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UP, Gujarat, UT, Punjab- Election 2007
<b>Qureshi to contest as Sahi Imam's candidate </b>
In a jolt to the Samajwadi Party Government in Uttar Pradesh, controversial Haj and Minorities Welfare Minister Yaqoob Qureshi has announced that he would contest the coming Assembly elections in the State as a candidate of the United Democratic Front headed by Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid.

If I remember correctly this Minorities Welfare Minister Yaqoob Qureshi was the one who put bounty on 'Da Vinci Code' Dan Brown's head? Or was it on that Danish Cartoonist? Forget which.
yes, you right. This man is a criminal. Created real havoc in outskirts of Merrut.

Link<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bukhari said Uttar Pradesh haj and minorities welfare minister Yaqoob Qureshi’s announcement of Rs 51 crore for the head of a Danish cartoonist who lampooned prophet Mohammad should not be taken seriously.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On the other hand minister for Haj and Minorities Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi has been making efforts to disturb the RLD’s Jat-Muslim combination in western UP. The RLD is thus, back to old political gimmicks of ‘Harit Pradesh’. The party, which put the issue on the backburner for the last four years, has now plans to take it out to counter the anti-incumbency factor.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Now Muslims are leaving Mullah Yadav. I think he will join VP Singh group.
And this is the guy who was caught traveling in the AC-1 coach of Lucknow Mail without ticket, was pulled down at a railway station and fined for Rs 14,000 last week.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Five years later, Narendra Modi shines on  </b>
RK Misra | Gandhinagar
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has completed five years in office on Saturday. He is still in comfortable command with little threat to either position or power.

Modi's five years make him the second longest serving Chief Minister of the State after Madhavsinh Solanki who had three stints at the helm with one of them in excess of a full five year term.

However, Modi's popularity endures and as things stand, <b>he is expected to cruise through comfortably in the next State Assembly election which is due in 2007</b>.

This is largely attributed to the inability of the Congress to function as a team. For the most part, the main opposition in Gujarat, remains a groupism riddled set-up which lacks a leader capable of taking on Modi.

Bharat Solanki who has been inducted as State party chief sometime ago still lacks the standing to take on Modi while Arjun Modvadia, the leader of the Congress Legislature party seems short on homework in his attacks on the CM. Both leaders derive their power from Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

<b>In fact political observers here believe that Patel remains the biggest stumbling block in energising the Gujarat Congress since a strong leader at the helm in Gujarat would automatically mean erosion of his hold over the State</b>. It is primarily due to differences with Patel that Union Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela was removed as State party chief. However, he still remains the only leader with gumption and guts to take on Modi.

In fact dissidents within the BJP in the State owing allegiance to former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel have been far more successful than the Congress opposition in needling Modi. It was Patel and former Union Textile Minister Kashiram Rana who took the Chief Minister to task for the omissions and commissions of the Government in flood-hit Surat.

With elections to the State Assembly due next year, the dissidents are concerned that Modi may again sweep in the party selection of candidates to their detriment. They have therefore launched a campaign for making <b>Patel the State party chief since the present president Vajubhai Vala's term is expiring soon.</b>

Their reasoning is that if Patel becomes the State party chief he will be able to prevent Modi making a clean sweep by nominating his own people.
<b>MP polls leave Uma Bharti in despair</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rebel BJP leader Uma Bharti’s hopes to shock the saffron party into making for peace with her were dashed as Madhya Pradesh bypoll results were announced on Thursday.

<b>In her home constituency of Bade Maehra, where she had hoped her backward Lodh community would join hands with the Yadav, BJP candidate Kapoor Chand Ghuwara defeated her candidate Rekha Yadav by about 3,000 votes.</b>

In December 2003 polls, Bharti had won from Malehra on BJP ticket defeating her nearest Congress rival Jagdish Shukla by over 31,000 votes.

Ghuwara, who was formerly in the CPI, had ended as the third candidate in the last election. This time, he could trounce Bharti’s nominee.

In the past eight Assembly elections since 1977, including the by-election, the BJP has managed to emerge victorious from the seat five times with or without Bharti’s support.

