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Rebel Congress MLA Aditi Singh, BSP’s Vandana Singh join BJP; ‘strong women leaders’ to counter Akhilesh, Priyanka

Swatantra Dev Singh said the “two strong woman leaders” would counter Akhilesh Yadav in Azamgarh and Priyanka Gandhi in Rae Bareli.

Rebel Congress MLA from Rae Bareli, Aditi Singh and rebel BSP MLA from Sigri in Azamgarh, Vandana Singh joined the BJP on Wednesday. This comes as a shot in the arm for the ruling party just months ahead of the assembly polls in state.

Welcoming them in the party, UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said the “two strong woman leaders” would counter Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav in Azamgarh, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi in Rae Bareli.

“Both have made a place for themselves and work for the deprived. They will strengthen the BJP to attain an absolute majority in the 2022 Assembly polls in the state,” said the UP BJP chief.

“I was very impressed with the working style of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, I observed their working style for the whole five years. I promise to work hard on my seat and win the seat,” said Singh after formally joining the BJP.

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 Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

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 Azamagarh, had targeted the Samajwadi Party, 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 Samajwadi Party joined the saffron camp here.

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