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Rahul, Priyanka, Scindia roll out Mission UP with mega roadshow in Lucknow

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday made her formal debut in active politics with a massive road show in Lucknow, accompanied by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, enthusing party workers ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and General Secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia waving to the crowds that lined up the streets during their roadshow in Lucknow on February 11, 2019.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and General Secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia waving to the crowds that lined up the streets during their roadshow in Lucknow on February 11, 2019.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra made her formal debut in active politics with a massive road show in Lucknow, accompanied by her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi and fellow General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, enthusing party workers ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 
The Congress President had, on January 23, appointed Ms. Vadra as the party's General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East and Mr. Scindia as the General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh West. The two young leaders will oversee the party's efforts in the coming Lok Sabha elections in their respective areas, and will, therefore, be each responsible for roughly half of the 80 seats from the state.
 
The Gandhi siblings and Scindia were accompanied on the roadshow by UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and other senior party leaders. They were greeted all along the four-hour, 25 km drive from the airport to the party's office in Lucknow with rose petals, garlands, bouquets, banners and so on by huge cheering crowds on both sides of the road.
 
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Scindia waved and smiled at the people throughout.
 
Congress volunteers distributed food packets, tea and water to people and patriotic songs were played on loudspeakers.
 
For Priyanka, on whom much of the hopes of the Congress workers in Uttar Pradesh now rests, this was the first time that she was campaigning outside the Lok Sabha constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli, held by Rahul Gandhi and their mother and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, respectively.
 
Speaking at the end of the roadshow, the Congress President said his party was committed to playing on the front foot, without any hesitation and without fear, in Uttar Pradesh and the rest of the country in the coming Lok Sabha elections, expected to be held in April-May.
 
He said Ms Vadra and Mr. Scindia would work to better the party's performance in the Lok Sabha polls, but, more importantly, they had been entrusted with the task of ensuring that the party was voted to power in the next Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
 
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"We will not rest until we establish a Congress government in Uttar Pradesh," he declared.
 
"This is an ideological battle. On the one  hand,  there is the Congress ideology of brotherhood, love and harmony. On the other, there is the ideology of the BJP, the RSS and of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi of dividing the people, speading hatred and weakening the nation," he said.
 
He said the people had seen the record of Modi in the past four and a half years. He said the Modi government had failed to provide jobs to the youth as promised, had written off loans worth lakhs of crores of rupees of industrialists but had refused to waive farm loans, and had worked for the benefit of a few industrialists. "This is the reality of the man who had said he wanted to be the nation's 'chowkidar' and not Prime Minister," he said.
 
Mr. Gandhi said he had decided to send Ms. Vadra and Ms. Scindia to help revive the party in the Uttar Pradesh. "The Congress began in Uttar Pradesh and cannot remain weak in this state," he said.
 
He told Ms. Vadra, Mr. Scindia, Mr. Babbar and the several other state Congress leaders present that it was their collective responsibility to work for the revival of the party in Uttar Pradesh. The party had managed to win only two of the 80 seats from the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
He said the party would work for the youth, women, farmers, workers and the poor. According to him, the people had tried all other parties and now wanted a progressive government. He said the people realised that the Congress was their only option now.
 
He said the party must make every effort to bring to the fore leadership from the grassroots, making it clear that leaders who parachuted into the state could not produce the desired results.
 
Mr. Gandhi spoke briefly about the latest revelations about the Rafale fighter jets deal which, according to him, strengthened the allegations about corruption at the highest levels.
 
About the BSP-SP alliance in UP, which had kept the Congress out, Mr. Gandhi said he had the greatest respect for BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. "But the Congress will fight with all its might for its ideology and for bringing about change in Uttar Pradesh," he added.
 
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Four held for Bulandshahr violence, police mum on killers' links

Four people have been arrested in connection with the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a young man in violence in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh after cow vigilantes went on a rampage, police said on Tuesday.

Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh who was attacked and shot dead by a mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr on December 3, 2018. (File Photo: IANS)
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh who was attacked and shot dead by a mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr on December 3, 2018. (File Photo: IANS)
Four people have been arrested in connection with the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a young man in violence in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh after cow vigilantes went on a rampage, police said on Tuesday.
 
The police, however, maintained it would be too early to conclude about the involvement of any organisation in the violence although local officials linked the mayhem to right-wing Hindu groups.
 
The police said the main conspirator behind Monday's mob violence was Yogesh Raj, who is on the run and is said to be a Bajrang Dal activist. 
 
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said those arrested were Chaman, Devendra, Ashish Chouhan and Satish, who have been named in the FIR, while the prime suspect was Yogesh Raj.
 
"Those arrested have been found to be leading the crowd after being identified in a video. About 40-50 others who are unidentified were involved in the incident and police is confident of identifying them with the video evidence," he said.
 
The official parried questions about the political links of the three key accused who are also said to include an activist each from the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
 
"Yes, Yogesh Raj is the main conspirator," he said, adding that he was yet to be arrested. 
 
He said six teams have been formed to probe the incident and an SIT has been constituted to investigate the matter.
 
On allegations that policemen fled the spot leaving the slain Inspector alone, Kumar said the circumstances in which police personnel left the place would be analysed and till then no action would be taken against anyone.
 
He said the Inspector was first injured by a stone.
 
"He fell unconscious and was taken in a vehicle which was attacked by a mob with stones and gunfire," he added. Videos which went viral showed the Inspector dead with a bullet wound near the vehicle and several activists running around in circles.
 
A .32 bore bullet was found lodged in the head of Subodh Kumar Singh.
 
Earlier reports said the Inspector was killed when he tried to reason with the Hindutva activists blocking a busy road with carcasses of animals they claimed were of cows.
 
About the death of the youth, Sumeet, only a probe can reveal whether he was killed in cross-firing or police firing, Kumar said.
 
A view of vehicles that were damaged after violence erupted on Monday in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr in violence by a mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter, on December 3, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
A view of vehicles that were damaged after violence erupted on Monday in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr in violence by a mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter, on December 3, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
He said a bullet had been recovered from the body of Sumit. 
 
The officer said the dead officer was being treated as a "martyr" and full state honour was given to him in Meerut in the presence of the police brass.
 
