The recent Maoists attack in Chhattisgarh has brought back memories of a frightening experience in a village in Sonebhadra district, bordering the trouble-torn state. Though there is little or no Maoist activity reported from UP villages, there are confirmed reports of the Maoists taking shelter after every bloody strike in Chhattisgarh. Read more

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On Wednesday, the day UPA 11 was celebrating completion of four years, Uttar Pradesh was hosting two ambitious conferences. One was on skill development and community colleges, jointly hosted by the British High Commission and the state government, the other was entrepreneurs’ summit addressed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Read more

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The other day a colleague of mine in Tamil Nadu said, “Amma should become the Prime Minister of the country post 2014 general elections. She has the iron hand to set everything and everyone right in the country brimming with an irrepressible multitude of people and politicians.” Read more

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I briefly met Bollywood star Salman Khan here in Lucknow. Initially he looked quite shy, unlike his celluloid image. As the guests in a crowded hall cheered him, girls offering him red roses, he stood tight-lipped. I prodded him to say something, even narrate some dialogue of his new film ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, for whose promotion he was visiting the city. Read more

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In somewhat a theatre of the absurd, the mercurial Mohd Azam Khan first fretted over his prolonged frisking at the Boston airport, then fumed at the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid for manipulating his humiliation by the security officials at Logan airport and now his colleague and cabinet minister Shivpal Singh Yadav has dispatched a letter of sorts to the US President Obama to register the state government’s protest against the treatment meted out to Azam. Read more

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