Former Uttar Pradesh ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini - who resigned this week from the Yogi Adityanath government and the ruling BJP just weeks before Assembly polls - today joined the Samajwadi Party in the presence of opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav.
Also joining the Samajwadi Party were MLAs Vinay Shakya and Bhagwati Sagar.
Uttar Pradesh MLA Chaudhary Amar Singh of the Apna Dal Thursday quit the BJP-led alliance just weeks ahead of polls - this is the eleventh resignation for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in three days. Akhilesh Yadav, who has emerged as the key challenger in UP, has yet again benefitted.
In the latest blow to the BJP ahead of Assembly elections, minister and OBC leader Dharam Singh Saini resigned on Thursday from the state cabinet. Mr Saini, a four-time legislator from Nakud in Saharanpur, is the third state minister to step down in past three days with the ruling party in what is being seen as a crucial swing ahead of a crucial election.
Seven other BJP MLAs and one from Apna Dal, which is in alliance with the BJP, have also exited the party in the last three days.
The Congress has fielded the mother of 2017 Unnao rape victim as its candidate for next month's assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. Asha Singh, the Unnao victim's mother, was among those who were named in the list released by the party today.
"Our list sends a new message that if you have been a victim of harassment and torture, the Congress will support you," said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, as she released the list.
Swami Prasad Maurya, whose resignation from Yogi Adityanath's cabinet has set off a flurry of exits, Wednesday said he "hasn't quit the BJP or joined the Samajwadi Party" yet.
"I have only quit as a minister. I will quit the BJP soon. For now, I am not joining the Samajwadi Party," Swami Prasad Maurya told NDTV, teasing a big reveal today.
"I have rejected the BJP...there is no question of going back," he qualified in the same breath.
Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Punjab, and Uttarakhand will vote over seven phases starting February 10, with counting of votes scheduled for March 10.
Here are the Highlights on Assembly Election 2022:
Congress's Harish Rawat today told news agency ANI: "Discussion was held on 70 seats and almost all names have been finalised based on merits of the candidates. Tomorrow we'll present the names before Central Election Committee (CEC)". The state will vote on February 14; results will be out on March 10.
On Election Commission's direction, an FIR has been filed over overcrowding after a rally was held in Lucnkow by Akhilesh Yadav's party.
In Uttarakhand, the AAP has put out the third list of candidates - Prakash Kumar (Purola), Uttam Bhandari (Devprayag), Bharat Singh (Sahaspur), Shyam Bora (Mussoorie), Raju Viratiya (Jhabrera), Diwan Singh Mehta (Didihat), Chandrashekar Pandey (Lalkuan), Anand Singh Rana (Nanakmatta) and SS Kaler (Khatima).
"There are several reasons for these MLAs to leave BJP; some are going for their personal benefit; others fear they won't get the ticket from the constituency of their own choice...They took benefits while remaining in the government in last five years," UP Minister said today on several leaders qutting the Yogi Adityanath government this week.
#WATCH | Uttar Pradesh: BSP worker Arshad Rana bitterly cries claiming that he was promised a ticket in UP election only to be denied ticket at the last moment despite putting up hoardings for the upcoming polls pic.twitter.com/DMe8mDHk2J- ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) January 14, 2022
#WATCH Who can forget the Digital India error...Raid was supposed to be somewhere else but ended up in their own house.We were waiting for Assembly polls. The Cycle is very strong as Samajwadi and Ambedkarwadi have come together and no one can stop this: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav pic.twitter.com/9YU2ThUAJR- ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) January 14, 2022
Akali Dal today appealed to the Election Commission - ahead of the Punjab Elections - to reconsider the ban on rallies announced last week amid Covid surge.
The filing of nominations for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for 58 seats in 11 districts will begin on Friday.
In this phase, polling will be held for a total of 58 seats in 11 districts of the state which will include Shamli, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Hapur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Mathura, Agra, and Aligarh.
Out of the 58 seats, nine seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently rules Goa, has decided to contest 38 out of the total 40 Assembly seats in the state, where elections will be held next month, a senior party functionary said on Friday.
Talking to PTI, the office-bearer said that in two constituencies - Benaulim and Nuvem - the party will not field any candidate on its symbol.
With the Election Commission banning rallies over Covid and candidates resorting to door-to-door visits, a widely-circulated video from Kanpur shows a leader's campaign taking an amusing turn as he interrupts a voter's bath-time.
Surendra Maithani, the BJP MLA from Kanpur, has posted several photos showing his interaction with people, some applying tilak on his forehead, as he campaigns in his assembly seat. But in a video that has gone viral, Mr Maithani talks to a man as he bathes; the MLA reportedly barged in and started asking questions.
"Is everything fine? Your house has been successfully constructed? Have you got a ration card," the MLA asks the man who is in the middle of his bath.
Congress Screening Committee held deliberations candidates for 50 constituencies in Uttarakhand Assembly elections in its nearly 10-hour long meeting on Thursday. However, the final decision regarding the candidates for these seats will be taken on Friday.
The meeting lasted for 10 hours and concluded at 11:15 pm.
After the meeting concluded at 11:15 pm, former Uttarakhand chief minister and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat said, "We have reached a mutual understanding for around 50 seats. We will take the final decision tomorrow. CEC meeting may be on Saturday."
The Congress on Thursday announced candidates for assembly polls from Noida, Dadri and Jewar constituencies in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress has decided to field Pankhuri Pathak from Noida, Manoj Chaudhary from Dadri and Deepak Bhati 'Chotiwala' from Jewar, according to the list of candidates shared by the party on social media.
All three assembly seats are currently held by BJP leaders, with Pankaj Singh in Noida, Tejpal Nagar in Dadri and Dhirendra Singh in Jewar.
Enforcement teams have seized liquor, psychotropic substances and unaccounted cash after model code of conduct came into force in Punjab following the announcement of the Assembly elections, a poll official said on Thursday.
The estimated value of the confiscated items is worth Rs 23.8 crore, he said.
The seizure was made till January 12, he added.