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Upper castes, Pappu Yadav: Decisive factors in Bihar poll?

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Rajesh Ranjan "Pappu Yadav" at his house in New Delhi on 04/05/2009. A special CBI court convicted Pappu Yadav in the Ajit Sarkar murder case. Photo by Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka

Upper caste voters and the Jana Adhikar Party of Pappu Yadav may significantly influence results of the coming Bihar assembly elections. While the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine has been leaving no stone unturned to give the electoral battle a forward versus backward caste character, recent voting patterns, however, indicate that the BJP-led NDA enjoys an advantage on this count too.

Contrary to the calculations of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and one of his predecessors, Lalu Prasad Yadav, upper castes constituting 14-15 percent of the total voters may turn out to be important factors given their monolithic pattern of voting as shown in the April-May 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the by-elections later on. In the parliamentary poll 78 percent of upper caste voters had cast in favour of the NDA, the highest in the overall voting pattern by any social group.

Various opinion surveys are pointing out that this time too, the trend is likely to remain the same although there are murmurs of discontent among the upper castes against the Narendra Modi government’s failure to increase the minimum support price of agricultural commodities and the prime minister’s attempt to amend the land acquisition act. In addition to the upper caste voters, the Vaishyas, constituting about six percent of the electorate, are likely to remain on the NDA’s side.

Contrary to this picture, the Yadavs, constituting about 14 percent of the electorate, are now a divided lot. During the 2014 parliamentary election also, the Yadav votes got fragmented and a significant section had voted for the BJP. But this time, the scenario has become more complicated for Lalu Prasad Yadav as the popularity graph of Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, a former RJD stalwart and now the leader of the Jana Adhikar Party, is showing continuous signs of increase.

Pappu’s outfit is now an important constituent of the Third Front led by the Samajwadi Party and he draws his strength mostly from the younger sections of Yadav voters. Although much of the national-level media has described him as a ‘vote katwa’ (spoiler), Papuu may show unexpected results in the Kosi belt comprising the districts of Supaul, Madhepura and Saharsha and in the neighbouring Muslim dominated Seemanchal region comprising the districts of Araria, Purnea, Katihar and Kishengunj.

Together, these two regions have 37 assembly seats. As the NDA is weak in this region the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine could hope to consolidate its tally from here had it not been for Pappu’s presence. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP could not open its account in the seven seats of these two regions. The Kosi belt has 13 assembly seats. Of them the BJP has only one – Saharsha.

These are the two areas both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav were targeting, given the latter’s famous formula of Muslim-Yadav combination. Recent years have however witnessed the rapid decimation of the influence of Sharad Yadav, the JD-U president, in the Kosi belt and the gradual passing off of the mantle to Pappu. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Pappu and his wife Ranjita Ranjan had won the Madhepura and Supaul seats. The most interesting part of their victory was the fact that while Pappu had won as a RJD candidate, his wife won on the Congress ticket. It showed that they can attract Yadav votes irrespective of party affiliation.

On the whole, the NDA is aiming for an upper caste-extreme backward caste(EBC)-Dalit consolidation. It has reasons to be optimistic in this segment as in the last Lok Sabha poll, 42 percent of the Dalits and 53 percent of EBC voters had voted for the NDA. Interestingly the EBC voters constitute 24 percent of the state electorate. Moreover, for making inroads into the Yadav camp, the BJP-led NDA has this time nominated 26 Yadav candidates. In addition, Pappu’s outfit is contesting 64 seats. So, all eyes will be fixed on the electoral behavior of the Yadavs.

This community’s leadership question is now at cross-roads. It enjoyed a modicum of sober leadership during the time of Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav. But its next messiah, Lalu Prasad, is a convicted man now.

Rabri Devi, Lalu’s wife, lost in the 2005 assembly poll. In 2010, she lost in two seats and in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll she again lost in Saran. Lalu experimented by fielding his daughter Misa for the Pataliputra parliamentary seat in 2014. But Misa also lost, though the constituency has a large Yadav concentration.

(by Amitava Mukherjee ,IANS)

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BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi wants to know if Research being done on Goodness of Cow Urine

New Delhi MP Lekhi had a starred question to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in the Lok Sabha related to the quality of milk products of Delhi Milk Scheme; however, she went on a different track altogether

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Gau Mata
Indian cow. Pixabay
  • BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi mentioned in the Lok Sabha a case about an official who got cured of a “serious” illness after consuming cow urine as medicine
  • He also asked if the government was encouraging any research on the medicinal properties that can be derived from cattle
  • Lekhi discussed the goodness of bovine by-products including cow urine and lamented how the “ancient science” had disappeared

New Delhi, August 2, 2017: BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi mentioned in the Lok Sabha a case about an official who got cured of a “serious” illness after consuming cow urine as medicine, and asked if the government was encouraging any research on the medicinal properties that can be derived from cattle.

New Delhi MP Lekhi had a starred question to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday related to the quality of milk products of Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS). However, she went on a different track altogether, and discussed the goodness of bovine by-products including cow urine and lamented how the “ancient science” had disappeared.

Meenakshi Lekhi
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi. Wikimedia

Lekhi mentioned a case where a person who was a “former ASD” was taken seriously ill, and was cured after he consumed cow urine as medicine.

