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Shiv Sena chief demands probe against Maharashtra ministers accused of graft

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Friday demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption against some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in Maharashtra’s ruling coalition.

Thackeray said in A statement that a probe must be immediately conducted to ascertain the genuineness of the allegations leveled against the ministers and if they are proved true, they must be investigated.

The Shiv Sena chief’s statement was published in the party mouthpiece Saamana on Friday and was part of a second interview in the ongoing three-part marathon annual interviews ahead of his birthday on July 27.

The concerned individuals — Women and Children Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde and Education Minister Vinod Tawde -have denied the allegations but Uddhav Thackeray has emphatically sought an independent probe into the allegations.

Thackeray, however, warned that it should not lead to a situation when somebody plays his political games and gets away with it.

“The impartial probe must unravel the truth or the lies, and if those leveling such allegations are proved wrong, then suitable action should be initiated against them,” he demanded.

In regard to the allegations faced by Pankaja Munde on ‘chikki’ scam, he said it must be probed to find out whether (she) had the authority to buy the chikkis without inviting tenders or she is being targeted by rival contractors lobby, and ascertain if the chikki supplied was of proper quality.

Other issues like the status of the Hindutva agenda, the Shiv Sena’s strong resolve to capture power next time on its own strength, allegations against some opposition leaders like NCP’s Ajit Pawar, relations between the two ruling allies (BJP-SS) and the issue of making farmers debt-free to prevent suicides were also touched upon by Thackeray.

Thackeray’s comments came in the backdrop of an ongoing agitation by the Opposition parties demanding action against the ministers facing corruption allegations during the monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislature which is currently underway.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Shiv Sena Worker To Force Shut Over 500 Meat Seller Shops On Navratri

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Shiv Sena Meat Ban
Source: Wikimedia Common

Gurgaon, September 22, 2017: Shiv Sena workers allegedly close down over 500 chicken and meat shops on September 21 on account of Navratri festival.

Reportedly, Ritu Raj, general secretary and spokesperson of Shiv Sena Gurgaon said a notice has been served to meat seller in the area and a strict action will be taken if one denies following the instruction. He also stated that no restrictions have been imposed on the big franchise like KFC, McDonald’s which are not operating in open areas.

There has been a raid of force shutdown of meat sellers shop in the areas like Surat Nagar, Palam Vihar, Ashok Vihar, Pataudi Chowk, Jacobpura, Sadar Bazar, Sector 5 and 9,  Khandsa Anaj Mandi, bus stand, DLF area, Sohna and Sector 14 market.

ALSO READ: Meat ban: Muslims say aye, Hindus say nay.

Raj also stated that a memorandum has been served to the Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon Vinay Pratap Singh commanding to shut down the raw meat shops for the next 9 days but the district administration did not put a proper response to that.

The matter is been looked upon and any hindrance to the law will not be entertained. In case if Shiv Sena workers forcefully Shut down the meat shops, a severe action will be drawn against them if any grievance is registered in this regards.

– prepared by Abhishek Biswas Twitter: @Writing_desire

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The Monk with a Mercedes : Tracing Yogi Adityanath’s Journey from a Monk to a Chief Minister | Report Card

Yogi Adityanath completes six months in power as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. We take a look at all that happened, leading to the ultimate assumption of 'the chair' and everything thereafter, by this saffron-clad monk.

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Yogi Adityanath
The saffron-clad monk has completed six months in power as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. (IANS)

Uttar Pradesh, September 21, 2017 : On the morning of March 21 this year, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s residence at 5 Kalidas Marg, was witnessing an influx of pandits – a practice that was to become a common event in the following days. A monk in a saffron robe was to now lead the people of India’s largest state, not with his Tilak and jhanda, but as a political leader.

Before the world came to know him as Yogi Adityanath, he belonged to a Rajput family- Ajay Singh Bisht, born in a small region of present day Uttarakhand (previously UP) in 1972. A young Ajay attended college in Kotdwara in 1989, and graduated in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

It was around the same time that the Ram Mandir movement gained momentum in the country, and a young Ajay was immensely influenced, to the extent that he joined the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Ajay had planned to join Gorakhpur University, but fate had other plans.

Yogi And The Gorakhnath Temple

University never happened, however, Gorakhpur continued to be a focal point in his life. Gorakhnath Temple, wasa key point in the Ram Mandir movement as it was the place from where the movement was mobilised to different parts of UP.

