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Uttar Pradesh: Five minors raped in separate incidents across state

Five minor girls were allegedly raped in separate incidents in four district of Uttar Pradesh in the last two days, police said.In Ballia, a five-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped by a 14-year-old boy on December 24, in a village under Sikandarpur police station.SP Anil Kumar said that the accused had been nabbed.In Pratapgarh, a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped last evening by a teenager when her parents were out for work in fields.The accused lured the girl for a cycle ride and took her to a secluded place where he raped her.He was later arrested, the police said.In Banda, a 15-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped several times in Attara area on December 24.An FIR was registered yesterday when the girl managed to flee from the clutches of the abductor, identified as Anirudh, who is still absconding.Another similar incident was reported in the district when a five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her uncle Omprakash in a secluded place.An FIR has been registered in the matter and probe is on. The accused is absconding, police added.A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped at gunpoint by two youths at her house in Nagla Bajurg village in Muzaffarnagar, the police said.Two men entered the girl’s room yesterday and took her to the terrace.Based on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father, the police said that the accused raped her at gunpoint and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the incident.”The family members of the victim were asleep in another room when the incident took place,” the official said, adding efforts are on to nab both the culprits at the earliest.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: All eyes on Modi’s home state as stage set for counting tomorrow

Counting of votes will be held tomorrow for the Gujarat Assembly polls, considered a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state and a litmus test for new Congress president Rahul Gandhi.While the BJP is seeking a sixth straight term in office, the Congress is aiming to stage a comeback in power after being in the opposition for over two decades.The results are expected to have a bearing on the 2019 parliamentary polls also as Modi had come to power in 2014, based on the Gujarat ‘model of development’.The much-awaited results of the keenly fought elections will be announced tomorrow when the counting of votes will be held at 37 centres across the state’s 33 districts, amidst tight security.The voting was held following an acrimonious campaign, where both the main political parties indulged in no-holds- barred attacks on each others.Modi led the campaign for the BJP, while Rahul Gandhi was the pivot of the Congress’ electioneering.During the campaign, Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah trained guns on the Congress on issues like Ram Temple, alleged Pakistani interference in the Gujarat polls and (suspended Congress leader) Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks.Gandhi persistently attacked Modi and the BJP for “not talking about the future of Gujarat” and skipping key issues being faced by the people of the state.The Congress also stitched about a broad social coalition with prominent Patidar, OBC, and Dalit leaders – Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jigesh Mevani – in its bid to unseat the BJP in power for over two decades.Patel led a long agitation of his community for reservation, while Thakor led an counter protest against inclusion of Patidars in the OBC reservation list. Mevani raised his voice against Dalit atrocities.The influential Patidar community, which accounts for around 12 per cent of the state’s population, could prove to be the ‘X factor’ in the polls in which Patel pledged support to the Congress and appealed to people to “uproot the BJP” this time.As the campaign was nearing its end, “Vikas” (development) took a back seat, and caste and religious issues received prominence.The two main rival parties also tried to counter each other on social media, as the Congress and its supporters launched the campaign “Vikas Gando Thayo Che” (development has gone crazy), while the BJP launched a counter drive of “I am development, I am Gujarat”.An average 68.41 per cent polling was recorded in the two-phase Assembly elections in Gujarat.According to the final figures released by the Election Commission, the voter turnout in the second phase of balloting on December 14, for 93 seats of North and Central Gujarat, stood at 69.99 per cent.In the first phase of polls held on December 9 for 89 seats in Saurasthra, Kutch and South Gujarat, 66.75 per cent voting was recorded.The total voter turnout this time has seen a dip of 2.91 per cent, as compared to the 2012 polls when 71.32 per cent polling was registered.In terms of numbers, of the total 4.35 crore registered voters, 2.97 crore exercised their right to franchise in the elections held on December 9 and 14.According to the EC data, the tribal-dominated Narmada district witnessed the highest voter turnout of 79.15 per cent, while Devbhumi-Dwarka of Saurashtra region recorded the lowest at 59.39 per cent.The districts which recorded a high turnout are Tapi (78.56 per cent), Banaskantha (75.15) and Sabarkantha (74.97).The districts which saw a low turnout are Amreli (61.29), Bhavnagar (61.56) and Porbandar (61.86).Out of the total 33 districts, 15 recorded over 70 per cent polling, while 17 others clocked between 60 per cent and 70 per cent.Only Devbhumi Dwarka district registered polling below 60 per cent.

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Jisha murder case: Accused Amirul Islam gets death sentence

The accused in the Jisha murder case, Amirul Islam, has been awarded death sentence by the Ernakulam chief judicial magistrate court today.Earlier in the day, he was brought before the court for the quantum of punishment.Islam has been found guilty of raping and murdering law student Jisha.He has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 (punishment for rape), 376A (punishment for causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim), 442 (house trespass), 449 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offense, or giving false information to screen offender), 302 (punishment for murder) and charges on Dalit Atrocities Prevention Act.However, claiming innocence, Islam told ANI on Wednesday, ”I didn’t do anything. I don’t know who did it.”The chargesheet of the case revealed that Islam, a resident of Assam, murdered Jisha, following an attempt to rape her at the latter’s residence in Iringol near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam.The 29-year-old law student, Jisha was brutally raped and murdered on April 28 last year.Her body had sustained at least 30 injuries, including in her private parts.

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Dalit student refuses to take gold medal from President Ram Nath Kovind

A meritorious dalit student of the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), who topped in the MCA program, has refused to take topper’s Gold medal from the President Ram Nath Kovind during the university’s convocation to be held on December 15 in Lucknow.Ramendra Naresh has topped in the Master of Computer Application (MCA) program and has been selected for the topper’s Gold medal. But he has refused to take the Gold medal from the President to lodge his protest against spurt in atrocities on dalits in Uttar Pradesh and across country.After topping the MCA (2013-2016) Ramendra had taken admission in the BBAU in B.Ed in 2017 but was rusticated from the university along with 8 other students in a case involving violent clashes with other students in the campus.“I am pained at dalit students and faculty members being harassed in state and central universities. Being dalits, we are forced to live in with low self-esteem. Dalits in general are still being treated as low cast and are subjected to mental torture and physical assaults across country,” charged he.“I am refusing to accept the Gold medal as a mark of protest against dalit atrocities and show solidarity with our brethren,” said Ramendra.The dalit student said that he will accept the Gold medal only when the President and Prime Minister ensure to check atrocities on dalits and they are treated equally with other castes in the country.Earlier, three dalit students had showed black flags and raised slogans against the Prime Minister Nadrendra Modi when he had visited the university in 2015 in protest against Rohith Vemula suicide case.In view of the past incident, the district administration has tightened security in view of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit following intelligence input that Dalit students might protest during Prez visit on December 15 to distribute medals to meritorious students in the BBAU Convocation.

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All you need to know about Jisha rape and murder case

Days before Kerala was to vote for a new government in 2016, a 30-year-old Dalit law student was found murdered at her home. Later, it was revealed that she was sexually assaulted before being brutally murdered on April 28 in Perumbavoor. As the incident took place just 18 days before the voting for the Assembly elections (voting took place on May 16), it took a political colour as Opposition demanded quick arrest of those behind the crime. However, the first arrest was made only a month after the incident when the Kerala Police, under the new LDF government of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, nabbed a a migrant worker from Assam. Also readJisha rape-murder case: Kerala court convicts migrant labourer, to pronounce quantum of sentence tomorrowHere is all you need to know about the rape and murder of the law student:1- Jisha, a 30-year-old law student from Perumbavoor, was found dead at her home on April 28, 2016.Also readVoice demanding justice for Jisha grows stronger in city2- She was a student at the Government Law College, Ernakulam.3- The woman, who hailed from a poor family, was brutally assaulted using sharp-edged weapons before being murdered at her house.Also readOutrage in Hisar as 5-yr-old Dalit raped, brutalised with stick, killed4- The body was found in mutilated condition. Forensics concluded that the body injuries showed violence and possible torture.5- The accused, Mohammed Ameerul Islam, fled Perumbavoor soon after committing the crime and was arrested from Kancheepuram in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, 50 days after the gruesome incident.6- The UDF government led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy came under severe attack from the Opposition during the elections. 7- The Congress-led UDF regime was attacked for ‘tardy’ progress in the probe and ‘failure’ to nab culprits.8- LDF government, after assuming power on May 25 last year, changed the investigation team and entrusted the probe to senior woman IPS officer ADGP B Sandhya in its first cabinet meeting itself.9- Finger prints of over 5,000 people were examined by the SIT personnel who went through over 20 lakh telephonic conversations before reaching the accused.10- A blood stained footwear found from a canal near the victim’s house was one of the key evidence in identifying the culprit.

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Gujarat elections 2017: PM Modi addresses 8K party workers of SC, ST morcha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed around 8000 workers of Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and Sagarkhedu (fisherman) morcha of BJP in Gujarat. The PM addressed them through the platform of audio bridge and workers of Morcha across the state listened to his speech over the works which BJP government did in Gujarat for the welfare of the people of SC, ST and fisherman communities.Addressing the workers, the Prime Minister said, “Starting from Ambaji in North Gujarat to Umergaon in South Gujarat, the entire belt is dominated by tribal population. Almost entire eastern belt of Gujarat state has the tribal population and Gujarat government has served them whole-heartedly. The Gujarat government initiated Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana scheme dedicated to tribal people having the total budget spent of Rs 65,700 crore for their welfare. The BJP has brought qualitative change in the life of the tribal population and that is why their faith is on BJP. We have implemented PESA Act enabling the village panchayats in tribal areas to have more powers and grants.” Around 2600 workers of ST Morcha took part in this programme.As many as 1,600 workers of Schedule Caste(SC) Morcha also joined in this programme. Addressing them, the PM said, “There are several elements who have been spreading myth among society and especially in Dalit community against BJP. In fact, BJP workers have served the Dalit community in such a way so that they can match their steps with the upper class. We have worked for their development through various schemes. We have inaugurated Baba Saheb Ambedkar International Research Center in New Delhi and dedicated to the great contribution of the sculptor of Indian constitution.”MODI’S POLL SCHEDULEDecember 10Palanpur : 10:30amSanand : 10:30pmKaalol : 02:30pmVadodara : 6:00pmDecember 11Patan : 12:30pmNadiad : 2:30pmAhmedabad : 7:00pm
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Government revises scheme, offers Rs 2.5 lakh to marry a Dalit

The Centre has announced a tweak in the eligibility criteria for recently-married inter-caste couples to avail a cash incentive of Rs 2.5 lakh under the ‘Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter caste marriage’ by removing the minimum cap of an annual income of Rs 5 lakh.The incentive, started in 2013, was intended to help in better inclusion and to encourage anyone who marries a Dalit individual. The scheme intended to “appreciate the socially bold step,” and to extend financial help to the couple to enable them to “settle down in the initial phase of their married life.”Along with the doing away of the minimum cap, the Centre also made it mandatory for the couples to submit details of their Aadhaar and their Aadhaar-linked joint bank account. The incentive, which the couples can avail in their very first year of their marriage, is given out on the basis of recommendation from an either legislator or a District Collector. Apart from that, to be eligible, the only those marriages solemnised under the Hindu Marriages Act are eligible.The move, critics said, was to woo Dalits as the BJP is set for a tough fight in the upcoming Gujarat elections. However, while the policy had a target of extending the benefits of the scheme to 500 couples in a year, in the last four years the scheme has not been extended to more than a fifth of that. In 2014-15, the scheme attracted only five couples, while in 2015-16, 72 couples had benefited from it, over 522 couples had applied.
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Gujarat elections 2017: 45% polling booths in Gujarat sensitive

