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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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55 kids injured as high tension wire falls on school in UP's Balrampur

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As many as 55 schoolchildren suffered burn injuries, four of them seriously, when a high tension wire fell on a school in Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur district.
 
The incident occurred on Monday, when an 11,000 KV high tension wire fell on the Vishnupur government primary school premises in Utraula.
 
The injured were rushed to a private hospital and some to the district hospital in Balrampur.
 
There were around 100 children in the school when the wire snapped and fell on the roof of the school building due to which current ran through the entire building causing the injuries.
 
Further casualties were averted as the power was immediately cut off from the high tension wire.
 
As soon as the news of the accident spread in the area, angry parents of the students rushed to the school accusing the administration of criminal neglect.
 
Balrampur District Magistrate Krishna Karunesh immediately terminated the services of one contractual lineman, suspended a skilled coolie and has proposed a departmental enquiry against the concerned junior engineer.
 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed the Balrampur district magistrate to ensure the best possible treatment for the school children.
 
He has also asked the Project Director of the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam to find out the cause for the accident and submit his report within 24 hours so that action can be taken against the guilty.
 
Adityanth has also instructed the Principal Secretary Power and Managing Director of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation to launch a state-wide campaign to raise awareness about the security of high tension wires and ensure their proper maintenance so that such incidents are not repeated.
 
IANS
 

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BJP MLA says he is concerned, boy is 9 years older than his daughter

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BJP MLA Rajesh Misra, whose daughter Sakshi has claimed a threat to her life from her own father, has issued a statement saying that the allegations made by his daughter were false.
 
The MLA said that he was not against his daughter's marriage to a Dalit youth, Ajitesh Kumar, but his main concern was that the boy was nine years elder to his daughter.
 
"As a father, I am naturally concerned about my daughter's future. I want them to return home," he told reporters.
 
In a written statement, he said that his daughter was an adult and was well within her rights to take her own decisions.
 
The MLA further said, "I am busy with my party work and membership drive and I have not said a word to my daughter. These allegations are false," he said.
 
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Bareilly, Muniraj, meanwhile, told reporters that full protection would be given to Sakshi Misra and her husband Ajitesh Kumar.
 
"We are not aware of their present location and as soon as they come into contact with us, we will give them protection," the SSP said.
 
IANS
 

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CBI books Prajapati, 4 IAS officers in illegal sand mining cases in UP

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday said it has registered two fresh cases against former Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati and four IAS officers in the alleged illegal sand mining case and has carried out searches at 12 locations in the state, recovering cash to the tune of Rs 57 lakh.
 
Besides Prajapati, the CBI has named then Principal Secretary Jiwesh Nandan, Special Secretary Santosh Kumar, then District Magistrates Abhay Kumar Singh and Vivek and unknown others.
 
Agency officials carried out searches at 12 locations in Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Fatehpur, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Noida, Gorakhpur and Deoria. An official said that cases of illegal mining have been registered on orders of the Allahabad High Court. 
 
The CBI officials carried out searches against Bulandshahr District Magistrate Abhay Kumar Singh and former Deoria District Magistrate Vivek among others. Abhay Kumar Singh was then posted as the DM of Fatehpur, while Vivek is presently posted as the Director of Training and Employment in Lucknow.
 
The CBI official said that the agency has seized Rs 47 lakh in cash from Abhay Kumar Singh's residence while cash amounting to Rs 10 lakh was found from the premises of Devi Sharan Upadhyay, a former Additional District Magistrate of Deoria (now posted as CDO, Azamgarh). 
 
The CBI also seized property documents from the premises of Vivek in Lucknow. The development can spell trouble for former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav since he has been linked to illegal mining.
 
Abhay Kumar Singh has been under the CBI scanner for alleged irregularities in mining when he was the District Magistrate of Fatehpur during the Akhilesh government. Akhilesh Yadav was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017 and also the Mining Minister from 2012 to 2013. 
 
