Election round up: Raids at Channi’s relative, Aparna Yadav joining BJP keep the political pot boiling | India News

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NEW DELHI: Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi was in the eye of storm as central agency Enforcement Directorate claimed to have found over Rs 10 crore and other material following raids at his close relatives’ places. Channi, however, alleged there was a conspiracy to trap him.
Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP appeared to have got even with rival Samajwadi Party as Mulayam Singh Yadav‘s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav entered the saffron fold. Earlier, the SP had been jubilant following the entry of former minister Swami Prasad Maurya and others from BJP.
Here is a quick round-up of the day’s key developments:
Uttar Pradesh
The BJP, which appeared on the backfoot when three of its ministers including Swami Prasad Maurya and several legislators joined SP, got even with its political opponent. In a widely-covered event in Delhi where top BJP leaders and chief minister Yogi Adityanath were present, Aparna Yadav, member of the SP first family joined the party.
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav tried hard to dissuade Aparna Yadav from joining the BJP, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said but quipped that he was “happy” that the SP’s socialist ideology is expanding its reach. Akhilesh Yadav also hinted that he could contest the assembly polls from the Azamgarh region but said that he would do so after consulting the people there.
Punjab
In Punjab, chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi Punjab accused the BJP-led central government of hatching a “conspiracy” to “trap” him in the case in which raids were conducted by the Enforcement Directorate at many places in the state. He alleged that whenever elections are to take place, the BJP government at the Centre uses agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax and others against political opponents.
“A conspiracy has been hatched to trap me in this case,” claimed Channi, referring to the ED raids conducted at the residence of his nephew on Tuesday.
PTI quoting ED sources reported that about Rs 10 crore cash has been seized during the raids conducted in an anti-money laundering investigation against illegal sand mining operations in Punjab that included about Rs 8 crore from the premises linked to Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, a nephew of Channi.
Channi also sought to link the ED raids at the premises of his nephew to the recent scheduled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.
“What was my fault, if Modi had to return?…why revenge is being taken on me,” the chief minister asked, referring to the ED raids.
Uttarakhand
Former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat wrote to BJP president J P Nadda requesting that he be allowed not to contest the polls. Rawat, who represents the Doiwala constituency in Uttarakhand assembly, said due to the changed political circumstances in the state, he should not contest the polls.
“There has been a change of guard in the state. It has got a young leader in Pushkar Dhami. In the changed political circumstances, I think I should not contest the 2022 assembly polls. I had apprised the party with my feelings earlier,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vijay Rawat, brother of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat who recently died in a helicopter crash, joined the BJP.
Goa
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced lawyer-turned-politician Amit Palekar as its chief ministerial face for Goa. The 46-year-old lawyer had recently joined AAP and is a candidate from the St Cruz Assembly constituency.
The Congress announced five more candidates for the February 14 elections to the 40-member Goa Assembly.
Delailah Lobo has been fielded from Siolim, Kedar Naik from Saligaon and Carlos Alvares Ferreira from Aldona among others. Delailah Lobo, along with her husband Michael Lobo, a former Goa BJP minister, joined the Congress party in Panaji on January 11.
The Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar-led NCP decided to forge a pre-poll alliance in Goa, saying that the Congress didn’t respond to their proposal for a joint contest.
Manipur
In Manipur, Joupi and Phundrei Battalions of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGAR) (South) under Spear Corps in a joint operation with Manipur Police foiled a major attack by recovering an Improvised explosive device (IED) near Kuljang village in Chandel district of Manipur, newsagency report.
Manipur is among the five states set to go to polls next month.
Based on specific inputs, security forces along with Manipur Police launched the operation which led to timely identification and disarming of the IED by the bomb disposal squad, said an official release.
The IED was meant to target the movement of the local populace as well as the Security Forces along the Sugnu – Joupi road.

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