Amethi’s palace tussle may impact its politics

  • Indra Shekhar Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 06, 2015 01:15 IST

The battle for control over the Bhupati Bhavan palace between Congress MP Sanjay Singh and his first wife Garima could well impact the political future of Amethi, the high-profile parliamentary constituency represented by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

The latest twist in the Sanjay-Garima fight came on Saturday when Singh’s estranged son and BJP member Anant Vikram Singh was arrested by the UP police in connection with the death of a police constable in September 2014. Constable Vijay Pratap Mishra was shot by an unknown assailant during a police lathicharge on locals who had gathered outside the palace.

The crowd has assembled to watch the drama of Sanjay Singh and his second wife Ameeta Modi returning to the palace, a portion of which was occupied by Garima and son Anant.

Trouble had been brewing in Ramnagar since mid-2014, when Garima and her three children decided to claim their share of the ancestral property and move into the palace.

As per an FIR with Amethi police, alleged goons of Ameeta Modi assaulted Anant and his family inside the palace on July 25.

“They put a gun to my brother’s head and asked him to leave,” says Shaivya Singh, his sister. With the help of locals, Garima was able to ward off the hoodlums.

Things went out of hand, resulting in the constable’s death the day Sanjay and Ameeta returned to the palace. Anant Singh and 300 other unnamed people were named in the FIR. On June 16, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Anant, leading to his arrest on July 6.

Speaking to HT, a senior Amethi police officer who did not want to be named, said, “We know that he did not kill the constable as he was under police watch inside the palace. But the evidence before the court is otherwise.”

When contacted by HT, Garima Singh said: “This is all orchestrated by Ameeta Modi. As per the Supreme Court order of 1998, I am still his legal wife.”

Anant told HT through his lawyer, “If my mother or sister are harmed in my absence, their blood will be on Ameeta Modi’s hands.”

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