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BSP begins preparations for Lok Sabha polls

Aiming at a repeat of its success in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in which it secured a majority on its own, the Bahujan Samaj Party has now started preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Monday, Sep 17, 2007

Mayawati woos upper castes; keen to replicate U.P. in Gujarat

Manas Dasgupta

Bahujan Samaj Party to contest all 182 seats in Assembly elections

— Photo: PTI

All set: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati waves to supporters in Vadodara on Sunday as she prepares for the coming Gujarat Assembly elections.

VADODARA: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is to keen on replicating U.P. in Gujarat in the coming Assembly elections by presenting a united front of upper castes and backward classes against the Congress and the BJP.

Addressing a public meeting organised by the Bahujan Samaj Party to welcome some former members of the BJP, including the suspended former State general secretary, Nalin Bhatt, here on Sunday, Ms. Mayawati said her party would contest all the 182 seats in the State. She said she was not looking for power in the State immediately, but was patiently building up the party. The “Bahujan Samaj” had strong vote banks; they were scattered over various constituencies. She said her party would not allow its support base to be wasted by aligning with any other party.

In an apparent bid to woo the upper caste voters, both Ms. Mayawati and her party general secretary and Minister Satish Chandra Mishra repeatedly said the BSP was not against them. The Chief Minister disowned the slogans once made popular to describe the BSP’s strong support base among the backward classes. She said the slogan that her party wanted to “boot out” the Brahmins, the Vaishyas and the Kshatriyas was the “creation” of the Congress and the BJP and was intended to create a division between the Dalits and the upper castes. She insisted that the BSP believed in a classless society

Ms. Mayawati refrained from naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi or attacking his alleged communal policies. Instead, she gave details of the steps being taken by her government in U.P. for the benefit of the backward classes, the poor and the unemployed among the upper castes.

Advocating reservation in jobs both in the public and private sectors, Ms. Mayawati said the BSP government in U.P. had stopped giving any facility to private industries unless they agreed to provide at least 30 per cent reservation in jobs, 10 per cent each for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the socially and educationally backward classes and the poor and the unemployed among the upper castes.

She had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek enforcement of reservation in the private sector, but was told it would be “difficult” to implement. “But we have already done it in U.P. and if my party comes to power at the Centre, it will be implemented at the national level. But till then, we will keep pressuring the Centre.”

Ms. Mayawati said her party had agreed to extend support to the UPA government at the Centre if it was prepared to take the initiative to amend the Constitution to provide for reservation for the poor and the jobless among the upper castes.

Neither the Congress nor the BJP was interested in improving the lot of the poor, she said.

Mayawati aiming at Lok Sabha

< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> 

< ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Lucknow: Aiming at a repeat of its success in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in which it secured a majority on its own, the BSP has now started preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.

The party, which is of the view that the next parliamentary election could be held sometime next year, has begun preparations much in advance, focusing on strengthening its base, both in the State and outside, party sources said.


The BSP feels that completing ground work well in advance will enable it to gain an advantage over its rivals, and it has hence started the exercise for the next Lok Sabha polls, sources said. They said the aim was to win maximum seats in the elections to help the BSP play a greater role in national politics. The party is also working hard at consolidating its base in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where Assembly elections are round the corner, they said.


BSP president Mayawati recently visited Himachal and Gujarat. Her close confidante Satish Misra has been trying to repeat this trend in Rajasthan through ‘Brahmin sammelans’. Those who have been sounded include the majority of sitting MPs, leaders of other parties. PTI


U.P. to appeal against court order


Special Correspondent


LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government will file a special appeal in the Allahabad High Court against the court’s order to cancel the appointment of 13,000 Urdu teachers in primary schools. The order was delivered by the single Judge Bench of Justice Arun Tandon on Friday. Of the 13,000 assistant Urdu teachers selected during the Mulayam Singh regime in 2005-06, around 8,000 are undergoing two years’ training in Basic Teacher’s Course (BTC).


Shailesh Krishna, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, said here on Sunday that the appeal would be filed after studying the court’s order.


