2 MLAs of Apna Dal, an ally of BJP resign blaming Yogi govt

News Network
January 14, 2022

Two more legislators, belonging to the Apna Dal, an ally of the BJP, have resigned just ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled to take place next month.

Following his resignation, Chaudhary Amar Singh said: "This government is a liar and no development has been done. I met Akhilesh Yadav and will join him. Soon more people will join us."

He is likely to contest his Shohratgarh seat in Siddhartha Nagar on an SP ticket.

The other Apna Dal MLA R K Verma, who represents the Vishwanath Ganj seat of Pratapgarh, also announced that he is leaving the party.

Both the legislators blamed the Yogi Adityanath government for their leaving the alliance.

With the two new resignations, a total of 12 MLAs from the ruling alliance in Uttar Pradesh have quit, blaming the state government of being anti-backward.

Ten BJP MLAs, including three ministers, have quit the BJP since Tuesday.

It started with the exit of top minister Swami Prasad Maurya, followed by three MLAs close to him on the same day - Bhagwati Sagar, Roshan Lal Verma, and Brijesh Prajapati.

On Wednesday, another state minister Dara Singh Chauhan and MLA Avatar Singh Bhadana quit. Bhadana joined the RLD, an ally of the SP.

On Thursday, Minister Dharam Singh Saini, and three other BJP MLAs - Vinay Shakya, Mukesh Verma and Bala Awasthi - also left the party.

All three ministers who have quit are key OBC (Other Backward Class) leaders, claiming that the interests of the community are being neglected.

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News Network
January 21,2022

New Delhi, Jan 21: India added 3,47,254 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,85,66,027 which includes 9,692 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The nation's Covid-19 toll also saw a sharp jump as 703 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

The active cases have increased to 20,18,825, the highest in 235 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,88,396 with 703 fresh fatalities, the data stated.

There has been a 4.36 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Thursday, the ministry said.

The active cases comprise 5.23 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.50 per cent, the ministry said.  

An increase of 94,774 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of  24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday asked 6.5 crore Indians who missed their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to come forward for the shot with top health officials claiming a significant drop in Covid mortality in the third wave as against the second surge due to protection offered by the vaccine.

The number of people who missed their second doses was 12 crore at one point of time but the number came down to 6.5 crore partially vaccinated individuals who didn't turn up despite repeated reminders, said Vinod Paul, NITI Ayog member and the government's principal adviser on Covid-19.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. 

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23. 

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News Network
January 9,2022

congress.jpg

The Congress in Karnataka on Sunday began its 10 days 'padayatra' (march), demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river, despite the government's COVID-19 restrictions. Led by Congress' state president D K Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Siddaramaiah, the padayatra with the theme 'Namma Neeru Namma Hakku' (Our water, Our right) began at the Sangama, the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers in Kanakapura here, which will be spanning a distance of over 100 km.

With participation from hundreds of workers, leaders and cultural groups, the principal opposition party in the state is going ahead with the march, as planned, unfazed by the government's warning of action in case of violation of COVID restrictions and rules.

It now remains to be seen what action will the government take, with a large number of people gathering in violation of rules and orders.

The Karnataka government has imposed a curfew on weekends and restricted public gatherings to fight the third wave of COVID-19, till January 19. It has also imposed night curfew, and has prohibited all rallies, dharnas, protests, among others.

Congress has maintained that it will hold the padayatra following COVID rules and guidelines

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, former Chief Minister Veerappa Moily, and almost all the senior party leaders and legislators were present at the inaugural of the padayatra, that is likely to cove a distance of about 15 km on the day one.

Some religious leaders and film personalities like actor Duniya Vijay, actor and music director Sadhu Kokila, were among others seen at the inaugural.

Projecting it as an apolitical "Walk for Water," the Congress has invited seers of various mutts, organisations, leaders of various political parties, film personalities, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, among others to take part in the march.

Accusing the BJP government of trying to scuttle the padayatra, Siddaramaiah accused the ruling BJP of colluding with Tamil Nadu in delaying the implementation of Mekedatu project.

