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'Cowards can't fight this battle': Congress' jibe after RPN Singh quits to join BJP

Firstpost logo Firstpost 25-01-2022 FP Staff
'Cowards can't fight this battle': Congress' jibe after RPN Singh quits to join BJP © Provided by Firstpost 'Cowards can't fight this battle': Congress' jibe after RPN Singh quits to join BJP

Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, former Union minister Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh on Tuesday resigned from Congress and joined the BJP in New Delhi.

Soon after putting out his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi on Twitter, RPN Singh tweeted on a "new beginning" under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah. He is likely to contest the UP polls from his stronghold Padrauna, from where he has been elected MLA thrice.

After changing his Twitter bio and dropping his Congress credentials this morning, Singh said he is starting a "new chapter" in his resignation letter.

Reacting to his exit, the Congress on Tuesday unleashed a veiled attack on Singh by saying that the battle the Congress is fighting only can be fought with bravery, coward people can't fight it.

"The battle the Congress is putting up all across the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh is a battle against government resources, its agencies. It's a battle of ideology, truth and to fight a battle as strong pitched as this one you have to fight it with courage and a lot of dedication. I don't think this fight is meant for cowards," said Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate while addressing a press conference.

"As Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, to fight this battle you need to be on your toe, you need to have courage, you cannot be a coward and fight this battle," she added.

Singh is the second big exit from the Congress in Uttar Pradesh after Jitin Prasada quit it last year.

Who is RPN Singh?

Singh, who had lost the last Assembly elections from Padrauna in 2017, is considered close to Gandhis. His name was included in the list of Congress' star campaigners for UP elections released on 24 January.

A descendant of the royal family of Sainthwar of Kushinagar, 57-year-old Singh is popularly known as Raja Saheb of Padrauna. He had been president of UP Youth Congress between 1997 and 1999 and secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) between 2003 and 2006.

He is likely to be fielded against Swami Prasad Maurya on a BJP ticket from Padrauna seat in Kushinagar. Maurya, former Cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in UP, recently switched to the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Reports said he was lately feeling sidelined in the Congress party. He had met top BJP leadership, including prime minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, three days ago.

Singh had last week denied any talks with the BJP, however.

UP polls

Uttar Pradesh, what is considered to be the country's politically vital state, votes from 10 February in seven rounds in an election widely, which is being considered as a precursor to the national elections of 2024. The results will be declared on 10 March.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP scored a comprehensive victory in Uttar Pradesh. Winning 312 of 403 seats, the saffron party left its competitors far behind to score its biggest victory in this crucial state of the Hindi belt.

In terms of the vote share data, the BJP polled at 39.7 percent, followed by the BSP with 22.2 percent and SP 21.8 percent. Congress could get only 6.3 percent (over 54 lakh votes).

With inputs from PTI

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