The Nath Sampradaya, of which he is a part, does not believe in caste distinctions and Gorakhnath Temple is their biggest shrine.

The mahants of the temple are not Brahmins but Rajputs, which hence, establishes Ajay’s association to the place.

The temple has had a long history of political engagement. Having stayed central throughout the Ram Mandir movement, a number of its mahants have also been a part of political parties.

A four time MLA who had contested from the Maniram constituency, Mahant Avaidyanath had been a member of the Parliament four times from Gorakhpur.

 Yogi Adityanath is the successor of Mahant Avaidyanath. 

He began his political association in 1996, by managing the political campaign of Avaidyanath. In 1998, Yogi Adityanath, upon being coaxed by Mahant Avaidyanath, contested the Lok Sabha polls and won. He was 26 years old at the time.

However, the Yogi merely crawled to victory in the 1999 election by a mere margin of 7,000 votes. Upon witnessing wavering attention from the voters, a true politician was hence, born.

Yogi became active beyond the math (temple complex); he started touring extensively in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh. Drawing upon the Nath sect’s tradition, Yogi facilitated every Hindu caste, thus gained popularity among every caste which created a platform for him.

Yogi Adityanath had not won the first election he ever fought in his life (in college), the reason for which was the absence of elaborate campaigning. He continued to be a little restricted in this regard until the 1999 elections.

However, now he worked on his own weaknesses and appealed to the Hindus in the area, proposing himself as a man of less words, but also somebody who didn’t mince words.

In 2002, differences emerged between Yogi Adityanath and his guru Avaidyanath over an expansion of influence beyond Gorakhpur.

The Yogi, hoping to establish his ideology beyond the region, established a ‘cultural organisation’ by the name of Hindu Yuva Vahini with an intent to curb anti Hindu activities and fight the rising influence of the Maoists.

ALSO READ To Control Crime, rule of law be be established in UP at the Earliest: UP CM Yogi Adityanath

 

Rifts Between Yogi Adityanath And BJP

Though Yogi was a BJP MP, he has always had a troubled relationship with the party. And although he had never previously occupied a position at the BJP party, he is also known to occupy a central stance in its functioning; dictating terms and influencing decisions.

  • In 2007, the Yogi almost quit BJP ahead of the Assembly elections. However, a compromise was reached and he was given a say on the distribution of tickets in his region. Out of the eight tickets that were given to staunch Yogi supporters, only one won.
  • In 2012, Yogi didn’t once mince words to criticize BJP’s decision over the inclusion of an ex leader of BSP, Babu Singh Khushwaha. Was he inducted, you ask? He wasn’t. Talk about exercising influence.
  • In 2014, Yogi Adityanath was entrusted with the Assembly-by elections in UP, the campaign for which extensively drew upon issues like cow protection and ‘Love Jihad’. However, the party only won 3 seats out of 7, losing them to Samajwadi Party.

Yogi’s Commitment To BJP

Despite an uneasy relationship with the BJP, the saffron-clad Yogi offered dedicated services to the party in the state-Assembly elections held in March this year. He successfully mobilized the Hindu electorate from the lengths and breadths of the state, particularly from western-UP which continues to remain communally stimulated.

ALSO READ My government is committed to fulfil all promises made by BJP in its Election Manifesto: Yogi Adityanath

He addressed election meetings in all parts of the state- like Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, and Shamli district. Draped in garlands, the Yogi was also seen alongside BJP chief Amit Shah campaigning during his road show in Gorakhpur, ahead of BJP’s sweeping victory of eight out of nine seats in the Gorakhpur district. This was when slogans of ‘Jai Sai Ram’ being raised in Muslim-dominated areas made national headlines.

After winning the state-Assembly elections by a landslide (312 out of 403 seats), the BJP on March 18 this year announced Yogi Adityanath as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, thus putting all speculations to rest.

