Delhi Election 2020: It's again Mukherjee vs Chidambaram after latter's AAP praise

Delhi Election 2020: It's again Mukherjee vs Chidambaram after latter's AAP praise

On Wednesday, Congress leader P Chidambaram said AAP's win is a "booster for the confidence" of the Opposition that the BJP can be defeated in every state. He said people of Delhi have defeated the "polarising, divisive and dangerous" agenda of the BJP.

Chidambaram said the Delhi vote was close to an all India vote than to a state-specific vote as the national capital is a "mini India".

"Remember, when Delhi voted, millions of Malayalees, Tamils, Telugus, Bengalis, Gujaratis and people who came from other states of India voted. If the voters represent the views of the states they came from, the Delhi vote is a booster for the confidence of the Opposition that the BJP can be defeated in every state," he said.

P. Chidambaram

AAP won, bluff and bluster lost. The people of Delhi, who are from all parts of India, have defeated the polarising, divisive and dangerous agenda of the BJP

I salute the people of Delhi who have set an example to other states that will hold their elections in 2021 and 2022

12:15 AM - Feb 11, 2020
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However, Sharmistha Mukherjee – one of the key figures of Delhi’s Congress team and head of Delhi Mahila Congress– lashed out at her senior party member and wondered if Congress had outsourced the ‘task of defeating BJP to state parties’.

She asked: “With due respect sir, just want to know- has @INCIndiaoutsourced the task of defeating BJP to state parties? If not, then why r we gloating over AAP victory rather than being concerned abt our drubbing? And if ‘yes’, then we (PCCs) might as well close shop!”

Sharmistha Mukherjee

With due respect sir, just want to know- has @INCIndia outsourced the task of defeating BJP to state parties? If not, then why r we gloating over AAP victory rather than being concerned abt our drubbing? And if ‘yes’, then we (PCCs) might as well close shop! …

P. Chidambaram

AAP won, bluff and bluster lost. The people of Delhi, who are from all parts of India, have defeated the polarising, divisive and dangerous agenda of the BJP

I salute the people of Delhi who have set an example to other states that will hold their elections in 2021 and 2022

12:57 PM - Feb 11, 2020
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Incidentally, the former President Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram didn’t get along very well even when they were Union Ministers in UPA. Pranab Mukherjee has admitted to having ‘differences’ with his former colleague. When Pranab Mukherjee raised eyebrows by willing to be the chief guest at the annual RSS event, P Chidambaram asked him to tell them what’s wrong with their ideology.

Meanwhile, Subramanian Swamy had claimed that former Home Minister P Chidambaram had ‘bugged’ Pranab Mukherjee’s office at Sonia Gandhi’s behest.

Not even Delhi 6% - Cong gets 4.27% votes

From being a political force that ruled the national capital for 15 years in a row, the Congress stands decimated after the Delhi election results, failing to win for the second consecutive time even a seat and its vote share getting reduced to its lowest ever of 4.27 per cent.

The grand old party of Indian politics was out of the race in each of the 70 constituencies by distant margins with 63 of its candidates losing their security deposits.

Lack of a credible face, weak strategy and candidates led to the washout of the party in Delhi, where it was seen as a reluctant contestant that lacked the fighting spirit.

Cong maintains seat count

The Congress did not win any seat in the 2015 assembly elections but had managed to garner a 9.7 per cent vote share. This time, it stood decimated further after it ceded its vote bank.

The party also started its campaign late after most of its bigwigs in Delhi opted out of the race on being asked by the party leadership to contest.

Party insiders feel their top leaders - Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi - did not campaign enough. Rahul addressed four poll rallies and sister Priyanka two. Their campaign, however, did not help the party much as their candidates lost their security deposits in all the constituencies where the two leaders addressed poll rallies.

Missing Sheila Dikshit

The Congress failed to win the hearts of Delhiites with the work initiated during Sheila Dikshit's rule from 1998 to 2013 and the contest ended as a bipolar one between the AAP and the BJP.

This humiliating defeat in Delhi does not bode well for the party with Bihar and West Bengal assembly polls slated later this year.

