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UP civic polls: Drum beating by BJP after results was premature

Overall, in Gorakhpur, BJP won 27 wards, SP 18, BSP 2 and Congress 2. Independents won in 18 seats.

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A day after the civic polls results were announced and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed yet another ‘saffron tsunami’ in its favor, questions being asked now are whether this muscle flexing, chest thumping and drum beating was justified? The party should, at least, hold the ladoos for a while.

While there is no doubt that the BJP had fared very well in the 16 municipal corporations and has succeeded in getting 14 of its mayoral candidates elected, a closer look at the Nagar Palika Parishad and Nagar Panchayat polls paints the picture which is not too comfortable for the rulings dispensation.

While in most places the BJP may have won, the margins, as compared to the February-March 2017 state assembly polls, have dwindled. Also, the BJP is not the number one seat winner — the independents are. But what is noticeable is the fact that both the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) seem to have done impressively at the hustings.

This is in stark contrast to the drubbing they got at the hands of the BJP in the state assembly polls just eight months back. Of the total corporators — 1300, for which elections were held in the three-phased urban body polls in November, BJP managed to win 596 while the SP, which is not an urban voter based party has managed to get 202 seats and the BSP got 147 seats in its first outing in the civic polls.

The Congress, which the BJP leaders seldom choose to spare, has also got 110 seats. Of the 198 Chairmen of the Nagar Palika Parishad seats, BJP has won 69 (or 34%) while 45 have been won by the SP, 29 by the BSP and 9 by the Congress.

In the polls for the 5,261 seats in the members of the Nagar Palika Parishad, BJP has won 917 seats (or only 17.5%) followed by the SP (476), BSP (260) and Congress (154). Of the 438 seats of Nagar Panchayat heads BJP has won 100 (or 22.8%) while the SP has got 83, BSP 45 and 17 have been won by the Congress. This is a victory of sorts, but not something to tom-tom about.

The independents have fared very well, but this had largely been ignored by the regional and national media in the first flush. Fortythree Nagar Palika chairmen, 182 Nagar Panchayat heads, and 222 corporators are independents and so are 7,229 ward members.

Even the first time entrant into civic polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has made inroads into the polity. AAP won 19 Nagar Panchayat member seats, two Nagar Panchayat chairmen seats and 15 Nagar Palika Parishad memberships. According to the state election commission, the AAP has also managed to win three corporator seats in the urban body polls as well.

The Nagar Panchayat head of AAP have been elected in Tendwari (Banda) and Sahaspur (Bijnore). In the nagar Palika Parishad polls, AAP has won two seats in Jhansi and one in Moradabad. AAP’s Vibhu Tripathi has won as a corporator in ward 6 in Lalganj. Haseen Jehan has become corporate from ward 51 in Moradabad.A

Vaibhav Maheshwari, state spokesman of the party told IANS that the “humble beginning with so little resources and cadre is more than heartening”. He added that the BJP should definitely be worried about its prospects in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as the urban body polls have not been “exactly in their favor” as they are tom-tomming.

What could worry the BJP is also the fact that these results have come after a 50-rally campaign by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, while on the other side no one equal to his stature like Mayawati or Akhilesh Yadav campaigned. The victory has also been rendered bitter by serious allegations of bungling in voter lists and manipulation of EVM’s. At many places — like Meerut, Kanpur, Lucknow — there have been reports where a candidate who voted for himself, ended up with zero votes, raising questions about the fairness of the poll process.

Mayawati on Saturday made similar accusations and demanded that the 2019 general elections take place on the basis of old, traditional ballot papers. She went on to say that if this happened, the BJP will never return to power ever. Political observers also feel that at many places BJP scraped through by default, as there was no opposition candidate worth the salt.

Another point that the BJP needs to take note of is the fact that it had lost in ward number 68 in Gorakhpur, the ward where the Gorakshnath Peeth, is located. Adityanath is the priest of the Gorakhshnath temple and is said to have considerable clout there. Nadira Khatoon, an independent candidate here defeated BJP’s Maya Tripathi by 483 votes.

Overall, in Gorakhpur, BJP won 27 wards, SP 18, BSP 2 and Congress 2. Independents won in 18 seats.

BJP’s embarrassment does not end here. The party candidate Prashant Kesari also lost in the home town panchayat of Sirathu. This is the home town panchayat of deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

It’s not a clean sweep for the BJP, as the party spokespersons my like others to think. What came as a relief for it was that the opposition was in disarray. If the diverse oppposition parties could get their act together, the BJP leaders would be forced to spend sleepless nights ahead of the next polls.

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

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National Milk Day: Know history, significance of this day; Interesting facts about milk here

National Milk Day was established in 2014 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to commemorate Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of India’s White Revolution.

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Amul Milk Production

Every year, National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26 across India. The largest milk producing country celebrates this day to demonstrate the importance of milk in everyone’s life. It is worth noting that National Milk Day and World Milk Day are two different events, observed on different dates with different significance.

National Milk Day was established in 2014 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to commemorate Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of India’s White Revolution.

Why is National Milk Day Celebrated?

National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26 all over India, and it was established by the Food and Agricultural Organisation in 2014.

