Gandhi family loyalist joins saffron party

Dinesh Pratap Singh, a senior Congress leader and decades-old Gandhi family loyalist, joined BJP and vowed to ensure the end of the ''rule of one family'' in Raebareli. (PTI photo)

The saffron party received a shot in the arm ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election when Dinesh Pratap Singh, a senior Congress leader and decades-old Gandhi family loyalist, joined BJP and vowed to ensure the end of the ''rule of one family'' in Raebareli.

BJP leaders in large numbers, including its President Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and around half a dozen state ministers, descended on Raebareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday in an apparent bid to make a dent into the Nehru-Gandhi pocket borough.

Shah also addressed a public meeting at the government inter college ground in the town and exhorted the people to move from ''parivaarvad'' (family rule) to ''vikasvaad'' (development).

He said that his party-led government in the state would ensure all-round development of the constituency.

Shah also referred to the acquittal of Aseemanand and the Supreme Court judgement in Justice Loya case and lashed out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for what he alleged spreading lies in the country and coining the term ''saffron terror''.

Incidentally, Sonia had visited her constituency after a gap of around one and a half year on Thursday. She, however, could not attend the 'janata darbar' owing to her illness and Rahul who is visiting the neighbouring Amethi, his Lok Sabha constituency, had to attend to the complaints of the people.

BJP has already been very active in Amethi and Union Minister Smriti Irani, who had lost narrowly to Rahul in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has been a regular visitor there.

The saffron party had been on the lookout for a suitable candidate to challenge the Congress in Raebareli and in Dinesh Pratap Singh, an influential 'Thakur' leader, it might have found one.

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