The first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 has kick-started. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are in a close contest and will be fighting tooth and nail to form government in the state.

Wary of its poor performance in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress this time is making sure that Amethi, where the party has a strong hold, doesn’t slip out of its hands and for this, they have been actively campaigning within the state. BJP on the other hand is using the demonetisation decision to woo the voters.

But the interesting thing to see will be the face-off between the two royals of Bhupati Bhavan. BJP’s Rani Garima Singh and Congress’ Rani Amita Singh will fight against each other in the elections. So it’s a ‘Rani vs Rani’ affair in Amethi this time.

Garima Singh, the estranged first wife of Congress’ Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, will contest on BJP’s ticket for the Amethi Assembly seat and Amita Singh, the present wife of Sanjay Singh has filed her nomination as a Congress candidate.

For years, Garima stayed away from Amethi and returned to the palace only after 2014 Lok Sabha elections. She will be making her debut political venture and she already has a lot of public sympathy.

Amita Singh, who lost in the 2012 Assembly elections, has acted as a link between the commons and the Royals and has consistently worked in the constituency.

“Amethi is my family and my home and I cannot leave it…I will contest from here,” she said, adding that she had been working hard among the electorate since long and was on a very strong footing,” she said.

The polling in the state of Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases and the counting will be on March 11.

First Published | 11 February 2017 1:12 PM
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