Of the 50,128 polling booths across the state, more than 45 per cent of the polling stations have been identified as ‘sensitive’ or ‘vulnerable’— a 15 per cent rise when compared to the 2012 polls. The assessment was the result of the detailed reports submitted by the district authorities ahead of the hotly-anticipated state elections.Against the 44,500 polling stations in the 2012 elections, 30 per cent were identified as sensitive, while this time, the number is up to 45 per cent, even as the Gujarat government is facing pressure due to the ongoing agitation, sources said. Polls in Gujarat will be held in two phases — on December 9 and 14 — while the results will be announced on December 18.Sources in government said, “All the district authorities have submitted the details on sensitive or vulnerable polling stations, and out of around 50,000 booths, 23,500 booths have been categorised under the sensitive and vulnerable category. The categorisation further divides into very sensitive, sensitive and less sensitive booths, with the majority of them falling under the very sensitive booths category. If we look at the areas, very sensitive and vulnerable booths fall in the districts where the agitations by different communities like Patel, Thakor and Dalit was at their peak in the last few years.”Another source said, “The steep rivalry between two parties — BJP and Congress — along with the heavyweight candidates from both the parties fighting for the same seats has been a factor for the increase in the number of sensitive and vulnerable booths. The Election Commission has strictly directed to not reveal the details on sensitive or vulnerable booths in Gujarat polls so as no one can unduly benefit from the prevailing situation,” added the sources.The EC has also taken an extra precautionary measures of having procured additional security forces to be deployed to maintain the law and order situation.Sources from the EC said, “Besides local police forces, the CRPF and other paramilitary forces, and security forces from neighbouring states will be deployed to maintain the law and order condition in Gujarat polls.””There will be multi-level monitoring of all the booths, in which the sensitive booths will be monitored by the election commission directly through webcasting. The video recording, micro observers and security forces will act as other covers on the polling station to avoid any kind of consequences that affect the peaceful polling procedure,” added the sources.Chief Electoral Officer, BB Swain, said, “We are getting information from different district authorities and that is why there is no detail available on number of sensitive booths. The Election Commission is committed towards fair and free polls in Gujarat.”
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Dalits flee Uttarakhand village after youth goes missing following clash

The disappearance of a Dalit youth following a clash between two groups in a remote village of Tehri district in Uttarakhand has prompted 30 other Dalit residents to vacate their houses and take shelter at the block headquarters, police said today. “Dalits of Gangi village, including women and children, have taken refuge at Bhilangana block headquarters citing threat to their lives following the clash. They have refused to go back until the youth is recovered and the accused arrested,” Ghansali SHO Mohammad Akram said. A clash erupted in the village on December 1 after a Dalit youth, named Rakesh, who was supposed to play the ‘dhol’ at a wedding in an upper caste family did not turn up. Also readGujarat Dalits form federation, draft manifesto to press for demandsWhen the groom’s mother went to Rakesh’s place, the youth allegedly kicked her out of the house, the SHO said, quoting a report lodged a day later by a member of the groom’s family. On December 3, Rakesh’s father Sohan Lal and another villager reported that he was missing. They also accused members of the upper caste family of thrashing them and vandalising their houses, the SHO said. Also readCentre offers Rs 2.5 lakh for every inter-caste marriage involving a DalitAkram added efforts were underway to trace the missing youth. District Magistrate Sonika said SDM Ghansali was asked to submit a report in connection with the incident.
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Ambedkar: The man behind India’s constitution

Ambedkar radicalised Indian politics by arguing for the rights of women and lower castes.

Gujarat elections 2017: SC federation releases ‘Dalit Manifesto’

After discussing their issues in a democratic way, Gujarat Scheduled Caste Federation (GSCF) released Dalit manifesto on Tuesday evening. The manifesto, suggesting reforms of the community, was released by five sanitation female workers at Bhuvaldi village.GSFC is a federation of more than 30 organisations working for Dalit welfare in the state. They formed a federation on November 19 to draft the manifesto.”This manifesto is collective efforts of what we had discussed and think are core issues for the community. We believe in harmony and we don’t want to divide any community. But it is equally true that we want upliftment of Dalit community, enough of suffering,” said Jayesh Solanki, member of GSCD.”The manifesto was released by five women who are sanitation workers which is symbolically significant. There are 26 points we have highlighted in the manifesto which includes free education for Dalits in government as well as private institutions,” added Solanki.They have asked for a separate settlement to fulfil the dream project of Babasaheb Ambedkar. There is also a provision of 33% and 50% of reservation for women, the similar provision we want for SC/ST women.The Dalits organisations across Gujarat want the government to recall all the cases filed against Dalits during different agitations took place during atrocities.”We want a strong law which secures jobs for SC/ST in co-operative sectors and in private sectors. Also, we want to abolish the mentioning of any religion and sub-caste in school leaving certificates and there should mention of only SC/ST only,” remarked Solanki.
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Gujarat Dalits form federation, draft manifesto to press for demands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Representatives of around 22 organisations working for Dalit welfare from across the state gathered in city on Sunday and formed a federation besides drafting their own manifesto.The Gujarat Scheduled Caste Federation (GSCF) has decided on its executive committee members and it will launch the manifesto officially next week. Five persons from different regions of the state will be a part of the panel.The main highlight of the manifesto is a demand for separate settlement. “It is sad that even after 70 years of independence, most Dalits are deprived of their basic right. We are still considered untouchable. The government should be ashamed that we still have to fight for survival and equal opportunity,” said Jayesh Solanki, member of GSCF and organiser of the event.Elaborating on demands, Romel Sutariya, member of GSCF, said, “We want free education from KG to PhD and financial assistance to study abroad, equal employment opportunities in private sector and equal representation in democratic process. Our other demand is that accused in atrocity cases should be given life imprisonment. In cases, where the probing members are found to have adopted a lax attitude, strict action should be taken against them.”Solanki added, “Now, several communities are talking about reservation. Despite having reservation, there is hardly any upliftment of Dalit community. Many activists and organisations are working towards our rights. The manifesto was framed after discussion with the community members.”The newly formed Dalit federation is yet to decide on how to approach political parties with the manifesto. It is also wants that victims of Thangadh and Una tragedy should contest the polls.THE OFFICIAL DATEThe Gujarat Scheduled Caste Federation has decided on its executive committee members and it will launch the manifesto next week.

Gujarat elections 2017: BJP leader Jetha Solanki may join Congress for ticket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP leader Jetha Solanki, who resigned from all the posts in his party on Saturday, is likely to join the Congress soon. Solanki is a Dalit leader and MLA from Kodinar seat in Gir Somnath district. It is said that Solanki will contest the polls from the same seat as the Congress candidate. Solanki was also a parliamentary secretary in Gujarat government and resigned from that post too.Solanki had a meeting in Kodinar with his supporters where he hinted at joining the Congress soon. He said, “I can join the Congress if they give me a ticket. If the BJP does not find me suitable, I would contest from Congress and prove my might.””Congress has contacted me and I could join them.On the other side, BJP is trying to muzzle my voice,” added Solanki.A senior leader of BJP said, “Solanki is very skeptical. He had started suspicious activities one year back. He wrote his resignation six months back also but we convinced him to not to do so.”

It’s payback time: Hardik Patel’s clarion call to supporters to oust BJP in new video

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Battling heat from release of three alleged sex tapes, Patidar leader Hardik Patel has put out a video on social media where he is giving a clarion call for payback for all ‘atrocities’ and is urging to get rid of the current establishment.In the video, Hardik said that when Patidars asked for their rights, they were attacked, Even women were not spared. He says that Patel community have been made to look like fools, and taken for a ride for a really long time. Hardik tells his followers if they want to forget all the harassment and again go back to them (BJP), it would be a big insult for the Patel community. In a clear message to oust BJP, Hardik says that Patidars can’t be fooled any longer and it is time for payback for all the sufferings they had to go through to get their rights. Hardik ended his speech saying that people need to do it for the generations to come. The Congress party has agreed to back Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s demands and will field eight candidates that he has recommended for the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat.According to senior Congress leader, apart from reservations for the Patidar community, Hardik had asked for tickets in seven-to-eight Gujarat assembly constituencies mostly. “Hardik’s demands are very reasonable. We had no problem to fielding strong candidates from the Patidar community. For the rest of the state that are dominated by Patidar, he has asked us to field strong Congress candidates,” a party member informed.Jignesh Mewani,the Dalit youth leader had recently met Rahul Gandhi. Jignesh refused to join Congress but assured that he would support Congress party candidates in Gujarat elections.“Mewani had made some specific demands for Dalit welfare and development which are already accepted by Congress leadership. He told us that the Congress should give ticket to credible and efficient candidates that will be acceptable to all OBC, SC,ST and Patidar communities,” the party member added.Meanwhie, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore, who recently joined the party ranks, has been insisting for 10-15 tickets for his loyalists. “Our only condition is that these candidates should have potential to win elections. We cannot select everyone. We will soon declare the candidates,” the source added. A month before the elections, the Dirty Picture seems to be continuing in Gujarat. A day after a sex video purportedly featuring Hardik Patel went viral on social media, two more videos of the Patidar reservation agitation leader surfaced on social media on Tuesday.DNA cannot vouch for the authenticity of the videos and the claims that the person featured in them is Hardik. One of the two videos shows a male bearing close resemblance to Hardik, along with two other unidentified males, and a female, lying on a bed in a hotel room. The video, shot using a hidden camera, shows the female cuddling up to the person who looks like Hardik. It also shows them talking about Vodka, PAAS members, besides other things.The video is allegedly from May 22, a day after Hardik had undertaken the Nyay Yatra in Botad in protest of atrocities against his community members. He and other Patel leaders had got their heads tonsured a day earlier before undertaking the yatra. Uncannily, all three males who are seen in the video have tonsured heads.In the second video, the person who looks like Hardik, is seen lying on the bed, while the others allegedly consume liquor sitting on the floor.Hardik, who has denied that he was the person in the video that had surfaced on Monday, could not be reached for a comment after the latest videos surfaced. Other members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) also declined to comment.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has denied having any role in surfacing of the videos, was guarded in its reaction, with a senior functionary saying that the videos have exposed Hardik before the Patidar community.State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi accused BJP of resorting to Hardik’s character assassination ahead of the elections.In the video that had gone viral on social media on Monday, a person bearing close resemblance to Hardik was seen in a comprising position with an unidentified woman. That video was allegedly from May 16. Hardik said on Monday that it was the beginning of dirty politics in Gujarat.MORE TROUBLE?The video is allegedly from May 22, a day after Hardik had undertaken the Nyay Yatra in Botad in protest of atrocities against his community members. He had got his head tonsured a day earlier, before undertaking the yatra

Cops, local admin help Dalit man in wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Dalit man from Jaipur sought the help of the local police and administration ahead of his wedding. Suspecting opposition by the locals on carrying out a Bindori — a procession atop a horse taken out across the local area — the man wrote a letter to district collector Jaipur, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) and other administrative and police officials. seeking protection from certain groups in the area.Bhagwan Sahay Raigar — a native of Barala in bassi tehsil area — has written that he is to be married on November 13, for which the Bindori procession would be taken out in the afternoon. He further states that for the past several years there has been a tradition in his village that Dalits are not allowed by the higher castes to take out the procession atop a horse, leading them to beat and threaten the dalits and lower castes.Terming it a social evil, the man states that although the family wants to take out the Bindori procession, they are afraid of the higher caste groups. Raigar further said that if any ill occurence happens, the administration and police would be liable.In fact, the authorities did come to the man’s aid on Monday and helped him take out the procession. “A team from the Shivdaspura police station was sent to the village where other officials including a tehsilar were also present to ensure a peaceful procession. No ill incident occurred as the procession was carried out with a vigil of a dozen police and administrative officials” said Deepak Khandelwal, station house officer, Shivdaspura police station.

