Soccer loving Liberians and particularly those of Barrack Young Controllers said it: “BYC is set to make history,” and thousands sat on tenterhooks after 88 minutes, yesterday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.They waited for a miracle that came through substitute Blamo Nymely in the 89th minute to make history, and hopefully to revive the image of Liberian soccer.It was during an attack on Kotoko defense. BYC strikers pushed forward as the ball entered the 18-yard box.Kotoko defenders Abieku Ainooson, Ben Adama and Kwabena Edusei struggled to get the ball under control.The compact of players in the defense forced goalkeeper Soulama Abdullahi to lower his towering frame to locate of the ball.Substitute Nymely also in the box turned around and the ball rolled in front of him and he put his right foot to it as it rolled into the net, with goalkeeper Abdullahi misjudging the course of the ball.And the referee sounded his whistle to acknowledge the goal as Nymely ran to celebrate it.The goal unsettled Kotoko players as they stood in their tracks shocked.Goalkeeper Abdullahi had been playing unnecessary delay tactics and was warned by the referee. With the goal he sat on the field, not believing what had just happened, when the game had was barely four minutes to end. Soccer fans waited for 88 frustrated minutes but it was atoned for by the goal which indicated that Asante Kotoko is out of the completion and BYC is through to the next round. Both teams played a see-saw game, resorting to entertaining football in the midfield with occasional drives for the goals that did not come. Agitated fans could not understand why BYC was not making use of several scoring chances created. George Williams was at his best, ably supported by Trokon Myers, Isaac Popo and left winger Prince Saydee, whose accomplishment was evidently succeeded by Nymely’s wonderful goal. Kotoko’s attacks centered on midfielder Rahim Ayew, whose torches sent the ball to team-mates who could not make use of the few chances that came their way. However, unable to open up their game, Kotoko played cautiously which suited BYC fairly well.Perhaps with their 2-1 first leg win in Ghana, Kotoko players were less aggressive which seemed to affect BYC.BYC responded and kept pressure on Kotoko and kept goalkeeper Abdullahi busy. Kotoko wasted the first of its four corner-kicks in the 16th minute. BYC had several direct-kicks where were wasted.As the game progressed, Barrack Young Controllers resorted to passes from the midfield but the few chances created by Trokon Myers and Isaac Popo could not materialize into goals.Kotoko on the other hand could not exert their authority on the game and their winger Prince Baffoe was held on his tracks by Alpha James who made Baffoe very much ineffective.Resuming the second session, BYC played their usual game and Kotoko also responded in kind. BYC did not seem more aggressive than Kotoko and the tide only changed when Blamo Nymely and diminutive player Benjamin Ghamy came in the second half to reinforce the striking force.Ghamy announced his presence with forceful attacks which helped the midfield in building their attacks against Kotoko but the game remained as if it was going for a draw.The Antoinette Tubman Stadium, packed with thousands of soccer fans, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf waited patiently for a miracle to happen.The miracle happened in the 89th minute to send the Liberian champions into the new round of the CAF Championship League.The 1-0 victory made an aggregate score of 2-2 but BYC has qualified for the next round, due to the away-goal rule for the goal they scored in Ghana during their 2-1 loss in the first round first leg. The 89th minute goal has made all the difference, ending Asante Kotoko’s dream in the 2014 CAF Championship League.BYC: Nathaniel Sherman, Alpha James, Blama Kamara, Prince Jetoe, Teah Dennis, Junior Barshall, George Williams, Isaac Popo, Trokon Myers, Prince Sayedee, Lamine Jabateh: sub: Sporo Somah, Blamo Nymely, Benjamin Ghamy.Kotoko: Soulama Adbullahi, Amos Frimpong, Ben Adama, Abieku Ainooson, Kwabena Adusei, Rahim Ayew, Richard Mpong, Jordan Opoku, Siedu Bancey, Larbi Koomson, Prince Baffoe.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
On the 167th anniversary of the birth of Liberia, Africa’s first independent republic, we, at the Universal Human Rights International (UHRI) wish to reecho the humanitarian emergency alarm sounded daily since July 2003 (over a decade ago) on the humanitarian crisis facing Liberian refugee women and young Liberian-American children evacuated by the United States Military from Monrovia to safety in the United States. It is unconscionable that the governments ofPresident Barack Obama the United States of America and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, both in their second and final terms of office, have chosen to ignored the plight of their citizens and reneged on their legal and moral obligations to protect their own citizens, especially vulnerable young children and women. While this crisis predated the ascendancy of both Obama and Sirleaf to power, there is no excuse or justification, whatsoever, for ignoring the suffering of the citizens they were elected to protect and paid a salary to serve. On this 167th anniversary of Liberia’s existence (?independence?), we call on Presidents Obama and Sirleaf to use their good offices and end over a decade of unnecessary and unjustifiable suffering and misery for over 7,000 Liberians who entered the United States after October 2002 and have since been denied protection contrary to pleas from the Massachusetts Delegation to Congress and the late Senator Edward Kennedy (See attached letter).Additionally, as President Obama is seeking $500 million dollars to support and arm rebels in Syria and nearly $4 billion dollars to assist unaccompanied minors entering the USA illegally from Central America, surely, he must address the plight of accompaniedAmerican children and Liberian refugee women evacuated from Liberia by the United States Military over a decade ago. We also call for a constitutional amendment in Liberia making Citizens’ Initiative a part of Liberia’s political life. Citizens’ Initiative is a measure of participatory democracy that allows citizens, as the supreme source of state power, to propose good laws, repeal bad laws, set the salaries and benefits of politicians without the approval or permission of the president or legislature. Citizens’ Initiative, which dates back to the 5th Century B.C. in Athens, Greece works great in 2014 in the European Union, Switzerland and 24 states in the United States of America.On June 13, 2003, President George Bush ordered Operation Shining Express, a deployment of an American naval task force based around the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) to rescue U.S. embassy personnel and American citizens during the Second Liberian Civil War. The deployment announced on June 13, 2003 lasted until July 2003.Considering the appalling state of Liberia’s education, widespread poverty and political landscape rife with corruption, greed and advancing of personal and family interests above national interests as well as 167 years of political gimmickry that has rendered Liberia’s political elite as masters over the impoverished masses of citizens, we believe now is the time for the citizens of Liberia to embrace Citizens’ Initiative and thereby bring lasting security, equal opportunities and sustainable development to this country. Citizens’ Initiative is the only sure way for more transparency, justice, security and equal opportunities in the republic of Liberia because this measure puts citizens in charge.As Liberia commemorates 167 years of existence (?independence?), the president appoints all mayors, governors of all political sub-divisions, cabinet members, heads of all public corporations, thus putting too much power in the presidency. Only politicians and their friends and family members are celebrating their freedom to travel first class, drive expensive cars, enjoy huge salaries and benefits while poor citizens are living in misery and hopelessness at home and abroad.Beyond widespread unemployment, the deplorable education system, other consequences of the breach of trust include greed and corruption which seems to be the order of the day. Public service in Liberia has become the primary path to acquiring personal wealth for Liberia’s ruling elite. The gap between the rich and poor continues to widen, evidenced by the outrageously high salaries and benefits politicians have assigned to themselves and their family members. The number of sub-standard schools and universities across Liberia is alarming and growing with many places of worship setting up sub-standard schools without adequate facilities for learning.July 26 celebration is mired by widespread boozing and dancing on the streets. Meanwhile, the Liberian economy, Liberia’s largest churches, security sector and big banks are all controlled by foreigners. There seems to be evidence that growing political corruption also means that ‘brown bags’ and corporate money have potentially powerful influence in the government.When it comes to national leadership, it seems that the process has been effectively rigged by the ruling elites against ordinary Liberians without access to foreign higher education. Even President Roberts, one of the greatest selfless leaders of the world, evidenced by donation of his estate to educate Liberian children never had access to foreign higher education. Additionally, many of the brightest and most creative minds of the 21th century, including millionaires and entrepreneurs in America such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, never completed college and they were 20 and 21 years old when they started their companies.By creating unrealistic standards for national leadership out of the reach of most Liberians such as foreign higher education requirements, the ruling elites have established an unjustifiable political hegemony that have robbed majority of Liberians of a role in national leadership. Liberian citizens continue to be robbed of natural resources due to corruption, robbed of a role in leadership through the lack of citizens’ initiative laws and the requirement of foreign higher education for leadership. Liberians have been robbed of the future by effectively denying innovative youths a chance to tap into their God-given talents and potentials.On the other hand, unnecessary government bureaucracies and commissions continue to be created as avenues for the elite to siphon wealth for themselves and their