The illegal mining allegedly took place between 2012 and 2016. Sources in the CBI said that a total of 22 tenders passed by the UP government between 2012 and 2016 were being scrutinised. Of these, 14 were passed when Akhilesh held the mining portfolio and the rest when Prajapati was the mining minister.
 
Prajapati is presently in jail on charges of gangrape of a woman and her minor daughter. In June, the CBI searched his residence in Amethi. The CBI had then conducted searches at 22 locations across the country, including at three premises of Prajapati in Amethi.
 
Earlier this year in January, the CBI raided several locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in connection with the case. The homes of senior officers, including IAS officer B. Chandrakala in Hamirpur, who served as the District Magistrate of Bijnor, Bulandshahr and Meerut, were searched by the CBI.
 
SP MLC Ramesh Misra and his brother, mining clerk Ram Ashray Prajapati, Ambika Tiwari from Hamirpur, mining clerk Ram Avatar Singh and his relative and Sanjay Dikshit were among the accused in the case. According to the CBI, these officials allegedly allowed illegal mining from 2012-16.
 
"The accused and certain other persons illegally granted and renewed fresh leases. These persons were allowed to extort money from leaseholders and also extract money from drivers carrying minerals," a CBI official said.
 
An FIR was registered after the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to conduct inquiries over allegations of illegal sand mining in the five districts of Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Siddhartha Nagar and Deoria.
 
IANS
 

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29 dead, 16 injured as bus skids off Yamuna Expressway into drain near Agra

At least 29 people died and 16 others suffered injuries when a sleeper coach passenger bus skidded off the Agra-Noida Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh and fell into a drain several feet below the road early Monday morning, official sources said.
Rescue workers pulling out passengers from a bus that fell into a drain on the Yamuna Expressway near Agra on July 8, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Rescue workers pulling out passengers from a bus that fell into a drain on the Yamuna Expressway near Agra on July 8, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
At least 29 people died and 16 others suffered injuries when a sleeper coach passenger bus skidded off the Agra-Noida Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh and fell into a drain several feet below the road early this morning, official sources said.
 
The sources sources said the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus was on on an overnight journey from Lucknow to Delhi when it went out of control and fell into the drain near Kuberpur village. A part of the bus was submerged in water, they said.
 
The sources said 29 bodies had been extricated from the bus and about 15-16 people had suffered injuries and had been rushed to a nearby hospital.
 
Preliminary reports suggested that the driver of the bus appeared to have dozed off and lost control over the wheel.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed rescue personnel pulling out bodies from the wreckage of bus.
 
According to various accounts, the bus crashed through the parapet and fell into the drain, some 40 feet below, in the space between the two bridges on the two carriageways of the expressway near milestone 161 (Jharna Nallah) in the Etmadpur police station area of Agra district.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condoled the loss of lives and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each for the next-of-kin of the deceased passengers.
 
He also instructed officials to expedite rescue and relief work at the spot, adding that proper treatment should be provided to the injured. 
 
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O P Singh has directed the police to carry out relief and rescue operations on a war footing and is  personally supervising the efforts. Senior officers have rushed to the scene of the mishap.
 
(With inputs from IANS)
 
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Cabinet nod for leasing out of Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports to Adani Enterprises

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for leasing out of three airports -- Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru -- of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) through public private partnership (PPP) to the highest bidder -- Adani Enterprises Ltd.
 
The company had quoted the highest bid for these airports for operation, management and development under PPP for a lease period of 50 years as per the terms and conditions of the bid documents, an official press release said.
 
"These projects will bring efficiency in delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector. This will also result in enhanced revenues to the AAI, which may lead to further investment by AAI at Tier II and Tier III cities and economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure," the release added.
 
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Priyanka slams UP's law and order; Police responds

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday lashed out at the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the spurt in the rate of crimes in the state. Hours later the state police responded to her tweet.
 