Yogi Adityanath
The rise of the phenomenon called Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Controversy’s Child Yogi

When Yogi Adityanath assumed the chair of the new CM of UP, his father allegedly advised him to “show respect for all religions”. A Hindu hardliner, the Yogi has a history of inciting religious sentiments with hate speeches,

  • In an undated video from a speech in Azamgarh, the Yogi hit hard with his words upon conversions saying, “If one Hindu girl is converted, we will convert 100 Muslim girls.
  • In 2014, ahead of the International Yoga Day in June, the Yogi asserted the association of Yoga to Hindu mythology and said “those who do not want to practice Yoga can leave Hindustan”
  • In 2015, when actor Shah Rukh Khan asserted the need for freedom of expression in the country, Yogi Adityanath retorted saying, “Shah Rukh Khan should remember that the majority population of the country has made him the star that he is. If they boycott his films, he will have to wander the streets, I think there is no difference between his language and that of Hafiz Saeed (Pakistani terrorist)

The Hindu Yuva Vahini

Adityanath Yogi today represents the tout of BJP that does not shy away from practicing hard Hindutwa. An anti-minority organisation that essentially caters to an ultimate aim to turn India into a Hindu nation.

In his book ‘Yogi Adityanath and the Hindu Yuva Vahini’, author Dhirendra K. Jha asserted that the organisation has, since its inception indulged in communal violence. He outlined in his book that the HYV relied on extremely aggressive and toxic campaigns, that largely included the projection of minorities as the rivals of the Hindus and in turn, overturning every small event into mass communal wars.

Having made communal riots seem normal in Gorakhpur and adjoining areas, the Vahini leaders have never been in the receiving end of warnings from the local administration of the state. The state however, took a disciplinary actions once in 2007 when Yogi Adityanath was arrested for inciting communal passions during the Muharram Tazia procession.

The Hindu Yuva Vahini has always enjoyed a strong hold in Gorakhpur and other parts of Eastern UP, drawing support from the Hindus upon the meat eating (especially cow meat) habits of the Muslim population.

After the Yogi’s appointment as the Chief Minister of UP, the organisation has witnessed rampant expansion of its influence beyond the region, to the extent that RSS and a section of the BJP have raise questions on its functioning.

Lately, the Vahini has been in news for its involvement in Anti-Romeo Squads- a campaign aimed to curb harassment of women but in reality was propaganda to check upon and curtail relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.

Six Months of Yogi Sarkar

Yogi Adityanath has now, completed 6 months of assuming power as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Upon being sworn in as the chief minister, development and a crime-free state had assumed the top agenda for the new UP government. While there has been developmental improvement as far as new infrastructure is concerned, the state continues to take high in failure of power supply and crime rate with a rise in the number of gang rapes and murder cases. The Yogi’s decision to ban illegal slaughterhouses also instigated debates in the country.

The Yogi’s ‘Anti-Romeo squad’ to protect women and students against harassment was appreciated for the first three months when over 500 cases were registered and tended to. However, eventually the campaign drew controversy when the squad faced accusations of unethical harassment, bribery and moral policing.

Another controversial subject has been farm loan waivers for small and marginal farmers. The government claimed the scheme will offer relief of up to Rs. 1 lakh to about 86 lakh farmers. While debts were waived and certificates given, some farmers have received cheques of Rs 20, Rs 9, and even 1 paisa (Rs. 0.01). This is being termed as the ‘cruelest joke’ of the BJP-led Yogi government.

More recently, the biggest blow during his rule in the state has been the Gorakhpur tragedy when more than sixty children died a painful death due to lack of oxygen supply in BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur. The tragedy triggered an enormous outcry throughout the country with the Centre ordering high level inquiries. The incident also brought backlash on the Yogi-government with Congress holding Yogi Adityanath accountable and demanding him to resign from the power.

To look at the positive side of the Hindutva leader’s rule in Uttar Pradesh, the UP government has paid over Rs 20,000 crore to sugarcane farmers, clearing dues of over 93 per cent of the farmers. The state of roads is also touted to have improved in his rule.

A landmark step has been the Anti-Geo Mafia Portal to counter illegal land-grabbing. The portal has successfully registered complaints followed by subsequent and immediate action against the land-mafias.

Previously, in a media conference in June, Yogi Adityanath had unveiled a booklet ‘100 Din Vishwas Ke’ (100 days of trust), and declared 2017 as ‘Garib Kalyan Varsh’ (year of upliftment of poor)

Indeed, the journey of Adityanath Yogi from a monk to a chief minister has not been less than a phenomenon in itself.

