UP: A jailed mafia is pitted against former cop

In Uttar Pradesh`s rice bowl, it is an encounter of a different kind.

Chandauli: In Uttar Pradesh`s rice bowl, it is an encounter of a different kind.
A former officer of Special Task Force and a mafia lodged in Ahmedabad jail are leaving no stone unturned to wrest this seat from the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Brajesh Singh, facing several cases of serious offences and currently lodged in the Ahmedabad jail is contesting as a Pragatisheel Manav Samaj Party (PMSP) candidate an outfit conceived by one-time dacoit and former MP Phoolan Devi.

In his absence, his wife Annapurna, a BSP member of the state Legislative Council, and his daughter Priyanka are leading the campaign.

Asked why Singh wanted to enter politics, his media in charge Rupesh Kumar Singh said the jailed don wanted to serve people.

"His wife, his brother are already in public service....," he said.

His brother Udaynath alias Chulbul Singh is a former BJP MLC.

Brajesh was arrested by a Delhi Police team from Orissa in January, 2008 after being on run since 2001 when he was injured in an encounter with tainted legislator Mukhtar Ansari`s men.

Interestingly, Annapurna Singh while campaigning for her husband, is working against party candidate and sitting MLA Sharda Prasad Nishad.

While Nishad refused a comment, Annapurna could not be reached.

By contesting as a PMSP candidate, Brajesh wants to corner the Bind community votes as also the votes of his community, the Thakurs.

Both communities have a considerable presence in Chandauli district.

Shailendra Singh, a former deputy SP who had a long stint with STF, is the Congress candidate.

After having lost the last Lok Sabha elections, Singh is trying his luck to enter the state legislative assembly.

Soon after quitting the police alleging mafia-politician nexus in mid 2000s, Singh joined UP Congress and headed its newly set-up RTI wing.

He hopes to corner votes in the name of new laws created by the UPA government for the welfare of the people and his "clean image".

He is also banking on the Thakur votes of the constituency.

As both the Singhs engage themselves in a political shootout, Nishad hopes to get the votes of the party’s committed votebank and the Bind community he belongs to, to retain the seat.