Connect with us


To expand footprint, BJP now looks to ‘blood bonds’



Yogi Adityanath Amit Shah

Lucknow, May 6 : Blood is certainly thicker than everything else. But now, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks to expand its footprint in Uttar Pradesh, especially in places where it is weak, the party is set to use blood as an important instrument to consolidate political loyalties.

And so, as part of its expansion plans in the state, where it just romped home to power with a landslide, the party now intends to hold blood donation and blood testing camps at all block and district levels on August 14, on the eve of the country’s 70th Independence Day. After this, a detailed “blood directory” will be printed and kept available at the block level to give information of the availability of donors of different blood groups during medical and other emergencies.

Confirming the move, state BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak told IANS that a list of donors owing allegiance to the party would be made available at all government hospitals, primary and community health centres. Since stocking such a large number of blood donors — 100 units per block — was not possible, this will be an “on call” list for all future emergencies and need of blood, he added.

The blood listing drive is part of an expansion plan that the BJP is set to soon roll out. Party President Amit Shah has asked office-bearers to select dedicated full-timers on an honorary basis who will give their time and energy to take the BJP flag to places it has either no presence or poor infiltration.

One-hundred-and-sixteen such “full timers” have been identified by the state unit for one year’s service and 16 persons have been selected who would go to other states to spread the message of the BJP in the birth centenary year of its ideologue, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

“The idea is to ensure that after coming to power, the organisational structure keeps moving and is not rusted in the post-poll glory period,” a senior minister told IANS. The party has also set a target of 20,000 such “expansion ambassadors” who will give a fortnight to the party every year. As many as 18,000 names have already been picked from the applications received by the party headquarters in Lucknow. From May 10 to 25, senior office bearers will spend a fortnight in such untouched sectors.

The party has also prepared a list of 35-40 “key areas” of society which need to be tapped in its quest for further, complete and absolute power and reach. These include temples and monasteries, journalists, advocates, teachers, doctors, chartered accountants, NGOs and trade unions. A listing of such groups is under way and senior party leaders, from time to time, have been asked to interact with these groups for feedback on the functioning of both the state government of Yogi Adityanath and the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other efforts to woo more supporters for the BJP include “jan kalyan sammelans” (public welfare conventions), wherein beneficiaries of various government schemes will be called between July 5 and 10; tree plantation at every booth between July 1 and 15; symposiums on the party ideology between July 26 and 31; and debates on “hot topics” like triple talaaq will be held by its minority frontal organisation. Amit Shah himself has allocated 95 days over the next one year to visit such places where the party is weak.

Meetings of the district executive committee are being held for three days from Friday to take stock of the directives from the high command and an action plan made to roll out the new projects, a senior leader said.

The saffron camp’s quest for more power seems unquenchable for now.

By : Mohit Dubey

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at [email protected])


24% scheme performance indicators of Delhi government ‘off track’



Manish Sisodia

An average 23.7 per cent of output and outcome indicators for various programmes and schemes of the Delhi government departments were “off track” till December last year, analysis of a report tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday suggested.

The 23.7 per cent of indicators were off track for schemes and programmes of 14 major departments, including Health, Social Welfare and Education, for which funds were allocated in the Delhi Budget 2017-18, according to an IANS analysis of Status Report of the Outcome Budget 2017-18.

The Status Report was presented by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

In the report, the indicators — output and outcome of schemes and programmes — of a department were used to denote whether their schemes were on or off track. Here off track implies the performance or progress of indicators of major schemes of a particular department (till December 2017) was less than 70 per cent of the expected progress.

With 45 per cent indicators off track, the Public Works Department’s schemes performed worst, followed by the Transport Department and the Environment Department, each having 40 per cent of indicators for schemes off track.

The departments whose schemes performed well include the Directorate of Education with 89 per cent indicators of schemes on-track, followed by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) with 87 per cent schemes on track and the Delhi Jal Board with 82 per cent programmes on track.

Sisodia said that idea behind the Outcome Budget was to bring a high degree of accountability and transparency in public spending.

The Outcome Budget, which coveres 34 departments of the government, was termed as the “first of its kind” in the country.

Citing an example of Mohalla Clinics, Sisodia said a regular budget tells only about the money allocated for the construction of clinics, while Outcome Budget is about the number of clinics built and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

The Outcome Budget measures each scheme using two indices: output and outcome.

The infrastructure created or services offered due to spending on a particular scheme is termed as output, whereas the number of people benefited and how is termed as outcome.

(Nikhil M. Babu can be contacted at [email protected])

Continue Reading


Will Drabu’s ouster impact PDP-BJP alliance in J&K?

While even Mehbooba’s political adversaries, including the National Conference President, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, have welcomed her decision, her allies in the BJP are not happy at all about her decision.



Jammu, March 15 : The decision by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to drop Haseeb Drabu from her council of ministers for his remarks at a business meet in Delhi is being hotly debated in political circles – especially what its consequences could be on the state’s PDP-BJP ruling coalition.

