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Turncoats Strike Rich in Uttar Pradesh

Once scorned, turncoats now flourish in Uttar Pradesh politics, reaping significant gains…reports Asian Lite News

Turncoats, at one time, were looked down upon in politics but today, they seem to be reaping a rich harvest in Uttar Pradesh.

The first Congress list for Uttar Pradesh included the names of Imran Masood from Saharanpur and Sadal Prasad from Bansgaon. Imram Masood has travelled from Samajwadi Party (SP) to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and then the Congress. Sadal Prasad has come in Congress from the BSP. Danish Ali, who has been fielded from Amroha, quit the BSP two months ago and joined the Congress a fortnight ago.

The first Samajwadi Party’s list included the name of Afzal Ansari, who had been elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019 on a BSP ticket.

Afzal Ansari is the brother of the jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, and will be contesting the Ghazipur seat.

Ram Prasad Chaudhary, who is seeking election from Basti, is also from the BSP while Rajaram Pal the SP, candidate from Akbarpur, has also come in from BSP with a brief stopover in the Congress.

Annu Tandon from Unnao and R.K. Chaudhary from Mohanlalganj, both moved from SP to the Congress.

The BJP list also has its share of turncoats — from Jitin Prasada, who is contesting Pilibhit and has come from the Congress, to Jagdambika Pal, sitting MP from Domariyaganj — who have quit the Congress years ago and has been with the BJP.

A senior political analyst R K Singh said, “The tendency to give preference to turncoats over dedicated party workers is weakening the cadres of parties. Those who work for the parties are conveniently sidelined in favour of turncoats for whom changing parties is a political business.”

‘Akhilesh deliberately drove away allies’

uheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president and Uttar Pradesh Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has said that Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has deliberately driven away allies to help the BJP.

The minister said this while interacting with reporters here on Tuesday at his residence. He said Akhilesh Yadav has told all his allies to move towards the BJP.

“…’If you stay here there will be a fight’, is what he has told the allies,” Rajbhar said.

The SBSP chief said that people are contesting elections all over the country. “I had said seven months ago that after some time, some people of the opposition unity will make Modiji the Prime Minister and some people will step aside. Nitish ji sat down. Jayant ji sat aside. Mamta ji moved away. Now Akhilesh ji is also very eager to help,” he said.

Minister Rajbhar said that Akhilesh Yadav has sidelined almost everyone from the allies. “This is a sign that Akhilesh has also stepped aside to help BJP. He himself is telling everyone to go towards BJP. If you stay here, there will be a fight with BJP. If you go away there will be no fight. BJP will win. Akhilesh is doing all this to save himself…,” he said.

The Minister said till recently, ED and CBI were not allowed to work. “Today the agencies have the freedom within the ambit of the Constitution and while they are working, the opposition people are raising a hue and cry,” he added.

BJP Names 7 Candidates in Rajasthan in 5th List

The BJP on Sunday named 7 candidates in Rajasthan for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in its fifth list.

Priyanka Balan, a fresh face, has been fielded from Ganganagar, while Shubhkaran Chaudhary, who lost Assembly polls from Udaipurwati, has been named the party nominee in Jhunjhunu.

Manju Sharma, daughter of veteran BJP leader Bhanwarlal Sharma, has been fielded from Jaipur and Rao Rajendra Singh, former Deputy Speaker, from Jaipur Rural.

Sukhbeer Singh Jaunpuria has been re-nominated from Tonk, while Bhagirath Chaudhary would also seek re-election from Ajmer.

Mahima Vishveshwar Singh has been fielded from Rajsamand. She is the wife of Udaipur MLA Vishvaraj Singh Mewar.

In the fresh list, three sitting MPs — Ramcharan Bohra from Jaipur, Nihal Chand from Ganganagar and Narendra Kumar from Jhunjhunju have not been re-nominated while five new faces have been fielded.

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Congress-SP Partnership Hopes to Turn Tide in UP

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its allies dominated by securing 73 out of 80 seats in the state….reports Asian Lite News

The upcoming general election in Uttar Pradesh presents an intriguing shift as the SP-BSP alliance gives way to the SP-Congress pact within the INDIA bloc. Previously, the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party coalition offered some resistance to the BJP in specific regions of UP during the 2019 elections but fell short of significant impact. Now, with Mayawati’s BSP opting to contest independently, the onus falls on the SP and Congress to counter the formidable NDA, which has allied with the RLD and several caste-based regional parties in the Poorvanchal region.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its allies dominated by securing 73 out of 80 seats in the state. Although the opposition parties managed to increase their combined tally to 16 in 2019, the BJP maintained its stronghold, clinching 62 seats alongside two won by its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal).