Latest Hindu News

BSP is best placed of all

Sun, 09/16/2007 - 20:00

The Mayawati factor is going to dominate the political landscape over the next year. I must admit that Ms Mayawati, by her political action and deeds, is establishing herself as a ‘decisive’ leader for the future. The three Assembly by-election results saw the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) wresting two seats from the Samajwadi Party (SP). The BSP won the Farrukhabad seat (Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s home base) and Swar Tanda by decisive margins and lost to the SP in Gunnar by 13,000 votes. Gun…

After BJP rebels, BSP gets down to wooing tribals, Muslims in Gujarat

Thu, 09/06/2007 - 22:00

WITH the Bahujan Samaj Party Supremo (BSP) Mayawati slated to address a public meeting in Vadodara as a run-up to the state Assembly polls on September 16, party men are now headhunting for faces and leaders. Having declared that they will contest on all the 182 Assembly seats and have no truck with any party in < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Gujarat, BSP men are now poaching on the rebels and discontent, more so from the BJP ……

Maya snatches Mulayam seats

Tue, 09/04/2007 - 00:00

Mayavati today continued her winning streak in Uttar Pradesh, wresting from the Samajwadi Party two of three seats to which Assembly bypolls were held….

Political heat puts retail in Maya freezer

Fri, 08/24/2007 - 05:00

The Mayavati government today shut down all new-age retail stores selling farm products in the state, including 20 Reliance Fresh outlets and several Spencer’s stores opened yesterday, in the face of violent protests led by the Samajwadi Party….

Maya mulls middle path in Reliance row

Tue, 09/04/2007 - 00:00

The Mayavati government may ask retail outlets like Reliance Fresh to procure vegetables from state-run wholesale markets, and not directly from farmers, sources said today….

Mayavati slams PM in Gujarat

Mon, 09/17/2007 - 03:00

Mayavati today took her social engineering strategy to Gujarat, accusing the BJP and the Congress of conspiring to deny quotas to the upper-caste poor….

India eNews Logo

Uttar Pradesh IAS officers in dilemma over new head

By Sharat Pradhan. Uttar Pradesh, India, 07:00 PM IST

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Association of Uttar Pradesh is caught in a dilemma over nomination of a new president as the two prospective nominees were once voted as among the ‘three most corrupt’ bureaucrats by the association members.

The issue has even caused a divide in the association, whose office bearers have no qualms about allowing either of the ‘most corrupt’ to head the body. But a section of senior and young bureaucrats are opposed to the idea of allowing a tainted colleague to head the representative body of the elite service.

Both officers in question, Brijendra Yadav and Neera Yadav, belong to the 1971 batch of the IAS. However, Brijendra happens to be senior to Neera within the batch and has staked claim to the top position.

Association secretary Sanjay Bhoosreddy is opposing Brijendra’s case, saying the latter had resigned from the association almost two decades ago, though he has no written evidence to that effect.

‘They want to ease me out to pave way for Neera Yadav,’ Brijendra Yadav told IANS here Sunday.

Significantly, 10 years ago when the association undertook a unique exercise of identifying the ‘three most corrupt’ amongst them through a secret ballot, both Brijendra and Neera had figured in the list.

While Brijendra got sidelined due to poor health, Neera went on to hold the top bureaucratic position of the state’s chief secretary during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime. She was, however, ousted by an order of the Supreme Court following a public interest litigation (PIL) focusing on her tainted image.

Initially she was shifted to an almost equally key position of chairperson of the State Board of Revenue, only to be later moved by the Mayawati government to a far less important position of chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC).

Since then, she has been desperate to acquire some position of prominence. As association secretary Bhoosreddy is UPSRTC managing director, it apparently became simpler for Neera to push her own case to head the IAS body.

‘As per the precedent of having the senior most IAS officer to head the state IAS association, Neera Yadav should have automatically become president immediately after the retirement of last incumbent Shambhu Nath on March 31. After all, she was the senior most member of the association, since Brijendra Yadav had snapped all ties with the association 20 years ago,’ Bhoosreddy pointed out.

