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In 8 years in Parliament, Yogi's most recurring debate topic: Hindu affairs, cow slaughter, uniform civil code
By Alison Saldanha,"It is unfortunate that some opponents, communalists are trying to portray him as a rabble-rouser and fringe personality. They should go through his parliamentary debates. Those reveal his seasoned thinking on various issues of governance," union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said on his Facebook page on March 19, 2017, referring to Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.Factchecker did just that, analysing hiss performance over the last eight years as a member of Parliament (MP) in the 15th and 16th Lok Sabhas, using data from PRS Legislative Research, an advocacy focussed on parliamentary affairs, and the Lok Sabha archives.Our four main findings:1. While the 44-year-old politician raised a variety of concerns -- including river pollution and rising cases of encephalitis -- his most recurring choice of debates focussed on Hindu affairs and cow slaughter, particularly over the last three years.2. In the 16th (current) Lok Sabha, 1...




9 of 11 varsities including AMU that govt. listed as 'under-performing', ordered audit have NAAC accreditation
IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, March 20: The Union Government has reportedly listed 11 centrally-funded universities including Aligarh Muslim University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (Lucknow) as “non-performing” varsities and has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to conduct an audit of output, quality of research and students’ results of these institutions. It is said that National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous institution of UGC that evaluates academic institutions and award accreditation to them, will conduct the audit.   However, when IndiaTomorrow.net visited the website of NAAC and checked the accreditation status of all the 11 ‘under-performing’ varsities, we found (see list below) that nine of the eleven varsities have been granted accreditation by NAAC – some as early as 2016.   On 10th March, Times of India published a news story ...




6 challenges for the new UP government
IndiaSpend Team, With 200 million people, equivalent to the population of Brazil, but with an economy the size of Qatars -- which has 2.4 million people, the same as the town of Bijnore -- the new government of Indias most-populous state Uttar Pradesh faces myriad problems.The GDP of Uttar Pradesh is comparable to Kenya's, and its infant mortality rate rivals Mauritania, a poverty-ridden, west-African nation.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an unprecedented victory in the state in the 2017 assembly election, with 312 out of 403 seats, but with some of India's worst development indicators, there is much to do.We analysed six major challenges and the corresponding promises made by the BJP to fix them in its election manifesto, called the""Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra-201"".1. Second-highest maternal mortality, half the child population stuntedDespite having the largest population, Uttar Pradesh spends Rs 452 per capita on health, 70 per cent less than the average spen...




A Bihar-type Mahagathbandhan could have restricted BJP to 111 seats in UP
Mumtaz Alam, Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, March 14: Yes, it’s true if one goes by the votes polled by Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Congress. It’s true that BJP has written a new history in Uttar Pradesh elections by winning 312 Assembly seats alone – thanks to its matured social engineering and caste-based alignments and well-calculated and fully-controlled communal polarization. But a grand alliance of major non-BJP parties – on the pattern of Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan in the 2015 Assembly polls – could have successfully countered BJP and ‘Modi wave’ in Uttar Pradesh also.   In the UP Assembly elections 2017, BJP got just 39.7% of the total votes but bagged more than 77% of the total Assembly seats (312 out of 403 seats). While BSP, SP and Congress got 50.2% vote share, they could win only 63 seats, that is just 15% of the total Assembly seats.   Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections Resu...




UP: MIM divided far fewer non-BJP votes than SP-Congress alliance and BSP did
Mumtaz Alam, Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, March 13: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) of Asaduddin Owaisi polled just 0.2% vote share (2.05 lakh votes) in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017. The party contested 36 seats but its best performance was on just one seat – Sambhal – where its candidate finished at No. 2. Out of those 36 seats, BJP won on 22 seats. Did AIMIM candidates divide non-BJP votes and help BJP win? A deep analysis of results data debunks the allegation.   How division of non-BJP votes among SP-Congress alliance and BSP helped BJP  Out of the 36 seats that AIMIM contested, Samajwadi Party won on 13 seats, Independent on 1 seat and BJP on 22 seats.   On 16 out of the 22 seats won by BJP, the sharp division of votes happened between candidates of SP-Congress alliance and BSP. The votes polled by these parties were far far more than the votes polled by winning BJP candidate (See the table below). On ...