In another setback, BJP candidate for the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat - <b>Madhya Pradesh Public Health and Engineering Minister Rampal Singh - defeated his Congress rival Rajshri Singh by a margin of more than 85,000 votes</b>.

Bharti’s nominee, Raghunandan Singh came at the third place. The Vidisha result was feather in the cap for Bharti’s rival, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who had nurtured the constituency as his family borough.

Chouhan had resisted pressure from Central BJP leaders like AB Vajpayee and LK Advani to give the ticket to Varun Gandhi, and instead appointed his nominee, Rampal Singh. BJP leaders said the margin would have been much higher if Chouhan had been able to put up his wife, Sadhana.

The by-election for Vidisha, considered a BJP stronghold, was caused by Chouhan vacated the seat following his election to the state assembly.

Bharti’s supporters claimed Raghunandan Singh cost the BJP some votes. The <b>Congress candidate managed to occupy the second postition by bagging 1.73 lakh votes. Bharti’s party, the BJS stood third with 1.37 lakh votes.</b>

<b>BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said the results had shown that the party and the government had the support of the masses. Asked about the combined votes of Uma Bharti's party and Congress surpassing the votes secured by the BJP, he said it was for these parties to feel ashamed or otherwise to join hands</b>

Good lesson for Uma, In place of fighting with BJP, she should join hands to defeat evil Congress/Commies/anti-hindu communal parties of India.
Now why, media is not calling voters rejected communal Congress and its President. They had even rejected reservation and Central government.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Vidisha result confounds many </b>
Staff Reporter | Bhopal
The by-election results, particularly of Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency, have surprised all political parties. The BJP has won both the seats, but its vote percentage has come down drastically due to the presence of the Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS).

The Uma Bharati-founded BJS has emerged as runners-up in the constituency. The State BJP also had to pay the price for suspending BJP MLA Gauri Shankar Shejwar on the last leg of electioneering. After being suspended, he openly worked for the BJS in the by-election, particularly in Sanchi Assembly segment.

Shejwar also managed to affect other two Udaipura and Bhojpur Assembly constituencies of Raisen district.

The Vidisha election in charge of the BJP Anil Dave said the BJP has emerged victorious and the party is accepting the mandate. "The fall in vote percentage and its reasons would be analysed soon," he added.
<b>Right from the initial rounds of counting, the order was the BJP, BJS and then the Congress. The principal reason for the saffron party winning by a lesser margin is the BJS cutting into its vote-bank. The final figures in Sanchi were - 30,684 votes (BJP), 26,563 (BJS) and 22,940 (Congress).</b>

<b>The corresponding figures in Udaipura, BJP candidate and Public Health Engineering Minister Rampal Singh's Assembly constituency, were -- 42,116 (BJP), 18,666 (BJS) and 20,455 (Congress). In Congress, legislator Rajesh Patel's Assembly constituency Bhojpur the break-up was 38,162, 18,891 and 17,000.</b>

<b>The results in other Assembly segments are - Shamshabad - 27,121 (BJP), 26,454 (Congress), 10,664 (BJS), Kurwai - 22,159 (BJP), 21,798 (Congress), 9,922 (BJS), Budhni - 45,558 (BJP), 21,676 (Congress), 7,212 (BJS), Bhojpur - 38,224 (BJP), 17,000 (Congress), 18,891 (BJS), Vidisha - 27,138 (BJP), 22,340 (Congress), 23,921 (BJS), and Ganj Basoda - 25,263 (BJP), 20,512 (Congress), 20,811 (BJS).</b>

Political observers believe that the BJS that came into inception just three months ago has bagged only votes of the BJP. This is for sure that the BJS has registered a strong presence in the by-election despite having defeated in all the Assembly segments of Vidisha and Bada Malehra.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->उप्र निकाय चुनाव में निर्दलीय व सपा आगे

