verma as party’s new leader in the upper house, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is batting for Naresh Agarwal.Though Reoti Raman Singh is senior-most SP representative in Rajya Sabha, his failing health made Mulayam go for Verma, a veteran who had left the party a decade ago following differences with the SP supremo. Verma returned to the party fold earlier this year and was sent to the Rajya Sabha.Akhilesh, the sources said, favours Agarwal as he has been a prominent speaker on behalf of the party in the upper house where he was seen as the number two after Ram Gopal Yadav. Amar Singh, who was also sent to the Rajya Sabha by Mulayam recently, is not comfortable with Agarwal due to his proximity with Ram Gopal. Agarwal had also favoured declaring Akhilesh as the chief ministerial candidate during the public feud in the Yadav clan. He had been in Congress and Loktantrik Congress Party before he joined the SP.With Winter session of Parliament beginning November 16, Yadav is likely to take a final call on the issue next week, the sources said.The party has 19 members in the upper house and five in the Lok Sabha.

Congress strategist Prashant Kishor meets Akhilesh Yadav amid grand alliance speculation

Lucknow: A day after holding marathon talks with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday held closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav fuelling speculation that a grand alliance could be on the anvil for the 2017 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Monday’s meeting assumes significance as the 43-year-old chief minister is expected to have a major say in ticket distribution and choice of seats to be contested by his party in case an alliance is cobbled together.

There has been speculation of a “maha-gathbandhan” among erstwhile Janata Parivar parties and Congress to check BJP in its tracks Kishor met Akhilesh and was with him for nearly three hours during which they are understood to have discussed threadbare the state’s political scenario ahead of the upcoming elections.

File photo of CM Akhilesh Yadav. PTIFile photo of CM Akhilesh Yadav. PTI

File photo of CM Akhilesh Yadav. PTI

However, Akhilesh sounded cautious and not in a hurry when he said factors like who will benefit and who will lose in case of an alliance have to be considered. “Elections are near, who will be benefited, who will lose (in alliance) is to be taken note of. The decision is to be taken by party’s national president,” Akhilesh told reporters while refusing to publicly state his stand on the issue.

“I will give my suggestions only at party platform,” he said. When asked specifically about the possibility of SP joining the hands with Congress, Akhilesh parried a direct reply, saying “If SP and Congress want alliance, will you (media) stop it?”

He did not elaborate on the query made against the backdrop of Kishor’s two rounds of meeting with Mulayam in Lucknow on Sunday, triggering speculation of a ‘maha-gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) similar to the one in Bihar.

Kishor’s back-to-back talks with Mulayam and Akhilesh come close on the heels of top leaders of socialist-leaning parties attending SP’s silver jubilee meet — a move seen as an attempt by Mulayam to forge an alliance for the crucial polls hardly a few months away.

This was for the second time in six days that Kishor met Mulayam, who is trying to cobble together an alliance of like-minded parties. The first meeting had taken place at Mulayam’s Delhi residence on 1 November.

Congress, on its part, has not closed its doors for any possible grand alliance for the 2017 Assembly polls. Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar had said that no initiative had been taken for an alliance either by his party or by any other political parties in the state.

“No initiative for an alliance, either by us or by any other party in the coming polls has been taken, but Congress has not closed its doors for any such possibility which could benefit people of the state,” he said last week.

The UPCC chief, however, stressed his party “will not enter into an alliance or grand alliance only for numbers, as it were not important in UP polls.”

On the possibility of a grand alliance in UP, state SP President Shivpal Yadav said, “When it materialises, I will tell you.” Samajwadi Party, which was initially part of Bihar’s grand alliance, had walked out of it after it was offered only a handful of seats to contest the assembly elections there.

The grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress had, however, scripted a major electoral victory, defeating the BJP-led NDA.

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.

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.

UP polls 2017: Mayawati terms Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘vikas rath yatra’ as ‘bankrupt yatra’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘vikas rath yatra’ as “bankrupt yatra”, BSP supremo Mayawati on Friday said had Samajwadi Party “really worked” for people’s welfare, it “would not have needed to take out the yatra with massive government expenditure”.”Had the Samajwadi Party government really taken up works for people’s interest and welfare, it would not have needed to take out this rath yatra with massive government expenditure as (government’s) works definitely speak for themselves,” she said in a release.On Yadav’s hi-tech customised rath developing a snag at the very beginning of the yatra, Mayawati said, “While the luxury rath worth crores of rupees made Akhilesh’s rath yatra bankrupt at the very start, the supporters created ruckus all along the route and police were forced to remain a mute spectator”.”In fact, the vikas yatra has proved to be a bankrupt yatra,” she claimed.The BSP chief alleged that people of the state have complaints that development works are mere claims as its benefits have not reached them.”Can merely making announcements, laying foundation stones or inaugurating half-completed projects be considered as development?” she asked.Alleging that casteism, corruption and ‘jungle raj’ remained rampant during the Samajwadi Party rule in the state, Mayawati claimed even the Supreme Court and the High Court have been pulling up the government over different issues.The BSP chief also alleged that there is a “tacit understanding” between BJP and SP, and claimed it is because of this that the Chief Minister only makes indirect references to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and desist from open criticism.Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav embarked on the highly-publicised rath yatra yesterday to highlight the development works undertaken by him during the last over four years. It was flagged off by Samajwadi Party patriarch and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav with whom he was locked in a bitter power struggle a few days back.