‘We have decided to hold an emergency general meeting of the association on Sep 21 so that we can complete the procedure of nominating our new president.’

He lamented that, ‘this was the first time in the history of the association that it has remained headless for five months.’

Asked if serious corruption charges against Neera Yadav, still under investigation by the central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or indictment by the apex court would not reflect poorly on the association’s image if she were to head the body, Bhoosreddy remarked: ‘Immorality or corruption are non-issues, unless someone is actually convicted by a court.

‘As far as the association is concerned, we go by our constitution which prescribes seniority as the sole criterion for heading the body,’ he maintained.

Flaying Bhoosreddy for his stand, a number of IAS officers are determined to oppose the move.

‘How can we allow this august body to be headed by someone who has brought disrepute and disgrace to the country’s top service?’ asked Vijay Shankar Pandey, an IAS officer of the 1979 batch.

Having earlier led the in-house crusade to identify the ‘three most corrupt IAS officers’, Pandey was firmly of the view that ‘it would be most unfortunate if such tainted persons are allowed to be made president of our prestigious body.’

Suggesting a simple solution to the crisis, he said: ‘We could surely pick up the third senior most IAS officer as next president since the reputation of the two in question was highly tainted.’

The third most senior officer, V.K. Malhotra, is rated as ‘above board.’



Updated: 17 Sep 2007, 0837hrs IST  |  Powered by Indiatimes

BSP worker dies in Vadodara rally
16 Sep 2007, 2011 hrs IST,PTI

VADODARA: A man attending a public rally organised by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Vadodara fainted at the venue and died, police sources said.

Vallabhai Jodia, who had come from Veraval town, fainted at Polo Ground. He was rushed to a city hosptial, where he was pronounced dead, they said.

The cause of the death will be known once the post- mortem report comes, they said.


Maoist Resistance

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Haryana:Dalit unrest

Dalit rally

in Gohana

Dalit resentment becomes widespread in Haryana following the murder of a Valmiki youth.


Police personnel trying to control protesters at Gohana.

ON the night of August 27, Rakesh Lara, a popular local leader of Valmikis, the community considered to be the lowest in the Dalit hierarchy, was shot dead by three motorcycle-borne assailants in Gohana town of Sonepat district in Haryana. The date was perhaps a coincidence: on August 27, 2005, Baljeet Siwach, a Jat youth, was murdered by some Valmiki youth following a petty quarrel. In the reprisal that followed, 50 Dalit homes were singled out for arson and looting.

As soon as news of Lara’s death spread, a police assistance booth was set on fire in Sonepat, window panes of vehicles were broken and two oil tankers were almost set afire on National Highway 71. For the next two days, Dalit resentment became widespread in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab. Angry Valmikis, in response to a call given by the All India Valmiki Mahasabha, poured out on the streets in an unprecedented manner in Hisar, Sirsa, Sonepat, Rohtak, Hansi, Gurgaon, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Panipat, Karnal, Yamunanagar, Fatehabad, Ambala and Panchkula districts and in Chandigarh and set public property on fire. In Punjab, members of the Balmiki Samaj in Sangrur, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Phagwara, Nawanshahar and Patiala districts staged protests. Normalcy returned on August 30 after some arrests were made. Even the lynching of five Dalits on October 15, 2002, in the presence of the police and civil administration officials at Duleena in Jhajjar district, did not draw the kind of reaction that Lara’s death provoked.

The Gohana administration had not anticipated protests on this scale. The message that seemed to go out to the Valmikis was that Lara’s murder was a revenge killing carried out at the behest of the upper castes, apparently with support from government officials.

It was widely believed that the 2005 incident would not have happened without the backing of Lara. There was little doubt then that the administration had acted in a partisan manner by allowing an upper-caste mob to loot and burn Valmiki homes. Lara went underground and the Valmiki families fled, fearing reprisal. The Dalit youth was, however, discharged in the Siwach murder case.


Bhupinder Singh Hooda. His government is facing Dalit ire.

