SP in crisis as Akhilesh, Mulayam cross swords CR services run late all day after train derails
Snubbed by father, Uttar Pradesh chief minister releases his own list of 235 candidates and tells loyalists to start campaigning in their areas
Miffed Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav came out late on Thursday with his own list of 235 Samajwadi Party candidates for next year’s assembly polls, triggering speculation of a split in the party besieged by a bitter family feud.
The move is viewed as a tit-fortat response from the 43-year-old son to party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, who declared candidates for 325 of the 403 assembly seats the day before and ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the candidate for the chief minister’s post.
The state’s youngest CM has been engaged in an intense power struggle with the ruling family’s elders, especially uncle Shivpal Yadav, who enjoys the backing of his brother Mulayam. Akhilesh’s parallel list contains all the legislators loyal to him, such as Ram Gobind Chaudhary who was not among Mulayam’s nominees. It also contains names from Mulayam’s list, including two ministers he had sacked — Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh and Manoj Paras.
Akhilesh drew up his own list of 403 candidates on Sunday and sent it to Mulayam, bypassing Shivpal.
But the party chief appeared to have sided with his brother, denying tickets to at least three top pro-Akhilesh ministers Arvind Singh Gope, Ram Govind Chaudhary and Tej Narayan Pandey or Pawan Pandey. Also, he ignored Akhilesh’s objections to names such as Sigbatullah Ansari, the brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases. The Akhilesh list left out Ahmed and murder accused Aman Mani Tripathi.
The CM didn’t formally release his list as he is not the party’s national present or the state chief to declare candidates for elections. Shivpal is the state unit president.
Suburban services on the Central Railway (CR) were thrown out of gear on Thursday after five coaches of an Ambernath-bound train derailed between Kalyan and Vithalwadi at 5.33am because of a rail fracture. The incident left lakhs of commuters stranded at various suburban stations on CR mainline.
Around 163 trains were cancelled and more than 100 trains were running 20-30 minutes late throughout the day and well into the evening.
Thursday’s derailment was the third incident of disruption on CR beyond Kalyan. On November 12, services between Titwala and Ambivli were disrupted for an hour owing to rail fracture. On November, 5, the railway track between Kalyan and Thakurli developed a crack, affecting suburban services for more than an hour during morning peak hours.
Around 40lakh passengers travel on CR trains daily, of which 30 lakh travel on the mainline and Railway authorities undertake repairs after five coaches of an Ambernath-bound train derailed on Thursday.
10 lakh travel on the harbour line.
“Every Sunday, railways undertake a maintenance block, but still we have problems, this is because the senior railway authorities fail to monitor the work. They rely on reports made by junior staff,” said Rajesh Ghanghav President Kalyan-Karjat-Kasara Passengers Association “Trains were running almost delayed by 15-20 minutes. I reached office half-an-hour late,”
said Shruti Desai, a CR commuter.
While the line towards CST was restored at 9.15am, it took railways 11 hours to restore the line going towards Vithalwadi. As result, majority of trains between CSTKarjat were cancelled. Finally at 4.30pm, the line towards Karjat was restored and Kalyan-Karjat service was restored at 4.42pm.
Liquor shops and hotels will remain open until late into the night on New Year’s Eve. While the state has given liquor and wine shops permission to remain open until 1am, hotels, beer bars and permit rooms can serve people until 5am.
But if you are planning to celebrate at a hotel near any of the state or national highways, these rules will not apply. Reason: Hotels and party halls situated within a 500-m radius of these roads will not be allowed to serve liquor.
It means the government has decided not to issue one-day temporary club licences to serve liquor. The decision was taken in view of the Supreme Court order that prohibits serving liquor along highways to prevent road accidents.
The SC on December 16 had ordered the closure of all liquor shops along the national and state highways across the country.