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Lok Sabha By-Polls: Congress announces candidates for Gorakhpur, Phulpur seats

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Congress

Lucknow, Feb 17: The state Congress on Friday announced faces for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, where by-elections are scheduled to be held on March 11.

The party named Dr Surheeta Chatterjee Kareem, a gynaecologist, as its candidate from Gorakhpur, while it chose Manish Mishra, son of former IAS officer J N Mishra, for the Phulpur seat.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

The by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were necessitated after Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister, while Phulpur MP Kehsav Prasad Maurya was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress state president Raj Babbar confirmed the candidature of both nominees.

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Election

Bihar Polls: Jobs for unemployed youth emerging as major agenda, not caste equation

This time the caste factor has been replaced by development and the growth. This change in dynamics of discussion primarily owes to the presence of the labourers and daily wage earners in the villages

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Bihar Polls RJD Manifesto

In the electoral political history of Bihar, this is for the first time the manifestos or “Sankalp Patra” of political parties have emerged as the most favourite issues for political discourses. The discussion is not confined to the living rooms of the rich or middle class, these have succeeded in attracting the attention of the villagers.

The most talked about agenda has been the promise of the BJP to provide 19 lakh jobs. After RJD Leader Tejashwi Yadav promised to provide 10 lakh jobs in the state in the very first Cabinet meet, the BJP promptly came out with the assurance to simply counter him. BJP’s undertaking came out just the day after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar questioned the RJD head and the CM candidate of the opposition alliance Tejashwi Yadav about his promise to provide 10 lakh jobs saying how he could possibly raise the money to pay for 10 lakh jobs.

Usually ahead of the elections, the political discussions revolve around the caste equations and formation of new political equations. In rural Bihar the scene is usually more arithmetical in nature. The villagers in their leisure time discuss about which ghetto is going to vote for whom. Usually their calculations prove to be correct. Being at the ground level they know the issues and also the local personalities who will prove to be decisive factors.

But this time the caste factor has been replaced by the development and the growth. This change in dynamics of discussion primarily owes to the presence of the labourers and daily wage earners in the villages. The miseries they had to suffer while fleeing cities and downs have made them conscious of their social role.

If the local people are to be believed, coming together of RJD and the left forces has completely changed the political dimension. The RJD has Yadav caste base. But the fact is 60 per cent of the Yadavs are poor, having weak purchasing power. In the case of the left, especially the CPI(ML), the labourers and proletariats are their base. Obviously in their case they do not have to put much effort to build or shape a caste based politics. In recent times the Congress has also acquired the image of being sympathetic to the cause of poor.

But the case is not the same with the BJP and NDA. The upper caste support base of BJP views Nitish Kumar and his support base with suspicion. The upper caste has been supporting Nitish due to the BJP factor. In this election the political scenario has changed. The rebellion by Chirag Paswan has turned the upper caste people sceptical of the moves of Nitish.

The scepticism that BJP eventually may rally behind Chirag for forming the government has created more uncertainty in the NDA. The BJP leadership nurses the view that the party would not lose much in the existing scenario. The worst sufferer would be Nitish. Otherwise too the election battle is being projected as a direct fight between the grand alliance and Nitish Kumar.

Though Tejashwi is attracting massive crowd and response, it at some level reflects the disenchantment of the people with Nitish. It is not going to affect the BJP to that extent as is expected. In certain areas the upper caste voters may shift their loyalties to the Congress. Obviously in this background caste permutation and combination has got wider implication for the NDA. The grand alliance is working on the plan to reach out to the people and ensure that they cast their votes.

The electorates have made up their mind was also clearly manifest in peoples’ response to Friday’s meeting of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. Modi who was accompanied by Nitish could not make much impact. He was even guarded in defending Nitish, who has already been under severe criticism. Since Bihar sends huge youths to the army, Modi raised the issue of China’s presence in Ladakh. But he failed to evoke a response he usually manages to receive. On the contrary, Rahul’s jibes on Modi for allowing China to occupy Indian territory received tumultuous response.

