Mumbai: Despite several Bollywood personalities contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and members of the film fraternity encouraging people to come out and vote, it seems that many actors may give polling in the city a miss.
Suryapet: The bust of Potti Sriramulu stands headless in Suryapet’s market junction. He was ‘beheaded’ at the peak of the Telangana movement. For the uninitiated, Sriramulu’s fast-unto-death led to the merger of Telangana and Seemandhra for the creation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956.
Lucknow: It is a Mayawati poll-drowned Uttar Pradesh is not familiar with - quiet in her backyard, active beyond. Her uncharacteristic approach to Mandate 2014 is being attributed to her pan-India plans for more clout in New Delhi. But political analysts feel this could be counter-productive, as the BJP has gone ballistic in a bid to take control of her communally-charged, polarised bastion of West UP. And they have a word of caution for her: your position at the Centre depends on how BSP performs in UP.
The politically and socially awakened dalits of western UP are getting ‘saffronised’ in the new touchy environment, further ignited by Congress leader Imran Masood’s hate-speech against Narendra Modi and his subsequent arrest.
Social scientist Badri Narain, of Dalit Resource Centre, says, “They (dalit) Jatavs started progressing much before partition. And under BR Ambedkar’s umbrella, they grew economically, acquired land and money. The BSP thus got a fertile area and it stoked their political ambitions and aspirations.” The rise of BSP coincided with the Ram temple movement of BJP. The BJP’s graph dipped after the demolition of the disputed structure in 1992 while the dalit-Muslim combination in western UP boosted BSP.
The Muslims, however, had in 2004 helped Samajwadi Party win seven of 10 seats in that belt though its core vote of Yadavs is negligible there. Post Muzaffarnagar riots, Hindutva slogans lured the Jatavs but some desperate steps taken by Mayawati helped check the exodus.
Now, while BJP is going from door to door and holding mega rallies, her first visit is scheduled on April 3, a week before the 10 seats including riot-torn Muzaffarnagar go to the polls (phase 1). Mawayati, incidentally, has avoided Muzaffarnagar and this has not gone down well with the Muslims.
The dalit-Muslim combination saw BSP winning five of the 10 seats in 2009 while BJP and Rashtriya Lok Dal won two each and Congress one. Among BSP’s five was Muzaffarnagar where the margin of victory was about 20,000 votes, considered narrow in a constituency of 16 lakh voters. (HTNS)
Muzaffarnagar has changed parties every election - Congress in 1999 and SP in 2004. So in order to retain the seat, Mawayati needs the votes of the 4 lakh Muslims and 2.10 lakh Jatavs since RJD and BJP have hold over the other dominant castes such as Jat, Thakur and Bania. The story is similar for Saharanpur, Kairana, Gautambudh Nagar and Aligarh where the communal divide is apparent. Many feel the Muslim mood can be gauged after the first phase of polling, as was the case with the 2012 assembly polls. But they are not sure why Mayawati is playing the fiddle outside while her ‘Rome’ (western UP) is burning.
NEW DELHI: The controversial decision of UPA-II government ahead of general elections to include Jats in OBC category came under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking explanation from the Centre for allegedly ignoring the advice of a statutory body to keep the community away from reservation benefits.
Chandigarh: Taking a dig at prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi in her rally maiden rally in Chandigarh in this election, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati invoked Godhra riots and said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should be stopped from forming a government at the centre.
PUNE: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday launched a scathing attack against the Shiv Sena. Kicking off his poll campaign from Pune, Raj said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were keen to have MNS in the NDA fold, but his estranged cousin and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray didn’t want it to happen.
Chandigarh: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Monday that if they come to power they would order reinvestigation into the railgate in which former railway minister and local MP Pawan Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla was caught taking a bribe of Rs 90 lakh from a senior railway official last year.