Gujarat BJP blitz to counter Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP has called more than 200 backward caste and Dalit leaders from across states to further boost its election campaign in Gujarat and counter the Congress that has roped in the trinity of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani. The battery of leaders has been asked to fan out to their respective communities and explain how Hardik, Alpesh and Jignesh are diametrically opposite to each other in terms of their castes but have come to the Congress fold for personal gains.The BJP will also unleash Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies during the final phase of campaign in the state that will see two-phase polling on December 9 and 14. The number of rallies will be less than the projected 50, but each would be very intense, captivating and overpowering, top BJP sources said. PM Modi has already made multiple visits to his home state in recent months to make scathing attacks on the Congress.A senior central BJP leader involved in Gujarat’s campaign said, PM Modi’s rallies are being planned in each region after the finalisation of candidates. They will be held after the final date of withdrawal of candidature on November 24 for the first phase of polling in Gujarat, and in the first week of December in the state’s northern and central regions. Results will be declared on December 18.Stakes are high in Gujarat where PM returned from Delhi in 2001 to become Chief Minister, a post he held till he swept the general elections in 2014. The BJP has a tough task of finalising tickets being done personally by party chief Amit Shah and state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav. A draft list of probable candidates with their strong and weak points will be sent to the BJP parliamentary board where it will be personally vetted and finalised by PM Modi.A core team led by Yadav and under the guidance of Shah will then plan in detail the weak pockets where PM Modi’s emotive appeal in the last days will be used to alter the balance. Both venues and issues are being planned.The 200-odd leaders have been called are from as far as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and told to carry out door-to-door campaigns and address people wherever necessary. “The public now understands how the limit of reservation cannot be increased and how the provision of 10% reservation for EBCs (economically backward communities) was stopped by Congress,” said BJP Gujarat spokesperson Bharat Pandya.Though Dalit population in Gujarat is only 6 or 7%, the BJP does not want to leave anything to chance because the only prominent Dalit face it has there is Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Atmaram Parmar. The party called Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to Gujarat on Saturday.Paswan addressed a press conference crediting Modi for giving the rightful place to the tallest Dalit leader Baba Sahab Ambedkar and also got engaged in a door-to-door campaign to woo voters. The BJP has decided to engage Paswan more actively in Gujarat’s campaign, especially in areas that are Dalit dominated.THE STRATEGY200 backward caste and Dalit leaders will counter Congress that has roped Hardik, Thakore and Mevani
They will explain that the three are from different castes and are with Congress for personal gains

Gujarat elections 2017: BJP fields Ram Vilas Paswan for its ‘Dalit outreach’ to take on Jignesh Mevani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Congress getting support of prominent Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani in the upcoming Gujarat elections, the BJP has decided to up its game and field Union Minister and influential national Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan for its campaign.The Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution, Consumer Affairs and the founder of Lok Janshakti Party was, however, not part of BJP’s mega campaign during the UP Assembly polls earlier this year.But this time around, not only will Paswan campaign for the BJP, he is seen as the answer for Mevani. The minister will have a packed schedule in Gujarat.Paswan will be addressing a press conference at BJP Media Centre at Sola in Ahmedabad on Saturday and will also participate in BJP’s door to door round programme as part of Gujarat Gaurav Sampark Abhiyan.He will also address a public meeting in Danilimda assembly seat, where Dalits constitute 20 per cent of total votes.Besides, the BJP has also roped in its own Dalit leaders. Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh and Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal, MP from Bikaner in Rajasthan are already camping there.Besides, Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi Vinod Kumar Sonkar is also in Gujarat. He was last year appointed as National President of BJP’s SC Morcha ahead of UP Assembly elections last year.All the three leaders are prominent Dalit leaders of BJP in their respective states.The tour programme of Paswan, has come at time when Mevani, who has led Dalit agitations across the state against the incumbent BJP government, has now announced that he will ask his supporters not to vote for BJP and met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over a week ago.Paswan had strongly been defending the Narendra Modi government’s track record vis s vis Dalit upliftment and backed the government categorically even after the Una Dalit bashing incident, insulating BJP from it and saying that no government in independent India has done as much for Dalits as the Modi government. He also had said that it was PM Modi, who gave Dalit icon BR Ambedkar his real due.The media-savvy Paswan is addressing the press from key Gujarat city Ahmedabad, where Mevani resides and had organised a ‘Dalit Asmita Yatra’ from Ahmedabad to Una in August last year after the attack on some Dalits in Una by alleged cow vigilantes in July 2016.There are 13 seats reserved for Dalits in Gujarat and they comprise of 7 per cent of total electorates in the state.

Mayawati threatens to emulate Ambedkar and convert to Buddhism if BJP doesn’t change ‘mindset’ towards Dalits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSP chief Mayawati today attacked the BJP claiming it should change its mindset towards the Dalits, Tribals and backward classes or else she would be forced to convert to Buddhism like Bhimrao Ambedkar.”I throw an open challenge to the BJP to change its casteist and communal mindset towards Dalits, Adivasis, Backwards and also those who have changed their religion or else I will also have to take a decision towards changing my religion to Buddhism,” she said at a party rally here.Recalling Ambedkar, she said that after witnessing discrimination in the ‘varna vyawastha’ (caste system) in Hinduism, he had called on the Shankaracharyas and seers to modify it. Since it was not done, Ambedkar, a little before his death, converted to Buddhism in Nagpur along with his followers, she said.The BSP chief said that she too is giving an opportunity to the Shankaracharyas, religious leaders and people associated with the BJP to change their thinking or else she too will convert to Buddhism at the right time along with crores of supporters.Accusing the BJP of taking the “casteist agenda” of the RSS forward, she blamed it for the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad and the Una case of Gujarat where some Dalits were assaulted resulting in outrage and protests.Charging the BJP with fielding a Dalit associated with the RSS as the presidential candidate to garner votes, she said that because of this, Congress and other opposition parties had also fielded a Dalit candidate. PTI SAB SMI ADS

Watch | Congress has special hatred for Gujaratis: PM Modi attacks Nehru-Gandhi family in fiery speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing the main opposition party of pursuing “negative politics”, Modi dared the Congress to fight the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls on the development plank.”Gujarat polls are round the corner and the Congress has developed fever once again. Gujarat has been an eyesore for the party and the family. I won’t repeat what they did to Sardar Patel, his daughter Maniben, and Morarji Desai.”They did not speak about the work of Morarji Desai or his dedication and commitment to Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals. They instead chose to talk about what he ate and drank,” Modi told a massive BJP rally at Bhat village near Gandhinagar, referring to the former prime minister’s fondness of urine therapy.He also targeted the Congress over the resignation of party leader Madhavsinha Solanki, who as the foreign minister was alleged to have sent a letter to his then Swiss counterpart to scuttle the Bofors scandal probe.”They forced Solanki to resign. the party can go to any extent to save the family,” he said.”You did not waste any opportunity to strike. When I was the chief minister and you were in power at the Centre, you hatched a conspiracy to put me in jail. You knew that it was not possible until Amit Shah (BJP chief) was put behind bars, you did that.”This is the poison, the malice you harbour. Since Patel conceived the Narmada project, it was not allowed to be completed for 40-50 years,” Modi said as he repeatedly attacked the Nehru-Gandhi family in his speech.Referring to Congress leaders, including party president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi being on bail in the National Herald case, Modi said, “The whole party is on bail”.He also dared the Congress to contest the polls on the development plank.”I had expected them to fight this election on the issue of development, but they are not doing that. Now they have decided to belittle Gujarat’s development,” he said referring to the Congress’ online campaign ‘Vikas (development) has gone crazy’, which targets the Gujarat model of development.Rahul Gandhi has, during his frequent trips to the state, criticised the Gujarat model of development.”This election is a fight between ‘vikasvaad’ and “vanshvaad”; development politics will triumph over family rule.”Congress, he alleged, always avoided contesting elections with focus on development.”Every time there is an election, it would raise the issue of communalism, spread the poison of casteism. They never have the courage to contest a poll on the concrete issue of development,” he said.The prime minister’s remark came against the backdrop of the agitation by the influential Patel community for reservations in government jobs and educational institutions.Hardik Patel, the quota stir spearhead, had welcomed Rahul Gandhi on a recent visit to Gujarat.”They called us anti-Dalit, anti-Adivasi, an urban party.The people gave them an apt reply. None of the charges stuck.Today, we have the highest number of Dalit and Adivasi MPs.The highest number of MPs from rural areas are of the BJP,” he said.With inputs from PTI

Gujarat Elections 2017: Anandiben Patel writes to Amit Shah, says unwilling to contest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has said she does not want to contest the upcoming state Assembly polls and that she has informed BJP president Amit Shah about her decision in a letter.The letter was written on October 4, but released today.Patel’s letter to Shah comes at a time when the BJP is in the process of forming three-member panels for each of the Assembly constituencies in the state to select the party candidates for the Assembly polls due later this year.Some party workers have reportedly suggested that Patel (75), a sitting BJP MLA, be fielded from her current constituency, Ghatlodiya in Ahmedabad district. There has been a demand from a section of the BJP to declare the veteran politician as the party’s chief ministerial face in Gujarat, which is witnessing a quota agitation by the Patel community.A tweet by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, asking the party to make Patel the chief ministerial face in Gujarat had led to speculation about the former chief minister once again vying for the top post. Patel, however, cited her age as the reason for not contesting the polls. “When I had resigned as the chief minister of Gujarat, I had done it in accordance with the party rule that nobody beyond the age of 75 should hold (any) post. Today also, under the same rule, I would like to say that I do not want to contest the upcoming Assembly polls,” she wrote to Shah.Patel also told the party chief that she was ready to perform whatever duty the party gave her as regards the upcoming election.In the letter, she expressed gratitude to the party for making her the first woman chief minister of Gujarat. Patel, who is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was made the chief minister of Gujarat after the latter shifted to New Delhi in May, 2014.However, her handling of the Patidar quota agitation and the episode of Dalit atrocities in Una did not go down well with the top BJP leadership. Patel resigned from her post in August, 2016 and was replaced by Vijay Rupani. When contacted, state BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said it was for the party leadership to take a decision on Patel’s request.

Why Indian men have been ‘beaten up over moustaches’?

Alleged attack on men in India seen as being from a low caste spurs social media sympathy

100 Women: The Dalit women breaking stereotypes by forming a drum band

Traditional performances by drum bands are dominated by men but this group of women are trying to change that.