Listing their successes in curbing organised crime, the state police claimed to have arrested close over 9,000 criminals in two years as they listed a set of data about how effective their crime-fighting machinery has been in fighting crime. 
 
"UP Police has taken strict action against serious offenders. In two years, 9,225 criminals have been arrested and 81 have been killed. Illegal assets of more than 200 crore people have been seized under the National Security Act and there has been an unprecedented decline in dacoity, murder, loot and kidnappings," the state police tweeted. 
 
"Because of UP Police's effective working, there has been a 20 to 35 per cent decline in crimes. All sensational crimes have been solved in 48 hours," the police added.
 
Priyanka Gandhi had, earlier on Saturday, slammed the UP government over the spike in criminal activities in the state.
 
"In Uttar Pradesh, criminals are roaming free and doing whatever they want. Criminal incidents are taking place one after the other. However, the BJP government has turned deaf. Has the Uttar Pradesh government surrendered before criminals?" she tweeted in Hindi alongside a collage of news reports.
 
IANS

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21 jail officials, 15 IAS officers transferred in UP

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After a video of prisoners brandishing firearms in the Unnao prison went viral, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh transferred 21 jail officials and 15 IAS officers.
 
According to a statement issued here on Thursday night by Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar, some of the jail officials who have been transferred are Ravikant Singh from Central Jail Agra to Jhansi District Jail, Alok Kumar Shukla posted at Central Jail Bareilly to District Jail Fatehpur, while Dharampal Singh has been transferred to Naini Central Jail (Prayagraj) from Sultanpur District Jail.
 
However, no official from the Unnao district jail was mentioned in the transfer list.
 
Sources said that a proposal has also been sent to the Home Department for the transfer of the inmates to some other jail.
 
In Unnao, departmental proceedings have been initiated against four jail officials on grounds of laxity and dereliction of duty. A show-cause notice has been issued to the prison superintendent and the jailor. The inmates seen with firearms will also be shifted to other jails 
 
Meanwhile, the state government also transferred 15 IAS officers late on Thursday. 
 
Nitin Ramesh Gokarna, Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Planning, was also holding charge of PWD but now the charge of Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban planning has been given to Dinesh Chaturvedi. 
 
Kalpana Awasthi, serving as Principal Secretary, Excise, as well as Forest and Environment, has been relieved of excise charge which has been entrusted to Sanjay Bhoosreddy. 
 
Arvind Kumar Chaurasia, Manoj Kumar and Ravindra Kumar Mandar have been posted as municipal commissioners of Meerut, Jhansi and Mathura-Vrindavan, respectively.
 
IANS

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11-year-old raped, murdered in UP

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An 11-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district.
 
The incident took place on Friday in Safipur police circle. 
 
The girl, who was sleeping outside her house, was found missing when her father woke up in the middle of the night. 
 
"Initially, I thought that she might have gone to nearby fields to answer nature's call. However, when she did not return for long, I along with my family and neighbours launched a search and found my daughter's body lying in an orchard. Her head was badly crushed with bricks," he said.
 
The girl's naked body bore injury marks around her neck and private parts.
 
Unnao Superitendent of Police M. P. Verma said that a case of rape and murder under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) has been registered. He said teams had been formed to arrest the accused and the body had been sent for post-mortem examination.
 
IANS
 

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4 kids electrocuted as live wire falls into pool in Uttar Pradesh

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In a tragic accident, four children were electrocuted to death when a live wire snapped and fell into a tube well pool in which they were bathing. The incident took place on Friday evening in Petiyan village in Sambhal district.
 
The bodies were discovered hours later when a farmer happened to pass by the tube well and saw the children in an unconscious state.
 
He rushed to the village and informed their parents, who reached the spot and informed the police. The electric supply was disconnected and the children were taken to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared them dead.
 
Superintendent of Police (SP) Yamuna Prasad and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Pankaj Pandey said that all the four children, two of them siblings, had gone to Tejpal Saini's tube well pool to take a bath when they got electrocuted.
 
