States Diary (May 16-31, 2017 Issue)

Lalu’s Daughter Misha

Lalu’s Daughter Misha Under Scanner for Money Laundering

A complex web of shady transactions, revealed by a private channel, has exposed how Misha Bharti, eldest daughter of of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, purchased expensive property at throwaway rates by buying and selling shares in dubious front companies. Documents show that Rajya Sabha MP and her spouse Shailesh Kumar acquired a farmhouse at Bijwasan, near IGI airport, for a mere Rs 1.41 crore.

Funds were arranged through sale of 1,20,000 shares of Rs 10 each in Mishail Packers, at a premium of Rs 90, to VK Jain and SK Jain, the entry operators who were arrested in March this year. The shares were purchased back within less than a year by Misha and her husband at Rs 1 or Rs 2 in 2009: a transaction which should raise suspicions of money laundering. The couple also acquired a farmhouse at Sainik Farms after an intriguing transaction with the owner.

BJP Expels 87 Party Leaders, Workers in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh’s ruling BJP has expelled 87 party leaders and workers for six years for “anti-party activities”, a leader said in Lucknow on May 11. State General Secretary Vidya Sagar Sonkar said the action was taken following a probe by the disciplinary committee of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The expelled leaders and workers had either contested against the BJP candidates in assembly elections or backed the opposition, he added. The expulsion was cleared by state President Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Prominent among those sacked are Kapil Dev Kori (Rampur), VK Saini (Moradabad), Inderdev Singh (Bijnore), Shanti Swaroop Sharma (Bulandshahr), Chandra Shekhar Rawat (Hathras), Ashish Vashishtha (Baghpat) and Pratibha Singh, Mahesh Narayan Tiwari, Nirmal Srivastava, Vaibhav Pandey and Vidyabhushan Dwivedi from Gonda.

Ayurveda Minister of Himachal Pradesh Karan Singh Passes Away

Himachal Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh passed away at the AIIMS in Delhi on May 12 after a brief illness. The 59-year-old Singh is survived by wife and a son. His elder son had died in an accident in 2012.

A scion of the Kullu Royal family and younger brother of BJP stalwart Maheshwar Singh, Karan Singh was a three-time MLA and also served as a minister twice. He was elected from the Banjar Assembly constituency thrice in 1990, 1998 and 2012. He won as a BJP candidate in 1990 and 1998 and served as minister of state for primary education in Dhumal government. After being sidelined in the BJP, he joined the Congress ahead of the 2012 assembly elections and won from Banjar for the third time. He was inducted into the state cabinet in 2015.

‘Heavily Drunk’ Son of Gujarat Deputy CM Taken Off Flight

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel’s son was stopped from boarding a Qatar Airways flight early on Monday after he arrived in a “heavily drunken” state and argued with the staff at the airport. Jaiman Patel, who is in his mid-30s, along with his wife Jhalak and daughter Vaishvi were stopped from boarding the plane, which was scheduled to take-off at 4am, official sources told news agency IANS. The family was headed to Greece for a vacation.

Patel, who is a land dealer, reached the Ahmedabad International Airport in a drunken state, barely able to walk. He cleared the immigration and other checks in a wheelchair due to his inebriated condition, said airport officials. “Jaimin Patel was prevented from boarding the flight. He also had an argument with the staff of the airways,” an official said, requesting anonymity.

Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi Quits AAP Citing Leadership Crisis

Two days after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) named MP Bhagwant Mann as its Punjab convenor, senior AAP leader Gurpreet Singh Waraich (Ghuggi) on Wednesday announced that he has quit the party. Ghuggi was the Punjab convener for AAP since last year. He remained on the post during the Punjab Assembly elections. Comedian-turned-politician Waraich told the media here that he has resigned from the primary membership of the AAP. He said he had been removed as AAP Punjab convenor in an “unceremonious” way.

Ghuggi said he was not against the selection of Mann as the Punjab convenor but against the manner in which it was done. He lashed out at AAP national leaders for not taking Punjab leaders into confidence while taking major decisions. A few leaders in AAP’s Punjab unit are upset over Mann’s elevation.

Jagan Mohan Announces Support for NDA Candidate in Presidential Polls

In a significant political development in Andhra Pradesh, the main Opposition YSRC, which has been maintaining a neutral stand has said that it would vote for the BJP-sponsored candidate in the Presidential polls. Reddy said there shouldn’t be a contest for such a high constitutional post like that of the President.

Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who had tried unsuccessfully to get an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his last trip to Delhi, finally get an appointment with PM Modi in New Delhi. Immediately after the meeting, Jagan Mohan Reddy announced that his party would support any BJP candidate. There has been speculation that the YSRC will have a tie-up with the BJP in the 2019 elections by leaving 15-18 Lok Sabha seats to the BJP while retaining majority of seats in the Assembly.