LUCKNOW: After losing its stronghold Amethi to the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha election, Congress is now finding it difficult to keep its clout intact in Rae Bareli, the last bastion of its first family.
Having petitioned to UP Assembly speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to seek the disqualification of Rae Bareli Sadar MLA Aditi Singh, Congress proposes to press for expeditious hearing of the plea not only of Aditi but for other prominent lawmakers — MLA Rakesh Singh and his elder brother MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh — of the party as they have already switched sides to the BJP but continue to be Congress lawmakers on house roster.
Party plea to seek disqualification of Rakesh Singh and Dinesh Pratap Singh are already pending with the speaker of Assembly and chairman of council respectively.
"Yes, we will seek an early hearing on the three petitions seeking disqualification of two MLAs and an MLC,” said Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhna Mishra. While Rakesh Singh (MLA Harchandpur, Rae Bareli) and Dinesh Pratap Singh (MLC), joined the BJP in 2018, Aditi Singh is being punished for defying the party whip and attending the special session of state legislature held on October 2, 2019.
Aditi is the daughter of late Akhilesh Kumar Singh, a local strongman and a five-time MLA from the Rae Bareli (Sadar) seat. Aditi Singh’s grandfather Dhunni Singh too used to have a close association with former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi. Now, with the Congress seeking the disqualification of Aditi Singh, the party is likely to lose some ground in the region which has been represented by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for four consecutive terms in Parliament.
Earlier, the only opposition that Aditi and her father Akhilesh faced was from former Congress MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh and his brother Rakesh Singh. But now after the demise of her father Akhilesh Singh and herself showing a rebellious streak, it will not be easy for the Congress to retain its bastion in the 2022 assembly and 2024 Lok Sabha elections.