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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

From village chief to MLA, Unnao rape accused Sengar’s clout grew quickly

Sengar has been back in the news since the woman, who has accused him of rape, was critically injured in a car crash on Sunday weeks after her family wrote to the Supreme Court saying they faced threats from the lawmaker.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2019 12:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Lucknow
BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the main accused for allegedly raping a minor girl last year in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao.
BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the main accused for allegedly raping a minor girl last year in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)
         

Rape accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar, 52, began his political career as a village head in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao around three decades back. He was first elected as an Uttar Pradesh assembly member in 2002. Sengar has since been re-elected thrice.

Sengar has been back in the news since the woman, who has accused him of rape, was critically injured in a car crash on Sunday weeks after her family wrote to the Supreme Court saying they faced threats from the lawmaker. The rape survivor’s lawyer was also critically injured in the crash and her two aunts were killed when a speeding truck crashed into a car they were travelling in. The woman was a minor when she was allegedly raped in 2017.

The four-time lawmaker was born in Fatehpur before his family shifted to his mother’s village--Unnao’s Makhi. “His father, Mulayam Singh, is from Fatehpur district... Sengar was very young when his family moved to Makhi. His two brothers, Atul Singh Sengar and Manoj Singh Sengar, were born in Unnao,” said a person closely associated with the family.

He said Sengar’s maternal grandfather, Babu Singh, was Makhi village head for 37 years before Sengar succeeded him in 1988. Sengar remained the village head for seven years. His aunt contested an election to the post unsuccessfully in 1995 when it was reserved for women. Sengar’s mother, Chunni Devi, was elected the village head in 2000. She was re-elected to the post in 2005.

Sengar was first elected as Uttar Pradesh assembly member in 2002 from Unnao’s Sadar constituency on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. He joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) after he was expelled from the BSP in 2007 for alleged anti-party activities when he was re-elected from Unnao’s Bangarmau assembly constituency.

“In 2012, he won the Bhagwant Nagar assembly seat [in Unnao] on an SP ticket. He joined the BJP before the 2017 assembly elections and was elected from Bangarmau,” said the person quoted above.

Sengar’s family members have held several posts in local bodies in Unnao. In 2015, his sister-in-law, Archana Singh, was elected as Makhi village head. Sengar’s wife, Sangeeta Singh, is Unnao’s district panchayat head.

A police officer, who was earlier posted in Unnao, said the rape survivor’s father, who died after Atul Singh Sengar and his aides allegedly thrashed him, and uncle were earlier associated with the lawmaker.

He said the father and the uncle faced multiple criminal charges while working for the lawmaker. Their ties soured when the rape survivor’s mother decided to contest against Sengar’s sister-in-law for the village head’s post in 2015.

“Although the survivor’s mother took back her nomination following the intervention of her uncle, the seeds of a rivalry had been sown by then.”