Battle For Jaunpur: Two Ex-Ministers And A Don’S Wife In The Fray


(MENAFN- IANS) Jaunpur (UP), April 16 (IANS) In an election where there are not many surprises, the Jaunpur Lok Sabha seat has suddenly been catapulted into the limelight with an interesting mix of candidates that has turned political equations on their head.

On Monday night, Sreekala Reddy Singh, wife of mafia don and former MP, Dhananjay Singh who is currently in jail, quietly announced on social media,“Jai Bhim, Jai Jaunpur.”

The announcement created a flutter and the BSP announced that Sreekala Reddy Singh would contest on the party's symbol.

Dhananjay Singh was all set to contest the Jaunpur seat but his conviction in a kidnapping case last month put an end to his plans.

The BJP has fielded former Minister of State from Maharashtra, Kripa Shankar Singh. Singh belongs to Jaunpur but has spent his entire political career in Mumbai. He is now reviving old contacts and is banking on the Prime Minister Modi wave to reach the Lok Sabha.

The SP candidate is Babu Singh Kushwaha, a former BSP minister.

Till now, the main fight was between Kripa Shankar Singh and Babu Singh Kushwaha but the entry of Sreekala Reddy Singh into the fray has upset calculations.

Dhananjay Singh wields considerable clout in the constituency and is still in a position to make and break equations.

He had won the 2009 Lok Sabha polls on a BSP ticket. The Thakur vote in the constituency will also split between Dhananjay Singh and Kripa Shankar Singh.

Shyam Singh Yadav, the sitting MP of BSP in Jaunpur, has moved to the Congress camp, though the party has never won from here after 1984.

The SP candidate Babu Singh Kushwaha is banking on the support of OBCs, particularly Nishad votes that have a sizeable population here.

Located on the banks of the Gomti river, Jaunpur is famous for its 'imarti' sweet, tobacco leaves and Chameli oil.

Despite its proximity to Varanasi, Jaunpur remains largely neglected and does not offer many employment opportunities.

“Jaunpur will contest the election for me. I am their daughter-in-law and will do as the people of this constituency say,” says Sreekala Reddy Singh, who is also the chairperson of the Zila Panchayat. Her poster proclaims“Mera Jaunpur jitega.”

Kripa Shankar Singh, on the other hand, is confident that Jaunpur will contribute to the BJP's tally of '400 paar'.

“People have seen the performance of PM Modi and CM Yogi governments and will not choose non-performing players,” he says.

Jaunpur will go to polls in the sixth phase on May 25.

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IANS

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