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Defended by AAP in 2017, Objected to by Cong in 2022: Khaira Caught in Revolving Door of Punjab Politics?

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Congress leader Sukhpal Khaira was arrested by Jalalabad Police in the 2015 NDPS case, from his residence in Chandigarh, on September 28, 2023. (PTI Photo)

AAP and Bhagwant Mann had come to Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s defence in 2017 in the 2015 drugs trade case. The Mann government, however, is now citing a “fresh probe” to arrest Khaira who won an Assembly seat on an AAP ticket in 2017, but quit the party later and also spent 75 days in jail

Arrested in dramatic fashion by the Punjab Police on Thursday in a drug trade case dating back to 2015, Punjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira was once defended by the AAP and current Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in the same case in 2017. Senior Congress leaders in 2022 had protested against Khaira’s entry into the party citing this case.

Khaira has alleged political vendetta on part of the Bhagwant Mann government in arresting him in the 2015 case which involved smuggling of drugs into Fazilka from Pakistan. Khaira then was part of the Congress party and the case was filed under the Akali-BJP rule in the state. However, later in 2015, Khaira jumped ship to the Aam Aadmi Party.

“People who speak the truth are being targeted… we are behind Khaira. He has been give relief by the Supreme Court also. Neither is his name in the FIR nor in the chargesheet. Our legal team has said there is nothing in this case and it is just political vendetta. I will raise it in the Lok Sabha,” Mann had said in 2017 when non-bailable warrants were issued against Khaira. He said the case was a joint conspiracy by Congress and Akali Dal.

The AAP government, however, is now citing a “fresh probe” to arrest Khaira who won an Assembly seat on an AAP ticket in 2017, but quit the party later and also spent 75 days in jail.

The Special Investigation Team is now headed by the same officer who was SSP of Fazilka in 2015 when the case was first lodged, and whom Khaira had accused of personal vendetta. Khaira has said he was not even summoned by the new SIT, but arrested.

In 2022, Captain Amarinder Singh had inducted Khaira back into the Congress. The party is now defending him with the state leadership of Partap Singh Bajwa and Raja Singh Warring leading the charge. But in 2022, Congress leaders objected to his induction citing the same case and pointed how he had been jailed in connection with it.

“How can our party give a ticket to someone who is tainted by drug charges? It will be difficult for Congress party and its contestants to defend the indefensible that on one hand we have sworn that we will eliminate drugs and on the other hand we are giving party ticket to a person who is in jail accused of money laundering which he accumulated from drugs,” Congress leader Gurjeet Singh wrote to Sonia Gandhi then.

Khaira, however, won the seat for the Congress in 2022 after getting bail.

The AAP government in Punjab has been under fire for not being able to control the drug menace in the state in the 18 months it has been in power. The present action is seen as an act to showcase how the Mann government is going after the ‘big fish’ in drug trade, sources told News18.



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Lok Sabha Polls Will Be Dynastic Politics & Corruption Versus Development Fight: Nadda

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BJP national president JP Nadda. (PTI/File)

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the LS polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda has said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be a battle between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Addressing party workers from Mumbai’s western suburbs during his visit to the metropolis on Wednesday, Nadda said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is well on its way to become the third largest economy in the world from fifth now.

Attacking anti-BJP opposition parties, he alleged that they were either dynastic or steeped in corruption.

“You have to reach out to voters and seek their support for a fresh mandate (for BJP at the Centre). First-time voters in the last ten years have seen only development and not corruption like previous governments,” Nadda asserted, referring to the decade-long rule of the Modi administration that started in 2014.

He said the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May, will be a fight between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Dynastic politics and corruption will lead to destruction, Nadda said and highlighted the BJP’s development agenda.

Earlier in the day, Nadda met BJP office-bearers from all the 36 assembly constituencies in Mumbai besides party MPs and MLAs from the metropolis.

In his address, Nadda asked BJP leaders from Mumbai to ensure the party ideology reaches the last person in society and urged them to give a befitting reply to opposition attacks on the saffron outfit and its government.

He advised BJP leaders to extensively use social media and seek support of prominent personalities on issues of public interest.

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the national polls.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its then-ally, the undivided Shiv Sena, won three seats each in Mumbai. In the Maharashtra assembly polls held in October that year, the BJP won 16 of the 36 seats in the city, while 14 were bagged by the Sena.

The state, where the BJP is in power in alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Ajit Pawar-headed NCP, has a 288-member legislative assembly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18

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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18One OBC (Narendra Modi) being the prime minister does not solve the problem, says M Kumaramangalam Nehru stopped the Caste Census and said that it would divide the country, BJP’s Shehzad hits back



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BJP to Release Documentary on Alleged Atrocities Against Women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali

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Last Updated: February 21, 2024, 23:05 IST

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am (Image: X/BJP)

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

The BJP is set to release a documentary on Sandeshkhali on Thursday with the party intensifying its attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government over the alleged incidents of atrocities and sexual assault on women there.

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am, the BJP said in post on X, asking Banerjee in Bangla, “Didi ke bolo aaro koto ‘Sandeshkhali’ (Tell didi how many more Sandeshkhali like incidents)”.

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area — situated on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata — has been witnessing protests after the local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault under coercion.

Interestingly, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ is a campaign launched by the TMC after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to provide a platform for the people of West Bengal to directly raise their concerns or lodge complaints with Chief Minister Banerjee.

The TMC’s move was reportedly aimed at countering the BJP in the state.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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