Claiming that the project was initiated by the Congress government led by him, he alleged that the ruling BJP has betrayed the people of the state by not getting environmental clearance despite being in power for last 2.5 years, and even accused the central government of not giving clearance, as the saffron party wants to expand its base in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

"This padayatra is for getting water to Bengaluru and surrounding areas by implementing Mekedatu project, there is no stay for the project by courts or tribunals or Cauvery Water Management Authority.....Our padayatra will not stop, let how much ever the BJP try to stop it," he added.

Shivakumar, who is also MLA from Kanakapura, hitting out at Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for trying to "thwart" the padayatra by asking the district administration to issue prohibitory orders, he dared him to arrest them if he could.

"This march is not for the Congress party or for the sake of power, it is for the sake of the people.... Like Congress fought against the British then for India's freedom, today we are fighting against BJP and Janata Dal.... SP (Superintendent of Police), Home Minister- you have issued orders against the law, we will not fear it....we will peacefully march following COVID rules," he added.

The Congress' march from Mekedatu to Bengaluru, covering about 15 of the 224 Assembly constituencies in the state, is demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project, which is being opposed by neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Beginning at Sangama the padayatra is scheduled to pass through Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Bidadi, before culminating at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on January 19.

Though the padayatra is being projected as apolitical, demanding the implementation of Mekedatu project, it is also seen as Congress' attempt to mobilise its cadres and consolidate its voter base in the old Mysuru region, which is a Vokkaliga bastion, where JD(S) is its traditional rival and the ruling BJP is attempting to make inroads, ahead of 2023 assembly polls.

Much is at stake for Shivakumar, the man behind this march, as several Congress functionaries believe that it is an attempt by the KPCC chief, ahead of assembly polls, to assert his Chief Ministerial ambitions, for which Siddaramaiah is also a strong contender. The party has seen several incidents of political one-upmanship between the two leaders last year.

Shivakumar took a dip in the river and performed pooja at the Sangam ahead of the padayatra's inaugural.

Both ruling BJP and JD(S) have hit out Congress calling its march as a "political stunt" ahead of assembly election next year, and has questioned its morality, accusing the grand old party of not putting any efforts to take the project forward while in power.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has maintained that his government was committed to implement the project.

Karnataka government submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Central Water Commission (CWC) in 2019, which was then referred to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), where it is stuck currently as Tamil Nadu which is the lower riparian state, has opposed the project tooth and nail.

Karnataka has maintained that the project within its territory will benefit both states as the surplus water stored can be managed between the two during the distress year, and its implementation will in no way affect the interests of Tamil Nadu's farming communities, as there will be no impact on its share of water.

While the neighbouring state is of the view that the project would "impound and divert" the uncontrolled water flow due to Tamil Nadu from Kabini sub- basin, the catchment area below Krishnarajasagara, and also from Simsha, Arkavathy and Suvarnavathi sub-basins besides other small streams.

The Mekedatu multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir, near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district of Karnataka.

The project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.

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News Network
January 14,2022

Two more legislators, belonging to the Apna Dal, an ally of the BJP, have resigned just ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled to take place next month.

Following his resignation, Chaudhary Amar Singh said: "This government is a liar and no development has been done. I met Akhilesh Yadav and will join him. Soon more people will join us."

He is likely to contest his Shohratgarh seat in Siddhartha Nagar on an SP ticket.

The other Apna Dal MLA R K Verma, who represents the Vishwanath Ganj seat of Pratapgarh, also announced that he is leaving the party.

Both the legislators blamed the Yogi Adityanath government for their leaving the alliance.

With the two new resignations, a total of 12 MLAs from the ruling alliance in Uttar Pradesh have quit, blaming the state government of being anti-backward.

Ten BJP MLAs, including three ministers, have quit the BJP since Tuesday.

It started with the exit of top minister Swami Prasad Maurya, followed by three MLAs close to him on the same day - Bhagwati Sagar, Roshan Lal Verma, and Brijesh Prajapati.

On Wednesday, another state minister Dara Singh Chauhan and MLA Avatar Singh Bhadana quit. Bhadana joined the RLD, an ally of the SP.

On Thursday, Minister Dharam Singh Saini, and three other BJP MLAs - Vinay Shakya, Mukesh Verma and Bala Awasthi - also left the party.

All three ministers who have quit are key OBC (Other Backward Class) leaders, claiming that the interests of the community are being neglected.

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