322 of new UP MLAs crorepatis, 143 face criminal cases
New Delhi, March 12: A whopping 322 of the 403 new lawmakers elected to the Uttar Pradesh assembly are 'crorepatis' (multi-millionaires) while as many as 143 have criminal cases, including of murder, pending against them.According to a report by the National Election Watch, the list of multi-millionaires elected members is headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Ajay Pratap Singh elected from Colonelganj constituency in Gonda.Singh, who in his poll affidavit declares himself as a farmer, possesses properties worth over Rs 49 crore. That includes 60 kg of gold, seven vehicles and six guns, three each in his name and his wife's.As many as 1,455 multi-millionaires contested the assembly polls, the results of which were declared on Saturday.Of the 143 new legislaors who have declared pending criminal cases against them, 107 face serious charges including of murder and crimes against women.Mafia-don-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari of the Bahujan Samaj Party leads the pack of new legislators...




Huge division of votes helps BJP capture Muslim-dominated Western UP
IndiaTomorrow.net,Lucknow, March 11: By winning 30 out of 40 seats in western Uttar Pradesh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today made a big inroad in this Muslim-dominated region like it did in other parts of the state in this Assembly election.   One of the main reasons for BJP’s massive gain in seven districts of the western part of the state is huge split of votes among its rival parties. A comparison of the total votes polled by BJP with its top rival parties -- SP-Congress alliance and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 27 Assembly constituencies of six districts of western UP reveals that on 22 seats, winning BJP candidates got fewer votes than those polled by their two top rivals together.Thanks to division of non-BJP votes this time, BJP has won 30 seats in the six Muslim-concentrated districts -- Amroha, Bulandshahar, Meerut, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur.In 2012, the party had won only 5 seats here.In Muzaffarnagar assembly constituency, for example, the BJ...




Sharp division in non-BJP votes helped saffron party sweep Uttar Pradesh
IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, March 11: BJP on Saturday added a new chapter in the history of Uttar Pradesh by winning 312 seats in the elections for 403-Member Assembly. Besides other factors, sharp division in non-BJP votes has also hugely helped the saffron party get the thumping majority. Out of 312, BJP has won 70 seats out of 86 reserved constituencies while its two allies have got 3 seats each. In 2012, BJP had won only 3 seats in the reserved belt of UP. What is the reason for this sweep this time?   A close look at the votes polled in each of the 84 SC seats and 2 ST seats reveals that the sharp division of votes between candidates of SP/Congress alliance and BSP of Mayawati helped BJP sweep the reserved belt.   Out of 70 reserved seats that BJP has won, there are 45 seats where candidates of SP-Congress alliance and BSP together polled far more votes than the winning BJP candidates.   Take Rampur Maniharan seat for example. BJP candidate has won th...




BJP sweeps in UP, Uttarakhand; Congress in Punjab
Both are in neck to neck fight in Manipur and GoaIndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, March 11: BJP has almost swept Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand while Congress has come back in Punjab with a thumping majority. Both parties are in neck to neck fight in Manipur and Goa as both are struggling to retain their No. 1 position there.  BJP has made a huge jump from 47 seats in 2012 to 310 seats in 2017. Consequently, all other parties including BSP, SP and Congress have taken a sharp fall -- like SP has come down from 224 in 2012 elections to just about 50 in this election.    Updated: 3:00 PM on 11 March 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly (403 seats) Party Seats won in 2007 Seats won in 2012 Seats won in 2017 (won+leading) BJP 51 47 91+219: 310 BSP 206 80 4+15: 19 Congress 22 28 1+6: 7 RLD 10 ...




Reserved Seats in UP: Will BSP regain lost ground or BJP make inroads or SP will repeat its 2012 performance?
Mumtaz Alam, IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, March 9: The ruling Samajwadi Party had almost swept the Assembly constituencies reserved for the Scheduled Castes in the state Assembly elections in 2012 and dethroned Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party – the party which had long claimed ‘copyright’ on Dalits and other backward communities that fall under SC category. But will Mayawati regain her lost ground in the recently-held Assembly polls? Or will BJP, which has done lots of social engineering this time, make inroads in SC areas? Or will Samajwadi Party repeat its 2012 performance?   During her 5-yr term (2007-2012), Mayawati had spent thousands of crores of taxpayers’ money on parks where huge statues of her, her mentor Kanshiram besides stone elephants were installed. But the idea could not please her constituency and she lost the election.   Out of 85 seats reserved for SCs in 2012, Mayawati’s BSP could win only 15 seats while Samajwadi Part...




