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On Diwali eve, CM Yogi renames Faizabad district as Ayodhya

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New Delhi/Ayodhya: As the clamour for Ram temple continues to get shriller, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday stepped on the gas and renamed Faizabad district as Sri Ayodhya on Diwali eve and asserted that no body can do injustice to the holy city that is at the centre of the Ram-Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.

The saffron-robed chief minister also announced plans to build an airport named after Lord Ram and set up a medical college in the name of King Dashrath, father of Lord Ram, in the newly-named district.

“Ayodhya is a symbol of our ‘aan, baan aur shaan’ (honour, pride and prestige),” Mr Adityanath said in the pilgrim town, about 120 km from state capital Lucknow, while addressing people on the occasion of “Deepotsav” — a festival of light.

 

“Nobody can do injustice to Ayodhya,” he said, adding that the holy city is identified by Lord Ram.

“I want to make sure that Lord Ram’s legacy lives forever,” explained the priest-politician, justifying the renaming of Faizabad district of which Ayodhya city, where the disputed temple-mosque site is located, is a part. The Faizabad district comprises of the twin towns of Faizabad and Ayodhya on the banks of the river Saryu.

The renaming of Faizabad comes close on the heels of renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj last month.

Mr Yogi was in Ayodhya to inaugurate a five-day Deepotsav festival. First lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook, who is in India on a four-day visit, also took part in Diwali festivities and the ground-breaking ceremony of a memorial for a Korean queen in Ayodhya.

A large number of Hindu seers present at the event kept chanting “mandir ka nirman karo (build the temple)”. However, no assurance on the time-line for construction of a Ram temple was announced.

The renaming of the district by the chief minister, which he described as “good news”, can be seen as a Hindutva push by the BJP before next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

It comes amid a growing clamour from BJP leaders and members of Sangh outfits for the Centre to bring a law to facilitate the construction of Ram temple, citing “frustration” among Hindus due to delay in hearings in the Supreme Court.

The name change comes amid demands by the members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas that the twin cities of Faizabad and Ayodhya be merged and renamed “Sri Ayodhya”.

The BJP government had earlier renamed two railway stations — one near Agra which was called Farah and another that used to be known as Mughalsarai junction — after party ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.


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National

Naveen Patnaik-led BJD sweeps Odisha assembly polls

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Mumbai: Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) clinches a clean sweep in the Odisha assembly elections. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has tried to increase the vote margin than the previous elections.

The BJD has secured 94 seats. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has joined the race with 28 seats, the Indian National Congress (INC) managed to attain 12 seats and the Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM) with 1 seat.

The counting of votes began at 8 am. The Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha took place simultaneously in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

 

In 2014 Odisha assembly election, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had won 117 seats out of the total 147. The Congress had won 16 seats while the BJP, on the other hand, 10 of the 147 assembly seats.

An Odisha-centric exit poll jointly done by Sambad, the most circulated regional daily in the state, and Kanak News, its group-owned TV channel, gives BJD a massive lead over its closest rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sampling a survey of over 100,000 respondents, the exit poll forecasts BJD winning 85-95 of the 147 Assembly seats, where outcomes were polled till this report was filed. The BJP is seen contending with a distant second spot with 25-34 seats, while for the Congress, the poll trend is a reprisal of its mortifying electoral performance in 2014. Congress party’s presence is seen diminishing to 12-15 seats.

A collective prediction of Kanak News and News18 Odia for the Odisha Assembly Election 2019 projects BJD’s win. On the other hand, the BJP may add more to its 2014 tally by 16 seats, which comes up to 26 of the 147-seat assembly. Congress, on the other hand, may manage to win only 12 seats, a drop of four seats less than what it had won in the 2014 polls. The other parties will collectively win 24 seats in Odisha.

Among the main candidates in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik contested in two seats – Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh. Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra contested from Bolangir assembly seat, while BJP’s legislature party leader KV Singhdeo is contested from Patnagarh.

Before the gradual rise of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) – formed by Biju Patnaik and his son Naveen Patnaik, the political arena was dominated by the Congress.

The upsurge of Congress party in the state as the only secular, progressive force in Odisha was countered by the BJD, which has managed to gain a majority for the last three consecutive terms. The BJP has also made its presence felt in the state, and is considered an important political party in Odisha.

The regional parties apart from BJD in the state are Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Janata Dal(United), Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Samajwadi Party (SP).

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM), Indian National Congress (INC) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are the national parties in Odisha at present.?

Odisha, earlier known as Orissa, has a rich and varied political tradition. From the ancient times, the state has remained politically active. However, Odisha’s political prominence was heightened after it was granted complete statehood in 1950. Odisha has a 147-member strong Vidhan Sabha.

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‘Was expected, it is people’s victory,’ says Jaganmohan Reddy

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Amaravati: With his YSR Congress heading for a landslide victory in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh, party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy Thursday termed it as people’s victory.

He also said the YSRC’s victory was expected. “I sincerely thank the people who overwhelmingly voted for YSRC and blessed it. I also thank them for exercising their franchise in large numbers and enhanced the value of democracy,” Jaganmohan Reddy said in a Facebook post.

“I will live up to the expectations of the people,” he promised.

 

According to the trends, YSRC is leading in over 150 seats of the total 175 in the State.

The party is leading in 23 Lok Sabha seats, while the TDP in two.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called Reddy over phone and congratulated him over the YSRC’s thumping win in the general elections. Wishing Reddy all the best, Rao hoped he would lead Andhra Pradesh further on the path of progress.

Later, talking to the media at his residence here, the YSRC chief congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP’s stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Reddy asserted that his fight for securing special category status for Andhra Pradesh would continue. He declined to speak about Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Meanwhile, the YSRC Legislature Party will meet here on May 25 to formally elect Jaganmohan Reddy as its leader, party sources said. The sources said Reddy will take oath as Chief Minister in the temple-town of Tirupati on May 30.

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National

BJP loses Parrikar’s Panaji Assembly seat to Congress

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Panaji: Congress’ Atanasio Monserratte on Thursday wrested Panaji Assembly seat, held by the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, from the BJP and with a margin of over 1,775 votes in the by-poll held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.

The Panaji Assembly seat became vacant after the demise of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who held the seat for nearly two-and-a-half decades since 1994.

The BJP had fielded Siddharth Kunkolienkar to retain the seat.

 

Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which BJP currently has 12 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three independents. GFP and MGP each have three MLAs.

Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house till now.

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