Cong’s Aditi Singh, others defy boycott in UP assembly

Lucknow: The Opposition in Uttar Pradesh, which boycotted the marathon 36-hour Assembly session, has been betrayed by its own Legislators.

The biggest jolt was suffered by the Congress when its Legislator Aditi Singh not only attended the Assembly session, but even gave a speech in which she sang paeans to the Chief Minister and the State government.

Aditi Singh, who represents the Rae Bareli (Sadar) Assembly seat, also absented herself from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s silent march earlier in the day.

When asked, she said, “My concern is for the people of my constituency. I am an educated Legislator and will do what I feel is right.”

This is not the first time that Aditi Singh has embarrassed the Congress. She openly came out to support the abrogation of Article 370.

Aditi, incidentally, is known to be close to the Gandhi family and Priyanka had flown down from Delhi to offer condolences when her father and former Legislator Akhilesh Singh passed away in August.

Her defiance is all the more significant since she belongs to Rae Bareli which is the parliamentary constituency of Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi.

When contacted, Congress Legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu feigned ignorance about Aditi Singh’s presence in the Assembly. It was clear that Congress leaders did not wish to comment on the matter since it concerns Rae Bareli.

Another opposition legislator who broke away from the party stand was Nitin Agarwal of Samajwadi Party. Nitin not only spoke in favour of the BJP, but even lashed out against the Samajwadi Party leadership for its inability to recognise the mood of the common man.

Nitin Agarwal’s presence, however, was not entirely unexpected since he has unofficially quit the SP after his father and former MP Naresh Agarwal joined the BJP last year. Though the SP had not sought his disqualification, Nitin has started sitting on the treasury benches.

On Wednesday night, however, he chose to sit on the Opposition benches and deliver his speech.

The Samajwadi Party was in for another shock in the Vidhan Parishad where two of its members, Shatrudha Prakash and Madhukar Jaitley sent their written speeches to the Chairman and requested him to make the documents a part of the proceedings. The Chairman obliged, despite mild protests from the BJP members.

Another SP MLC Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu also attended the session, defying the party’s boycott call.

The Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) also faced a revolt when its MLA Anil Singh and MLC Brijesh Singh Princu attended the session.