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Race for tickets strain family ties this UP election

Lucknow, Jan 23 (PTI) In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, family ties are going through a test as closely related candidates pull out all stops in their hunt for tickets.

Driven with ambition, close relatives are trying to elbow out each other for a nomination in various assembly segments.

One glaring case of family tussle is in Sarojini nagar assembly seat in Lucknow, where minister Swati Singh and her BJP state vice president husband Dayashankar Singh are locked in a ticket race.

Another keen tug-of-war is witnessed in Amethi, where the first and second wife of former Congress stalwart Sanjay Singh are vying for the BJP nomination.

Garima Singh, Singh’s first wife, is sitting MLA of BJP from Amethi.

But when Sanjay Singh defected to BJP, his present wife Amita Singh emerged as her challenger.

Sanjay Singh had given up his Rajya Sabha seat before joining BJP in July 2019.

Sources close to him said he is lobbying to secure nomination for Amita Singh, the former Badminton player he married after divorcing Garima Singh in 1995.

In the 2017 state election, Amita Singh, then contesting on a Congress ticket, had stood fourth in the seat.

BJP’s Lok Sabha coordinator Rajesh Masala told PTI-Bhasha that party’s word will be final in the choice of candidates.

“Selection of a candidate is no issue here. Whoever the party gives the ticket, their victory will be ensured,” he said.

Contest for ticket has created fissure in a prominent political family in Ghazipur district too.

Kin of deceased muscleman-politician Krishnanad Rai are competing with each other for the BJP ticket.

Rai, a former BJP MLA from Mohammadabad, was gunned down in 2005.

Political strongman Mukhtar Ansari and Munna Bajrangi were booked in this connection.

In the subsequent bypoll, his wife Alka Rai had won the seat, and won it again in 2017 on a BJP ticket defeating Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Simatullah Ansari, a Samajwadi Party leader.

Sources in the family said that Alka Rai is now trying for nomination of his son, Piyush Rai, from the seat.

But Krishanand’s elder brother’s son Anand Rai too has staked a claim on the seat, putting up banners in the area.

“Everybody knows that after the death of my uncle, I sacrificed my youth for the family as well as for the people of the area.

“In addition to fighting the court cases I faced challenges from rivals and Alka Rai merely remained a ‘chehra’ (face),” Anand Rai told PTI-Bhasha.

“I ensured her victory in elections and now she is trying a BJP ticket for her son, how can I tolerate this?” On the controversies, BJP state leader Naveen Srivastava said people are free to seek tickets, but they will have to accept the decision of the party when it makes them.

Ghorawal BJP MLA Anil Maurya and his elder brother Udaylal Maurya, who left BJP and joined SP, too might be pitted against each other.

In Gorakhpur district’s Chillupar assembly segment, ex-minister Markanday Chand’s son C P Chand and his cousin’s wife, BJP State Women Cell vice president Ashmita Chand are trying for the party nomination.

C P Chand who was elected MLC from SP had recently switched over to the BJP.

“There is no clash within the family,” Ranvijay Chand, a member of the family, said.

“While C P Chand will contest the poll for legislative council, Ashmita Chand is preparing for the assembly election. This is the view of the family. We are waiting for the party decision,” he said.

In Bidhuna assembly seat in Auraiya district, a father and his daughter have found themselves in the opposite camps.

Sitting BJP MLA Vinay Shakya left the party to join SP along with Swami Prasad Maurya and others.

His daughter Riya Shakya opposed the decision and blamed his grandmother and uncle for the defection. Sources said she is preparing to contest against her father on a BJP ticket.

Former union home minister Ramlal Rahi’s son Suresh Rahi has been named as its candidate by the BJP from Hargoan seat in Sitapur district, while his ex-MLA elder brother Ramesh Rahi is seeking SP ticket.

Recently Congress prominent face in western UP Imran Masood switched over to the SP, while his elder brother Noman Masood embraced BSP.

Cracks have surfaced in SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s clan too.

His younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, and other close relatives, Hariom Yadav and Pramod Gupta, have joined BJP leaving the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP.

Likewise in Apna Dal, union state minister Anupriya Patel and her mother Krishna Patel are two leading factions of party.

Former minister Swami Prasad Maurya may have walked out of BJP to join SP, but his Badaun MP daughter Sanghmitra Maurya continues to remain in the saffron party. PTI AR SNS VN VN

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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