UP Assembly Elections: 36% candidates of 4 major parties have criminal background
IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, March 06: More than 36% of candidates from four major political parties have declared criminal cases pending against them in courts. The total number of candidates from BSP, SP, BJP and Congress is 1204. An analysis of their affidavits, jointly conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), reveals 436 of them (that is 36.21%) have criminal cases – many of them serious criminal cases like rape and murder.   Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded 400 candidates in the elections for 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Some 150 (37.87%) of them have declared criminal cases pending against them. Some 137 (35.77%) out 383 candidates of BJP are facing criminal cases while 113 (37.17%) out of 307 candidates of SP have criminal background. Congress has 36 such candidates (31.57%) out of its 114.   UP Assembly Elections 2017 Candidates with Criminal Cases Seats BJP ...




In poor Manipur, ethnic conflict overshadows low infant mortality rate
Shreya Shah, The economic blockade of the Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Silchar roads, through which most goods enter the state, has overshadowed all other issues this election year in Manipur, the north-eastern state with one of India's highest poverty rates, high youth unemployment, and low growth. Elections in Manipur, a state half the size of Haryana, with one-third the population of Mumbai, over 30 tribal groups, and six active terrorist groups, will take place in two phases, on March 4 and March 8.The economic blockade -- a manifestation of the state's ethnic conflict -- is the "burning problem" right now, said Binod Kumai, a research associate with the Institute for Conflict Management, a New Delhi-based nonprofit. Prices of necessary commodities have skyrocketed, with cooking gas cylinders being sold for Rs 1,000 (Rs 651.50 in Delhi) and a litre of petrol for Rs 200 (Rs 71.33), he explained."People are not able to see beyond the hope of peace," said Pradip ...




6th Phase of UP Elections: BSP has 49% 'tainted' candidates, BJP 40%
IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, Mar 02: Like earlier phases, in the 6th phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, due on 4th March, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have fielded maximum number of candidates with criminal background.   Some 24 out of 49 (i.e. 49%) candidates from BSP have criminal cases pending against them while 18 out of 45 (i.e. 40%) candidates from BJP are facing criminal charges, said a report jointly prepared by Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The report has been prepared on the basis of affidavits submitted by candidates to the Election Commission of India.   While 15 out of 40 candidates (i.e. 38%) from Samajwadi Party have criminal cases, its ally Congress has 3 (i.e. 30%) such candidates out of 10.   In all, 126 out of total 635 (i.e. 20%) candidates analyzed have criminal cases pending against them – 109 of them have serious criminal cases, including cases r...




5th Phase UP Polls: BSP has 45% 'tainted' candidates, BJP 41%
IndiaTomorrow.net,Lucknow, Feb 27: Whatever they speak from stages of election campaigns in the ongoing Assembly elections in the state, hardly can one find a party without a ‘tainted’ candidate. In contrast, there is a competition between BJP and BSP in fielding more and more candidates with criminal cases pending against them in courts.   In the 5th Phase of Assembly elections being held today, there are 617 candidates for 52 seats. BSP has fielded 51 candidates – some 23 of them i.e. 45% have declared criminal cases pending against them. BJP is at No. 2 with 21 such candidates (41%), says Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) in its latest report.   Out of 42 candidates of Samajwadi Party, there are 17 (41%) ‘tainted’ candidates while Congress has 3 such candidates out of 14. All five phases put together, 109 out of 311 candidates (i.e. 35.04%) of BSP have criminal cases while 106 of 307 candidates (i.e. 34.52%) of BJP have cri...




Education failure, leading reason for UP job woes, isn't an election issue
Shreya Shah, Bahraich and Mirzapur districts (Uttar Pradesh): "Path mera alokit kardo, naval prath ki naval rashmiyon se, mere ur ka tam har do," Saidun Ahmed, 8, recited a Hindi poem by Dwarika Prasad Maheshwari, a twentieth-century poet, at top speed. "Light up my path, with the morning sunlight light of the new sun, overcome the darkness within my heart." But when asked to read some lines on the opposite page, the fourth grader, dressed in a button-up full-sleeved brown shirt and skirt-the school uniform of all government schools in Uttar Pradesh-said she had memorised the poem and couldn't read well."Children don't learn much in the government school," said 37-year-old Iklakh Ahmed, her father, a driver by profession. "I will enroll her in the private school next year." Saidun's family lives in Fattepur, a village in the eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) district of Mirzapur.Like more than half (50.4 per cent) of all primary school-age children...




