2012 State assembly elections
@ Mar 27, 2012
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 IT-BHU alumnus, Tribhuvan Ram (Civil 1971 batch) of BSP WINS the Ajagara (sc) seat in Varanasi district.


BSP may field top engineer for new seat

Express News Service : Lucknow, Wed Jan 26 2011, 00:48 hrs

The BSP is likely to field Tribhuvan Ram, the public works department’s engineer-in-chief, as its candidate for Ajagara, a new assembly seat reserved for Scheduled Castes after delimitation.

Ram, who is currently on extension, will retire in January-end. The assembly elections are due in 2012. Ram, who is among the few officers who got an extension under the Mayawati regime, refused to comment on his plans for contesting. “I am still in service and it is not appropriate for me to talk to you about politics,” he said.

Insiders in the BSP said Ajagara, in Varanasi district, was considered a safe seat for the BSP candidate in view of the considerable presence of Dalit and Brahmin voters. The district thus suited the ruling party’s Brahmin-Dalit equation.

“The party was looking for a safe seat for Ram. He is a native of Jaunpur district and his village is close to the boundary of the Ajagara seat. So party functionaries of the Varanasi district unit have been given enough hints about Ram as the party candidate from Ajagara seat,” said a source in the BSP.

Reports from Varanasi said a good part of the Saidpur assembly seat had been accommodated in the new Ajagara seat. Saidpur, which has been declared reserved after delimitation, is currently represented by BSP MLA Dinanath Pandey. Sources said the party had selected Jangipur assembly seat in Ghazipur district to field Pandey’s son Manish.

MLA Pandey confirmed that he would not contest the 2012 assembly election. “Keeping in mind my advancing age, I had made a request to Behanji to allow me to leave the field of electoral battle. Manish is Behanji’s choice for Jangipur seat,” Pandey said.


Akhilesh's cabinet, but Mulayam's men


Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 12.58AM IST

LUCKNOW: Akhilesh Yadav formally took over the reins of UP on Thursday when he was sworn in as chief minister along with a team of 47 ministers, most of them old Mulayam Singh Yadav loyalists, among them the controversial Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya who has been booked under POTA and has several cases pending against him.

As the team didn't quite inspire confidence in his promise of providing clean politics in UP, many wondered whether Akhilesh has had a free hand in picking his ministry. Only one member of the so-called 'Team Akhilesh' - IIM-Ahmedabad's former professor Abhishek Mishra - has been picked as a minister of state.

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Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav gestures to his supporters during his oath taking ceremony as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state in Lucknow, India, Thursday, March 15, 2012. Yadav, 38, who played a major role in revival of socialist Samajwadi Party fortunes in the recently concluded state elections, is the youngest chief minister of India's most populous state.Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

The size of the ministry is small compared to Mulayam's jumbo-sized 98-member cabinet, but it is still much larger than initial estimates as Akhilesh himself had talked about a small team. Doubts were being raised on the Samajwadi Party's intentions to check crime and criminals as 28 out of 47 ministers have criminal cases against them, even though a number of these cases could be political in nature.

At a ceremony at the La Martiniere school grounds, 19 cabinet ministers were inducted and 28 ministers of state. The ceremony was attended by several political bigwigs, among them Union cabinet minister Pawan Bansal and veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora. There were also Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury of CPM and A B Bardhan of CPI which made political pundits wonder whether Mulayam was cosying up to the Left for the possible formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP political front.

While the SP was successful in shedding its anti-English, anti-computer image under Akhilesh during the election campaign, he will still have to explain the inclusion of the likes of Raja Bhaiya and Mahmoob Ali, who faces 15 criminal cases. Akhilesh later defended Raja Bhaiya's inclusion saying he had been a minister before. Also, glimpses of the old SP were on display at the ceremony as hundreds of SP workers climbed on to the stage as soon as the ceremony ended to trigger a free-for-all.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Akhilesh Yadav went to the CM office at the secretariat annexe to take charge and later addressed a news conference at 5, Kalidas Marg -official residence of the UP CM - where he promised to implement all the promises made in the party manifesto. At his first cabinet meeting it was decided that all girl students passing Class X would be given laptops.

This done, the Mulayam Singh family, including Akhilesh and his wife Dimple and Shivpal Yadav, headed for Sahara Sheher for a lunch hosted by Sahara chief Subrata Roy. The lunch was also attended by the visiting Left leaders and other political and business notables, including Anil Ambani. Jaya Bachchan and Zayed Khan.

At one level, Akhilesh's team has been picked with care - almost all castes and communities have found representation. Although the 18% job quota for Muslims promised by SP is yet to materialize, the party has given 20% ministerial berths to the community by inducting 10 ministers - three cabinet and seven ministers of state. The maximum number of Cabinet ministers are Yadavs (6), followed by five Thakurs, three Brahmins, and two Dalits.

While L K Advani didn't turn up for the swearing in, leaving Kalraj Mishra as the sole BJP representative, the presence of BSP leaders Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Swami Prasad Maurya was a surprise. The unexpected arrival of BSP leaders evoked a warm welcome as senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav hugged them and later escorted the two to meet Mulayam.


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