In UP, wives drive poll rath of jailed candidates
Here is a development that will gladden the hearts of women’s issue activists. Despite having an army of loyalists, the criminal candidates of eastern Uttar Pradesh are banking on their wives to pull them through the elections.
Be it Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi, Brijesh Singh or jailed BSP parliamentarian Dhananjay Singh—all have put their wives in charge of their campaign.
Seema Singh is leading the campaign of Munna Bajrangi—jailed Apna Dal candidate from Mariahu assembly seat of Jaunpur. Be it coordinating meetings or door-to-door canvassing, she is the one who takes the call on everything. Even her husband’s boss, Apna Dal national general secretary Anupriya Patel, does not interfere.
When it came to selecting a dummy candidate, Bajrangi chose his wife – getting her to file nomination from Mariahu constituency. His trust was richly repaid. She dutifully withdrew her papers when his nomination was approved.
Brijesh Singh, who is in Ahmedabad jail, has put his wife Annapurna in charge at Saiyadraja seat of Chandauli, where is he contesting on the ticket of the not-so-well-known Pragatisheel Manav Samaj Party.
Singh, considered the shrewdest and ruthless criminal by police, had facilitated her entry into politics in 2008, when his candidature for MLC polls was rejected.
Annapurna won the election —and has not looked back. When the Saiyadraja seat came into being after delimitation, she utilised her MLC funds for development projects there. And it was she who decided that their teenage daughter Priyanka should address a rally on behalf of her father.
BSP parliamentarian Dhananjay Singh, lodged in Jaunpur jail, has fielded his wife Jagriti, a doctor, as an Independent candidate from Malhini in Jaunpur.