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The importance of being Aditi Singh

“Her base in Rae Bareli is what her father had cultivated and may not remain consolidated in her favour if she changes her ideology,”

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Lucknow, Oct 3 : She was 30-years-old when she made her debut in politics by winning her first Assembly election from the Rae Bareli Sadar seat in 2017.

She had inherited her father, Akhilesh Singh’s legacy.

Akhilesh Singh, a five-term MLA, had decided to hand over the mantle to his daughter after he was diagnosed with cancer.

For Aditi, a large number of legislators in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly were ‘uncles’ since they were ‘friends’ of her father who had spent almost quarter of a decade in the state assembly.

But Aditi, who had her education in Delhi and Mussorie before she went to the Duke University in the United States for a degree in management, made it amply clear within weeks of being elected that though she was a first time MLA, she was no novice in politics.

She mingled with legislators closer to her age, often cutting across party lines.

In a state where most first timers shy away from raising issues and making speeches in the state legislature, Aditi made sure that she was given time and opportunity to make her presence felt.

Since she represented Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituency of Sonia Gandhi, added to her importance within the Congress.

Though her father Akhilesh Singh had moved away from the Congress following his suspension after a murder charge, he contested and won his fourth election as an independent and the fifth as a Peace Party candidate.

Despite his angst towards the Congress, Akhilesh Singh remained against the right wing politicians and the reason for this was his proximity to Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadvi , popularly known as Ali Miyan.

Ali Miyan belonged to Rae Bareli and was a highly respected Islamic scholar and wielded considerable influence over his community.

It was Akhilesh’s proximity to Ali Miyan that made him invincible in his constituency.

The top leadership of the Congress also remained ‘soft’ towards Akhilesh and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra flew to Rae Bareli to meet the family after Akhilesh Singh passed away on August 20 this year.

Aditi Singh struck the first discordant note two months ago when she publicly praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over abrogation of Article 370. On Wednesday and Thursday she attended the 36-hour special session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s 150 birth anniversary, in defiance of the Congress diktat of boycott.

Congress men were flummoxed but all waited for a reaction from the party high command.

“What made things worse was that Aditi was not apologetic about her stand which was against the party stand. The party high command, apparently, pardoned her because it was her first mistake,” said a senior Congress leader.

Her decision to defy the Congress line on Wednesday and attend the assembly session that had been boycotted by her party, however, is nothing short of ‘blasphemy’ for party leaders.

“She is again unapologetic and says that she will accept whatever action is taken against her. She continues to violate party discipline and is setting a bad precedence,” said the party leader.

Aditi’s growing closeness to the ruling BJP, however, may disturb her vote base in Rae Bareli also.

“Her base in Rae Bareli is what her father had cultivated and may not remain consolidated in her favour if she changes her ideology,” said a party leader in Rae Bareli.

The Congress high command, which is already smarting after the Amethi defeat, will apparently weigh all pros and cons before initiating any action against Aditi Singh.

However, what is abundantly clear is that Aditi Singh is determined to chart her own course in politics – with or without the Congress.

India

Wrong to prevent farmers from holding peaceful demonstrations: Kejriwal

Thousands of farmers have been marching to Delhi from Punjab and Haryana protesting against the laws that liberalise the agriculture sector

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Farmers Protest

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday showed his support to the farmers who are protesting against the three farm laws passed in the Parliament in September, and said that they should be allowed to stage a peaceful protest.

“The three farm bills of the central government are anti-farmer. Instead of rolling back these bills, farmers are being stopped from staging peaceful protests. Water cannons are being used against them. This is injustice to the farmers. Peaceful protest is their constitutional right,” said Kejriwal in a tweet on Thursday.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had voted against the Bills in both Lok Sabha (where it has one MP) and Rajya Sabha (where it has three MPs).

Thousands of farmers have been marching to Delhi from Punjab and Haryana protesting against the laws that liberalise the agriculture sector. While some groups were stopped in Haryana on Wednesday and water cannons used against them, several others continue to approach Delhi to stage a protest. The Delhi Police has issued a notice prohibiting any gathering in the Capital, citing Covid-19 regulations and the Delhi Metro has temporarily closed operation on certain routes.

The three laws that have led to widespread protests are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

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Politics

I have lost a comrade, colleague and friend: Sonia on Ahmed Patel’s death

Congress has lost one of its greatest son. I am at loss of words at his death. May his soul rest in peace. May god give strength to his family to cope up with this terrible loss.”

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Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday while condoling the death of Ahmed Patel said she has lost a dedicated Congress colleague.

“In Sh. Ahmed Patel, I have lost a colleague, whose entire life was dedicated to the Congress Party.” she said

She said, “His faithfulness and dedication, his commitment to his duty, his always being there to help, his generosity were rare qualities that distinguished him from others.”

“I have lost an irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend. I mourn his passing and I feel deeply for his bereaved family to whom I offer my sincere feelings of empathy and support,” she added

Scores of Congress leaders condoled Ahmed Patel’s death, “It is very hard to come to terms with Ahmed patel Ji’s passing. He was a political troubleshooter par excellence & will be sorely missed by all. “Ahmedbhai” was also a close friend of my late father’s & a mentor to me,” tweeted Milind Deora.

B.K. Hariprasad said in a tweet, “Its very saddening to know about the demise of Shri Ahmad patel ji. Congress has lost one of its greatest son. I am at loss of words at his death. May his soul rest in peace. May god give strength to his family to cope up with this terrible loss.”

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India

Ahmed Patel’s role in strengthening Congress will always be remembered: PM Modi

A top strategist of the Congress and a most-trusted ally of its president Sonia Gandhi, Patel (71) died in the early hours of Wednesday.

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Narendra Modi

Condoling the death of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his role in strengthening the opposition party will always be remembered.

Patel spent years in public life, serving the society, Modi noted.

A top strategist of the Congress and a most-trusted ally of its president Sonia Gandhi, Patel (71) died in the early hours of Wednesday.

He was admitted to the Medanta hospital in Gurugram and had been critical for a few days. He had contracted COVID-19 and subsequently, developed complications.

“Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel Ji. He spent years in public life, serving society. Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai’s soul rest in peace,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

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