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UP: Mayawati's lieutenant gets Cong ticket

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

Lucknow, Mar 21: P L Punia, once a powerful bureaucrat in Uttar Pradesh and close aide of the then chief minister Mayawati, is contesting coming assembly poll on a Congress ticket from Fatehpur (reserved) seat in Barabanki district, adjacent to the state capital.

Mr Punia, who was principal secretary to Ms Mayawati thrice during her term as Chief Minister had retired from IAS in January 2005 before joining Congress in September 2006.

Punia's name figures in the list of 135 candidates released by AICC in the National Capital yesterday evening.

His parting ways with the BSP leader had come in for surprise to many as he was closely associated with her for a long period.

Political observers were expecting him to play a major role in the BSP politics but for his split with Mayawati.

It is understood that the Taj Heritage Corridor (THC) case, in which both had probe against them, caused a rift between them prompting Mr Punia to join Congress. He had formed a Dalit Morcha before formally joining Congress and had toured about 35 districts of the state to garner Dalit support.

According to a senior Congress functionary, the party would test his Dalit credentials in the coming polls.


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