The body was taken to his village in Etah where he would be cremated with full honours.
 
In his village, his family broke down on seeing the mortal remains. His wife rued that he had sought leave but it was not granted. If he had been given leave, he would have been alive, she said.
 
His two teenage sons paid glowing tributes to their father, saying he never discriminated people on the basis of religion.
 
The officer's elder son Shreya is studying MBA while his younger son Abhishek is a student of engineering.
 
The uncle of the dead Inspector said the family won't accept the compensation of Rs 40 lakh announced by the government and instead wanted the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the village. 
 
The government has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the violence, the circumstances leading to it and to identify the people and groups involved. 
 
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati blamed the state government for the violence in Bulandshahr, saying the "lawlessness" in the state was a result of its "faulty and wrong policies".
 
In a statement, the four-time Chief Minister said that government was now faced with the same mobocracy it inculcated to make political gains over the past many years.
 
IANS
 

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Dust storm on Sunday night leaves 23 dead in Uttar Pradesh

Dust storms, hail and lightning have claimed as many as 23 lives in the last 12 hours in Uttar Pradesh, an official said on Monday.

A dust storm lashing Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on May 13, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
A dust storm lashing Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on May 13, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Dust storms, hail and lightning have claimed as many as 23 lives in the last 12 hours in Uttar Pradesh, an official said on Monday.
 
The storm hit Etawah, Banda, Auriyya, Meerut, Kanpur rural, Kannauj, Farukkhabad and Orai districts.
 
Late on Sunday, gusty winds, followed by dust storm, had brought life to a standstill in many parts of the state. Many houses were razed to the ground, hoardings and trees uprooted and power outages reported from various cities and towns.
 
The relief commissioner's office, although, has confirmed only 18 deaths besides two dozen injuries in Sunday's dust storm. 
 
District officials have been asked by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure prompt relief, a government spokesman said. 
 
Due to the uprooting of trees, vehicular traffic on the busy G.T. road near Orai was disrupted for more than four hours. 
 
A woman standing under a tree in Kannauj was killed as it fell on her while two persons have been reported dead from Barabanki. 
 
Three deaths, including a child have been reported from Bulandshahr due to a wall collapse.
 
Five persons have been reported dead in Kasganj and one in the temple town of Vrindavan. Two persons died in Saharanpur after being struck with lightning. 
 
One person died in Muzaffarnagar as he was hit by a tree branch when he was driving a bike. 
 
One person was killed in Ghaziabad's Lalkuan area after a tree fell on a car and a six-year-old died in Hapur after falling in a tube well tank due to the squall. 
 
A passerby was hit by a hoarding brought down by winds near the Stellar Jeevan Society in Noida and died while one woman was killed in Aligarh.
 
While one died in Sambhal, two persons were killed in Banjariya village when two minarets of a mosque were ripped off by high velocity winds and they fell on a house. One person was killed in Budayun.
 
IANS
 
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Modi says Defence Industrial Corridor will be set up in UP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that one of the two Defence Industrial Corridors announced in this year's Budget would be established in Uttar Pradesh with likely investments of up to Rs. 20,000 crore which would help in the development of the state, especially the Bundelkhand region.

 
Modi praises Yogi for bringing positivity in Uttar Pradesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said one of the two Defence Industrial Corridors announced in this year's Budget would be established in Uttar Pradesh with likely investments of up to Rs. 20,000 crore which would help in the development of the state, especially the Bundelkhand region.
 
Delivering the inaugural address at the Uttar Pradesh Investors' Summit 2018 here, he said the corridor -- which will cover Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi and Chitrakoot -- would provide jobs to nearly 2.5 lakh people.
 
Mr. Modi said that the organisation of such a major event in Uttar Pradesh, with the participation of so many investors, was indicative of the change that has come about in the state. He congratulated the State and its Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for establishing itself on the path of development and prosperity in such a short timeframe.
 
He said the State is blessed with an abundance of resources and capabilities. He noted its strengths in agriculture. He complimented Yogi Adityanath for changing the negative atmosphere in the State, to one of positivity and hope. He said the State is making appropriate policies for various sectors. He said the State Government is serious about fulfilling the promises made to farmers, women and youth.
 
He said the State is working on a “One District, One Product” scheme. He said the Union Government’s schemes such as Skill India Mission, Stand Up India, Start Up India and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, will prove useful in implementing the “One District, One Product” scheme.
 
He said the Union Government’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Scheme would help reduce wastage in the agriculture sector. He said the State had immense potential in ethanol production, due to large sugarcane cultivation.
 
The Prime Minister said that the Kumbh Mela to be organized next year at Prayag, would be the largest such event of its kind in the world.
 
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Mr. Modi referred to the many strengths and attractions of Uttar Pradesh -- the chikan work of Lucknow, jari and zardosi of Varanasi, brassware of Moradabad, glassware of Firozabad, pethas of Agra and the perfumes of Kannauj; its places of tourist importance such as Agra, Ayodhya, Mathura; its mighty rivers Ganga and Yamuna; and its educational institutions like IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
 
He pointed out that it was the number one state in production of foodgrains, sugarcane, milk and potatoes; number two in vegetables and number three in fruits; and among the top states in the small scale industries sector.
 
He stressed the need for the state to develop a better work culture and a business culture and introduce investment-friendly policies to take full advantage of its enormous potential.
 
Mr. Modi referred to the many projects under implementation, including plans for two new international airports at Khushinagar and Jhevar in the state, new airports at Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Bareily, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Moradabad, Aligarh and Azamgarh, and so on.
 
He said that when the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors as well as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial corridor, all of which will pass through Uttar Pradesh, are completed, they will give a major boost to the state's economy.
 
Similarly, work was on on the Haldia-Varanasi national waterway and for metro rail projects in Meerut, Kanpur and Varanasi, and all these projects would help create a world class transport infrastructure in the state, he said.
 
Stating that Gujarat was the first state to host investor summits, a trend that has now spread to all the states, he stressed the importance of setting up a monitoring mechanism to ensure that MoUs are translated into projects on the ground.
 
Finland, the Netherlands, Japan, Czech Republic, Thailand, Slovakia and Mauritius are the partner countries at the two-day summit.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind will address the valedictory session of the summit tomorrow.
 
