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BJP allies seek share in UP pie for 2022 polls

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Lucknow, Sep 16: More and more allies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are demanding their proverbial pound of flesh in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

The latest to join the bandwagon is the Republican Party of India (RPI).

RPI national president and Union minister Ramdas Athawale has said that his party would field candidates on around 10-12 seats dominated by the Muslims, Schedule Castes and backward classes in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He said that discussions regarding seat distribution in poll-bound Uttar Pardesh are underway with BJP national president J.P. Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Athawale said his party will kick off the poll campaign by taking out the Bahujan Kalyan Yatra from Saharanpur on September 26, which will culminate in a rally in Lucknow on December 18, after covering several districts of Uttar Pradesh.

The Janata Dal(United) has already said that though it would prefer to contest the elections in alliance with the BJP, it would still field candidates if the alliance did not materialise.

Party General Secretary K.C. Tyagi has already said that while their first choice would be to be accommodated in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), it will still go ahead with its plans to contest in UP even if that does not materialise.

“Our first choice will be to contest as part of the NDA, and we hope it works out. We have had an old presence in UP since the days of the erstwhile Samata Party, though we did not contest in 2017. We had MLAs in UP and we also had ministers in the government. The objective is to revive the party beyond Bihar,” he said.

State JD(U) president Anoop Singh Patel said, “We have asked out workers to prepare for elections on the maximum number of seats in the state.”

According to sources, the JD(U) wants to assert its claim over the Kurmi votes in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Till now, it is the Apna Dal — another BJP ally — that wields considerable influence over the Kurmi community which is the second largest block among OBC voters after Yadavs.

On the other hand, the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), led by Mukesh Sahani, is also determined to contest the UP elections – with or without BJP.

Mukesh Sahani, who happens to be a minister in the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, has said that his party will contest on 165 Assembly seats that have a sizeable Nishad population.

The VIP is at loggerheads with the Nishad Party that is inching closer to the BJP. Both the parties claim to be custodians of the Nishad votes in UP.

Nishad Party president Sanjay Nishad, sources said, has sought 70 seats from the BJP for the 2022 Assembly polls.

A senior BJP functionary, talking on condition of anonymity, said that the demands being put forth by its allies were ‘impractical’ because they did not have a base in Uttar Pradesh.

“The 2022 Assembly election is crucial for us and every seat matters. We cannot give away seats, knowing that they will be lost. The party leadership is closely monitoring every seat and the decision will be taken at the highest level,” he 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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