The Delhi results might have a negative effect on Congress prospects in upcoming assembly elections, where it has improved its position by bringing more states under its ambit with the help of allies.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party's defeat in Delhi is disappointing but claimed that "we have, however, not lost the battle".

"The Congress party will go back to the drawing board, recalibrate its policy and strategy and build a new fresh leadership from the grassroots up. We are determined to raise people's voice in Delhi as a responsible opposition and stakeholder in the progress of the national capital," Surjewala told PTI.

He added that Delhi polls have taught a lesson to political parties as to how a national party should not conduct a venomous, hate campaign. "It is a rejection of the politics and leadership of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for the vision and vitriolic poll campaign of shooting people, electrocuting them and dividing them, has been decimated by Delhi voters," he said.

The Congress contested the polls this time in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, fighting on 66 seats and leaving four for its ally.

On how the Delhi poll will affect the party prospects, Surjewala said the "Congress party is determined to wrest Bihar all over again from the hands of the NDA and become a political force in coming elections in West Bengal".

With inputs from PTI

Three-storey building Talab Tillo area of Jammu collapses after fire breaks out

Three-storey building Talab Tillo area of Jammu collapses after fire breaks out

Jammu: Three rescuers were trapped after a three-storey building collapsed early Wednesday when fire department personnel were trying to put out a blaze in Jammu city, officials said.

The building, housing a saw mill on the ground floor, collapsed during firefighting in Golepulli area, they said.

Several people, including five firemen, were trapped under the debris, an official said adding that two officials and a civilian were rescued and shifted to hospital, the operation to rescue three other officials was going on.


A fire department official said they rushed firefighters after receiving a distress call at 4.48 am and were making efforts to put out the blaze when suddenly the building collapsed at 5.30 am.

It was not immediately clear whether any other civilian was also trapped under the debris, the official said.


Political colours and “Azadi”

Political colours and “Azadi”

Shafiq R Mahajir


Shouts of Azadi…are for some, expression of rebellion against a system that is hijacking their country, bringing in oppression, inflation, corruption, economic and industrial collapse, injustice, self-contradictory stands, lies, distrust, frustration, unemployment, auction of profitable public sector enterprises, distortion of history, misplaced focus, political horse-trading, curtailed freedom of speech, political interference in academic institutions, violations of human rights… voices seeking to remove political disharmony, raise important issues, seek answers, demonstrating spirit despite facing harsh repression, unrelenting in their peaceful protest, refusing to be bludgeoned into submission, declining to be palmed off with false promises, demanding ruling politicians honour Constitutional duty, waiting for the judiciary to cease its silence, shaming a sold-out media… in other words, the advent of an all-embracing, pervasive darkness of intellectual shackles which they want to shake off… from which they seek release, demand freedom… and they are revelling in their new-found sense of patriotic direction, of their nascent realization of the power of peaceful mass protest… Why, students are asking, teach us morality, when immoral actions pay rich dividend given political realities? Why teach Constitution, they ask, when it is flouted in Parliament? Why teach it when State violates it?

For others, Azadi…even as slogan qualifies as sedition, treason, waging war against the State, a raising of hostile heads against their private variety of nationalism, indicative of secessionist tendencies, pro-Pakistan, anti-India, creating disharmony, asking awkward questions, demanding answers, pointing fingers, unmoving resistance to the harshest repression, unrelenting in their calling out political blunders, refusing to believe false promises, reminding ruling politicians of violated Constitutional provisions, questioning judicial silent, demanding a free, honest media, an uprising that doesn’t seem to die down, discomfort that is persistent, is insistent, doesn’t go away cold or rain, is act of a “tukde-tukde gang”, obstacles to grand national Hindu Rashtra design, against progress, out to defame government…  puncture-waalahs and terrorists requiring to be put down with an iron hand, crushed, eliminated, destroyed…forget what the world thinks, regardless of Constitutional morality, regardless of law, regardless of themselves violating both Constitution and law… Constitution, they say, is of the people, and if we the people decide to toss it out, out it goes…

