Sanjay Sinh faces family battle before polls
Before senior Congress leader Sanjay Sinh takes on powerful adversaries like Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and a young popular Thakur leader Sonu Singh in Sultanpur, he faces a fresh round of battle within his own family
Sinh's estranged first wife Garima Singh is BJP MLA from Amethi. She had defeated his second wife Ameeta Sinh in the 2017 assembly elections.
In the 2017 battle of wives in Amethi, a great deal of muck had been thrown around with Garima and her son Anant Vikram Singh claiming that the 'divorce' that Sanjay Sinh allegedly gave his mother in the late 90s had already been set aside by the Supreme Court because the documents had been forged.
The father and son have been embroiled in a property dispute over their ancestral palace Bhupathi Bhawan in Amethi since 2015 and Garima and her son's family are presently living in a two-room set on the terrace.
"My fight is against an ideology. I would not name any individual including my estranged husband or anybody else. I am loyal to my party and will back it fully in Amethi and elsewhere," said Garima Singh.
The clout that Garima enjoys in Amethi and amongst its people is evident from the fact that Union Minister Smriti Irani, who is contesting the Amethi seat, recently visited her and her family. Garima had even campaigned for Smriti Irani.
Her son Anant Vikram, a former merchant navy officer, however is more vocal and says: "We have made our choices and we will follow the path that our party takes. We are campaigning for Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur even if it means campaigning against my father - especially after the way he treated my mother, my sisters and me."
Congress leaders in Sultanpur admit, albeit on the condition of anonymity, that the stand taken by Garima Singh and Anant Vikram Singh was bound to damage Sanjay Sinh to a large extent since Garima and her children enjoyed public sympathy.
"Sanjay Sinh should have anticipated this trouble and should have resolved his family dispute before deciding to contest the polls. If his own family campaigns against him, the results will turn against him," said a local Congress leader.
Sanjay Sinh is already locked in a fierce contest with Maneka Gandhi (BJP) on one side and Sonu Singh (SP-BSP) on the other.
Ameeta Sinh, Sanjay Sinh's second wife, however downplays the situation and says: "Sanjay Sinh is a senior Congress leader and has done a lot of work for the area and that is what ultimately counts. We have the support of the people."
Sultanpur goes to polls in the sixth phase on May 12.