लखनऊ। उत्तर प्रदेश में हुए स्थानीय नगर निकाय चुनाव में अब तक प्राप्त परिणामों के अनुसार भाजपा और कांग्रेस को रौंदते हुए निर्दलीय और समाजवादी पार्टी उम्मीदवार आगे चल रहे हैं।
   राज्य में 12 नगर निगमों के मेयर पदों के लिए मतगणना धीमी रफ्तार से जारी है और इनका रुझान देर रात में सामने आएगा। अब तक घोषित 36 नगर पालिका परिषदों के <b>चुनाव में 15 सपा के पक्ष में गए हैं, जबकि भाजपा के 5 और 13 निर्दलीय उम्मीदवार विजयी हुए हैं। अन्य छोटी पार्टियों के उम्मीदवार भी विजय पाने में सफल रहे हैं।</b> कांग्रेस को अभी नगर पालिका परिषद चुनाव में खाता खोलना है।
   171 नगर पंचायतों के अब तक घोषित परिणामों से सर्वाधिक 62 निर्दलीय उम्मीदवार विजयी हुए हैं। <b>सपा को 47, भाजपा 24 और कांग्रेस को 8 नगर पंचायतों में सफलता मिली है। </b>शेष 10 सीटें बीएस-4, रालोद और अपना दल जैसी पार्टियों के खाते में गई हैं।
   इस बीच निर्वाचन आयोग सूत्रों ने यहां कहा कि नगर निगमों के मेयर पद के चुनाव की मतगणना सोमवार देर शाम शुरू हुई और परिणाम मंगलवार सुबह तक आने की संभावना है। <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Congress is go went gone in UP. Licking Muslims behind and reservation is not working.
Congress even lost election in Amethi. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
In these election normally very limited people vote ,but this will show mood and whose root level campagin is strong.
<b>Rahul's magic falls flat in Amethi poll </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Lucknow: For the Congress and Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, so far, it has been a no vote with <b>the party losing three of the four seats in his constituency Amethi in the civic polls</b>.

Though Rahul remains the magic word for the party in UP, in its first small test, it does not seem to have worked.

Meanwhile,<b> Rahul has been taking personal interest in these elections, from choosing candidates to managing the campaign.</b>
But <b>Monday's figures from Amethi bring worrying signs. Congress has lost from Jais, a Muslim dominated area and it has lost in Amethi proper</b>.

Though time and again Sonia has announced that Rahul would play a dominant role in UP politics, the party seems hesitant.

The problem is that <b>in UP as far as Rahul is concerned, the party is scared to lose and prefers to play it safe</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:bcow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_cowboy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_cowboy.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP wins 5 Mayor seats, Congress 1, SP leads in 2 places  </b> 

Lucknow, Nov 07: <b>The BJP has won five Mayoral seats in Uttar Pradesh and taken comfortable lead in three other seats in the urban local bodies poll</b>. <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>The ruling Samajwadi Party was leading by a slender margin in Allahabad and Moradabad</b> Mayoral seats while the <b>Congress candidate has won the Bareilly seat by a margin of over 66,000 votes and was leading by 13,000 votes in Jhansi</b>.

<b>The BJP has won the Agra, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Varanasi and Gorakhpur Mayoral seats and the party candidates are leading in Lucknow, Kanpur and Meerut seats</b>.

In a swinging battle of ballots SP candidates have now taken lead of 1000 votes in Allahabad and 700 votes in Moradabad after trailing in the initial rounds.

There are 12 Mayoral seat in the state.

In the 2,000 polls, the BJP was the main gainer as it wrested six Mayor seats out of the total 12, while the BSP, SP and Congress had won one seat each. Three Independents were declared winners on Mayoral posts in the last election.

Percentage wise,BJP stood on top by notching 18.11 per cent votes in the urban local bodies poll in the year 2000, while the SP received 15.30 per cent, BSP got 13.48 per cent and Congress could only manage 8.63 per cent votes.

Otherwise, independents along with the ruling Samajwadi Party candidates were cruising ahead of the BJP and Congress in UP urban local bodies poll results declared so far.

<b>The civic election is considered crucial as political parties see them as a warm-up exercise ahead of the assembly election due early next year. </b>

Several Independents were supported by the BSP, which did not contest the poll. Except for the BSP, all major parties had contested the UP civic poll.

