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November 2007
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Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many-C.M. recommends C.B.I. inquiry into kidnapping of dalit girl student -Uttar Pradesh is ready to teach Hindi to Americans-Politician ‘resigns over kidnap’ -Compensation for kin of deceased cop
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Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many

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News - India’s reform programme suffers a blow

Read more on News - India’s reform programme suffers a blow site

And now on Friday comes further bad news for its principle party, Congress and the influential Gandhi-Nehru dynasty.

Whatever hopes it may have had to regain ground in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the country’s biggest and most politically important state, have been dashed. In fact it has lost ground in UP again.

Since 2004, Congress has lost power state elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Kerala.

It has also done badly in municipal elections in states it rules, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi.

Friday’s poor showing in UP provides more evidence for those predicting further reverses for Congress in Gujarat later this year.

‘Reforms stalled’

So what does this mean for the central fire insurance company ambitious economic reform programme, based on a prediction of 10%+ economic growth?

Outside a Congress party office

There was a sombre mood at Congress offices

Does the economist Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, have political space to push for further reforms?

The editor of one of India’s leading business dailies, The Business Standard, AK Bhattacharya, is among the pessimists. He argues that the reform process “had in any case stalled. The problem for reforms in India is not outside the (governing) UPA but inside the UPA. A defeat in UP will see the situation worsen further”.

Mr Bhattacharya says crucial reforms will suffer. These include:

  • Pension changes that would benefit millions of workers in the unorganised (agriculture casualty insurance property) sector besides those in the organised (unionised) sector

  • Amendments to the Insurance Bill

  • Several policy decisions dealing with the compare home owner insurance of people displaced by economic projects such as Special Economic Zones
  • Banking sector and legal reforms

  • The implementation of VAT at state level.

The basic problem facing the ruling Congress Party has been its inability to widen its electoral base in the country, three years since coming to power with the support of several regional parties and the communists.

A coalition of social groups that the Congress forged after Independence in 1947 helped the party retain power in UP and at the national level for over four decades.

But that has now been hijacked by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Led by the populist Mayawati, the BSP is a party that was formed to champion the cause of Dalits, who are right at the bottom of the Hindu social order.

However, the BSP has now succeeded in winning the support of all social groups including Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.

And that is reason enough for Congress to worry.

‘Status quo’

Every electoral loss leads the ameriprise auto home insurance in the Congress to demand the slowing down of reform measures.

BJP office

The BJP failed to muster a threat in UP

The bureau chief of The Times of India, Diwakar, highlights the failure of the Hindu right, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to stop its reverses in UP.

A resurgent and threatening BJP, he argues, would have helped the Congress appeal for greater discipline and unity within the ruling UPA coalition.

“UPA government ceased to function a year ago,” says Diwakar. “from now onwards do not expect any major announcement that would take India further on the road to globalisation. It will be status quo till 2009.”

Under that scenario, the left-wing parties in the governing coalition will be applying the brakes whenever the government seeks to push its reformist agenda.

‘Serious problem’

Communist Party of India(Marxist) MP Sitaram Yechury says there is a “growing hiatus between shining India and suffering India”, referring to growing divide between urban and rural India.

Mr Yechury believes the UPA government needs to focus on agriculture and rural India otherwise “winning (parliamentary) elections in 2009 will be a serious problem”.

Rising inflation, a fall in the employment growth rate and rising home-loan rates have impacted on a large number of Indians.

The UPA came to power in 2004 on the promise that it would focus attention and provide a bigger share of resources to the vast majority Indians, that is, the poor.

Some decisions, like a job guarantee programme for rural people when rains fail and a law to give land rights to 100 million tribal people are widely seen as progressive moves by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government.

