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Jose K Mani says will quit Rajya Sabha, part ways with UDF in Kerala

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Jose K Mani.

After months of speculations, Kerala Congress (Mani) leader and late KM Mani’s son Jose K Mani on Wednesday announced his decision to resign his Rajya Sabha seat, part ways with the opposition UDF, and join hands with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF).

With this, the 38-year-long association of unified Kerala Congress (Mani) with the UDF, of which he was a founding member, has come to an end.

Jose, a Rajya Sabha member since 2018, won the seat in the Upper House when his party was in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). He said he decided to quit as it was morally expected of him.

“So far, we have not held any discussions with the LDF. We have laid out our political stand. Now, we will wait to hear from them. We were stabbed in the back in the UDF,” Jose said soon after his meeting with top party office-bearers.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist had asked Jose to make the first move to join the LDF.

A similar situation had emerged when late KM Mani had decided to function an an independent bloc in the Assembly in 2016 after breaking from the UDF. At that time, the CPI had strongly opposed it.

In 2018, KM Mani returned to the UDF fold after a Rajya Sabha seat was offered to his party. He asked Jose to resign from the Lok Sabha a year ahead of his term’s end and contest the Rajya Sabha seat, which he won.

After the death of KM Mani last year, the party split into two factions — one led by party veteran legislator PJ Joseph and the other by Jose Mani. The Joseph faction’s strength came down to two legislators after the death of veteran MLA CF Thomas last month. The Mani faction also has two MLAs.

Jose said that they were treated with disdain in UDF, especially by a section in the Congress.

“… we did not get justice from the UDF as they stood behind Joseph. We too have self-respect… we feel the LDF is the best bet for us as our stands on various issues match,” Jose said.

Reacting to the development, Joseph said Jose should now make clear who stabbed him in the back. “He indulged in indiscipline in the UDF. It was the CPI-M that abused KM Mani all through… Jose has thrown a challenge and we accept it,” said Joseph.

UDF convenor MM Hassan said Jose’s departure will have no impact on the UDF.

Now, the ball is in the CPI-M’s court. An earlier attempt by KM Mani to enter the LDF was strongly opposed by the CPI, the second biggest party in the ruling alliance. Now it remains to be seen how the Left welcomes Jose and his party into the LDF.

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Faizabad junction to be renamed as Ayodhya Cantt

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Yogi-Adityanath

 The Yogi Adityanath government on Saturday decided to rechristen Faizabad junction as Ayodhya Cantt, as per a tweet shared by the Chief Minister’s office.

Earlier, the government had renamed Faizabad district as Ayodhya and Allahabad as Prayagraj.

After becoming Chief Minister of the state in 2017, Yogi Adityanath renamed Mughalsarai Junction railway station.
Adityanath’s proposal to change the name of the station was approved by the Central government and in 2018, it was rechristened as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction.

The Yogi Cabinet also renamed Mughalsarai tehsil as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Tehsil.

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95% people do not need BJP: Akhilesh

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Akhilesh-Yadav

 Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday took a swipe at Uttar Pradesh Minister Upendra Tiwari for saying that 95 per cent people do not need petrol, and said ‘the truth is that those people do not need the BJP’.

Upendra Tiwari had said that prices of petrol and diesel were not increased much considering per capita income and added that 95 per cent people do not need the petrol.

“The BJP minister said that expensive petrol does not bother the general public because 95 per cent of the people do not need petrol. Now, even the minister will not need it as the people will soon put him out of power. The truth is that 95 per cent of the people do not need the BJP,” Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.

The SP president also asked, “Does Thar need diesel?”

The obvious reference was to the recent Lakhimpur Kheri incident where four farmers were allegedly mowed down by a jeep (Mahindra Thar) owned by Union Minister Ajay Misra.

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Priyanka to flag off ‘Pratigya Yatra’ on Saturday

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priyanka gandhi

 Congress General secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will flag-off the three ‘Pratigya Yatras’ from Barabanki on Saturday.

The yatras will be taken out from October 23 to November 1.

According to the Congress press release, the ‘Pratigya Yatra’ will commence from Barabanki in the Bundelkhand region and will end at Jhansi via Lucknow, Unnao, Fatehpur, Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur and Jalaun.

Similarly, in the western Uttar Pradesh region, the yatra will start from Saharanpur and will move through Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Badaun, Aligarh, Hathras, Agra and Mathura.

In Avadh region, the yatra will start from Varanasi and will end at Rae Bareli via Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh and Amethi.

During these ‘Pratigya Yatras’, Priyanka will hold several meetings.

Priyanka, according to party sources, is likely to make announcements like women’s reservation in education and jobs, free education for women, farmer’s loan waiver and rebate in electricity rates during the yatras.

She has earlier announced that the Congress will give 40 per cent of the total election tickets to women in the state.

Apart from this, she has also promised to give mobile phones and scooty to the girl students.

The Congress is also especially eyeing women voters and is making a conscious effort to neutralize caste-based politics.

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