The children have been identified as Vishnu, 11, and Shivam, 7 (both brothers), Dharmveer, 11, and Ganesh, 11. 
 
Hayatnagar Station House Officer (SHO) Ranveer Singh said: "Prima facie it appears to be negligence on the part of the Electricity Department. A live wire connected to a nearby transformer snapped and fell into the tube well pool." 
 
The SP said they sent the bodies for post-mortem and were probing the matter. "Sensing the anger of villagers with the power Department, we have deployed police force to maintain law and order in the area," he said.
 
District Magistrate Avinash Krishan Singh said that Sub-Divisional Magistrate Deependra Yadav was leading an inquiry in the tragedy. 
 
"He will submit his report within three days. Besides, I have also instructed Power Department executive engineer D. S. Sharma to submit his report in this connection," the District Magistrate told reporters.
 
IANS
 

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UP Power Corporation proposes 25% hike for domestic consumers

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Power consumers in Uttar Pradesh are in for a major post-poll shock with the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) proposing a 25 per cent tariff hike for domestic power consumers.
 
Against the prevailing power tariff of Rs 4.90 per unit for the first 150 units, the new tariff will be Rs 6.20 per unit in the same slab. The power tariff for the commercial sector will also be hiked by 10 to 15 per cent.
 
This 26 per cent hike in tariff for domestic sector has been strongly opposed by the Samajwadi Party (SP). 
 
The UPPCL has already submitted the proposed new power tariff structure for 2019-20 to the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) for vetting and final approval. 
 
The UPERC will now conduct public hearing and issue a public notice before taking a call on the new tariff order for the current financial year.
 
SP President Akhilesh Yadav said that this hike would directly impact the middle and lower income groups.
 
"The state government is targeting these classes who will have to bear the burden of this hike in power prices. The BJP government has failed to live up to the demand for power and now they are increasing the tariff," he said.
 
"The BJP government in the state had not increased even one unit of production whereas in the Samajwadi regime, we had doubled production from 9000 MW to 18,000 MW. The state demand for power is almost 24,000 but the state government is unable to meet the same," the former Chief minister added. 
 
UP Power Consumers Council chairman Avadhesh Kumar Verma has alleged that the yawning revenue-expenditure gap and the projected loss by the state power utility was majorly owing to gross inefficiency of the UPPCL management, apart from the procurement of expensive power.
 
The state energy department has sought to justify the proposed increase in power tariff for the current year by citing steeper prices of fuel, including coal, and consequently higher cost of power generation.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka, Sonia to visit Rae Bareli to thank voters

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UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will visit Rae Bareli, her parliamentary constituency, on Wednesday to thank her voters for re-electing her with an overwhelming margin.
 
She will be accompanied by her daughter and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who will arrive in Rae Bareli on Tuesday evening. 
 
Rae Bareli is the only seat that the Congress won in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 general elections. 
 
During her visit, Sonia Gandhi is set to review the party's dismal performance in polls and also strategise the course for the upcoming 2022 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
 
Both Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi will personally meet and thank the booth level workers of the Congress party and the voters of Rae Bareli who helped the Grand Old Party to retain its bastion.
 
"The leaders will review the party's poor performance in the recently concluded general elections. All the key Congress post holders of UPCC have been called in to ascertain the reason behind the poll debacle," said Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi.
 
All district level office bearers of the party will be present at the meeting on Wednesday.
 
Priyanka and Sonia, however, will not visit Amethi this time.
 
Amethi had defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi in the elections and Union Minister Smriti Irani had won by a margin of over 55,000 votes. The Congress has already appointed a two-member committee to probe the reason for the defeat.
 
IANS
 

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UP BJP MLA stands disqualified from Assembly after conviction

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The membership of BJP MLA Ashok Chandel was annulled on the grounds that he has been convicted by the Allahabad High Court for a mass murder that took place 22 years ago in Hamirpur.
 
