Uttar Pradesh has already given India its first woman Governor and Chief Minister but Lucknow is set to make history on Sunday by electing its first woman Mayor in 100 years.A woman has never before been elected as head of the municipal body after the Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act came into existence. This time, however, the Lucknow mayoral seat has been reserved for women, hence all parties have fielded women candidates.The Samajwadi Party has selected Meera Vardhan, kin of educationist Acharya Narendra Dev and the Congress has pitched Prema Awasthi, wife of the former Congress legislator Surendra Nath.Freedom fighters Sarojini Naidu and Sucheta Kriplani were the country’s first female Govenor and Chief Minister respectively.Naidu, popularly known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, was the Governor of the United Provinces, now known as Uttar Pradesh, from 1947 to 1949. She was born in a Bengali family on February 13, 1879 in Hyderabad and was educated in Chennai, London and Cambridge.Naidu was a follower of Mahatama Gandhi and participated in the freedom struggle. She, later, went on to become the president of the Indian National Congress. A poet of modern India, she wrote a collection, comprising children’s poems, nature poems, patriotic poems and poems of love and death.Kriplani, who held the Chief Minister’s office from 1963 to 1967, had come to the forefront during the Quit India Movement in 1942. She worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi during the Partition riots. She was one of the few women who were elected to the Constituent Assembly and was part of the sub-committee that drafted the Constitution.The civic polls will be held in the state capital tomorrow in the second leg of the three-phase municipal elections across Uttar Pradesh.Lucknow has thrice sent a woman to the Lok Sabha as its representative with Sheila Kaul being elected in 1971, 1980 and 1984.
The Haryana government on Saturday announced it will give House Rent Allowance (HRA) to State employees as per the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the revised HRA would be implemented with effect from August 1, 2019, which he claimed would benefit about 3.5 lakh employees.Ex gratia policyThe CM also announced the revival of the ex gratia policy that had been discontinued since 1996. “The new policy will be implemented with effect from August 1, 2019. The deceased employees, whose age is 52 years or less or has completed more than five years of service before this, will be covered under this scheme,” he said.Mr. Khattar said facility of six months maternity leave will also be given to those women employees who are engaged under the outsourcing policy of the State government. “The financial burden on the contractor on account of this facility would be borne by the State government,” he said.The CM said that the government had also taken a decision to reopen the channel of promotion for the employees of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies in the central cooperative banks. “A committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary, (Finance), to remove the pay anomalies of tube well operators of Public Health Engineering Department working on contractual basis,” he added.