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party: Election round-up: Former Union minister Ashwani Kumar quits Congress; activist-actor Deep Sidhu dies in accident | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Senior leader Ashwani Kumar quit the Congress in what is yet another high-profile exit from the party that is struggling to retain power in Punjab.
Meanwhile, the war of words between the ruling BJP and opposition SP continued in Uttar Pradesh.
The day also saw the unfortunate demise of Punjabi actor and political activist Deep Sidhu in a road accident.
Here is a quick round-up of the political developments on Tuesday:
Uttar Pradesh
Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Samajwadi Party and the BSP of crumbling the economy of Uttar Pradesh and credited chief minister Yogi Adityanath with bringing a turnaround in five years in the state. He also said the 2022 elections are for “strengthening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hands and for making Yogi chief minister again”.
“SP and BSP’s ‘babua and bua” both had crumbled the economy of such a big state as Uttar Pradesh, the economic system was on the seventh spot in the country which was brought to second spot by Yogiji in five years. Give another chance of five years and it will be taken to the first spot,” Shah told an election meeting.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, promised a kilo of ‘ghee’ for the poor and free ration for five years if his party wins the polls.
Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar resigned from the Congress, ending his 46-year-long association with the party. Kumar sent his resignation to Congress President Sonia Gandhi this morning, saying he can best serve national causes outside the party fold.
His resignation comes close on the heels of a spate of resignations, the most recent being that of another former union minister R P N Singh.
Congress has lost touch with ground reality and no longer reflects national mood, he told PTI.
Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu, who was arrested in connection with the violence at Red Fort during farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day 2021, died in a road crash near the spot near the Delhi border where the farmers held a year-long protest against the three controversial farm laws, IANS reported.
The Congress in Goa has vowed not the repeat the 2017 post poll fiasco, when despite being a single-largest party, its leadership delayed staking claim to form government in the coastal state, resulting in the BJP hurriedly cobbling together an alliance to form its government.
State Congress President Girish Chodankar said that the party legislators would finalise a chief ministerial candidate within “five minutes” of the results being announced on March 10.
“After results are declared, we will decide on our chief mnister within five minutes this time,” he told a press conference.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi mounted a blistering attack on the BJP in Manipur, accusing the state’s ruling party of having disrespected people’s mandate, and used “bullying and bribing” as a tool to form the government in the state where the Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the 2017 elections.
Promising to pursue “politics of development”, she said more jobs will be created in the state whose potential for tourism will be fully utilised. Addressing an election rally in Imphal online, Gandhi also promised to “protect civil liberties and democratic rights” of all people in the militancy-hit state.
“You elected the Congress party but got a different government,” she said.
(With inputs from newsagencies.)

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