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Congress not to field candidates in 7 seats in UP

File photo of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar/ (Photo: IANS)
File photo of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar/ (Photo: IANS)
The Congress on Sunday announced it will not contest seven Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh to return the favour of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance, which has left two seats for the party in the state.
 
Addressing a press conference at the Nehru Bhawan here, Congress state unit chief Raj Babbar said, "The SP-BSP-RLD have not fielded any candidates from Rae Bareli and Amethi (represented by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi) and so our party has also decided not to contest seven seats."
 
He said the Congress will not contest in Mainpuri, the seat from which SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is contesting the polls.
 
The Congress will also not contest in Kannauj, a seat represented by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple and Firozabad, represented by Akhilesh's cousin Akshay Yadav.
 
Babbar said the Congress will also not field candidates from those seats that the BSP Chief Mayawati, RLD Chief Ajit Singh and RLD Vice President Jayant Chaudhary want to contest.
 
He, however, said the name of the seventh seat will be announced in a few days.
 
According to party leaders, Congress may give up the Azamgarh seat, from where Akhilesh Yadav is expected to contest.
 
The BSP is contesting 38 seats in the state, the SP 37 and the RLD three.
 
The UP Congress chief also announced an alliance with the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) for seven seats in the state.
 
He said the JAP will contest five seats on its own symbol and two seats on the Congress symbol.
 
The JAP will contest on its own symbol from Jhansi, Etah, Chandauli, Basti and one more seat, which will be decided in a day or two.
 
It will contest on the Congress symbol from Chandauli and one more seat, which will be declared in a few days, Babbar added.
 
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 73 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014.
 
Uttar Pradesh will vote in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka Vadra in Lucknow to meet party workers

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Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday arrived here to meet party workers and office bearers ahead of her boatride from Prayagraj to Varanasi.
 
Gandhi's flight arrived at 10.20 a.m. and she reached Nehru Bhawan, state headquarters on Mall Avenue, in another half an hour.
 
Several delegations who have been protesting against the Yogi Adityanath's Bharatiya Janata Party government's administration here were likely to meet her, party leaders said.
 
There were at least 12 to 13 groups who have sought audience with her separately. each group having about 30-40 members.
 
The meetings were expected to last till 5 p.m. and then she will leave for Prayagraj to kickstart her campaign heading towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
 
Priyanka Gandhi returned to Mall Avenue office a month after she embarked on her poll journey on February 11 along with her brother and party President Rahul Gandhi and her western UP counterpart Jyotiraditya Scindia. 
 
She had at that time held marathon meetings with the party workers for over 40 hours till February 14.
 
The Congress in 2014 had won only Amethi and Rae Bareli seats -- traditional Nehru-Gandhi family boroughs.
 
The SP, the BSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal are contesting the 2019 elections in alliance.
 
The BJP-led NDA alliance won 73 out of 80 seats in the state in  2014.
 
Uttar Pradesh will vote in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
 
IANS
 

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JD-S leader Danish Ali joins BSP ahead of LS polls

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Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader Danish Ali on Saturday joined the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections.
 
Ali joined the BSP in the presence of the party's national general secretary Satish Mishra at the BSP office here.
 
According to BSP sources, Ali, who was considered as a top leader in former Prime Minister H. D. Devegowda's JD-S, is likely to contest from Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh.
 
The BSP which scored a nil in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is contesting the general elections this time in the state in alliance with the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
 
The BJP-led NDA alliance had won 73 out of 80 seats in the state in 2014.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka to kick off steamer poll campaign on Monday

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With less than a month to go for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will kick off a three-day poll campaign from her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru's birthplace Prayagraj to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi by a steamer on March 18.
 
According to Congress leaders, during her three-day programme, she will cover a distance of over 140 km through four districts of the state -- Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), Bhadohi, Mirzapur and Varanasi -- by steamer as well as car.
 
Priyanka's journey will commence from Prayagraj on Monday and conclude at Varanasi's Assi Ghat and Dashashwamedh ghat on Wednesday evening.
 
She will take the steamer ride from Chhatnag in Prayagraj on March 18 and en route meet elderly citizens of Dumduma in Prayagraj and the family members of Mahesh Raj Yadav, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 in a suicide bombing.
 
Priyanka Gandhi will be back on her steamer ride from Rampur ghat in Bhadohi. From there, she will also visit Vindhyachal temple in Mirzapur and meet the carpet weavers before a night halt there.
 
She will commence her journey on Tuesday from Vindhyachal and visit the Dargah of Maulana Ismail Chisti in Bhadohi's Kantit area and interact with people there.
 
The Congress leader will then again be back on the steamer ride from Mirzapur. She will interact with advocates at Kachahri Ghat in the district and then visit Bhatauli village and meet people there.
 
Thereafter, the newly-appointed General Secretary will reach Chandrika Devi temple and interact with people after offering her prayers there.
 
After leaving Chandrika Devi temple, Priyanka will reach Devri in Mirzapur and interact with local villagers there before arriving at Chunar for the night halt.
 
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In the last leg of her three-day journey on Wednesday, she will visit road Varanasi's Sheetla Mandir by  road and meet women groups there.
 
From Sheetla temple, Priyanka will again take the steamer ride till Ramnagar and interact with the fishermen community there.
 
She will also visit the house of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Varanasi's Ramnagar before arriving at Assi Ghat by the steamer. There she will interact with the local people, people from Jain communities and offer prayers at Vishwanath temple.
 
After performing rituals at the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, she will again take the steamer ride to Dashashwamedh ghat.
 
After that, she will leave for the Congress office in Varanasi and interact with party workers during a Holi Milan programme.
 
She will then leave for Delhi on Wednesday evening from Varanasi airport.
 
The Congress is contesting the Lok Sabha polls alone in Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal are contesting in alliance.
 
In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 seats while the Congress had managed to win only two. The Samajwadi Party had won five seats and the BSP had drawn a blank in the state.
 
The Congress has to date announced 26 candidates for Uttar Pradesh. Her brother Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Amethi, while her mother Sonia Gandhi will contest from Rae Bareli seat.
 
