ACTOR-TURNED-POLITICIAN Shatrughan Sinha is all set to join the Congress this week, days after he was denied a ticket from Patna Sahib seat by the BJP. But he is not the lone Bollywood star the Congress is planning to bring in. The party is in talks with Urmila Matondkar and is learnt to have offered a seat to her in Mumbai. Sources said she could join the party and contest from Mumbai North.
UTTAR PRADESH Cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri, who was on Tuesday declared the BJP’s candidate for Kanpur Lok Sabha constituency in place of Murli Manohar Joshi, was the chief guest at an event organised two months ago to release a booklet of infrastructure development works done in the constituency at the initiative of Joshi over the past five years. Sources said Joshi himself had planned that event and he was supposed to be present there but he had to cancel his programme following an engagement in Delhi. Joshi had assigned Pachauri to attend the event and release the booklet. In 2004, Pachauri, who is the MLA from Govindnagar in Kanpur, had lost the Lok Sabha election against Congress’s Sriprakash Jaiswal.
THE BJP has not yet declared a candidate for Phulpur, where the party faced defeat in a recent by-election. The delay, party sources said, is because of pressure to allot the seat to the son of Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, who won the seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The Maurya camp has been upbeat after the BJP gave ticket to another Uttar Pradesh minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s daughter Sangh Mitra Maurya from Badaun. Not just that both leaders belong to one community, Keshav Prasad’s claim could be stronger as Swami Prasad joined the BJP just ahead of the 2017 state polls.