Resignation spree in UP: Is undercurrent in favour of Samajwadi Party?

News Network
January 13, 2022

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Lucknow, Jan 13: The resignation of three ministers in three days and the subsequent photos being uploaded with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has changed the dynamics of Uttar Pradesh politics.

Till a few days back the BJP was confident of winning back the state but the resignations have sent jitters down the spines in the BJP camp. The question is, whether there is an undercurrent in favour of the Samajwadi Party which is perceived to be the biggest gainer from these exits from the saffron party.

The SP is having the last laugh in terms of defections as all roads lead to the party office on Vikramaditya Marg in Lucknow. The rebels from the BJP BSP and the Congress are lining up at Akhilesh Yadav's door, which analysts believe is in favour of the SP, as leaders like Maurya have a strong ground presence and feedback.

Delhi based independent analyst Shakil Akhtar says, "there is a feeling in the defectors that they can't return to their constituency on a BJP symbol so they went to the party which has social justice in it roots while the BJP was dependent on social engineering."

The experts believe that the real issues are inflation, Covid deaths, stray animals, unemployment and the BJP has not been able to gauge the minds of its own MLAs and ministers.

Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday became the third minister after Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan quit the Yogi Adityanath led BJP government. Saini was Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration.

After sending his resignation to the Governor, he went to meet Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Interestingly, in his resignation letter, Saini levelled the same allegation that other legislators had levelled against the Yogi government.

Saini, who represents the Nakud Assembly seat which is in western UP, has returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government. He said he was resigning due to "gross neglect" of Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders.

After legislators belonging to the OBC category left the BJP, it is now a Brahmin MLA Bala Prasad Awasthi who has also walked into the Samajwadi Party fold.

Awasthi is a four-term MLA from Lakhimpur Kheri and a known Brahmin face in the Terai region. He also met Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier, Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan (both ministers) Roshan Lal Varma, Brijendra Prajapati, Bhagwati Sharan Sagar, Vinay Shakya and Avatar Singh Bhadana left the party in the past two days.

On Thursday, Mukesh Varma from Firozabad sent in his resignation. Then Dharam Singh Saini followed suit.

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News Network
November 14,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 14: Amidst ongoing protest against the “unfair” toll collection at Surathkal toll plaza, the central government has finally yielded to people’s demanded. However, the government has decided to collect an additional user fee at the Hejamadi toll plaza.

Dakshina Kannada MP and Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel, in a tweet announced today that toll collection has stopped at Surathkal toll gate.

He thanked Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The union minister had assured earlier that the toll gate will be closed. However the technical aspect is implemented now,” he tweeted. 

The Gazette notification dated November 11, 2022 read: “Now, in order to collect user fee for 4-lane Surathkal Nantoor section and 1.60 Km of bypass length from Nantoor towards Padil (total length 18.362 km) at Hejamadi toll plaza… the Concessionaire (i.e. Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt Ltd) shall collect additional user fee for the use of said section from Km 358.000 to Km 375.300 of National Highway No. 17 (New Highway No.66) (Surathakal Nantoor section) and 1.60 Km of bypass length from Nantoor towards Padil.”

Earlier, Mr Kateel had promised to close of the Surathkal toll gate by November 7. As the deadline crossed, the Surathkal Toll gate Horata Samiti had intensified the protest.

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News Network
November 22,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 22: In a new twist to the row over viral videos of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain receiving massages in jail, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s claim that these were "physiotherapy sessions" has been refuted by sources who say the "masseur" in the video is a prisoner in a rape case.

The man giving the AAP minister a massage in the security videos is Rinku, a prisoner charged with rape under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, according to official sources at Tihar Jail. He was arrested last year after his own daughter, a class 10 student, accused him of assaulting her.

The CCTV videos, dated September 13, 14 and 21, are the subject of a fierce row between the AAP and the BJP in the run-up to the Delhi civic elections next month.

The videos surfaced days after the Enforcement Directorate accused Mr Jain, who was arrested in a money laundering case, of getting special treatment inside Tihar Jail. The "VIP treatment" allegation led to the transfer of at least 12 Tihar jail officials besides the Director General (prisons), Sandeep Goel.