Addressing a rally in Dehri-on Sone (Sasaram), Modi tried to raise the issue of rule of jungle raj but it could not enthuse the people to respond in a positive manner. He urged the people not to allow the return of the people who have a history of making Bihar ‘Bimaru’. “The people who once ruled Bihar are again looking at the developing state with their greedy eyes. But, Bihar must not forget who pushed them backward, that was the time when there was worsening law and order situation and corruption in the state.” Even the BJP leaders confess that the people looked at his suggestion in the backdrop of Nitish’s rule. ‘BIMARU’ is an acronym for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which was first used to refer to their poor economic conditions.

The retired military personnel from the state are also quite angry with the BJP vigilantes who have unleashed misinformation and hatred on social media about non-existent “Muslim Regiment”. Military has Bihar Regiment. These people allege that while Modi has been praising the Army, some people are indulging in dirty game to malign it. Through a tweet from the handle @120croreHindus-World Hindus United it was alleged that “in 1965 there was a regiment in Indian Army called Muslim Regiment which refused to fight against Pakistan after which it was dismantled”. The local ex-armymen allege that this was being done on the eve of election to show that Muslim soldiers had their loyalties to Pakistan rather than India.

They demanded stern action against the mischief makers and also banning the social media from carrying such dirty and insidious campaign.

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RJD releases manifesto ahead of Bihar polls, reiterates promises

RJD on Saturday released its manifesto or vision document, reiterating the promise to recruit 10 lakh persons in government jobs if the party returned to power

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Bihar Polls RJD Manifesto

As lakhs of Bihar voters are poised to exercise their franchise in the first phase of Assembly elections, the RJD on Saturday released its manifesto or vision document, reiterating the promise to recruit 10 lakh persons in government jobs if the party returned to power.

The manifesto, titled ‘Prann Hamara, Sankalp Badlav Ka’ was released by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, the Chief Ministerial face of the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance, in the presence of party spokesperson Manoj Jha, Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Shaktisinh Gohil and other leaders.

Tejashwi said his party would fulfil all promises made to the people.

The RJD manifesto said nearly 10 lakh government jobs would be give in the very first state Cabinet meeting after returning to power as well as abolition of contractual labour system.

The manifesto covers 17 major commitments, including special priority to employment, agriculture, industry, infrastructure development, cultural heritage and construction sectors in the state, community development, poverty alleviation, and education.

It also promises to further strengthen self-help groups and priority to higher education and employment. It pledges to implement local policy in any government job in the state, ensuring at least 85 per cent reservation for local candidates.

The RJD also promised to provide ‘equal wages for equal work’ to the people of Bihar and implement the old pension scheme.

To woo the young voters, the manifesto promised no fee for filling examination forms for government jobs and free travel to examination centres.

Releasing the manifesto, Tejashwi said: “We are not making tall promises but will fulfil the promises made to the people of Bihar.”

Tejashwi dubbed the BJP’s promise of giving 19 lakh jobs as a tactic to fool the electorate in Bihar.

The RJD is set to contest the upcoming state polls in alliance with the Congress and the Left parties.

The elections for 243 Assembly seats will be held in three phases – for 71 seats on October 28, for 94 seats on November 3, and remaining 78 on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.

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How can anyone stop a wife from taking her husband’s name, asks Shivakumar

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DK Shivakumar

Bengaluru, Oct 23 : Taking serious exceptions to BJP leaders launching a campaign against Congress candidate from R.R. Nagara, H. Kusuma, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President D.K. Shivakumar on Friday appealed to the voters to ponder over why Kusuma was not allowed to take her legally wedded late husband’s name.

Speaking at the Vokkaliga leaders’ convention here, Shivakumar said that the BJP fielded Shobha Karandlaje to raise this question on social media platforms that Kusuma should not use her husband’s name in election campaigns.

“Why is she being stopped from using her legitimately wedded husband’s name? Let us dwell into it now. We all know who all protested and demanded a CBI inquiry into his death. They (BJP) indulged in politics, not Kusuma, I would like to remind them,” he said.

Training his guns directly on Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha MP Shobha Karandlaje, Shivakumar said, “I did not expect this from you ‘akka’ (elder sister). God forbid, nothing like this happens to you or anyone in your family. It is a great trauma for a 25-year old woman to become a widow at that age.”

Continuing his attack further, the KPCC President asserted that Kusuma had married D.K. Ravi legally as per the Hindu rituals. “Therefore, people must condemn such illegitimate demand being made by her rivals,” he said.

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