Of the results of 120 Nagar Palika Parishads chairman out of total<b> 194 announced so far, 44 were won by the SP, while BJP won 19 seats and the Independents got elected on 36 parishad seats. The candidates of other smaller parties also managed 14 seats. Congress has won 7 seats.</b>  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Of the total of 304 Nagar Panchayat election results announced so far,<b> the highest 117 were cornered by Independents, followed by SP 81, BJP 52 and Congress 22. The other 32 seats were won by smaller parties like BS-4, RLD and Apna Dal.</b> Elections were held for 417 Nagar Panchayats in the state.

The three phase election -- on October 28, 31 and November 3 -- were marred by allegations of large scale rigging and sporadic violence, in which two persons died and over 100 were injured.
Bureau Report 
All major cities are in BJP kitty. I think BSP will try to join hand with BJP.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP bags six out of ten UP mayoral seats  </b>
Pioneer News Service | Lucknow
The BJP maintained its grip in urban areas across Uttar Pradesh winning six mayoral seats in 10 Municipal Corporations, results for which were declared on Tuesday night.

The BJP was leading in the remaining two municipal corporations of Lucknow and Kanpur when reports last came in.

<b>The Congress bagged three seats, improving its tally by two and emerging victorious in Allahabad, Bareilly and Jhansi. The ruling Samajwadi Party won only one seat - Moradabad.</b>

<b>In Lucknow, BJP candidate Dr Dinesh Sharma was leading his Congress rival Dr Manzoor Ahmed by 70,000 votes when reports last came in, while in Kanpur, BJP's Ravindra Patni was ahead of Congress nominee Badri Narain Tewari by over 27,000 votes.</b>

In Allahabad, Chaudhary Jitendra Nath Singh of the Congress defeated Vijay Kumar Mishra of the BJP by over 24,000 votes, to wrest the seat for the party after nearly two decades. In Bareilly and Jhansi, likewise Supriya Aron and Dr B Lal recorded handsome wins for the party.

<b>Tufel Hassan was the lone victor for the Samajwadi Party. He edged past BJP candidate Bina Agarwal by just 1,718 votes.</b>

The BJP caused the biggest upset in Meerut as its party candidate Madhu Gujar <span style='color:red'>defeated Sanjida Begum, wife of State Haj Minister Haji Yakub Qureshi</span>. The saffron party also romped home in Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Agra, Gorakhpur and Varanasi.

However, in the elections to chairpersons of Nagar Palika Parishad and Nagar Panchayats, the independents continued to dominate with the ruling Samajwadi Party coming a close second.

With 497 of the 611 results declared so far, the independents had won 182 posts while the Samajwadi Party had gained 143 seats. The BJP was a distant third with 85 winners while the Congress could win only 36 seats so far. Other parties had bagged 52 seats.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->...eyes Assembly with renewed vigour
Rajeev Ranjan Roy | New Delhi
The results of the local bodies' election in Uttar Pradesh have given the much needed impetus to the BJP, and have the potential to influence the State's future course of politics ahead of the Assembly polls.

<b>The party has proved political pundits wrong by emerging out of political comatose as the single largest party in urban areas in the mayoral polls, and shown significant presence across the State. </b>

"By winning a majority of mayoral seats, the BJP has come back with a bang in the State. The results are indicative of the shape of things that would emerge in the coming Assembly election in 2007. The BJP is set to play a key role in the State politics and would form the next Government too," a buoyant Prakash Javadekar, party spokesperson, said on Tuesday.

<b>As the BJP did not dilute issues of national importance during electioneering, the results are a matter of concern for the Congress, which was hopeful of cashing in on the 'pro-people' policies of the UPA Government. The Congress failed in gauging the people's mood, while the BJP succeeded in putting the anti-Congress and anti-Mulayam Singh Yadav votes in its kitty.</b>

At another level, <b>the results will be a major setback for the Congress as it failed to capitalise on the hype it created around the active interest displayed by Rahul Gandhi in UP politics</b>.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Spiralling prices and mishandling of a range of issues like delay in carrying out the death sentence to Parliament attack accused Md Afzal Guru and introducing OBC quota in educational institutions were other issues which went against the Congress.</span>

"<b>We would have done much better had the State Government not abused the administration and unleashed violence during the polls. Yadav did not leave anything unturned to subvert the election process to retain power. The people of the State have expressed their anguish through ballots wherever it was possible," </b>Javadekar said.