families, many of whom reside overseas. Laws have been enacted not for the common good of ordinary citizens but for the benefit of multi-national corporations and the ruling elite. Although the constitution claims that “All power is inherent in the people,” ordinary Liberians are powerless in the face of powerful corporations, foreign-owned companies that dominate the Liberian economy and the ruling elite. Without citizens’ Initiative, the citizens cannot exercise their power as the boss of the republic.Accordingly, we wish to reassert the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of these accompanied young Liberian-American children and Liberian refugee women as human beings who deserve to be protected both at home and abroad. Inalienable rights are in fact God-given rights-not given by any man and rights which no man can take away.Liberian refugee women suffering for over a decade deserve better. We call on both President Obama and President Sirleaf to use their good offices and end the unnecessary suffering of American children and over 7,000 Liberians who entered the USA after October 200. We call on citizens of Liberia to join ranks in pushing for a constitutional amendment that brings to birth in a new day of true freedom, justice, peace, equal opportunity, prosperity and security in Liberia and Africa.With our children set free in America they can begin to live their dreams and contribute their quotas in making our world a better place. With Citizens’ Initiative, Liberia will be a prosperous nation that guarantees justice, security and equal opportunity for all citizens and a level playing field for foreign investors to compete in a free market place.Torli H. Krua is President of the Universal Human Rights International (UHRI), a non-profit organization that promotes democracy and citizens’ initiative in Africa and refugee rights in the USAShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Guyanese who lived through the period 2015-2019 will always remember the APNU/AFC coalition government for wasteful spending and lack of accountability in office.Wasteful spendingIn government, the APNU/AFC expended over one trillion dollars that was partially financed by additional taxes of G$264.8 billion, as well as external debt and domestic debt of $18.9 billion and $67.5 billion in domestic debt respectively. Unfortunately, the lavish spending by the APNU/AFC Government did not produce jobs for Guyanese, induce more foreign and domestic investments, improve the production of our key sectors, or enhance the well-being of our people. Instead, we witnessed the reverse: an increase in unemployment (especially among youths who were told to make cook-up rice and plantain chips), a decline in output levels of the critical sectors, disinvestment and capital flight, more bankruptcy as reflected by increasing non-performing loans and the general decline in the critical socio-economic indicators. Government spending, which is usually a catalyst for economic growth and development in every country, produced the foregoing results for various reasons. Firstly, a significant portion of Government spending went into non-value added activities. Leading this category of expenditure is spending on dietary and travel, which approximated over $4.7 billion for the period 2015-2019. This type of expenditure only benefitted a few officials who were afforded the privilege to ‘wine and dine’ in fine style while travelling in luxury vehicles (Lexus, Land Cruisers, Prados, etc) as well as planes, helicopters within and outside of Guyana. However, the poor man who struggle daily to put food on the table and find funds for transportation did not even enjoy the ‘crumbs’ from the billions spent on dietary and travel.Secondly, the poor execution of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) by the coalition government also denied Guyanese the benefits usually associated with government expenditure. In his 2019 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance, confirmed this fact when he reported that “Guyana‘s estimated efficiency gap in public investment was 41 per cent, compared to 30 per cent for Latin America and the Caribbean.”To a large extent, the sub-optimal returns from public investment may be attributed to poor planning, misprocurement (that is, failure of procuring entities to award contracts as per the Procurement Act), and poor contract management. The Auditor General Reports are littered with examples of contracts awarded in clear breach of the Procurement Act. Evidence of poor contract management, on the other hand, is reflected by overpayments on contracts as well as delays and non-delivery of items procured by procuring entities. The table below shows that for the period 2015-2018, there were overpayments on 298 contracts amounting to $356.17 million. During the corresponding period, the APNU/AFC also failed to collect items valued at $796.01 million. Thus, we are not only paying more by failing to award contracts to the lowest responsive bidder but, in many instances, not even collecting the items procured with tax dollars. According to the Auditor General, the Ministries that have failed to collect the items purchased included the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MoPI), Ministry of Public Security (MoPS), and Ministry of the