There is a third category, political opportunists, leaders, fence-sitters, whoever… the ones secretly thrilled someone did show the guts to stand and face political monsters, yet secretly perturbed, wondering how this protest acquired the dimensions it has, amazed its momentum does not dissipate, wondering what’s going on, where masses mysteriously materialise from even without their leadership… if the trend continues they just might lose out on the mantles they wear… some secretly hoping things collapse so they can get into the saddles again, some from the side-lines wanting to use the situation as a launching pad for fledgling political relevance… These will jump in whichever direction they see temporal political benefit…
A fourth then, wearing black gowns, required to stand by oaths to uphold Constitution and laws, uncertain about the way forward, troubled knowing they must lead, but not understanding enough about the issues, nor knowing how… alert, yet apprehensive, watching, waiting for a cue… these black gowns again divided… some protesting against the government and its conduct, pointing out the flaws that are causes for serious concern… others protesting at the protestors, claiming all is well, buying into the State’s version, uncaring about consequences for the nation…

A fifth, robed in black as well, but positioned up there, to adjudicate, waiting for everything to calm down, peace to return, before they will look into the matter… saying they know how protests happen (how, when no past protest showed similarity?), not considering the material evidence doing social media rounds important enough … never mind what meanwhile happens to social fabric, rights of those locked up, etc… Their Constitutional oaths bind them against acting unconstitutionally, so they vacillate, procrastinate, delay, preferring inaction to…

Sixth, the browns, bound by discipline, acting when told to act, how they are told to, ignoring what their service manuals say, part of the agenda of a very, VERY special type of governance, striving to meet the diktats… oops!, sorry, dictates of their political masters, chasing, dragging, assaulting, locking up…

Seventh, noise-papers, newspapers, television channels blaring away a-shriek-a-second speed, promoting the official spin while those less decibel-endowed remain satisfied with indeterminate insinuation, innuendo, etc… all however, fixated on painting topi-kurta-waalahs, protesters, Shaheen Bagh types, as anti-national…

Now, seven of the rainbow complete, we move on to…  Light. White, personifying purity (no wonder politicians prefer white!). People who swear by the Constitution, act as per Constitution, stand by Constitution and law, honour and observe Constitution and law, talk straight, no vilification, no verbal sleight-of-hand, no winking at violation of law, no locking up opponents … competition welcome, competing claims for seats at the power-table contested for within the law, according to the rules of the game…

The other end, Dark. Solidly black, Dark admits of no illumination, lurking at the negative extreme of the scale, contrasting against white, anything in between necessarily a shade of grey. Here, we smell fear. Fear of not being able to successfully navigate electoral rapids, of losing out, scared of political fall-out as repercussion of unemployment, lay-offs, inflation, collapsed economy, biased laws… mortal fear of being caught out, supportive of brutalisation agencies oops!, sorry, brutal assaults by law-enforcement agencies, locking up all opposing politicians whose light, charisma, credentials, mass-appeal, resonance with their constituents, Dark cannot match… which necessitates Dark taking them out of the reckoning while deliberately delayed processes of eventually…ultimately…maybe…one day… perhaps… possibly…holding elections again is completed so locked-up-opponents have no time, no opportunity, nor enough “current status” to get back into the fray with any degree of effectiveness, destroying their likelihood of winning… real competition one cannot afford, knowing likely losses at the hustings, so brazen lock-all-others-out-protectionism is put to work… and the judiciary happens to be looking away… and does not feel it necessary to call out “the usurpist” Constitution-negaters… who get away with…

Dark. People you simply cannot talk to. Anything not expressing blind unqualified support for whatever Dark stands for reacted to as provocation, as Venkatesh Rao (hereafter V) recently (Internet of beef) observed, either alleged nationalism-based conflict (actually, assault) mode, or terrorise-them-till-surrender: heads I win tails you lose syndrome, The Godfather’s offer-you-can’t-refuse, Dark bracketing you anti-national, trying to bait you into reactive violence… because there they have the upper edge: massive cadres, support of the browns, the blacks and the seemingly all-pervasive Dark… V (he is brilliant) whom I paraphrase below, has an amazing repertoire of phrases: he refers to the “blast radius” around Dark, and students of current affairs cannot miss the sinister connotations, notwithstanding his observation that individual episodes are inconsequential. For the Dark Knights Templar of the Dark Table, their highest honour is being noticed by the Darkest Ones they sold their souls for. Resultantly, majoritarian loyalty established, reiterated, a vergegenwärtigung if you like, occurs, and eventual almost irreversible dehumanization. V brings masterful style to his narrative, which applies equally to political discourse today: “actual patterns of conflict are devoid of …visible strategic artistry that might warm the souls of connoisseurs of the military arts. …is just relentless, ugly, dirty, unredeemed…”Understatement, if anything
V concludes the only way to end the endless Hobbesian war, all against all, is to reboot history: nontrivial undertaking…

