Bharat Bhusan Ashu’s arrest sets political playground abuzz ahead of impending Ludhiana MC polls - Hindustan Times
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Bharat Bhusan Ashu’s arrest sets political playground abuzz ahead of impending Ludhiana MC polls

By, Ludhiana
Aug 24, 2022 02:47 AM IST

While Bharat Bhushan Ashu’s arrest is being seen as a major blow for Congress’ chances in the Ludhiana MC polls, party leaders vow to come back stronger

At a time when all political parties are gearing up for the upcoming municipal corporation (MC) elections, the Congress party took a major hit with the arrest of former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in the alleged foodgrains transportation tender scam.

Bharat Bhusan Ashu’s arrest sets political playground abuzz ahead of impending Ludhiana MC polls. (Harvinder Singh/HT)
Bharat Bhusan Ashu’s arrest sets political playground abuzz ahead of impending Ludhiana MC polls. (Harvinder Singh/HT)

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) working president, Ashu is regarded as the party’s face in the city and his arrest is expected to put a dent in the performance in the municipal elections.

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The opposition parties in General House including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have already been taking a dig at Ashu and his associates for their alleged involvement in corrupt practices and the arrest has further increased the trouble for the party.

With the civic body expected to go to polls by the end of the year, all the political parties have pulled up their socks. Former Congress legislators have also been conducting meetings with their councillors in a bid to chalk out a strategy to retain their seats.

In the last municipal elections, Congress had won 16 out of 17 wards in the west constituency, which was represented by Ashu.

Opposition senses opportunity

The opposition, meanwhile, has already begun writing obituaries for the city’s Congress unit.

AAP legislator from Ludhiana West, Gurpreet Gogi, who defeated Ashu in the last assembly elections, said Ashu’s alleged corrupt ways have come to the fore and it was now on the public to vote for the betterment of the city and its people.

Meanwhile, the district Congress leaders said the false case against Ashu will not affect the Congress, adding that the party leaders have put up a united front against Ashu’s arrest. District president Ashwani Sharma and former legislator Sanjay Talwar said AAP will not be able to pressurise the party by registering such cases against the leaders.

“The entire activity is being done to divert the attention of the public from the wrongdoings of AAP leaders in Delhi and Punjab and also to woo the voters ahead of the municipal elections. But congress party will make a strong comeback in the municipal elections and will retain majority in the MC general house,” Talwar added.

Cong bigwigs protest outside vigilance office

Tense atmosphere prevailed in the vigilance office’s vicinity on Tuesday after a large number of Congress leaders and workers gathered outside the office in a show of support for former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who was arrested by vigilance in an alleged foodgrains transportation tender scam on Monday evening.

Ashu, the working president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee had to be produced before the court on Tuesday.

Former parliamentarian Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, parliamentarians Ravneet Bittu, Gurjeet Aujla, former minister Pargat Singh, mayor Balkar Sandhu were among those who reached the spot.

With police blocking the road outside the office for security, leaders and party workers raised slogans and carried out protests in the vicinity. They also raised slogans as Ashu was taken outside the office for court proceedings.

Warring said the party’s future course of action will be decided after conducting a meeting with senior party leaders.

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