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In Big Jolt to Congress, Former Pratapgarh MP Ratna Singh Joins BJP Ahead of UP Bypolls

Rajkumari Ratna Singh had won from Pratapgarh in 1999 but had lost in 2004 to Akshay Pratap Singh -- better known as Gopal Ji -- a close aide of Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:October 15, 2019, 2:16 PM IST
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In Big Jolt to Congress, Former Pratapgarh MP Ratna Singh Joins BJP Ahead of UP Bypolls
File photo of former Congress MP Ratna Singh.

Lucknow: In a big jolt to the Congress ahead of polls, Rajkumari Ratna Singh, the three-time former MP from Pratapgarh, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at an election rally on Tuesday.

She is the daughter of former external affairs minister Dinesh Singh, who was one of the closest associates of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The announcement was made at a public meeting at Gadhwa Inter College ground in Pratapgarh, which is among the 11 assembly seats due for the bypolls.

Singh had won from Pratapgarh in 1999 but had lost in 2004 to Akshay Pratap Singh -- better known as Gopal Ji -- a close aide of Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya. In 2019, she once again won from the Pratapgarh constituency by defeating Samajwadi Party candidate Shivakant Ojha by a margin of over 30000 votes.

The former Congress MP figures on a long list of Congress leaders considered close to Gandhi-Nehru family to have switched over to the BJP in UP. These leaders include Sanjay Sinh, his wife Amita Sinh and lawmaker Dinesh Pratap Singh, among several others

While the BJP has been busy engineering defections in the state, seeds of disaccord within the grand old party have dented Congress’ prospects of a win in the upcoming elections.

After a re-engineered UPCC team was announced, senior Congress leader Siraj Mehndi had sent his resignation to Congress head Sonia Gandhi, while former Congress MP Rajesh Mishra had refused to take the post in the advisory committee set up by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Recently, the Congress MLA from, Raebareli (Sadar) and daughter of five-time MLA Akhilesh Singh, Aditi Singh had also went beyond party lines to attend a special session of UP assembly called by the Yogi Adityanath government on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi.

Aditi Singh was later served a notice by Ajay Kumar Lallu who was recently awarded with the post of UPCC Chief. She had earlier also spoken in favour of abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, an issue which was against the party lines of the Indian National Congress.

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