The way to reboot history, says V, is to figure out new beings to be. Do we, can we, drop the baggage of past trauma, events evoking apprehension… in the presently overcast political climate? For the present, all those protesting are just “wrong ones”, “the other”.  In lieu of rebooting history, we see rewriting of history… Gibran’s the Moving Finger writes, and having writ… is now the Dark Pen writes and having writ… erases the truth wherever it finds it.

Light is in hiding. Dark prevails everywhere. Black is vacillating, ineffective. The students are leading the nation. Woman power is unmistakably awake, in the thick of the action.  Facing Constitutional imperatives admits of no moral relativism. No “What I believe is moral, is moral because I believe so”.

Where there is a duty to act, failure to act is culpable.  The representatives of the people cannot travel where Constitution prohibits, cannot fail to do what it mandates, do not have inaction as an option. Neither do Constitutional Courts. The difference is, Constitutional Courts can call representatives of the people to account. There being none to call judges to account, one wonders which is the more apt: “Quo Vadis” or “Quo Warranto?”

RSS alarmed at shrinking SC/ST, minority base

RSS alarmed at shrinking SC/ST, minority base

Bhopal: The RSS leadership is alarmed at the rapid disillusionment of the tribal supporters of the Sangh Parivar in recent times and has asked its cadre to take early remedial steps in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. On Thursday, the RSS leadership asked its workers to spread out among targeted groups and show results.

The top leadership of the parivar took stock of its shrinking base in the two key states where it ruled for 15 years.

One of the key take-ways from the three-day deliberations of the Sangh affiliates is the resolve to revive their connection with the rural voters. The leadership, however, seemed to be stating the obvious. The had analysed the BJP”s losses during Assembly elections and subsequent by-elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

One of the key take-ways from the three-day deliberations of the Sangh affiliates is the resolve to revive their connect with the rural voters. The leadership, however, seemed to be stating the obvious. The had analysed the BJP”s losses during Assembly elections and subsequent by-elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Congress won in all 12 seat of Bastar District

Congress” victory in Chitrakot and Dantewada Assembly bypolls in Chhattisgarh in a span of a month in underlined the trend.

BJP has been wiped out of the Tribal divisions of Sarguja and Bastar. The bypoll to Chitrakot was caused by the resignation of Congress MLA Deepak Bais who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bastar. BJP had nurtured the tribal region of Bastar since the 1970s in its avatar as Jana Sangh. RSS had formed Vanwasi Kalyan Parishad to sow seeds for the party”s growth.
The formation of Chhattisgarh was partly aimed at realising the RSS plans to gain power in the new state. It succeeded with Ajit Jogi”s failure to make the most of the first term as Chief Minister. BJP”s 15-year rule marked spectacular growth in the urban Chhattisgarh but the Raman Singh government mostly used its anti-Maoist plans to eliminate political adversaries. By joining hands with discredited leaders like Ajit Jogi BJP handed the advantage to Congress.

Now all 12 seats in the Maoist-infested Bastar division are held by the Congress, keeping to the party”s slogan of “BJP-mukt Bastar”. In Madhya Pradesh too the BJP”s defeat in the Jhabua Ratlam region.

BJP worried by Chandra Shekhar Azad’s growing influence on Dalits on vote Bank

The Sangh is also concerned over the shrinking ground among the Dalits and has asked the affiliates to cultivate them through a fresh outreach. The BJP might launch a campaign to counter the growing influence of Bhim Sena leader Chandrashekhar Azad. One of the suggestions was to install statues of Babasaheb Ambedkar and publish calendars.