DNA Morning Must Reads: 12 tribal minors raped in Maharashtra’s Buldhana; GST Council finalises 4 slabs; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Maharashtra: 12 tribal minor girls raped by teachers in Buldhana, three pregnantSeven arrested * Police say the number could increase. Read more.2. GST: One nation, many taxes; panel finalises four slabs ranging from 5 To 28%When GST comes into force, aerated drinks, tobacco products, luxury cars and pan masala will attract cess * White goods, soaps, oils, shaving kits will be taxed at lower rates * Foodgrains likely to be exempted. Read more.3. Truth about Samajwadi Party will unfold in 15 days, says MayawatiSanguine and smiling, the BSP chief is counting on electoral “gains” from the SP feud and the Modi government’s “broken promises”. Read more.4. India v/s England: No compliance, no TestThe Test series between India and England has been thrown into jeopardy as the Indian Cricket Board failed to file affidavits of compliance within the stipulated duration of two weeks allotted by the Supreme Court. Read more.5. There’s room for 2 films to do well: Farhan AkhtarDon’t call it a clash, says Farhan Akhtar of locking horns with Kaabil on Jan 26. Read more.

Truth about Samajwadi Party will unfold in 15 days, says Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sitting beneath a large portrait of Buddha in a room with otherwise bare walls, dressed in pure white, a visibly relaxed BSP supremo Mayawati seemed unruffled by the bustle in the enemy camps—the BJP’s hopes of getting mileage from the surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) or the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) proposed grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh.Taking a break from her busy schedule in the poll-bound state, she had a series of meetings carried out with methodical precision at her 3, Thyagaraja Road residence in the Capital. The appointments included interactions with some mediapersons—a deviation from her characteristic reluctance to give interviews. Sources close to her said “behenji” now preferred to interact directly with the media to avoid any distortion in messages conveyed through others.After a warm greeting and brief introduction, that broke any spell of apprehension, she began to patiently reel out her answers to expected questions, tearing into both her foes—SP and BJP—almost equitably.”I have toured UP and it looks like people are really unhappy with the policies of both the BJP at the Centre and SP in the state. The promises made by the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections have not been kept…Two-and-a-half years is a long time. The SP assured jobs and 24-hour power…They have not implemented most of their promises,” she told DNA.Mayawati claimed that several schemes, like the metro and expressway projects for which the SP was taking credit, had actually been brought about during her regime. “The names of the schemes have been changed,” said the former UP chief minister. She added that unlike her rivals, she was promising permanent jobs and direct financial help to the poor instead of giving unemployment allowances and laptops.But her biggest pledge, she said, was to “resume law and order” in a state “where women cannot go out.”Mayawati’s composure stemmed partly from the disarray in the SP. “The SP’s base voter has got split. The Muslims want to see the BJP defeated… But seeing the fight in SP, they will vote for us,” she said. Muslims account for around 18 per cent of the state’s population.Accusing both BJP and the SP of trying to communally polarise the people, she said the Muzaffarnagar riots were the “milli bhagat” of both parties.Reiterating her cautious stand on triple talaq, Mayawati said any lacunae in laws should be left to the community itself to address, and hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “People of various communities live here.Nobody should interfere with another community. There should not be a situation where Modi is trying to force his thinking on other communities,” she said.Asked if she agreed with those people who alleged that the feud between Mulayam, Shivpal and Akhilesh was a drama, Mayawati said, “In 15-16 days everything will unfold. Then it will become clear.”Asked about the BJP, the BSP supremo was dismissive of speculation that the “surgical strikes” was giving the party an edge. She said, “This is nothing new. It’s been happening everywhere in the world but it’s not politicised.The Army does its job. There is no peace at the border or in Jammu and Kashmir. Everyday our jawans are getting martyred.”She added, “If there was peace, then they (BJP) could have taken credit.”When asked how she saw herself five years later, after the last assembly election, when she had lost power, Mayawati was evasive. However, sources who have watched her closely over the years said she had “matured”, having gone through the experience of being in power and out of it.Politically, the 60-year-old politician has cast her net wider, beyond the party’s traditional Dalit-Muslim votebank, for the upcoming polls. This was evident from the change in the party’s slogan from “sarvajan hitaye, sarvajan sukhaye” (welfare and well being of all) from “Bahujan hitaye, Bahujan sukhaye”.This was also evident from her response to queries on the caste debate. “We don’t differentiate between communities,” was her answer.The BSP supremo also blamed the SP for blocking the passage of amendments of the SC/ST promotions Bill in Parliament.Exuding confidence, Mayawati, who has decided on 90 per cent of her party candidates for the UP elections to be held early next year, said those who have left BSP to join other parties will not be able to take their votes with them.”People are now realising that they should have voted for the BSP in the last assembly elections…If elected, we will end jungle raj and promote development.”

