Allahabad West Pins Hope on Richa Singh For Change
Richa Singh campaigning in Allahabad West. Photo: Eram Agha
Allahabad: The record shows that Allahabad West has been a bastion of mafia and lawlessness. The prevailing sentiment among people in the constituency now is that an educated candidate can bring change.
Craving a fresh start to usher in women empowerment, education and safety, people here have pinned hopes on 29-year-old Richa Singh, SP candidate from Allahabad West.
She shot to fame for blocking BJP MP Yogi Adityanath's entry in Allahabad University campus, and is being presented as the woman who stopped Yogi, the man who speaks against minorities. She was the first woman president of the students’ Union of Allahabad University and fought patriarchy and prejudices through her tenure there.
Seeing her ferocity in taking up the cause and pursuing it till she gets her way, local non-political and social groups have lent support to her campaign. Speaking to News 18, Rini Jesu of Sahayta Mitra Mandali Charitable Trust, said, “We have covered villages with her that have no sign of development - what do people here want drains, roads and hand pumps, even that is not there. This work needs to be pursued with new member in the assembly.”
Lalita Upadhyay, district president of Mahila Adhikar Sangathan, believes Pal is not going to win the third time. She said, "For past two terms Pal has been getting sympathy votes, her MLA husband was murdered. But this time sympathy won't work and performance will. We have a candidate who has our support because she has the will to work for women empowerment and making Allahabad safe, conducive for women. We saw all her battles in the Allahabad University and not even once did she go the back foot."
There is enthusiasm in the villages that the candidate has been to the "university" and has no criminal record as Allahabad West has for long been infamous for being represented by ‘bahubalis’. Going by the record of representatives of Allahabad West people believe Singh will change the image of the constituency. The constituency has been the bastion of mafia don Atique Ahmed, who won this seat as an independent thrice 1989 to 1993 and then in 1996 and 2002 he fought from Samajwadi Party and Apna Dal respectively. In 2004, Raju Pal of the BSP was elected but after his murder his wife Pooja Pal fought and won two consecutive terms from 2007 to 2012 polls.
"But we are not happy with her, she did nothing except get votes on sympathy. If we ever wanted to meet her the guards at her gate sent us back," said Memuna from the village in Allahabad.
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