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Yogi Adityanath appoints chairman, members of SC/ST commission




The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has finally started doling out sops to party workers.

The state government, on Wednesday, appointed former BJP MLA Rambabu Harit as chairman of the State SC/ST Commission.

The Commission was headless since the retirement of previous chief, Brij Lal, in November 2019.

The government has also appointed Mithilesh Kumar and Ram Naresh Paswan as vice chairpersons of the commission and 15 members.

The nominated members of the commission include Sadhvi Geeta Pradhan, Om Prakash Nayak, Ramesh Toofani, Ram Singh Valmiki, Kamlesh Pasi, Sheshnath Acharya, Teeja Ram, Anita Siddharth, Ram Asrey Diwakar, Shyam Aheria, Manoj Sonkar, Shravan Gond Amresh Chandra Chero, Kishan Lal Sudarshan and K.K. Raj.

The office bearers and members will hold charge for a year from the date of appointment or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.


Can reduce Juhi Chawla’s 5G suit fine, but on one condition: Delhi HC




The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said it will consider reducing actress-environmentalist Juhi Chawla’s fine – slapped for abuse of the process of law in relation to a lawsuit challenging 5G wireless network technology – from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 lakh on the condition she does some service for the public.

A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said: “We will make it Rs 2 lakh but that comes with another condition. Considering that your client is a celebrity, she should do some public work. Her status should be implied for some good of society. She could do a programme for the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA).”

Representing Chawla, senior advocate Salman Khurshid, argued that the petitioner had raised a genuine concern on the impact of 5G technology on the human body. If the cost amount could be waived, his client could go back to pursue the cause, he said.

Later, he said he would seek her instructions on the suggestion made by the court.

Further, issuing notice to the DLSA Secretary, the court listed the case for further hearing on January 27.

On January 21, the DSLSA approached the court seeking the execution of the order, in which Chawla and two others were directed to deposit Rs 20 lakh fine imposed in relation to a lawsuit challenging 5G wireless network technology.

On June 4 last year, Justice J.R. Midha had dismissed her lawsuit against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country. Her plea stated the levels of RF radiation are 10 to 100 times greater than the existing levels. It also claimed that the 5G wireless technology can be a potential threat to provoke irreversible and serious effects on humans and it could also permanently damage the earth’s ecosystems.

The court had held that the suit filed by Chawla and two others were defective, non-maintainable, and also contained unverified and vexatious assertions and also imposed the fine.

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After resigning from Cong, RPN Singh joins BJP




 Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader R.P.N. Singh on Tuesday joined the BJP here.

He joined the BJP in presence of Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Anurag Thakur and Jyotiraditya Scindia, deputy Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya, state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh and party national media head Anil Baluni at party headquarters here.

Welcoming Singh in party, Pradhan said, “Election process is on in Uttar Pradesh and BJP has been continuously winning the confidence of Uttar Pradesh for the last eight years. Once again we are goinig with the issues of development, better law and order, welfare schemes to seek people’s support. Singh has joined to make Uttar Pradesh number one state. Many times I told Singh that he is the right man in the wrong party. Today, I welcome him in BJP.”

Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief J.P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party leadership for inducting hime in the BJP family.

“I worked hard for 32 years in Congress but it is no longer what it used to be. Many asked me to join the BJP for a long time, but I can only say ‘Der aaye durust aye (better late than never)’. I will work as a ‘Karyakarta’ (worker) towards fulfilling Prime Minister Modi’s dream for nation building,” Singh said.

The former Union minister said that the way the BJP government has worked hard to improve the law and order situation in the state is commendable.

“I will do everything that is assigned to me as a small party worker for the development of Uttar Pradesh and country,” Singh added

Before officially joining the BJP, Singh tweeted, “This is a new beginning for me and I look forward to my contribution to nation building under the visionary leadership & guidance of the Honourable Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi, BJP President Shri @JPNadda ji & Honourable Home Minister @AmitShah ji.”

Earlier in the day, Singh resigned from the primary membership of Congress a day after being named as one of the party’s star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh.

Tweeting his resignation letter, Singh said, “Today, at a time, we are celebrating the formation of our great Republic, I begin a new chapter in my political journey. Jai Hind.”

The former Union Minister of State for Home, Singh has been MLA and MP from the party and also was in-charge of the party in Jharkhand.

The Congress has been facing a major exodus of its leaders in Uttar Pradesh. Recently, three candidates named by the party switched sides to other parties.

Singh will be a high profile exit from the Uttar Pradesh Congress after Jitin Prasada, who quit the party and now is a minister in the Yogi government. Singh is an influential leader in his area, but could not win two consecutive elections on the Congress ticket.

Sources said that he is likely to be fielded on a BJP ticket from the same seat against Samajwadi Party’s Swami Prasad Maurya, who recently left the saffron party.

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V-P calls for 75% voter turnout for making polls more inclusive





Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday urged the Election Commission and the citizens to ensure a voter turnout of 75 per cent in the next general elections to make electoral democracy more inclusive and also sought consensus on simultaneous polls to sustain the tempo of development.

In a message on the occasion of the 12th National Voters Day, he stressed that no voter should be left behind and urged the citizens to judge the contestants on merit.

As he has been in home isolation in Hyderabad after testing corona positive, his address was read out at the event in New Delhi.

Referring to the increase in voter turnout from 44.87 per cent in the first general elections during 1951-52 to the highest ever 67.40 per cent in the 2019 elections, marking an increase of 50 per cent in voting, Naidu complimented all stakeholders for the same. Alluding to the sustained efforts of the Election Commission in this regard striving for excellence during the 70 years of the country’s electoral journey, he also hailed the Commission as a credible, responsive and forward looking institution every votary of democracy can legitimately be proud of.

The Vice President also noted that the challenge before the Election Commission is to ensure a steady increase in voting in every election to make our electoral democracy more inclusive by addressing the barriers to voter participation.

“In the 75th year of our Independence, let us resolve to leave no voter behind and aim to increase the voter turnout to at least 75 per cent in the next general elections. Let each one realize that vote is not only a right but a responsibility. We, as a nation, must think and arrive at a consensus to have simultaneous polls to all the three tiers of federal set up and move towards better governance by focusing our attention on all round development of our people,” the Vice President urged.

Referring to the substantial eight per cent increase in voter turnout from 58.21 per cent in 2009 general elections to 66.44 per cent in 2014, he also suggested that it was feasible to reach 75 per cent turnout target from 67.40 per cent in 2019. He complimented the SVEEP (Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation) initiative of the Election Commission launched in 2009 for improving voter participation.

Expressing delight over women voting more than men in the 2019 general elections by a margin of 0.17 per cent for the first time in 70 years, Naidu said that this will end gender gap in the country.

The 12th National Voters Day is being organized on the theme “Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative”. January 25 is being celebrated as the Election Commission was set up on January 25, 1950, a day before the country became a Republic with the Constitution coming into force from January 26, 1950.

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