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I Will Start New Chapter in UP Politics, Says Aditi Singh in Gandhi Bastion

Still wondering who was the girl who shared dais with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on Friday in Rae Bareli? Priyanka who was making her first major appearance in Uttar Pradesh in the run up to the state Assembly polls was seen laughing out as she took to the microphone in an animated fashion.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | CNN-News18

Updated:February 18, 2017, 10:58 PM IST
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I Will Start New Chapter in UP Politics, Says Aditi Singh in Gandhi Bastion
Seen here is Congress candidate from Rae Bareli Aditi Singh. A Masters in Management Studies from Duke University, USA, she returned to India to take the baton over from father Akhilesh, a five-time MLA from Raebareli.
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Rae Bareli: Still wondering who was the girl who shared dais with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on Friday in Rae Bareli? Priyanka who was making her first major appearance in Uttar Pradesh in the run up to the state Assembly polls was seen laughing out as she took to the microphone in an animated fashion.

Aditi-Priyanka

She is Aditi Singh, daughter of Rae Bareli strongman Akhilesh Singh, once the nightmare of Congress in this family pocket borough.

Aditi is the Congress candidate in Rae Bareli. A Masters in Management Studies from Duke University, USA, she returned to India to take the baton over from father Akhilesh, a five-time MLA from Raebareli. If Congress grapevine is to be believed, the 29-year-old is one of the closest to the elusive Priyanka.

Rae Bareli is considered as a Congress bastion. Winning election here is more than just adding numbers to Assembly seats. It’s a matter of prestige here for the Indian National Congress. Last time, party strongman Akhilesh had defected from Congress, yet managed to win.

Listening to people's problems in her Rae Bareli office approximately 81 Kms from the state capital, Aditi promises to write a new chapter in the history of UP Politics. Talking exclusively to Network18 with the hint of an American accent, Aditi says, “My father has been five-time MLA from Rae Bareli and he has been my role model. It was he who motivated me to join politics, and because of his grassroot level work even I was always fascinated towards politics since I was a kid. I’ve seen my father always available for his people, and I would like to become just like him.”

But will it be difficult for Aditi to change the image of daughter of a Bahubali to a local MLA? She answers quickly, “First of all my father is not a Bahubali, he is a normal person. I don’t know why his image has been made like this; he is a very helpful man instead and never lets down anyone who seeks any kind of help from him. People have voted him to power for last 25 years, and that is just not possible by pointing a gun at someone’s head. He has worked a lot for the people of Rae Bareli and that is why he was elected five times.”

But what was it exactly that prompted Aditi to join Congress; she could have fought elections as an independent candidate just like her father Akhilesh Singh. “The main reason behind me joining Congress is Priyanka Gandhi. I was in constant touch with her all this time. A few months back when I met her in Delhi, she asked me to join Congress and I agreed. She is very down to earth and I hope she comes to Rae Bareli to campaign for me,” says Aditi, as she dons dupatta on her head and gets ready to go for a public meeting in her constituency.

Keeping her views on the Congress-Samajwadi alliance Aditi says, “The alliance is beneficial for both the parties. Akhilesh Yadav has really done a lot of development in the state and that’s why people are going to vote for him.”

But what about the slogans like ’27 Saal UP behaal?’ “Well, such slogans were given before the alliance. Now the alliance has been done on the basis of development as Congress has always worked for development,” replied Aditi.

The ‘Robinhood’ of Rae Bareli and Aditi’s father, Akhilesh Singh, has been five-time MLA from Rae Bareli Sadar seat, but still basic amenities like road, electricity and water are the issues. So what’s the daughter’s defence? “My father has served the people of Rae Bareli that is why he has been elected five times consecutively. A lot of development work has been done like NIFT and other factories. If you talk about roads, then I would say that they all will be addressed soon. Development is a work in progress; you just cannot stop at one point. It is a continuous process and I will ensure maximum work for my constituency. I will start a new chapter in UP politics."

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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