Instead of sitting at home and consuming country liquor, Dalits should join the Army where they will get rum: Ramdas Athawale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale made a controversial remark on Sunday when he stated that the instead of consuming country liquor, Dalit youths should join the Indian Army where they will get to drink rum.Athawale was advocating reservations for SC-ST community in the Indian army when he made the statement. Athawale was in Pune on Sunday where he interacted with media. Reiterating his earlier demand that SC-ST community should get reservation in the Indian army Athawale said, “While there are not many jobs available, the Dalit youth should join the Indian Army. Instead of staying unemployed and consuming country liquor, the youths can join the army where they will get rum to drink and good food to eat.” Praising the Dalits for their fighting spirit, Athawale added, “Dalits are known to be fighters and they can contribute towards bettering the Indian Army. There is a misconception that people joining the army die early. In reality, more people die in road accidents or due to heart attacks than while serving in the Army.” Athawale also spoke about the recent tragedy at Elphinstone railway station tragedy where 23 people lost their lives in a stampede where he demanded strong action against the guilty railway officials. “The tragedy has taken place due to the lethargic attitude of the railway officials. There should be a judicial inquiry in the mishap and the guilty railway officials should be given strict punishment.”While demanding action against railway officials, Athawale ridiculed opposition parties stance of opposing the Bullet Train. “Their stance of not having Bullet Train in the country is not right. While the improvement is needed in the infrastructure of local train, there is also a need of Bullet Train.”Being a part of National Democratic alliance (NDA) when Athawale was asked about the likelihood of Narayan Rane’s new party allying with NDA, he said, “Narayan Rane’s party will definitely be a part of NDA and the ally will make NDA even stronger.”

BJP government is not anti-Dalit; PM is a follower of Buddha, Ambedkar: Ramdas Athawale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said the Narendra Modi government is not anti-Dalit and asserted that reservation for the oppressed community will remain intact.The minister of state for social justice and empowerment was addressing a function at the Deekshabhoomi where B R Ambedkar converted to Buddhism with thousands of followers on Ashok Vijaya Dashami in 1956.”Modi government is not anti-Dalit and reservation of the Dalits will be intact with no possibility of change in the Constitution. The prime minister, though a Hindu, is a follower of Gautam Buddha and Babasaheb Ambedkar,” the Republican Party of India leader said.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was present on the occasion, praised Ambedkar, saying the architect of the Constitution had contributed immensely to nation building.”Ambedkar is our ‘Rashtra Nirmata’ (creator of the nation) and has contributed immensely in the nation building,” he said.”There is no possibility of changing the Constitution (on reservation),” added the chief minister.Echoing similar views, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said, “There is no question of changing the Constitution or removing reservations”.”We are determined to ensure social equality and welfare for the last person of the society,” said Gadkari, who handles the transport portfolio.Lakhs of devotees thronged to Deekshabhoomi to mark the 61st Dhammachakra Pravartan.

Dalit priest preparing to perform ‘maha yagna’ stabbed in his home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Dalit priest has been hospitalised after he was stabbed in Kerala’s Palakad district. The priest has been identified as Biju Narayanan and is believed to be the first Dalit priest in the country.Biju was stabbed on Wednesday by an unknown person. The incident took place when he was resting at his home early in the morning. He was immediately rushed to a medical college nearby. Doctors examined him and said his injuries were not critical and that he was out of danger. Biju a priest of the Mathrukula Dharma Raksha Ashram has received death threats in the past. A failed attempt to throw acid on him was also reported in in June.Biju was preparing to perform the ‘Maha Yagna’ in December this year, that was to be attended by Dalit community. He has received many death threats in the past through phone calls and on Facebook messenger. A police complaint was registered alleging the involvement of RSS. However, no action has been taken so far. The attempt to throw acid on him was purposefully done as he was organising Veda classes for Dalits.

Removed as Congress Bihar chief, Ashok Choudhary breaks down, says he was ‘humiliated’ for being Dalit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after he was removed as Bihar Congress chief, Ashok Choudhary on Wednesday broke down at a press conference and accused the party of humiliation.Ashok Choudhary was on Tuesday removed from the post with immediate effect, however, the party has not announced his replacement.Accusing his party of ‘humiliation’, Choudhary said his removal as the party’s top leader in Bihar was handled without sensitivity because he is a Dalit, reported NDTV.”I was willing to resign and I never wanted to embarrass party high command,” said Choudhary.”As a committed Congressman, I expected an honorable exit from the party post… But what happened is not expected,” he said.The action against Choudhary comes amid reports of a possible split in the Bihar unit, which a section of the party alleged was being spearheaded by him.In a recent outburst, Choudhary had also accused a section within the party of maligning his name for brewing a rebellion within the Bihar unit.The Congress has 27 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.Amid fears that the state unit may split and some members may join the ruling JD-U, the Congress has claimed of having ‘defused’ the situation after several MLAs were reportedly gravitating towards the JD(U) following the disintegration of the Grand Alliance last month.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had also met over 20 of the 27 party MLAs earlier this month and sought their views on the party’s functioning.

Tamil Nadu: Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan grieve NEET crusader Anitha’s suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday announced a compensation of Rs 7 lakh to the family of Anitha, who committed suicide by hanging herself at her house after failing to get admission in medical college due to National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) based on NEET marks.Meanwhile, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader TTV Dhinakaran condoled the death of Anitha. He took to Twitter saying that, “I was distressed and shocked to hear that the beloved daughter who struggled against NEET test committed suicide.” Later in the day, two Tamil actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan reacted to Anitha’s suicide.
ALSO READ Dalit fighter against NEET ends lifeRajinikanth posted on Facebook saying, “What has happened to Anitha is extremely unfortunate. My heart goes out to all the pain and agony she would have undergone before taking this drastic step. My condolences to her family.”While, Kamal Haasan said that he considers Anitha as his own daughter and will raise voice for her. He also blamed the State and Central Governments for Anitha’s suicide.A Dalit State Board student who moved the Supreme Court against the NEET for medical admission, Anitha committed suicide on Friday.
ALSO READ Girl who moved SC against NEET commits suicide, Tamil Nadu CM announces ex-gratia of Rs 7 lakhAnitha, hanged herself to death at her residence in Ariyalur’s Kuzhumur village.Anitha was depressed over not being able get admission in a medical college and ended her life when her family members were away.Anitha had scored 1,176 marks out of 1,200 in the plus two exams under the Tamil Nadu state board. However, she got only 86 marks in the NEET examination for medicine.On August 22, the Apex Court ruled that medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu will be based on the NEET merit list by September 4.Anitha’s family, relatives and villagers staged a road roko holding the State and centre responsible for her death.

Dalit girl forced to lift her excreta by upper caste man in MP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A six-year-old Dalit girl was today allegedly forced to lift her excreta with hands by an upper caste man outside her school at Gudhora under Lavkushgagar tehsil here, a police official said. The incident took place this evening when the girl, after taking permission from her teacher, went to answer nature’s call in the open area near the government primary school at Gudhora, about 60 km away from the district headquarters, Lavkushnagar police station in-charge Z Y Khan said. When the accused, Pappu Singh, saw her defecating in the open, he lost his temper and forced her to lift her excreta with her hands, he said. “The girl later narrated the incident to her parents, following which they, along with other members of the Dalit community, reached the police station to register a complaint against Singh,” the official said. A case was registered against Singh under sections 374 (unlawful compulsory labour–unlawfully compelling any person to labour against the will of that person) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC and relevant section of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Khan said. Singh went absconding after the incident and a manhunt has been launched to nab him, the police official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Quota of Dalit Christians; SC seeks Centre’s reply on PIL

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought the Centre’s response on a plea by Dalit Christians seeking parity in quota with their counterparts among the Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice to the central government on the plea filed by All India Catholic Union challenging the validity of paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950, which says no person who professes a religion different from Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. It has sought inclusion of Dalit Christians in the Scheduled Caste category for enabling them to get benefits of reservation under the Constitution. The plea, filed by advocate Jose P I, claimed that by this Order, Scheduled Caste persons professing religion different from the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, are deemed not to be scheduled caste and hence deprived of quota benefits. It said the exclusion ought to have been only of those persons who were no more socially and educationally backward. “The exclusion as per 1950 SC Order ought to have been only of those persons who are no more socio-educationally backward and it may be appropriate to treat as a different class of persons who has taken a religion other than Hinduism as their profession by joining any of its religious congregations for they have gained in education as well as social status,” the plea said. “It may be mentioned that by amendment Act 63 of 1956, persons professing Sikh religion was included in Para 3 after Kalelkar Commission in 1955 submitted its report according to which persons professing Sikh religion were found to be backward. However the benefit was not given to Christians,” it said. “Because the advantage of gaining, or the disadvantage of losing, the benefits specially provided to members of a Scheduled Caste through various reservation and other laws/ policies of the Government to a Christian of SC origin upon ‘Ghar Vapasi’ or to a Hindu of SC origin upon deciding to profess Christian religion, respectively, under the 1950 (SC) Order by itself is not only discrimination but also amounts to granting of a special privilege by the State to the preferred Hindu religion,” it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rohit Vemula was troubled individual, didn’t commit suicide over University action: Inquiry Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Justice (retd.) AK Roopanwal Commission, which was constituted by the HRD Ministry to look into the circumstances leading to the death of Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University, has said that the Dalit scholar was a troubled individual and didn’t commit suicide over University action.The report, that was made public on Tuesday stated that Rohith Vemula committed suicide of his own volition.”His suicide note is on the record which shows that Rohith Vemula had his own problems and was not happy with worldly affairs,” reported Times of India, quoting the report of Justice A K Roopanwal.”He was frustrated for the reasons best known to him…He also wrote that he was all alone from childhood and was an unappreciated man. This also indicates his frustration. He did not blame anybody for his suicide,” the report said.The report also said that if he would have been angry with the decision of the university, certainly either he would have written in specific words or would have indicated in this regard. “Vemula did not do the same. It shows that the circumstances prevailing in the university at that time were not the reasons for committing the suicide.” the report said.Rohith Vemula, 27, committed suicide on January 17, 2016 in a hostel room in Hyderabad Central University where he was a PhD scholar after he and four others were suspended from the hostel last year and restrictions were put on their movement by the university administration as part of disciplinary action for allegedly assaulting ABVP leader N Susheel Kumar. Vemula’s suicide had triggered a huge political storm with opposition parties launching a massive attack on the Union Government over the issue.

Indian woman ‘boycotted’ over support to Dalit farmer

A south Indian woman says her community association has imposed a fine on anyone who talks to her.

Act against cops for "custodial torture"; Telangana oppn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress, TDP, BJP and other opposition parties in Telangana today sought the intervention of Governor E S L Narasimhan in an incident of alleged police high-handedness against some persons belonging to Dalit and backward classes in Rajanna Sircilla district. A delegation of opposition leaders, which included TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy, state BJP chief K Laxman and TDP’s Telangana unit head L Ramana, met the Governor and submitted a memorandum in this regard. The incident relates to arrest of eight persons last month at Nerella in the district for allegedly torching a sand -laden truck, which was involved in a road accident, causing the death of a person. The arrested persons had also allegedly attacked policemen. The Congress, BJP and other parties and outfits had alleged the accused were “tortured” while in police custody and subjected to “third degree methods”. The top leaders of ruling TRS are related to the “sand mafia” (allegedly involved in irregularities in sand sales) in the district, the opposition parties claimed in the memorandum submitted to the Governor. “At the behest of sand mafia contractors… Dalits and BCs were subjected to the worst form of police brutality and third degree torture by Sircilla police,” they said. Alleging that the police “tortured” the accused, state BJP president Laxman said the suspension of a sub-inspector for the incident was not enough. TDP’s L Ramana alleged that sand is being transported illegally in the district. Congress’ Reddy said the opposition parties would meet President Ram Nath Kovind later this month. The opposition leaders urged the Governor to institute an independent inquiry into the incident and also take action against police officials who indulged in “torture”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Haryana: Protestors detained for trying to meet BJP chief Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of Dalit protesters demanding reservation were detained by the police when they tried to enter Rohtak to meet BJP national president Amit Shah, who is on a visit to Haryana.The protesters were detained on Wednesday when they reached Kilazfargarh village on the Rohtak border as they did not have requisite permission, the police said.”Reservation is our right,” the leader of the protesters, Devi Das, said before being taken into custody.”We will not rest until we get what we deserve. We are staging a peaceful protest. Despite that, the police have detained us,” he said.The group has been staging a sit-in in Jind for the last 171 days to press for reservation for the community.Sub-divisional magistrate, Julana, Shiv Kumar said the protesters did not have permission to meet the BJP president.”If they had permission, we would have allowed them to enter Rohtak,” Kumar said.Shah yesterday began his Haryana visit from Bahadurgarh and is slated to hold a series of meetings and review works undertaken by the M L Khattar government during his three-day stay.

