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Upendra Kushwaha may reunite with Nitish Kumar




Speculation about former Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha joining the Janata Dal (United) is getting stronger in Bihar’s political circles. It is said that talks between the leaders of both the parties is almost finalised.

Statements of the leaders of both the parties are encouraging the rumour that they are not very different from each other.

This is not the first time that Upendra Kushwaha has joined hands with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar or parted ways from him. The RLSP Chief had started his political innings under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar himself. After this, Kushwaha had parted ways with him twice. Earlier, in November 2009, Kushwaha had merged his Rashtriya Samta Party with the JD(U). Now, however, Kushwaha says he never parted ways with Kumar.

The two parties remembered each other after the results of 2020 Bihar Assembly elections. If the RLSP was wiped out in this Assembly election, the JD(U) did not get too many seats either. Subsequently, the leaders of the two parties realised they need each other.

Meanwhile, after the recent state Assembly election during the cold winter nights, Kushwaha reached out to Nitish thrice to break the ice between the two parties.

After the election, Nitish Kumar is trying to bolster the JD(U)’s organisational structure and is busy laying the ground to regain the mass base. At the same time, Kushwaha is also looking to regain his touch in politics. So, the coming together of the JD(U) and RLSP has become the need of the hour for both.

Sources say that it would be no surprise if Kushwaha comes to the JD(U) camp before the state cabinet’s expansion. Including the RLSP Chief in the cabinet will also help the cause of social engineering and another tall leader will join the ranks of the JD(U).

Former JD(U) state President Bashistha Narain Singh has also said he would welcome the decision of Kushwaha to join the JD(U). He said Kumar and Kushwaha are already friends. He said the JD(U) and the RLSP have worked together before. “Kushwaha has never been far from us. This would also be a good decision for the politics of Bihar,” he added.

Kushwaha has also been describing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as his elder brother.

On the other hand, leaders of both the JD(U) and RLSP are not saying anything openly yet about their growing bonhomie.

Jama Khan, the lone Bahujan Samaj Party MLA in Biharhas, joined the JD(U) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MLAs have also met JD(U) leaders. Five All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLAs in Bihar have also met the Bihar chief minister.

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Uniform assessment policy for all Class 12 boards not possible: Centre




The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there cannot be any uniform assessment policy for all board examinations, which includes those of the CBSE, the ICSE and the state boards.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, representing the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that all boards are autonomous bodies, and empowered to formulate their schemes in connection with the assessment of Class 12 students.

He told the top court that the life of each student is protected by Article 21 of the Constitution, and it is not safe or prudent to have a written exam amid the ongoing pandemic. “Students cannot be compelled to take examination during the pandemic. For example, if something happens to a student, then his/her parents will sue the board,” Venugopal said.

The AG said this situation has arisen for first time and the boards had to innovate and think of the students’ best interest. He added that 13 experts have put their heads together and has been approved by the CBSE.

The Centre also informed the top court that students will be given an option, that is, if they are not satisfied with the assessment, then they can opt for the exam.

The CBSE on Monday informed the Supreme Court the optional examinations for Class 12 students, unsatisfied with its assessment criteria, would be held between August 15 to September 15. The exams would be conducted if the environment is conducive against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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Smriti Irani slams Rahul Gandhi, calls him ‘Gyani Baba’




Mocking former Congress President Rahul Gandhi as ‘Gyani Baba’ (wise monk), Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said he needs to introspect why his party-ruled states have failed poorly in the Covid management.

In a series of tweets after Rahul Gandhi’s press conference, Irani said, “While Gyani Baba is dishing out pearls of wisdom to the Honourable Prime Minister, he may like to introspect on the following – Where did the second wave start? – Congress ruled states. Which states had a huge percentage of India’s cases and deaths? – Congress ruled states.”

In another tweet, she said, “State with the highest case fatality rate – Congress ruled state. States with maximum noise against vaccines creating vaccine hesitancy – Congress ruled states. States which had an astronomical positivity rate during the second wave – Congress ruled states.”

She pointed out that it was the Congress-ruled states that demanded decentralisation of vaccine procurement and later did a u-turn.

“Who demanded decentralization & then did a u-turn?- Congress. Which states did the worst in terms of vaccination yesterday even as the country created a world record? – Congress ruled states. It is darkness under the lamp,” she said.

National in-charge of BJP’s Information and Technology department, Amit Malviya tweeted, “Before Rahul Gandhi pontificates on Covid management, notwithstanding that Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, all Congress ruled, have been laggards, he should let us know if he has got himself vaccinated, since Congress actively promoted vaccine hesitancy.”

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi released a white paper on the Centre’s Covid management and said, “The idea is to provide insights and information so that avoidable deaths can be prevented in the coming waves.”

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AIMIM invites applications for 2022 polls in Uttar Pradesh




The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has started inviting applications from candidates willing to contest the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The application will be in the prescribed form and will also include a loyalty contract.

The ‘loyalty contract’ says that the applicant will campaign for the party in the election, working honestly for the party even in the event of not getting the ticket.

The applicants will also have to pay an application fee of Rs 10,000 along with the form.

AIMIM state president Shaukat Ali said, “We have made up our mind to contest on 100 Muslim majority seats in Uttar Pradesh and there has also been a discussion about a possible alliance with like-minded parties. Although no final decision has been taken on this yet, the doors of both SP and BSP are open for us.”

He said that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi will take the final decision on the ticket distribution, for which he will visit the state soon.

In the recent panchayat polls in UP, AIMIM has done well in Akhilesh Yadav’s constituency Azamgarh and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s hometown Prayagraj.

Meanwhile in 2015, the AIMIM had won four seats in the zila panchayat polls. The rise in the graph of AIMIM in the UP panchayat elections has boosted the morale of the party workers.

Earlier in 2017, AIMIM had fielded its candidates on 38 seats in the assembly elections but did not win a single seat.

The party got 2,05,232 votes in entire Uttar Pradesh, which was only 0.2 per cent of the total votes polled.

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