The BJP’s stronghold was notably evident in western UP, where it secured 23 seats in 2019, contrasting sharply with the meager four seats each clinched by the SP-BSP alliance. The BSP secured victories in Saharanpur, Bijnor, Amroha, and Nagina (SC seat), while the SP triumphed in Sambhal, Moradabad, Mainpuri, and Rampur.

Central UP holds significant constituencies like Amethi and Rae Bareli, traditionally considered Congress bastions. In 2019, Sonia Gandhi retained her Rae Bareli seat, but Rahul Gandhi lost Amethi to Union Minister Smriti Irani. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh secured victory in Lucknow, while the BSP claimed only one seat, Ambedkarnagar, and the SP failed to secure any from this region.

The BJP dominated the central region with 13 seats, including the historic Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, central to the Ram Temple fervor that swept across the nation. Varanasi, represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other eastern constituencies witnessed BSP winning five seats, SP securing one, and Apna Dal (Sonelal) grabbing two.

Bundelkhand, swept by the BJP in 2019, saw victories in all four Lok Sabha seats. This region, long plagued by water scarcity, has seen the initiation of irrigation projects and improved access to safe drinking water. Furthermore, infrastructural developments like expressways and new airports have contributed to narrowing regional disparities across the state.

SP candidates

The Samajwadi Party (SP) has released the fifth list of its candidates in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Saturday.

Dharmendra Yadav will contest from Azamgarh.

According to the list that has been released by the party, the other candidates include Mahendra Nagar from Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Manoj Kumar Raghvanshi from Misrikh, Bheem Nishad from Sultanpur, Jitendra Dohre from Etawah, and Narayan Das Ahriwar from Jalaun.

Earlier on Friday, the party released its fourth list of candidates, which included Yashveer Singh from Bijnor, Manoj Kumar from Nagina, Bhanu Pratap Singh from Meerut, Bijendra Singh from Aligarh, Jasveer Valmiki from Hathras, and Daroga Saroj from Lalganj.

The SP gave the Bhadohi Lok Sabha seat to the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The SP has fielded Dimple Yadav, wife of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav from Mainpuri and Shafiqur Rahman Barq from Sambhal and Ravidas Mehrotra from Lucknow.

Akshay Yadav has been fielded from Firozabad, while from Banda, the SP has fielded Shivshakar Singh Patel.

The Samajwadi Party will contest the Lok Sabha election in an alliance with the Congress in the politically crucial state that sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

The Samajwadi Party and the Congress are partners in the INDIA bloc.

In the current Lok Sabha, the SP, which had fought in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 2019, has three MPs while the BSP has 10 MPs.

According to party leader Ravidas Mehrotra, the Samajwadi Party will contest elections on 63 seats and Congress for 17 seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for Lok Sabha and four state assembly elections on Saturday.

The general election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases starting April 19, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced on Saturday. The counting will be held on June 4.

Nearly 97 crore voters will be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country. With the announcement of dates, the moral code of conduct comes into force immediately. (with inputs from agencies)

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BJP core group meeting focuses on prominent seats in 5 states for LS polls

According to sources, in the meeting held regarding UP, there was a discussion regarding the lost seats….reports Asian Lite News

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held the core group meeting of five states on Saturday at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Given the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024, the core group meeting of five states was called at the BJP headquarters.

The meeting was led by BJP National President JP Nadda in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Organization General Secretary BL Santosh.

First of all, the meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Core Group was organized. During this meeting, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National President JP Nadda and Organization General Secretary BL Santosh, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, Brijesh Pathak, UP Organization Minister Dharampal Singh and others were present.

According to sources, in the meeting held regarding UP, there was a discussion regarding the lost seats. A special strategy was made for the Rae Bareli and Mainpuri seats. There was also a discussion regarding MLC elections.

In the second phase, the West Bengal Core Group meeting was organized. State President Sukanta Majumdar, Suvendu Adhikari and others were present at this meeting.

According to sources, 42 Lok Sabha seats were specifically discussed in the meeting. The vandalism that took place in Sandesh Khali was also specifically discussed with Home Minister Amit Shah and other core group members who were present in the meeting.

West Bengal BJP president Sukant Majumdar said, “PM’s proposed rally is scheduled to be held in Arambag district on March 1. His rally on March 2 is proposed in Krishnanagar. He will address both rallies and dedicate several schemes to the public.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will trumpet the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 from West Bengal, where the BJP is keeping a close eye on 35 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal.

In the third phase, a meeting of the Telangana Core Group was called. In this meeting, Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy, D.K. Aruna, Dr K. Lakshan, Bandi Sanjay and Atla Rajendra were present.