Presidency (MotP). These are the agencies responsible for providing security, healthcare and public infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc).Lack of accountabilityEditor, apart from the spending spree that failed to produce any dividends (eg, jobs, improved well-being, more investment, etc), the APNU/AFC will also be remembered for its failure to account for public funds properly. Over the period 2015-2018, a total of 1754 vouchers valued at $1964.75 million were not presented to the Auditor General for audit. Interestingly, 582 of these vouchers in 2018 were in respect of the Ministry of the Presidency, Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources, Guyana Defence Force, and Ministry of Social Protection. This speaks loudly about accountability at the highest level, Ministry of the Presidency, and throughout the public sector.Sincerely,Name withheld
Footballer Joseph Osborne, known as ‘Kat,’ appeared before Georgetown Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus on Friday to answer to a robbery-under-arms charge.The 26-year-old footballer, of Bagotville, West Bank Demerara, is accused of robbing a Brazilian at Port Kaituma, Region One.Osborne pleaded not guilty to the charge, which alleges that on September 22, 2017, at Water Front, Port Kaituma, he robbed Francisco Da Santos of a quantity of gold valued at $3 million; and used personal violence in committing the act.Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield did not object to Osborne being placed on bail, but this defendant was nonetheless remanded. The case will continue on March 14.
Black, spongy material covers the lab’s walls to muffle reflected sound that would otherwise disrupt critical satellite acoustics tests. Hence, no echo. Yet, the company’s space business owes a major debt to a satellite whose echo has grown louder in the past half a century. Fifty years ago today, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite. That singular event ushered in the Space Age and drew fierce competition for space supremacy from the U.S. “There were certainly thoughts that there would be many uses for space, and we didn’t want to be left behind. Neither country did,” noted Paul Nisbet, defense analyst with JSA Research Inc. in Newport, R.I. By Muhammed El-Hasan STAFF WRITER In a lab at Northrop Grumman’s Redondo Beach space facilities, a person can shout, whistle and guffaw. But he will not hear an echo. In Southern California, Sputnik’s reverberations are especially evident, with major satellite and space operations owned by Northrop Grumman Corp., Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co., and the many smaller firms that make satellite and rocket components. In 2005, California’s satellite industry generated more than $50 billion in economic activity, with more than 265,000 associated jobs in the state, according to research firm Futron Corp. The Space and Missile Systems Center, at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, uses its $10 billion annual budget to buy satellites and the rockets that launch the spacecraft into orbit. For Los Angeles County, the Air Force procurement arm known as SMC was responsible for direct and indirect employment of 50,000 people in Los Angeles County and $8 billion in annual economic impact, according to a 2004 study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. Statewide, the SMC figures rise to 112,000 jobs and $16 billion in annual economic impact. As much as 40 percent of SMC’s space systems are built within 30 miles of the Air Force base. “SMC is the birthplace of military space,” Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, the center’s commander, said in an e-mail to the Daily Breeze. “Over the decades, we’ve gone from the initial tentative steps for putting a satellite into orbit to the point that it is a routine part of everyday life.” It may be even more difficult to quantify the other economic and lifestyle benefits of satellites and space programs in general. Phone calls, television transmissions, global positioning technologies, weather forecasting, banking and commerce – to name a few – have been enhanced or even revolutionized by humans’ lurch into the heavens. “Most folks in America do not ? realize the vast, vast impact that satellites have in our daily life,” said William Simon, spokesman for the California Space Authority. “They’re not aware of things like GPS, the ATM, when we go to the gas station. The climate change issue – whatever side you fall on it – part of the resolution has to fall into the realm of satellites because satellites monitor these things.” In Redondo Beach, the company, which would later become Northrop Grumman Space Technology, started the same year Sputnik went into orbit. The resulting emphasis on space created by Sputnik helped drive the Redondo Beach firm’s satellite-development business. Today, the Northrop Grumman sector has more than 195 satellites under its belt including Pioneer 1, the first satellite made by private industry, launched in 1958 for NASA. Northrop executive Bruce Gerding was 10 years old when Sputnik went up. He remembers suddenly realizing what he wanted to do for a living. The same was true for countless other engineers who were children in 1957 but went on to serve as the backbone of the U.S. aerospace industry. “That