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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People across the country are keenly watching the coming together of old political rivals Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar in Bihar. Despite the hugs and the handshakes in public, I really doubt if the rivalry is finally over. They have, more likely than not, simply come together for their very survival in the state’s politics after BJP blizzard left them struggling for some space. Read more

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Mulayam Singh Yadav’s atrocious statement on ‘boys will be boys…’ followed by his Mumbai representative Abu Asim Azmi’s definition of Islam and women rightly enraged the country. Their own kin had to come forward to undo the damage done by what was rightly construed as defence of rapists. But perhaps it was too late. Read more

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At the very onset, let me put on record my disagreement with Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav seeking a ban on the use of English in Parliament, for the simple reason that it’s not feasible in a multilingual country like ours. Read more

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Perhaps there is one lesson for the political class to learn from the Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh. The administrators will have to keep politics away from governance. In simpler words they will have to initiate action against the culprits without going into their caste or the community.
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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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Finally, the UP bureaucrats have found their voice. They could protest the unwarranted suspension of young lady bureaucrat Durga Shakti Nagpal by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav because she had taken on illegal mining by sand mafia. Read more

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It took Union minister Beni Prasad Verma full one year to come out of his hibernation, induced soon after the 2012 assembly elections in the state. We all know why. Read more

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