In a short span of six months, Swati Singh’s life has been an amazing transformation – from a typical housewife to a firebrand politician.
On Tuesday, she filed nomination papers as a BJP candidate from Sarojini Nagar assembly seat – a constituency from where BJP has never won.
However, Swati’s electoral foray would not be a cakewalk. She is pitted against Samajwadi Party candidate Anurag Yadav, nephew of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Swati’s political journey began in July last year when her husband and UP BJP vice-president Daya Shankar Singh was expelled from the party for his derogatory remark against BSP chief Mayawati.
The turning point in Swati’s life came on July 21, 2016, when a BSP rally in Lucknow, demanding arrest of Daya Shankar took an ugly turn. At the rally, agitators raised derogatory slogans against Daya Shankar’s wife and daughter.
Swati demanded FIR and arrest of BSP leaders for passing derogatory statement against her family.
The fierce verbal duel that ensued between Swati Singh and BSP leaders catapulted her to the national political scene. Swati Singh’s back-to-the-wall fight salvaged BJP from an unwarranted situation.
You are contesting from a seat from where BJP has never won?
BJP will create history from Sarojini Nagar assembly constituency. I may be a late entrant into the political arena in Sarojini Nagar, but people of the constituency know me very well. I might not be able to reach out to every constituent in the assembly but I promise to meet every one personally after the election.
Your fight is against SP’s Anurag Yadav, who is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s nephew. How do you plan to face the challenge?
SP’s ‘pariwarvad’ has now travelled to Lucknow from Etawah, Saifai, Mainpuri and Kannauj. It seems no seat (assembly constituency) is left vacant in the Samajwadi family’s pocket-borough. All family members have already announced their candidature from the SP stronghold. With no option left, he (Anurag Yadav) has to contest from Sarojini Nagar. People are smart enough to realise all this and will send him (Anurag) back to Etawah.
You had often expressed your desire to contest against BSP chief Mayawati?
I always wanted to contest against Mayawati. It would have been an interesting contest. But never mind. Now, I am fighting against ‘pariwarvad’ of Samajwadi family.
What will be your major issues during campaigning?
During the five-year SP rule, law and order in UP came to its lowest. Incidents of rape increased manifold. I will definitely raise this issue (law and order) and good works of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In two-and-a-half years, the BJP government at the Centre has done a lot for poor and underprivileged section of the society. I will highlight the Modi government’s achievements.
Your husband’s political career seems to have come to a standstill… how does he feel?
My husband has been very supportive in my political journey. Today, also he is with me.
Pitching in between, Daya Shankar, who was standing next to Swati, said: “In my 15-year political career, my wife has always stood like a rock with me. Now, I will try to do for her in the next 15 days what she did for me in the last 15 years.”