UP Assembly Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit, on Thursday, announced the disqualification of the BJP MLA with retrospective effect from April 19 – the day on which the high court convicted him.
 
The case against Ashok Chandel dates back to January 26 , 1997 when a minor altercation between local BJP leader Rajiv Shukla and Chandel led to a shootout in which five persons, including Shukla's two elder brothers Rakesh, Rajesh and nephews Ambuj, Ved Nayak and Srikant Pandey were killed.
 
Five more persons, including two children, had suffered bullet injuries in the shootout after which an FIR was lodged against Chandel and nine others.
 
A chargesheet was filed against Ashok Chandel and others after investigation.
 
All the 10 accused were acquitted on July 15, 2002 by additional district and sessions judge, Hamirpur, on the ground that the testimony of witnesses were doubtful.
 
The decision was challenged by Rajiv Shukla before the High Court, which reversed the judgement.
 
Ashok Chandel, a former MP and a four-time MLA from Hamirpur, had started his political carrier in 1989 as an Independent MLA.
 
Meanwhile, the bye-election for the Hamirpur seat will now be held with bye-elections for 11 other assembly seats.
 
IANS
 

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Six killed, 30 injured in road accident in UP

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Six persons were killed and over 30 injured when a tractor-trolley collided with a truck in Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The accident occurred in Sadarpur area on Wednesday night. There were more than 42 passengers on the tractor trolley.
 
Circle Officer Vijay Singh Rana said that the impact of the collision was so strong that the tractor trolley fell into a ditch and turned turtle.
 
The deceased have been identified as Vishram, 60, Ganga Ram, 50, Shankar, 55, Balak Ram, 60, Rishi Kumar,30, and Raja Ram, 35.
 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief over the incident and has directed district officials to provide necessary treatment to the injured.
 
IANS
 

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Mayawati confirms break-up, terms it temporary

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Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati said that her party would contest the coming Assembly bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh alone.
 
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, on the hand, did not comment on Mayawati's statement but said in Azamgarh on Tuesday that the Samajwadi Party would form its own government in Uttar Pradesh in 2022 when Assembly elections are to be held. 
 
This is being seen as an indication of the SP also going it alone in the Assembly polls.
 
Mayawati said she was taking a break from her partnership with the Samajwadi Party. "It is not a permanent break," she explained, asking the Samajwadi Party to bring about improvement in its cadre.
 
She said that the Yadav voters had not supported the alliance. "If Yadavs had voted in full measure for the alliance, senior SP leaders like Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav would not have lost from Yadav-dominated seats. This is a matter for concern for the Samajwadi Party," she said.
 
The BSP president clarified that her party has not benefitted with the base vote of Samajwadi Party.
 
"However, we cannot ignore political compulsions and we will contest the Assembly bye-elections. However, this is not the end of the road. If the Samajwadi Party inculcates a missionary zeal in its workers and improves its performance, we will see," she added.
 
Mayawati spoke about her relations with Akhilesh Yadav and his family and said they gave her utmost respect. "Our relationship will not end though politics is another aspect," she stated.
 
IANS

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Amethi murder due to local rivalry: UP DGP

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The Uttar Pradesh Police said on Tuesday that the killers of Surendra Singh, a former village head and a BJP leader in Amethi, were his local political rivals.
 
It had been widely speculated that Singh was murdered because he had campaigned for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani.
 
Director General of Police O. P. Singh said that on the basis of evidence, the victim had local-level rivalry. One of the accused wanted to contest the panchayat election but Singh was supporting another aspirant.
 
The police have filed a first information report (FIR) against the five accused. 
 
Wasim, Nasim, Golu and Ramchandra have been booked for the murder while the fifth person, identified as Dharamnath Gupta, has been charged with conspiracy to kill the BJP leader. 
 
Three of the accused were arrested on Tuesday and the police are searching for the remaining two.
 