The BJP leader reiterated that the forthcoming Assembly election should be held under President's Rule in the State. Party president Rajnath Singh had recently told The Pioneer in an interview that a delegation of the BJP MLAs from Uttar Pradesh would soon meet President APJ Abdul Kalam to seek imposition of Central rule in the State to ensure fair and free poll.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>What has surprised the BJP stalwarts is the margin of votes with which the party grabbed mayoral seats of Ghaziabad, Agra, Varanasi, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Meerut, and Kanpur. </span>

<b>In Meerut, BJP mayoral nominee Madhu Gujjar defeated the wife of Haji Yaqoob by over one-lakh votes. "The winning margin is suggestive of the fact that the people of the State expect good governance only from the BJP,"</b> Javadekar said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP win in UP civic body polls stumps other parties </b>
Aloke Sharma | Meerut
<b>Election results of the local bodies have not only brought cheers to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) but also left many people wondering over the realignment of political forces that have led to such a situation. </b>

Leaders of Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) are concerned over the considerable influence of newly formed United Democratic Front (UDF) among Muslims.

Interestingly, the main campaigner of this front Hazi Yaqub, who is still a Minister in Mulayam Singh Government, did manage to attract large number of Muslim votes towards his wife and UDF.

When the election campaign started, it was believed that the main contest would be witnessed among <b>Madhu Gujjar of BJP, Jubeda Begum of BSP, Shaista Begum of RLD and Sanjeeda Begum of UDF.</b>

It may be noted that <b>Madhu Gujjar is wife of ex-Mayor Sushil Gujjar; Shaista Begum is wife of senior RLD leader Taj Alvi and Jubeda Begum is aunt of ex-Mayor and MP Shahid Akhlaq.</b> All these leaders worked hard, spent money and made this election a prestige issue.

But the way <b>Madhu Gujjar has defeated her nearest rival Sanjeeda Begum of UDF with record votes, all the other political leaders and their parties remained stunned.</b> Even the BJP leaders were not expecting this kind of victory.<b> In fact polarisation of votes on the basis of Hindu and Muslim gave a chance to the BJP candidate to get success in this election.</b>

<b>Leaders of almost all the political parties except BJP are disappointed </b>with the results of local bodies in western Uttar Pradesh because the party candidates have won Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Bijnore. <b>RLD leaders are most disappointed with the results of the elections of local bodies as their candidates could not even register victory in the constituency of party president Ajit Singh.</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>NDA wins Bhagalpur, Nalanda seats in Bihar </b>
Agencies | Patna
Bihar's ruling <b>NDA today retained the Bhagalpur and Nalanda Lok Sabha seats</b>, inflicting a convincing defeat on the divided UPA and its Left Front partners.

<b>BJP candidate Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, the solo Muslim face in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government, defeated RJD's Shakuni Chaudhary by 55,611 votes in by-polls to the Bhagalpur seat where 13 aspirants were in the fray</b>.

Hussain polled 2,21,001 votes, and Chaudhary, a former MP from Munger, secured 1,65,390 votes.

CPI-M's Subodh Roy, a former MP from Bhagalpur who was backed by<b> Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP, Congress, NCP and CPI, was relegated to the third position </b>with 79,363 votes. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

In the Nalanda constituency, vacated by Nitish Kumar on becoming Bihar's chief minister<b>, JD-U nominee and Islampur MLA Ram Swaroop Prasad trounced RJD-backed independent and former MP Arun Kumar by a margin of over 1.17 lakh votes.</b> Eight candidates were in the fray in Nalanda.

Prasad polled 1,71,592 votes, while Kumar, who recently quit the JD-U, got just 53,840 votes. CPI's Gay Singh, supported by the<b> LJP, Congress, NCP and CPI-M, finished a poor third with 31,915 votes</b>. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kalyan says no to UP poll alliance </b>
Rajeev Ranjan Roy | New Delhi
Buoyed over the outstanding performance of Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh civic elections, former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has ruled out any alliance for the forthcoming Assembly polls.

