Infighting in the Haryana Congress has reached the doorstep of party President Sonia Gandhi, with former state unit chief Ashok Tanwar and his supporters protesting on Wednesday outside her 10 Janpath residence in New Delhi, alleging corruption in the distribution of tickets for the upcoming Assembly polls. As his supporters raised slogans against management committee chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Tanwar alleged that tickets were being distributed on whims and fancies and were also being "sold", ignoring those who had worked for years. In a bid to end factionalism in the party ahead of the polls, the Congress last month named Kumari Selja chief of its state unit, replacing Tanwar, and appointed Hooda chairperson of the election management committee. Hooda had openly come out against Tanwar, who is known to be close to Rahul Gandhi and had been state unit chief since 2014.
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Hard on the heels of some Samajwadi Party (SP) top guns, including sitting Rajya Sabha and Uttar Pradesh legislative members, quitting the party and joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), another close aide of party President Akhilesh Yadav is rumoured to follow suit. Former UP cabinet minister Abhishek Mishra, who had a stint as faculty in IIM Ahmedabad before he joined the SP and won the 2012 Assembly election from Lucknow, is at the centre of much discussion, after his photograph with Lok Sabha MP and Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari went viral. Although both Mishra and the embattled SP are mum on the issue, the grapevine in the state capital has it that Mishra has decided to switch sides, given the sorry state of affairs in the socialist party with no perceptible revival in sight.