Samajwadi Party appears to be transforming into a more centralised party, of late. Many in the party say it is only president Akhilesh Yadav who takes all the decisions, while senior party leaders are not kept in the loop. A surprising gesture was noted this week at the party’s press conference over the arrest of Azam Khan’s MLA son Abdullah. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was not present during the press conference, which was addressed by state unit president Naresh Uttam Patel. During the news conference, Patel avoided sitting in the central chair, where Akhilesh generally sits. Patel instead took a smaller chair next to the big chair at the centre of the dais of the conference hall. As TV camerapersons asked Patel to move to the centre as it would be easier for them to focus, he simply dragged his chair and moved it to the center but refused to sit on the chair where Akhilesh sits to brief the press.
Kanwar Yatra — the Hindu holy event in which Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has always shown a great personal interest – seems to have started a an unspoken competition between police officers in the state to present themselves as the most “Kanwaria-friendly” cop. And it’s not just senior police officials, but SOs and SHOs too who have became a part of it. Earlier, ADG Meerut zone, DIG, DM and SSP Saharanpur took a chopper ride to shower rose petals on Kanwarias in Saharanpur. Shamli SP was seen giving a foot massage to Kanwarias in his district. While in another district, a circle officer raised the bar with a new innovative idea and showered flower petals on Kanwarias while sitting on a horse. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister and his deputy has already instructed police and administrative officials to make sure that Kanwariyas face no problem during their journey, but officials have decided to take a step ahead on their own. In some districts, people pointed out that how Kanwariyas appeared to have been exempted from the rule of wearing a helmet.
Even before the UP government issues guidelines on no animal sacrifices in the open during Bakrid, All India Muslim Personal Law Board executive member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali has decided to make an appeal to the community. To avoid any untoward incident, in his appeal issued this Sunday, the cleric requested people not to share photographs or videos of the animal sacrifice, and to only sacrifice animals allowed by the law during the festival on August 12. “It is an appeal to Muslims across the country to not take or share pictures or videos of sacrifice of animals because it becomes an issue on social media. I appeal to all Muslims that they should only get animals sacrificed which are allowed by the law and it should be done indoors,” the cleric said. Rashid also said that the blood from the animals should not be drained and should be buried in the ground where it can act as a fertiliser. “The leftovers after the sacrifice should also be disposed in a proper manner and not be left in the open because it can lead to unhealthy conditions in neighbourhoods and can lead to outbreak of diseases. It should be disposed with the use of facilities provided by the municipality,” said the cleric. Sources inform that more organisations are likely to follow him in making similar request to their followers ahead of the festival.
Even after the attempts to make sure that the investment coming through Investors’ Summit is distributed evenly throughout the state, the UP government still seems to be struggling for the same even after second ground-breaking ceremony for investment projects made during the investor’s summit last year. Projects worth Rs 65,000 crore, for which ground-breaking took place in Lucknow recently, revealed that despite various efforts and incentives, the Bundelkhand region got just 4 per cent of the investment share. While the western parts of the state got more than 50 per cent i.e. 54 per cent of the total investment share, Purvanchal in the east showed some hope with about 13 per cent share after Central region, which got about 19 per cent share. Interestingly, in terms of the cities, most of the investment is going to cities like Lucknow and Noida. Given this, it can be said that the government need to make better plans to convince the investors to consider the left-out regions in the state too.