UP: Rae Bareli MLA Aditi Singh, another legislator join BJP



LUCKNOW: Months ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the BJP got a shot in the arm as two opposition MLAs, including the Congress legislator from Rae Bareli, joined the party here on Wednesday.

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh welcomed Congress MLA Aditi Singh and BSP Sagri (SC) MLA Vandana Singh into the party fold at its state unit headquarters here in the presence of senior leaders.

Aditi Singh shifting to the BJP assumes significance as the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency is held by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Swatantra Dev Singh asserted that Vandana Singh will challenge Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Azamgarh, while Aditi Singh will challenge Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

“Today, for the first time two women MLAs have joined the BJP. One will challenge Akhilesh in Azamgarh, while the other will challenge Sonia-Priyanka (in Rae Bareli). Both of them will show in the coming months how strong they are. They work for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden in their respective areas, and the BJP will gain from them,” the state BJP chief said.

Speaking to reporters, Aditi Singh said, “My effort will be to contest from the same seat (Rae Bareli) till I am in politics. However, I will abide by the decision of the party high command, and it will be of utmost importance for me.”

Asserting that she will “counter Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with her hard work”, Aditi Singh said, “Development has been the main issue for me and it will remain so.”

Asked whether she is eyeing a ministerial post, she replied, “First, I have to become an MLA in the 2022 assembly election.”

Interacting with the media, Vandana Singh said her main task would be to ensure that the BJP wins the Sagri Assembly seat.

On why she decided to join the BJP, Vandana Singh said, “She (Mayawati) had supported me in 2017 and I had won the elections. But owing to a minor mistake which was not even committed by me, I was suspended from the party. My side was not even heard, and action was taken against me based on news reports and feedback given to her by some persons. I was not even called (for an explanation). I was saddened by this.”

With Vandana Singh joining the saffron camp, the BJP hopes to strengthen itself in Azamgarh, which is represented in the Lok Sabha by the SP chief.

In October 2020, seven BSP MLAs, including Vandana Singh, were suspended by party president Mayawati.

They had opposed the nomination of the party’s official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during his November 13 visit to Azamgarh, had targeted the SP, alleging it stood for “Jinnah, Azam Khan and Mukhtar (Ansari)”, and asserted that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has rid the Purvanchal region of “mosquitoes and mafia”.

Wednesday’s joining takes place exactly a week after four sitting MLCs of the SP joined the saffron camp here.

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