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‘Rani’ vs ‘Rani’: BJP’s Garima Singh on Amethi’s Battle Royal

BJP’s Garima Singh will be taking on her estranged husband’s second wife Ameeta Sinh in the contest for Amethi.

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The electoral battle in Amethi has taken an interesting turn, with BJP fielding Garima Singh, the estranged first wife of the erstwhile Maharaja of Amethi and Congress leader Sanjay Sinh.

Sinh’s second wife, Ameeta Sinh, who had contested the polls from Amethi in 2012 but had lost to Samajwadi Party’s Gayatri Prajapati, has said she would contest again as an independent candidate.

After the announcement of a Congress-SP tie-up, Prajapati is vying to contest from the seat on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

Garima was in the news when she had tried to stake a claim to her former husband’s grand residential place, the Bhupathi Palace in Amethi, in 2014.

The property feud is just one of the contentious issues, with Sanjay, a former Union minister in VP Singh’s cabinet, and Garima being locked in a bitter legal battle over their divorce in the late ’90s.

Garima and her three children continue to be engaged in a property dispute with Sanjay. Garima’s elder son Anant Vikram and daughter Mahima joined the BJP in 2014.

Below are the excerpts from an interview with Garima Singh on how she plans to break into the Congress bastion.

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Your nomination from the Amethi seat is being called a master stroke by the BJP by political pundits to break into the Congress bastion.  Do you welcome the decision?

We, as a family, feel grateful to the BJP leadership for taking this decision and supporting us. The nomination is welcome, not just by my family but the people of Amethi as well.

The fight in Amethi is first about justice and honour; politics and votes come later. I am a mother fighting for her honour, the honour of her family, and for the development of Amethi. As for the political pundits, they may call it what they like, they are not going to win this election, our honesty and integrity will.

Why did you decide to contest the elections?

I have taken a pledge to achieve Rajarshi Rananjay Sinh’s (her father-in-law) vision for Amethi. Together with the people of Amethi, we shall restore Amethi to her former glory. I will commit myself to improving the lives of the people of Amethi and devoting all my time to public service and the empowerment of women.

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Ameeta Sinh is calling herself the queen of Amethi and is confident of victory. What is your view?

I’m not concerned about who’s winning, who’s losing. She (Ameeta) should focus on her work and I’ll focus on mine. My fight is against the ideology.

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You don’t have the guns, goons or money required to win this election. Why do you think you will win? How will you bring about change?

(Laughs) Now, everyone thinks these three are the magical combination for every political victory in UP. But this is not true. People want basic amenities – electricity, water, security – and development, both social and economic. This will be the core of our election campaign. Despite being a Congress bastion, these basic needs have not been fulfilled. We are going to work from within the government when elected to bring these to every woman living in Amethi.

India and the present government has already enough policies. Now, people need a leader who can ensure successful implementation of these policies at the state and central level.

Women will play a leading role in bringing this change in Amethi.

That is the beauty of democracy. Nothing is more important than the will of the people. Guns, goons and money do not win elections, trust and respect of the electorate does. I have been blessed with people’s affections and now have a chance to do something about it.

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim and Prashant Bharadwaj

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(The author is the grandson of late Prime Minister VP Singh. He is a freelance writer and can be reached @IndraSsingh. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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