Battle for UP: Politics tearing apart families

Lucknow, Jan 23 (IANS): What began as an exception is gradually turning into a popular rule in Uttar Pradesh. The lust for political power is splitting families that now have more than one candidate and that too, from rival parties.

The latest case is that of Riya Shakya, who has been named as the BJP candidate from Bidhuna.

Riya Shakya is the daughter of BJP MLA Vinay Shakya who resigned from the BJP earlier this month and joined the Samajwadi Party.

Riya Shakya, it may be recalled, had alleged that her father was 'unwell' and had been kidnapped by her uncle. She insisted that he would remain loyal to the BJP.

However, within 24 hours, father Vinay Shakya brought the curtain down on the family drama by stating that he would join the SP and even resigned from the BJP.

Though his candidature has not yet been announced by the SP, he is almost sure to get a ticket from his Bidhuna seat which would pit him against his own daughter.

Another family witnessing a 'political split' is the Masood family in Saharanpur.

Imran Masood quit the Congress and joined the Samajwadi Party.

His twin brother Noman Masood has crossed over to Mayawati's BSP and has even got a ticket to contest from Gangoh.

Noman had earlier joined RLD at the peak of farmers' stir against the new farm laws.

Both Imran and Noman had contested from the Nakur and Gangoh Assembly seats as Congress candidates in 2017 Assembly elections. Imran lost to BJP's Dharam Singh Saini, who has now defected to the SP and has even got a ticket to contest from Nakur in the upcoming polls. Noman was defeated by BJP's Pradeep Chaudhary.

Another family that will have flags of two rival parties fluttering on their house is the Pandey family from Ambedkar Nagar.

Rakesh Pandey, former MP, has joined the SP while his son Ritesh Pandey is the leader of the BSP party in the Lok Sabha.

Pandey's defection to SP will make a dent in BSP's effort to win over Brahmins since Rakesh Pandey wields considerable influence over his community in the region.

Former BJP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who defected to the Samajwadi Party earlier this month, is facing a similar problem at home.

His daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is BJP MP from Badaun. She says, "I am in BJP because I am MP till 2024. It was my father's decision and I have nothing to do with it."

The biggest split in a political family was that of Aparna Yadav, younger daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who joined the BJP last week.

While Akhilesh Yadav 'congratulated' Aparna for joining the BJP, he said that Mulayam Singh had tried to convince her against the decision.

Aparna responded by tweeting a photograph of her seeking blessing from Mulayam.

This story of political split in the family, is apparently far from over and will expectedly have far reaching consequences.



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