The word “bhaiyas” in reference to people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is generally considered offensive.
In a video circulating on social media, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was seen besides Channi clapping when he made the remarks during a roadshow in Rupnagar on Tuesday. The Raebareli Lok Sabha constituency in UP is represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the Union government has accorded central VIP security cover of armed paramilitary commandos to nearly two dozen BJP leaders in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, including the “Z” category security cover to Union minister S P S Baghel, the party candidate running against SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday. Some candidates in these two states have been provided security till the poll process ends, they added.
Some of the protectees will have the central cover over and above their state police security.
Besides Baghel, the other prominent name among those accorded “Z” category security is BJP MP from Delhi and singer Hans Raj Hans. Sukhwinder Singh Bindra, SAD (Sanyukt) leader, party candidate Parminder Singh Dhindsa, and Avtar Singh Zira have been accorded “Y” to “Y+” security, sources said.
Here is a quick round-up of the other political developments on Wednesday:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur and said that having a BJP government means control over rioters, ‘mafia raj’ and ‘goonda raj’ which was prevalent during previous regimes.
PM Modi said the enthusiasm of people shows that the BJP will get their support in the remaining five phases of polling in UP as well.
“A BJP government in UP means freedom to celebrate festivals, safety of sisters and daughters. Our government here means continuous work for the welfare of the poor and double speed work on Centre’s schemes,” he said.
Modi’s rally covered nine assembly segments of Sitapur district that will go to polls in the fourth phase on February 23.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday condemned the state government over grant of bail to union minister Ajay Mishra’s son in Lakhimpur case, saying he would ensure that the culprit and his protectors go to prison when he comes to power. “The minister’s son who trampled farmers has got bail from court. The government did not pursue the case as it should have been.
“SP assures you all that our government is coming and when it does, the case will be pursued in such a manner that not only the one who took the life of farmers will go to jail but also those patronizing them,” Akhilesh said addressing an election meeting here.
Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident which had left eight people, including four farmers, dead.
Earlier in the day, BSP supremo Mayawati said her party is contesting all the assembly seats in the state alone to form a government with full majority, like in 2007, to free Uttar Pradesh from the “BJP’s casteist, narrow and dictatorial rule”.
The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to BJP leader T Raja Singh for allegedly threatening people to vote for his party in Uttar Pradesh. The Commission has given him 24 hours to respond to the notice.
The notice said the BJP MLA from Telangana has prima facie violated provisions of the poll code, the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act.
The poll panel cited a video clip of Raja Singh’s purported remarks while issuing him the notice.
Chart of the day
How seats flipped in 2017 Punjab assembly elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally in Punjab’s Pathankot on Wednesday and said that the AAP was a photocopy of the Congress, alleging that both parties are pretending to fight against each other in the Punjab assembly elections.
Listing similarities between the two parties, he claimed both of them opposed the Ram temple in Ayodhya and they speak the “language of Pakistan” when Indian soldiers show their valour.
Addressing a rally ahead of the February 20 elections, Modi also said the Congress had committed a “sin” by failing to keep Kartarpur Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, within India’s territory at the time of the Partition.
He urged voters to bring the BJP-led alliance to power in Punjab for all-round development of the state.
Taking on the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, Modi said, “Both these parties, despite being ‘ek thali ke chatte batte’ (two sides of the same coin), are now together doing ‘noora kushti‘ (pretending to fight) in Punjab. Have you seen WWF? This is what they are doing. They are pretending to be rivals.”
“It is a Xerox copy of the Congress. Everything is the same,” he said referring to the AAP.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal is the richest candidate in the assembly elections in Punjab with a declared net worth of Rs 202 crore, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch.
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is among the 21 MLAs whose assets have decreased over the past polls.
(With inputs from agencies)