Top election updates: Punjab Congress MLA dropped for actor Sonu Sood’s sister joins BJP
Assembly polls in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases from February 10. Here is a look at the top election-related developments of the day: Harjot Kamal, the Congress MLA from Punjab’s Moga on Saturday questioned the Congress’s choice of ignoring him for the Assembly polls and giving actor Sonu Sood’s sister Malvika Sood the ticket from the constituency. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Congress released its first list of 86 candidates.The Election Commission on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies and roadshows till January 22 in five poll-bound states amid the coronavirus crisis. This came a week after Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had advised political parties to conduct campaigns virtually and said no rallies or roadshows will be allowed till January 15. The Congress on Saturday released its first list of 86 candidates for next month’s Punjab Assembly elections. Chief Minister Charanjit Channi will fight from Chamkaur Saheb, while the party’s state unit chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu, will contest from Amritsar East constituency. The Congress fielded Punjab Deputy Chief Ministers – Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa from Dera Baba Nanak and Om Prakash Soni from Amritsar Central – the seats they already represent. The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday announced its first list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh polls. Chief Minister Adityanath will contest from Gorakhpur city. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya will contest the polls from Sirathu city in Prayagraj district. The second list for polls will be released shortly, said Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Saturday ruled out the possibility an alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Azad accused Yadav of insulting the members of “Bahujan Samaj” or Dalit community.Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday said that a list of 53 candidates was finalised for Uttar Pradesh polls, ANI reported. The remaining five candidates will be announced in a day or two.Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Arshad Rana from Uttar Pradesh has filed a police complaint alleging that a senior party worker had duped him of Rs 67 lakh after promising to give him a ticket from Charthawal city, The Indian Express reported.Sampat Pal Devi, the founder of women’s organisation Gulabi Gang in Uttar Pradesh, on Friday quit the Congress after she did not get a ticket for the Assembly elections, the Hindustan Times reported. The Congress on Thursday released its first list of 125 candidates who will contest the polls.The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded only 12 women candidates for the 117-seat Punjab Assembly, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. The move comes as a surprise as the party has been promising benefits to women – like a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 – if voted to power.Punjab minister Joginder Mann has quit the Congress and joined Aam Aadmi Party, PTI reported on Saturday. Mann, a leader from the Scheduled Caste community, was reportedly unhappy with the lack of action from Congress in the SC scholarship scam and not granting of district status to Phagwara.