RSS disturbed by the attitude of Muslim affiliate

The Sangh has also reacted to the sudden change of heart among the Muslim members of the minority cells in BJP. Numerous resignations have forced the RSS to take notice. The leadership is learned to have told the BJP to groom the community again in a state like Madhya Pradesh where there is a sizeable minority vote. One RSS functionary claimed there were thousands of Muslim students in the Saraswati Shishu Mandirs that are run by the RSS. They will be mobilised to reclaim the place in the community.

All 33 affiliate organisations of RSS will reach out to the people during the next three months to build a favorable mindset on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and convince all those opposed to it whoever is in opposition, will talk to them about the positive side of the CAA and remove all misgivings.

Bhagwat asked all related organisations including Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Vidyabharati, Shiksha Bharti to devote their time to this task.


CAA: Mild tension at Mehdipatnam after a flash protest

CAA: Mild tension at Mehdipatnam after a flash protest

Hyderabad: Mild tension prevailed this afternoon after a group of persons staged a flash protest against CAA and NRC at the busiest Mehdipatnam area of Hyderabad. Soon after the conclusion of Friday prayers scores of people gathered near Masjid-E-Azizia at Mehdipatnam and started raising slogans against the Government for introducing the draconian laws.
The protest began under the leadership of social activist Sheeba Minai, later many youths joined the protest and blocked the road resulting in the traffic jam in the Mehdipatnam area.  The protestors also carried banners and placards against the CAA,NRC and NPR.
Teams of Humayun Nagar police swung into action and cornered the protestors, however after few hours, the police dispersed the agitators.


London stabbing: Who was the 20-year-old attacker killed in Streatham encounter?

London stabbing: Who was the 20-year-old attacker killed in Streatham encounter?

A man was shot dead by Scotland Yard officers in south London on Sunday in a terror-related stabbing which injured at least three people. The 20-year-old attacker was earlier jailed in 2018 for promoting violent Islamist material and also had encouraged his girlfriend to behead her parents.

The man who was identified as Sudesh Mamoor Faraz Amman, 20, a London student believed to have family roots in Sri Lanka. According to reports, the deceased suspect had been released from prison recently after serving half of a three-year-and-four-month sentence for the possession and circulation of terrorist material.

Amman earlier had been jailed for promoting violent Islamist material and had encouraged his girlfriend to behead her parents, reported Reuters. In 2018, Amman pleaded guilty to the possession of terrorist documents and disseminating terrorist publications. After which he was sentenced to prison.


He was only 17 when he first began committing terrorism offences and was subsequently arrested in April 2018. During the investigation, it was revealed that Amman had downloaded material about making explosives and carrying out terrorist attacks. Messages from computers and phone also hinted that had discussed with his family, friends, and girlfriend his extreme views, reported Reuters.

Further, investigation back then revealed that Amman in 2017 posted a picture of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and told his brother that "the Islamic State is here to stay." He also believed that Yazidi women were slaves and Koran made it permissible to rape them. Amman in a message to his girlfriend encouraged her to behead her parents.

On Sunday, the Metropolitan Police said the incident in Streatham was part of an active counter-terror operation during which the male suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. A device strapped on his body was later established as fake at the end of the attack, which counter-terror officers believe to be "Islamist-related".

Local media reports suggested that the man entered a shop and started stabbing people. Police said the man had a hoax device strapped to his body. Witnesses were quoted as saying they heard three gunshots and saw a man lying on the ground outside a Boots pharmacy, as armed police approached and shouted at those nearby to move back.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter to thank the emergency services for their response to the attack. "Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related. My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected," he said.


Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related. My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.


Later, Johnson released a statement from Downing Street to reiterate plans for tougher sentences for convicted terrorists. He said, "I want to pay tribute to the speed and bravery of the police who responded and confronted the attacker - preventing further injuries and violence - and all of the emergency services who came to the aid of others. "Tomorrow [Monday], we will announce further plans for fundamental changes to the system for dealing with those convicted of terrorism offences."


