SP ‘pulled cases’ against Ayodhya terror attack accused, mafias ‘protected’, says Yogi Adityanath


Lucknow: BSP Supremo Mayawati publishes the party’s first list of candidates for the UP Assembly elections, at the party office in Lucknow on Saturday, January 15, 2022. (PTI)

Sunday Profile: Mann’s World

At first glance, Bhagwant Singh Mann, the face of the newly anointed chief minister of the Aam Aadmi party in Punjab, is your quintessential aam aadmi, with the turban sitting a little askew on his head, his razor-sharp mind directed always towards the ruling dispensation and bluster. Whether in a village, a dhaba or a Punjab Roadways bus, you are sure to meet someone like him.

But Mann is no ordinary man. From a famous comedian to a parliamentarian and now the CM face of a party that is among the contenders for victory in Punjab, the 48-year-old has enjoyed one success after another. Mann was 38 when he joined the Punjab People’s Party (PPP), an experiment in “political cleansing” led by Manpreet Badal, the distant cousin of current Akali Dal chairman Sukhbir Singh Badal; and 41 when he won his first Lok Sabha election in 2014 by a record margin against Akali’s loyal SS Dhindsa of Sangrur, a seat he won again in 2019.

Open war in Kapurthala as minister backs son against Cong candidate, party silent

Even by the standards of Punjab’s colorful politics, a debate on a television channel on the evening of January 20 left many faces red. Filled with swear words and outlandish allegations, it involved not two rival parties but congressional leaders on both sides, fighting for the same ticket.

Beaten and bruised by long internal fights, the Congress chose not to respond to this particular episode. However, the wound is in danger of bleeding, as its leader turned rogue is Minister Rana Gurjit Singh, also known as one of Punjab’s wealthiest MPs and close to rebel Amarinder Singh.

Not caring much about the niceties, Rana Gurjit campaigned for her son Rana Inder Pratap Singh, who is fighting as an independent from Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala after Congress refused to give him the ticket instead of his seat. twice MLA. Rana Gurjit is himself the Congress candidate from neighboring Kapurthala (a seat he has won three times), and his son’s refusal was part of party policy not to field more than one member of a family (even Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s brother was denied, Congress leaders point out).


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