Garagaparru Dalits in Delhi, seek end of their social boycott

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of Dalits from Andhra Pradesh’s Garagaparru village is in the national capital to seek help against the community’s “social boycott” allegedly by an upper caste group over the installation of an Ambedkar statue. The group comprising four villagers today said the boycott by “upper caste landlords” was continuing and posing “livelihood and safety issues” for the families in the West Godavari district village. They are trying to meet central government ministers, MPs and the National Human Rights Commission over the issue. There has been unrest in the village for about three months between the upper caste Kshatriyas and members of the Mala community (a scheduled caste group in AP). It started when the Kshatriyas allegedly objected to the SC community’s move to install a statue of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar on the village tank bund. On July 25, Social Welfare Minister Nakka Anand Babu, Labour Minister Pithani Satyanarayana and SC Corporation chairman Jupudi Prabhakar had visited the village and brokered peace between the warring factions. They had also handed over cheques of Rs 1 lakh each to the Dalit families. “We demand that the Centre and the government of Andhra Pradesh take immediate steps to end the social boycott otherwise it could spread to other parts of the state,” said V Srinivas Rao, national coordinator of Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, in a press conference. The Dalits in Garagaparru who used to work in the fields of the landlords have been rendered jobless, Rao said. A Dalit leader was killed recently in an accident but there are “doubts” over it, he claimed. “An atmosphere of insecurity and helplessness is prevailing as there are no jobs. Dalit families are getting food from a community kitchen set up by social organisations,” he said. In May, the social boycott had begun with the Dalits being stopped from working in the fields and doing other jobs of maids and drivers, Rao claimed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress doesn’t agree with Mayawati’s opinion on President Kovind @ 7/26/2017 9:41:30 AM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Taking a different stand from that of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Ram Nath Kovind, who said the President has the anti-Ambedkar thinking of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress on Wednesday said not everything should be unnecessarily turned into controversy. Mayawati yesterday said that by not paying tribute to Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar in his address, President Kovind has shown that he has the same anti-Ambedkar thinking like the BJP. Congress leader P.L. Punia said that such things take place in programmes, adding that he does not think the President has less respect for Dr. Ambedkar. ?It?s a matter of pride that a Dalit has been elected as the President of India. Such things (not paying tribute to Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar in his address) happen in programmes. I don?t think that the President has less respect for Dr. Ambedkar. This should not be turned into a controversy unnecessarily,? Punia told ANI. Another Congress leader KTS Tulsi also opined the same, stating that President Kovind?s speech was inclusive and his tone promoted tolerance. ?I heard his speech. I was greatly impressed by his humility, tone and tenor of his speech and the manner in which he remembered the smallest Indians in different fields of life. It would have been better had he paid tribute to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. But, nevertheless, it was an inclusive speech that was delivered by the President,? Tulsi told ANI. Mayawati also added that President Kovind, in his political life, had represented the narrow and casteist thinking of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “This was not expected from him. If not anybody else, then at least this can be expected from a person who is associated with the Dalit community that he will always be thankful for the struggles that Ambedkar went through and the sacrifices he made,” she asserted. Kovind was elected the President last Thursday as a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate. He defeated Opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar by a huge margin. President Kovind was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar at the Central Hall of the Parliament in presence of outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on the dais.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jyotiraditya Scindia moves privilege motion against 2 BJP MPs for ‘false and derogatory’ remarks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia, today moved a privilege motion against two BJP members for allegedly levelling false allegations against him in the Lower House of Parliament.In a letter to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Scindia urged her to send his request to the Privileges Committee for action against the BJP MPs for making “false and derogatory” remarks against him, harming his image and reputation in the process. “I have moved a privilege motion against Virender Kumar and Manohar Utawal for their defamatory statements against me in the Lok Sabha,” said Scindia.In his letter to the speaker, the Congress leader claimed that Kumar and Utawal, representing the Tikamgarh and Dewas constituencies in Madhya Pradesh respectively, had accused him of “making anti-Dalit remarks and participating in anti-Dalit activities”. “Their accusations on the floor of the House are totally false. They are a serious affront to my dignity as a member of this House. The charges are also blatantly misleading for the other members of the House and the millions of people who watch the Lok Sabha proceedings on television,” he said.Scindia appealed to the committee to consider his request, so that he could “reveal the truth” about the “defamatory statements made by the BJP” against him. “It is the job of the committee to ensure justice to the members of the House,” he added. Scindia also wrote in his letter to the speaker that the committee needed to take strict action against the two BJP MPs, “so that lies and falsehood are not perpetrated against the members of the House, causing an irreparable damage to their reputation”. He also sought an unconditional apology from Kumar and Utawal.

Scindia moves privilege motion against 2 BJP members in LS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia, today moved a privilege motion against two BJP members for allegedly levelling false allegations against him in the Lower House of Parliament. In a letter to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Scindia urged her to send his request to the Privileges Committee for action against the BJP MPs for making “false and derogatory” remarks against him, harming his image and reputation in the process. “I have moved a privilege motion against Virender Kumar and Manohar Utawal for their defamatory statements against me in the Lok Sabha,” said Scindia. In his letter to the speaker, the Congress leader claimed that Kumar and Utawal, representing the Tikamgarh and Dewas constituencies in Madhya Pradesh respectively, had accused him of “making anti-Dalit remarks and participating in anti-Dalit activities”. “Their accusations on the floor of the House are totally false. They are a serious affront to my dignity as a member of this House. The charges are also blatantly misleading for the other members of the House and the millions of people who watch the Lok Sabha proceedings on television,” he said. Scindia appealed to the committee to consider his request, so that he could “reveal the truth” about the “defamatory statements made by the BJP” against him. “It is the job of the committee to ensure justice to the members of the House,” he added. Scindia also wrote in his letter to the speaker that the committee needed to take strict action against the two BJP MPs, “so that lies and falsehood are not perpetrated against the members of the House, causing an irreparable damage to their reputation”. He also sought an unconditional apology from Kumar and Utawal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Central govt trying to create atmosphere of "fear": Prakash

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar today accused the BJP government at the Centre of trying to create an atmosphere of “fear” by “imposing” its policies. The Republican Party of India’s national president levelled the allegations at a press conference here. “The BJP and the RSS are trying to create an atmosphere of fear by imposing its policies. Earlier, by demonetisation and now by rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) the Centre is trying to destroy leather and textile industries,” he alleged. On the arrest of the chief of the Bhim Army, a Dalit outfit allegedly involved in the Saharanpur violence in May, he said, “Chandrashekhar was seeking justice. But, instead of arresting the real perpetrators, the government lodged a case against him.” However, Punjab BJP spokesperson Rakesh Shantidoot said, “Instead of making such remarks he should study about B R Ambedkar. The BJP is taking forward the ideologies of the architect of the Constitution.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amit Shah meets Rajasthan BJP leaders, asks them to ensure

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP president Amit Shah today met top leaders of the party’s Rajasthan unit and asked them to ensure that the party gets a strong mandate in next assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state. He sought suggestions from the leaders, including MPs and MLAs, on ways to strengthen the party s position, party sources said. Shah met Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, state BJP president Ashok Parnami, MPs, MLAs and other senior leaders of the party on the last day of his three-day visit that was aimed at reviewing the preparations for the assembly polls due next year as also the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “Several suggestions came up at the party president’s meeting with MPs and MLAs. The party president asked them to make the party stronger at booth level,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore told reporters. He said the suggestions came on a range of issues, including the problem of illegal Bangladeshis residing in parts of the country. Gyan Dev Ahuja, MLA from Ramgarh in Alwar, said he raised the issue of ‘love jihad’ and problem of NGOs allegedly involved in illegal activities. “There are numerous NGOs in the country which are involved in illegal activities in the name of social service or social cause and there should be a check and action on such NGOs. Several NGOs run by minority community people are involved in conversion of Hindu girls and in promoting ‘love jihad,” Ahuja said. He said Shah “gave positive response to the suggestions and asked all of us to work hard to make the party stronger.” Several other suggestions like felicitating elderly party workers were also given by the MLAs and MPs. Shah also held meetings with Vistaraks (full-time workers) and motivated them to work hard for the party. He asked them to establish direct contact with people across the state and from all sections of the society ahead of the assembly elections due next year. The BJP chief also had lunch at the residence of a Dalit booth-level worker. Accompanied by Raje, Parnami, Union minister Rajyawardhan Rathore and MPs Bhupendra Yadav and Nihal Chand, Shah was given a warm welcome at the residence of Ramesh Pacharia, a BJP Yuva Morcha member. “My mother cooked daal, rice, chapatti, halwa and kheer for the party president,” Pacharia told reporters after the meals that Shah and others had by sitting on the ground. Locals, who had lined up in narrow lanes and on rooftops to catch glimpse of Shah and Raje, were thrilled when they met them outside the house. Social Justice Minister Arun Chaturvedi said Pacharia’s residence was chosen on the basis of his active work for the party and not due to his caste or class. “We identify our workers on the basis of their work. We do not consider their caste or class and decision for Shah’s lunch at his house was made just because of his active participation in the party’s work,” he said. The minister said it is the media, not the party, which sees the caste and Dalit factor. “For us, his work is considerable,” he said. “It is not that we selected a Dalit family. Several Dalit families live close by the BJP office but the party president visited the house of an active party worker. The distance of Sushilpura is also not very far from the party office,” he said. The narrow lanes of Sushilpura are populated by lower middle class and Dalit families. It is located in the middle of the city and witnessed VVIP movement for the first time. Shah interacted with the family members and met the locals outside the house.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

