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AS THE Congress gears up to announce candidates in the last nine seats in Punjab, indications are that Manish Tewari may lose out. The former union minister was keen to contest from Ludhiana South but local MP Ravneet Bittu is said to be opposed to his bid. While Tewari is likely to be left disappointed, there is good news for former India hockey captain Pargat Singh. The party is said to have cleared his ticket from Jalandhar Cantonment. He is a sitting MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment.
IN THE twilight of his career, senior Congress leader and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand N D Tiwari seems set to change his political colours for the sake of his son Rohit Shekhar. Tiwari wants a BJP ticket for Shekhar from Kumaon region in Uttarakhand and is learnt to have got in touch with top state and central BJP leaders, who apparently have given him positive signals. Incidentally, till not very long ago, Tiwari had denied he was Shekhar’s father. It was only after a long legal battle and DNA tests that he conceded that he was his father.
On The Move
US AMBASSADOR Richard Verma is being forced to cut short his stint in India after US President-elect Donald Trump asked all political appointees to return by January 20. But he has managed to accomplish his personal and professional target of touring all the states in the country. Verma visited Sikkim last week, the 29th that he visited in 25 months. His tour schedule has left many envious in South Block, and prompted secretary in MEA, Amar Sinha, to say he has left many behind and they need to catch up.
THE ELECTION Commission of India (ECI), under Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, has been pushing the government to implement the electoral reforms that have been pending for a decade. Except for the proposal to implement e-postal ballot system for service voters, other reforms have either been rejected or referred to a committee set up by the Law Ministry. Recently, the ECI was informed of another rejection. It is learnt that the government has shot down the poll panel’s proposal for candidates to maintain their election expenses account from the date of notification of polls instead the date of nomination.
A WHATSAPP message ruffled feathers in the BJP last week. The message, which went viral within hours on social media, carried a photograph of a purported list of names of BJP candidates for the upcoming elections in Uttarakhand. The list was printed on party president Amit Shah’s letterhead and carried his signature. It later turned out that both, the letterhead and the signature, were forged. The state unit of the BJP even lodged a complaint with the police in Dehradun.