The Maharashtra link to BJP list 

Kripashankar Singh, who hails from Maharashtra, is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from his hometown of Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 10:28 IST

Mumbai: Maharashtra’s North Indian face, Kripashankar Singh would contest the Lok Sabha polls from his hometown of Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. 

The 74-year-old Singh’s name figures in the list of 195 candidates declared by the BJP on Saturday evening. 

On September 10, 2019, ahead of the  Vidhan Sabha elections, Singh, who was considered close to the Gandhi family, resigned from the Congress - on the grounds that the Congress did not support the repealing of Article 370 from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

At one point of time, Singh had direct access to Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. 

After a break, on June 7, 2021, Singh joined the BJP inspired by the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

Once seen as a “go to” man in the Congress, his relationship cuts across party lines.

Singh hails from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh – and started off selling vegetables in Mumbai.

He did odd jobs but got associated with the Congress.

His break in the Congress ranks and files came when Pratibha Patil became the Maharashtra Congress chief.

Patil later became President of India.

Singh was a Minister of State for Home in the erstwhile Congress-NCP Democratic Front government headed by Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Later, he also became the President of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, one of the most powerful units of the grand old party. 

At one point of time, his name figured in a case involving amassing  assets disproportionate to known sources of income, and was targeted by the BJP.

Reacting to the candidature, Singh said: “When I was in Congress, I used to work sincerely towards the goal of the Congress party. Congress used to lead for a time. Today BJP is leading. Leadership is with BJP, dealership is with them (Congress).”

Shiv Sena (UBT) head Uddhav Thackeray took a dig at the BJP over candidature to Singh and expressed surprise as to why Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari’s name does not figure in the first list. 

“I have worked with Gadkari who completed Balasaheb Thackeray's dream project Mumbai-Pune Expressway in record time .He is a senior and loyal BJP  activist. But still he doesn't figure in the first list….I have known Gadkari as a senior leader much before Modi and Shah. But Singh whom the BJP accused of money laundering, figures in the first list," Thackeray said .

AAP Mumbai Working President Ruben Mascarenhas said: “Singh was accused of corruption by the BJP itself! Let's not forget his conviction was set aside not because of lack of evidence but because of lack of permission to prosecute! He is now their Lok Sabha candidate."

(Published 03 March 2024, 10:28 IST)

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