The Bharatiya Janata Party will contest alone for 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana. It has four MPs in Telangana. The strategy to win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with a majority and review the lost seats were discussed.

In the fourth phase, a meeting of the Chhattisgarh Core Group was called. Chief Minister Vishnu Deo and other leaders were present at this meeting. There was a discussion about new faces in the meeting.

The BJP discussed fielding Schedule Tribes (ST) in four seats. Separate discussions were held on Korba and Bastar (seats the BJP lost in 2019), and discussions were held on new faces in Janjgir, Mahasamund, Raipur, Kanker and Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seats.

The core group meeting may be held again on February 27-28.

In the fifth phase, a meeting of the Rajasthan Core Group was called. The meeting took place at the Delhi BJP headquarters for more than an hour. The meeting was held in the presence of JP Nadda and Amit Shah.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, Deputy Chief Ministers Diyakumari and Premchand Bairwa, state in-charge Arun Singh, co-in-charge Vijay Rahatkar, and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, leaders Rajendra Rathod, and Satish Poonia were present in the meeting.

A discussion was held in the meeting regarding all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Candidates can be declared for 7-9 seats in the first list by the party.

55 Nanded ex-corporators join BJP

Dealing another hit at the Congress, 55 ex-corporators of the Nanded-Waghala City Municipal Corporation here joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of two-time ex-Chief Minister Ashok S. Chavan, here on Saturday.

The Congress strongman of Nanded, Chavan joined the BJP just 10 days ago, was rewarded with a Rajya Sabha ticket and declared elected unopposed.

The NWCMC elections of 2017, held under Chavan’s stewardship, saw the Congress make a clean sweep by bagging 73 of the 81 seats to control this important civic body.

In his brief address to 55 ex-municipal corporators, Chavan said that they have chosen the BJP for their faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and vision for development.

“They also want to be a part of the political mainstream and contribute towards progress,” said Chavan. Local party leaders hinted that besides the lot of 55 which quit Congress, many other important district leaders are likely to throw their lot with BJP in the coming weeks.

The Congress suffered three big ‘leaks’ in the past couple of months starting with Milind S. Deora who joined the ruling Shiv Sena, ex-Mumbai MLA Baba Z. Siddique quitting for the ruling ally Nationalist Congress Party, and Chavan who entered the ruling ally BJP, with speculation of more switch-overs in the near future.

Sharad Pawar attacks PM

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congres Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday claimed that the central government consistently makes promises but never fulfills them and said that there is a ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ but his ‘Guarantee card’ lacks specific dates.

Sharad Pawar was addressing the Party workers of Mahavikas Aghadi (MVA) in Pune.

The meeting was organized at the congress Headquarters in Pune, NCP (Sharad Pawar) MP Supriya Sule, State Congress Cheif Nana Patole, and Sachin Ahir from Uddhav-led Shiv Sena attended the party worker’s public meeting.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray skipped the meeting.

While addressing the gathering of the MVA party workers Sharad Said, “If we want to bring change then our party workers have to get united, since the last 60-70 years we have seen many politicians from the Congress, but never felt that we needed to worry about the Constitution and social unity…but in the last 10 years after Modi came into power we have seen a strange PM who had a single point agenda to take a different stand which was taken by the earlier leaders and how to create hate among the people against earlier leaders.” (ANI)

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India News Politics Uttar Pradesh

Swami Prasad Maurya Quits SP

Maurya, in his resignation letter, said that he has resigned from the membership of the Legislative Council on moral grounds….reports Asian Lite News

Almost a week after stepping down from the position of the Samajwadi Party’s national general secretary, Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the party membership and the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council on Tuesday.

Maurya, in his resignation letters, one addressed to the Chairman of the State Legislative Council and another to the Samajwadi Party chief, Akhilesh Yadav, said that he has resigned from the membership of the Legislative Council on moral grounds.

“I have been elected as a member of the Legislative Council, Uttar Pradesh from the Assembly, Uttar Pradesh constituency, as a candidate of the Samajwadi Party. Since I have resigned from the primary membership of the Samajwadi Party, hence on the basis of morality, I am also resigning from the membership of the Legislative Council, Uttar Pradesh. Please kindly accept,” he said in a letter to the Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.

In his letter to Akhilesh Yadav, Swami Prasad Maurya said, “Got the opportunity to work in a cordial environment under your leadership. But as a result of not taking the initiative of any kind of talks on the talks held on February 12, 2024, and the letter sent on February 13, 2024, I am also resigning from the primary membership of the Samajwadi Party.”

Both letters were shared by Maurya on his X account.

This came after Swami Prasad Maurya stepped down as national general secretary of the Samajwadi Party on February 13. Swami Prasad Maurya, in his resignation letter to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, said that he would keep working to fortify the party even in the absence of a position.

