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Tuesday,15-June-2021

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Yogi Adityanath government announces reward on Vikas Dubey

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Vikas Dubey.

The Yogi Adityanath government has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for anyone giving information about Vikas Dubey, the main accused in the killing of eight police personnel on Friday.

An Uttar Pradesh police spokesman said that the identity of anyone who provides information will be kept secret.

The police has been raiding the various hideouts of Dubey but have not yet nabbed the criminal.

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Final phase of Uttar Pradesh zila panchayat polls this month

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The State Election Commission has informed the Panchayati Raj Department that it is ready to conduct zila panchayat polls between June 15 and July 3.

Additional chief secretary (Panchayati Raj) Manoj Singh issued the notification to this effect on Monday on behalf of the governor.

Sources said the department would soon seek inputs from the Panchayati raj directorate before issuing a notification.

The Zila panchayat chairpersons for 75 districts will be elected by 3,050 members in various districts.

Jaunpur has maximum 83 wards followed by Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri which have 79 and 72 wards, respectively.

Gorakhpur, the home turf of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, has 68 wards.

A formal notification for zila panchayat polls would be issued on Tuesday after which observers will be appointed.

The elections for zila panchayat chairpersons are a major prestige issue for all political parties, especially the BJP which has decided to field its functionaries in majority of the zila panchayat wards. The ruling party faces a stiff challenge from the Samajwadi Party.

The BJP seeks to maximize its footprint in rural parts of the state in order to counter the smaller, regional parties, SP and BSP, ahead of the state assembly elections next year.

The issue is said to be at the core of hectic activities in the BJP camp during the recent visits by party’s national general secretary (organization), B.L. Santhosh, and national vice-president, Radha Mohan Singh.

Both, SP and the BJP have opened back-channel negotiations with independent candidates who have won in a significant number of wards. Their support to candidates backed by various parties will hold significance in zila panchayat elections.

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Priyanka Gandhi demands CBI enquiry into UP scribe’s death

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanding a CBI enquiry into the death of a TV journalist based in Uttar Pradesh who had been found dead under mysterious circumstances in Pratapgarh district.

She in the letter wrote, “The law and order has collapsed and liquor mafia from Aligarh to Pratapgarh have been found indulged in spurious liquor trade, hundreds have died, and those journalists who had been exposing them are attacked.”

She also demanded financial assistance to the victim’s family.

Just a day before his death, Sulabh Srivastava, who worked for a TV channel, wrote to the Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday saying he felt threatened following his recent reportage of liquor mafias in the district.

Seeking protection, Srivastava had said he had been informed by sources that the liquor mafia was angry with him after the publication of his report and wanted to harm him or his family.

The Pratapgarh police has said that the journalist died in a ‘motorcycle accident’.

“Srivastava was returning on his motorcycle after media coverage, at around 11 p.m. on Sunday. He fell from his motorcycle near a brick kiln. Some labourers lifted him from the road and then used his phone to call his friends.

“He was taken to the district hospital where the doctors declared him dead,” the Pratapgarh police said in a statement.

The police also added that the initial probe revealed that Srivastava fell after his “bike collided with a handpump on the road”.

The police also added that they are probing other angles in the matter.

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Uttar Pradesh ministers to camp in districts in a damage control exercise

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In a major damage control exercise, all ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh have been asked to reach out to people ahead of the 2022 assembly elections in the state.

The ministers have been asked to camp in development blocks in districts under their charge in June and July 2021, connect with party workers at the grassroots level, obtain feedback about government schemes, attend International Yoga Day programmes there on June 21 and join the booth level workers in listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Maan Ki Baat” programme at booths on June 27.

The directives were communicated to them at a meeting of the council of ministers, chaired by Yogi Adityanath.

UP BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh, who was present at the meeting, briefed the ministers about the details of the outreach programme.

The ministers have also been asked to review the preparations for the speculated third wave and visit the families of those who may have died of Covid-19. He said ministers would take feedback whether the government relief had reached them.

The exercise is also being seen as a move to muster support for the BJP in the upcoming zila panchayat elections.

According to UP minister Siddhartha Nath Singh, “Minister in charges will camp at the blocks in districts under their charge in June and July 2021. The ministers will try to cover most of the blocks in the districts under their charge and will cover about two blocks every day. The ministers will visit ration shops, PHCs (primary health centres), CHCs (community health centres) and hospitals, attend plantation drives, along with making spot visits, and reviewing implementation of development schemes.”

Singh said ministers have been asked to hold organisational meetings in smaller groups, keeping in view the Covid protocol. He said there would also be programmes, especially plantation drives from June 23 to July 6.

During the meeting, minister for medical education Suresh Khanna and minister for health Jai Pratap Singh made a presentation on the state government’s Covid management.

Animal husbandry minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narain spoke about the arrangements made at the cow shelters in the state.

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