By and large, the protests that followed Lara’s killing were led by a motley group of organisations representing “backward and Dalit” interests. In some districts, the protests were spearheaded by caste organisations affiliated to the main Opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and in some others by the rival factions within the Congress. In Gohana, Congress legislator Dharampal Malik was not allowed to participate in the condolence meeting called by the Valmiki community. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) jumped into the fray, demanding the arrest of the killers, and served an ultimatum on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government to deliver results by the month end. BSP State president Prakash Bharti told mediapersons that he had been deputed by BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati to assess the situation.


As a community that has been struggling for social acceptability, Valmikis saw Lara as the champion of the downtrodden. In 2001, this local hero grabbed the collar of a Deputy Superintendent of Police whom he accused of helping members of the dominant caste in a land grab case. “How could he [Lara] do that? It was as good as challenging the system,” Arun Nehra, DSP, Gohana, told Frontline. Nehra himself has come under a lot of pressure since Lara’s murder. There are demands from caste organisations for his removal. “For two years, I kept the peace in Gohana. No one can accuse me of taking sides,” the police officer, known for his uprightness, said. The investigation into Lara’s murder has been taken from his jurisdiction and handed over to the Superintendent of Police, Sonepat. The Haryana Police are now relieved that the government has ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

The police maintain that Lara was a small-time thug and extortionist. His iconic status was unjustified, especially as he had eight cases pending against him for robbery, assault and other crimes, they say. Valmikis refute this. “If he was a criminal, would hundreds of people turn up at his cremation?” asked Rampal Singh Pradhan, representing the Valmiki Mahasabha. “In fact, he used to protest against extortion. Where are the industries in Gohana for him to extort money from? There are only two bazaars here.” Lara’s mother, Shakuntala, is certain that her son was not an extortionist. “Yes, he used to help adjudicate disputes,” she said, but insisted that he intervened mostly on behalf of the poor.


Mother, wife and sisters of Rakesh Lara at a public mourning for the murdered Dalit youth, in Gohana.

Pran Ratnakar of the Dalit Nyaya Andolan, an organisation fighting for the rights of Dalits all over India, told Frontline that Valmikis had no intention of making the issue into a Jat-versus-Valmiki one. “We have lost faith i n the administration and the police here. Even if the CBI inquiry does not come out with anything concrete, we’ll believe it,” he said. Valmikis feel that there is an attempt to target Valmiki youth as the community has attained some economic success in the past few years. “They [Jats] do not like the status we’ve acquired for ourselves. They probably want to see us only as safai karamcharis,” said Ratnakar, who is a small-time property dealer in Panipat.

Clearly, the social resentments run deep. Lara was seen primarily as a Dalit, and that is the identity that assumes importance with his fellow Valmikis after his murder. Whether or not he was an extortionist becomes immaterial from this perspective. No wonder, then, that the protests have taken on a caste dimension.

The Sonepat S.P., Navdeep Singh Virk, told Frontline that the flare-up could have been far worse as it was known that members of the dominant community were involved in the murder. Virk said the police had little reason to believe t hat there was a caste or revenge angle to the murder. None of the five accused was related to Baljeet Siwach, Virk said, adding that they were all history-sheeters. “The person who fired the shot was a lifer who had jumped parole,” Nehra informed the S.P. Police theories seem to suggest two reasons for the murder. One theory is that it was the outcome of a turf war; the other is that Lara got killed because he extorted protection money from shopkeepers, including those from his own community. Plans to murder him were hatched both “inside” and “outside” jail, police sources say.


There is no doubt that Dalits and backward castes are an exploited lot in the State. However, the overall social situation has changed drastically since the Duleena incident of 2002. The Dalits now assert themselves and articulate their anger at all available fora. The situation in cities and towns is no longer one of dependence. In a factory or an industry, a Dalit is less likely to be discriminated against. In towns, Dalit women work in upper-caste homes. They even cook food for their employers.

On the other hand, the caste politics practised by prominent political parties has affected Valmikis too. Lara, it is learnt, not only was a protector of his community but worked for certain political parties (he was known to be an INLD worker). But after the 2005 arson in Gohana, he “changed”, as did many other Valmiki youth. Caste consciousness became stronger among the youth, and the political parties only helped entrench the feeling.


