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Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati announce alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha polls

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Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday held a joint press conference here and made a formal announcement of alliance in UP for Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking at the conference, Mayawati said: “This joint press conference will rob ‘guru-chela’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, of their sleep.”

Mayawati said the Congress has not been included in the SP-BSP alliance in UP as during its rule “poverty, unemployment and corruption grew”.

 

Informed sources said that the two former Chief Ministers might formally announce the formation of the alliance for the Lok Sabha polls and also share the seat-sharing formula.

A tactical alliance between SP and BSP – once sworn enemies – helped them defeat the BJP in Lok Sabha by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur last year.

The two parties also backed the candidate of RLD-led by Ajit Singh to win the Kairana Lok Sabha constituency.

A senior party leader said that while the SP and BSP will share 37 seats each, they will leave two for Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).

The alliance might also leave two seats, Amethi and Rae Bareli, for the Congress to enable Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to contest from there.

These were the only two seats the Congress won in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in which the BSP drew a blank and SP managed to win five seats, again won by members of the Samajwadi Party’s ‘first family’.

The BJP swept 71 seats while its ally Apna Dal got two seats in a four-way contest.

If the BSP, SP and RLD join hands, it may emerge as a formidable alliance against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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