Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said a decision on any electoral alliance in Punjab for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would be taken by the Congress high command at the appropriate time.He was replying to a media query about the possibility of a poll alliance on the lines of the one forged by Samajwadi Party with Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress in Uttar Pradesh.Talking to journalists on the sidelines of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation convention in Patiala, Capt. Amarinder Singh said any decision in this regard would be taken by the party’s central leadership.In response to another question, he hinted at a new Sports Minister being appointed in the State’s Cabinet expansion, which is expected to take place soon. “The new Sports Policy would be finalised thereafter,” he said.On the issue of alleged illegal mining in Patiala, he promised a thorough probe and action. “I won’t allow illegal mining to continue,” he said, pointing out that he had already issued stringent directives to the police and the concerned administrative departments to crack down against such activities taking place in any part of the State.On the report submitted by the Special Task Force (STF) in the drugs case, Capt. Singh said the matter was sub judice and he could, therefore, not comment on the same.
Rebels of the BJP and the Congress filed nominations as Independents from at least five Assembly constituencies in south Haryana, comprising Gurugram, Nuh, Rewari and Mahendragarh districts, on the last day of filing papers on Friday, altering the electoral arithmetic for the candidates of their respective parties.In Gurgaon Assembly seat, the BJP’s Sudhir Singla faces a strong rebellion in the form of his own partyman and sitting MLA Umesh Aggarwal, who made his wife Anita Aggarwal contest as an Independent from the prestigious constituency after the party snubbed him. Mr. Aggarwal, who had won the seat with a record margin of over 80,000 votes in 2014, has not been on good terms with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar ever since he led a rebellion against him in 2016 along with a dozen party MLAs.Khattar blamedFiling her nomination papers, Ms. Aggarwal minced no words in blaming Mr. Khattar for the denial of ticket to her husband. She added that her husband had only raised his voice for the people of Gurugram, but it did not go down well with the Chief Minister.Similarly, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram Senior Deputy Mayor Pramila Kablana’s husband Gaje Singh Kablana and councillor Seema Pahuja filed their nominations as Independents from Gurgaon after the Congress chose former Minister Sukhbir Kataria over them.In Pataudi, former MLA Rambir Singh and Mukesh Kumari decided to take on Congress’s Sudhir Chaudhary as Independents after the party denied them the ticket. Similarly, BJP’s Satya Prakash Jaravata, who was chosen over the sitting MLA Bimla Chaudhary, faces opposition from party rebel Narender Kumar, an Independent candidate.In neighbouring Rewari district, BJP’s Sunil Musepur, a close confidant of Union Minister and Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, has been challenged by the party’s sitting MLA Randhir Singh Kapriwas, who filed his nomination as an Independent. Mr. Kapriwas had alleged that the party high command denied ticket to him at the instance of Mr. Singh.In Punhana, the Congress replaced Mohammad Ajaz Khan with Mohammad Ilyas as its candidate minutes before the 3 p.m. deadline for filing of nomination in view of stiff opposition. Still, three rebel Congress leaders are in the fray from the seat. The BJP’s Kumari Nouksham Choudhary faces party rebel and sitting MLA Rahish Khan, who also threw in his hat as an Independent. In Ferozepur Jhirka, Congress’s Mamman Khan too faces party’s two rebels.BJP candidates in Badshahpur and Bawal may also face opposition from their own partymen.