SP Says Raj Babbar May Leave Cong, Return to SP; Cong to Launch Booklet on ‘BJP Govt’s Disservice to Soldiers’

expelled from the Congress for anti-party activities. Though the BJP has not officially announced its candidates for Tehri and Doiwala so far, Upadhyay’s name for Tehri and BJP mahila morcha national vice president Dipti Rawat’s for Doiwala have been doing the rounds as the probable candidates from the seats.

Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, leaders of the Samajwadi Party and the Congress from the poll-bound state joined the BJP here on Thursday. Samajwadi Party’s sitting MLA Sharadveer Singh and former minister Shivakant Ojha, and former Congress MP Rakesh Sachan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party at its headquarters here.

They were welcomed into the party fold by Union minister and Uttar Pradesh election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan and his cabinet colleague Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Addressing a press conference on the occasion, Naqvi said a positive change is visible in Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The Congress will launch a booklet on Friday to highlight how the BJP government “compromised” with the interests of armed forces and soldiers while seeking votes in the name of their valour, party sources said. This comes a few days after the party launched a booklet to highlight the farmers’ plight under the Modi government.

The booklet will highlight how 1.22 lakh posts in the armed forces have remained vacant under the Modi dispensation and how ex-servicemen have been “cheated” in the name of “one rank, one pension”, the sources said on Thursday. They also alleged the BJP government imposed tax on the disability pension of soldiers and that soldiers were discriminated against in the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

A special court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of former minister and Samajwadi Party MP Mohammad Azam Khan in a 2014 case. Special MP/MLA Court judge Ambrish Kumar Srivastava passed the order observing that Khan had published such facts that might cause fear in the public, and a person or a community might be incited to breach the peace in the society.

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are not to decide an MLA, a minister or a chief minister, the elections are to decide the future course of the state for the next 20 years, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday. Addressing a ‘Prabhaavi Matdaata Samwad’ (Effective Voter Dialogue) in Greater Noida, the senior BJP leader lashed out at the previous state governments helmed by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party over a host of issues, including law and order.

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