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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: In Kaiserganj, Brij Bhushan Singh rules the roost as voters remain unfazed by sexual assault allegations against him

It is no surprise at all that Brijbhushan is perhaps the only BJP candidate, not only in the state but in the country, who has openly criticised UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 10:07 IST
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 10:07 IST

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Kaiserganj (Uttar Pradesh): Former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and firebrand BJP leader Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh may have been denied re-nomination by the BJP following allegations of sexual assault but in Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district there is hardly anyone who talks about the issue.

Though BJP has nominated Singh’s son Karan Bhushan Singh as its candidate from Kaiserganj, Brijbhushan is the candidate here in real sense and going by the speeches of the firebrand saffron leader in his election rallies it may seem to some as if he is the "victim’ and not the offender".

‘’Main phansi par chadhne ke liye taiyar hoon agar maine kuch bhi galat kiya hai to….sach samne ayega ek din’’ (I am ready to be hanged if I have done anything wrong…the truth will come out one day), Singh says in the rallies.

And there are many who believe him. ‘’All these allegations are baseless…there is a conspiracy to finish Singh politically but he is a true warrior and will come out unscathed’’, said Raghav Mishra, a resident of Kaiserganj.

Mishra’s remarks are no surprise. Some women from the constituency were caught on tape saying that there was no need for Brijbhushan to ‘’sexually assault’’ female wrestlers as he could have had many ‘’more attractive’’ women at his disposal here.

Considered to be a ‘dabang’ (muscleman), Brij Bhushan’s dominance in this constituency is so pervasive that one may not find many people, even though they may be his rivals, who are willing to speak against him.

And it is no surprise at all that Brijbhushan is perhaps the only BJP candidate, not only in the state but in the country, who has openly criticised UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath. ‘’My leader is Narendra Modi….no one else’’, he had said recently.

He also skipped the Yogi Adityanath's election rally in Kaiserganj held a few days back. ‘’I do not support the bulldozer politics,’’ he has been saying in his election rallies, in an indication of open defiance of Adityanath.

Brij Bhushan has also made no secret of his love for the Muslims, who form around 24 per cent of the electorate in the constituency. ‘’I visit Muslim homes on their festivals....I don't believe in Hindu-Muslim politics," 

Brijbhushan may not be a candidate this time but a lot is at stake for him. A loss here could prove to be politically fatal for the former WFI chief against whom the Delhi police has already filed a chargesheet in the court in connection with the sexual assault case.

Singh has made it a prestige fight. "Singh knows that his indispensability for the BJP stems from his perceived invincibility in Kaiserganj" said a Gonda based journalist.

That Singh was indispensable for the BJP could easily be understood when, despite sharp criticism from different quarters following the allegations against him, the saffron party did not act against him.

Singh, who has his own support base in Gonda, Baharaich, Balrampur, Shravasti and Ayodhya districts, is not dependent on the party to win elections and he makes no attempt to hide it. 

Singh, who currently is an MP from Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat in Baharaich district, had earlier represented Balrampur and Gonda LS seats as well. He had also got his wife Ketki Singh elected to Lok Sabha when he was in jail under TADA in 1996. His son Prateek Vardhan Singh is also an MLA.

Singh had wom from here by 72 thousand votes in 2014. He trounced his rival in 2019 by over 2.6 lakh votes.

Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded Bhagat Ram Mishra, Brahmin, apparently in the hope of getting the support of the community which has a strong presence here. 

BSP has also fielded a Brahmin , Narendra Pandey, but he doesn't seem to be in contest. "The fight is between BJP and SP....BSP will get it's traditional dalit votes" said a local scribe.

Interestingly there are only four candidates in the fray, including the BJP, SP, BSP nominees and an independent.

It will be interesting to see if Singh is able to put his rivals on the electoral mat. The seat would go to polls on Monday in the fifth phase of polling.

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Published 19 May 2024, 10:07 IST

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