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Vasundhara Raje Excluded: BJP Unveils Two Rajasthan Poll Panels

BJP excludes Vasundhara Raje from key Rajasthan election committees, signaling a significant shift in party strategy.



Vasundhara Raje Excluded: BJP Unveils Two Rajasthan Poll Panels
Vasundhara Raje (Himanshu Vyas/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Jaipur: the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command has dealt a significant blow to former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia by excluding her from two crucial committees for the upcoming Rajasthan elections. The announcement was made by Rajasthan BJP State President CP Joshi on Thursday. The committees in question are the manifesto committee and the election management committee for the upcoming Rajasthan assembly polls.

Notably absent from the list were the names of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and any of her prominent supporters, fueling renewed speculations that the BJP high command has deliberately chosen to proceed with the upcoming assembly elections without Raje’s involvement.

This exclusion comes as a major setback for Vasundhara Raje and her loyalists, who had been actively demonstrating their support for the last two years and demanding her declaration as the Chief Ministerial face for the upcoming elections.

Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has been appointed as the Chairman of the Manifesto Committee, while Narayan Pancharia will lead the Election Management Committee. The Rajasthan elections are just four months away, and attention now turns to whether the BJP will find an alternative role for Raje. Nonetheless, this move is a significant jolt for Raje and her dedicated followers.

The Manifesto Committee, chaired by Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, includes MPs Ghanshyam Tiwari and Kirorilal Meena, along with National Ministers Alka Gurjar, Prabhulal Saini, and Rakhi Rathod as co-convenors. Meanwhile, the Election Management Committee is led by Narayan Panchariya, with co-convenors like Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, CM Meena, Kanhaiyalal Bairwa, Rajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Anand Sharma.

In response to inquiries about Vasundhara Raje’s role, the state president emphasized the active participation of numerous senior leaders in the party’s campaign. State party in-charge Arun Singh avoided clarifying Raje’s role but acknowledged that all senior leaders would be involved in campaigning.

Party’s state president CP Joshi and state in-charge Arun Singh stated that these committee appointments were made following the instructions of national president J P Nadda. They expressed hope that the state would benefit from the experience of both committees in the upcoming elections.

The move to exclude Vasundhara Raje from these key committees comes after she was recently assigned the role of National Vice President within the party. This decision, occurring in an election year, was interpreted as a signal that the high command aimed to keep Raje away from Rajasthan. In response, Raje engaged in discussions with key leaders during a two-day visit to Delhi.

The strained relationship between Raje and the party’s high command traces back to 2014. During the tenure of Home Minister Amit Shah as the national president of the BJP and Raje as the chief minister, conflicts between the two leaders were common. Following the BJP’s defeat in Rajasthan in 2018, Raje’s absence from crucial party events became noticeable. The high command’s intentions became evident when Rajendra Rathore was appointed the Leader of the Opposition in place of Raje.

This development marks the first time in decades that the BJP refrained from announcing its chief ministerial candidate in Rajasthan. Vasundhara Raje’s strong association with the BJP in the state and her significant support base among MLAs and MPs have raised concerns that sidelining her might lead to backlash from both Raje and her supporters. This raises the crucial question of whether Prime Minister Modi alone can bolster the BJP’s influence in Rajasthan, especially in light of Chief Minister Gehlot’s efforts to solidify his position through populist initiatives.

Meanwhile, Raje’s loyalists note that while her exclusion is surprising, other senior leaders like Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, opposition leader Rajendra Rathore, former BJP chief, and current party President C P Joshi have also been left out. One of Raje’s supporters pointed out, “Nobody can ignore Vasundhara Raje; after all, she is the most popular mass leader of the BJP in Rajasthan, so wait and watch.”

The announcement of the campaign committee is still pending, serving as the third major committee after the resolution declaration and the election management committee. Traditionally, the coordinator or chairman of the campaign committee becomes the official face of the party for the election. Experts caution against premature speculation without the announcement of this committee.


Akhilesh Yadav Criticizes UP Govt on Hathras Tragedy

Akhilesh Yadav accuses the UP government of deflecting responsibility for the Hathras stampede by making minor arrests, calling for a judicial inquiry.



