UP to have civic polls from Nov 22

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Uttar Pradesh will have civic polls in three phases from November 22, making it the first electoral test for the ruling BJP which stormed to power in the Assembly elections with a massive mandate earlier this year.

 

“As per the schedule, 24 districts will go to polls on November 22, 25 districts on November 26, and 26 districts on November 29,” State Election Commissioner SK Agarwal told reporters here.

 

He said no central para-military force would be used for exercise, which will be conducted by the state police alone.

 

“Counting of votes polled for 16 nagar nigam, 118 nagar palika parishad and 438 nagar panchyat will be done December one,” he said.

 

Agarwal said 3.32 crore voters will be eligible to cast their ballots at 36,269 polling booths and 11,389 polling stations.

 

Giving phase-wise details, he said the first phase will cover 24 districts in which 230 local bodies, spread over 4,095 wards, will got to polls.

 

For this phase, there will be 3,731 polling centres and 11,683 polling booths with total over 1.09 crore voters.

 

The second phase will cover 25 districts having 189 local bodies covering 3,601 wards.

 

The polls will be held at 13,776 polling booths to be set up for 1.29 crore voters, he said.

 

In the third and last phases, 26 districts will go to polls in which there are 233 local bodies spread over 4,299 wards.

 

For this phase, there will be 10,810 polling booths for over 94 lakh voters.

 

These Uttar pradesh Civic polls will mark the first test for the Yogi Adityanath government which came to power in March, with the BJP getting a landslide victory.

 

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Smriti Irani slams Rahul in Congress bastion

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Union minister Smriti Irani launched a blistering attack against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today and alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here had not returned land taken from farmers.

 

Irani was addressing a public meeting in this constituency, seen as a bastion of the Congress, along with BJP president Amit Shah.

 

“Rahul, who used to talk about relief to farmers, did not return their land taken by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here,” the Union minister for information and broadcasting and textiles said.

 

In a broadside against the Congress vice president and Amethi MP, Irani said she wanted to address those who saw Amethi just from the vote bank point of view.

 

“There is no collector’s office here. If Rahul is hearing me today I want to say that you used to talk about development in the country and abroad.

You make a mockery of development in Gujarat,” she said.

 

Referring to the closure of a cycle factory called Samrat, she said, “… the country was surprised that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Rahul, which did not do any commercial activities has purchased it. The land should be freed and given back to the farmers.”

 

Irani had created a stir in 2015 when she accused the top Congress leadership of usurping nearly 65 acres of land acquired from farmers for setting up a manufacturing unit, Samrat Cycle, a project that never materialised.

 

Noting that the BJP won four out of five seats during the 2017 assembly polls when Shah had come here, Irani said, “In 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) BJP will win here.”During the 2014 polls, she said she had gone to a village which had been boycotting elections.

 

“When I asked villagers why they were doing so, they said they could not meet their leader.

Then I told them that Rahul might not have time, but I will be available for you and requested the village head to vote,” she said.

 

Irani led a high-voltage campaign against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in 2014. Gandhi secured 4,08,651 votes against Irani’s 3,00,748.

 

Though Irani lost to the Congress vice president in Amethi, she managed to reduce his victory margin from around 3.70 lakh in 2009 to 1.07 lakh in 2014.

 

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Hindi Diwas: All about the love for books

 

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The community of Hindi readers may appear thin or even non-existent to the larger English- reading crowd but it appears they are simply doing what they do best — quietly reading good literature in some corner.

 

With Hindi confined to the dark ends of most bookshops and shelves groaning under the weight of English bestsellers, English classics, English comics and English magazines, it would seem to be the wide, wide world of English reading out there. But that is only part of the picture.

 

As another Hindi Diwas comes around tomorrow, there is enough evidence to suggest that Hindi literature continues to be contemporary and relevant, notwithstanding the naysayers.

 

Take Preeti Mishra, who is doing her PhD in linguistics from IIT Delhi. Her habit of casually reading Hindi stories while in school turned into a passion when she was introduced to Hindi literature by a friend several springs ago.

 

“And then I realised how vast and beautiful the world of Hindi literature was,” she told PTI with a hint of pride in her voice.

