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“Want BJP Wiped Out”: Akhilesh Yadav Says, Won’t Rule Out Fighting Polls – dot newz

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Akhilesh Yadav is a four-time MP but has never contested a state election

New Delhi:

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav – who this month said he would not fight next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly election – seemed to leave the door ajar on Wednesday, telling NDTV he would only do so “if the party wants”. His own priority, he said, was to see the ruling BJP “wiped out”.

Mr Yadav – who is currently his party’s Lok Sabha MP from UP’s Azamgarh, a seat he will have to surrender if he stands for state elections – also said his statement about not contesting was “twisted”.

“That statement was twisted. If the Samajwadi Party decides, then I will contest,” Mr Yadav told NDTV in front of a raucous crowd of supporters at a rally in Ghazipur district.

“I want to see the BJP wiped out,” he said, echoing what he told NDTV last week. At that time, while campaigning in Muzaffarnagar, he declared that a pincer movement of angry farmers and the alliance led by his party would “close the doors (to retaining power in UP) to the BJP“.

On November 1, news agency PTI quoted Mr Yadav as saying “(I) will not be contesting the polls“.

Shortly afterwards, though, the Samajwadi Party rushed to offer a clarification; Aashish Yadav, a close aide, tweeted: “Whether or not Akhilesh Yadav will contest will be decided by the party”.

Akhilesh Yadav – a three-time MP from the Kannauj seat – contested from and won the Azamgarh seat in 2019. He has never contested a state election; he sat out the 2012 and 2017 Assembly polls.

Nevertheless, he led the Samajwadi Party to an emphatic win in 2012.

Ahead of the 2022 election, the former UP Chief Minister – who has walked away from the Congress – is working with regional parties to take on the BJP. His new allies include the OP Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj; Mr Rajbhar was part of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government for two years.

At Ghazipur, Mr Yadav told NDTV the BJP would pay for the excesses of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government. He pointed to the Hathras gangrape, farmers being run over in Lakhimpur, and the alleged custodial death in Kasganj as examples that would spur voters to reject the party.

Mr Yadav also hit back at claims that if the Samajwadi Party were to be elected it would be the return of a “goonda raj“. He pointed out Yogi Adityanath had multiple cases filed against him.

“Doesn’t the BJP know the Chief Minister who was walking (a swipe at images of Adityanath walking behind PM Modi’s car after they opened the Purvanchal Expressway) … how many cases he has?”

The Samajwadi Party chief then took a second swipe at Yogi Adityanath, asking “any other Chief Minister who withdrew cases against him?” He was referring to the UP government scrapping thousands of cases against politicians, including those against Yogi Adityanath, in 2017.

“This Purvanchal (the expressway) … they opened the door for the BJP. We will close it now,” he said, reigniting the flare-up between himself and the BJP over credit for the expressway.

Uttar Pradesh votes for a new government next year, and polls in the country’s most populous state are widely seen as a bellwether for the national election.

With Lok Sabha polls due in 2024, the BJP will be keen to not only retain power in UP, but also do so with a commanding mandate to reinforce its edge after multiple defeats in the April-May round of Assembly elections.

With input from PTI



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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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