Akhilesh Yadav Criticizes UP Govt on Hathras Tragedy

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav has voiced strong criticism against the Uttar Pradesh government following the tragic stampede in Hathras that resulted in the deaths of 121 people. On Saturday, Yadav accused the state government of attempting to obscure its administrative failures by making insignificant arrests instead of addressing the root causes of the incident. His comments were made public through a post on the social media platform ‘X’, where he also shared a letter from Ankit Yadav, a resident of Mainpuri district, alleging that his father has been wrongfully implicated in the stampede.

Akhilesh Yadav

In his post on ‘X’, Yadav expressed concern that such tragic events will persist as long as the state government fails to learn from its past mistakes. He argued that the arrests made in connection with the stampede appear to be an attempt to shift blame and evade accountability for the deaths. According to Yadav, these actions indicate a lack of genuine effort to understand and rectify the administrative lapses that contributed to the disaster.

Yadav emphasized that the arrests being made by the government are not targeting the true culprits but rather individuals who were not directly involved in the incident. He called for an immediate judicial inquiry into these arrests to expose what he perceives as a politically motivated attempt by the BJP-led government to mislead the public. Yadav further argued that if the government claims to have no involvement in the event, it should not remain in power.

Highlighting the socio-economic backgrounds of many of the attendees at the event, Yadav underscored that the victims were largely from marginalized and disadvantaged communities. He criticized the government for its apparent disregard for these vulnerable groups, stating that the administration’s primary concern should be the welfare of the poor and oppressed.

The Uttar Pradesh government has responded by forming a three-member judicial commission, led by a retired high court judge, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the stampede. This commission will also explore the possibility of a conspiracy behind the incident. So far, police have arrested six members of the organizing committee of the ‘satsang’ held on July 2 in Fulrai village, Hathras. These individuals, referred to as ‘sevadars’, were responsible for organizing the event where the stampede occurred.

Devprakash Madhukar, identified as the main accused and the ‘mukhya sevadar’ of the event, surrendered to the Uttar Pradesh Police in Delhi. Madhukar is the only person officially named in the FIR lodged at Sikandra Rao Police Station in connection with the incident.

Akhilesh Yadav’s accusations bring to light the broader political and administrative challenges facing Uttar Pradesh in the wake of this tragedy. The incident has sparked a debate over the adequacy of the government’s response to large gatherings and the measures in place to ensure public safety. Critics argue that focusing on minor arrests does not address the systemic issues that led to the disaster.

The judicial commission’s findings will be pivotal in determining accountability and ensuring that justice is served for the victims and their families. As the political landscape in Uttar Pradesh continues to evolve, the handling of this incident could have significant implications for the upcoming electoral contests. The primary concern remains providing justice for the victims and implementing effective measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

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Bihar Takes Action on Bridge Collapse

Bihar suspends 16 engineers for bridge collapses; investigation reveals negligence. Accountability measures underway.



Bihar Takes Action on Bridge Collapse

The Bihar government recently suspended 16 engineers following a series of bridge collapses in the state, according to a senior official. This decision came after a probe panel submitted its findings to the Water Resources Department (WRD). Chaitanya Prasad, the Additional Chief Secretary of the WRD, emphasized the seriousness with which the government is treating these incidents and the commitment to holding negligent officials accountable.

Bihar bridge collapse

Prasad indicated that the contractors responsible for the faulty bridges are being identified and will face consequences. “Such serious lapses can’t be ignored and those found guilty will not be spared, whosoever they may be,” he asserted.

In addition to the suspensions, explanations have been requested from two other engineers, and the roles of several executive engineers are under scrutiny. “The role of some executing contractors is being verified,” sources within the department revealed.

The action was prompted by the collapse of the 10th bridge in Saran district, marking the third such incident within 24 hours. Reports of bridge collapses have emerged from various districts including Saran, Siwan, Araria, Madhubani, East Champaran, and Kishanganj.

A senior executive engineer, referring to the probe report, noted that six of the collapsed bridges were very old, three were under construction, and one was a small bridge. The flying squad’s report highlighted a lack of precautionary measures and insufficient technical supervision by the engineers responsible for these structures.

The government’s response was catalyzed by a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on July 3, where maintenance policies for bridges and culverts were discussed. During the meeting, it was revealed that the Road Construction Department had already developed a maintenance policy, while the Rural Works Department was yet to initiate such efforts. CM Nitish Kumar instructed the Rural Works Department to commence work on this policy immediately.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav demanded explanations for the recent spate of bridge collapses, claiming that 12 bridges have fallen in Bihar since June 18. He criticized both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for their silence on the issue, questioning the claims of good governance and a corruption-free administration in Bihar.

