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Kairana LS bypoll: united opposition faces determined BJP

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Kairana LS bypoll: united opposition faces determined BJP

Following the reverses it suffered in by-elections for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, the BJP is taking no chances in Kairana.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who had the mortification of seeing his home constituency of Gorakhpur won by a joint opposition candidate, has stepped up campaigning and is addressing public meetings on almost a daily basis.

Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, along with the Assembly seat of Noorpur, will have election on May 28.

The CM’s campaign will be topped by a meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Just a day before voting takes place, after the campaigning comes to a halt on May 26, PM Modi will address a meeting in Baghpat nearby, while inaugurating the Eastern peripheral expressway. The poll code does not apply in Baghpat and opposition’s objections to Modi’s program have been dismissed.

BJP’s candidate for Kairana is Mriganka Singh, whose father Hukum Singh’s death has led to this bypoll. Apart from Adityanath and his deputy, the BJP has thrown in at least five other state ministers into the fight for Kairana: Dharam Singh Saini (minister of state for Ayush), Suresh Rana (Sugarcane Development) Anupama Jaiswal (Basic Education) Surya Pratap Shahi (Agriculture) and Laxmi Narayan (Religious Affairs, Culture, Minority Welfare, Muslim Waqf and Haj).

Dharam Saini and Rana are MLAs from Nakur and Thana Bhawan assembly segments of the constituency. Anupama Jaiswal is the minister in charge of Shamli district, while Surya Pratap Shahi is the minister in charge of Saharanpur. “Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary has been roped in, since he hails from a farming background,” media reports quoted a senior UP BJP leader as saying.

Apart from this, BJP MPs Sanjiv Baliyan, Raghav Lakhan Pal, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and Kanta Kardam are also actively campaigning for Mriganka Singh.

Opposition parties too are going all out for victory. Efforts are on to present a larger united front on a national level against the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, an exercise that received a boost after the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka.

In the 2014 parliamentary elections, Hukum Singh bagged 5,65,909 votes, defeating SP’s Nahid Hasan who got 3,29,081 votes. In the 2017 UP Assembly elections, Nahid Hasan defeated Mriganka by 21,162 votes.

Now, all eyes are on these by-polls. The joint opposition candidate in Kairana is Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Tabassum Hasan. Her party’s national vice-president Jayant Chaudhary has been regularly visiting the constituency since the announcement of the polls and is likely to remain in Kairana for the remaining few days till the end of the campaign.

Tabassum, wife of former BSP MP Munawwar Hasan, is being backed by the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress and Nishad Party to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kairana.

On Thursday, May 24, the opposition got a boost when Lok Dal candidate Kanwar Hasan, who was contesting against his sister-in-law and RLD nominee Tabassum Hasan, withdrew from the contest. Kanwar Hasan also announced his support for the Tabassum.

This could help unite the minority vote in favour of the RLD, could make the going tough for Mriganka Singh, the BJP candidate.

While the BJP has thrown in a host of leaders and ministers into the campaign, the opposition is projecting this as a sign of the jitters in the ruling party, which recently lost Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat vacated by Yogi Adityanath himself when he became chief minister.

“By sending so many ministers to a parliamentary constituency during a bypoll, the BJP has clearly displayed its nervousness,” SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said. “Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav is likely to hold one election meeting during the bye-elections, and his one meeting will prove to be quite enough for the BJP,” he boasted, according to a media report.

Apart from Akhilesh Yadav, SP’s UP chief Naresh Uttam is extensively touring the constituency. “The party has deputed leaders and workers up to the booth level in these bye-elections,” Sajan said.

UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh also took potshots at the BJP over the party’s deployment for the campaign. “Sending five ministers for campaigning in a single parliamentary constituency during the bye-elections only display a lack of confidence among the BJP leaders and workers ahead of the election,” he said.

“I feel that a strong anti-BJP message will go to the entire country from here for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” he added.

Reports from the ground in Kairana says communal polarisation is palpable in the area where BJP ran a campaign alleging mass exodus of Hindus due to Muslim aggression, a charge refuted by several independent reports.

Historically, caste and farmer’s mandate have been the two main factors impacting Kairana’s electoral outcome.  A media report estimated that of nearly 16 lakh voters in the constituency, 5.5 lakh are Muslims, 2.5 lakh are Dalits (mostly Jatavs), 1.5 lakh are Jats, 2 lakh are Kashyaps, 1.4 lakh are Gujjars, 1.2 lakh are Saini and the remaining are constituted by voters from the communities of Brahmins, Banias and Rajputs.

The BJP is aiming for the upper castes — the vote banks of Brahmins, Banias and Rajputs and the wider ‘Hindutva’ vote.

Give the BJP’s track record in fomenting communal riots in the region, the Muslims could choose against the BJP.

Sugarcane prices and farmers’ dues from sugar mills are a major issue. The opposition parties are alleging that the government failed to clear the pending farmer’s dues with the sugar mills: the six sugar mills in the constituency, which reportedly bought sugarcane worth Rs 1,778.49 crore at the UP government’s State Advised Price (SAP) of Rs 315-325 per quintal, have pending arrears of Rs 807.22 crore, as of 18 May, according to media reports.

