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‘Abba jaan’ Taliban take centre stage in UP politics

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Lucknow, Sep 14: As the countdown to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due early next year begins, issues like governance and development are expectedly taking a back seat and it is ‘Abba Jaan’ and Taliban that are emerging as the latest poll narrative in Uttar Pradesh.

State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said that prior to 2017, “those who say ‘Abba Jaan’ used to devour the free ration sent for the poor and cornered government jobs meant for the poor by indulging in corruption.”

The speech had the desired impact and non-BJP political parties promptly objected to the use of ‘Abba Jaan’ — an endearment for father — for political gains.

Though the chief minister did not name any particular party, it was clear that he was referring to the Samajwadi Party since he had earlier referred to Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav as ‘Abba Jaan’ in a TV programme.

The chief minister also said that leaders like Akhilesh Yadav earlier did not visit temples for the fear of offending their Muslim vote-bank.

Taliban was added to the narrative after Samajwadi MP Shafiqur-Rehman Barq termed Taliban as ‘freedom fighters’.

The BJP leaders have been referring to his remarks to consolidate its Hindu vote bank and are using Taliban to underline the SP’s affinity for ‘Abba Jaan’ (read Muslim).

The result of this developing situation is that key issues like development have been put on the backburner and almost all political leaders are now bending backwards to establish their Hindu credentials-much to the glee of the BJP leaders.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Satish Mishra was the first one to visit Ayodhya and claim that the grand temple would be completed in the Mayawati regime.

When Mayawati addressed her party meeting in Lucknow recently, she was greeted with chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ — something unheard of in BSP till now. She was even presented with a ‘trishul’ on stage.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, on Monday, offered prayers at various temples in Ayodhya while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited a Hanuman temple in Rae Bareli during her recent visit.

“We have forced these leaders to rush to temples. It was the Congress that had rejected the existence of Lord Ram. The SP had fired at Ram Sewaks. Why are they now trying to project a Hindu-friendly image?” said state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh.

The BJP is clearly setting the tone for the next elections using the issue of national security on the Taliban issue and putting non-BJP parties in the dock over the Muslim appeasement.

The content being shared on on party-run social media handles and groups on WhatsApp, show that around one-fourth of the posts in the last two weeks were Taliban related referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “strong personality” and projecting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as a strong Hindutva brand against these forces.

“It is unfortunate that the BJP is trying to veer the election narrative on communal lines. We have to stand up against it or else they will succeed in their designs. The BJP does not want people to talk about unemployment, inflation and Covid mismanagement,” said Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam.

On the other hand, SP spokesperson Juhie Singh said that the BJP had always diverted the attention of the people from the core issues of the state. The situation during Covid-19, inflation, unemployment, and social injustice have never been the party’s priority, she said.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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