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Panchayat polls where violence took place should be held again: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

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Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is on a visit to Lakhimpur Kheri, on Saturday met the woman candidate of the Samajwadi Party who was allegedly molested during the block pramukh elections held recently in Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka Gandhi demanded that the panchayat polls where violence took place should be held again. She said she will write to the state election commission in this regard.

Priyanka Gandhi said women will become the head, block chief, MLA, MP, chief minister, even the prime minister by their sheer hard work and BJP ‘goons’ cannot stop them. “I will write to the State Election Commission for justice to all my sisters, citizens, victims of violence by BJP in Panchayat elections,” she said.

Priyanka visited Semra village in Pathgava block of Lakhimpur Kheri district and met the victim and assured her of justice and said that she would write a letter to the Election Commission and demand cancellation of the block chief elections where violence took place. In a meeting of about 20 minutes, she also hugged the victim woman, who was allegedly attacked and misbehaved with when her sari was pulled in full public view in Lakhimpur Kheri during the local polls.

Targeting the UP government, Priyanka Gandhi said during the nomination of the block chief on July 8, when the woman candidate was misbehaved with, the police kept watching. She said that she demands that this election be cancelled and strict action should be taken against those who are guilty in this incident.

Questioning the violence in the UP Panchayat elections, Priyanka Gandhi said that Prime Minister Modi praised chief minister Yogi Adityanath for the victory in the Panchayat elections, but they do not see the truth here. Several videos of incidents of violence have surfaced. Two women were molested. The administration remained silent. “If this is not the murder of democracy, then what is it?” she questioned.

She said that the CO who tried to save the victim was suspended by the government. The rest of the officers who were present there did nothing.

Priyanka alleged that any person with 10 goons can create a ruckus and win elections. Is this democracy? Should this kind of democracy be practised in the country and the state? The tenets of democracy have been flouted openly and the Prime Minister is praising the performance of the Yogi government in the Panchayat elections. She insisted, “if this is what you intend to do, then why women’s reservation?”

Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu, legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra Mona, former MP Zafar Ali Naqvi, senior leader Deepak, All India Congress general secretary Dheeraj Gurjar, District president Prahlad Patel and other Congress leaders and workers were also present.

National News

Mulayam’s health deteriorates, shifted to ICU at Medanta Hospital

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Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit-(ICU) of Medanta Hospital here after his health condition deteriorated, reports said on Sunday.

The 82-year-old former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has been undergoing treatment at the Medanta Hospital for several days. However, he was shifted to the ICU after his condition became serious on Sunday.

According to reports, his son Akhilesh Yadav along with wife Dimple Yadav also reached Medanta hospital after his father was shifted to the ICU.

Earlier, Mulayam’s wife Sadhna Gupta passed away in July this year. She was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Gurugram for a lung infection.

Sadhana was Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second wife. His first wife, Maalti Devi passed away in 2003. Maalti Devi was the mother of Akhilesh Yadav.

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Maharashtra

Threats to Maha CM Shinde from unknown caller, security tightened

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s security cover was tightened after specific inputs indicating threats to his life through a mystery phone call on Sunday.

The Home Department, handled by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has also ordered a probe with efforts on to trace the call and the unknown caller.

Simultaneously, security at Shinde’s official residence ‘Varsha’, at Malabar Hill and his private home in Thane city was beefed up with additional forces deployed.

Officials said that the State Intelligence Department (SID) monitored the inputs about the threats to Shinde, who has a Z-category security cover.

Earlier, Shinde – who leads the rebel Shiv Sena faction which toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi govt in June – had been the target of similar threats from Maoists and anti-national elements earlier when he was a minister in the previous government.

Though officials are tightlipped, there’s speculation that the latest threats may be linked to the Centre’s decision to ban the PFI.

Shinde is presently travelling a lot for the Navratri festivities and will address a Dassehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground on Vijaya Dashami.

BJP leaders like Pravin Darekar and Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar suspect that certain persons may be upset by the CM’s tough decisions in recent times and demanded a full investigation into the matter, including political or international threads.

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Maharashtra

Maha calling: ‘Vande Mataram’ rings in, Hello cut off

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Maharashtra has mandated all government staff and officers to henceforth answer phone calls with ‘Vande Mataram’ instead of the traditional Hello, from Sunday.

In a late Saturday notification, the state has said that this will instil a sense of national pride among the people and hello has no meaning.

The new rule will be applicable even to various state events, on public address systems as it would generate a conducive environment and emit positive energy.

The proposal had been floated by Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in mid-August, but the government remained in a denial mode.

The rule will be followed by all government staff, University, colleges, schools and up to the last level in the state administration as part of the ongoing 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence celebrations.

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