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Political updates: Why were Mulayam, Sonia missing in action in Uttar Pradesh?

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-03-2017 Meenal Thakur

New Delhi: Mint brings to you your daily dose of political news reported by newsrooms across the country.

Missing VIPs in Uttar Pradesh poll campaign

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was conspicuous by her absence from the campaign for assembly elections in five states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, which she skipped for the first time since her election as party leader in 1998.

Seven months ago, she held a roadshow in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, in a symbolic launch of the Congress campaign in UP, India’s largest and most populous state. Read more.

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s low poll profile raises questions about his relevance

During the 2012 assembly elections, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav addressed over 300 election rallies. In the current one, he addressed just three. The low profile maintained by the patriarch in the party’s election campaign has raised questions about his relevance in the party.

The political sidelining of the 77-year-old Mulayam Singh Yadav, which began with him being replaced as national president by son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav following a bitter family feud in January, was accentuated in the just wrapped-up elections, with Mulayam Singh playing only a limited role in the Samajwadi Party campaign. Read more.

Education, health main focus in Delhi budget

Education and health remained the key focus areas for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government in its Rs48,000-crore third budget, presented by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday.

Education accounted for 24% of the budget and health for 12%.

For the first time, the AAP government presented an outcome budget to increase accountability. In line with the Central government, the Delhi government has done away with the plan and non-plan component. Read more.

Shiv Sena’s Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is new Mumbai mayor

Shiv Sena nominee Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was on Wednesday elected the new mayor of Mumbai in an election which had turned predictable after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of the contest.

Mahadeshwar’s election as the 76th mayor of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, India’s richest civic body, comes as the culmination of a fierce battle between the Sena and the BJP for the political reins of the country’s financial capital. Read more.

Winds of change in Odisha?

On the face of it, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and state chief minister Naveen Patnaik still holds sway over Odisha. In the just-concluded 2017 three-tier panchayat elections, BJD remained the lead party with 473 zila parishad seats out of 853.

Dig deeper, however, and the cracks in the BJD edifice are beginning to show. First, its tally has dropped from 651 seats in 2012. Second, this has come because of a stunning surge in the number of seats won by the BJP—growing from 36 to 297 zila parishad seats in the same period. Read more.

You will see a big political change in Odisha by 2019: Dharmendra Pradhan

Odisha panchayat elections have given the BJP a reason to celebrate. Union petroleum minister and BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan, who micromanaged the show in the state, says he sees this as the beginning of a major political shift and the party, he hopes, will gain significantly by 2019, when general elections are due. Read more.

Narendra Modi calls for ‘blue revolution’ along India’s coastline

The government will usher in a “blue revolution” by developing India’s coastal regions and working for the welfare of fishing communities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after unveiling a string of infrastructure projects.

He also announced plans to develop a smart city around Kandla port in Gujarat, one of the 12 major ports in India that will each get a smart city around them. Read more.

BJP will take lead in online donations: Arun Jaitley

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the ruling BJP will take the lead in accepting political donations through digital payments and that all political parties should start such digital campaigns.

“Collection of donations should be received online and all political parties should give it a try. Political parties should launch campaigns for digitals payments to collect small amounts from their support base,” Jaitley said at an event. Read more.

Train suspect shot dead was named last year by member of IS-inspired cell

Saifullah, the alleged Islamic State-inspired terrorist killed in a shoot-out with the police in Lucknow on Wednesday, was appointed military head of a terror group inspired by the organisation over a year ago, a suspect held during a nationwide anti-terror sweep told the National Investigation Agency during questioning in February last year, documents with The Indian Express show.

Kerala retailers ready to boycott Coca-Cola and Pepsi

Pepsi and Coke bottles may disappear from shop shelves in Kerala, a week after the same happened in Tamil Nadu.

Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, the largest apex body of traders in the state with over a million members, called for a boycott of soft drinks by PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd and Coca-Cola India on Wednesday, alleging over-extraction of groundwater at its two plants in Kerala. Read more.

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