Tribal minister in a soup for his casual remarks on malnutrition deaths What’s the harm in BMC schools introducing surya namaskar: HC
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Friday forged an uneasy truce between his chief minister-son Akhilesh and brother Shivpal to end a damaging power struggle in the party five months ahead of the state election.
The young chief minister, however, looks determined to come out of his powerful father’s shadow and have a say in the poll strategy, decided by Mulayam -- or Netaji as he is known -- and his brothers since the party’s inception in 1992.
The party plunged into a crisis early this week after Akhilesh took away three portfolios from Shivpal hours after Mulayam removed the chief minister as the UP party president and named his brother to the position.
“I am ready to return party posts and even portfolios but I must have the power to distribute tickets because the forthcoming poll is after all a test for me and my party,” Akhilesh told India TV.
In the evening, he tweeted, “Portfolios will be given back to Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav.”
That as well as taking back cabinet minister Gayatri Prasad
State tribal minister Vishnu Savara’s casual response to a question about the death of 600 children allegedly because of malnutrition in Palghar district, just 100km north of Mumbai, has landed the politician in hot water. Savara’s “let it be”’ remark made twice in response to the deaths came during his visit to a grieving family in the district that had lost their 6-year-old son Sagar Wagh to malnutrition.
The remarks captured in a video clip went viral forcing chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to seek a clarification from the minister on the issue by evening. Savara clarified later that his response was only to silence some activists, who were not allowing him to speak with the family of the victims.
Savara, who belongs to the tribal community, is also the guardian minister of Palghar district. He had gone to console the family of Wagh, who died on August 30, but the family members had refused to meet him. In the ensuing argument, Savara also snapped at people surrounding him, saying they tend to argue too much over everything.
The tribal minister’s statement came two days after governor CV Rao expressed his displeasure over the spurt in malnutrition cases in the state, especially in Mokhada tehsil of Palghar.
“How can I say such a thing when I myself belong to the same community and have been working in the area for more than 30 years,” Savara told HT. Prajapati, a Shivpal loyalist sacked by Akhilesh, were part of a compromise worked out by Mulayam to end the feuding in the party, sources said.
The SP patriarch announced at the party office in Lucknow that there was no rift in the party and that it would “not split” till he was around.
“We have a big family, differences may occur... There is no fight between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh,” he told party members.
Differences in the Yadav clan have been simmering for a while and can be attributed to a generational clash.
Akhilesh, who took over as the youngest chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at 38 in 2012, wants to break from the Samajwadi Party’s identity politics of the past and fight the election on an agenda of development and clean governance.
Part of the crisis in the party has also been attributed to Akhilesh’s sour ties with Amar Singh, a close aide of his father who returned to Samajwadi Party recently and was made a Rajya Sabha member. Earlier in the day, Akhilesh took a dig at Singh. “I will no longer refer to that ‘outsider’ as uncle,” he said in a veiled reference to Singh.
What is the harm if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) makes surya namaskar — sun salutation — mandatory for students of civic schools in Mumbai, the Bombay high court sought to know on Friday.
The query came from division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and justice MS Sonak after advocate Anjali Awasthi mentioned a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by her on behalf of Kurla resident Masood Ansari, challenging the resolution passed by the general body of the BMC on August 26, making surya namaskar mandatory for civic students.
The bench felt surya namaskar was a form of exercise and there was nothing wrong if such an activity was made mandatory for students of civic schools.
The judges said there are various kinds of yogasanas and it will be necessary to find out which kind is selected by the civic body and if it was appropriate for children.
Responding to a court query, Awasthi said surya namaskar involves 12 different asanas that are supposed to be done on an empty stomach, and students up to 14 years of age cannot be expected to go to school without eating anything.