Zila Panchayat chairperson polls revive and bolster fortunes of Bahubali politicians in UP
While BJP is basking in the victory of 68 candidates backed by it, ally Apna Dal (S),it's the mafia turned politicians, who have actually used the polls to revive and bolster their politcal fortunes
LUCKNOW: No elections can be over in Uttar Pradesh without the involvement of mafia-turned-politicians and so is the case of the recent Zila Panchayat chairperson polls.
While the ruling BJP is basking in the victory of 68 candidates backed by it and ally Apna Dal (S) and the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) alleging gross misuse of official machinery in the defeat of its candidates, it's the mafia turned politicians, who have actually used the polls to revive and bolster their political fortunes.
In Jaunpur district of East UP, the July 3 polls have revived the political fortunes of ex BSP lawmaker and heavyweight politician Dhananjay Singh, whose wife Srikala Reddy (a BJP member from Telangana) won the district panchayat chairperson polls with the support of BJP ally Apna Dal (S).
Reddy won the polls with the AD(S) support, consequently ending the drought of wins for her husband Dhananjay Singh, who has failed to win any major elections since the 2009 Lok Sabha poll triumph from the Jaunpur seat on the BSP ticket.
However, it now remains to be seen whether Reddy functions as Jaunpur district panchayat chairperson on her own or ends up becoming a rubber stamp of her better half. In the adjoining Mirzapur district, another heavyweight politician and ex BSP MLC Vineet Singh has managed to ensure that district panchayat chairperson posts remain with his fold only.
The post which was won in the last two editions by his wife Pramila Singh has been won this time by Vineet's personal aide and BJP backed candidate Raju Kanaujia, as the seat was reserved this time for the scheduled caste category.
But Vineet (counted among those forming part of the gang rival to the Mukhtar Ansari led the gang in East UP) didn't only ensure that the Mirzapur district panchayat chairperson post remained in his fold but was instrumental in the victory of BJP backed candidate Dinanath Sharma in Chandauli district (the winner was his close aide's man).
He is also believed to have helped the Apna Dal (S) candidate Radhika Patel win against much stronger SP candidate Jaiprakash Pandey in Sonbhadra district, thus emerging as a kingmaker for the ruling BJP and its ally in the Varanasi-Mirzapur region. According to informed sources, Vineet is also believed to have played a major role in the Apna Dal (S) ditching its official nominee in Jaunpur at the last juncture to back Dhananjay Singh's wife Srikala Reddy.
And that's not all, as in the Pratapgarh district, ex-UP minister and heavyweight politician Raghuraj Pratap Singh 'Raja Bhaiya' got his party Jansatta Dal-Loktantrik candidate Madhuri Patel's elected with an easy win against BJP backed candidate.
Surprisingly, the win also scripted the beginning of thawing of ice between two sworn rivals Congress's Rajya Sabha members Pramod Tiwari and Raja Bhaiya. The gory rivalry between the Brahmin and Thakur politicians has been the hallmark of Pratapgarh's politics for decades. Tiwari, the ex-UP minister is believed to have played a key role in the victory of Raja Bhaiya's candidate, keeping decades-long enmity with Raja Bhaiya aside just to ensure BJP's defeat.
In Unnao district, the BJP backed candidate Shakun Singh (wife of mafia turned ex SP MLC Ajeet Singh who was shot dead at his birthday party in 2014) defeated the saffron party's rebel candidate Arun Singh (a close aide of Unnao rape case convicted ex BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar).