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Tuesday,21-September-2021

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Uttar Pradesh Congress plays caste game, woos Dalits

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In order to regain its lost ground in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Tuesday observed a ‘Dalit Swabhiman Diwas’ to woo the community and highlight the atrocities on the weaker sections in the non-Congress governments.

While it is wooing Dalits and OBCs, the Brahmins are being ignored by the Congress, say state party insiders.

State head of the Congress Dalit cell, Alok Prasad, said that the significance of August 3 was that the proposal to appoint Dr B.R. Ambedkar as the Union Law Minister in the Nehru cabinet was passed on this day.

“We are taking out Dalit Swabhiman Yatras on this day to create awareness among Dalits and pay tributes to Ambedkar,” he said. The Congress also plans to hold a Dalit panchayat.

The state Congress has already held caste conferences for Nishad, Maurya-Shakya, Kushwaha and Pal-Gaderia-Dhanger caste groups.

The move by the state unit to focus on castes has irked the senior party leaders who feel that the Congress is simply following in the footsteps of the regional parties.

“We slam other parties for playing the caste and communal card but this is exactly what we are doing. Instead of focussing on issues, we are following the caste path which is detrimental to party interests,” said a former UPCC president.

Interestingly, the Congress state leadership has started criticizing other non-BJP parties instead of focusing its attention on the ruling BJP.

Uttar Pradesh Congress minority cell chairman Shahnawaz Alam has been attacking the Samajwadi Party for ignoring the victimisation of its leader Mohd Azam Khan and not opposing it.

Alam said that if anything untoward happens to Azam Khan, Akhilesh would be equally responsible for it.

A senior party leader said, “What exactly is the state leadership trying to do? We should be attacking the BJP but we are shooting down regional parties with whom we could have a post-poll alliance.”

While SP and BSP are trying to woo Brahmins who are disgruntled with the BJP, the Congress has chosen to ignore Brahmins completely-even those within the party.

A senior political analyst said, “The problem with Congress is that it is completely directionless. They have no strategy and policy for the elections and each one is pulling in a different direction.”

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KTR files defamation suit against Revanth Reddy for linking him in drugs case

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 Telangana’s cabinet minister K.T. Rama Rao has instituted a civil suit for defamation and for grant of perpetual injunction against state Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy for making baseless allegations linking him with the drugs scandal.

The suit is a result of various baseless, scurrilous, and manifestly false statements and allegations made against Rama Rao by Revanth Reddy seeking to falsely link the minister with the ongoing investigation being conducted by Enforcement Directorate against allegations of drug and psychotropic substances abuse by certain named accused, said a statement released from the minister’s office.

The civil suit contends that the said investigations are being done against the said accused and as a part of investigation various persons are being examined with none of whom Rama Rao has any association or link for the alleged acts.

“Mr K.T. Rama Rao has thus sought a declaration that such false statements made by Anumula Revanth Reddy are slanderous, libellous and constitute defamation and seeks an appropriate injunction against making such defamatory statements and to take down all such false statements/accusations. Liberty has also been reserved in the suit for instituting further Criminal Proceedings and for payment of compensatory damages for such serious and malicious acts of defamation,” it added.

KTR, as Rama Rao is popularly known, is minister for industries, commerce, and information technology and municipal administration and urban development.

Son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, he is also working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Revanth Reddy, who is also a member of Parliament, had also challenged KTR to undergo tests for drugs. KTR said he was ready to undergo the tests provided Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also comes forward to give his samples.

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Owaisi denied permission to meet ex-MP Atiq Ahmad in Gujarat jail

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Asaduddin-Owaisi

 AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday was denied permission to meet former MP Atiq Ahmad in Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad.

The Hyderabad MP along with some party leaders reached Ahmedabad on Monday morning but Gujarat prison authorities denied him permission to meet Ahmad, who recently joined All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

AIMIM sources said in Hyderabad that Owaisi was scheduled to reach Sabarmati Central Prison to meet Atiq Ahmad at 11 a.m.

The permission for meeting was denied in the last minute by SP Central Prison citing Covid-19 pandemic, they said.

Owaisi was accompanied by Aurangabad MP Imtiyaz Jaleel, Gujarat state unit chief Sabir Kabliwala and former mayor of Greater Hyderabad and AIMIM incharge for Uttar Pradesh Majid Hussain.

Atiq Ahmad’s wife Shaista Parveen joined AIMIM early this month in Lucknow in the presence of Owaisi. The former Samajwadi Party leader also joined AIMIM in absentia.

Owaisi inducted Atiq Ahmad and his wife claiming that the SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) used Muslims as slaves in their parties.

Defending his decision to induct Ahmad, who has several criminal cases lodged against him, Owaisi also asserted that even several BJP leaders are facing several cases.

A five-time legislator and one-time MP Atiq Ahmad has more than 90 criminal cases, including those of murders, abductions, illegal mining, extortion, intimidation and fraud, against him.

He was shifted to Gujarat from Uttar Pradesh on the Supreme Court’s directions in 2019.

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Unemployment has peaked in Goa, says Kejriwal ahead of visit

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Ahead of his two-day visit to Goa, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday took to Twitter to highlight the issue of unemployment in the coastal state.

“With unemployment at its peak, Goa’s youth are not getting jobs. Government jobs are available only to people with money and connections. Coming to Goa to discuss this issue with the People of Goa,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party has upped its ante ahead of the 2022 state assembly polls, is expected to make a major poll promise related to the issue of unemployment here on Tuesday.

On his visit to Uttarakhand — another poll bound state — Kejriwal on Sunday had promised a Rs 5,000 unemployment dole and 80 per cent reservation of jobs to local residents.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has on several occasions said that the issue of unemployment is a serious problem in the state and has announced 15,000 vacancies to be filled up ahead of the elections, which are scheduled to be held in early 2022.

The Opposition has however dismissed the announcement of vacancies as a poll jumla.

The AAP has already promised free electricity up to 300 units in the state as its first poll promise in Goa. The party is expected to make a total of five poll-related promises to the people of the state in the run-up to the 2022 polls.

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