She said the “ancient science” of the country has disappeared and asked if the government is planning to commission research on the medicinal science related to cattle.

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Minister Radha Mohan Singh in reply said under the “Rashtriya gomang Utpadak Mission”, a centre was being established in Karnal, Haryana.

Lekhi then said that the humus content in soil is coming down due to which it converts into dust which is a threat to health. The MP said cow dung can be used as fertiliser and also suggested using cow waste for methane production.

ALSO READRam Temple at Ayodhya is a part of the BJP Agenda, says Amit Shah

She also asked if the government has any plans of using cow dung for increasing humus content of soil.

Singh said the government is concerned about the environment, but added that the main question was focused on quality of milk products of DMS.

This prompted Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to say on a lighter note that it was the minister’s skill that he could answer unrelated questions.

Mahajan however added that MPs are not reading the question.

“I am sad that MPs are not reading the questions, even those who ask the question do not read it,” she said. (IANS)

 

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Ram Temple at Ayodhya is a part of the BJP Agenda, says Amit Shah

Ram temple will be constructed at Ayodhya either through talks, mutual settlement or through a court verdict

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Ram Temple
BJP National President Amit Shah on Monday said a grand Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya. Wikimedia
  • The way for construction of Ram Temple will be either through mutual agreement, talks or through a court decision
  • Shah said aside from the reserves allocated to Uttar Pradesh, the Union government had offered its coffers for the state to prosper
  • Shah mocked the media speculation that Shivpal Singh was hitching himself to the party bandwagon.

New Delhi, August 1, 2017: On Monday, Amit Shah, BJP’s National President said a fabulous Ram temple is going to be built in Ayodhya, the route for which can be through mutual agreement, talks, or a decision of the court.

On his visit’s last day to the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Shah addressed the media and said that establishment of this Ayodhya temple was the agenda’s part of Bharatiya Janata Party.

He complimented the government of Yogi Adityanath at the state level and its performance and told everyone that within three months, the governance had made people observe a noticeable transition.

Also read: BJP wants thorough probe for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, also wants him to resign for ‘involvement in PWD scam’

“It is a coincidence that as I speak to you, three years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and three months of the Yogi Aditynath government in the state have been completed,” the chief of BJP said, complimenting the performance of both of them.

Shah mocked the speculation of media that Shivpal Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger brother, and senior leader of Samajwadi Party (SP), was trying to hitch himself to the bandwagon of the party.

Accompanied by state BJP chief and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Shah also made a claim that Modi had appeared as the most renowned Indian Prime Minister ever all thanks to his eradication of black money, courageous decisions, and good governance.

Amit Shah, BJP National President. Wikimedia

Shah also endeavored to end the supposition about Maurya of being moved as a Union minister to the Centre, saying that when the chief of a state party was chosen, Maurya would allocate all his time to the government at state.

He also made an attempt to rubbish the charges put by the opposition by saying that having dinner at a Yadav worker’s house, he was singling out politics on caste.

“Sonu Yadav is a party booth worker, and just as I go to eat at any other place, I went to his house and had food… No politics should be read in this,” he further added.

Shah put the blame on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as well as the former Samajwadi Party governments at the state level of the turmoil in Uttar Pradesh, saying that they had together presided over frauds of Rs 12 lakh crore. “There is not one finger raised at us as the government is working with transparency,” he said.

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The chief of BJP said there did not exist any of party’s names in those Panama leaks, and the Special Investigation Team was examining the leaks of Panama Papers in any circumstance.

Shah said aside from the reserves allotted to Uttar Pradesh, the Union government had offered its coffers so that the state can grow and develop.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025

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Don’t forget 1971 Bangladesh War: M. Venkaiah Naidu warns Pakistan for “Aiding and Abetting Terror”

According to Naidu, "Our neighbour should understand that aiding and abetting terror will not help them, they should recall what happened in 1971... Terrorism is the enemy of humanity, it has no religion."

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M Venkaiah Naidu
NDA's Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reminded Pakistan not to forget what happened in 1971. Wikimedia
  • NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reminded Pakistan not to forget what happened in 1971 in a reference to the Bangladesh War
  • Naidu also criticized Pakistan for “mixing terrorism with religion” as its state policy
  • The former Union Minister asserted that Kashmir is an integral part of India and “not an inch” of it will be ceded

New Delhi, July 23, 2017:  Hitting out at Pakistan for “aiding and abetting terror”, NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reminded it not to forget what happened in 1971 in a reference to the Bangladesh War in which it faced a humiliating defeat.

Naidu was addressing the annual Kargil Parakram Parade here, held in remembrance of soldiers killed in a war with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil sector in 1999.

ALSO READPakistan releases 78 Indians imprisoned in Karachi Jail

“Our neighbour should understand that aiding and abetting terror will not help them, they should recall what happened in 1971… Terrorism is the enemy of humanity, it has no religion,” he said.

Criticising Pakistan for “mixing terrorism with religion” as its state policy, the former Union Minister asserted that Kashmir is an integral part of India and “not an inch” of it will be ceded.

He also urged Pakistan to shun the path of confrontation.

“We are a peace loving people. We never attacked any country. We don’t want war, we don’t want confrontation. We want to have peace and good relations with our neighbours, but they should also reciprocate,” Naidu said. (IANS)