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Months ago, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had directed Samajwadi Party legislators to contribute Rs 25,000 each annually for meeting the expenses of district party offices. Since the directive went unheeded, the party headquarters started making personal calls. But the legislators, instead of paying up, offered all kinds of excuses. The office staff accordingly informed the leaders. Some time ago, the legislators were told that the chief minister was personally monitoring the contributions. This has had the desired effect, but some legislators are complaining that the SP is following in the footsteps of former chief minister Mayawati.
BJP national vice-president Kalraj Mishra is eyeing the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat. An MLA from Lucknow East, Mishra laid the foundation of 88 development works in his constituency on December 25, the 88th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the presence of state president Laxmikant Bajpai, Mishra said that development on a similar scale was required in entire Lucknow. In the party, Mishra's statement is seen as virtual indictment of local MP Lalji Tandon. It is also seen as a challenge to Mayor Dinesh Sharma, who is also an aspirant for the Lucknow ticket.
Agriculture Minister Raja Anand Singh's daughter Niharika Singh's enthusiasm for social work recently landed her in trouble. Niharika reportedly owns a farmhouse in Balrampur district and also runs an organisation for saving forests. During a visit to her farmhouse, Niharika noticed logs of wood lying outside a tea stall. She enquired about it and, soon the matter led to a heated exchange. Next, her overzealous associates allegedly assaulted the shopkeeper. In no time, many locals jumped to the shopkeeper's support. Niharika and her men had to take help of the police. However, in order to look fair, the police recorded complaints of both sides. But they were kind enough to leave out Niharika's name.
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