After quitting RS, Mayawati to hold strategy meet in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSP president Mayawati has convened a meeting of senior party leaders in the national capital tomorrow to capitalise on her recent resignation from the Rajya Sabha and chalk out fresh strategy. All important leaders of the party, including its coordinators, MLAs , MLCs and Rajya Sabha members have been invited for the meeting, a party leader said here. The BSP chief will be issuing directives on how to go about in the changed atmosphere arising out of her resignation from the Upper House. “The party president is likely to tell the leaders as to how to apprise her supporters about the reasons leading to her resignation,” a party insider said. Mayawati had tendered her resignation on Tuesday, hours after the chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh. “I have no moral right to be in the House if I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities being committed against Dalits,” she had said. “Mayawati was forced to resign when she was not allowed to speak about the issues relating to Dalit atrocities in the BJP-ruled state (of Uttar Pradesh)…when she, as the Rajya Sabha member, was not given an opportunity to speak about their problems, there is a slim chance that these problems will be redressed by this government,” a party leader said. “It is the duty of the party leaders now to redraw their strategy so as to uphold the dignity and honour of the Bahujan Samaj,” the leader said, requesting anonymity. Mayawati (61) will also be taking feedback from her party leaders about her decision to quit the Upper House. She might also decide on holding a rally or a meeting so as to directly communicate with her supporters, party sources said. On the mood in the party over her resignation, the BSP leader said workers were very happy as “they feel she will now be able to give her full time to organisational matters, which would definitely help in strengthening the party”. Mayawati’s action is seen as an attempt to consolidate her core Dalit support base and re-establish herself as the community’s pre-eminent leader, after facing a massive defeat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections earlier this year, with the BSP finishing a poor third. Her party could win only 18 seats, while the BJP came to power by winning more than 300 of the 403 Assembly seats. The BSP had drawn a blank in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Back home in Uttar Pradesh, her resignation has evoked mixed response from different political parties, with the BJP terming it a “political stunt”, and the Congress and Samajwadi Party holding the Centre’s attitude responsible for her abrupt decision. “Mayawati is unable to digest the results of the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 UP Assembly elections,” UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, adding people of the state have rejected partisan and communal politics. Apna Dal (Sonelal), an ally of the BJP-led NDA, attributed her decision to “massive erosion” in her support base. The Congress said the Dalit leader took the sudden decision as the BJP had unleashed “autocratic rule” throughout the country. Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said Mayawati’s right to speech and expression was violated in the Rajya Sabha.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Thank you for all that you do’: Smriti Irani hits back at Rahul Gandhi for taking dig at Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre by digging out issues including the Rohith Vemula suicide case, Dadri lynching case and demonetisation drive, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday mocked the former for ‘all that he does.’Smriti took to Twitter to show her sarcastic side and said, ‘However, thank you @officeofRG for all that you do. Sincerely from the BJP!.”On Friday, Rahul raised the Rohith Vemula case, saying that he didn’t commit suicide and was murdered for being a Dalit.”I don’t call it suicide; I call it murder. Rohith (Vemula) was crushed and murdered by the indignities he suffered,” said Gandhi while speaking at DR. BR. Ambedkar International Conference.He further added that Vemula was killed only because he was a Dalit.Rohith Vemula, a PhD student at the University of Hyderabad, allegedly committed suicide last year sparking a nationwide outrage.Vemula’s suicide gained widespread media attention as an alleged case of discrimination against Dalits.Rahul also alleged that most of the institutions in the country have been captured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the bureaucrats and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).”What is happening today is the systematic capture of India’s democratic institutions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bureaucrats and the RSS,” he said.The Congress vice-president also targetted the Centre by raising the Dadri lynching case.”Mohammad Akhlaq was butchered because they say he stole a calf. It was a lie. Instead of questioning his (Akhlaq) brutal killing they asked whether the meat in the fridge was mutton or beef,” he added.Last year, a mob of villagers attacked a 52-year-old man named Muslim man Mohammed Akhlaq, who they suspected of stealing and slaughtering a stolen cow calf, in Bisara village near Dadri, Uttar Pradesh.Akhlaq died in the attack, and his son, Danish, was seriously injured.Rahul also took a dig at the Centre over its demonetisation drive which was introduced on 8 November last year.”Publicly they called it a stroke of genius and privately they called it insanity,” he said.

Nepal expresses willingness to working closely with Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba congratulated president-elect Ram Nath Kovind on his electoral victory and expressed willingness to working closely with him to further strengthening the “cordial” relations with India. Kovind, a low-key lawyer-turned-politician, was yesterday elected as India’s 14th President, the first BJP member and the second Dalit to occupy the country’s highest office. Bhandari and Deuba, in their messages of congratulations sent to the president-elect yesterday, expressed willingness to working closely with him in the days ahead to further strengthening the cordial relations between Nepal and India, The Himalayan Times quoted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying. A former Bihar governor, Kovind, 71, defeated the joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ram Nath Kovind eases into Rashtrapati Bhavan, Opposition jolted by cross-voting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ram Nath Kovind, a low-key lawyer-turned-politician, was elected today as India’s 14th President, the first BJP member and the second Dalit to occupy the country’s highest office.The 71-year-old Kovind defeated joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker, after garnering 65.65 percent of the votes in the electoral college.Expressing happiness over the “extensive” support Kovind got from the electoral college, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure.” A former Bihar governor, Kovind received 2930 votes with a value of 7,02,044, said election Returning Officer Anoop Mishra. Kumar got 1844 votes with a value of 3,67,314.The winning margin was not as big as forecast by the BJP, which had projected a 70 per cent vote for Kovind. Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee had received votes valued at 7,13,763.”I never aspired to be the president. My win is a message to those discharging their duties with integrity. My election as the President is an evidence of the greatness of Indian democracy,” Kovind told the media after his victory was announced. “I am feeling emotional.”Kovind is the first BJP member to be elected president.He will take oath of office on July 25 for a five-year term.He is also the second Dalit to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan after K.R. Narayanan. Previous presidents have included a Sikh and two Muslims.As soon as the results were formally announced, the sounds of firecrackers going off reverberated in Kalyanpur in Kanpur Dehat in Uttar Pradesh, where Kovind hails from.The teachers of DAV College, where Kovind had studied, said they were proud of his achievement.”For us it is indeed a glorious moment, as one of the proud alumnus of our college is now going to occupy the top constitutional post of the country,” said Amit Kumar Srivastava, principal of the college.Kovind’s victory is partly due to the BJP’s massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections earlier this year. This gave the party a big boost in the electoral college numbers.Even after the U.P. victory, the BJP-led NDA was slightly short of majority and had to rely on the support of non-NDA parties such as TRS in Telangana, AIADMK factions and DMK in Tamil Nadu, the JD(U) in Bihar, and BJD in Odisha.But the party played a masterstroke by fielding a Dalit candidate as part of its outreach to woo the backward communities, which several opposition parties found difficult to oppose given the political sensitivites. This forced the opposition to follow suit and put up Kumar, a diplomat- turned-politician, in a Dalit vs Dalit fight.Congratulating her poll rival, Kumar said it has now fallen on Kovind to uphold the Constitution in letter and spirit in “these challenging times”.Kumar said that her fight for secularism, the oppressed and the marginalised will continue.Modi also congratulated Kumar for her campaign, saying it was “in the spirit of democratic ethos and values we all are proud of”.Among those who congratulated Kovind were Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, a host of chief ministers and other politician.Soon after, the president-elect met with Modi, who put a piece of sweetmeat in his mouth after putting a stole around his neck, as BJP President Amit Shah looked on.Hailing as “historic” Kovind’s election, Shah said it is a “victory for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised and their aspirations”.A total of 768 out of 771 eligible MPs cast votes.Likewise, 4083 out of 4109 eligible MLAs cast their votes, registering a turnout of nearly 100 percent.While 522 MPs voted for Kovind, Kumar secured support of 225 parliamentarians. The electoral college comprises of Members of Parliament and members of legislative assemblies of all states.While the value of an MLA’s vote depends on the population of his or her state, the value of an MP’s vote remains the same at 708.The polling was marked by cross-voting in various states where many opposition members favoured Kovind.The vice-presidential election will be held on August 5. While BJP has nominated a former party president, Venkaiah Naidu, the opposition has fielded former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Delhi BJP celebrates Kovind’s election as president

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Delhi BJP leaders and workers celebrated on election of Ram Nath Kovind as the president, chief of the state unit Manoj Tiwari dubbed his victory as a realisation of Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s ideology of “Antyodaya”. The Delhi BJP office wore a festive look, as party workers led by SC Morcha members danced to the tunes to drumbeats and distributed sweets on victory of Kovind. Tiwari who joined festivities at Pant Marg office, after congratulating Kovind, said “Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s dream of Antyodaya has come true today. BJP has also materialised its slogan of Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas by getting a Dalit’s son elected as president of the country.” The Yuva Morcha activists celebrated victory of Kovind at Valmiki temple on Mandir Marg. “It was symbolic celebration at Valmiki temple as the party had linked Kovind’s election with Dalit pride,” said Delhi BJP media incharge Praveen Shankar Kapoor. Union minister Harsh Vardhan along with other party leaders and workers assembled at the memorial of B R Ambedkar at 26, Alipur Road, and celebrated the victory.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mixed response among parties to Mayawati’s resignation from RS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The resignation of BSP chief Mayawati from Rajya Sabha has evoked mixed response from different political parties in UP, with BJP terming it as a “political stunt” while Congress and Samajwadi Party held the Centre’s attitude responsible for her abrupt decision. “BSP supremo Mayawati is unable to digest the results of 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 UP Assembly elections. People of UP have grossly rejected partisan and communal politics. They are looking forward to progress and development of the state,” UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said. He described her resignation as “political stunt and emotional drama”. Apna Dal (Sonelal), an ally of BJP-led NDA, attributed her decision to “massive erosion” in her support base. “BSP chief Mayawati is feeling threatened by the rise of Anupriya Patel, whom the backwards and Dalits are looking up as their leader. Mayawati’s votebase has seen a massive erosion, which has apparently upset her,” Apna Dal (S) spokesperson Arvind Sharma said. Anupriya, a senior party leader, is a Union minister and represents Mirzapur in Lok Sabha. The Congress said that the Dalit leader took the sudden decision to quit Rajya Sabha as the BJP had unleashed “autocratic rule” throughout the country. UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh alleged that ever since the BJP governmet came to power in the state, there has been an increase in crime and atrocities against Dalits. “Mayawati had to tender resignation only to attract the attention of the government, which is working against the interest of Dalits in the state. If Mayawati wanted to say something about Saharanpur incident, she should have been allowed,” Singh said. Chief spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, an ally of Congress in the state, Rajendra Chaudhary alleged that Mayawati’s right to speech and expression was violated in the Rajya Sabha. President of Rashtriya Kisan Manch, a local outfit, Shekhar Dixit too backed Mayawati, saying her step was “right”. “Mayawati took the right step as she was not allowed to speak and present her point of view,” he said. Mayawati’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha was accepted today by Chairman Hamid Ansari. The BSP supremo had resigned from the House in a huff yesterday, accusing the BJP and the Chair of not allowing her to raise the issue of anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh in the Parliament.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mayawati’s resignation from Rajya Sabha accepted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajya Sabha chairman on Thursday accepted Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s resignation from the House.BSP leader Mayawati had on Tuesday tendered her resignation as a Rajya Sabha member, blaming the BJP and the Chair for not allowing her to raise the issue of anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh in the House.Hours before she met Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari to tender her resignation, an angry Mayawati (61) had walked out of the upper house and threatened to quit Parliament after the Chair asked her to restrict her speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.Mayawati’s term was to end in April next year.”I have no moral right to be in the House if I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities being committed against Dalits,” she had said.