On the other hand, efforts by senior Congress ministers to woo retail giants like Walmart, moves to allow Fortune 500 oil company Reliance Industries to acquire vast areas of farm land for Chinese-inspired Special Economic Zones and attempts to open the country to foreign legal firms and foreign universities are seen as moves that would not politically help the UPA, fire insurance the Congress Party, to turn round its electoral

C.M. recommends C.B.I. inquiry into kidnapping of dalit girl student

Lucknow : November 06, 2007 In the Faizabad’s dalit student Shashi kidnapping case, her father Shri. Yogendra Prasad s/o Shri. Tulsi Ram, r/o Sahulara, post Milkipur (Petrol pump), police station Inayatnagar Faizabad, on October 31 submitted an application to the divisional commissioner and requested immediate action into the matter. He personally met the local BSP legislator and Minister of State Shri. Anand Sen Yadav and asked for his help and the minister obliged him. Vijay Sen Yadav is the driver of Shri. Anand Sen Yadav. Shri. Yogendra Prasad, in his complaint, has said that Vijay Sen Yadav frequented his house on the grounds of providing job. In his complaint, he has alleged that Vijay Sen Yadav had kidnapped his daughter with the help of a woman called Seema. He has also mentioned a few mobile numbers including that of Seema. Later, on November 5, Shri. Yogendra Prasad in a press conference alleged that Vijay Sen Yadav, a lady called Seema and local legislator Shri. Anand Sen Yadav had conspired to kidnap his daughter. The Food Processing State Minister Mr. Anand Sen Yadav has tendered his resignation to the C.M. on the grounds of morality as his name figured in the case. The same has been forwarded to the Governor. The Uttar Chief Minister Km. Mayawati has recommended C.B.I. inquiry into the incident. *******


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Lucknow, Nov 7 (UNI) Indu, the wife of controversial Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Anand Sen Yadav accused of the alleged kidnapping of a Dalit girl, today said a political conspiracy was being hatched against her husband.

Anand Sen Yadav’s wife defends husband
Wednesday, November 07 2007 15:54 (IST)   RSS
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Lucknow, Nov 7 (UNI) Indu, the wife of controversial Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Anand Sen Yadav accused of the alleged kidnapping of a Dalit girl, today said a political conspiracy was being hatched against her husband.

Anand Sen had to resign from the Mayawati Ministry yesterday on moral grounds though he claimed he wa innocent. The Uttar Pradesh government ordered a CBI probe into the disappearance of the LLB-third year student, Shashi, from Faizabad on October 22.

Ms Indu told mediapersons here that her husband was not involved in any controversy with this girl and he had been politically targetted.

‘’We know the girl and her family members due to our political background,'’ she said. She also denied that she or any member of her family had any showdown with Sashi.

Coming out in defence of her husband, she said media hype was being created to tarnish the image of her family members to destroy their political career.

Meanwhile, police was yet to recover the body of the girl said to have been killed by Vijay Sen Yadav, the driver of Anand Sen after abducting her. The accused is being interrogated.

Faizabad police has sent a special team to Sultanpur to trace out the body thrown in the river Gomti.


RTI India

Complete Right to Information Portal of India

BSP government equates Ambedkar memorial to Taj Mahal

The extravagant expenditure on the multibillion rupee Ambedkar memorial to honour the Dalit icon may have Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a bind, but her officials Thursday unhesitatingly equated it with the Taj Mahal.

Cornered over unanswered queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on public funds being spent on projects to commemorate ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) icons B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram, an official of the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) unwittingly drew a parallel between the two.

‘Like Taj Mahal, the Ambedkar Memorial too is a monument and construction work on it is being undertaken on a large scale by different agencies,’ the official told the Central Information Commission (CIC) while pleading for more time to gather the desired information.

The queries were raised by Shailendra Singh, a former Uttar Pradesh police officer who heads the state Congress’ RTI cell.

While castigating the government for its failure to reply to queries raised under the act, Chief Information Commissioner Justice M.A. Khan Thursday fixed Nov 15 as the deadline for detailed information relating to the projects.

It was perhaps in keeping with the Taj Mahal vision that the government Thursday also decided to dole out an additional Rs.5.3 billion ($134.7 million) to these projects, which already have allocations running into many millions.