Polling in the Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
 
IANS
 

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Cabinet approves Rs. 11,076 crore Kanpur Metro Rail Project

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The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the Kanpur Metro Rail Project with two corridors that will connect major public nodes and city cluster areas of Kanpur.
 
The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 11,076.48 crore and the project will be completed in five years, an official release said.
 
 
According to the release, the length of the ITT-Naubasta corridor will be 23.785 km, partly elevated and partly underground, and comprise 22 stations (14 elevated and 8 underground).
 
The length of the Agriculture University-Barra 8 corridor is 8.60 km, comprising four elevated and four underground stations, it said.
 
The IJT Kanpur - Naubasta corridor will pass through the heart of the city and cover several prominent educational institutions, railway and bus stations, including IIT Kanpur, CSJM University, GSYM Medical College, Jhakarkati Bus Station and Kanpur Central Railway Station.
 
The Agriculture University - Barra 8 corridor will provide connectivity to various densely populated residential areas such as Kakadeo and Govind Nagar.
 
About 40 lakh population is expected to be benefitted by the project directly and indirectly once commercial operations begin, the release said.
 
The proposed corridors will have multi-modal integration with railway stations and will have feeder network of bus, intermediate public transport (IPT) and non-motorized transport (NMT). The project will have non-fare box revenue from rental and advertisement as well as Value Capture Financing (VCF) through mechanism of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR).
 
Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation, a 50:50 jointly owned company of the Government of India (GoI) and the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) will be reconstituted as Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) for implementation of the project.
 
The financing of Kanpur Metro Rail Project will be partly from GoI and GoUP on equal equity basis and partly as soft loan  from bilateral and multilateral international funding agencies.
 
The Government of Uttar Pradesh has already allocated Rs. 175 crore for this project during the financial year 2019-20.
 
Kanpur is one of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh with an estimated population of around 41 lakh. It has historical importance with large scale industrial and commercial activities. Urbanization and rapid growth of vehicular traffic has led to severe stress on the urban transport system in the city resulting also in a deterioration in air quality. 
 
"In this backdrop, it is imperative to strengthen the public transport system in Kanpur and the Metro project will be able to meet this need.  While approving the project, the Cabinet has also stipulated that city bus services in Kanpur should be strengthened within one year of the approval of the Metro Project," the release added.
 
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Kovind inaugurates Apollomedics Super Specialty Hospital in Lucknow

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The President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Apollomedics Super Specialty Hospital here on Sunday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President emphasised the importance of quality and affordable healthcare in the country, and particularly in Uttar Pradesh. He pointed to the successes in meeting the challenges of traditional infectious and communicable diseases, and also to the changing disease patterns in the country that are giving rise to greater cases to non-communicable or lifestyle ailments. 
 
In this context, the President said, the Ayushman Bharat programme, launched in 2018, would go a long way in providing medical cover, especially to underprivileged citizens.
 
Kovind said that quality health for everybody was a shared goal. As such, he was happy the government, civil society, private and charitable institutions and other stakeholders were working together. He expressed confidence that the Apollomedics Super Specialty Hospital would provide state-of-the-art medical care to the people of the state and the region at a reasonable cost.
 
Others who were present and spoke on the occasion included Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh, and Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group.
 
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Kovind to visit Uttar Pradesh on February 24-25

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Lucknow and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on February 24 and 25.
 
On February 24, the President will inaugurate the Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospitals in Lucknow. 
 
On February 25, he will inaugurate the centenary celebrations of the DAV College, Kanpur as well as grace the alumni association conference and annual day function of the BNSD Inter College and Shiksha Niketan in Kanpur.  
 
He will also visit the Dhamma Kalyana Kanpur International Vipassana Meditation Centre where he will inaugurate its new block, an official press release said.
 
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India 'A' women’s hockey team beat France 'A' 2-0

Photo: Hockey India
Photo: Hockey India
Mumtaz Khan and Sharmila Devi scored a goal each to enable India 'A' women's hockey team to beat  France 'A'  2-0 in the third match here at the Mohammad Shahid Stadium here on Tuesday.
 
The match saw the visitors dominate in the opening minutes, but the Indian defence made sure that they did not allow their opposition to score the first goal. With two goalless quarters having passed, it was India who broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute. 
 
Lucknow's own young striker Mumtaz Khan registered her name on the score-sheet as she produced a very calm finish under pressure to give her team a 1-0 lead.
 
The French had several chances in the matches, but could not get past India's goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam. Some reflex saves from the Indian shot-stopper meant that India took their lead into the last quarter. 
 
An eventful last quarter saw both teams vie for the next goal of the match, but eventually it was India 'A' who were successful in their pursuit as they scored another field goal in the last minute of the match to extend their lead to 2-0, and take the third match.
 
The India 'A' women’s team will play their fourth and last match against France on Wednesday,  at the same venue.
 
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Tata Motors begins supply of 40 electric buses to Lucknow City Transport Services

Automobile manufacturers Tata Motors today began the supply of 40 electric buses to Lucknow City Transport Services Limited (LCTSL), with the first of the Ultra 9/9m AC bus flagged off by Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna.
 
The new bus will begin its journey from Alambagh depot, a press release from the company said, adding that the remaining buses would be delivered within the next four months in a phased manner.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Rohit Srivastava, Product Line Head – Passenger Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, said, “Tata Motors has always been at the forefront of the E-mobility evolution and this order is a testament of our best-in-class solution tailored for the bus segment in India. The order is part of the 255 e-buses to be supplied to six STUs in the country, of which LCTSL is one."
 
"Our in-depth understanding of sustainable public transport for different markets and customers is what differentiates us from our competitors. We are determined to develop alternate fuel technologies and create more energy efficient vehicles supporting government’s efforts for promoting electric vehicles in the country," he said.
 
Manufactured at Tata Motors and Tata Marcopolo Dharwad plants, the Ultra Electric buses will have a traveling range of up to 150 kilometers on a single charge. The company has installed a charging station at the Alambagh depot for fast charging of buses. 
 
"The indigenously developed vehicle offers superior design with state-of-the-art features. Li-ion batteries have been placed on the rooftop to prevent breakdown due to waterlogging. The batteries are liquid cooled to maintain the temperature within an optimum range and ensure longer life along with better performance in tropical conditions," the release said.
 