 

Mishra is a serious reader of “anything that is good literature” without being bound by the language. “My focus is never the language. It just has to be good

literature.

You find everything in a good book from comedy to romance, tragedy and drama,” she said.

 

With a special preference for Hindi veterans such as Nirmal Verma, Kunwar Narayan and Kedarnath Singh, whose names just roll off her tongue, Mishra said she also found herself captivated by the writings of Saadat Hasan Manto and Gulzar.

 

Though she swears by her love for the classics, Hindi author Kunal Singh is worried about the decreasing number of young readers interested in literature.

 

“People have always read classics, but I feel the number is decreasing now, especially with the younger generation,” he said.

 

Younger readers, he added, were more interested in English, which, he added, was “not a bad thing”.

 

“But most of them are reading English because it is the fashion. What they are reading is not literature, it is pulp fiction at best,” said the author of ‘Romeo, Juliet aur Andhera’.

 

He also pointed to the current generation of film actors and directors who had read Hindi literature, citing an anecdote about Irrfan Khan.

 

Asked about his expressive eyes, the versatile actor remembered his early days and said only two things made him cry – his struggles and the writing of Hindi poet, scholar and author Uday Prakash.

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Rohingyas flee Myanmar: India must drop religious criteria in refugee law

Teknaf : A Rohingya family reaches the Bangladesh border after crossing a creek of the Naf river on the border with Myanmmar, in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area. Photo: AP/PTI

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More than 90,000 Rohingyas, victims of a new surge of violence in Myanmar, are fleeing the country and pouring into Bangladesh, while 30,000 people are still trapped near the border.

At the same time, the government of the prime minister of India – who is due to visit Myanmar this week – has announced that 40,000 Rohingya refugees are to be deported.

A plea against this decision, made by two Rohingya asylum seekers in Delhi, is being reviewed by India’s supreme court.

According to those supporting the government move, deporting the Rohingya refugees is necessary as their continued presence would encourage Islamic fanaticism.

Newspaper columns have argued that the crisis in Myanmar has become a terror concern for India.

But how can India, a country which has hosted refugees ever since its foundation as a nation, deport thousands of people based on their ethnicity and faith? India’s refugee policy could provide further insight.

Poor refugee laws

 

Click Here To Know About the Refugee Law

Peepli Live’ actor Sitaram Panchal passes away

 

Bollywood News

Bollywood actor Sitaram Panchal passed away early morning today after battling kidney and lung cancer. He was 54.

 

The actor, who made his Bollywood debut in 1994 with “Bandit Queen” and went on to feature in critically-acclaimed films such as, “Peepli Live”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Paan Singh Tomar” and “Jolly LLB 2”, died at his residence here, family sources confirmed.

 

“He died today morning. He was suffering from cancer and was unwell. He wasn’t keeping well in the last few months,” family sources said.

 

The actor had celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary with his son Rishabh Panchal and wife Uma Panchal on Wednesday.

 

Panchal’s son had posted a picture with the actor and wished his parents– “Happy 26th anniversary mom and dad.”

 

Last month, Panchal had even put up a post on social media seeking financial help for his cancer treatment.

 

“Brothers, please help me, I have cancer, your artiste, Sitaram Panchal,” he had written.

 

Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) then came forward to help the actor.

 

“We assure him of all the help we can provide to him in his hour of need and also urge all of you to open your hearts,” it wrote at the time.

 

He was discharged from the hospital last month.

New Bill empowers RBI to direct banks to resolve NPAs, appoint advisors

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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A bill to authorise the RBI to direct banking companies to resolve the problem of stressed assets was on Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

 

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017, seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, which was promulgated in May this year.

 

 

The measure allows the RBI to initiate insolvency resolution process on specific stressed assets.

 

The RBI would also be empowered to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve for appointment, authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.

 

Jaitley introduced the Bill amid protests in the House by opposition members protesting over the alleged incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes in different parts of the country.

 

Just before the bill was introduced, Trinamool Congress member Sougata Ray said he was opposed to the banking regulation ordinance and said it was a “desperate step by a desperate government”.

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