<b>"The results have left no scope for any electoral arrangement with any party. The BJP workers are in a position to wrest power from the ruling party on their own," </b>Singh, who played a key role in the party's resurgence in the State politics, told The Pioneer over phone from Lucknow.

Though the BJP was officially maintaining an anti-alliance posture to contest the poll, <b>there were surreptitious talks about aligning with the Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh, who holds a major sway in Jat dominated western UP.</b>

"The people's verdict is for a better governance. The deteriorating law and order was a major issue in the civic polls and would be an important issue in the Assembly election too," Singh said.

Admitting that he too did not expect such an outstanding feat in the State, Singh said:<b> "I was expecting an encouraging result, since the BJP is always better option than SP or Bahujan Samaj Party. We won only six mayoral seats when the party was at its peak in the State. Getting eight seats against all odds means that the people of the State want us to form the next Government."</b>

In the last election, the BJP won 88 seats in the Assembly of 403 and formed the Government in alliance with the BSP. The alliance, however, fell apart when the BJP found it increasingly difficult to cope with the 'tantrums' of Mayawati. "<b>Given the prevailing mood and the BJP's galvanised cadre, we would easily win around 250 seats to get absolute majority," </b>Singh added.

<b>Singh's optimism emanates from the party's conviction to win back around 85 Assembly seats in the urban areas, where the BJP seems to have regained the traditional support base.</b> In order to further strengthen the support base, the party has decided to field the candidates from the business community.<b> "As in the civic poll, we would give tickets to the dedicated workers. No turncoats would be fielded in the fray,"</b> Singh said. <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Singh, the BJP's prominent OBC face in Uttar Pradesh, is also the chief ministerial candidate of the party. The party president Rajnath Singh had announced to contest the poll in the state under his leadership after taking over the reins from former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani. "We will fight and win as a team. We have to make Uttar Pradesh an uttam pradesh in the real sense of the term," Singh said.
They should not give tickets to turncoats.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>No bhaichara without maya </b>
IANS/Pioneer News Service | Lucknow
<b>BSP boss seeks 25k per Brahmin unit</b>

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has her own inimitable way of buying loyalty of her supporters. On Saturday she blatantly put a price tag to insure loyalty of Brahmins.

<b>"Each of the Brahmin societies set up in the 403 Assembly constituencies of the State must shell out Rs 25,000 as gift for my birthday that is traditionally celebrated as fund-raising day for the party,"</b> Mayawati told a convention of Brahmins called by the BSP. 

That it would be a straight quid pro quo was clearly spelt out. "Let me assure you that I do not believe in just using you as a votebank. <b>When I come to power I will see to it that you get an appropriate share in governance,"</b> she said.

Explaining her demand for gifts on her birthday (January 15) every year, Mayawati said: "Ours is not a party funded by affluent industrialists or business houses. We have to depend on contributions made by our own supporters.

"I am not asking you to give me gold, silver or diamonds, just give us some cash so that we can run the party and take it ahead. After all when all other communities under the BSP umbrella voluntarily give donations, why should Brahmins lag," she added.

The BSP boss has formed bhaichara committees in every constituency, which will promote Brahmin-Dalit harmony. The real purpose of this social axis is to create a new electoral equation for the widening of the BSP's support base.

<b>The Brahmin vote in Uttar Pradesh is up for grabs after the virtual exit of Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the political scene in the state</b>. Also, the Congress ruled for decades using Brahmin-Dalit-Muslim equation and Mayawati has set sights on a similar combination.

<b>Only a day earlier, Mayawati had rubbed the Muslims up the wrong way by saying they liked fanatic leaders</b>. Realising her folly, she called a press conference late in the night on Friday to issue a clarification. She denied having said that all Muslims are fanatics.

<b>She had said earlier in the day that Muslims liked fanatic leaders. What made matters worse was her added remark: "That is why I told BSP voters to even vote for BJP since we were not contesting civic elections in the state." </b>The remarks led to loud protests in Meerut where Muslims took to the streets and burnt effigies of Mayawati.