Dr. A.K. Jindal, Head Engineering (Electric & Defence), CVBU, Tata Motors said, “Tata Motors has been engaging in advanced engineering and development of electric traction system for Hybrid as well as Pure Electric vehicles for over a decade. The Ultra Electric Bus is a new modular platform which has been developed in a very short lead time of less than a year, leveraging the knowledge and experience we have gained and demonstrating our commitment to the Government of India’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan for Public Transport. 
 
"The architecture of the platform has been conceived and developed by in-house engineering team of Tata Motors, meeting the requirement of various tenders floated by different state transport undertakings. The exterior has been designed with new brand identity that includes stylized Ultra headlamps and streamlined looks. The vehicle architecture ensures very low energy consumption and low TCO (total cost of operation) apart from being a zero emission environment friendly bus.”
 
According to the release, the Ultra Electric buses are air-conditioned, have modern interiors and comfortable seats for 31 passengers. As an industry first, there will be air suspension for both front and rear axles to make travel more comfortable for the commuters. Integrated electric motor generator with a peak power of 333HP can deliver 197HP continuously ensuring effortless driving in congested roads and frequent start stops needing no shifting of gears. The critical electrical traction components have been sourced from internationally known best-in-class suppliers in USA, Germany and China offering proven products. The buses have been tested and validated by Tata Motors across states including Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Assam and Maharashtra to establish performance in diverse terrains.
 
Ajeet Singh, Joint Director, Urban Transport Directorate, Government of UP commented, “The Government of UP has a clear focus on revolutionizing transportation with sustainable, affordable and safe mobility solutions for the masses. We are elated to collaborate with the pioneers, Tata Motors, to bring to the people of Uttar Pradesh, state-of-the-art electric buses which will transform the bus travel experience with smarter, safer transportation while providing a cleaner environment to the residents."
 
"With an In-depth understanding of the market, Tata Motors is delivering the Starbus Ultra 9m AC E-Buses which will soon ply on the roads of Lucknow, from Alambagh Bus Terminal to Gomti Nagar route. We look forward to strengthening this association with Tata Motors to bring smart city solutions in future," he added.
 
The release said the company has tenders to supply 255 electric buses to six public transport undertakings including WBTC (West Bengal), LCTSL (Lucknow), AICTSL (Indore), ASTC (Guwahati), J&KSRTC (Jammu) and JCTSL (Jaipur). In addition to this, the company is also working on developing its electric mini-bus segment in the near future, it added.
 
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UP Cabinet meets at Kumbh for first time, decides on 600 km Ganga Expressway

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For the first time ever, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet held a meeting at Prayagraj Kumbh today and decided, among other things, to construct a 600 km-long Ganga Expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj at a cost of Rs. 36,000 crore.
 
The project is expected to provide better connectivity from the Western UP districts to Prayagraj, a press release said.
 
Before chairing the meeting, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offered worship at the Hanuman Temple at Sangam and visited Akshaya Vat. 
 
Most of the Cabinet Ministers, including Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, attended the meeting.
 
After the meeting, the Chief Minister took a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati,  along with his cabinet colleagues and visited his Nath sect to meet saints and seers. 
 
Talking to media persons, Adityanath extended his government's gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Government for extending great cooperation in organising Divya and Bhavya Kumbh at Prayagraj. 
 
The undisrupted flow of clean water in river Ganga was the result of the attempt made by the Prime Minister, he said. In 2013, then Mauritius Prime Minister had visited the Prayagraj Kumbh but he did not take a holy dip due to pollution in the river. 
 
This year, not only did the Mauritius Prime Minister take a holy dip, but more than 3000 Pravasi Bharatitas also took the dip. It has happened only due to the cleaning of the river Ganga, he said.
 
He said the Cabinet also approved a proposal for the Gorakhpur link road project connecting Azamgarh and Ambedkarnagar with Purvanchal Expressway. An amount of Rs 5,555 crore will be spent on this project. 
 
The Cabinet also decided to exempt the film Uri from State GST as it promoted patriotism by highlighting the sacrifice of soldiers.
 
The Cabinet also decided to set up a statue of Nishadraj at Sringverpur at Prayagraj and develop the Ashram of Maharshi Valmiki at Chitrakoot, the release added.
 
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BSP, SP announce tie-up for Lok Sabha elections, to contest 38 seats each in UP

BSP supremo Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday announced that the two parties had formed an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and that they would contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, making it clear that the Congress had no place in the equation.

 
SP-BSP alliance: Both parties to contest 38 seats each in UP
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav today announced that the two parties had formed an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and that they would contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, making it clear that the Congress had no place in the equation.
 
Addressing a press conference here along with Yadav, Mayawati said the two parties had decided to split 76 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh equally between them.
 
Two seats had been kept for other parties in the alliance. The two parties also decided that, as in the past, they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the constituencies of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi so that the anti-BJP votes are not split.
 
Explaining why the two parties had decided to keep the Congress out of the alliance, Mayawati said that, for one thing, there was not much difference between it and the ruling BJP. She said the Congress had ruled India and Uttar Pradesh for long years after independence, but basic problems such as poverty, unemployment and so on remained.
 
She also said both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were involved in corrupt defence deals and cited the Bofors case of the 1980s during Congress rule and the ongoing Rafale controversy during the BJP's tenure.
 
She said the Congress had trampled upon the rights of people during the Emergency it had imposed in 1975 and felt things were not very different under the BJP now with an "undeclared emergency".
 
Mayawati also said that the past experience of the BSP and SP showed that they did not gain much from an alliance with the Congress. While they were able to transfer their votes to Congress candidates, the Congress was not able to ensure the transfer of its votes to the BSP or SP candidates, she said.  
 
"While the Congress gained from such an alliance, we ended up losing on polling percentage," she said.
 
"We will not ally with the Congress or other such parties which are unable to transfer their votes to us," she said.
 
Mayawati began the press conference by stating that her party had always worked for the downtrodden as had the SP. She also recalled that the BSP founder, the late Kanshi Ram, and then SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav -- the father of Akhilesh Yadav -- had forged a similar alliance in 1993, which had proved to be a success.
 