Maurya is scheduled to launch his own political outfit the Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party on February 22 at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, sources said.

The rift between Akhilesh Yadav and Swami Prasad Maurya widened when the Samajwadi Party Chief said that he (Swami Prasad Maurya) had come to SP for benefits.

“Everyone comes to take benefits, but who stays on the spot? Who will tell what is on someone’s mind? Not only this, Akhilesh Yadav said that there is no such machine that can know what is going on in someone’s mind. Everyone leaves after taking the benefits.” SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said.

Hitting out at Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav’s “benefit” remark, Swami Prasad Maurya on Monday said, “He is not in power in the state or the centre. He is not in a condition to give anything. And I will return everything he has given to me till now. Ideology is important to me, not the position. The rights and welfare of all sections are my priority, whenever that would be attacked I would raise my voice.”

When asked about the speculation of forming a new party, Swami Prasad Maurya said, “I have left everything up to the party workers. Whatever they want would be acceptable to me.”

Samajwadi Party national general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya, joined the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP in January 2022, leaving the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of that year’s assembly elections, held between February and March has been repeatedly making headlines for his provocative comments on sensitive issues including Ramcharitmanas to Sanatan Dharma and Hindu religion.

Maurya had kicked up a controversy when he cited text from Ramcharitmanas to describe it as derogatory to women, Dalits and tribals. His comments on Sanatan Dharma had also kicked up a row. (ANI)

SP Releases Third List of Candidates for LS Polls

The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday announced its third list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, with five names.

Senior SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav will contest the Badaun seat while Iqra Hasan is the candidate for the Kairana seat.

The Bareilly seat candidate is Praveen Singh Aron and Ajendra Singh Rajput will contest the Hamirpur seat.

Surendra Singh Patel will be the SP candidate on the Varanasi seat.

The Samajwadi Party has also appointed in charge for Lok Sabha seats. Dharmendra Yadav is in charge of Azamgarh and Kannauj seats, Manoj Chaudhary is in charge of Baghpat seat, while Mehboob Ali and Ram Avtar Saini are in charge of Amroha seat.

Meanwhile, SP’s efforts to break the ice with former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiya and ensure his support for SP in the upcoming Rajya Sabha biennial elections, seems to have been an exercise in futility.

Raja Bhaiya, according to sources, is in no mood to switch loyalties from BJP to SP.

Raja Bhaiya, who shared a warm rapport with late Mulayam Singh Yadav, has had a tumultuous relationship with Akhilesh Yadav.

A minister in the Akhilesh government, Raja Bhaiya had resigned in 2013 after his name figured in the murder of a DSP in his constituency. After the CBI gave him a clean chit, Mulayam Singh Yadav ensured that Raja Bhaiya was brought back into the ministry.

However, he finally snapped ties with Akhilesh when the latter allied with BSP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Raja Bhaiya’s animosity with BSP leader Mayawati is known across Uttar Pradesh. In 2002, when the BSP was in power in the state, Mayawati had jailed him under Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA).

In 2003, when Mulayam Singh came to power, all charges against Raja Bhaiya were dropped and he was made a cabinet minister in the SP government in 2005.

The 2022 assembly polls witnessed a war of words between Akhilesh and Raja Bhaiya when the SP president asked “Who Raja Bhaiya?”

On Tuesday evening, Samajwadi state president Naresh Uttam called on Raja Bhaiya to seek his support for the Rajya Sabha polls. He even persuaded Raja Bhaiya to speak to Akhilesh on phone and the latter asked him to let bygones be bygones.

Raja Bhaiya confirmed that the meeting had taken place but refused to comment further.

“The SP state president visited me but I am not in a position to say anything more than this about the meeting,” he said.

Sources close to Raja Bhaiya said that the latter would not forget the way the SP had targeted him during the 2022 assembly polls by fielding his own former acolyte, Gulshan Yadav, against him.

“Moreover, Raja Bhaiya shares a good relationship with Yogi Adityanath and will not do anything that will spoil their relations,” said a source close to the former minister.

Raja Bhaiyya heads the Jansatta Dal Loktantrik that has two members in the state assembly.

Polling for the Rajya Sabha is due on February 27 and both, BJP and SP are facing the threat of cross voting. The eighth BJP candidate Sanjay Seth is short of eight votes while the SP also needs outside support to ensure the victory of its third candidate.

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India News Politics Uttar Pradesh

Now, Yogi makes a pitch for Mathura, Kashi

Yogi Adityanath mentioned the Krishna Janmabhoomi site in Mathura and the Kashi Vishwanath temple complex in Varanasi are the two other disputed lands that Hindus have been claiming…reports Asian Lite News

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said in Mahabharata, Krishna asked for five villages, but today the Hindu society is only asking for the three centres of their faith ‘Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura.’

