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Jitin follows Scindia to BJP; disses Congress, calls BJP only national party left

Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada, once close to Rahul Gandhi, has crossed over to the BJP in a huge blow to the Congress ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election next year. The 47-year-old leader, who was the Congress's top Brahmin face in UP, exits at a time the opposition party is in meetings in Delhi to try and untangle a feud in Punjab, another state voting in 2022. BJP's latest acquisition from Congress is expected to restore the support of a core constituency in Uttar Pradesh said to be upset with the party in recent days. Prasada, a former Lok Sabha member from the state's Dhaurahra constituency, is one of the Brahmin leaders from the state and the BJP is seen as hoping that his coming will help stem the tide of resentment among the community ahead of next year's assembly elections. Brahmins, who comprise around 10 per cent of the state's population, have been ardent BJP supporters since the early '90s when the Dalit vote bank gained ascendancy in Uttar Pradesh with the Bahujan Samaj Party's "Tilak, Tarazu aur Talwar" slogan, directed against the three upper castes.

CBI books Avantha Realty, Gautam Thapar in Yes Bank fraud case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case against industrialist Gautam Thapar of Avantha Realty and Oyster Buildwell Pvt Ltd among several others for allegedly cheating Yes Bank to the tune of Rs 466 crore. The CBI officials said that the agency sleuths were also carrying out searches at 14 locations including Delhi NCR, Lucknow, Secunderabad and Kolkata which has led to the recovery of incriminating documents and digital evidence.