With Lok Sabha polls due next year, the winning candidate would serve as MP for less than a year. Yet, the electoral outcome here is seen as crucial in the build-up for the main battle.

India News

Instagram could soon charge for blue verification mark, check deets here

Reports said reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi discovered a code that revealed that Instagram and Facebook are working on a paid verification feature.

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Instagram

After Twitter, Instagram can soon charge for its blue verification badge that allows stars and public figures to get their accounts recognised by their followers.

Reports said reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi discovered a code that revealed that Instagram and Facebook are working on a paid verification feature.

The code reads, IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV and FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV. It is speculated that it stands for identity verification. However, nothing as such has been confirmed by the Meta platforms.

Have a look at the tweet by Alessandro Paluzzi:

In November 2022, Twitter started to roll out its Blue service which included verification tags in India. This service is expensive in India as compared to the US and cost Rs 719 per month.

Elon Musk owned Twitter and also launched a modified version of its verification system that includes gold checkmarks for businesses and grey labels for official accounts.

Reports said the new system aims to correct problems that occurred during the initial rollout of the verified program on the platform that allowed anyone to purchase a blue tick mark for $8 a month.

Last year, Twitter also laid off more than 200 of its employees in India as part of mass layoffs across the globe directed by Elon Musk.

The micro-blogging platform also has ruled to get the blue tick. The user applying for one should have an active Twitter account and needs to be older than 90 days. The user also needs to verify their phone numbers. Further, Twitter will also check if your account has ever engaged in misleading or deceptive manipulation and spam.

The new terms and conditions also warn users to take away their blue ticks if they fail to follow the rules. Also, if the user changes its display name or username, the blue tick will be removed. These rules have been implemented to reduce confusion and promote integrity on the platform.

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India News

IndiGo flies Patna-bound passenger to Udaipur, DGCA orders probe

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In yet another blooper by an airline operator, budget airliner IndiGo reportedly flew a passenger bound for Bihar’s Patna to around 1,400 kilometers from his intended destination- Udaipur in Rajasthan.

According to reports, the passenger was supposed to board an IndiGo flight to Patna, instead he boarded another flight of the same airline bound for Rajasthan’s Udaipur. The incident came to light on January 30 and the passenger was sent to his original destination the next day.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a probe into the incident. In a statement, the regulatory body said that the passenger, Afsar Hussain, had booked a ticket to Patna for Indigo flight 6E-214 and reached Delhi airport on January 30 to board the scheduled flight. But he mistakenly boarded Udaipur-bound flight 6E-319 of Indigo.

The passenger only realised the mistake after landing at Udaipur Airport and informed the airport officials who then alerted IndiGo about the incident.

The passenger was then flown back to Delhi by IndiGo on the same day and then to Patna on January 31.

A DGCA official said that the airline has been asked to submit a report explaining why the boarding pass of the passenger was not scanned thoroughly and how he boarded the wrong flight when as per the rule boarding passes are checked at two points before the boarding.

The official added that appropriate action will be taken against the airline.

IndiGo in a statement on Friday acknowledged the incident and issued an official apology to the aggrieved passenger, adding that the airline is engaged with the authorities on this matter

This is the second such incident reported in an Indigo flight in the last 20 days. On January 13, a passenger who had the airline’s ticket and boarding pass for an Indore-bound flight boarded a wrong flight and was taken to Nagpur airport.

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India News

Rajasthan: NEET aspirant dies after accidentally falling from 6th floor balcony in Kota, video captured on CCTV | Watch

It was reported that 22-year-old along with his friends had been playing mobile games together while they were spending time together on the balcony.

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A harrowing story has come to light from Rajasthan’s Kota where a student accidentally fell from the balcony while wearing his slippers. The student was accompanied by his friends and was sitting on the balcony.

The student has been identified as Ishanshu Bhattacharya who hailed from West Bengal’s Dhupguri region.

It was reported that the unfortunate accident unfolded late at night around 11:15 when the 4 students were getting up and retiring to their rooms. However, when the three friends got up and started to return to their rooms, things took an awry turn after that.

In the video, the 20-year-old student can be seen fetching his slippers in order to make way to his room, however, while fetching his slippers, Ishanshu slipped and fell out of the fully fenced window of the residency hotel.

The video also shows his friend realising what just happened and then rushing to see what happened, however, by that time it was too late for anything to be done as his friends can be seen in a state of panic and fear.

It was reported that the friends had been playing mobile games together while they were spending time together on the balcony.

Watch video here:

Police’s statement

The DSP, while talking about the incident, told the media that as soon as every student in the building learnt about the accident. Everyone rushed to the spot and called the hospital to take the boy to hospital.

Ishanshu was reportedly rushed to a private hospital in Talwandi, however, the doctors pronounced the 20-year-old dead upon his arrival. The police also told the media that they have informed the family about the unfortunate news and will send the body for post mortem after the family arrives.

Another incident

Another incident came to light recently from Kota where a student hung himself to death after being in a bad mental health state. The 22-year-old NEET aspirant had come to Kota to study at the coaching institute. The police found a 4-page long letter at his residence where the man’s body was recovered.

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