In Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu expressed strong discontentment over the Congress‘s chief minister pick for the polls, two days ahead of the official announcement.
Meanwhile, Asaduddin Owaisi, whose vehicle was fired upon on Thursday, rejected the government’s offer of round-the-clock ‘Z’ category protection.
Here is a round-up of the key political developments on Friday:
Union home minister Amit Shah lauded chief minister Yogi Adityanath, saying he has freed Uttar Pradesh of mafias by establishing rule of law in the true sense after 25 years. Shah was addressing an election meeting ahead of nomination filing by Adityanath from the Gorakhpur Urban assembly seat.
The union minister also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking special care of development particularly of the Purvanchal region.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the opposition of spreading rumours over MSP just as they had on Covid vaccines and said “fake Samajwadis” will corner the benefits given by the Centre to farmers and the poor if they come to power.
Addressing a virtual rally directed at western UP constituencies, PM Modi accused the Samajwadi Party of fielding anti-social elements in the assembly polls and urged people to keep “history-sheeters” out.
Earlier today, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi was given ‘Z’ category security, a day after shots were fired at his car in western Uttar Pradesh. However, the prominent Muslim leader rejected the protection and asked the government to instead make him an “A category” citizen “at par” with all. He also said that he “doesn’t fear death”.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary attacked Adityanath over his alleged remarks on the “hot-blooded” leaders of their alliance and accused him of insulting the people of western Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath had recently said the “khoon ki garmi” of SP and RLD leaders would cool down once the assembly election results come in.
Chart of the day
How parties in Punjab performed in SC-dominated seats
Hours after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, nephew of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, in a money laundering case, rival parties launched an attack on the Congress government saying it cannot escape answerability. Honey was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a case linked to alleged illegal sand mining late Thursday night after several hours of questioning at the agency’s office in Jalandhar.
Eyeing to woo the farmers, who constitute an influential electoral cohort, the BJP-Punjab Lok Congress-Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) alliance released 11 resolutions for Punjab Assembly polls with a promise to waive the debt of farmers having less than five acres of land.
It promised a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to families hit by terrorism, if the alliance comes to power.
Ahead of the announcement of the CM face for the Punjab assembly polls by the Congress, party’s state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said “people at the top” want a weak chief minister who can dance to their tunes.
Sidhu and Channi are both vying for the top job in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtual rally, which was scheduled to be held in Uttarakhand on Friday, was cancelled due to inclement weather. The decision to cancel the event was taken after assessing the weather conditions, the party’s media in-charge for the state Manveer Singh Chauhan said.
The BJP expelled six rebels from the party in Uttarakhand, who had entered the fray as independents. Those expelled include Rudrapur MLA Rajkumar Thukral, Tika Prasad Maikhuri, Mahaveer Singh Rangad, Jitendra Negi, Dhirendra Chauhan and Manoj Shah, Chauhan said.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Congress will emerge as the single largest party in Goa after the February 14 assembly elections. Raut’s own party is contesting the elections in alliance with the NCP.
Hit hard by defections in the last five years, the Congress made its candidates sign affidavits and take an oath of loyalty in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.
Manipur Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh has filed his nomination from the 13-Singjamei Assembly Constituency for the upcoming Manipur Assembly elections. Four other candidates, including former minister Karam Shyam, also submitted their papers in Imphal West district on the third day of filing of nominations for the first phase of polls, on Thursday, officials said.
Polling for the five states begins later this month.
(With inputs from agencies)