Lalu backs Mayawati, offers her RS seat from Bihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD president Lalu Prasad today came out in support of BSP leader Mayawati who resigned from the Rajya Sabha, and offered to send her to the upper house from Bihar. “Today would be remembered as a black day in the history when a highly respected Dalit leader was not allowed to raise the voice of poor in the Rajya Sabha,” Lalu said reacting to Mayawati’s resignation. The BSP chief today tendered her resignation accusing the BJP and the Chair of not allowing her to raise the issue of anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh. “If Mayawati wishes, we will send her to Rajya Sabha from Bihar,” the RJD president whose party has 80 MLAs in 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly said. “We are with her,” Prasad said. Mayawati’s current term would have ended in April next year and her party, with just 18 MLAs in the UP Assembly, is not in a position to send her to Rajya Sabha. “Chanakya had said that an assembly (of people) where a person is not allowed to speak through the force of brute majority is no assembly,” he said. Lalu Prasad’s support to Mayawati is being seen as a part of his efforts to bring her and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav together. He has invited the two leaders to his party’s August 27 rally here.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dalits get back their illegally-occupied land after 4 decades

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid a protest march taken out in Gujarat by members of Dalit community over allocation of land and other demands, four Dalit families in Lavara village of Dhanera district were given back their agricultural land from illegal occupants almost after four decades. The district administration of Banaskantha gave back the tracts of lands, which were actually owned by the Dalit families, but were allegedly forcibly being used by some villagers. Dalit leader and convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, Jignesh Mevani, whose ‘Azadi Kooch’ (Freedom March) ended at Dhanera town today, reached nearby Lavara village with other Dalit activists and celebrated the “victory” by putting a blue flag on one of the allocated pieces of land, a statement said. “While four Dalit families in Lavara got possession of around nine acres of land yesterday, three such families from this village would get around 2.5 acres of land each in the next few days,” Banaskantha Collector Dilip Rana said. When asked Rana, however, claimed that the land allocation had nothing to do with the Dalit protest march. “On paper, these families are the actual owners. They were given this land by the government in the 1980s. We have no idea who was using it or how they were not able to use it. We gave them possession as soon as we received their representation,” he said. Rana declined to comment about the charges of illegal possession of land by some persons for these many years. The ‘Freedom March’ led by Mevani that had begun in Mehsana town on July 12, ended at Dhanera today. The march was planned to mark the first anniversary of the Una dalit thrashing incident, which had rocked the state. The key agenda of the march was to mount pressure on Gujarat government to allocate agricultural land to Dalits, so that they can give up their ancestral work of cattle skinning or sewage cleaning and start a new life with dignity. Meanwhile, Kantibhai Solanki, one of those who got back his land yesterday, approached Dhanera police today with the help of Dalit activists and lodged a complaint against four men, who he alleged had been using the land for the last 35 years. In the complaint, Solanki alleged that the agricultural lands had been allocated by the government to his father around 35 years back. He claimed that some people of Lavara village had grabbed the land until the Collector gave its possession back to him yesterday. After receiving the complaint, Dhanera police lodged an FIR of criminal intimidation as well as under various sections of Prevention of Atrocities Act, said Dhanera police inspector, G J Chavda. “Solanki alleged that when he was putting up a fence around the land, four persons of a particular community, who allegedly grabbed that land, had threatened him of dire consequences. We have not only taken the complaint, but also provided police protection to him,” he officer said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP calls Mayawati’s resignation ‘drama’ to ‘create confusion’, Lalu says can send her back to Rajya Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The BJP on Tuesday slammed BSP supremo Mayawati’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha, calling the move a “drama” aimed at “creating confusion” by raising an emotional pitch.BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said the people will not be misled by her. Talking to reporters here, he stated that Mayawati had lost the mandate among the masses and her six-year tenure in the Upper House would have anyway ended in the next session of Parliament, while suggesting that her action was driven more by “frustration”.He said the Dalit leader was given twice the allotted time to raise her issue in the House and it was “unfortunate” that she did not give due respect to the Chair. She did not follow the parliamentary decorum while raising issues, Yadav, a Rajya Sabha member, said. It was surprising that she chose to resign, he said. “So the question is why did she do so? She has lost people’s mandate. She is likely to be in frustration. Her tenure is anyway going to end in the next session.
ALSO READ BSP supremo Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha, says had no option as she wasn’t allowed to speak “Some people are resorting to emotional pitch in politics by doing drama so as to create confusion. People will not be misled,” he said. The Modi government, Yadav said, had been working overtime to empower Dalits, backwards and the poor. The saffron party had been successful in weaning away a section of the core vote bank of the BSP in the Lok Sabha and the recent assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, sweeping both the elections and reducing Mayawati’s party to a marginal status. Mayawati has been strategising to reclaim her lost clout and had joined hands with opposition parties to take on the BJP. The Dalit leader today tendered her resignation, hours after the Chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech on alleged anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur.Lalu backs Mayawati: Backing Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati?s decision to resign as Rajya Sabha MP, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Tuesday dubbed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as an anti-Dalit party.”We support Mayawati Ji and if she wants we will again send her to the Rajya Sabha. This behavior of BJP Ministers against Mayawati Ji proves that BJP is an anti-Dalit party,”Lalu told ANI. The BSP chief today resigned from the Rajya Sabha after she was allegedly not allowed to speak on issues of attacks on Dalits and backward class.”I was not allowed to speak on problems being faced by the Dalits, backward class, weaker sections including farmers and labourers in Uttar Pradesh. Since I was not allowed by the ruling party to raise these issues so, I have decided to give resignation from Rajya Sabha,” she told media. Following her resignation, the BJP said the BSP chief is trying to create unrest in peaceful state.”Mayawati ji has not contributed for the development of Uttar Pradesh. I would like to ask her not try to create unrest in the peaceful state,” Uttar Pradesh Power Minister and BJP leader Shrikant Sharma told ANI. BJP leader Nalin Kohli lashed out at the BSP chief while saying that Mayawati never endorsed the politics of performance and development.”If she wants to give resignation then who can stop her.There are three kinds of political thinking. One is of accusations and allegations, one is of excuses and the third is the politics of performance and development. As far as BJP and Modi’s government is concerned we are focusing on politics of performance and development,”Kohli told ANI.

Mayawati’s resignation a ‘drama’ to create confusion: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today slammed BSP supremo Mayawati’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha, calling the move a “drama” aimed at “creating confusion” by raising an emotional pitch. BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said the people will not be misled by her. Talking to reporters here, he stated that Mayawati had lost the mandate among the masses and her six-year tenure in the Upper House would have anyway ended in the next session of Parliament, while suggesting that her action was driven more by “frustration”. He said the Dalit leader was given twice the allotted time to raise her issue in the House and it was “unfortunate” that she did not give due respect to the Chair. She did not follow the parliamentary decorum while raising issues, Yadav, a Rajya Sabha member, said. It was surprising that she chose to resign, he said. “So the question is why did she do so? She has lost people’s mandate. She is likely to be in frustration. Her tenure is anyway going to end in the next session. “Some people are resorting to emotional pitch in politics by doing drama so as to create confusion. People will not be misled,” he said. The Modi government, Yadav said, had been working overtime to empower Dalits, backwards and the poor. The saffron party had been successful in weaning away a section of the core vote bank of the BSP in the Lok Sabha and the recent assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, sweeping both the elections and reducing Mayawati’s party to a marginal status. Mayawati has been strategising to reclaim her lost clout and had joined hands with opposition parties to take on the BJP. The Dalit leader today tendered her resignation, hours after the Chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech on alleged anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mayawati: Top India Dalit leader quits parliament

She earlier staged a walkout after she was told to cut short a speech about violent caste clashes.

Voting under way to elect new India president

The front-runner is a former state governor and an untouchable leader Ram Nath Kovind.

Prez polls: NDA’s Kovind visits Maha, Goa and Guj; winds up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind today wrapped up his nationwide tour to seek support for the July 17 Presidential polls with his victory against the Congress-led combined opposition nominee Meira Kumar a virtual certainty. The last stop of the campaign of the 71-year-old lawyer- turned-politician, who is locked in a straight fight with the former Lok Sabha Speaker in what is billed as a ‘Dalit verus Dalit’ contest, was Gandhinagar for a meeting with BJP MLAs and parliamentarians from Gujarat. Kovind started his campaign today from Mumbai and followed it up with a visit to Panaji and Gandhinagar. Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today was the last day of the nationwide tour undertaken by Kovind during which he visited 26 states. Counting of votes to elect the 14th President of India who will succeed Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to be taken up on July 20. Gadkari claimed that Kovind will win with more than 70 per cent of the voting share. Several non-NDA parties like the JD(U), the BJD, the TRS and both the factions of the AIADMK have pledged their support to Kovind. Kovind, who was Governor of Bihar before he was chosen as the NDA candidate, kickstarted his campaign from his home state of Uttar Pradesh on June 25. Kovind spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over phone and thanked him for supporting his candidature. A visit to Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’ in suburban Bandra was not in Kovind’s itinerary which had raised eyebrows. However, he made a phone call to Thackeray and thanked him for supporting his candidature, Shiv Sena sources said. Significantly, Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil, as presidential candidates of the UPA, had visited the then Shiv Sena supremo late Bal Thackeray at ‘Matoshree’ as the Sena had broken ranks with the NDA in the past two elections for the highest constitutional office. “We all have the duty to preserve the highest importance of the Constitution of India. I would assure of equal justice to all, avoiding discrimination based on caste, religion, sect, gender and region,” Kovind said. He said there should be comprehensive growth of all the states of the country where there is equal justice for all. “My preference would be to ensure addressing the aspirations of the youth of the country, promotion and modernisation of education. We will do our utmost to preserve the prestige of the post of the President,” he added. Kovind held a meeting with elected representatives of the BJP, the Shiv Sena and other NDA allies at the Garware Club in south Mumbai. The members of the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and state assemblies form the electoral college and currently the total strength is fixed at 10,98,882 votes. The candidate, who crosses the halfway-mark of 5,49,442 votes, is declared as the winner. While the value of the vote of an MP is fixed at 708, that of an MLA varies depending upon the state he or she represents. For example, an Uttar Pradesh MLA contributes 208 votes in the presidential election, his counterpart from Sikkim adds up only 7 votes. “I am sure when results will be announced, he will win with more than 70 per cent votes,” Gadkari told reporters in Panaji after Kovind held a meeting with the legislators supporting the Manohar Parrikar-led government. During his brief visit to Goa this evening, Kovind accompanied by Gadkari met the legislators at a resort in Vasco, 35 km from Panaji. “Today he met MLAs from Maharashtra and Goa who are part of the NDA. Everyone has assured support to Kovind during the presidential election,” Gandkari said before Kovind headed to Gujarat. Gadkari said during the interaction, the presidential candidate told the legislators that he will uphold the principles laid down in the Indian Constitution.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP prez candidate Ram Nath Kovind invited to launch of ‘untouchability-free India’ campaign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Untouchability-free India campaign 2047, initiated by city-based NGO Navsarjan Trust which works for the upliftment of the Dalit community, will be launched at Nani Devti village on Sanand-Bavla road in Ahmedabad on Saturday. The aim of the campaign is to make India free of untouchability by the centenary celebration of independence in 2047. “Only thirty years remain ahead of the centenary celebration of India’s independence and yet it has not become free of social evils like untouchability. We hope for cooperation from all people, regardless of their leniency towards any political party. Unfortunately, no political party in India could do this, although they enjoyed power at the Centre and the states,” said NGO coordinator Martin Macwan.The event will be attended by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar, while BJP Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind has also been sent an invite. Macwan has also invited all social leaders, MPs and MLAs from Gujarat to attend the event. Kirit Rathod, one of the campaigners fighting for the cause, in an open letter to Kovind wrote, “You will be visiting Gujarat tomorrow (Saturday), coincidentally the day we kick off our campaign. If you believe in an untouchability-free India, then you’re cordially invited to our event to show your commitment to the cause.”“Did you feel sad when you were referred to as a Dalit President,” he questioned Kovind in the letter, further asking whether he would help realise Babasaheb’s dream of an untouchability-free India should he become the President.

