LUCKNOW: A BJP legislator from Uttar Pradesh has left the party ‘with a difference’ red-faced after he was caught on camera gambling and boozing at a casino in neigbouring Nepal.
Before trying his hand at politics, Jai Mangal Kannaujia was a Class IV employee at Ganesh Shankar Vidyarhti Memorial Inter College in Maharjganj. He is a close confidant of Maharajganj BJP MP Pankaj Chaudhary, who facilitated assembly ticket for Kannaujia from Sadar constituency in 2017. Kannaujia defeated BSP’s Nirnay Mangal to reach the Assembly.
The video of Kannaujia has gone viral, but the MLA has questioned its authenticity on Wednesday.
According to sources, the video was shot on April 15 at a casino in Tiger Resort in Rupandehi district in Bhootwal area of Nepal bordering India. The casino often hits the headlines in connection with flesh trade and also for Indians splurging hoarded currency of pre-domentisation era.
Kannaujia’s media in-charge Sanjeev Shukla claimed the MLA was not consuming alcohol. “He was rather drinking water in the video,” said Shukla who smelt a conspiracy of his political opponents behind the video. “Vidhayak ji (MLA) had gone to Nepal with his family.”
He added Kannaujia was the Maharajganj Nagar Palika chairman for 10 years and an MLA since 2017 but no one could level a single charge on him. “Now, they are trying to run a smear campaign against him to tarnish his image.”
While the BJP state leadership denied having seen the video and called it a ‘personal matter’, the people of Sadar constituency felt betrayed after watching the video. “Such people are bringing a bad name to the party and breaching the faith of CM Yogi. We voted for him expecting some good work, instead he is spending time in casinos,” said Manoj Singh.