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UP bypolls: Opposition hopes for big upset on many seats

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Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow: Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are hoping for a big upset in the bypolls in 11 Assembly constituencies, the campaigning for which came to an end on Saturday.

Elections are scheduled to take place on October 21. Out of the 11 seats, 9 were with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Rampur and Jalalpur seats were with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) respectively. It is the Rampur seat which has become a prestige battle for the BJP and the SP as both are claiming to be ahead of each other.

SP has fielded Tanzeen Fatima, wife of Azam Khan, who is facing a barrage of court cases. Azam Khan had won the Lok Sabha election with a huge margin defeating BJP’s Jaya Prada. However, the Muslim votes, quite significant here, are expected to be divided this time, as the BSP and Congress have given tickets to Muslim candidates, increasing the chances of the BJP, whose candidate Bharat Bhushan Gupta is banking on Modi factor and current nationalist surge sweeping across the country.

Jalalpur seat which is considered the stranglehold of the BSP, is this time witnessing a tough fight as it has fielded 27-year-old Chhaya Verma, the daughter of Lalji Verma.

Munquad Ali, BSP state President told IANS, “the result will surprise everybody. We will create history this time by winning all the bypolls. We are getting the support of all sections of the society.”

Gangoh Assembly seat in Saharanpur is another tough battle for the BJP. The Congress has fielded Imran Masood’s brother while BJP has given ticket to a new face Keerat Singh. SP is also claiming victory here.

The Ghosi seat which fell vacant following the resignation of MLA Phagu Chauhan after he was appointed the Governor of Bihar is another tough battle for the BJP.

Political analyst Ratanmani said that the opposition parties did not take campaigning seriously in the by elections, yet there are many seats such as Iglas (SC), Jalalpur, Rampur, Ghosi and Gangoh, which can throw up big surprises on October 24, the day of counting.

Lal said, “local issues sometimes get upper hand over nationalistic feelings in by elections. The campaigning and the personality of candidates play a big role in victory and defeat. BJP is focussing more on nationalism and Pakistan instead of on local issues. The opposition can hope to win these seats as people don’t vote in by elections to form the government.”

The Assembly bypolls were necessitated after some MLAs won the Lok Sabha elections and resigned as members of the Assembly.

India

Congress steps up attack on Yogi Adityanath govt

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

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PL Punia Congress

Lucknow, May 26 : The Congress has stepped up its attack on the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, accusing it of putting out fake statistics regarding coronavirus cases and also spreading communal hatred.

Senior Congress leader P L Punia, while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, said that UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu had been sent to jail only because he was helping the migrant workers.

“No one is being allowed to meet the UPCC president and the Congress will not tolerate this injustice,” he said.

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Aradhana Mishra said that the Yogi government had claimed that 25 lakh migrant workers had returned to UP.

“The government has said that the number of infected persons is 6228 so how can they claim that the 25 lakh migrant workers have brought the infection to UP? The chief minister should explain the basis of his claim,” she said.

Mishra demanded that the state government should come clean on the number of patients, testing figures and preparations made for corona.

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India

Arrest of UP Cong chief undemocratic: Priyanka Gandhi

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid the political slugfest over migrant workers and arrest of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, here on Tuesday, termed his arrest undemocratic and violation of humanitarian principle, and demanded that he be released immediately.

“Throwing him into prison on baseless charges during a pandemic reveals the undemocratic and opportunistic mindset of the Yogi government and violates all humanitarian principles,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

“We demand justice for him and will continue to fight until it’s delivered,” she said and also tweeted a video clip showing Lallu providing help to migrants.

“Having lived a life of struggle, perseverance and grit, the UP Congress chief knows well the suffering of displaced and marginalised people. He has fought for them steadfastly throughout his career,” tweeted Priyanka.

Lallu was arrested soon after he was granted bail in another case in Agra on Wednesday. Earlier, he had been arrested in Agra on Tuesday for protesting against the government’s refusal to allow movement of buses in the state.

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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India

My statement on Maharashtra was distorted, says Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi Video Conf

New Delhi, May 27 : After creating a political stir by saying his party is not the key player in Maharashtra, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has claimed that his statement was “distorted”.

In a late Tuesday night tweet along with the video, the former Congress president said “paid media distorts the truth to distract attention from real issues”.

“I would like to make a differentiation here. We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but, we are not the key decision maker in Maharashtra. We are the key decision maker in Punjab we are the key decision maker in Chhattisgarh, in Rajasthan, in Puducherry. So, there is a difference between running a Government and supporting Government,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, he said that the Congress is only supporting the Maharashtra government and is not a key decision maker.

He, however, defended the Maharashtra government and said the state is one of the most connected in the country.

“It is going to be one of the most aggressive places where corona is going to act. However, Maharashtra is struggling because of the nature of its connectivity and Maharashtra is one of the most important assets frankly that India has. It is the centre of business.

“So, it requires full support from the Government of India, I fully understand that Maharashtra is fighting a very difficult battle and I appreciate that fact and so many other states and it is important that full support of the Government of India goes to the people of Maharashtra and the Government of Maharashtra,” the Congress leader said.

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