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Bhim Army to start cycle yatra in Uttar Pradesh from July 1

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Chandra-Shekhar

The Bhim Army has started preparing for the next Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, due early next year.

The Bhim Army volunteers, under the banner of Azad Samaj Party, will embark on a cycle yatra from July 1 and visit all blocks and villages to create awareness on the need of preventing division of votes in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections next year.

Talking to reporters, Chandra Shekhar Aazad said, “My aim is to muster the support of at least 85 per cent people from the Bahujan Samaj. We are going to organise ‘Bahujan Brotherhood Conferences’ in the entire state and we will explain the value of vote to the people. We will ask them not to waste their vote if they want a secure future for themselves.”

He said that the 2022 elections in Uttar Pradesh will give a chance to the people to decide what they want for the next five years. It will give an opportunity to decide their own future.

The Bhim Army chief continues to be cautious while talking about the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and his relationship with the party.

Referring to the recent expulsion of leaders from the BSP, he said, “When any leader suddenly expels the leaders of his party, it is clear that the leader has become a dictator and not a leader. If someone has made any mistake or there is any complaint against him, then he should be given a chance to present his side. That is what democracy is. But, if someone removes a worker who has been working for 25 years without a valid reason, it is not justice.”

He said that he would welcome all such leaders or workers who want to take forward Kanshi Ram’s movement.

“I welcome all the leaders who want to take forward the movement of social change that has been stalled. Although I have not made any such effort yet, if those who have been expelled want to join us, I will welcome them,” he said.

He pointed out that the expulsion of Ram Achal Rajbhar and Lalji Verma, the two leaders who were founder members of the BSP, has not gone down well with the Bahujan Samaj.

Asked about alliances, the Bhim Army chief said that he would ally only with those forces that are genuinely wanting to work for the upliftment of the downtrodden and poor.

“The BJP is completely anti-Bahujan. We cannot have an alliance with them. BJP takes votes in the name of Keshav Prasad Maurya but makes Yogi Adityanath, a Thakur, the Chief Minister. This is an insult to democracy. Our battle will now be for the caste census and reservation in promotion,” he said.

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‘Women look good even without clothes’, says Ramdev

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 In a potentially controversial development, Yoga expert Ramdev on Friday commented on women’s attires, raising eyebrows in political and social circles.

Addressing a free Yoga training programme here, Ramdev said without batting an eyelid: “Women look good in saris, they look great in salwar suits, and in my view they look good even if they don’t wear anything.”

At that time, he was flanked by Thane’s Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde, son of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and singer Amruta Fadnavis — wife of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and other prominent personalities.

Ramdev, 56, was speaking at a Yoga Science Camp & Women’s Meeting organised by Patanjali Yoga Peeth and Mumbai Mahila Patanjali Yoga Samiti here.

He interacted with women who had brought their yoga attires and saris for the conclave and attended a training camp conducted by Ramdev.

Since the meeting started soon after the training camp, many women did not get time to change and attended it in their Yoga suits.

Observing this, Ramdev said that there was no problem if they had no time to switch to saris and they could do it after going home, and then made his remark — termed as ‘sexist’ in some quarters.

He also urged the people to remain happy and smiling, similar to Amruta Fadnavis to live a long life.

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NF Railway to organise first-ever Northeast Half Marathon

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The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will organise the first-ever Northeast Half Marathon in Guwahati on February 5 next year, officials said on Friday.

To organise the first-of-its-kind Northeast Half Marathon, the NFR has joined hands with Innovations India Pvt Ltd. The Half Marathon will be aimed at the empowerment of sportspersons and the development of sports infrastructure in the northeastern region.

NFR CPRO, Sabyasachi De said that the Northeast Half Marathon will be a series of Marathons that would be conducted across the northeast with the aim of empowering the sportspersons and developing sporting activity in this region.

He informed that the first Marathon of the planned series will be held at Maligaon on the 5th of February, and approximately 3,000 runners from all across India as well as abroad are expected to participate in the race.

Prizes worth Rs 11 lakh would be given to the winners in addition to the trophies, medals and certificates.

The aspiring participants would be able to register through online as well as offline mode for the Marathon.

The NE Half Marathon would highlight all states of the Northeast as one entity and would surely catapult this region into the limelight on both National & International Platforms, De claimed.

Anshul Gupta, General Manager of NFR said that beyond connectivity and promoting tourism, the NFR is also promoting sporting events in various places within its jurisdiction.

The curator of the event, Captain Rahul Bali appreciated the initiative taken by the Railways.

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Delhi govt school classroom scam: Vigilance directorate recommends probe by specialised agency

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 The Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) of the Delhi government has submitted its report to the chief secretary in a case of alleged “irregularities and corruption” in the construction of 2,405 classrooms in 193 schools and has recommended probe.

The DoV report, prepared after seeking the responses of the Education Department and the PWD, prima facie points towards a major scam and has suggested “a detailed investigation by a specialised agency”.

The DoV has submitted the report in the matter related to a complaint dated August 22, 2022, with regards to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report dated February 17, 2020 highlighting glaring irregularities in the construction of additional classrooms in different schools of the Delhi government by PWD. The CVC had sent the report to the DoV seeking its comments on the matter.

The Vigilance Department has also recommended “fixing the responsibilities of the concerned officials of the Education Department and PWD” who were involved in the bungling to the tune of nearly Rs 1,300 crore. It has also recommended to forward its findings along with the replies of PWD and Education Department to the CVC for consideration, said a source on Friday.

Apart from several procedural lapses and violation of rules and manuals to tamper with the tender process, the DoV, in its report, has specifically underlined the role of private persons viz. “M/s Babbar and Babbar Associates”, who, without being appointed as a consultant, not only attended a crucial meeting held on June 21, 2016, in the chamber of the then PWD Minister, but also influenced the Minister for post-tender changes done in the work contracts in the name of “richer specifications” that resulted into additional financial implications of Rs 205.45 crore.

In the report, the Secretary (Vigilance) has observed that “extra constitutional agencies / persons (like M/s Babbar & Babbar Associates) were running the administration and dictating the terms and conditions to the officers and the entire administration both at the policy level as well as the execution level and were implementing such directions of private person in a place like national capital of the country, which is not only against TBR, 1993 and other rules, regulations and guidelines, besides being a serious threat to the securities aspect. This kind of approach will lead to administrative anarchy and chaos.”

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