‘So-called’ cow vigilantes are like ‘nar-bhakshaks’: Athawale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Ramdas Athawale has equated “so-called” cow vigilantes with cannibals and said that everybody has the right to eat beef. Contending that “violent cow vigilantes” were defaming the Modi government, he demanded severe punishment for such people as he denounced the killing of a man in Nagpur two days back over the suspicion of carrying beef. “Everyone has the right to eat beef. Since goat meat is expensive, people eat beef. I condemn the Nagpur incident. It is not right to become a ‘nar-bhakshak’ (cannibal) in the name of being a ‘gau-rakshak’ (cow protector),” the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment told reporters in Mumbai today. He said cow vigilantes should not take the law into their hands. “Such violent cow vigilantes should be punished,” Athawale said. A 31-year-old Muslim man, with links to the BJP, was brutally thrashed in public by alleged cow vigilantes in Nagpur on Wednesday on the suspicion that he was carrying beef. “Such incidents should not recur anywhere in the country. The Maharashtra government has already initiated action against those involved in the Nagpur incident. People who take law into their hands in the name of cow protection will be dealt with very strictly,” the minister told reporters in Ahmedabad. “I condemn whatever is happening in the name of saving cows in the country. These so-called ‘gau-rakshaks’ are actually ‘nar-bhakshaks’ who are defaming our government by such acts,” he added. Appealing to people to maintain a peaceful atmosphere, Athawale said, “Recently, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned these cow vigilantes to stop hooliganism in the name of cow protection. We are having a zero tolerance policy for such acts and our government will teach a lesson to these elements”. Meanwhile, about the explosives found in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Athawale said this was a “very serious matter”. “This incident is similar to the attack on Parliament (in 2001),” he said. “There is no conspiracy to kill Yogi (Adityanath), but there should be an investigation into the matter. Its possible terror links should be also probed,” he said. In a major security breach, a powerful plastic explosive was found in the UP Assembly, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today informed the House, which unanimously recommended an NIA probe into it. On NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who is scheduled to visit Mumbai tomorrow, the Dalit leader said, “He should visit ‘Matoshree’ and meet (Shiv Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray. Pranab Mukherjee had also visited ‘Matoshree’ when his candidature was announced (for the post of president)”. Sources in the BJP had earlier said Kovind was not scheduled to visit Thackeray’s residence during his Mumbai visit. Athawale had visited Ahmedabad yesterday to take part in the regional conference of the ministers of Social Welfare departments from Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and the Union Territories of Diu & Daman and Dadara & Nagar Haveli.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mevani,Kanhaiya detained for taking out march sans nod; booked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police today detained Dalit agitation spearhead Jignesh Mevani, student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and 15 others and registered a case against them for taking out ‘Freedom March’ on the first anniversary of Una flogging incident without permission. Mevani, who is the convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, had invited Kumar to take part in the Azadi Kooch (Freedom March) here today. Considerable number of Dalit activists first gathered at Somnath Chowk here before embarking on the march towards Banaskantha district this afternoon, the police said. The Mehsana district authorities had cancelled the permission granted earlier to Mevani for taking out the march. “We have detained 17 persons from Fatehpura circle. Later, an FIR was registered under IPC section 143 against them for being a part of an illegal assembly. “We did not arrest them. They were let go afterwards,” an official of the Mehsana ‘A’ division police station, where the FIR has been lodged, said. As per the schedule, ‘Freedom March’ will end at Dhanera town of Banaskantha district of north Gujarat after one week. The key agenda of this march is to mount pressure on the Gujarat government to allocate agricultural land to Dalits, so that they can start a new life with dignity, Mevani had announced last month. After being released, co-convener of the manch, Kaushik Parmar, who is also named in the FIR, announced that the march will continue as they have the permission to enter Unjha, their next destination. “We have been released by police after the FIR was registered against us. We have decided to continue our march. We are planning to reach Unjha by tonight,” Parmar told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

For the first time election is being contested on ideology: Meira Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Bihar elections, the issue of tolerance is coming up in Presidential elections as well. UPA presidential candidate, Meira Kumar raised the issue in Jaipur on Tuesday and said that since the past some time it seems that we are being governed by people whose ideology does not have tolerance.On reaching Jaipur for the election campaign on Tuesday, Meira Kumar in an interaction with the media at the state Congress headquarters said that the Presidential elections held so far in the country have happened between two people, but for the first time elections are being held between two ideologies.On the question of voting equation being in favour of NDA candidate, Meira said that for the first time 17 parties have decided to contest the election together on an ideology. This is a wonderful event that can make its place in history. “I have written to the MLAs and MPs of all the parties and urged them to vote according to their conscience,” she said.On the issue of accepting support from Lalu Yadav despite allegations on him, Meira said, “We are not seeking support from individuals. We are seeking support on the basis of ideology.” On meeting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar again and asking for support she said, “I have written to all the members of electoral college asking for support, now those who support will have to think.”Regarding making the Presidential elections a Dalit versus Dalit issue, Meira said that it is sad that we are talking of caste even in the 21st Century.Meanwhile MLA of Deeg Kummher, Vishvendra Singh, Bagidaura MLA Mahendrajit Singh Malviya and Bari MLA Giriraj Singh Malinga did not attend the meeting. Independent MLA Fatehpur, Nand Kishore Mahiriya too was not present.

Vice President polls: Opposition to meet on Tuesday; Left not averse to considering Cong nominee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Left parties may not be averse to discussing the candidature of a contender from the Congress for the August 5 vice presidential election, sources said ahead of the opposition’s meeting tomorrow to discuss the strategy for the poll.With the presidential poll being a ‘Dalit versus Dalit contest’, the idea of fielding a candidate from the community may not find many takers at the meeting, sources in the Left parties said, virtually ruling out such a possibility.They maintained that no names have been discussed among them “even informally” for the election for which the numbers are stacked heavily in favour of the BJP-led NDA which has 550 of the total 790 MPs.Only members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha vote in vice presidential election.”Earlier there were reports that non-Congress opposition parties want to field a non-Congress candidate for the vice presidential poll. But we are not averse to discussing candidature of a Congress contestant,” they said.The sources said the presidential poll in which Ramnath Kovind of the NDA is pitted against Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker and nominee of the 17-party opposition, should not be viewed as a ‘Dalit versus Dalit contest’, but a “battle of ideologies”.However, they added that fielding a joint candidate from the community will not be considered “strongly”. “All elections cannot have contestants from one community,” they said.The sources said the opposition should announce the name of its joint candidate before the ruling alliance does unlike what happened in the case of the presidential poll.”There is a feeling that the opposition should declare its candidate first for the vice presidential poll even though the numbers are not in our favour,” they said.When asked about the probable candidates, the sources said no names have been discussed yet, not “even informally”.The term of vice president Hamid Ansari ends on August 10.Polling, if required, will take place on August 5 and the votes will be counted the same evening.Ansari had secured 490 votes in the vice presidential election in 2012 against opposition’s Jaswant Singh, who had clinched 238 votes.S Radhakrishnan (1952 and 1957), Mohammad Hidyatullah (1979) and Shankar Dayal Sharma (1987) are the only ones to have been elected vice president unopposed.

Prez polls: Meira Kumar laments ‘atmosphere of fear’ in the country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meira Kumar, the opposition’s nominee for the presidential election, on Monday deplored the “atmosphere of fear” prevailing in the country, and insisted she was fighting for “freedom of expression and freedom of press”.Terming the incidents of lynching of people over suspected cow slaughter or consumption of beef “extremely unfortunate”, she pitched for a consensus to end that atmosphere of fear. “There is so much of fear about what one should eat. There is fear about what one should say. I am also fighting for freedom of expression, freedom of press…,” Kumar, who was here to canvass support for her presidential bid, told journalists.The former Lok Sabha speaker said she is “not alone” in the fight and that she had the support of a number of parties and also a large number of countrymen. “It is extremely unfortunate. It pains me and pains all of us, these instances of lynching. We have to come to an understanding and reach a consensus. Because, this atmosphere cannot go on,” she said. “Not just the parties, what we stand for, has the support of maximum number of my countrymen and women… I think I stand on a very solid ground,” Kumar, whose defeat the presidential poll watchers have concluded is a foregone conclusion given the support the BJP-led NDA has in the electoral college, said.Kumar said she has written to all the electors asking them to vote for her as per their “conscience”.Kumar, who has been pitted against Ramnath Kovind, the NDA nominee and a fellow Dalit, said she is fighting an “ideological battle” and that it should not been misconstrued as a Dalit versus Dalit contest.She made a pitch for due respect to be shown to Dalits and the poor. The country has achieved tremendous progress in various sectors, but the “fundamental issue” still remains…the concern showed for disadvantaged sections, she said.”No matter how much progress we make, but the fundamental issue is how much we respect the Dalits, the fundamental issue is how much we do for the rights of the poor…,” she said. “This is 2017, in which we live. For our supreme position, if we are still talking about Dalit versus Dalit, then we should look within ourselves and decide what kind of a mindset we have,” she said and wondered if that mindset was in sync with modern times.”This Presidential election is going to be a powerful articulation of the value system which has been held close… which is now under threat,” she said.Telangana Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said they have left a message at Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s office saying that Kumar would like to speak to him. The ruling TRS has already declared its support to the NDA’s nominee. As part of her campaign, Kumar met MLAs and MPs of Congress and the Left in Telangana, besides some intellectuals.

UP authorities foil protest plan of Dalit group from Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of Dalits from Gujarat, upset over an incident in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh some time back, tried to lodge their protest in a unique way but failed to do so. Over 40 Dalits wanted to visit Lucknow to present a 125- kg soap to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath because the Kushinagar district administration had purportedly distributed soaps and shampoo in a Dalit locality ahead of the chief minister’s visit to the area in May. The activists of Dr Ambedkar Vichar Samiti and Nav Srijan Samiti from Ahmedabad were taken into custody here last night and sent back home, officials said. They were stopped from proceeding towards the state capital in apprehension of a breach of peace at the railway station here and were sent back to Ahmedabad by Sabarmati Express this morning, said City Magistrate C P Misra. Retired IPS officer S R Darapuri, who is the president of the All India People’s Front (Radical), said in Lucknow that the activists from Gujarat were on their way to the state capital to take part in a seminar on Dalit atrocities and hand over the soap to Adityanath as a mark of protest. He added that the 125-kg soap had a bust of Lord Buddha engraved on it. It was to be presented to the chief minister as the Dalits in Gujarat reportedly felt insulted after soaps were purportedly distributed among the members of the Musahars (scheduled caste) community, ahead of Adityanath’s visit to Kushinagar, so that they could cleanse themselves before meeting him. “By gifting it to Adityanath, we wanted to tell him that the Buddha-soap will not only help him cleanse his body, but also his mind,” said Darapuri. On May 24, Adityanath had visited the Musahar Basti in Kushinagar district, where a majority of the residents are known as “rat-catchers” and are allegedly discriminated against for being “untouchables”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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