In a damage control exercise, a visibly jittery Mayawati pleaded before the media that she had been misunderstood. She chose to read out a prepared release that said: "Some TV channels have been projecting that I have referred to Muslims in general as fanatics but that is not true." About transferring her party's votes to BJP, she sought to clarify: "All I said was that I asked my party supporters to vote for the strongest candidate against the wife of minister Haji Yaqoob Quraishi because he was trying to vitiate the atmosphere by fuelling fanaticism."

She added: "<b>In the Lucknow Mayor's poll we transferred our BSP vote to the Muslim nominee of the Congress because the independent whom we had extended support got sold to Mulayam (Singh Yadav) and we were determined to ensure the defeat of the Samajwadi Party. I have always considered Muslims as a part of Bahujan Samaj."</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Cong 'caught' luring Karimnagar voters </b>
Omer Farooq | Hyderabad 
<b>RTI chief's driver nabbed with cash, kits </b>
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti's fears about Congress' machinations to lure voters in Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency through money and other gifts came 'true' on Tuesday when a group of its activists foiled one such bid.

<b>Led by its legislator T Harish Rao, a TRS team caught a van ferrying 500 cricket kit bags each costing Rs 500 and Rs 500,000 in cash.</b> The vehicle was intercepted at Sultanpur village in Timmapur mandal while it was on its way to Karimnagar.

To their shock, the team also discovered that the person at the wheel was the driver of Right to Information Commissioner K Sudhakar Rao. He told the TRS workers that he had been sent by Rao.

The entire operation was carried out in the presence of electronic media that had been alerted by the TRS in advance.

Later angry party workers set the cricket kits on fire. <b>Ironically both Sudhakar Rao and Harish Rao are close relatives of TRS president and Karimnagar by-election candidate K Chandrasekhara Rao.</b>

<b>The 500 kits were purchased for Rs 1,47,500 from Sachdev Sports shop in Hyderabad.</b> <b>A receipt in the name of the State Congress committee was recovered from the van</b>. What is not clear is how the TRS men had advance information about the cricket kits and cash and how they were able to zero in on that particular van.

<b>Tirumala Rao, one of the two persons caught by TRS workers, revealed that he was bringing the material from Gandhi Bhavan, the State Congress headquarters</b>.

<b>Admitting that he was Sudhakar Rao's driver, he said that he was taking the consignment to the house of Markfed Chairman P Prabhakar in Karimnagar. He also revealed that the rTI commissioner had given him Rs 500,000 cash with an instruction to hand it over to one Anil in Sircilla.</b>

Sudhakar Rao was quick to deny any involvement in the episode and said it was a deliberate attempt by the TRS in which his driver was also used. He also denied any links with the Congress. However, a criminal case was registered against him and his driver arrested.

<b>The entire episode has created a flutter in political circle and all the major opposition parties have demanded action against the RTI Commissioner. </b>

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has alleged that the Congress was resorting to massive irregularities including misuse of power and money to win the by-poll and this was just the tip of the ice-berg. The CPI and the CPI(M) have also made similar allegations. 
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Poll in Feb or May ? CEC to visit Lucknow

As Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy is scheduled to visit the State capital on Wednesday to assess the preparedness for the Assembly elections and hold parleys with political parties, the ruling Samajwadi Party appears to be the only one to support the recommendation of holding elections in February next year.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Focus will be on Uttar Pradesh </b>
Arun Nehru
The Assembly elections in three States - Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttaranchal - will dominate media attention. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh byelections have gone in favour of the BJP-JD(U) combine. In fact, there is a revival in the fortunes of the BJP. This trend may well continue in Punjab where the Akali Dal-BJP combination seems ahead of the Congress. Similarly, in Uttaranchal, the BJP has a distinct edge over the Congress. However, the BSP-UKD combine may get sufficient seats to ensure a coalition structure in the State. At the same time, there are indications of change in 'alliances' in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Today, every party is looking at future; these three Assembly elections will only hasten the progress of prospective changes.