The day is dedicated to honouring Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered to be the father of India’s White Revolution. November 26 is also his birth anniversary, which is why this day is even more important as it also highlights his contribution to the country’s dairy farming and production.

First National Milk Day:

The Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in 2014, took the initiative to celebrate this day for the first time. The first National Milk Day was marked on November 26, 2014, in which various milk producers from 22 states participated.

Kerala-born, Dr Verghese Kurien is known as the ‘Milkman of India’ and the father of the 1970s White Revolution. He came with the one billion litre idea of turning a milk-guzzling country into world’s top dairy producer.

National Milk Day: Interesting facts about milk here

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium and the only drink in the world that contains such a large amount of natural nutrients.

Dr Verghese worked towards enabling the country to have its own production centres of milk. His support was crucial in making the Amul girl ad campaign-which is one of the longest-running campaigns for decades.

His accolades include Ramon Magsaysay Award, World Food Prize, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Wateler Peace Prize.

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Global availability of Covid vaccine for public only by mid-2021: Moody’s

The report said mass vaccination that significantly reduces individual and public health concerns would lift sentiment and present a significant upside to global growth.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

New Delhi: While recent news about the high effectiveness of two coronavirus vaccines is a promising sign in the effort to combat the pandemic, a vaccine for Covid-19 will not be widely distributed before mid-2021, Moodys Investors Service said on Tuesday.

“However, these developments do not change the assumption underpinning our economic forecasts that widespread, global availability of the vaccine to the general public is only likely by around mid-2021,” Moody’s said in a report.

It added that the recent positive news about the effectiveness of vaccines under development will do little to ease the immediate concern that the current rise in coronavirus cases across the US and Europe will dampen sentiments and economic momentum in these regions this quarter and the next.

“Our baseline economic forecasts balance the downside risks of increasing infections and new lockdowns in the next two months, against the potential for widespread vaccinations over the next 12 months. If lockdowns are more severe than we expect, the negative effect on GDP could be offset if a coronavirus vaccine is available quicker and uptake is wider than we had expected,” it added.

Although successful Phase 3 trials of vaccines are a big step, there are numerous hurdles ahead, including satisfying approval requirements by regulators in individual countries, production of the billions of doses required for mass vaccination, ensuring proper storage and building distribution networks.

Distribution will likely occur in phases once regulators approve a vaccine, with health officials prioritizing access for healthcare workers and those in other high-risk professions, as well as for people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as older people and individuals in care homes.

Moody’s said two important variables in overall success of vaccines in curbing the pandemic will be the public’s willingness to get vaccinated and what percentage of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for the spread of the virus to be brought under control. Vaccine availability likely will vary across countries, with cost and access major hurdles in particular for less-developed economies.

Many advanced and a handful of middle-income emerging market countries have already secured contracts for hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccines. Residents of these countries will be among the first to get the vaccinations, with their economies benefiting from the associated easing of the public health crisis. The earlier the health crisis in a country subsides, the stronger the country’s economic recovery will be, it added.

The report said mass vaccination that significantly reduces individual and public health concerns would lift sentiment and present a significant upside to global growth.

As long as the coronavirus remains a health risk, social distancing restrictions and the reluctance of consumers to engage in high contact social and economic activity will mar the recovery of services sectors. As vaccines become broadly available, health fears and concerns about an uncertain economic and financial outlook should recede, allowing for a quicker resumption of activity in high contact sectors such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, mass transit, airlines and travel and tourism.

Moody’s said the pandemic has already inflicted enormous damage on the hardest-hit sectors and will continue to undermine their financial condition and prospects, with repeated virus outbreaks and lockdown measures suppressing demand. The risk of business failure increases exponentially the longer the pandemic prevents a return to some semblance of normal activity.

A vaccine will help accelerate the recovery. But for many of these businesses, survival will remain challenging until the virus is no longer viewed as a significant public health threat. It is difficult to know how many businesses will survive several more months of below-normal revenue, it added.

Small and midsized businesses across advanced and emerging market countries are at risk and more of them will undoubtedly close on account of the prolonged cash flow shock. And those that do survive will have the long and arduous task of rebuilding their balance sheets while also, in many cases, facing significant changes in consumer behavior and demand patterns. “Therefore, even if economic activity returns to healthy levels once a vaccine is widely available, the detrimental economic impact and transformed operating environment will be felt for years to come”, Moody’s said.

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Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day: J-K Lt Governor Pays Tribute To Sikh Guru

Manoj Sinha noted that the pious day is a reminder to respect and uphold the ‘faith, belief and rights of people’.

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Manoj Sinha

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid rich tributes to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, on his martyrdom day on Tuesday.

“The teachings and martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur underline one of the most fundamental principles of human existence, which is ensuring the right of everyone to breathe free and live unshackled,” Sinha said.

Guru Teg Bahadur’s sacrifice is an important reminder for the future generations to be committed towards upholding the faith, belief and rights of people, he added.

On this pious day, everyone must resolve to dedicate themselves to selfless service of others, the LG said.

“Peaceful co-existence, mutual respect for each other’s religious beliefs go a long way in uplifting individual lives and achieving harmony and compassion in the society,” he added.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on April 1, 1621. He resisted forced conversions of Hindus, Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam and was killed on this day in 1675 on the orders of the then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi.

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