event caused me to chart a course to the aerospace industry that never wavered,” Gerding, sector vice president for business development and planning, said. “To me, Sputnik was a significant catalytic event in that it caused the average person to think of a totally new dimension of life. It caused them to project a presence in outer space and its significance.” But Sputnik did not just capture the imagination of young and old. Amid the Cold War, the tiny basketball-size satellite also caused Americans and their government to worry that its launch could help the Soviet Union gain military advantage over the United States. That concern led the U.S. government to pump billions of dollars into what became known as the space race, and the eventual landing of American astronauts on the moon. Hughes Aircraft Co., started by the mercurial and visionary Howard Hughes, leaped into the space business to eventually build the world’s largest commercial satellite factory. Now owned by Boeing Co., the El Segundo facility stretches for 1 million square feet and has produced satellites used by telephone companies and spy agencies. In Sylmar, Boeing makes solar panels that draw on the sun’s energy to power those satellites in orbit. Boeing is also part owner of Sea Launch, a Long Beach-based rocket service capable of sending huge satellites into orbit. Boeing executives were unavailable to comment for this report. Hughes satellite technology also led to the creation of the El Segundo-based DirectTV satellite television service, which has grown to more than 16 million subscribers. DirecTV helped revolutionize high-quality digital signals that could carry hundreds of channels to consumers. “What made our business possible was, of course, satellites,” DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said. “But more specifically, high-powered satellite transmitting at higher frequencies and using digital video compression to enable us to broadcast more channels and develop an economically viable business model.” Mercer noted that even cable providers use satellites to send and receive television programs between their various facilities before delivering the shows through a wire into people’s homes. El Segundo-based Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems does not make satellites but rather the sensors to, for example, observe troop formations or cloud density. Without such sensors, satellites are simply chunks of metals orbiting the earth. “We build the eyes in the sky or, in this case, space,” Raytheon spokesman John Barksdale said. For Southern California companies not working directly with satellites, many still have projects that depend on the intricately-made machines. For example, El Segundo-based Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems has a virtual battlefield center that the company and military customers use to model various combat scenarios. The Northrop center is part of network-centric warfare, an initiative by the Department of Defense for faster and more accurate communications between commanders, troops on the ground and other assets. “We don’t design or build satellites in El Segundo, but space-based reconnaissance has a big role in network-centric warfare,” spokesman Jim Hart said. At 184 pounds, Sputnik is considered puny by today’s standards. But future satellites may increasingly be that small or tinier as the industry focuses more on designing spacecraft that can be built and sent into orbit much more quickly than today’s often years-long development schedules. Known as responsive space, the trend is driven by tactical military needs – where a spy satellite is needed in a certain point in the sky as soon as possible – and a desire to analyze unexpected and violent weather conditions. Raytheon is one of many companies focused on this new effort, which could again transform how people interact with space. “We’ve come a long way in 50 years,” Barksdale said. “It’ll be interesting to see where we go in the next 50. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
1 Sheffield Wednesday look set to complete the signing of Modou Sougou after Marseille announced his release from the club.Reports had suggested that the 30-year-old has already travelled to England to hold talks about a switch and complete a medical at Hillsborough.And now the path has been cleared for attacker Sougou to seal the move after his contract at Ligue 1 Marseille was terminated.The French club released a statement that read: “On Tuesday morning, Olympique de Marseille has released Modou Sougou.” Modou Sougou
A doctor who went missing in Donegal in 2009 has been declared dead.Dr Deirdre Donnelly’s car was found at Kinnego beach and notes to her three children were found in her holiday home nearby.Under new laws in Northern Ireland, Mrs Donnelly, who was from Co Tyrone, can now be officially declared dead. Until 2009, the family of a missing person would have to wait seven years for such a declaration, possibly entangling families in financial and legal bureaucracy.The High Court in Belfast heard how Dr Donnelly suffered from depression.Mr Justice Deeny ruled that it was proved to the court’s satisfaction that Dr Donnelly entered the sea on January 11th 2009 and subsequently drowned.DOCTOR WHO WENT MISSING IN DONEGAL DECLARED DEAD was last modified: February 9th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DR Deirdre DonnellyKinnego Beachmissing declared deadTyrone