Mr Jain was seen getting massages and chatting with people sitting in his cell, which is not allowed in prison. Neither are physiotherapy sessions allowed in a prisoner's cell, said officials.

As the videos went viral, bolstering the BJP's demand to move the minister out of Tihar Jail, AAP leaders claimed Mr Jain was receiving physiotherapy for a spinal injury.

AAP has not commented on the new revelation, which was seized by the BJP.

"Rape accused Rinku was giving massage to Satyendra Jain. Rinku Accused under Pocso and IPC 376. So it was not a physiotherapist but a rapist who was giving maalish to Satyendra Jain! Shocking. Kejriwal must answer why he defended this and insulted physiotherapists," tweeted Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson.

Even on Monday, Arvind Kejriwal strongly refuted the BJP's allegation of VIP treatment to his minister, sticking to the "physiotherapy, not massage" argument.

"They are calling it a massage and VIP treatment, but it's merely physiotherapy," Mr Kejriwal told reporters on the sidelines of his campaign in Gujarat's Vadodra.

Mr Jain has been in jail since June. A Delhi court denied his bail request last week.

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News Network
November 21,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 21: The accused in the autorickshaw blast in coastal Karnataka's Mangaluru was "inspired by ISIS terror group" and used dark web to contact his handlers, the police said today, claiming a big breakthrough. 

The police said Mohammed Shariq worked under multiple handlers, one of them from Al Hind, a terror outfit influenced by ISIS.

A resident of Shivamogga district, Shareeq was carrying the improvised explosive device (IED) in a pressure cooker in an autorickshaw on Saturday when it exploded, leaving him with severe burn injuries. He is currently undergoing treatment in a city hospital.

"...Our priority is to see that he survives, we have to take him to a stage where we can question him," ADGP Alok Kumar said.

The police had termed the blast "an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage."

The accused made bombs at home and even conducted a "trial blast" on the banks of a river, the police officer added.

"Shariq's immediate handler was Arafat Ali, an accused in two cases. He was in touch with Mussavir Hussain who is an accused in Al-Hind module case. Abdul Matin Taha was one of the main handler of Shariq. Another 2-3 handlers also worked with Shariq but they are yet to be identified," Mr Kumar said.

So far, the police have conducted searches at five locations across Karnataka, including his home in Mysuru where materials used to make bombs were seized, he said.

"Shariq was driven by ISIS ideology and made bomb at his home. On September 19, Shariq along with two other accomplices carried out a trial blast in a forest on the banks of a river in Shivamogga," the police officer said.

The police arrested two his accomplices the next day but Shariq managed to escape and took a house on rent with stolen Aadhaar card in Mysuru and continued to make bomb, the police added.

"We have formed five different teams and they're working on it. Four locations in Thirthahalli town of Shivamogga district and one place in Mangaluru city were searched this morning. Yesterday two places were searched. So, we have searched seven places and seized some electronic devices," the senior police officer said.

A man has been detained in Coimbatore for his alleged links with Shariq. The man, Tamil Nadu police sources said, stayed with Shariq at a dormitory and also gave him his Aadhaar card to procure a sim card.

"We have probed him and verified the circumstances under which he stayed with him. He appears to be innocent. We have shared the information with Mangaluru Police," an investigating officer said.

The Tamil Nadu police has also launched investigations after it emerged that Shariq visited several places in the state days before the blast. From Tamil Nadu, Shariq went to Kerala, where he allegedly received a consignment via Amazon, it is learnt. 

Special teams have been formed to investigate if he had met or had links with Jameesha Mubin, the prime accused in the recent car blast case in Coimbatore. The police have invoked sections of the stringent anti-terror law UAPA in the Coimbatore car blast after 75 kg of explosive raw materials were seized from the residence of Jameza Mubin who died in the blast.

Though the police have confirmed that Shareeq and Jameza Mubin were ISIS sympathisers, they have not found any link between the two.

Shariq is reported to have suffered 45 per cent burn injuries in the blast in the autorickshaw. Though he is out of danger, the police say he is not well enough to give a statement.

The police said he was carrying a low-intensity Improvised Explosive device or IED. A burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries was found inside the vehicle.
 

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