SP puts up united show for Akhilesh’s Rath Yatra; Mayawati says Yadav war not over

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The looming danger of electoral reverses brought the feuding first family of UP’s ruling Samajwadi Party together as party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav flagged off son Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘rath yatra’ and Shivpal, with whom the Chief Minister was locked in a bitter power struggle, extended him his “best wishes”.With the strife between his Chief Minister son and younger brother Shivpal Yadav threatening to derail the party’s campaign barely months ahead of the assembly polls, Mulayam played the role of a peacemaker and brought the two together on one platform at an event, which many felt would be a solo Akhilesh show. However, ending days of suspense, Mulayam turned up at La Martinere grounds, the venue for the flagging off of Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘Vikas Se Vijay Ki Ore’ yatra, with Shivpal, who heads the SP’s state unit, in tow.Mulayam took his seat on stage and was soon flanked by Akhilesh on one side and Shivpal on the other, as he sought to drive home the message that the party was united ahead of the polls and that he still could call the shots in the party buffeted by the turf war between his son and brother. “Akhilesh ko hum shubhkamna detey hain (I wish Akhilesh well),” Shivpal said, adding the Chief Minister’s chariot march will send a message of unity across the state and halt BJP in its tracks.”Our target is to prevent BJP from coming to power in the state in the crucial 2017 elections,” he said. Before embarking on the highly-publicised rath yatra to highlight the development works undertaken by him during the last over four years, the 43-year-old Chief Minister said, “I want to thank youths for this historic event…From this yatra, we appeal to people to vote in favour of our party.” Akhilesh, however, referred to “conspiracies” which adversely affected the party. “Due to some conspiracies we were affected a bit, but in the days to come we will be able to form government again,” Akhilesh, who has been blaming SP MP and his father’s friend Amar Singh for the troubles in the party and family, said.Days preceding today’s event had seen the debilitating battle of attrition between Akhilesh and Shivpal leading to tit-for-tat sacking of ministers and leaders on rival sides. Even Shivpal was sacked as minister by Akhilesh, after Mulayam, apparently siding with his brother and Amar Singh, expelled his own counsin and SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years. Ram Gopal, a Rajya Sabha member, has been backing Akhilesh in the battle for Mulayam’s legacy. “I am happy Netaji (Mulayam), Shivpal all have come… more will join in due course,” the Chief Minister said during his journey and hoped differences, if any, will disappear as elections draw near. “I have the blessings of Azam Khan and I hope he will join me later in the yatra,” he said in reply to a reporter’s query, as the senior cabinet minister was conspicuous by his absence. Flagging off the shiny red Mercedes Benz ‘rath’, Mulayam reminded the party workers about how difficult following the socialist ideology was and congratulated Akhilesh on the launch of his march.”The path of Samajwad (socialism) is difficult…I have faced lathis in agitations. This Samajwadi movement was built on sacrifices. SP is party of sacrifice and struggle. I know when there is lathicharge, barring 4-5 persons, who stay back, everyone runs away,” he said. “I congratulate Akhilesh for the yatra and wish him all success,” he said. However, the show of unity in the Yadav clan notwithstanding, faultlines within the party became visible once again when Akhilesh told journalists that he was not aware of any attempts at forming a coalition with other parties.”National president will decide what is to be done. He will take decision after giving due thought. I am not aware if a coalition has come into existence or not. I also don’t know what is being discussed. If a coalition is formed, political parties have to decide themselves who will lose or gain,” he said.Amid the widening chasm in his family and party, Mulayam had sent Shivpal to meet leaders of various parties including Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and RLD’s Ajit Singh, apparently to invite them to Samajwadi Party’s Golden Jubilee celebrations on Saturday. Shivpal had gone on record favouring an alliance of ‘Lohiawadi’ (socialists), ‘Charan Singh wadi’ (RLD) and ‘Mahatmawai’ (Congress) forces to defeat the “communal” BJP in the assembly polls. Congress’ election strategist Prashant Kishor hadrecently met Mulayam in Delhi, triggering speculation of a Bihar-like “mahagathbandhan”. However, Nitish Kumar voiced doubt about such a coalition materialising as it would require coming together of the two main parties in UP–Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s BSP. Ahead of the flagging off of Akhilesh’s march, the enthusiasm among the youth leaders was palpable right since early morning with hordes of young party workers donning red caps making a bee line for the venue, the place where he had taken oath as Chief Minister in 2012.Akhilesh Yadav during Rath Yatra (Reuters)As some youths jostled to reach the venue, Shivpal advised them to calm down. “Josh mein hosh na kho dein (don’t lose your cool in enthusiasm),” he said.Ahead of the flag off event, Ramgopal Yadav’s son and MP Akshay Yadav said, “People will vote for Akhilesh. We will contest in his name and win.”Brushing aside remarks that Akhilesh was a “trainee chief minister,” his wife Dimple, a Lok Sabha member, said, “If a trainee can do so much work, you can imagine was he will do in his second term as a professional”. Seeking to project a picture of unity, she said, “Need blessings from all party elders. Past events forgotten, we need to be together,” she said.Mayawati mocks SP show of strength Mocking Akhilesh Yadav’s campaign launched today as “badhaal vikas (dismal development) yatra”, BSP supremo Mayawati today asked the people of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh not to be misled by it and claimed that the feud within the Samajwadi Party was far from over.”The yatra which got off today is in fact the ‘badhaal vikas yatra’ of the helpless Chief Minister entangled in controversy in the SP family and government… most of those present in it had come to blows on roads and inside the CM office during the recent family feud,” she said. “Today too, both the feuding factions came to blows and tore each others posters and banners…. I appeal to the people of the state not to get misled as such a government cannot benefit the state,” she said in a statement.Drawing similarities with the June 2, 1995 State Guest House case when close confidants of the then chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav “were baying for blood” after she withdrew support to SP government, she said there appeared to be “no difference between the father and son” while dealing with their opponents. “As Mulayam did not act against those indulging in violence, his son too has not taken any action against ministers and leaders showing criminal behaviour who also defied the directives of state unit president,” she said.Alleging that there was a secret understanding between SP and BJP, she said despite the turmoil in the state, the “governor says that there is no constitutional crisis and BJP top leadership maintains silence on it”. She claimed there was misuse of government funds by Akhilesh for improving his image and said “all this money could have been put to better use for improving the lot of poor and needy”.She also took a dig at the chief minister who had been complaining that people of the state do not recognise him because of lack of publicity, saying it goes on to prove how mayny votes he will get in the coming elections.