 

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Indian-Americans Slam Singer Mika Singh for saying ‘Humara Pakistan’ in an Independence Day Video

In spite of the controversies, Mika Singh performed in Houston and Chicago

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Mika Singh faces wrath for saying humara Pakistan
Mika Singh faces wrath for saying humara Pakistan. Twitter
  • 15 August ko humara Hindustan azaad hua tha aur 14 ko humara Pakistan, says Mika Singh 
  • He received a lot of criticism for it from Indian- American public, Indian politicians
  • Indian Americans in large numbers strongly criticized the ill-timed video

New Delhi, August 14, 2017: Mika Singh performed in  Houston and Chicago on August 12 and 13 respectively to celebrate Pakistan and India’s Independence Day. He received a lot of criticism for it from Indian- American public, Indian politicians, twitter world and the FIA).

Earlier, the organizers of the show posted a video of Mika talking about his performance in which he said that he’s looking forward to celebrating the Independence Day of India and Pakistan. He said, “15 August ko humara Hindustan azaad hua tha aur 14 ko humara Pakistan,” The 40-year-old singer drew criticism for saying ‘humara Pakistan’  and evoked angry twitter reactions- “Shame on you. Are you celebrating Pakistani Day? Do you know how many of our Army Jawans are being killed by Pakistan?” a user tweeted.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

FIA is a non-profit umbrella organization of other Indian associations in the Chicago land and Mid-West area for the Indian community. Iftikaar Shareef, Trustee Chairman FIA said, “We will not tolerate you (Mika Singh) participating in Pakistan’s Independence Day.” He also said that if he’s coming to Chicago he should better be prepared for actions taken by them. As per a collective vote, he said that Mika is not welcome to Chicago if he goes to Houston. Kanti N. Patel, president of FIA said, “We should oppose Mika Singh’s performance as Indians.” They said that they will protest if he performs in Houston for Pakistan’s Independence Day and then comes to Chicago to celebrate Indian Independence Day.

WATCH THE VIDEO: FIA Press Conference Condemning Mika Singh 

The federation includes groups like Indo-American Association of Greater Houston, India Culture Center, India House, Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Graduate Indian Student Organization of the University of Houston and Patanjali Yogpeeth.  “We have a strained relationship (with Pakistan)… If he has any sense of patriotism, he should cancel this concert. Money is not everything in life. Country comes first always,” said Col (rtd) Vipin Kumar, executive director India House Inc who wanted the concert to be canceled.

Amee Patel, president of Gujrat Samaj, Houston, said: “As an organization of Indian-origin (people), we fully stand behind our flag and our other Indian community organizations in protesting against this event and we do not support this event in any fashion.” Swapan Dhairyawan, a community activist and former president of the India Culture Centre, said that it would not have been an issue if the artist was performing for a regular concert. But he emphasized it as a celebration of Pakistan’s Independence Day and saying in his viral video ‘Humara Pakistan’ is unforgivable and unfortunate.

Indian Americans in large numbers strongly criticized the ill-timed video and expressed their anger towards the statement that the show is a joint celebration. They said that the video comes across as a ‘cruel joke’ in the wake of the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC, resulting in deaths of many innocent civilians and the armed forces personnel.

According to a PTI report, Ramesh Shah, an Indian-American philanthropist said   “Celebrating India’s Independence Day is for those who believe in India and its freedom and democracy…It can never happen with Pakistan, and not when they are sponsoring and supporting Pakistani terrorists on the Indian soil.”

Mika Singh also drew the ire of several political parties. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chitrapat Sena Chief Amey Khopkar tweeted, “Mika Singh is doing Hamara Pakistan concert in USA. Open challenge to him, try holding a mic (microphone) in Maharashtra now,” The MNS leader said that he would write to CM Devendra Fadnavis seeking suitable action against the singer for his unpatriotic remarks.

Later, on August 12, MNS staged protests in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik, burned the Pakistani flag and effigies of Mika. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said, “He should know that the Pakistan which he is praising is our enemy. Pakistan always plans and plots against India and to praise such a country is incorrect.” Nirupam has asked Mika to apologize for his shameful act and to withdraw his statement. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also spoke on this issue and said that the artists should not compromise on patriotism over commercial benefits.

 ALSO READ: Delhi police arrests singer Mika for assaulting doctor at an event

India and Pakistan are not on good terms and there is a lot of tension between the two countries so this is not a correct time for an Indian artist to perform in Pakistan, celebrating their Independence Day when after the 2016 Uri attack all the Pakistani artists were banned to work in India. Twitter users criticized Mika Singh:


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