Royalty bows out of Pratapgarh LS seat, makes way for ‘commoners’


Pratapgarh (UP), April 15 (IANS) Pratapgarh, a sleepy district situated about 200 kms from Lucknow, has been known for politics that was dominated by erstwhile royal families.

Former royals have won and reached the Lok Sabha ten times from this constituency.

However, now this seat seems to be moving forward, leaving behind its royal history.

Former Foreign Minister, Dinesh Singh, who belonged to the erstwhile royal family of Kalakankar, represented this parliamentary seat four times and his daughter Ratna Singh thrice.

Apart from this, Ajit Pratap Singh of Pratapgarh estate was MP from here twice and his son Abhay Pratap Singh once.

Ajit Pratap Singh won for the first time on a Jan Sangh ticket and then on a Congress ticket while Abhay Pratap Singh won from Janata Dal in 1991.

Politics in the constituency played out between these two former royal families with the third family – the Bhadri estate headed by Uday Pratap Singh, playing a balancing factor.

Things began to change when Ratna Singh lost elections in 2014 and 2019. She had switched from the Congress to the BJP in 2019.

Raja Bhaiyya, who is the scion of the Bhadri estate and the head of the Bainti estate, has not shown any inclination to contest the Lok Sabha elections. He remains a member of the state Assembly since 1993.

With Ajit Pratap Singh and Abhay Pratap Singh now deceased and Ratna Singh no longer active in politics, Pratapgarh has now opened its doors for ‘commoners’.

Pratapgarh is famous for its Amla cultivation, and for some parties, the constituency has left a sour taste just like the berries it grows.

The BSP has not been able to win any election from here even once.

The SP managed to win in 2004 when it fielded Raja Bhaiyya’s cousin Akshay Pratap Singh, also a former royal.

Pratapgarh also has a sizeable Kurmi population and this helped the Apna Dal win the seat in alliance with the BJP in 2014.

In 2019, BJP’s Sangam Lal Gupta won the seat and the party has renominated him for the 2024 polls.

The SP has named Dr SP Singh Patel as its candidate – with an obvious eye on Kurmi votes. The BSP is yet to announce its candidate.

There are five Assembly constituencies under Pratapgarh Lok Sabha seat, namely Rampur Khas, Patti, Raniganj, Pratapgarh and Vishwanathganj.

In the 2022 Assembly elections, the SP candidate had won from two seats i.e. Patti and Raniganj.

Pratapgarh was won by the BJP and Vishwanathganj by its ally Apna Dal.

The Rampur Khas seat has been held by the Congress for a long time, which remained intact even in 2022.

Pratapgarh goes to polls in the sixth phase on May 25.



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