Eye on 2024, Akhilesh set to kick off UP tour to galvanise SP

The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 17-01-2023 | 11:45 am

Eye on 2024, Akhilesh set to kick off UP tour to galvanise SP

The Samajwadi Party (SP)’s president Akhilesh Yadav has decided to tour all 80 Lok Sabha constituencies across 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh in the coming months in order to mobilise the party rank and file and reach out to people in the state ahead of the 2024 general elections.There is a perception in SP circles that Akhilesh faces a bigger challenge in the 2024 polls as compared to 2019, when the party had contested only 37 seats under an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).SP sources said Akhilesh will kick off his statewide tour in February or March following the end of the Budget Session of the UP Assembly.SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the party chief will tour all the districts of UP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to “hold dialogue with public and party workers”. Chaudhary said when Akhilesh recently visited several jails in various districts to meet the party leaders who have been lodged there, he also held meetings with local party leaders and workers besides interacting with people.“For the 2024 polls Akhilesh will have to focus on larger swathes of UP as the party does not have an alliance with any big party like the BSP this time. He will have to make extra efforts to reach out to voters of all sections including non-Yadav OBCs and Dalits. The challenge is bigger for Akhilesh because the SP does not have any other prominent face to reach out to non-Yadav voters,” said a party leader.SP sources said Akhilesh himself can contest the Lok Sabha election from Kannauj if his wife Dimple Yadav re-contests from the Mainpuri seat that she recently won in the bypoll necessitated by sitting MP and party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s demise.In the 2019 polls, the SP had managed to win just five seats, with key members of the Yadav family losing the election. Dimple had then lost from Kannauj seat, Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav lost Badaun while his another cousin Akshay Yadav, son of senior party leader Ramgopal Yadav, suffered defeat in Firozabad.Subsequently, BSP supremo Mayawati broke up the alliance with Akhilesh. Her party had fared better than the SP in the polls, winning 10 of 38 seats it contested.Of the five seats that the SP had won in the 2019 polls, the party lost the Azamgarh and Rampur seats to the BJP in bypolls held in June last year. While the Azamgarh seat was vacated by Akhilesh himself, Rampur was vacated by senior party leader Azam Khan after they were elected in the UP Assembly polls early last year.In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls too, the SP had won just 5 seats in UP, although the party had then contested 78 seats.Akhilesh was elected as the SP national president for the consecutive third time in September last year but he has not announced the party’s national officer-bearers as yet. Similarly, the party’s UP unit chief Naresh Uttam has not appointed the state party office-bearers so far.SP sources said before embarking on his statewide tour Akhilesh is expected to constitute the party’s national executive committee as well as UP’s state executive committee. The functionaries and members of these committees will be entrusted with the responsibilities to execute the party’s election plan on the ground.Sources said the party is likely to give more representation to non-Yadav OBCs, Dalits and Muslim as compared to Yadavs in both the committees as part of its scaled-up outreach to these communities.Chaudhary said, “The names of SP’s national and state teams have been finalised and the party president is going to announce them very soon.”It is not clear now whether the SP will have a tie-up with any other party besides its current ally RLD for the 2024 polls.Akhilesh will be on a two-day visit to Telangana beginning Tuesday to attend a mega rally being organised by Telangana Chief Minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao.Chaudhary said Rao’s rally will be a platform for the non-BJP and non-Congress parties. “It will be premature to call it Third Front. But it will be an important event ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.Sources said Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) has also shown interest in contesting the Lok Sabha polls in UP in alliance with the SP.Meanwhile, the ruling BJP has already started its Lok Sabha election preparations in UP in full swing, with the party’s several Union ministers having already toured the state’s 16 constituencies where the party had lost in the 2019 polls. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda will start touring these constituencies from later this month.

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Votes cast for 5 MLC seats in Maharashtra after Congress rebellion row
Times of India | 1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 07:09 am
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1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 07:09 am

MUMBAI: Polling for five MLC seats for the teachers (Nagpur, Aurangabad and Konkan) and graduates (Nashik and Amravati) constituencies, marked by a controversy over the suspension of a father-son duo from the Congress for anti-party activities and utter confusion over selection of official nominees by political parties, took place on Monday.Though there are several candidates in the fray, it appears that there will be a straight contest between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the BJP candidates. Counting will be held on February 2.The polling percentage in Nashik was 49.3; in Amravati it was 49.7, in Aurangabad 86, in Nagpur 86.2 and in Konkan it was 91 (figures rounded off).Such elections are barely controversial. But high drama was witnessed over the Nashik division graduates seat after Congress nominee Sudhir Tambe failed to submit his nomination form before the deadline and his son Satyajeet filed his instead as an independent canddiate.Sudhir Tambe is the brother-in-law of Congress legislature party leader and former revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat. The Congress high command had approved Sudhir Tambe's nomination, while he was keen on his son Satyajeet, a former state youth Congress president, getting nominated.According to former chief minister Ashok Chavan, the AICC had given Sudhir Tambe a blank authorization form so that either he or his son could file the nomination. On the last day of filing nominations, both the father and son reached the election office, but Satyajeet Tambe filed papers. MPCC president Nana Patole reacted sharply, alleging the Tambe family had ditched the Congress. According to reports, Satyajeet Tambe was vying for the BJP's support, but it did not take any decision.On the other hand, BJP activist Shubhangi Patil too was vying for the BJP's nomination, and when she failed to get it, she approached Uddhav Thackeray for the MVA's support. After several rounds of talks, the MVA alliance supported the candidature of Patil. As a result, Nashik will witness a straight between the BJP and the Congress rebel.Satyajeet' Tambe's presence in the fray is being viewed as a major embarrassment for Thorat. Patole claimed that the MVA nominees will win all five seats. "Teachers and graduates in these constituencies are with the MVA," he said. Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had toured extensively to campaign for the MVA and BJP nominees respectively for these five council constituencies.