Speaking at the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, CM Yogi said the Uttar Pradesh government got the privilege to have facilitated the Ayodhya Deepotsav, which became a national celebration.

“Ayodhya city was brought within the purview of prohibitions and curfews by the previous governments. For centuries, Ayodhya was cursed with ugly intentions. It faced a planned disdain. Such treatment to public sentiments was perhaps never seen anywhere else. Ayodhya faced injustice,” he said.

He further mentioned the Krishna Janmabhoomi site in Mathura and the Kashi Vishwanath temple complex in Varanasi are the two other disputed lands that Hindus have been claiming.

“Injustice was done to Ayodhya. When I talk about injustice, we remember something 5 thousand years old… Lord Shri Krishna asked (Duryodhan) for half (of the property), but if that was difficult, then give only five villages. He talked about 5 villages. But the Hindu society and faith here are talking about only three (Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura). These are the three places that are the centre of our faith,” he said.

“Duryodhana wo bhi de na saka, Ashish samaj ke le na saka. Ulte, Hari ko bandhe chala, jo tha asadhya, sadhne chala,” the Chief Minister quoted from Dinkar’s ‘Rashmirathi’. These lines from the poem in translation mean, Duryodhana couldn’t even give (those 5 villages) and get blessed. Instead, he sought to tame Hari, which was impossible.

“When I speak about injustice, we recall the 5000-year-old thing. Injustice was done even to the Pandavas at that time…That had happened with Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura,” CM Yogi said.

Quoting from Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s ‘Rashmirathi’, Yogi Aditynath said, “At that time, Krishna had gone to the Kauravas and said, then give us just five villages, keep all the land you have. We will happily eat there.”

“Krishna had asked for five villages that time. Krishna had gone for an agreement. He asked for justice, even if it was half. But here, the society and its faith, for hundreds of years, was talking about three, just three,” Yogi Adityanath said, referring to the spots at Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi.

Speaking on the latest court order that allowed Hindus to pray at one of the sealed cellars, Vyasji ka Tehkhana, at the Gyanvapi site, Yogi Adityanath said, “When our Nandi Baba saw the festival of Ayodhya, he said why should he wait? He broke the barricades in the night. After this, how is our Krishna Kanhaiya going to listen to anyone?”

Adityanath blamed votebank politics for the situation. “When politics kicks in and votes are looked at, dispute begins,” he said.

“But when politics starts rising and there is vote politics, then the dispute arises… It was the first time in history that the majority had to plead. When all of this could have happened after independence itself,” he added.

Yogi govt to develop 17 major cities

n a bid to propel the adoption of solar energy across Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi government has unveiled plans to transform 17 major cities of the state into solar cities, alongside the revered cities of Ayodhya and Varanasi. Following the development of solar cities, the government will work towards building solar villages on the same pattern in the near future.

Of notable significance is the government’s efforts to establish Ayodhya as the state’s inaugural solar city.

“Progress in this endeavour is well underway, with significant strides witnessed in the installation of solar infrastructure. Concurrently, preparations are underway to inaugurate a large-scale solar plant in Varanasi, further cementing Uttar Pradesh’s status as a frontrunner in the solar energy sector,” the Chief Minister’s office said in a press release.

Answering a query in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Energy Minister A K Sharma underscored the state’s commitment to solar energy advancement and revealed that Uttar Pradesh is poised to emerge as a leader in the solar energy domain, with initiatives already gaining momentum.

“Notably, Ayodhya stands at the forefront of these efforts, with the successful commencement of solar energy production. A remarkable 14 MW of solar energy is already being generated in Ayodhya, while an additional 40 MW capacity has already been installed and the production is poised to start soon”, he informed.

The Solar City project in Ayodhya encompasses the installation of over 2,500 solar-powered streetlights, underscoring the city’s commitment to sustainability. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated a solar boat in Ayodhya. Ayodhya also boasts solar-powered amenities such as ATMs and solar trees adorning its 40 intersections, epitomizing the city’s embrace of renewable energy solutions.

With Ayodhya blazing a trail in solar energy adoption, the focus now shifts to Varanasi, where plans are afoot to install rooftop solar plants across government buildings. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Varanasi is slated to witness the installation of 25,000 rooftop solar plants, positioning it as a beacon of solar innovation.

