Days after the Congress named her as its candidate from the Bareilly Cantt assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh, Supriya Aron on Saturday joined the Samajwadi Party which fielded her from the same constituency. Supriya Aron, a former mayor of Bareilly, joined the Samajwadi Party along with her husband and former Congress MP Pravin Singh Aron.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav announced her candidature from the same seat, dropping Rajesh Agarwal who was earlier declared as SP nominee. Yadav welcomed the Arons into the party fold at a press conference and exuded confidence that they will further strengthen the organisation.
Journalist-turned-politician Supriya Aron’s name had figured in the first list of Congress candidates declared by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on January 13. She was among the 50 women candidates of the total 125 declared that day in keeping with the party’s promise of fielding 40 per cent women in the coming assembly polls as part of its ‘ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon’ campaign.
She had unsuccessfully contested from the same seat on a Congress ticket in 2012. She had courted controversy recently over her comments after a stampede-like situation had emerged during a marathon for girls organised by the Congress in Bareilly, resulting in injuries to three girls.
“People had gone to Vaishno Devi on a pilgrimage (on New Year Day), what happened there? What will you call it? It is human tendency to race ahead (of others). Here it is girls who are studying in schools and a little bit of ‘bhaag daurh’ took place, she had said drawing a parallel with the stampede at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu that had left 12 people dead. She had also called mediapersons as Congress supporters when asked about some from the Congress heckling journalists covering the marathon.
“My request to the media is if somebody has felt bad (over something), I apologise on the party’s behalf. Nothing as such happened. I know that from within you all are ‘Congressi’ (Congress supporters),” she had said. The news of Supriya Aron and her husband Praveen Singh Aron joining the Samajwadi Party was welcomed by her supporters and well-wishers.
Former minister Bhagwat Saran Gangwar, who is the SP candidate from Nababganj seat of Bareilly, said that Supriya Aron’s victory from Bareilly Cantt seat was now certain. “The Vaish community was voting for BJP out of compulsion but now Supriya will take the lead. Forty per cent Muslims of Bareilly will…vote for Samajwadi Party candidates,” Gangwar said.
In 2006, Supriya Aron contested the mayor’s election in Bareilly on a Congress ticket and won. Her husband Praveen Singh Aron won the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 on a Congress ticket defeating BJP stalwart Santosh Kumar Gangwar. The BJP has fielded Sanjeev Agarwal from the Bareilly Cantt seat. Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7 and the results will be announced on March 10.