Family members of the rape victim at Ahulana village in Sonepat district. The potter family is facing a social boycott.

Ironically, on August 26, Chief Minister Hooda announced major relief measures in the form of enhanced minimum wages and special relief for farmers. “The problem is that even if Hooda adopts such measures, he is only seen as patronising members of his own community,” Inderjit Singh, State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said. His party colleague S.N. Solanki, who is a lawyer in Sonepat, said Lara’s murder was not a caste killing but the result of the charged atmosphere in the State. It was interpreted as one because of the increasing number of reports on atrocities against Dalits and backward castes, he said.


Even as the Gohana administration grappled with the situation following Lara’s murder, in nearby Ahulana village, members of the Vishwakarma community, a backward caste, were up in arms against the Sonepat administration for refusing to register a case of rape against two young men belonging to a dominant caste. The alleged incident, involving a Vishwakarma woman, took place on July 18.

This correspondent visited the village. The victim’s family, potters by profession, claimed that the Station House Officer, Ishwar Rathi of the Barauda police station, refused to register a case on the basis of the victim’s complaint. Her relations said the SHO had promised to arrange for a medical examination by a woman doctor, but it was not done. Finally, a case of molestation was registered against the two Jat youth.

To add insult to injury, on August 21, the Ahulana panchayat, allegedly with the connivance of the elected sarpanch, ordered a social boycott of the family and warned that anyone found violating the boycott would be fined Rs.1,100. The boycott was seen as a ploy to get the family to withdraw the police complaint.

“This means no one will let us enter their fields or sell us fodder, milk or any essential provisions. No one will talk to us; our children will suffer humiliation at school,” said Sher Singh, the victim’s uncle.

In Ahulana, there are around 40 homes of potters and 100-odd homes belonging to the upper castes. “Everyone is scared of annoying the powerful in the village,” said Suresh, brother-in-law of the victim. The S.P. held that the family was not cooperating with the investigation and had refused to give the clothes the victim wore on the day of the rape for forensic examination, a charge denied by the victim’s family.


The social boycott of the potter family has deprived their livestock of fodder.

On August 13, angry members of the Dalit and backward communities took to the streets demanding justice for the Ahulana victim and a Dalit woman in Joli village, again in Gohana subdivision, victim of an alleged rape attempt. The protesters condemned the formula of “compromise” (that is, withdraw the complaint and the social boycott will be lifted) used every time an atrocity is committed on Dalits and backward castes.

“Why can’t the police lift the social boycott? Is it permissible under the law?” asked Mahender Singh Panchal, secretary of the Backward Classes and Dalit Welfare Committee, an organisation floated to protect the interests of these communities. The Gohana DSP said that the molestation case was in court and there was little that the accused could do in terms of manipulating the law. He, however, prevailed on the sarpanch to ensure that no “social” harassment of the victim’s family took place.

The Hooda government may have little to do with the upsurge of revolt by the backward and Dalit communities. The problem is that successive administrations have ignored this simmering discontent, which, along with other socio-economic problems, including changes on the agrarian scene, is threatening to prove a major headache for the Hooda government.

The Duleena lynching took place during the INLD-Bharatiya Janata Party regime. The same parties are now portraying themselves as champions of Dalit rights. The accused in the Duleena case were let off on bail after an apology was extracted from them. Not a single government official was held accountable. Despite demands for a CBI inquiry, the Om Prakash Chautala government refused to recommend one. It was during INLD-BJP rule that an elected Dalit sarpanch of Pehrawar village in Rohtak district went missing. His body has never been found (Frontline, January 16, 2004).

Among the political parties, only the Left, notably the CPI(M), has consistently protested against these atrocities without any hidden “caste agenda”. The Congress, which makes platitudinous noises at the Centre about the welfare of backward classes and Dalits, often takes a U-turn when it comes to the crunch in States where upper-caste constituencies matter, in an electoral sense.


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