A Donegal businessman said he is still in shock after receiving a personal letter from US President Barack Obama.President Obama wrote letter to Letterkenny businessman James Arnold.James Richard Arnold, who runs a recruitment firm in Letterkenny, wrote to the American President asking him to use his powerful position to encourage smaller nations.James offered his thoughts to President Obama and then offered his wife Michelle and the couple’s two daughters best wishes. He also wrote he hoped the US President had enjoyed his recent trip to Ireland.James said he never expected a response but was delighted when he received a letter back from President Obama on official White House headed notepaper.“I wrote to the President on the subject of Encouragement of small nations and how the American presidency affects all of us in psychological terms and attitudes!Donegal businessman James Arnold.“Sometimes all little nations around the world need is a word of encouragement – a good word to bring them up from depression or even despair or isolation to a sense of belonging. “It was a brief concise letter about good leadership and commitment to a world of high values affecting humanity.“I did not imagine I would receive a personal response from the President – I never expected it but I did,” revealed James.In his letter President Obama said he was touched by James’ kind words and that he appreciated “our shared values.”“I believe we all have the power to make the world we seek. Our diversity and differences, when joined together by a common set of ideals, make us stronger. If we hold firm to our principles and back our beliefs with courage and resolve, then hope will overcome fear, and freedom will continue to triumph over tyranny—because that is what forever stirs in the human heart,” wrote President Obama in his letter. DONEGAL BUSINESSMAN LEFT SPEECHLESS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PERSONAL LETTER was last modified: August 5th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BARACK OBAMAdonegalJames Arnoldletterletterkenny
There’s been a lot of debate as of late about Jimmy Garoppolo, as it seems more and more people have come to question the quarterback’s place in the hierarchy of NFL signal-callers amid the 49ers’ rise to prominence this season.You have a lot of people out there asking the faux-deep question “what is Jimmy Garoppolo?”Wonder no more — Garoppolo’s performance Sunday was perfectly indicative of him as a quarterback.It was up and down — equal parts stellar and disappointing, a spectacular and …
The crucial Lok Sabha bypoll in Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh is expected to settle many things regarding a possible opposition unity alliance in the 2019 General Elections.Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary has been campaigning extensively for his party’s candidate, Tabassum Hassan, whose candidature has been supported by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), aggressively making the point that the poll is about livelihood issues rather than communal flash points.“We have been doing a micro campaign for the last few weeks, and we have not held a single large meeting. Our feedback is that this election is about ganna (sugar cane) rather than (Pakistan founder) Jinnah (referring to the controversy over Jinnha’s picture being hung inAligarh Muslim University),” he told The Hindu in an exclusive interview. Ms. Hassan has been pitted against Mriganka Singh of the BJP who is also the daughter of the late MP from Kairana, Hukum Singh, whose death necessitated the bypoll. “I have not used a single bus to cart crowds to big meetings etc, we have been deliberately going to villages and corner meetings for a more hands on campaign. What we have seen gives me confidence that we will win. In fact the issues we have flagged have forced (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Yogi Adityanath to talk about sugar cane dues and employment, subjects that his government is defensive on, rather than communal subjects,” he said. On being asked about the fracture of his party’s fractured vote bank in the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, Mr. Chaudhary said that his party had been doing bhaichara (amity) meetings in small panchayats across western Uttar Pradesh for more than a year. “I don’t feel brushing things under the carpet works, we found that people are ready for a rapprochement, and agrarian distress is spurring them back to the old organic social equations that were there before. We also learned that before the big riots in 2013, there were a series of small incidents that led to the big one, and that we need to nip these in the bud when these small incidents take place,” he said.He remarked that he had been questioned a lot on why the party had fielded Ms. Hassan, a Muslim, where a Jat candidate may have sufficed to attract back the vote of the community in the face of a unified Hindu vote that the BJP had been able to garner. “I want to break the dangerous idea that no political party in this country is interested in giving representation to Muslims. This is a seat with a sizeable population of Muslims, and we have given the seat to a Muslim,” he said.