The Uttar Pradesh government on November 18 allocated Rs 556 crore for toilets in state’s villages. Media was quick in linking it with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Clean India campaign. Read more

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Recently BSP supremo Mayawati locked horns with the Samajwadi Party led government in the state over the construction of a railway overhead bridge near her house. She and her acolytes feared threat to her life and had strongly protested the government’s announcement in the state assembly.

For readers who know little of Lucknow’s geography, the two satraps of regional parties – SP and BSP- have not only been rotating powers in the state for the past two decades but have also captured two prime areas- Vikramaditya Marg where Mulayam has his residence, party office and Lohia Trust and Mall Avenue where Mayawati has her two sprawling residences, party office and Ambedkar sthal. As chief minister, she had further expanded her bungalow, merging the adjacent full-fledged office of Ganna Sansthan (Sugar Federation)which had to be demolished.

Coming to the construction of the railway overhead bridge perhaps even Mayawati in private conversation would admit its utility in view of the ever increasing traffic over a railway line that takes the weight of 160 trains in a day. It’s another matter that she rarely drove through Lucknow roads as chief minister and whenever she did take the road route all traffic was brought to a halt half an hour in advance. Even today traffic is stopped for present chief minister Akhilesh Yadav but for 10 minutes.

As the people of Luckow heaved a sigh of relief on November 4 as the new flyover was thrown open to the public, Mayawati and her party grew belligerent. She even threatened Mulayam of a similar flyover near his house as and when she came to power. This she did even after the engineers took care to ensure no one, while driving through the bridge, could look beyond the bridge sidewalls. The tough sheets that have been put up on its side concrete boundaries are also sound proof.

So there is no question of anyone peeking into Maya’s fort, which is 200 metres away from the bridge and faces the other side of the interior road.

I don’t understand why the politicians so averse to public that brings them to power And what is more important in a democracy – the convenience of the people or their privacy or for that matter their protection.

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I recently read two news reports that came as a big relief to someone who has gradually, over the years, fallen in love with UP, my adopted state. Read more

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UP’s rumour mills have been in an overdrive ever since Amar Singh shared dais with Mulayam Singh Yadav at the inaugural ceremony of Janeshwar Mishra Park, the dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, in the state capital. Read more

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A few minutes before I started to pen my blog, a senior police officer telephoned me and said , ‘Rahul Baba is losing elections.’ Somehow I refused to believe him. How can Smriti Irani’s 30 days of campaigning and Narendra Modi’s 40-minute public rally in Amethi tear into Gandhis’ 28-years-long association with this area? The cop’s cryptic answer was , ‘This is what is called a wave.’ Read more

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First is the emergence of AAP – a product of civil uprising. Not a very accurate analogy, but reminds one of Arab Springs. Thankfully in India, which has Gandhi’s non-violence ingrained in its very DNA, the political revolution has come democratically. Read more

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It’s scary! The growing sense of insecurity is palpable amongst all. We can’t afford blasts and riots when the common man on the street is struggling to manage two square meals a day. But who is listening! Read more

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What a paradox! While the Congress leadership, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, are striving hard to build a vote base on the concrete foundation of their much touted welfare projects — food security and land acquisition bills — their party satraps in the poll bound states have no time to pen the party manifesto, though a month odd is left for the polling day. Read more

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It was merely 18 months back when the Samajwadi Party’s aspirational slogan ‘Umeed ki Cycle’ had wooed all the castes and communities in the state. They had come together to give the party a thumping majority which perhaps even Mulayam Singh Yadav, its founder, had never dreamt of. Read more

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