She said the alliance would leave no stone unturned to ensure the defeat of the BJP and its allies in the coming Lok Sabha elections. She accused the BJP of pursuing a casteist and communal agenda, on the one hand, and of acting in an arrogant, arbitrary and dictatorial manner, on the other.
 
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Mayawati said there was a need for such an alliance today to combat the allegedly toxic politics practised by the BJP in the country and bring about a political and socio-economic revolution. She said they would work for the benefit of the downtrodden, the poor, the vulnerable and all sections of people, including Dalits, tribals, women, youth, farmers, workers, small traders and minorities.
 
She claimed there was widespread anger and disappointment against the BJP among the youth and other sections, who had been affected by the government's measures and policies such as demonetisation and poor implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).
 
She recalled that the BSP and SP had come together to put up a joint fight against the BJP in recent bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh and won most of them, which pointed to the efficacy of the alliance. She also pointed out that the Congress candidates had lost their deposits in those bye-elections.
 
"We will prevent the BJP from winning any seat in Uttar Pradesh," she said.
 
Mayawati said details of which party will contest from which constituency would be announced in due course.
 
Yadav said all sections of people were facing oppression under the present regime and mentioned problems such as joblessness and the agrarian crisis, which had led to increasing numbers of suicides. He said that the state government in Uttar Pradesh was dividing people along caste and communal lines and accused the police of staging fake encounter deaths.
 
He said the BJP was doing all this to deflect attention from its government's failures at the Centre and in the state, and accused it of creating an atmosphere of fear and terror. 
 
Yadav said the BSP and SP would work together to defeat the BJP and end the injustices that people were suffering from under its rule. "Such an alliance is necessary to end the arrogance of the BJP," he said.
 
Mayawati said the BSP-SP alliance would rob Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of their sleep.
 
Political observers feel that the coming together of the BSP and SP could pose major problems for the BJP in UP, where it had 71 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections.
 
Both Mayawati and Yadav are former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh.
 
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Cold wave intensifies in UP, schools closed in Lucknow, some other places

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A cold wave intensified across Uttar Pradesh on Monday, forcing the closure of schools in the state capital and some other places, weather officials said.
 
According to the officials, rains on Sunday added to the winter chill.
 
While it was expected to be sunny on Monday, the weatherman said the winter chill would continue for the next few days. 
 
More than four dozen trains were running behind their schedules and two others were cancelled. 
 
Fog has been reported from most highways and outskirts of cities and towns.
 
The maximum temperature recorded in the last 24-hours was 21 degrees Celsius while the minimum on Monday as 5.4 degrees celsius. 
 
State Met Director J.P. Gupta informed that the sudden chill was due to a western disturbance over the Himalayas.
 
The Regional Met Office has predicted scanty rains with thundershowers at some places in the state. 
 
IANS
 

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CBI raids SP-BSP leaders, IAS officer over illegal mining

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The CBI on Saturday searched 14 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including the residence of a woman IAS officer, an SP leader and a BSP leader, in connection with its investigation into a case of illegal sand mining, with sources saying the role of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who held the portfolio of mining, will also be probed.
 
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told reporters that the agency registered a case on January 2 against 11 people, including a few known public servants and some unknown public servants and others, under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
The agency has named woman IAS officer B. Chandrakala, a former Hamirpur District Magistrate, miner Adil Khan, geologist/mining officer Moinuddin, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ramesh Kumar Mishra, his brother Dinesh Kumar Mishra, Ram Ashray Prajapati -- a former clerk in the Mining Department in Hamirpur, Sanajy Dikshit, who contested the 2017 Assembly polls on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket, his father Satyadeo Dikshit, and Ram Avtar Singh, a former clerk in the Mining Department.
 
The official said that it conducted searches at 14 locations including one in Lajpat Nagar area of New Delhi, and Kanpur, Lucknow, Hamirpur, Jalon, Hamirpur and Noida (in Uttar Pradesh).
 
The agency carried out searches at two residential premises of Chandrakala in Lucknow and Noida and at the premises of the SP leader and his brother in Kanpur and his close associate Ambika Tiwari in Hamirpur. 
 
Dayal said the case relates to the illegal sand mining between 2012 and 2016, which it had started investigating on the directions of the Allahabad High Court. 
 
He said the agency was investigating the granting and renewal of the licences for the mining in the state between 2012-16 and also during the "obstruction" period. 
 
It is alleged that the lady IAS officer in her capacity as the DM of Hamirpur in 2012 had allocated 50 sand mining leases overriding the e-tendering process, laid down by the then government.
 
The official said that the CBI team recovered a few documents and seized a bank locker and two bank accounts of the IAS officer. 
 
From the residence of Adil Khan, the agency collected the documents related to mining. "We found that the mining licence to him was provided on the recommendation of then Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati," he said.
 
The official said the agency recovered Rs 12.5 lakh and 1.8 kg gold from the residence of Moinuddin in Hamirpur and Rs 2 crore and two kg gold from the residence of the retired clerk of the Mining Department Ram Avtar Singh in Jalon. 
 
"Ram Avtar Singh was also holding a mining licence in a different name," the official said. 
 
He said that it also carried out searches at the residence of SP leader Ramesh Kumar Mihsra's wife in Lucknow but she has not been named in the FIR.
 
A senior agency official said that the agency will also probe the role of the Mining ministers in the state during 2012-16.
 
Former Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held the Mining Ministry in the state from 2012 to 2013. Gayatri Prajapati succeeded Akhilesh Yadav as the Mining Minister.
 
IANS
 

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SP-BSP inch closer to cementing alliance in UP

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Burying the hatchet that kept them apart for more than two decades, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) are said to be inching closer to stitching an alliance against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh, keeping the Congress out of it.
 
Highly-placed political sources said on Saturday that the seat-sharing formula between the one-time arch rivals has been sealed after a meeting of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati in New Delhi late on Friday.
 
The sources told IANS that so far the Congress had not figured in the discussions for an alliance and that on the table for now were BSP, SP and Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in the alliance.
 
However, there was no official word from both the parties on the alliance talks.
 
While SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said reports of keeping the Congress out of the alliance were "fictional", Congress leader P. L. Punia said the party was preparing for elections in Uttar Pradesh saying "coalition is not important".
 
The two leaders are said to have decided to equally share 74 of the 80 seats while two seats will be left for the RLD headed by Ajit Singh and two kept "in reserve for last-minute political grasshoppers". 
 
The alliance will also keep out of the contest in Rae Bareilly and Amethi, seats held by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. In 2014, too, the two parties had not fielded any candidates on these two seats. 
 
With the Congress setting eyes on a large "share of the pie", specially after tasting recent electoral successes in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, the SP-BSP combine, sources say, was "not too excited about the assimilation of the Congress in the opposition space".
 
Moreover, with a large chunk of their vote banks being common, the two regional payers don't seem to be too enthused with the Congress being under the 'gathbandhan' umbrella, a senior leader of the SP said. 
 
He added that the Congress too was not okay with the idea of settling for anything less than 20 seats, something which seems impossible. 
 
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Congress leaders like Punia (who delivered Chhattisgarh to the Congress as its state in-charge) and UPCC chief Raj Babbar are reportedly of the view that the Congress should not "be sheepish in alliance negotiations any more" and should seek its pound of flesh. 
 
They cite the example of 2009 when the Congress romped home with 22 Lok Sabha seats in UP, surprising many prophets of doom. 
 
They also say that with Rahul Gandhi getting more "combative, direct and effective" in taking on the Modi juggernaut, the Congress stood better chances in going alone!
 
Not surprisingly, both the SP and BSP have given enough indications of not continuing their dalliance with the grand old party any longer. 
 
Mayawati, known for her mercurial temperament, had put the Congress recently on notice by threatening to pull the rug from under the newly formed Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan governments if the cases slapped on Dalits last year were not withdrawn. 
 
She had also admitted earlier that she had reluctantly supported the Congress in both states, just to keep the BJP at bay. 
 
Akhilesh Yadav has also recently red-flagged the relations with Congress after the latter did not consider its lone legislator in MP for a ministerial berth. Yadav in fact went to the extent of saying that by doing so, the Congress had cleared his way in UP. 
 
IANS
 

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BJP veteran seeks Gadkari as Deputy PM, Shivraj as party chief

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Veteran BJP leader Sanghpriya Gautam dropped a bombshell on his party on Saturday when he demanded that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari should be made the Deputy Prime Minister while union Home Minister Rajnath Singh should be assigned the charge of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
 
He also suggested that Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah must work hard in the Rajya Sabha while paving the way for former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan as the party President. 
 
In a letter released to the media, the former union Minister also said that the incumbent Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, should be sent to do religious work.
 
Admitting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the tallest leaders the country had produced, the BJP leader said that a repeat of the Modi wave in 2019 was in doubt. 
 
"The Modi mantra is unlikely to work again in the forthcoming general elections and the party workers admit this in private and are suffering in silence," he said.
 
Alleging that there was widespread anger against the policies of the union government, Gautam said that the situation was so grim that if elections were to be held right now, the BJP will be routed in all states barring a few. 
 
Citing the instances of changing the name of the Planning Commission and interference in the working of the CBI and RBI, the BJP leader also took his party to task for trying to topple an elected government in Uttarakhand.
 
The decision of his party to anyhow form governments in Goa and Manipur, he added, was not in the right spirit. 
 
The 88-year-old was a Minister of State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
 

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Fog disrupts normal life in UP, vehicular-rail-air traffic crippled

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Fog continued to disrupt normal life in most parts of Uttar Pradesh for the second consecutive day on Saturday, officials said.
 
According to the regional Met Office, a layer of fog has engulfed most parts of eastern, western and central Uttar Pradesh, leading to disruption of rail, vehicular and air traffic.
 
More than a dozen trains, including Poorva Express, Purushottam Express and the Farakka Exress, were running behind schedule due to fog and intense cold wave. 
 
An official of the Northern Railway (NR) however claimed that due to installation of 'fog pass' devices, the situation was much better than previous years.
 
As many as 6,940 such devices have been fitted in trains all over India, of which NR has 2,648, an official said.
 
Vehicular traffic has been adversely impacted due to the fog and inclement weather across the state, especially on the national highways, the Yamuna Expressway and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
 
There is report of a car pile up on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway at Khekhda in Baghpat district, leaving a dozen injured. 
 
Snowfall in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir has also contributed to the sharp fall of mercury in Uttar Pradesh.
 
People were left shivering on Saturday and morning walkers gave their routine a brief adieu due to drop in temperature.
 
According to sources, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also cancelled his two-day trip to Amethi, his parliamentary constituency, due to poor visibility and bad weather late on Friday.
 
The weatherman said the cold wave is here to stay and foggy conditions will prevail for the next few days.
 
IANS
 

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Bajrang Dal leader held in Bulandshahr cop's murder case

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Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj, the prime suspect in the killing of police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh during mob violence in December in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr, was finally arrested on Thursday.
 
Yogesh Raj was caught after a tip-off led a police team to his hideout in Bulandshahr.
 
Raj is the district coordinator of Bajrang Dal and was wanted for inciting the crowds over alleged cow slaughter at Sayana in Bulandshahr, which led to the murder of the Inspector and a civilian, Sumit. 
 
Another prime accused in the murder, Kalau, was arrested on Tuesday. He had allegedly hit Singh on his head with an axe. The weapon has also been recovered.
 
Prashant Nat, who is already in police custody, is accused of shooting the Inspector after he fell injured. 
 
Senior Superintendent of Police Prabhakar Chowdhary said Kalau revealed that the Inspector was first hit on his head by an axe and then shot. 
 
IANS
 

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Ghazipur constable's murder: Police arrest 11, Akhilesh slams Yogi's 'thoko neeti'

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The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday said that it has arrested 11 people in the killing of a head constable by a violent mob on Saturday.
 
"We have arrested 11 people for the death of head constable Suresh Pratap Singh Vats," Ghazipur Assistant Superintendent of Police Chandra P. Shukla told IANS.
 
He said the police have named 32 known and over 100 unknown persons in the case.
 