“As progress unfolds in Varanasi, efforts are underway to replicate the successful solar city model in 17 metropolitan cities statewide, drawing inspiration from the transformative initiatives witnessed in Ayodhya and Varanasi. Additionally, concerted endeavours are being made to extend solar infrastructure to rural areas, thereby democratizing access to clean energy solutions across Uttar Pradesh,” the press release further said. (ANI)

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Yogi govt tables its largest budget at Rs 7.36 lakh cr

The Budget for the year 2024-25, tabled by the state’s finance minister Suresh Khanna, was to the tune of Rs 736,437.71 crore….reports Asian Lite News

The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday presented its annual Budget for the financial year 2024-25, billed to be the biggest budget so far in the history of the state.

The Budget for the year 2024-25, tabled by the state’s finance minister Suresh Khanna, was to the tune of Rs 736,437.71 crore.

New schemes worth Rs 24,863.57 crore (Rs 24,863.57 crore) have also been included in the budget. In the budget of the state government, maximum emphasis has been laid on women, youth, farmers and employment generation.

The budget of Yogi Adityanath-led government included revenue receipts of Rs 60,6802.40 lakh and capital receipts of Rs 114,531.42 lakh.

Apart from this, the share of tax revenue in revenue receipts is Rs 488,902.84 lakh. This includes its tax revenue of Rs 270,086 crore and the state’s share in central taxes of Rs 218,816.84 crore.

In the budget of this financial year, there is an expenditure of Rs 5 lakh 32 thousand 655 crore 33 lakh (Rs 5.32,655.33 crore) on the revenue account, while Rs 2 lakh 3 thousand 782 crore 38 lakh (Rs 2.03,782.38 crore) is on the capital account.

Further, the fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 86,530.51 crore, which is 3.46 per cent of the estimated gross state domestic product for the year. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings that may be needed by the government.

“The 2024-25 Yogi government budget will bring prosperity to the people of the state. It will speed up development and will move forward to achieve the target of a 1 trillion dollar economy…We are always ready for elections. Every sector according to its requirements has been taken care of…,” finance minister Khanna told reporters before tabling the Budget.

Speaking on his government’s budget Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said “This is the state’s largest budget of over Rs 7.36 lakh crores. Today, UP’s economy is the second biggest in the country. We adopted reforms and stopped revenue leakages to achieve this. UP is a revenue-surplus state now.This budget is also ‘Pink budget’- with a focus on ‘Matri Shakti’ and women-related schemes in the state.”

Big push to develop Ayodhya

The government has included several developmental projects for Ayodhya in the state’s 2024-25 budget.

The blueprint drawn by the Yogi government for the development of the entire region, including Ayodhya Dham, in the annual budget 2024-25 includes big projects like the expansion and beautification of access roads in Ayodhya, the development of tourist and public facilities and the expansion of Maharishi Valmiki International Airport.

Given the possible increase in the number of tourists and devotees given the construction work of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya district, the work of widening and beautifying three access roads and the development of parking and public facilities is being done at six places.

‘Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham’ has been developed in Ayodhya. A provision of Rs 150 crore is proposed for the establishment and expansion of the airport in Ayodhya.

Rs 10 crore is proposed for the International Ramayana and Vedic Research Institute in Ayodhya.

Tourism development and beautification works are being carried out in Ayodhya, Varanasi, Chitrakoot, Lucknow, Vindhyachal, Prayagraj, Naimisharanya, Gorakhpur, Mathura, Bateshwar Dham, Garhmukteshwar, Shuktirtha Dham, Maa Shakumbhari Devi, Sarnath and other important tourist places.

Under the “Chief Minister Tourism Development Partnership Scheme,” there is a plan to develop one tourist destination in each assembly constituency of Uttar Pradesh. In this sequence, a blueprint has been drawn to ensure the integrated development of religious and tourism areas in the districts of the Ayodhya division.

The construction of the grand temple of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram in Ayodhya has given a lot of impetus to the social and cultural sector in the state and the immense potential of religious tourism has increased.

Ayodhya has been established as a global tourism center. There has been a huge increase in the number of tourists coming from India and abroad, which is boosting the economic condition of the country, including the state.

Like every year, this year too, the festival of lights was organised on a large scale in Ayodhya. On this occasion, a Guinness World Record was created by lighting 22 lakh 23 thousand lamps on Ram Ki Pauri, which was a moment that increased the pride of Ayodhya.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said during the press conference that the arrangements made in the consecration ceremony of Lord Shri Ram Lalla in Ayodhya have been appreciated by guests from the country and the world.

CM Yogi said that the construction of the grand temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya has given a lot of encouragement to our social and cultural sector.