5.1-magnitude earthquake jolts China's Sichuan province

5.1-magnitude earthquake jolts China's Sichuan province

Beijing: A 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook southwest China's Qingbaijiang district in Sichuan province on Monday, prompting the authorities to initiate emergency measures.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC), the epicentre was monitored at 30.74 degrees north latitude and 104.46 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 21 km. A total of 150 rescuers and 34 vehicles have been dispatched to the quake-hit area. So far, no casualties or damage to the property was reported, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The quake lasted for more than 10 seconds and my bed was shaking," Zhang Xun, a resident in Jintang County told Xinhua. Strong tremors were also felt in urban areas of Chengdu, the provincial capital, some 38 km away from the epicentre. "I shook all over when the quake hit. My first reaction was to pick up my baby," a Jintang resident surnamed Yi said. Many people stayed outside after the quake, wearing protective masks. Some took their quilts to spend the night in their cars, Yi said.


Chinese stocks crash amid coronavirus scare as markets opened after Lunar New Year holiday

Chinese stocks crash amid coronavirus scare as markets opened after Lunar New Year holiday

Chinese stocks crashed on Monday with some major shares quickly falling by the maximum daily limit as the country's investors got their first chance in more than a week to react to the spiralling coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived 8.73 per cent, or 259.83 points, to open at 2,716.70.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, sank 8.99 per cent, or 158.02 points, to 1,598.80.

The scale of the plunge was remarkable even by the standards of China's notoriously volatile share markets, indicating deep concern over the viral outbreak's economic impact.

The yuan also weakened by nearly 1.5 per cent to around 7.00 to the dollar.

But in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 0.17 percent, or 43.59 points, to 26,356.22 in the first few minutes.

Markets in the world's second-biggest economy had closed on January 24 for the annual Lunar New Year holiday, but since then the viral epidemic that started in Wuhan has spread around the world.

Global concern has dragged down stocks and major corporate names have frozen or scaled back their Chinese operations, threatening the global supply chain as so many of the world's products are manufactured in China.

China's central bank said Sunday it would pump 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the economy on Monday to help limit market losses.

"Investors will release their emotions at first and then make further decisions based on the epidemic situation and the potential stimulus measures rolled out by the government," Zhang Qi, an analyst with Haitong Securities, said before the open.


"Whether the spread of the epidemic is effectively contained, and how much of a toll it takes on the economy are stressful for investors." Travel and tourism shares plummeted after China curbed domestic travel to slow the virus and a growing list of foreign countries and airlines halted or reduced travel links with China.

China International Travel Service quickly fell by the maximum 10 per cent allowed, to 73.80 yuan.

Individual Chinese stocks are limited to a 10 per cent daily move in either direction to limit volatility, after which trading in those shares is suspended.

Foxconn Industrial Internet, an arm of Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, also fell by the daily limit to 18.00 yuan.

Foxconn had said last week it is keeping its Chinese factories closed until mid-February, potentially affecting global supply chains for tech companies that rely on it for everything from Apple's iPhones to flat-screen TVs and laptops.

Markets had been scheduled to re-open on Friday after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, but that was extended by the government to buy time in the fight against the virus.

China Southern Airlines fell 2.99 percent to 4.22 yuan, and China Eastern Airlines lost 2.51 per cent to 3.49 yuan.

Consumer bellwether Kweichou Moutai, the world's largest distiller and whose fiery liquor is a favoured Lunar New Year gift, fell 4.26 per cent to 1,007.99 yuan.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said its market intervention was aimed at maintaining "reasonable and abundant liquidity" in the banking system, as well as a stable currency market, during the epidemic.

China's economy is expected to take a clear hit from the crisis, which has brought industrial regions grinding to a halt.

"The near-term impact on Chinese GDP growth is likely to be large," Oxford Economics said in a research note.

"Considering the affected areas account for just over 50 percent of total Chinese output, we think this could lead China's annual GDP growth to slow to just four percent in Q1," it added -- down from a previous forecast of six per cent growth.


UP bureaucracy at standstill amid ad-hoc appointments on top posts

UP bureaucracy at standstill amid ad-hoc appointments on top posts

It has been almost five months that Uttar Pradesh is managing governance with an ad-hoc chief secretary.