Condoling Vats' death, Director General of Police O.P. Singh tweeted, "The death is extremely tragic. So far 19 accused in three cases have been arrested, which include 11 in the case of murder." 
 
"Strict action will be taken against those involved in violence," Singh said.
 
Vats, a head constable posted at the Karimuddin Police Station, died after he sustained head injury by the stone pelting mob of the Nishad party.
 
This is the second such death involving police personnel and mobs this month in the state. 
 
On December 3, police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in Bulandshahr in western UP when he tried to stop a mob of right-wing activists and villagers from keeping cattle carcasses to block a road from where a large number of Muslims were to return after a religious congregation.
 
According to police, Vats was part of a police team trying to control the crowd which was protesting against the detention of a few of its members during a series of demonstrations during the day.
 
The official said that Vats had arrived at the protest site to control the crowd around 4 p.m., after finishing his duty at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in the district, which was 15 km away. However, an hour later he succumbed to his injury, he said.
 
Vats was attached with the Karimuddinpur police station for over a year and belonged to Pratapgarh district. Vats is survived by his wife and three children -- a son and two daughters.
 
Former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday accused Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of following 'thoko neeti' (encounter policy) to avoid transfers, which has led to confusion in the police force.
 
"The Chief Minister keeps harping about 'thok do' (encounter policy). Sometimes the police do not know whom to beat up."
 
"The encounter policy has led the police officers to believe that they could be transferred if they don't organise 'encounters,' forcing their subordinates to follow this attitude," he alleged.
 
On Saturday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condoled the death of the policeman and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to his family members. 
 
The Chief Minister has also announced "extraordinary pension for the wife of the deceased and government service for one person of his family". 
 
IANS
 

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Police constable killed by mob in UP's Ghazipur district

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Workers of a political party stoned a Uttar Pradesh police constable to death in Ghazipur district on Saturday, police said, adding the constable was part of a police team trying to control a crowd gathered to greet Nishad Party state president Sanjay Nishad who was on his way to Gorakhpur from Ghazipur.
 
The constable's death is the second such incident this month. On December 3, police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in Bulandshahr in western UP when he tried to stop a mob of right-wing activists and villagers from keeping cattle carcasses to block a road from where a large number of Muslims were to return after a religious congregation.
 
An official on Saturday said a police team was trying to manage traffic after Prime minister Narendra Modi's rally in Ghazipur. "Some supporters of Nishad entered into an argument with policemen trying to clear the road of vehicles," said a police source. 
 
The workers hurled stones at the policemen and torched some vehicles. "While more policemen arrived to chase the mob away and detained a few of them, it was too late for Surendra Vats who bled to death after being hit in the head by a stone. The deceased was posted at Kareemuddinpur police station", the source said. 
 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has condoled the death of the policeman and has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 40 lakh to his widow, a government spokesman said. 
 
"He has announced Rs 40-lakh compensation for the wife of the deceased and Rs 10 lakhs to his parents if alive", said the spokesman.
 
The Chief Minister has also announced "extraordinary pension for the wife of the deceased and government service for one person of his family". 
 
He has also directed the District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police to take strict action against the unruly elements and immediately arrest them, the spokesman said.
 
IANS
 

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Police claim arrest of prime accused in Bulandshahr violence

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The Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday claimed to have arrested the prime accused in the killing of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was shot dead during mob violence in Bulandshahar earlier this month.
 
Police sources said the prime accused Prashant Nat was arrested after his identification from a series of mobile phone-made videos of the violence.
 
The police took Nat and his accomplice to Kalwa for recreating the crime scene. The police said all the accused in the incident were from the Chingrawathi village, of which four are in jail now. 
 
Initially the prime accused was Yogesh Raj, the Bajrang Dal district convenor, but he is still at large. 
 
A police inspector and another local Sumit Gautam were killed in the mob violence that broke out in Bulandshahr on December 3 after cattle carcasses were found in a field.
 
Right-wing groups demanded action against some locals and blocked traffic on a main road after which a police team rushed to the scene, only to be attacked by an infuriated crowd. 
 
Stones were thrown at them, and later police officer Subodh Kumar Singh was shot dead. The Bulandshahr SSP was shifted after the violence and some policemen were also transferred.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had first called the violence an "incident" but later said that it was a big political conspiracy.
 
IANS
 

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TV sting: Yogi orders suspension of three PS to ministers, forms SIT

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday took a grim view of a sting operation report aired by a private TV channel against three secretariat employees and ordered their suspension, an official said.
 
Adityanath has also ordered forming a Special Investigation team (SIT), to be headed by the Additional Director General (Lucknow Zone) Rajeev Krishna, to probe the matter.
 
Inspector General (Special Task Force) and senior officials of the Vigilance Department will be the other members of the SIT. Special Secretary (IT) Rakesh Verma will extend his help to the SIT.
 
The Chief Minister has asked the SIT to begin the probe immediately and record the statements of all parties involved in the matter.
 
The SIT has been asked to complete its investigations in ten days. The Chief Minister has also instructed the Secretariat Administration department to review all other such incidents.
 
In the sting operation, Om Prakash Kashyap, personal secretary of Backward Welfare Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar is shown allegedly seeking Rs 40 lakh for a transfer.
 
There are also alleged recordings of the secretariat staff assuring the reporter posing as a contractor that a school bag and uniform contract would be swung in his favour and for the deal, talks will be held with the husband of Minister of State for Basic Education Anupama Jaiswal.
 
The secretary of the minister is shown seeking commission in the tender of socks and shoes. The minister, who is from the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), has clarified that he has nothing to do with the whole incident and has asked principal secretary of his department to order a probe into the matter.
 
In the same sting operation, secretary of MoS (Mining) Archana Pandey is shown striking a deal with the reporter for getting him mining contracts in about half-a-dozen districts.
 
The secretary S. P. Tripathi will be investigated by an SIT, the minister said, adding stringent action will be taken against her PS.
 
Santosh Awasthi, personal secretary to the MoS Basic Education, Sandeep Singh, is also seen in the sting operation "working out a deal" on a books contract and seeking his own cut in the deal. Sandeep Singh is the grandson of former UP chief minister and currently the Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh.
 
The sting operation has come has a rude shock to the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh which has often spoken of probity and good governance.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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