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...Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav Exactly a decade ago, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Behenji Mayawati was the uncontested queen of Uttar Pradesh. But after three successive defeats – in the 2012 Assembly election, in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and in the recently-held elections a few months ago – the Dalit leader has been substantially cut to size. Now with the candidature of Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind as the BJP’s presidential candidate, her political troubles seem to have no end in sight. The four-time chief minister of UP was once known as a tough administrator. She remains her party’s lone office-bearer, hardly moving out of home both during elections or otherwise. Some say this is because she is totally confident of the state’s large Dalit population, as much as 21.1 per cent of UP’s 200 million people. Others believe she is taking them for granted, which is why she wasn’t able to win a single seat in the Lok Sabha and has been reduced to a mere 19 MLAs in the Yogi Adityanath-led Assembly. Certainly, the news that the BJP is at the gates and is attacking her Dalit base, is beginning to sink in. ...Indian Express on June 21, 2017, 2:31 p.m.
... Eleven Lucknow University students, including two girls, have been cooling their heels in a district prison for about a week. They committed the ‘crime’ of showing black flags to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and holding up his fleet of cars for six-seven minutes during his recent visit to the University. The lower court denied the students bail – it is believed the prosecution was instructed to oppose bail so that these “disturbing elements” learnt a lesson. The police has lodged the case under serious charges of rioting, causing hurt to deter policemen in functioning of their duty and assaulting policemen on duty. None of these students had indulged in stone pelting or any other violent act. In fact, there are pictures showing policemen beating them up. Yogi Adityanath reacted strongly to the incident. ...Indian Express on June 13, 2017, 4:37 p.m.
...PTI Photo Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will soon be completing 100 days in office. This period has been marked by a variety of events – enforcing the closure of illegal slaughter houses, the operation of anti-Romeo squads, cow vigilantism by pro-Hindutva outfits, BJP and Bajrang Dal men attacking a police station in Agra and most recently, inefficient policing in Saharanpur which led to the rioting between upper caste Thakurs and Dalits over the garlanding of an Ambedkar statue by the latter. In the beginning, Adityanath decided not to change any of the officials who had served under his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav. But soon enough, local BJP workers began to protest, demanding the removal of district magistrates as well as SHOs. So when Bajrang Dal men misbehaved with a deputy superintendent of police on April 22 in Fatehpur Sikri nearby, they demanded that he expunge an FIR against nine of their colleagues. ...Indian Express on June 11, 2017, 7:41 a.m.