By doing what she has done, the Chief Minister has proved that she is prepared take political risks — and taking her for granted is something her colleagues and allies should learn not to do.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders were aghast after Drabu, who was the Finance Minister, was quoted as telling a meeting organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi that Kashmir was not a political problem and a conflict state but a “social problem”. He said this while seeking investments in the state from businessmen and saying the conditions in the state were conducive to business “where you will find some very interesting opportunities” not just to make money but also to have “a lot of fun and enjoy yourselves”.

PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni had said this was something which negated the very existence of the PDP because it is the firm belief of the party that Kashmir is political problem that needed political remedies to resolve.

Interestingly, instead of voices being raised in Drabu’s favour by his own party men, leaders of the PDP’s coalition unlikely partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seem to be more worried about the decision to drop him.

Some senior BJP leaders have rushed to Delhi to discuss the development and its fallout on the ruling coalition with the central leadership of the party.

How important Drabu had been for the PDP was proved not once, but many times in the past. The late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed trusted him to work out the terms of the agenda of alliance with BJP National Secretary Ram Madhav that finally paved the way for the present PDP-BJP coalition.

“Mufti Sahib always loved him and would overlook what some of his party men would say about Drabu Sahib,” said a PDP insider, not wishing to be identified.

In a letter released to the media after he was dropped from the cabinet, Drabu expressed sorrow for not being told by the Chief Minister or her office about the decision to drop him.

“I read it on the website of daily ‘Greater Kashmir’. I tried to call the Chief Minister, but was told she was busy and would call back. I waited, but my call was never returned,” he rued.

He also said in his letter that he had been quoted out of context by the media and that he what he had said was that Kashmir is not only a political problem, but that “we must also look beyond this”, Drabu clarified.

Sayeed made Drabu his economic advisor during his 2002 chief ministerial tenure and later made him the chairman of the local Jammu and Kashmir Bank. In fact, Drabu became the point man between the PDP and the BJP after the 2014 assembly elections.

The problem is that many PDP leaders had of late started saying that Drabu was more of “Delhi’s man in Kashmir rather than Kashmir’s man in Delhi”. Drabu is reportedly very close to Ram Madhav, the powerful BJP leader who is in-charge of Kashmir affairs, which many say “cost him his job”. It is this image that has been floating around in the PDP that finally cost him his berth in the state cabinet.

While even Mehbooba’s political adversaries, including the National Conference President, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, have welcomed her decision, her allies in the BJP are not happy at all about her decision.

“What did he say? He said it is a social problem and Kashmir is a society in search of itself. Is this wrong? We don’t think this is something for which such a harsh decision should have been taken,” a senior BJP leader told IANS, not wanting to be named.

His successor, Syed Altaf Bukhari, who has been assigned the finance portfolio, took a major decision immediately after taking over. Bukhari announced that the decision to replace the old treasury system by the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) has been put on hold. The ambitious PAO system was Drabu’s brainchild.

Bukhari’s decision has been welcomed by hundreds of contractors in the state who had been on strike during the last 13 days demanding their pending payments and suspension of the PAO system at least till March 31.

Would Drabu’s ouster be a storm in a teacup or would it have repercussions on the PDP-BJP ruling alliance in the immediate future? Ironically, Drabu’s PDP colleagues say it won’t be, while the BJP leaders in the state say it would.

By : Sheikh Qayoom

(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at [email protected])

Continue Reading


Reports claiming top Indian leaders have fake followers deeply flawed: Twitter

A recent “Twitter Audit” report claimed that Modi, Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah and others lead the list of leaders with fake followers globally.




New Delhi, March 14 : After reports surfaced that some of the top Indian politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter accounts are infested with fake followers, the micro-blogging platform on Wednesday termed such reports as baseless.

A recent “Twitter Audit” report claimed that Modi, Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah and others lead the list of leaders with fake followers globally.

According to a statement given to IANS, Twitter said the “Twitter Audit” fake follower measurement tool is not the company’s product.

“The methodology used by ‘Twitter Audit’ is deeply flawed and their incorrect information should not be taken seriously,” a Twitter spokesperson told IANS.

Twitter Fake Followers

The media reports are completely incorrect and do not have any source or authentic veracity of the information, the company said.

Twitter Audit is an external tool not affiliated to the micro-blogging website.

It takes a sample of 5,000 Twitter followers and assesses them on the number of tweets, followers, mutual followers and other parameters.

According to its website, “the scoring method is not perfect but it is a good way to tell if someone with lots of followers is likely to have increased their follower count by inorganic, fraudulent, or dishonest means”.

According to Twitter Audit, Rahul has the highest percentage of fake Twitter followers at 67 per cent, followed by Shah, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and Modi.

In Modi’s case, Twitter Audit claimed 61 per cent of his followers are fake. Modi has 41 million followers.

Continue Reading

Most Popular