Surendra Singh was shot dead while he was sleeping outside his house early on Sunday and the murder prompted Smriti Irani to come down to Amethi where she met the family of the deceased and even attended the cremation.
 
Later she told reporters that she would personally ensure that the accused got strict punishment.
 
IANS
 

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Raj Babbar offers to quit, owns moral responsibility for Congress rout in UP

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Owning moral responsibility for the rout of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, state Congress President Raj Babbar has reportedly sent his resignation to Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
 
The Congress could win only one seat (Rae Bareli) in the state and Rahul Gandhi lost Amethi to Union Minister Smriti Irani.
 
Raj Babbar also lost the Fatehpur Sikri seat that he contested. He lost the seat to Raj Kumar Chahar of BJP by a margin of overt four lakh votes.
 
In a tweet, the actor-turned-politician said: "My best wishes to the winners. The UP Congress results have been disappointing. I have failed to discharge my responsibility effectively and I blame myself for this. I will meet the party leadership and place my views before them."
 
The BJP and its ally, Apna Dal, have won 64 of the 80 seats while the SP-BSP alliance got only 15 seats. The Congress won only one seat.
 
IANS
 

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Om Prakash Rajbhar dismissed from Yogi government

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Governor Ram Naik on Monday dismissed Uttar Pradesh Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar from his ministerial position on the recommendation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
 
Five other leaders of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), who were holding ministerial ranks in commissions, have also been removed with immediate effect.
 
Talking to reporters immediately after his dismissal, Rajbhar said that he welcomed the decision.
 
"I welcome the decision but I wish that Yogi Adityanath had shown the same haste in dealing with issues related to my demand for implementing prohibition in the state, granting scholarships to poor children and other such issues," he said.
 
He said that he would now work towards exposing the BJP.
 
"I will continue to consolidate my community and tell them how the BJP has cheated the OBCs and Dalits. The BJP never addressed issues raised by me and kept me waiting till the elections were over. 
 
"Surely Yogi Adityanath could have dismissed me even during elections but they did not want to suffer OBC backlash by doing so. However, this is not the end of elections -- there will be more elections in the future," he stated. 
 
Rajbhar had claimed that he had sent his resignation to the Chief Minister on April 13 but BJP sources claim that the resignation was "nowhere to be found".
 
"If he had to resign, he should have sent his resignation to the Governor," said Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma.
 
Rajbhar had used unparliamentary language for the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders during the campaign and had even campaigned for opposition candidates.
 
According to sources, the BJP is now ready to get rid of Om Prakash Rajbhar and would now promote its own Minister of State Anil Rajbhar, a legislator from Sakaldiha Assembly segment in Chandauli district.
 
"We can win over the Rajbhar community through Anil Rajbhar. There are three years to go for the Assembly elections," said a BJP leader
 
Though Rajbhar claimed to have resigned from the Yogi government last month, he continued to enjoy the perks, including bungalow, car and staff, that were given to the cabinet minister.
 
IANS
 

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After Rahul meet, Naidu talks to Mayawati, Akhilesh in UP

Continuing his campaign to meet various leaders and sew up a non-BJP front before the announcement of Lok Sabha results on May 23, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu met Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) President Mayawati here on Saturday.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu meeting BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow, on May 18, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu meeting BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow, on May 18, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Continuing his campaign to meet various leaders and sew up a non-BJP front before the announcement of Lok Sabha results on May 23, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu met Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) President Mayawati here on Saturday.
 
He held talks with Akhilesh Yadav for about 70 minutes at the Samajwadi Party office.
 
Akhilesh Yadav later tweeted: "It is a pleasure to welcome Hon'ble chief minister Shri Chandrababu Naidu ji to Lucknow."
 
Later, Naidu went to Mayawati's Mall Avenue residence. Senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Misra was also present there.
 
Mayawati greeted him with a bouquet while he gifted her a box of mangoes. He had also gifted mangoes to Akhilesh Yadav.
 
