02 June 2019

Even before he took over as the head of the Gorakhpur Mutt, Yogi Adityanath had floated a youth militia, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, in 2002 to propagate Hindutva and nationalism. But there were many charges against its members of harassment, communal violence and intimidation. After he took over as chief minister, Adityanath distanced himself from the Vahini. Sunil Singh, a key functionary of the organisation, was infuriated when he and some others did not get Assembly tickets. He revolted and formed a rebel Vahini outfit, declaring himself president. Singh announced that he would contest against the BJP's Gorakhpur candidate, actor Ravi Kishan, on a Hindustan Nirman Dal, floated by Pravin Togadia. Being a Thakur, Singh might have cut into BJP votes, but his nomination was declared invalid by the Election Commission

At Varanasi, representing farmers in distress from Telengana and Tanilnadu nearly 100 farmers had gone to contest against prime minister Modi. They camped for days, campaigned and submitted nominations. But except one, all other nominations were rejected by the returning officer without attributing any valid reasons. In other Purvanchal constituencies of UP also this practice was evident. Many nominations including those of CPI(ML) Red Star candidates from Deoria and Chandoli were rejected without giving any explanation. Even election officials were not ready to meet these candidates or their representatives. EC was helping BJP in many ways. n

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.