Yadav’s statements highlight the political ramifications of these infrastructure failures, suggesting widespread corruption within the state government. He noted that his tenure as deputy CM was brief compared to the long period under a JD(U) minister, further implicating the ruling party in these lapses.

The recent bridge collapses have raised urgent concerns about infrastructure quality and governance in Bihar. While the suspension of 16 engineers sends a strong message about accountability, it also points to deeper systemic issues. The involvement of senior engineers and contractors in these failures suggests that the problems may extend beyond mere negligence to include potential corruption and mismanagement.

The WRD’s probe has underscored significant flaws in the construction and maintenance processes. The absence of technical oversight and failure to implement necessary safety measures are particularly alarming. These incidents demonstrate an urgent need for rigorous supervision and stronger accountability mechanisms in Bihar’s infrastructure projects.

The government’s swift action following the review meeting with CM Nitish Kumar signals a commitment to addressing these issues, but the effectiveness of these measures remains to be seen. The political fallout, with opposition leaders like Tejashwi Yadav vocalizing criticisms, adds pressure on the administration to deliver tangible improvements.

Future infrastructure development in Bihar hinges on the government’s ability to enforce comprehensive reforms and maintain strict oversight. The suspension of engineers is a critical first step, but sustainable solutions will require addressing corruption, ensuring contractor accountability, and setting enforceable construction and maintenance standards.

In summary, the Bihar government’s suspension of 16 engineers following a series of bridge collapses highlights significant challenges in the state’s infrastructure management. While the move indicates a commitment to accountability, it also underscores the need for broader reforms and rigorous oversight. The political and public scrutiny following these incidents emphasizes the necessity for transparency, effective governance, and sustainable infrastructure practices to prevent future failures.

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Amritpal Singh to Take Oath as MP Amidst Controversy

Amritpal Singh, pro-Khalistani leader and ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief, is set to take oath as Lok Sabha member on July 5 despite being in jail.



Amritpal Singh to Take Oath as MP Amidst Controversy
(Image : PTI)

Amritpal Singh, leader of ‘Waris Punjab De‘ and a controversial figure in Punjab politics, is poised to take a significant step amidst legal turmoil. Recently elected as the Member of Parliament for Khadoor Sahib, Punjab, he faces unique circumstances as he prepares to be sworn in on July 5.

Amritpal Singh

Currently incarcerated under the National Security Act in Dibrugarh jail, Assam, Amritpal Singh has been granted a brief four-day parole for the specific purpose of attending his oath-taking ceremony in Delhi. This development follows an application forwarded by the Punjab Government to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Confirming the arrangements, Faridkot MP Sarbjeet Singh Khalsa announced on social media that the oath ceremony is scheduled and will proceed as planned. Despite his confinement, logistical preparations are underway to ensure Amritpal Singh’s presence in Delhi and his subsequent return to Dibrugarh Jail.

“The parole has been granted exclusively for the oath-taking ceremony,” stated a senior state government official, emphasizing the procedural aspects and the conditions communicated to Dibrugarh jail authorities.

Amritpal Singh’s journey to Parliament has been marked by controversy and legal entanglements. His victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Khadoor Sahib, defeating Congress candidate Kulbir Singh Zira by a significant margin, underscores his influence despite ongoing legal challenges.

Known for his association with Khalistani ideologies and styled after militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Amritpal Singh’s political career has been fraught with incidents of defiance against law enforcement. His arrest in Moga followed a dramatic series of events, culminating in a manhunt and subsequent charges related to public unrest and clashes with authorities.

The road to his parliamentary seat was not without hurdles, including the Ajnala incident that sparked widespread attention and legal repercussions. Despite these controversies, Amritpal Singh’s electoral success reflects deep-seated sentiments within certain segments of Punjab’s electorate.

As preparations intensify for his oath-taking on July 5, the spotlight remains firmly on Amritpal Singh, highlighting the intersection of politics, law, and public perception. His journey from activist to elected representative continues to provoke debate and scrutiny, encapsulating the complexities of contemporary Punjab politics.

Stay tuned as developments unfold around Amritpal Singh’s parliamentary induction amidst a backdrop of legal challenges and political controversy.

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