The allocation formed part of the supplementary demands of almost Rs.20 billion passed by the state assembly Wednesday.

This follows an allocation of Rs.3.2 billion made for the Kanshi Ram memorial in the annual budget passed in July last year.

According to the provisions laid out in the official documents containing the supplementary demands, Rs.1.35 billion has been allocated for largescale renovation of the Ambedkar park cum memorial — on which Mayawati had spent Rs.1.5 billion during her second stint as chief minister in 1996.

The massive outlay had attracted a high-level probe that exposed bungling involving several senior bureaucrats.

With greater emphasis on Kanshi Ram this time, Rs.1.29 billion has been allocated for the Kanshi Ram Prerna Sthal and Rs.400 million for the proposed Rs.1.26 billion Kanshi Ram Guest House project.

In addition, Rs.900 million has been earmarked for installation of statues of BSP icons and other related artefacts at the Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram Memorials.


Uttar Pradesh is ready to teach Hindi to Americans


Posted online: Tuesday , November 06, 2007 at 12:00:00
Updated: Monday , November 05, 2007 at 10:46:56

Lucknow, November 5 Uttar Pradesh hopes to be a key player in the recent project announced by the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) in which it has invited applications from interested Indians to teach Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Urdu in colleges of America. This will be a part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant programme (FLTA) of 2008.

Incidentally, a majority of candidates selected from India in the last two years have been from the state. Indian Programme Officer Sarina Paranjape said, “US college students have shown interest in learning Hindi. The purpose of the FLTA programme is to widen the learning of foreign languages in US colleges. At the same time this provides an opportunity to future teachers of English in India to refine their teaching skills.” She added, “Though there is not much awareness about this opportunity, teachers from Varanasi, Lucknow, Aligarh and even Bareilly have been selected for the program in the last two years. We expect more people to come forward from UP.”

Apart from the age regulation, those applying for this fellowship will have to be either a teacher of English at the college level or training to be an English language teacher. While three out of eight fellows selected from the country in 2006-2007 were from UP, three out of the 11 selected for 2007-2008 batch were also from the state.

Priyanka Chaturvedi from Lucknow, who has just come back after a stint of teaching Hindi at the Iowa University said, “There is a huge demand for teachers of Hindi in America. Since it is the Hindi heartland, UP stands a better chance over other states. Universities in US are also looking for people who have a good command over the English language. There is a huge gap between demand and supply in this case.” When asked about what kind of students opt for Indian languages, Chaturvedi said, “Majority of them are either researching Indian culture or are ‘heritage’ learners. There are also those who are interested to learn the language. Among them are second generation Indians.”

The opportunity to teach Gujarati in US opened up last year, but unfortunately there were no respondents. This is the second year US colleges have asked for instructors of that language.

Sarina Paranjape said, “It is obvious there is a demand in US colleges to learn Gujarati. We hope to get a good response this year.”

BBC News

Politician ‘resigns over kidnap’
A minister in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh resigned over allegations of his involvement in the kidnapping of a female college student, colleagues say.

Pradesh Anand Sen Yadav resigned in order to facilitate a fair inquiry into the student’s disappearance, the state cabinet minister secretary said.

The whereabouts of the young woman are still unknown.

The state’s Chief minister Mayawati has recommended that the investigation be handed over to federal police.

The cabinet secretary said Mr Sen was not involved in the kidnapping.

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Wednesday, Nov 07, 2007

Compensation for kin of deceased cop

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs.5 lakh to the dependent of a police officer killed during an encounter with criminals in Hardoi district.

SHO of Lonar JP Singh was killed on Monday night during a raid at the house of a criminal Beta Singh who was later arrested.


7 districts declared drought hit in U.P.

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Government has declared seven districts in Chitrakoot and Jhansi divisions as drought hit.

The State Government released an amount of Rs.108 crore for relief measures in these districts, official sources said.

The seven districts are Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun and Hamirpur, they said.

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