Hyderabad MP and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi gained prominence after his controversial speech in Hyderabad. He later emerged as a leader for young Muslims, frustrated with mainstream parties who pay only lip service to the community. His party made unexpected gains in 2014 Maharashtra assembly elections, expanding its base from tiny Hyderabad.
At his programmes, his supporters show the excitement which is not there for any Muslim leader in UP. His address to party workers at Lucknow’s Convention Centre in old city was attended by mostly young Muslims who responded to his taunts against mainstream Muslim politicians and his calls for Muslim unity to improve their condition.
Lokayukta NK Mehrotra’s interview in which he says he is not fully satisfied with the government’s action against corruption.
All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board starts holding public meetings as its tries to counter the hold of Darul Uloom Deoband and Deobandi clerics on the discourse among Muslims.
More and more complaints came to the office of Lokayukta after Justice(retd) NK Mehrotra submitted reports against Mayawati’s ministers and she subsequently took action on them. The office, which had very little importance for so long, was suddenly hogging the limelight.
Four ministers had gone by this time. They were indicted by Lokayukta and then sacked by Mayawati who was trying to present her government as tough-on-corruption, months before she faced the assembly elections. Most complainants against the ministers were people linked to opposition parties, mainly Samajwadi Party.
In the cable,dated February 27,2008,the Embassy said,The influential conservative Dar-ul-Uloom madrassa in Deoband,Uttar Pradesh,viewed by some as the ideological home of the Taliban (a claim Dar-ul-Uloom refutes),hosted an All India Terrorism Conference on February 25. The gathering of roughly 10,000-15,000 clerics from all sects of Islam jointly issued a declaration condemning terrorism as un-Islamic. With the cable was sent full text of the Deoband declaration.
First story I wrote was based on the cable that talked about Mayawati’s cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh. He had said that Mayawati’s opposition to Indo-US nuclear deal was rhetoric and said that he did not think she would become the prime minister. Mayawati has long nourished the dream of becoming the first Dalit prime minister of India. Off course, Singh denied having said any of these things in an evening statement.
In another story I wrote about another cable which described Mayawati in detail and called her “a first rate egomaniac” who runs the state like a fiefdom,and acts on her eccentricities,whims and insecurities. A cable dated January 16,2009,says though the chief minister had ostensibly suspended her birthday celebrations on January 15 because of the Mumbai attacks,earlier she used to celebrate her birthday,throwing large parties in Lucknow and Delhi where ranking party official vied for a chance to feed Mayawati piece of her birthday cake.
The third story was the most important and most damaging to the Mayawati regime. In this, her close aide and general secretary of her party, Satish Chandra Misra, was described as having told the US officials that she has a “penchant for personal corruption”. Mayawati reacted angrily at a press conference and said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange needs to be sent to the mental hospital in Agra.
Lokayukta NK Mehrotra indicted Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Awadhpal Singh Yadav for corruption and land grabbing. He was removed by Chief Minister Mayawati from his post.
The NHRC rejected the DGP’s response into the crackdown on SP workers in Lucknow during a protest. The Commission asked the DGP to get an inquiry done by the officer of not below the rank of DIG.
I wrote my first story with a byline for The Indian Express’s Sunday Edition, The Sunday Express. The page one story was about controversial things Ramdev had to say on many issues like corruption, politics and governance.