24% MPs/MLAs say they don't need to pay tax or have no income
Manoj K., In tax returns filed a year before they were elected, 72 per cent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress MPs and MLAs claimed they earn less than Rs 10 lakh, according to an analysis of affidavits of 4,848 (of 4,910) lawmakers. As many as 75 per cent of MPs and MLAs nationwide declared annual incomes less than Rs 10 lakh. Around 35 per cent of lawmakers said their annual income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh while 40 per cent have declared annual income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.As many as 1,141 (24 per cent) MPs and MLAs claimed exemption from income tax or have no income at all."We can conclude that we are largely a tax non-compliant society," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, sarcastically, during his budget speech on February 1.Sharing income tax data, Jaitley said that of 37 million individuals (of a total population of close to 1.3 billion) who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 9.9 million (27 per cent) declared annual incomes below the exemption limi...




BJP competes with BSP in fielding 'tainted' candidates in UP
IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, Feb 15: Howsoever strongly BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi may speak – from stages of election campaigns – against rise in crimes in Uttar Pradesh during the incumbent Samajwadi Party government and previous Bahujan Samaj Party regime, BJP has done little to appear distinct from other parties when it comes to filed candidates of clean image in the ongoing Assembly elections in the state.   With 40% of its 73 candidates in the Phase 1 polling (held on 11 Feb), BJP was ahead of three other major parties – BSP, SP and Congress.   The assessment of candidates of Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3, conducted by Association for Democratic Reform (ADR), 66 (31.73%) out of 208 candidates of BJP have declared criminal cases against them. BSP of Mayawati, with 74 candidates (36.74%) with criminal records (out of its 207 candidates), is ahead of BJP. There seems to be a competition between the two in this field also. &...




Uttar Pradesh: Lok Sabha MPs, 71 of them from BJP, could not spend Rs 333 Cr of development fund
Rs 135 Cr of MPLAD fund remained unspent in 33 Dalit/Muslim Lok Sabha constituencies held by BJP. IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, Feb 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on the plank of development - the party won 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh alone - and they want people of India's most populated state to vote them in the ongoing Assembly elections also for development.   "We are willing to do everything for the growth of UP. To change the fortunes of Uttar Pradesh, change the government in the state," asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing an election rally in Meerut."   But a study of the performance of Members of the 16th Lok Sabha from UP says that a whopping Rs 333.6 crores of MPLAD funds remain unspent in the state - Rs 135 crores of these funds not spent in 33 Lok Sabha constituencies where either Dalits or Muslims are in sizeable number.  Every year, an MP is give...




UP Polls: BJP at No. 1 in fielding candidates with criminal cases
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,Lucknow, Feb 4: On the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was asking people to defeat ‘SCAM’ (Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati) for allegedly promoting crime and corruption in Uttar Pradesh, an analysis of candidates of all parties in the fray for 1st phase of the Assembly elections revealed that Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is at No. 1 in fielding candidates with criminal cases.Addressing an election rally today in Meerut in Western Uttar Pradesh that will vote in 1st phase, PM Modi said, “This is BJP’s fight against SCAM (Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati)” and asked people defeat SCAM.But the analysis of affidavits of the candidates in this phase shows that BJP is hardly any different from other parties when it comes to field ‘clean’ candidates, rather it is a little ahead.In the 1st phase, 73 Assembly seats will go to poll on 11 Feb. BJP has fielded candidates...




Leprosy Eradication Day: India reports world's 60% new cases
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Jan 30: This day every year is observed, in India, as Leprosy Eradication Day. Ten years after eliminating the disease as a public health problem, leprosy is again becoming an epidemic in the country.   The latest report of the World Health Organization shows that India accounts for 60% of the global total of new cases of leprosy. The statistics provided by WHO suggests that India still needs to adopt inclusive approach in order to end the scourge of leprosy.   Although India achieved elimination of leprosy as a public health problem in 2005, it has the largest number of leprosy patients in the world and pockets of high endemicity report thousands of new cases every year. In 2015, a total of 127, 326 new cases were detected in the country accounting for 60% of the global total of new cases, compared with 125,785 new cases in 2014. Of the new cases, 8.9% were children and 6.7% presented with visible deformities.  ...




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