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Days after BJP pulled out ‘Sengar aide’ from polls, Sakshi Maharaj comes out in his support

BJP withdrew Arun Singh's candidature after Unnao gang-rape survivor named him as one of her attackers. On Saturday, he filed nomination for zila panchayat post as an Independent.

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Lucknow: In a sign that a rebellion is brewing inside the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Sakshi Maharaj, the party’s MP from Unnao, accompanied Arun Singh as he filed his nomination papers for the post of zila panchayat president Saturday.

Maharaj’s support to Arun Singh came two days after the BJP withdrew the latter’s candidature Thursday, hours after the Unnao gang-rape survivor released a video statement naming him as one of her attackers. She also alleged that Arun Singh was involved in her father’s murder.

Saturday was the last day for filing of nominations for the zila panchayat polls to be held on 3 July.

Arun Singh decided to file his nomination as an Independent candidate after BJP decided to field Shakun Singh as his replacement.

Even though Shakun Singh claims that he enjoys the support of BJP workers, Sakshi Maharaj’s presence during Arun Singh’s nomination filing has put the saffron party in a tight spot.

The BJP’s Unnao district president Raj Kishor Rawat confirmed to ThePrint that Arun Singh’s name has been withdrawn from the polls. “If he contests as an Independent candidate that’s his personal choice, the party has nothing to do with it,” he said.

Close aide of Kuldeep Sengar

Arun Singh, a relative of Uttar Pradesh minister Raghvendra Pratap Singh, is the zila panchayat member from Auras ward in Unnao. He was elected panchayat member in elections held in April this year.

Arun is also considered to be a close aide of Kuldeep Sengar. While Arun had not been booked in the gang-rape case or that of the woman’s father’s murder, he was named in the FIR in July 2019 along with Kuldeep Sengar when the Unnao survivor met with an accident.

Also read: UP, MP, Goa, Uttarakhand — BJP’s command-and-control is malfunctioning

SP alleges Yogi govt stopped candidates from filing nomination

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party Saturday alleged that the Uttar Pradesh Police stopped their candidates from filing nominations on orders of the Yogi Adityanath government.

“On 12 seats, including Gorakhpur and Ghaziabad, our party candidates did not get a chance to file the nomination. Yogi’s police have stopped them from doing so,” Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajeev Rai said.

In UP’s Baghpat district, RLD’s Mamta Kishore joined the BJP in the morning along with her husband but went back to RLD in the afternoon, hours before filing her nomination. Mamta alleged that the BJP threatened her with the registration of false cases.

UP BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpai, however, denied the allegations of SP and RLD.

”Samajwadi Party has a habit of telling lies. They do not have candidates in those districts but are alleging that their candidates were stopped. This is not true,” he said.

On RLD leader’s statement, he said, “We did not give any warning or threaten anyone.”

Also read: Attack Yogi & BJP, all-Hindi posts — How Priyanka Gandhi’s using Facebook to reach voters


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