Meanwhile, in Punjab, an alleged controversial comment during a speech by an advisor of Navjot Singh Sidhu was raked up by the BJP to attack the state’s ruling party on Saturday.
Here is a quick round-up of the day’s key political developments:
Putting the spotlight on the issue of alleged “exodus” of Hindus from Kairana before 2017, Shah visited the affected families who have since returned here as he began his door-to-door election campaign in western Uttar Pradesh. Accompanied by party workers and leaders wearing saffron caps and stoles with the BJP election symbol, Shah treaded the rain-drenched lane in the winter chill and distributed pamphlets mentioning the achievements of the BJP government, amidst intermittent shouts of “Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
In the recent election rallies, the party’s top leaders have been again raising the issue while claiming an improved law and order situation in the state under the Yogi Adityanath government.
Meanwhile, Congress candidate from Bareilly Cantt Supriya Aron joined the Samajwadi Party which fielded her from the same constituency.
Chart of the day
How UP’s sugarcane belt voted in 2017
The BJP accused former Punjab IPS officer Mohammad Mustafa, who is a principal strategic advisor to Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, of allegedly making inflammatory remarks against a community at a public meeting in Malerkotla. However, Mustafa, the husband of state minister and Congress candidate Razia Sultana, vehemently denied the charge.
A purported video of Mustafa was shared by BJP leaders Sambit Patra and Shazia Ilmi on their Twitter handles. Punjab BJP general secretary Subhash Sharma said his party will file a complaint against Mustafa with the Election Commission of India, seeking registration of a case against him.
Former Goa chief minister and senior BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar, who was denied ticket by the party for the next month’s state assembly elections, on Saturday said he will resign from the ruling party. Talking to PTI, the 65-year-old leader said he does not wish to remain in the party.
Parsekar headed the BJP’s manifesto committee for the upcoming Goa elections and is also a member of the party’s core committee. The BJP has nominated sitting MLA Dayanand Sopte from Mandrem Assembly segment, which Parsekar had represented between 2002 and 2017.
The reinduction of Harak Singh Rawat and Yashpal Arya into the Congress is being seen as a major gain for the party ahead of the February 14 assembly polls. While Harak Singh Rawat, a prominent leader from the Garhwal rejoined the party on Friday, Arya, a major SC leader from Kumaon division returned to the party along with his MLA son Sanjeev in October last year.
The Congress on Saturday released its first list of 40 candidates for the Manipur assembly elections, with former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh contesting from Thoubal assembly seat. Singh was the chief minister of Manipur from 2002 to 2017.
Former deputy chief minister and former president of Manipur Pradesh Congress Gaikhangam will be contesting from Nungba (ST) assembly seat.
Former Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh has been fielded by the party from his Khundrakpam assembly constituency.
Ratankumar Singh, who was recently appointed working president of Manipur Congress, will contest from Mayang Imphal seat.
(With agency inputs)