His meeting with Mayawati also continued for over an hour.
 
In his meetings held separately with the two leaders, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is believed to have impressed upon them the need to keep the BJP out of power, if it did not get a majority on its own.
 
Sources said that he convinced both the leaders that their stature and respect would not be compromised in the proposed front. 
 
Naidu had arrived in Lucknow after meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi earlier on Saturday.
 
He had met CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury and Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Friday and had discussed with them the possibility of a tie-up in the post-result scenario.
 
Naidu's efforts come ahead of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's proposed meeting of opposition leaders on May 23, the invitations for which have already been sent out.
 
IANS
 

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'Woman in yellow sari' wants to go to 'Bigg Boss'

Reena Dwiwedi, who works as an assistant officer in the PWD department, snapped while reporting for election duty in  Lucknow, carrying an EVM, earlier this month. (Photo: IANS)
Reena Dwiwedi, who works as an assistant officer in the PWD department, snapped while reporting for election duty in Lucknow, carrying an EVM, earlier this month. (Photo: IANS)
For Reena Dwiwedi, the PWD officer who became an Internet sensation after her photograph went viral on social media, now wants to add an element of permanence to her newly-found celebrity status.
 
Reena has said that she would love to participate in the next season of reality show ‘Bigg Boss' if she gets an invitation.
 
"My family is supportive and they are happy that I am getting some recognition. Bigg Boss would be a great opportunity if I get it," she said.
 
Reena's photograph in a bright yellow sari was clicked by a colleague while she was on election duty and going to the polling station with electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
Known as the ‘woman in yellow sari', she became a sensation on the social media and her life has not been the same ever since.
 
Her son Adit, a student of Class 9, has made her respond to video calls of his friends so that they can know that his mother is the ‘woman in yellow sari'.
 
Reena said that she loves dressing up and sees nothing wrong in being well turned-out.
 
IANS
 

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EC finds Smriti's charge of booth capturing false

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The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Uttar Pradesh, Lakku Venkateshwarlu, has said that the allegations of booth capturing levelled by Union Minister Smriti Irani in Amethi are false.
 
Talking to reporters here on Monday evening, the CEO said the charges levelled by an elderly woman in a video clip that went viral on social media were found to be "baseless".
 
"Following the complaint, the sector officer, senior officials and even observers rushed to the booth and spoke to the polling agents of the political parties, other officials in the polling booth following which it was conclusively found that the charges in the video clip were fabricated. Due to prima facie allegations in the clip, the presiding officer was summarily removed while the probe was going on," he said.
 
The video clip had created a huge controversy with Smriti Irani claiming that booth capturing was being done at the behest of Congress President Rahul Gandhi who is seeking re-election in Amethi.
 
Smriti Irani, who is the BJP candidate in Amethi, had tagged the video in her tweet and alleged that polls were being rigged.
 
IANS
 

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Smriti Irani alleges booth capture in Amethi

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Union Minister Smriti Irani on Monday alleged that the Congress workers were capturing booths and forcing voters to cast their vote for the Congress.
 
Irani tweeted a video of a woman who claimed that she was made to vote for the Congress. The woman said that one of the officials forcibly put her finger on the Congress button.
 
"Alert @ECISVEEP Congress President @RahulGandhi ensuring booth capturing," her tweet said.
 
She told reporters that Rahul Gandhi was now resorting to stealing votes. "They said that 'chowkidar chor hai', but they are the ones who are stealing votes. Rahul Gandhi will have to answer for such acts and the administration must look into the matter," she said.
 
Her supporters said that they would soon lodge a formal complaint with the returning officer in this regard.
 
Irani is the BJP candidate in Amethi and is contesting against Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The two are locked in a fierce battle.
 
Gandhi is seeking a re-election from Amethi against Irani, who lost the 2014 polls by just over a lakh votes.
 
IANS
 

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