Votes cast for 5 MLC seats in Maharashtra after Congress rebellion row
Maharashtra Minister Compared To Jyotiba Phule, Months After Ink Attack
Ndtv | 1 day ago | 30-01-2023 | 03:13 pm
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1 day ago | 30-01-2023 | 03:13 pm

The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance

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It’s fake news, Rs 1000 notes not coming back from February 1 in Maharashtra
Times of India | 2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 06:49 am
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PUNE: There is a cold wave expected between 1st-4th Feb over Maharashtra, Mumbai will experience temperatures way below 0 degrees for the first time ever." This was among thousands of forwarded messages, including "The reintroduction of Rs 1000 notes into circulation is scheduled for February 1, 2023" and "Crypto currency is now a legal instrument of payment in India " that TOI recently busted as fake.Under the Times Verified campaign, readers send any suspicious messages then see circulating on social media to this paper on the WhatsApp number 9819888887. To verify their credibility, our expert panel - comprising reporters, editors and representatives from the municipality and government - taps into its carefully-cultivated network of trustworthy sources.Launched nationally on November 21 last year, the Times Verified initiative aims to break the chain of viral misinformation and disinformation that has been infecting social media groups. Since the launch, TOI's editorial team has received close to 1.2 lakh messages, half of which turned out to be false. Besides misleading headlines like "The retirement age for all Govt employees increased to 67 from 15th Jan 2023" and "12 passengers of Yeti Airlines that crashed, have survived and are getting treated at a local medical Center in Nepal", the fake news included panic-inducing messages like "Meta announces major down time of 3 days for all its social media platforms starting 3rd Feb 2023, resulting out of scheduled maintenance."Recently, at the Election Commission of India's international conference on the use of technology election integrity in Delhi, Anthony Banbury, president of the US-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems, stated that misinformation was one of the biggest threats to democracy and electoral integrity. Banbury said technological tools were being developed and made available to individuals, candidates, political parties and "malign actors". "More and more companies are willing to sell commercial services to candidates, parties or nefarious actors who want to influence election outcomes to spread misinformation campaigns, to attack political opponents. And where those attacks are coming from are not seen by those consuming the information via social media," Banbury added.In this scenario, the job of our chain-breakers - readers who have been forwarding dubious messages to help identify red flags - is significant. Among these fake news chain-breakers today are readers like Karnataka's Rathnakar Holla, West Bengal's Tapas Das and Maharashtra's Vivek Amonkar, Subhash Bahulekar and Atul Bag. To join them in the war on misinformation, all you have to do is send anxiety-causing headlines doing the rounds of social media networks to our expert panel.

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In 2024 Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi will break all records and NDA will retain power: Maha CM Shinde
The Economic Times | 4 days ago | 27-01-2023 | 05:11 pm
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4 days ago | 27-01-2023 | 05:11 pm

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday said that in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will break all records and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will retain power with a thumping majority. He was talking to reporters after attending the live screening of 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' event addressed by PM Modi. Shinde saw the programme at the municipal school in Kisan Nagar locality of the city, where he had studied.Stating that he was pleased to witness the 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' programme in Thane, where he grew up, Shinde added that he was proud of being a civic school student. Replying to a question on the results of a recent political survey conducted by a media house on the next year's Lok Sabha polls, he said, "In the next general elections, PM Modi will break all records and the NDA will return to power with a thumping majority." Shinde said a survey conducted on just a handful of people does not give a true picture. "They ignored the results of the recently-concluded gram panchayat elections, where the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (Shinde-led faction) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) performed very well," he said. "In politics, two plus two is not always four. A survey based on just a handful of people does not give the real picture...I have got the details of how many people were surveyed. I do not want to go into any figures," he said. In the two-and-a-half years before he became the chief minister, a "government with negativity" was in power, Shinde said while referring to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray. But there is a government with positivity in the state now. There was dissatisfaction in the state during the previous government's rule. But we launched several development works and changed the entire atmosphere in the state, he said. "Now, even I will not be able to say as to who will join hands with whom and whose alliance will break apart. But the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena and BJP have been doing good work and this is a government of the common man. People have already decided whom they will vote for and we understand people's response," he said. "The survey said that the NDA government will come to power and that the popularity of PM Modi is increasing. Is it any different in Maharashtra?...We will be leading whenever elections are held. People of the state have already made up their mind. Hence, those who want to enjoy the opinion poll results for the next one-and-a-half years, let them enjoy," he said. "We are not afraid of elections. Future itself will give replies to the predictions of the survey," he said. During his visit to Thane city on Thursday, Shiv Sena (UBT) president and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleged that the Sena and Maharashtra were defamed due to the "betrayal and defections" that took place, a reference to Shinde and 39 MLAs bringing down the MVA government.Replying to Thackeray's remarks, Shinde said, "We give replies through our work. If you make two allegations, we will carry out four works. It will be our reply. People are not interested in allegations and counter-allegations." "When 50 MLAs, 13 MPs and several office-bearers of the party across the country and even close relatives deserted them, then they should have done soul searching and introspected. Instead of that, they are indulging in allegations. I wish them all the best," he said. Students from 968 schools, including 140 civic ones, in Thane witnessed the 'Pariksha pe Charcha' programme at their schools, BJP MLC and party's Thane city district president Niranjan Davkhare said in a release.

In 2024 Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi will break all records and NDA will retain power: Maha CM Shinde