Ayodhya has become a big tourist centre in the world. There has been a huge increase in the number of tourists coming from India and abroad, which will boost our economic condition. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Uttarakhand Cabinet approves draft UCC Bill

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Uttarakhand Cabinet approves draft UCC Bill

The draft of the UCC Bill was approved during a meeting at CM Dhami’s official residence on Sunday evening….reports Asian Lite News

The Uttarakhand Cabinet led by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday approved the draft of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill. The Bill would be taken up during the 4-day Assembly session, beginning on February 5 and continuing till February 8.

The draft of the UCC Bill was approved during a meeting at CM Dhami’s official residence on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Seva Sangathan, based in the hill state, has opposed the Bill. Section 144 has been implemented to maintain law and order while the Bill is tabled in the Assembly, an official said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the Uniform Civil Code is in the consultation process and being reviewed by the Law Commission of India.

“This is not just the issue of the Centre; the makers of the Constitution had discussed this even when the Constitution was being made…Right now, this matter is under consideration with the Law Commission of India and is in the consultation process. The states can fix it or improve it, and the government of Goa has already worked on UCC. The Uttarakhand government has approved this in the cabinet and as soon as we get a report by the Law Commission, we will inform you…” said Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Monday that the state UCC Bill is the outcome of public dialogue, deliberation, and suggestions.

For the drafting of the Uniform Civil Code Bill, the Uttarakhand Chief Minister shared a graphic listing 72 meetings that were held by 5 member committees, adding 43 public outreach programs and 2.32 lakh suggestions that were received by the committee.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand Assembly session will begin on Monday in Vidhan Bhavan, Dehradun, at 11 am.

In this special session of the Assembly, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s government will table the Uniform Civil Code Bill tomorrow, February 6.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has said that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill will be tabled in the upcoming session of the Assembly after a draft report related to UCC got approved at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The UCC proposes uniform civil laws for all communities in the state.

“In the cabinet meeting on Sunday, a proposal to bring a bill on Uniform Civil Code in the upcoming Assembly session was unanimously passed. We will table it in the Assembly. We will move forward in the direction to make it an Act,” Chief Minister Dhami told ANI.

Earlier, a draft of the UCC was handed over to the Chief Minister by the five-member committee headed by retired Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.

The UCC drafting panel also comprised retired justice Pramod Kohli, social activist Manu Gaur, former Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Shatrughan Singh and Vice Chancellor of Doon University, Surekha Dangwal. The drafting panel was given a total of four extensions.

The UCC will provide a legal framework for uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens, irrespective of their religion.

The passage of the UCC Bill will mark the fulfillment of a major promise made by the BJP to the people of the state in the run-up to the 2022 Assembly polls.

Earlier, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami informed that the draft report consists of 740 pages and has four volumes, which include suggestions from 2,33,000 people in the state.

“The village, which is known as the last village of India, was referred to by the PM as the first village, so the committee started the work of taking suggestions from their only, and other 43 places. A total of 2,33,000 people gave suggestions on it which includes 10 per of the families of Uttarakhand,” Chief Minister Dhami said.

At its very first meeting in the second term, in March 2022, the Dhami government decided to constitute a committee to prepare a draft for the UCC.

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India News Travel & Tourism Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh’s Tourism Sees Boom with 32 Cr Visitors

Kashi emerged as the top tourist destination in the state, drawing the highest number of visitors, with Prayagraj and Ayodhya also welcoming millions of tourists…reports Asian Lite News

Uttar Pradesh is consistently strengthening its presence on the global tourism stage, reaching new milestones annually. In 2022, the state attracted 31.85 crore tourists, and during the initial nine months of 2023, more than 32 crore visitors, including a substantial international contingent, explored the diverse offerings of Uttar Pradesh

Among the various destinations in the state, Kashi attracted the highest number of tourists, while Prayagraj and Ayodhya also witnessed the arrival of crores of visitors.

The year 2023 marked a significant milestone for Uttar Pradesh across diverse sectors. Achieving top positions in both central and state welfare schemes, the state also experienced notable progress in the field of tourism. From January to September 2023, the number of domestic tourists visiting Uttar Pradesh was 31,91,95,206, and 9,54,866 foreign tourists also explored the state.

Notably, Varanasi, in particular, witnessed the highest number of tourist arrivals. From January to September, a total of 8,42,04,814 tourists visited Varanasi, with 8,40,71,726 being domestic tourists and 1,33,088 being international tourists.

After Kashi, Prayagraj emerges as the second choice for tourists. A total of 4,49,95,996 tourists visited here from January to September 2023. Among them, the number of domestic tourists was 4,49,93,289, while 2,707 foreign tourists also explored Prayagraj.

Similarly, Ayodhya secured the third position in terms of tourist arrivals. From January 23 to September 23, a total of 2,03,64,347 tourists visited Ayodhya. Among them, the number of domestic tourists was 2,03,62,713, while 1,634 were international tourists.