Not aware of any coalition move in Uttar Pradesh: Akhilesh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said he is “not aware” of any attempt at forming a coalition with other parties ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, a final decision on which would be taken by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.”National president will decide what is to be done. He will take decision after giving due thoughts. I am not aware if coalition has started or not. I also don’t know what is being discussed. If a coalition is formed, political parties have to decide themselves who will lose or gain,” he told reporters after starting his vikas se vijay ki ore rath yatra.Congress election strategist Prashant Kishore had recently met Mulayam in Delhi, triggering speculation of a “maha-gathbandhan”. “We are open to alliance with any party to form a secular government in the state but a final decision will be taken by ‘netaji’ (Mulayam),” Akhilesh said.
ALSO READ Maha feud puts spokes in UP’s Mahagathbandhan plansSP’s silver jubilee celebration on November 5 is likely to be attended by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, RLD chief Ajit Singh and some others.Pointing out the presence of Mulayam and state party president Shivpal Yadav at the yatra flag-off, Akhilesh said, “Though (minister) Azam Khan and (expelled SP leader) Ramgopal Yadav, were not present today, their blessings are with me.” On differences in the party, the chief minister said, “As yatra will continue, all differences will sink and all samajwadis will come togehter.””I am not angry with anyone and I think no one is angry with me too,” Akhilesh said when asked about his strained relations with Shivpal.He also exuded confidence that the minority community would support the SP and help it come to power.The CM’s wife, who was present with him in the ‘rath’, said Akhilesh who was labelled as a “trainee” has done tremendous work in the state. “If a ‘trainee’ CM could initiate a number of development projects, people should think what he could do when he becomes CM for the second time,” she said, adding the support of youths for the yatra is “overwhelming”.

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.

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