Asha Kumari, who replaced Kamal Nath as Punjab Congress in-charge, has been convicted by a court in Chamba for forging a will, land grabbing and criminal conspiracy.
Of late Sunday's have certainly not been good for the Congress. Two Sunday's back, the Congress had appointed Kamal Nath as the Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab. It was followed by severe criticism and ultimately Kamal Nath called it quits. Now, it's Asha Kumari, currently the secretary in AICC looking after Haryana affairs, who has been appointed the in-charge of the poll bound Punjab.
In a Sunday afternoon release, Janardhan Dwivedi, the General Secretary in-charge, conveyed that Asha Kumari will be the new in-charge. The only issue here is that Asha Kumari, who is an MLA from Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, has been convicted by a court in Chamba for forging a will, land grabbing and criminal conspiracy. The court pronounced one year sentence and a fine of eight thousand rupees. She was however granted bail and the matter is pending in high court.
The case against her dates back to 1998 that is eighteen years ago. A complaint was filed against her by a former Dalhousie councillor Kuldeep Singh. There were a serious of litigations between the high court and the lower courts. Presently, the matter is sub-judice. The allegations are that Asha Kumari transferred 60 bighas of forest land belonging to the government in the name of her husband Brijendra Singh of the erstwhile royal family of Chamba.
However, sources close to Asha Kumari say this case is about transfer of property from her father-in-law, the erstwhile maharaja, to her husband. It is also said that the original case started in 1975 even before Asha Kumari got married. Also that she is only a party to it. The high court of Himachal Pradesh has given her relief in the matter.
The appointment of Asha Kumari has become another war of words between the parties in Punjab. The BJP has termed it as an unfortunate. While the congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit has called these cases as politically motivated. He adds, "There has been a political conspiracy and she is being targeted and the matter is sub-judice. All legal options will be explored in the case."
It seems that Once again the congress has shot itself in the foot. In a highly surcharged election season every chink in the armour will be exploited by the opponents to the maximum. This appointment will certainly create sparks in the days to come. Though Asha Kumari may be gods gift for Punjab but questions which needs an answer is the congress so bereft of talent that it had nobody else to rely on?