It is noteworthy that the highest number of tourists coming to Uttar Pradesh was recorded between January and July, ranging between 5.56 to 5.80 crore. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Central Trade Unions Seek Probe into Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse

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UP Attracts Mega Investments, Promises 1 Crore Jobs

Efforts are underway to develop Lalitpur Bulk Drug Park, Uttar Pradesh Defense Corridor, Purvanchal Industrial Corridor and Lucknow AI City….reports Asian Lite News

In 2023, investment proposals exceeding Rs 40 lakh crore poured into Uttar Pradesh, paving the way for the creation of employment opportunities for one crore youths in the state.

Notably, efforts are underway to implement these investment proposals on the ground. In the initial months of 2024, there are preparations to launch projects worth Rs 15 lakh crore through the first phase of the Ground Breaking Ceremony (GBC).

Efforts are underway to develop Lalitpur Bulk Drug Park, Uttar Pradesh Defense Corridor, Purvanchal Industrial Corridor and Lucknow AI City.

Film City, Logistics Park, Medical Device Park, Data Centre and Toy Park are also being developed in Greater Noida.

There will be well-designed Grade-A certified commercial spaces for IT companies, state-of-the-art data centres, Grade-A flexible workspace, and tech labs.

The Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority (GIDA) is developing the Plastic and Toy Park in Gorakhpur.

Under the Defence Corridor in Uttar Pradesh, manufacturing of various defence equipment, including BrahMos missiles, will be undertaken in the coming years.

The development process of the Purvanchal Industrial Corridor was initiated in Uttar Pradesh in the year 2023. It spans 5800 hectares along the banks of five expressways.

To develop Bundelkhand, plans were made to create another industrial city and promote the development of the region, similar to Noida.

In Lucknow, the process of establishing and developing an E-bus manufacturing plant is ongoing.

Fuji Silvertech, a company from Japan, agreed with the Uttar Pradesh government to establish a plant in the state under a significant investment in the year 2023.

Uttar Pradesh is advancing to become a trillion-dollar economy, industrial activities are increasing in every district. (ANI)

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Central Trade Unions Seek Probe into Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse

The workers have been trapped for 12 days after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed on November 12…reports Asian Lite News

Ten Central Trade Unions (CTUs) express dismay over the Silkyara Tunnel collapse in Uttarkashi, citing a failure of authorities to take responsibility.

In a joint statement, CTUs highlight workplace safety shortcomings, urging the Centre to withdraw the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code and adopt International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.

They criticised the delayed response to the trapped workers and call for a comprehensive investigation into planning lapses. The CTUs demand swift action, including convening the Indian Labour Conference to address worker concerns on legal codification.

Minister of State of Road Transport and Highways VK Singh and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached the Silkaya tunnel in Uttarakashi on Thursday to inspect the progress of the rescue operation of 41 workers.

Speaking to reporters about the rescue operations outside the site, CM Dhami said that 45 metres of pipeline have been laid through an auger machine to rescue the workers.

“45 metres of pipeline have been laid through the auger machine. The rescue is in its final stages. There are some obstacles,. but I hope that the workers are rescued as early as possible. Post-rescue preparations have been done”.

Speaking on the post-rescue operations, CM said, “Ambulances and hospitals are ready for their (workers) check-up and treatment”.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is receiving updates about the multiple rescue operations on a daily basis.

“PM Modi is taking updates on the rescue every single day. He took the update today as well. Our experts are working day and night to rescue the workers,” He said.

The workers have been trapped for 12 days after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed on November 12.

Meanwhile, Chanchal Singh Bisht, a family member of one of the trapped workers, said while speaking to ANI, “My cousin is inside. It looks like he will come out today… I had a conversation with him, he asked me to go home and said that he was fine.”

Earlier, medical equipment reached the site as efforts to rescue 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi continued on the 12th day on Thursday.

According to officials, the workers are expected to be pulled out from the collapsed tunnel today.

The workers have been trapped since November 12, when the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot got blocked due to debris falling in a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side.

The operation to rescue 41 workers trapped inside a Uttarakhand tunnel for the past 12 days is in its critical phase.

As of midnight, rescue teams had said that about 10 metres of debris separated them from the trapped workers.

According to rescue teams, the operation involved drilling through the debris to push wide pipes for the trapped workers to walk out through.

The auger machine, which drills through about 3 metres of debris in an hour, had earlier hit a metal obstruction.

A 41-bed hospital readied at the Community Health Centre in Chinyalisaur for medical examination and care of trapped workers after they are evacuated from the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.

Rescue workers said the workers would go through a detailed medical examination once they reached the hospital. (with inputs from ANI)

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