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Punjab polls: Cong replaces Kamal Nath with tainted Himachal MLA

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

The Congress party created a fresh controversy on Sunday when it appointed legislator Asha Kumari from Himachal Pradesh as the party's leader in Punjab in place of senior leader Kamal Nath.

Kumari was convicted on 26 February in a 1998 land grab case in Himachal, and had been sentenced to a fine of Rs 8,000 and a jail term of one year for manipulating revenue records, fabricating wills and transferring 24 acres of government forest land in the name of her husband, Brijender Singh, says the Hindustan Times.

However, her sentence was suspended on 19 March by the Himachal Pradesh high court and she is currently out on bail.

Punjab's BJP leader Vineet Joshi said: "First it was Kamal Nath and now Asha Kumari. I think they (Congress) don't have good leaders."

Congress leader Kamal Nath had earlier been appointed to lead the party in the Punjab assembly elections next year, but had been forced to resign on 15 June after the BJP and the AAP, both in the fray in Punjab, had accused him on playing a major role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Kumari's appointment however, was welcomed by the Congress party's state chief Captain Amarinder Singh. "She wouldn't create problems for Punjab," he said. "I can work closely with her as she is politically wise with a positive approach."

First published: 27 June 2016, 7:25 IST