<b>The situation in Uttar Pradesh is changing rather rapidly and from earlier estimates I find that the BJP and the Samajwadi Party are consolidating their positions. I think both parties should thank Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh for his policy on reservations. Clearly, "minority" appeasement is consolidating the BJP's hold on urban areas. </b>The party could well win 70-80 seats as the upper caste vote is consolidating in its favour, as a consequence of which the "minority" will consolidate in the Samajwadi Party's favour. The Samajwadi Party could thus win 140-150 seats, and the loser in all this might be the BSP as voters belonging to the Brahmin and minority communities are likely to drift to the winning combinations in different areas.

In a coalition structure, numbers - not ideology - determine political combinations. As things stand, the next Government in Uttar Pradesh could well result in unusual partnerships. Everyone, including the Independents, will have a say in the matter. Things may well change, but the Samajwadi Party, though facing anti-incumbency, seems to be slowly recovering and BJP's prospects are getting better in urban areas.

In addition to the issue of reservation, the UPA Government's soft approach to terrorism has also become an issue, especially after the July 11 Mumbai bombings. Continuing violence in Assam and the related issue of illegal migration, too, cannot be ignored.

BSP leader Mayawati expels a few MPs and MLAs and is under some pressure. Both the Samajwadi Party and the BJP step up their campaigns, while the Congress shows little inclination to move forward by way of real action and seems to be obsessed with security considerations and is content with media statements. The elections are complicated and it will be foolish to arrive at any premature conclusions. The bottom line is, a political auction is inevitable and this could start even before the votes are cast.

A few months ago, we had a great deal of political attention on the Taj Corridor case, which is in the Supreme Court, and also the disproportionate assets issue involving Ms Mayawati. Then there was controversy over the assets of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members. There is no news on these fronts, and as things stand, none of these will have any impact on the polls in the State. In fact, as things stand, both the Samajwadi Party and the BSP can form Government in Uttar Pradesh and we may well find that superior tactics in attracting allies by power-sharing arrangements will result in power formation.

The Jan Morcha headed by former Prime Minister VP Singh and a group of fringe parties cannot be written off and only the next few weeks will indicate its damage potential against the Samajwadi Party and in favour of the Congress.<b> The one common factor is that all parties, big or small, will not lack financial resources and, I think, we will see more helicopters, planes and security guards than ever before. Every leader is likely to spend millions, but will give daily sermons on their concern for the poor, the weak and the deprived!</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

We have an interesting situation developing for future and there is considerable churning within the political system. As an example, let us see the trends in the South. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, both the ADMK and the TDP were wiped out in the last election, but things are changing in both these States.

Tamil Nadu is no longer a two-party State with decisive swings and the ADMK could well win 20 out of the 39 seats.<b> In Andhra Pradesh, the TDP is poised for a "rousing" return and can win in excess of 20 seats. </b>The Congress was wiped out in Kerala, but this time it can win 10 out of 20 seats at the expense of the CPI(M). <b>In Karnataka, both the BJP and the JD(S) can lose ground, while the Congress's share can go up marginally.</b>

We have a mixed bag in the South, and a similar pattern is emerging in other parts of the country. We will deal with this issue in detail in the coming months, but I see the regional parties - the NCP, ADMK, DMK, RJD, JD(U), BJD, TDP, SP, BSP - and many other smaller units (the JMM, TRS, NC, PDP, RLD) maintaining or increasing their share. The BJP's tally will decline to 80-90 seats and the Left from 65 to 55 or lower. The Congress will have wins and losses and can maintain its tally or perhaps even improve on its 145 seats.

The broad picture is pointing towards greater authority and power-sharing by the regional forces - one can call it the Third Front. If its strength goes beyond the Congress's, one might well see a new Prime Minister.
We often hear of regional leaders in conflict with each other, but in a coalition, numbers dictate "postures" and swings. In fact, political leaders are capable of very complex postures; rules to govern political gymnastics do not exist. The Uttar Pradesh election results will give a definite trend for the future. As far as Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav is concerned, this election will be the biggest political battle of his life.

Ms Mayawati, too, has much to fight for in the State. Besides Uttar Pradesh, she has direct stakes in Punjab and Uttaranchal. Moreover, in terms of a national constituency, the BSP leader scores over other regional leaders and no power formation at the Centre can ignore her political clout.

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