It was August 31, 2019 when the previous chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey retired from the service. Instead of appointing a full-fledged chief secretary, the Yogi Adityanath government handed over the charge to the senior most IAS officer RK Tiwari.

Mr Tiwari, who has an impeccable career record and considered to be an honest officer, continues to be the acting chief secretary even now.

The way the most important administrative office has been functioning in India’s most populous state has not only perplexed the 600-strong IAS cadre in the state but has brought the bureaucracy at standstill. In the past, full time CS used to be appointed within a week.

“The Chief Secretary is the administrative head of the government and acts as the principal advisor to the CM on all matters of governance. He also serves as a link between the CM and other secretaries of the state government. Most importantly, it is the CM who has the authority to select the CS,” an IAS officer said requesting anonymity.


A senior official says, “The power to approve/deny leave of IAS officers rests with the CS. The CM office is dealing it now. "

Mr Tiwari continues to the Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), considered as the number 2 post in the administration since the state is primarily an agriculture-based economy.

According to sources, it is not the first time that he was denied something which he deserved.

“Mr Tiwari wasn’t given the APC post for more than three months after superannuation of Prabhat Kumar of the same 1985-batch early last year. The then Chief secretary Anup Pandey was given additional charge of APC," say sources.

Amid uncertainty in the administration, a vacuum at the top police post has come to haunt the state further.

State’s police chief OP Singh retired on January 31. The 1985 batch officer Hitesh Chandra Awasthi, the Director General (Vigilance), has been handed over the charge as of now.

The full-time appointment for the post is stuck at the Union Public Service Commission. As per the rules, the state has to shortlist best officers with at least two years of the service left and send it to the UPSC. The UPSC then finalises three names, the state government then handpicks the one among three as DGP.

Amid the talks that Mr Singh could be given extension, the process to select new DGP was started as late as mid-January.

Days later, State’s Director General of Civil Defence, JL Tripathi, whose name is allegedly missing from the shortlisted candidates list approached the HC to seek relief. After being pulled up by the HC, a few more names including Mr Tripathi were allegedly sent to UPSC last Sunday.

This is likely to delay the process further and the uncertainty has led to an unease in the IPS cadre, say officials.

Hemant Tiwari, political analyst says, “Many UP-cadre officers are currently serving at top positions at the Central security agencies, such as Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF) Arun Kumar and director general of CRPF-AP Maheshwari. UP-cadre IAS such as Union Housing and Urban Secretary DS Mishra and Union Agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal are handling ambitious schemes of the Modi government. But the officers in the parent state are demotivated due to messy politics.”


AAP should rename itself to Muslim League: BJP’s Kapil Mishra stirs row again

AAP should rename itself to Muslim League: BJP’s Kapil Mishra stirs row again

New Delhi: BJP leader Kapil Mishra on Monday said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is doing "Jinnah politics" and asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to rename itself to Muslim League.

"I want to say that the Aam Aadmi Party should change its name to Muslim League. They are doing the same politics as that of the Muslim League. They are doing of politics of divide and Muslim vote bank. They are against Yogi's speech. Only those people will be afraid of Yogi who are standing by anti-nationals, terrorists, traitors, and rioters. Yogi has stopped rioters in Uttar Pradesh," Mishra told ANI.

"In Delhi, buses were burnt and policemen were beaten up. AAP and Congress are behind this. Arvind Kejriwal is doing Jinnah politics," he said. The AAP had urged the Election Commission of India to ban Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning in Delhi over his remarks linking Kejriwal with Pakistan.


Speaking on the Shaheen Bagh protests against the new citizenship law, the BJP leader said: "Manish Sisodia said he is standing by people at Shaheen Bagh. I think it is all political drama to garner 20 per cent Muslim votes. But 80 per cent people are angry and they will give an answer through their vote."

The Election Commission had earlier placed a temporary ban on Kapil Mishra from campaigning for Delhi assembly elections for violating the Model Code of Conduct over his tweet where he termed the ensuing Assembly elections in the national capital as a contest between India and Pakistan.

Mishra, a former AAP minister, is contesting for the BJP from Model Town assembly constituency. The national capital will go to polls on February 8 for the 70-seat assembly with the counting of votes scheduled for February 11.