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BSP will go it alone in bypolls to 11 U.P. seats, says Mayawati

But adds that there is no breakup yet of the alliance with the SP

The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance was put on hold in Uttar Pradesh after BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday announced that her party would contest alone all 11 seats in the upcoming Assembly byelections.

She cited “political compulsions” behind the move and claimed that the Yadavs had deserted the SP and hurt the alliance’s prospects.

Ms. Mayawati, however, kept the chances of a reunion in future alive with the ultimatum that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav would have to train his cadre to be “missionary” like those of the BSP’s. Ms. Mayawati said, “There is no breakup of the alliance yet.”

After her announcement in Delhi, Mr. Yadav, who was in Ghazipur, responded that his party would also prepare to contest all 11 seats if the alliance broke, putting a question mark over the future of the tie-up, just days after its unsuccessful run in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. While the BSP won 10 seats, the SP returned with just five.

“If our ways are separate, we welcome that as well and congratulate…,” said Mr. Yadav, not making any direct comment on the BSP chief.

Praise for Akhilesh

Ms. Mayawati praised Mr. Yadav and his wife Dimple personally for treating her with the respect of an “elder and a role model” and said that, in return, she treated them “like my own family” after the alliance was formed. “Our relationship was not built for just political interests. In future, this relationship will continue to remain in every moment of happiness and grief. Our relationship will not end,” she said.

In relief for Kiran Bedi, SC restrains Puducherry govt.

Bars decisions having financial implications or transfers

Kiran Bedi

In relief for Puducherry Lieutenant Governor (LG) Kiran Bedi, a Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday restrained the Congress government in the Union Territory from implementing any decision involving financial implications or transfer of officials.

The order by a Bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and M.R. Shah was based on an urgent plea by the Union of India and Ms. Bedi’s office for clarity on the issue of control over bureaucrats in the wake of a turf war between the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister.

The Bench further issued notice to the elected government and allowed the Cabinet to meet on June 7, but said decisions that entailed serious financial implications and those on transfers could not be implemented till the next hearing scheduled for June 21.

Kapil Sibal, appearing for the elected government, said the direction to temporarily halt Cabinet decisions amounted to a virtual stay on the Madras High Court’s decision, which had curbed the LG’s powers to interfere in the day-to-day administration, especially when an elected government was in place. But the court did not relent.

‘Requires rectification’

The Central authorities said the High Court’s decision had brought the “administrative machinery of Puducherry to an impasse” and required urgent rectification. Their plea said the Puducherry LG enjoyed “greater discretionary power” than the Delhi LG. The Puducherry LG had a “special responsibility towards the Union Territory of Puducherry and is under the overarching control of the President.”

Kerala confirms one case of Nipah infection

Four suspected cases have been quarantined

Taking precautions: Health officials at an isolation ward of Ernakulam Medical College Hospital on Tuesday. H. Vibhu The Hindu

Nearly a year after the outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram, the deadly Nipah has resurfaced in Kerala. It has been confirmed that a 23-year-old college student here is infected.

“The test results have come from the National Institute of Virology, Pune, and it is positive for Nipah. The authorities have made elaborate arrangements, and medicines are in stock,” Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said here on Tuesday.

She said 311 people from various districts with whom the student had interacted in recent times were under observation. Three persons who attended to the student initially and one who studied with him were suffering from fever and sore throat. They had been shifted to an isolation ward set up at the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital here for a detailed examination. Their health condition was satisfactory, authorities said.

The student, hailing from North Paravur in Ernakulam district, studies in a college at Thodupuzha in Idukki district. He had gone to Thrissur district with a group of students to attend a training programme.

‘Not on life support’

Ms. Shylaja said the student, who is being treated at a private hospital here, was not on any life support systems such as ventilator. “Good care is being given to him. The patient sometimes becomes restless due to fever... We expect a good result,” she said.

The Minister urged the people not to panic and instead take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. “We faced it in Kozhikode last year and contained it,” she said.

(With inputs

from agencies)

Giriraj Singh roils ruling NDA in Bihar with remarks on Iftar

Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s remarks on the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi at an Iftar in appeared to widen the rift in the ruling NDA in Bihar, with several politicians reacting sharply to the comments.

Tweet

On Tuesday, Mr. Singh tweeted in Hindi, along with the photographs of Mr. Kumar and Mr. Modi attending Iftar events hosted by Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi and the Lok Janshakti Party, an ally of the NDA, in Patna on Sunday and Monday.

“How beautiful would it have been had a fruit feast been organised during Navratra with the same fervour and similar photographs been taken. Why do we lag behind in observance of our own religious customs and ceremonies, while staying ahead in putting on a show in observing those of others?” wrote Mr. Singh, considered a close confidant of BJP president Amit Shah.

Mr. Singh is also known for his hard-line Hindutva stance and remarks.

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